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I used to be a rocket scientist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, how well does anyone know the MPEG2 and MPEG4/H.264 standards D* is using for broadcasts? And does anyone know if/how D* is implementing "broadcast flag" provisions to appease content-providers?

The reason I bring these up is that my theory with regard to strange "partial" recordings and deletions is that it is possible that D* may have implemented, in the HR20, new software that looks for specific flags set within the data streams that determine how long recordings can be saved, trigger the machine to delete them, prevent them from being copied or transferred, etc. After all, things like this have already been reported in the Tivo world. It's entirely possible these provisions are there, latent, inside the HR20.

My theory is that glitches in the MPEG data streams, whether caused by overzealous content providers, goofs by techs at some local stations or some interference along the way (rain or weather effects, perhaps post-processing at D*'s uplink facilities) sometimes accidentally sets or flips one of those bits in the stream and voila, the HR20 obediently stops recording and prevents playback of the partial (notably UNLIKE what happens when resetting the box in the middle of a recording which results in two playable partial recordings), or just deletes it outright.

Of course, I have no hard data to support any of this, just pure supposition. I'd be interested in hearing thoughts of others.
 

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Cool Member
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If this was the case wouldn't everyone that tried to record the program with the bad settings get the same results of a partial or lost recording? Just thinking out loud.

Later
Joe
 

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I used to be a rocket scientist
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12,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
joej said:
If this was the case wouldn't everyone that tried to record the program with the bad settings get the same results of a partial or lost recording? Just thinking out loud.

Later
Joe
Perhaps, it's hard to say. That would depend on how D* has implemented their "broadcast flag" stuff, whether local could turn it on or not, whether a bit could get flipped due to a harddrive stutter on a particular machine either at the transmit or receiver end or somewhere along a chain through from network to local affiliate to uplink/encode center to D*'s main uplink to the recipient. It does seem that there are clusters of lost and partials in certain cities and on certain shows, but it's hard to pin down because the people here certainly aren't any kind of real statistical sample.

But like you, I'm just thinking out loud.
 
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