Hints & Tips

Here's some useful information that isn't covered in the user manual (or not easy to find on Fetch TV's FAQ site!). Note that it assumes you are running the latest firmware.
  • The box runs a Web server on port 80 - just put the box's (wired or wireless) network IP into your Web browser on your home network and you'll get a list of recordings. Click on a recording to download its .ts file(s), which can then be played in mplayer (I use the option "-vf lb" to deinterlace) or VLC. Beware that all high definition recordings are encrypted when exported to USB or the network. This is a bug, because most HD broadcasts aren't DRM-protected.
  • Linux users have a myriad of DLNA/UPnP software to choose from to present their PC media files to the 8320HD on their local network. I tried gmediaserver (particularly dismal media support), GeeXboX uShare and Rygel before finally settling on MediaTomb, which seems to do most things "right". MediaTomb maintains a customisable look of how the tree will be exported to the 8320HD (not just raw lists of directory trees like most others), has a Web interface for changing the setup (yes, you can include external URLs though I've yet to play with that), does media scanning only when it needs to via the iNotify sub-system and supports all the expected media types. It should be available for your Linux distro (and also for Mac OS X) - if someone finds a better Linux media server for the 8320HD, let me know. Finally, the second blue/white button along the bottom of the remote actually does something!
  • The 8320HD runs the Linux operating system, so the USB stick or drive you attach to front or rear USB port of the box can actually be formatted in ext2 or ext3 as well as FAT32. This gets around the 2GB FAT32 file limit and therefore won't split up the .ts files on the hard drive if a single recording exceeds 2GB. Although there is a Windows program called Ext2 Installable File System that will let you read and write ext2 or ext3 filesystems, I'm not sure it will let you format them too. For that you may need something like the GParted Live CD. Alternatively, just be sensible and run Linux :-)
  • The background of the EPG is annoyingly transparent, making it hard to read the text. Pressing the PiP button on the remote control will darken the background (still transparent, but barely) and make it a lot easier to read.
  • Another way to get a visible EPG is simply to tune into a "blank" channel (one with no video) such as 303. The background will be black and the transparency doesn't get in the way then. Thanks to Denis Martindale for this tip
  • If you regularly power-off the 8320HD at the mains - e.g. before going to bed - you should put the box into standby (one short press of the red button) or low power mode (one long press of the red button) before doing so. This will properly park the hard disk heads and avoid any need to check the disk (which can take a long time) on the next power on.
  • If you save this HTML page to a FAT32 USB stick and then insert it in the (front or rear) USB port of the 8320HD, you can surf the web via the Menu -> Media Centre section of the UI (look for  0000-websearch.html). It can even be saved as a bookmark by pressing Info followed by the green remote control button. You can assign it a channel number and recall it later on I believe. Please note that I have not personally tried this because I use Linux and I ignored the Media Centre as soon as it talked about Windows Media Player :-) Thanks to Denis Martindale for this tip 
  • If the 8320HD's clock is incorrect, go into teletext via the red button on a BBC channel and come out of it again, which should fix the time. Thanks to a user on AVForums.com for this tip 
  • After pressing the GUIDE button on the remote, the EPG can often be incomplete, especially if you've just come out of low power or standby mode. If you hold the INFO button on the remote control for 2-3 seconds, you can "force" the EPG information to populate more quickly. It would be nice if the 8320HD cached all EPG info downloaded on the hard drive (including previous days for timeshift buffer extraction purposes) to avoid this issue.
  • If you pause live TV (pause button) and then resume non-live playback (play button), then you can catch up to live TV simply by pressing the TV button on the remote. That might seem obvious to you, but it's not documented in the full user guide and a second press of the play button does nothing (which I think is a more obvious button to press myself). Thanks to nosimpler on AVForums.com for this tip
  • The Smartbox Info option in the Diagnostics menu in the 8320HD's UI has "hidden" functionality if you press and hold the green button whilst viewing the info. It may well be a way to transmit your 8320HD's setup back to Fetch TV for diagnosis (I will be trying this shortly to confirm this). Thanks to Bazsounds on AVForums.com for this tip
  • The 320GB hard disk inside the 8320HD is a Western Digital 2.5" SATA II drive. It has a model number of WD3200BUDT and costs £35.70 (plus postage) at Ebuyer as of July 2011. If you are going to replace it, you should probably get a similar "AV" model designed for constant operation. Sadly, WD only do up to 500GB (£43.78 plus postage at Ebuyer) so if you're after a 1TB replacement, you'll have to look at the various non-AV drives out there. Be warned that replacing the hard drive yourself will void your warranty! Thanks to "pig" from AVForums.com for daring to take apart their 8320HD and supply the drive model
  • Fetch TV's dismal PPV service (blue/white button near the top-right of the remote) does have one small ray of sunshine - a freely downloadable copy of Elephant's Dream in HD (in the "Drama" section). Yes, you can also download this for free from the Web and it's only 11 minutes long, but the Fetch TV download is the only way to get the mini-movie onto your actual 8320HD hard drive rather than playing it via external USB or a DLNA service. And once it's there, it doesn't expire either.
  • You can downgrade the 8320HD's firmware by inserting a USB stick with old unpacked firmware files on it and when the box claims it's already up to date, press and hold the Info button on the remote to force a firmware downgrade. Thanks to MaffyBoon on AVForums.com for this tip