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Sony DHG-HDD500 & DHG-HDD250 Tips & Tricks
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Post 1 made on Monday December 12, 2005 at 05:41
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
October 1998
This is just a collection of information I've found on the DHG-HDD500... mostly for my future reference so I know where it is! :-)

TV Guide Diagnostic Menu
Go to the main Guide Setup menu (the one with three options). Move the cursor highlight over the first option, "Change System Settings" but do NOT hit Select. Type in the number "753159852". You'll now be in the diagnostics menu... use up/down to select category, and left/right to see other screens. When you first enter the menu, if you hit RIGHT you can see what Host Channel it's using (ignore the VBI Channel, that seems to just be the last channel you were on before entering).

Most of the screens won't be particularly useful, but there's one where you can see your Guide packet decoding statistics and, if you tuned the Host channel before entering diagnostics, you can see live decoding statistics.

DVR Diagnostics Menu
Press MENU, SCREEN MODE (WIDE) followed by 1-2-3-4. You'll get a screen with the following options:

- Main
- Software Main
- Software Module
- Firmware
- Network
- Signal

Most feature detailed statistics on the unit's software and hardware states, however the very detailed "Signal" screen might be useful for decoding reception issues.

DVR Demo/Test Menu
Press MENU, SCREEN MODE (WIDE) followed by 9-0-1-2. You'll get screen with the following options:

- Demo Mode
- Restore Factory Default
- Format Hard Drive
- Reset User Configuration
- TV Guide

The "Factory Default" reset will return the entire unit to its original state, unlike the Guide's "reset" option which just does the Guide.

For diagnosing TVGOS problems, the "TV Guide" option features a "G* Factory Test" item which will perform a test on the last accessed station and determine whether valid TVGOS data is being broadcast.

The guide's channels are all out of order... is there a quick way to rearrange them?
No, but there's a much quicker way than manually typing in the position number for each channel. When on the channel editing screen, press LEFT to highlight the channel number. You can now "drag" that channel up and down the list. Use CH +/- to move a whole page at a time.

How does "Auto Add From Antenna" work?
"Auto Add From Antenna" will not make ANY modifications to existing channels, it will only add new ones.

So, for example, if 10-1 decides to add a 10-2 after you first scanned in 10-1, then running an auto-add on the DVR will NOT add 10-2 to your channel list. For that, you must run a regular scan which will, of course, completely reset the antenna list and only show the channels available at the exact time you scan. Of course you can auto-add after that.

Basically, it seems that the only time the DVR checks the PSIP is when running a regular scan and, after that, it is cached and will NEVER be checked again, even when you tune the station.

Setting the clock:
The clock is set automatically by the TVGOS signal. There is no manual way to set the clock. However, although the outside display shows --:--, internally the clock starts running at 12:00 AM from the moment you plug it in.

Why are the black levels on HDMI output different from my other devices?
It has been noted that the HDMI output appears brighter, less saturated or more washed out then other HDMI outputs - and even the DVR's own component output. This could be due to Sony's internal standard of calibration for DVI/HDMI ports - when I purchased my Sony TV I found the DVI port far too dark until I adjusted it; this abnormally bright image might actually look fine on those default settings.

Why does it keep resetting to "Auto HDMI" when using DVI or HDMI output?
This seems to be a "feature" of the DVR and there is no way to disable it (and although some individuals report that it does not happen to them they are in the minority). The only actual way to get the DVR to stick with one particular format is to NOT use the HDMI output, instead use Component. The sharpness should be nearly the same, and you may find the picture less washed-out looking.

Does the DVR support manual recordings without TVGOS?
Yes, you can set up fully manual recordings, however you need a TVGOS signal to set the time.

The remote doesn't have "Previous Channel" on it!
You can download this command for any computer programmable remote control from this site, as well as discrete power on and off commands.

How do I reboot the DVR?
To perform a power reset, simultaneously press the EXIT and TV GUIDE buttons. Alternatively, unplug the unit.

DVR Repair Menu (discovered by Mark Fontana)
When the unit boots up, the instant Welcome appears, press and hold Menu and Format simultaneously. Keep holding until the display says Repair?. Release both keys.

Then press and hold one of the following keys:

Format to get Clear NVM? (NVM = non-volatile memory)
Select to get Zero HDD? (resets CPRM code? does not appear to modify the disk itself)
Exit to get Wipe Unit? (performs both a Clear NVM and Zero HDD in one operation)
Release the key.

Once one of the above questions is displayed, there is a lengthy confirmation step to actually execute the operation. You'll notice there's a 1 displayed above the operation name.

Press and hold Guide until the number changes to a 2 (takes about 5 seconds).
Release Guide and press Exit until the number changes to a 3.
Release Exit and press Format until the number changes to a 4 - the operation will then begin.
Post 2 made on Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 10:17
Lurking Member
April 2011
This information fixed everything. You are a Genius ! !
Hard drive was hosed, followed all your information and VOILA-fixed!

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