Announcing the general release of ReplayTV software 5.1 for RTV5000s and 5500s - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 250 Old 10-06-2003, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m very pleased to announce that we have begun the rollout of our latest software release for ReplayTV DVRs, version 5.1.

Just a reminder, forcing calls won’t get the software faster, as we trickle the software out slowly at first, ramping up as we understand the impact on Customer Care.

We have worked very hard on the release for over 5 months. It improves many aspects of the user experience – we made over 200 improvements in various aspects of the system -- and we even added two new features.

WHAT’S NEW?

Show|Nav: We already had more power to navigate through a show than any other DVR, but we have leapt even further. Show|Nav allows you to use the left and right navigation arrows to quickly jump forward and back between scenes in a show.
  • Quickly jump to the 4th quarter of a game with a few touches of the right
  • Jump to the musical guest on Letterman and skip the stupid pet tricks
  • Forget to pause while making a sandwich in the kitchen? Jump back to the start of the scene with a touch of the left navigation button.
ShowNav joins our suite of powerful tools for total control navigating through a show. As you know, we already had Instant Replay, QuickSkipâ„¢ and Jump Anywhere, which uses the number keys followed by Instant Replay or QuickSkip to jump minutes forward or back.

Variable Bit Rate in Standard Quality: We already had VBR on Medium and High video quality, and by adding it on Standard we get better performance and users feel Standard is more pleasant to watch.

WHAT’S IMPROVED?

We made significant improvements in the following areas.
  • Connecting to the ReplayTV Service: Perhaps the most obvious change here was adding a “Connect to the ReplayTV Service Now†button in the Setup Menu. You no longer need to know the secret handshake to make your DVR call in. We also made dramatic improvements in modem connectivity.
  • Eliminated Lockups and Hangs: We got rid of every known lockup or hang.
  • Far Fewer Video and Audio Glitches and Repeats: You just shouldn’t see
    them any more.
  • Better Performance / Faster Response: We worked to make your ReplayTV DVR more responsive and testers find it faster to react now in almost every kind of user interaction.
  • Faster Channel Changing: We improved the speed of channel changes by almost 2 seconds in most cases.
  • More Robust Networking: Discovery is very reliable. In Home Video Sharing is very reliable. There should be no dropouts on a good network with Medium and Standard quality, and far fewer in High quality.
  • More Set-top Boxes Supported with IR: We downloaded a far superior IR set that should cover every cable or satellite box out there.
WHAT’S NEXT?

We are quite pleased with this release, and feel it offers a much more satisfying experience for our customers. We continue to work on more improvements and you will see those in the future.

We are grateful for your feedback – much of what we improved came from direct feedback from users in this forum. We always read your input, and we look forward to a continuing strong relationship where we learn from you.

Cheers,
Richard Bullwinkle
Customer Experience, ReplayTV
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post #2 of 250 Old 10-06-2003, 11:15 PM
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Richard,

Out of curiosity, what is the feature or features that you mentioned your mother would love?

I am glad to see that alcatraz is being deployed. Thanks for the work.

Matthew in CO.


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post #3 of 250 Old 10-06-2003, 11:31 PM
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I would think Show Nav would be it. Since it's really the main new thing there.
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post #4 of 250 Old 10-06-2003, 11:33 PM
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Looks like ShowNav and variable bit rate (VBR) for standard.
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post #5 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Show|Nav is a very powerful feature once you start using it, especially if you have a 5500. You might also call it a quick way to get to Britney during the Superbowl.

I have reason to believe everyday users will find it extremely powerful, though I'm willing to conceed that this group may not find it lives to its hype.

I also know that it will gain in power as time goes on -- I've already seen folks working on enhancements.

-RB
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post #6 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 12:30 AM
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Why especially on the 5500?

I'm straight up happy with the functions a 5040 already has cept the lockup/ect problems and honestly, probably some of the scheduling quirks(don't know if the time slot is already spoken for as I'm finding something new to record). The stability was all I was praying for.

The Show/Nav thing sounds great to me. It's not an entirely new functionality, but navigation is important. # jump, # QS, ect is Extremely important to me, and this is one more smart and stylish way to navigate. Sounds great for news programs in particular.

Again, why is this feature even better in a 5500? left us hanging on that one.

cow
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post #7 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by icecow
Why especially on the 5500?
Think "Commercial Advance without the legal hassles".
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post #8 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 01:30 AM
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Show|Nav, eh? hehe. "pretty good, hon!"

it's not commercial advance, i know that. commercial advance is automatic.
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post #9 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 02:12 AM
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Thanks ReplayRichard, ReplayLyndon and the rest of the Replay team!

I only wish us folks with Replays that are locking up daily could squeeze to the head of the line, but I really am happy knowing that it will be fixed in the next couple weeks.

5040 -> 00004-54831-69615
5080 -> 00004-54832-11686
5120 -> 00004-54831-69259
5200 -> 00004-54831-87990
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post #10 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ReplayRichard
[*]More Set-top Boxes Supported with IR: We downloaded a far superior IR set that should cover every cable or satellite box out there.
What does this mean? I thought the IR blaster just blasted out numbers and maybe the "Enter" key. Were there some cable boxes that did not understand the numbers the blaster was spitting out? When I first read it I thought it meant that every cable or satellite box out there was going to be supported over the serial port. That would be huge.

The IR blaster is just too slow and unreliable for me to ever trust. It is the reason I got rid of digital cable (and got rid of the cable box).
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post #11 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 04:17 AM
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Yea! Adding VBR to Standard record is a brilliant idea. Stability is a godsend!
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post #12 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 04:31 AM
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Show|Nav? I'd hoped we'd seen the last of the '|' when SONIC|blue hit the skids.
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post #13 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 04:59 AM
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What should be the new version number?
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post #14 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 05:05 AM
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I'm glad to see this release coming out now.

How long might we expect for the bulk of us to get it? One week, two, a month? I am still trying to decide whether to trade in my 4xxx or my 5xxx, and the changes in 5.1 will obviously impact that decision. But I have to decide by the 15th. Will most machines get the update by then?
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post #15 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 05:31 AM
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To the ReplayTV Team: Thank you.
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post #16 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dherman516
What should be the new version number?
530510190

-Gary
ReplayTV DIY Information/Repair/Upgrade Site:
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post #17 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eudmin
What does this mean? I thought the IR blaster just blasted out numbers and maybe the "Enter" key. Were there some cable boxes that did not understand the numbers the blaster was spitting out?
Remember that there are many different remote controls out there. You can't necessarily push the '1' on your TV remote and have it be recognized as a '1' on your cable box. That's why we have programmable remotes with the different codes to enter into them.

It's the same thing with ReplayTV. It's a big programmable remote control. And the "programs" need to be updated to control new devices, that is, to emulate new remote controls.

The ReplayTV also knows details about each device such as whether 3 digits always need to be sent, whether enter needs to be sent, etc. Those have to be updated for new devices.

Yes, the IR blaster can be unreliable. It's definitely slow -- but so is entering the numbers on the remote! But I have found that by tweaking the delays you can really improve it. I have gone months without a mis-tune after doing some of that tweaking (hit zones on the setup screen where you select the code to use).
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post #18 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:22 AM
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Well, v5.1 seems to be MUCH more stable than before. Just in time for my in-laws to arrive. v5.0's bugginess was REALLY a painn. The true test will be to see just how "in-law-proof" the box now is! ;)

While I must admit that I am a bit underwhelmed by the "new" features--I was hoping for more "Wow!" features--given that things appear much more stable, I'm DEFINITLY happy!

Questions:

1. What do you think of the new "Nav" functions? I found that it is VERY accurate on MOST shows! I find it surprisingly useful.

2. What does everyone think of VBR Standard? I think it look pretty good. (But I will still be recording everthing in Medium Quality because of its high DVD compatibility.)

Overall, I am VERY pleased!

Can't wait for another look up Richard's skirt in the future...<shudders>...

-Jim

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post #19 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:24 AM
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:cool:

Although I suspect the answer to this question, I want to confirm: with the Show|Nav feature, a "scene" is defined as the content between commercials, right?

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post #20 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:36 AM
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No. ShowNav works for scenes within shows as well.

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post #21 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:46 AM
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Hey ReplayRichard -

Is closed captioning pretty reliable now?

Thanks!

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post #22 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:48 AM
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Hmmm, what defines a 'scene'? Every time they change the camera being used?

For those who have used this, can you give us an idea of how useful it is? If I have to hit the right arrow 20 times to go ahead a few minutes in a show, I'm thinking the fast forward is just about as useful.
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post #23 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaJoos
Hmmm, what defines a 'scene'? Every time they change the camera being used?

For those who have used this, can you give us an idea of how useful it is? If I have to hit the right arrow 20 times to go ahead a few minutes in a show, I'm thinking the fast forward is just about as useful.
I think the point is that you can choose to skip any scene or not. So if you choose to skip commercials, you are not quick skipping through--you hit the button once and it zooms you through the commercial. You can also choose to skip content like bits of the actual show.

Now, I'm saying this having never seen this functionality in action.


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post #24 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:16 AM
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Here's the release on the web site
http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/rep...areupgrade.asp

I could't help but notice:
Quote:
Improved audio/video stability: Users will enjoy a better picture with fewer glitches. You just shouldn't see them any more.
I don't suppose they did something about the audio hiss, did they? I realize that the hiss is a tuner-hardware issue, but I was kind of hoping that they could do some sort of correction in software either during playback or recording.

I was kind of disappointed to see that there wasn't MP3 streaming included in this release. I know that they never said there was going to be MP3 streaming, but I was hoping that was the "new big feature". I've had a lot of friends go with TiVo because of that feature.
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post #25 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by heathriel
No. ShowNav works for scenes within shows as well.
No way, really? :cool: again.

Can someone explain how RTV is "smart" enough to do this? I understand the marker-concept for CA, but am curious how what the algorithmic approach is on a scene-based "skip" or navigation within content. I am curious whether there's a significant risk that a scene could be inadvertently skipped, and the user never knows... I can't wait to play with this feature. If it works reliably, I think it's amazingly cool.

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post #26 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Creech
Now, I'm saying this having never seen this functionality in action.
And if you had you still couldn't tell us. ;)

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post #27 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:23 AM
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Woodshop, engineering is currently looking at the "hiss" problem. I don't have an eta on a solution nor do I know if there is something we can do in software to correct it for those users having this problem. I've had some success replacing users' units who were having hiss issues.

Lyndon
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post #28 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by brian7972
No way, really? :cool: again.

Can someone explain how RTV is "smart" enough to do this? I understand the marker-concept for CA, but am curious how what the algorithmic approach is on a scene-based "skip" or navigation within content. I am curious whether there's a significant risk that a scene could be inadvertently skipped, and the user never knows... I can't wait to play with this feature. If it works reliably, I think it's amazingly cool.
As I understand it, CA works by markers indicating Start and End of commercial breaks. So, if scene advance just goes to the next marker, be it a start OR end marker, that'll make it behave as advertised.

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post #29 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:24 AM
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Here's a way to play and see what SN does is to take a recorded show, pop up the HUD, play the show, and use -> and <- and see what amount of time is skipped, and what parts of the show are skipped. I've not figured out the algorithm, either. (ACA is easier: something like 'fade to black when there's another fade 120/180 seconds out? Skip!'.)

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post #30 of 250 Old 10-07-2003, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
take a recorded show, pop up the HUD, play the show, and use -> and <- and see what amount of time is skipped, and what parts of the show are skipped.
I was planning to do exactly this. This is the failsafe way to confirm the skip accuracy in the beginning.

Since this technology is here, one can dream, so here's mine: a button that allows you to call up all of the scenes in a recorded show in picture snapshot format much like a menu on a DVD. Then you highlight the scene you want to watch and hit play... :D

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