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· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To cover a couple of things before I get started, I have sent this message (or something extremely similar) to DTV via their website. Someone called to follow up and said it would get forwarded to someone, somewhere, sometime. This was in February, back at 404A. I offered to send them/post online videos of the various issues, the person on the phone said not to bother.

I reviewed everything in 4062 and sent them another message with a posting here (see: http://www.dbstalk.com/showpost.php?p=1518844&postcount=2). I confirmed them again with 407E and now 4080. I sent this to them a week ago, this time all I got was canned, meaningless reply.

Not *ONE* issue has been addressed. Worse, they introduced a new problem.

I've gone so far as to reset the IRD to factory defaults, a significant PITA to reprogram channel
lists and 25+ autotunes. The problems can be duplicated on the reset receiver.

The repeatable problems are:
  • The 'reminder' shows up with back-to-back autotunes, ruining the first recording. Set an autotune for 03:55p-04:00p and another from 04:00p-04:05p. At 03:58p the reminder
    pops up, trashing the first program.
  • Autotunes are resurrected from history, despite repeatedly being deleted. Pick a recurring autotune, hit the red button, select "Delete now". The autotune disappears from the ToDo list, but it's back next week -- no warning, no beep, nada.
  • Creating an autotune which conflicts with a current autotune is not handled properly -- The system happily says that it saved the autotune to the ToDo list but the item count stays the same and the time slot is empty.
  • Try to create a recurring autotune in a timeshot where the system refuses to save it (either from a hidden conflict or any other unknown reason -- see above). Then create a 'Once' autotune for the exact same channel, day, time, etc. Modify the once autotune to be re-occuring. The system says 'Ok' but it in fact deletes the autotune, reduces the item count and shows as 'Cancelled' in the history list.
  • Creating a 'Once' manual autotune between midnight and (I'm guessing -- it's 3:29am and there are two now) 6am EDT has two entries for 'Today' in the 'When:' field. When you pick the first 'Today' you get the current day in the local time zone, the second 'Today' really means the day after. The date for the next day is missing from the dates shown.
  • Changing the time for a manual autotune results in the channel selected being changed from the SD to HD version of the channel (284 SCI becomes 284 SCIHD)
  • Mon-Fri manual autotunes fill 5 slots on the 'To Do List', but deleting any particular day's entry doesn't stay deleted, it's reincarnated from somewhere -- History?
  • Creating a 'Recurring' manual autotune between midnight and 6am requires selecting the day before the one you want the channel changed, to get a Monday autotune, select 'Every Sunday'.
  • New in 407E, overlapping autotunes (the system let me create one?!) cause the 2nd autotune to be completely ignored! Had an autotune for NBC 382 - 07:58p, 03h:02m. Created one for Sci 284 01:58p, 06h:02m (was supposed to be 05h:02m, didn't realize there was a problem). System accepted it and days later executed the SCI autotune. Without any warning, error, etc it proceeded to ignore/cancel the NBC timer.

A couple of useful items would be:
  • Clearing history requires receiver reset, deleting favorites, autotunes, etc.
  • Receiver does not turn off after an autotune, wasting energy.
  • The banner can't be disabled.
  • The 'Reminder' can't be disabled.
  • Manual autotune events are not reflected in the guide (no little clock icons).

Appearantly the IRD keeps a list of autotunes, seperate from the ToDo list that we have access to. Events on this hidden list are appearantly considered when deciding conflicts, etc. They are also used to repopulate the ToDo list after each autotune is completed -- deleted or not. This hidden list is the source of a lot of the issues above.
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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Arisian, I understand your concerns. I think the prevailing feeling is that autotunes are the "poor man's DVR solution" and it's possible they don't get the attention that you feel they shoudl.

If I may ask, why is it that you prefer autotunes to having a DVR?
 

· Mentor
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38 Posts
The search for shows engine is equally useless. Showings for a tv show look for that particular episode, not the series.

As a frequent reader of this board, my real question is: What are you recording at 3am that is so incredibly important??? I'm fairly sure Stargate is available in dvd box sets now...
 

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Stuart Sweet said:
Arisian, I understand your concerns. I think the prevailing feeling is that autotunes are the "poor man's DVR solution" and it's possible they don't get the attention that you feel they shoudl.

If I may ask, why is it that you prefer autotunes to having a DVR?
I am confused... wouldn't a DVR be a simple solution to his problem? Then he wouldn't have to be aggravated by the unit not doing what it wasn't designed to do in the first place. i.e. be a dvr...
 

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You do know that as far as the box is concerned, that once it changes the channel the autotune event is complete. It DOES NOT look at the program lenght.

If you wanted, you could have the box change the channel once a minute if you wanted too.
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Stuart Sweet said:
Arisian, I understand your concerns. I think the prevailing feeling is that autotunes are the "poor man's DVR solution" and it's possible they don't get the attention that you feel they shoudl.

If I may ask, why is it that you prefer autotunes to having a DVR?
I use Sony RDR-HX750/780 PVRs. Among other things, they allow for editing (commercial chopping) and more significantly DVD storage. At $500 a pop, they're hardly cheap, but then what I record is outside of DTVs control -- they can't set time limits on what I keep, I can store far more than 200hrs of videos, etc. I've got 1 PVR per IRD. It also leaves me with independent equipment -- if one piece fails, I replace it without losing the rest of the setup. From my readings and postings here and elsewhere, if your DVR has issues, your recordings leave with it -- too bad, so sad, tough luck.

Oh, and lets not forget, no $4.95/month fee!!
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RobertE said:
You do know that as far as the box is concerned, that once it changes the channel the autotune event is complete. It DOES NOT look at the program lenght.

If you wanted, you could have the box change the channel once a minute if you wanted too.
That's not true. Try it. Create an autotune, let it get started and then try to access the guide, change channels, almost any function (ie, I haven't tested every single button). Each of the above and many more that I haven't listed all produce the same result. A pretty little (massive, 1/8 screen) blue blob that says something like "Your receiver is currently in the middle of a manual autotune to channel XXX that started at YY:YYpm, do you wish to interrupt it? Yes/No buttons".

If you set up autotunes that are one minute long, you can change the channel that often (I believe, not tested) but you'd live with a permanent reminder blob (1/8 screen too). If, however, you set the duration of the programs to 2 minutes, as of right now every second one would be cancelled.
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LarryFlowers said:
I am confused... wouldn't a DVR be a simple solution to his problem? Then he wouldn't have to be aggravated by the unit not doing what it wasn't designed to do in the first place. i.e. be a dvr...
I'm not asking it to be a DVR -- just execute the autotunes I fill into the schedule without a nest full of bugs and idiotic activities like trying to update the receiver during one of the autotunes.

The manual and their website say these H21s are supposed to have events. Be nice if the blasted things actually worked properly.
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Void4545 said:
The search for shows engine is equally useless. Showings for a tv show look for that particular episode, not the series.

As a frequent reader of this board, my real question is: What are you recording at 3am that is so incredibly important??? I'm fairly sure Stargate is available in dvd box sets now...
FWIW, one of the recordings that has gotten fubar'd is 7 Days (241 SPIKE, 3am, T, W, T) no box set. :(

The other IRD was recording 269 HIST.

Besides, box sets cost money and I'm already paying DTV enough ($175/m) as it is, I should be able to watch whatever I happen to record at my convenience without 1/8 of the screen or 8+ minutes of the program being clobbered by piss poor software.

What really irks me is that my HAH-SA SD receivers have NONE of these issues, for the most part they just work. It's a tad disturbing to "upgrade" receivers and go from something that works to something that's really broken -- and with 25+ years developing user interfaces, I feel reasonably qualified to call the current H21 software BROKEN.
 

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Arisian said:
I'm not asking it to be a DVR -- just execute the autotunes I fill into the schedule without a nest full of bugs and idiotic activities like trying to update the receiver during one of the autotunes.

The manual and their website say these H21s are supposed to have events. Be nice if the blasted things actually worked properly.
The problem is you are trying to maker it function as a DVR... a purpose for which it was clearly not intended...

GET A DVR and all your grief goes away and if you dont currently have a dvr, the difference will be $5.99. Nothing could be simpler. GET A DVR
 

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LarryFlowers said:
The problem is you are trying to maker it function as a DVR... a purpose for which it was clearly not intended...

GET A DVR and all your grief goes away and if you dont currently have a dvr, the difference will be $5.99. Nothing could be simpler. GET A DVR
But....the OP has already stated he preferes to use the PVRs he already owns and just wants the auto-tune to work properly.

If you go to manually change the channel I can see having a message to remind you "hey you auto tuned for some reason...do ya really want to change channels".

However, if it executes another auto-tune it shouldn't popup that message. I kinda agree with the OP on this one.

It seems like a valid gripe to me.

Mike
 

· Premium Member
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Having looked here: http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/home_av/video_recorders/0,39037596,41100671p,00.htm

To get an idea of what this PVR is/does, it seems the OP wants to use the H21 as a SAT front end to this PVR.
I used the H20 with my Windows MCE 2005 system at first for the same thing. Since I only could get SD out the the receiver, I moved on to the HR20.
Considering a google only came back with three hits: the link above, this thread, and one other forum, I tend to think this "situation" is quite unique.
  1. Software updates need to come sometime and somebody, somewhere, will "get screwed". With 17 million users in 5 or 6 time zones, it simply can't be helped.
  2. What are the chances of having new software to fix the "bugs" the OP finds as he is using this unique setup?
  3. "Realistically" I'm afraid requests will fall on deaf ears, since "the complaints" would be/are so few.
"To me", it seemed paying the $6 a month for DVR service to be added to my account, and moving on the the HR20 & HR21 was the simplest and gave the most benefits.
If I want to use the features of my MCE 2005, I simply send a SD feed over to it, edit the program as I want, and then burn to DVD.
The OP could do the same.
 

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MicroBeta said:
But....the OP has already stated he preferes to use the PVRs he already owns and just wants the auto-tune to work properly.

If you go to manually change the channel I can see having a message to remind you "hey you auto tuned for some reason...do ya really want to change channels".

However, if it executes another auto-tune it shouldn't popup that message. I kinda agree with the OP on this one.

It seems like a valid gripe to me.

Mike
The gripe may be valid... granted that it is, but the likelihood of it being a priority fix is somewhere between slim and none. A DVR would solve it.
 

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LarryFlowers said:
The gripe may be valid... granted that it is, but the likelihood of it being a priority fix is somewhere between slim and none. A DVR would solve it.
I have to say you are correct in that a DVR would negate the problem. However, it doesn't solve it. It's more of work around then a solution.

The OP uses the DVRs he has for his own reasons.

My point is that I'm not really sure it's fair to say that the solution is for the OP to get rid of all his equipment and replace it with Directv's stuff. The OP specifically said he didn't want to use Directv DVRs.

Mike
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LarryFlowers said:
The gripe may be valid... granted that it is, but the likelihood of it being a priority fix is somewhere between slim and none. A DVR would solve it.
1) This is a fine example of a lazy software development / quality assurance team. This is the same sort of #)*%@# that causes Windows to BSOD, Office to die unexpectedly, etc, etc. The work involved in getting it right is about 2 days worth. Pretty simple stuff, actually.

2) I have about $4000 invested in various bits of equipment -- PVRs, IRDs, switches, cables, etc. Not one thing wrong with the PVRs nor the IRD hardware. Not all that "green" to toss it all out because some dumb ass(es) is(are) lazy.

3) DVRs don't write to DVDs. Not without a pile of screwing around and/or playing things at 1x and I still need a DVD recorder.

4) DVRs don't allow editing, aren't precise in start/stop times, if the IRD dies you lose all your recordings during replacement, etc.

Basically, you're telling me that in order to record a TV show without a pile of stupid software bugs, I should throw away over $4000 worth of equipment, buy another $1200+ worth of new IRD/DVRs, sign up for another 2 years of service, rewire and reconfigure my A/V setup, invest time and energy in figuring out how to store the video onto DVDs, retrain the family on how everything is hooked up, etc, etc.

It would be less costly and mentally arduous for me to find someone who works for manufacturer 200 and PAY them to fix the software or spend the 2 days and fix the code myself (if I can write Linux kernel code, I can surely fix some simple autotune bugs).

DirecTV advertises these IRDs as capable of tuning into a specific channel at a specific time. The manuals all give basic instructions on how to use this feature. My expectation is rather simple, really. Either make the damn thing work properly or stop selling the box like it's capable of something it clearly isn't.

$6000 versus a couple hundred lines of computer code? All this to cover up for some sloppy, lazy programmer's poorly designed and implemented work?

There is something very very wrong with the world if that's what this comes down to.
 

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Arisian said:
1) This is a fine example of a lazy software development / quality assurance team. This is the same sort of #)*%@# that causes Windows to BSOD, Office to die unexpectedly, etc, etc. The work involved in getting it right is about 2 days worth. Pretty simple stuff, actually.

2) I have about $4000 invested in various bits of equipment -- PVRs, IRDs, switches, cables, etc. Not one thing wrong with the PVRs nor the IRD hardware. Not all that "green" to toss it all out because some dumb ass(es) is(are) lazy.

3) DVRs don't write to DVDs. Not without a pile of screwing around and/or playing things at 1x and I still need a DVD recorder.

4) DVRs don't allow editing, aren't precise in start/stop times, if the IRD dies you lose all your recordings during replacement, etc.

Basically, you're telling me that in order to record a TV show without a pile of stupid software bugs, I should throw away over $4000 worth of equipment, buy another $1200+ worth of new IRD/DVRs, sign up for another 2 years of service, rewire and reconfigure my A/V setup, invest time and energy in figuring out how to store the video onto DVDs, retrain the family on how everything is hooked up, etc, etc.

It would be less costly and mentally arduous for me to find someone who works for manufacturer 200 and PAY them to fix the software or spend the 2 days and fix the code myself (if I can write Linux kernel code, I can surely fix some simple autotune bugs).

DirecTV advertises these IRDs as capable of tuning into a specific channel at a specific time. The manuals all give basic instructions on how to use this feature. My expectation is rather simple, really. Either make the damn thing work properly or stop selling the box like it's capable of something it clearly isn't.

$6000 versus a couple hundred lines of computer code? All this to cover up for some sloppy, lazy programmer's poorly designed and implemented work?

There is something very very wrong with the world if that's what this comes down to.
I see.. so your saying you are doing all this to make illegal dvd copies of television shows?
 

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Ken S said:
It's illegal to record a TV show?
No.. but it is illegal to make a dvd copy of a tv show to keep in a library, the dvr recording of a tv show is legal and is difficult to transfer to a dvd and I suppose keeping it on the dvr for extended period of time could be construed in the same way, but the dvr is self limiting due to hard drive size.

Copy TV shows to a DVD, editing the commercials and keeping them would be technically illegal. Of course why anyone would go to the trouble is beyond me, if you want a tv show that badly, buy it... cheaper than the value of the time it would take to burn it to dvd's and edit them in the process.
 
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