Originally Posted by ReplayLurker
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.