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Thomson DTR6000AU - the saga continues


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Well, I'm one of those poor souls who bought a Thomson and stuck with it through software upgrades and painful times until the worst of the bugs were finally ironed out. In recent months it has been doing most of the things it was promised to do, although on fairly regular occasions channel 9 disappears from the channel list and I have to rescan to find it again. Having stuck with the Thomson through The Dark Times when lots of others appeared to be jumping ship, I kept telling myself that donating my time and anguish as a test guinea pig was my noble contribution to the world of high tech gadgetry, and one day I would be smiled upon.

So, on Saturday morning I sat down to watch something I had recorded during the week. The box flashed an image for a couple of seconds and then tried to reboot, without success. I wasn't surprised, as in recent times the box often reboots for no apparent reason but then always operates properly afterwards. This time it would not boot at all. I cycled the power off and on, but with the same result - no boot and no picture. Not happy, not happy at all. On Sunday I tried again, but this time the box does not even try to boot at all. The standby light glares it's little red beady glare back at me, and that's all that happens. Nothing else, nada, not a sausage. It's dead, Jim.

I took the box back to the original vendor today. I asked for a refund, give that the box had been troublesome from day one and now did not operate at all. They tried to contact the Thomson distributor to discuss it, but after watching an endless string of phonecalls that got them nowehere I was losing hope. Shriro apparently don't handle Thomson anymore, as advised by the vendor. Finally the vendor advised me that the box is going to Melbourne for repairs, and they'll get back to me from there.

Now I'm not sure where I stand as a consumer, but I can tell you that as a customer I think I've had a gutfull. The box does originally did work as claimed, has had two software upgrades to solve the worst of the bugs, but has finally died some sort of painful death while still containing a number of those character building quirks. Let's face it - if it was your child you'd still love it, but if it was a horse or a car you'd have shot it long ago. I've been one of those customers who caused little grief and did what I could to help with the product development though, but eventually I've decided enough is enough. I'll presumably get the box back with a repair that may or may not last for any period of time, but with the end of the warranty period fast approaching I hold little hope for reliable long term usability.

If Thomson offer me a decent resolution I'll certainly be singing their praises from the rooftops. If there is a different box available that does what's promised, or if they offer me a refund, then I'll be a happy chap. If I get the same sub-standard device back with the immediate fault repaired, then I will be less than pleased. I'll keep you posted.

Any feedback out there from other Thomson owners?

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None you probably want to hear Big Turtle...I took mine back after 7 days...it was hopeless and would not record ch 7 for longer that 2 minutes before seizing and the drive would never get more than 1/2 full without failing...My retailer recalled all boxes he could and returned them...this happened back in Sept - Oct 2003....I then waited for and ordered a Toppy...the rest is history...Two Toppies 1 plasma, 1 A/V unit and 660 gig of removable drive setup, DVD burners, PC's... and 1300 happy posts later.It never ends...each time i am complete I am not...I will be soon...it will happen....lol

I am hooked....so...be careful...you will probably want to be able to display your Topsy picture the best way you can....however ...no matter which way you view it you would get much pleasure...

People are probably sick of me praising the Toppy, but really there is never a day goes by I don't marvel at how good and flexible the Toppy is...so...if you get the chance, sooth your pain with a Toppy.

foss

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BigTurtle,

Sorry to hear about your issues with the Thompson. It is disappointing that a Tier 2 brand like Thompson is so badly supported (and so badly engineered in the first place).

Most of us Strong 5290 owners thought our units were buggy, but it seems like the Thompson now provides us with a bit of absurd comic relief.

I have one of the early 5290B's and have had a fair bit of trouble, which I believe was a combination of \software issues, TV transmission inconsistencies and general interference.

Although I have (on occasions) ranted before about the 5290, it is now pretty darn stable, getting towards about 98% right. The 2% missing is still an annoyance, but then again, as all 5290 owners should remember, we bought these boxes knowing they were 1st-generation units.

In the end, Strong have came through with new firmware (I got a beta of 2.02, I think) which made the box much better. Unfortunately, interference is still a problem for me, impulse noise from light switches, fridges etc still causes grief. Given the layout of my room, it is difficult to move the box around to test localised intereference, and antenna/cabling at my place is an unknown quantity.

I have seen the 5390 and it seems much, much better. I do like the Topfield for its twin tuners and USB connectivity, but consider it to be overpriced. If Strong had a good twin-tuner model (with USB or preferably Ethernet connectivity), I would certainly put it on my shortlist.

Whilst it is not 100% stable, I really must give some Kudos to Strong for getting the 5290 to work as well as it does.

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Thanks for the words, chaps. When I decided on the Thomson, I steered clear of the 5290 due to the reports of it's buginess. In hindsight, a 5390 would have been a better choice all round (had I known is was about to be released). At this stage, I'm still waiting to hear what the verdict on my box is, but I fear what I'm going to end up with is a patched-up Thomson. grrrrrrr.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, more than two weeks after I sent the Thomson in for repair, and after four phone calls over the last week to check the status, the vendor told me today that they were going to send it off to Melbourne for repair! I thought that's where it went two weeks ago!!!! I asked if they'd been able to diagnose the problem, and the guy on the phone told me "well, we've turned it on and all you get is the little red light. Oh, and it doesn't boot up. It looks like it's not working". I can't believe I've already waited more than two weeks to have them tell me what my six year old already knew, and they haven't actually done anything yet.

Crappy service from an "I couldn't care less about you" vendor, over a product that is far less than claimed. Hey guys, make sure you come to me for advice when you're next looking for new gadgets - I sure can pick 'em.

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  • 2 weeks later...

the thomson support has gone back to thomson-asia if need the latest upgrades. My thomson HDD recorder has performed faultlessly since April04, and I live 100km away from MtDandenong.

CH9 Glitch: Including the dtr6000au I have a selection of setop box models, and all but a dgtec DH2000a unit were similarily affected by those CH9 glitches. The glitch causes any SD unit to attempt to receive the Ch9 HD signal, which was best resolved by complete rescanning of my SD boxes.

Where did you send the HDD unit for repair? I have been getting valuable assistance from ats.mel.net for repairs and product enquiries about the THomson units. If youre in Melb, ringem up and personally go to their service/repair facility in Blackburn.

The only useful help I ever got from my vendors was to get the ATS phone number...

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I too have had no real complaint with my Thompson since the last upgrade that fixed the "only utilising 50% of the HDD" bug.

It now performs as expected, with the exception of the wildly optimistic 40 hrs of recording :blink: .

I had a reasonable vendor experience with Clive Peeters at Aspley, the Electronics manager was happy to exchange three of the beasts while Thompson was getting their act together.

As this unit is now about a year old I am looking to replace it as the primary PVR with a Toppy as it seems to be the standout in the PVR stakes, just have to decide whether to wait for the 7000 or not. The Thompson will go to the bedroom to replace an old TEAC 200 which will fall into the ironing room.

Cheers,

Tommyboy

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  • 3 weeks later...

6 weeks now, and the last two times I've phoned (a week apart) I've got "we're looking at it right now. The parts will be here Monday". Hmmmppphhhhh .... not happy Thomson! Now they tell me "we might even be able to get it back to you for Christmas". Fat farking chance based on their performance so far.

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bigturtle

message from thompson support

Your thompson has been vaporised. we are attepting to re-align the particles now. Some assistance from you would be appreciated.

1. was it green

2. what shape was it

3. were the lights on the front or the back

4. did it have a power cord

Your answers will help us in the important particle re-alignment stage.

Thanks for your assistance.

removing tongue from cheek.

Sorry to hear about the box, I guess we're all just crash test dummies till the technology is sorted. I'd like to believe persistance will pay off. keep us updated, we've got bets going in the office!

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  • 2 weeks later...
6 weeks now, and the last two times I've phoned (a week apart) I've got "we're looking at it right now.  The parts will be here Monday".  Hmmmppphhhhh .... not happy Thomson!  Now they tell me "we might even be able to get it back to you for Christmas".  Fat farking chance based on their performance so far.

Lovely. My DTR 6000AU died tonight.

END OF WARRANTY MODE

Video suddenly froze while audio continued for a few seconds. Then it rebooted, tuned in, couple of seconds of viewing pleasure, the video freezes while audio continues to next reboot. Channels could be changed while video was working (non-frozen) and the unit could be switched off using remote or front panel as long as video wasn't frozen.

I turned it off using front panel and mains switch at the back, after checking that it did the crazy boot scoot on every channel I selected. Left it off for a little while, then restarted by switching on again. Same merry dance. :blink:

Again, I shut it down once it's booted and remove mains power entirely. For half an hour. Before switching on again, I press the power switch on the front panel... which should be harmless.

I switch on the main on the back panel, the drive spins up and the red LED in front lights up. But that's it. No boot message. Video output is enabled, judging by the flickering on the TV as power is applied.

Reset to factory defaults doesn't.

It's dead, Jim. :P

I've sent a message to ATS.

No TV until I can get it fixed.

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