Recording/Buffering FOX OTA is problematic

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by videojanitor, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    Oct 8, 2006
    I found a few threads where this issues seems to be mentioned, but no real dedicated discussion about it, so I wanted to find out how widespread this might be. Here's the issue:

    I have two HR20s and an HR23 (with an AM21) -- up until a few months ago, I was able to record all OTA channels with no problems. At some point, I started having trouble with my local FOX affiliate; if I left any of these DVRs tuned to that channel, when I tried to rewind through the buffer, the whole thing was goofed up. The progress bar would show the name of the current program, but the buffer contained a show that might have aired two hours ago. Attempts to scan through the buffer are not very successful, as it will jump around in odd increments.

    At the same time, it has become impossible to record any programs from this channel OTA, as they will usually only play for a few seconds and then display the "delete/do not delete" message (though the progress bar indicates that it recorded the entire program). Viewing the channel in real-time seems to be no problem, as long as I don't try to rewind -- as soon as the buffer is called into play, there's trouble.

    I have found that when I record the same program on multiple DVRs, the point where the recording "stops" is precisely the same on each one every time. So clearly there is something about the data stream that these machines don't like. Not sure what that could be -- I have other OTA recording devices, like a Series 3 TiVo and an Elgato EyeTV, and both record fine on this channel.

    Some of the previous threads seem to believe this might be tied to a recent software update, so I am wondering how many others are experiencing this problem, and if it seems to be getting worse? More importantly, is this is a "known issue" that will hopefully be addressed at some point?
     
  2. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    I've seen this sporadically on fox ota on multiple software versions. it seems, to me, to only happen to fox ota.
    recording lil does not do this, no idea why.
    I do have a second fox ota but have not used that to see if it happens to that too, I just use LIL's
     
  3. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    Yep, same here -- only FOX OTA is exhibiting this behavior -- I have no problems with other channels. I prefer OTA for the better picture quality, but have also switched over to satellite-delivered locals for FOX, as it is obviously preferable to no picture at all!
     
  4. Montel

    Montel Mentor

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    Same problem here - I very, very rarely get it on my 8-1 NBC local - I think it happens after FOX HD OTA screws up the system - Even recorded shows from other channels fail and skip to delete after the FOX HD OTA problem happens.

    I have resorted to watching football live in HD on FOX...no time shifting, no recording or pausing of any kind. If I forget I have to change the channel away from FOX and switch back to reset the buffer

    And gasp...I am now recording 24 in SD.

    It sucks but right now it is my only option. Come bicycle racing season (April) and if VS is not back up I will probably switch away from DirecTV.
     
  5. Sharkie_Fan

    Sharkie_Fan Hall Of Fame

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    Videojanitor... to answer the last part of your post, yes, it is a "known problem", and it is something that DirecTV is actively working on. I can tell you that they're "actively" working on it because I was contacted by a representative of DirecTV regarding the problem. I had never reported the problem, but others had, and so this person contacted me and asked if I had seen the problem, etc, etc.

    I don't know if they have an idea what's happening. I don't know how close or far away they might be to resolving the issue. I didn't ask those questions, and the person who I was speaking with did not volunteer that information

    Some months ago, I went through several weeks tweaking with my setups to see if I could isolate any sort of issues. It seemed to me that it only happened with prime time programming. I could record any number of shows during the morning, afternoon and early evening, and they would all play fine. When I got into prime time programming, the recordings were, almost without fail, unwatchable.

    It happens on both my HR20-700 and my HR23-700/AM21 combo.

    Now that American Idol is back on and FOX is getting recorded again in our house, I'll do some more testing and send the guy I was speaking with another email, as well as point out this thread to him and see if there's any progress/updates on the issue.
     
  6. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    Thank you for that bit of information. Honestly, that's all I wanted to hear. If someone is aware of it and looking for a solution, then there is hope that one day the cause may be identified and corrected. Otherwise, I was fearing what would be involved with trying to explain exactly what was happening, then hoping that someone cared enough to investigate further -- I wouldn't think that dealing with OTA issues would be very high on the priority list. So this is good news, even though a solution is not imminent.

    But seemingly more complex issues have been solved before. Not that long ago, the AM21 was pretty useless because of breakup/pixellation that would occur whenever there was a large change in average picture level (a cut-to-black was sure to set it off) -- threads here indicated that there was an awareness of the problem, but nothing was going to be done about it. But at some point, without any fanfare, it was fixed. I am hoping that will be the case here as well.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info!
     
  7. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    :eek:

    I take it there are no HD locals via satellite in Santa Cruz? That stinks, but the price one must pay I guess for living in such a beautiful area. Still, having to watch "24" in SD ... that's got to be painful.
     
  8. Sharkie_Fan

    Sharkie_Fan Hall Of Fame

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    Not yet. My hope is that when the new satellite is up and running that they'll get our locals up and running.

    I think we were among the last to get locals in SD, so I expected we'd be among the last to get locals in HD as well. I believe DISH is carrying our locals in HD, so I'd hope that DirecTV won't be much longer.
     
  9. Montel

    Montel Mentor

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    I have thought about "moving" to say Los Gatos...to get San Jose Locals and solve my problem, but I don't like doing things that aren't honest.

    I sure hope DirecTV fixes the OTA FOX issues soon. It doesn't appear to be in the latest software.
     
  10. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    I don't think its a directv issue per se. only 1 broadcaster and only when receiving the signal in a certain manner.
    directv provides LIL and they work, I don't see them trying to fix an ota issue that seems, to me, to be more of a broadcaster issue.
     
  11. Sharkie_Fan

    Sharkie_Fan Hall Of Fame

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    It may, or may not, be a DirecTV issue. I can assure you that they ARE working on fixing it, though - regardless of where the problem lies. When I spoke with the person at DirecTV, I got the distinct impression that he was in touch with the broadcasters as well as customers in trying to investigate the issue.

    As to this part of your post.... Directv provides LIL to SOME people. Not me. Not alot of others. For some of us, OTA is the only method by which we can receive our locals in HD.

    I think that's probably why DirecTV isn't just shrugging this off... If LIL were available to each and every customer, then I could understand if they didn't work to fix the OTA issues. But they're not, and so they're making an effort to make our HD viewing experience more enjoyable.

    I'm not die hard when it comes to my TV watching (unless it's the Sharks), and we don't really have any shows that we watch on FOX with the exception of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, so this is, for me, a minor issue.... But, as low key as I am about it... IF this was one of our CSI's, or if the wife was unable to watch Grey's Anatomy or Private Practice in HD because the OTA recordings were unwatchable, we'd almost certainly be exploring our options.
     
  12. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    Good point. Sometimes we forget that there are areas where OTA is the only option for local channels, so it really is in their best interest to figure out what's wrong. By helping folks who live in those areas, it helps us all.
     
  13. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    Well, I thought the latest software release (0x03A8) had done something to fix this problem, but it just happened to me again today, so I guess not ...
     
  14. Montel

    Montel Mentor

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    I am still seeing the problem - and so I am still recording in SD for all FOX shows. I would like to see it fixed, but I am not holding my breath.

    Now that they have added back Versus, I have no reason to look elsewhere...
     
  15. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    I have not seen it in a long time, lil and ota (ota from 2 sources) both normal.
    could it be hardware issue? don't know if messed up am21 or hr20 ota uner would cause this.
     
  16. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    I have an assortment of DVRs -- two HR20s, an HR21 and an HR23 -- all of them exhibit the same issue if I try to record the local FOX affiliate OTA, so that would seem to rule out the hardware. Since we don't know exactly what is causing it, I would guess that it's possible that it doesn't affect ALL FOX stations, so you might happen to be in a good area. It's a weird situation.
     
  17. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    yeah, my fox is also my lil uplink station so they may be more cognizant of any issues. I don't know.
     
  18. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    I have quite a few problems recording Fox (KTXL 40 from Sac) OTA on my PC (Hauppauge 2250) as well as an HR10-250, and can see these issues on DirecTV recordings as well. I'm pretty sure these are issues at the station.
     
  19. Montel

    Montel Mentor

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    I always have problems on FOX OTA HD, but I have seen very intermittent problems with my NBC OTA, and my PBS OTA. So it does happen once in a while on other channels, it is just that it always happens on FOX.

    Also, if you leave the channel on FOX OTA HD for a long enough time it will scramble the rest of your use of the box until you power it off (unplug) and restart it. Further, if one of the tuners is on FOX I can't watch a previously taped show without having the show skip to the end and prompt me for a delete...I also can't watch a live show or taped show and use any skips or any rew/ff without it failing - it even asks me to delete a show that isn't taped when it gets in this mode.
     
  20. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

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    That's the station *I* am having trouble with, but the ironic part is, I work there! We are not aware of anything in our signal path that might be causing these problems -- our only guess is that it has something to do with the latest incarnation of the FOX splicer, since this is reportedly a widespread issue, and as referenced in a earlier post, DirecTV is aware of the problem and working on it.

    I record the station at home on a variety of things, and the only problem I have is OTA in the DirecTV DVRs. It is frustrating, to be sure, as I am on both ends of it.
     

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