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Official SA 8000HD DVR Users Thread

Started by gb4fan92, Wednesday Aug 11, 2004, 03:44:47 PM

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Okay here it is!!  Now that you have your new dvr post all comments, problems, solutions,ect here!


Just picked mine up. To answer some of the questions I saw posted.

No, you don't have to turn your old one in first.

It uses the same remote as the SD DVR.

It cost $7.95 regular STB rental fee plus $6.95 DVR fee. (up from $5.00 SD DVR fee)

They had handed out 35 so far today when I picked mine up. She said they had plenty.

I will let you know how it works.


Well, then I will repost my question. Can you change the record quality, ie; less compression, less recording time, greater quality. Or do these record bit for bit? Forgive me, I am new to DVRs, this is my first one. Is the total recording time 40 hours as I had previously read? Lastly, is there some sort of menu other than the passport software that is accessable to the user to make changes, or to see available recording time? Thanks in advance.



Here is the update. The PQ is fantastic. I have both the old Pioneer box and new SA 8000HD DVR hooked up side by side and the PQ is a little better on the new SA 80000HD DVR.

The only two differences I have found yet are the grey side bars rather than the black bars. Also the menu and menu bar stay at a 4:3 width even on 16:9 HD or stretched 4:3 programming. Not a big deal.

The channel changing is very fast in the low analog channels (2-99), but about the same speed in the digital channels.

Recorded HD and live HD seem to be the exact same PQ.

Answers to 4runnergusto Questions:

No adjustments to recording quality to give you more recording time. It is the same as the SD DVR menu. I would assume that recording SD would give you more recording time than recording HD.

I don't know total record time. There is nothing in the documentation. The lady at the office said 40 hours, but I think she was guessing.

I'm sure there are hidden menus, but I don't know how to get into them.


The DVI out does not work, but on a positive note there is an optical out for audio.

Steve Mackay

I've been lurking this forum for almost a year now, figure it's time to post.

Got mine this morning. Was supposed to go straight back to work afterwords, but I got "sidetracked", and went home to make sure it still worked after strapping the thing to the back of my Buell(for those who don't know, it's a Sportbike, powered by a Harley Davidson V-twin). Hey, it's my only form of transportation at the moment, besides my feet. And I ain't walkin' from Waukesha to Mayfair :)

I sure got a few weird looks trying to figure out how to get that thing on the back of my bike. The old SA fit into my saddlebags, and had no idea how much larger the DVR was. It is quite a bit larger! It didn't fit! And I had no bungee chords with me.

Luckily, the security guard came out with some twine to help me tie 'her down(the DVR, not the security guard :D ).

I met someone from the forum there, but I forget his name... It was nice chattin' with ya :)

The picture is fantastic! I'm also gettin' ShowHD, which I'm not subscribed to. Hope that lasts a little longer :)

Now, anyone test out the firewire port yet? I'm going to test mine tonight and report back if it works.


I have been playing with the aspect ratio. Since I have a wide screen tv I like the picture to fill the screen when it is SD.  But I prefer to watch the local network channels on the digital channels for better pq and audio.  I have set the SA 8000HD to: tv type: Standard (4:3) picture setting: Squeeze (16:9).  Same settings I had on the Pioneer box. But I have noticed that on the digital channels I do not need to change the picture settings to zoom to stretch the picture as I did with the Pioneer. ( I'd watch HD programs in squeeze mode and SD programs in stretch mode). I'll have to play with this some more to see how well this works.


I've noticed my $100 DVI cable isn't working.  The manual says it's reserved for "future use," whatever that means.

I guess I'll be usinf the YPbPr cables from my DVD player. Can anyone notice a difference in quality w/o the DVI?  It looks about the same to me, but the analog channels appear a little brighter but grainier (though I don't know if that's the connection or the box).

Anyway, it looks cool so far.  I'm recording every Simpsons episode from now till the end of time.

Anyone want a DVI cable for cheap?

Paul S.


That bites. Hard. Thats my calibrated HD input. :bang: :mad:



I've also noticed they've cancelled channels like E! and WGN.  Calling TWC right now.


gb4fan92, if you have a widescreen, why are you setting your screen type to standard and squeezing 16:9? Doesnt that give you bars on the side? And then you are squeezing the shows in HD? This seems to be defeating the whole purpose of having widescreen and high def. What you should do (if I am getting you correctly), is set your screen type to widescreen, stretch standard. Then, when you watch local channels in digital that are not in HD, use your TV's stretch mode to stretch the picture from side to side. That is how I do it, and it works great. Sorry if I am telling you the obvious, or if I am just not getting what you are doing.



        I know it sounds strange to set it in 4:3 mode but its more for the purpose of dealing with non HD programming. I still get HD programming in full screen with this setting but I don't have the problem of watching non-hd programs with side bars. This is the only setting thats seems to accomplish this. My Tv's stretch mode doesn't work with the digital channels.

*** Just noted by my daughter watching Spongebob. The tv (my widescreen HDTV) in the living room is 3 seconds behind the tv in the kitchen. Both tv's are set to channel 56. I knew that the digital channels were behind in time from the analog channels, but never did I notice the same analog channels being behind. Can anyone else confirm this??

Steve Mackay

in the living room is 3 seconds behind the tv in the kitchen

Yup, almost all DVRs(SA, Tivo, etc...) do this


I picked mine up today, even after the CSR said "sir, they are not available for pickup yet".  I tried to argue with him, but he just kept saying the same thing over and over, "sir, they are not available for pickup yet". so I called right back and someone told me to come right in..

I am having a problem with audio.  :(
I'm using the digital coaxial out and it's very choppy.  I have not tried the optical out yet.  The analog audio out is fine when I listen through my tv speakers, and terrible through the stereo  Anyone else try the digital audio using the coaxial cable yet?  Did I get a bad box?



The DVR is not the issue. Digital has a delay compared to analog straight from the cable. Even the analog channels on a digital box are delayed because they are going through the digital box.

We were watching the Super Bowl in two different rooms. The crowed in the living room (analog) got to see Janet Jackson before the crowd in the family room (digital).

I called and asked why the menu bars are in 4:3 now and they said it was on purpose. On the other HD boxes, they stretch them to 16:9 and people complained that it distorted the fonts, so they left this one alone at 4:3. I was actually one of the ones complaining. Now the fonts are much sharper and nicer to read.

I also found out it is an 80GB drive. 40 hours of SD or 20 hours of HD recording time.