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A 2010 compendium of D* DVR bugs


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194 replies to this topic

#101 OFFLINE   Syzygy

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 10:05 PM

I'm not under contract with D* — no ECF (Early Cancellation Fee) or ETF (Early Termination Fee) for me. In 2008, when I got an HR21 to "replace" my expensive HR10 (which I kept, of course), no contract extension was required.

I'm waiting patiently (well, maybe not so patiently ;)) for the new DirecTiVo.
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

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#102 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 10:24 PM

It's funny watching all the fanboys react so violently to a list of facts. I have experienced many of these problems. Some are trivial, some have been fixed, but they show a lack of attention to detail and an incomplete understanding of their customers. Most are frustrating because a competent product marketing manager could just clean them up in a rev or two.


I think people know me well enough to know by now that I'm not a DirecTV "fanboy"... well, I take that back, I am a "DirecTV fanboy", but they should know me well enough to know that I am NOT a "HR2x fanboy".

That being said, this list is FAR FROM FACT. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of saying that Syzygy's pushing an agenda, because he very well may be calling it as he sees it, but that doesn't make it correct.

Several of the "bugs" he mentions, I agree with.... but in the three years (geez... it seems longer) that I've had an HR20-700... it's been virtually bug-free.... and in NO WAY as bug-ridden as the list might make one consider it to be. I've had multiple complaints about my HR23-700 this past year... mainly due to general usage problems associated with it's speed, and while I wouldn't recommend an HR23-700 to anyone, the recent NR has GREATLY improved it's speed.

I'm sorry you've had such bad luck with the HR2x boxes... as I've said, I haven't had the best time with my HR23-700 either, but just because other people haven't experienced these problems don't make them fanboys... though it's possible they may be in the absence of problems! ;)

The design center of the DirecTV boxes are to allow people who watch live TV to record their favorite shows when they aren't around. The design center of Tivo's is to allow people to never need to watch live TV.


On this we agree, and I've been saying it for years... most recently in the TiVo thread.

However, that is a DESIGN CHOICE. It's not a design choice I agree with, but it's certainly NOT A BUG.

Tivo users expect more from their boxes. We expect a Lexus and are given a Toyota pickup truck. Yes, the pickup truck does a few things the Lexus doesn't, but it's not the same.


Though this was meant rather harshly, as someone whose two favorite car companies are Toyota and Lexus, I find this a someone fitting comparison since I'd take either one and would be quite happy with a Toyota pickup! :)

~Alan

#103 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 05:26 AM

It's funny watching all the fanboys react so violently to a list of facts. I have experienced many of these problems. Some are trivial, some have been fixed, but they show a lack of attention to detail and an incomplete understanding of their customers. Most are frustrating because a competent product marketing manager could just clean them up in a rev or two.

The design center of the DirecTV boxes are to allow people who watch live TV to record their favorite shows when they aren't around. The design center of Tivo's is to allow people to never need to watch live TV.

Tivo users expect more from their boxes. We expect a Lexus and are given a Toyota pickup truck. Yes, the pickup truck does a few things the Lexus doesn't, but it's not the same.

If something is fixed, then is it currently a bug?

If something is reported but is irreproducible by the originator or anyone else is that a bug?

If so you could compile as long a list for anything. IMHO, not a fair assessment of the current state of something (in this case the HR series).

Yeah, I'm be a fanboy, but at least I try to be objective.

Mike

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#104 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 05:49 AM

My last post in this thread.
The list is flawed, though has some true/valid points.
My guess is 1 out of 10 have validity, but since I haven't used every function or situation listed I'll say 2 out of 10 have validity.
This means 80% of the items are false, or are related to defective hardware or system.
Anybody posting anything along this line are told they are DirecTV Fans, by others who "have no agenda", but merely agreeing with "the truth", though this truth is based on 80% falsehoods.

This thread is and will continue to go nowhere, other than turning into personal attacks for what ever reasons.

"I get it", good by, as it moves to my ignore list :)

While I give Syzygy kudos for the effort he put into this, I'd have to agree with VOS on the "bugs". I'm pretty "OCD" when it comes to testing, and I've only encountered about 10% of those issues, if that many. It appears to me that many of these are "one-off" or random issues that were reported by folks in past issues threads, and not issues that lots of users generally agree need addressing.

I am on board with about 25% of the observations on the "design" list, many which are subjective, and some on our long-standing Wish List. As I said in a previous post, addressing these would be "gilding the lily", IMHO, as opposed to "must have".

Edited by Steve, 24 May 2010 - 06:18 AM.

/steve

#105 OFFLINE   DogLover

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:09 AM

Yes, some models have unique problems, but I think they may all be intermittent, hence not easily reproducible. Others in this forum know exactly which models have which problems, but I don't. I'm not a "friend of DirecTV" like they are. Being a "FoD" means keeping quiet like D* does.

I'm sorry, but this statement is so totally out of line, that I, too am done with this thread. To accuse others of this type of deception without any evidence is just wrong. By not including specifics, you have painted a disparaging picture of a large segment of this board.

I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were trying to be helpful to the other HR2x users out there. If find that I am not longer able to do so.
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#106 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:25 AM

It's funny watching all the fanboys react so violently to a list of facts.

Wait a second. I have to stop laughing before I answer this post. "List of facts?" Wow. I looked through the list and found many that are not facts. I have had next to NO problems with my three HR2x boxes in all the time I have had them. Or maybe you want to include the "fact" that only one person's remote takes 3 seconds to respond to repeating the button push.

The design center of the DirecTV boxes are to allow people who watch live TV to record their favorite shows when they aren't around. The design center of Tivo's is to allow people to never need to watch live TV.

Uh? They use the exact same paradigm for live versus recorded TV. Both have live trick play, both have prioritized recording. Both have pretty much the same logic in how recordings are performed and stored and accessed. Where do you get that Tivo is intended to never need to watch live TV? Wonder why they bother with live TV at all (gee, Tivo even has a button that brings you immediately to Live TV and full time LIVE buffers and had them before DirecTV...sounds like Tivo is into live TV).

Tivo users expect more from their boxes. We expect a Lexus and are given a Toyota pickup truck. Yes, the pickup truck does a few things the Lexus doesn't, but it's not the same.


Now this is too damned funny. That is why my Series 3 Tivo rebooted it self at least twice a week. That is why Tivo is horrible at keeping up with cable TV lineup changes. You can expect whatever you want. I haven't seen it from Tivo in quite some time. Maybe the Premiere puts them back in the spotlight. I don't know. I gave up after more than a year on the HD Tivo.
LR: HR34-700, H24-200, Fios DVR, BD350 Blu Ray, Roku Netflix Player, Chromecast, Sony 65w850 TV
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#107 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:58 AM

So are you saying that the actual manufacturer of the unit has a bearing on whether it works as advertised?


Quite a bearing. Some folks will use the time worn "all HRs are functionally equal" phrase. While this is true in some contexts, it is really not an indicator of how well the HRs actually function. So, yes, the actual manufacturer of the HRs does have an important bearing on the way that the HRs function. If you read the threads that compare the various models and manufacturers you will see what I mean. I'm not asking anybody to take me at my word, read the posts, there are important differences between manufacturers and models and even between models manufactured by the same manufacturer. For instance, Pace makes the 20-700, the 21-700 and the 23-700. While the 21-700 is as reliable as the 20-700, the speed of the 21-700 is much slower than the 20-700. Same holds true with the 23-700 when compared to the 20-700.

How do you get to choose? I thought that D* does not let you choose which model--never mind manufacturer--that you will get?


For reasons that will become clear, I'm not gonna post that info. If you PM me, I'll be glad to go over that with you. Just know that it can be done.

Rich

#108 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:06 AM

I would simply like to say that I respect rich584's experiences but mine differ; I've had equivalent experiences with all the manufacturers. That doesn't invalidate what he's gone through, only know that it's possible to get a good receiver from any manufacturer.
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#109 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:13 AM

I would simply like to say that I respect rich584's experiences but mine differ; I've had equivalent experiences with all the manufacturers. That doesn't invalidate what he's gone through, only know that it's possible to get a good receiver from any manufacturer.


I agree. Oddly, I agree. If I had never had a 20-700 and only had 21-700s, I would be happy with them. My statements are purely subjective. To say that all the 20-100s that are out there don't work would be foolish. But to go thru that massive list that the TS put up and believe that every one of them was valid would also be foolish. I just don't have that many problems anymore. And if the TS is still experiencing all those problems, he's got problems that aren't limited to the HRs.

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#110 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 11:18 AM

[...] To say that all the 20-100s that are out there don't work would be foolish [...]

Ya. I've been living with a refurb'd HR20-100 for about a year and I have to say it works as well as my 20-700's.
/steve

#111 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

Ya. I've been living with a refurb'd HR20-100 for about a year and I have to say it works as well as my 20-700's.


Amazing. Just amazing. And I've never had a 100 that worked for more than three weeks. Just my luck, I guess. :)

Rich

#112 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 01:54 PM

Amazing. Just amazing. And I've never had a 100 that worked for more than three weeks. Just my luck, I guess. :)

You probably got new ones, instead of a reconditioned unit like mine! :lol:
/steve

#113 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

Ya. I've been living with a refurb'd HR20-100 for about a year and I have to say it works as well as my 20-700's.


Amazing. Just amazing. And I've never had a 100 that worked for more than three weeks. Just my luck, I guess. :)


You probably got new ones, instead of a reconditioned unit like mine! :lol:


A relative of mine... well, sorta, but not really, is a Dish Network customer.

Every year, his Dish Network receiver would go bad. They'd send him a new one, and it would go bad too. Suffice it to say, this happened multiple times.

I forget what caused the change, but eventually they shipped him a refurbished/reconditioned receiver. It's worked now for years... :D

I got an HR20-100 several years ago, and it went bad in a week. I was sent a HR20-700 that was refurbished/reconditioned, and it's worked for years now! :)

~Alan

#114 OFFLINE   jason williams

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 03:38 PM

Good job with this list..Should be expanded since there are many more..Live programming on TNT and ESPN have constant audio dropouts and Pixelation. Directv should be trashed for putting out such garbage and charging such prices on a box which does not work properly and then bragging what outstanding service they provide..

#115 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 03:56 PM

Good job with this list..Should be expanded since there are many more..Live programming on TNT and ESPN have constant audio dropouts and Pixelation. Directv should be trashed for putting out such garbage and charging such prices on a box which does not work properly and then bragging what outstanding service they provide..

Show me someone who has all those issues. :rolleyes:

Mike

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Since it costs 1.66¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 3.32¢ worth.  That 3.32¢ is my own and not the 3.32¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#116 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:29 PM

This is actually a feature .. Due to the way MPEG4 is decoded, Audio is available much more quickly after a trick play .. syncing up so to speak. There are multiple ways to deal with the problem, but one good way is to have a frozen video frame (which is ahead of current position) sit and wait while the audio actually catches up...


I am skeptical regarding this explanation; maybe you could elaborate a bit. It sounds as if you are attributing something to MPEG-4 as opposed to MPEG-2, but maybe it just sounds that way. For one thing, MPEG-4 decoding should have little if any difference from MPEG-2 decoding, other than it performs a few more tricks on both encode and decode. And especially so regarding audio, which is neither MPEG-4 nor MPEG-2.

If anything, MPEG-4 video should take longer to decode, as it has more inherent latency in the flavor used by DBS, than does MPEG-2. And this should not affect the audio at all, which has very little latency relative to video, meaning that it can be already available, waiting, and ready when syncing to decoded video, regardless what video codec is used. It just might have to wait slightly longer than it would for MPEG-2 video.

Not only does the audio have little latency, the difference in latency between the possible audio codecs available with MPEG-4 and those available with MPEG-2 are probably so insignificant as to not be noticeable, so I fail as yet to see how MPEG-4 decoding would be different as regards audio (other than HE-AAC is not available as an audio codec connected to MPEG-2).

But maybe you are only saying that audio is available more quickly than video? (and not in comparison to MPEG-2) If so, obviously true, but also true in the case of MPEG-2 video, not just MPEG-4. Maybe you meant "due to the fact that decoded video has more latency than audio...". Sorry if I misinterpreted your intent.

That is the way the HR10-250 dealt with it from day one (no MPEG-4 there, right?). But what is interesting is that it is difficult to attribute this to the difference in latency between audio and video. After all, it is the video (which has the latency issue) that is there first, in the freeze-frame, waiting for audio (which does not have the latency issue) to catch up, not the other way around.

I think the explanation is that video as a stream has latency due to the need to buffer an entire GOP before clocking it back out, while video as a single frame does not really have any latency. IOW, a frame of video can be grabbed on the jump back and held/displayed until the audio syncs up. If you grab a frame that is far enough ahead to compensate for the latency that would be expected in actual streaming (at least a full GOP's worth), it can dead-roll from that point forward and match the audio as it comes along. Neat trick, actually.
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#117 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:34 PM

...Take blank recordings for instance. I haven’t had one of those for years...

Bad example. I've had 3 in the past month.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#118 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:37 PM

...

OT, but I like your screen name, which is also the name of one of my favorite X-Files episodes. :) The haters here in this thread are behaving ironically (or maybe coincidentally) much like the folks in that episode did.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#119 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:38 PM

Show me someone who has all those issues. :rolleyes:

Mike

Makes one wonder, doesn't it.

How some folks report these issues as "common - it happens all the time", yet you find 1 post from those posters like that. Hmmmm....

I'm with you MB....haven't lost s single dropped recording on any HR20, HR21, or HR24 HD DVR in at least the past 4 years, not one - and that includes thousands of recordings during that time. If someone has it happen more than one time ever...it would make one think something is amuck and have it checked out....
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#120 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:45 PM

Bad example. I've had 3 in the past month.


So, because you've had 3, then it's a bad example? Yours seem like bad examples since they're such an anomaly among users.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#121 OFFLINE   poppo

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:43 PM

• 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.


I didn't read the whole thread, but I can confirm this is a bug or 'design flaw'. Whatever you want to call it, it is repeatable (on 2 HR20-700s and a HR20-100) and has been reported countless times and still has not been fixed.

IMO it's one of the most annoying bugs I have encountered as I have lost the end of many shows because I was behind live, and it decided to dump the buffer (jumping me up to live) for no reason. :nono2:

#122 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:19 AM

I didn't read the whole thread, but I can confirm this is a bug or 'design flaw'. Whatever you want to call it, it is repeatable (on 2 HR20-700s and a HR20-100) and has been reported countless times and still has not been fixed.

IMO it's one of the most annoying bugs I have encountered as I have lost the end of many shows because I was behind live, and it decided to dump the buffer (jumping me up to live) for no reason. :nono2:

How long does it take?

I've had been in the live buffer, or even paused, when I went to bed and have gotten up with it still in the buffer (I don't usually put my receivers in standby).

The HRs have done some annoying things with the live buffer over the years.

Mike

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Since it costs 1.66¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 3.32¢ worth.  That 3.32¢ is my own and not the 3.32¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#123 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:25 AM

Makes one wonder, doesn't it.

How some folks report these issues as "common - it happens all the time", yet you find 1 post from those posters like that. Hmmmm....

I'm with you MB....haven't lost s single dropped recording on any HR20, HR21, or HR24 HD DVR in at least the past 4 years, not one - and that includes thousands of recordings during that time. If someone has it happen more than one time ever...it would make one think something is amuck and have it checked out....

I have a spread sheet to keep track of my SLs over three DVRs and I honestly can't remember the last time I had a blank recording. For that matter, I haven't missed a recording in year...well, not unless it was my fault...and no matter how it happened, my wife says it's my fault. :grin:

Mike

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Since it costs 1.66¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 3.32¢ worth.  That 3.32¢ is my own and not the 3.32¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#124 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:30 AM

Bad example. I've had 3 in the past month.

Not a bad example.

I have four friends at work with DirecTV (only three with HR's), and I asked them to keep track of a few things for me and this is one of them. None have had this problem in a long time.

I have three DVRs recording daily and I never miss or have a blank recording.

If this is happening on a regular basis, then there's got to be something wrong. It shouldn't be happening. If it were a system or firmware problem it would be wide spread and it just isn't. :shrug:

Mike

µß
Since it costs 1.66¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 3.32¢ worth.  That 3.32¢ is my own and not the 3.32¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#125 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:40 AM

Not a bad example.

I have four friends at work with DirecTV (only three with HR's), and I asked them to keep track of a few things for me and this is one of them. None have had this problem in a long time.

I have three DVRs recording daily and I never miss or have a blank recording.

If this is happening on a regular basis, then there's got to be something wrong. It shouldn't be happening. If it were a system or firmware problem it would be wide spread and it just isn't. :shrug:

Blank recordings were an occasional issue for me back in 2008. Thankfully, I haven't seen one of those in almost 2 years.
/steve




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