Diamond 9000HD PVR Review

sideswiper

sideswiper

SatelliteGuys Family
May 9, 2008
106
0
pontypool ont. canada
i just got a diamond 9000 to hook up to the perfect 10 c/band dish that was given to me all i had to buy was a digital c/ku band lnbf and a v-box 2 to move it . thanx for all your useful post on this box i am sure it will make set up a lot easier
 
L

Lak7

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 28, 2008
5,451
7
Near Chicago, Illinois
Little warning regarding "Alt" Firmware for the Diamond 9000 HD:
DO NOT load vers. 131P in an attempt to use the DVB-S2 Trick, or for any other reason!
You will Lose Sound when you reload Any Other Firmware, Factory or not.
 
E

empiretc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 4, 2008
1,657
51
that is interesting. a quick web search shows that as the latest firmware.

i am in the market to get one as a good OTA pvr and for my current amc4/g18 setup.

odds are a used one on fleabay will already have that one loaded.

i was unsure which model to get, but this one seems like it will suit my needs perfectly and is priced even better.
 
Last edited:
T

tv1952

Member
Oct 15, 2003
14
1
florida
Little warning regarding "Alt" Firmware for the Diamond 9000 HD:
DO NOT load vers. 131P in an attempt to use the DVB-S2 Trick, or for any other reason!
You will Lose Sound when you reload Any Other Firmware, Factory or not.

is there any way to get the sound back after you reload it
 
schlever

schlever

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 1, 2007
491
1
Regina, SK
Just bought one of these off Ebay with my birthday money ..... can't wait to start using it!
 
4

49studebaker

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 1, 2008
71
0
Why did it go up from $150 to $300? Lack of demand?
 
schlever

schlever

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 1, 2007
491
1
Regina, SK
Does anyone know what USB sticks work? I've tried a few Lexar's but they simply get read then dropped right away. I have an old 1 gb stick that works just fine.
 
stogie5150

stogie5150

Crazed Cajun Rebel
Jan 7, 2007
3,822
49
Slidell,LA
As requested by Brother Gabshere, screenshots:
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1626[1].JPG
    IMG_1626[1].JPG
    140.1 KB · Views: 445
  • IMG_1627[1].JPG
    IMG_1627[1].JPG
    140.2 KB · Views: 399
  • IMG_1628[1].JPG
    IMG_1628[1].JPG
    140.6 KB · Views: 393
  • IMG_1629[1].JPG
    IMG_1629[1].JPG
    330.5 KB · Views: 410
  • IMG_1630[1].JPG
    IMG_1630[1].JPG
    158.7 KB · Views: 417
  • IMG_1631[1].JPG
    IMG_1631[1].JPG
    183.7 KB · Views: 381
E

empiretc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 4, 2008
1,657
51
this really is a great receiver. if only it had blind scan.
 
A

anik

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 28, 2004
356
1
U.S.A.
Some questions for anyone who has the PVR functions going, and hi def Off The Air, too.

I've only had my Diamond 9000HD for about a week so although I'll take a shot at answering these, please understand that some of my answers may be tainted by lack of experience with the unit.

- can you have 1080i feeding out the HDMI or Component connectors and regular video on the S-video or RCA composite connector at the same time?
Or, does the mode of the receiver dictate which outputs are live?

I only have an analog set (using the RCA composite connectors), but what I can tell you is that with that set connected I cycled through all the video modes and never lost the picture on the TV. So, I suspect you could use the digital and analog outputs with different receivers simultaneously, but don't hold me to that.

- if the STB is playing a channel, and you decide to record it, can you backup the documented 30 minutes and begin the recording from there?
In my Dish PVR, you can. In the Visionsat FTA PVR, you cannot.

As far as I can tell, no. It only records when you explicitly tell it to record. I'd be happy to have someone explain how I'm wrong about that, but I don't think I am.

- since the manual was published, has there been a change to the 30 minute buffer?
In another PVR I have, that length defaults to 2 hrs, and is user-settable.

With the latest official firmware, it appears that the default recording length when you push record is 24 hours (you can change that to something less by pushing record a second time). If you press pause in the middle of a live program you get a 30 minute buffer and I haven't tested enough to see if there is any way to expand that. The difference is that pause doesn't seem to make a permanent (until you delete it) file on the hard drive, whereas record does. So if you need to buffer more than 30 minutes you might be better off to press record first, let it start recording and THEN use the pause control. But, I suspect that's not what you are asking about anyway - you want to know if there is a way to go "back in time" and start a recording as much as 30 minutes or 2 hours or whatever in the past, and with this unit there's no way to do that, as far as I can see.

- for OTA, the ATSC stations broadcast an EPG.
It's at least a week long, and may be two weeks (I'm not sure).
Does the 9000hd display the EPG?

Nope, and that's a major irritant to me (one of many about this receiver). There's absolutely no good reason it shouldn't display the EPG for the terrestrial channels. Even a cheap DTVpal converter box can do that.

- if the EPG is displayed, can you scroll through it and mark a show to record?
Can you set weekly timers? (capture all my episodes of NCIS, for instance?)

You can set daily or weekly timers, just not off an EPG, because the EPG doesn't work. Note there are only eight timers total so you're not going to be able to set up many shows this way. Memory is cheap; why do they skimp on the number of timers?

- how does that OTA EPG update? Overnight while the unit is turned off?
Or, do you have to do something special to get it to populate?

Get a magic genie to come sprinkle pixie dust on it, maybe - otherwise, I haven't found any way to get it to populate.

- when recording OTA ATSC, is just the selected sub-channel recorded?
I think this is a "yes", if I remember the review correctly. ;)

Yes. You wouldn't really expect it to record all the sub-channels simultaneously, would you?

My thanks to anyone who can cast any light on any of these questions.

Seriously, the Diamond 9000HD is an extremely frustrating receiver at times, because so many things either don't work at all, or don't work as you'd expect. From the description you'd think you were buying the Cadillac of receivers, only to find that the feature set reminds you more of a low-end subcompact. If you can get it for around the price of a standard definition receiver then you may not feel quite so bad about the things that don't work as you'd expect. But if you pay anything remotely close to full retail you are probably going to feel very disappointed with this receiver, and even moreso when you find out that the official firmware hasn't been updated in MANY months now.

That said, it's not complete junk by any stretch of the imagination, it just doesn't live up to its full potential. The PVR DOES work, just don't expect it to be convenient to use. And keep in mind that, as far as I can tell, you cannot watch one show while recording another with this receiver - it only has one tuner for terrestrial stations, and another tuner for the satellites, and it only uses one of them at a time.

And thanks for the numerous emails and PMs received.
I'm still in a fact-collection mode, and will get back to you soon.
Feel free to PM or email me more if you like, or post here in this thread as appropriate.

If anything I have said above is wrong, I wish people would post to this thread so I can see where I'm in error.
 
A

anik

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 28, 2004
356
1
U.S.A.
Additional comments on PVR functionality

The PVR DOES work, just don't expect it to be convenient to use. And keep in mind that, as far as I can tell, you cannot watch one show while recording another with this receiver - it only has one tuner for terrestrial stations, and another tuner for the satellites, and it only uses one of them at a time.

Just to add to the above: I have found that moving around within a program in problematic in any case, and moreso if you try to do it while the program is still being recorded.

If you are recording a HD source (terrestial or satellite) and you try to pause or go back in the program while it is still being recorded, the playback thereafter will often have "skips" in sound that make the show nearly unviewable (unless you have a very high tolerance for missing audio). If you simply pause it and wait until the show is finished recording, you will be able to play it back without audio skips provided you start from the beginning of the show, with one exception - every time you try to move around while the show is still being recorded, it seems that some data gets dropped on its way to the hard drive. I haven't decided if this is because the processor in the unit can't handle this amount of data I/O, or if the USB 2.0 interface can't handle it, or if it's a limitation of the old Maxtor 200GB hard drive in a cheapo imported enclosure that I'm using because it's the only spare external drive I had lying around. If others don't have this issue then I'd be tempted to blame the hard drive, however at least that drive works, whereas I've seen reports of some people hooking up newer/better drives that they say don't work at all. Speaking of which, the drive MUST be formatted as FAT32 before you hook it up to the receiver, THEN you must reformat it using the receiver's format function (which takes only a second or two).

If you are recording a standard definition show, then it seems you can move around in the show even while it is still being recorded, subject to some limitations. For example, once you begin recording a show using a timer or the record button, and THEN pause it, there is no way (that I can find) to go back to "live" viewing while you are still recording - you have to stay at least a minute or so behind the "live" broadcast. If you get too close to the point of recording, it will start skipping, and may go into a playback freeze (like pause but harder to get out of). This is not a big problem except that there may be times when (for example) you pause the display to answer the phone, determine it's no one you want to talk to, and unpause it within several seconds. At the next commercial break you might want to go back to "live" viewing (skipping a few seconds of commercials) but you simply can't without stopping the recording, as far as I can tell (keep in mind I've only had this unit for a little over a week, so I'm still learning things about it).

The pause button (if used when you have NOT already started recording a show to the hard drive) has its own weirdness, which you will discover 30 minutes AFTER you pause a show, if you then try to move backward or forward within the show. There is some kind of 30 minute timeout on pause, that makes pause all but unusable on shows longer than half an hour (however you can press the record button first, and then have better functionality, subject to the High Definition skips mentioned above). As I noted previously, pausing when you are not already recording doesn't seem to save a permanent copy to the hard drive, though obviously it must utilize the hard drive for temporary storage.

And speaking of moving backward or forward in a show... this may be the most frustrating thing of all. Basically that's controlled by two buttons, fast forward and fast rewind (there's also a slow motion button). If you use either fast forward or fast rewind, pushing once displays the program at two times the normal speed. Pressing a second time increases to four times the normal speed, and a third time is eight times normal. So far so good, but press it again and you are back to two times normal. So the fastest you can move is eight times normal. Now consider, you are watching a two hour movie and you are an hour and a half into it, and you reach for fast forward to fly through a commercial block, but you accidentally overreach the button a bit and hit the stop button by mistake. Now the ONLY thing you can do to get back to where you left off is restart playing the movie and fast forward through the 90 minutes you've already seen. A little simple math tells us that at 8x normal speed it will take you a little over 11 minutes to get back to your movie, which is probably a heck of a lot longer than the commercial break you tried to skip.

And that is a perfect example of what's wrong with the Diamond... it appears that they came up with a very basic feature set and then rushed the thing out the door, without doing any usability testing whatsoever. I have a 20 year old VCR that's probably faster moving around within a show than this receiver. Even if they'd just given a couple more speed steps (like 16x and 32x) it would have made a HUGE difference. Or if you could do direct numeric entry (press 90 and OK to go to 90 minutes into the show), THAT would be better. But I don't think any of the designers ever actually took this thing home and used it in their living rooms for a month or two, let alone gave pre-production units to "regular folks" to test.

Now, if all you want to do is record shows when you are not home and then watch them when you get home, you can do that. It does appear that you can record one show while playing a different one that you've previously recorded, although I haven't tested to see what would happen if both the show you are recording and the show you are trying to play are High Definition - you MIGHT get the audio skips during playback but I'm not entirely sure. I have no complaints at all about the audio and video quality (but remember, I'm still using the AV outputs going into a standard definition set - maybe in a couple years prices will be low enough on HDTV sets that I can finally get one, assuming the dollar is still actually worth something).

I think the thing that I find frustrating is that it's pretty obvious that the hardware in this unit is capable of doing almost anything you might want it to do (okay, maybe not "turbo" 8PSK, although we may never know for sure). But the problem is that the software developers got the software up to a very basic level of functionality and then apparently stopped development. To me this would be like getting a screaming fast computer and then discovering you can only run Windows 3.1 on it - no matter how capable the hardware is, you are limited by the software. Were this receiver more of a mass-market item, you'd doubtless have people out there disassembling the firmware and improving it. But instead, the few people who are talented enough to do that seem to prefer to selfishly concentrate on doing things which are illegal. That is their choice to make, and maybe their karma (or the big corporation they're stealing programming from) will kick them in the ass someday for staying on the dark side, but it shows how much things have changed since the early days of personal computing, when we all had to help each other use our equipment to its fullest potential.
 
A

anik

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 28, 2004
356
1
U.S.A.
And speaking of moving backward or forward in a show... this may be the most frustrating thing of all. Basically that's controlled by two buttons, fast forward and fast rewind (there's also a slow motion button). If you use either fast forward or fast rewind, pushing once displays the program at two times the normal speed. Pressing a second time increases to four times the normal speed, and a third time is eight times normal. So far so good, but press it again and you are back to two times normal. So the fastest you can move is eight times normal.

Actually, after further experimentation (that is, pushing buttons to see what they might do) I found out there is a somewhat non-obvious way to move around much faster within a program. It works like this: Press Play or Pause to display the progress bar at the bottom of the screen. At this point you could use the fast forward or fast reverse as mentioned above, but it turns out there's another, less obvious option that is poorly documented in the manual, and that is to use the VOL - and VOL + buttons to quickly move up and down the progress bar. It takes a little experimentation to get the hang of it but it definitely solves the problem of quickly going to a known position in the program, say one hour after you started recording.

The downside of this method is that (unlike with fast forward and fast reverse) the picture on the screen doesn't change until you release the VOL -/+ button, so you might think you aren't moving, and you don't get any visible cues as to where you are (other than the pointer on the progress bar and a time indication) until you go back to regular Play mode - and yes, that means that if it's paused you won't see the picture change until you un-pause it.

The above actually IS briefly mentioned in the manual (under "Jump" on page 52) but the problem is that they use a VERY tiny pictorial representation of the buttons to push. So if you saw that in the manual, but had no idea which buttons to use, it's V- and V+, on either side of the OK button.

But wait, there's more... the manual also mentions a Skip function (skips forwards or backwards 15 seconds) but again they use tiny pictorial representations of the buttons to push. In case you don't have a microscope handy to try and figures these out, they are the two buttons on the right hand side of the remote, to the far right of the OK button - you will see the legend PG and the two buttons are above and below, with double arrows on each.

I mention these to correct my previous message and because I image that there were others who probably couldn't figure out what they meant (or which buttons to push) for Jump. Assuming you read the manual, that is, and does anyone actually do that? :rolleyes:
 

Similar threads

M
Replies
285
Views
70K
Mr Tony
M
SatinKzo
Replies
12
Views
22K
Lone Gunman
Lone Gunman
kirara386
Replies
148
Views
69K
Bongu
B
meinename
Replies
16
Views
13K
meinename
meinename
ACRadio
Replies
3
Views
4K
Sadoun
Sadoun

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top