I purchased the DVRHD04 from Walmart even though so many of you are
dissatisfied with it on Monday 10/25. It is a very nice device that needs it's firmware
$278 for a DVD recorder with an 80GB HD is a darn good deal.
Out of the box, I recorded a 6 minute video clip to the HD at the HQ setting. It played back nicely. I copied it to a DVD+RW disc and tried it on my Sony NS325 player... beautiful image, but no sound. I tried it on my computer via Plextor 708A... same thing.. no sound. I logged onto www.ilohelp.com and downloaded the WMJA1185.DS1 firmware. Erased the HD, recorded the video again, copied it to +RW and just like magic, it worked properly.
I had to open 'er up to see what we were dealing with. Please, please be careful if you do this because the power supply is not enclosed... it would be very easy to hurt yourself quite badly.
Here is the hardware they are using:
Seagate U Series 9
80GB ST 380012ACE
Made In Malaysia
They plastered gobs of copper tape all over the DVD+RW drive.
I had an ancient WD 40GB drive laying around (WD400400BB-00AUA1) so I formatted it as Fat32 and popped it in. Turned 'er on, erased the HD from the tools menu and recorded a short clip onto it. No sweat, easier than addind a drive to a computer! Of course I put the 80GB drive back in place. I just wanted to see how easy it was to upgrade, and it doesn't get any easier than this.
I sure hope they issue a new firmware that will address the HD playback bugs that currently plague long capture files.
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Originally Posted by normandoSam Ontario
You are a star! My first issue with the DVDRHD04 was the "no audio" after copying from HDD to DVD on other players. The firmware absolutely has to be loaded to insure proper operation. Thanks for the test on the hard drive and for all the information.
Isn't the Liteon DDW-451S a + and - burner? Any way to get the HD04 to do both? Keep us informed with what you find. Now I'm wondering if the firmware for the Liteon 5045 will work on the iLO if that machine is ever released. <g>
Could you try to put in a larger HDD (say 120GB, 160GB, 200GB, 250GB, etc) that you could get your hand on for a test to see if this recorder could handle HDDs larger than 80GB or not. If it could handle large HDD upgrade then I'm in for one. I'm sure many folks here would also die to know this info. Thanks in advance.
When you recorded to the 40GB drive, did you notice if it still had the audio glitch? Just curious if changing the drive made any difference at all.
I really doubt that it would but, you never know till you try.
Now that I raised a few eyebrows regarding the easy HD upgrade, I thought I would point you to a website that I contribute. I purchased one of the RCA RD2780 PVP devices the week they came out, and promptly upgraded the measly 20GB drive for a hardier 80GB one.
Formatting a drive larger than 32GB as Fat32 is not as easy on Win2K and WinXP as it should be. I give you step by step instructions here:
Please do not buy one of those RD2780's... they are awful. But... the week they were released, Archos dropped the price of the AV320 by over $150. It was love at first touch with my new AV320.. upped to an AV380. The Archos is far superior in every aspect to the RCA unit. I am waiting for the new AV500 models that should be out sometime before XMAS this year. Here is a showdown between the two units that I wrote up:
The audio glitch is not the hard drive. It even does it on the slower speed. The I/O required from the HD is very minor. See this thread:
I dont think ilo / Lite-on will ever get the audio glitch resolved. I returned mine and switching to a more powerful PVR as mentioned in the other thread.
Whew... I think you are being a bit hard on ilo. They just released this thing a month ago. I have my fingers crossed that they can resolve the HD playback glitch in the next 85 days. If they can't, then I will have to return mine to WallyWorld as well.
If they can fix it... great, if not, I will get to use a really nice DVD recorder for 89 days. I figure that there will be new models of DVD recorders to choose from at the $300 price range by then as well. The competition must be freaking out that this DVDRHD04 has such amazing capture quality, an 80GB drive, and a $278 price tag!
I sent ilo an email containing a very detailed description of the HD playback glitch this morning. I also asked for an estimated date for the next firmware upgrade. I will let you all know what they have to say.
JasonK.. I know you did this as well. I figure the more people that explain it to them the better. Are you getting another DVD Recorder? or are you building a MediaCenter PC?
Holy smokes! I received an email response from ilo support 1 hour and 56 minutes after I sent it out! (Aren't gmail's features awesome?) I can't even get my co-workers to respond that quickly.
Here is what I wrote to them:
There are still a few bugs that need to be fixed.
When I record short video clips to the HD, they playback flawlessly.
Unfortunately, when I record tv programs that are an hour or more in
length, I am getting audio hiccups every minute and half minute after
the 20 minute mark. For example... when I skip ahead to the 25:00
mark and start watching, at 26:00, the audio will hiccup, then at
26:30 it will hiccup, at 27:00 it will hiccup, etc...
This is a hard drive playback issue because if I copy the video to a
DVD +RW disc and watch it, there are no audio hiccups. Obviously,
requiring the customer to copy the file to disc is not a solution...
I need to be able to watch videos from the HD.
When I am viewing a video clip from the HD that is an hour or more in
length, and I skip ahead to the 35 minute mark, if I try and search in
reverse at 4x or 8x or 16x, it will rewind very slowly and stall very
Here is their response:
Thanks for your feedback Norm. We are already working on the hiccup
problem. Should have a firmware update in about 2 wks.
On the bkds rwd I was able to reproduce after several attempts, I believe
if you press the rwd button and give it a second to execute the command
then press it again and wait a second it should work fine.
I am confident that they will get the HD audio hiccup glitch resolved.
It's great that you actually got a response that they're working on a new firmware. I've sent several emails asking if they are still working on firmware fixes, and have just been getting the runaround.
Does anyone know of any unit's that don't have the audio dropout problem? Both the ones I've tried were manufactured July 2004.
Specs on the HD:
Specs on the DVD+/-RW:
Anyone know what chipset this unit uses, Is it this one?
Mine was manufactured July 2004 as well. I haven't heard of any that don't have it. (except the one iLO claims doesn't have drop outs)<g>
This is amazing the power of this machine what could be unlocked with the right firmware. Hope it happens.
On the bkds rwd I was able to reproduce after several attempts, I believe if you press the rwd button and give it a second to execute the command then press it again and wait a second it should work fine
Yes, I decided to build a PVR PC using a WinTV-PVR250 tuner mpeg encoder card and SageTV. I have an extra computer, and as I've researched it, my interest has increased.
I think it's cool you're building your own PVR. Hope it's just what you want and works without a glitch. You'll have just what you want with the features you like. Please don't name your model the "jLO". (Thank you...I'm here 'til midnight...tip your waitress)
As much as I would have liked a firmware update yesterday, I'm more than willing to wait a couple of weeks or a real and proper fix.
Since I'm new to these types of machines I didn't know that if you record something on the hard drive the iLOHD04 and hide a clip, it will record the hidden clip on to the DVD+R. I did that and erased the hard drive. Then, I needed to make a copy of the DVD+R for a friend. Copied the DVD+R to the HDD. The hidden files were there too. It makes sense because it also copies the chapter marks, titles and thumbnail picture.
Well maybe after all the emails beldon and I have sent them they at least admit to you they have a problem. I have called via the phone, they have elevated the issue to engineering and still no resolution on the audio glitch.
The funny part is I have had 2 of them so far and both have the same audio glitch however the latest firmware resets the audio glitch after 1 hr of play, which is a little improvement. Now what I think is strange is that both of mine start after about 30 mins but they are always exactally 60 seconds apart and always when the timer goes from 59 to 00. I never did have the 30sec glitches.
I have not heard anything from iLo for over a week now. I think they gave up on me so it is good you have contacted them also. I still have about 60 days before having to return mine. Hope they can correct the issue B4 then.
I also do not think the people you talk to on the phone nor via their service email address are anything more than message takers. I'll guess the real suppport comes from either Liteon or the Company that actually supplies the balance of the hardware to both companies.
Thanks for the posts and info. 60 days and counting!
Well... I finally backed up my 120GB storage HD... Formatted it as FAT32... then popped it into my DVDRHD04.
Turned it on and clicked the browse btn on the remote. As expected it showed nothing available. I then fed a video stream throught the S-Video port and pressed record. The not available (circle with a slash in it) icon appeared in the top right corner of the screen.
I clicked the tools button on the remote and erased the HD. After about 2 minutes, it finished. I then pressed the record button again and voilla... it worked perfectly. I record everything in SP mode, and while it was recording, it stated that I had 33h 43m 48s or record time available. I can't remember what the 80GB drive stated for available record time in SP mode when it was empty, but I am pretty sure it was well shy of 33 hours.
Here is the file structure of the DVDRHD04 80GB HD with 13 recorded clips on it:
I forsee my first MOD in the near future. I'll get back to you later on that.
Unfortunately per page 42 of the manual SP will yield 32 hrs of recording time with an 80 GB hd so it doesn't look like you've gained anything. Someone on the DC products forum has done the same thing and also didn't get anymore time with their drive.
Could the OS or firmware prevent it from seeing anything bigger than 80 gig? Thank you for all the investigative work and info.
FWIW, I had 1.5 hours of content on my 80 Gig drive on the HD04. Starting a recording at SP it shows 31 hours of recording time remaining. Sorry forgot this. Thirty minutes of content was in on the HDD was recorded in HQ.
I guess we will have to wait for a firmware hack to utilize the additional HD space. Who knows, maybe ilo will sneak this in their upcoming upgrade. Never hurts to be optomistic.
Can you post the other forum's address that is discussing the DVRHD04?
Wonder if one of the mover software program would work. Basically let it expand the contense over to the larger drive. Drive Image, Drive Copy or what comes with a boxed drive these days.
Originally Posted by edthesped
Hum.... Saw the inside picture again of the DVDHD04.
There use to be a problem with HD when you mounted them up side down. Only a few drive ever showed this problem. Wonder if a slightly longer IDE cable to allow one to flip the drive right side up would be worth the effort to see if this is the problem? have seen dummer things before.
ADDED: Or simply invert the box and runnit upside down for a test.
Originally Posted by Capmaster
Now all I have to do is find one of the hard drive units and I'll be in business!
Now all I have to do is find one of the hard drive units and I'll be in business!
Originally Posted by JasonK
From all I can see the HD04 should be able to burn + or - disks and on paper the LSI chipset it uses is divx certified so that could be another possibility.
I just wish I knew how to dissasemble the bios myself, any suggestions on where I can get a crash course??
The 8652 is indeed the top of the line LSI chipset. Since the the liteon 8045 appears to be exactly the same machine, with a bigger HDD. I would hope that liteon will be continuing to work on a firmware fix, because I'm sure the 8045 is having exactly the same issues. If you go to the liteon site and download the instruction manual for the 8045, it's exactly the same as the iLo manual, only the on screen display pictures are slightly different.
From the pics it looks like the HDD is using a ATA-33 (40-PIN) cable I wonder if swapping in an ATA-66 (80 pin) would work or would make any difference at all?
As far as the bigger HDD, did the iLo create an 80GB partition and format it? If you were to resize the partition using partition magic would it recognize it (I think there's a similar freebie linux utility that can do this too),