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Would you Release Candidate Test... If it was available?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Earl Bonovich, Feb 23, 2006.

Would you test - Release Candidates

  1. Yes - I would update with any software version

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Maybe - Depends on the fixes/features in that release

    53 vote(s)
    89.8%
  3. No - I wouldn't want to take the risk

    6 vote(s)
    10.2%
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  1. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Nov 15, 2005
    I have had a bunch of people PM me directly, and post in threads...

    Asking me if I am a Beta tester for DTV, or how to become one, or just say I am a Beta tester for them.

    AS OF THIS MOMENT --- DirecTV has no offical formal non-employee BETA test program.

    If they did and I was apart of it, then I would have to pretty much be mute around here, do to NDAs... (as anyone that has been a part of Beta's know)

    --------------

    So kinda to get a more global feel.

    If there was an opportunity to Beta Test "Release Candidates"

    Would you do it?

    NOTE: I'll save you the effort... yes.. I know a bunch of you think we are already beta tester's now........
     
  2. cabanaboy1977

    cabanaboy1977 Hall Of Fame

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    Hell yeah! That way I'd know my voice was being heard. (not saying your not a voice for us Earl)
     
  3. Xram

    Xram Godfather

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    Nov 18, 2005
    I definately would.
     
  4. cabanaboy1977

    cabanaboy1977 Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 16, 2005
    I'll even take this one step further. I would love to beta test the whole house unit. This is the major reason I ditched the UTV's for the R15's. I want to be able to watch my recorded programs on any TV.
     
  5. DesignDawg

    DesignDawg Legend

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    Jan 7, 2006
    No doubt. I got into the R15 for the purpose of seeing where DirecTV was going. It hasn't become mission critical for me, and at the moment, my R15 is set up MAINLY JUST to see how it develops. To be a part of that process would be a natural extension.

    Ricky
     
  6. morgantown

    morgantown Icon

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Absolutely.

    Edit: Don't charge me the mirroring fee for it though...
     
  7. dgib

    dgib AllStar

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    Nov 16, 2005
    Yes I would do it.
     
  8. brykc14

    brykc14 Legend

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    Jun 14, 2004
    Oh Yessssss...And I think if D* would let real users test it we could get a box the would blow all others out of the market.
     
  9. terrylmc

    terrylmc Mentor

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    Dec 22, 2005
    You bet. I would also.
     
  10. Bobman

    Bobman Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 3, 2006
    No way are you kidding ! There are enough problems now with the actual releases and I cant imagine the problems in the Betas.

    Now when they ever get all the bugs worked out and the unit is stable THEN I would offer to test new features.
     
  11. walters

    walters Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Don't know if this would change anyone's mind, but FWIW, if they were to do a reasonable beta, they should really require you to use the box running the beta in your primary viewing location. I know quite a few here have moved their R15 to a bedroom or office or something.

    I don't have one, so I won't vote, but I think I'd have to agree with Bobman on this one. I've tested every single software release for the DTiVos except it's initial release (hey, my testing days are clearly over for them anyway, so I'm not afraid to admit that now). And I felt confident running even early beta software in my living room, because it was clear to me they have a good software development process. I don't think I feel that way about DirecTV today.
     
  12. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

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    Jul 29, 2003
    Just to add to what walters said, keep in mind that a Beta Test program is not a bunch of fun and games. It's typically not a "try to break" the unit task. I Beta tested some software releases for DirecWay years ago. We were given task lists and due dates for testing. An entire script of what to try in those steps.

    For example, starting on the 10th we were to test 5 specific functions and report back by the 14th. We would then wait a week of so for the next batch of tasks.

    Also be aware that as much as we slam DTV for releasing software that hasn't been beta tested, the software in a real beta test WILL have many more bugs. You may test a release candidate one day, get a new version the next and the unit may not even boot. You could be stuck with a dead R15 for some period of time.

    Many of you complain about moving your R15 to your bedroom and reativating your DTivo as the R15 isn't reliable. Beta testing a R15 will be even less reliable.

    Last of all. You cannot say a word about what you're doing. No leaks at all!!!

    Now, from the DTV standpoint I would encourage them to adopt a program such as this but screen all testers very carefully. Using employees only as a beta testing field has it's own set of problems.

    My R15 sits in my home office and I'm in front of it 8-10 hours a day. Although it's not always on as I do need to work. :grin:

    I'd consider a program such as this as I do not depend on the R15. I depend on my other 6 DTivos. My own hacked Home Media Center with a total of 1TB of recording capacity and 8 active DTV tuners.

    But if you have one R15 or one DVR, think before you leap at something like this if it were offered.
     
  13. cabanaboy1977

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    that's all good but I won't have an issue with it. I'd mirror the testing. I'd have the beta unit in the living room and a non beta so I would have a backup of my programs if it did deside to crash. As a far as keeping my mouth quite and not leaking it, no issues there. I want a working/better unit and would love to help make it possible.
     
  14. ISWIZ

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    Nov 18, 2005
    I did it for Tivo, Dtivo, why not, sure!
     
  15. Clint Lamor

    Clint Lamor Hall Of Fame

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    Yes I definately would Beta the unit, I would just ask for a system to report problem, specific things we need to test and some sort of feedback on whats going on with each release that my unit receives.

    With those things given to me I would jump at the chance to try and help with the box and it's issues. I have tested many many pieces of software and as a matter of fact part of my job during the day is something like Earls I have to help track down problems, in code, hardware, software and so forth. So it's something that I can do fairly well :)
     
  16. gimme5

    gimme5 Legend

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    Jan 27, 2006
    I wouldn't want to do it. The R-15 is already not very reliable as it is, it's probably worse in beta versions.

    Of course, if DTV would send me an extra unit to beta test new software, then I'd do it :). But I wouldn't want any beta software on my main unit.
     
  17. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

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    In a beta test program the information generally flows in one direction. From the tester to the development team or even the Beta Team (which then feeds info to the development team). There is typically a system to report the problems but don't count on any type of feedback or info regarding what included in each release.
     
  18. Clint Lamor

    Clint Lamor Hall Of Fame

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    Actually I have found that not to be so. Usually when a new version is released fir testing there are release notes stating that X,Y,Z has been addressed and the known issues are still C,D,E and so forth. If you have no idea whats being worked on then you could be submitting trouble tickets for things that they know are still an issue.
     
  19. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

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    We've had different experiences then. As I stated, with DirecWay we received a list of screens/web pages/things to test. They didn't mention what changed or what was fixed. You submit problems based on what you ran into, not what has changed. As you put it, if you know A, B and C were changed that doesn't mean one of those changes didn't break E, F or G. Personally I don't think testers should have in-depth knowledge of what was changed/fixed. That would tend to focus the tester on specific areas which then could cause other unexpected problems to bleed through the testing process and hit the customer.

    I guess I was really just trying to make sure folks understand that beta testing is work, it has rules, and isn't as glamorous as some might think. ;)
     
  20. DesignDawg

    DesignDawg Legend

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    Jan 7, 2006
    --A noble and wise mission. But it doesn't deter me at all. I've beta tested a thing or two, and I always do it because I am a tinkerer. My job is one of constant problem solving. I just got back from a meeting where I shook hands, said, "No problem", promising to deliver something I've never done before. But I'll figure it out. It's my job. And I'm the same type of person with everything. I like to get all involved in the inner workings, figure out why it works or doesn't, and think about how to fix it or modify it. That's why I'm on these forums in the first place.
    The average consumer does NOT need to know what file system the HDDs in an R15 are, or what software version they are running, or any of this stuff.

    I still really love the R15 in theory, and I'm a #1 supporter. But it has already/recently been demoted out of its #1 spot in my house. It's not reliable. --And that's ALWAYS been par for the course with BETA tests I've been involved with. You're never supposed to rely on a beta product for mission critical things. For a DVR, "mission critical" is pretty lax. Does it record "Lost" once a week? So, for making sure my mission is not compromised, I have a DTiVo hooked up in my #1 spot. I still watch the R15, and hope for it to do well. To get involved in a beta test right now would make me even more interested in its development.

    Ricky
     
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