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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this has just started. I tape a 3hr football game so I can watch it "delayed"... starting it 45 minutes late... and quickly skip commercial breaks. Until now, I hit the 30sec skip forward button 4 times and I'm back to the action. Just this weekend it started getting "stuck" when I skip forward. I see fast forward screens but it keeps jumping back, or looping. A 3 minute skip ahead jumps me forward maybe 20 seconds.

And when I try to skip 30 seconds between "downs", I get forward MAYBE 10 seconds. FF1, FF2 and FF3 are also held up. But only when I'm watching an event which is still being recorded. Just to compare, I flipped open a taped event and 30skip functioned properly.
 

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I've noticed that with stuff that is semi-live. Sometimes it does that. You might want to try a red button reset. That fixes alot of issues. If it happens again you'll have to do a red button reset again.
 

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Mentor
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A few days back I saw something similar. This happens with shows (e.g. Scrubs) recorded weeks ago.

brad5am said:
I think this has just started. I tape a 3hr football game so I can watch it "delayed"... starting it 45 minutes late... and quickly skip commercial breaks. Until now, I hit the 30sec skip forward button 4 times and I'm back to the action. Just this weekend it started getting "stuck" when I skip forward. I see fast forward screens but it keeps jumping back, or looping. A 3 minute skip ahead jumps me forward maybe 20 seconds.

And when I try to skip 30 seconds between "downs", I get forward MAYBE 10 seconds. FF1, FF2 and FF3 are also held up. But only when I'm watching an event which is still being recorded. Just to compare, I flipped open a taped event and 30skip functioned properly.
 

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AllStar
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This problem is almost un-liveable now on my unit. The 30-second skip is worthless, and the 2X FFWD goes nowhere (sometimes a net move backward, just for kicks).

My only usable options are 1X and 3X... neither of which is ideal.
 

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senorgregster said:
A few days back I saw something similar. This happens with shows (e.g. Scrubs) recorded weeks ago.
I have this problem as well. It is actually fairly consistent for live shows. It ALWAYS happens in playback of shows that are currently being recorded. It happens periodically during previously recorded shows. I have the latest update and a RBR did not help.:nono2:
 

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This symptom is consistent with the possibility that the R15's CPU is overloaded. Does anyone have information for/against this notion?

Several years ago Yamaha introduced a music synthesizer costing about $2000 that had too puny a CPU. They eventually gave owners a free SCSI adapter. But, there was no way to speed up the CPU. As a result, the synthesizer never performed properly. So, the possibility that the R15's CPU power is not adequate is not out of the question. But, I sure hope it's not the case....
 

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wbmccarty said:
This symptom is consistent with the possibility that the R15's CPU is overloaded. Does anyone have information for/against this notion?
The CPU is way more powerful than that in, for example, the DSR6000. So what you say may well be true, but it would say more about the software than the hardware.

And I know some may consider the DSR6000 slow (I never did, but then I never used the grid style guide, either). However, from what I've heard it absolutely screams when given additional RAM (in the form of a cache card for the hard drive), so it's not particularly CPU-bound, even on a ~70 MHz PowerPC.
 

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Walters, I understand the CPU to be a fast one as such CPUs go. As you point out, speed of the unit is determined by the speed of the CPU and the way the code was written. Based on the many functional defects we see, there's reason to believe that performance defects (i.e., CPU bottlenecks) are likely to exist in generous number. So, the blame would seem to fall more on the software than the hardware.

Another observation that's suggestive of the CPU being underpowered relative to the demands placed on it is the time taken to re-populate the guide. We all know this is a slow process, typically taking 24-48 hours. Some members have reported that re-population completes in less time if the R15 is in standby. That observation is consistent with my notion that the CPU is barely able to handle the demands placed on it.

In the case of the Yamaha synthesizer I mentioned, I don't recall what CPU was used and what the CPU's speed was. Clearly, the engineers chose too puny a CPU. But, that CPU might well have done the job if the synthesizer code had been written differently.

The irritating part was that the built-in demo gave no evidence of a CPU problem. Clearly, the demo had been carefully designed to sidestep CPU overload. That was the most distressing aspect of having bought the unit: knowing that the manufacturer, which had a solid reputation, had knowingly sold bad gear for top dollar. My feelings about DTV and the R15 are similar.


Cheers,
 

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wbmccarty said:
Another observation that's suggestive of the CPU being underpowered relative to the demands placed on it is the time taken to re-populate the guide. We all know this is a slow process, typically taking 24-48 hours. Some members have reported that re-population completes in less time if the R15 is in standby. That observation is consistent with my notion that the CPU is barely able to handle the demands placed on it.
I think that's basically because of satellite bandwidth availability. What's on "now" and "very soon" are constantly streamed, probably on all transponders (and I believe the R15 gets all that before it even passes control to the user after a reboot). Toward the end of the 14 day window, though, is trickled, possibly on few or one transponder. Putting it in standby would tell it you're not watching TV right now and that it's OK to tune to that transponder. Of course, since there's only one live buffer, I guess it could use the second tuner for that even if not in standby. In any case, it takes a DTiVo about the same amount of time to fill the guide the first time, too.
 

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I figure that most folks' second tuner is idle a good part of the time. If that's the case, the bandwidth explanation doesn't seem to hold up. But, I could be wrong about the utilization of the second tuner, or in some other way. That's why I'm using weak words such as "suggestive" and "consistent with." :D
 

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It may be more likely that the data towards the end of the 14 day window is only available at the...what's the opposite of peak? Valley time doesn't sound right. :D Early morning?
 

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qwerty said:
what's the opposite of peak?
In the utility industry, they use the term "off-peak." Seems as good as any.

The notion that the data is sent only occasionally doesn't seem to account for the reports that the guide populates faster when the unit is not in use. I don't recall that I've actually seen this behavior--maybe because my TV is seldom off. :D
 

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Legend
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I have this problem with an R15-300. Just started with the latest update 105F. It doesn't happen everytime, but its not rare either. I'd day it happens 50% of the time I use skip forward.

I swear, these developers can't release something without introducing new bugs.
 

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The problem IS the software. The R-15 has a larger processor and more ram than any DirecTiVo and they dont have the limits and work.

DirecTV pushed the R-15 to the back since the release of the HR20 and all ther new commercials touting 3 times more HD than anyone else. The HR20 is also getting all the new goodies and things we have waited 14 months for and might never get.

We were getting updates about once a month until its release. Now its been almost THREE MONTHS since my last update here in NJ.

FACT is the R-15 is also going to be phased out and replaced by another SD DVR so they are not worrying about us to much. Just swap your R-15 for the new SD box in a couple months. Its problems are not going to be fixed any time soon or even ever IMO.
 

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Bobman said:
FACT is the R-15 is also going to be phased out and replaced by another SD DVR so they are not worrying about us to much. Just swap your R-15 for the new SD box in a couple months. Its problems are not going to be fixed any time soon or even ever IMO.
First, what are you basing this statement on (R15 going to be phased out)? Please show some type of reference or link that supports that statement.

Second, I think you meant to say "Just swap your R-15 for the new HD box...", unless you were referring to the hypothetical R15 replacement.

Third, DirecTV is actually doing a pretty good job of fixing R15 problems. The latest round of releases, combined with doing a reformat, appear to have most units running good.

Carl
 

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This looping is almost constant now -- whenever we are using the 30 second skip more than once or the FFx2. It's becoming unusable. We've already done a reformat twice. It's an R15-300 with the 106C update. Any suggestions? If I contact directv, will they do anything?
 

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carl6 said:
Third, DirecTV is actually doing a pretty good job of fixing R15 problems. The latest round of releases, combined with doing a reformat, appear to have most units running good.
One's personal satisfaction, or lack of satisfaction, with the R15 tends to color one's assessment of the quality of DTV''s efforts. Given that DTV has not yet publicly admitted the scope and severity of problems--in fact, some months ago, a senior exec claimed that all problems had been solved--it's hard to consider that they're doing a "pretty good job" of addressing them.

More specifically, I don't agree that an excess of 50% ("most") of units "running good" implies that DTV is doing a "pretty good job." I'd be disappointed if only 50% of units ran well during the first week following introduction of a new product. Because it's inexcusable in the first instance for such serious problems even to exist, I'm not sure that I'd apply the label "pretty good job" until unsatisfied customers were a rarity. Currently, that's far from the case. Certainly, I am not among them.

In questions such as this, measures of central tendency such as an average or even a median tend not to properly characterize the full range of experience. In the case of the R15 there are too many outliers. My own best guess is that thoroughly satisfied users are outliers with respect to the largest clusters of levels of satisfaction. But, we don't have adequate data to properly address the question.

I'll offer an analogy that may illustrate a problem inherent in Carl's claim. If the population of R15 users were represented by the human body, a statement that most body functions were fully operational would hardly be a useful definition of good health. Sight, smell, and hearing mean little if the heart doesn't beat.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got a little lost with some of the replies in here... just wondering, is this skip-forward-loop issue something that will get fixed in a future software update?
 

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brad5am said:
I got a little lost with some of the replies in here... just wondering, is this skip-forward-loop issue something that will get fixed in a future software update?
No one knows the answer to that question. Best guess is, yes, it will be fixed. This bug is new with the latest update, so they'll likely fix what they broke in the next update. The real question is, what will break next time they fix something LOL
 
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