Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The death of a beautiful relationship

About 14 months ago I bought a Fusion FVRT100. It is a Freeview PVR and at the time I bought it, it was rated as one of the better PVRs available. It since has been replaced by the FVRT200, which is essentially the same machine in a new case with a bigger hard disk.

The first six months were the honeymoon period for me and FVRT, after a few awkward days of getting to know each other more intimately, things went smoothly. Oh how we enjoyed out time together. I would tell it what to do and it would just do it, "record this", "pause that", "rewind", no backchat, no complaints; just blind obedience. We were I was so happy.

Then slowly but surely the honeymoon period ended. First it was the occasional "I've got a headache so I'm going to stop responding to your commands now" or "If you want me to change channel I'll take 3 minutes to do so", but a quick unplugging would sort that out. Then things got a bit nasty. "FU, I've only recorded half of your program!" and "Sod this, I'm not updating the EPG!" became regular events along with the aforementioned "I've got a headache so I'm going to stop responding to your commands now" and "If you want me to change channel I'll take 3 minutes to do so".

We tried counselling of sorts. After a series of long telephone conversations to the Fusion technical support department and lots of prodding and poking of the FVRT, it was decided that I had been malnourishing my PVR. Technically the FVRT was out of the warranty period, but the nice people at Fusion sent me a new up rated power supply, and for a day or two FVRT and I were back to halcyon days. But it didn't last. Before long we were back to the same old issues.

Frustrated and angry I decided to forego further counselling and that it was time for a little DIY surgery! Armed with a trusty screwdriver I slowly (but not particularly carefully) dismantled the PVR and removed its frontal cortex (the hard disk drive). I then inserted the frontal cortex into a PC and ran a battery of tests. The testing proceedure was rigorous and it took a few hours to recieve the results. Hoping for the best but expecting the worse I finally worked up the courage to check the test results. They didn't look good, FVRT was suffering from Alzheimer's disease (or in Maxtor talk: Error 2F040L0, Diagnostic code: cba2d972 - Terminal Fault!). I wanted a second opinion, and so I got one but the test results were the same.

So it looks like my trusty PVR is due for a partial brain transplant. Unfortunately it doesn't have a standard sized frontal cortex so I'm having a little difficulty finding suitable replacement. I might just have to try to shoehorn a larger, standard sized frontal cortex in there and see what happens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! Sounds familiar... I have a Humax PVR 9600T (suppose to be the best on the market). It does exactly the same thing. Jams occassionally, locks ups, doesn't record, records but cuts off the ending of nailbiting thrillers...

18/6/06 16:23  

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