End of ReplayTV Electronic Programming Guide Service - Page 9 - AVS Forum
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post #241 of 687 Old 06-17-2011, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SeeSpotRun View Post

That is quite a "grow up and take it like a man" speech.

I am a lawyer and here is my take on this. Note: While I am a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer so this is merely my opinion and not legal advice.


IANAL, but wouldn't a better avenue be to try and get the attorney general interested? I thought there was a law indicating the expected lifetime of a durable good was 7 years (I may be completely wrong on this though). I know 5500 units were being sold by DNAA on their website as recently as 2 years ago, possibly even after that.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #242 of 687 Old 06-17-2011, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by edbob View Post

According to the RePlay Customer Service representative named Michael at 254-299-2705, the RePlay contact person that is responsible for this shut down is Michael Begala, Vice President, at 100 Corporate Drive, Mahwah, NJ 07430.

Unfortunately Michael, the customer service representative, had no phone number for Mr. Begala, and I have not found one yet....

Well, Facebook says:
Michael Begala
Lives in Carmel, Indiana From Mahwah, New Jersey

My favorite public records site, zabasearch.com, lists phone numbers for him in both NJ and IN. perhaps someone here can call him directly!
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post #243 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 12:09 AM
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From the El Gamal paper "A Public Key Cryptosystem and a Signature Scheme Based on Discrete Logarithms"

If any k is used twice in the signing, then the system of equations is uniquely determined and x [, the secret key,] can be recovered. So for the system to be secure, any value of k should never be used twice.

This means that each time they updated the time, they had to use a different "k" value (the signature has two parts, "r" and "s"; if "k" is the same then "r" is the same). This would be hard for them to do day in and day out for every time update request. I saw somewhere that someone had recorded Replaytv transactions over several years. If we collect that data, and perhaps find some other similar data, I would be surprised if every "r" value is distinct (you only need to find one instance of a repeated use of the "k" ("r") value.

Furthermore, the algorithm has three steps, The first:

1) Choose a random number k, uniformly between 0 and p - 1, such that gcd(k, p - 1) = 1.

If they do this (i.e., randomly select k), then we have the "birthday paradox" on our side (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem); if they do something like a simple counter, I expect that this can be exploited.

Just think'in,
-Chris

PS: I won't give up until the fat lady sings...

2974247646523704746118934872007814844268287238137130823, don't tell anyone!

"Be happy while you're living,
for you're a long time dead."
-Scottish Proverb
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post #244 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by hankhi View Post

For those of us who paid for a "lifetime subscription" expecting just that, do they owe us a rebate or refund? sounds like lawsuit material to me.


YES.

They sold us a lifetime contract. We accepted the risk and they accepted the liability!

Is there an actual owner? If so they should be responsible for the liability and buy out the remaining lifetime contracts.

If I remember right, lifetime meant the life of the unit.

How about a final patch that at least makes the unit as functional as a full featured VCR?
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post #245 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SeeSpotRun View Post

Anyway, this is a simple case of breach of contract. As shown on their web site "The current monthly subscription fee is $12.95 and the one-time service activation option for the lifetime of your ReplayTV unit is $299." So, lifetime is not my lifetime, it is the lifetime of my unit.

And how many of those screaming "LAWSUIT!" can present a unit with its warranty sticker intact? How many of you never touched your unit for the purposes of repair of any kind--even replacing the hard drive?

Sans warranty sticker, the unit is easily deemed past ITS lifetime.

The only way to get a warranty sticker back on a repaired unit is to have Replay repair the unit. How many actually sent it back to Replay for repair?

The fact is, most if not all of the units have officially "died" by now, and the ones that are still in use have mostly been unofficially resurrected/repaired.
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post #246 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 04:29 AM
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I have two units with intact stickers. I don't think it matters.

Lifetime is a slippery term. For example, I own a 3Com managed switch with a lifetime warranty. They replaced the switch once about seven years ago when it failed. However, since that time, the product has been discontinued and the lifetime warranty 'timed' out five years after the product was no longer being built. This is their official policy and was likely published somewhere obscure from the beginning (like on Alpha Centauri as aptly described by Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers Guide). BTW, the switch is still going strong running 24/7.

I agree with the poster above that filing individual simple lawsuits may be the most successful way to pester the company into releasing the information on the keys. I doubt that enough people will do so to make a difference. I still use ReplayTVs extensively for my family (3 here, 3 with relatives). I doubt that my retired mother would want to learn how to use MCE or even TIVO. She adores the ReplayTV function and interface.

Thank goodness for the alternate methods. I am already using WiRNS and Schedules Direct to get a good OTA listing and keep CA on my 5500 series unit. I will transition to WiRNS/SD for all units before July 31. As long as the clock and activation 'check' still works, this will get around the missing TVGuide data.
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post #247 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

And how many of those screaming "LAWSUIT!" can present a unit with its warranty sticker intact? How many of you never touched your unit for the purposes of repair of any kind--even replacing the hard drive?

Sans warranty sticker, the unit is easily deemed past ITS lifetime.

The only way to get a warranty sticker back on a repaired unit is to have Replay repair the unit. How many actually sent it back to Replay for repair?

The fact is, most if not all of the units have officially "died" by now, and the ones that are still in use have mostly been unofficially resurrected/repaired.

I can. All three of mine in use have never been opened by anyone but ReplayTV.

That said, I would rather have servers keeping the clock alive than any repayment of worth because I would rather use my replays than any other DVR out there.

On another note, I just woke with a weird thought. I know that you can operate as usual without being connected to the network as long as whatever is left from the two week guide download is there (I am doing that now as a test on a fourth unit). So, I was considering unplugging my units on Sunday, 7/31 so they would not try to update again after that. But, I want them networked to each other, so I would need to plug them in again to do that which means they will attempt to netconnect at some point.

What happens if D&M (that owns the DNNA servers) program some kind of final netconnect message that resets all of the machines (which would render them useless) that you would eventually get even if you unplug for a while? It is one thing if they just go down, but they can send any functions to the machines they want.

Could having WiRNS setup save the units? But then loading WiRNS becomes a requirement beyond simply leaving the units in place as is. So does that mean that WiRNS users are not getting the discontinuation message because they are not connecting to DNNA? If they are getting the message, then WiRNS will not save us from that possible fate.
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post #248 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 05:07 AM
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I am trying to compare other DVRs and here is what I have found as major losses:

Moxi - I have only just learned about the Moxi which is ridiculously expensive up front and gets so-so reviews. Another aspect they consider a plus, but I do not is that it has three tuners, so you can record three shows at a time and then stream to the non-dvr boxes in other rooms. I don't like this because if that box goes down, you are left with nothing. I have three ReplayTVs so if something happens to one, I have others. Or if I want to record the exact same shows on two at the same time (which I have only done as a backup in case something weird happened with one unit - it happens), I can. I don't think you can record the same channel at the same time with multi-tuner units. I haven't looked into other specs because they are just too expensive.

Tivo - I am considering a friend's Series 3 HD (and then would have to get a second one). While it takes a cable card instead of IR blaster, that is cheaper for rental, but can't get on-demand. It does have two tuners so has dual line buffering (get a buffer for both tuners) and can record two shows at the same time (diff channels). The interface is inferior to RTV, but workable.

The major losses are buffers - only 30 minutes live buffer which means I cannot just set the unit on a channel, watch another show at the same time on another video in, and then go back to the Tivo and go back an hour or two and watch that show delayed so I can skip commercials. I do this ALL of the time. I also sometimes just leave RTV on a channel that has a movie and then go back 6 or 8 hours to watch it later on - I don't have to record everything.

Another buffer loss is adding extra time. You can only add up to 10 minutes prior to scheduled start and only 2 hours after and end. I have scheduled shows and wanted 30 minutes prior so I don't have to schedule two shows an experience the interruption when the recording changes. And I have chosen a show and added three hours (and with RTV, you can add as much space as you have) to I can just record all four episodes in one stream.

Record first run and repeats on the HD units apparently have some weird thing about not recording anything that was already recorded less than 28 days ago. With RTV, it just records everything if you tell it to.

Newer Tivos only have one output and no inputs. You don't stream between the units, you transfer the show - which is just not the same and requires space on the second unit. Certain shows are protected from download.

Tivos are expensive to run - $20/mo with commitment (or else pay cancellation fee) or $500 "lifetime." So get a used one with lifetime. Apparently if you have to get it fixed, it costs twice as much as it did for RTVs.

Comcast DVR - Proclaimed worst interface of the three, but is familiar if you have the regular cable box. Also dual-tuner. Can't download shows. Most can't stream (there is the DVR Anywhere model/setup though). Only one output and no inputs. The buffer is much better than Tivo - up to 90 minutes for digital channels (less for HD), but much less than RTV. The recording extension allows up to 15 minutes prior to 2 hours after (still not so good).

Monthly cost only, but if something is wrong, you just exchange it or upgrade instantly. Like the Tivo, you can program it from the internet (which was taken away from RTV a few years ago). Your HD size is limited by what they offer.

I am not considering Windows Media Center, at least not yet. The costs would be too substantial for me to build a good system.

So, in conclusion, I am very spoiled by having the large buffer. In fact, I intentionally leave lots of space on my hard drives so that I can buffer whatever I need to. I also stream all of the time and download shows that I cannot buy (like from PBS). I also have PIP on my TV, so two tuners in different electronics are needed, which means that if I got a Tivo or Comcast DVR, I would still need to keep one regular cable box. I also prefer the RTV interface since it is very straight forward without the fluff.

Hope this helps.

I have been running MythTV for a couple years now and though I imagine most of you have heard about it, many probably have never given it a serious look or investigated it beyond its feature set. Since I was a dyed-in-the-wool ReplayTV addict when I started using it (and will keep using my Replays through the end of July I suspect) this might be a good time for me to give it a sort of "review" for the benefit of my ReplayTV brethren looking at the possibility of being cast adrift with no lifeboats in sight. I wasn't sure if I should post this here even though it seemed timely and relevant to the general mood -- if you think I should start a separate thread let me know (please don't suggest moving it to a forum about MythTV -- the whole point was to discuss alternatives for the benefit of ReplayTV users).

MythTV is a mixed bag to be sure. It is beyond feature-rich -- with all of its add-ins it covers a wide variety of media and capabilities but I'm not going to attempt a comprehensive list of functions since that part is easy enough to track down. What isn't so easy is to get an impression of life with MythTV without doing a lot of reading in a lot of different forums, so I will try to tell you how it has worked for me.

First, the quality-level is all over the map. As open-source software without any particular backing except the dedicated developers it runs the gamut between the best aspects of open-source and the worst. It has some features which work so well that I suspect nothing else can touch them (certainly, the scheduler falls in that category -- more on that later). It also has features (particularly, many of the add-ins) which work so poorly, or are so badly conceived and/or constructed, that it is hard to believe that anyone would have spent the time building them. It is being actively developed which is also a double-edged sword. Over time, some things which barely worked have become strong features and areas which had been unstable have become very stable. But, there are also cases where things which used to work great suddenly stop working after loading updates or where someone decides to completely redesign a feature and that feature which I liked just fine before suddenly I'm not so crazy about. Some have advocated that if you have a working installation which you are happy with, turn off updates and just run it. I have never tried that because usually there is something which I am hoping will get fixed or there is a promised feature I am looking forward to and so I deal with the ups and downs.

MythTV is a client-server, distributed architecture which can accommodate both simple systems and massively complex ones. At a minimum, you need a backend and a frontend (they can both be on one machine) where the backend handles the database, the guide data, scheduling, recording, the tuners, file-management, etc. (in other words, most of the heavy-lifting). The front-end is the presentation piece -- the part which connects to your TV or monitor and plays the video, interacts with the user, etc. You can have multiple backends, with one being the master and all others being slaves, and you can configure them to distribute the duties. You can have multiple front ends so that you can stream your video to wherever you have a front end system connected to a TV or monitor.

There are some options for viewing recordings. Besides a MythTV frontend, MythTV will stream to a Upnp device. XBMC, a slick package which generally works much more nicely than the MythTV addins for a lot of the media-viewer stuff, has a pretty good MythTV plugin for watching recorded shows. MythTV also has an option for MythWeb, a browser-based MythTV interface which allows you to handle system maintenance, view and change your schedule, and stream recordings to anywhere you've enabled access. None of the alternatives to MythTV frontend offer all of its features, however. There is now, a limited version of MythTV FrontEnd which runs on Windows but I haven't tried it.

How much hardware do you need? Mostly depends on what you want to do -- if only a little, you can get by with pretty modest hardware, I am told. If you want to do a lot, you probably can't. My main backend runs in a virtual machine (on VirtualBox) on an I7 machine running Windows 7.
Previously, I had the virtual machine hosted on a Linux Box running on an Intel Q6600 quad processor machine. I have two SiliconDust HDHomeRun network-based tuners with two tuners each recording Clear QAM HD off of my cable line. Since MythTV has support for pulling separate signals from multiplexed frequencies, MythTV actually sees my 4 tuners as 8 but can only use one of the additional 4 if it is recording a channel multiplexed on the same frequency as another channel being recorded. My frontend system is probably overkill -- an I5 processor machine with an NVidia GT430 video card. That box has both a frontend and a slave backend. The slave backend is useful because it allows recording to the internal drive so I don't have to have 4 HD feeds all going over the network to the same destination simultaneously (I have a Gigabit network, though the HDHomeRuns only attach at 100Mb/s). I have something like 4TB of storage space distributed over three computers and connected by NFS. I have had 4 HD feeds recording at once while watching a recorded HD program and it usually works fine, but there have been, on rare occasions, cases of I/O overruns (though I think it was mainly due to some poor choices for NFS mount parameters). My first frontend unit (an Intel Core 2 Duo machine with an NVidia 8500GT videocard) died on me, but when it was running I had a Hauppauge PVR1500 card with both a digital QAM tuner and an analog tuner which I hooked to the output of my cablebox. I didn't move that tuner over to the new machine but given that I am losing my ReplayTVs, I guess I should do that so I can continue to record at least one cable channel.

What's good?

First of all, there's that fantastic scheduler. One can choose just about any recording criteria imaginable -- record show once a week on this channel; record anytime on any channel; record once a day on this channel; Record just this showing; Record one episode anytime; etc. If you want to get more specific you can create special recording rules which use SQL filters on the database to pick shows (while you don't need to know SQL, some knowledge of SQL does help). There are various "built-in" templates which supply the code for specific situations (e.g. only HD; only widescreen; genre Movie; television series ID; prefer HD; Only on station with callsign xx; Weekdays after 10:00pm; Show title like ; etc.) but once you start combining them, it doesn't always result in valid SQL so one has to clean it up a bit (which is where the SQL knowledge becomes valuable). There are all kinds of record options (e.g. new shows only; skip old episodes; prefer tuner xx; record with priority +5; look for duplicates in recorded shows only; look for duplicates in recorded shows and previous recordings; etc.). There are also all kinds of storage options (e.g. autoexpire; keep at most 5 episodes; store in storage group xx; etc.). And the scheduler is really fast -- it can go through a huge number of rules and pick an optimal schedule (minimum number of conflicts) in a matter of seconds. You can prioritize recording rules to ensure that your favorite shows will win conflicts (and the priority rules also have an effect on autoexpiration order but how priority works there isn't as clear to me as it is in recording). Conflict resolution isn't always perfect. I have found that, at times, I can eliminate a conflict by tweaking priority numbers -- it's kind of cool increasing the priority on an item by 5 and seeing the scheduler reschedule 10 shows to alternate times or different tuners and suddenly find a spot to record that show which it said was a conflict, but it isn't always clear why I had to change a priority to get it to make that change. You can also prioritize tuners, channels, and using those custom record filters, almost anything else.

You can add as much time to the front or back of a recording as you like and it will flexibly obey that directive or ignore it if necessary to record back to back shows. You can also have it start a recording late and/or end early (negative padding).

Recording and playback overall works well, but it doesn't handle file glitches (i.e. places where the recording stream had problems, like dropped data) quite as well as Replay -- I have had more issues than I ever had with ReplayTV with things like the picture freezing up requiring that I kill the frontend process and restart it or sometimes even causing crashes of the frontend process. Of course, that might be because it is recording a digital stream rather than an analog one. Fast forward and rewind doesn't work as smoothly as on ReplayTV but I find it acceptable most of the time.

I have always found watching live-TV to be somewhat problematic for some reason -- more prone to dropped frames and other glitches, but I almost never watch live-TV. Oddly enough, if I just record the program and watch the program while recording is in progress it usually works just fine.

Commercial skip is a standard feature and overall it appears about as accurate as commercial skip in ReplayTV.

There are addins for editing a recorded show and for creating a basic DVD of a recorded show and they are pretty slick. The DVD authoring tool doesn't offer much in the way of bells and whistles (and has a bug or two) but allows one to assemble a DVD title pretty rapidly. The editor has the most sensible user-interface I have encountered for simple editing. If you are trying to create a production-quality piece (e.g. with fades, dissolves, etc.) you're going to need a professional editor. If you just want to zip quickly through the file and cut out commercials or trim any extra from the front and back of the show, the built-in editor will get you there quickly. One nice touch -- you can load the automatically-generated commercial-skip markers into the editor as a cut-list to use as-is or to adjust and expand upon.

There is support for customizing operation in a lot of different ways such as hooks for running a user job after a recording finishes. Starting with version 0.23 they added the ability to launch scripts whenever one of a number of system events occur such as a recording starting, or playback being paused, or the backend is being shut down, etc. There are also custom keypress events to allow the user to launch a script by pressing a key -- one can even signal an event from a command line, so an event handler could also raise an event (or an independent program could use it as a simple way to interact with MythTV).

The bad?

Most of the add-ins like for playing music files or viewing photographs, etc., are poorly done and not really worth the effort, IMHO.

MythTV runs on Linux which is nice because the OS is therefore free, but if you are not familiar with Linux, you will a have to learn at least enough to maintain your system.

Since there is no support for DRM, the only way you would ever be able to record anything like a premium cable channel would be through a cable box, possibly using something like Hauppauge's HD PVR.

Learning how to configure MythTV can seem like the stuff of nightmares. There are a million options and many are poorly documented or the best documentation is unofficial and you might soon discover, completely out of date.

You need to be vigilant to not allow your recorded-program storage to become full because MythTV does not handle the situation very gracefully (though its gotten better) -- I frequently wish that they had implemented something like ReplayTV's reserved feature (technically, you can keep yourself covered with autoexpire but it still requires some vigilance).

It might be easy to get caught up in the possibilities and spend way too much money before you know it, building your dream system "because you can".

The intoxication of having all of that power at your fingertips will likely be interrupted with frequent reality checks in the form of frustrations like, "gee, everything's been humming along great but suddenly, it seems like everything that recorded on this tuner in the last five days has no actual recording file".

Being open-source, you have to rely on, for support, those volunteers who have so generously donated their time and effort that it is hard to reconcile the anger and frustration you might feel when you have searched and searched for an answer for why something keeps failing only to have one of the gurus respond with something like, "Well, of course it isn't working -- you never unchecked the 'use FooBarX syncing' option on screen 65 of the configuration procedure and FooBarX only works with video cards with support for 'screen frazzling' which your model doesn't -- you'd have known that if you would have run the derburgle command with the -v option."

Then, there is that stability issue I mentioned earlier . . . .

Bottom-line, MythTV is a heck of a lot of great stuff for free, but it requires a pioneer-spirit -- there's no neat package to buy off-the-shelf and carry home. There's a lot to learn though packages like MythBuntu (which is how I started) or KnoppMyth (haven't used it but I have heard good things) make it a little easier to get started. And for those who have done such great things for the ReplayTV community with projects like Wirns and IVSMagic, if you wanted to continue in that spirit of generosity and apply that sort of creative and innovative thinking in an area where you would have more control and greater potential, I'm sure that the MythTV community would love to have you onboard.

- Les
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post #249 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 05:59 AM
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Being open-source, you have to rely on, for support, those volunteers who have so generously donated their time and effort that it is hard to reconcile the anger and frustration you might feel when you have searched and searched for an answer for why something keeps failing only to have one of the gurus respond with something like, "Well, of course it isn't working -- you never unchecked the 'use FooBarX syncing' option on screen 65 of the configuration procedure and FooBarX only works with video cards with support for 'screen frazzling' which your model doesn't -- you'd have known that if you would have run the derburgle command with the -v option."

...and this is why I absolutely love coming here!!! Great stuff, and OH so true!

Of course, Myth is limited to OTA and clear QAM. Now, part of me says, that's perfectly OK--because if the black box is watching TV for me 24/7, and has multiple tuners to boot, it will capture more than enough TV for me to watch in the time I have available to watch it. I might regret not seeing Mythbusters, but so be it.

One of the problems of the modern world is that OTA and clear QAM channel numbering is so bizarre, setting up and maintaining channel guides can be difficult.

When my cableco announced going all digital, I assumed that meant that (in typical cableco fashion) even the standard cable lineup, which I had been using with my Replays for years, was going to require a box of some kind to tune in. I knew I wasn't going to use the cableco equipment, so that's why I went down the cableCARD path--and that led me to 7MC.

Myth was not an option in an encrypted system.

I was fully engaged in that and was specifying my system and acquiring parts, and I had the Ceton tuner on order (took 6-8 weeks to ship), when the cableco clarified their communication to the world to say that their standard lineup would remain in the clear, just like it always was. So moving to digital did NOT mean encryption.

Dang, so I really DIDN'T need the Ceton tuner or cableCARD. Dammit, why didn't you tell me that originally, cableco? (Regardless, hats off to them--how many cablecos would make the effort to keep their clear lineup in the clear after a digital transition?)

While I waited for the Ceton card to arrive, I got a Hauppauge tuner card to play around with the clear QAM and familiarize myself with 7MC. Translating the frequencies to the guide data was tedious, all the more so because the cableco rolled out the digital stuff not all at once but instead over three months--and I was constantly going back in to map the newly digital channels to the guide data.

The process is difficult for a number of reasons, all of which are hard to describe but which become immediately obvious the first time you do it.

I probably did this a dozen times, sometimes completely from scratch as the result of their rollout and my learning curve on 7MC.

I tell that story to tell this one: once I heard that my standard lineup would be in the clear, I considered NOT using the cableCARD at all and instead using a couple of Hauppauge clear QAM tuners. Others advised me that cableCARD really makes things easy with respect to the guide and channel numbering--numbers will stay consistent and easy on the cableCARD, but are funky and can move around in clear QAM. For a rental of a couple bucks a month, they said, cableCARD really makes things easier.

Turned out they were RIGHT. I still have both tuners installed, but all the hassle I went through with setting up and maintaining the clear QAM side just isn't worth it. I'm seriously considering dumping it and putting another Ceton in, and getting another cableCARD. The end result would be 8 tuners, all on the same page.

If you're willing to fiddle a bit in the best tradition of Myth, and you don't need cableCARD to get the lineup you want, then by all means spend some time getting a stable Myth setup going for cheap. 7MC's scheduler is about 80-85% that of what you describe of Myth's, and both are a clear step above what Replay offered.
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post #250 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 07:31 AM
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From the El Gamal paper "A Public Key Cryptosystem and a Signature Scheme Based on Discrete Logarithms"

If any k is used twice in the signing, then the system of equations is uniquely determined and x [, the secret key,] can be recovered. So for the system to be secure, any value of k should never be used twice.

This means that each time they updated the time, they had to use a different "k" value (the signature has two parts, "r" and "s"; if "k" is the same then "r" is the same). This would be hard for them to do day in and day out for every time update request. I saw somewhere that someone had recorded Replaytv transactions over several years. If we collect that data, and perhaps find some other similar data, I would be surprised if every "r" value is distinct (you only need to find one instance of a repeated use of the "k" ("r") value.

Furthermore, the algorithm has three steps, The first:

1) Choose a random number k, uniformly between 0 and p - 1, such that gcd(k, p - 1) = 1.

If they do this (i.e., randomly select k), then we have the "birthday paradox" on our side (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem); if they do something like a simple counter, I expect that this can be exploited.

Just think'in,
-Chris

PS: I won't give up until the fat lady sings...

I am going to take the liberty of responding in a new thread called "Encryption and El Gamal Signature"
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post #251 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 07:41 AM
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Being open-source, you have to rely on, for support, those volunteers who have so generously donated their time and effort that it is hard to reconcile the anger and frustration you might feel when you have searched and searched for an answer for why something keeps failing only to have one of the gurus respond with something like, "Well, of course it isn't working -- you never unchecked the 'use FooBarX syncing' option on screen 65 of the configuration procedure and FooBarX only works with video cards with support for 'screen frazzling' which your model doesn't -- you'd have known that if you would have run the derburgle command with the -v option."

That's exactly the type of problem that would drive me insane and one of the main reasons I like the replay so much. All you do is plug it in and it works.

I would rather do some insane hack on the Replay that involved soldering something to the motherboard than to have deal with something running on Linux that might stop working at any time. I would definitely be in the "once it works than don't mess with it camp".


Thanks for the detailed post though, I think everyone on this board appreciates it as we consider what to do in August.
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post #252 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 10:08 AM
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I gave away my two Replays late last year because they were gathering dust, having been replaced by a couple of Tivo HDs long ago. Given that the previous-gen Series3 Tivos can be had with lifetime for less than $400 used on fleabay, it's not that difficult a choice to switch if you don't want to rely on using WiRNS on a PC.

The feature set of a Tivo is fairly rich, they are rock-solid reliable as a DVR, and provide tons of extra stuff like access to Netflix, Pandora, Youtube, net VOD, and pretty much anything you want to watch from downloads or rips via PC transfer. The hard drive in a Tivo is also easily expandable and they do OTA recordings if you want that. No co-op scheduling or commercial skip, but they do have a 30-second skip which works quite well especially when you consider that Replay auto-skip only works about half the time anyway. The biggest issue for some here is that they do not do IR blasting so are only good for analog/digital cable or OTA, but if you need that for sat there are tons of Series2 units that can do that. Honestly, I would say that the sat DVRs are so good now there's not much reason not to use them, though.
In sum, I can highly recommend either the Tivo S3 or HD but the current Premiere models still have unresolved issues and are more expensive, so not a big thumbs-up for them.

I am also a former MythTV user (after Replays, when I wanted HD and retired them). It was very time-consuming to setup properly at the time, 5 years ago or so, but once done worked very well. It is more expensive to run power-wise and had occasional issues with playback of certain HD shows, but in general was a good alternative. Right now I am currently running a Windows 7 Media Center box for clear QAM HD recordings with both a Linksys and Xbox extenders, but I only use this as overflow for my two Tivos (i.e., rarely used). The extenders are not a great solution for remote viewing of anything other than recordings or live TV, but they do work. I also do not think WMC works as well day-to-day as the Tivos, but it does give you tons of options for commercial skip and other stuff via plugins.
I would not recommend an HTPC solution to anyone not willing to tinker a bit, but it is a valid alternative.
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post #253 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 10:17 AM
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What's the point? If someone shoots you, would you feel better if they explained WHY they're shooting you?

Do you expect McDonalds to issue a statement when they decide to stop selling a particular sandwich (WEHT the McDLT), or close some stores? Does a TV network have to explain the reason for cancelling a show?

Barmar, your McDonals example isn't even close. Let me rework it for you. You walk into the McDonalds and are sold "all-you-can-eat mcnuggets" for $5. You eat 20 nuggets along with some other people who wanted the deal and the store manager comes out and says they are no longer serving any more nuggets. This is a breach of contract. Directv has an obligation to make good on the committments of the company they bought. It's that simple. They even implicitly understood that when they continued the guide service when they first bought replaytv.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #254 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 10:27 AM
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DirecTV never purchase the subscriptions from DNNA, DNNA only sold them the intelectual properly of how the ReplayTV works. DNNA is still the owner of the subsriptions themselves and still maintains the hardware. This doesn't involve DirecTV in any way...

Henry

Are you sure about that, Henry?

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2007-12/...-replaytv-huh/

That link doesn't say anything about directv just buying the IP. Also, my best guess based on what I've read, is that Directv owns replaytv and as part of the deal of the purchase, they asked D&M continue to survice now Directv's replaytv's customers.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #255 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 10:33 AM
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I have a simple question. When they stop on Jul 31 my Showstopper will continue to try to dial in every night. Since they are not there any more will I get an alarm message each day that they cannot be reached. The alarms will pile up in my message box. Does anybody know how to turn off the dial in? Also is anybody aware of the undocumented techniques other than channel 243 plus Replay zone and hitting Replay Zone when you are in Dialing and Input settings to set baud rate or RF Blaster info.
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post #256 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 10:52 AM
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Voiding the warranty by removing the sticker or having the warranty expire at the end of a year (I think they had 1 year warranties) doesn't negate the service agreement sold to us. It just means they don't have to fix it for free.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #257 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ChampaignWalt View Post

Barmar, your McDonals example isn't even close. Let me rework it for you. You walk into the McDonalds and are sold "all-you-can-eat mcnuggets" for $5. You eat 20 nuggets along with some other people who wanted the deal and the store manager comes out and says they are no longer serving any more nuggets. This is a breach of contract. Directv has an obligation to make good on the committments of the company they bought. It's that simple. They even implicitly understood that when they continued the guide service when they first bought replaytv.

That has nothing to do with my post, which was responding to someone who said that they should explain WHY they're discontinuing the service. My analogy was not intended to reflect the contractual obligation (IANAL), just the public relations aspect.
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post #258 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 11:51 AM
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...and this is why I absolutely love coming here!!! Great stuff, and OH so true!

Of course, Myth is limited to OTA and clear QAM. Now, part of me says, that's perfectly OK--because if the black box is watching TV for me 24/7, and has multiple tuners to boot, it will capture more than enough TV for me to watch in the time I have available to watch it. I might regret not seeing Mythbusters, but so be it.

One of the problems of the modern world is that OTA and clear QAM channel numbering is so bizarre, setting up and maintaining channel guides can be difficult.

When my cableco announced going all digital, I assumed that meant that (in typical cableco fashion) even the standard cable lineup, which I had been using with my Replays for years, was going to require a box of some kind to tune in. I knew I wasn't going to use the cableco equipment, so that's why I went down the cableCARD path--and that led me to 7MC.

Myth was not an option in an encrypted system.

I was fully engaged in that and was specifying my system and acquiring parts, and I had the Ceton tuner on order (took 6-8 weeks to ship), when the cableco clarified their communication to the world to say that their standard lineup would remain in the clear, just like it always was. So moving to digital did NOT mean encryption.

Dang, so I really DIDN'T need the Ceton tuner or cableCARD. Dammit, why didn't you tell me that originally, cableco? (Regardless, hats off to them--how many cablecos would make the effort to keep their clear lineup in the clear after a digital transition?)

While I waited for the Ceton card to arrive, I got a Hauppauge tuner card to play around with the clear QAM and familiarize myself with 7MC. Translating the frequencies to the guide data was tedious, all the more so because the cableco rolled out the digital stuff not all at once but instead over three months--and I was constantly going back in to map the newly digital channels to the guide data.

The process is difficult for a number of reasons, all of which are hard to describe but which become immediately obvious the first time you do it.

I probably did this a dozen times, sometimes completely from scratch as the result of their rollout and my learning curve on 7MC.

I tell that story to tell this one: once I heard that my standard lineup would be in the clear, I considered NOT using the cableCARD at all and instead using a couple of Hauppauge clear QAM tuners. Others advised me that cableCARD really makes things easy with respect to the guide and channel numbering--numbers will stay consistent and easy on the cableCARD, but are funky and can move around in clear QAM. For a rental of a couple bucks a month, they said, cableCARD really makes things easier.

Turned out they were RIGHT. I still have both tuners installed, but all the hassle I went through with setting up and maintaining the clear QAM side just isn't worth it. I'm seriously considering dumping it and putting another Ceton in, and getting another cableCARD. The end result would be 8 tuners, all on the same page.

If you're willing to fiddle a bit in the best tradition of Myth, and you don't need cableCARD to get the lineup you want, then by all means spend some time getting a stable Myth setup going for cheap. 7MC's scheduler is about 80-85% that of what you describe of Myth's, and both are a clear step above what Replay offered.

My cable company, WideOpenWest, is converting us to all-digital this summer but they've announced that they are going to leave their basic cable lineup as clear QAM which is great (although I am a little annoyed that it will be in SD, but still, it's a pretty decent of them to leave it unencrypted).

In MythTV, I get around the new channel numbering nonsense by just changing the channel numbers back to the same ones they use on the cable feed. It's a little tedious to do -- I could just whip up the SQL and change it in the database directly but it's not that hard in the channel editor and I don't have to do it that often.

Since I'm losing the ReplayTVs, I will have to switch over my cable box to MythTV for recording encrypted channels. On the plus side, since I won't be limited to SD anymore, I'll probably swap out my standard digital cable box for an HD box and add an HD PVR. I might look into a cable card approach but let's not go crazy -- losing my ReplayTV's is just about as much change as I can handle at one time.

- Les
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post #259 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 01:16 PM
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My cable company, WideOpenWest, is converting us to all-digital this summer but they've announced that they are going to leave their basic cable lineup as clear QAM which is great (although I am a little annoyed that it will be in SD, but still, it's a pretty decent of them to leave it unencrypted).

Yup. Everything I said will apply to you, because my cableco is WOW as well. I love WOW for a ton of reasons, but I was frustrated by their lack of communication on the whole digital transition.

I went to the local office a couple times to get and swap out cableCARDs, and that was my godsend--there was a guy there who knew EVERYTHING about what was going on, and he was the one who told me they were keeping the standard lineup in the clear.

He even gave me a sheet outlining what frequencies, what new channel numbers, the standard lineup would use, and exactly what channels were moving when during the three month rollout.
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post #260 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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FYI.. I've set up a Wiki to post the current status of things. It will help newcomers by not having to read through all the forums (which tend to be a work in progress).

http://wiki.xmltv.org/index.php/ReplayTV

Robert

---
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing in PERL!
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post #261 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ChampaignWalt View Post

Are you sure about that, Henry?

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2007-12/...-replaytv-huh/

That link doesn't say anything about directv just buying the IP. Also, my best guess based on what I've read, is that Directv owns replaytv and as part of the deal of the purchase, they asked D&M continue to survice now Directv's replaytv's customers.

I hate to say this, but there is a form of cheap bankruptcy that allows sellers to buy the firm's assest, but none of the liability. I know this first hand.

Basically it means all vendors, suppliers, and customers contracts remain with the old company, not the new one. There is no declaration, no court proceedings. It means the owners have sold their assests with no profit and walked away. If anyone where to sue, then any proceedings are to be shared by all vendors and customers, thus not worth it to bring suit.

Being optimistic, its possibly that a new firm has purchased the assests and will offer a "renewal rate" to allow the units to remain in operation. But, that is likely overly optimistic.
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post #262 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:29 PM
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The real problem is money (damages). So if you do the math, how much money could we possibly be talking about?

Anyway, this is a simple case of breach of contract.

I'd have to argue that the unit is only useful for its intended purpose when supplied with the guide data.

If DNNA was smart, they would just release the keys and enough code so someone else can either make a free guide data program or start their own service providing guide data.

I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer, this is not legal advice of any kind to anyone.

I actually agree with your assessment of the facts here in general, but I think it's possible to get venue moved outside of Santa Clara. Possible, but not easy... you'd have to get a ruling that the clause is unconscionable, and unless I've missed something I think CA is actually the EASIEST place to make that argument. In my state it would be greeted with something of a tepid response, I'm afraid. I've also been told CA has some of the strongest consumer class action provisions in the country in state law, so it might be worth researching what exactly those are - like you, I'm not a CA lawyer.

Is there any accurate estimate of the ReplayTV sales / subs / so on? It's possible alleging a figure that COULD be possible might be enough to get into fed ct, which would be far more likely to prompt a settlement. Might be a question as to settlement before class certification, though, if the numbers don't look good, but that's all tactical stuff at that point.

The guide data argument is a winner I think, because the guide data is what differentiates a DVR from a simple VCR with a hard drive. Have to be pretty certain that the value of the box without guide data is much less than the box with guide data, so that's a great way to make that showing. Could be a potential avenue for damages too, since there's an actual harm & economic loss happening directly as a result of the loss of guide data... have to figure out a way to value that though.

Gotta figure DNNA or some parent has a staff attorney to handle the stupid small claims court stuff, though I agree multiples could get their attention and airfare adds up if they send them out. Besides, there's plenty of cases where small claims filed against corps just get settled via mail once they get served OR they don't send anyone, you get your judgment and then the enforcement process is beyond most folks without a lawyer, especially since DNNA is likely out of state and there's an intimidation factor.

I concur that the smart thing for DNNA to do here is release the keys, at the very least, and whatever else. You'd have to ask the technical people here what would suffice. If I'm DNNA, I have to think that if two separate lawyers have already at least tossed around the idea and feasibility of a suit, on a pretty niche forum, there have GOT to be more out there - and what are the odds none of them are in CA?
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post #263 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:49 PM
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I hate to say this, but there is a form of cheap bankruptcy that allows sellers to buy the firm's assest, but none of the liability. I know this first hand.

There is a bit of a chain to follow here, I think. Sonicblue was the entity that sold the lifetime service. If I recall correctly, it went into bankruptcy, and D&M bought "the business" out of bankruptcy--or maybe just certain parts of it. Whether it assumed the obligation to fulfill the lifetime service, and for how long or under what conditions, would be a question of the purchase agreement and the bankruptcy order approving it; what happened to Sonicblue's own obligation would be a function of the bankruptcy plan.

When D&M sold the ReplayTV assets to DirecTV, it would be just an asset purchase agreement, under which DirecTV may have assumed some or none of any liabilities, including the obligation to fulfill the lifetime service.

The exception would be if the buyer were considered a "successor" to the business, and under some state laws the successor might have continuing liability, such as product liability and warranty obligations.
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post #264 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 03:57 PM
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I'm a little slow on the uptick, as I've just realized lifetime units need to be reactivated too, something that came to my attention just now my lifetime unit is squawking that the servers are down.

So another aspect of this is that I have a lifetime ReplayTV in a vacation house that I will not have access to until October at the earliest. So it is in danger. D&M has left me too little time.
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post #265 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 04:02 PM
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The guide data argument is a winner I think, because the guide data is what differentiates a DVR from a simple VCR with a hard drive. Have to be pretty certain that the value of the box without guide data is much less than the box with guide data, so that's a great way to make that showing.

It isn't just the guide data, it is the clock. Without the clock, it is worse than a VCR since you can manually set the clock with a VCR and then program it to record whenever you want - single or series (and some of the later ones could even change channels as part of the programming). Without the clock and the ability to enter channel numbers manually, it is worse than a VCR. (And I guess I could always hook up my VCR again.)
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post #266 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 05:58 PM
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Does WiRNS have to be run on a PC 24/7 for it to work? In other words, do I have to keep a PC running all the time for this to work as a replacement for the ReplayTV guide?

Could we setup WiRNS on a public IP address so lots of folks could connect to it instead of running their own private WiRNS?
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post #267 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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I apologize if this has been covered here already, but....

The on screen (makes me sick everytime I see it) message states that the EPG will dissapear after 7/31. It also states that the unit will continue to function as a "manual" recorder.
My concern's are:
A) Will the clock continue to function (otherwise manual recordings won't function)?
B) What happens when channels change and/or increase on a cable system and need to be updated (without accurate channel info. manual recordings are of no value)?
C) What happens when local phone numbers change and require updating?

I'm sure there are other questions/issues regarding this but my frustration is interfering with my train of thought!

I'm now wondering if by "manual recording" they mean choosing an input (or channel 3/4) and then manually changing the cable box channel or setting a timer on the cable box (if it even exists, as some cable providers have eliminated or limited this feature...for example, TWC in New York City).
If this becomes the case....it will be a nightmare (manual recordings with IR channel changes would be somewhat acceptable)!

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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post #268 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 07:04 PM
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Yup. Everything I said will apply to you, because my cableco is WOW as well. I love WOW for a ton of reasons, but I was frustrated by their lack of communication on the whole digital transition.

I went to the local office a couple times to get and swap out cableCARDs, and that was my godsend--there was a guy there who knew EVERYTHING about what was going on, and he was the one who told me they were keeping the standard lineup in the clear.

He even gave me a sheet outlining what frequencies, what new channel numbers, the standard lineup would use, and exactly what channels were moving when during the three month rollout.

While it didn't help you, you might be somewhat gratified to know that WOW appears to have learned from the mistakes they made in your case. I just received a letter from them which contained all those materials you only received after visiting their office and finding the right person. Of course, that doesn't surprise me at all because it was pretty obvious to me from the first day I dealt with them, that WOW is not a typical cable company -- their respect for their customers goes well beyond anything I have seen in any other cable company. That's not to say that it's perfect -- it's more just a case that all of the other companies are really, really bad -- but it is pretty decent.

My first experience with them had me asking them the same questions repeatedly, in disbelief:

WOW: What time would you like us to be there for the installation.
Me: You mean what day?
WOW: What time?
Me: You mean, like AM or PM.
WOW: No, what time?
Me: You mean time of day? Like 05:00PM.
WOW: Yes, do you want us to be there at 05:00PM.
Me: No . . . so you're telling me that if I choose a time you will be here at that time? It's not like, sometime between 08:00am and 05:00pm or sometime before noon? You are going to show up here at a specific time of day and I'm not going to have to miss most of a day of work waiting on you?
WOW: Yes, what time would you like us there?
Me: Just a minute . . . I am talking to a cable TV company aren't I?
WOW: Yes. What time would you like us to install your cable.
Me: Do you install on Saturdays?
WOW: We can install on Saturdays.
Me: Can you come at 3:00PM this Saturday.
WOW: Of course. We will see you at 3:00PM on Saturday.

I just about croaked when I looked out the window at 2:55PM Saturday and their truck was sitting in front of my house with the installers waiting for 03:00pm to roll around. Then when the installers were not only highly efficient and helpful but also seemed to know their stuff really well, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

- Les
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post #269 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 07:36 PM
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The telling story is that they ALWAYS put on those little booties before entering the home--even when I'm standing on my hardwood floor telling them not to worry about it, they can't do any worse than what the kids do.
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post #270 of 687 Old 06-18-2011, 08:32 PM
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When I turned on my ReplayTV (4500) today the Programming Guide Service termination warning appeared again. When I navigated to my Replay Guide all of my recorded programs were gone. Has anyone else seen this? Could this be triggered by some sort of software download from DNNA? Is this related to the upcoming Service termination or just an unfortunate coincidence?

Is there any way to recover my programs?
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