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Managing Recordings on Multiple DVRs


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66 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:04 PM

Ya. My ideal set-up would be a 5-6 tuner diskless set top box connected to fault tolerant networked attached storage. In that scenario, the recordings would be encrypted to my account and not a particular STB.


I think this is the ultimate solution for storage mangement and recording scheduling. I have a ZyXEL NAS that routinely manages to support 300Mbps across the LAN. If I could put one of these guys on the net with 2 3TB drives in RAID 1 configuration, I'd have the same amount of diskspace I have now, spread across 3 DVRs, but it would be fault tolerant. And if the encryption was tied to my account, instead of the devices, I could record and playback from/to any device or TV. The throughput of the device is even sufficient to easily handle 8 recording streams and 4 playback.

Edited by Diana C, 04 October 2012 - 01:32 PM.

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#42 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Per the thread starter's original post, I just now finished remotely setting up a bunch of Series Links for my mom, a FiOS TV subscriber. Using her account log-in from my house, I had web access to both her multiroom DVRs, and I was able to see and delete from her playlists, TDL and series manager, as well as search and schedule recordings either DVR. Piece of cake.

Just like DirecTV WHDVR service, she has two DVRs and one STB, and can see any recording from any location.

I attached some screen shots of the Web UI I was working with below.

Nice, but will DirecTV ever do it for their customers?

According to a few members here, DirecTV does not have the resources.
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#43 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:18 PM

All the spreadsheets and other methods are worthless if a DVR fails, unless you've got multiple DVRs backing them up, I think. Now, if we could use any HDD recorded within an account on any HR within that account, losing a DVR wouldn't be so catastrophic as it is now.

Rich


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#44 OFFLINE   RACJ2

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:39 PM

No thank you. I don't want my DVRs to do my thinking for me. We'd wind up with series episodes spread all over the place.

Like I said, for me I wouldn't really need it. Although, if you had WHDVR and a master integrated recoding list. Would it really matter which DVR it was recorded on? You would just select the episode and it would go pull it from the DVR it was recorded on. Sounds better then using manual spreadsheets?
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#45 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:44 PM

My ideal set-up would be a 5-6 tuner diskless set top box connected to fault tolerant networked attached storage. In that scenario, the recordings would be encrypted to my account and not a particular STB.

I think this is the ultimate solution for storage mangement and recording scheduling. I have a ZyXEL NAS that routinely manages to support 300Mbps across the LAN. If I could put one of these guys on the net with 2 3TB drives in RAID 1 configuration, I'd have the same amount of diskspace I have now, spread across 3 DVRs, but it would be fault tolerant.

What puzzles me is the technology for this approach exists today, and since this is such straightforward and seemingly cost effective way to go, I wonder what we're missing, since no MSO I know of has anythng like this in place, AFAIK? :scratchin
/steve

#46 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

Security and Hollywood.

#47 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

Security and Hollywood.

Maybe for appearance only, tho. Since MRV, aren't the current HR2x's encrypted DLNA servers anyway? If so, couldn't a conscientious hacker get at the recordings now, if he or she really wanted to?
/steve

#48 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:40 PM

Maybe for appearance only, tho. Since MRV, aren't the current HR2x's encrypted DLNA servers anyway? If so, couldn't a conscientious hacker get at the recordings now, if he or she really wanted to?


I don't think so...they function as DLNA clients (sort of) in that they can play some audio and video from another server (PC), but they will only deliver video to a DirecTV2PC client...you can't play anything through media player.

The security answer doesn't hold water...it is no less secure than an external drive attached to the DVR. It is just a drive at the end of an Ethernet cable instead of a SATA cable.

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FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#49 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:07 PM

Like I said, for me I wouldn't really need it. Although, if you had WHDVR and a master integrated recoding list. Would it really matter which DVR it was recorded on? You would just select the episode and it would go pull it from the DVR it was recorded on. Sounds better then using manual spreadsheets?


Yes, it would matter. Again, if your recordings are all over the place and you lose a DVR you're screwed. Unlike most everyone else I don't watch things when they air. I save some shows for when the season ends and I can watch all the episodes back to back. I'd HATE it if some of those episodes were no longer there because some stupid "master integrated recording list" decided it would spread episodes out over my system.

I'll take my spreadsheets over a "master integrated recording list" any day. Make fun of me and my spreadsheets all you want.
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#50 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

I would think, in the scenario RAC suggests, episodes of a particular series (SL) would all be on one DVR.


Even before I got my HR34, I never had spreadsheets or anything. I set up recordings on the main DVR. If I tried to set up a SL and there was a conflict, I just set that one up on a different DVR. Didn't matter to me what network it was or what type of show it was. I had SL's spread across three different DVR's and most of the time I had no idea which DVR I was even watching from. A master recording list could do the same thing. Find a spot for the SL and put it on that DVR (with all episodes of that show there as well).

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

 
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#51 OFFLINE   RACJ2

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:26 PM

Yes, it would matter. Again, if your recordings are all over the place and you lose a DVR you're screwed. Unlike most everyone else I don't watch things when they air. I save some shows for when the season ends and I can watch all the episodes back to back. I'd HATE it if some of those episodes were no longer there because some stupid "master integrated recording list" decided it would spread episodes out over my system.

I'll take my spreadsheets over a "master integrated recording list" any day. Make fun of me and my spreadsheets all you want.

First off, I apologize that the way I worded my post may have been misinterpreted. I wasn't making fun of you or your spreadsheets at all. I was merely saying that if I could be automated, it would sure be better then spreadsheets.

And now that you explained how you record a seasons worth of programs on the same DVR and then watch a whole season, I can see why you said what you did. I watch programs from week to week or maybe up to 3 episodes back to back. So that's why I can do all my recording on my HR34. We just have different needs.
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#52 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

I would think, in the scenario RAC suggests, episodes of a particular series (SL) would all be on one DVR.


Even before I got my HR34, I never had spreadsheets or anything. I set up recordings on the main DVR. If I tried to set up a SL and there was a conflict, I just set that one up on a different DVR. Didn't matter to me what network it was or what type of show it was. I had SL's spread across three different DVR's and most of the time I had no idea which DVR I was even watching from. A master recording list could do the same thing. Find a spot for the SL and put it on that DVR (with all episodes of that show there as well).

I can imagine what your sock draw looks like.
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#53 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:01 AM

Not sure how that even relates, but which one?

I have one drawer for black socks and another for white.

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

 
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#54 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

Thanks. I added Futon Critic to my reading list. Now I need to figure out how to use it.


These are the pages that you want.

Current Season Guide

and from that page, you can get to "When does (insert show) return" page.

I don't bother keeping inactive shows on my DVR's from season to season because it's usually easier to start from scratch when setting up a new season, rather than trying to force specific shows to remain on the same DVR that they were on last year. So, as soon as a show is over for the season, I delete it from my schedule, as well as my spreadsheet. The exceptions are the shows that have a "mini-season" with only a month or two of downtime between "mini-seasons" (USA has been doing a lot of this). For those shows, I won't delete them until all of the "mini-seasons" are done.

Edited by Bill Broderick, 05 October 2012 - 12:02 PM.
Fix link


#55 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Like I said, for me I wouldn't really need it. Although, if you had WHDVR and a master integrated recoding list. Would it really matter which DVR it was recorded on? You would just select the episode and it would go pull it from the DVR it was recorded on. Sounds better then using manual spreadsheets?


We do have the Unified Playlist (UPL) that does exactly that. It acts as a data base. I have a huge UPL and I don't bother with worrying about what's where.

Rich

#56 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:45 PM

I have a spreadsheet, where I keep track of what programs are recording on which DVR at what times. I keep a printout in the remote caddy in the family room and check it before I add a new SL entry (and note it on the printout which I then use to update the file).

What can I say...I work with computers all day. ;)

I have a similar system. I have 4 DVRs in one room (no WH for me). I have a colored sticker on each; red, blue, green, yellow, and corresponding stickers on their respective remotes, and on the remote for my HDMI switcher which feeds two TVs in that room.

I use Numbers (spreadsheet) on a MacBook Air, and rows for programs sectioned into days of the week and columns for DVRs, appropriately color-matched. When I record a program on Red, for instance, I increment that cell by one, which means I have a running total of how many eps of any program I have on any DVR. When I delete, I decrement the cell total. This means I can also use the spreadsheet functions to tell me how many hours of recordings I have and how much space I have (developed during the Tivo era when there was no space meter). I use further tweaks to indicate which eps would be next in play order and which DVRs to increment for that night's record schedule, should I need to record eps of the same show spread over multiple DVRs for whatever reason. Half-hour shows need a separate section to keep the math right.

I also created a grid program in Omnigraffle that keeps a record of every ep of every show, with date represented by columns, a page for every day of the week. This way I know if I have seen a particular ep already (I grey it out once viewed). This comes in handy if CBS decides to throw us a 2009 ep of CSI; I just refer to the history and see if its greyed out on my 2009 version. Since I double-record most stuff, I use a field color and a border color to represent the two DVRs any ep will be recorded on. Every ep is represented by its own little tile that I can move around snapped to the grid, and I end up with columns of tiles representing a season of each program, each tile representing an ep and its location representing its original air date. Over that is a transparent block that covers just the future dates that are not available in the schedule as of yet, which I resize as that day becomes available. Over the years I have tweaked this system a lot, and I am using lots of 3D shading to make it very attractive, rather than just sparse spreadsheets.

I have yet another grid in Omnigraffle that represents air time vs channels, again with a page for every day of the week. That is used to predict and resolve recording conflicts, but only when necessary. Very handy.

The whole shebang takes a couple of hours a week to manage, but I do it while I am watching the news shows on Sunday mornings, so I really don't waste any time with it. Entering the ep titles is the most cumbersome part.

I plan to move it all to the iPad as soon as the software is capable.

Edited by TomCat, 05 October 2012 - 08:08 PM.

It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#57 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:20 PM

Not sure how that even relates, but which one?

I have one drawer for black socks and another for white.


!rolling

Actually, your method surprises me. I find it very easy to just stick to recording certain networks on certain dvrs to be the easiest method to avoid conflicts, as stations like to change times shows are on and can create conflicts latter on, where as if you stick to certain networks on certain dvrs, that issue should not arise across three dvrs ever for network shows, and cable shows repeat enough it shouldn't be a problem for them either.

#58 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:23 PM

I don't think so...they function as DLNA clients (sort of) in that they can play some audio and video from another server (PC), but they will only deliver video to a DirecTV2PC client...you can't play anything through media player.

The security answer doesn't hold water...it is no less secure than an external drive attached to the DVR. It is just a drive at the end of an Ethernet cable instead of a SATA cable.


I have always thought the reason we can't move hard drives around is security. How do you tie everything to an account number and not a access or RID number? What if someone could figure out how to spoof that? That's the issue I am talking about, and it would be prevalent in a NAS type device situation as suggested.

I am not saying I wouldn't like that process, I am just saying I wonder if its something they'd ever even consider, if they can even get past the impracticality of its use for their average customers.

#59 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:02 AM

How do you tie everything to an account number and not a access or RID number?


You could ask that same question in reverse as well. How do you tie everything to a RID/Access card and not an account number? Tying it to one number would be just as easy as tying it to another.

What if someone could figure out how to spoof that?


Again, same could be said in reverse. What if someone could spoof a RID? We all know an access card can be spoofed, look back at the HU card days.

A number is just a number whether it be account number, RID, access card or phone number. When you're generating a pgp key you can use anything for a passphrase, this would be no different.
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#60 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:50 AM

You could ask that same question in reverse as well. How do you tie everything to a RID/Access card and not an account number? Tying it to one number would be just as easy as tying it to another.

Again, same could be said in reverse. What if someone could spoof a RID? We all know an access card can be spoofed, look back at the HU card days.

A number is just a number whether it be account number, RID, access card or phone number. When you're generating a pgp key you can use anything for a passphrase, this would be no different.


I am under the impression that the rid and access card numbers are "hard coded" into the physical chips on the card and Receiver, and can't be changed without physically changing their chips, that's why they in part can't be spoofed is my understanding. There is no way to do that with an account number, as those have to change when DVRs are activated and deactivated. This is my thought process on this. I don't know if that's the case, but it was explained to me that way long ago and it did make some sense at the time, although I don't remember all the reasoning behind it anymore, just the overall concept.




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