New DVR’s Available?

Lights
Lights Posts: 8 Spectator
edited September 2023 in Watch TV 2023 Archive

In January, my Samsung DVR stopped working. One morning it failed to turn on, black screen. An attempted reboot resulted failed. When the tech showed up, he declared it broken and replaced it. The replacement DVR is a Cisco 9865, which had a build date of 2016. I ask the tech about it and was told that was all that was available. He said I could inquire at a store, but felt it would be a waste of time, that the Cisco was all that was available. The picture quality leaves a lot to be desired. It’s much worse than my old Samsung. As in 720p. Face it, the technology is 7 years old, or in tech terms, ancient. Yet I’ll still paying $10.99 for the receiver and an additional $12.99 for the DVR. I’ve been with Spectrum for quite a while, yet I’m seriously considering leaving. I’ve inquired and informally told these had been ready for replacement but were put back in service due to serious shortages. Finally my question: when will better DVRs be available in the central Florida area? What can I expect?

Best Answers

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 617 Contributor
    Answer ✓

    Yeah. Power down and unplug the cable box and reset the TV's settings to factory defaults. Wait a few minutes before booting the box back up. Then if the 720p-native channels still look lousy with the cable box absolutely unequivocally set to 720p and if 1080i-native channels e.g. Discovery and History et c. look lousy with the box set to 1080i and if everything looks lousy with the box set on 1080p, follow Satch's advice and call for a tech visit. The tech will figure it out and replace the box if needs be.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,228 Contributor
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓

    Sup Lights?

    On your box, you want to go to Settings-Output Resolution and put a dot only by the highest resolution on the box. (1080 i) Everything else, meaning all the other resolutions and Auto Select, should not have a dot by them. Save your changes. (This is how I tell all customers to set up their boxes running the ODN guide.)

    With only 1080i selected, you should not only get a better picture, but also faster channel changing.

    If the above does nothing:

    1.) Power off your TV

    2.) Power off your box

    3.) Unplug your box from the wall outlet, or switch off your surge protector for at least two minutes.

    4.) Plug everything back in/turn on your surge protector after two minutes, wait for everything to boot up.

    5.) Still no change in your picture quality? A bad box, bad signals,or bad HDMI cable.is your culprit. A tech visit is than needed. He will check your HDMI cable, signals, lines, and replace the box is needed. If there is nothing wrong with the things in number five, an investigation is needed. It is not normal to go from an excellent quality box with great reception, to a different model box that is a Titanic disaster in picture quality, unless the box, HDMI cable, signals, or wiring is bad. And we know your TV is great, because selecting non-Spectrum box content and other apps produces a great picture.

    Satch

Answers

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,228 Contributor
    edited March 2023

    Hi Lights Welcome to the forum!

    Actually, the Cisco 9865 is a great box! (I have one.) Don't be fooled by the build date. If you have the ODN Guide on it, you have six tuners. If your box runs Spectrum Guide, it has four tuners. All the other DVR boxes are two tuners. The newer boxes are 4-tuner World Boxes that run the new Spectrum Guide. What guide is your Cisco 9865 running? To find out if you are not sure, Google Search, "What guide do I have, Spectrum?" Enter your street address at the Spectrum site that comes up and you will see the guides for your area.

    I think that Spectrum Guide uses native pass-through resolution. ODN gives the option to change the resolution in settings: If you are running the ODN Guide:

    1. Press Settings.
    2. Select the High Definition sub-menu.
    3. Select Output Resolution.
    4. Select the new resolution.
    5. Press OK/Select.

    Someone running Spectrum Guide, might be able to assist with improving resolution settings.

    Can you describe more specifically your picture quality problems? Is it on all channels or only some channels? Have you had a tech out to check your signals and drop line within the last year?

    Satch

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    Satch, I have the 6 tuner one, I just tried to record 6 shows at once and it worked. My picture quality is poor across the board. It’s set, (I checked ) for 1080, but looks much worse. I am missing definition. Across he board, things are just not clear. I have Apple TV, in preparation to cancel Spectrum, and the picture is awesome, streaming the same programming from the Spectrum app. My Samsung box was visibly substantially better as well. I noticed as soon as the Cisco box was installed. I’d really like, at minimum, another Samsung box. I really like the simplicity of Spectrum DVRs, and my technology challenged wife does as well, but this picture quality thing is a deal breaker. I did have the cable checked for signal and after a quick replacement piece, it was pronounced as functional. I have You Tube TV as well, preparing for the spectrum cut off, but its interface is quirky and not easy to do some basic functions. I do realize that it’s cable and resolution is limited, but this DVR and picture is a huge step backwards.

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 617 Contributor

    Spot check a couple of cable channels such as Discovery and ESPN and see what the TV is detecting from the HDMI input: 1080p as in 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps or 1080i as in same but 30 fps or 720p as in 1280 x 720 @ 60. Also, what's the TV's native rez: 1080p HD or 4K UHD?

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,228 Contributor
    edited March 2023

    Thanks for the update @Lights.

    I would at least call Spectrum to say that you got a swapped out DVR and the picture is terrible. Get a tech out. Mine looks great on my Samsung series 8 HD TV. (Got the TV last year.) I don't think the Samsung boxes are given out anymore. Yea, you have ODN, guide since you can record with six-tuners. The Arris 3600 DVR is another six tuner box, if it runs the ODN Guide. It sounds like something is wrong. Do @HT_Greenfield 's above checks as well. What is the make and model of the TV?

    Satch

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    HT, I should have said that from the start, it’s an LG UHD 4K. I will do that. Good point. Thanks.

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    I am unable to figure out how to check the channel resolution. I’m pretty familiar with the TV, so I suspect it’s not available on my model. I’ve tried calling Spectrum customer service, but the call taker either had no idea what I was talking about or didn’t care. I was told if I wanted to swap out the box, take it to a store. I ask a store employee I know about it and she said I’d need an appointment, they do not have any Samsung DVRs unless someone happened to turn one item it was checked and functional and out in the rotation, but that was highly unlikely. And she thought that Spectrum was having a new DVRs assembled that would carry the Spectrum logo and be built to their specs, and the Ciscos sent to auction, but the chip shortage and shipping issues put that project way behind schedule and no new model DVRs would be out until late 2024 at the earliest. I was checking to see if that information was correct or if anyone had any ideas. My HOA had a bulk contract with Spectrum for well discounted internet, phone and TV, but someone was fast talked into not renewing it. I appreciate everyone’s help here.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,228 Contributor

    I cam across this article. How to change the resolution on a LG UHD 4K TV:

    Satch

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 617 Contributor

    Troubleshooting step: put the cable box on 720p and take a gander of some 720p-native cable channels such as ABC, ESPN, FX, Fox and Fox Sports. If they don't look crystal clear and if the box stayed on 720p, then you might need to get the box replaced. If they do look crystal clear, let us know and we'll go from there and maybe get the whole megillah perfected.

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    I’ll try that. Thank you.

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    Ok, I checked the DVR, it was set to auto select for resolution. I manually selected 720i, unselected 1080i, and auto select. Tuned in ABC, then ESPN. Checked back, it was still on 720i. I then switched to several other channels, and checked again. Resolution was still set at 720, but the blue bar was now in 1080. I moved it to 720, verified 1080 was not checked, tried the stations again, ABC then ESPN. Both pictures were not good. Worse than usual. Then several other stations. Checked resolution again, blue bar on 1080, , but not checked. 720 still only one checked. Not sure what that shows, did it make any sense?

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 617 Contributor

    If the box isn't showing 720p and 1080p options, then it's not detecting all of the TV's supported rez formats for some reason. Power down and unplug the box and then swap out the HDMI cable and then reset the TV's settings to factory defaults and then boot the box back up and see if it shows the 720p and 1080p options.

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    It is showing all resolutions. It was set at auto select when I 1st checked after your suggestion. I set it to 720, it stayed selected but switched to 1080 temporarily when I was on a 1080 (I think ) channel. I left it set to 1080 only. Is it functioning as designed? Any other trouble shooting I should do? I may do the reset as your last described just to see if anything changes.

  • Lights
    Lights Posts: 8 Spectator

    Ok. That’s the plan. Thank you again for your time and advice. When I bet this figured out, I’ll post.

This discussion has been closed.