Final Word on Replacing DVD drive in DRT800?

Discussion in 'DVD TiVo Units (Archive)' started by jaybird13, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Apr 3, 2006 #1 of 16
    jaybird13

    jaybird13 New Member

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    Nov 6, 2005

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    Is it absolutely impossible?

    I checked mine out tonight while upgrading the hard drive and I have the Pioneer DVR-108JA. Will no other model Pioneers work except that exact same one?

    I'm contemplating getting lifetime on my Humax, but I don't want to if the burner fails in a year and I can't replace it.
     
  2. Apr 4, 2006 #2 of 16
    danieljanderson

    danieljanderson Proud to preach TiVo

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    Nov 18, 2002
  3. Apr 4, 2006 #3 of 16
    jaybird13

    jaybird13 New Member

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    Nov 6, 2005
    I'm not sure what that link is for.

    Did you post the wrong link by chance?

    I know the hard drive is upgradable - I'm asking about the DVD burner.
     
  4. Apr 4, 2006 #4 of 16
    TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

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    Feb 8, 2006
    Philadelphia...
    *in theory* you might be able to replace it with a similar Pioneer DVR-108something, but I don't know that anyone's actually tried.

    I think I have a DVR-108 at home in one of my PowerMacs (though it might be a 107 - i can't remember). One of these days I'm gonna pull it out of the PowerMac and throw it in my TiVo and see what happens.

    It really depends on if this 108JA has a custom firmware for the TiVo, or is just another model designation to show origin/distribution.

    Would be an interesting experiment - if anyone else with a DRT800 has a DVD burner available (any model!), hook it up and see what happens...
     
  5. Apr 4, 2006 #5 of 16
    danieljanderson

    danieljanderson Proud to preach TiVo

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    Sorry, misread.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2006 #6 of 16
    robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

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    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    Read this related thread .

    I've tried to replace the DVD drive in several Pioneer DVR-810H-S TiVos. I believe the DVD burner contains a special version of firmware that is for use with TiVo. I've even tried putting in a DVR-108 burner. The TiVo will play DVDs, but not write or burn DVDs.

    And I don't know if there is a way to read out the firmware from the TiVo burner, and then flash the firmware into a "new" burner. If someone knows how to do this, please speak up.

    It would be nice if the TiVo could sense there is a new or different DVD writer in the TiVo and check the firmware and flash with new firmware if necessary. But this is one of those "nice to have" features that probably will never be implemented.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. PurpleRiver

    PurpleRiver New Member

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    Feb 28, 2005
    Aurora,...
    Hi All:
    PurpleRiver here. I have two Pioneer DVR-57h units. One of my units is in need of a new DVD drive. The one it has is model DVR-105-xa. I'VE FOUND A SOURCE. At least they had 5, now they have 4 (the one that is gone IS MINE). They said this has the firmware flash for TIVO and although I found it on eBay for $80 (the auction is over) looks like they sell regular-$95, and they are NEW! I have not received mine yet but they said it will work. Like I said, mine is a DVR-105-xa but these "Pioneer Humax Toshiba DVR109-JA Replacement DVD Burner " are flashed for TIVO. Their website says "This replacement DVD burner will work on the following Tivo Models: Humax DRT400, Humax DRT800, Toshiba RS-TX20 and Pioneer DVR810 H-S."
    I called their number 1-800-cordless (800-267-3537) and they said it will work in my DVR-57h units. They have 4 left but they said they should get more from time to time. "digitalrecorder.com" or for the drive: "digitalrecorder.com/pioneer-humax-toshiba-dvr109ja-replacement-burner-p-441.html"
    I hope this helps (and I really hope they have more when I need one for my other unit some day). :D
     
  8. cdeckert219

    cdeckert219 technogeek

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    Jan 7, 2006
    San Diego
    If you do a search of this forum (DVD TiVo Units), I think you'll find quite a few threads discussing replacement drives that work fine (e.g., Pioneer DVR-112). Mine has a 109 and I picked up a spare just in case.
     
  9. PurpleRiver

    PurpleRiver New Member

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    Feb 28, 2005
    Aurora,...
    What I've read that they read but they don't burn. I'm new to Tivo Community so maybe I'm not searching right. BTW, I see that they listed three more drives on ebay at "cgi.ebay.com/Pioneer-Humax-Toshiba-DVR109-JA-Replacement-DVD-Drive_W0QQitemZ260376333669QQihZ016QQcategoryZ11725QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262"
     
  10. pkoerber

    pkoerber New Member

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    Aug 3, 2002
    Orange...
    I was one of those that bought the DVD drive from the seller on E-bay. Instead of a Pioneer 109-JA DVD drive I received a Pioneer 111DBK (black front) drive. The seller assured me it would work (I had to email him after I received the different drive).

    The drive does work in reading and writing DVD-R and DVD-RW discs so I don't think special firmware is needed. So I probably spent more than I needed on this drive.

    However installing this drive did not fix my problems with burning DVDs. So it looks like it may be a problem with the files on the hard drive rather than the DVD burner. Due to the negligence of the programmers of the TiVo software in the area of burning DVDs, the "internal error" doesn't tell me if there was a problem with writing to the DVD, reading from the hard drive or writing to the hard drive (for temporary files).

    I'll probably have to find a time when I can remove the hard drive (when no programs will be recorded) so I can run Spinrite on it to see if that will solve the problem.

    Since I had to move the TiVo during the replacement of the DVD drive, I encountered problems with the video output. (I haven't had to move it in over 4 years!) I hope it's just the cable and not the connectors or the internal board itself. :(

    Paul
     
  11. danylati

    danylati New Member

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    Feb 19, 2004
    wow there are more people with the 810H, i have this 810H since 2004

    and i have the same problem, i cant burn to any discs, every time it fails.
     
  12. pkoerber

    pkoerber New Member

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    Aug 3, 2002
    Orange...
    I should mention that I have a Humax DRT-800 Tivo DVR.

    Also, I can burn DVD-R and DVD-RW discs with the new drive. However if I include certain files (sometimes just one file) in the list of files to be copied to the disc, I get the dreaded internal error.

    Paul
     
  13. Gavilanpr

    Gavilanpr New Member

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    Jul 2, 2009
    Well I have a DRT-400 series-2 Humax DVR and I had the same problems discus here. I read info in this forumand decided to purchas the Pionner DVR-115d recived it abot three days ago installed it and it works perfect no problems it records ....very very good. I think that for the DRT-800 it would work also.....Now, I have a question if any one could help can we use the DVD recorder without the TIVO service...? If I cancel tivo could I still be able to use the DVD recorder to pass home movies to the recorder.....
     
  14. MtBiker

    MtBiker New Member

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    Nov 14, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    I have a Humax DRT-800 and am considering the DVR-115d as a replacement because I need the double layer capability and the specs indicate it's a fast drive. You mention that it "records" but have you successfully burned programming onto a single or double layer disc yet? I've read that some folks can get a replacement drive to play but not record.

    Regarding your question at the end, yes, assuming your DVR-115d does in fact record, you will still be able to record home movies onto your 400's hard drive and then burn them to a DVD.

    For anyone else to answer, regarding the Pioneer DVR-109 as a replacement, I've seen DVR-109's and DVR-109JA's for sale on ebay. Is it only the "JA" model number drive that will work in my DRT-800? My TiVo currently has the factory-installed DVR-108JA single layer drive in it. Thanks.
     
  15. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

    2,620
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    Jan 13, 2005
    SoCal
    I doubt you will ever be able to record dual layer DVDs. While the new drive might support the capability, the old recording software in the DVR itself will most likely not support it.

    That depends on how you get the home movie into the DVR. If you record it from the analog front panel jacks, then the answer is yes. If you transfer it in using TiVo Desktop or some other TiVo To Come Back software, or if you record it from the front panel IEEE-1394 firewire jack, it will not.

    I don't know the answer to the last question.
     
  16. MtBiker

    MtBiker New Member

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    Nov 14, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    I ended up buying a new Pioneer DVR-112D for $42 on ebay and had it installed and my Humax DRT-800 booting up in less than half an hour. It replaced a DVR-108JA which was having trouble finishing DVD burns as many have lamented about in various threads. While I had the burner out, I took the opportunity to replace the coin/CMOS battery which is a type CR2032.

    I've read and was concerned about the "special" firmware that is supposedly needed on burners in TiVo units so I was a bit anxious during boot up. It booted up just fine and it was able to load and recognize a TDK, DVD-R, 16X, 4.7GB disk. I set it up to burn one of my kid's recordings that would need to burn two disks to capture the entire movie.

    To get to the punchline, it worked like a charm!! It also played the burned movie as well as a store-bought movie with excellent results. It was a little noisier than the 108 during both burning and playback, but seemed to burn quicker.

    The firmware for the burner is listed as 1.09 which is the first version that was available as shown on this Pioneer website . If anyone has updated a 112D with one of the later versions, I'd be interested to know if it worked. For now, I'm content to leave well enough alone since it does work. Bottom line, no special firmware needed here!

    One change I noticed after putting the Humax back together and after it booted up was that the remote inputs respond faster than they did prior to the burner replacement. I'm wondering if the CMOS battery was getting low or that the act of removing it before putting the new one in reset something on the motherboard. I thought the CMOS battery simply provided continuous power to the board's clock. The time indications in the "System Information" screen were messed up right after I booted and I got a message the next day saying my programming hadn't been updated lately but it did update like normal the next night and has been updating ever since. So, I got a bonus fix with the burner replacement, quicker remote inputs which has been a negative on these Humax's their entire existence.
     

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