HR54, Rain Fade & Incomplete Recordings: When. Will. This. Be. Fixed?!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by NFLnut, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. NFLnut

    NFLnut Icon

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    Exactly. It always happens on the channel that has the live buffer. So, DirecTV's "workaround" is don't EVER leave your live buffer on a channel that you might have a timer to record later. BRILLIANT!

    If they were smart enough to fix this problem, maybe they could make sure that a set recording is ALWAYS done on one of the OTHER SEVEN tuners to alleviate this problem.
     
  2. NFLnut

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    Nope.
     
  3. NFLnut

    NFLnut Icon

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    Nope.

    If I have, say, 12 minutes of rain fade then ALL recordings that occur on the channel that the live buffer is on start 12 minutes late but the timer says "0:00" and the recording ends early at 48 minutes followed with a popup to keep or delete the recording. Happens almost every night in the Summer. NOT an alignment problem and not a cable or a connector problem. It's a DVR programming bug that DirecTV cannot fix.
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Ok ... hands up for anyone else who suffers rain fade "almost every night in the summer".

    There are two weeks each year where I expect you (and every other satellite customer, including DISH and cable companies that receive via satellite) to lose signal for several minutes each day due to solar transit (the sun being behind the satellite arc overpowering the satellite signal). But that lasts a few minutes per day for a few days twice a year in spring and fall - not "almost every night in the summer".

    There seem to be two issues here ... 1) whatever is causing the "almost every night" signal outages (which seems to be limited to an extremely low number of AT&T|DIRECTV's subscribers) and 2) how a DVR left tuned to the same channel all day long handles timer events on that same channel later in the day.

    I am not DIRECTV engineering - but the second thing I would want to do is to replicate the problem. The first thing I would do is prioritize the problem based on the number of people who are affected and work on problems affecting more customers. That may be the reason why a fix has not been found ... the engineers may be tasked on problems that affect more people or may not be able to replicate the problem. It certainly seems to appear only in unique circumstances.

    But setting the "bug" aside I would wonder what is wrong with the equipment and/or setup that would lead to a signal outage on that equipment "almost every night in the summer". That isn't normal.
     
  5. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I get a lot of rain here where I live but I do not get a signal loss every night.
    I would suspect that you have a cable that is getting moisture in it in the evening and it dries out when the sun is out.
    The other possibility is that you have a tree in the way of the signal and when the leaves get wet it creates the signal block.
     
  6. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    I've had DirecTV for 25 years. I record a lot of TV because I work nights. I know I have recordings scheduled that are often on the channel with the live buffer and I know there have been numerous times we've had rain fade occur before those recordings were scheduled to record and not once have I ever had them cut short by the amount of time the rain fade lasted. For example my channel 4 is a CBS local. If I have that channel on my DVR which is the local buffer channel and it is set to record from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and we have a storm at 5:00 pm and the rain fade lasts 15 minutes it still records channel 4 at 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
     
  7. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes people just come here to post that they have a problem and a diagnosis, and don't listen to anyone else and only try to convince others of their diagnosis.
     
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  8. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    I appreciate when the diagnosis is better thought out than "DIRECTV sucks".
     
  9. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    There are really two issues here:
    1. Rain fade -- a property of high frequency satellite downlinks that can't be entirely avoided -- even if you figure out how to auto-SD an HD timer.
    2. How the DVR deals with a fade event
    The apologists are hanging their hats on the idea that rain fade (issue #1) can surely be diminished significantly and the TS should be all over it (and they're not wrong). The reality is that rain fade may be diminished, but it can't be eliminated.

    The real issue here is that DIRECTV, knowing that rain fade is a fact of life, hasn't dealt with the fallout of an individual (or several) rain fade event(s) and its(their) impact on recording timing (issue #2). That some engineer (not necessarily a DIRECTV engineer as DIRECTV has acquired quite a few patents over the years) apparently chose to use intervals rather than real time scheduling to do timers wasn't entirely well conceived in an environment where signal interruptions, regardless of how infrequent or short in duration, are a fact of life.

    DIRECTV could fix the problem (given a business decision to do so) but I'm guessing that it could be pretty painful in terms of getting all of the installed receivers on board. This could boil down to having to change the structure of the guide data and that could potentially be an overwhelming task (especially if you have to bring all those remaining legacy-legacy receivers along for the ride).

    Then again, maybe the flaw only impacts legacy (WB68 stack plan) and SWiM devices. The problem may exist in receivers but the number of receiver users doing timed recordings seems likely to be small though I know there are hold-outs still using DVD recorders with receivers.
     
  10. NFLnut

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    Happened again today. A tropical system hovering over Florida since last night and a lot of rain fade all day. Tonight's recorded program, which again happened to be on the channel that was in live buffer, started at 8:06 instead of 8:00. The ONLY thing that seems to stop the problem for the night is to change the live buffer channel and then change it back. Unfortunately, if I get home after several programs have already started recording, it is too late. It will only help recordings that have not started yet.

    Additionally, all of the "smart" guys here talking about "I've never had rain fade every night" .. I never said "rain fade every night." I said "almost every afternoon" .. welcome to Summertime Florida. It rains almost every day. Often heavy. I don't mind every Summer afternoon signal loss .. I rarely watch TV in the afternoon in the Summer. But it should NOT effect evening recordings!
     
  11. TANK

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    It does rain almost every afternoon in the summer.
    I don't lose my signal everytime it rains hard either and never for 10 - 30 minutes.
     
  12. compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    In any of this mess have you posted screenshots of all of your signal levels
     
  13. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Just curious and sorry if I missed it somewhere in this thread but what receiver(s) do you have that does this?
     
  14. kevinwmsn

    kevinwmsn Hall Of Fame

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    I have seen this problem at my house many years and different equipment ago. I saw this problem when I had HR20,HR21,HR34. I don't see the timer issue with HR44 or haven't noticed it, but I also moved 10 more miles inland from I10 off the gulf coast. Rain storms to show up during afternoons that cause rain fade too, but not out as much to mess up the clock in the dvr.
     
  15. DornoDiosMio

    DornoDiosMio New Member

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    Does the DVR that this issue occurs with have an internet connection?

    I have an HR-44 and have never seen this issue since 2013, but yesterday my father died. He'd been out of our house since July 15th. Into the hospital, then a horrible 'skilled nursing facility' and finally back to the hospital and then to hospice. He watched TV 24x7 and recorded programs like they were precious things to be hoarded away forever. Until 10-14 days ago I thought he was coming back so I kept his scheduled recordings and tried to keep as many as possible on the HDD.

    Because of his very active TV use the live/buffered channel would always change because all 5 tuners were in use. As a result of this I frequently would turn on the main unit and have a sporting event that I recorded and intended to watch from the beginning immediately display LIVE and in progress when I turned on the DVR. Obviously this was/is very annoying.

    Occasionally this would happen despite specifically setting a different channel prior to turning the DVR off IF all 5 tuners were used at some point prior to turning it on again.

    My solution to this issue is to always leave the main unit on, because it's always on anyway. I also make sure that I always have a pre-recorded program opened and paused so that I'm not forced to tune to a different channel no matter what happens. When I come back it's still paused on that pre-recorded show I left it on. Leaving it on a live channel didn't work because IF all 5 tuners were in use at any point the DVR would switch channels to record the desired programs.

    Anyway, the main point is I'm wondering if I'll start to see this bug on my HR44 now that my father has passed. Almost everything I watch is recorded and it's mostly sports. We're getting a lot of rain right now so I'll try to see if I can reproduce this issue on my end by tuning to a live channel before/during the rain and then leaving it there and setting a recording later in the day on that same channel. If I'm able to cause the issue I'll post to let you know. My HR44 is connected to the internet, but I'm using ethernet instead of Wi-Fi, but that should not matter.

    I'm just wondering if this problem possibly occurs only on DVR's not connected to the internet that experience rain fade on the live and buffered channel that is later used to record programs. The internet question is just because the DVR can easily acquire the current date and time when it has an internet connection. Due to the lack of internet access it may not be able to determine the proper time and instead tries to time the recording based on other information available? A long shot because you're almost certainly internet connected, but I figured I'd ask just in case.

    If you go into "genie info" whenever you know the rain fade issue has occurred does it display the proper time and date? It would be interesting if it's off by the same amount of shift in your recordings. I would think the time/date is sent down by the satellite every so often, but I have no idea.

    Obviously with sporting events programs are occasionally delayed, but the pics posted above are of cable news channels. They almost never delay their programming. They just toss the current story over to whomever is hosting the next hour if there is breaking news.

    My apologies if none of these suggestions are fruitful.

    TLDR: Is your DVR connected to the internet and able to acquire the date & time on demand? Have you tried opening a recorded program and pausing it to see if that may help? Does the DVR still capture a live buffer if the only unit in use is viewing recorded programming? If it does then opening a recorded program won't help obviously.
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The receivers don't use NTP. In the grand scheme, there are a significant number of receivers that aren't connected to an "always on" broadband Internet service and they would not be able to function.

    I don't think it is reasonable to assume that the internal real time clock stops when signal is lost.
     
  17. ColdCase

    ColdCase AllStar

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    These are examples of my normal and faded signal levels in the NorthEast. This is what I would call a fade :)

    The deep fade can happen with a large storm as it comes in from the south. A few times a year it lasts a couple minutes, but one or two times it can last 30-45 minutes. An inch of water pools in the back yard during one of these storms. Otherwise fading is of shorter duration with variable signal degradation. Usually the SD channels can punch through, but not during the deep fades. I have one HR24 set to record SD channels only and the HR54 HD only. I do see from time to time the HR54 automatically switch to the alternate SD channel.

    But I also see the HR54 and HR24 sometimes get confused by the deep rain fades. I haven't noticed it during moderate fades which take out HD but not SD. Not saying it doesn't happen, its just I haven't noticed.

    I suppose someone with more spare time than me could try something like removing power from the LNA for a minute or so during a recording and see what happens. Otherwise one would probably have to adjust signal level, perhaps by swinging the antenna or blocking the LNA with some metal.

    The DVRs have internet connections.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It doesn't take much to block the signal to the feed horn. A hand would do. A broom or a leaf rake (even a plastic one) would also take out the signal. Even a plastic pool-skimming screen (something I imagine would have a really long handle) would whack the signal.

    When you say both the HR54 and the HR24 are "confused", do both of their timers stall on signal loss?
     
  19. ColdCase

    ColdCase AllStar

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    Next time I'll pay more attention, I just recall being miffed that some games were messed up that were scheduled long after the storm and having to re-record the repeated versions. I didn't correlate it with the rain fade possibility until reading this thread. It may be more of an issue with the HR54.
     
  20. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    It takes a pretty hard rainfall to block Ku (which is what 101 is) there's simply no way you are getting heavy enough rain every day to block it for 10-30 minutes.

    Something else is going on.
     
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