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Recognized Contributor
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎09-09-2009

Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

[ Edited ]

Before the Xfinity software upgrade my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD, formerly provided by Adelphia in Orlando, would allow me to power OFF the box while a recording was taking place and continue to record.  This made me think I was saving electricity and wear-and-tear on the box because if I left it on all the time it would be constantly buffering whatever live program was running, etc.  I liked the way this system worked and programmed my universale remote to power off the DVR whenever I hit "Off".

 

After the Xfinity menu/software update, now if the DVR is recording it no longer turns off the box when I hit "off" on my universal remote.  Instead, the next day I go to power ON all my devices THEN it will turn off the DVR because of the PowerToggle action being sent by my universal remote (because the remote thought it was off).

 

Now it appears I have to leave the box powered on 24/7.  Is that correct?  Is there a way to power off the "new" system (same hardware) while it's recording?  If not, am I really losing anything in terms of electricity and wear-and-tear by leaving it on 24/7?  Or should I use separate PowerOn/PowerOff commands instead of PowerToggle?  I think my remote uses PowerToggle because I told it there is only one button for on/off on the dedicated cable remote.  Thanks.

Cable Expert
WarEagle57
Posts: 10,670
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

You don't have to leave it on, but you no longer can turn it off if it's actually recording at the time. It will turn itself back on to record, so you can turn it off as long as it isn't currently recording. There really isn't much power consumption difference between on and off, since off just disables outputs and everything else keeps running.
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sna
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-23-2010

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

Aside from power consumption this screws up activity based remotes.

Since the state of the system will be different from what the remote thinks it is, these remotes won't be able to reliably start up an activity.

I assume that there are a significant number of users who have these types of remotes who are affected.

I believe that all of the new Logitech remoites are activity based, as well as the Ipad/RedEye system I am using.

 

Leaving the cable box on all the time, and removing it from the devices included in a remote activity might work until there is a power outage and the cable box dosen't power up.  Then the remote won't know to turn the cable box on.

Recognized Contributor
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎09-09-2009

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

Yes, I have a Logitech Harmony remote.  I changed the activity buttons to leave the DVR powered on at all times.  One of the annoying side effects, though, is if I'm watching a recorded program I used to be able to turn off the box and it would save it where I left off.  Now, I have to push the stop button on the DVR before I turn everything off, otherwise my program keeps on playing since the DVR is now on all the time.  I know it sounds lazy, but this is one of the things about the upgrade...it should take less steps to do things, now it requires an extra step if I want to save the location.  Just like with web sites, more clicks = bad.

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sna
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-23-2010

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

What  does leaving the cable box on continuously mean for longevity of the hard drive?

When on, isn't it continuously bufferring up the current show?

It seems that a hard drive that is being written to 24/7 would suffer failure in short order.

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 509
Registered: ‎04-03-2008

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

[ Edited ]

sna wrote:

What  does leaving the cable box on continuously mean for longevity of the hard drive?

When on, isn't it continuously bufferring up the current show?

It seems that a hard drive that is being written to 24/7 would suffer failure in short order.



My Motorola DVR is on all the time and I have had it for many many year with no issues.

 

If it was detrimental to the hard drive lifespan that would mean Comcast would have to replace the boxes all the time and I don't think that would make good business sense.

 

also addressed in the comcast voices blog somewhat...http://blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-guide-for-scientific-atlanta-cable-boxes.html

 

below cut and pasted from June 2

 

....As you have discovered, you can certainly leave the cable box on and the TV off at the end of your day. There is a power variance between the SA/Cisco box and other set top boxes being on and off (most consumer electronic equipment is never really all the way "off" unless it's physically unplugged.). The variance I see between power on mode and sleep mode on a Cisco HD set top is roughly 0.3 W

 

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/prod_lists/set_top_boxes_prod_list.pdf

 

At 9 cents per kwh that would equate to about 2 cents a month to leave the cable box on 24 hours a day. Leaving the box on allows for your cable box to easily get software and firmware updates as well as updated TV listings.

 

You don't have to leave the DVR on to record. It will turn on and record if it is turned off.

 

You do need to leave the DVR on if there is a recording in progress.

 

The previous on-screen guide software did allow you to turn the DVR box off (it actually went into standby) when you were recording a program, the new guide software does not. This is certainly a slight change in behavior and in line with what the majority of our customers are used to and have in their home today.

 

You can certainly leave the cable box on and the TV off when recording programs. If you leave your cable box off, it will turn on to record according to what you have scheduled.

 

With the new on-screen guide, when you attempt to turn off the cable box while a DVR recording is in progress, an on-screen message appears that says the following: "A recording is in progress. Turning off your cable box will stop all recordings in progress."

 

There are two options presented on-screen underneath this message.
1. Continue recording, leave cable box on
2. Stop recording, turn cable box off. You can chose one of those options.

 

If no selection is chosen the on-screen message will time out and the DVR will continue to record.

 

 

 

also from anothe June 2 post

 

 

" Leaving the box on allows for your cable box to easily get software and firmware updates as well as updated TV listings. This should not significantly impact the lifespan of the cable box or the hard drive".

 

Recognized Contributor
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎09-09-2009

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

Yes, the "You do need to leave the DVR on if there is a recording in progress" is what's annoying.  Prior to the update, even when my box was off or in stanby, it would still wake up to receive updates so that is not somethign new or a benefit.  I still submit that this new functionality, whereby the box must remain on while a recording is in progress, sux.

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

you can still turn your tv off, this is how it works for the majority of comcast customers.

Recognized Contributor
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎09-09-2009

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

Yes, I know.  That's not the point.  See above.

Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-14-2009

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

Totally agree, the DVR used to perform almost flawlessly now with Xfinicky it works worse than before.  Same box, so why does it now need to stay on?

Visitor
CRNile
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-10-2012

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

I just converted from DirecTV and find this function maddening. It does foul up my Logitech control function and confuses my wife. I tried to make it easy, but this makes it hard. I would stick with the Comcast control, if I didn't need to invoke the top buttons to switch between the TV (volume control) and the Comcast control functions. Maybe it wasn't set up right.

Regular Problem Solver
C_DM
Posts: 886
Registered: ‎02-27-2013

Re: Why can't I power off the box while it's recording?

[ Edited ]

CRNile wrote:

I just converted from DirecTV and find this function maddening. It does foul up my Logitech control function and confuses my wife. I tried to make it easy, but this makes it hard. I would stick with the Comcast control, if I didn't need to invoke the top buttons to switch between the TV (volume control) and the Comcast control functions. Maybe it wasn't set up right.


You should be able to set the remote up so that it controls the TV's volume when in Cable mode.