A comprehensive guide to Moxi digital video recorders (non-retail versions)

This FAQ was converted to work on Google Sites on July 4, 2009 (formatting only). The last content update was on June 15, 2006. Questionable items are in red text.

DISCLAIMER

In addition to the facts, this FAQ contains some of my opinions, speculations, and interpretations, and some of the information may be inaccurate or out-of-date. Therefore, the information is presented as-is, and you should use it at your own risk. Suggested corrections, improvements, additions, etc. are welcome: SPLMoxiFAQ@hotmail.com.

INFORMATION SOURCES

Official Moxi documentation

New Moxi subscribers often do not receive Moxi hardware and software guides at the time of their installation. These documents should answer the vast majority of questions.

Motorola guides

These hardware guides include hookup, configuration, and remote control programming instructions. Please note that some information in these guides is out-of-date due to software updates.

BMC9012/9022D Hardware User Guide

BMC9012 Installation Guide

Moxi Mate Hardware Manual

Digeo guides and FAQs

These software guides and FAQs provide instructions on how to use the Moxi software. Please note that not all of the features described in these guides are currently available in all areas.

Version 3.2: Getting Started Guide -- Viewer's Guide -- FAQ

Version 3.0: Getting Started Guide -- Viewer's Guide -- FAQ

Other official documents

Motorola BMC9012:

NEW and OLD home pages

NEW and OLD datasheets

OLD Hardware User guide

Motorola BMC9022D:

NEW and OLD home pages

NEW and OLD datasheets

OLD Hardware User guide

Lots of additional information on the Moxi hardware and software is available on the Digeo web site. Under version 3.2 of the Moxi software, you can also find tips under the About Moxi menu.

Cable system-specific information

Adelphia Communications

Adelphia (Southern California) DVR page

Adelphia software version 3.2 page

BendBroadband

Charter Communications

FAQ

Supplement to Charter DVR User Guide • Version: 1.0 - October 2004

Ticker Supplement to Charter DVR User Guide - October 2004

Games Supplement to Charter DVR User Guide - October 2004

DVR Help

Eagle Communications

NewWave Communications

Service Electric

Sunflower Broadband

Unofficial Moxi information links

AVSForum Moxi thread - best source for new information that is out-of-date in this FAQ

Jim Barr's Moxi Tips

MoxiGuy, a Digeo employee, has been extremely helpful in the online forums, and I quote and/or refer to his posts extensively. I have generally not cited other contributors, but thank you for your contributions, and please let me know if you wish to be cited on any specific piece of information.

DIGEO AND MOXI

General information on digital video recorders (DVRs)

See Moxi Tips #1 and #9.

Comparison of the Moxi with other DVRs

I recommend that you access the official documentation on the Moxi (links above) and other DVRs, and that you read this FAQ for undocumented details about the Moxi. The most common alternatives are stand-alone units from TiVo or ReplayTV, which can work with over-the-air, cable TV, or satellite, as well as units made specifically for satellite (DirecTV and Dish Network). For a side-by-side comparison of the Moxi and stand-alone ReplayTV DVRs, see Moxi Tip #7 (although this was written prior to the Moxi version 3.2 software update, most of it is still valid). In addition, below is a brief summary that represents my opinion, as the owner of an older ReplayTV DVR. Another good Moxi review can be found here.

Moxi pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive way to record high definition (HD) channels (monthly lease fee that is not substantially higher than that for a non-DVR HD tuner).
  • Does not require you to invest hundreds of dollars in purchasing a DVR in which the technology will be obsolete and which can break long before you make up the difference in a leased version.
  • Contains two tuners that allow you to simultaneously record two HD channels while watching a third, pre-recorded HD program (or standard definition [SD] programs).
  • Digital SD and HD picture quality can be superb (essentially equivalent to the original signal delivered by your cable company)

 Moxi cons:

  • Only works with cable TV (not over-the-air or satellite)
  • Recording capacity is extremely small (as low as 7 hours of HD content)
  • Extremely sensitive to signal level/quality problems or fluctuations in some areas, making digital channel recording undependable.
  • Under the current software version (3.2), the interface response can be annoyingly slow.
  • Electronic program guide is not grid-based (can only view one channel at a time)
  • Program recording and recorded program management systems are extremely confusing and unpredictable.
  • SD picture quality is slightly worse than many other DVRs.
  • Home networking not yet available

Digeo company history

Kirkland, WA-based Digeo was founded in 1999 by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) with investments from Vulcan Ventures and Charter Communications. Palo Alto, CA-based Moxi (originally called Rearden Steel Technologies) was founded in 2000 by Steve Perlman (founder of WebTV) with investments from America Online, Cisco Systems, EchoStar Communications, Mayfield, Vulcan Ventures, The Barksdale Group, The Washington Post Company, and Macromedia Ventures.

In October, 2001, Digeo launched "iTV" - a sort of precursor to the Moxi Media Centers. It provides access to news (regular, sports, entertainment, and business), weather information, games, and answers to common customer care questions. It runs on OpenTV's ProSync platform on both Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta hardware in a number of Charter cable systems. Moxi received a lot of press attention at the January, 2002 Consumer Electronics Show for the digital media center it was developing. Thus, Digeo and Moxi had very similar goals. They merged in March, 2002 under the name "Digeo" with Paul Allen in charge.

"Moxi" is the brand under which Digeo markets their Media Center products. These products consist of hardware reference designs, software, and back-end services. Digeo has licensed their hardware reference design to Motorola and Samsung.

DVR deployment history

Before Moxi merged with Digeo, EchoStar (Dish Network) planned to deploy the Moxi software platform on its mainstream satellite receivers. This never occurred, probably because of the big cable TV industry backing of Digeo/Paul Allen.

The Motorola BMC8000 (BMC standing for Broadband Media Center) was a precursor to the BMC90xx series, working as a companion device with the widely deployed Motorola DCT2000 tuner. Several hundred models underwent a trial, most likely in a Charter system(s), in 2003. Digeo used information from that trial to further develop the user interface on the stand-alone BMC90xx series. However, the BMC8000 never underwent commercial deployment, as originally planned.

In April, 2004 (after several delays), Charter Communications initiated commercial deployment of Moxi-powered Motorola BMC9012's in its Rochester, MN cable system. They purchased 100,000 units from Digeo and expanded deployment to other systems. Later in 2004, Adelphia Communications (25,000 units) and small independent cable systems Sunflower Broadband (Lawrence, KS) and BendBroadband (Bend, OR) began commercial deployment.

In May of 2005, NewWave Communications began deployment of Moxi units in Dexter, MO. NewWave has systems elsewhere in Missouri, as well as Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In November of 2005, Service Electric Cablevision (Pennsylvania) and Eagle Communications (Kansas) began deployment of Moxi units.

In June of 2005, Digeo reported that approximately 250,000 Moxi's had been purchased by cable systems and "about 130,000" were actually deployed. Digeo has reported increases in deployed units over time: "nearly 200,000" in September of 2005, "over 225,000" in November of 2005, "over 250,000" in December of 2005, “over 300,000” in March of 2006, and “more than 325,000” in April of 2006. They are currently available in nearly 100 cable systems by 7 different cable operators. As of October, 2005, about 100,000 of the deployed units were in Charter cable systems.

In December of 2005, Comporium (Rock Hill, SC) reported a successful trial of the standard Moxi Media Center on its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) network. This involved connection to the network through the Moxi's Ethernet port (rather than the coaxial cable input). The trial was reportedly successful in the following: "1) multi-stream HD DVR on a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, 2) multi-stream SD DVR over [digital subscriber line] DSL, and 3) multi-room distribution of both live and recorded content from an IPTV provider." IPTV appears to be a new focus for Digeo, as it was touted at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, and it apparently was a major reason behind a corporate restructuring that occurred in the last half of 2005, consisting of a reshuffling in the executive ranks and the termination of about 10 employees, including managers.

At one point, Comcast Cable supposedly committed to deploying 40,000 Motorola BMC's with initial testing in its Huntsville, AL system. However, they apparently started deploying the non-Moxi Motorola HDTV 6412 DVR in some systems, and they announced in March, 2005 that they plan to start offering TiVo-developed software on their DVRs starting in mid to late 2006. In January, 2006, Panasonic announced that they would be supplying 250,000 of their DVRs to Comcast with an option for up to 750,000 additional units. Due to the bankruptcy and sale of Adelphia, Comcast will be acquiring their Colorado Springs system, and Time-Warner will be acquiring their southern California systems. These systems currently use Moxi DVRs, so it will be interesting to see whether they are maintained by the new owners, and, if so, whether Moxi DVRs will expand to additional Comcast and/or Time-Warner systems.

INSTALLATION

Although self-installation may be possible, most cable systems require an installer visit, at least for the initial installation. This is probably due to the importance of having a sufficient signal level and quality, a wiring network that supports the proper frequencies and two-way communication, and a properly "provisioned" box. If you are just interested in trying the Moxi, it does not hurt to request that your cable company waive any installation fees when you set up the appointment. The worst they can say is "no."

1. Ensuring proper signal level and quality

To ensure that the Moxi will function, your cable installer should first check to make sure that there is a properly installed grounding block at the cable's entry point to your home. Next, the installer should use a device to test your signal level and quality to ensure that they are in the correct ranges. If signal level is too low or the signal-to-noise ratio is too high, the installer may need to replace some items with higher quality versions, such as the main cable that comes into your home, signal splitters, connectors, and/or coaxial cables. In some cases, the signal level may be too high, and strategies will be employed to reduce it. If you already have digital cable and/or a separate cable modem for Internet access, your wiring is probably already adequate. However, the wiring strategy is important to maintain the proper signal level/quality for all of these services. For additional information on signal levels, see the TROUBLESHOOTING section, below.

2. Provisioning

The DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification)-compliant cable modem inside the Moxi, as well as your video and data services, must be "provisioned" prior to use. The installer will likely call the dispatch office and provide them with the DOCSIS/MAC (Media Access Control) number of your Moxi's cable modem to provision the modem, as well as your Moxi's serial and/or unit number to provision your services (these numbers are on the back of your Moxi, and they are available in the On-Screen Diagnostics menu).

3. Connection of hardware

Next, the cable installer will plug the incoming coaxial cable into the back of the Moxi, and the relevant audio and video outputs will be connected to your audio receiver and/or TV. It is likely that your installer will only make the most basic audio and video connections. If your display has component video input(s), I recommend requesting this type of hook-up from your installer. The installer will also likely configure your system through the Settings menu. In order to optimize your system, though, it may be necessary to hook up your own cables for higher quality connections and to change some of the settings (see SET-UP section below).

4. Ventilation

Proper ventilation seems to be very important for the Moxi. According to Motorola, cabinet installations must have no doors or have open airflow. In addition, the Moxi should be kept away from other heat-generating components and have at least two inches of clearance on the top, sides, and back. Open space in the back is probably particularly important, since there are outlets there for the motherboard and power supply cooling fans.

5. Installer Tool (Configuration Tool)

Once all of the audio/video connections are made, the cable installer will plug in the Moxi, causing it to boot up. This takes about five minutes, and the Moxi will go through several different splash screens and progress bars. After the system is fully booted, the cable installer will likely activate the Installer Tool (Configuration Tool). This series of hidden menus allows the installer to verify your account information and to set your location (city/cable system) and channel map (mapping the channel numbers to the corresponding networks for your system). See additional information in the TROUBLESHOOTING section below.

6. Initial download of electronic program guide data

Immediately after configuration, your electronic program guide (EPG) may be empty. However, channel and guide data should download automatically within about 10 minutes. The Moxi may operate somewhat sluggishly initially. Moxi provides two weeks of guide data updated nightly. If the Moxi does not obtain guide data within an hour, you could try to resolve the issue by triggering a manual download (see the EPG topic in the TROUBLESHOOTING section). The Moxi will then likely be rebooted to finalize the installation. If you lack program guide, VOD, and/or ticker data, try rebooting.

SET-UP

After installation, you may wish to optimize your system by changing/adding cables and/or selecting various parameters in the Settings menus. There are too many possible combinations to describe here, but the sections below may help get you started. You can plug the cables directly into your TV. Alternatively, if you prefer to do video switching with a compatible receiver, you can connect your Moxi to your receiver, and then connect your receiver to your TV. For additional instructions (including wiring diagram pictures), see the Motorola BMC9012/9022 Hardware User Guide. Note that the audio and video output settings require you to scroll to a close selector followed by hitting OK in order for the change to take effect.

AUDIO CONNECTIONS AND SETTINGS

If you plan always to use an audio receiver with external speakers for audio, then you can make the best connection just to the receiver. If you plan always to use your TV speakers, then you can make the best connection just to your TV. If you plan to use both your TV and a receiver at various times, you can either connect the Moxi audio output to the TV audio input that corresponds to the video input you will be using, and then connect a TV audio output to a receiver audio input (if your TV supports output of audio with the best available connection). Alternatively, since all of the Moxi's audio outputs are available simultaneously, you can hook multiple outputs to your equipment (e.g., a digital connection to your receiver and the analog connection to your TV).

A.1. DIGITAL audio connection

If your equipment supports digital audio, one of the two S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) digital connections (optical or coaxial) is better than the analog connections. The optical connection requires a fiber optic TOSLINK cable, or the coaxial connection requires a 75-ohm coaxial audio cable (with RCA jacks). Opinions vary on which type is better (e.g., some argue that optical is less subject to ingress of noise, and some argue that coaxial can carry a wider range of frequencies). However, you are unlikely to hear any difference between the two types, so you could choose based on cable availability and/or price, or on how many of each type of input you have available and which input(s) are, or will be, used by other digital audio components in your system. For full Dolby Digital surround sound, you will have to hook the digital cable up to a digital receiver with at least "5.1" capability.

A.2. ANALOG audio connection

If your equipment does not support digital audio, then you will have to use the analog connections (red/[R]ight + white/[L]eft). Connect only one of these cables if you only have a single input jack.

A.3. Audio Output settings

There are three Audio Output settings: Dolby Digital, L-R Stereo, and Mono (formerly RF/TV). The guidance provided on the setting screen indicates that you should use Dolby Digital if you use a digital connection, L-R Stereo if you use an analog connection to a stereo input, or Mono if you use an analog connection to a single input jack. However, based on my testing, there does not seem to be much reason to select a setting other than Dolby Digital. Both the analog and digital outputs on the back of the Moxi seem to be active no matter whether the Dolby Digital or L-R Stereo setting is selected. The only functional changes that seem to occur are that when you select the L-R Stereo setting, the signal on the digital output is downgraded to a non-Dolby digital format, and that the large volume changes frequently experienced when changing between programs or segments of programming on HD channels can be eliminated by choosing Mono. In both cases, though, you lose Dolby Digital capability.

More detailed audio output setting test results:

  • When using the analog outputs on the back of the Moxi (the red and white RCA plugs), a stereo analog signal is output for both digital and analog channels when either the Dolby Digital or L-R Stereo setting is selected, and a monaural analog signal is output when the Mono setting is selected.
  • When using a digital output (S/PDIF) on the back of the Moxi, Dolby Digital audio is output for digital SD and HD channels (when available) only when the Dolby Digital setting is selected. When the L-R Stereo or Mono settings are selected, the Dolby Digital audio from digital SD and HD channels is downgraded to "PCM48". For analog channels, the audio is digitally encoded to "PCM32" regardless of the setting.
  • This also indicates that the Moxi is doing a lot of work with the audio. Analog audio is being simultaneously output as both analog and digital (after analog-to-digital conversion). Digital audio is being simultaneously output as Dolby Digital (or PCM after digital re-encoding) and analog (after digital-to-analog conversion).

B. VIDEO CONNECTIONS AND SETTINGS

Your choice of video connections and settings may be influenced by the software version you have, as version 3.2 Update 3A adds the 480p resolution and enables 480i and 480p over DVI. If the 480p option is available under HDTV Set-up, then you have the update.

B.1. S-VIDEO, COMPOSITE or RF (analog) connection to SD display; only 480i supported

If you have an SD display, you will most likely not have a digital video or component input. Typically, you should choose the best connection available, listed below in order of decreasing picture quality:

1. S-video (a.k.a. Y/C)—the single 4-pin connection.

2. Composite (a.k.a. baseband)—the single yellow [V]ideo connection

3. RF (radio frequency)—the coaxial connection. The video and audio are modulated to analog channel 3 or 4. Note that only the newest "f2" models have an FCC-compliant version, intermediate models do not have the output at all, and the early (non-"f2") models that have the output usually have it disabled due to non-FCC compliant hardware. An external RF modulator should be used if you are using a non-"f2" Moxi on a TV with only an RF input (very rare). Even if you have an "f2" Moxi, usage of the RF output is strongly discouraged.

Only 480i should be selected under HDTV Set-up on the Moxi. Channels with a native resolution other than 480i will be down-converted to 480i for delivery over these outputs. No signal will be carried by these outputs if the Moxi is delivering any other resolution (e.g., over a simultaneous component or DVI connection).

B.2. IEEE 1394 (FireWire)

The HDTV Set-up settings have no affect on this output. All resolutions are output in their native format. The output video does not include any of the Moxi graphics, including the Moxi Menu, so it is not particularly useful to use this connection with a display. Rather, it is useful for digital archiving to D-VHS decks.

B.3. COMPONENT (analog) connection to HD display; supports the following resolutions: 480i, 720p, 1080i (and 480p as of Moxi software version 3.2 Update 3A)

If you have an HD display with component video inputs, you can use a component (analog) connection (green/Y + blue/Pb + red/Pr). This connection allows the simplest viewing experience, as it outputs all available resolutions with no tuning delays, and there is likely minimal difference in quality compared to the digital (DVI-D) output (see below). Under the Moxi’s HDTV Set-up menu, you should select only the resolution(s) supported by the component input on your display to which you connected the Moxi. In rare cases, you may want to leave one or more of these supported resolutions un-selected, depending on whether you want the Moxi or your TV to convert the resolution and/or aspect ratio of certain channels. See the Video Resolution and Aspect Rules section below for more detail.

B.4. DIGITAL (DVI/HDMI) connection to HD display; support the following resolutions: 720p and 1080i (and 480i and 480p under Moxi software prior to version 3.2 Update 3A)

Current Moxi hardware models have a DVI-D (digital visual interface-digital) port and future versions will have an HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port. This port should be functional in most systems, but there have been a lot of reported problems. DVI or HDMI ports can deliver digital video signals from your Moxi to your display, as opposed to the analog signals delivered by the component, S-video, or composite connections. If you have a high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP)-compatible digital video input on your display, and you live in an area in which the Moxi's DVI port is active, you may want to consider using it. In my opinion, most users will not see much difference in picture quality between the digital and component outputs. Therefore, I recommend using the component connection described above, if possible, rather than digital due to its better convenience, unless there is noticeable picture quality improvement or other compelling reason (e.g., input availability on your display).

It is recommended that you select only one HD resolution (720p or 1080i, but not both), allowing the Moxi to do any cross-conversions between these resolutions to reduce tuning time. In addition, it is recommended that 480p, and not 480i, be selected, if available, to reduce tuning time and the appearance of "snow" during channel changes. See below for more details.

Issues in software versions prior to 3.2 Update 3A

The DVI output does not support delivery of SD (480i) signals. This leaves you with two choices. (A) You can allow the Moxi to upconvert 480i signals to an HD resolution (720p or 1080i) so that they can be delivered on the digital video cable. This allows convenient switching between SD and HD channels on the display's digital input. However, the Moxi's upconversion of 480i signals to HD resolutions is poor, so picture quality on SD channels is bad. (B) A separate analog video connection (e.g., component) can be made to deliver the 480i signals to the display. This allows optimal picture quality for SD channels. However, you must then inconveniently switch between inputs on your display when switching between SD and HD channels. See the Adelphia DVI connections page and the Digeo FAQ for software version 3.2 for more information.

Issues in software version 3.2 Update 3A and newer

Usage of the DVI port shuts down all of the analog video outputs (component, S-Video, and composite) due to hardware limitations of the Moxi, so you can no longer use both the DVI port and the analog ports simultaneously. However, some displays apparently perform an automatic "disconnect" of the DVI connection when one of the other inputs on the display is selected. This will temporarily re-enable the analog outputs on the Moxi. On displays that do not shut off the DVI connection, usage of the analog ports requires physical disconnection of the DVI cable, which may require a re-boot of the Moxi after re-connection in order to make it functional again. This may limit the ability to use other devices attached to analog outputs, such as a VCR, DVD burner, D-VHS deck, or additional display. Note that a picture may still be visible over the component output while the DVI port is connected, but it will likely be pink hued.

DVI port does not work with inline devices

If you have an AV receiver or other unit that can serve as a switching device for digital video, it probably will not work with the Moxi's DVI output. In addition, active inline DVI to HDMI converters, inline DVI/HDMI repeaters, and inline DVI/HDMI picture enhancers may cause picture loss or instability of the Moxi hardware. Thus, if you wish to use the DVI port on the Moxi, you will most likely have to connect it directly to your display. Digeo is apparently working on a future update that will make the Moxi compatible with digital video switching devices.

Separate audio connection required

DVI connections include digital video only (no audio). You can use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect the DVI port of the Moxi to your display. However, although HDMI connections can include both digital video and digital audio, since the Moxi output is only DVI, you will still need to make a separate audio connection.

DVI port troubleshooting

If your DVI port does not appear to be functioning, consider the following:

  1. It may not be supported in your area.
  2. Your display must have an HDCP-compatible digital input (most newer TV models should have this, but many computer monitors and older TVs do not, so you may want to check your manual).
  3. If you do not yet have the intermediate software update 3A, make sure that you are either tuned to an HD channel or that 480i is de-selected on your Moxi to allow it to upconvert to an HD resolution.
  4. If your Moxi has never been connected using the DVI port (either by you are a previous customer), it may not have loaded its content protection "key." This process requires two reboots with the DVI output attached to your display. To accomplish this, try the following:
    • With the component video cables attached to your display, select only 720p under HDTV Set-up on the Moxi.
    • Unplug the Moxi.
    • Disconnect the component cables (and any other video cables).
    • Connect the Moxi to your display with the DVI cable.
    • Plug the Moxi back in (you should see the startup screen during the reboot).
    • If TV video does not appear after the reboot, try holding the reset button down to reboot again.
  5. If you intermittently lose the signal, you may be losing the HDCP handshake. You may be able to re-establish the handshake by switching between channels with different resolutions (SD and HD), forcing a resolution change directly on the Moxi box, and/or rebooting the Moxi. Unfortunately there seem to be a number of HDCP compatibility issues that may be specific to the Moxi and certain displays.

Video Resolution and Aspect Rules

Assuming that only resolutions supported by the current video connection are selected in HDTV Set-up, the following rules determine what video resolution will be output by the Moxi:

  1. If the native (incoming) resolution of the channel is one that is selected in HDTV Set-up, then it will be output in that native resolution.
  2. If only one resolution is selected in HDTV Set-up, then all channels will be output at that resolution (after conversion, if necessary).
  3. If the native resolution is 480i, and multiple resolutions other than 480i are selected in HDTV Set-up, then it will be converted to 480p, if 480p is one of the selections. Otherwise, it will be converted to 1080i.
  4. If the native resolution is 480p, and multiple resolutions other than 480p are selected in HDTV Set-up, then it will be converted to 720p, if 720p is one of the selections. Otherwise, it will be converted to 1080i.
  5. If only one of the HD resolutions is selected in HDTV Set-up, and if the native resolution is the HD resolution that is not selected, it will be cross-converted to the selected HD resolution.
  6. If the native resolution is 720p, and if only 480i and 480p are selected in HDTV Set-up, then it will be converted to 480p.
  7. If the native resolution is 1080i, and if only 480i and 480p are selected in HDTV Set-up, then it will be converted to 480i.

Aspect ratio: Under software versions prior to 3.2 update 3A, the Moxi adds a pillar-box (black bars on left and right) to video that is upconverted from SD (480i) to HD (720p or 1080i). After the update, the Moxi reportedly no longer adds the pillar-box, allowing your TV to do these adjustments. Also see the Widescreen Settings section, below.

Widescreen Settings

Typically, if you have a widescreen (16:9) display, you will want to set the Widescreen control under Settings to Wide Mode.

If you have a regular (full, 4:3) display, this setting can be used to format the wide 16:9 signal to fit it. (A) Wide Mode will horizontally squish the 16:9 picture onto the 4:3 screen such that the entire picture fills the entire screen. However, this comes at the expense of distorting the picture. (B) Cropped fills the entire 4:3 screen with an undistorted picture. However, this comes at the expense of chopping off the left and right sides off the 16:9 picture. (C) Letter Box displays the entire 16:9 picture undistorted. However, it comes at the expense of adding a black bar to the top and bottom of the picture, preventing use of the full 4:3 screen. This is the setting recommended by Digeo.

That said, the number of possible variations that contribute to the final appearance of the picture on your TV can make things very complicated. First, there are both SD (4:3) and HD (16:9) standard picture formats. Then, within these formats, there are multiple variations of pillar-boxing and/or letter-boxing that can be broadcast. Then, the tuner can upconvert, downconvert, and cross-convert between the SD and HD formats. In addition, the tuner may or may not pillar-box or letter-box. Finally, the display may be a standard 4:3, a 4:3 HD, or a 16:9 HD that has settings that do further resolution conversions, pillar-boxing/letter-boxing, and/or zooming, and these settings may be available for some incoming resolutions, but not others. To obtain an optimal picture, it is important to understand all of these contributing factors and to experiment with various combinations of settings on both the Moxi and your display with different types of programming. The following topics provide additional guidance.

SD signals are not stretched to fill a 16:9 screen when upconverted to HD

Under software version 3.2 Update 3A, the Moxi supposedly does not introduce a pillar-box (black bars on the left and right) when 480i signals are upconverted to HD (480i de-selected in HDTV Set-up). However, under software versions prior to 3.2 Update 3A, the Moxi introduces a pillar-box under these conditions. Although this allows the programs to be viewed in the correct aspect, it does not use your display's entire screen area, and it can lead to burn-in on 16:9 displays subject to it, such as CRT-based projection or plasma TVs. It is possible that the display has an aspect setting that will allow stretching of the picture, if desired. Otherwise, in order to avoid burn-in, you should select 480i under HDTV Set-up and use an aspect setting on your TV that allows stretching of the picture to fill the screen, if necessary. If your display does not support 480i and HD resolution(s) on the same input, you will have to use a second analog connection to an input on your display that supports 480i. Unfortunately, this will require switching between inputs on your display when switching between SD and HD channels on the Moxi. If you have a display that is not subject to burn-in, such as an LCD, rear-projection LCD, or DLP, then this should not be a major issue.

Widescreen settings do not work with HD signals

Under software version 3.2, the Widescreen setting only functions when the video output resolution is SD (480i). One result of this issue is that it is not possible for the Moxi to crop or letter-box HD signals for 4:3 HD displays. Although some 4:3 HD displays can letter-box the incoming 16:9 HD signal (e.g., at least some Sony's), some others apparently cannot (e.g., at least some models from Advent, Panasonic, and Toshiba, like the Cinema Series TP61H95). In the latter case, in order to view signals with the correct aspect, the Moxi's output must be forced to 480i by selecting only 480i in HDTV Set-up, leading to loss of HD picture quality. Under software version 3.0, the Widescreen setting functioned regardless of the video output resolution, allowing viewing of 16:9 material on both SD and HD 4:3 displays with the correct aspect. Although Digeo apparently made this change to "remove inaccurate display options," they may not have anticipated the problem introduced for some 4:3 HD displays. The behavior of this setting is unknown in software version 3.2 Update 3A or newer.

Unexpected appearance of black or gray bars on widescreen TVs

It is important to understand that these bars can be added by (1) the broadcaster, (2) the Moxi, and/or (3) your TV. There are a multitude of different ways of delivering SD and HD signals and of configuring the Moxi and different displays. Thus, it can be a bit complicated trying to figure out where the bars originate and how to configure your Moxi and TV to best view each program.

Pillar-boxing (bars on left and right) on HD channels. Programs and commercials originally produced in 4:3 (non-widescreen format) have black bars added to the left and right sides (pillar-box) by the broadcasters when they are delivered on HD channels. If you have checked at least one of the HD resolutions in HDTV Set-up, the Moxi will simply pass the pillar-boxed picture through to your TV. You may prefer to watch such programs with the pillar-box so that there is no distortion in the picture. Alternatively, you may be able to use an aspect setting on your TV to stretch the picture to reduce or eliminate the bars at the expense of introducing an artificial zoom and/or distortion of the picture. The stretching may be more important to avoid burn-in of the bars on TVs subject to it, such as plasma or CRT-based rear projection units.

Pillar-boxing on SD channels. Under software versions prior to 3.2 Update 3A, if you are viewing an SD channel, the Moxi will add a pillar-box to the signal if you have 480i de-selected in HDTV Set-up. If you have 480i selected in HDTV Set-up on the Moxi, your TV may or may not add a pillar-box to the signal, depending on the specific model and how you have it set up.

Letter-boxing (bars on top and bottom). Some SD (and even some HD) programs are broadcast in letter-box format. The Moxi will not alter this, although it will add a pillar-box to SD programs if 480i is not selected in HDTV Set-up, leading to the appearance of both a letter-box and a pillar-box. In this case a straight zoom mode on your TV may be preferable.

480i signals on component inputs stretched to fill 16:9 screen

Some HD displays automatically stretch 480i content coming in on a component input. In these cases, it is not possible to view 4:3 480i channels in their native aspect ratio unless you have software version 3.2 and you force the Moxi to output them at an HD resolution.

B.5. Other special video situations

480i and HD resolutions not supported on the same component input on the display

Some HD displays (e.g., some older Samsung and RCA models) do not support 480i and HD resolutions on the same component input. In this case, you will either have to de-select 480i in HDTV Set-up to allow the Moxi to upconvert to an HD signal, or you will have to connect an additional set of cables from the composite or S-video port on the Moxi to a 480i-compatible input on your display and switch between the inputs when switching between SD and HD channels. Although de-selecting 480i is more convenient for channel changing, picture quality likely will not be as good as when you allow your TV to do the upscaling. Use of the separate input should provide better picture quality and may allow more aspect settings on the TV to be used. Software version 3.2 Update 3A re-introduces the 480p resolution, so if your TV supports 480p and an HD resolution on the same input, this software release may resolve the issue.

Incompatibility between Samsung DLP TVs and Motorola Moxi 720p output

There is a known 720p resolution incompatibility between certain Motorola tuners and Samsung DLP TVs. It affects Motorola 51xx, 62xx, and HDT101 tuners, as well as the Moxi's (and perhaps others). The affected Samsung DLP TVs include newer HLN and all HLP models. However, the Motorola tuners work fine at 720p with many other TVs, including some older Samsung HLN models. In addition, the incompatible Samsung models work fine at 720p with non-Motorola tuners and other HD devices, like game consoles and upconverting DVD players. So, it is difficult to say whether Motorola or Samsung is at fault for the incompatibility.

Some reports claim that Samsung can replace an input board to fix the problem. Other reports claim that a Motorola firmware update originally created the problem. If you are in a cable system in which the DVI port on the Moxi is functional, you could use that to deliver 720p signals. Otherwise, owners of the affected Samsung TVs should set the Video Output to 1080i instead of 720p. Even though this is not the native resolution of these DLP TVs, the picture quality should be excellent.

There is one report that the 720p output on the Moxi is also not compatible with a 37" Westinghouse LVM37W1 model (video displays but is jittery).

All video outputs are active simultaneously, but all carry the same resolution

All of the analog video outputs are capable of delivering video simultaneously, as long as you are not using the digital video output (DVI). (Note that under software versions of 3.2 prior to intermediate update 3A, the analog video outputs are all available even if you are using DVI). Therefore, you can make multiple connections. This allows connecting a second output to a recording device, such as a VHS VCR or DVD recorder, to archive recorded programs (see the Archiving recorded programs topic below). Alternatively, or in addition, you could connect different outputs to different inputs on your TV to separate HD and SD channels. This may be useful if you are using a digital video connection, if you have calibrated separate inputs on your display for the different channel types, or if you have a display that does not support both SD and HD resolutions on the same input.

It is important to note, however, that the Moxi only outputs one resolution at a time. When the Moxi is set to output standard definition signals (480i), all of the analog ports (composite, S-video, and component) output 480i. When the Moxi is set to output higher definition signals (e.g., 720p, or 1080i), only the component (and digital, if applicable) output is active, since these resolutions are not supported by composite or S-video connections. Therefore, when you wish to use the composite or S-video outputs, you must force the Moxi to output 480i (see below).

The Moxi always records the incoming video signal in its native mode, regardless of the video output resolution setting. Most high definition CBS, NBC, and PBS stations, as well as HBO and certain other cable channels, use 1080i, whereas most ABC and Fox stations, as well as ESPN, use 720p. However, there are exceptions in many of these cases, so you would need to verify this information for your individual locality/cable system.

Limited availability workaround to output both 480i and an HD resolution simultaneously

For those who wish to simultaneously output both 480i and one of the higher resolutions, there is a newer Moxi model called the BMC9022 (currently only available in some cable systems). This model comes with a companion box called a Moxi Mate, which is linked to the main box but always outputs 480i resolution, regardless of the setting on the main box. In theory, the Moxi Mate would allow simultaneous output of multiple resolutions in the same room, although its intent is to serve an additional room (also see the Moxi Mate topic). However, the infrared remote signals will conflict if the boxes are close together, so they would have to be positioned apart, or the infrared ports would have to be selectively blocked.

480p

Digeo included a 480p resolution option under software version 3.0, but the quality was not very good, and it was removed in the first release of software version 3.2. Version 3.2 Update 3A adds back support for 480p signals, presumably with better picture quality than the previous incarnation.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Turbo mode: hold an arrow button and the user interface accelerates as you move into turbo mode, which zips through the choices very rapidly. When you let go, it stops.

Paging: the ch+/- buttons will move through channels a screen at a time.

Number entry: use the number pad to jump to any channel number (or if you enter a number that you don't actually get, you jump to the nearest number).

zoom is a toggle: from a menu, it will bring whatever is in the corner video window to full screen; from full-screen, it will reveal the user interface in whatever state you last left it.

MOXI: from full-screen, it will reveal the menu; if you are anywhere in the menu but Channels (the home position), it will bring you back to Channels; if you're on Channels; it will go to full screen. The Moxi button is designed so that if you just keep pressing it, you'll get back to whatever you were watching.

live TV: if you're in the menu, you'll go live to the last channel tuned; if you're watching behind live (from the pause buffer), you'll jump to live; if you're using any other form of media (recorded program, photos, DVD, or mp3), you'll jump to live TV.

back: if you're in the menu, it will take you to full-screen.

Entry of letters on text input pages: use the number pad to enter letters directly, similar to the method used on cell phones (backspace = press 1 twice; space = press 0 twice; clear entire entry = press clear). Also see Moxi Tip #14.

Clear: Immediately dismisses any graphic overlays. (e.g., if you press pause, and find the time-bar is covering something in the picture that you need to see). Clear is also a shortcut for deleting recordings in the Recorded TV menu.

Ticker: You can use the left and right arrows or the Ticker button to skip through topics. In weather, the up and down arrows will scroll through weather in other cities. In news and sports, the up and down arrows to rotate through headlines and scores. Press OK for a ticker menu that will let you pull up the story behind the headline. Sports fans: You can use the ticker menu (or the * button) to lock the ticker on a league or a game in progress. Press any arrow button to unlock.

Finding shows: See Moxi Tip #11.

Favorites: The Favorites menu supposedly contains the 15 most watched channels, but it often does not seem to match your true favorites. For limited customizability, see Moxi Tip #10 for a way to block certain channels from appearing in this list.

Avoiding seeing live TV in the upper-right window when pausing live programs, such as sporting events (from MoxiGuy)

  1. When you start watching a live game, initiate a recording of the program.
  2. Find the game in the Recorded TV list, then press play so you are watching the game as a recording--not as a delayed live show.
  3. Once the recording has started, tune to another channel. (This is for extra insurance. It's not strictly necessary.)
  4. If you need to interrupt your viewing for a while, press Moxi and play some other show from the Recorded TV list. (This ensures that the game continues to record and will leave a bookmark in the game recording so you can resume from the same spot you left off. It will put a neutral recording into the TV window--instead of the live game.)
  5. If your second recording runs out, the insurance channel kicks in. Instead of the game, you'll return to live TV on the second tuner, not the game tuner.

 RECORDING - GENERAL

 Recording capacity

There are three basic "types" of channels: (1) high definition (HD), which are all digital; (2) digital standard definition (digital SD); and (3) analog, which are all standard definition. Typically, the analog channels can be differentiated from the digital channels by their channel numbers being below 100. However, many cable systems are converting to digital simulcasts of their analog channels, in which the analog channels are being delivered in both analog and digital versions with the same channel numbers.

The different channel types require different amounts of hard drive space per unit time recorded. In addition, even within the digital (HD and digital SD) categories, different channels use somewhat different amounts of hard drive space per unit time both within and between cable systems based on the level of compression applied prior to transmission (higher compression will take up less room on the Moxi hard drive at the expense of picture quality). Analog is encoded by the Moxi itself at a single compression rate that translates to about 3.5 GB/hr. Thus, the situation is very complicated, particularly when mixtures of programs from these different channel types are recorded.

Approximate minimum and maximum recording times are as follows (assuming that you record only one channel type and you do not have the Photos and/or Jukebox functions enabled):

Channel type

Single-room

BMC9012

(80 GB*)

Multi-room

BMC9022D

(160 GB*)

HD

7-11 hr

14-23 hr

digital SD

35-51 hr

73-107 hr

analog

21 hr

44 hr

*Approximately 7 GB of the hard drive are reserved for the Linux operating system, Moxi software, subscriber account information, and the live TV recording buffer (estimated to be ~5 GB). If the Photos and/or Jukebox applications are enabled, part of the hard drive will be partitioned for media files (3 GB on the BMC9012 or 7 GB on the BMC9022D), reducing the space available for recorded programs.

Promotional material from cable companies will probably tend to quote the maximum time possible with digital SD (~50 hr). Some cable companies may also have different DVRs with different recording capacities, so, if they don't specifically mention "Moxi" in their promotional material, they may promote the maximum time on their largest capacity DVR. For example, Adelphia has a DVR FAQ that gives a 60-hr maximum record time, but I think this applies only to their Scientific Atlanta or non-Moxi Motorola unit.

Method of reserving space on hard drive

Apparently, the Moxi's channel map is programmed with the resolution of each digital channel so that it can translate the expected "bit-rate" into time. It reserves hard drive space and displays the time for programs based on this bit-rate. Therefore, if the channel map contains the wrong resolution for a channel, the recording times and time displays for programs on that channel will not be accurate. See the Incomplete recordings on digital channels topic below for additional information.

External hard drive

Support for an external USB 2.0 hard drive and DVD-RW is planned in software version 4.2. Digeo currently plans to test a small number of commercial drives and post a list of qualified units. Users will then purchase their own drives, and, reportedly, when they are plugged in for the first time, they will be formatted for use with that Moxi, and only that Moxi. It is very unlikely that the files would be transferable to other devices due to digital rights management. Apparently, the internal and external hard drives will be treated as separate drives, in that individual programs will be recorded to either one or the other drive. The Moxi will choose which drive to record on, presumably it will default to the internal drive if there is room, and users will not be able to move programs between drives. It is also likely that the Moxi will only support one external drive at a time (i.e., you will be unable to store separate batches of programs on multiple external hard drives).

Adding a larger internal hard drive

Most users are only renting the box from their cable company. It would certainly be a violation to modify it, and there is apparently something on/in the Moxi that could be used to detect whether it has been opened by the customer, although it is unlikely that it would be checked. More importantly, the hard drives are "locked" to the specific Moxi box in which they are installed. They cannot even be swapped with other Moxi hard drives. In addition, even if you managed to get another device to recognize the hard drive, it would not be able to recognize the content since it is Triple DES encoded. This is unlike some ReplayTV DVRs, in which end-users routinely install larger hard drives to increase recording capacity without affecting function and transfer content to their home computers. A few experienced individuals have tried to install larger internal hard drives but have been unsuccessful.

Live TV recording buffer

In contrast to ReplayTV DVRs, which make all of the free space on the hard drive available for buffering live TV, there is apparently a small amount of hard drive space set aside on the Moxi for this. It likely uses around 5 GB of the hard drive. According to the Moxi Viewer's Guide v3.2: Moxi stores up to 30 minutes of SD or 10 minutes of HD programming in temporary memory. (According to a Moxi FAQ, the HD buffer is at least 15 minutes.)

In practice, however, it appears that there is always a minimum of about 30 minutes of buffered content for HD channels. This is consistent with a FAQ entry later in the Moxi Viewer's Guide v3.2: "The amount of available temporary memory space varies, but is never less than 30 minutes." The Moxi will continue buffering for another 15-30 minutes. However, at some point part of the temporary memory is cleared, reducing the buffer back down to ~30 minutes. This additional buffering and loss of older material seems to happen in ~15-17-minute increments. If you are watching a portion that is older than 30 minutes when one of these increments is reached, the program will break up and jump ahead. The situation is similar for SD channels, except that the minimum buffer seems to be more than an hour.

When you change channels, the temporary memory clears. To see how many minutes of the current show are stored, press play. The highlighted part of the player bar indicates how much of the show is stored.

If a new program comes on while buffering live TV, the player bar will only show the time range for one of the programs. However, you can still go between them with the transport functions (fwd, rew, etc.).

If you start watching a program from the Recorded TV menu, the buffering on the channel that was previously selected is lost. In fact, under Moxi software version 3.0, when you return from the recorded program, the channel is switched to the one from which the recorded program was recorded (with no buffer). This strange behavior is corrected under version 3.2. When you stop watching a recorded program, the Moxi returns to the original channel you were watching when you started playback of the recording, and the channel should contain buffered live TV content.

Recording shows after they have begun

When you initiate a recording of a program after it has begun, the Moxi will also record the portion of the show that is in the live TV buffer. This depends on when you changed to the current channel and is subject to the time limitations stated above for the buffer. Under software version 3.2, you can record past programs by rewinding to them, as long as they are still in the live TV buffer.

Pause/Screensaver

When you pause a current program on the Moxi, it will resume playing from the pause point after 10 or 30 minutes, depending on whether you were on an HD or SD channel when you hit pause. If you pause a recorded program, the Moxi will jump to live TV on the channel from which the recorded program was recorded (software version 3.0) or the last channel to which you were tuned (software version 3.2). If a menu or dialog is up, it goes away and restores full screen programming after 30 minutes.

These behaviors are reportedly a screensaver strategy to avoid burn-in of static images on your TV. However, this can be very frustrating, because it can cause you to lose your place in a program and subject you to viewing much later parts of the program when you return, potentially ruining it. Given the different pause times for HD and SD channels, it is likely that this strategy is as closely linked to the relatively small live TV buffer as it is to being an actual "screensaver".

If you are watching live TV, and you wish to "pause" a program but will be away for more than 10 minutes, you may wish to record the program instead of (or in addition to) pausing it: (1) tune to another channel (this clears the recording buffer), (2) immediately tune back to the channel you wish to "pause," (3) initiate a recording of the channel, and (4) either press pause (if you think you might be back before the screensaver starts and you do not care if you accidentally see a later part of the program) or tune to another channel. If the program is not paused when you return, you can resume playback from the point you left by playing your program from the Recorded TV menu, because you cleared the recording buffer.

If you are watching a program that is currently being recorded, and you wish to "pause" it but will be away for more than 10 minutes, the following actions may be useful: (1) press stop to place a "bookmark" at the point you stopped watching, (2) either press pause (if you think you might be back before the screensaver starts and you do not care if you accidentally see a later part of the program) or tune to another channel. If the program is not paused when you return, you can resume playback from the point you left by using resume in the Recorded TV menu.

Record time remaining meter and/or disk space meter

A disk space meter is planned for software update 4.1. It is unknown whether the meter will simply show the percentage of remaining hard drive space, or if it will give approximate or minimum recording times available.

There are two main obstacles to developing a record time remaining meter. First, the different channel types (HD, digital SD, and analog) use very different amounts of hard drive space per unit time, so it is impossible to report the time remaining when mixtures of these channels are recorded. Second, even within the HD and digital SD categories, different channels use somewhat different amounts of hard drive space per unit time both within and between cable systems. It is interesting to note that the recorded program scheduler in the Moxi takes into account whether a recorded show request is on an HD channel to help it to determine whether it should put up the make room warning. Thus, the Moxi is already doing some internal calculations of hard drive capacity.

Although it is not very convenient, free hard disk space numbers are currently accessible through the On-Screen Diagnostics menu under the Resource Diagnostics > Disk Space Allocation sub-menu. The 80-GB 9012 units start with about 73 GB of free space available for recorded programs.

Recording two shows while watching a third or fourth

The 9012 and 9022 units only have two tuners, so they can't tune to three channels simultaneously. However, while recording two programs on the tuners, you can play back a third previously recorded program. And, if you have a 9022 with a Moxi Mate, you can be playing back a fourth previously recorded program on the Moxi Mate.

Video On Demand (VOD) programs and disk space

VOD programs are stored on a central server and "streamed" to the Moxi (or other set-top-box). They are not recorded onto the Moxi hard drive.

Can I clear the list of Canceled/Deleted shows?

Although you cannot directly "clear" the list of Canceled/Deleted programs, you can use Parental Controls to block specific channels or programs with specified ratings. This will also block the appearance of the corresponding titles in the Canceled/Deleted programs list.

If you return your Moxi to your cable company, the list is cleared if they properly reinitialize it for delivery to somebody else. On a related note, the Moxi is designed to upload usage statistics to a central server. There is a Privacy entry on the Account Settings screen of the On-Screen Diagnostics menu that most likely reads "aggregate." This suggests that the data they collect cannot be tracked to individual subscribers, but rather that it is collected in aggregated form.

Archiving programs from the Moxi to an external recording device

Analog:

You can record analog signals from your Moxi onto a VHS VCR, DVD recorder, or PC with analog capture card. You will need to connect both video and audio from the Moxi outputs to the corresponding inputs on your recording device. For video, you can connect the yellow composite video jack or the S-video port, if available on your recording device. For audio, you should connect the red and white stereo jacks. Most importantly, you will need to select "480i" as your Moxi's video output in the "Settings" menu.

If the program you wish to record is/was on a high definition channel, you may also want to set the "Widescreen" mode to either "Letterbox" or "Cropped" so that the picture does not look horizontally squashed on the tape (choose "Letterbox" to see the whole image with black bars on the top and bottom, or choose "Cropped" to chop off the left and right edge and view full height).

You will need to select the correct input on your recording device corresponding to the inputs to which you hooked the cables (probably "Line 1" or "Line 2" on most VHS VCRs), and you will have to manually start the recording on the recording device and the playing on the Moxi. If your TV has a component video input, and if your TV or digital receiver has a digital audio input, you can use those connections simultaneously, allowing you to leave your recording device hooked up. Otherwise, you will have to manually switch the cables each time you want to record.

Sony has a DVD recorder called the RDR-HX900. I mention it here, because it has an IR blaster with a code for Motorola/Digeo cable boxes (1476), suggesting that it may be able to control the Moxi. I have seen no reports confirming the functionality, though, and I offer the following warnings. It appears that the recorder obtains guide information by tuning cable boxes to the TV Guide channel for the datastream a few times a day when nothing else is recording, and I don't know how well this works with the Moxi. You would also want to be careful if you are making recordings on your Moxi, as the DVD recorder might try to change the channel to either make its own recording or download guide data. Also note that the DVD recorder can only receive 480i signals. Therefore, you probably will have to ensure that the Moxi is set to output 480i during any scheduled recordings.

Digital:

Moxi units with an "f" in their model name have FireWire (IEEE 1394/i.LINK) ports that allow digital archiving of programs on compatible devices, such as digital-VHS (see below for additional information).

RECORDING - SCHEDULING

Recording a series on more than one channel

When you record a show by its title, the Moxi only schedules it on the channel from which you selected it. If you want to record the series from multiple channels, you have to set it up on each channel separately.

Series recordings: first-run, repeat, or duplicate

The Moxi relies on program information supplied by Tribune Media Services (web access to equivalent data is available). Based on this information, the Moxi attempts to categorize a program into one of three types: first-run, repeat, or duplicate. Under software version 3.0, the Moxi uses only the title and description to determine these categories. Version 3.2 improves on this by adding the episode IDs, and presumably the "originally aired" date, to the determination. When the same episode of a program is re-broadcast within a 30-day period, it is considered a "duplicate." This is the lowest designation, and subsequent airings of the episode are not recorded by the Moxi, even if you set it to Accept repeats. In contrast, when an episode is labeled as a "repeat," it will record unless you set it to Accept first-run only. Other episodes with unique information are considered "first-run."

Repeat episodes record even when the "Accept first-run only" option is selected

This can occur with networks that broadcast episodes from the current season together with past seasons (e.g., Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi, The Simpsons on Fox, and CSI on CBS). The addition of episode IDs to the repeat determination algorithm in the version 3.2 software should resolve this problem. However, if the episodes have no descriptions or episode numbers (e.g., some occurrences of The Daily Show, Dave Chappelle's Show, and South Park on Comedy Central, and Trading Spaces on TLC), there is no way to detect duplicates. To solve this, a manual recording function, with which you can manually enter a start time, stop time, and channel number to be recorded, is planned for software version 4.1. In the meantime, you can go to the Find & Record > Scheduled to Record menu and manually cancel the episodes you do not want recorded. Alternatively, you can set the episode limit to 1, although you will have to monitor the recordings every day so that they don't get deleted.

Episodes do not record, even when the "Accept repeats" option is selected

As described above, even if a series recording is set to Accept repeats, the Moxi will still filter out "duplicate" episodes (those with identical titles/descriptions/episode IDs) that run within a 30-day period. However, given the relatively frequent inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the guide data, episodes may be tagged as duplicates and fail to record, even though they are first-runs. To verify your planned recordings, you can go to the Find & Record > Scheduled to Record menu. If individual episodes are not scheduled to record, you may have to set them up to record once.

Programs "to be announced" (e.g., sporting events) show up as repeats even though they are new

Some programs, particularly sporting events, may show up in the guide as "TBA" (to be announced), or with some other generic designation, until a day or so before the scheduled airing. When scheduling such programs for recording on the Moxi, they may be designated duplicates or repeats. However, the status should change when the program is finalized and the guide information is updated. You should either schedule the recording after the guide is updated or verify that the status has changed after the guide has been updated to ensure that the program gets recorded.

Other reasons for recording failures

Issues 1-4 are bugs that are supposedly corrected in software version 3.2, and issue 5 is a bug that will supposedly be fixed in version 4.0. See the BUGS section, below, for additional information on some recording failures.

  1. If a new scheduled recording exhibits a conflict with a previously established series recording, and then the series recording is deleted to resolve the conflict, the new recording may not occur.
  2. When scheduling a show to record within one minute prior to the start time, in some cases the channel does not switch and record.
  3. You may not be able to re-record a program that you stopped during recording if the Accept first-run only option is selected.
  4. When the hard drive is full, the Moxi may not provide adequate conflict information when attempting to schedule additional recordings.
  5. If you schedule a recording (e.g., a 30-minute show), and the show is later extended to a longer period (e.g., 1 hour), even if the program guide updates to reflect this extension prior to the recording, only the first time slot (e.g., the first 30 minutes) will record.
  6. When show titles change somewhat, they may not be recorded. For example, an April, 2005 episode of "Desperate Housewives" labeled "Desperate Housewives: Sorting Out The Dirty Laundry" did not record because of the extra text after the colon.
  7. If signal is lost due to low signal level/quality, Emergency Alert System (EAS) testing or warnings (see EAS topic), tuner malfunction, or other causes, a program may fail to record, end early, or have sections missing. If the entire program was lost, in some cases it still will show up as an entry in the Recorded TV menu, in which case the keep/delete dialog box will come up immediately upon trying to play the program.
  8. Ends of programs may get cut off if there is a problem with your location and/or channel map settings, or if Digeo does not have the channel’s native resolution correctly entered into their database. Apparently, the Moxi determines recording length by calculating the amount of data that it records to its hard drive rather than by time of day. Therefore, if the Moxi thinks that a channel is in SD, but it is actually in HD, significantly more data is recorded per unit time, and the recording shuts off prematurely. This is particularly prone to happen when new HD channels are added or when SD channels are converted to HD format. You should call your cable company and have them contact Digeo to correct this problem.

One-second recordings

Recorded programs only one second in length consisting of a single black frame are most likely the result of a lack of signal coming from the cable company. If you are watching the channel live, this may produce a "you do not subscribe to this channel" warning.

Avoiding premature deletion

The Moxi's internal scheduling and deletion algorithms, as well as the information and choices provided by its user-interface, are extremely complex and confusing. These problems worsen significantly when the hard drive is nearly full, or even when scheduled future recordings will fill it up soon. Unfortunately, if you use your Moxi to record HD programs, these problems are very common given the relatively small recording capacity (as low as 7 hours for the BMC9012).

The most important thing to remember is that if you want to guarantee that a program will not get deleted, you must designate it Keep until I delete under recording options. Programs with this designation will show up in the Recorded TV menu with a green square, and under info it will say "Expires: Never". If you choose any other option, including Keep n days, the program may be subject to immediate deletion, since the Moxi can change the expiration time without warning (see below).

One inconvenience associated with using the Keep until I delete option for series recordings is that it leads to the frequent appearance of the make room warning screen, which can also be quite confusing (see below). However, this inconvenience is necessary if you wish to guarantee preservation of the recorded programs.

The only other situation where a program will not be deleted, despite its expiration time, is when you are currently watching it.

Scheduled recordings that show up as "will not record (space)" do not automatically move to the Scheduled To Record menu even after other recorded programs are deleted

Apparently, deleting programs does not trigger an immediate automatic update of the Scheduled To Record menu. The update will occur during the nightly program guide update. Alternatively, an immediate update can be manually accomplished by changing one of the recording options on any current or requested recording (the option can be immediately changed back), or by scheduling a new recording. This will update all lists to reflect the additional space created by deleting the other program(s). It is unknown whether this manual update of the list is necessary to allow same-day recording of programs previously designated "will not record (space)," or whether it simply provides reassuring feedback to the user that the recordings will take place. If the manual list update is required, this is a major bug. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to not set up too many programs/series as Keep until I delete.

Expiration status

Programs that have "expired" will have an exclamation point ("!") next to their names in the Recorded TV menu. These programs are subject to deletion to make room for new recordings. They will not be deleted until a new recording occurs, and, if space is needed, the program that has been expired the longest will be deleted first. The expiration time is available by hitting info from the corresponding listing on the Recorded TV menu. One possible exception to this rule is when you have multiple episodes of the same program recorded. In this case, the older episodes may be deleted prior to other programs, even if the other programs have been expired longer.

If you chose the Keep until option at the time the recording was set up, it applies as of the time the program ended. If you set it after the show is done recording, it applies as of the time you made the change. If you stop a recording early, then change the option, it will not take effect until at least the scheduled end time of the program.

Recorded program "keep until" designations

The keep until designations are very confusing, and the Moxi FAQs on Digeo's web site further contribute to the confusion.

"Keep until space is needed" is the lowest precedence for saving recordings. These shows "expire" immediately after the program ends, designated by an exclamation point (!) in the Recorded TV listing. (Note that the word "precedence" is used in this section rather than "priority" to differentiate the "keep until" designations from the recording priorities, described below.) The current Digeo FAQ for software version 3.2 states in its description of the "keep until" designations that the "…Moxi manages the space based on the priorities you set." The use of the word "priorities" in their FAQ leads to the incorrect assumption that the "recording priorities" feature on the Moxi plays a role in the order of automatic deletion when space is needed for additional recordings. It does not (see Recording priorities section below)!

The next highest level of precedence is to assign a specific number of days (2 to 4) until a show expires (default = 2). If you always have plenty of room on your hard drive such that the "make room" warning does not come up when scheduling recordings, these programs should not expire until they reach the number of days you designated. During this period, there will be no icons in the listings. Once they expire, exclamation points will appear.

However, if the "make room" warning comes up while scheduling additional programs, the Moxi may change the expiration date of these programs, subjecting them to deletion earlier than the number of days you designated. This happens when the hard drive is relatively full and/or you have a lot of scheduled recordings. The Moxi apparently can also change expiration dates without any warning when the nightly program guide update occurs. In other words, do not consider programs safe from deletion within the "keep until" period. They are not! The current Digeo FAQ for software version 3.2 incorrectly states: "If you choose 2, 3, or 4 days, Moxi keeps the show at least that long." This is not accurate!

Unfortunately, sometimes more than one expired or prematurely expired program is deleted to make room for a single program, even if they are of the same channel type (e.g., HD). This is very unpredictable. In addition, there is currently no easy way to see the list of shows in the order of their expiration to see which ones will be deleted first. You must look at the expiration time of each separately and be aware that these times could change.

The highest precedence is the keep until I delete designation. These programs will have a square, green box in their listings, and they will not expire, nor will they be deleted until you do it manually.

Recorded program "make room" warning

The "make room" warning during scheduling of new recordings can also be confusing. When it arises, you do not necessarily have to immediately delete recorded programs, nor will the Moxi necessarily immediately delete programs. The warning just means that, given the current list of recorded programs and those scheduled to record, there will not be enough room if you do not delete some program(s) before the new recording occurs. In other words, you can just tell the Moxi to make room, and then be sure to delete some program(s) prior to the new recording. Otherwise, in order to make room for the new recording, the Moxi will automatically delete "expired" shows or, if necessary, prematurely expire and delete shows that have not expired.

If your Moxi is full of shows designated "keep until I delete," then the new recording may not occur. However, all other recorded programs are subject to deletion to make room for the new show. Thus, if your Moxi is currently quite full, you should exercise great caution when making room for new programs. Ironically, the show you are currently trying to schedule sometimes will show up on the "make room" list.

Recording priorities

The "recording priority" feature only selects which programs will be recorded when there is a direct time conflict (i.e., the programs overlap, even if only by a minute). Programs with a higher priority will be recorded. The recording priority feature has no affect on the order of automatic program deletion when the Moxi needs to make room for new recordings. As described above, programs are deleted in the order that they expired or were scheduled to expire, (except for programs designated "keep until I delete," which will not be deleted). For example, if you record a low-priority show earlier in the evening that is set to "keep until I delete," and if it fills the last of your hard drive with preserved recordings, then even if your top priority show comes on a few hours later, it will not record.

VIDEO

Picture quality - overview

Picture quality is a complicated issue that is dependent on the size and type of TV, as well as the channel type and the quality of the feed from your cable TV company. There are three basic "types" of channels: HD, digital SD, and analog SD. Typically, the analog channels can be differentiated from the digital channels by their channel numbers being below 100. However, many cable systems are converting to digital simulcasts of their analog channels, in which the analog channels are being delivered in both analog and digital versions with the same channel numbers.

In general, picture quality should be very good for all channel types on smaller TVs. On larger TVs, picture quality of analog SD channels will be noticeably worse than a direct connection to a non-DVR tuner, but they will be only slightly worse than the same channels on DVRs from competing companies, like TiVo and ReplayTV. On HD TVs, HD and digital SD channels will generally be excellent--equivalent to a direct connection to a non-DVR tuner.

Picture quality – digital channels (HD and digital SD)

The digital channels (HD and digital SD) typically undergo high-quality digital compression by the network/cable company with an MPEG2 algorithm (similar to DVDs) prior to being sent out on the cable. These data streams are directly written on the Moxi hard drive without further loss, similar to satellite-based DirecTiVo and HD DVRs. The quality of the compression is typically quite good. However, MPEG compression artifacts may be evident. This may take the form of lack of detail in certain areas and/or the appearance of pixelation/square blocks (pixelation/macroblocking). The higher the compression, the less "bandwidth" is required to carry the channel, and the more channels the cable company can fit on its system (same for satellite providers). The trade-off is that the higher the compression, the more artifacts you will get in the video. These artifacts are particularly obvious when there is a lot of movement in a scene, such as when the camera is panning rapidly during a football or hockey game.

Another source of these artifacts can be low signal level/quality. In that case, though, the pixelation/macroblocking will likely be much larger, and you will experience audio dropouts and intermittent complete freezing of the video. The Moxi itself has little effect on these aspects of picture quality.

Picture quality – standard definition channels (analog and digital SD)

Under software version 3.0, SD picture quality could be quite bad. However, improvements have been made with the version 3.2 update. There are at least three sources of picture quality degradation that can contribute to poor picture quality under version 3.2:

  1. MPEG compression. The data from the analog channels must be converted on-the-fly by the Moxi into a digital format prior to being written on the hard drive, similar to other DVRs that handle analog signals. This MPEG2 compression can lead to artifacts similar to those described above for the digital channels. These compression artifacts become more obvious the larger the TV is. The Moxi appears to digitally encode analog channels at a compression level that results in storage of about 3.5 GB/hr on the hard drive. This compares with ~3 GB/hr for the high-quality setting on some ReplayTV units. However, there is evidence that the analog picture quality on ReplayTV and TiVo DVRs is slightly better than the Moxi.
  2. Resolution conversion. SD channels arrive at the box at a resolution of 480i, and HD channels can arrive at 720p or 1080i (the numbers refer to the number of horizontal lines of resolution, and the letter refers to "progressive" or "interlaced"). All of these signals are recorded to the Moxi hard drive at their "native" resolution. However, if you have an HD TV and 480i is de-selected in the HDTV Set-up menu, the Moxi will introduce significant scaling artifacts when it upconverts the 480i signal to an HD resolution prior to outputting them to your TV. Typically, if your HD TV can handle native 480i signals, it will do a much better job of upscaling them for display than the Moxi.
  3. Signal level/quality and interference. Analog channels can appear "snowy" when the signal level/quality is too low. Ideal analog signal power is around +6 dB, and it should be at least 0 dB, although a signal level meter is required to measure this. This noise may affect some channels more than others. In addition, low quality cables and/or connections can allow interference, such as ingress of over-the-air signals leading to "ghosting." Noise and interference are further exacerbated by MPEG compression artifacts.

In addition to these issues directly related to the Moxi, aspect ratio settings on your HD TV can also affect picture quality. Typical TV aspect ratios are 4:3 (normal) for SD and 16:9 (widescreen) for HD. HD TVs typically have aspect settings that can zoom, uniformly stretch, stretch edges only, both zoom and stretch, etc.

Picture quality on live TV

Picture quality will be the same whether you are watching a recorded program or live TV through the Moxi. In all cases, the data is being written to and read back off of the hard drive prior to transmission to the TV. This also explains the several seconds of delay when watching live TV on the Moxi relative to watching through a direct connection of your cable to a non-DVR tuner.

Changing the video output resolution directly on the box

This accomplishes the same goal as the Video Output selection in the Settings menu, but it allows you to see the setting on the LED display of the box. This is useful if your TV cannot display the current setting, preventing you from seeing the Moxi Menu. On the front of the box, simultaneously press and hold the Live TV (second from left) and OK (center of the circle) buttons. The LED will show you the current resolution: Sd (480i), 720P, or 1080. You can use the Channel Up/Down arrows on the box (the two right-most buttons) to cycle through the resolutions. When you reach the desired resolution, choose yes on the confirmation dialog. The 480P selection is no longer available under software version 3.2, although it may return in an improved version in a future software release.

You should then verify that the correct resolution(s) is/are checked in the Video Output or HDTV Set-up selection in the Settings menu. Otherwise, the Moxi may revert to the old, incorrect setting the next time it is rebooted.

AUDIO

Moxi interface sound effects

You can change the volume of or turn off the Moxi sounds in Sound Effects under Settings. If you select an Audio Output of Dolby Digital under Settings and use a digital connection to an audio receiver, sound effects will not be audible when you are tuned to programs with Dolby Digital audio.

Volume differences when switching between analog and digital audio sources

The Moxi's Dolby Digital volume levels are set to Dolby specifications, so any differences are supposedly normal behavior. Most users report a substantial decrease in volume when switching to a channel with Dolby Digital sound. Most commercials inserted into programs with Dolby Digital soundtracks are not in Dolby Digital, and they also tend to be much louder. All of this likely has more to do with the feeds from the cable company, as opposed to the Moxi, although some other tuners may do more to balance audio levels. Some users report a balancing of the audio volumes when selecting the RF/TV Audio setting. However, you will lose Dolby Digital.

Lack of audio on analog channels

Make sure that Secondary Audio Program (SAP) is set to Disable under the Settings menu, unless you know an SAP is present and you intend to record it. Ideally, you should be able to leave SAP set to a secondary setting, and when no secondary audio is present, the tuner should default back to the main audio program. Unfortunately, the SAP "carrier" is frequently left on even if there is no SAP present, leading to a complete lack of audio.

Secondary Audio Program (SAP)

SAP is configured in two completely different ways for analog vs. digital channels.

On analog channels (numbers usually below 100), only one audio program can be recorded. So, if an SAP is available, you must manually choose it under the Settings > Secondary Audio menu before you record. When you change the SAP setting, you should change channels to be sure that it takes effect.

On digital channels, multiple audio tracks can be encoded in the data-stream. The Moxi should record all audio tracks that are present, so it is not necessary to choose a language before making the recording. You can switch between audio programs, if available, during playback by bringing up the Flip Bar with the OK or Info buttons, and then choosing Language from the action menu. Note that making this selection affects all programs on all channels until it is changed back. There is no indication of which audio track is currently selected. The only way to determine this is to tune to a program that is known to have a secondary audio track, and bring up the Language menu.

DVD Subtitles

DVD subtitles do not use the standard Closed Captioning system. To turn them on, you must change them under DVD Options menu. You can bring up this menu by pressing the OK button while a DVD is playing.

HARDWARE MODELS

Single-room: BMC9012, BMC9012f, BMC9012f2, MP12, and MP12f

Two-room: BMC9022D

BMC9012: home page | datasheet | Hardware User Guide

BMC9022D: home page | datasheet | Hardware User Guide

The "BMC 90xx" (Broadband Media Center) models are used in cable systems that utilize the Motorola DigiCipher II conditional access system, and the "MP" (Media Center PowerKEY?) models are used in cable systems that utilize the Scientific-Atlanta PowerKEY conditional access system. The "12" in the single-room model numbers refers to "1" room with "2" tuners. For the two-room model, the "22" refers to "2" rooms with "2" tuners, and the "D" refers to the integrated DVD/CD drive (see below for details). Models with an "f" are newer versions that contain FireWire ports (see below for more details).

The BMC9022D is currently available in the smaller, independent cable systems and at least some Charter cable systems. Availability in Adelphia systems is extremely limited--perhaps only during shortages of the single-room units. Although the BMC9022D was designed for use with a Moxi Mate to serve two separate rooms, it can be used as a single unit with double the hard drive space (160 GB) of the single-room ("12") units (80 GB), if your cable system allows this. The BMC9022D requires software version 3.2. It became available in the smaller, independent cable systems in March, 2005, and it started becoming available in some Charter systems in September, 2005. As an example of relative costs, as of April, 2005 BendBroadband was charging $16/month for the BMC9012 (purchase = $450 + $7/month for service) and $24/month for the BMC9022D (purchase = $650 + $9/month for service). Deployment of the MP12 units began in a Charter PowerKEY system in June, 2005.

Moxi Mate details

The Moxi Mate does not have its own hard drive or tuner. It receives all of its data from the main BMC9022D unit, which supports the running of two user interfaces simultaneously. (The Moxi Mate does not work with the BMC9012, as it can only run one user interface.) The signal from the 9022 to the Moxi Mate is on a very high frequency (1.20 GHz) that travels back through the coaxial input on the back of the 9022 through the house wiring to the splitter that divides the signal to the 9022 and the Moxi Mate. A low-pass filter is installed upstream of this splitter to prevent the high-frequency signal from exiting the house. Control signals are also sent between the Moxi Mate and the BMC9022D at frequencies between 1.10 and 1.14 GHz.

The 9022/Moxi Mate down-converts high definition signals to standard definition, which can be delivered to your TV through either an RF or composite output. Thus, you do not need a high definition TV in the second room to receive these signals. Unfortunately, this also means that if you do have a second high definition TV, the first-generation Moxi Mate will not be able to deliver HD content to it. A future planned version (Moxi Mate II) can reportedly deliver HD. Note that if you use the RF output of the Moxi Mate to connect to your TV, you can use the Power button on the Moxi Mate to switch between On and Passthrough modes. On mode delivers channels from your 9022 with the Moxi interface, and Passthrough mode allows incoming analog cable channels to be delivered to and controlled by your TVs built-in tuner. The latter mode allows you to use the second TV independent of the Moxi (e.g., while both tuners are already in use to watch and/or record).

The Moxi Mate is only available in the smaller independent cable systems and some Charter systems. Apparently, Digeo has experimented with wireless delivery to other rooms, but it is only in an experimental stage and may or may not ever be used.

FireWire (IEEE 1394/i.LINK) versions

The units with an "f" in their model number include two non-powered FireWire ports to meet an FCC requirement that, effective July 1, 2005, all high-definition set-top boxes distributed to customers by cable operators must include both a FireWire port and either a DVI or HDMI port. The "f2" units are revised versions of the FireWire models with a functional, FCC-compliant RF output. The RF output is either absent or not FCC-compliant (and, therefore usually non-functional) in the older models. The differences are unknown. The FireWire ports deliver standard MPEG-2 video/audio in the native formats delivered from the cable company, regardless of the Moxi video or audio settings. Currently, the Moxi interface graphics are not delivered, so the FireWire ports are not particularly useful for direct connection to a display.

The FireWire ports are compatible with D-VHS recorders for archiving programs. However, the Moxi uses 5C Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) technology, under which individual programs can be flagged as “Record Freely” (5C=0), “Record Once” (5C=1), or “Record Never” (5C=2). Thus, the D-VHS recorder must be 5C/DTCP-compliant. Note that pixelation issues have been reported when recording to D-VHS, particularly for previously recorded programs (as opposed to “live” programs). Transfer to external hard drives is not supported, as they are not 5C/DTCP-compliant. This includes Windows-based home theater personal computer (HTPC) systems (e.g., using CapDVHS). Such transfers are blocked, even if there is no 5C flag or it is set to “Record Freely,” and even though recording may work from other set-top boxes like the Motorola 620x series. However, an HTPC apparently can be used to change the channel on the Moxi through the FireWire port, although this is explicitly "unsupported" by the Moxi. Notably, there have been reports of successful recording on Mac OS X and Linux computers. Also note that the Moxi does not support FireWire recording of DVD playback, Macrovision protected content, or while in "limp mode".

Pictures of the inside of the BMC9012

During attempts to upgrade to a larger hard drive, a few users (e.g., “silviarunner”/”blackz34thunder” and “joebananas”) took pictures of the inside of a BMC9012 (version lacking IEEE-1394) and posted them on the Internet. Here are my interpretations of some of these pictures which include a good deal of amateur speculation:

There are three connectors to the right of the power cord connector on this rear view that appear to be female F-type push-in coaxial connectors. The metal block that contains one or two threaded F-type female coaxial connectors on its outer face presumably has been removed from this area. (Note that some versions of the Moxi may lack the “TO TV” RF connector, so they will only have the single “CABLE IN” connector on the outer face of the metal block. The inner face of the metal block appears to have three male F-type push-on coaxial connectors that mate with the three connectors on the back of the Moxi described above, as well as a vertical connector that attaches to a card inside the Moxi.

Looking inside the Moxi in the area of these connectors reveals three metal-shielded cases (one for each of the three internal F-type connectors), as well as a vertical card cut diagonally (corresponding to the vertical connector on the inner face of the metal block). It appears that the external “CABLE IN” connector is physically split into the two internal F-connectors that are lower and closer to the power connector, leading to the two longer metal-shielded cases within the Moxi. Presumably, these are the dual tuners (at least the analog portions). The shorter metal-shielded case is likely an RF modulator that converts the signals into RF for output through the third internal connector (farthest from the power connector and slightly higher than the other two) and out the external “TO TV” connector on some Moxi’s. (It is unknown whether units that lack RF output just lack the connector, or whether they also lack the internal hardware.) The vertical card presumably mediates bidirectional communication over the CABLE IN port for the Moxi’s internal cable modem. It may also be involved in RF modem communication and/or digital tuning, although these functions may also be handled through the main two tuners described above.

Another inside view showing the back of the Moxi reveals the internal side of the DVI and digital audio outputs. Two top views (1 and 2) show the case removed, but the hard drive and support bracket are still in place. Another top view shows the hard drive support bracket rotated up (hard drive visible on right). A close-up of the hard drive reveals that it is an 80-GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Model ST380011A. (Note that there have been at least three reported failed attempts to increase recording capacity by replacing the hard drive with a larger one through bit-for-bit transfer of a drive image—ghosting.) Yet another top view shows the hard drive and support bracket removed.

A motherboard section view shows the hard drive data and power cables on the far left, a heat sink (probably for the 733-MHz x86 CPU) in the middle-left, and evidence of the Apollo Pro 133A VIA chipset (VT82C694X) in the middle (133 MHz front side bus with 4xAGP and PC133 SDRAM support). At the top of this image, there are four on-board Nanya NT5SV16M16BS-75B (32-MB PC133 SDRAM chips), which likely provide the 128 MB of main RAM, as well as an empty 168-pin PC133 RAM slot. (Note that at least one attempt to add RAM to this slot to improve performance failed.) It is unknown whether the additional 128 MB of RAM in the BMC9022D model is in this slot, or whether the 9022D has a different motherboard.

In the middle of a video section view, there is a Broadcom Kfir-IIX (BCM7041) chip, which is a dual channel MPEG-2 encoder that presumably converts incoming analog signals to digital for storage on the hard drive (the datastream of the digital channels is essentially written directly to the hard drive). At the top of this image, there are two of the BMC9012’s four Samsung K4S643232H-TC60 (64Mbit 166 MHz SDRAM) chips, which likely provide the 32 MB of video RAM. In the upper-left, there is a Xilinx Spartan XC2S100E (6C) FPGA chip, which is programmable.

FUTURE HARDWARE

BMC9022Df2 and MP22Df

These models are scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2006. The BMC9022Df2 will be the first two-room model with FireWire ports, and the MP22Df will be the first PowerKEY-compatible model to support two rooms with a Moxi Mate.

Samsung Home Media Center (Moxi II Media Center) and Samsung Home Media Center Client (Moxi Mate II)

In April, 2005, Digeo announced that it planned to release its next-generation units, manufactured by Samsung, in Fall, 2005. However, the release of these new units was considered “still a ways off” in late March, 2006. The Samsung Home Media Center (or "Moxi II Media Center") is based on the Moxi Media Center Reference Platform. It includes the X-Stream chipset, which combines more than two dozen components onto a much smaller chipset, thereby reducing the size of the boxes and the cost of the units by about 40%. In the initial release, the Samsung unit will include two tuners like the current Motorola units, and it will only work on Motorola DigiCipher II-based cable systems. These units may contain 160-GB hard drives rather than the 80-GB hard drives in the current two-tuner models (9012's). Eventually, the Samsungs will reportedly support a Samsung Home Media Center Client (or "Moxi Mate II") which will contain an optional optical drive. Future plans call for up to four tuners for simultaneous recording and support of up to three Home Media Center Clients, as well as support for Multi-stream CableCARD and DOCSIS Set-top Gateway. The Samsung units will contain HDMI ports rather than DVI. The round black area to the right displays the current screen resolution, although some people have asked for a clock display. Please note that three or four more revisions are planned before the Samsung units go into production.

Moxi Mate II HD

Samsung will also likely be developing an HD version of the Moxi Mate II that can deliver HD signals to additional TVs.

OCAP

Digeo has licensed the OpenCable™ Application Platform (OCAP™) Specification from CableLabs to allow them to deliver the Moxi interface on future OCAP-compliant hardware, including set-top boxes and advanced televisions.

Moxi Mini

Digeo has also announced a unit called the Moxi Mini for release in 2006. It is a stand-alone digital receiver with a "light" version of the Moxi Menu. It can also deliver DVR functionality in conjunction with a Moxi II Media Center. Although some pre-production units apparently exist, the status of this unit is unknown, as it is not included in the future hardware section of Digeo's web site.

Sony Passage-compatible boxes

Sony is making attempts to introduce a third conditional access technology, called Passage, to compete with the predominant Motorola DigiCipher (~60% of cable market) and Scientific-Atlanta PowerKEY (~40% of cable market) networks. Supposedly, the Sony system uses a unique encryption mechanism that would allow usage of set-top-boxes from any number of different manufacturers, Such a technology has the potential to break the current Motorola/Scientific-Atlanta duopoly, thereby increasing competition and bringing down prices. Sony announced a DVR powered by Moxi software called the Sony DHG-MC75 to work on cable systems using Passage. Although Charter, Comcast, and RCN have licensed the Sony Passage technology, it has not gained wide acceptance and is not yet used commercially.

HARDWARE - OTHER

USB ports

Although the USB ports are apparently "active" in that they could power and/or charge the batteries of USB devices plugged into them, they apparently are only "functional" on units with the Photos application activated under software v3.2 (see Photos application topic below).

CD/DVD player/recorder (optical drive)

The built-in DVD drive in some models does not match the specs of high-end stand-alones, but it has some advantages: a) transport works just like DVR, including a time bar, instant replay, etc.; b) specialized DVD buttons (like angle, audio, sub-titles) are onscreen for easy access. DVDs can be viewed from either room. There is a report that in at least one system (Rosemount/Apple Valley, MN), the DVD player is disabled unless a companion Moxi Mate is also leased.

On the BMC9012, there is only a faceplate where the DVD drive would be. The DVD player in the BMC9022D apparently can upconvert to HD resolutions (720p or 1080i), if only those settings are selected. However, this likely introduces scaling artifacts and undesirable stretching/aspect ratio behaviors. Upcoming FireWire versions of Moxi's with DVD drives will be limited to 480i and 480p output due to Content Scrambling System (CSS) licensing requirements. (480p will be given preference if it is selected in HDTV Set-up, otherwise 480i will be used—even if only HD resolution[s] are selected.) DVD recording is not currently supported. If and when DVD recording becomes available, the ability to playback DVD recorded programs on other devices will most likely be limited due to digital rights management.

Button on the far left of the BMC9012 button bar/Optical drive

This button does nothing on the BMC9012. It serves as the eject button for the optical drive in the BMC9022D. The flat plate on the front of the BMC9012 is where the optical drive is installed in the BMC9022D. Don't try to install your own drive there – it won't work.

Ethernet port and cable modem

The Ethernet port (10/100 Base-T) is used by your cable company at its warehouse to initialize the Moxi boxes, but it is essentially non-functional for subscribers at present. The internal cable modem currently is used only to supply Moxi with network connectivity to download electronic program guide data, software updates, ticker information, etc. However, the planned PC Link and Home Networking applications will use the Ethernet port and cable modem to connect your Moxi to your local computer network and/or provide Internet access (see separate topics below). In addition, the the Ethernet port eventually may be used to attach the Moxi to IPTV networks.

RF output

Earlier BMC9012 units contain an RF output. However, 9012s produced since about the end of 2004, as well as all BMC9022D units do not contain an RF output. In addition, with the deployment of software v3.0, the RF outputs on the existing 9012 units were, for the most part, disabled, because they are not compliant with FCC rules. Certain cable systems may have special permission to have the RF port enabled, but this is probably quite limited. Revised "f2" versions of the Motorola BMC9012 and 9022D with FireWire ports and a functional RF output that meets FCC requirements should become available sometime in 2006. In the meantime, subscribers who wish to use an RF input on their display device must use an RF modulator to convert the composite audio/video signals to RF. Such devices are manufactured by Terk (Mini RF modulator), Radio Shack (15-1214), RCA (CRF900) and Philips (PM61155). The Moxi Mate contains a functional RF output for second-room viewing.

Moxi power

There is no power button on the Moxi box, and the power button on the remote will only control the power on your TV or receiver. You cannot turn the Moxi off. You should only power down (by unplugging it) when you are leaving for an extended time. It is meant to run continuously. The advantage of this is that if you turn on the TV in the middle of a show, you can often rewind to the beginning or record from the beginning, depending on the size of the live TV buffer.

Feature request: A disadvantage of running continuously is that the Moxi has been estimated to draw about 80 watts of power. Some other DVRs have a low-power standby mode, during which the hard drive spins down, and they draw less than 20 watts. These units automatically come back on for scheduled recordings and program guide updates. There is an ongoing debate about whether it is better for hard drives to run continuously or spin down when not needed.

Interestingly, the power light on the current Moxi units is labeled PWR/STDBY, so it is likely that the light that glows green to indicate the Moxi has power can also glow another color (probably red) if the unit was in a theoretical low-power standby mode. Although current models apparently will not support it, a standby mode is planned for the second generation Moxi by Samsung.

Messaging

The front panel has a message light near the red recording light. Presumably, this is to tell subscribers that they have messages from their cable company waiting on the Moxi. However, this function is currently inactive. It could be used, for example, to announce software updates and to tell subscribers about fixes and/or new features. This function is planned for software version 4.1.

APPLICATIONS - CURRENT

Note that not all of these applications are available in all cable systems. In fact, most of them are available in a very limited number of systems. See Moxi Tip #4 for more information.

Ticker and Games

Most cable systems have the Ticker. Games seem to be limited to the smaller systems and a subset of Charter systems. The available games may vary between systems but include the following: Battleship, Bijoux, Blackjack, Blast It, Checkers, Invasion Wave, Ping, Solitaire, Tomato, and Video Poker. Three new games were added with version 3.2 of the software. Presumably, the cable systems pay Digeo an extra fee for Games, and they have not been able to justify the extra expense for all subscribers or the complication of passing along the extra fee to individual subscribers. It has been reported that, in some Charter systems, it is possible to request Games from a customer service representative, and that they will be activated on your individual account free of charge. See the Moxi Ticker and Applications datasheets and Moxi Tips #8 and #12 for more information.

Video On Demand (VOD)

Video On Demand programs are available under the VOD menu item, although they may not be available in all areas. Typically, fee-based VOD programs are available from the server for 24 hours after purchase and should be accessible under the My Rentals sub-menu within the VOD menu. Free VOD programs may also be available.

Unlike programs from regular channels or conventional pay-per-view (PPV) channels, which are broadcast to all subscribers simultaneously and can be recorded to the Moxi hard drive, VOD programs are stored on a central server and "streamed" to individual subscribers without being recorded to the Moxi hard drive. Although you are using your Moxi remote to control transport, the commands are being sent along the cable to the VOD server rather than to your Moxi, so the Moxi does not "directly" control the transport functions for VOD. As such, there typically are fewer transport options, and those transport options that are available may not perform as rapidly. For example, it is likely that only the play, stop, pause, rew, and fwd transport functions will work (replay, skip, back, and next are likely non-functional), and that only one speed of rew and fwd are supported. In addition, there may be a delay of up to a few seconds after hitting the buttons.

The following enhancements are planned for future software releases: purchase and play more than one VOD at a time on multiple TVs, deliver HD VOD signals, and appearance of VOD titles in additional menus. See the On Demand datasheet for more information.

Jukebox and Photo

These applications are currently available in the small independent cable systems, as well as at least some Charter systems. The media files must be transferred to and stored on the Moxi hard drive (3 GB or 7 GB is partitioned on the BMC9012 or BMC9022D, respectively). Although these applications were originally planned for availability in Adelphia systems by Summer, 2005, it is unknown whether/when they will offer them. Digeo reported in October of 2005 that about 20% of Moxi users subscribe to these applications in the systems where they are available. For more information, see the Moxi Applications datasheet.

Photos: The USB ports are active for connection of external memory card readers for import of photos in JPEG format. Maximum file size is 10 MB (larger files are not imported). The USB ports on the back are high speed (2.0), while the front ports are standard speed (1.1), so using the back ports should result in faster transfers. Slideshows can be created and played with background music from Jukebox.

Jukebox: Audio files can be imported from CDs into MP3 format (192 kbps encoding) through the optical drive on a BMC9022D. Album, artist, title, and genre are identified by accessing an online database. Songs can be played by these categories or in shuffle mode. A maximum of about 5 GB (approximately 800 songs) can be stored on the hard drive, although this may vary by cable system. MP3 audio discs can also be played directly through the BMC9022D, and songs can be played by a Moxi Mate in another room--either the same song or a different song than is being played on the main BMC9022D Moxi.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The EAS allows government officials to broadcast weather, disaster, and national security alerts over radio and television. All stations, including cable systems, with 10,000 or more subscribers conduct a monthly test of this system. Although it should be rare, if the test occurs during a Moxi recording, you may lose several minutes of the program. The EAS signal itself may or may not be recorded. In addition, the Moxi apparently has the capacity to interrupt playback of recorded programs when an actual alert is broadcast.

REMOTE CONTROL

Programming the Moxi remote to control your TV or audio receiver

Look in the Motorola BMC9012 Hardware User Guide and/or the Digeo Remote Control Manual for instructions and codes.

The current remote controls can be programmed to control either your TV or your audio receiver, but not both. If you program it to control your TV, you can control power, mute, and volume. If you program it to control your receiver, you can control mute and volume only (not power).

Supposedly, there is a revised remote in development that will add the ability to control both your TV and your receiver, including the power. According to MoxiGuy, these remotes will start becoming available when the current remotes are gone.

Resetting the Moxi remote to its factory default settings

Use code "9999," following the instructions in the Motorola BMC9012 Hardware User Guide and/or the Digeo Remote Control Manual

Universal remote controls that work with Moxi (not guaranteed)

Since the ability of the Moxi remote to control other components is extremely limited, it would be nice to be able to incorporate the Moxi remote functions into a universal remote control. There are two general strategies used by universal remotes:

  1. One strategy is to use a universal remote that can "learn" the functions by pointing the other remote at it. The Moxi remotes are manufactured by Universal Electronics Incorporated. They use an infrared wireless technology called eXtensible Multimedia Protocol (XMP), formerly called Two-Way Infrared Protocol (TWIRP), which is also apparently used by Dreambox and Escient devices. This technology apparently uses multiple infrared pulses (16 burst pairs with 16 different burst combinations). Although some learning remotes can be programmed to control the Moxi, many users report problems with consistency and speed. Another limitation of the learning strategy is that remotes have limited memories for learned keys, and attempting to learn all of the Moxi buttons in addition to any other learned buttons may exceed this memory. Some examples of learning remotes that reportedly work include the Sony RM-AV2100/RM-AV3000/RM-VL900 and the Philips Pronto models (files for Pronto's). This is further complicated by buttons on the Moxi remote that have somewhat different behaviors when they are pressed briefly vs. being held down (e.g., the arrow buttons – single movement vs. "turbo mode"). Some users have reported better results by briefly pressing the buttons or varying the amount of press time during the learning process for certain buttons rather than simply holding them down.
  2. The second strategy is to use a universal remote that either contains a pre-existing Moxi code set or can be programmed with such a code set. There are reports that the following remotes have Moxi code sets available: Logitech Harmony models, Universal Remote Control models URC-200, URC-300 and MX-700, and the One For All URC-9910 or Kameleon All-In-One remotes. Note that some of these devices have computer interfaces (e.g., Harmony and MX-700) or modem interfaces (e.g., Kameleon) allowing immediate code set programming, while others may require you to mail your remote to the company for flash-based programming (e.g., URC-2/300 and URC-9910). The Logitech Harmony remotes seem to produce a particularly high level of satisfaction. Other relatively inexpensive remotes manufactured by the same company that makes the Moxi remote control, Universal Electronics Incorporated, may also be programmable with a JP1 computer interface. Unfortunately, even using this code set universal remote strategy, you still may experience slower or less consistent response in comparison to the Moxi remote control, particularly when navigating menus in "turbo mode" (menus in which scrolling speeds up when you hold down an arrow button). The following tweak has been reported to improve performance with Harmony remotes: from the HarmonyRemote web site, choose the Moxi device, then click on "Troubleshooting", then select "Moxi is responding too slowly", then change the timing from 200 ms to 0 ms.

For additional information, try the HiFi Remote and/or Remote Central web sites.

Discrete codes on universal remote controls

The Moxi does not support discrete codes that can be programmed into some universal remote controls (e.g., to directly go to specific categories in the Moxi menu). This functionality may be considered for a future release.

Skip button advances 15 mintues rather than 30 seconds

In October, 2004, Charter cable systems changed the behavior of the Skip button to skip forward 15 minutes. In response to subscriber complaints, Charter suggested that they use the Fwd button instead. The theory is that Charter did this to make it more difficult to skip through commercials without seeing the content. In fact, cable systems insert commercials themselves to generate revenue and help retain subscribers. Ironically, the DVR section on the Charter web site prominently promotes the ability to skip commercials. Under software version 3.2, the Back and Next buttons jump 15-minute backwards and forwards, respectively. For Charter customers, this means that both the Skip and Next buttons will do a 15-minute forward jump.

Response to Moxi remote very slow when used near some LCD TVs

There have been a few reports of the Moxi responding very slowly to the remote when used with certain LCD panel TVs (e.g., Sharp Aquos and Sony XBR). This may be the result of the TV's backlight emitting frequencies that interfere with the infrared signals of the remote. Workarounds include moving the Moxi or physically blocking it such that remote sensor (to the right of the clock) is not exposed to wavelengths being emitted by the TV. See Moxi Tip #15 for more information. Alternatively, a piece of masking tape over the remote sensor may block the interfering wavelengths from the TV while still allowing Moxi remote signals through. One Sharp LCD TV user reported that turning off the Optical Picture Control (OPC) in the TV's Picture Settings menu resolved the issue, although you would presumably lose the variable backlighting based on ambient light feature.

Remote has a "Guide" or "On Demand" button rather than a "VOD" button

The oldest versions of the Moxi remote have a Guide button, and newer batches have On Demand or VOD buttons. The button does the same thing in all versions. If you do not have VOD service available through your Moxi, this button either takes you to the Moxi menu (v3.0) or does nothing (v3.2).

SOFTWARE UPDATES - GENERAL

Software version currently running on your Moxi

A quick way to determine your major version number is by checking the Moxi Menu. If you have an About Moxi category, then you have the most recent version 3.2 of the software. If, instead, you have an Intro to Moxi category, then you have an earlier version. If you have an earlier version, you most likely have version 3.0 (version 3.1 was not publicly released). I am unaware of anybody still running the older version 2. Version 3.0 can be distinguished from version 2 by the presence of an HDTV category.

Your specific version number is available under Software Version on the Main Overview page of the On-Screen Diagnostics. See the separate On-Screen Diagnostics topic for additional information.

Newest version of the Moxi software

Subscribers in the smaller independent cable systems (BendBroadband and Sunflower Broadband) received the version 3.2 update in late February, 2005. Charter subscribers began receiving the update in May, 2005. Adelphia systems began receiving the update in August, 2005. Adelphia customers are receiving a later intermediate version of 3.2 that supports the digital video port, and perhaps the FireWire port on newer hardware models. In addition, differences in the network architecture of individual Adelphia systems contributed to the delayed deployment.

Here are some reported version numbers for various systems:

Charter

  • 3.2.112.10LR-P.94641
  • 3.2.112.12LR-P.95897
  • 3.2.171.7LR-P.107558 (9/2005)
  • 3.2.171.12LR-P.113955 (12/2005) – 3.2 Update 2
  • 3.2.171.20SR-P.118627
  • 3.2.252.21LR-P.133341 – 3.2 Update 3A+

Adelphia

  • 3.2.171.5LR-P.107338
  • 3.2.171.8LR-P.108702
  • 3.2.171.16LR-P.117058 (12/2005) – 3.2 Update 2
  • 3.2.252.17LR-P.128417 (3/2006) – 3.2 Update 3A

BendBroadband

  • 3.2.105.?

Service Electric

  • 3.2.171.2LR-P.105294

The most commonly reported bugs for early releases of software version 3.2 seem to be:

  1. Unexpected jump to live TV when fast-forwarding through buffered live recordings. You may want to avoid using the fwd button while in the buffered content. A fix will apparently be included in a version 3.2 intermediate update.
  2. Slow menu performance under some circumstances. Rebooting may help (see the Slow menu performance topic in the TROUBLESHOOTING section for more information).
  3. Multi-speed fwd and rew now work at the beginning of progressive i-frame channels, but they fail further into the programs.
  4. Performance problems (pixelation/macroblocking) when playing DVDs in the optical drive of the BMC9022D, particularly when viewing remotely through a Moxi Mate. DVD performance reportedly will be improved in a version 3.2 intermediate update.
  5. Audio dropouts have become a problem again on certain channels. This is supposedly a known issue that will be addressed by a version 3.2 intermediate update.

Types of software updates

MoxiGuy: "Moxi software is upgraded in a series of releases that provide enhancements, new features, bug fixes, etc. Within each release there are a number of optional applications. Applications can be entitled individually, just like various premium channels (HBO, Starz, etc.). Some of them may be entitled with the basic DVR package, others as premium options. It's up to each cable provider to determine which of these applications to enable--and when."

Major updates (e.g., 3.0xxx to 3.2xxx) offer new features or refinements to current features in the user interface. However, intermediate releases (evident at the "xxx" level) that address high priority bugs. However, the fixes have to be consequential to make it into an intermediate build so as not to delay the release of the next major upgrade.

Test phases for major software updates

Any one of these phases may uncover problems that require additional work:

  1. Digeo internal testing organization (quality assurance) that works in parallel with developers throughout the entire development cycle. They do a series of prescribed tests, both manual and automated. This process is longer than three months.
  2. When a version is stable enough for some real world pounding, it is deployed to a panel of Digeo employees for beta testing. In addition, the build is released to cable operator labs to discover how it performs in various network environments (there's a lot of variation out there).
  3. The (hopefully) final round is to send it to an outside lab that the cable industry uses to validate the release. This round of tests takes about six weeks.
  4. Testing by a limited group of subscribers to make sure everything is stable and working as expected.
  5. Wider deployment. The smaller cable systems (e.g., BendBroadband and Sunflower Broadband) typically have a single head-end and channel map and a very consistent hardware network. In contrast, national cable operators (e.g., Charter and Adelphia) typically consist of numerous local systems acquired over time with multiple head-ends and channel maps and complex hardware networks with considerable technical variations. Given these complexities, testing is more complicated and takes longer, so software updates are typically pushed to the smaller cable systems first.

If I do not have the newest version of the software, can I trigger an update manually?

MoxiGuy: "Two things about triggering updates. 1) You can't trigger anything that the cable operator hasn't already set up for your area. 2) Under normal circumstances you shouldn't need to do this. If there is an update, the cable operator can push it to you. Final decision about when to push an update to subscribers rests with the cable operator."

Unofficially: There is a Actions and Triggers page in the On-Screen Diagnostics menu that includes a Software Update category. It has been reported that if your cable system has designated that your unit is to receive an update, that triggering it through this menu by checking the appropriate line and hitting OK will immediately cause your unit to download the new software, update the firmware, and reboot. However, since the Moxi apparently checks every night for software updates, it is unlikely that a manual trigger will get you the update much sooner than if you do nothing.

On-Screen Diagnostics Software Update field reads "ERROR"

This was normal under software version 3.0, particularly if there had not been a new software release since the unit was installed. In fact, even units that had received intermediate 3.0 updates may still have read "ERROR". After the 3.2 update, this field seems to include a value. The Software Version field definitely should contain a value. If it does not, and you are experiencing difficulties, you should contact your cable operator.

How is the Moxi software updated?

MoxiGuy: "In older set top boxes, there was no hard drive, so all software had to be downloaded directly into silicon components--this combination of HW and SW is known as firmware. The BMC9012 has a hard disk drive that not only stores recorded TV, but stores most of our software. In that way it's much more like a PC or Mac. Some cable DVRs have a model where firmware is provided by the HW manufacturer and other providers supply the application software. With Moxi, all of the software comes from Digeo, so we provide it as a unified offering. We don't announce firmware updates as separate from the rest of the software. Just think of it as a new software version.)"

SOFTWARE RELEASES

VERSION 3.2 Update 3A/3A+ (originally scheduled for release Q3/2005)

If 480p is available under HDTV Set-up, then you have this update.

Features/Enhancements:

  • - 480p support on the component, DVI, and FireWire outputs.
  • - 480i support on the DVI output.
  • - Pillar-bars no longer added to 480i/480p (4:3) channels when upconverted to HD resolutions
  • - BMC9012f2 (P2) support
    • FireWire "Rec TV playback"?
  • - Tandberg TV OpenStream v3.2 support (VOD)
  • - Brick Mode support (PowerKEY units only)
  • - MPEG1 audio support (PowerKEY units only)

Bug Fixes:

  • - Cable modem
    • Downstream power level readings in OSD/SNMP now to within ± 3 dB (except for: 9012 units with a Teleplexor PN 160-0030-100 Rev 001, which reads high by 7-16 dB--scheduled to be fixed in 3.2 Update 3B.
    • T3 timeout reduction
  • - Closed captioning not appearing on some programs.
  • - Box lockups on HD channels with closed captioning on and unattended for extended periods.
  • - SNR lower on In Band #1 vs In Band #0 causing tiling on channels, especially HD.
    • Improved to 3 dB differential from 4-5 dB, but is limited by hardware.
  • - Channel unavailability due to PMT table size (PowerKEY units only)

Changes:

  • Component, S-Video, and Composite output video goes dark when a DVI cable/connection is established.
  • DVD playback limited to 480i or 480p.
  • No DVD playback allowed over FireWire.

Note: The following information on future software releases was compiled from past postings by MoxiGuy, as well as a few other seemingly reliable sources. Although the information seems reasonable, it has not been verified. In addition, the final releases may not include all of the listed updates, nor are the scheduled release dates certain. As evidenced by the delays in the original release of version 3.2, these releases tend to get behind schedule. MoxiGuy presumably has not revealed details on this type of information, as it tends to build expectations, followed by frustration when development and/or acceptance by cable systems is delayed.

VERSION 3.2 Update 3B (originally scheduled for release Q3/2005)

- Accuracy of downstream power level readings in OSD/SNMP improved 9012 units with a Teleplexor PN 160-0030-100 Rev 001

VERSION 4.0 (originally scheduled for release Q3/2005, but now scheduled for the first half of 2006; reportedly being tested by Digeo Quality Assurance and employees at home in September of 2005 with "a few months" before actual release; this release may be combined with version 4.1)

This is the first software platform that will support the Samsung Home Media Center (Moxi II Media Center).

This software release will be the first to support add-ons developed with the Moxi Software Development Kit (SDK), which will reportedly allow acceleration of future developments.

  • Performance improvements:
    • Faster database access to speed up the interface (e.g., the Hide/Show channel listing and the Find By Title pop-up menu, which are both currently quite slow).
  • Time-forward guide (TimeSurf):
    • Allows flipping the entire channel list forward through time in 30-minute or 24-hour increments (screenshot). It's not quite a grid, but it lets you compare what's on across multiple channels. The time-forward control will work in all of the menus, so you can compare movies, sports, etc.
  • Other user interface enhancements:
    • Recorded programs that map to specific categories will appear in those categories, in addition to the Recorded TV category.
    • On Next sub-menu will appear in all categories, not just the main Channels menu.
    • View Upcoming sub-menu will be change to See All Times, and it will appear in all categories, not just the Scheduled to Record menu.
    • Dozens of additional "fit and finish" refinements, perhaps to make the user interface more consistent.
  • New version of Photos (v1.5).
  • Moxi Telephone version 1
  • In systems with Games, Photos, and Jukebox, new game Ping replaces Domino Dementia, as well as other new games and features.
  • Includes Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) architecture:
  • Presumably for security for wireless networking.
  • 480i support over DVI
  • 480p support

Bug fix?

If you schedule a recording, and the show is later extended to a longer period, even if the program guide updates to reflect this extension prior to the recording, only the first time slot will record.

VERSION 4.1 (formerly scheduled for release Q4/2005, and now scheduled for sometime in 2006; this release may be combined with version 4.0)

  • Hard disk drive meter
  • Manual recording
  • Parental Control enhancements
  • User interface enhancements
  • Skip setting (presumably so that you can manually set the time assigned to the skip button)
  • Apps Sampler Pack (perhaps this includes Vulcan add-ons, like MosaicTV, IM, and/or Ambient?)
  • Service Messages
  • Presumably to allow your cable system to deliver messages (there is a message light on the Moxi to create an alert for unread messages)
  • PC MediaLink version 1
  • New games (14)
  • Moxi Telephone version 2
  • PowerKey support version 4.x
  • Presumably, this is the first 4.x version to support Moxi's in PowerKey cable systems
  • Bandwidth improvements
  • Warehousing improvements
  • External hard drive support may be included.

VERSION 4.2 (formerly scheduled for release Q2/2006)

  • External hard drive support
  • DVD-RW support
  • “PowerBrowser” v1.0 (probably not a web browser, but rather a program guide browser?)
  • User interface can be delivered in high definition
  • Moxi Menu customization, allowing you to add/remove categories
  • Browse by "Credit" (presumably in the Find menu)
  • Manual Favorites
  • Presumably allows manual selection of channels to appear in the Favorites menu.
  • Favorite programs (unknown)
  • Wish Lists (presumably similar to TiVo function)
  • Recorded TV grouping
  • Presumably improves upon grouping of program names in Recorded TV menu.
  • DVR default settings
  • Presumably allows you to change the default keep until, repeat, and episode number settings when scheduling recordings.
  • Further architectural/SDK improvements

VERSION 4.3 (formerly scheduled for release Q4/2006)

  • "Power Browser" v1.5
  • Menu customization (default filter and horizontal order of filters)
  • Auto-record wish lists
  • User-settable sort order of lists
  • Speed Listening (presumably allows audio to be heard during rew and/or fwd?)
  • Rec TV flip bar (presumably the flip bar will be available while watching a recorded program)

APPLICATIONS - FUTURE

Telephone (software version 4.0 or 4.1)

Moxi Telephone will interoperate with Integra5's UniTV converged services platform and will be compatible with both voice over IP (VoIP) and traditional circuit-switched voice technologies. It will include on-screen caller ID, message waiting notification, and voice mail management. Trials were supposedly planned for the Summer of 2005, but functionality was not reported until September, 2006, and it is unknown whether trials have occurred. The application may become available in 2006 under software version 4.0 or 4.1 in cable systems that choose to offer it. Future planned features include the ability to listen to voice mail messages, answer incoming calls, assign caller ID images, and flag and/or re-direct specific calls for transfer to external numbers or voice mail.

PC Link (software version 4.1)

The PC Link feature will use a wired or wireless connection to your home network through the Moxi's Ethernet port. It will allow you to access photos and music stored on your PC from your TV using the Moxi's Photos and Jukebox interfaces without using space on the Moxi hard drive. See the Moxi Applications datasheet and PC Link web page for additional information. PC Link will not be Mac compatible at first release. Although the PC Link web page mentions high-speed Internet access, as well, it is questionable whether this Home Networking feature will be available with PC Link when first released (see Home Networking section below).

Home Networking

Home networking and Internet access through the Moxi's internal cable modem and Ethernet port are also planned for a future release. Home Networking will include DHCP and NAT, as well as a router and firewall. Apparently, it will be possible to set up the Moxi to be a network hub -- either wired or wireless (802.11b or 802.11g) with WEP security – with support for both Windows and Macintosh personal computers. There are also plans to be able to control the home network from the Moxi, as well as remote network administration (SNMP). See the Moxi Home Networking datasheet and BMC9012 Installation Guide for additional information.

Moxi Software Development Kit (SDK)

Vulcan Ventures apparently is developing a number of applications using the Moxi SDK. These include "MosaicTV" which displays a grid of channels; "Instant Messenger" which allows instant messaging with MSN IM, and perhaps Yahoo! IM and AIM (this function apparently works through the Opera web browser); and "Ambient" which allows remote tuning and scheduling through a grid-based guide, content management, playlist creation, and content streaming through a web based portal. Pictures of MosaicTV and Instant Messenger, taken at the 2005 NCTA National Show, have been posted on MoxiFAQ.com.

Other functions/applications under consideration

  • Network Games
  • Web-based DVR scheduling
  • Web browser
  • Customizable Ticker
  • Languages (UI)
  • Speech input UI
  • Cell phone DVR scheduling
  • Music download service
  • Internet Radio
  • MP3 player interface
  • DVD download
  • Photo printing
  • IMDB link (more movie info)
  • Cell-to-Moxi photos
  • Video streaming to mobile devices
  • Mix Channels
  • Fantasy Sports
  • Manage recordings downloaded from the Internet.
  • Play DVD-enhanced broadcast video.
  • Dolby surround-sound audio files.
  • Support for TVs, PCs, Macs, and Palm devices.
  • Video phone.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Cable company customer support

There are several things listed in this section that you can do to diagnose and/or fix problems with the Moxi. If anything exceeds your expertise or fails to resolve your problem, you should probably call your cable company's customer support line for assistance.

Customer support representatives (CSRs) can remotely access diagnostic data and error logs and fix some problems with a software tool provided by Digeo, including refreshing or re-initializing your box. When you call, if the CSR does not recognize the term "Moxi," say "DVR" instead. Just like any industry, some cable companies are better than others and some CSRs are better than others regarding support. If it becomes clear that the CSR you reach does not have much experience, you may want to ask to talk to another CSR (or just hang up and call back to get a different one), or you can ask to be elevated to the next "level" of support.

If the CSR is unable to fix the problem, they may elevate you to a higher level CSR, escalate the case to a Digeo CSR, or (most likely) schedule a visit by a cable technician. Although this is a pain, there are definitely circumstances where it is required. There are a number of cases where only the swapping of the box with a new one will resolve the problem. Unfortunately, in other cases the home visit may be unnecessary.

Although Digeo has a couple of toll-free support numbers, they are apparently not set up to routinely help individual customers, so I have opted not to publish the numbers here. One is for VIP Customer Support, which appears to be dedicated to beta testers, and the other is for their Network Operations Center, which appears to be dedicated to escalation of problems handled by cable company CSRs.

On-Screen Diagnostics (OSD) menu

Some of the troubleshooting tips in this section require accessing the Moxi's OSD menu. The OSD provides access to device, account, and subscriber information; diagnostic values for hardware, software, network, and resource usage; and triggers for forcing critical updates. To display the OSD, simultaneously press and hold the MENU and OK buttons on the front of the box (not the remote) for about four seconds. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus, and press Moxi to exit.

Rebooting

Many problems, such as user interface freezes/lock ups or slow menu performance, can be resolved, at least temporarily, by rebooting the Moxi. To accomplish a soft reboot, hold down the Reset button on the front of the box for about five seconds until it reboots. If that does not work, you can try a hard reboot by unplugging the box for about five seconds, then plugging it back in. Rebooting should take about five minutes.

You can also initiate the Moxi's restart sequence from the OSD. From any menu except the Triggers menu, press [9] [0] on the remote.

Freezes/lock-ups

Like most computer-based devices, the Moxi will occasionally lock up. Manual rebooting typically resolves these issues.

Slow menu performance

If menu performance becomes unacceptably slow, try rebooting the Moxi. If the reboot process takes less than 10 minutes, and this temporarily improves menu performance, the problem may be due to memory leaks. Under software version 3.0, the Moxi automatically reboots every few days as part of an Automated Preventative Maintenance (APM) schedule to clear the memory to ensure best performance. Apparently, with software version 3.2, Digeo reduced the automatic reboot frequency to about once a week based on a perceived improvement in stability. Thus, manual reboots when menu performance slows down may be beneficial.

If the reboot process takes longer than about 10 minutes, or if the reboot does not improve menu performance, you may have a connectivity problem. It has been reported that if the Moxi's internal cable modem has difficulty connecting to the network, it can cause slow menu performance as it continues to try to connect (see the CONNECTIVITY section below for troubleshooting advice). Alternatively, you may have a bad box.

Menu performance will reportedly be significantly improved in version 4.x of the software due to a major re-write of the user interface.

A "not authorized" warning message appears on the screen for pay-per-view channels or premium channels to which you subscribe

Although the Moxi's internal cable modem may be provisioned, your "services" may not be properly provisioned. Call your cable company to verify that both are provisioned. You may be able to provide them with your Moxi's serial number to fix the problem. This may require a Trigger Entitlements Update under the Actions and Triggers > List of Various Triggers OSD menu.

Pixelation/macroblocking/tiling and/or audio dropouts on digital channels

This is one of the most commonly reported problems. It may arise due to a number of issues, including: (1) signal compression by the original broadcaster; (2) signal compression by your local cable company; (3) problems in the transfer of the signal from the broadcaster to the local cable company; (4) Moxi performance problem; or (5) Moxi connectivity problem.

There is nothing that you can do about the first three cases. High compression of digital signals by the original broadcaster and/or cable company is done to fit more channels into the lineup and can lead to macroblocking that is most evident in fast-moving scenes. The signal may also be affected during transfer to the local cable company. For example, environmental factors such as sun spot activity or severe storms can affect satellite feeds. In addition, while some local channels may be received by the cable company by wire, others may be received by antenna, making them subject to similar signal problems.

Regarding performance issues on the Moxi, some people have reported that the problem is worse when the Moxi is working the hardest (e.g., recording two HD channels and playing back a third simultaneously, particularly when the channels are 1080i). Even watching one HD channel while recording another or watching a buffered HD channel may be enough to tax the Moxi under some circumstances. The Moxi needs to send information upstream periodically in order to properly tune HD channels, so there is a theory that heavy network access at certain times of the day may tax the performance of the Moxi, affecting its ability to display HD content.

In some cases, a reboot/reset may help, at least temporarily. It is also possible that leaving the Moxi tuned to an SD channel might help when you will be recording an HD channel but not watching another channel (this prevents the Moxi from having to buffer an unwatched HD channel while recording another, using less resources).

However, there is also evidence that the Moxi does not equally split the incoming signal between the two tuners. If the signal level is on the borderline, channels may look fine on one tuner, but just different enough on the other tuner (too low or too high) to cause pixelation. Thus, a problem that appears only when using both tuners may not, in fact, be due to performance issues, but rather it may reflect watching the tuner that is only used when the other tuner is recording a program. In addition, signal levels can change at night due to environmental changes (see below for more detail), so the problem may not be due to heavy network access.

Your cable system customer support representatives should be able to remotely retrieve signal level/quality information from your box and send out a technician, if necessary. It may be helpful to record the program while the loss of signal is occurring. This will allow you to show the cable repair technician exactly what is happening. It is also possible to check the connectivity yourself to verify that the cable modem is provisioned properly and that the signal level/quality is stable (see the CONNECTIVITY DIAGNOSIS topics below).

Some users have experienced problems specifically in the evenings. One theory is related to the cable company's automatic gain controllers (AGC) in the signal amplifiers along their cable system. When these turn on and off to maintain proper signal level (e.g., at night due to a temperature change), it may disrupt the HD signals just enough to cause them to drop out briefly on the Moxi. Another theory is that electronic equipment (including things in your own or your neighbor's house), two-way radios (e.g., Nextel phones), or street lights could produce frequencies that interfere with the cable signals by leaking into insufficiently shielded cable or poor connections. Another theory is that temperature and/or humidity changes (perhaps seasonal) can affect lower quality cables and equipment, particularly in older cable systems.

This is all just speculation, though. Diagnosing such a problem will likely require a cable technician coming out during one of the problem times to test your line at the entrance to your house and at your Moxi. A rare and extreme diagnostic procedure is for the cable company to install a line analyzer which measures primary and secondary error rates in the signal over time, creating a log of when they occur.

A cable technician has reported that Moxi's with serial numbers starting with "XC95" are particularly subject to this problem when the signal level is above +1 dB, and that the problem may be worse on one of the two tuners.

Electronic program guide (EPG) has less than two weeks of data

The EPG data (the listing of programs with times, descriptions, actor and director names, ratings, etc.) should be updated nightly, typically between 1 and 6 AM, through the cable modem built into the Moxi. If the EPG contains no data or less than two weeks of data, something is likely wrong. You can check the Last EPG Update entry on the Main Overview page of the OSD to verify this information.

If it is clear that updates have not been occurring properly, it is possible that you have or have had a connectivity problem. Examples of possible causes of connectivity problems include "de-provisioning" of the Moxi's internal modem or inadequate signal level/quality (see the CONNECTIVITY DIAGNOSIS topics below). Consider whether any wiring changes were made around the time it stopped updating (e.g., addition of a splitter or amplifier, installation of a cable modem, etc.). If you can fix the wiring issue and improve your signal level/quality, you may be able to restore connectivity by reacquiring a valid IP address. After checking and, if necessary, improving your connectivity, you can try to manually trigger an EPG update by selecting Trigger Program Info Update under the Actions and Triggers > List of Various Triggers menu. If the EPG data still does not appear within about an hour, you can try to first Trigger Account Settings, then repeat the Trigger Program Info Update.

Video On Demand (VOD) not functioning properly

A high percentage of ongoing software fixes, bug reports, and unresolved issues with the Moxi software are related to its interactions with the VOD servers. In some areas where VOD service is available through the Moxi, there have been a number of reports of intermittent outages and of user interface issues, such as seemingly endless navigation through sub-menus and difficulty searching.

There are several different VOD providers, and the one used by your cable system likely affects whether VOD services are available through your Moxi, as well as the reliability of these services. It appears that Moxi has supported "Concurrent" VOD systems the longest, "C-COR" (formerly "CUBE") was added with software version 3.0, and "SeaChange" was added with software version 3.2. TANDBERG (formerly "N2BB") also seems to be supported by the Moxi. All of these systems use different server software to deliver VOD services, and the interaction of the Moxi with these servers is probably quite complicated. Outages may be a result of the entire VOD service being down, or it could be a problem with the interactions with the Moxi. If you think you should be receiving VOD but are not, you may have to call your cable company to ask them to authorize the channels for you. VOD problems are a common complaint about the Moxi.

Since VOD service requires the cable modem in the Moxi, you must have good, continuous connectivity and proper provisioning for it to work properly (see the CONNECTIVITY DIAGNOSIS section below). If connectivity is good/fixed, it may be useful to trigger a "context" and "VOD download" under the Actions and Triggers > List of Various Triggers in the OSD.

Missing channels or mislabeled channels

When your local cable system adds or removes channels, or changes their channel line-up, they are supposed to submit the new channel mapping information to Tribune Media Services (TMS), the provider of Moxi's electronic program guide (EPG) data. If this information fails to be submitted or processed in a timely and proper way, these changes will not be reflected in your Moxi's EPG and the new/changed channels will not tune/record properly. You should first contact your cable company to inform them of the problem, but you also may be able to help the process by contacting TMS and/or Digeo.

If your cable system has not recently made changes to their line-up, the problem may be due to the configuration of your individual Moxi. Your best course of action is to report the problem to your cable company. For the more adventurous and technically inclined, it may be possible to diagnose and even fix the problem. Go to Account Settings under the OSD menu. The MSO ID (multi-system operator identification) should contain the name of your cable operator. The Headend ID and Channel Map ID should probably also contain the name of your cable operator, as well as the name of your local system. If they do not, you may have a channel map problem. You will probably need to contact your cable operator to resolve this issue, perhaps by having them re-initialize your Moxi and making the proper settings in the Installer Tool.

Sample Account Information/Settings:

  • Status: Active
  • Privacy: aggregate
  • MSO ID: ADELPHIA
  • MSO Market ID: 8577_1000
  • Headend ID: HE_ADELPHIA_8577_1000_CARLSBAD_CA
  • Channel Map ID: CMAP_ADELPHIA_8577_1000_CARLSBAD

Correct channels, but incorrect logos

Under Actions and Triggers > List of Various Triggers, you can Trigger Resources Download. This may download updated station icons, although it is typically not necessary. If this fails, you should contact your cable company, and they will likely have to contact Digeo for them to correct the problem in their database

Flickering time display

This seems to occur during power fluctuations, such as during storms. A hard reboot should correct the problem. You can plug the unit into a surge protector or similar device to reduce the chances of this type of crash. If it happens frequently or cannot be corrected by a hard reboot, you probably have a bad unit that needs replacing.

Audio/video quality problems with Moxi Mate

A number of users have complained of buzzing/humming audio or fuzzy video on their Moxi Mate. One potential cause may be a problem with the position of the low-pass filter in your home's cable network. The signal from the 9022 to the Moxi Mate is on a very high frequency (1.2 GHz) that travels back through the coaxial input on the back of the 9022 through the house wiring to the splitter that divides the signal to the 9022 and the Moxi Mate. A low-pass filter is installed upstream of this splitter to prevent the high-frequency signal from exiting the house. It is best if this filter is placed on the input side of the splitter that is the farthest downstream in the network, but still includes both the main Moxi and the Moxi Mate downstream of its outputs.

Warning message: "Your Moxi needs to be rebooted for maintenance."

When you get this message, there is not anything wrong with your Moxi. It is part of the routine Automated Preventative Maintenance (APM) schedule, in which the unit reboots itself periodically. Since the Moxi is essentially a computer with complicated system software, it benefits from occasional rebooting, perhaps to resolve memory leaks and/or other issues. This should only happen in the very early hours of the morning, and you can postpone the reboot if you happen to be watching. The reboot will be delayed automatically if there is a scheduled recording. Under v3.2, this happens about once per week.

Overheating warning message and/or frequent erratic behavior

If you have frequent, recurring problems, such as freezes or other erratic behavior, it is possible that your Moxi is overheating, as they seem to be relatively susceptible to this. There is a CPU Temperature entry in the OSD menu. Typical readings seem to be about 32-52˚C. The "overheating" messages pop up when the CPU temperature value reaches about 65˚C, and the Moxi will automatically shut down if the temperature remains too high. According to Motorola, cabinet installations must have no doors or have open airflow. In addition, you are supposed to keep the Moxi away from other heat-generating components and have at least two inches of clearance on the top, sides, and back. Open space in the back is probably particularly important, since there are outlets there for the motherboard and power supply cooling fans. Make sure your unit has enough air flow to keep it cool. It may also help to occasionally dust or vacuum out the vents on the back.

Loud/noisy fans

The Moxi apparently has variable speed fans that cool the power supply and motherboard. If there is a lot of dust built up inside the Moxi, cooling is much less efficient, and these fans may have to run faster and more frequently. Vacuuming dust out of the two fan outlets on the back of the Moxi may be helpful. Otherwise, you may have to call your cable company to have the unit serviced.

Other warning messages:

"There is a problem with your media center that prevents it from operating properly."

"Operating with limited services."

These warning messages suggest that there is a problem with your Moxi that requires attention. Try rebooting. If that does not work, call your cable company's customer support line, as these warnings likely indicate that there is something wrong with the hardware that can likely only be resolved by replacing your box.

Installer Tool (Configuration Tool)

The Installer Tool is a series of hidden menus used by the cable system technician/installer during initial installation of your Moxi after initialization in the warehouse. It is used to verify your account information and to set your location (city/cable system) and channel map (mapping the channel numbers to the corresponding networks for your system). It is accessed by navigating to the Channel List card in the Settings menu (do not open it), and then hitting back > next > back > next within three seconds. This menu becomes inaccessible after the unit is properly set up. If it is accessible, there is likely something wrong with your box that may require a service call. A re-initialization signal sent from your cable company may lead to this.

It is interesting to note that the BMC9012 Installation Guide states that a laptop can be connected to the Ethernet port while in the Installer Tool to verify network access. However, at least one attempt by a user failed to make this work (a DHCP IP address was not obtained).

Numbers in the LED display during the boot process

The numbers are "boot progress" or "status" codes. They should count up from 03xx to 04xx to verify the ROM status, and, eventually, the time of day should be displayed, indicating a successful startup If there is a problem with your Moxi, it may stall on one of the codes or display an error code starting with "E" (open firmware error) or "F" (operating system error). These can be used by repair personnel to diagnose the problem. If your Moxi fails to boot up, you should contact your cable system operator. They may be able to fix your Moxi by reinitializing it, or they may have to replace it. Flashing 8888 indicates a failed power supply. For additional information, see an official list of codes.

Moxi Mate troubleshooting

If there is no connectivity between the Moxi Mate and the main BMC9022D unit, the Moxi Mate display will read "1". Make sure the filter is in the correct location and/or try moving the Moxi Mate closer to the main BMC9022D unit in the "network".

Firmware version: When booting up the Moxi Mate, the code "rd19" should appear in the display after about two minutes of other alphanumeric characters. This should be followed by the time of day. If a number lower than rd19 appears, you have an outdated version of the firmware. To update the firmware, reboot the Moxi Mate by pressing the power and channel-up buttons while plugging in the power supply.

Hissing sound: Make sure the low-pass filter is installed on the input of the first splitter that is shared by the main Moxi and the Moxi Mate.

Growling sound with RF connection to TV: Try switching the Audio setting to RF.

Moxi Mate: channel change warning messages

The two tuners [in the BMC9022D] allow up to two channels to be watched or recorded at the same time. When a channel change or recording requires a third channel, it causes a tuner conflict. With the BMC9022D and Moxi Mate, the following situations result in a confli

  • Changing a channel while one TV is tuned to one channel and the other TV is tuned to and recording another channel.
  • Changing a channel while both TVs are tuned to the same channel and one TV is also recording a different channel.
  • Changing a channel while both TVs are tuned to and recording different channels.
  • One TV is turned off, the other TV is tuned to a channel and starts to record a second channel. This situation occurs only if the TV that is off was tuned to a different channel.

For additional details, see MoxiGuy's post.

CONNECTIVITY DIAGNOSIS

The cable modem inside the Moxi is used to download nightly electronic program guide information, ticker data, and occasional software updates from your cable company. In addition, it is involved in the two-way communications necessary for Video On Demand and downloads necessary for entitlement of Moxi services.

1. Check the CPE IP Address entry on the Main Overview page.

1a. If this entry reads "unavailable" or contains what appears to be a self-assigned "link-local" IP address (e.g., 169.0.0.1 or 170.0.0.1), rather than a valid dynamic IP address acquired from a server (e.g., starting with 24 or 68 for Adelphia systems, or starting with 24 or 64 for Charter systems – this list is not exhaustive), then you can try to reacquire a new dynamic IP address (skip to #2 below). An IP address of 169.0.0.1 indicates that the signal level may be low and/or the modem has not been properly provisioned. An IP address of 170.0.0.1 indicates that the modem has not been properly provisioned.

1b. It is also possible that an IP address that appears valid was reassigned to somebody else's Moxi during a connection problem. To test what appears to be a valid IP address, you can perform a "ping" test under Actions and Triggers > List of Various Pinged Sites. A successful ping will result in the message, "1 packet transmitted 1 received". You should also be able to ping the Moxi's "CPE IP Address" from an Internet-enabled computer, if you are equipped to conduct such a test.

2. If you did not have a valid CPE IP Address and/or you failed the ping test(s), execute a Trigger Reacquire of IP Address under Actions and Triggers > List of Various Triggers, then reboot.

3. You can then re-check to see whether you obtained a valid CPE IP Address.

If you do not obtain a valid CPE IP Address through these procedures, you may have a continuing signal /connection problem. It may still be possible to further diagnose and resolve it (see signal level/quality topics below). However, if it is a problem with the hardware, configuration, provisioning, etc., you probably will have to call your cable company's customer support line. Even if this procedure did restore your connectivity, you may still want to check your signal level/quality, as improper levels could contribute to intermittent connectivity problems.

Cable modem signal level and quality

In addition to influencing cable modem connectivity, the cable modem signal level should also be relevant for tuner signal "levels," particularly in the frequency ranges that typically contain the HD digital channels. Tuner signal "quality" can be checked separately (see below).

For optimal connectivity, you should see the following values or ranges under Network Diagnostics Menu > DOCSIS Interface Information:

Status Value: 12 – operational

If this value is 3 or 4, you may have a signal level/quality problem (see below). If the value is between 7 and 10, your cable modem may need to be provisioned.

Downstream Power: -10 to +5 dBmV

This reading directly shows the power level of the signal coming in from your cable company to your cable modem. In addition, since the downstream frequencies used by cable modems (typically in the higher part of a range between about 550 and 860 MHz) are usually in the same range as many of the digital cable channels, this reading can indirectly show the signal level for these channels. A downstream power reading that is either too high or too low can be a serious problem.

Important notes:

After the initial version 3.2 update, this reading does not seem to be accurate in many cases. The Moxi frequently reads somewhere between -15.1 and -14.9 dBmV, even though the actual levels are in the recommended range of -10 to +5 according to more reliable signal level meters used by cable technicians. Therefore, use of this reading should be used with caution until the issue is resolved. This issue is apparently largely resolved in intermediate 3.2 update 3A after which the reading should be within ± 3 dB, although some units will read high by 7-16 dB until intermediate 3.2 update 3B.

Downstream Signal/Noise: greater than 30dB


This reflects the quality of the signal coming in from your cable company -- higher is better (more good signal and less noise):

Upstream Power: less than 50 to 56 dBmV


This reflects the power level your Moxi is producing to send outgoing signals back to the cable company at the shown frequency (typically between about 5 and 42 MHz) -- lower is better; maximum is ~61 dB).

Tuner signal quality

For optimal performance, you should see the following values or ranges under Hardware Diagnostics Menu > Tuner Information. Press the up or down arrow buttons to scroll through the tuner screens.

Out-of-band (OOB) tuner

The OOB tuner is used to download channel map data and the data required to authorize (decrypt) the digital channels to which you have subscribed. It is also involved in receiving signals from customer support representatives, such as hits, refreshes, and initializations. However, it should not impact on the tuning of your actual channels. It typically receives incoming information near analog channel 5 at about 75.25 MHz and sends outgoing information at about 10.592 MHz.

Screen 1 of 3

  • Tuner: Out of Band
  • State: Digital Locked
  • SNR: 21 dB or higher
  • AGC: approximately 43% internal/63% external (numbers may be higher)
  • OOB Data: Active

In-band tuners

The in-band tuners tune in the actual channels. Screen 2 of 3 provides information on Tuner #1 (In Band #0), and screen 3 of 3 provides information on Tuner #2 (In Band #1). If you were watching TV with nothing recording when you activated the OSD, the channel you were watching will be reflected on screen 2 of 3 (Tuner #1). If you were recording one channel while watching another (or recording two channels), the recording channel (or first recording) will be reflected on screen 2 of 3 (Tuner #1), and the other channel (or second recording) will be reflected on screen 3 of 3 (Tuner #2).

Screen 2 of 3 (when tuned to a digital channel)

  • Tuner: In Band #0 (Tuner #1)
  • State: Digital Locked
  • SNR: best = 30-45 dB; problem = <30 dB (Note: At around 28 dB, some of your digital channels [256 QAM] may begin to break up with pixelation/macroblocking. Other digital channels [64 QAM] will begin to break up at around 22 dB.)
  • AGC: 50% internal/40% external
  • Channel: The channel number you are tuned to (100 or higher for digital)
  • Frequency: The frequency used by the tuned channel. The same frequency will likely be shared by groups of digital channels. It is likely that problems that affect one channel within the frequency will affect the others, as well.

Screen 3 of 3 (when recording a channel on Tuner #1 and watching an additional digital channel)

  • Tuner: In Band #1 (Tuner #2)
  • The rest of the entries should be the same as for Tuner #1.

The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on In Band #1 is often ~4-5 dB lower than In Band #0. This difference may put just one of the tuners out of the acceptable range, perhaps resulting in problems only on recorded channels or only on live channels. This problem supposedly has been partially addressed in intermediate 3.2 update 3A, in which the difference is reduced to about 3 dB. However, this remaining difference apparently cannot be resolved by a software update, as it is a hardware limitation. In addition, it has been reported that some Moxi units, particularly those with serial numbers starting with XC94 or XC95, are susceptible to pixelation on digital channels when the power level is above about +1 dBmV. Since the reading on the Moxi may not be accurate, a technician visit may be required to verify the problem.

For analog channels, Screens 2 and 3 should contain the following information:

  • State: Analog Locked
  • SNR and AGC: Unknown
  • Channel: The channel number you are tuned to (<100 for analog)
  • Frequency: The frequency that corresponds to the tuned channel.

Ideal analog signal power is around +6 dB, and it should be at least 0 dB. However, the Moxi does not measure this level itself, so a visit by a cable technician with a signal level meter is required.

Improving signal level/quality

If you are experiencing Moxi connectivity problems or frequent pixelation/macroblocking and/or audio dropouts on digital channels, you may have a signal "level" problem (either too high or too low) and/or a signal "quality" problem (high "noise" level resulting in a low signal-to-noise ratio). These problems may also manifest themselves as snowy analog channels and/or unreliable cable modem service (if installed). There are a number of ways to improve the signal, many of which your cable company should do free of charge, particularly if the problem exists at the origination point where the cable is attached to your home.

At the origination point, it is apparently typical for analog signals to be approximately +10 dB at the low (e.g., channel 2) and the high (e.g., channel 117) end. The "tilt" of the gain (cable company's amplification) applied to the analog signals can be changed to ensure consistent signal level throughout the range of frequencies from low to high. And it is apparently typical for the digital signals to be about +6 to +10 dB (+6 dB for 256 QAM channels and +8 to +10 dB for 64 QAM channels).

If your signal level is too high at the origination point, an "attenuator" can be used to reduce it. Attenuators are typically installed in-line with the incoming cable and look like small additional connectors or cylinders. They come in a variety of attenuation levels (rated in dB)—some are variable. Alternatively, a splitter can be used to attenuate the signal. For example, one of the outputs on a two-way splitter can attenuate ~3.5 dB, or most three-way splitters can attenuate ~7 dB on some outputs. Unused outputs should probably be terminated with screw-on terminators

If your signal level is too low at the origination point, a number of things can be done to increase it. For example, the cable company could install a more substantial "RG-11" cable or signal amplifier between the split from the main wire that feeds the entire neighborhood (your "drop") and the origination point on your home. The cable coming into your home should also be properly grounded, passing through a grounding block with a wire attached to an electrical ground, such as a metal cold water pipe, a grounding rod, or the grounding post of an electrical outlet.

If the signal level and quality are good at the origination point on your home, then improvements to the coaxial cable network within your home may be necessary. The cable company will typically make at least simple improvements for you, including ensuring that there is a properly installed grounding block at the entry point to your home and replacing bad connections, old splitters, and short runs of old coaxial cables. They may even be willing to install a signal amplifier, if necessary, to feed multiple jacks throughout your house. Beyond that, you will probably be responsible for improvements.

Connectors that are poorly attached to the cable or that are not tightly attached to their target can lead to signal degradation. In addition, "RG-59" cable (common in older installations) is subject to much higher signal degradation--particularly at the higher frequencies required by the Moxi--than "RG-6" cable (thicker for less signal loss and less ingress of interference, particularly at the higher frequencies used by the Moxi). Connectors should be tightened if loose and replaced if poorly attached. Any damaged, severely bent, or accessible non-RG-6 cable should be replaced with new RG-6 cable with good connectors, secure attachments, and no kinks. Unfortunately, if your home has long runs of RG-59 cable through the walls, this may be a significant source of signal degradation that is very difficult to replace. In that case, try all of the other strategies first.

Ensure that all splitters allow a wide frequency range, from about 5 MHz to 1,000 MHz (or 1 GHz), to pass downstream. The Moxi requires signals at high frequencies, so splitters that only go up to 300 or 500 MHz will cause problems and should be replaced. The splitter must also be bi-directional (two-way), allowing upstream "return" signals in the 5-42 MHz range. This is so that the cable modem can communicate back across the cable network. If you already have digital cable or a separate cable modem for Internet access, your splitters should currently be OK.

Every time the cable is split, goes through a connector, or goes through a lengthy run, signal is lost and noise is introduced. Combinations of splitters, connectors, and/or lengthy runs can lead to enough loss of signal level and/or quality to prevent reliable usage of the Moxi. Removing unneeded splitters and using splitters that split the cable only the number of times needed will help maintain the signal. Some splitters have less signal loss on individual outputs (they are typically labeled with the dB loss). Note that the signal loss ratings on splitters are typically for the lower channel frequencies, whereas the Moxi's digital tuner and cable modem readings are for higher frequencies. Since somewhat more signal loss occurs at these higher frequencies over splitters and longer cable runs, your readings may fluctuate a bit more than would be expected based on the written specifications.

If signal levels are still too low at the Moxi, an amplifier that meets the frequency and two-way standards described above may be required, perhaps with "active return." Be careful what type of amplifier you obtain, though, as many users have reported that models of questionable quality can actually make the situation worse. You may also want to check out this FAQ on cable modem wiring issues that has relevant information.

Scrolling video "hum" bars

Vertically scrolling "hum" bars are likely caused by interference from an electrically powered device, either due to induction into an inadequately shielded video cable or due to a ground loop issue. Suggestions: If possible, avoid the use of cable signal amplifiers. If you must use an amplifier, use only a high quality one. Avoid running power cords in close proximity to the coaxial and video cables carrying your television signals. Use quality coaxial and video cables with ample shielding (expensive does not necessarily mean better). Make sure all connections are secure. Try unplugging all of your components except the Moxi and your display, and try plugging these units into the same circuit and different circuits (if the hum bars disappear at some point, you likely have a ground loop problem). Check this site for ground loop troubleshooting assistance.

Full list of Moxi OSD menu items:

[01] – Main Overview

  • This option displays some of the most common diagnostic information:
  • MSO ID—Unique name of cable service provider (MSO)
  • Device Identifier—Unique box ID used for provisioning and diagnostics
  • Portal Environment—Environment at the Digeo Portal from which the box receives feeds
  • Hardware Version—Digeo or Motorola hardware release version
    • “Limonite” for first generation models BMC9012, BMC9022D, and BMC9012F
  • Software Version—Moxi software version
  • Free Memory—Free memory on hard drive
  • HomeNet. IP Address—Address scope assigned when an optional device is attached to the box
    • "Unavailable" until Home Networking option becomes available
  • CPE IP Address—The public IP address
  • DOCSIS IP Address—DHCP-assigned IP address
  • Uptime—length of time since the last reboot
  • Current Time—Date and time in 24-hour format (GMT)
  • Last EPG Update—Date and time of last program information client-server sync
  • Last Context Update—Date and time of last account and device settings client-server sync (formerly two separate entries)
  • Last Software Update—Date and time of last Moxi software update

[02] – Account Information

This option displays the household account settings.

  • Status—Active, Inactive, or Removed
  • Last Update—Zone, date, time
  • Privacy—Privacy settings schema
  • MSO ID—Identifier of the cable provider
  • MSO Market ID—Identifier of the subscriber's market
  • MSO Household ID—Identifier of the subscriber's location ID within the MSO market
  • Digeo Household ID—Unique identifier corresponding directly to the MSO Household ID
  • Headend ID—Identifier of the headend that feeds the subscriber's location
  • Channel Map ID—Identifier of the channel map associated with the account

[03] – Subscriber Information

This option displays the contact information for the subscriber.
  • Subscriber first and last name
  • Subscriber address including city, state, and ZIP code
  • Subscriber phone number

[04] – Hardware Diagnostics Menu

This option provides current values. It is divided into four sub-categories.

[41] – Main Overview—Overview of the current device settings, including:

  • Device Serial Number
  • Hardware and ROM Versions
  • OFW Build Date—open firmware build date
    • Examples for Adelphia Carlsbad: July 07, 2005 13:39:17 and November 08, 2005 12:04:18
  • eth0 IP Address—Unavailable (HomeNet IP address?)
  • eth1 IP Address—x.x.x.x (MAC address?)
  • eth 2 IP Address x.x.x.x (CPE IP Address)
  • eth 3 IP Address x.x.x.x (DOCSIS IP Address)
  • USB and DVD Status
  • CPU temperature
[42] – Memory Allocation—Current random access memory allocations of the box

[43] – Tuner Information—List of all monitored values provided for the out-of-band (OOB) tuner, and the two digital in-band tuners (see above)

[44] – Miscellaneous Hardware Screens—list of other information not included in one of the above categories, such as platform, ROM, and Family ID; as well as RF modem status, frequency, output level, and poll information
  • Sample values for RF modem (unknown function):
    • RF modem frequency: 11.168 MHz
    • RF modem output level: 24 dBmV

[05] Software Diagnostics

This option provides current values for the software platform, applicable updates, and the internal DOCSIS modem. It is divided into two sub-categories.

[51] – Main Overview—Current time, applicable software versions, and time and date of any past updates

[52] – Current DVR Information—Information related to Digital Video Recorder

[06] Network Diagnostics

This option provides current values for network connectivity, a connectivity overview, home networking details, and current values for the built-in DOCSIS modem. It is divided into three sub-categories.

[61] – Main Overview—Current network settings, including IP address, router status, and related network mask; associated device MAC addresses, and up to three related DNS server IP addresses

[62] – Home Networking Information—Basic information for home networking related to the built-in DOCSIS modem; including IP address, client information and network leases (Home networking is not available in the current release)

[63] – DOCSIS Interface Information—Current status and values for the built-in DOCSIS modem used to communicate with the Digeo Portal and provide home networking connectivity to the household

[07] Resource Diagnostics

This option provides current values for device resources, including CPU processes, random access memory, and physical hard drive space. It is divided into three sub-categories.

[71] – Top 10 Processes—List of the top ten processes running

[72] – Memory Allocation—Current random access memory allocations for this device

[73] – Disk Space Allocation—Table of used and available disk space for all visible partitions

[08] Actions and Triggers

This option provides action triggers for forcing critical updates related to the device or the account. Choosing one of the six sub-categories triggers it, and then displays the progress of the action. If the command fails, contact the NOC for assistance.

[81] – Last Update List—Displays the status of updates executed on this device or account (This is the only non-trigger option of this category.)

[82] – List of Various Pinged Sites—Verifies that the device has connectivity to the Digeo Portal by listing the attempts to communicate and their results.

[83] – List of Various Triggers—Lists a selection of processes that can be updated or downloaded from the box.

  • Trigger Account Settings Update—Synchronizes the subscriber's account information with the account information on the main server. (Typically, customer service representatives update accounts from a remote system.)
  • Trigger Entitlements Update—Forces an update of the services the subscriber purchased.
  • Trigger Program Info Update—Forces an update of the targeted EPG data for this account. (Use this if the Moxi menu displays incomplete or inaccurate program data.)
  • Trigger Software Update—Forces an immediate software update query. (The device is programmed to automatically check for and install all available updates each night. When this option is selected, if an update is available, it downloads over the DOCSIS modem and is automatically installed. When the installation is complete, the unit reboots. Once it comes back up, check the Last Update List (81) to ensure the process completed successfully.)
  • Trigger Log Update—Sends latest logs to the server. (The BMC logs common events that are useful for remote diagnostics and periodically uploads these logs to a server.)
  • Trigger Resources Download—Forces an update of the station icons and graphics needs of applications. (Typically, customer service representatives update resources from a remote system.)
  • Trigger VOD Configuration Download—Forces a download of the database information needed to provision Video On Demand.
  • Trigger VOD Meta-data Download—Forces a download of categories and assets related to Video On Demand.
  • Trigger DB Maintenance—Performs database maintenance that could improve performance and increase space for the database.

BUGS

(which ones are resolved?)

CHANNEL INFORMATION AND TUNING

Problem tuning certain channels

Multiple users have reported problems tuning to specific channels, usually channel numbers below about 10. In some cases, one cannot tune by directly entering the channel number followed by enter or waiting. In these cases, sometimes tuning to a channel near the desired channel, then pressing ch+ or ch- works (sometimes only one of these works). In other cases, the ch+/- buttons do not work, but one can directly tune by entering the number. This bug is under investigation for an intermediate software update fix. This was reportedly fixed under v3.0.115.

Moxi suddenly changes to channel 6, 7, or 8 while scrolling through channels in live TV

Several users reported have reported this bug since April, 2005, perhaps coincident with the 3.0.125/3.0.131 intermediate software update.

Moxi suddenly changes to channel 2 when recording pay-per-view (PPV) events

A couple of users have reported this bug

Disappearing channels

Channels disappear or tuning to them results in the "you don't subscribe" message. Apparently, a reset can sometimes bring things back. Another possibility is that you are having problems with your location and/or channel map settings. This issue may have cleared up in one of the version 3.0 intermediate updates. If not, your best bet is probably to call your cable operator.

Subscribed premium channels are not showing up

Call your cable company to ensure that they have sent the correct codes to your box to decrypt the premium channels for which you are paying. Apparently, the Moxi DVR requires different codes than other cable tuners for the same sets of channels, so it is possible that the wrong codes were sent or that multiple sets of conflicting codes were sent. Your cable operator may be able to fix this problem without sending a technician out.

Moxi warns that it must change channels to start a recording, even though it is the only recording

Multiple users have reported a bug in which the Moxi insists on changing to a channel that is being recorded, requiring them to change back to the channel they were watching. This happens despite the fact that only one of the tuners is being used for the recording, and it should be possible to continue using the same tuner to watch live TV.

Program information missing or incorrect for de-selected channels in channels list

When a channel is de-selected in the channels list setting, and you tune the channel by manually entering its number, the program information may be missing or reflect the last channel to which you were tuned.

INTERFACE

Jump to "On Next" bug

Under v3.0, when scrolling up and down in the Channels list, the focus sometimes unexpectedly shifts to the On Next panel. This has been corrected in v3.2.

Speed of the graphical user interface

MoxiGuy: Graphics performance is very snappy. There are other causes for occasional hesitation in the U-I that have more to do with database access (these will speed up in 3.2 and even more in 4.0), and with Linux paging code in and out of memory. (There are things we're doing here as well in future releases).

Recorded program has incorrect length on Info screen and Player Bar

A few users have reported that hour-long recorded programs show up as being only 14, 36, or 44 minutes long on the info panel. In addition, the Player Bar reflects this shorter time period. However, when playing the program, it is the correct length.

Player bar: inaccurate time of day range

Sometimes, the player bar does not display the correct time of day range for the live TV buffer. Rather, it seems to display the range with the original start time of the program plus the number of minutes in the buffer. It seems to occur most often when jumping to live TV. It can be consistently reproduced by rewinding all of the way to the beginning of the buffer, pressing live TV, then pressing play to bring up the player bar. It can also be reproduced by hitting live TV while watching a recorded program. The correct time of day range can sometimes be corrected by rewinding.

Another tuner switch problem

Sometimes when you get a recording reminder, it switches to the other channel, and won't let you switch back unless you do something like start the show over from the Recorded TV menu.

Channels with generic logos do not show "Scheduled to record" circle

The blue circle that indicates a program is scheduled to record does not appear for programs on channels that do not have a custom logo (they have a generic TV logo instead).

Semi-transparent Moxi menu

Several users have reported that they sometimes see a transparent Moxi menu superimposed over a full-screen picture, rather than the normal behavior of a fully opaque menu with the picture reduced in the upper-right corner. It seems to happen most frequently after a recorded program ends or is stopped followed by selection of keep or delete while tuned to an SD channel. This behavior occurs under software version 3.2. It almost seems like this must be a potential feature that has been included for future release, but which is accidentally occurring. However, it is interesting to note that there is apparently a patent on superimposing guide information over the picture, which Digeo presumably has not licensed for the Moxi (similar to the lack of a grid guide).

Channels missing information in Channels menu

When navigating through channels in the Channels menu, particularly page-by-page with the channel +/- buttons, information disappears on some of the channels. The information reappears as you continue to navigate.

Search function does not work with VOD

Having parental controls on can interfere with searching of VOD titles in some instances.

Channel information bar does not completely clear

When bringing up the channel information bar, and then dismissing it with the clear button, not all of the information is cleared off of the screen. It will eventually fix itself, or you can do it manually by rebooting.

TRANSPORT

Fast-forward: tuner swap

If you are recording one or two shows, and you catch up to live during fast-forward on a currently recording show, the Moxi may jump to the last channel you were watching or the other channel you are recording instead of just playing the live TV off the channel you are already watching.

According to MoxiGuy, this is a known issue that they are working on: "Here's the quick fix workaround: just hit replay and you will jump back to your original show. (What's happened is that Moxi has swapped over to the second tuner. When you go back in time just a bit, it swaps back to the original tuner).

Fast-forward: jump to live

Several users have reported that while fast forwarding buffered live TV, the Moxi will sometimes suddenly jump all the way to live, particularly when fast-forwarding through the top (N:00) or bottom (N:30) of the hour. This bug is present under software version 3.2. In fact, it may be more frequent under 3.2. This bug is supposedly fixed in intermediate update software version 3.2.172.

Fast-forward: freeze

If you hit fwd immediately after starting a recorded program, the picture may freeze. You can hit stop and restart the program, though.

Fast-forward or rewind: operation not allowed (fixed in 3.2, but perhaps not entirely fixed)

Attempts to fast-forward or rewind at 2x or 3x leads to a message on the screen that the operation was not allowed on the channel. This occurs on a subset of digital channels that utilize progressive i-frames for their MPEG compression, often including BBC America, digital Discovery channels, NFL Network, and Pay-Per-View (PPV) channels. This bug was supposedly fixed in version 3.2 of the software. However, a number of users have reported a problem in which the transport functions work for the first part of the recording, but then fail part of the way through (typically 5 to 7 minutes into the program). In addition, NFL Network still seems to be a problem. The problem also seems to be associated with inaccurate times shown in the player bar.

More detail on progressive i-frames from MoxiGuy: The problem is an innocent by-product of the way certain channels are encoded for digital video. One of the principles of MPEG compressions involves providing full information only on key-frames known as i-frames. The frames between the i-frames just contain information on what has changed since the last i-frame. Knowing this, it's possible to do fast-forwarding by skipping past the intermediate frames and jumping from i-frame to i-frame. (I'm oversimplifying, but, hopefully, not misleading). It turns out that a few digital channels use a different approach that spreads the full-frame information across several frames (progressive i-frames) instead of putting it all in a single, clean i-frame.

Runaway fast-forward

Sometimes, you cannot get the Fwd function to stop. I was using the fastest setting to skip through commercials and the MOXI would not respond to any commands like stop, for instance. I had to sit there and wait until MOXI finished fast-forwarding to the end of the program. Workaround: Use the Pause button?

Fast forward/rewind lock-ups

Lots of fast-forwarding and/or rewinding will lead to sluggishness, and sometimes lock-ups.

Black screen while fast-forwarding through locally inserted 4:3 commercials on HD channels

There has been a report that when watching HD channels, some 4:3 commercials inserted by the local cable company cause the Moxi to display a black screen, preventing you from seeing where you are during the fast-forward.

RECORDING

Unable to delete recorded program

When an HD program is recorded from the live TV buffer, an error sometimes occurs when trying to delete it. This issue is supposedly corrected in software version 3.2.

Duplicate "Recording Options" listing

When selecting shows, the pop-out menu on the right sometimes has two listings for Recording Options.

Series recording infinite loop

Sometimes when you try to schedule a series recording, the MOXI will go into an infinite loop, requiring a hard reset.

Changing recording options changes priority

When you already have a series set to record and go in to edit the Recording Options the Moxi will reset the series priority to first on the list regardless on where it was.

Recorded programs on digital channels cut off significantly early

In rare cases, recorded programs end approximately 10 to 30 minutes early. This may reflect a problem with your location/channel map settings, and/or it may reflect a recent change in the video resolution carried by the channel. Apparently, the Moxi is programmed with the expected "bit-rate" for each channel, and it reserves hard drive space for programs based on this bit-rate. Therefore, if a channel switches from one resolution (e.g., 480p) to a resolution with a higher bit-rate (e.g., 720p), then not enough hard drive space will be set aside for those programs, and they will cut off early. This situation is only corrected when the new resolution is properly programmed into the channel map, which should happen automatically. In the meantime, you can force the Moxi to record entire programs by setting them to end late in the Recording Options menu. In some cases, when you attempt to go back to the incomplete recordings in the Recorded TV menu, the program is listed as "in progress". A reboot is necessary for the "in progress" status to go away. If the premature ending problem persists, you may want to call your cable company and/or post a message on the AVS forum to report a potential problem with your system's channel map/listing.

Missed minutes at the beginning or end of programs/time of day on the Moxi

This may reflect a problem with the clock. The time of day cannot be manually set. The information presumably comes from a server, so the accuracy depends on the accuracy of the time on the server. Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this other than to report it to your cable company if it is significantly off. The timing of the start of programs by the networks may also be slightly off. If you are having consistent problems, you can add time to the beginning or end of programs, although overlaps with programs on other channels may pose scheduling problems if multiple programs are scheduled to record.

Programs show up in the Recorded menu, but they cannot be played (the display goes directly to "keep/delete")

Several users have reported this problem. One possibility is that the station did not tune in properly. This could happen on a specific channel if that channel is not being transmitted properly, or it could happen on multiple channels if the signal level is too low. Check to ensure you are getting consistent signal from the channel. If not, contact your cable company. In rarer cases, the keep/delete problem could arise if one of the tuners has stopped functioning. Check to make sure you can watch another channel while recording one. I have had both of these problems. In the latter case, the Moxi box had to be replaced. In all of these cases, the listing in the Recorded TV list likely will show the proper length of the recording, as if it recorded a blank signal for the entire time.

Endless loop in conflict notification screen

One user reported: On adding a Series recording, I got the usual conflicts note that asks you to Record New, Record Existing, or Cancel. However, where it says, "The following shows conflict...:" there was NOTHING listed. And if I clicked, "Record New," I got stuck in an endless loop of this dialog! I got out by clicking "Record Existing". Another user reported: We noticed this too. It seems to only occur if you have set the show to keep until you delete. Set it to keep until space is needed and the problem goes away.

Multiple copies of recorded show and/or unable to delete show

I recorded a show and in the recorded shows list it showed up three times - two as finished one hour shows and one as still recording. I watched the show and deleted it which got rid of one of the three. The other two (including the one that says it's still recording) are still there and I can't get rid of them. The one that says it's completed - when I try to play it, it does nothing and when I try to delete it, I get a message saying it is unable to delete this show because it has been changed or already deleted. The one that says it's still recording - doesn't respond to anything (stop recording, play, etc.). I'm assuming it's not still recording or my other shows would have been deleted by now. So far it's only this one show that I can't get off the list, but I would like to get rid of them off the list - especially if it were to happen again. Resetting the box didn't work.

Several other users have reported recordings that are perpetually in progress and cannot be deleted.

Jump button function when recording two channels at once

Currently, if you are recording two channels at once, the Jump button may try to jump to a third channel, which brings up the "Do you want to cancel A/B?" screen. If two channels are recording, the jump button should only jump to the other currently recording channel.

AUDIO/VIDEO

No audio on recordings, particularly on HD channels

This is a known issue with software version 3.0 and still plagues some with version 3.2. You may be able to resolve it by rebooting your Moxi. There have been a large number of complaints about NBC-HD in Adelphia's Los Angeles area systems. If it continues to occur, asking your cable company to swap for a different Moxi box may help.

Moxi Mate Widescreen setting lost

The Moxi Mate Widescreen setting may unexpectedly go to Wide mode when the main Moxi is rebooted (this can happen automatically overnight approximately once per week) and/or when the Moxi Mate is powered off then back on. This is a known issue confirmed by Digeo.

Digital audio from Moxi incompatible with digital audio receiver

At least some digital audio receivers seem to have a problem with the Moxi's digital audio output (e.g., the Panasonic SC-HT900 home theater system).

Vertical red or blue line

Originally, MoxiGuy referred to this problem as the "Moxi Measles" and said that it was a known problem that would be fixed in an intermediate version 3.2 update. More recently, he said that the Moxi Measles was a hardware issue that affected a subset of boxes that have all been replaced. In any event, some users report that the colored lines occur on digital channels, particularly VOD channels. Other users report that they occur on most SD channels, and only when they are upconverted by the Moxi to an HD resolution. Still other users report that they also happen when SD channels are output at their native 480i resolution.

Audio and video glitches while tuned to two HD channels

Some still present in 3.0. Version 3.0 intermediate updates may have improved on this.

Audio loss (restored when hitting transport or ch +/- buttons)

This audio loss often occurs when changing channels, and it can be corrected by hitting a pair of transport buttons, such as pause-pause, rew-fwd, or replay-skip, or by changing channels again. Digeo is aware of this problem, and there are apparently several different causes that are being addressed. Some software v3.0 intermediate updates supposedly address the issue. However, the bug still occurs under version 3.0.125/3.0.131, as well as version 3.2.112, although it is rare.

Audio glitches or dropouts

A number of users have reported audio glitches or dropouts, particularly in Dolby Digital sources. This is most likely due to a performance issue known by Digeo that such glitches can occur when recording one HD channel while watching another.

Only background audio on Dolby Digital broadcasts

A few users have reported that on some programs with a Dolby Digital soundtrack, only background audio can be heard, and not the main center channel soundtrack. This is most likely a problem with the program feed and not the Moxi.

Audio static on digital outputs

There have been reports of static on the optical and coaxial outputs with two-channel source material. It may be specific for the left channel. The static may even be audible when Mute is on. There are reports that it is particularly noticeable when playing back recorded programs, and that it is worse on HD channels. Software updates have been known to fix this problem.

Audio static on analog output (end-of-record, base-band audio problem)

There are reports of rhythmically pulsing static occurring on the analog audio outputs. It apparently sounds like the scratching sound a record player makes when it reaches the end groove, for those old enough to remember such devices. Supposedly, the issue does not occur on the digital outputs, but if you need/want to use the analog outputs, you will need to have your box replaced.

Shaky screen

Video shakes on HD channels when the original programming is not native HD, such as when HD programs transition to commercials or when SD programs air on HD channels.

Horizontal interference lines moving vertically on a Syntax Olevia 30" HDTV

Horizontal lines of static move vertically on the screen in 1080i during bright scenes. May be triggered by appearance of commercials (4:3 original content) and can be fixed with a reset, or sometimes by transiently switching video output to 480i.

FEATURE REQUESTS

PARENTAL CONTROL

Parental Control enhancements are scheduled for software version 4.1. These may or may not include the following:

Too many programs get blocked

Even when only programs with ratings of R and above are selected for blocking, unrated programs, which are usually suitable for all audiences (e.g., old movies on AMC or Bravo), and programs with lower ratings (e.g., PG-13) are blocked.

Add an Unrated selection under Parental Controls to leave it to the users to determine whether to block unrated programs and/or television programs. Alternatively or in addition, allow permanent unblocking (not blocking) of channels (e.g., unblock all programs on the Disney channel or The Family Channel, and the like, as they are known to be kid-safe. Also, allow the TV rating to take precedence over the movie rating, so that when movies have been edited for television, they do not get blocked.

Don't block titles

Titles are blocked when Parental Lock is on to prevent children from seeing them, but it can be annoying to have to turn the locks off to see what's on, then turn them back on. Also, you must unlock for 4 hours just to be able to see the titles. Workaround: You can cut short the 4-hour unlocked timer by going to the Parental Controls card under Settings and turning the controls back on manually.

HARDWARE

Non-cable system-specific version of Moxi with CableCARD and/or OTA tuner(s)

Digeo cannot design a Moxi with the current single-tuner, one-way CableCARD technology. They require support for multiple tuners for multi-room systems, as well as two-way communications for On Demand and other features. The next generation of CableCARD (known as Multi-stream CableCARD) will have these capabilities. Digeo has signed a CableLabs agreement for implementing CableCARD in a future system. This two-way agreement is called a CableCARD Host Interface Licensing Agreement (CHILA). This standard will make it possible a single Moxi Media Center to be compatible with all of the conditional access standards in the cable industry. In any event, a retail Moxi box is not a near-term prospect.

Moxi that works with satellite services

MoxiGuy: Digeo was founded specifically to deliver technology that can help cable companies leapfrog the satellite world. Our Chairman Paul Allen is also Chairman of Charter.

Settings: Save Settings on server or flash drive for transfer to new box

MoxiGuy (12/2004): Under consideration for a future version.

LED display

Allow the user to disable and/or dim the clock. Have it display the channel number transiently after channel changes and/or allow the user to decide whether they want the clock or channel number. MoxiGuy: On a list for consideration.

RECORDING

Maintain live buffering of current channel when starting to play a recording

Under software version 3.0, when you start playing a recorded program, the Moxi clears the live TV buffer of the last channel you were watching. When you switch back to live TV, the Moxi switches to the channel that the recorded show was originally on. Under software version 3.2, the Moxi maintains the live TV buffer of the last channel you were watching and switches back to it when you stop the recorded program. However, given the limited live TV buffer on the Moxi, it is recommended that you record the channel that was in live TV rather than pausing it, if you wish to watch it later.

Default record settings

Add the ability to change the default record settings (e.g., "keep until" time, allowing repeats, number of episodes, etc.) so that they apply to all new recording requests. This functionality apparently will be added in software version 4.2.

Remote scheduling over the Internet

Supposedly this will be available in a future release. Although it was suggested at one point that it might be available in the second half of 2005, the status is unknown.

Recording based on keywords

Functionality similar to TiVo's WishList or ReplayTV's theme-based recording features is planned for software versions 4.2-4.3.

Increase size of live TV buffer

When additional hard drive space is available, use it to increase the length of the live TV buffer.

Buffering two live programs at once

The Moxi only has one live TV buffer, and it is erased when you start watching a recorded program. On some DVRs, live TV buffering and pausing can be maintained when recorded programs are watched. In fact, the jump button can be used to switch between a recorded program and the last-tuned channel. Also, on some dual-tuner DVRs, you can switch between two current programs and alternately pause them.

Screensaver strategy

Some users have complained about the automatic resumption of playback after pausing current programs, as this causes one to lose their place in the program. Perhaps a conventional screensaver, like a black screen with a bouncing logo could be used instead. However, the limited live TV buffer space (as described above) would be an issue. Interestingly, the Moxi screensaver reportedly used to involve a dimming of the display in earlier software versions.

Priority system for deletion

Use a priority system to select programs for deletion. Alternatively or in addition, change the status of programs designated "keep n days" to undeletable during those days. Otherwise, the designations are virtually meaningless.

Additional recording options

Given that the electronic program guide data will probably never include consistently accurate "repeat" data for all shows, it would be nice to allow additional user control under "recording options." For example, the ReplayTV DVR allows you to record every episode or only episodes that occur within a few hour window of the original recording (to allow for weird scheduling things done by networks, like "super-sizing" or swapping time slots by 30 minutes). It also allows you to designate specific days of the week with a check mark system. This would allow elimination of all repeat recording regardless of the quality of the guide data. And, unlike most current manual record functions on DVRs, you would retain the program information (e.g., title, plot, cast) with the recording.

User-selected recording qualities for analog signals

MoxiGuy (12/2004): Under consideration for a future version.

Record clips (mark in and out)

MoxiGuy (12/2004): Under consideration for a future version.

Sharing recorded content with a networked PC or over the Internet

MoxiGuy (12/2004): Lots of digital rights management issues, so no comment.

Interestingly, Digeo has a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,734,823) that covers a method for re-encrypting and storing distributed multimedia content such as movies, music, video, audio and electronic books in real-time at rates of 30-100 MB/second for distribution to networked computers where the content must remain secure after distribution. It licensed this technology to WiebeTech, a provider of micro storage devices for PCs, in August, 2003.

Ability to extend the recording time of scheduled program while it's recording

Suggested recordings based on past recordings

Functionality similar to TiVo's Suggestions feature

TRANSPORT

User customizable jumps

On ReplayTV DVRs you can jump a specified "relative" number of minutes ahead or back by typing in a number and hitting Skip or Replay buttons, respectively. You can also jump to an "absolute" point by typing in the number of minutes into a program you wish to jump followed by the Jump button. Some level of customizability is planned for software version 4.1.

Slow motion and frame-by-frame

The Moxi does not offer slow motion or frame-by-frame advance, although other DVRs do. A rough slow motion can be achieved by pressing and holding down the pause button on the remote.

USER INTERFACE - GENERAL

Horizontal surfing of the Moxi menu

Speed up horizontal surfing of the Moxi menu to avoid the delays caused by sub-menus popping up.

Grid-based program guide

Despite a large outcry for this feature, Digeo does not seem to be making it a priority. There is a theory that they are avoiding the grid guide, because it would require paying a license fee to Gemstar (owner of TV Guide) based on a number of patents they have in this area. This seems likely, as other DVR manufacturers (like ReplayTV and TiVo) have been "forced" to sign licensing agreements with Gemstar to provide grid-style program guides.

A time-forward control is planned for release with software version 4.0 as a partial substitute to a true grid-based guide. It will allow flipping the entire channel list forward through time in 30-minute or 24-hour increments. It's not quite a grid, but it lets you compare what's on across multiple channels. The time-forward control will work in all of the menus, so you can compare movies, sports, etc.

When a show is recording, do not have it show up in the preview window in the upper-right corner

When you stop watching a recorded program while another program is recording, the Moxi will jump to live TV on the recording program, potentially "spoiling" content on the recording program.

Show both date and time of recorded programs on main listing rather than requiring pressing "info"

MoxiGuy (4/2005): We're exploring new designs that will show more information. Meanwhile…the shows with a given title are listed in the order recorded [newest on top]. Improvements to the grouping of recorded programs are planned for software version 4.2.

Using Moxi as a web browser/mail client

MoxiGuy (12/2004): It's possible, and gets more interesting at HD resolution. We have had a couple of working prototypes. We have a browser running in the lab. Lots of things have higher priority. Will consider for future release.

Opera Software has stated that they have "…signed an agreement with Vulcan Inc. to ship the Opera browser on the new Moxi Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for the U.S. cable market." This sounds like old information, but it was reported in their Q1 2005 financial statement.

Past program guide information

Ability to scroll backwards in time from "On Next" window (e.g., 24 hr) from present to see names and descriptions of programs that were on.

Reminders/Auto-tune

Allow subscribers to set up the unit to auto-tune to a program as a reminder to watch it (without actually recording it). MoxiGuy: We're looking into this for a future software release.

Remote shortcuts

Remote shortcuts on TiVo are very useful (e.g., TiVo-2 for To-Do list, TiVo-4 for record by title, etc). These would be especially helpful for MOXI, where it takes so long to scroll horizontally. MoxiGuy (12/2004): Will consider for future release.

Remote control

More "universal" Moxi remote or easier programmability with other universal remotes.

Picture-in-picture (PIP) and/or picture-and-picture (PAP)

MoxiGuy: We're tracking the demand for these features and may consider them in a future version. It's still possible, but it's not currently planned. If we do it, it won't be soon.

Program rating

Ability to view on small description window rather than having to press info.

CHANNEL MENU

Custom channel lists

Completely customizable lists; or elimination of PPV and music channels from the Channels list, but retention in their separate lists. This is planned for software version 4.3.

Single-click to tune to a channel from the Channels category

Rather than having to click OK twice. Perhaps the Play button could be used for this, or some other interface adjustments would have to be made.

SETTINGS MENU

Removing channels in Channel List

Speed up navigation. Allow page jumps with channel buttons. Allow absolute jumps using channel numbers like in the regular Channel list (MoxiGuy: planned for a future release). When you press "OK" to change the status of a channel, have it auto-scroll to the next channel.

Closed captioning (CC)

Pass through the CC, so we can control it through our TV sets rather than having to turn it on and off through the Moxi menu. Some TVs have the option of having the CC come on whenever the Mute button is pressed, which is more convenient than using the Moxi menu.

FAVORITES MENU

Completely manual Favorite Channels set-up option.

Planned for software version 4.2.

FIND & RECORD MENU

Simplification

Find & Record by category needs to be simplified. When I am looking for football games, there should not be separate entries for Football on CBS, ABC, FOX and ESPN and PPVIEW. The categories should be something like this: NFL, College, High School, etc.

Searching On-Demand and PPV categories

The "search and record" option will not search the On-Demand & Pay-Per-View categories at all. The movie filter only shows the main level On-Demand offerings. You have to browse for the rest. As you do so, you have to get deeper and deeper into sub-menus. If you find anything of interest, but decide to continue searching - then want to return to your first choice, WHERE WAS THAT CHOICE? No book-marking, no search feature through these myriads of categories We need a filter to show me EVERYTHING or a search feature here as well!

MISCELLANEOUS MENU

Long show titles truncated

Under v3.0, the ends of long show titles are cut off. This problem is improved, but not eliminated, in v3.2 -- the titles are shortened rather than cut off. Future fixes are also possible.

"On Next" for categories other than "Channels", "HDTV", and "Favorites"

The On Next sub-menu will be available in all of the categories in software version 4.0.

"View Upcoming" for categories other than "Scheduled to Record"

The View Upcoming sub-menu will be available for all categories in software version 4.0 with the feature name changed to See all Times. In the meantime, use the Find by Title feature, then View Upcoming.

Customize horizontal menu (e.g., ability to hide certain cards)

Planned for software version 4.3.

Channel numbers by logos

Include channel numbers by the logos for all channels in the Moxi guide rather than just the currently highlighted one.

Flip Bar: jump to channel by number

MoxiGuy (12/2004): Not planned.

Reverse the sort order of the channels

On most TV and computer interfaces, numbers are sorted downward in ascending order. It is the opposite on the Moxi -- the channels are sorted upward as the numbers ascend. MoxiGuy: We made the choice so that pressing the up arrow would get you the next higher number--the action is parallel to using the ch up button on full screen TV. Up makes the numbers go up. Down makes the numbers go down. Naturally we debated and tested, and there's a good case for either sorting choice, but we opted for making the up arrow have the same effect as channel up.

General user interface inconsistencies and confusion

Although the circular navigation scheme with menu items scrolling through a stationary selection box in the middle is innovative, it can be confusing. This is especially true for those accustomed to using a computer, where the menu items are stationary and you move the active selection. At least for me, it is more difficult when large amounts of text are moving around versus just a highlighted box moving over stationary text. A horizontal line is used to designate a separation point in vertical menus, but this does not help a great deal. This scheme can become even more confusing in the watch/record menu that comes up when selecting a program with the OK button. In many cases, the items record series and recording options show up multiple times in the same menu.

In the Settings menu, there are several items for which only a single selection can be made (e.g., Sound Effects, Widescreen, Audio Output, and Secondary Audio). However, rather than just scrolling to the desired setting and clicking OK to set it, you are additionally required to scroll to close, then hit OK again. Although many new users are confused by this, it would not be quite as bad if the menu behavior was more consistent in other parts of the interface. Unfortunately, the combinations of the arrows, back, next, OK, and info buttons required to navigate various parts of the interface, as well as the graphics and visual feedback, are quite inconsistent and confusing, requiring a fair amount of trial-and-error.

For example, in addition to the close menu item described above, there are many different methods required to close other menus. For some items, you just scroll to a menu item and hit OK. Sometimes there is a curved SAVE tab or a square CLOSE tab on the left, indicating that you hit the left arrow to directly exit the menu. In other cases, there is a yellow BACK card to which you must navigate with the arrow buttons, and then hit OK. I understand that a BACK card may be needed in cases where there is a horizontal circular menu present, since the left arrow must be used to navigate horizontally rather than close. However, the BACK card scheme is sometimes used when there is no horizontal menu (e.g., in the Find & Record > Series Options sub-menu). Why not use a left arrow direct exit there?

Sometimes arrows appear on the screen, suggesting that the arrow buttons on the remote will do something, but they do not. For example, under Find & Record > Series Options with a series in center view, a right arrow is displayed. However, hitting the right arrow does nothing. Ironically, the unnecessary BACK card to the left (described above) does not have a left arrow pointing to it, even though the left arrow button works. Similarly, on the close card in the Scheduled to Record menu, there is a left arrow, but the left arrow button on the remote does nothing.

The timed appearance of the "On Next" sub-menu, which changes the function of the right arrow key, also can be confusing, as it can interfere with horizontal navigation.

TECHNICAL

Analog signal level

Minimum required signal level for analog channels: RF (radio frequency) > 0dB

Data exchange

The Moxi can receive information in the same fashion as conventional cable boxes through its Out-Of-Band (OOB) tuner, such as the data required to decrypt the appropriate channels to which you have subscribed. It can also receive information through its cable modem using Internet Protocol (IP), such as EPG data and software updates. The cable modem also allows uploading of data, such as Moxi usage statistics.

What version of Linux does Moxi run on? Which open source GPL packages does it use?

Details can be found on the Digeo web site.

Other technologies

The Moxi interface and Games apparently use Macromedia Flash™ technology, at least through version 3.x. Other applications may also utilize Flash, and, theoretically, the Moxi could be used to play Flash animations.

RealNetworks and Moxi have signed an agreement to integrate RealNetworks' RealOne Player as the preferred streaming media player in the Moxi Media Center.

Competing patents of interest

TiVo recently announced that it had been granted a number of patents related to DVR functions:

Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System (US patent number 6,850,691): "This patent describes a system that compensates for a user's reaction time when the user stops fast-forwarding or rewinding through program material."

Multimedia Visual Progress Indication System (US patent number 6,847,778): "This patent describes, among other things, methods for displaying a trick play bar to a user which visually indicates the amount of stored program material or the length of a recording session as well as the user's current position within the stored program material."

Method and Apparatus Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous Stream of Formatted Digital Data (US patent number 6,792,195 – continuation of U.S. patent number 6,327,418): "This patent describes methods of controlling streaming media in a digital device, including the functions that enable DVRs to pause live TV as well as rewind, fast-forward, play, play faster, play slower, and play in reverse television signals cached by the DVR."

It will be interesting to see if TiVo attempts to enforce these patents on other DVRs, like the Moxi. With regard to the playback overshoot correction patent, it is interesting to note that Sony analog tape-based VCRs had a Commercial Pass overshoot correction function well before TiVo filed the patent in March, 2000. In addition, ReplayTV DVRs have this function, and I believe it was there from the very first models released in 1999.

Developmental Software Versions

Screenshots of the Moxi's user interface as it was originally presented at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show, including a grid-based channel guide.

Pictures taken at the April 1, 2003 (April Fool's day?) "Linux User Group Of Davis" meeting showing early Moxi models, a funky remote, and the Flash-based interface running on a Mac OS X laptop, among others.

OLD SOFTWARE RELEASE NOTES

VERSION 3.0 (originally released ~12/2004)

  • Find By Category - new subcategories available for searching
  • Moxi Menu has a new High Definition (HD) category
  • Flip Bar - lists next three shows
  • Photos
  • Ticker
  • New games
  • Pay Per View (PPV) Blocks - individual listings of PPV Events purchased as one program
  • VOD - nCUBE Integration
  • VOD - Find By
  • RF output removed

VERSION 3.0 INTERMEDIATE UPDATES

Bug fixes (see SOFTWARE RELEASES – DETAILED section for more detail)

The newest 3.0 intermediate update for Adelphia customers appears to be version 3.0.131LR-P.91223, released in April, 2005 as an update to version 3.0.114LR-P.83637. Not all customers may have these newest intermediate versions, as the fixes are also incorporated into the 3.2 major update.

VERSION 3.0 - GENERAL

The Moxi Menu includes a new HDTV category, between Favorite Channels and Movies, and an Intro to Moxi category.

VERSION 3.0 – RELEASE NOTES

What is New for Moxi V3.0?

  • Find By Category - new subcategories available for searching
  • Moxi Menu has a new High Definition (HD) category
  • Flip Bar - lists next three shows
  • Photos
  • Ticker
  • New games
  • Pay Per View (PPV) Blocks - individual listings of PPV Events purchased as one program
  • VOD - nCUBE Integration
  • VOD - Find By
  • RF output removed


General Performance

Enhancements

Channel tuning performance: Made improvements to channel tuning performance on the BMC9012

Stability: Overall system stability was improved.

Known Issues

Cold-Start performance: If the system is inactive for a prolonged period, there is a delay in response to the first remote command. After the first command, the remote operates normally.

Menu Performance: The menu may respond slowly when simultaneously viewing an HDTV program and recording another HDTV program.


Audio Visual Quality, Performance, & Settings

Enhancements

HD Video Quality: Further improvements were made to eliminate the occasional video pixelation and glitches.

Widescreen Setting: Corrected issue that caused the system to lose changes to this setting and revert back to widescreen.

Known Issues

Performance: Occasional minor audio or video glitches may occur while watching one HD channel and simultaneously recording another HD channel.

Analog Audio: There have been a few reports of boxes receiving analog audio only on one tuner. If this occurs, reset the box by pressing the power/reset button on the front of the box for about four seconds

DVI: DVI is not fully enabled in this release.

Video Output Settings: Cropped mode in the widescreen setting only works when the video output mode is set to 480i

Digital Music Channels: During menu transitions, such as when invoking Moxi Menu, a momentary audio drop out on music channels may be experienced.

SAP: Some channels have no audio when SAP is enabled from the Moxi service.


Moxi Menu

Enhancements

Find By Title/Keyword:

Addressed the issue where if Find by Title or Find by Keyword is idle for 15 minutes, it automatically closes and then it cannot be reopened.

Shows listed in search results now include recording icons where applicable.

Various performance enhancements, including the ability to navigate letters while search results populate.

Find by Category:

Updated to include both categories and subcategories.

Categories include listings for 24 hours, while subcategories include listings for the entire time span available (~2 weeks).

Favorites:

In previous releases, after clearing all Favorites, the list did not repopulate until the user changed the channel. Now the current channel is added to the list after three minutes

New "About Favorites" information note provides tips.

The Favorites list now includes recorded shows and excludes channels blocked by Parental Control settings.

Resolved issue where scheduling recording from the Favorites list would disable the vertical navigation of the list.

On Next Menu:

Shows in the On Next menu now consistently display the Scheduled to Record icon where applicable.

Channel Categories:

A High Definition category has been added.

Recorded TV:

When deleting a show from the list, focus no longer shifts to the top of the list.

Time-out behavior:

After 30 minutes of inactivity, the screen no longer dims back. Instead, the media playing in the Mini-TV goes to full screen.

Parental Controls:

On rare occasions, the wrong rating was being displayed to the user, resulting in confusion over whether the locks were working. This has been improved.

Known Issues

Parental Controls:

In rare cases, a frame from a blocked channel can be seen moving from the blocked channel to an unblocked channel.

If you lock a channel that is currently tuned, and then exit Parental Controls by pressing the Live TV button, the tuned channel will not be locked.

Favorites:

If you have locked a channel with Parental Controls, and that channel is also a Favorite channel, some of your unlocked Favorite channels may not display in the Favorites list, and you may see blank items in the list.


Flip Bar

Enhancements

On Next: Added an area of the Flip Bar to display the next three upcoming shows on a given channel, similar to the On Next menu.

Channel Change: Resolved the situation where the Flip Bar erroneously displayed information from a previously viewed channel.

Fit and Finish: Removed the automatic appearance of the Flip Bar at the top and bottom of the hour.


Remote

Enhancements

The back button on the remote functions as an alternative to clicking OK on the Back card. See Known Issues for additional information.

The stop button on the remote now stops playback of a recorded program and leaves a bookmark to allow viewers to resume from that point in the show.

Known Issues

Using the Play button on the remote to start a recorded show does not work if the show is currently recording.


DVR

Enhancements

Playback: Resolved the occasional issue where the video unexpectedly jumps back 30 minutes while in Play mode.
Bookmark: Resolved the issue where a partially viewed program did not offer a "Resume" option if it had been stopped by pressing stop on the remote.

Playback Controls:
When fast-forwarding or rewinding, the video no longer returns to live TV unexpectedly.
The playback bar is now displaying correctly and reporting the proper information.

Repeated Episodes: To prevent duplicate recordings of episodes, recording is based on the episode title and description. If no broadcaster information exists, the show may be recorded repeatedly.

View Upcoming: Under Series Options the View Upcoming option now works.

Keep/Delete note: Corrections made to prevent the keep or delete note from appearing before the end of the actual program when fast-forwarding near the end of the program. Also, corrected display options for this situation.
Paused recording timeout to live TV: When live or recorded content is paused for more than 30 minutes, playback will resume to avoid screen burn-in. For HDTV, playback will resume after 10 minutes.

Expiration of recorded shows: Recorded shows will now expire before offering scheduled shows for early expiration. In addition, already expired shows will not be deleted until space is actually required for a recording.

Recording options:

Keep until: Made improvements to ensure that changes a user made to the "keep until" date setting are no longer lost.
Episode limit: Changing the episode limit of a show was not always saved. This has been fixed.
Cancelled & Deleted: Shows that were not recorded or were cancelled because of a priority setting were incorrectly reported as not recorded because of a conflict. This has fixed.
Scheduled to Record: Corrections were made so cancelled single shows are now removed instead of being rescheduled.
Recording options: All recording options are now available on single scheduled shows.
Episode limit default: Increased the default episode limit for series recordings from three to five episodes.
Recorded TV sort order: Recorded shows now sort correctly, first by alpha (title), and then by date/time recorded.
Pay-Per-View (PPV) block recording: PPV block recording is now available.

Known Issues

Recording about to start: If a show is scheduled to record one minute or less before it airs, then the TV may not switch to the scheduled channel for recording.

Recording non-existent channel: If the user attempts to record a show on a channel not on the channel map, or not subscribed to, the video may freeze. Pressing the Live TV button may resolve this.

MOXI SOFTWARE VERSION 3.0 INTERMEDIATE UPDATES - GENERAL

There may be additional intermediate updates to version 3.0 with minor fixes prior to release of version 3.2 in some systems (these fixes will also be incorporated into the 3.2 release). Note that in some cable systems, some intermediate updates may be skipped in anticipation of the release of 3.2, which includes all of the fixes in the intermediate releases.

There are at least six variants of the 3.0 software that were released on at least three different occasions (separate versions for Adelphia and Charter systems):

MOXI SOFTWARE VERSION 3.0 INTERMEDIATE UPDATES – RELEASE NOTES

Original?

  • 3.0.75LR-P.74289 (Adelphia)
  • 3.0.80LR-P.75011 (Charter)

3.0.93 (not released separately?)

  • Channel Tuning: Channels are no longer inadvertently dropped from the channel lineup.
  • TV Services: HD to SD transition resulting in green stripes on the screen resolved.

 

3.0.102 (not released separately?)

  • Audio: Occasionally, while watching HD programming, audio would drop out for seconds at a time. This no longer happens.
  • Video: Increased video buffer size to reduce pixelation on some HD channels in live TV mode.

Intermediate update 1?

  • 3.0.114LR-P.83637 (Adelphia)
  • 3.0.115LR-P.84369 (Charter)

Highlights of what was fixed in the 3.0.114 (3.0.115) version (according to MoxiGuy):

  • Audio: After tuning, there were cases where picture would start before audio kicked in. Now the audio and video start together
  • Deleting a DVR recording: There were rare cases where the system would freeze after deleting a recording. This is now fixed.
  • "Error" instead of date: Some of you who like to peek into the onscreen diagnostics reported that you saw "error" where you should have seen the date of the last update. This has been fixed.
  • Blackjack: For those folks with Games, we fixed a bug in Blackjack that caused a freeze after dealing 20 hands.
  • Disappearing Channel: We fixed an error that caused a channel to disappear from the lineup when the local cable company moved it from digital to analog. Now we track that correctly.
  • Reboots: We fixed a situation that was causing the system to reboot spontaneously.
  • Channel Number for On Demand: Local cable operators can now designate a channel number that will let viewers jump directly to the On Demand menu.

Other 3.0.114 (3.0.115) fixes:

  • System: An encoder problem that caused analog channels to become untunable is corrected.
  • System: The Automated Preventative Maintenance (APM) mechanism is configured so that all media centers reboot randomly over a set range of time. This significantly reduces the likelihood of a large number of media centers simultaneously attempting to make connections to the Digeo Portal for account settings and entitlements.
  • System: Some media centers were locking up while rebooting. This happened when the last tuned channel was analog. The problem was traced to an event timer and is corrected.
  • System: Previously, some media centers were rebooting while powering up. This no longer happens.

Known issues with 3.0.114 (3.0.115)

DVR

  • Recording option changes to "keep until I delete" are not correctly displayed to the subscriber.
  • If a program is scheduled to record from the View Upcoming menu, the scheduled to record icon may not appear on the scheduled show. Exiting and re-entering View Upcoming will resolve this issue.
  • If a user schedules a show to record, and this is done within one minute or less from the time the show airs, the TV may not switch to the scheduled channel for recording.
  • Video may freeze if the user tries to record a show on an unsubscribed channel, or a channel not on the channel map. Pressing the Live TV button may resolve this.
  • Program status in the Canceled & Deleted list may be inaccurate. For example, a show may be listed in Recorded Shows, and also listed as canceled in Canceled & Deleted.
  • After stopping DVR playback, "DVR" may still display on the mini TV for live TV.
  • At the completion of watching a recorded program, the note that appears occasionally displays a language option.
  • The scheduled to record icon may not disappear immediately after cancelling a program.
  • Recording Options menu does not close when pressing the Moxi or Live TV buttons.
  • While recording a program and then stopping the recording mid-program, the recording for that program cannot be restarted. It appears in canceled and deleted as "not recorded (repeat)."
  • When recording space is full, and all recorded shows are marked "Keep until I delete," an incorrect conflict note appears. The conflict note shows a series conflict, when it should show a space conflict. It is very difficult to get the box into this state.

Flip Bar

  • Occasionally, after playing a recorded show and then switching to live TV, the Flip Bar will temporarily display the recorded TV show info.
  • On Next - If a show scheduled to record has a long title, the recording icon may overlap the title.
  • When browsing through the flip bar to a show locked by parental controls, if the user enters the PIN and then selects Watch, the user is not tuned to the new channel. The next attempt to tune to the channel will succeed.

Miscellaneous

  • Cold-start performance - If the system is inactive for a prolonged period, there is a delayed response to the first remote command. After the first command, the remote operates normally.
  • The EPG download incorrectly indicates success when the process is terminated early.
  • Updates activated from SNMP are not rebooting the box.

Moxi Menu

  • Menu performance - The menu may respond slowly when viewing an HDTV program and simultaneously recording another HDTV program.
  • Full show titles are not being displayed on Info Note.
  • Occasionally search text is not highlighted in the search results.
  • If Find by Title or Find by Keyword is used, and the time changes to either the top of the hour or half-hour, searches can return unexpected results.
  • If the Program Info Note is invoked from the View Upcoming area, the time of the show appears in the header instead of the title.
  • Occasionally, On Next information may not display when scrolling through channels.
  • A graphics-layering problem causes the recording confirmation note to appear behind the vertical axis of Moxi Menu.
  • In rare cases, a frame from a blocked channel can be seen when the user switches from the blocked channel to an unblocked channel.
  • If a channel locked by Parental Controls is also a Favorite channel, some of the unlocked Favorite channels may not display in the Favorites list, and the list will contain blank items.
  • If you lock a channel that is currently tuned, and then exit Parental Controls
  • Parental controls is not blocking titles on the recording options series card.
  • Using the Play button on the remote to start a recorded show does not work if the show is currently recording.
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) is not released and is unable to display if the parental control PIN prompt is displayed on the TV.

OSD

  • On-Screen Diagnostics displays an incorrect date for software update after a software update trigger. This is being investigated.
  • System On-Screen Diagnostics (OSD) incorrectly displays a 2003 date for the last account
  • setting update date.

PPV

  • Cancelling a purchased PPV event during a free PPB preview does not cancel the PPV purchase.
  • A black screen may display if Cancel or Live TV is selected while on the purchase screen for PPV.
  • After purchasing a PPV program, the color bar the top of channel bar remains light blue rather than gold.
  • When a PPV block lasts longer than 24 hours, the previously blocked programming does not appear as purchasable after the block period ends.
  • When cancelling a PPV block event, the error message does not clearly inform the user that cancelling a recording of a block event does not cancel the purchase.
  • PPV purchases cannot be canceled after the program begins.

Ticker

  • Ticker takes between 15 and 20 minutes to gather updates. Subscribers may notice this latency when paying close attention to sports scores while games are in progress.
  • On some boxes, after 6:00 p.m. the weather forecast skips a day, bypassing the next day's forecast.

TV Services

  • There have been a few reports of boxes receiving analog audio only on one tuner. If this occurs, reset the box by pressing the power button for about four seconds.
  • When video playback is paused, there may be some flickering of the still video.
  • There is a report of audio and video being out of sync.
  • Occasional minor audio or video glitches may occur while watching one HD channel and simultaneously recording another HD channel.
  • Slight streaks in the video may occur on channels with weak signals.
  • During menu transitions, such as when invoking Moxi Menu, a momentary audio drop out on music channels may be experienced.

VOD

  • Promoted titles in vertical lists are rotated every 24 hours instead of every minute.
  • VOD categories that have no assets are displayed. Selecting the category does nothing.
  • When using the "find by" tool, VOD titles that are in multiple categories, appear in the results list multiple times.
  • Some VOD titles are displayed with the wrong rating string. Some adult titles (e.g. with MPAA rating value X) are shown as 'Not Rated.' Titles which were not rated are shown with a rating of NC-17. Rented titles with TV-MA rating are promoted to upper category lists.
  • Moxi continues to ask for the PIN before purchase of VOD titles even after global parental controls are turned off, if the VOD PIN required parameter is set.
  • In Concurrent VOD, the VOD server does not support pause when watching previews, but the BMC allows the user to request a pause. The pause request itself, or a subsequent attempt to resume playing, will cause the session to end.
  • Adult movies are shown in the top level filter after purchase. They should only appear in the adult rentals filter.
  • When no response to trick play request is received by the BMC due to network congestion or long response times from the Concurrent server, session errors can occur. A stream may remain in either fast-forward or rewind mode, and user may be unable to change modes. The transport bar state and position may not match the mode that the user sees. Also, the session may end suddenly after a pause request. In all cases, the user is able to stop the stream, then play the title again right away.
  • Currently, Concurrent and nCUBE do not support whole home viewing of purchased titles for Moxi and DCT. When a title is ordered on a Moxi box, it will not appear in the rented titles list of any DCTs within the same house. Similarly, titles purchased from DCTs will not appear in the Moxi rented titles list.
  • Other VOD known issues.

Intermedate update 2 (April, 2005)?

  • 3.0.131LR-P.91223 (Adelphia)
  • 3.0.125LR-P.88523 (Charter)

Bug Fixes:

  • The channel up/down buttons did not work on certain channels. There were some cases where you had to manually enter the number to get to a particular channel. Now you can channel up/down to and through the problem channel.
  • Some issues were fixed with MUSIC CHOICE channels.
  • Trick play in On Demand
  • Obtaining an Internet address
  • Channels disappearing from the lineup
  • Box rebooting

VERSION 3.1

Version 3.1 is a special version that was created for internal testing and employee trials only. It was not and will not be released to cable operators for distribution to their subscribers."

VERSION 3.2 (originally released 2/2005 in small systems, 5/2005 in Charter systems, 8/2005 in Adelphia systems)

  • Improvements to SD picture quality
  • Full transport controls on progressive refresh channels
  • Skip backward or forward 15 minutes
  • Simplified HD settings (HD passthrough mode)
  • SeaChange VOD integration
  • Datacast
  • PPV support for Moxi MP-12 (Scientific-Atlanta)
  • Jukebox
  • New games: Blast It, Invasion Wave, Bijoux, and Tomato
  • DVD player
  • Moxi tips

VERSION 3.2 RELEASE NOTES

A quick way to determine that you have received version 3.2 is that the Intro to Moxi category in the Moxi Menu will have changed to About Moxi. In addition, it will include the introductory movie plus a bunch of tips that will fill out the vertical menu.

What is New for Moxi V3.2

  • Full transport controls on progressive refresh channels
  • Skip backward or forward 15 minutes
  • Simplified HD settings (HD passthrough mode)
  • SeaChange VOD integration
  • Datacast
  • PPV support for Moxi MP-12 (Scientific-Atlanta)
  • Jukebox
  • New games: Blast It, Invasion Wave, Bijoux, and Tomato
  • DVD player
  • Moxi tips

The new version of Moxi software adds several frequently requested enhancements and addresses many performance issues. List of the most asked for enhancements:

New high definition TV (HDTV) settings. A top-requested feature for subscribers with high definition displays, the new HDTV settings can automatically change the output resolution to match the incoming signal. (This feature is known as "native-mode pass-through") With the new options, SD programs are no longer stretched or scaled to fit the HD screen. You can select the resolutions that your TV supports—if your TV can handle the incoming resolution, then Moxi will send it directly without scaling it. To accomplish this, we have a new setting, "HDTV Set-up," replacing the previous "Video Output"

Improved analog quality. Scaling eliminated.

Fast forward and rewind compensation. Now, when you fast-forward or rewind through a show and resume playing, Moxi backs up slightly to compensate for reaction time.

Improved first-run-only recording feature. The first-run-only recording option now works even when current and past-season episodes appear on the same network. Examples: recording Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi, CSI on CBS, and The Simpson's on Fox. There may still be times where no guide data exists to filter out repeat episodes, so in a few cases, you'll still get dupes.

Skip forward and backward by 15-minute interval. When watching full-screen TV, you can now use the next and back buttons to move quickly through program in 15-minute intervals. (Note: this is separate from the "skip" button)

Improved tuning performance. Faster channel changes.

Fixed HD glitch issue. Occasional minor audio or video glitches no longer occur while watching one HD channel and simultaneously recording another HD channel.

Fixed jump to On Next. When scrolling up and down the channels list, the selection focus no longer unexpectedly shifts to the On Next panel.

DVI output supported. When content protection keys are distributed, users with TVs and projectors that can accept digital video input will be able to use the DVI connector. Because DVI handshake slows tuning, in most cases, however, we recommend that subscribers with high-end TVs will have a better overall experience using the component output.

Fixed Fast Forward. In certain digital channels, FF wasn't working as expected. This problem has been corrected.

Bye-bye, Easter eggs. Tomato and credits Easter eggs have been removed. Good news for Tomato fans, though. It's been promoted to an official game, with its own listing.

Streamlined Ticker. The Ticker feature has been redesigned so that it takes up only a single line at the bottom of the screen, leaving much more room for the TV image.

Fixed Ticker weather forecast. Previously, if you had Ticker up in the evening, the forecast feature would skip a day and begin with the day after tomorrow. Now it starts with tomorrow's forecast.

Shortcut to On Demand. The remote control button labeled Guide, VOD, or On Demand (in various versions of the remote) now jumps directly to the VOD card in the Moxi Menu.

Parental Controls. Now, when the system reboots, Parental controls will come back in the state they were in before the reboot. In other words, if they were unlocked, they will stay unlocked.

Jukebox and Photos. Cable operators can choose to deploy these optional applications.

New games. Blast It, Invasion Wave, and Bijoux

Direct channel number entry. The Moxi now allows more time for direct channel number entry.

Other

  • PPV support for Moxi MP-12 (Scientific-Atlanta)
  • SeaChange VOD integration
  • Datacast support

In addition there are many other fixes and refinements to the way the DVR works, improvements to tuning, and audio-video improvements, loss of channels from the guide, etc.

Promo Bar Preview

While watching a recorded show, Promo bar automatically promotes the recorded show's network prime time shows for that night and the next night. NOTE: Promobar is available in v.3.2 as a preview feature only. As a preview feature, it can be entitled in v.3.2, but is not be available in the subsequent v.3.3 release. It will return in post-v.3.3 releases as a regular feature. In v.3.2, we recommend entitling Promo bar only to a limited friendly audience as a preview, and ensuring that they know it will be unavailable in the v3.3 release.

VERSION 3.2 update 2 (~12/2005, originally scheduled for release Q2/2005)

  • Bug Fixes (presumably including the "fwd jump to live" bug)
  • Support for FireWire (IEEE-1394/i.Link) in new hardware, as required by the FCC
  • MCTL Reporting (unknown)
  • MCTL Certification (unknown)

 

 

 

© 2005-2009 Steve Linke

This web page is not affiliated with Digeo, Motorola, or any cable television provider. Digeo, the Digeo logo, Moxi, and the Moxi logo are trademarks of Digeo, Inc.

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