Should we assume the worst.....and hope for the best? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 08-12-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is no connection to the server since 8/10 (using dial-up).
Is broadband access working? (I currently have only dial-up to work with).

Could this possibly be nothing more than a technical glitch?

Has anyone attempted to contact ReplayTV regarding this?
Can they be contacted?

Perhaps if quite a few people call this might get resolved (hopefully!)

Can someone post the phone number for them.....please.
(I'm not aware of the current phone number).

Thank you!
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post #2 of 30 Old 08-12-2012, 05:25 PM
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Replay TV's contact number is 254-299-2705. Since this went down Friday nite, I wouldn't get to excited until tomorrow. I have a hunch is just a matter of no one watching the store on weekends. My Showstopper, dial up only RTV is not connecting either. It started failing on Saturday. I wouldn't purge what guide data you have unless their tech support tells you to.
My 5040 unit which connects on the Internet, does get it's guide info, but takes a very long time to connect. I didn't time it, but I would say 2 minutes or maybe more.

May the force be with us all, in this troubled time.


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post #3 of 30 Old 08-12-2012, 09:01 PM
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Keep in mind, should they die, WiRNS and LaHo are ready... so anyone who finds these forums should be ok.

(dial-up users may want to upgrade to a soon-to-be-very-cheap network attached unit)

Robert

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post #4 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reden View Post

Keep in mind, should they die, WiRNS and LaHo are ready... so anyone who finds these forums should be ok.
(dial-up users may want to upgrade to a soon-to-be-very-cheap network attached unit)
Robert

Robert: Can you please elaborate regarding this "soon-to-be-very-cheap network attached unit"

Thank you!
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post #5 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 01:38 AM
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I don't know whether this issue is related or not, but I noticed that my RTV5500's guide info currently only has data through next Wednesday (Aug. 22, 12:30pm) whereas normally it should extend to next Saturday (13 days out). I manually updated the guide yesterday and today, and after each of those updates, the guide info coverage has only been through midday next Wednesday.
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post #6 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warme View Post

I don't know whether this issue is related or not, but I noticed that my RTV5500's guide info currently only has data through next Wednesday (Aug. 22, 12:30pm

Same for me.

 

However, the schedule for this week has been updating -- a couple of days ago the late night talk shows just had generic descriptions, now they have the guest lists.

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post #7 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Robert: Can you please elaborate regarding this "soon-to-be-very-cheap network attached unit"
Thank you!
If Replay should shut down, the already low price on eBay for 4k/5k units should plummet. Not many folks will know about the WiRNS/LaHo alternatives.

Robert

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post #8 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 02:58 PM
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I just checked the Guide on my 5040 unit which gets its updates via the internet and appears to be working OK. The guide data is good until 6:30pm on Wed 8/22/12. So that's about 9 days.

The bad thing about the units that get their updates via the phone is, the failures are not scoring the error msg log. So,I'm sure a lot of folks will be surprised when they run out of guide data. My Panasonic Showstopper is not getting data, and hasn't since last Friday. I did call RTV today and they know there's a problem. They're working on it, and had no estimate of the time it will be back up.

Don H.
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 06:53 PM
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I have both modem and internet ReplayTV units. Updates have had failures every couple of days, but now I am out of channel guide data. Neither unit has gotten updates since the end of last week. Who can we complain to? (I tried calling ReplayTV, but it is after hours now, no voicemail either). I tried the" 243 Zones" manual update but it failed each time - the modem connection is made, but no data gets transferred.
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 07:05 PM
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I have a model 3020 ReplayTV that is having problems with staying connected with my cable channels - goes in and out of connection unless I am recording the channel. That seems to put a delay in the dropout time so the program is watchable. (right now, no channel guide data, so my options are limited until that gets fixed).

I suspect the hard disk has some bad sectors. Does anyone know whether refreshing the partition would do a "checkdisk" repair? I think the OS that replay used has swapped bytes so the normal PC disk repair utilities may not work. Anyone know of any sources of detailed tech information to fix this type of problem/failure?

JW
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post #11 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 08:22 PM
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I haven't been able to get channel guide updates since Friday too.eek.gif I was getting this error "unable authorize connection" and read it was because of outdated software. I have a PV-HS2000 which is a dialup unit and followed the instructions to update the software using Windows XP. After hours of frustration and getting this error "please wait a moment" I found out I had been using the wrong software.frown.gif

Finally got this software "Showstopper&replay30xximage3.02" and had no problems after that. The instructions state you must open up the computer to install the software but I found out that is true for some and not true for others. I used a "sata/ide adapter" that connects to the computer using a usb connection and there isn't any need to disassemble your computer and worked perfectly without any problems.biggrin.gif

Well after that I still couldn't get any updates so I'm currently using "percdata" for a seven day trial. If anyone starts getting updates by dialup through the Replaytv service please let me know.smile.gif
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post #12 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtkflhn View Post

I just checked the Guide on my 5040 unit which gets its updates via the internet and appears to be working OK. The guide data is good until 6:30pm on Wed 8/22/12. So that's about 9 days.

 

That's not working OK. My 55xx usually gets 11 days.

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post #13 of 30 Old 08-13-2012, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

I have a model 3020 ReplayTV that is having problems with staying connected with my cable channels - goes in and out of connection unless I am recording the channel. That seems to put a delay in the dropout time so the program is watchable. (right now, no channel guide data, so my options are limited until that gets fixed).

I suspect the hard disk has some bad sectors. Does anyone know whether refreshing the partition would do a "checkdisk" repair? I think the OS that replay used has swapped bytes so the normal PC disk repair utilities may not work. Anyone know of any sources of detailed tech information to fix this type of problem/failure?

Tools for testing the hard drive are located here. You can also read a lot of tips about testing the hardware on that site...

It would be a little strange that if there were problems with the hard drive that recording would help the situation. What do you mean by "staying connected"? If you are talking about having something like a "no signal" blue screen problem, that typically has to do with signal strength into the RTV and not the hard drive.
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post #14 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 12:44 AM
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Thanks for the links.
This is a pretty old unit, and I seldom turn it off, so the hard drive has had a lot of use and uptime. This box does not have a USB connector or port, only a modem connection.

I had a Charter Cable technician come out and verify that my signal strength was good (both on his meter and other signal tests, and he found a weak connection but after fixing it, the problem was the same), and all of the other features, digital and HD boxes, etc. were OK.
His analysis agreed with mine that it is a problem within the replay unit. It could be another component;, but the hard drive seems the most likely, as skipping forward and backward on either the currently recording channel or a previously saved program has become erratic (delayed response) and sometimes hangs the box. If a hard drive develops a bad sector, it tries to re-read it many times before giving up, and that can disturb the time to respond to the software command.

I do have only a 20 MB hard drive, and have a lot of saved programs usually.

The problem is the "blue screen" message - make sure you are authorized for this channel, etc. and I get hesitations even with recording the program, which cause loss of signal and blue screen interruptions that are severe if I am not recording now.
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post #15 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 01:22 AM
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It's not looking good out here. I'm down to 5 days of guide, none of the primarty numbers connect on my phone line Showstopper, the same unable to authorize message even after switching zip codes, and everyone else everywhere with the same issue.

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post #16 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 07:24 AM
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My Replay was able to update this morning so they may have fixed the problem.
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post #17 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

I do have only a 20 MB hard drive, and have a lot of saved programs usually.

If things seem to still be operating well enough, you can simply use RTVPatch to copy your 20MB HD to a new IDE drive (you can upgrade to about 137MB) and keep all your recorded shows on the unit. However, if you think it would be best to start clean with a new hard drive, you can put a fresh image on a new HD and then use either extract_rtv or extract_rtv5 on your old HD to copy your recorded shows to your PC and then watch them via your PC in some method...
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Arvy View Post

It's not looking good out here. I'm down to 5 days of guide, none of the primarty numbers connect on my phone line Showstopper, the same unable to authorize message even after switching zip codes, and everyone else everywhere with the same issue.

My 2020 now has channel guide this morning, after clearing the guide twice, changing the ZIP code, and doing a manual net connect afterward.
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post #19 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 03:07 PM
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Well, OK. After a second zip code change and a switch of cable company's Replay listings, the SS connected. I'm not sure which did the trick but that's beside the point.

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post #20 of 30 Old 08-14-2012, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There appears to be no need to adjust or modify settings......the servers appear to be up and running (as of earlier today)!!!! smile.gif.....checked and confirmed......
......thank you nice folks at the ReplayTV network for fixing the problem (fortunately)!!!! smile.gif
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post #21 of 30 Old 08-15-2012, 06:51 PM
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Replay tech support verified yesterday that they were having server problems which resulted in the lack of connection for updating the program guide. After many hours of attempting to download successfully, I was finally able to connect to a good server and update through Aug. 22, 2012.

My intermittent signal error is still with me, however, so I will try to restore the Hard Drive to see if that is the problem.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

My intermittent signal error is still with me, however, so I will try to restore the Hard Drive to see if that is the problem.

I would be surprised, but I will still be hoping that will take care of it for you. I didn't want to mention this while the connection was down, but you should try using 2-4-3-Zones to Clear Channel Guide TWICE in a row, then net connect, and see if that doesn't help with the signal problem. That's an easier thing to try for now than replacing the hard drive...
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post #23 of 30 Old 08-15-2012, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

Replay tech support verified yesterday that they were having server problems which resulted in the lack of connection for updating the program guide. After many hours of attempting to download successfully, I was finally able to connect to a good server and update through Aug. 22, 2012.
My intermittent signal error is still with me, however, so I will try to restore the Hard Drive to see if that is the problem.
Thanks for your suggestions.


I talked to ReplayTV tech support today and they told me nobody has reported connection issues but me.rolleyes.gif In fact they thought it might be my hard drive. I could be wrong but I don't believe your hard drive has anything to do with a connection problem. I was getting this error "unable to authorize connection" since Friday. I read online it might need the updated software. I didn't know about punching in "411" + zones in the remote will tell you the software version.

Nevertheless updating the hard drive didn't do anything for my connection problem. I will tell you this if you ever have to replace the hard drive use a sata/ide adapter which has a usb connection on one end. Just plug it in to your computers usb port and it's easy to install ReplayTV software using a Windows computer not Linux. I use Linux and the Windows method is way easier than using Linux. Plus you don't need to disassemble your computer unless your copying data from the original drive. I'm still unable to get channel guide updates today using ReplayTV servers but have no problem using Perc Data.
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-16-2012, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by eagleyed View Post


I talked to ReplayTV tech support today and they told me nobody has reported connection issues but me.rolleyes.gif In fact they thought it might be my hard drive. I could be wrong but I don't believe your hard drive has anything to do with a connection problem. I was getting this error "unable to authorize connection" since Friday. I read online it might need the updated software. I didn't know about punching in "411" + zones in the remote will tell you the software version.
Nevertheless updating the hard drive didn't do anything for my connection problem. I will tell you this if you ever have to replace the hard drive use a sata/ide adapter which has a usb connection on one end. Just plug it in to your computers usb port and it's easy to install ReplayTV software using a Windows computer not Linux. I use Linux and the Windows method is way easier than using Linux. Plus you don't need to disassemble your computer unless your copying data from the original drive. I'm still unable to get channel guide updates today using ReplayTV servers but have no problem using Perc Data.

Yes, using the IDE/USB adapter saves a lot of work. Also, the Replay unit can act as a power supply for the drive at this time.

Of course, there's still all those screws (on the Replay case) that slip off and get lost easily.
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post #25 of 30 Old 08-16-2012, 06:53 PM
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jwsierra:

The center conductor for the ANT/CATV jack on the back of the ReplayTV boxes often works loose over time from the stress of moving the connected cable.

To check, bring up the channel guide and select a station. Now, move the cable to the ANT/CATV jack slowly up and down and sideways, and see if there is a change in the picture, such as blue screen or snowy picture. Note that there is a delay, so the change may not be immediate.

If so, the connection is weak and you need a soldering iron with a fine tip and solder. It is best to turn the job over to an experienced technician unless you have the required experience.

Unplug your ReplayTV box, remove all cables on back making note where they go, remove all screws for the cover and slide off the cover. Locate a small metal box on the circuit board on the other side of the ANT/CATV connector and carefully remove its snap-on cover. Be sure that you don't damage the delicate circuit board below with a prying device when removing the cover. (Best to snap off the cover with just your fingers, no tools!)

Locate where the center conductor solders into the board. Carefully heat the junction and add a small amount of solder, being careful not to create a solder bridge. The heat will resolder the junction on both sides of the board.

Put the snap-on cover back on, slide the cover back on the box, replace the screws, reconnect all cables and test out your ReplayTV box!

I've done this to about 8 boxes. Some of them didn't really need the treatment, but I did it anyway.
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post #26 of 30 Old 08-17-2012, 04:05 PM
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Well all.
I for one, am having dial up connection issues Again. I did a 243zones connect. The unit came on and dialed up the connection. The unit stopped for about 6 min at "connection established". After that time it went into its thing, but it stopped and said connection failed, will try again later. I contacted tech support in Texas. I talked to Cindy. She said she knew of no trouble. She asked me to wait until after the weekend and if I'm still having trouble. Call back Monday morning.


Don H
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post #27 of 30 Old 08-18-2012, 09:27 AM
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Cap_ncrunch and ReplayLurker - Thanks for the info - I have noticed that the RF Video input connector has had those symptoms when moving the cable. I do have soldering skills, and will try your solutions.

I found that my Radio Shack 15 watt soldering iron tip is too big for some circuit board connections, so I fabricated a smaller tip extension.
I flattened the end of a #14 solid copper wire with a hammer on the anvil of my vise, filing it to a small spade point with 2 flat surfaces. Then I wrapped it 2 or 3 times around the tip, with the flattened end extending about 1 inch past the tip.
I added some solder to the original tip and tinned the extension tip with solder to allow it to conduct the heat.

I used this modification to the soldering iron to repair my bluetooth headset which is only 1.5 inches long and has a very small printed circuit board.
(I would recommend getting a jeweler's magnifying headset if your vision is not good, as is my case - great for seeing to remove splinters, thread needles, etc. too smile.gif )

Thanks for the suggestions. I will let you know the results.
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post #28 of 30 Old 08-18-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

Cap_ncrunch and ReplayLurker - Thanks for the info - I have noticed that the RF Video input connector has had those symptoms when moving the cable. I do have soldering skills, and will try your solutions.

I like cap_ncrunch's answer and think that's a much more likely scenario. As I've continued to post, I've been quite skeptical of it being a hard drive problem. However, I never quite understood what you were saying the problem was, so I never even considered something along those lines. For typical signal problems, the first thing I would start with is checking the coax cable all the way through, including wiggling it around. Obviously in that case, it would have lead you to a better answer...
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post #29 of 30 Old 08-18-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ReplayLurker View Post

I like cap_ncrunch's answer and think that's a much more likely scenario. As I've continued to post, I've been quite skeptical of it being a hard drive problem. However, I never quite understood what you were saying the problem was, so I never even considered something along those lines. For typical signal problems, the first thing I would start with is checking the coax cable all the way through, including wiggling it around. Obviously in that case, it would have lead you to a better answer...

Well, the cable sensitivity problem has existed for several years, but needs to be addressed. But the "skipping" of the signal had only occurred in the last two month, and seems to be related to something else.

I just noticed last night when playing a recorded show, it had skips and dropouts of a second or two, which does not usually happen. Normally the skips are very small and not very noticeable.
Then I remembered that I was watching the recorded show while another program was recording, so the disk was buffering the replayed program but had to change disk tracks to write the newly recording program. If there are disk retries, that could cause the skips in data.

I will let you know what the hard disk condition is when I check it. I have had a lot of experience with hard disks in the past with PC's, and I have done manual analysis as well as high and low level disk reformatting. When a hard drive encounters an error on a read or write, it goes into a re-try loop to retry the operation at the hardware level. That takes a lot of time, relative to the normal read or write.
I am thinking that since the video data is constantly streaming, if the disk does not finish the current operation in time, it will miss data, which would explain the skipping.

I will check the disk for bad sectors before and after repair, and if that is the problem, it should go away when the bad sectors are bypassed. However, if there are bad sectors with data, the low level formatting may move the data to another area, which could possibly increase the response time, and could still cause a problem with the timing of data.
That depends on how the RTV programming was designed, but I would be surprised if they went to that level to try to compensate for hardware disk errors. If they did, I would give the programmers a thousand "Attaboys"! (I was a programmer for many years).

That's the theory, anyway. I will let the forum know what I find out after learning more about the best way to handle the disk data on the hard disk, and doing some analysis and repair.
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post #30 of 30 Old 08-18-2012, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jwsierra View Post

[ I just noticed last night when playing a recorded show, it had skips and dropouts of a second or two, which does not usually happen. Normally the skips are very small and not very noticeable.
Then I remembered that I was watching the recorded show while another program was recording, so the disk was buffering the replayed program but had to change disk tracks to write the newly recording program. If there are disk retries, that could cause the skips in data.

I will let you know what the hard disk condition is when I check it. I have had a lot of experience with hard disks in the past with PC's, and I have done manual analysis as well as high and low level disk reformatting. When a hard drive encounters an error on a read or write, it goes into a re-try loop to retry the operation at the hardware level. That takes a lot of time, relative to the normal read or write.
I am thinking that since the video data is constantly streaming, if the disk does not finish the current operation in time, it will miss data, which would explain the skipping.

I will check the disk for bad sectors before and after repair, and if that is the problem, it should go away when the bad sectors are bypassed. However, if there are bad sectors with data, the low level formatting may move the data to another area, which could possibly increase the response time, and could still cause a problem with the timing of data.
That depends on how the RTV programming was designed, but I would be surprised if they went to that level to try to compensate for hardware disk errors. If they did, I would give the programmers a thousand "Attaboys"! (I was a programmer for many years).

Actually, those drives don't retry on writing, only reading. So, it's only on playback that you get problems, and you can hear it as well as the picture getting "stuck" on playback when it has to retry. If writing is a problem, it simply remaps the sector and moves on...

If you use a DVR drive, like the Seagate DB35 or AV35 drives, or the Western Digital AV drives, those are specifically for DVR-like purposes where they know that a "bad" sector isn't worth recovering, that you will not even likely be able to tell during playback. And, those drives won't cause any hold ups in playback. In addition, they don't recalibrate periodically, so you also don't get hold ups due to the drive recalibration...

Anyway, if you repeat playing back the show where there are skips and the skips stay constant, then it is more likely that the show didn't record due to video drop out. The RTV doesn't record during video dropouts unless they are just low signal, so you typically don't get snow and such. That is to say, during the time that it shows the blue "no signal" screen, it isn't recording content. If it was a drive problem, it typically isn't consistent such that playing it back over the dropout section over and over again will repeat consistently. In that case it would be more likely that it actually recorded that way, which is more likely a signal dropout...
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