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Potential Problem with Old Firmware on New Boxes

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by Black Hole, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felonius Gru

    I have received an isolated report of an HDR-FOX which would not tune channels with 1.02.20 installed instead of 1.02.29.

    I bought another HDR-FOX (No2) relatively recently, and it arrived with 1.01.09 fitted so it must have been kicking around in stock for a long time. However, there is a possibility that units actually manufactured recently have an updated tuner installed (perhaps because of unavailability of the original part) which requires some difference in the control codes that are sent to it*. This might explain the roll-out of firmware 1.02.26, never seen as an OTA or on the beta site, with the necessary tweaks to operate the new tuner. Subsequent firmware distributions would have to be able to run both versions of the tuner, either by detecting which version it is and sending the right codes, or by using codes which are compatible with both.

    Note this is only a hypothesis at the moment, to explain one observation. Further reports and experiments are required before it becomes accepted fact. If true, owners of such units have no retreat to 1.02.20 to eliminate the enforced retune problem.

    * Electronics modules such as this are usually controlled by a serial interface to the control processor.
     
  2. MartinLiddle

    MartinLiddle Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would have expected that code to be in MICOM rather than the main software. Do you know what the MICOM version was on the problematic box?
     
  3. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felonius Gru

    If the original enquirer is reading:

    Menu >> Settings >> System >> System Information, MICOM version is listed near the bottom. Mine says 9.3.

    If the relevant functionality was encapsulated in the MICOM though, the base firmware wouldn't affect it?
     
  4. MartinLiddle

    MartinLiddle Super Moderator Staff Member

    I agree that is what I would expect but it would be interesting to find out if there is a different MICOM version.
     
  5. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felonius Gru

    There were a few reports of HDR-FOXs being received with firmware 1.02.26, which was never released by OTA or put on the beta site. A hardware change could explain why.

    Did anybody with a 1.02.26 unit install 1.02.20 (it would have been necessary at the time to access the custom firmware)? Anybody prepared to give it a go?
     
  6. MartinLiddle

    MartinLiddle Super Moderator Staff Member

    I don't follow your logic; can you explain?
     
  7. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felonius Gru

    Put yourself in the mind of the production team (once a product has hit mass production it passes out of the hands of the development team). The supplier of the tuner chip/module supersedes the original with an updated version and ceases production of the original (been there, done that). The updated version works almost the same as the original, but requires some small difference in the command protocols (maybe need to set a flag which did not exist in the original version). A revision to the firmware is required to make units built with the new tuner work, but which does not affect older hardware.

    The obvious thing is to knock out an interim firmware revision to be able to ship the new batch, but there is no need to release it more generally because it will make no difference to units already in the field. Subsequent firmware releases (to fix other things) incorporate the mod and work with both versions of the tuner.

    We never saw 1.02.26 in the wild, so putting two and two together (and making five)...
     
  8. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Well, plus the report that a recently manufactured box will not find any channels with 1.02.20.. might give you the other one.
     
  9. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felonius Gru

    As I mentioned in post 1. It is only my suspicion that this was the reason 1.02.26 was rolled out, there is no hard evidence at present.

    I should also credit af123 with the original notion, reminding me of long-gone years of hardware design.
     
  10. DelftBlue

    DelftBlue Member

    Yes.

    I bought an HDR-FOX T2 1TB in June 2012 which came with 1.02.26 installed.
    I checked it over to see what the 'new' features were, e.g. the remote control alert, decided I could live without them and installed 1.02.20 instead and then the matching custom firmware.

    All worked fine:- tuning, recording, custom software all functioning as expected .... except ...

    Button presses on the remote control cause the TV to go 'fuzzy screen' for a second or two and sometimes to jump off the AV channel to a redundant terrestrial channel position. Annoying, but I put this down to it being external issues i.e. being connected via a dodgy scart cable to an ancient CRT TV - and wasn't too bothered.

    However ... just recently this HDR box was connected via a new HDMI cable to a fairly new flatscreen TV, and a similar problem manifested as a flash of a blank blue screen after remote control button presses (It then jumps to the expected place, so its not a showstopper just ongoingly annoying).
    Having a similar problem with two different connection set-ups now makes me think its actually a problem with the box. I was contemplating returning it as faulty hardware.
    I have no idea if this info is relevant to your puzzlings - but there you go. It is what it is :(
     
  11. ChrisDaniels

    ChrisDaniels Well-Known Member

    If you turn the box off while watching the tv, what colour does the screen go? Black or Blue?

    I'm guessing Blue because your tv manufaturer made it do that if the signal is lost over hdmi.
    You will probably see the same when a channel switches modes (Quest does this a lot).
    My old philips tv used to do that all the time - its not a box fault, its just how the tv works.
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I am after buying an HDR-FOX T2 which can use 1.02.20.
    Is there anyway of identifying the age of manufacture of an HDR-FOX T2 from the serial number or MAC address?

    My other alternative may be is to buy a non-RE version, tune it using 1.02.28 and then update the software to 1.02.20 without using the default setting option.
     
  13. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Can I ask why? If it's just to defeat the automatic retuning then there are ways to fix that with later (customised) firmwares now including the automatic schedule restore package.
     
  14. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    It is for the clear AD which the 1.02.20 provides on SD channels.