Recordings cut-off?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by El Gabito, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. El Gabito

    El Gabito AllStar

    Apr 24, 2006
    Just this week I've started having some recordings cut off. For example, I was recording How I Met Your Mother on Monday. It cut off the end of the first episode, but then the ending of the show wasn't even at the beginning of the second episode (there were two in a row). So that portion of the show just magically "vanished."

    Like I said it just started recently - never had this problem before.

    Anyone else experiencing this?

  2. RMBittner

    RMBittner Legend

    Mar 28, 2011
    Were you watching "HIMYM" while you were doing this recording? My sister-in-law has run into this issue with their unit (which I don't know the model specifics for). Occasionally, if she starts to watch a recorded show while the recording is still happening, she'll lose the end.

    I'm not yet a D subscriber, but I told her that this can't be SOP for a company with 19+ million subscribers; they wouldn't stand for it. So I'm guessing, at least in her case, there's some hardware problem that needs addressing.

    Of course, it may depend too on how much was cut off. IOW, maybe it was a timing/scheduling issue with the program data; if the show's actual running time didn't quite match the time in the guide data, your DVR wouldn't know that.

    Just some random thoughts...

  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I don't know if this would help, but there is a fairly unknown feature in the DVRs called autopadding. It starts recording 30 seconds before the scheduled start time, to 90 seconds after the end. This only happens if a background tuner is available. The trick is that the beginning 30 seconds is "hidden", starting a recording starts it after the 30 seconds, but you can rewind. The record light is off and it doesn't show up in the on screen bar.
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    IS that the only show its ever happened to? Did the unit start recording two other shows on different tuners after that show was over?
  5. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    TV programming "geniuses" use a technique known in the business as "going seamless" to keep you from tuning out of one show during the end credits and commercials, which is done by moving the commercials somewhere else, either into the body of the show or into the next or previous show which may sell time at a higher rate. They also regularly start a minute or two early on high-dollar shows and start a minute or two late on lower performing shows that follow them.

    This was hard to do when content was on tape instead of servers, but that and automation make it easy to manipulate when stuff airs so we are starting to see it a lot. There are even conspiracy theories that it is done to thwart recording and force folks to watch live, which seems like an exercise in shooting one's self in the foot, if you ask me (more folks will just develop a negative view of scheduled TV and cut the cord and download instead, or stop watching that show altogether, just as likely).

    Recently, Comedy Central has taken this to a laughable (pun intended) extreme with the consistently highest-rated jewel in their crown, The Daily Show. Just select "view upcoming" to see a cornucopia of ridiculous start times, from 2 minutes early, 6 minutes late, 13 minutes late, etc. This is either bold or foolhardy on their part, and as viewers the final judgment either way will be ours. One would think that the long and dreadful 5-minute start time offset failed experiment on TBS would have taught them a thing or two. Guess not.

    Sometimes this practice is reflected in the listings and sometimes not. If not, it can screw with your recordings in the manner you are speaking of.

    In the case of HIMYM last night, this was CBS premiere night, and they wanted to blunt the competition, so I expect there was some last minute tinkering done that might not have been reflected on the schedule. The technique here is to remove most if not all of the end commercials so that the next show begins before you have a chance to grab the remote and tune out, and that the first show does not end until competing shows on other networks have already begun, them hoping you will be less likely to tune away because of that, which when you think about it is both pathetic and lame all at the same time.

    They like to imagine it gives them an edge. I think it is more likely a way for them to justify their programming jobs to themselves and probably has little if any affect on ratings at all, and probably just annoys viewers more than anything. The autopad feature on our DVRs is one of the most clever ways of dealing with this, thankfully.

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