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A 2010 compendium of D* DVR bugs


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194 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:31 PM

... 1) Are some of these [bugs] fixed[?] Just one example: I haven't seen a report of a runaway recording for a long time. Perhaps this bug has been fixed? Perhaps I missed a recent report. How do you know when to remove a bug from your list? Since we don't get detailed bug fix documentation, what is your criteria?

2) Some of these descriptions are a little vague. What is "too much time" to refresh the playlist? Also, "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." Without real details, how do we know this is a bug an not user error? I'm not saying these aren't problems, just that your descriptions are so vague to be of any use to anyone (user with a problem or developer trying to address the problem).

3) While you didn't want to include signal issue problems, you included blank recordings. We have seen a few problems in the past with blank recordings where people swore live tv of that program was fine. I haven't see any report of that in some time...

4) I have to admit that the list is so long that once I saw a few vague ones, I stopped reading...

You've got a good start, but to be really useful I think you're going to need a lot more info.

Thanks for a helpful response, one of several.

DirecTV is silent on bugs and fixes, so there's no way of knowing what's still a bug. It's really pitiful that we should have to assume that a bug is gone simply because there are no recent reports of it.

Some bugs in the list, I admit, are based on reports from others — but never from just one user.

I want to assure you that no user error was involved in this problem, which I personally experienced: "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." I reported it as an NR issue.

"A good start?" I'm plumb tuckered out! And here comes a new NR, which may fix some things, but how will I know?

Waiting for the new DirecTiVo. When it arrives, D* can continue with their bugfest without any comment from me.
Frank TiVangelist since Aug 1999, HD since Dec 2002, DirecTV since Aug 2004, DECA/MRV since Nov 2010
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#22 OFFLINE   PokerJoker

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:56 PM

I agree that the effort to compile this list is praiseworthy.

I would postulate that at least half of these issues trace back in some way (directly or indirectly) to the inadequate (slow) hardware. It would be interesting to know how many of these are suddenly "fixed" on the faster HR24.

Here's one that happened to me the other day - The to-do list, with 30+ entries in it, apparently deleted itself. In the middle of the day, with no reboots involved. I knew a particular show was on, and I saw that it was not recording. Checked the to-do list and it was empty. :eek2: Series links were all still in place. I did the obvious thing and rebooted the box (an HR21-100). It took an inordinately long time to come back (8 minutes) and when it did, all guide data was gone. Both the guide data and the to-do list did eventually repopulate themselves, but this was a definite eye-opener. And if I had not caught it, who knows how many recordings would have been missed.

Anyone else have this happen?

Keith

#23 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:57 PM

Waiting for the new DirecTiVo. When it arrives, D* can continue with their bugfest without any comment from me.

It will certainly help if TiVo gets the software out there to be able to ascertain what is possible and what isn't.

One of the disadvantages of the subcontract approach to hardware design and manufacturing is that the software must be targeted to the least common denominator.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#24 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

In the 4 years I've had my HRXX's, I've never had a problem with any of the following:

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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:



I don't have a problem with these either:

The following problems can't be called accidents, like having a beetle crawl into the computer circuitry. Instead, they're supposedly the result of careful thought.

User Interface:

• The remote waits a full 3 seconds before allowing a key to repeat.
• The Exit key may clear the screen, but if the screen clears itself first, the program you're watching is dismissed.
• The Active key (nestled in among Pause, Guide and List) serves mainly to waste time when pressed by accident.


Navigation:


• Too many keypresses are required to get to the To Do List, the Prioritizer, and Manual recording.


Recording:

• You're never entirely sure which shows will be recorded, because scheduling occurs very slowly in the background — sometimes in the last possible hour (or not at all).



The following things I have experienced, and would like to see fixed:

• Search's incremental matching always clears the list of results if you enter an extra character that matches nothing.
• 'Channels I Get' has always included some channels you can't get, leading the user to try to record unavailable shows.
• A paused screen always flashes back on briefly and intermittently after the screen saver starts.


These, I have no idea if they're true, but I'll take your word for it:

• 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]


I use a universal remote, so again I don't know about these:

• No dedicated Slow Motion key.
• No Clear key.


These are merely wishlist type items, and everyone will want different things. My DVR doesn't make toast either, but I'm not going to put it on a bug list:

• The Stop key dismisses the program you're watching — the Exit key shouldn't do it too.
• Double Dash can delete items from some lists (with no nagging) but not from others.
• The progress bar covers too much of the screen.
• There's no way to make the progress bar go away quickly, automatically.
• The progress bar in a recording shows it as complete no matter how much of it was lost to rain fade.
• You can't tell what channel the background tuner is on (if no recording is in progress) without engaging DoublePlay.
• DoublePlay won't continuously buffer the background tuner after two hours, and there's no way to shut it off.
• Unsupported add-on disk storage disables the internal disk drive.
• Instant Replay should mute the sound for an instant while it presents the destination frame for you to quickly judge whether another Replay is needed.
• Autocorrection is not adjustable.
• Single-stepping after a pause requires repeated presses of the >> button; this is the one place where press-and-hold would make sense.
• The progress bar does not go away by itself when you single-step.
• Closed Captioning and Subtitling both use only low-resolution fonts with jagged edges.
• Neither Closed Captioning nor Subtitling stays on during FF1.
• Even though the Format key can't change the way an HD channel is displayed when the TV Ratio is set to 16:9, it still cycles through all its options.
• There's no way to correct images that have been stretched by bad channels such as TNT and TBS.
• PiG (PiL & PiM) can't be turned off.
• Long program names in lists, and Series Manager entries, are truncated; highlighting a name that's too long does not display the complete name anywhere else on the screen.
• Upcoming Episodes/Showings looks only at the current channel; for a list across all channels, a Smart Search is needed.
• Deletion is permanent; there's no undelete, or Deleted Shows folder.
• There's no prompt to prevent accidental channel changes when behind in the live buffer.
• Menus and lists don't remember your last position (unless you back into them).
• There's no way to go quickly to the top or bottom of a list.
• No way (Ch up/down?) to go directly to the previous/next detailed show description in any list.
• No way to skip to a given date in the To Do List or in the History list.
Playlist:

• There's no good way to ungroup the shows in the Playlist — perhaps to see which shows will be deleted next.
• Re-ordering the Playlist forgets which item you were pointing to (even though it remembers which folder you had open last).
• Grayed names in the Playlist are too dim, and playing a show to the end does not revert its name to black as it should.
• The Playlist option "Open/Close All" doesn't keep the folders open; selecting a non-foldered program closes all folders.
• The Playlist option "Sort programs by category" doesn't sort; it filters.
• A filtered Playlist mixes 'On Now' VOD shows in with the shows you've recorded.
• Ordering the Playlist alphabetically doesn't ungroup the folders, so there's no way to get a true alphabetical list.
• Pressing left arrow or Back in a filtered Playlist doesn't go back just one step (to allow selecting another category).
• A filtered Playlist doesn't include the usual keep/expiry icons, DOW, date, time and channel name — just name, channel number and duration.
• If you stay in a filtered Playlist long enough, you'll see it refresh for no reason.
• A filtered Playlist is always sorted by date (newest first); the currently selected sort order is ignored.
• A filtered Playlist never remembers your last position in it, even after you've done nothing more than (Select, Back).

Guide:

• No way to scroll sideways in the Guide by the width of the Guide.
• No way to go backwards in the Guide to see shows that just ended (let alone yesterday's shows).
• The Guide shows only 90 minutes at a time.
• The Guide shows only 6 channels at a time (5 when an obnoxious ad is inserted).
• Dark gray channel names (unavailable channels) in the Guide are almost invisible unless highlighted.
• There's no way to get a true filtered Guide.
• The Guide option "Sort programs by category" doesn't present any kind of Guide; instead it presents a (humongous and almost completely useless) filtered list.
• A "Sorted Guide" list erroneously includes (and begins with) shows from the Playlist (in order to push VOD).
• A "Sorted Guide" list is polluted with PPV channels and channels you can't get, ignoring your current Favorites list.
• Pressing left arrow or Back in a "Sorted Guide" list doesn't go back just one step (to allow selecting another category).
• A "Sorted Guide" list doesn't indicate date, time or channel name — just name, channel number and duration.
• A "Sorted Guide" list will refresh itself while you're (slowly) paging through it, discarding your position in it.
• In a live buffer, the progress bar lies about the extent of a show that is being recorded; it does not indicate any padding, and the red portion extends backward only 90 minutes.
• If you're paused in a live buffer, your position is discarded after 90 minutes even though you're recording the program.
• Manual recording (say, of an unscheduled event partially captured in a live buffer) lets you specify a starting time that's a few minutes ago, then says "Unable to perform this operation (747)".
• End-padding of recordings is limited to certain arbitrary amounts; for example, pads of 3, 4, and 10 minutes aren't allowed.
• Start-padding of recordings is even more limited (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 minutes); 15, 20 and 30 minutes would be nice.
• Negative padding of recordings at start or end is not provided for.
• You can't specify the default amount of padding for live events (fixed at 30 minutes).
• Manual recording is unnecessarily difficult, requiring too many keypresses.
• In Manual Recording, the start time always defaults to 5 minutes past the next half hour.
• No way to enter a channel number when recording manually (0x0368 answered complaints about this feature working poorly by disabling it).
• Neither channel name nor number can be seen in the History list 'til you view the actual entry.
• History entries don't provide episode titles, only descriptions.
• History entries don't tell what date/time a show was deleted.
Searching:

• Search results include all channels: VOD shows, PPV channels, and all the channels you can't get. Although the titles are grayed for MOST of the channels you can't get, the useless entries still waste the user's time.
• Searches produce lists that identify channels only by number.
• Boolean expressions for searching remain undocumented and difficult to use.
• Keyword searches are limited to 50 characters, and the TTITLE and CCHAN operators are unnecessarily long.
• The list of Recent Searches is limited to 25, so you must frequently recreate them.


About 1 month ago I went out of town for a week and when I returned, the DVR was still paused where I had left it, so I this one seems to be false:

• A recording paused during playback doesn't stay paused for very long if you leave the receiver on when turning off the TV.



So, IMO, all of your lists boil down to 3 things: 50 series limit, CIG, paused screen flashing. One is not a bug, one is being worked on (and is currently almost pefect) and one that's really nitpicking, since I don't look at the screen when it's paused anyway.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#25 OFFLINE   DogLover

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:13 PM

Thanks for a helpful response, one of several.

DirecTV is silent on bugs and fixes, so there's no way of knowing what's still a bug. It's really pitiful that we should have to assume that a bug is gone simply because there are no recent reports of it.

Some bugs in the list, I admit, are based on reports from others — but never from just one user.

I want to assure you that no user error was involved in this problem, which I personally experienced: "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." I reported it as an NR issue.

"A good start?" I'm plumb tuckered out! And here comes a new NR, which may fix some things, but how will I know?

Waiting for the new DirecTiVo. When it arrives, D* can continue with their bugfest without any comment from me.


I think you've figured out why there's not already a "master bug list" available on the forum. This will be helpful for people and does give us a place to come if we are wondering if a bug has been around a while.

No slight was intended when I wondered about user error in the recording that didn't get recorded and wasn't in the history. I guess I just can't help but look at things like a developer. The bug description gives me absolutely zero information that I would need to solve bug. Well, not zero but very little. (I could see if there was a case where the DVR cancels a recording and then deletes the history or doesn't write a history record, depending on when the record is supposed to be written.) I would have no way of knowing why the show was deleted. (As a developer I would have assumed that the guide data changed to make the recording not longer valid, and that the DVR was working as designed, except for the history info.)

I'm sure you gave more information when you initially reported it, so that they try to troubleshoot the matter, but not everyone does. Without details, the bug reports don't really help in any way to fix the problem. With detailed bug reports, problems have a chance of getting fixed. I have to admit this is pet peeve of mine when I see issue reports that don't contain even the basic information needed to track down a problem.

And you make a good point about feedback of bug fixes. We can't know when something is fixed, or determined to not be a software issue. Just for example, your unrecorded program could be a guide data issue combined with a hardware error in writing the history file. It's still irritating to you, but nothing the developer can "fix". Then again, maybe they found the problem and fixed it, we just aren't aware of it.

Because of the above, I think that we do need to assume bugs are fixed if we don't see them in a certain period of time. Either that, or we track the date of last report, so people can make their own mind up. However, that's a lot of work.

Oh, and as to your mystery from your first post. Some of it is that new software causes a reboot. Reboots can always cause hardware issues, and reboots can reinitialize parts of the software. That software may assume that some of the data (such as series links, to do list, playlist) is good. If it is not, because of a previous bug or hardware issue, another issue may arise because of the bad data.

Also, there is a psychological effect of new software. People recognize things that were there previously, but they weren't paying attention. I've seen users of software swear up and down that "it never used to do this," after a software change when I know from personal observation, that "it has always worked that way." Therefore, some of the uptick in bug reports after software updates are just existing problems that the user has failed to notice, but are now aware of.
DogLover

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#26 OFFLINE   Bofurley

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:16 PM

He has way too much time!

#27 OFFLINE   Hutchinshouse

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:23 PM

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?


You forgot this one:

• No cup holders

#28 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:47 PM

You forgot this one:

• No cup holders

With due respect to the OP, your post really is funny.

As others have also posted, I have not seen 98% of the OP issues either. No doubt that DirecTV or any other service is without hiccups, occasional problems, and flaws - nothing's perfect.

It's unfortunate that the OP seems to have so many issues - but I wouldn't characterize it either as anything even closely resembling "an average user experience". His opinion is certainly rightful to have in his situation, although if this lengthy list is valid...one would think the experience described would have encouraged many other folks to migrate to an alternative provider long before such a robust list came into play.

It appears that the OP is very close to moving elsewhere, and hopefully that experience meets their expectations.
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#29 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:47 PM

It seems as if most readers remain confused about what's a bug and what's a design deficiency. Hutchinshouse's post quotes the bug list and appends an obvious :D design deficiency (No cup holders).

I personally rely on the cup holder in my PC's optical-disk tray. ;):D

Edited by Syzygy, 21 May 2010 - 01:59 PM.

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#30 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:54 PM

With due respect, Frank, I think that you and I disagree on what is a bug and what is a design deficiency.
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#31 OFFLINE   cover

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:02 PM

I also see these two issues on both of my HR20-700s

• Caller ID may work only intermittently. (Caller ID info is not always displayed on screen when the phone is ringing, even when other Caller ID devices and equipped phones show the info.)

• Bogus "Searching for Satellite (771)" error that goes away if you reboot. (This also affects OTA Tuners - Searching for Signal.)

And I would add that OTA channels occasionally get mapped incorrectly. For instance, tuning to the local OTA NBC station would actually receive the local OTA ABC station instead. Or, just tune to an unused OTA frequency resulting in a Searching for Signal. This happened a lot around the time of the national HD switch-over, and only occasionally now. A reboot fixes the problem.

I'm glad for DirecTV to add new features, but I do wish some of these basic reliability issues would be given higher priority.

I'll grudgingly admit there are some things I like better about the HR2x than my older DirecTivos and my HR10 that I still have in service. But, I always had nearly absolute confidence that the TiVo boxes would record what they were supposed to when they were supposed to. The HR2x boxes are pretty reliable at this point, but still fail to record shows for one reason or another much more often than the TiVo boxes did. And they require rebooting much more frequently - once a week vs. once a month.

#32 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:11 PM

I want to assure you that no user error was involved in this problem, which I personally experienced: "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." I reported it as an NR issue.

"A good start?" I'm plumb tuckered out! And here comes a new NR, which may fix some things, but how will I know?

Waiting for the new DirecTiVo. When it arrives, D* can continue with their bugfest without any comment from me.


I have never once seen this issue, and I have tried to recreate it to verify this issue, but I just can't get it to do it here, on any of my 7 DVR's.

You still feel many things that are design decisions are bugs, sorry, but I am with the Shadow on that one.

There are several things in there that you list as bugs that aren't even of ANY consequence, and have ZERO impact on the unit actually doing its job, like the need multiple passes to pick up programs to record...It does NOT matter when it adds programs, as long as it records them.. Again, I sometimes think they need to hide the darn to do list from everyone, so people would not concern themselves with how its filled, it makes no difference, your SL manager is what matters on that.

There is one or two items that are still guide data issues....

If I had made this kind of list with the same approach as you use for a tivo, its list would be even longer.... way longer... Which proves one point... Personal preference is still king of the land, no matter what is offered.

There are some things though that I could not agree with you more.. Slow mo, and anything that is press and hold needs to be completely redone... However, they aren't so important to me that they make me think any less of the box, the deficiencies of a tivo are far more predominant in my daily usage of a dvr...

It's great you take the time and care this much..

I look forward to the same kind of lists when the DirectvTivo hits the market and has as many issues...

:)

#33 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:16 PM

In case anyone was wondering, that's 81 bugs and 75 design deficiencies.

After reading your list of bugs/flaws I'm completely flabbergasted you're still with DirecTV. Especially your continual video/audio freezes, choppiness, and stuttering. That would drive me absolutely nuts. I am being completely serious and honest with you when I say I would leave DirecTV if I had even half as many problems as you've had. I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times and I don’t mean to piss you off, but I really think you have a problem with your equipment. Those video/audio issues are out of the norm. :confused:

One thing I'm not sure I understand is what it means to have to wait a full three seconds to repeat a button press. :scratchin

BTW, using the timer on the HDNet Test Pattern recording, my replay button jumps back 6-7 seconds everytime, so I don't know why yours doesn't. Maybe you should record the Test Pattern (if you haven't already) and do some timing to completly describe the issue.

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 21 May 2010 - 05:48 PM.

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#34 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:07 PM

I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times and I don’t mean to piss you off, but I really think you have a problem with your equipment. Those video/audio issues are out of the norm. :confused:


I've suggested this I don't know how many times to get the receiver replaced. I don't think it's ever been done. No way I would sit with defective equipment and not get them replaced as it's very easy to do so.

And to think Tivo will be the savior. LOL. Yea, take a look at the Tivo forums lately? :lol:

#35 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:18 PM

In case anyone was wondering, that's 81 bugs and 75 design deficiencies.

I appreciated the effort. You are nothing if not thorough. Kudos. Ignore the haters; it appears that that is all they know and love.

Despite the list, I think we are still living with the top DVR available anywhere. I fully congratulate and support DTV and their efforts to improve the HR2x platform. That's great, but your list underlines that there is no room for them resting on their laurels, and that is how it should be. As can not always be said about these sorts of efforts, the odds are that they are listening to us. If history is any guide, they surely must be.

I wonder how many of these issues are being addressed? I don't mind a no-fix on a particular issue as long as it is recognized as an issue and effort is being made to fix it. I think what really bugs me is "improvements" that they claim they have made that just are not there, such as chronological ep listings inside alphabetically-listed folders. That stupid of an "oops!" should be immediately moved to the top of the list for the next release. I guess we'll see.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#36 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 07:38 AM

Frank, do you consider countries that drive on the left have roads with design deficiencies or is it just the way they do it there?
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#37 OFFLINE   Mark Walters

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 08:07 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?


Syzygy - Could you give us a 2009 summary or compendium of the D* DVR bugs so we could compare and contrast with this year's? :)

#38 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 08:10 AM

I agree that the effort to compile this list is praiseworthy.

I would postulate that at least half of these issues trace back in some way (directly or indirectly) to the inadequate (slow) hardware. It would be interesting to know how many of these are suddenly "fixed" on the faster HR24.

Here's one that happened to me the other day - The to-do list, with 30+ entries in it, apparently deleted itself. In the middle of the day, with no reboots involved. I knew a particular show was on, and I saw that it was not recording. Checked the to-do list and it was empty. :eek2: Series links were all still in place. I did the obvious thing and rebooted the box (an HR21-100). It took an inordinately long time to come back (8 minutes) and when it did, all guide data was gone. Both the guide data and the to-do list did eventually repopulate themselves, but this was a definite eye-opener. And if I had not caught it, who knows how many recordings would have been missed.

Anyone else have this happen?

Keith


Never had that happen, but I wouldn't expect perfect performance from a 21-100 or any other HR ending in 100. But you all know that. That stuff just doesn't happen on my 20-700s or my 21-200 or my 21-700. A lot of the problems listed seem to system problems rather than HR problems.

Rich

#39 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 08:16 AM

It seems as if most readers remain confused about what's a bug and what's a design deficiency. Hutchinshouse's post quotes the bug list and appends an obvious :D design deficiency (No cup holders).

I personally rely on the cup holder in my PC's optical-disk tray. ;):D


I used to teach a class for adults that was titled "Learning how to use a computer". A really basic class for folks who had no prior computer experience. Every time I taught it, some folks would put their coffee cups on that tray. True story. They just had no idea what that tray was meant for. :)

Rich

#40 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 08:41 AM

I also see these two issues on both of my HR20-700s

• Caller ID may work only intermittently. (Caller ID info is not always displayed on screen when the phone is ringing, even when other Caller ID devices and equipped phones show the info.)


My nine 20-700s never fail to display the caller ID.

• Bogus "Searching for Satellite (771)" error that goes away if you reboot. (This also affects OTA Tuners - Searching for Signal.)


Yet another thing that's never happened to me on the 20-700s. I have had that problem with a 21-700 and a dish realignment solved that problem. The 20-700s seem to have less problems with misaligned dishes than the rest of the HRs. (I don't have a 24, can't comment on them.)

I'm glad for DirecTV to add new features, but I do wish some of these basic reliability issues would be given higher priority.

I'll grudgingly admit there are some things I like better about the HR2x than my older DirecTivos and my HR10 that I still have in service. But, I always had nearly absolute confidence that the TiVo boxes would record what they were supposed to when they were supposed to. The HR2x boxes are pretty reliable at this point, but still fail to record shows for one reason or another much more often than the TiVo boxes did. And they require rebooting much more frequently - once a week vs. once a month.


I rarely reboot my 20-700s, certainly not once a week. And they never fail to record a program if I set the recording parameters correctly. I really sounds as if you've got a system problem rather than a problem with your 20-700s.

Rich




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