Hard Drives and Over Heating are the Main Cause.
As an early adopter in the UK and now Australia of Foxtel/Sky’s Very Good DVR (digital video recorder), it will not surprise many to learn that the boxes are now dying in droves.
This is mainly due to the hard drives dying after 24/7 use. Unknown to most users but even when the Sky+ (UK) or IQ (Australia & Asia), is not being used on purpose for a scheduled recording, it still records (up to 60 minutes of TV all the time), and a load of on demand TV you will not likely want. This means you can turn on your TV having missed the 1st 5 minutes of a show and rewind it. A great feature, but one that is killing the hard drives in the hi-tech boxes. In Australia customers are now seeing more and more failed recordings, only to be told to format the drives (via Foxtel) and to turn units off when not in use. This is because the risky pricing model in Australia has users paying to ‘use’ the box but not owning it outright. A good thing for when it fails, but not so well for Foxtel that will soon have to start replacing the hard drives.
Industry wide it has been reported that due to the ever increasing number of hard drives being used in everything from PC’s, Network Servers, to DVR’s and the increased amount of heat from PC’s (CPUS), or TV components (plasmas, Xbox 360’s) etc. and you have a even worsening effect.
Users will need to be vigilant but forceful with their suppliers as they will not repair or replace this failing hardware easily.
Some useful tips to prolong the live of you DVR is a no brainer or in a worse case scenario if failed recordings start appearing. Do a reset via your instructions a hard reboot is needed sometimes and not normally in any of the instructions so a call to Sky or Foxtel will be needed (unless you track down the model and Google it for hard reset instructions). If things don’t get better you may need to do the following:
1) Turn it off – Good for the environment too I guess, if you do not use it for the instant rewind feature (it will turn itself back on when a show is due to record).
2) Erase– any failed recordings (the drive corruption if not erased encourages more failed recordings, due file corruption on the drives)
3) Breath– Increase ventilation around the DVR if possible, if next to a Xbox 360 (The oven of all consoles), make sure you turn it off when not killing baddies on Halo 3.
4) Back-UP & Reformat– If all else fails back up any shows you want to keep and with your broadcaster they can format remotely (with your help). It is easy to back up to a PC, DVD Recorder, or one of those old VCR thingys (geez has it been that long).