Humax HDR-1000S Freesat developed HDMI problem

Cret

Standard Member
Hi all

I've had this freesat box for something like 18 months now, and generally it has been ok, although months ago the ability to live pause and record a second channel stopped working. I had read that doing a full reset often fixes this for people but I had loads of content saved that I didn't want to lose, so hadn't tried this.

This was tolerable but annoying, but a night or two ago it developed a much worse issue.
It has suddenly begun apparently turning on & off the HDMI output repeatedly, rendering it unwatchable.
I.e. after it boots up, you see the output on the TV for perhaps 1 second out of every 3 seconds, and it just flashes on & off like this continuously.

It is running through my Sony STR-DN1050 receiver, and has been fine this was for months since I bought the amp to replace my STR-DN1030.

I have not changed anything in my setup for months, and it has been fine until now.

However, here's where it gets odd. If I output directly from Humax box to TV then it works, but via the amp (either amp running or as passthrough), the screen output continually turns on & off.

My amp is fine with all other HDMI sources, and I've swapped cables/inputs around to confirm the issue is only with the humax box, but only happens through the amp, and this setup has worked fine for months.

So I'm at a loss to understand this. Surely it can't be lack of compatibility somehow because it has been fine for ages until now. But also, the humax box works fine direct to TV, yet not through amp, so how could it suddenly begin doing this?

I'm guessing if it's stopped working through the amp then it also won't via an HDMI switch, so how would I end up being able to use it effectively still, unless I resort to *shudder* using c*mposite audio/video through the amp (assuming that actually works still)?

Really appreciate any help resolving this otherwise I'll get nagged loads about how crap it is and how it's probably my fault for influencing the decision to buy it etc.

I have now tried a factory reset but it still doesn't live pause, and all the recordings are still there, so I'm not convinced it did it properly.

Many thanks!
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
The original problem you have is related to a problem with the area of the hard disk that is used to record the time shift buffer file. Unfortunately the only fix is to elect to format the hard disk, which will delete your recordings. The hard disk problem now appears to have spread to other areas of the hard disk. Assuming you registered the box with Humax, the best advice (sadly) is contact Humax support for a replacement. Personal opinion is that the Seagate pipeline disk supplied has poor reliability. I changed mine for a WD AV-GP 2TB drive shortly after launch and have had no issues. Did same with a Foxsat-hdr back in 2008 and it's still working fine.
 

Cret

Standard Member
Thanks Graham - appreciate the suggestions. I honestly can't recall if it was registered with Humax at the time of purchase but I'll try to find out. I remember I bought it from Currys and can probably get the details like date, but fairly sure it'll be past 1 year warranty. :(

Re' the HDD problem though, I presume that would have no bearing on the current issue of the video output seemingly turning on & off?

If it does all somehow just relate to the HDD then I've swapped out these in DVRs previously. I know it can be a pain and in some cases quite difficult, depending on the setup and particulars of the machine, but I don't mind trying if that's likely to resolve it.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Thanks Graham - appreciate the suggestions. I honestly can't recall if it was registered with Humax at the time of purchase but I'll try to find out. I remember I bought it from Currys and can probably get the details like date, but fairly sure it'll be past 1 year warranty. :(

Re' the HDD problem though, I presume that would have no bearing on the current issue of the video output seemingly turning on & off?

If it does all somehow just relate to the HDD then I've swapped out these in DVRs previously. I know it can be a pain and in some cases quite difficult, depending on the setup and particulars of the machine, but I don't mind trying if that's likely to resolve it.

Changing the hard disk is very simple on the HDR1000S (once you find the case screws hidden under the stick on feet :) )

If you buy a new WD-AVGP drive you may need to jumper pins 5 and 6 on the drive. Re the video I would try a different hdmi cable and/or port on the TV. Is the scart socket output affected ?
 

Cret

Standard Member
Thanks Graham

Does the HDD not need some sort of software putting on it to enable it to be used by the machine, or is it literally just a case of physically swapping it out for a new one? And I'd guess it'd at least need to be formatted in a certain way maybe?

I haven't tried scart yet but it appears to be fine via nasty old composite leads. I'm sure I somewhere have a scart to component cable but I might be imagining it, but that would at least be better than component if I have such a thing since my amp doesn't have a scart socket I don't think, and the dvr doesn't have component out.

Now I think about it though, my amp has done this thing where its OSD sometimes flicks off & back on again, and that makes me wonder if it's possibly a fault with the amp.

I suppose what I could try is plugging the DVR into the older sony amp that's in the other room (STR-DN1030) and see if it works with that. If it's ok with that then I'll be getting onto Sony and asking for the amp to be swapped as I've only had it a few months.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Thanks Graham

Does the HDD not need some sort of software putting on it to enable it to be used by the machine, or is it literally just a case of physically swapping it out for a new one? And I'd guess it'd at least need to be formatted in a certain way maybe?

I haven't tried scart yet but it appears to be fine via nasty old composite leads. I'm sure I somewhere have a scart to component cable but I might be imagining it, but that would at least be better than component if I have such a thing since my amp doesn't have a scart socket I don't think, and the dvr doesn't have component out.

Now I think about it though, my amp has done this thing where its OSD sometimes flicks off & back on again, and that makes me wonder if it's possibly a fault with the amp.

I suppose what I could try is plugging the DVR into the older sony amp that's in the other room (STR-DN1030) and see if it works with that. If it's ok with that then I'll be getting onto Sony and asking for the amp to be swapped as I've only had it a few months.

Scart to component only works when component video is available on the scart socket (Like the Topfield pvrs). Afaik no other pvrs have component out on scart (it uses the same pins as RGB so has to be selected in the box output set up options).

To get component from your box you need a powered RGB to component converter.

They aren't cheap


RGB (SCART) to Component (YUV) Video Converter - J.S. Technology Ltd

I used one with a Humax 9200 to avoid composite with my Denon AV Receiver.

The box will set up a new hard disk all by itself. The OS like all the Humax boxes I have ever had is in NVRAM.

Changing the hard disk is very unlikely to fix the HDMI out.

My HDR1000S had the same issue this morning, it lost all HDMI out (the analogue outputs were OK). Pulling the power for 10 minutes and rebooting has fixed it (so far).
 
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Cret

Standard Member
Ok cheers - I'll not worry about swapping the disc then cheers. I might try wiping it though if you think it may potentially fix the issue of it not doing live pause or recording on 2 channels. At least if I can get that working again then it makes up slightly for having to use composite.

I did wonder if I was imagining the scart to component combination so thanks for clarifying that it's not a common thing.

I haven't actually tried leaving the power off for any amount of time though so I'll try that in case it has an effect on the HDMI issue.

Haven't managed to try it on my other amp yet but the outcome of doing that will be interesting I think!

Appreciate the input thanks!
 

Cret

Standard Member
Well here's an unexpected twist! After you mentioned your HDMI problem I thought I'd try the same thing. I had already tried removing power briefly and repowering it, to no avail, but today I pulled the power lead then went out for a few hours.

Plugged it back in and put the HDMI cable back in and thought "no way I'll be that lucky", only to see it fire up and send the HDMI signal perfectly to the amp & TV like nothing had happened.

Brilliant!!

I'm now even more keen to try wiping the HDD to see if it does help the original problem. The mrs has given dire warnings of what happens if Downton gets deleted before she's watched it, but I have stated that this thing is unreliable, so anything could happen overnight.....

Thanks so much though Graham. Really appreciate the comments. :)
 

Cret

Standard Member
Hmmm, it seems there's still an issue but I can't figure it out as it's intermittent. It's the audio now.
HDMI image output is fine, but some days the audio is extremely quiet (have to turn the amp up to about 30+ to get normal levels), other days it's fine and gets a good volume level at around about 8 or 9 on the amp.

This wasn't previously the case, and I can't help but think it's due to something I might have changed while trying to investigate/fix the HDMI output.
It's fine on other sources, but very very quiet a lot of the time on freesat. ARC is still working because the TV or Amp volume controls directly are linked to each other whether it's being horribly quiet, or working normally, but I can't think what could be causing it to quiet down so badly a lot of the time.
I wondered if it related to the order that I am switching on the amp/tv/freesat devices, but can't seem to get it to consistenly behave. It's infuriating, especially if you have to crank it up to high volume (maybe 2/5 of the amp's volume level!!) then change to another source and forget to turn it way back down first!!

Very annoying. :(
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Hmmm, it seems there's still an issue but I can't figure it out as it's intermittent. It's the audio now.
HDMI image output is fine, but some days the audio is extremely quiet (have to turn the amp up to about 30+ to get normal levels), other days it's fine and gets a good volume level at around about 8 or 9 on the amp.

This wasn't previously the case, and I can't help but think it's due to something I might have changed while trying to investigate/fix the HDMI output.
It's fine on other sources, but very very quiet a lot of the time on freesat. ARC is still working because the TV or Amp volume controls directly are linked to each other whether it's being horribly quiet, or working normally, but I can't think what could be causing it to quiet down so badly a lot of the time.
I wondered if it related to the order that I am switching on the amp/tv/freesat devices, but can't seem to get it to consistenly behave. It's infuriating, especially if you have to crank it up to high volume (maybe 2/5 of the amp's volume level!!) then change to another source and forget to turn it way back down first!!

Very annoying. :(

Tune to a HD channel, set the Amp volume to a reasonable level. Tune to a SD channel, adjust the HDR1000s volume using it's remote control to a similar level. After this use the amp volume control.
 

Cret

Standard Member
Thanks so much Graham - you're a legend.
Bizarrely, I'd never even registered that there were volume controls on the freesat remote!

I'm acutely aware that I'm making myself sound like a village idiot with some of the things I've not thought to check like this. But thanks to yourself I've got it resolved anyway.

It's much appreciated indeed. :)
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Thanks so much Graham - you're a legend.
Bizarrely, I'd never even registered that there were volume controls on the freesat remote!

I'm acutely aware that I'm making myself sound like a village idiot with some of the things I've not thought to check like this. But thanks to yourself I've got it resolved anyway.

It's much appreciated indeed. :)

It's a very commonly reported problem. It's down to the fixed volume output by default from the HD channels (Dolby Digital/ aka AC3). SD channels use Mpeg1 Layer 2 digital audio which the box outputs as LPCM stereo, this is volume controllable at source by the boxes own volume control.

If you ever re-set the box, the volume output will default to 50%, so you will have to set it up again.
 

Cret

Standard Member
Ahh of course. That makes perfect sense!

All's well now anyway, well, as it was before the HDMI issue. Still need to try formatting the HDD to see if it gives us back the second recording channel and the live pause (the latter being very handy), but I've been told in no uncertain terms that if I do that before certain things have been viewed, that it would be 'unwise'.....
 

Cret

Standard Member
Famous last words it seems. HDMI went flaky again so I left it unplugged for a few hours and then tried again. It worked again but not for long this time.
So I removed the power again overnight, then tried again, but this time it still continuously flashes the HDMI output on & off repeatedly.

Looks like the original time it helped was just a brief stay of execution, so it's back to horrible composite signal now alas. :(
 

speculatrix

Active Member
Alas, my hdr1000s also developed an HDMI fault. Probably five months ago, just as it was out of two years warranty, the hdmi would sometimes turn off then come back. Sometimes it would be fine for days, other times it would cut out frequently. A few days ago I couldn't get it to come back, even leaving off the power for a day.
I took it apart to see if there was any obvious fault, it was a forlorn hope, didn't see anything. I did take some decent pictures, giving me some practise with my new macro lens.
Fortunately my tv is old enough to have an rgb scart, which gives ok quality. I tried doing a factory reset, in the hope it might have been some weird corrupted setting, but no such luck.

All in all, very disappointed that the Humax didn't even last two years before initial fault developed. I'm not sure it's worth repairing. I'm wondering if I can connect the hard drive to a computer to copy off all the movies?
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Both recordings and file system is encrypted on G2 boxes. Only the box that recorded the content will play the files.
 

robdav

Standard Member
Changing the hard disk is very simple on the HDR1000S (once you find the case screws hidden under the stick on feet :) )

If you buy a new WD-AVGP drive you may need to jumper pins 5 and 6 on the drive. Re the video I would try a different hdmi cable and/or port on the TV. Is the scart socket output affected ?
Hi Graham,

I'm on my second HDR-1000S/GB/1TB, first one was replaced under extended two year warranty. However, the second box appears to have a failed HDD as it lost all recordings and won't record anymore. I thought I'd try replacing it with a new WD AV-GP but it doesn't seem to be detected at all. I found your comment regarding the jumper pins above. The drive has four jumpers but they are not labelled at all. I have tried an external USB drive in the USB port but it is 'intermittently' detected. I managed to format it but it doesn't seem to want to record either.

Any ideas? The replacement box only came with a six month warranty and I'm loathed to get another Humax.
 

speculatrix

Active Member
Thanks, grahamlthompson, having read more about this, I do seem to be out of luck. From what I've read, Humax use LUKS to encrypt the disk partition. At the moment I'm wondering if each box has a unique key which is buried in a chip, because I vaguely remember reading that people who've sent their Humax for repair usually lose all their recordings?

I also had an Echostar FreesatHD+ DVR which was great, but started to get a bit flakey, was fine until a firmware update to fix broken EPG at the time of the London Olympics. I found that the hard drive in that had a password on it, so I was unable to read it. I didn't try anything crazy like unplugging the SATA cable after the box had booted.

I just pondering whether to get a new DVR, or build a TV-Headend Server, and then I don't have to worry about a hardware failure losing any recordings. A HDR-1100S-1TB is about £200. A pair of twin tuner DVB-S2 PCIe cards will be about £180. Problem is it needs high Wife Acceptance Factor.
 

robdav

Standard Member

Thanks Graham, I have tried both these jumper settings but neither works. Do I need to format the drive outside of the Freesat box or should it just detect it and ask fro it to be formatted? Nothing is shown when I go into 'Settings' and 'Storage'.

Freesat.JPG
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Even without the jumper the box should recognise the drive, afraid you have encountered the faulty component on the motherboard issue that loses access to the HDD. Pretty sure that Humax will replace it for £55.00 with a refurbished model. Give Humax support a ring. The jumper is required to make reading and writing reliable. I had to replace the drive in my HDR-1000S recently using a 2TB Seagate pipeline drive. The change was seamless other than losing the old recordings of course. Even the recording schedule was intact.

Guessing the key is created from the box serial number and MAC address so it's not hidden in a chip. Previously Humax were replacing the motherboard and owners reported that their recordings were intact so Humax must be able to set up the same key on a new motherboard.
 

robdav

Standard Member
Hi Graham, it seems you're right. Just spoken to Humax and apparently it's the resistors on the motherboard not allowing the drive to spin up. Because I tried replacing the drive myself, there is no option for them to repair it apparently so it would seem I'll be looking for an alternative to Humax now.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
If you want 2nd generation Freesat sadly no other choice than Humax. If you have a decent Freeview signal recommend a good used HDR-FOX-T2 (2 is even better) add the custom firmware you have a excellent PVR. You can export all your recordings And play them back on other kit as well. Even without the CF a HDR-FOX-T2 can play back all recordings from another on the same network.
 

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