DVX-555U SD Digital Set Top Box (STB) PVR (Review)

I was given a product sample of the DVX-555U Standard Definition (SD) Digital Set Top Box (STB) PVR to write an honest review and comment on its features and flaws

When I initially reviewed the DVX 555U I thought it was a good cheap SD Digital STB and suggested if you have a spare IDE hard disk that you can install by yourself then the DVX-555U is a real bargain SD Digital PVR.

However, the PVR function has really disappointed me because the tuner is so weak that recordings from all channels are randomly disrupted with errors that causes playback to skip forward 5-15sec/time. Don’t use it as a PVR unless you have a really strong TV signal, just use it as a good cheap SD Digital STB

If you want a PVR I would look at buying one of the more fully featured dual-tuner SD Digital Set Top Boxes which can be found for less than $200 or a High Definition Digital (HD) Set Top Box which is more future proof.

DVX 555u digital tv set top box and PVR

Great Features and Strong Points 🙂

  • plusSimple packaging clearly shows the DVX-555U’s main feature: being able to add your own hard drive to make it a PVR

    DVX 555u digital tv set top box and PVR - Installing hard disk

  • plusI used the included Composite video cable and audio cables. The DVX-555U supports video output via Composite, Component or S-Video
  • plusLarge vents on top enable good ventilation and soft feet at the bottom make sure the DVX-555U doesn’t scratch your TV cabinet.
  • plusThe manual is easy to understand and well written – not “Chinglish” style
  • plusThe EPG can be displayed in pay TV style with each channel taking up one row which you can navigate side to side on to see upcoming programs. This is great and even better the EPG tries to highlight timeslots which will be recorded with RED colouring.

    Unfortunately as you can see below it doesn’t line up program times properly. The show highlighted in RED being recorded is the Simpsons from 18:00-18:30 but on the EPG it looks like 17:30-18:00:

    DVX 555U EPG

  • plusBefore a scheduled recording starts a box appears on screen to: allow the recording, stop it or postpone it for 2min.
  • plusSupports Logical Channel Numbers (LCN). These can be turned off if you like to re-order channels so Ch7=7, Ch9=9, CH10=10, SBS=13 etc. However the numbers you choose with LCN off must be sequential. Eg: if there are 15 channels in total than they must be numbered 1-15 in that order, you couldn’t for example number the data casting channel as 44.
  • plusHas a USB 1.1 port which is used for firmware upgrades and can also be used to display JPG photos and play MP3 music files
  • plusYou can press TEXT then 801 to display subtitles for a recorded program
  • plusIn an interesting feature unscheduled manual recordings can be paused using the remote and restarted again eg: at the beginning of commercials and when they finish
  • plusYou can press PVR INFO while recording to see a bar at bottom of screen with time played already and total recording length.
  • plusYou can fast forward recordings at 2x, 4x, 16x upto a blistering 32x speed and replay recordings or timeshift in slow-mo (up to 16 times slower)
  • plusThe DVX-555U tells you when setting a new scheduled recording if it conflicts with existing schedules.
  • plusYou can rename recorded programs in the recorded programs list after finishing or even while they’re being recorded
  • plusThe DVX-555U automatically bookmarks recordings that you only watch part of, to let you continue playback from the same time point later on. Press the RED button to resume playback where you stopped.
  • plusYou can fast-forward a recording when you turn on subtitles (press SUBTITLE) during a recorded program.

{{lls}}

Annoying Problems and Weak Points 🙁

  • minusThe DVX-555U has an LG Tuner which works fine if you have a strong digital TV signal from your TV antenna, if the signal is weak it may not be able to tune into all your local TV channels
  • minusThe commercial channels 7, 9 and 10 started to display different TV shows on their HD channels in late 2007/early 2008. The DVX-555U can only display SD channels so you won’t be able to use it to see these extra free to air TV channels.
  • minusIn a major error the manual and DVX-555U recorded program list both say it supports “Upto 55 hours record time with a 80GB hard disk”. This is completely wrong. Actually it can record half that (about 28 hours) per 80 GB of hard disk space.
  • minusI turned the DVX-555U on and scanned channels which was done pretty easily. However when scanning finished it was tuned into an HD channel and showed “Unsupported HD service” on a blank screen. Optimally by default an SD set top box shouldn’t scan HD channels to stop confusion for the average user who won’t understand why some channels display an error message.
  • minusAfter scanning I deleted the channels I never watch like the EXPO Shopping ads channel. A few times while at the “Delete this service” screen the DVX-555U locked up completely and had to be powered on/off to work again.
  • minusThe EPG takes a while to populate with data. The “Now & Next” EPG for each channel is also quite slow to update, when you turn the DVX-555U on it will display the old “Now & Next” details from the time when it was last turned off.
  • minusThe DVX-555U has a single SD tuner. That means you can’t use it to watch a different channel while you’re recording something. If you think you’ll do that often than you should buy a dual tuner PVR
  • minusIt’s not obvious that you have to press OK in the Booking List to create a new scheduled recording.
  • minusTo edit a currently scheduled recording – change from Status ON to OFF, Press OK when it asks to delete the schedule, make your changes and then turn Status to ON
  • minusEvery now and then on some channels (especially SBS) a recording skips ahead a few seconds while you’re playing it back. This can be very annoying if the dialogue is important at that time.

    I’m told that If the shudder is identical each time you view the recording (indicating that the fault is in the recording) then it may be your signal quality is slightly low, if it is just something that happens at the start of a recording and is not identical then it may be a hard drive buffer issue perhaps

  • minusIt would be nice if the Green LED on the front of the DVX-555U flashed every few seconds while recording.
  • minusIt would also be good when entering the complete EPG that it stayed on the current channel instead of changing to the first channel in the list.

Features the DVX-555U Doesn’t Have

The following features are supported by my other PVR, the Digicrystal 9000 PVR, but not by the DVX-555U. To be fair, the Digicrystal 9000 PVR (which isn’t sold anymore) cost me $250 and the DVX-555U costs $69. I’m just pointing out that the DVX-555U is quite good but it’s features are pretty no-frills so you can make an informed purchasing decision about whether it suits you.

  • minusAnnoyingly the DVX-555U can’t be used to watch previously recorded programs while recording
  • minusAlso the DVX-555U doesn’t support the “Chase play” feature which would allow you to begin watching a recording that is already in progress without waiting for it to finish recording while the PVR would continue recording the rest of the program to the hard disk drive.
  • minusThe Recorded program list doesn’t automatically show the name of the recording unless you added it to the booking list via the EPG (see p20 of manual) or renamed it manually yourself
  • minusThe recording schedule can only be Once Only, Daily or Weekly. Mon-Fri isn’t a supported option.
  • minusIt doesn’t allow trimming the beginning and end of recordings to save hard disk space or splitting scheduled recordings which contain several different TV programs.
  • minusThere aren’t any skip forward/back buttons on the remote. A common feature of PVR’s is the ability to skip forward/back eg: 5 minutes at a time

Tips & Tricks

  • Firmware updates can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.jokiin.com/PVR/ – currently the latest version is:

    Revision: 3.30 LG9013-1TU
    Date: Sept, 07, 2007

    To check your firmware version go to the menu System Info then Software version

  • DVX say the DVX-555U supports upto a 400GB hard disk but I think the firmware supports up to 750GB. If you use a 400GB or larger hard disk please let me know.
  • For scheduled recordings set the DVX-555U to start 1 minute early and finish 1 minute late eg: To tape the 7PM ABC News, set it for 6:59-7:31. I found if I didn’t do that the DVX-555U would stop recording about 25 seconds too early.
  • Just in case anyone missed it … these boxes can also record the HD channels, although they can’t play them back. Not something that you’d normally want to do, but once HD multi-channelling is in full swing, it might be useful.

    If you’re happy to just watch it on your PC then you don’t have to down-convert and create a DVD, of course. Once you have the transport stream on your PC, you can slice and dice and do whatever you like with it.
    Colin 2905 at Australian DTV Forum

  • Ralph_Smith from the Australian DTV Forum has kindly spent the time to write a DVR555U to DVD Creation guide in Microsoft Word format
  • You can download a printable PDF manual for the DVX-555U from my website
  • There’s basically two ways to get something into the booking list; via the EPG (see p20 of manual), or manually (see p19 of manual). Of course, to do it via the EPG means that the target program must actually be in the EPG (and with the correct times); some of the networks still only provide “now and next”. The nice thing about doing it via the EPG (if it’s there), is that the name of the program is then displayed in the booking list.

    Regardless of whether you add something to the booking list manually or via the EPG, there’s a couple of points to watch; the default action is “OFF”, so you need to change that to “ON”. The other thing is that it’s prudent to overwrite the duration with something longer, especially for the commercial stations of an evening.
    Colin 2905 at Australian DTV Forum

  • You can turn on the Timeshift feature to go upto 1 hour back on the currently tuned channel when you turn your TV on. I don’t use it because I think it’s an unnecessary waste of power 24/7 and it would wear the hard disk drive down.
  • I don’t think the DVX-555U supports daylight savings time so you’ll have to change the time back and forth 1 hour if your state eg: NSW has daylight savings during summer.

Other People’s Reviews

If you don’t already have yourself a nice PVR then you’re in luck, you can create one with a 250GB hard-drive or higher if you desire more space for less than $200.
– Dwayne Charrington

An interesting SD set top box, to which you can add a hard drive for recording of TV shows, for not much more than the cost of a set top box on it’s own

Just bought one and the quality of the reception is good, although the signal strength shows to be lower than my existing Set top box, so if you are in an area where reception is marginal this may not be the unit for you.

In my case I used an old 80gb Hard drive that was not being used … I can also remove the drive and copy the recordings to my computer. Although this does require removing the drive and is not something I would do often, it is possible.
Ozpete at the Oz Bargain Blog

When I initially reviewed the DVX 555U I thought it was a good cheap SD Digital STB and suggested if you have a spare IDE hard disk that you can install by yourself then the DVX-555U is a real bargain SD Digital PVR.

However, the PVR function has really disappointed me because the tuner is so weak that recordings from all channels are randomly disrupted with errors that causes playback to skip forward 5-15sec/time. Don’t use it as a PVR unless you have a really strong TV signal, just use it as a good cheap SD Digital STB

If you want a PVR I would look at buying one of the more fully featured dual-tuner SD Digital Set Top Boxes which can be found for less than $200 or a High Definition Digital (HD) Set Top Box which is more future proof.

You can buy the DVX-555U from Strathfield Electronics for $69 including a 1GB USB flash drive.You can probably haggle that down if you don’t want the USB drive. The DVX-555U is also sold every now and then at the online auction site Deals Direct for between $50-$70 +postage

182 thoughts on “DVX-555U SD Digital Set Top Box (STB) PVR (Review)”

  1. cheers for the review, that was exactly what i was looking for.

    EDITOR: Glad I could help Nathan

  2. Ralph_Smith has reported that “heat is an issue if you leave the time shifting on. I tried a small fan, but it was too noisy. Has anyone come up with a fix for this?”

    marty50 from Western Australia asked me “did you mention the clock problem. I had to obtain new firmware in order to disable the auto clock setting from the streamed data. They only send east coast time so on any other time zone you can’t set to record a program”

    EDITOR: I suspect that the larger the hard disk you use in the Dvx-555u, the more heat will be an issue

    I used to place large lego bricks under overheating electrical equipment to give it more room for ventilation

  3. Thanks for putting in the effort doing this review, which pretty accurately sums up the good and bad features of the DVX-555U. I’ve had one of these units for a few weeks now, here are some additional comments/corrections:

    + If you start recording manually (ie just press the record button), pressing it a second time brings up a menu which lets you set the recording stop time.

    + Just press the SUBTITLE button on the remote (no need for TEXT 801) for subtitles on a recorded program (or one you are watching)

    + As well as fast forward you can replay recordings or timeshift in slow-mo (up to 16 times slower)

    – I agree the tuner is weak. I can’t get it to show better than 53% signal strength. Below 50% you are likely to get dropouts & garbled display

    – if you get “recorded skips” in a program, sometimes you can rewind into them and get some of the skipped section played back.

    + You *can* fast forward a recording with subtitles, if you use the SUBTITLE button on the remote (not TEXT 801) to display them

    – it won’t display subtitles while you have MUTE on. (But if you turn the volume down to zero instead, the subtitles continue to display)

    + it *does* bookmark partially played recordings. In the REC LIST menu, use the Red button on the remote to resume playback from where you left off. (The OK button causes it to replay from the start.) If you look closely at the recording description in the top of the REC LIST display, it tells you where the bookmark is currently set (eg 00:02:15 out of 01:33:00)

    + I like the Timeshift feature. It does cause the hard disk to run more, but only while the box is on, not in standby. I don’t think this is any more wearing on the hard disk than a similar duty cycle in a PC.

    + Timeshift lets you pause, rewind, replay, slomo & fast forward the current channel within the 1 hour window. Really useful if you miss something on a live broadcast. For example you can rewind & turn on subtitles if you missed some dialog.

    – If you hit Stop while replaying a timeshifted segment, it erases the recorded part and restarts at the current point in the broadcast

    – the manual says you can change the watched channel while recording a different one (p4 & p6). You can’t, because the DVX555U only has a single tuner as explained above.

    EDITOR: thanks for the advice. Will incorporate it into the review once I try each suggestion myself

  4. I have bought a set top box and had a hard drive inserted by my computer technician. I have hooked it up to Foxtel box via a four plug switch. I have tried to scan the channels, although the box is scanning it is not picking up the channels, what am I doing wrong please, or how do I go to something more detailed for the settings, I do not know what GMT is or how to set it. I am a LOL please Help June

    EDITOR: Hi June

    If you’ve bought the DVX 555u to record Foxtel channels I’m afraid you’ve made the wrong choice

    The DVX 555u can only record free to air digital TV from a TV antenna.

    The only set top boxes which can record Foxtel are those sold by Foxtel like the Foxtel iQ

    I suggest you sell your DVX555u or give it to a friend.

  5. Does this DVX player support .avi files from both the hard drive and USB?

    EDITOR: The DVX-555u doesn’t support AVI or DIVX files in any way regardless of whether you put them on the hard disk or on a USB drive

  6. I have been using DVX-555u for four months now.

    While it is not a brilliant design, the attraction was low cost access to SD TV and recording, for which I am happy to accommodate its shortcomings. My observations have been:

    1. Very sensitive to input signals. My first two units ran very hot and expired quickly, one in just 50 minutes. I think this was due to the aerial booster used in my block of units. I have run the 3rd unit on rabbit ears only, with no problems other than Ch7 often missing due to low signal strength. Therefore I dont watch much Ch7. (I am in suburban BNE)
    2. The enclosure sometimes resonates VERY loudly due to the HDD spinning (Maxtor Diamond Max +9 120gb)
    3. A very annoying clunking noise occurs during playback (sounds like someone gently but frequently bumping the side of the TV cabinet). This seems to be from the HDD. Amazingly, this disappears if you disconnect the aerial, even though this seemingly has nothing to do with playback. The sound is not in the recording.
    3a. Software and remote control design is poor, but usable. Setting up recordings is not intuitive at all.
    3b. But the one touch recording is really convenient. Press record again to set the duration! The software would be hugely enhanced with a bookmark or recording split/trim feature.
    4. The software is unstable. I have had numerous lock ups, where the unit just stops responding to the RC. Turning on and off is required.
    5. The unit runs quite hot, even on standby, and very hot when the hdd is spinning. It needs to be on standby to activate programmed recordings, otherwise I turn it right off.
    6. I have experienced problems with losing settings when turning on and off, but that was on the first of the 3 units I have had. I have also had colour saturation problems (manually adjusted) from which I could not recover except by “blindly” following the menus in the manual.
    7. Therefore the manual rates as Good, and matches the osd pretty well.
    8. Recordings are at AEDST. Which is great if you are in NSW/VIC but results in recording mistakes in QLD.
    9. No Coax output is inconvenient. Especially as at this price point it is likely to get used on the older or euro 2nd or 3rd TV. I ended up using a Composite -> Scart adaptor. Component and S-Video are also available.
    10. Setting up the unit is easy. It self tunes OK, and you can re-order and edit the channel list to remove unwanted or redundant channels. It also detects HD, which can be recorded but not displayed. The HDD is easy to fit and setup.
    11. The picture quality my old Loewe 68cm CRT is very good. That alone justifies the STB.

    Despite the problems, I would recommend this unit to technically savvy people requiring a low cost SD tuner and recorder. You need a bit of savvy to master the software. The really keen can even access HD recordings….. see other comments. If you have a spare HDD and not much cash then the DVX-555u gives you a better picture on your analogue TV, access to the digital channels, and basic recording.

    EDITOR: thank you Adam for your excellent input 🙂 Will update the article to reflect your comments in a few days

  7. Would be good if they could implement a “playlist” option to cue up a list of recordings to play back in order. Or if you could play a recording back in a loop.

    EDITOR: Hi timmy

    My guess is that its unlikely that they’ll implement your suggestion considering the low cost of the box but will pass the suggestion on anyway

  8. DVX-555u with a $93 Western Digital 320Gb drive (16Mb buffer) provides a cool, clean, cheap result. Lack of recording/not-recording status is a big concern and there may be a fix. Mount a LED on the front panel connected to the data accessing pins of the Hard Drive. Many newer drives, Seagate etc may not have these pins anymore but there are still some that do. They are a special purpose diode socket at the front of the drive that accepts the bare pins of a LED. If there is anyone with another IDE cable hack variation on this idea then we might get a fix all that will show recording activity when the drive is in use.

    In another quirky phenomenon, with the 320Gb drives and larger, the reported amount free drifts downward even when not recording, as viewed in the Recorded Programs list. Have others seen this on smaller drives?

    EDITOR: That’s a weird bug. Have you got timeshift enabled as that will slowly use HDD space while you’re watching.

  9. As this unit doesn’t appear to support daylight savings, I had to manually change the timezone setting from GMT+11:00 to GMT10:00 yesterday morning, however, after doing this, I also noticed that the one timer recording I had in the booking list changed it’s start time from 19:30 to 18:30.
    So if you changed your DVX’s timezone yesterday, just check your boooking list to make sure the start times are correct.

    EDITOR: You’re 100% correct Ian. The exact same thing happened to me and having to change 12 timers was not fun at all

    Over time using this product is revealing more frustrations and time wasting problems.

    It leads me to conclude that:

    • It’s a great cheap way to watch live Digital SD channels
    • If you have a spare HDD, than it’s useful to use time shift to sometimes pause live TV and come back eg: 15 min later

    Otherwise the lack of chase play, inability to view previous recordings while recording live TV and things like the Daylight savings booking list bug we’ve discovered make it NOT useful as a 2nd PVR in the spare room and DEFINITELY NOT worthy of being a person’s main PVR

  10. I have had the set top box for a while now it has been working great. I have just shifted house and lost the manual 🙁 now I have hooked it all back up I cannot delete any of the programs that I have recorded as it is asking for a pin code ( I never had one to begin with ) does the manual say anything about a pin code????????

    EDITOR: Hi Caspie. Try 6666, tell me if it works

  11. Hi – Have been using the DVX for a few months with a 250gig HD – For the $ it works better than expected. I except the limitations of the unit – BUT The one thing that pees me off is that the recorded items are listed by Channel and time. I then have to go into the virtual keyboard function to give it a show name that will make sense. Since the name of the show appears in the booking list – it makes no sense that it does not do the same for the recoded items. Any chance of a fix for this? Thanks

  12. Hi everybody
    I wanted to get the video off my harddrive in the DVX-555U settopbox and put it on to my pc for editing The pc recognises the the harddrive in the cmos settings but i cant see the harddrive when i get into windows even though it recognises it too

    can anyone help me to get the files off the DVX-555U harddrive and on to the pc to edit???
    thanks in advance for your help

    EDITOR: Instructions can be found at the “DVR555U to DVD Creation guide in Microsoft Word format” link under the “Tips and Tricks” heading

  13. Hi, went to ftp://ftp.jokiin.com/PVR/ and only found
    Zoran ZR3916x chipset hardware update. Was instead hoping to find the software update
    Revision: 3.30 LG9013-1TU
    Date: Sept, 07, 2007.

    EDITOR: Its in DVX555U.zip

  14. Hi, successfully applied the upgrade but wondering what it addresses? I bought some of these PVR’s quite a while ago and is a great cheap way to go. I agree with all comments about limitations so far. I have a Strong PVR but choose to use the DVX as my main viewing box with time shift enabled. The Strong box can not do it as well. The Strong box does have a superior Samsung tuner against the LG in the DVX. All my interconnections are secure and high quality but even just a slight movement to these can make a difference to signal quality and strength and this is where the superiority of my Strong box shows through – just my circumstance!

  15. I lurv my DVX555u – being an AFL fan I made the mistake of buying a DVR (Samsung DVD-155R recorder with my new 42″ plasma only to find out that the playback quality (more than 3 hours) was extremely pixelated on my new telly. Need to set SP timer to get reasonable playback which was non-intuitive — however DVX555u plays back beautifully even in SD quality so I initially just pressed record as I walked out the door. Now Ive read the manual and had a play timer recording is a breeze. Now I’ll have a play and see if I can get HD recording??

    An option I would really like is the ability to trim the waste before and after the games. In summary I think the DVX-555u PVR is fantastic and heaps better for my use (recording football predominantly) than the DVD recorder which cost 5 times the price!!

    Does anyone know if you can output from a DVX-555u to a DVD recorder and save to DVD??
    cheers Steve

    EDITOR: see my answer to your other comment. same procedure is required to move the recordings to your computer where you can edit, trim them and burn to a DVD

  16. A few people have suggested it can record HD – but how do you play it back???

    EDITOR: You can’t play HD recordings back directly on the DVX555u. You have to extract the HD recordings from your Hard disk using the “DVR555U to DVD Creation guide in Microsoft Word format” instructions linked to under the “Tips & Tricks heading”

  17. Hi, just referring to my earlier post – is it known what new software changes were made? thanks

    EDITOR: The latest firmware does not indicate what changes were made, Sorry

  18. Hi,

    DVR555U to DVD Creation guide in Microsoft Word format – looks like that link is not working anymore. Can you provide a copy of that please?.

    EDITOR: link fixed. thanks

  19. The updated version of the firmware from September 2007 corrects a timezone problem affecting users in WA and SA. All models delivered after September 07 already have this version installed

  20. I have just installed a 500GB drive in my DVX Setop box & it works perfectly it tells me i have 347hrs of recordings
    I had the latest firmware installed when i brought it

    Regards Blitz

    EDITOR: that’s great, remember that the recording hours is displayed incorrectly. The hours it says it record eg: 347 is double what it will actually record 173.5 hours

  21. Thanks i first put in a 80GB hard & noticed at first it said 55hrs of recording time & after recording for 12hrs it said there was only 22hrs left
    on another matter i have a HD definition LG 5402 Recorder with a 160GB Hard drive installed, i tryed for experimental reasons to put the 80GB Drive in it last week & it done some crazy things like the remote only worked when it felt like it & shut the whole unit down & rebooted every couple minutes,if i installed the 500GB drive into that unit do you think it would work or is there special software installed on the 160GB drive

    Regards Blitz

    EDITOR: sorry im not familiar with that product

    however its common for digital tv recorders to only work with the hard disk they came with to stop you upgrading it

    You might be able to get more info at this HD Set Top Box Receivers forum

  22. Thanks i’ll try that thanks for all your help i will let you know if there are any issues with my DVX Setop box

    Regards Blitz

  23. Hiya, great info – and thanks for the updated firmware. Have there been any updates since?.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    EDITOR: No updates since September 2007

  24. This product is awsome.An option I would really like is the ability to trim the waste before and after the games. In summary I think the DVX-555u PVR is fantastic and heaps better for my use

  25. Have fitted WD 160Gb HDD, and have annoying sound from speakers, (similar to when wind blows across microphone), have tried another HDD, WD 20Gb, smae annoying sound only louder. I can not seem to find anything about it in any of the above Q’s or other pages. Any ideas ???

  26. yes I get that noise must be a problem with the box itself make sure the volume on the unit itself is turned up to max and then fine control from tv volume this wont fix the problem but will minimise effects

  27. Anybody managed to use a third party all in one remote on this unit? I’d be interested in the input code you used

    EDITOR: I’m told that the Logitech Harmony 525 remote works with the DVX 555u and the codes are already in its database so no configuration is required

  28. Yes, I have the noise problem as well. I figure it is just one of the little bugs that stopped development of this unit as an LG or whatever brand it was meant to be PVR. Seems to me it is some sort of interference from the HDD being active. This is a great workhorse but fails as a Hi Fi unit. I’m happy with it though (except for the 9 seconds I lose when the recording stutters from signal interference and also that silly big blue one third screen information display.

  29. DVR555U to DVD Creation guide linek does not work,,

    sigmatek drive reader will not mount drive.

    panamax with not start

    any ideas.

    EDITOR: link fixed. thanks

  30. I have three DVX555U units.

    The first two were completely set up BEFORE installing the firmware upgrade labelled ZR39160.img. Everything works as advertised and commented upon so far.

    The third unit had the firmware installed before setting up the channels. Now, I can’t get the 555u to scan any of the channels – it simply can’t find anything. I have tried on the same antenna hookup as the other two with no success.

    Obviously, I can’t return the firmware to its original settings but it does seem that the firmware has had an unintended result.

    Can anybody comment on this.

    Thanks.

  31. Hi, as mentioned in the review, don’t buy it if the signals in your building is week. The only channel which I can get it working probably is Channel Nine and basically all the other channels either not found (SBS) or unwatchable (stop frequently with funny sound). It seems like everyone other than me is pretty happy with this device but it is just a dissapointment for me. Anyone interested to take this off me, post a reply here and I can give it to you as long as you are happy to pick it up. I live in Sydney.

    Cheers
    TL

    EDITOR: Have you tried returning it to Strathfield since it’s clearly not working for you?

    They are usually willing to give a refund or at least store credit which you can use to get a better set top box/PVR

  32. Hi, I have had the DVX-555u PVR for about a month now and have been very happy with its performance although I do have a strong signal which probably helps.

    I just thought that I would let everyone know that if you intended on connecting the hdd to your computer via ide to extract your recordings, make sure its set as a master on the secondary ide connection. I first had it connected as a slave on the primary ide but for some reason sigmatek didn’t allow me to mount the drive. after moving it to a master on the secondary ide it worked fine.

    I also recorded some HD shows on the hdd which have came out good, I just haven’t had the chance to convert them yet with project x.

  33. Hi all. Thanks for the really useful comments.
    I have had a DVX555U for about 7 months and it works fine. (I’m in a good signal area of Sydney). I have purchased a small USB capture device (EasyCap USB2.0 Video adapter with audio) which cost around $40 from dailydeals.com.au / catchoftheday.com.au ) which has been useful in capturing the video off the DVX without having to take the Hard Drive out. One small job to do is make sure the sound card drivers are updated from the provided CD, and that you select this driver when using the software. The provided software is excellent too! (Ulead Video Studio 10.0 SE DVD)
    I do have one small problem. My DVX555U seems to sometimes skip recording programs that I have set up using regular “booking”. The dates set for next recordings are then pushed to a week later but it has not recorded. I check the date and time settings but this are still OK.
    Any ideas?

  34. For people with the background noise being made (clicking or tapping noise) when recording / playback – I had the same problems with this. Not sure exactly what the issue is with, however it is definitely noisier with some hard drives compared with others. It must have something to with interference to audio out though because if you connect optical audio out (instead of component audio out) there is NO noise at all. Probably not going to help a lot of people who don’t have an amp, but nonetheless….

  35. Hi there i was just wondering if you would happen to know when the next firmware version is going to be released? me an my girlfriend are getting very upset with the skipping when viewing recorded programs and if this is a software issue it should be addressed. Strathfield refuses to give us a refund because we lost the box for it.

    EDITOR: My contact says he is unsure when new firmware will be released for the DVX-555u

    Skipping during playback is most often a hard drive problem, it’s not too common but some types of hard drives will cause this issue, another brand drive might be the solution

    If that doesn’t work it could be because the DVX-555u isn’t getting a strong enough signal from your TV antenna. Because the DVX-555u has a weak tuner it needs a strong signal to ensure skip free playback and recording.

  36. Not a bad little set-top box. I initially had difficulty getting all channels except sbs and ten even with signal strength of 66%!

    I bought a co-axial quad shield video lead to connect the antenna to the set top box and all the channels now work.

  37. Nothing to do with the hard disc drive. It is a common problem due to the poor sensitivity of the LG tuner. One glitch in reception generally means 9 seconds of software recovery time. If you live in a difficult reception area and near a railway line like me, you will likely experience it.

  38. Hi everyone, i have brough this unit for over 2 months now, i have a 500GB WD HDD with it
    but some how it stoped working… when it starts up, i get around 5 seconds of working normal, but after that 5 seconds, some of the button on my RC won’t work
    And when i remove my HDD it works fine…

    Can some one help?
    Thanks

  39. Have just got DVX555U what do you do to set up with video player and dvd
    the tv cable is plugged in the video if you plug into tv how do you get picture on video. I have not tryed to set up yet but I am not happy with there instructions.
    Also do you plug into mon/tv out or into the AV
    If someone can help thank you.

  40. Plug your antenna first into your VCR or DVD recorder and then run a coxial cable from the VCR/DVD recorder into the set top box’s antenna in. This improves the signal quality in my observations (I cannot get SBS if I connect the antenna straight into the set top box).

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean by the second half of your comment, but if I understand you correctly, I would connect the set top box’s AV out (yellow socket) into the yellow AV in of the TV set (or if you have a receiver, into the AV in of that that)

  41. Hi Ron,

    Sounds like the HDD is incompatible with unit, perhaps because of it’s size. You could try plugging it into you PC and partitioning the drive into to 250GB sections, then plug back into the unit and attempt to format them.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

  42. Hi there
    Just read an old comment above by dfo (7th July) and the EasyCap USB2.0 Video adapter with audio. From the comment made it seems that a hard drive recording can be transferred to a USB memory stick. Can anyone advise on this?

    EDITOR: A hard drive recording on the DVX-555u CANNOT be transferred to a USB memory stick

  43. EDITOR: A hard drive recording on the DVX-555u CANNOT be transferred to a USB memory stick
    Thanks for the this. Any idea of what dfo is actually doing to avoid removing the HDD?

  44. Follow up…I think I can answer my question. dfo is capturing video and audio from the outputs rather than the USB port. Yes playback from the HDD would facilitate this but it would all be in real time…now I feel silly not realising this already..DOH!

  45. 16 August 2008
    Just reading your Blog,very informative

    I have 2 of these units and have been lucky to have good signal
    To get recordings onto a dvd (not using a computer) I have one
    unit connected to AV1 input on my Samsung TV. At playback from DVX
    I take the signal from TV AV out to a LG RH177 HDD/DVD recorder I can
    then edit the program on the HDD and dub to DVD.I have tried the
    signal direct from the DVX to the LG (and a Samsung) and get a bar
    rolling across the screen.

  46. Just bought the DVX-555, I have a pretty good TV signal so the picture quality is fantastic (Its is visibly better than my old set-top box). Anyway, tried installing the hard disk (its an old 40GB Maxtor – jumpers set to Master) and when you select PVR is says ” int hard drive not ready” Any suggestions? ( I have another 40GB Maxtor I will swap tonight to see if that works)

    Does it have to be an 80GB, 160GM hard disk drive in order for it to work?

    EDITOR: People have used hard disks as small as 10GB with the DVX555u

    Did you try formatting it first? from memory there’s a setting somewhere in the menu to do that

  47. Have one and for $69.00 quite happy. it suffers a little noise on my 250GB Maxtor HDD when in FF mode, but other than that no problems, other than difficulty trying to get the hard disk to install into the small bay provided. In the end, I voided my warranty by removing the whole case, as it would not fit . I wish thye would release a new firmware to allow copy of file to USB disk so to avoid removal of HDD. If they released a new model with USB 2.0 support, and SATA HDD support with the fixes suggested by others they could really have a winner. IDE drives are starting to become difficult to buy new.

  48. Hi Neerav, I have been using the dvx555u for a while now. It’s pretty good for the price and I reckon it’d be even better if the manufacturer open-sourced the software that runs it! Then we could fix the bugs and improve the usability ourselves.

    For example it can clearly play video files, so why not read video files from the plugin USB? I am sure there is some technical or legal reason, but if we could get a look under the bonnet I am sure it could be fixed.

  49. Hi,

    I bought the DVX last Saturday and worked fine up until this evening. I bought a brand new 320 GB Seagate HDD (ATA 1700.10 16mb Cache) today and connected it. Initially everything seemed fine. I formatted the drive as per instructions. After about ten minutes the unit put itself into standby mode. I switched it back on and after a couple of minutes it went into standby again. I switched it off and removed the Hard drive and it was fine. I put the HD back. Initially it came on. I manually recorded a few minutes of a program. Stopped recording but before I could try playing it back the unit when into standby and wouldn’t switch on.

    Any Suggestions.

    Andrew

    EDITOR: Other people have definitely used much larger hard disks than 320GB however it is a bit picky so one model of large harddisk works when another doesnt

    you have had the bad luck to deal with an unfriendly sales person

    if you contact their head office and complain you should be offered a refund if you’ve only had the DVX-555U less than 30 days

  50. I agree with most others so far. My only problemis, that if I remove say a smaller HDD to replace it with a bigger one, when I try to clone the smaller one with GHOST, ghost tells me the disk is blank, yet DVX tells me it is nearly full. Any ideas out there ? Thanx.

  51. Andrew. When I bought three of these units about a year ago, each was fitted with a Seagate 320Gb ATA ST3320620A without any issues. Sorry can’t really help.

  52. Hi,

    I have followed the guidance in “DVR555U to DVD Creation guide”, trying to copy the files into my PC. Sigmatek allowed me to mount and unmount the drive but I could not see any files, either through windows explorer or projectX. Windows explorer would say something sort of “partition information not found” and asked if I want to format it. My PC uses Windows 2000.

    I appreciate any helps.

    Thanks

  53. Hi
    Thanks for a very informative review of the DVX-555U. I look forward to any review you may do of a HD STB/PVR.
    Cheers

  54. Just a reminder about Daylight Saving. So many with PVR’s aren’t aware of the need to completely switch off their units at the main switch. When power is resumed (switched back on again) the corrected time should appear.

  55. Hi there folks, here’s an update since April 1:

    1) Large HDD (1 Tb) have come down below $200 and if you can find an IDE version, they give a great result.

    2) Nobody has yet identified the Hard Drive activity pins on IDE drives to use as a Recording Light. They are printed as ->|- on the base of some hard drives and show hard drive activity for the computer that they were intended for.

    3) To connect the drive to your computer without removing it – plug in a “USB2.0 to SATA/IDE” connector, (available for about $28 from Melbourne swap meets). Leave the drive in the unit, plug in the black connector to the hard drive directly, and the other end to your PC USB2 port. These little things work well on any hard drive IDE, SATA or laptop size connectors.

    4) The drive can be seen in the BIOS but will not read as a regular drive in windows because it is not formatted that way. Use the free software from the coverdisk of PC User to read and convert it. Then edit or burn to DVD.

  56. Hi Legend,
    In your previous comment (no. 60), point 3. You mentioned that “plug in the black connector to the hard drive directly”, do I plug this to the back of the DVX-555 unit ?
    and point 4. “Use the free software from the coverdisk of PC User”, do you know the name of the software or what issue of the PC USER magazine ?
    thank you.

  57. Got one of these and installed a 320GB Western Digital AV drive which I picked up for $73.
    All functions well except it shows available space at 305GB.
    My main bitch concerns setting up program bookings.
    The booking list appears not to show some bookings although they are there. Deleting a booking sometimes results in the wrong one being deleted. In the end I had to delete them all and start all over, re-entering them all one at a time in chronological order. You also have to remember what number you’re up to – limit is 15 according to the guide.
    Booking from the EPG often results in a wrong time, so make sure you check that it is correct.

  58. I discovered this website while looking for info on connecting my DVX-555U to a PC – an excellent site – and I am working through the many users’ comments and hints.

    I have two comments on an otherwise excellent set-top tuner (1) how does one stop the thing from continuing to record after pressing the Stop button? It still carries on timing and I have to switch the box off and on again to continue viewing, etc.
    (2) I am occasionally getting slow Morse code breaking through into TV reception and appearing on playback of recorded material. It has occurred at about 6pm but was not apparent at 8pm a few nights ago. The Morse signal can be heard through the speakers and increases as the volume control settings are increased, even with the box and TV remotes muted. ACMA would charge me $88 for an inspection visit and I would have to marshall three other complaining users in my locality (2086), so that is a no-no. FM reception on a Sony tuner using the shared multiband aerial is unaffected, so I imagine the interference may be mains-borne. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to eliminate it, e.g., mains filters?

    Ian Juniper 31.10.08

  59. Hi
    Recently purchased the unit, and am happy with it as a set top box. However, not at all happy as a PVR. The majority of bookings don’t record, and even manual recordings shut off after only 18-25 seconds. Almost 100% of the time I need to turn the set off manually and back on, otherwise it won’t return from standby state. Using it only as a $49 set top signal booster now. Would not recommend it to anyone.
    cheers
    Lawrence

  60. Just purchased one of these DVX boxes not bad. Heat was a problem used a laptop cooling plate $15.00 runs of the STB’s front USB slot, certainly cools it down, has three small fans. Can also use a powered hub if your using front USB slot for MP3, no need to connect to PC. I also use an old analog DVD recorder in line between the DVX and TV so can copy straight to DVD+RW if required. I can then run it on the PC and cut comms out using ulead media suite a great program.

  61. Good day, I’m just wondering if the USB port for this device support any playback formats from PC, rather than just music/pictures.

    EDITOR: No it doesnt

  62. just to clarify, i was refering to video formats such as mpg/avi

    EDITOR: yeah I know you were, it can’t play any videos off a USB drive

  63. I saw one comment somewhere that it will have been good if the green light will flash during recording. I was able to modify by simply adding a LED and resistor that flashes rapidly during record/playback of the hard drive. My modification requires opening the DVX555U voiding waranties and is ONLY recomended for competent electronics people due to mains voltages. I also istalled a fan to keep overall temp. down, however the fan runs while unit pluged in.
    If you like further info ill be happy to help.

  64. I now have 2 of these units (DVX555U) and apart of the weak signal situation I love them. I installed fans in both, Also added 2 LED’s one to indicate hard drive activity (record/playback), the 2nd to indicate remote control incoming signal. Keep in mind this is ONLY to be done by qualified electronics people due to mains voltages and it also voids warranty.
    they both have the following software version, Revision: 3.30 LG9013-1TU dated sep, 07, 2007.
    Is there an updated version, if so what will the advantage be, Im curious, I have downloaded a version but am reluctant to install, can anyone give a a sugestion?.

  65. Referring to the comment back in August by Wombat 175. I’m having the same problem, but am not offered the formatting option in any of the menus. The manual says it should be in the system settings/pvr settings menu, but all i get when i go in there is the Warning that the HDD init not finished, please try again later. i’ve checked it several times throughout the day, taken the HDD out and put it back in, turned it on/off etc. Nothing has changed. Any suggestions ?

  66. Just got through the review and all the comments – great and useful stuff.

    I have used the DVX555u for just on a year without issue. I just replaced the original WD 120GB HDD I installed with a newly formatted Samsung 400GB HDD and receive the same error message “Warning the HDD init not finished, please try again later” been running for 24 hours so obviously is an error. Will try another drive later today.

    With regard to the buzzing HDD sound – I managed to neutralise this by reducing the volume levels on the DVX and using the TV or amp to control volume.

    This unit still remains an absolute bargain for the price point – thanks for the detail on how to transfer recorded files to DVD, I’ll give it a try – when I get it to recognise a HDD!!!

  67. hey i just bought the dvx 555u

    i was wondering whether i could use it to record things off my satellite dish??

    EDITOR: No it can’t

  68. Hi, I purchased a dvx555u before Christmas and when my son came down at that time, he put a hard drive into the box for me and since he has returned to his home, I am finding it difficult to get it going sometimes. . At night when I close down the tv, and restart it in the morning, I have been told to start the tv using the tv control to AV1, then set video on Av and it should show the picture, however, I am left with a blank blue screen. Sometimes when I play around with the controls I manage to get it to go but it is more good luck than good management. Can you instruct me how to use it so that it will connect straight away. I am elderly but up with most mod cons lol.

  69. Meb-not sure anyone wants to buy into this as the info you provide is fairly limited. To me it seems you are running the DVX through your VCR then TV. It also seems you only have one AV input on your TV. Maybe your son may advise you how to run the VCR through a tuned channel on your TV and connect the DVX directly to the TV’s AV input. You won’t be able to record from the DVX to VCR, but I wonder why you would. Otherwise sorry if I have misunderstood the setup.

  70. Look this seems like a real lot of hard work.
    I took the output of the PVR recorder-red white and yellow- and hooked them up to a DVD recorder into the Dvd rec corresponding input. Guess what? Perfect video copies. Output from PVR is the same signal type as any similar device. I have also copied the same output into a Tevion USB tv converter thingie and using the supplied software I was able to record the PVR programme and edit it and finally burn the DVD.
    I looked for the simple way to achieve an effective result and am very happy with the dvd recorder process because it is so easy and straight forward. I hope this is helpful.

  71. I need help as the user manual has gone missing.
    When I first purchased I tested an old 2gb drive which worked well enough to know the machine was ok.
    I now can not get the mongrel thing to format a new IDE 80 GB drive.
    The drive is fine in my PC’c but set top box just keeps stating,
    HDD not INIT, come back later.
    PLEASE HELP ME.

  72. to: Rossi.

    Try doing a low level format on the new HD. Get the right program from the manufacturer’s website. I don’t think the 555U likes pre-partitioned HDs.

    Best of luck.

  73. Good question Meb,

    The unit usually boots with the yellow title screen in a few moments regardless of which order you start things.

    Im thinking along 2 paths of investigation, neither of them particularly technical:

    1) external

    With all the connecting of cables and wiring, is it possible that you need to check the connections to make sure that everything from the aerial to the tele is plugged securely? Sometimes wiggling the cable and replugging it back in sounds innocuous but works. You come away looking like the family hero after “fixing the tele”.

    You may also want to fiddle with the configuration if you also have DVD Foxtel and VCR products in the mix. I find that the cheapie DVD player in my configuration must be switched off as it interferes with the signal at times. You may get a solution by wiring up differently if this is the case. Try plugging in to AV3, AV1 (swap with VCR or DVD) or other substitution to find the signal on another TV input. Even consider daisy chain through the VCR and set that onto aux input (aerial => DVX => VCR => TV)

    2) internal

    The hard drive in mine sometimes responds slowly because it is old. Could it be that yours is older and too slow, or newer and possibly too fast?

    Many of the comments on the bulletin board suggest that variations in performance are due to different hard drives in the mix. Your one in this case is a little more extreme than others.

    In my case, the picture quality is much better on the DVX unit than regular (analogue) television, so we usually leave the TV on Video2 and watch the television through the DVX tuner box, changing channels on the DVX remote. Switching off the Television only, the DVX stays on (yes I know – Big Black Carbon Balloon for Legend) The DVD player only comes on when needed because it interferes with the signal as mentioned.

    Let us know how you sort it through.

    Legend

    Rossi.

    Agree with GreenTea, try doing a low level format on the new HD. Get the right program from the manufacturer’s website. or use hard drive software like Partition Magic. The 555U definitely doesnt like pre-partitioned HDs from a PC because it uses its own formatting system.

    Cheers.

    Legend

  74. Foxtel IQ units run dangerously hot. Even when switched off its almost too hot for me to touch. Decided to return the unit to Foxtel. Lost a lot of money cos they wouldn’t cancel my subscription. I’m just glad to have that “heater” out of my tv cabinet.

    I have a HDTV so Australias free-to-air digital channels look WAY better anyway. Foxtel just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in the end. Just full of reruns.

  75. I have used this STB for 12 months with no problems, but now it will not playback some recordings. You can fast forward and see that the recording is there but it will just not play back.

  76. Hi

    I was using the device happly for nearly 18 months until I encountered the dreaded error “HDD not INIT, come back later” message of death. You lost control of the menu system as the unit seems to hang.

    I connected to the PC and mounted the drive thinking it was cactus but I could read all the files. Was able to copy to the computer however not able to delete from the connected HD. Could not change the read only sttribute sayin I had no access rights. Did a low level format in Partition Magic however still stuck with the “HDD not INIT, come back later message”. I presume the device has fallen off the pearch and can no longer mount the drive even though the Drive is OK to read in Windows.

    I guess these is no fix for this and 18 months is OK for $69.

  77. I am surprised that none of the bloggs even discuss the issue of the “Read Only” attribute that cannot be reset when mounted in a Windows environment.

    I don’t understand why such a functuional little devise has not been developed further?

  78. I’ve had one DVX555U running a very small 10.2G seagate (yes, way too small but it was just an old spare to trial the DVX). Only gripe was lack of editing features (e.g Partial Delete and/or Split) and you must have signal strengths > 70% to avoid dropouts but other than that, great for the price. On that basis, just bought another unit and also upgraded to two new WD320GB HDDs. Big Problem: Seems to Record but then only blank screen and no audio in Playback, for the duration of the recording. Same blank Playback on both units with either drive. However, tried installing a borrowed 500GB Seagate, and Playback is fine, therefore it’s not the DVX units and must be the 320G WD HDDs. Yes, they’re installed as Single/Master, can be seen by the DVX and have been formatted. I haven’t been able to find any suggested fixes on-line. Any ideas or suggestions greatly appreciated.

  79. The dreaded error “HDD not INIT, come back later” message is actually inaccurate.

    It is likely that the DVX555U unit cannot understand the formatting of the hard drive. The formatting is vastly different to that used in a PC (FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext3, etc).

    The PC also has trouble understanding the formatting of the DVX555U system. This is why you will have “Read Only” attributes set.

    Please be aware, this is a known incompatibility and not something that needs to be ‘developed further’ (Tonyr).

    The hard drives from a computer can work in a DVX555U system but do not expect them to be interchangeable.

    That’s like expecting your car keys to open your house and being outraged when it doesnt work.

    A hard drive that has no formatting at all ‘should’ work in a DVX555U system. A hard drive from a DVX555U system may be read on a PC using the APC Video tools software by Darren Yates. This will allow you to read the file format of the disk and back up to DVD. Thats about the limit of what you can do with it. If you want more functionality and editing functions, purchase a JVC Everio and use its onboard hard drive and bundled PC editing software to record, play back and edit your TV programs on the PC.

    Cheers
    Legend

  80. Are there any stores still selling this PVR, besides the ebay resellers? I heard recently that Strathfield are out of business!

    EDITOR: The DVX’s were made by a Strathfield supplier so everyone who resold them eg Deals Direct had to buy them from Strathfield’s wholesale division

  81. I upgraded to a new WD320GB HDD (WD2500AAJB) Big Problem: Seems to Record but then only blank screen and no audio in Playback, for the duration of the recording. Tried an old 40gb drive and works fine but only gives 3 hours of record time. Put the WD320GB back in, same problem. Therefore it’s not the DVX unit and must be the HDD? Yes, they’re installed as Single/Master, can be seen by the DVX and have been formatted. Does it matter between IDE and EIDE or are they the same? Any ideas or suggestions greatly appreciated. Cheers.

  82. Also, does anyone know of a support email address or website for this unit?

    EDITOR: I dont think you’ll get any official support now. The person who I used to contact at Strathfield left to get another job elsewhere. Ask a question here and theres a chance someone else who owns it will be able to help you

  83. Sorry Legend you misunderstand the issue I reported entirely.

    I understand that the formatting of a HDD in the DVX unit is different and I know I have to mount it using Sigmatek to read the contents. I have been able to do that for years successfully copying data from the drive and compiling to DVD Etc.

    Once you can mount the drive and see all its content there should be no reason why you as system administratior cannot change the file attributes as you would want to clear out all the data once copied and archived.

    It is a perfectly reasonable comment to say that the inability to change the read only attribute is remarkable if only for the fact that it has never even been discussed let along a resolution provided.

    If the drive is reformatted and reloaded into the DVX it should automatically formated it and make it usable however a perfectly functioning drive that worked in the unit for 18 months stopped to never work again however the same drive can work OK in Linux and Windows. This means that there is nothing wrong with the drive so the DVX unit has malfunctioned.

  84. Have been reading through the issues and noted that most of the HD problems are either Western Digital or Samsung or some other HD, I used a Seagate with absolutly no problem 250GB and as the Comment by awryt — March 8, 2009 states his Seagate worked the WD wouldn’t.

  85. Help! How does the time shift facility work? I’ve tried pressing all the buttons and applying my own logic without success. I’ve got a 40gb Seagate HDD installed. The instructions are somewhat vague and seemingly assume I already know how.

  86. The answer is somewhere above as I had a similiar experience. Go into menu and use the first option list, go to PVR setting and enable it. It will only then disable if the drive becomes full which requires re-enabling it.

    I too have never had issues using seagate drives. The question regarding the now faulty drive may relate to a bad sector/track/spot needed by the DVX that Windows or Linux doesn’t object to…just a thought without really knowing.

  87. My DVX555u has suddenly stopped providing color to the TV screen, altough the TV shows color with the set top box off. Any ideas?

  88. To the poster inquiring about availability. I bought one from Homeart (formerly Copperart)for $49.00, a couple of weeks ago

  89. hi

    i have had this unit for some time now i originally bought it as a digital tuner for 2 dvd recording units the conia 160gig and the teac without a hard drive the problem with old dvd recorders is they only have analogue tuners so i use this unit as a sd tuner through my dvd recorders so i can record digital content on the dvds although i have not used it yet.

    i love the concept of the pvr but a dvd pvr sounds great and a dvd recorder with 2 hd tuners sound s better this is an extremely low cost solution to recording programs on my old dvd recorders when analogue goes for good one slight problem i notice apart from the clunking noise is that the unit when turned on defaults to 80 per cent colour saturation meaning every time you switch it on you need to reset it to 50 percent as 80 per cent is too high

    apart from this i bought these units on special in Australia from homeart for 34 dollars each so i am not complaining as my first foray into digital recording it is cheap and extremely good.

    david

  90. hello again one last thing the timeshift function how do you actually use it that is turning it on is no problem but what next what does it do and how do you do it like stop the show and then start it again

    regards

    david

  91. Bloody daylight savings!
    Got caught last time and got caught again this time.
    When you change the time it also changes your bookings, so in this case they started 60 minutes ealier.
    Until then I had all the Underbelly 2 episodes ready to burn to DVD . . .

  92. Regarding the annoying noise problem, there is a simple way to ease that if you have a set top box (STB) handy. I use a STB to surf different channel while recording anyway if it is no big deal.

    Here is how, if you first feed your antenna signal to a set top box then connect the RF Output to your DVX-555U unit, the RF modulator (loop through) seems to reduce most of the noise during playback and switching channel. This works for me and I hope will work for somebody out there too.

  93. Regarding HDD INIT after copying and deleting files from HDD. It would seem the ideal way is to copy to PC and delete files then replace HDD back into unit. I would suggest trying, Copy to PC then place back in unit and delete one at a time in unit, this may stop alot of HDD init as the HDD has not had it’s file system altered by the PC deleting files. Just a Thought

  94. Hi,
    Regarding the dvx555u,when I accidently set video output to CVBS in AV settings,I lose
    menu straight away and cannot get any function out .of the RC except for the standby button
    I have tried powering on off check leads etc,still no menu.

  95. Lots of great info here…thanks for all the posts!!
    just one quick question…does this box allow me to view just the digital channels or all the channels eg will 10 HD and 10 regular be avaialble thru the box or will i have to switch to my standard TV to get the normal channel 10

  96. i have had dvx for about 2 years [ took first 1 back after a year for skipping when recorded same hdd new box no more probs ] but now put it on an akai tv and it only has black and white. run it through my dvd recorder the colour is fine. any ideas please

  97. I have been trying to convert the DVX data into DVD format using the Sigmatek software with mixed success. Initially the drive would mount as directed and the data could be converted but subsequent tries have been unsuccessful. It dawned on me I should have unmounted the drive after the download. Has anyone experienced the same problem and is there any solution please.

  98. I think I am having the same problem as awryt (post 83). I have just bought a WD 320GB HDD and inserted the drive into the STB straight out of the packet. It can recognise the drive there and records the programs okay, but when playing back, I get just a black screen with no sound, and it seems to play back about 3 times the speed (the playback timer seems to go 2-3 seconds through playback every second). If I press the >> button it doesn’t alter the playback speed, even when I go to 32x speed.

    If anyone has worked out a solution I’d love to hear it!!

  99. Lukeoz, The only solution I found was to use Seagate drives. The WDs are perfectly ok for pc use but wouldn’t/couldn’t be used in the DVX units.
    Awryt

  100. Hi, I have just bought a DVX 555U and went to connect to the Loewe Profil TV that I have but the TV does not have the “video output via Composite, Component or S-Video” require inputs on the back or the front of the set (only those scart type connectors on the back) is the signal converted from digital also sent down the rf antenna cable or is there somthing else I can do? Cheers Alan

  101. Hi, I have just bought a DVX 555U and went to connect to the Loewe Profil TV that I have but the TV does not have the “video output via Composite, Component or S-Video” require inputs on the back or the front of the set (only those scart type connectors on the back) is the signal converted from digital also sent down the rf antenna cable or is there somthing else I can do? Cheers Alan

    Not clear what is the problem but do suggest looking at the TV manual and identify what the SCART inputs you have. You may have component or RGB. If component go to Jaycar and get a SCART to RCA converter.

    Just wondering but not expecting..has anyone tried to bypass the power supply and run the DVX from a 12v supply? I do not wish to use an inverter.

  102. Hello all-
    Ive reported issue’s on this forum and looked for answers aswell.

    I MUST advice, I have found that a Pre-formatted Hard Drive 85% of the time will not be read by the set top box.
    I have used software to “De-Format” HD’s with NO success at all.

    How ever I am using a Pre-formatted HD with Success. I SO DO NOT reccommend putting any more effort than trying the Drive once and once only.
    The DVX 555u is very fussy about this issue and WANTS un formatted new HD’s. I have spent many hours to get to this conclusion trying many methods.

  103. Disagree, just bought last box from Homeart and put an old formatted WinXP drive in. Did the DVX format (so quick didn’t notice) and all is well. Must advise that the drive is an old 40gb Seagate. I have only ever used Seagate for the 4 boxes I have set up before.
    An interesting list from others would be helpful of drives that work fine…seems WD can be ruled out!

  104. Can’t agree re WD. Installed a 320GB Western Digital AV drive which works fine.
    How much are Homeart flogging them for?
    Cheers, Rev

  105. I haven’t struck problems with 3 Seagate 320gb, Seagate 80 and 40gb. Wonder what the issues were for those having problems…maybe the disc speed is an issue!?
    Homeart had them for $49 or $59, not sure now. Got the last one from Castle Hill a week ago for $40 as it was a display unit. Told they don’t expect any restocking now. Despite its shortcomings I favour using the 555 because the timeshift is always active and handy for rewinds-can’t live without it. So I have a backup now. I have two other PVR’s that don’t do timeshift this well.

  106. Mine is the WD 3200 AAJB (Caviar Blue) 320GB HDD which I imagine is different from an AV drive. I have tried all manner of combinations of what to do. Tried giving it a PC format which didn’t work. I think it’s the model of the hard disk.

  107. Just installed a Seagate 160GB HDD and it works fine. Sounds like it would be best to make sure to only buy Seagate drives or at least avoid Western Digital.

  108. i have a DVX-555U SD Digital Set Top Box (STB) PVR unit with a 80gb hdd inside the recordings are great but the audio is all muffled and distorted.. can anyone help please

  109. I’ve just upgraded my HDD with a western digital 500GB. Works perfectly.

    Also, someone commented about the sigmatel mounting as read-only. The sigmatel driver only allows read access for a very good reason. Write access is much more complicated and can even wipe the drives. Same reason you can’t have write access for an NTFS drive under DOS. Was too unstable and many people lost all the data on the drive and so was changed to read access only.
    Also, you can’t delete/change the drive system when plugged into a PC – it’s read only!

  110. Update – the western digital has started having the same problem as lukeoz (post103). Tried changing jumper setting from cable select to master (without a slave – ie, remove the jumper), still no luck. Lets me do everything else, just doesn’t playback.

  111. one thing I forgot…. Anyone know if the 750GB seagate drives work on this unit? What’s the maximum sized drive it can handle? Thanks.

  112. “Re: Neerav March 17, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Ralph_Smith has reported that “heat is an issue if you leave the time shifting on. I tried a small fan, but it was too noisy. Has anyone come up with a fix for this?””

    Get a small ceramic bearing fan, and tap into the 5V outputs from the internal power supply.

    The fan is small, the bearings have about 300,000 hours to mean failure time, and running on 5V, that’s just enough power to keep them running reliably – they seem to start at about 3 – 4 volts; and because it spins over SLOWLY – they make almost NO noise.

    I build stage amps; and I use the Ceradyne computer fans to cool the amplifiers, but I have either a 2 stage switch that feeds them 12V or through a resistor that feeds them 5V.

    Below 30*C and 30% power, the amps cool just fine on their own – and the fan at 5V provides a very gentle and silent kind of a breeze through the internals…. pump them up to full power at about 360W RMS or run them on a hot day – the fans are switched in at 12V to provide full cooling power.

    If the fan is strategically located to provide a flow through – as opposed to a blow around, it will cool the hard drive appropriately.

  113. A thought – and I think I may have seen the answer some where – in all of about 2 words in about 4 or 5 forums, in amongst 80,000 words…. What is the exact file system that the hard drive is formatted as? (I think it was QVR or something like it).

    I have a feeling that it is a format that may be recognised by the Linux Ubuntu Gpart disk formatter.

  114. Strtathfield no longer stock the Dvx STB.

    The remote for mine has died which essentially renders it useless. No setup menu access etc.
    Does anyone have a remote for this machine (DVX555U)?
    Would really, really like to get one.

    Either email or 0417879431.

    Cheers

  115. Success.

    Tandy have the Logitech Harmony 670 URC for sale for $67. Works well (once you figure it all out). Configured from a Mac.

    Cheers

  116. Hi Legend,

    I am not clear on point (3) from Post 60.

    3) To connect the drive to your computer without removing it – plug in a “USB2.0 to SATA/IDE” connector, (available for about $28 from Melbourne swap meets). Leave the drive in the unit, plug in the black connector to the hard drive directly, and the other end to your PC USB2 port. These little things work well on any hard drive IDE, SATA or laptop size connectors.

    Is the end result, which is what I am hoping for:

    The hard drive is plugged into the DVX-555U and your PC at the same time?

    At the moment I have to unplug the hard drive from the DVX-555U and plug it into an USB external case. Leaving the hard drive in onle place would be great.

    If anyone else has worked this out can they please update with the solution. I have looked at these adapters online and cannot work out how it could be done.

    Regards,

    ralph_malph

  117. Been looking for a cheap PVR. I’ve got some spare HD’s around the house so was just wondering are they still available anywhere?

  118. What he means is that your HDD is running from the DX’s power supply and being operated from the PC’s data cabling.

    It’s still “inside” the DX’s housing.

    Me thinks (not tested = hence is an opinion), that using a “regular” 3 plug IDE cable may enable one to tap data out of the third connector and IF a supplementary case switches were wired in to isolate the DX’s power and data circuits from the external feeds – it should be possible to run the HDD completely from an external processor (the PC) via a USB link.

    Personally me thinks that SATA speeds are way better than USB – as USB sucks for speed and reliability on LARGE data transfers……. if possible I’d aim for using a SATA link.

  119. Hi Impakt,

    They are still available. I picked my second unit from “Homeart” in Sydney for $50 last week. Ring around you will definately find one.

    ralph_malph

  120. Thanks Ralph, will check out my local Homeart’s. I’m in Melbourne though so hopefully they stock them.

  121. Having trouble finding one of these. I know you can get them for ozdirect and eBay but I want to purchase one from a store. Anyone Melbourne purchase one recently?

    I’ll probably have to buy one off the net though.

  122. G’day,
    Can anyone tell me if recorded shows can be transfered to a usb stick

    EDITOR: no they cant be

  123. Hi
    Can anyone tell me how to play or convert the recordings from the DVX-555U’s HDD
    I have already mounted it but i can’t make any sens of it.

  124. I was thinking about modifying my DVX-555U and installing one of those IDE to Compact Flash adapters in it so I could replace the noisy IDE hard drive with a Compact Flash memory card.
    These adapters can be bought for a few dollars over the net, and a 16GB compact flash card can be bought for under $45 over the net, so for around $50 you could have the DVX-555U record to compact flash.
    I was also thinking of mounting the adapter outside the PVR so I could unplug the compact flash card easily so I could transfer the recordings to my PC using a USB card reader.

    So has anyone done something like this?
    Will the compact flash card be able to cope with the data flow when recording?

  125. I’d say probably no other person has done this:

    Pros:

    Small, easy to use, useful idea.

    Cons:

    16G is rather limited in capacity – it will probably mean frequent off loading of the card.

    Check the maximum sustained transfer rate of the HDD vs the flash card.

    Also I forget the EXACT formatting of the HDD, but cards are usually in 32 FAT, and there MIGHT be issues of being able to format the cards in this system.

    Since the investment is minimal, it would be worth doing it just to find out.

  126. Yes, totally agree with post 132.

    Here is some blurb about the IDE to CF adapter taken from the website:

    * 3.5″ IDE Bootable to Compact Flash CF Converter Adapter.
    * The 3.5″ IDE to CF Adapter enables the use of CF as an IDE HDD.
    * The IDE to CF Adapter is transparent to the Operating System and does not require any drivers.
    * With this adapter, the host PC will identify the inserted CF as a standard IDE HDD (ie, with cylinders, heads and sectors).
    * As such, you can install any Operating Systems and the CF will be bootable.

    With that in mind, I think the DVX-555U should see the CF card as an IDE HDD and be able to format it in it’s own way, unless the firmware in the CF card itself will only allow it to be formatted in FAT or FAT32.

    I’ll put a thread up on the DTV Forum and see if I get a reply there.

  127. Hi,

    I bought one of these units some time ago. I was wondering if anything like it is currently avalible?

    Dave

  128. Hi all,

    I’ve owned one of these for over 2 years, I agree with the rest of the comments here re signal strength and value for money. The HDD (200 gig, can’t remember the brand) has always run hot but so has not given any problems.

    I live on the Gold Coast and have been trying to change the time zone back to +10 hours but every time I make the change and exit out again and check the time zone is still +11. I have tried turning the unit off at the switch but I can’t get it to accept the zone change. I’ve lost the manual, can anyone help?

    Thanks

    Mike

  129. Moved recently and found that I could not pick up ABC (0% reception), all other channels were fine.

    I tried many different things with the cabling and took it to a friends place to record some things for me.

    Meanwhile back home I opened up my second DVX-555u I got on special at Homeart a few months back. Plugged it in and it did an autoscan, It found all channels including ABC (47% reception). It even detected Newcastle and Woolongong stations, but with no pictures. All Sydney channels picked up had greatly improved signal strength over my old box.

    So I got my old one back home and tried it again. Found the only difference to be the firmware. I updated the firmware, bu there was no change in reception strength.

    Not sure what is going on here. Will leave old box as to record anything other than ABC.

  130. Yeah for me it was an intial “bit thrill” (sort of) to get one – and WOW the siggernall and pictures of Standard Definition on the old anal-log TV were so much better…

    But in hindsight – The good points – what you see you can record.

    There is a bunch of stuff…… and poking a HDD into it – great idea….

    But the issue of being able to RECORD High Definition TV, but not being able to watch it; is kind of like cheap skating too far – because ON means ON and what is ON should be able to be watched.

    I’d also like to see the use of a standard format like NF3 (linux?) or NTFS etc., rather than a queer “non generic” format – so that the disk could be directly accessed – so while it CAN be accessed – I am not really willing to spend MORE time fiddling around with programs and data… when direct drive access – and the ability to mount it is both lacking , and or requires much rooting around with the drive and other software.

    The units do not have any direct take off points – with USB 2.0 – laughably slow, and at the bare minimum a SATA or ESATA tap in the chassis – so I can watch or edit shows later on my PC….

    I don’t know, the lack of dual tuners, to watch and record at the same time – that can be a pain.

    Also the lack of a “this is now recording” light is a total shit…..

    It’s not a bad thing, but at the same time, and having experienced it through much personal use, I’d be inclined to skip the cheap skate route – with the somewhat barest of essentials, and actually move on to BETTER equipment that works with me, instead of me having to create work arounds to use it.

    I think it was worth spending $50 (0r so) just to find out that while it is good, in a very limited sense; it’s a huge pain to copy a program to a DVD and send it to a friend who was unable to see that show when it was on TV etc…

    And it will record HD TV but won’t play it? What crap. (adding in a lack of recording light is as equally pointless).

    My recommendation within it’s feature range – and considering there is now so much on HD TV, I’d be saying PASS on this unit.

    And when buying some thing else, make a BIG list of all the functions you want and or need, and make the salespeople WORK for a living by demonstrating ALL the units you want to see, instead of handing you a box on the way to the cash register.

  131. Shortcomings yes, but it is my preferred PVR out of my TEAC and Strong boxes. Why, because it is in time-shift whenever I turn it on without thinking to put it in that mode. The HDD is always recording and I have not had a problem with a disc failure over the years I have used it like this (I bought my first DVX when first released so it is quite old now). It is compact enough to take on the road which is another plus. So when I eventually want a HD box, is there one out there that will automatically be in time shift-mode each time I turn it on and will it be a compact unit like this one? Oh and will it be dirt cheap like this one?

  132. G’day, I have just upgraded software and now all my channels have disappeared and won’t pick any thing up, Is there a way to reverse to the original version and if so where do I download it from, I presume it will be the same as I upgraded with my usb stick.
    Youre help much appreciated
    help!
    Diesel

  133. I did the firmware upgrade (ZR39160) and now I have no channels. The box did work ok off the antenna before the upgrade. Any suggestions.

    Thanks

  134. Like Diesel I also upgraded the firmware and now can not tune any stations. Is there a copy of the old firmware or a new version that works.

    Thanks
    Brian

  135. I have had the DVX now for quite some time.
    I have used an 80GB hard drive in it and I now have a 400GB Samsung HDD in it.
    Until recently I was able to program the machine to record shows that were coming up in advance. But for some reason it has taken to telling me in the status window when I set it to record : “EVENT FULL!”…..and I don’t think this was very eventful. Ho Ho Ho.
    I have tried: 1) Unplugging the HDD. 2) Reformatting the HDD. 3) Reprogramming all the channels. 4) Resetting the machine to factory settings.
    NONE of these things work to remove the EVENT FULL message and I still cant record future shows.
    It DOES record if you push record. It plays back OK. But it cannot be programmed to record in the EPG.
    Please Explain or provide advice on how to overcome this problem. It is virtually useless without this function.
    Thanks

  136. Hi Mick,

    Looks like we are not going to get many answers anymore. Whatever you do, do not do the firmware upgrade or you will end up with a brick.

    Brian

  137. Mick,

    I have been using this box without any problems till now. I am getting exactly the same error you are getting. The “EVENT FULL!” message. If you find the answer please let me know. I shall do the same.

    Sean

  138. Thanks Sean
    Have not yet had a reply.
    Was thinking of writing to Deals Direct to get them to contact the manufacturer to find out what the problem is…. but havent had time to do so yet….
    Please let me know if u hear anything ….
    Post a message on here and it should come back to me via e-mail.
    Cheers
    Mick ….
    PS. Thanks for your comments BRIAN….
    I WOULD LIKE A RESPONSE PLEASE SOMEONE>>>>>>!!!!! THANKS!

  139. Dear Jahm Mitt,
    Whereas u seemed to want to be helpful (if not somewhat negative) to the other people asking questions…. Your response to this mail was not only unhelpful but probably deconstructive as well. Might I suggest that if you have something to say next time, make it constructive and useful.
    Thanks.
    If you want to be helpful, you could actually try and do something by going and finding out WHY IT WILL NO LONGER RECORD pre-programmed shows, and why it says EVENT FULL, when I have done everything I possibly can to fix the problem
    Thank you. THAT would be much more helpful.
    MICK

  140. Yeah your quite right Mick,

    I should not express my opinion based upon my repeated experiences that Deals Direct is nothing more than a crap drop ship retailer, with generally much higher prices, and an absolutely appalling standard of service….. Where lip service and technical ignorance and the failure to follow up anything – is NORMAL.

    Your also right that I should have gone and gotten into a hissy-fit to go ruin my DVR, and make it work just like yours, just to keep you happy – and only you happy;

    I also have to agree that everything, that anyone else says or does, should wholly and soley be done just for you, only for you and always for you, and no one but you.

    Not peering into my crystal ball —– Oooooo yes I can see what the problem is inside your DVX., I understand completely now., I should have told you this from the beginning…

    The problem is “That thing, that little black thing on the circuit board between the blue 0.000uf capacitor and the red DIP 4 gate switch block – inside that black thing with the numbers “Shinzou Electronics PN. 0400MJKY4545″ at the 7th layer from the top, coming in from the number 15 leg., at the silicon junction between the signal processor and the earth leg, is a partial failure of the silicon junction.

    If you can knock up a tunneling electron beam welder and come in at an angle of 27*, you can actually reweld that junction in the silicon collecter emitter interface”.

    See Mick – it’s so simple – even you can do it.

    Well not really Mick – this machine – along with your attitude – is your problem.

    You deal with it.

  141. G’day, I am still waiting if anyone knows the solution to the following which I posted early Nov 09 and I also purchased from deals direct!
    I have just upgraded software and now all my channels have disappeared and won’t pick any thing up, Is there a way to reverse to the original version and if so where do I download it from, I presume it will be the same as I upgraded with my usb stick.
    Youre help much appreciated
    help!
    Diesel

  142. Hey Jammit,
    Y don’t u do JUST THAT with your useless comments….
    U R an immature child.
    Get a life.
    Mick

  143. Hey Mick – for a small fee I can jump up and down, and stamp my feet – and scream and cry too.

    Honestly tho., I kind of liked the player, tho’ it had some great features like press button = instant record- but overall I think this is a case of you get what you pay for – or little investment gets poor results.

    The tuner is gutless and glitchy meaning one gets “skippy” recordings -even in reasonably good strength signal areas.

    This crap of “recording” High Definition signals, and only playing or viewing Standard Definition signals….. pass.

    No dual tuna – so you can’t watch channel A and record channel B at the same time.
    To me data is just data – and given it’s current setup, I can not record with it and read those files off the HDD as is, because there is NO HDD port into the unit – no SATA or even USB.

    If I choose to go the HDD tapping or repeated extraction process – the HDD gets formatted in some queer layout, that needs a software interpreter to read it – which is MS Windoze based.

    I use linux….. so scratch that.

    Then toss in the alleged problems with the firmware upgrade, and the non existant technical IQ (and their lip service tech support) of the Deals Direct drop shippers…..

    So now I am clearer on my needs and the limitations of the DVX units, I’d have one if all I wanted was a very basic unit – and it was given to me for free.

    But I’d rather go look for something that meets my needs, and perhaps a USB TV card or a HDD based recorder, or a PCI slot TV card……. they look like better options.

  144. Wow is this discussion still going. here’s my experiences with the DVX-555U.
    Found the manufacturer is MTC in China, Shenzhen MTC Co. (model DT2550).
    My first box had a signal strength of 56% all channels, that was okay but the power supply was too weak to spin a hdd properly. Would sometimes skip many seconds when recording and sometimes freeze up the whole unit. Got an exchange unit, which was much better, signal strength 76% on all channels, hdd worked perfectly. Then a few months a go, lost channel 9 and Go!, was told its something to do with channel 9 and there is no fix for the stb. Then just a few weeks ago the remote control stopped working, resoldered all the joints etc, still no good. Contacted the manufacturer MTC to get the remote control code for my 4-in-1 remote control, but no reply as yet.
    If any one knows a remote control code that works even partially it would be helpful.
    In summary, and after reading all the comments here, clearly the problem is poor quality control by the Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen MTC Co. Some people have been lucky to get a good reliable box, many others have got lemons. Now if only they’d bring out a HiDef stb with pvr capability, for $59, I’d one of the suckers in line!

  145. “If any one knows a remote control code that works even partially it would be helpful.”

    Hi Jumboeggbob,

    There is an entry for the dvx-555u when I programmed my Logitech 525, works a lot better than the provided remote. You can pick one up for $65 and control all your devices.

    Ralph_Malph.

  146. Speaking of remotes…

    My DIVX thingy suffered an assisted death and I was just scratching through some “shit” piled high on my work bench and I have just found the said “Working Remote” for it.

    If anyone wants it, contact me and I’ll post it to you.

  147. Ok I bought A DIVX off Ebay @ $49.95 it worked well so I bought my Lady friend one same price, then I bought 3off 200GB HDD for $150 from Ebay fitted them worked perfectly, still have one 200GB HDD left ,anyone can have it for $50 plus P&H.But one problem has occured , I could get all the channels including SBS , but for some reason I have lost the SBS channels, re-searched the channels but no good. TV ant: same , a good one,any ideas, Thanks Victor WW2 Royal Navy Veteran HMS Renown,

  148. ……….There is an entry for the dvx-555u when I programmed my Logitech 525……

    ralph_malph, could you please post all the remote codes listed for the dvx-555u here? Worth a try on my remote. The codes are not specific to your Logitec, and might just work on my all-in-one remote.

    Jahm Mitt, how do I contact you about that spare remote, can’t find anything.

  149. Jumboeggbob wrote:
    “ralph_malph, could you please post all the remote codes listed for the dvx-555u here? Worth a try on my remote. The codes are not specific to your Logitec, and might just work on my all-in-one remote.”

    I don’t have codes for the remotes. It was some time back when I programmed the remote. It was all automatic from the PC application that came wit the remote. From memory it downloaded all the available devices it can program and once you choose your device it downloads and updates the remote automatically.

    Hope this helps,

    ralph_malph.

  150. I have been using one of these units for 18 months, and have found that the simplest way of transferring recorded programs from the HDD to a computer is to connect the audio L/R and video output sockets on the back of the DVX -555u to my PC via an Avermedia analogue-to-digital adaptor into a USB port and then record the program of interest on to the PC hard drive using AVS Video Recorder software. The recorded file can then be edited and burned to a DVD using the AVS Video Converter software.

    The resulting DVD is a little clunky, with rapid movement being slurred, and I don’t think the picture quality is as good as that obtained by recording the programme material directly on to a VHS tape.

    I had hoped to try connecting the DVX-55u to my PC with an S-video cable to the Avermedia A-D adapter to improve picture quality. Having found two different S-video cables sold by Jaycar to be incompatible, i. e., unplugginable, with my S-video sockets I bought a better-quality Philips cable from Harvey Norman, but can get no picture signal on my PC screen although using the audio and video outputs is OK.

    Has anyone else tried using the S-video output into a PC, and have you had any success? Frankly, I have my doubts about the quality of mini-DIN 4-pin connectors.

  151. I wanted to be able to record programs and pull them off the HDD as files in a reasonably rapid manner, rather than 6 hours of video being pulled out as 6 hours of transfer.

    Yeah – this is a case of expecting a pig to perform in a steeple chase….

    It’s a cheap, under featured, and very limitedly resourced basic personal video recorder.

    Asking and expecting it to operate as a studio quality – and to interface with the real world as something other than what it is…

    Well pigs can’t do the steeple chase, their legs are too short to clear the hurdles.

    This PVR is just a basic “What You See Is What You Get” – with no magic tricks and supercharging etc.

    But it’s also a lesson, you get what you pay for and if you want real machinery to transfer data., then get one with the specs – and pay for it.

  152. Hi Ian,

    It’s much easier and faster to transfer the files from the hard drive to your PC via USB or IDE. This results in 100% picture quality being retained. Your method requires it to transfer in real time, whereas transferring via a USB device or straight IDE is very fast. There are two tools that I have used for transferring data, sigma disk loader and pvrdisk.

  153. Hello Ralph

    Thanks for your kind suggestions. When I bought my DVX555U in October 2008, following a suggestion in this blog I downloaded the “DVR555U to DVD Creation Process” instructions but decided against having to repeatedly remove the hard drive from the unit and go through the elaborate business of transferring and converting recorded files on my PC with yet more software – another time and labour-intensive process. I have also tried a WinFast DTV Dongle Gold USB 2.0 TV tuner, but signal strength at my location (line-of-sight reception obstructed by a neighbouring building) was so poor with an outdoor aerial and splitter – with or without a masthead amplifier – that it was quite useless and I abandoned trying to record directly to PC.

    I think for the present I’ll just stay with recording the digital TV programs on to reliable and user-friendly VHS tape without further editing or processing.

    Regards
    Ian Juniper

  154. I’ve had a DVX555U for a couple of years, and fitted a new Seagate 320 Gb hard drive to it the day I got it – and it’s never missed a beat.
    Wish I hadn’t bought that incredibly expensive VCR a year or two earlier – I’ve never used it since.
    As for all the shortcomings that this forum and review documents so thoroughly, I relate to some of them, (programming and graphics are crude) but insofar as the quality assurance issues such as overheating, white-noise, function failure, I’m feeling lucky – maybe my unit was made on a monday.

    Overall, I’m a fan of this product and the more that I use it, the more I like it, but like
    others here who appreciate what it does for the price, I can’t help wishing that the MTC in China, Shenzhen MTC Co (thanks Jumboeggbob) had pushed their vision a little further,
    …but I also understand that firmware upgrades cost money, they don’t make money.

    Here’s my wish list for the next model… and I’d be buying them on the day they come out if they add the following to what the unit already has,

    Full HDMI view /record functionality
    Subtitle on screen ‘re-location’ options
    Better cooling / HD vibration dampening.
    Hard Drive size /brand recommendations (Owners choice to size etc)
    Multi Channel/Multi Record /Viewing
    Recording and Playback LED’s on Fascia
    Better quality onscreen graphics, better programming and EPG info/interface
    Better logic layout with the recording function/buttons – and a better quality remote.
    Greater volume range 0 -100%
    Wireless sending for transfer of recorded data (or live streaming) to other equipment

    This would pretty much cover my needs!

    Cheers,

    Mot

  155. Guys,

    I was given a DVX555U by a friend. Unfortunately, it did not come with an USER manual. Can someone scan me a copy or is there a website where i can download a copy?

    Thank you

    Andrew

  156. Just got this nice little STB/PVR. I put a 120GB HDD in immediately. had no trouble getting it to work. I can get the manual (instant) record to work fine and set the recording time frame fine but the scheduled ones dont happen. They are certainly marked in RED on the EPG. Do I leave the DVX555U ON, OFF or in STANDBY? This is not clear in the instruction book which I find incredibly brief and vague in the PVR section. I noted above that when a scheduled recording is about to start a confirmation is requested if you are currently watching a TV via the STB. What is the purpose of this? What happens if the STB is left ON and you dont CONFIRM? Your help is most appreciated.

  157. Back in January to April 2009 a number of people (70), (81), (84) and (98) reported problems with their recorded programs – receiving the error message “Warning, HDD INIT not finished, please try again later”.

    This recently happened to me and I could no longer see the list of recorded programs on the drive. I tried leaving the STB on for hours, and shutting it down and trying again a few days later, all without success. I could not even remove the HDD and reformat it to FAT with my PC for lack of a spare available HDD bay, and was on the point of removing the drive and dumping it, but tried it just once more after a period of about ten days. Surprise! The recorded list was again on-screen with my recorded programs available, so I copied off the most wanted ones through the A/V sockets via my Easycap converter and transferred them to my PC.

    Why the fault recovered on its own is anyone’s guess – I have long since given up second-guessing what computers get up to – but my system recovery may encourage other DVX users to hang on just a bit longer before giving up entirely.

    On another subject, if Andrew Lieu would like to contact me at ianrobert3@gmail.com I will send him a scanned copy of my DVX555U user manual.

    Regards
    Ian J

  158. Hello Poseidon

    I’m afraid I can’t help you there. When I first bought my DVX555U I did try to set it to record a program at a later time but after reading of other users’ problems with regional time zones and with a user guide that was unclear on this point I abandoned the idea. It’s much simpler for me to select the TV channel with the STB and to set my Sony VHS recorder to record at the required time from line 1 through the A/V output sockets on the STB. I suggest you try this.
    The recorded quality is adequate for standard definition, and if you want to you can replay the tape through an EasyCAP A/D converter with AVS4YOU Video Recorder and then edit the file with AVS4YOU Video Remaker software before burning to DVD.

    Regards

    Ian Juniper

  159. Re: Scheduled recordings

    I have discovered the following procedure works for successful scheduled recordings:
    1. BOOK the program on the EPG by highlighting and push OK.
    2. On next screen change STATUS at bottom to ON and press OK.
    3. On next screen press OK to CONFIRM.
    4. Now this is the confusing but important part! The screen will return to the booking page however with the details blanked out so they cannot be changed. It is important to CONFIRM AGAIN by pressing the OK button. Failure to confirm again will result in the program not recording.
    5. Now leave the STB in STANDBY mode. NOT ON. NOT OFF.

    There you go.
    If you think this is over-complicated you are dead right because the manual doesn’t go into this level of detail leaving everyone totally confused.

    Then again the easier way is just to be there in front to the STB and push the RECORD button exactly when you want to record a program. But you must also set the length of time you want to record.

    Cheers!

  160. Trying to fix a DVX555U (hard drive would not record – first time HD installed, and picture goes b/w intemittently) I tried a firmware upgrade – which wasn’t the Exolcon one totally wrecked the machine, although still reads the USB, so the real firmware upgrade might fix it. I can’t access the ftp. jokiin site above, does anyone have the upgrade image?
    Thanks

  161. Brought the DVx-555U a year a go. I used in the country which has UHF reception. It just manage to receive all the stations available, sometime drop out. Lately I installed a 40 GB HDD – jumper set to master, and it reconises the 40GB. Format function does not appear to work. Anyway, the most of the buttons on the RC do not work. Removed the HDD, and it works fine. This unit is unstable as indicated by most postings above. Works fine as a set top box, forget the pvr – it’s unstable and it’s crap!. Will NOT recomend this to anyone!.

  162. Mine works PERFECTLY as both STB and PVR. See my previous postings. Contrary to popular belief you need a decent antenna for trouble-free digital TV reception. I also recommend a 120 GB HDD and 80GB as a minimum. Leeroy’s 40GB is far too outdated for this technology and his antenna sounds like it needs replacing. So pls stop bagging the DVX555 and instead look more closely at the standard of your own equipment.

  163. I replaced a Western Digital 320gb Caviar SE that fried in the heat (had my DVX in a stack, bad idea in Perth where it can hit 40) with a WD Caviar Blue 320GB same model number WD3200AAJB and it records, formats but won’t play back. (works OK on my PC)

    Looking over the forum several people have had this same problem with this drive so avoid it. I am still awaiting a reply from WD to see if they can explain this anomaly.

    Seagate drives seem OK

  164. This blog is fascinating.
    I have been using this PVR for some years and playback through my DVD player having no wish to burn DVDs. However now I have no TV (lightening strike)!
    So looking through by electronic bits and pieces I have a Computer, a Belkin F5u208 analogue to digital converter (it has yellow, white and red female plugs at one end and a USB at the other) and this Dvx that still records well.
    The question is: can I watch live TV and my recorded programmes on my computer using this combination?
    If not, what software do I need?
    Regards John.

  165. Go to http://www.AVS4YOU.com to see the range of downloadable video conversion software which they offer, includes a Video Converter, Video Remaker, DVD Authoring (ugh word!), Media Player, etc.
    I use some of them for copying saved recordings from the Line Out sockets on the STB via an AverMedia DVD EZMaker through usb to my computer. Quality of DVDs burned with the AVS converter or with Nero is about equal to that of VHS off-air tape recordings. All very time-consuming, unfortunately, but worth a try. AVS4YOU website has several explanatory software downloads which are worth looking at before pressing on.
    Best of luck!
    Ian

  166. Hello there, I wonder if someone can please help me. I have on old digicrystal STD9077p Digital TV recorder. I am getting a “record fail” notice everytime I want to record. I tried to do a factory reset but it asks me for a PIN code and I have long since lost the manual and unable to find a copy of the manual on the internet. Does someone know where I can get the manual or the pin code, otherwise I have to trash it. Thanks alot…stefan

  167. I tried to get to the firmware upgrade site and couldn’t.
    Does anyone know the date of the latest firmware for the DVX555U?
    Can anyone email me the file to zeev18@hotmail.com if you have it?

    Thanks

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