Why would a Vestel (Hitachi) PVR display flicker when TV switched on

SpeakNo

Standard Member
Hi

Got a Vestel (Hitachi branded) PVR, current Argos model. It is connected to an EX503 Sony (so last year's model) via SCART. All has been well for half a year or so but just recently what happens is:
1) switch on the PVR. Time comes up, display stable; then
2) switch on the TV. PVR display now flickers/flashes. I would say it dims for maybe 1/4 second then comes back to full brightness for 1 second, then back again. And so on for probably 3-5 minutes, after which the PVR display settles.

On a related point, the PVR remote control jockey buttons stopped working around the same time. Tried an identical looking remote from a different, late 2010, Vestel (Bush) and this works fine with the Hitachi PVR.

Have checked to make sure all cables are secure and they seem to be.

Both PVR and TV are powered off a Belkin surge protector strip.

Any ideas please?
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Does the display flicker without the Tv on?
While it's flickering does the picture displayed from the PVR appear normal or is it flickering?
 
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Futaura

Active Member
Sorry if I'm being pedantic, but when you switch the PVR on I guess you meant the channel number is displayed, and not the time? The time is usually displayed only in standby when not in low power mode or when recording.

Anyway, in addition to JayCee's questions, I'd suggest retrying your test but with the SCART cable disconnected from the PVR end, just to rule out any kind of interference coming down the SCART lead from the TV. If it still does the same thing, try powering either the TV or PVR into a different power outlet. It sounds power related to me somehow. Certainly a strange problem - could be the Hitachi's external power brick.
 
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SpeakNo

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies.

The flicker is the display on the PVR (the LEDs showing the channel, clock etc.) before there is a picture on the TV. So, plug the PVR in (the Belkin strip is not individually switched), it goes through its sequence and ends up at a stable display of, I think 0000 plus the red indicator (so neither time nor channel number. I remember thinking this seemed odd). Then plug in the TV, no change, switch the TV on and that is when the display on the PVR flickers.

It is not actually my set-up, it's a family member's. So I've watched it go through this sequence a few times when asked to try and help, but I think I'd best sit down and note down the sequence of display events, and try things in different sequences (eg w/TV on first). I'm also told that the 'flicker' occurs most, but not absolutely all times.

I wondered about power issues myself so tired changing settings in configuration to see if this helped clear a memory fault or similar. Basically, in 'configuration' switched to 'auto power down' = off, and 'low power' = off, switched off, unplugged and left for a few seconds, then switched back on and changed the settings back to 'on'. Don't think this worked.

BTW, the s/w on the unit playing up is v3.5. Also, emote control from a known working handset can be noticably sluggish. Not sure how full the HDD is but I suspect halfish.

Anyway, think what I'd better do is sit down and note the full sequence of events, try different starts (eg TV on first, then PVR) and get back to you when done.

re SCART, when you say "with the SCART cable connected from the PVR end" what does this mean I should do please? I wired the kit up and my recollection is that there is 1 SCART between the TV and PVR, plus a SCART between TV and DVD, then the external aerial goes via a Y splitter to both TV and PVR.

Thanks again ;)
 

Futaura

Active Member
Doh - sorry, I meant to say "with the SCART cable DISconnected from the PVR end". That way if somehow there is interference coming from the SCART cable which is causing the problem, this will help prove that - although, normally such interference affects just the picture. I've never heard of the front panel display flickering before and I'm guessing it is more likely to be power related.

The v3.5 software should be fine - anything with v3.4 or higher is good. I would suggest that you leave low power mode on after experimenting, if you haven't done so, because the unit will be more responsive and stable that way.
 

SpeakNo

Standard Member
Well, it has taken far longer than I expected to find the time to try different arrangements of the kit and get some info from Sony etc (I didn't speak with them myself, but they answered some questions I'd typed out).

The end result though is that the Sony rep said that Sony are aware of an issue and that this occurs when connecting older equipment to a Sony TV (not sure whether just a PKG4 TV - as this one is - or TVs running newer/older than PKG4 software). Something to do with 'auto resolution' maybe? I'm not clear about what and don't understand why the flicker would only have started after 5 months of the same setup not showing any flicker.

The main thing is that the specific Vestel/Hitachi PVR does not appear to have a fault. I've checked this by hooking a different T835 (one that does not flicker when connected to the TV it is normally used with) into the setup and getting exactly the same flicker. I've also tried using different power outlets, changing the AV socket on the TV used, updating the TV software, factory resetting it etc etc. Basically everything.

The flicker occurs only when the PVR is switched on before the TV, and the TV is coming out of fully off (ie been off for a considerable time, shows splash screen at start up). If the TV is switched on first and gets to the TV picture before the PVR is switched on, no problem. Similarly, if the PVR is switched on first but the TV has been on in the past hour (maybe longer? It doesn't matter whether the TV has been left plugged in to the mains, or unplugged in the meantime) the TV starts up without going via the splash screen and the PVR LCD display does not flicker.

I'd like to know what the issue is with the Sony and why the flicker has started only recently, but it seems as though no fault has actually developed.

Thanks for your help and advice again :)
 

Futaura

Active Member
Hmmm... mysterious. It's hard to believe Sony would admit to a fault, let alone a fault which could directly affect external equipment. Also, the Hitachi T835 models are hardly what I would class as old. Perhaps the Sony rep misunderstood what you said, maybe that the TV display was flickering rather than the LED display on external equipment???

You didn't say if the LED flicker still happens with the SCART lead disconnected? From all the other tests you've already done, it does sound like maybe there is a rogue signal coming down the SCART lead. The only other thing is some radiating interference which is physically causing the LED display on the PVR to flicker, which in itself would be weird, although I would expect such an issue to happen all the time and not dependent on the order that you switch things on.
 

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