View Full Version : Firefly Remote Has Very Short Range
07-28-2004, 04:03 PM
If I sit on my couch, lean forward with my arm out, I can use my Firefly remote on the receiver that is about 8 feet away. If I lean back, the remote doesn't work. It also seems like the receiver picks up best through its top side, which is a little inconvenient since it likes to sit with its front side facing me. Is the little wire that sticks out the back supposed to be an antenna? If so, it doesn't seem to do anything.
Overall, I find the entire custom built-DVR with BTV/Firefly/PVR-250 bundle to be quite inferior to a TiVo at a much greater price. Oh sure, it's nice to get direct access to the MPEG files, but I can just capture the TiVo recordings to my hard drive and can't tell the difference in quality. The difference in user interface is like chalk and cheese, as my Irish wife likes to say.
The TV video quality coming out of my ATI 9100 onboard graphics system leaves a lot to be desired. Saturated (clipped) white highlights that I can't seem to get rid of, and only average color. Maybe that means I need to drop more money on a better video card, but I think I will just cut my losses at this point.
This was an expensive experiment with poor results, but at least I have a decent computer with a nice MPEG capture card, so it's not a complete loss. I can't really imagine using it to watch live TV because of all the bothersome little quirks that comes with using a somewhat kludgy computer bundle vs. a dedicated box.
07-28-2004, 04:26 PM
Putting the case back on my computer improved the performance of the Firefly remote to an acceptable level, but really not on par with a decent IR remote if you are in the same room. I suppose it might be handy to use the Firefly through walls, but is it really worth the tradeoff when you are in the same room?
I really can't get over how bad the video looks, although I realize that isn't Snapstream's problem.
07-28-2004, 04:32 PM
Have you tried restarting your PC after installing the Firefly. I found this helped me. Also, try to keep the receiver as far from the PC as possible. Some people say this has helped. If all else fails, then try a powered USB hub. Most people say that has worked for them.
I have great range with my Firefly. I can take it into another room and it'll still work perfectly. No reaching out to the PC or pointing at the receiver needed.
If you don't like tinkering with your system too much, and just need a simple PVR solution (just record and delete), then the Tivo is probably better for you. However if you like more flexibility and view this as a hobby, then your own HTPC with software like BTV is ideal. I know it is for me.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
07-28-2004, 04:52 PM
Weird .. perhaps there is interference from another product?
I, too have excellent range and zero line of sight to the receiver and get excellent results.
07-29-2004, 01:21 PM
It really depends on where you are. Apartments aren't the best environment. I got an powered usb hub, and it fixed my problem, and I didn't even have to plug it in. Just the fact that the receiver was further from my computer.
07-29-2004, 03:49 PM
I live in an apartment and I had no need for a usb hub or anything. Lucky I guess.
07-30-2004, 11:41 AM
I've seen where pointing the remote up instead of toward the reciever makes a huge difference. Try it out and let us know...
07-30-2004, 12:55 PM
Yeah, I've heard it's because you need to orient your remote the same way the antena on your receiver is oriented. Any one want to corroborate?
I have noticed the same.
My range isn't the best if I point it like an IR remote, but if I point it to the ceiling, it gets much better.
A little counter intuitive, isn't it ? :D
08-02-2004, 03:15 PM
I had the very same problem. The details are at http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15212 I simply purchased a powered usb hub and my range more than trippled. I would try this before giving up on the remote. I would also recommend reading and trying the suggestions in this thread: http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11998 in regards to recorded picture quality. Although it does sound like your issue with quality is watching live TV, not recorded TV. This thread http://discuss2.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11991 discusses deinterlacing issues, which may be part of the poor quality problem as well. Are you connecting your ATI 9100 to your TV via S-Video or Composite?
08-02-2004, 03:16 PM
Also keep in mind the monthly fee associated with a dedicated set top box...
08-07-2004, 04:45 PM
Thanks for all the tips. Placement of the receiver is EXTREMELY important, and once you realize this, it leads to a solution of the problem. Just another small step up the steep learning curve with this product.
08-07-2004, 04:55 PM
I had the very same problem. The details are at http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15212 I simply purchased a powered usb hub and my range more than trippled. I would try this before giving up on the remote. I would also recommend reading and trying the suggestions in this thread: http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11998 in regards to recorded picture quality. Although it does sound like your issue with quality is watching live TV, not recorded TV. This thread http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11991 discusses deinterlacing issues, which may be part of the poor quality problem as well. Are you connecting your ATI 9100 to your TV via S-Video or Composite?
I am mostly connecting with the composite connection, but I did try the S-Video a couple of times with little difference.
The main issue I have now is the brightness / contrast settings being poor. I started another thread about that to see what people say.
BTW, thanks for the threads, but the third URL seemed to be wrong. I changed it to what I think it should be in the above quote.
08-15-2004, 01:23 AM
Is there anyone that can assist or provide knowledge on extending the wire on the firefly without such extreme depth as listed on Brett's forum post (http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15244)?
What I am interested in doing is soldering the antenna to one of the unused wires in CAT5 wiring I have running throughout my house. I have two phone lines running over CAT5 to each room in my house, and there are 4 wires not being used that one of which can be connected to the antenna via solder.
Is it possible to get better reception this way, in conjuction with using a powered USB hub?
08-16-2004, 09:59 AM
In case anyone was wondering, David provided a short "I don't think that'll work" to the thread:
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