Monday, June 25, 2007

The best of times, the worst of times

My time with the PVR101 is over.

I think it is a very good PVR, just let down by buggy firmware. Maybe one day they'll get it right, but in the meantime I'll keep household harmony by switching to a different PVR.

I wish all owners good luck. Please note this blog is now dormant. I'll leave the extraction software hosted until I forget what it is and accidentally delete it %-)

For advice or help with the PVR101, please refer to the Digital Spy forums (link on the right).

Best Wishes,


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

V2.0 No Signal Errors

Widespread reports of NO Signal Errors following the upgrade to version 2.0

Key are aware there is an issue and are looking in to it.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Version 2.0 Firmware due for transmission this Saturday/Sunday

Thursday, December 28, 2006

1.9 re-broadcast tomorrow

1.9 software is being re-broadcast from tomorrow until the 1st.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

PVR Disk Extraction Software

After positive feedback, I'm pleased to present the PVR Disk Extraction software.

Jason has done a great job, and the software seems capable of extracting most recordings. The software will probably work on disks from the other Technotrend PVR clones too.

Please note:
  • Is built on GPL Licensed open source code, and Jason has made all efforts to comply with the GPL license. The source is included.
  • One program (sigma) is included as a contribution, we believe it's freeware or Opensource but we are unsure of it's licensing, so may be withdrawn with no notice. This is the simplest software to use, and comes with Jason's PVR disk driver bundled in the one zip.
  • The software comes with no warranty expressed or implied. If you download and use the software you do so at your own risk.
  • No support is provided for the software. Since working on the software Jason has move on to another PVR and no longer has access to a technotrend box. There is a thread on DS for mutual support of the software. You can find the thread here:
  • Extracting programmes requires you to remove the hard disk from your PVR and connect to your PC. You should only do this if competent to do so. You do so at your own risk, and may invalidate any warranty.

Enough small print, here is what you want to know (Jason's notes):

Quick installation steps:

  • Unzip the archive. Have a look at install.txt if you want.
  • Run the install.cmd and pvr101disk.reg files by just double-clicking on them.
  • Shut down.
  • Connect your PVR-101 hard disk as a second disk in your computer.
  • Restart Windows. (If you've chosen manual starting then use "net start pvr101disk" to start the driver.)
  • Open a Command Prompt and run the following to mount your disk: pvr101disk.exe /mount 0 \Device\Harddisk1\Partition0 p: (this assumes your disk will be the second disk on your system andyou want to mount it as drive P:). Everything should be read-only and therefore quite safe (I've altered the driver to do this and Windows' UDF driver is read-only, too).
  • Have a look at pvr101disk.readme.txt for more info.
  • As for dealing with the "data" files on the PVR-101 disk, I've nowsucceeded in converting my whole disk to (much smaller) XVID format forarchiving on DVD. The scheme that I find to be the 100% reliable so far(in terms of coping with the dodgy DVB-T MPEG-TS data and keeping theaudio in sync) is this:1) Use Project-X to top, tail and cut out the adverts from the "data" file and demux it to MP2 (audio) and M2V (video) files.2) Convert the MP2 to a smaller CBR MP3 using LAME. (VBR can sometimes cause problems I've found.)3) Use AutoGK to turn the M2V file into an appropriately sized XVID AVI file (I reckon it can easily drop the file size to a third).4) Use VirtualDubMod to combine the new MP3 soundtrack into the new AVI file.Lots of other things I've tried have been OK with most recordings butfail miserably with others (and I've confirmed this is due to errors inthe [received] Transport Stream rather than the new Windows driver).The key part is that demuxing using Project-X "guarantees" the audiosync based on timestamps in the MPEG-TS (but the other conversions thatProject-X offers seem not to).

You can find the files here.

You can use the Command line version/driver:

Or the version with the SIGMA GUI, while it's available:

The Sigma GUI makes life easier, but we have not been able to track down the author, so may be pulled at a later date. It has Jason's driver bundled in the zip file too.

Hope this is of use, any comments/questions post in the DS thread and hopefully someone will help.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

1.9 Issues

Some issues seen with 1.9:

  • Slow to come out of Standby. Presumably this is cause by some code to reset the unit to ensure the 1.8 black screen problem was fixed. Don't put it in standby, it doesn't save any electricity.
  • Black screen exiting EPG. Seems OK if you use Now/Next rather than List View
  • Slow to change channel. This does not happen on my PVR101 and may relate only to other models.
  • Jerky Fast-Forwad and Rewind. Whilst these are jerky they seem to have increased the rate at which these features work.

Looking forward to version 2.0!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

1.9 Update Now Being Broadcast

1.9 update is now on the air!

The installation seems much quicker than with previous updates. If the installation aborts try power-off, power-on and try again. Do NOT press OK while the update is running (this aborts the update).

For the latest bugs and user expriences check out the Digital Spy 1.9 thread (link to the right)