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Recent ViP DVR Software Releases a Cumulative Fiasco?


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52 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 12:34 PM

As some of you know, two of us, moman19 and I, are working with Echostar Engineering on the audio dropout issue. In PM exchanges the two of us have been discussing what's going on with our recordings and how there are problems we are both experiencing that seem greater than just the HD ABC and Fox dropouts.

Right now we both are having the feeling that things are going the wrong way even though "new features" are being added. As moman19 described it to me:

Between the audio dropouts and occasional jerky video (this too occurred last evening and required a cold restart), my setup is starting to look more & more like Beta software rather than production-quality.

I cannot imagine how millions of others are not also calling in for tech support. Nothing in my setup is out of the ordinary.

The thing is we both sent in our boxes with recordings containing bad audio to Engineering and got replacement boxes which have the same problem. We both really like the basics of the ViP DVR series. We both have ViP722's and he has a ViP622 while I have a ViP612. Our AV setups are completely different and we are in different parts of the country. And we both remember that before L4.49 it did not seem that these problems were so widespread if they existed at all. Nor did we see so many postings spread out on many threads describing what appear to be the same many problems.

Are there alot of you who watch alot of recorded programming, usually but not exclusively from local network channels, that are not experiencing such intermittent problems as audio dropout, jerky video, freezes when starting a recording, "skip" difficulties, or other problems that might particularly be identified as having something to do with internal hard drive interaction with the rest of the ViP DVR system?

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#2 OFFLINE   puckwithahalo

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 12:54 PM

I've never had a problem. And no, I am not saying that just because I'm an employee. Then again, maybe I'm lucky, I've had signal loss maybe 4 times in 2 years, I've never had a peep of a problem out of my 722 or my 625, and my smart card upgrade went flawlessly. Both installs that I have had done were very well done, and both technicians were on time.
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#3 OFFLINE   ImBack234

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 01:13 PM

I'm not having any of the problems you're describing on my 622. I have two complaints I'd like to see them fix, but if they don't I could live with them.
1, DishONLINE can not be played back on TV2.
2, In dual mode you can only stop on going recording from the one it was started on.
I had a 625 I used for 2 years before this and I will say it had no bugs to talk about. So far with 6.14 they fixed audio and any other problems I had.
Now that I said something I may find something.:eek2:

#4 OFFLINE   BNUMM

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

You wouldn't believe the number of people that wait until the receiver is almost dead before they call to complain. I do installs for a local retailer and we always tell them to call the retailer so they don't have to wait for Dish to send someone. I can usually get there the same day or the next day at the latest. Sticompletely unwatchablell many people will wait months before they call ( unless the receiver is completely unwatchable ).

#5 OFFLINE   TulsaOK

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:33 PM

As some of you know, two of us, moman19 and I, are working with Echostar Engineering on the audio dropout issue. In PM exchanges the two of us have been discussing what's going on with our recordings and how there are problems we are both experiencing that seem greater than just the HD ABC and Fox dropouts.

Right now we both are having the feeling that things are going the wrong way even though "new features" are being added. As moman19 described it to me: The thing is we both sent in our boxes with recordings containing bad audio to Engineering and got replacement boxes which have the same problem. We both really like the basics of the ViP DVR series. We both have ViP722's and he has a ViP622 while I have a ViP612. Our AV setups are completely different and we are in different parts of the country. And we both remember that before L4.49 it did not seem that these problems were so widespread if they existed at all. Nor did we see so many postings spread out on many threads describing what appear to be the same many problems.

Are there alot of you who watch alot of recorded programming, usually but not exclusively from local network channels, that are not experiencing such intermittent problems as audio dropout, jerky video, freezes when starting a recording, "skip" difficulties, or other problems that might particularly be identified as having something to do with internal hard drive interaction with the rest of the ViP DVR system?


I have the jerky video and a black screen when starting some recordings. I have no idea what might be causing it and I would rather not go through the hassle of contacting Dish because it's just too frustrating as they keep apologizing "for any inconvenience this has caused" and keep on reading their script. I'm sure they have their hands together and bow when they say that just like in the old Charlie Chan movies. When it gets bad enough, I'll call. I can usually get out of the jerky video and a skip forward usually clears up the blank screen. I know I'm probably part of the problem here, but I really don't think Dish listens and these calls generally don't go anywhere. I don't believe them when they say they've never heard of this before and they'll submit some report to someone. They're main job is to get you off that phone as quickly as they can. That's where these J.D. Powers exceptional customer service awards come from.
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#6 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:34 PM

I've never had a problem. And no, I am not saying that just because I'm an employee. Then again, maybe I'm lucky, I've had signal loss maybe 4 times in 2 years, I've never had a peep of a problem out of my 722 or my 625, and my smart card upgrade went flawlessly. Both installs that I have had done were very well done, and both technicians were on time.

The problems have nothing to do with installers, signal loss, etc. If you watch 722 recordings with alot of satellite fed local channels in HD and have not experienced any of these problems, that's good to know.

Now if someone could figure out what's different in your situation because moman19 and I are both experiencing it enough that our wives are saying essentially: "Why are you putting up with this."

"Because I like Dish hardware," seems like a pretty lame answer under the circumstances. We both have invested in completely different AV setups which weren't cheap.

Looking over your suggestions in other threads to people who have problems, I can say that (a) I relocated my two new receivers so that there are absolutely no cooling air flow problems and (B) I substantially upgraded the brand and quality of the UPS backup power supply supporting the new ViP's.

With regard to the latter, the ViP's would essentially be worthless to me if they can't work on backup power supplies. Despite the far-less-regulated PG&E's claims to the contrary, we have frequent significant voltage fluctuations and power outages.

With regard to usage of the ViP DVR's I do, particularly during prime time, record two satellite HD signals while watching a recorded HD program skipping commercials. But last weekend when I had company, the boxes simply recorded shows. I played back several of those shows last night while nothing was recording. The typical glitches were there.

What I'm wondering is if our post 2007 problems occur on 5% of the installed ViP DVR's or over 50% of the installed ViP DVR's. The former means a likely hardware issue somewhere between the wall power plug and the dish though its hard to figure why I didn't have this experience in 2007. The latter means a software problem which seems to be getting worse following the release of L4.49 though its hard to figure out why some don't have the problems.

Finally, it's not like I don't interact with Dish on the problems. But I've stopped complaining about everything but the audio dropout problem because as you'll see in posts too numerous to count, that problem makes many shows particularly on ABC and Fox impossible to watch in the San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis DMA's (and apparently a North Carolina DMA and maybe a few others). And it's obvious this problem does not occur in Denver as Engineering couldn't recreate it.

Hence, my question about how many do not have these problems.

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"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

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#7 OFFLINE   SaltiDawg

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 03:10 PM

...
Are there alot of you who watch alot of recorded programming, usually but not exclusively from local network channels, that are not experiencing such intermittent problems as audio dropout, jerky video, freezes when starting a recording, "skip" difficulties, or other problems that might particularly be identified as having something to do with internal hard drive interaction with the rest of the ViP DVR system?

I do not experience any of those problems on either of our two 622's - one in Single Mode and one in Dual Mode.

#8 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 03:46 PM

I do not experience any of those problems on either of our two 622's - one in Single Mode and one in Dual Mode.

Thanks.:)

#9 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 04:51 PM

Clearly, this issue of audio dropouts is limited to a few markets and further limited by only the local HD channels (via sat) in those markets. If the entire country experienced this, it probably would have been resolved many moons ago.

Nevertheless, it is VERY real and VERY irritating when syllables are constantly being dropped, forcing us to hit the BACK button or asking, "what did he just say???".
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#10 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:00 PM

What surprises me is that I don't hear more people talking about audio dropouts on ESPNHD. I have it on my local ABC and FOX, but to a lesser degree on ESPNHD as well. While the locals issue could be contained to a few markets, ESPNHD should be a national problem since that is on 110 (except for the most recent Eastern Arc subscribers).

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#11 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:49 PM

What surprises me is that I don't hear more people talking about audio dropouts on ESPNHD. I have it on my local ABC and FOX, but to a lesser degree on ESPNHD as well. While the locals issue could be contained to a few markets, ESPNHD should be a national problem since that is on 110 (except for the most recent Eastern Arc subscribers).


It could very well be there and probably is. I for one, don't spend much time watching that channel....Sorry.
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#12 OFFLINE   Todd Nicholson

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

I have not personally heard audio drops on ESPN, although I do on my local Fox and ABC. I don't generally record anything on ESPN, however I do buffer MNF, but even so, haven't heard audio drops.

#13 OFFLINE   DustoMan

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 08:11 PM

Are there alot of you who watch alot of recorded programming, usually but not exclusively from local network channels, that are not experiencing such intermittent problems as audio dropout, jerky video, freezes when starting a recording, "skip" difficulties, or other problems that might particularly be identified as having something to do with internal hard drive interaction with the rest of the ViP DVR system?


:Raises hand: I've had no problems at all with the recent software updates. I had the audio dropout issue around when Cartoon Network HD went online. I don't remember back when that was fixed. I also had "skip difficulties" back in June. But the recent software updates have fixed that issue. I don't have HD locals, but I do record alot on a weekly basis taking full advantage of the dual tuners in the evening.
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#14 OFFLINE   HobbyTalk

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 08:35 PM

I have the audio dropout problems on my HD locals but no jerky video. I do notice that skip forward/back can sometimes be more or less then it should be.

#15 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:32 PM

What surprises me is that I don't hear more people talking about audio dropouts on ESPNHD. I have it on my local ABC and FOX, but to a lesser degree on ESPNHD as well. While the locals issue could be contained to a few markets, ESPNHD should be a national problem since that is on 110 (except for the most recent Eastern Arc subscribers).


I watched a decent amount of ESPNHD and I have not see it on that channel either. Definitely a hit a miss in terms of catching the issues.
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#16 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:43 PM

I watched a decent amount of ESPNHD and I have not see it on that channel either. Definitely a hit a miss in terms of catching the issues.


I'm beginning to think there is something weird happening that not only is channel-dependent but content as well.

I see skips semi-frequently on Around the Horn and PTI on ESPNHD... BUT usually only when the show comes back from commercial and not during the show or during the commercials.

On FOX, during the week on syndicated programming (and even Sarah Connor a couple of times) I get semi-frequent skips same as ESPN when first coming back after a commercial... BUT if I record Sunday night primetime like Simpsons or Family Guy the show is almost unwatchable because it skips during the entire show, except for commercial breaks oddly.

My ABC has a lot of skips, again not during commercials, but all throughout the program though not usually as bad as Sunday night FOX.

Interestingly, perhaps... ESPN is not really 5.1 but their Circle Surround pseudo-mixed-5.1... Similarly during syndicated programming I am not usually getting 5.1... but Sunday Primetime FOX or ABC primetime I'm getting 5.1 and that is when the sound skips the worst. Commercials often drop back to 2.0 sound.

So I'm beginning to think it could be some combination of whatever Dish does to the signal before uplinking + Original audio mix (more channels = more likely distortion).

Can't really prove anything though... and I do let Dish know whenever it is doing it but it is really hard to figure out what is going on.

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#17 OFFLINE   Antibus

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:21 AM

I've been seeing the audio dropout problem for the last few weeks and it's driving me crazy!! It seems most noticeable on the HD Fox affiliate here in the Sacramento area, but I've also noticed it on other local HD channels. However, we just recorded an HD program off the antenna (CW network here does not have an HD Dish feed yet) and it was fine. This was quite a relief actually getting to watch a program with no dropouts!!

Another audio problem that's really bad is the loss of lip-sync. After watching a recorded program for a bit (or backing up a live program), the lip-sync gets completely out of whack - perhaps as much as one second off! Usually if I stop and then resume the program, it's fine for a while, but gets out again after skipping over a commercial break. This also started within the last month or so.

I'd complain (and have about the lip-sync), but it's just too frustrating trying to call in to the support droids. If dish had a number where someone reasonable would be willing to listen to the problem and convince me that the call actually helps, I'd be happy to complain. But having to go through all the crap with the typical support line is just too painful.

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#18 OFFLINE   puckwithahalo

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 01:27 AM

If dish had a number where someone reasonable would be willing to listen to the problem and convince me that the call actually helps, I'd be happy to complain. But having to go through all the crap with the typical support line is just too painful.


The reason companies don't have a special line for people with unusual or more advanced problems is because that number would get out, and then everyone would call into it and it would just turn into another regular trouble-shooting line. Which is why you have to call in to the regular line and escalate through to the higher level technicians or have a report submitted to engineering. Unfortunately there is just no good way around that. One thing that you can do is go to http://www.dishnetwo...email/index.asp, choose technical support from the dropdown, and submit the form. Once the e-mail that sends comes in, the agent who gets it can respond to it if they have the knowledge needed, or take more time than an agent on the phone can really do and research the issue or further, or pose the problem to someone farther up the line if need be. Yes, I know it can be kind of a pain to go through all the steps, but there's really no good solution to bypass the initial steps, because "everyone" wants to talk to the more experienced agent, even when its an issue a newer one could take care of.
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#19 OFFLINE   wje

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:00 AM

I haven't generally had audio dropout problems with my 622. However, watching the Red Sox vs A's game last night on TNT (they carried a short part of the game) I experienced very frequent dropouts, but only during commercials. The difficulty with something like this is that you can't tell if it's E*'s uplink, the 622, or the content provider. I'm guessing this was TNT's problem, but that's just a guess.

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#20 OFFLINE   ChuckA

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:25 AM

I watch a lot of recorded programming. I do not have problems with audio drops or jerkey video on either my 622 or 722.
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