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Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by JerryElbow, Oct 10, 2009.
I haven't noticed it, so far.
HR20-100 here. We've had problems including lots of BRRRRRRIP, video freezes, waterfalling pixels to recovery, etc. The most recent episodes of Bones and House were almost unwatchable.
I've not had to reboot this receiver for months; probably the last time was the auto-reboot after the last NR.
I sure do hope things smooth out with this - it's been a superb receiver with external 2TB array for over a year now.
HR20-700. Same thing. Video freeze, audio drop...a few seconds later and everything is ok...but its a few seconds later in the program. Never had a single issue with my box since I got it in 2007. Now this....seems awfully coincidental NOT to be caused by the NR.
I too have noticed this problem since NR. Does dish or cable experience stuff like this. Maybe if D* starts losing a few customers they will fix stuff like this or not release anything that is not tested or I don't really need.
I'm glad that I'm not the only one. However, I have one question, what the heck is an NR? New Release?
I am still getting freeze-ups and now some pixelation also. Shows on recordings also. Never had any problems with my HR20's before. Has to be the last NR.
OTA signals originate at anywhere from 9-17 Mb/s,typically around 14-15. The current practice for satellite HD is usually to encode each MPEG-4 channel to 9 Mb, which gives good quality and allows 4 channels to fit into a typical transponder slot. So yes, the bit rates are usually somewhat higher for OTA signals.
But even if there were significant differences, the HDDs used have tons of overhead. A typical drive recording 2 streams and playing back 1 would need a sustained throughput of only 27 Mb/s for MPEG-4, up to double that for OTA HD, yet HDDs easily can sustain 80 Mb/s. I concur that the busier the DVR is the more tendency there is for it to pause and glitch, but I sincerely doubt that it is a HDD throughput issue, which means something else is at work here.
The raw data rate of 720p is about 7/8ths the data rate for 1080i, so if there were a difficulty arising from this it would affect the 1080i channels more than the 720p channels. But as it is, the compressed SMPTE310 data rate, the data rate seen by receiving equipment, is arbitrarily chosen and has no relation to the raw data rate. Some OTA stations transmit higher or lower than other using a rate of their choosing, and whether the source material is 720 or 1080 is typically not a factor in them choosing that rate. It is just as common to have a 1080i station encode at 10 Mb/s or a 720p station encode at 17.5 Mb/s, or vice versa, so any conspiracy theory aimed that direction is probably nothing more than that.
The process of recording/playing back OTA channels should not be that materially different from recording/PB of DVB channels. Each process is identical except for the source tuner type, and from the point of CPU cycles it would seem that one would not be extensively more greedy for those cycles than the other. Decoding is done by hardware that is designed to handle a 1.5 GB reconstituted data rate feeding HDMI out or DAC/component out, so no possible bottleneck there either, regardless of 720 or 1080 format. That said, OTA and DVB are still different processes handled slightly differently. Bugs or limitations can arise in one process and not the other.
There may be bottlenecks in processing within these DVRs that are at a very high level technically and therefore very hard to predict or fix. One of the issues with digital is that different platforms may exhibit unpredicted behavior due to small changes in design. All of the DVRs are theoretically designed to the same standards, generally speaking, but we users have been able to discern problems with one model that does not appear with another, and problems that only affect a subset of a particular model.
That makes the practice of dumbing things down to the point where problems begin and then backing off a little bit a questionable way of designing and producing products. For a product to be reliable in this sort of business, it needs to be built with serious amounts of overhead, and significant testing procedures. The software engineering needs to be extensive, not just intended to satisfy a bare minimum performance level. My best guess is that this is not happening, and like everything else, is economically driven.
IOW, a few problems with a few boxes is something that the unlucky user with a problem might find intolerable, but until it affects a lot of customers it is easily tolerable by a giant DBS provider. The fact that they feel they can ship something and fix it later with up revs is a serious fault in approach to delivering quality products, and DTV is as guilty as anyone else in that regard. This would be forgivable if they would just eventually fix the problems. Problem is, they often don't.
I'm glad it's just not me!!!
The football game last weekend on Fox in Denver was unwatchable due to audio glitches, etc. I switched my TV over to OTA and it was fine. Most of what we record from Fox is unwatchable with the audio and video stuttering. I have an HR20 and an HR21 and they both seem to be affected by this crap.
Hopefully this gets fixed quickly!
Well, as you can see this the exact opposite problem to what many have posted, even if the end result might seem to make it similar. Precisely identifying the issue is paramount, and this sounds very much like a local reception issue (a local reception issue either for DTV or for the end user), and not the issue that this thread is actually about. IOW, "this crap" may be a local issue for one, and "different crap" may be at the root of problems that manifest similarly for others.
So as important as it is to keep this thread current so that DTV wakes up and finally smells the propane, it is also important to not confuse the issue with similar yet different problems. I understand that it is difficult for lay persons to be able to make the distinction, which is after all DTV's job, but we should try very hard to be as accurate as possible so they don't just throw their hands up in disgust and decide that everyone is complaining about everything. If one is not sure, just present as many details as possible. Meatwad (a very well-thought-out name, obviously) was able to provide enough clues here, for instance, to distinguish his issue from the real issue being reported on here, even if that was purely by accident.
By "switching your TV over to OTA" do you mean: 1) Switching from using the DirecTV DVR's tuner to using the TV's tuner or 2) Changing the DirecTV DVR's tuner from a satellite station to an OTA station?
If #2, your experience would seem different from what some have posted (as noted in a post from TomCat). However, if #1, you would be providing additional evidence of issues with the DirecTV DVR consistent with what others have posted.
TomCat, WOW, thanks for providing the technical background and analysis. I was trying to pose some potential root causes for the issues many of us are seeing after reading many, many posts. Sounds like it is likely not as simple as "bandwidth", but, "IF" the issues are more prevelant on OTA material, the issues may still be related to the different OTA and satellite code.
Regarding "... a few problems with a few boxes...". From reading threads on the DBStalk and DirecTV forums, it sure sounds like its more than "a few boxes." And... while only a "few problems...", at least one of them is almost catastrophic. That is the "Lost Recording Space" issue that has resulted in lost recordings for many of us.
In any case, Thanks Much for the analysis and thought.
Sorry for confusing the issue. I simply saw plenty of comments in this thread from others complaining about stuttering and freezing, which is what I wrote about too. My picture will stutter and freeze and turn into a pixelated mess, and I'll also get the audio buzz, or stutter as well.
Basically the latest software release is borked, and DirecTV needs to fix it.
Sorry for any confusion. I switched to the OTA input on my TV and the reception was fine on the same Fox channel. I do not have OTA tuning available or configured on my DirecTV HD-DVR.
TomCat.. Please see Meatwad's clarifying post. He had problems with the DirecTV Satellite channel and no problems when directly tuning OTA on his TV. So, his experience is supportive having a DirecTV issue - but not supportive of it being unique to OTA via the DirecTV DVR's tuner. That is not inconsistent with other experience. Many are seeing issues with OTA or Satellite via the DirecTV DVR - some think the issue might be more frequent with OTA. But, it occurs with any DirecTV DVR tuned station.
Thanks. That does localize the issue to the DirecTV DVR (or at least the DirecTV supplied signal) since you did not have issues when using your TV to directly receive the OTA FOX station.
It's not your HRs. The NR caused this to happen. Again, try unplugging the HRs for about twelve hours. Mine went from unwatchable to minor annoyances after doing that.
What does 12 hours unplugged do that a few hours (or minutes won't do)?
I have the same audio/video glitches starting on or about the NR date. I have an HR20-700 which worked well until this date - no problems for 2-3 yr. It is frequent on the OTA recorded channels. I also noted that if the section is played back and it is short (1-2 words long) sometimes it plays okay without the glitch! So, sometimes the glitch is in the recording and sometimes it is not. All the longer ones I checked have been in the recording. I will have to pay more attention to if it occurs on the satellite channels.
I don't know. I didn't make it up tho. I read a lot of posts and decided to give it a try and it helped quite a bit. I tried everything I knew, and nothing helped, so I sought information from those people that I trust, by reading their posts (actually, mostly VOS's posts). After reading all the posts that I thought were relevant, I decided to give the 12 hour reboot a try. And it worked. The dropouts decreased in severity and numbers. I went from many dropouts to a couple a program. I can live with that.
Perhaps unplugging for 24 hours would have cleared things up completely, I didn't do it, so I don't know. I do know that simply rebooting did nothing, unplugging for several minutes did nothing.
Why? Wish I had an answer for that. I'd share it.
For those folks who lost programs and hate to hear that others have not for years, I'm one who hasn't lost a program for quite a while, perhaps a couple years, don't remember the last time. But, if nobody posts positively, everyone reading the negative posts will get the impression that all the HRs are not functioning correctly. That's not true.
What is truth, as I see it, is that the last NR screwed up my HR20-700s royally. It's better now than it was right after the NR, and the only thing I've done that's kinda radical is unplug all six of them for 12 hours. I know it's not my dish, I have two and the 20-700s are divided between them 4 to 2 and all six have the same problems. I know the problem has to be the NR, five were functioning perfectly before the NR and I added one after the NR that promptly exhibited the same issues when it downloaded the new NR.