FVP-4000T tuner on the blink?

Hi all, I’ve had a FVP-4000T for about 4.5 years now, with no issues, but over the last few months the signal/picture quality has been getting increasingly worse, ie pixelated, stuttering, frozen picture etc at first occasionally but now for much of the time. At first I thought it was the aerial, but if I plug the aerial cable directly into the TV the picture is perfect.
So do the tuners in the Humax boxes tend to fail after a while and is there anything I can try to rectify this? Or if not, what new Freeview model should I be looking to buy?
Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks for your help.
PC
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
So do the tuners in the Humax boxes tend to fail after a while and is there anything I can try to rectify this? Or if not, what new Freeview model should I be looking to buy?
I don't think tuners failing is particularly common. First question would be is the Humax tuned to the same set of multiplexes as the TV? What is the signal strength and quality as reported by the Humax? Is the HDMI lead well separated from the aerial cable?
 
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Philip Coles

Member
I don't think tuners failing is particularly common. First question would be is the Humax tuned to the same set of multiplexes as the TV? What is the signal strength and quality as reported by the Humax? Is the HDMI lead well separated from the aerial cable?
Thanks Martin - yes, both tuned to the same multiplexes, and the HDMI and aerial are well separated. Signal strength and quality is 75%/80-100% - but as this is an intermittent (though frequent) fault, I’ll check again when the quality next drops out.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
HDD is working fine.
With all due respect, how do you know? Okay, I presume it still records and plays back, but how do you know that accesses are not taking several retries and thereby slugging the processor? Something we know by direct experience of the HDR-FOX is that mounting disk errors can be to blame for picture break-up, even for live TV.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Martin - yes, both tuned to the same multiplexes, and the HDMI and aerial are well separated. Signal strength and quality is 75%/80-100% - but as this is an intermittent (though frequent) fault, I’ll check again when the quality next drops out.
Ok. One other thought, I think we have seen one or two cases where similar problems have turned out to be faulty amplifiers in the aerial feed; I don't suppose you have an amplifier?
 

bottletop

Active Member
.... the signal/picture quality has been getting increasingly worse, ie pixelated, stuttering, frozen picture etc at first occasionally but now for much of the time. At first I thought it was the aerial, but if I plug the aerial cable directly into the TV the picture is perfect.....
So do you get the picture break up issues :-
  • While watching the live on air channel (not recording)?
  • Does the break up appear on the live channel buffer?
  • If you set multiple recordings to start at the same time, will you get the picture issues on all recordings and at the same point in time?
  • Are results repeatable - eg recorded picture breakups always playback at same point and in the same manner?
If the answer is yes to all of those, then the issue may be tuner, drive filesystem error or hard drive error. To discount the hard drive have you tried the menu to check or reformat drive (and losing all recordings) or factory reset unit (shouldn't lose recordings but will lose all personal settings). I don't think you'll be able to perform better diagnosis of the drive without removing or replacing/swapping the drive.
 
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Philip Coles

Member
With all due respect, how do you know? Okay, I presume it still records and plays back, but how do you know that accesses are not taking several retries and thereby slugging the processor? Something we know by direct experience of the HDR-FOX is that mounting disk errors can be to blame for picture break-up, even for live TV.
Good point, thanks Black Hole. How would I find this out?
 
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Philip Coles

Member
Ok. One other thought, I think we have seen one or two cases where similar problems have turned out to be faulty amplifiers in the aerial feed; I don't suppose you have an amplifier?
Yes, I have an aerial amplifier, with two cables coming off it - to two different rooms, each with a TV connected to it (one with the Humax). When I’ve experienced picture break-ups on the Hummy TV I’ve simultaneously turned on the TV in the other room and the picture is perfect. So that suggested to me that the aerial amp is fine (and it is what originally led me to believe the issue is with the Humax tuner).
 
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Philip Coles

Member
So do you get the picture break up issues :-
  • While watching the live on air channel (not recording)?
  • Does the break up appear on the live channel buffer?
I will need to check this.
  • If you set multiple recordings to start at the same time, will you get the picture issues on all recordings and at the same point in time?
Again, I’ll check this one out.
  • Are results repeatable - eg recorded picture breakups always playback at same point and in the same manner?
Yes.
If the answer is yes to all of those, then the issue may be tuner, drive filesystem error or hard drive error. To discount the hard drive have you tried the menu to check or reformat drive (and losing all recordings) or factory reset unit (shouldn't lose recordings but will lose all personal settings). I don't think you'll be able to perform better diagnosis of the drive without removing or replacing/swapping the drive.

Thanks Bottletop - I’ll need to check most of these - will come back later.
Re the first point, yes I get the picture breakup when watching live on the Humax and also directly on the TV if I switch the AV source to that rather than from the Humax hdmi.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes, I have an aerial amplifier, with two cables coming off it - to two different rooms, each with a TV connected to it (one with the Humax). When I’ve experienced picture break-ups on the Hummy TV I’ve simultaneously turned on the TV in the other room and the picture is perfect.
It might be worth swapping the outputs from the amplifier to check that the problem isn't associated with one port ( although it does seem a bit unlikely to me).
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Good point, thanks Black Hole. How would I find this out?
Open the Humax, take out the hard drive, attach the hard drive to a PC (maybe with a USB to SATA adapter) and have a look at the SMART data with something like Crystal Diskinfo. If you are not familiar with interpreting SMART data then post it here to get opinions.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I get the picture breakup when watching live on the Humax and also directly on the TV if I switch the AV source to that rather than from the Humax hdmi.
I can't get the sense you are trying to convey. Do you mean you are getting break-up independent of the 4000T?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Open the Humax, take out the hard drive, attach the hard drive to a PC (maybe with a USB to SATA adapter) and have a look at the SMART data with something like Crystal Diskinfo. If you are not familiar with interpreting SMART data then post it here to get opinions.
Even if the SMART data appears OK, that does not rule out file system defects. Some kind of equivalent to fixdisk will be required.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Fair enough, although we wouldn't want the OP to check the SMART data and find it OK then just put the HDD back again.
 
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EEPhil

Number 28
I can't get the sense you are trying to convey. Do you mean you are getting break-up independent of the 4000T?
I have to say my reading of the post you quoted leads me to the conclusions:
  1. The aerial is routed through an amplifier/splitter;
  2. The tv in one room has an acceptable signal;
  3. The tv and Humax in another room have a poor signal.
If I understand correctly the original post compared the Humax in one room with the tv in another. The post you quoted seems to refer to the Humax and tv in the same room! If 3 is the case then isn’t it more likely to be an amplifier/ cable problem rather than the Humax’s disk? Perhaps a clear restatement of the problem might help.
 
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Philip Coles

Member
Dear all, thank you so much for all your insights and suggestions - having worked my way through all the pointers above, I have tracked the problem down to a lose connection between the cable that feeds the Humax and the amplifier. I have tightened this up and am now getting the same good picture on the Humax as I am on the other TV in the other room (from the second cable out of the amp). Such a simple thing in the end, and I am very relieved that it wasn’t the Humax. But without all your helpful advice I wouldn’t have been able to solve it. Thank you again.
 
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