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A 2010 compendium of D* DVR bugs


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194 replies to this topic

#181 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 07:48 AM

Steve, after reading your posts about the skip, I considered how often you've pointed me in the right direction. And I also remembered that some time in the past they upgraded the skip function. So I tried it. And now I'm changing all my HRs to skip. So much faster now it's almost like using a TiVo again. My thanx for making me reconsider. Another paradigm shot in the butt! :lol:

The nice thing about using SKIP/REPLAY vs. >>/<< for me is it pretty much works exactly the same, whether I'm watching locally or via MRV. Ya, there's a millisecond or two of response lag when I SKIP/REPLAY on a remote show, but my reflexes now expect that as the norm. So when I'm watching locally, I'm impressed when it sometimes appears to respond a bit more quickly.
/steve

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#182 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 07:56 AM

The nice thing about using SKIP/REPLAY vs. >>/<< for me is it pretty much works exactly the same, whether I'm watching locally or via MRV. Ya, there's a millisecond or two of response lag when I SKIP/REPLAY on a remote show, but my reflexes now expect that as the norm. So when I'm watching locally, I'm impressed when it sometimes appears to respond a bit more quickly.


Yeah, that's one of the first things I noticed after I changed to the skip. Using the slip is rough when you're on MRV and I'm using the Ethernet hookup. With the skip, it doesn't matter what HR I use.

You are a jewel, Steve.

Rich

#183 OFFLINE   Chuck W

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:48 PM

• Rewind and Instant Replay frequently cause severe stuttering of audio and/or video.


This is now number 2 on my list of most annoying issues with this box. This happens almost ALL the time when I rewind and try to replay something. It will be fine for a few seconds, but then the sound with drop and the vidoe will get stuttery. If I pause the playback, it will be fine for a few seconds then do it again. It's really driving me crazy these days.

if you are wondering what my #1 is, it's the serious failure at times of this box to recognize channel button presses or have hiccups in realizing that buttons have been pressed. Just last night, I press 265 in succession without real pauses(just like your would normplay press 2-6-5). I wait a sec and the box shows 2, then slowly shows 6, pauses for about 3 or so seconds, then tries to change to channel 26. When it says channel not available, suddenly the 5 shows up and the box changes to channel 5... WTH is this? The box does this quite frequently. I am pulling my hair out on this one.

Both these issues happen on all THREE of my box, which ar all different models, HR20-100, -700 and an HR21-100(I think that's the model... the first black one they came out with).

I am so sick and tired of these boxes, I really am at my wits end with them. They are to the point of trying to cram so much into these things, that they have forgotten about the BASICS of simple channel changes and simple rewind and playback. :mad:

#184 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:19 PM

I can't help with your #1 gripe (and I haven't seen it lately on my HR21), but I can help with #2.

Others found this workaround first: Press Info first so that the delay in displaying the banner is all over before you press any digits.
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#185 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:29 PM

It is very frustrating to see these problems affecting some people a lot, and others not at all. I have 3 dvrs (ini my sig), and none of them have rewind/replay stuttering issues. It just isn't there. Now...when I was running eSATA on my HR20-700, I did see it...and then it became more and more and more frequent. The eSATA drive finally failed. Went back to the internal drive, and it doesn't happen at all, nor did it happen with my other two DVRs that did not have an eSATA drive.

On the other hand, I have seen many, many times the keypress issue you describe. It is very apparent to me that the processors in these boxes (except the new HR24) are just not up to the many tasks they have been given, and we end up having to use a work-around like hitting info first, before hitting channel numbers. The problem gets better and worse all the time. It is not a "stable" easily repeatable problem. When it's doing it, it's does it all the time (for a period of time), but then it will stop doing it, and be fine for a period of time (usually shorter than the time that it is misbehaving).

Based on what they are asking these boxes to do, I don't think there will ever be a cure for the keypress issue, other than new hardware.


This is now number 2 on my list of most annoying issues with this box. This happens almost ALL the time when I rewind and try to replay something. It will be fine for a few seconds, but then the sound with drop and the vidoe will get stuttery. If I pause the playback, it will be fine for a few seconds then do it again. It's really driving me crazy these days.

if you are wondering what my #1 is, it's the serious failure at times of this box to recognize channel button presses or have hiccups in realizing that buttons have been pressed. Just last night, I press 265 in succession without real pauses(just like your would normplay press 2-6-5). I wait a sec and the box shows 2, then slowly shows 6, pauses for about 3 or so seconds, then tries to change to channel 26. When it says channel not available, suddenly the 5 shows up and the box changes to channel 5... WTH is this? The box does this quite frequently. I am pulling my hair out on this one.

Both these issues happen on all THREE of my box, which ar all different models, HR20-100, -700 and an HR21-100(I think that's the model... the first black one they came out with).

I am so sick and tired of these boxes, I really am at my wits end with them. They are to the point of trying to cram so much into these things, that they have forgotten about the BASICS of simple channel changes and simple rewind and playback. :mad:


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#186 OFFLINE   gsslug

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:17 PM

This is a long thread and I'm not going to read it all but I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.

There are people who expect everything to function the way they think it should function and function that way all the time without fail. Syzygy seems to be one of those people.

Then their are people like me who know that anything the least bit complex made by man and designed to be used by a large number of people will always have flaws and never function exactly as I would like. I loved my Tivo. But I bit the bullet and moved on to the HR2x series. I have learned to make them work for me and to live with their shortcomings and occasional hiccups. I don't mash my teeth, swear at my HR2xs, damn DTV, have an ulcer or loose sleep. I accept them for what they are. Imperfect but in general suiting my needs to record and playback TV programing.

I wonder if Syzygy has such a list for his wife and kids? I wonder if he has a wife and kids?:sure: Sorry Syzgy. I don't know you but I know people like you. Maybe you are a great happy fun loving guy with a great happy fun loving family. I hope so. But I do think it may be time for you to move on to some other cable/satellite system and hopefully you will find one that can meet your high standards.

#187 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:39 PM

There are people who expect everything to function the way they think it should function and function that way all the time without fail. Syzygy seems to be one of those people.

If people can have imaginary friends, they can perhaps have imaginary bugs. :D
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#188 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:58 PM

Well, this thread has me a bit stumped. It's gone pretty far off topic, it's gotten rude at times and just as I get ready to close it, it falls off the map again. Then, like a bad penny, it just keeps turning up. So, all I can say is, try to be kind, factual and stay to topic.
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#189 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:44 PM

There are people who expect everything to function the way they think it should function and function that way all the time without fail. Syzygy seems to be one of those people.

I wonder if Syzygy has such a list for his wife and kids? ... it may be time for you to move on to some other cable/satellite system and hopefully you will find one that can meet your high standards.

I expect a computer with a dedicated control program to function correctly all the time without fail (signal problems excepted). My TiVos managed to do that.

It's a mistake to anthropomorphize your HR2x box so that you can forgive it when it screws up (as if it were a wayward child).

Finally, I'm not moving on because (1) my wife still loves her (unfortunately mostly SD) HR10, and (2) I'm waiting hopefully for the new MPEG-4 TiVo. In the meantime it's only natural for anyone with computer programming experience to expect much more from the HR2x than is being delivered — especially when it calls itself the DIRECTV + DVR!
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#190 OFFLINE   gsslug

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 02:09 AM

I expect a computer with a dedicated control program to function correctly all the time without fail (signal problems excepted). My TiVos managed to do that.


I had a Tivo. I guess it wasn't as good as yours because it had occasional problems. But I liked it. Kept it as long as I could. But it wouldn't do MP4 so I had to move on. I looked at your list. Most of that stuff I could care less about or have learned to live with and don't even notice. But then I'm one of those guys who only uses his cell phone to make and receive calls. I guess when you expect more from a device than just the basics it's going to let you down from time to time.

But I do get your point only I think you took it a lot further than most would. I had a Blu-Ray player that had a known problem with freezing and skipping but it rarely happened so I kept using it. But then I tried to watch Sherlock Holmes and every 15 minutes it skipped back five minutes. Needless to say I was quite frustrated. Ruined the whole movie. The next morning I packed it up and took it back and got a new different brand DVD player. But that won't work in this situation.

I truly hope you are doing this for fun and are not losing any sleep over it or worse.

#191 OFFLINE   dtvmike1652

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:19 AM

Here's my latest list of pure bugs. I've compiled and verified this list (along with the other lists in the posts that follow) over the last 12 days. Just yesterday the rollout of 0x03DE started for some DVR models (HR21, HR22, HR23 and R22); this new release may fix some bugs (and may introduce some).

I've omitted design deficiencies so that fanboys can't pretend not to see the bugs. I've also tried to omit problems caused by bad Guide data, and issues such as pixelization, dropouts and stutters, for which the blame seems to fall on poor signal quality.

Corrections are welcome. I've verified that any bugs that are reproducible still exist. Some intermittent problems may have been fixed secretly.

Overarching problem, which I'm arbitrarily calling a bug because I'm certain that the limit is required by generally inefficient coding:

• Series Links are limited to 50.

Other issues pale next to the speed issues (which the HR24 may be responsive enough to avoid):

• Key presses may be ignored, or acted on too late. For instance, a late-acting Down Arrow will hit just as you press Select, selecting the wrong item.
• Trick Play button presses are usually ignored for the first few seconds after a recording begins playing.
• Entering letters with the numeric keypad ("triple-tapping") frequently generates mistakes. For instance, pressing the '3' button twice quickly may generate 'DD' instead of 'E'.
• Returning from a detailed show description to a list takes way too much time refreshing the list.
• Press-and-hold functions work only sometimes.
• Press-and-hold functions sometimes engage when you don't want them to (as if you were holding a key down).
• You can't pause a recording on the correct frame unless you anticipate and press the Pause key a little early.
• Instant Replay may take so long to respond that you go back only 2 or 3 seconds.
• Pressing Play to make the progress bar disappear is often acted on too late, so that the progress bar reappears.
• Pressing Play twice too quickly, to make the progress bar appear for just a moment, usually leaves it on the screen.
• Channel changing may fail if the channel banner needs to be brought up; the first digit is accepted, but the second one is dropped.
• Press-and-hold functions, when they work, take way too long to engage.

Scheduling/recording errors:

• The presence of a VOD SD version of a film prevents the recording of a broadcast HD version.
• Series Links occasionally get mysteriously deleted (with old ones re-added at the same time).
• Occasionally one may lose all Series Links and even all recorded programs (typically after an update, in which case rebooting may bring back the programs).
• If the primary showing of an episode conflicts, episodes later in the week may not be scheduled nor recorded, and attempts to manually schedule a later showing may be secretly vetoed.
• An individual show you explicitly schedule and which gets added to the To Do List may still not get recorded, and as a rule there'll be no history entry.
• A series episode recording may be missed, with the history entry claiming that the recording was cancelled by the user.
• A show may schedule itself to record (on both tuners!) even though no one requested it, and attempts to cancel the recording(s) fail.
• The beginning of an OTA recording may be cut off in favor of the soft padding for a previous show.
• The feature that suggests an alternate channel when a live event is blacked out no longer seems to work.
• Live event padding, once selected, may become unchangeable; normally it can be changed to any value — except to zero.
• Very long recordings may be broken into two parts.
• A recording may be blank.
• A recording may mistakenly last 24 hours or more, deleting other programs.
• A recording may use the foreground tuner (which you're watching) even though the background tuner is available.

Searching errors:

• Smart Search frequently fails to find any matches at all.
• Searching often fails to find all matches that are in the Guide, even missing shows that are on in the next 24 hours.
• Search's incremental matching often freezes, requiring the entry of an additional character to make it respond to the last one.
• Search's incremental matching always clears the list of results if you enter an extra character that matches nothing.
• Searching may not find any matches past the next 3-7 days, even when there are 11 days' worth of Guide data.
• Often the first item in the list of Smart Search results is discarded each time you select any item in order to explore it.
• 'Channels I Get' has always included some channels you can't get, leading the user to try to record unavailable shows.
• NNOT after TTITLE always causes a search to return no results.

Video errors:

• Video may freeze for a few seconds while the audio continues normally.
• Video and audio may freeze for 30-60 seconds, or become choppy on all channels.
• Rewind and Instant Replay frequently cause severe stuttering of audio and/or video.
• Pixelization, dropouts and stutters are not always signal-related; rewinding can make them go away.
• While you're watching Live TV, the buffer will get dumped if a recording starts on that channel.
• While you're watching Live TV, with no remote activity for a while, the buffer gets dumped if the channel banner pops up by mistake as a show happens to start in real time.
• A paused screen always flashes back on briefly and intermittently after the screen saver starts.
• The screen saver may start up while you're watching Live TV (not paused).
• Closed Captioning and DirecTV Subtitles may both be on at the same time, making captions illegible.
• The progress bar may become entirely red for all live shows.
• QuickTune may fail to change the channel, or it may switch to the wrong channel.
• Instant Replay always displays the new picture late, leading you to press it too many times.

Stability/reliability problems:

• Caller ID may work only intermittently.
• Bogus "Searching for Satellite (771)" error that goes away if you reboot.
• Guide may fail to fill with data until you reboot twice within 30 minutes (clearing your Guide cache).
• The UI may become unusably slow after a firmware update, or simply after extended use; rebooting may help for a while.
• Manual rebooting is frequently needed to make flaky UI or playback behavior go away.
• Occasionally, a "reset everything" (which deletes all recordings and SLs) is required to make the receiver work.
• A receiver may stop accepting remote commands (while still responding to the front panel controls); the box needs to be unplugged, perhaps for a long time.
• Spontaneous reboots occur fairly frequently, for some.
• Overnight lockups happen often to a few users.
• A receiver may turn itself on, repeatedly, perhaps several times in an hour.
• Add-on (eSATA) disks are unsupported; they may be erased spontaneously or just stop working, typically after a firmware update.
• The automatic restart after a firmware update often needs to be repeated manually to make the receiver work.
• For some, a manual reboot is necessary every time the box is turned on.
• A firmware update sometimes renders a working receiver irrevocably unusable.
• Playing all the shows in a folder (say, to a DVD recorder) may spontaneously abort.
• Guide may go completely blank; rescanning OTA channels or rebooting repopulates the Guide.
• Some internal hard drives became very noisy (intermittently) after the 0x034c firmware update.

Sloppy coding:

• Conflicting OTA channel numbers from out-of-range stations can make local channels untunable.
• All sorted lists treat A, AN and THE as significant words.
• Tuner #2 (or the ability to record off of it) may be lost for no reason.
• Channel blocking has never worked. (If it did, channels you don't get, PPV and maybe even VOD could be excluded from searches.)
• An Upcoming Episodes list may refresh itself twice instead of once (after Select ... Back).
• A loud "pop" sound may occur consistently upon pressing Play after FF or Rewind.
• A message asking if you want to delete the recording may pop up while you're watching the recorded show live.
• Recordings that are between 16 and 29 minutes long have no tickmark at 15 minutes.
• Connection to the Internet may disappear for no reason, usually after a firmware update.

Heavy TV watchers like me have to use compound Keyword Autorecords (ARSLs) to get around the 50-SL limit. But there are a lot of problems with ARSLs that don't occur with regular SLs:

• ARSLs without a CCHAN directive record PPV channels and channels you can't get (usually only the ones marked incorrectly; sometimes, all of them).
• ARSLs record all reruns even though you specify First Run Only. (This bug impacts cable series like Justified more than it does network shows.)
• Sometimes an ARSL rerun recording is truncated around the 15- or 30-minute mark for no apparent reason.
• ARSLs (even long-established ones) occasionally fail to record first-run shows.
• From the To Do List, it takes two passes to record a low-priority episode while cancelling a higher-priority one. [See report]
• From the Guide, you simply cannot succeed in recording a low-priority episode while cancelling a higher-priority one. [See report]
• Cancelling an ARSL series episode may not stick; if there's no conflict, the episode may get rescheduled for the same time slot.
• ARSL users must babysit the Guide and/or the To Do List to make sure shows will be recorded.

Mystery:

Why do terrible problems (that look like hardware problems because no one else is reporting them) sometimes show up right after a firmware update? Perhaps memory (volatile or nonvolatile) is prone to malfunction, and the new firmware is affected more because a critical piece of code is now stored at a bad location?

These are more complaints of something that you don't like about the DVR not problems in the receivers themselves. Granted just like another technical device there will be some issues but for the most part the DVR is pretty awesome. Definatly so much better than Tivo and definatly better than Dish Networks. Most of those issues that you have can be corrected and it's odd that probably 98% of those issues I've never experienced in the 5 years I've had my HDDVR's. Sounds to me like someone may not know how to properly use their DVR and is complaining because they can't figure it out.

#192 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:34 AM

Finally, I'm not moving on because (1) my wife still loves her (unfortunately mostly SD) HR10, and (2) I'm waiting hopefully for the new MPEG-4 TiVo. In the meantime it's only natural for anyone with computer programming experience to expect much more from the HR2x than is being delivered — especially when it calls itself the DIRECTV + DVR!

No harm, no foul. No fault in you liking what you like.

The OP is absolutely entitled to their views, their perspectives, and their choices.

It would now seem to be obvious that the whole thread mantra "since you all don't like what I do, everything else is wrong" position that others struggle with...especially when it is amplified by introducing primarily personal preferences, and proclaiming this to be a "flaws" list.

The thread title is inaccurate, the premise of it being "fact" (as opposed to primarily personal preferences) in the OP is wrong, and the ongoing back-and-forth bantor is populated through the defense of the original errant content. It's a rehash of the "I love my old Tivo" thread.

Everyone can like what they like - go for it.
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#193 ONLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:49 AM

I keep hearing that song in my head.....
"Oh the cat came back, they thought he was a gonner..." ;)

Mike

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#194 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:07 AM

I expect a computer with a dedicated control program to function correctly all the time without fail (signal problems excepted). My TiVos managed to do that.

It's a mistake to anthropomorphize your HR2x box so that you can forgive it when it screws up (as if it were a wayward child).

Finally, I'm not moving on because (1) my wife still loves her (unfortunately mostly SD) HR10, and (2) I'm waiting hopefully for the new MPEG-4 TiVo. In the meantime it's only natural for anyone with computer programming experience to expect much more from the HR2x than is being delivered — especially when it calls itself the DIRECTV + DVR!


You must buy better stuff than I do. I don't own a single piece of sophisticated electronic equipment that functions correctly "all the time".

I'm not disputing that there are bugs in the various boxes, some long-standing, some major, some minor. The major one's (a matter of opinion what is major, of course) tend to get attention pretty quickly.

Unlike an accountant, I tend to look at the big picture, and unless something interferes with the functions I'm trying to use (far in excess of the basic functions), I tend to merely take note of an anomaly and resume my viewing.

Overall the functions I use work well for me, which include:

1. Recording what I ask for.
2. Finding what I'm looking for.
3. Multi-Room Viewing (WHDVR)
4. Playing back what I record.

The one iffy issue of importance that presents problems regularly is keypad channel change and occasional sluggishness. I present them as one issue, because I think they have the same cause: not enough processor horsepower. There's no cure for that, you can't make a Porsche out of a Taurus. (I own a Taurus, btw)

I find it easy to be happy with what these boxes do, but hey, that's just me.

If it floats your boat to research the detail you present, good for you, and you have my thanks for it. Of course, there are the problems of opinion vs. fact, and desired feature vs. a true malfunction in some items on your list, but hey, that's just you, so who am I to get my knickers in a knot?

You're doing the work, you must find it personally rewarding no matter how much others may fail to appreciate your efforts.:)

While my next car won't be a Porsche, my next DVR will be an HR24, so at least I get to live the high life in one form or another.:hurah:

...hasan, N0AN

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#195 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:50 AM

You must buy better stuff than I do. I don't own a single piece of sophisticated electronic equipment that functions correctly "all the time".

"My TiVo never ever fails!"
"What, never?"
"Well, hardly ever!"

Overall the functions I use work well for me, which include... 2. Finding what I'm looking for.

I guess you don't mind having to wade through pages of unwanted search results, like VOD and channels you don't get. It's a pet peeve of mine. Also, searching frequently fails to find stuff that you can see in the Guide.

The one iffy issue of importance that presents problems regularly is keypad channel change and occasional sluggishness. I present them as one issue, because I think they have the same cause: not enough processor horsepower... my next DVR will be an HR24.

I share your feeling that a bunch of problems will go away with the HR24's increased computing horsepower.

You're doing the work, you must find it personally rewarding no matter how much others may fail to appreciate your efforts.

So, you're saying you appreciate my efforts? Thanks. :)
Frank TiVangelist since Aug 1999, HD since Dec 2002, DirecTV since Aug 2004, DECA/MRV since Nov 2010
HR24-100 > HDMI > Pio 5020FD plasma
HR24-100 > HDMI > Sony KV30HS420 tube

DirecTV & Dish HD Channel Spreadsheet
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