942- L289 Release Notes and Discussion

Discussion in 'Other HD Receiver Support Forum (811, 921, 942)' started by Jon Spackman, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Outaspace

    Outaspace New Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    I’m sorry to say that the L289 release for me (and my 942 receiver) has been a significant problem, and has prompted my first serious consideration of dumping Dish.

    Here is what L289 has meant to me for the past three weeks (when the L289 update was done?):

    1. An apparent, but not confirmed, reduction in the instances of freezing and reboot on certain OTA program material as discussed by others. (For me the problem centered on the DC-area NBC affiliate and certain programs like “The Tonight Show” and the Saturday-morning Qubo lineup.)

    2. The elimination of the OTA program guide. Dish says that we are not supposed to get that unless we subscribe to the satellite-delivered local channels.

    3. The addition of a 200-channel list of “phantom” channels with either the label “000-00” or a label of seemingly random characters and symbols. (This also was a problem for a period of time in the fall, and is a real pain to scroll through when browsing for programs on the program guide.)

    4. (And these next two are the really annoying ones.) The complete disabling of the manual timer function. With L289, if I select “Manual Timer” from the menu, the timer screen appears for a few moments (with the labels “%d” shown for “Priority %d of %d” and length “%d hr, %d min.”) and then the system crashes and begins the reboot. (This, of course, further forces one to subscribe to the satellite-delivered local channels to get the program guide, which is now the only way to be able to record ANYTHING from OTA.)

    5. Some kind of scrambling of material recorded to the hard drive after about two hours of recording. For example, if I leave the machine tuned to any particular channel for more than a couple of hours (so that the hard drive is recording the live TV), the video will begin to periodically glitch and show massive pixilation. If I then try to rewind the live TV I get a scrambled picture that is a mosaic of material from different times in the recording shown as a single picture (so I might have the profile of the head of a newscaster that is filled in not with a face but with images of trees from minutes earlier in the same broadcast -- amusing, but I didn't get my 942 to create abstract art!!). At that point it becomes impossible to rewind and I am forced to go live. If I have selected at some point to record the program (by just pressing “record”), that recording becomes useless. I had never had any problem like this prior to three weeks ago.

    I am very curious as to whether other 942 owners are experiencing either of the last two problems. From my experience the L289 “update” is a terrible tradeoff and Dish should immediately go back to the previous software version until they can properly debug L289.
     
  2. Jon Spackman

    Jon Spackman Icon

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    Feb 7, 2005
    outaspace. never seen anything like it. Have you pull the power and rebooted it like that yet?
     
  3. Outaspace

    Outaspace New Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Here’s the latest on my experience with L289 since January 30th:

    1. The freezing and reboot caused by OTA programming from the DC-area NBC affiliate continues. It is somewhat less frequent, but still happens (like last night during “The Tonight Show”). I’ve also observed a slightly different problem that I’m sure is related: the program (picture and audio) will freeze, but the receiver will not reboot. Sometimes after several seconds the program will resume on its own. Other times (after waiting more than a minute) I have to do a soft reboot. So far the frequency of the occurrence is similar to the old “freeze and reboot” problem, and it is occurring on the same NBC-affiliate programming (but maybe I’m just watching too much NBC!!).

    2. Concerning the scrambling problem, I have done at least two hard reboots (unplug-replug) since January 30th and a dozen or more soft reboots. I’ll try another hard reboot tonight. I have observed the problem (so far) only for OTA (but not limited to the NBC affiliate) and, I think, for both SD and HD programming. One can almost set one’s watch by it. If I select a channel and let it run, two hours later the problem is likely to start. To fix it, all I have to do is clear the “live” recording buffer by, for example, changing the channel, and then I’m good for another two hours. But once the buffer (or any recording being made from the buffer) is corrupted, there is no going back. This again does not appear to be a hardware problem since changing the channel for one second seems unlikely to change anything like operating temperature. Maybe a buffer memory addressing problem (since it seems to be plucking random blocks of data from the buffer to fill the screen)?


    In tangentially-related news, I was told by E* customer service yesterday that they are no longer selling satellite-delivered HD packages to 942 owners and that they will terminate all satellite-delivered HD programming to 942 owners in the next few weeks as they convert to MPEG-4 and consolidate the HD programming on a single satellite. After checking with his supervisor he confirmed that this is not just for the “new” HD channels, but for all HD channels. If true, soon the 942 receiver will only be usable for HD from over-the-air and, as we’ve seen, that has gotten pretty problematic recently.
     
  4. Tulsa1

    Tulsa1 Godfather

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    Oct 15, 2003
    I find this a little difficult to believe. I can't imagine E* suddenly cutting off
    HD programming from their 942 customers without more notice and transition.
    I hope this is bad info:nono2:
     
  5. Jon Spackman

    Jon Spackman Icon

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    Feb 7, 2005
    This would surprise the hell out of me too. ;)
     
  6. Outaspace

    Outaspace New Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    It appears that Dish did another 942 software update on Friday, March 2nd. And not a moment too soon by my experience. The last two weeks of L289 were not good ones. In addition to the ongoing problem of corruption of the “live TV” buffer after two hours on any one channel (OTA at least), the program-freezing problem expanded from the NBC affiliate in DC to the CBS affiliate as well. The symptoms were similar to what I experienced from the beginning of L289 at the end of January. The program would freeze and sometimes after 30 seconds or a minute would unfreeze (going live and skipping the intervening material), while at other times never unfreezing, or throwing the system into reboot. On a timer recording of “60 Minutes” last Sunday, the machine recorded about seven minutes of a frozen frame at the end (with the loss of all of the programming during that time). Another day the TV was tuned to a “live” channel, but was rewound a few minutes in the buffer. A timer was set for that same channel. When the timer activated it began recording not the program for which it was set, but the contents of the buffer from its rewound location. So the recording ended up with 20 minutes of unwanted material, and then the buffer corrupted (because of being on the same channel for more than two hours). The result ended up being watchable, but any attempt to rewind or fast forward created the “abstract art” mosaic.

    So Friday brought L289MAJD-N. I don’t know whether anyone can decipher the significance of “MAJD-N”, but I have been paying close attention over the past two days to the performance of my 942. The buffer corruption has not been experienced, nor any problem yet on the CBS affiliate. But the months-old program freezing problem is alive and well on the NBC affiliate as observed on the Saturday morning Qubo lineup. If anyone needs a test bed for the program freezing problem that is it. Tuning to these computer-generated, color-saturated animations on NBC guarantees a freeze and reboot every few minutes.

    On the plus side, I’ve observed that for PPV channels one now receives a background “preview” (real time view) of the channel on the screen where one is prompted to select “buy” or “cancel”. I don’t recall seeing that prior to L289MAJD-N.
     
  7. Outaspace

    Outaspace New Member

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Further update: The program freezing problem continues, not just on the OTA channels but on the satellite-delivered channels too. This past Sunday saw the satellite-delivered Discovery Channel freeze up several times. The machine did not reboot, but the only way to return to the program was to press the “Live TV” button, then all of the intervening material (for the time of the freeze) was lost. Also, this morning the “Today” show experienced a freeze and reboot while recording (back to the old NBC affiliate problem).

    Have these problems been resolved for others? If so, what is the path to satisfaction (other than going back to cable)?
     
  8. LarryG.InBigD

    LarryG.InBigD New Member

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    Mar 17, 2007
    I too have been having lockups/reboots with my 942 on NBC Channel 5 OTA in Dallas. I am considering upgrading to the ViP622 DVR. Does anyone know whether the ViP622 has the same lockup/reboot problem on Channel 5 in Dallas?
     
  9. Mike Russell

    Mike Russell AllStar

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    Feb 6, 2003
    The 622 now seems fixed for my locals not staying locked and glitches in it with L4.01, just hope they can do my 942 the same way. Also the side by side picture would be nice and pauseing the second tuner like the 622.
     
  10. dishbacker

    dishbacker Godfather

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    Jun 15, 2004
    You can pause the second tuner on a 942... you just have to do it in a PIP window. Do it all the time when some crazy weather is coming in and want to see what the different news stations have to say about it.

    Not as nice as the new 622 that will remember the buffer if you close the PIP window... but it does work.
     
  11. glulam

    glulam New Member

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    Aug 2, 2005
    The 942 will now remember the buffer even if you close the PIP window, and will stay in pause if paused.
     
  12. savecal

    savecal Cool Member

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    Mar 2, 2005
    This problem has now returned on my 942. It had been eliminated in a prior software update earier this year, but it's back.
     

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