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Upgrading Humax PVR8000T hard disk

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Ikki, May 1, 2004.

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  1. Ikki

    Ikki
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    I just upgraded my PVR8000T from 40GB to 120GB which will probably give around 60 hours of storage. It is working as before but with 3 times the storage, the new drive is very quiet.

    How to do it:

    1. Get a 120GB IDE HDD. I got a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 with an 8MB cache from Scan (www.scan.co.uk) for £66.
    2. Unplug the PVR8000T from the mains and whip off the case cover.
    3. Disconnect the power cable and the data cable from the old drive.
    4. Make sure that the new drive has the jumper set for 'cable select' - a diagram on the drive shows the correct driver position.
    5. Unscrew the HDD mount from the case (3 screws) and the HDD from the mount, replace with the new drive.
    6. Plug the cables into the new drive.
    7. Put the cover on and plug in.
    8. Turn on and wait a few minutes.

    Job done :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  2. Tetlee

    Tetlee
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    Nice one Ikki :smashin: , that sounds like a £60 well spent, and quieter you say :smoke: , maybe you can give an update in a week or so to confirm everything is rinkydink ;) How hot is the unit getting now? I'd be a tad nervous of an overheat.
    I might consider an upgrade myself but I'm in no hurry at the mo as I just spent a small fortune on console accersories :laugh:
     
  3. Ikki

    Ikki
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    There doesn't appear to be a heat problem at present but it is early days. All I can say at the moment is that it increases total power consumption by about 12% when it is recording or playing back, and a minimal increase when idling.

    A lot of the power increase is used to operate the faster drive, rather than being lost as heat. Don't forget that the PVR uses convection cooling, so most heat is lost upwards through the cover (a good reason for not placing anything directly above it).
     
  4. Tetlee

    Tetlee
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    Sure, I'll wait and see how you get on, keep us posted! I never would consider putting anything on top of my Humax, if something has vents, I don't cover 'em ;)
     
  5. Plastic Paddy

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    Nice one Ikki. Saved the details for future ref .
    Having a lot of fun with the 8000t.
    Doesn't seem to get very hot so far.
     
  6. Member 34135

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    It's not a good idea to put a 7200 rpm drive into a set top box, more power consumption means more heat which ultimately leads to an earlier failure of the box and the drive.

    Its worth spending a little more on a 5400rpm drive, the Samsung SV1204H is a superb low current, low heat drive for a set top box.

    I'm not sure whether your £66 includes their extortionate delivery charge? The last 1204 I bought came off the shelf from my local PC World in January for £82 so the price should have dropped by now.

    Andy.
     
  7. Ikki

    Ikki
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    My tests have shown that the average increase in air temperature in the case is about 1C to 3C with the larger drive.

    The stable operating temperature of the air within the PVR is about 40C give or take a few degrees for each drive, this is well within the maximum operating limits for the drive and would still be within limits if the room temperature rose by 10C.

    So I am not worried about failure due to temperature.

    p.s. I just popped into their shop for the HDD, so no delivery charges.
     
  8. Ikki

    Ikki
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    I have now tried a 120GB Seagate Barracuda drive in the PVR8000T. It doesn't give as much capacity (about 3GB less) and seems to be a bit noisier, it also runs slightly hotter.

    The big question that I would like to know the answer to is: Can a drive larger than the 137GB barrier be fitted? (e.g. 300 GB)

    The cable connecting the drive to the circuit board is an old style 40 conductor cable. Would using an 80 conductor cable work? I don't know.

    The Maxtor 120GB drive is working happily at present.
     
  9. JIT

    JIT
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    Ikki

    How is the PVR running, any problems?
     
  10. Ikki

    Ikki
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    So far, everything is hunky dory. :D

    I haven't noticed any difference in operation between the 120GB HDD and the standard 40GB HDD. It records, pauses, fast forwards and reverses as before, just lots more space. I was always running at 75% to 95% full, but there are no worries now.
     

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  11. Ikki

    Ikki
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    After one month, I can tell you that the PVR8000T (120GB) is behaving impeccably, in fact, I have not had any of the occasional eccentric events that were a feature of the PVR with the 40GB disk. What more can I say except that the 120GB seems to be filling up - it's like salaries, the more you get, the more you use!! :laugh:
     
  12. Goober11

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    Ikki I am thinking about having a go at this but am a complete noob - should I get someone who knows what they are doing or have a go?

    Thanks :confused:
     
  13. Ikki

    Ikki
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    If you have ever changed a card or something else in a PC, it's simpler than that. I don't know your level of technical ability, the golden rule is if you don't feel confident, get a mate who is familiar with PC's to help with it. Having said that, if you follow the instructions, there is little to go wrong, use the image as a reference. Just make sure that the unit is switched off and unplugged from the mains before you start and take everything a step at a time, double checking all the way.

    :thumbsup:
     
  14. hornydragon

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  15. Ikki

    Ikki
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    The PVR8000T can only record from the internal digital signal source that it decodes from the DTT signal. The scart sockets only output a tv signal, there is no way to record from an external source. As long as you understand that this device is purely for timeshifting DTT programs, it is one of the best pieces of AV kit released released in recent years, especially with the extended EPG.

    I can see no technical reason why the WD HDD should not work. The only thing to think about is noise. When the PVR is on the HDD runs continuously in seek mode as it is buffering the station being watched, for the live tv pause functions. I don't think that this HDD has FDB (fluid dynamic bearings) and the seek noise value seems to be a bit higher than the Seagate or Maxtor competition. For example compare the WD with a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120GB. Quiet seek values WD 34dB, Seagate 28dB, Performance seek WD 37dB, Seagate 34dB. Bear in mind that the dB is a logarithmic value, so the difference will be bigger than it looks, the WD is actually twice as loud in quiet seek than the Seagate. This observation is solely based on the manufacturers figures. It's a good price though. :)
     
  16. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    hmmm i know 7200rpm disc sre not ideal for PVR usage although people seem to use them fine £50 seems a bargain if i spent £70 on a Disc i could buy a twin for almost the same money, its just that the twins 10 hour recording isnt as much as i would like, and larger disc are so much more being 2.5" units, I think I'll see how i get on with it for a bit first.
     
  17. Ikki

    Ikki
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    I found that with the 40GB HDD, I was always near capacity 85% or more, and had to watch or delete to make space for new recordings. With the 120GB HDD, my usage seems to be fairly stable at 50% - 65%, so I don't think that I need anything bigger. I guess it just depends on your viewing habits and what is there to record.

    I don't think that the disk speed is an issue. It just allows potentially faster seek times and data transfer rates. As long as the disk is fast enough (i.e. any current disks) the box will access it at the rate that it needs to. There doesn't seem to be any noise advantage with the slower disks either, the technology used in them is often older. The system is designed to work with a 2MB cache, so there is no advantage in paying extra for disk with a 8MB cache.
     
  18. DangerMouse!

    DangerMouse!
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    I would like to upgrade my Humax to a larger and less noisy disk but I can't find the Samsung SV1204H.

    But I have found a Samsung SP1203N (see below) for £60

    Is this ok?

    Does anyone have any other recommendations for a large & quite HD?


    Product Description:
    Samsung SpinPoint P80 SP1203N - Hard drive - 120 GB - internal - 3.5
    Type Hard drive - internal
    Form Factor 3.5
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 10.2 cm x 14.6 cm x 2.5 cm
    Weight 0.6 kg
    Capacity 120 GB
    Interface Type DMA/ATA-133 (Ultra) Fast Drives
    Connector 40 PIN IDC
    Data Transfer Rate 133 MBps
    Average Seek Time 8.9 ms
    Spindle Speed 7200 rpm
    Cylinders 16383
    Heads (Physical) 3
    Buffer Size 2 MB
    Manufacturer Warranty 3 years warranty

    General
    Device Type Hard drive - internal
    Width 10.2 cm
    Depth 14.6 cm
    Height 2.5 cm
    Weight 0.6 kg
    Compatibility PC

    Hard Drive
    Form Factor 3.5
    Capacity 120 GB
    Interface Type DMA/ATA-133 (Ultra) Fast Drives
    Connector 40 PIN IDC
    Buffer Size 2 MB
    Features Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor, giant magnetoresistive (GMR) head technology, NoiseGuard, SilentSeek technology
    Compliant Standards S.M.A.R.T.

    Performance
    Drive Transfer Rate 133 MBps (external) / 92.6 MBps (internal)
    Seek Time 8.9 ms (average) / 18 ms (max)
    Spindle Speed 7200 rpm

    Configuration
    Cylinders 16383
    Heads (Physical) 3

    Reliability
    MTBF 500,000 hour(s)
    Non-Recoverable Errors 1 per 10^14
    Start / Stop Cycles 50,000

    Expansion / Connectivity
    Interfaces 1 x DMA/ATA-133 (Ultra) Fast Drives - 40 PIN IDC
    Compatible Bays 1 x internal - 3.5

    Manufacturer Warranty
    Service & Support 3 years warranty

    Environmental Parameters
    Min Operating Temperature 5 °C
    Max Operating Temperature 55 °C
    Shock Tolerance 63 g @ 2ms half-sine pulse (operating) / 350 g @ 2ms half-sine pulse (non-operating)
     
  19. Ikki

    Ikki
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    This should work (no guarantees :) ). Both power usage and noise levels are similar to the original Seagate drive. Don't get strung up over needing to use a Samsung or a 5400 rpm drive. A drive should work as long as it has an Ultra ATA 100 or 133 interface. Both 5400 and 7200 rpm drives seem to work happily. Just go for the lowest read/write and seek noise levels. Users of 7200 rpm drives report that they run quietly. As for the maximum capacity, that's open to question. I have not seen much evidence of reliable working above 137GB, but that does not mean that it doesn't work, if someone wants to lend me a 400GB drive, I will try it :rotfl:
     
  20. MartinJC

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    :lease: Could you help please? I have just got my Humax 8000T PVR and it's great...except my wife is threatening to boycott its use because she can hear a "high pitched noise" all the time it's switched on. From reading previous entries I assume that this is disk noise? Can we get this down to tolerable levels by changing to another disk and if so what would be the most quiet? What type of disk would be in the machine at present that makes so much noise? Thanks in advance. Martin
     
  21. Ikki

    Ikki
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    The disk is the only moving part, so must be the source. The standard disk should just make a quiet sound that disappears at normal listening levels. If it is making a lot of noise, it may be faulty. The standard disk is a 40GB Seagate 340015ACE, which is designed for quietness.

    If it is making a loud noise, I suggest taking it back while under guarantee.
     
  22. Timh

    Timh
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    I must say mine is pretty quiet.
    The updates are certainly worth downloading :)
     
  23. MartinJC

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    Thanks Guys :thumbsup: . I don't find it that loud myself only a small background noise, but my wife seems to be able to hear all these high frequency noises.
    If I were to change to a larger capacity disk, as per previous suggestions, and get rid of all our tapes, what quiet disk would you recommend at the 120GB size?
    Best regards
    Martin
     
  24. Ikki

    Ikki
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    There are some examples given earlier in the thread. Look at the noise levels for seek / read / write performance given in the manufacturers tables. Something below 3.5 bels should be quiet enough.
     
  25. xenon

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    I hear a high pitched noise from my Humax too. As I thought it might be the hard drive, I swapped the Humax for another one, but the noise is still there. On phoning customer support they were very helpful, and said a small percentage had to be returned due to this problem, but in lots of cases it was due to the tuner making the whine. I found this a bit odd but I guess it could be. He asked how strong the signal was (mine is 65%-ish) as this can be the cause, and to maybe try a stronger aerial or changing position (for the mux).

    I still think it's the HDD, but two in a row??
     
  26. peggle

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    Had the noise as well. In addition to a faint grinding noise from the bearings on all HD's there were high frequency tones. It alternated between 3 tones when watching a TV chnl, 2 tones for a radio chnl and one tone for a blank chnl like 703.

    Changed the disc for a Maxtor 120 Gig and now no tones. Just get a few clicks on boot-up, the bearing noise and a very faint 1/2 second cheep every 45 seconds or so. Can only hear it with TV sound off.

    If anyone interested Simply do this HD for £56.40 Post free (In August only).
     
  27. xenon

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    Thanks for the reply peggle, your description of the varying pitch is spot on. I might try one more swap, but I guess a new HDD with more space wouldn't hurt!
     
  28. Mr. Wilby

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    Anybody tried a HD bigger than 120gb yet?
     
  29. mjn1

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    Just did that. Humax working ok includingrecording. However still only showing as 38 gig available for recording after hard disk upgrade to 120 gig.
    Is this normal.
    :clap:
     
  30. Ikki

    Ikki
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    mjn1:

    This is not normal, it should show close to 120GB. Have you configured the disk for cable select? Try running the disk format utility in the record menu.

    Mr Wilby:

    I have seen a few references to disks larger than 120GB being used. I will be trying a 160GB disk in the next few days, so wait for feedback.
     

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