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DTV Hear Me! These NRs are not being handled well

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by pikespeakhiker, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. pikespeakhiker

    pikespeakhiker Mentor

    Jul 26, 2008
    Came home after being away for 8 days. We had both dvrs frozen as of the time they downloaded 29b on 11/7. We LOST ALL SHOWS between 11/7 and tonight. (Tried viewing them before rbr and they all went immediately to "delete now" option. After rbr, they were all deleted by the reboot.)

    Pardon my french, but this is complete and utter bs and totally unacceptable. Are we required to monitor forums to ensure that our dvrs will record properly? If I were echostar or comcast I would be all over these problems. If you can't depend on your dvr to record then you have nothing. I don't care what else works. After 5 years with series 2 directivos and almost zero problems this is a major step backwards. And I am not a tivo snob.
  2. JDubbs413

    JDubbs413 Icon

    Sep 4, 2007
    As with every piece of technology, there is always a margin of error. Unfortunately this problem affected you severely. I would caution you not to believe that other cable/satellite companies don't have the same issues. Dish Network has had its fair share of problems.

    Also Time Warner has done like one DVR software upgrade in the last couple of years I know of. My friend didn't have service for a week (they kept telling her it would be on any day) and she ended up having to have the box replaced.

    At least DirecTV is on top of stuff and gets those issues resolved as quickly as possible.
  3. russdog

    russdog Godfather

    Jul 31, 2006
    I completely agree that their QA is remarkably lousy.
    They have a good service and good equipment, and they have a software operation that provides a never-ending stream of problems.

    I'm sorry you have to put up with people "cautioning you" to not expect the service you pay for to work properly.
    There's always a crew of apologists who can't wait to make excuses for this kind of junk.
    The favorite justification seems to be that "Oh, they're on top of things and fix it!"
    What a load of hooey. Each new "fix" causes a cascade of new frustration.
    If they were on top of things, there wouldn't be an endless stream of problems to fix.
    It never stops. The whole thing reminds of a programming class project done by students.
  4. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    a second reboot might bring the shows back, stranger things have happened.
  5. DanER40

    DanER40 Legend

    Oct 25, 2007
    Mine works 99% of the time, as everyone's should. It is unacceptable for people to pay their hard earned money and go through this unreliable BS.
  6. y2khardtop

    y2khardtop Mentor

    Oct 5, 2006
    I've got to agree with the original post........as a directv subscriber since 1993, these recent glitches are serioulsy making me consider other options. For over $100/month, I should be able to get dependable service.

    Now, one of my HR20's is completely dead (ie won't reboot, respond, even after unplugging). Another had a black screen, although the menus worked, and my 3rd is working fine.
  7. jjohns

    jjohns Godfather

    Sep 15, 2007
    Two years ago I bought my first HR20. I got it home, set it up, and scheduled a few shows to record. During the following week, much to my surprise and disappointment, it missed some recordings.

    The unit should at the least do, a) record the video properly and accurately, b) record the audio properly and accurately, and c) record the program as scheduled accurately. Years later, after the latest “upgrade du jour”, the audio still stutters, the video still freezes and it still misses scheduled recordings.

    It is disheartening that two years later and many, many “fixes” later, the box is still having problems with the basic features - some being the same as two years ago. And now, on with the attacks and personal insults that undoubtedly follow after any DirecTV criticism.
  8. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    There are plenty of things to criticize, but perspective certainly helps. If the only thing we had gotten in two years was virtually perfect recording reliability, there would be even more howls from the masses who want certain features. If D* were to answer those criticisms with "But we have reliable recording.", they would be given no credit (after all, that's what it's supposed to do) and faced with criticism from those wanting feature sets.

    I have 3 D* HD DVRs. I can count on two hands the number of missing or blank recordings, or "instant keep or deletes" (which I count as missed recordings). This is over nearly a two year period. I'm not saying there are no recording issues...there clearly are. They just don't impact me to the point where I'm grossly unhappy. It's an evolving product, two steps forward, one step back, at times. Other times we get leaps forward in valuable features and no associated problems.

    Any complex and evolving piece of consumer grade electronics is going to face similar problems. All of mine have, that aren't dead ended (no development) out of the box.

    In balance, I'm quite satisfied, as long as they keep developing the box, in terms of reliability, gui, and feature set. It's not a trivial task, as these boxes are being asked to do a lot of stuff. I wish there were an easy answer, but there isn't one.

    All we can do is provide feedback (which is being looked at and largely acted upon), and continue to use/evaluate these things. The other choice, of course, is to find another provider who may better meet one's needs. As for me, I'm sticking it out. I'm amazed at the progress since September of 2006, and only occasionally mildly annoyed at the setbacks.
  9. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I can honestly say I have never had a grey/black recording.
    I did have a few missed that later turned out to be either my fault (unnoticed conflict) or an issue with the online scheduler. I think the online scheduler causes a lot of issues still.

    I did have an hr20 that in march had some KOD issues on 1 OTA channel only. turned out this unit had bad tuner 2 and OTA input was loose inside. this unit was replaced eventually and this issue has never cropped up again.

    I have no idea why I don't have issues, if I did maybe I could help figure it out.
  10. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    I think hasan said it very very well... and I agree 100%.

    I'm also one that has had very few issues. And I can count on one hand the number of missed/black/grey/KOD recordings that I've had in two years. It's weird to me how some people can have so many issues while others have so very few. But I can say that I would be just as aggravated as the OP if I were in his boat.
  11. DaleyKD

    DaleyKD New Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Personally, I'm decently pleased with the HR2x. We own two HR20-700s. One has been 99%, and the other, especially lately, has been closer to 85%. To me, a 15% chance of missing my shows, specifically with an IKD, is unacceptable. It's quite annoying to have to torrent shows, especially reality or my wife's soaps.

    To say that other service providers have the same issues can be an understood statement. I can't stand cable provider's Motorola boxes, and I've never really messed with DISH's DVRs within the last 6 years.

    However, I do recall, less than 2 years ago, when my HR10-250 was 100% reliable. If I could afford an HD TiVo, and wouldn't miss my HD cable channels, I'd highly consider getting one with cable. UNFORTUNATELY, DirecTV makes you sign a new 2 year contract with each new piece of equipment now. So, I'm stuck.

    On top of all that, my last 3 calls to CS/Tech Support with DirecTV have proven to be futile, ending with them treating me with absolute disrespect and coming just short of cursing at me. And worse, they let me know in the first 30 seconds that they had no idea what I was talking about, and the only solution was for me to do a reformat. When I asked why I should have to lose my recordings when their equipment is at fault, they snapped back that it was NOT their equipment's fault. !!!?? REALLY?

    All of my ranting to say, DirecTV has not been the same in the last couple years. Paying almost $90/month for only 2 TVs is quite a bit to pay when it's not even 95% reliable.

    < /rant>
  12. EricRobins

    EricRobins Godfather

    Feb 9, 2005

    While "features" would be nice, if the box doesn't do what it already is supposed to do, then what the *)(%$*)(%*$ is the point of the new features.

    If I wanted to experiment with new UNTESTED software, I would participate in the CE process. Unfortunately, my DVRs must just work, so I choose not to have an unreliable DVR and stick with the NRs.

    I understand that this is a complicated piece of machinery with many different parts all having their own requirements, but try explaining that to a 19 month old when he just wants to watch Blue's Clues.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate the cable monopolies and will not be switching any time soon, but the (almost) weekly freeze-ups make it harder and harder to fight off the complaints of the wife and kids.

    I don't want credits or free showtime, I JUST WANT THE BOX TO WORK AS IT IS SUPPOSED TO.

    Is that too much to ask for?

    Now I'll tell you how I really feel. :) [/RANT]
  13. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Godfather

    Dec 7, 2007
    Have you ever owned one of the D* UTV DVRs?

    That technology is ~8 years old now or older, and still rock solid.
  14. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    That sounds good, but reality is a little different.

    DirecTV has a room with about a hundred HR2x-series HD-DVRs, of all models and subtypes, that are used to test new software releases. In addition, users here can get previews of the new software with the CE program to help track down bugs. A *lot* of work is done to ensure that new software doesn't cause problems.

    BUT... there's no way they can replicate the conditions of over 1,000,000 different systems, hooked up all different ways, and with all kinds of minor problems. Plus, you may have a box with a flaky chip or resistor or whatever that causes a problem for you that other boxes don't have. It is impossible to find every possible problem with every release.

    Dish has the same issues with their receivers for the same reason. Heck, Comcast and TW have the same problems too, which is why they almost never update their boxes and virtually never add features. Could DirecTV do better? Maybe, but they do an awful lot as it is. And when they do screw up, they are pretty quick to get the fix out. Not every problem can be solved instantly, though.
  15. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    Tell us more about this QA room. What scripting engine are they running? How are they testing the incoming satellite signal...are they using an actual received signal or one that is locally produced. Can they test the same release over a period of more than a few days?

    Having 100 or 10,000 machines for testing is far from unusual...it is done all the time, but it's the easy part. Having a valid test plan with competent test scripts is one of the hard parts. Another hard part is interpreting the data from those tests and fixing issues without causing other problems. Everytime you fix a bug the whole test needs to start over again.

    In the end it all comes down to how well the unit performs upon release and the HR2x just hasn't been that good. Just the results of the past few months are indicative of an ongoing problem...one that appears to have caught the attention of DirecTV's CEO.

    Of course maybe the Tivo underground is sneaking into DirecTV's offices and changing the testing results.
  16. russdog

    russdog Godfather

    Jul 31, 2006
    This is the by-now-standard line of reasoning among those who wish to excuse the demonstrably lousy D* QA.

    It is also wrong. It is entirely normal for good customers to experience problems by doing standard things.
    The claim that most of the never-ending list of HR problems are due to weird things that customers do, or to oddball setups is bogus.
    The truth is that every release triggers a chain of user frustration among users who are doing normal things with normal setups.
    This is evidence of either remarkably bad hardware (which I don't see any evidence of) or a software operation that is run by programmers who don't know squat about software engineering.

    Reporting that they have a testing lab is beside the point.
    I live in a state that has spent a fortune on "improving education" over the last several years. How? By building new school buildings without doing nearly enough to fix what goes on in those buildings. Same basic thing here.

    The fact is that D* has a good service and good equipment.
    Too bad their software operation is not up to the challenge.
    They demonstrate this anew with each and every software release.
  17. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    I'm sure its the same gang that is going around posting negative reviews about D*'s DVRs to cnet and other sites.
  18. jjohns

    jjohns Godfather

    Sep 15, 2007
    "Of course maybe the Tivo underground is sneaking into DirecTV's offices and changing the testing results."

    That's funny.
  19. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    Actually, I used to have 5 or 6 of those. My experiences with them were about the same as with my HR20's - 99.9%. I still got the occasional "IKD" recording on them UTV and then there was the whole issue with D* "changing something" in the data stream that was causing massive pixelization problems on the UTV's.
  20. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    This is the one issue that really bothers me about the DVR's, forced downloads locking them up. Is there any option to set up the DVR to only except updates when I manually schedule them? If not, I think D should add that option, so while I'm on a 7 day vacation, I don't have to wonder if I will have any recorded shows when I get back.

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