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30 skip acting up

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by SherSlick, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Nov 16, 2011 #61 of 132
    JonW

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    Most likely they forgot to disable the feature on 30skip because it's an unsupported feature... but I wouldn't ignore the fact the capability is there, and the only question is when and where they use it.

    For instance, with FIOS VOD, the programs cannot be recorded to your HD. You have to watch it as it's streaming. At best you can FF at 2x speed, but even this can be disabled.

    As much as we may hate commercials, free TV is not free. As long as the primary source of funding for shows are commercial breaks, they're going to try to figure out ways to get us to watch them.
     
  2. Nov 28, 2011 #62 of 132
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    It might make more sense to think about how skip and slip actually do work.

    The statement "If the stream is redirected in to a different file, the offset becomes invalid and the playback drops back to the stream." both makes no sense and sort of indicates one of two things:

    1) you have no real idea how this works
    2) you may have an idea, but don't have the wherewithall to explain it properly

    But that's OK, you probably do not have the "luxury" of working with this all of the time as some of us do. The files are compressed MPEG program stream files. A few times every second or so there is metadata in the packet headers of the video elemental stream (which is one of many simultaneous streams in the PS) called a Presentation Time Stamp, which is analogous to the running timecode in analog video. Since video files can be accessed non-linearly, it needs to read this PST both to know where playback is, referenced from the beginning, in the file, and to play back the frames in order, especially since they are purposely sent out of order as part of compression efficiency and robustness.

    The PST is reconstituted at record, meaning whatever it is coming in is replaced with a new clock on the recording that starts at 00:00:00:00 and continues unbroken until the end of the recording. And as you say, skip and slip use this PST to calculate where to FFWD or jump to.

    But there is nothing that distinguishes where a commercial begins and a program segment ends; all of that is by now invisible. Broadcasters learned long ago that if they did put some identifying metadata into the stream that clever techies would find that data and use it to create a commercial-skipping algorithm, and for that reason they will probably never do that.

    There is however metadata that can defeat FFWD; anyone who has ever played a store-bought DVD knows this well, and is why we are treated to a nice long FBI warning logo each time we insert a new DVD.

    Slip and skip are also not very accurate; they are only approximate because they are only GOP-accurate, not frame-accurate. Find video with a running timer including seconds, and try to skip or slip through that; press the button ten times. Will that be exactly 3 minutes? Rarely, and only by accident. It will be different each time, and different for the same video for skip compared to slip.

    This is because it would take too long to decode the frames that are 30 seconds away to find the PST; it is quicker to decode just the I-frames (which decode faster) and not all of them but every Xth one of them, which helps prevent skip and slip from having decoding latency and allows decoded video frames to represent slices of the video as it goes by for slip. The tradeoff is that it isn't exactly 30 seconds, its approximately the number of GOPs that would represent "about" 30 seconds.

    While DTV and others may be using technology to thwart FFWD, it is not unusual for the DVR just to simply get confused about the PST should the file get corrupted, whereupon skip and slip, both dependent upon the ability to read PST, just fail to be able to do that at a particular corrupted part of the stream. Sometimes this throws the file back to the beginning (00:00) because it no longer can determine where it is and just defaults there.
     
  3. Nov 29, 2011 #63 of 132
    hhh222

    hhh222 Cool Member

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    This just started happening with me the last few days.
     
  4. Nov 29, 2011 #64 of 132
    Sim-X

    Sim-X Godfather

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    Have been noticing this as of late as well. It seems that if you skip fast enough it will still work but if the video starts playing and you go to hit skip again it will lock. Very annoying. I seem to notice the non-function skip button more on ads where the feed has changed. So not necessarily a directv commercial but a commercial that is in a different format then the channel. So like if you are watching say pawn stars on History in 720P and they insert SD commercial or maybe a HD commercial that was shot in a different format it seems to stop working on those commercials more than the channels own commercials for different shows or what not. Not 100% sure just that is what I have noticed, either way it's annoying. I usually zip through the skips pretty fast so as long as your quick enough it seems to not be an issue.
     
  5. Nov 30, 2011 #65 of 132
    markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

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    Yeah, this is also now just happening for me too, very recently. Never happened till recently, now occurring with enough frequency I notice it.
     
  6. Dec 27, 2011 #66 of 132
    Zenara25

    Zenara25 Cool Member

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    My non tech savvy husband figured out a quick fix. When 30 second skip stops working, press the remote control button 'previous channel' 2 times. Then 30 second skip works again :)
     
  7. Dec 28, 2011 #67 of 132
    dishrich

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    SO glad for boards like this...finally figured out THIS was the reason why my 30 sec skip refused to work on commercials (ONLY) that DirecTV is doing during "local inserts" on Beavis & Butthead... :mad:
    I guess the only way to fix this...is to switch to DISH - who DOES (only) support 30 sec skip (& not "slip") :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dec 28, 2011 #68 of 132
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I believe that this issue will not be around much longer. Probably not worth switching to another provider.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2011 #69 of 132
    Steveknj

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    My cynical side was thinking that DirecTV was testing this technology out for more broader used. It's already been 2 months and not fixed, so you do have to wonder.

    Think about this, with 30 second SKIP you don't see ANY of the commercials, while using FF or 30 second SLIP you can STILL see the commercial, even if it's just high speed. So, for advertisers, it's not worth them inserting any type of software to kill that, but for the skip where you can't see their ad at all, it makes sense. So with that thought, I am still leaning toward this not being a bug but a feature, and they are hoping that either people will not care or that eventually if there is any clamor it will die down.

    Also, the "fix" I have found is to hit stop and then play on the remote, it completely skips the inserted commercial and allows you to use skip again.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2011 #70 of 132
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    With due respect your cynical side may not really have the answer here. It's a fix that will require new software and we are in the middle of the HDUI rollout. It seems more likely that getting the HDUI right for everyone is a priority.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2011 #71 of 132
    BubblePuppy

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    Yea, I haven't had this issue at all with 30sec skip. I rarely watch live tv. When I do its always behind so I can skip through the commercials. So far I haven't found a commercial I couldn't skip past.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2011 #72 of 132
    Eddie501

    Eddie501 AllStar

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    DirecTV is free now?
     
  13. Dec 29, 2011 #73 of 132
    markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

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    The fact you're not seeing it is more about the relative rarity of these hideous local insertion ads rather than some technological difference between your DVR and someone else's. It's not a common problem, it's just a freaking irritating one when it occurs. As Stuart says, it's also likely not one we'll be dealing with terribly much longer.
     
  14. Dec 31, 2011 #74 of 132
    adam1115

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    Wow, this is such crap!

    I'm watching a show, as soon as a DirecTV cinema commercial comes on, 30 second skip stops working. Next commercial, DirecTV movers commercial, still can't skip. As soon as the directv ad is over, 30 second skip works again.

    I'm supposed to believe that it's not intentional that DirecTV's own ads aren't skippable by coincidence?
     
  15. Dec 31, 2011 #75 of 132
    veryoldschool

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    "only if" you want to understand the underlying reason this doesn't work.
    The testing for what is causing this, has to do with being able to insert local ads [since if you have DirecTV, their ads are pointless]. This same testing wasn't done with the "unsupported" 30skip function. YOU HAD TO CHANGE to 30skip. Should this bother you, until this does get fixed, change over to 30slip, "the supported" option.
    If DirecTV really gave a crap about wanting you to watch their ads, they would have not let you 30slip or FF through their ads.
     
  16. Dec 31, 2011 #76 of 132
    adam1115

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    How are they pointless? The ads are for DirecTV cinema and their movers program. They would be pointless if you DIDN'T have directv.

    What do you mean by local ads? A directv ad is 'local'....?

    Saying 'Oh, your complaint is stupid because it is 'unsupported'', I find it odd that this targets a directv ad and that the 30 second skip has worked fine as long as directv has had DVRs. Taking it away (supported or not) is not acceptable to me and many other people.

    I have no doubt that's coming.... Baby steps. Like Steve said earlier, skip is the only out of the methods that skips over the commercial without you seeing it.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2011 #77 of 132
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    It's not just DirecTV ads, though.
     
  18. Dec 31, 2011 #78 of 132
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    First, I didn't say anything about "stupid". :nono:
    The DirecTV ads are what is being replaced by local ads.
    This is the root cause.
    It will get fixed.

    I'm sure if you're inclined to wear a tinfoil hat, none of this will change your mind.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2011 #79 of 132
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    But this would matter only to someone interested it what is really happening and why. Those that have already come to their own reasoning and this all is some conspiracy by DirecTV, will not care what is posted here, unless it falls inline with their ideas.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2011 #80 of 132
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    You're right. Sometimes I hope too much from users. :)
     

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