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HR24 - Removing RECENT Show when Overfull

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by seigell, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    I've found a rather frustrating / distressing functional operation of recent HR24 Software:
    Automatically Deleting a RECENT Show when needing space for a New Recording.

    I LOST several of my highly desired (recently recorded yet unwatched) Olympics Recordings when another Olympics Event started to Record !!

    It used to be that DirecTV Software deleted the OLDEST Shows (not marked Keep) when the DVR became Overfull for the current Recording.
    However, during the Olympics, I fell behind on watching Shows (or became over-confident about HR24 recording operations). I had dozens of old 1-hr recordings at the bottom of my Content List which were "Expendable", and figured these would disappear as new Olympic Recordings were collected each day.
    Instead, I found that the HR24 Software was Deleting a just recently recorded equivalent-length recording (which unfortunately would be another yet-unwatched Olympics session!!).
    Is this a recent change ??
    Is DirecTV rationalizing that "you're losing ONLY ONE recording this way" ?? Instead of losing several older shows ?? (boo...)

    So, I'm disappointed... And left to recover as many of the "important" sports showings as possible via the almost-exclusively-SD OnDemand offerings.
     
  2. peds48

    peds48 DIRECTV A-Team

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    All I can think of, are these part of a series where you have "Keep at most X?
     
  3. gov

    gov Legend

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    Yes, check and see if you are keeping at most 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, or all episodes.
     
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts DIRECTV A-Team

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    And also what channels. Half the stuff in your local channel was repeated or is repeats from
    Cable stations. There's many variables here.

    Mine still always deletes the oldest shows.

    But I bet the keep amount is what did it as well.
     
  5. gov

    gov Legend

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    IIRC, it was Universal Sports that repeated the last Olympics in the weeks and months afterward. So all is not lost.
     
  6. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    The current remaining Recordings show Keep All, and I don't recall making any change to this setting throughout the Olympics.
     
  7. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    Yup. It seems that I spent at least 1-2hrs over the course of the Olympics doing little but working the Scheduler and the Listings "More Info" to refine the Recordings list. (And to look far down my list of Recordings to guesstimate which and how many would be deleted to make room...)
     
  8. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    That would be nice for any that I retain an interest in seeing... But being impatient, I'll probably settle on viewing the OnDemand offerings - even if all are SD-only.
     
  9. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    As you have probably deduced by now, it's preferable for you to make the decisions on what to delete. I never let my free space fall below 30%. MV.
     
  10. seigell

    seigell New Member

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    Suburbs in...
    HA !!
    With the limited capacity of the HR24-100, I'm often bumping up against the 1-2% Free Space Limit. With the 3-5 broadcasts of 2-3-4hrs each day, I was staying up way too late just trying to watch as possible each night.

    It's ironic that a Sporting Event can so readily turn one into a Couch Potato !!
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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  12. inkahauts

    inkahauts DIRECTV A-Team

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  13. Delroy E Walleye

    Delroy E Walleye AllStar

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    This happened to me twice a few years back (having more recent recordings deleted) on my HR21-100, and I think in both cases I had temporarily set my playlist to sort oldest to newest. Not 100% positive if that's what caused it or not, or if it was a problem specific to the -100 (never happened on my -700) but I decided to never use the sort-by feature again just in case there was any chance that was the cause.

    (I wonder what might happen in the case of an alphabetical sort...)
     
  14. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    The safest route is to keep enough space free that the box never gets to decide what to delete. Many people with 90%+ full will never ever watch all they've kept.

    Buffers, too: safest is to never rely on them.
     
  15. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    It is a good idea to watch the programs and then selectively remove the ones that are least important to you for some extra space and not let the machine do it as it sees the need.
    Remember, if the DVR dies for any reason then all the recordings are gone at that time. If your drive is totally full that will be a sad day when they all disappear.
     
  16. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    The DVR algorithm doesn't necessarily delete the oldest shows, it deletes the oldest shows that make the best sense regarding making room for the new recording. So when the drive is full it might not always delete the oldest shows. If you tell it to record a -6-hour block of NBC, it looks for the oldest shows that might represent that block of potential space. It does not necessarily have to record that in contiguous space, but I think it prefers to as recordings are not supposed to be fragmented on linux, and it may prefer to delete larger blocks rather than smaller blocks, even if those smaller blocks are older.

    Shows are usually recorded one after the other into contiguous space, but as you delete some old shows and keep others recorded in the same general time period, "1-hour" or "30" minute opportunities begin to open up separate from each other rather than next to each other. If you have 6 hours of total space left that is not contiguous, it may make the decision to delete the oldest shows that will free up a 6-hour slot, which may not be the very oldest shows. It is usually not a problem with 1-hour and 30-minute shows, because a lot of those slots open up or can be opened up by deleting the oldest 1-hour or 30-minute show. But Olympics, long sports events, long movies may cause the DVR to delete shows that are not the oldest.

    If you have been at the edge for some time, your HDD will be like swiss cheese, with lots of small holes but no big ones. If all of those shows left on the HDD are smaller than the 6-hour blocks you have recorded somewhat more recently it may elect to kill one 6-hour show rather than 5 to 8 shows that are somewhat next to each other, because it may be thinking that you would rather lose one recording from January than 5-8 recordings from the previous January.

    We have to remember that the opposite of KUID is not "delete the oldest show" (although it attempts to do that when it can), but "delete this show when you need to", and under the no-fragmentation algorithm, it "needs" to if those shows are the oldest shows standing in the way of opening up a proper-sized chunk of space, regardless if they really are the oldest shows on the DVR.

    So it is not an exact FIFO process, but a pseudo-FIFO process, tweaked to make decisions (and sometimes not that intelligently) about what space it should free up in your best interests as well as its own, which of course come first. It does not present you with a list of candidates that you can choose as what you prefer to delete in the interests of the new recording, it tries to make that decision on its own, because the normal response is "why don't you just delete the oldest?", and as we see it is not quite that simple. And if you are playing around the edges, you can get burned trying to guess exactly what will be deleted next if you assume it will simply be the oldest show. To avoid that, use KUID, and think about larger storage options (or more DVRs).
     
  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts DIRECTV A-Team

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    I have never in my life seen any behavior like this and would love to know where you came up with this theory that I have never seen supported in any way.

    It always deletes the oldest non KUID show possible, several if needed to free up enough space.

    If you have something set to record only 5 shows, it deletes the oldest show of the five after it has a full new episode recorded so you stay at 5 full shows always recorded, regardless of if its KUID or not and how full the hard drive is.

    You seem to be suggesting that the units like to keep their space defragmented, which I don't buy for a minute at all. The do not care about enough space being available in adjacent spaces on the actual hard drive to be able to record something. Not that I have ever seen
     
  18. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Yes, I am indeed saying that it wants to keep the shows defragmented, and the idea of deleting the best candidate rather than the oldest show is in the interests of keeping the the free space as well as the shows as defragmented as possible. That is how it works.

    I work every day installing, maintaining, and fixing media servers and large collaborative media storage systems spanning beaucoup TBs, and I have been paid well for doing that for many years, so it is not that unlikely that I might have learned how such things work along the way. And a DVR is simply a dumbed-down consumer version of a professional media server.

    A HDD in a typical PC scenario can fragment files or available space all it wants; it is not unlikely that a well-used HDD on a PC that is a couple of years old may have 300,000 files or possibly many times that, with even more fragments than files. I've seen single files that have as many as 3000 fragments. My MacBook Air has exactly that scenario. But since the other 99.999% of the public does not have my job it is not all that surprising that they may have "never seen any behavior like this". But this particular scenario, a DVR with a constantly-full HDD primarily used to record 30-minute and 60-minute shows that is asked to record 6 and 8-hour blocks of the Olympics for 17 days on end, is the perfect-storm scenario for such issues to begin to manifest, and this very thread is proof that they do.

    A streaming media server abhors fragmentation for two reasons; it needs to have successive sectors of a file as physically close to each other as possible, and it needs to try to record while fragmenting the free space as little as possible, because if you don't do the second thing well, it makes the first thing that much harder to do over time. And it wants to do that to be able to maintain a simpler more reliable database, to be able to stream media at the fastest possible rate and avoid stuttering, and to efficiently use the space files are recorded in, all goals that are not really important on a PC, and are usually not taken into account.

    For that reason, recording of streaming media needs to pre-allocate space before recording. On a DVR it pre-allocates an entire 30-minute contiguous chunk of space for a scheduled 30-minute recording of known length. There is some wiggle room due to varying bit rates, but it tries to be as exact in that regard as it can. And most media servers that will do a crash record (press record without knowing how long the recording will be) pre-allocate on the fly, a chunk of available space at a time, every 300-800 MB or so, which is why that is called "chunking". But it attempts to do that in contiguous space with one successive chunk adjacent to the next. And it makes decisions about what to delete among shows not marked to be saved, based on what the best candidate might be, and usually with the oldest shows being deleted first, but not always, because there are other attributes that determine the untimate best candidate for deletion.

    So it is not a theory; it is a fact. That is how media servers work. And you are not unlike most people; never in their lives have they been presented twith this either, because it's not your job to understand it, and there is usually no good reason that the customer needs to see the details of how the sausage is made. But sometimes understanding something is also key to being able to explain what some see as puzzling behavior, and that behavior is only puzzling until they begin to understand and stop guessing.

    Yes, KUID should always delete the oldest shows, and it always does, because that is essentially a direct command and there is no decision made in that scenario by the space management algorithm of the server, nor is there any need for it to. But "delete when you need the space and the HDD is otherwise full" is completely different and is indeed based on intelligent decisions made by the space management algorithm, which tries to but does not always erase the oldest show if there are shows that are better candidates for managing the DVR better. Only it knows, and it knows better than we do, and it is based on how things stand at the moment.

    And you will only see these sorts of things happen if the HDD is nearly full, and usually only if unusually-large recordings are made with it full. And if everything is KUID, it simply stops recording. But any file not protected from deletion is a potetial candidate to be marked the best candidate for deletion, regardless of whether it is the oldest show or not. End of story.
     
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts DIRECTV A-Team

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    Well you are wrong. I have tested it in the past, and I just did again. It deletes the oldest, doesn't matter how long it is.

    Also, another point of proof is that only shows that are the oldest ever receive the little warning symbols. Applying what a company does for massive amounts of streaming media being access by lots of people across raid systems vs what is being done by one persons single drive dvr is not a good connection to make evidently, because its just not how its working.

    And also, frankly, almost none of your theory even makes sense in a situation such as a personal single drive dvr. Not at all. I also have never see people saying linux needs to always be fragmented to work well either.

    The issue I have with your theory is you are telling people that the dvr works differently than it actually does. And trying to make it sound like you are the expert on it. Obviously you are not, you didn't write the code, and it doesn't work as you suggest. It deletes as I said it does, not randomly searching through to find an exact time match of a show to delete to match up as you suggest. That would mean something brand new could be deleted vs something that's been on your dvr for a year.
     
  20. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    In practice, my Directv DVR's have always deleted the oldest shows 1st as well...usually this boils down to someone accidentally having something they wanted to keep not set to keep until I delete, so it actually deleted some newer shows that were not marked as keep until I delete.
     

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