The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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HDTV Recorders > The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic!
mw390's Avatar mw390 08:55 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwnt1 View Post

I guess you call it fragmenting.
When skipping forward through paused/buffered content the picture fragments ever so often for just a second and then returns to normal.
Anybody else?

yeah, mine also. Stupid.....my Sony DVR at ANY speed gives smooth motion. What do they know that no one else can do? Nuthin. The other guys are just lazy or cheap

Mary in WI's Avatar Mary in WI 08:59 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanab View Post

Hi out there. I have the Sony DHG-HDD500. This has worked great for me the last coupel of years. My only regret is NOT having two tuners in it. I hate it when I want to record a show and cannot watch another at the same time. It's either one or the other. I only have OTA Green Bay,WI stations here. The TVGuide works great. Is this new DTVPal really that great for watching a show and recording another at the sametime ? Is the picture quality any better than my Sony? I'm running HDMI from Sony to Mits projector to my 92" Firehawk screen. or should I keep what i have...

Hi! I am from Appleton and pull stations from Green Bay. My reception (with an antenna in the rafters of my garage) is great. It is even better with the DTVPal DVR than it was with analog, and is better than the converter box I tried that did a pretty good job.

The ability to program 2 shows simultaneously, and watch something else from the pre-recorded list is wonderful. (I used to use multiple VCRs.) I do miss the portability of VCR tapes, and the unlimited storage capacity provided by being able to save the tapes, but that doesn't appear to be a practical option anymore. And the ability to start watching a show from the beginning after it has started is great.
nolim2873's Avatar nolim2873 09:00 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Note the bolded portion isn't possible with a timer-based DVR. A timer-based DVR can't tell when the program actually started.

I suggested a compromise for a timer-based DVR, which would record the buffer from the most recent 30 minute block.

Both of my Dish SD receivers also start recording from the moment that you hit the REC. However, rewinding back to the beginning of the show (assuming it's within the 60 minute buffer and the channel was not been changed), and then hitting REC, will record from that point. My 508 did this even before when it only had time-based recording identical to the current DTVPal DVR software (name-based recording has been a recent software upgrade for the 508).

I have read that the Dish ViP (i.e. HD) receivers, are smart enough to go back and put the beginning of the show in the recording without having to rewind first (but I don't have first hand experience of this).

I tried this same procedure with the DTVPal DVR (rewinding first), and while it looked like if was doing it correctly, it only started recording from the point the REC was hit, not at the rewind point. I think this is just a bug in the current DTVPal DVR software that hopefully they will fix.
nolim2873's Avatar nolim2873 09:05 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mw390 View Post

yeah, mine also. Stupid.....my Sony DVR at ANY speed gives smooth motion. What do they know that no one else can do? Nuthin. The other guys are just lazy or cheap

Dish programmers have a long history of not getting it right. It does not surprise my that it is not right on the DTVPal DVR either. As long time Dish DVR user, I'm used to the inconsistent forward/backward scanning and 30 second skip and 10 second skip back.
Mary in WI's Avatar Mary in WI 09:29 AM 01-03-2009
The following questions were asked earlier:

1. Can you skip ahead in the Program Guide?

The answer is "yes". You can skip ahead a full day by using the yellow(?) skip button that you use to jump over commercials.

2. How do you know how much hard drive space you have left?

Look at your "My Recordings" list. Above the list, on the left side, you will see the hours left if everything recorded was in high def. On the left side you will see how many hours you have left if everything new records in standard def.

When you delete a show, you will see time added.

I am disappointed that you cannot choose to record in SD instead of HD since HD takes up so much space. Instead, shows are recorded in whatever format they are broadcast in. I understand now why others are already talking about upgrading the size of the hard drive since you can only save 30 hours of programming that was recorded in high def, and it seems like most of what I am recording is broadcast in high def. I tend to record movies that I may save for a while before viewing and deleting. Still, this DVR is the best option I have seen for after the switch to fully digital broadcasting.

3. What happens when the harddrive is full?

According to the manual, the oldest recorded show will automatically be deleted to make room for new shows. The only way to make sure a show is saved is to "Protect" it, which is an option (I believe) in "My Recordings".
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 09:34 AM 01-03-2009
Some original and some an attempt to capture what others have said.
Feature Rationale
Downloads and maintenance should be run in background or while unit is in standby. Maintenance activities and program or guide update should not interfere with viewing. Since the manual states this is how firmware updates are scheduled, this may be the way it all works now but with the confusion about program downloads and reboots it should be made explicit that this is the way all such events are scheduled. This approach is preferred over specifying a specific time for updates/maintenance.

If both tuners are busy display a message similar to: All tuners are allocated to recording. Select DVR to view a recording or select Pass-through or an alternate signal path to view TV instead of a blank screen. More friendly than just letting the user guess why the screen just went blank.

Add a repeat indicator to the guide. Several people have asked for this.

Add option to only record new episodes to the event timer. Again several people have asked for this since it saves disk space.

Option to play back recordings as a list. When a program is selected for playback subsequent recordings in the list are played back in order instead of having to select each one in turn and pressing play. Friendlier

Option to specify precedence for PSIP and TVGuide data. Today PSIP data is not held in high regard because the stations are not taking its maintenance as an important task so TV Guide data is preferred. TV Guide data is however not very timely and I can foresee a day when PSIP will be maintained and this will give us a valuable capability to have last minute changes in the schedule reflected in the program guide. For example if a Sunday football game runs over as they often do this can be reflected in the guide which will alert viewers that a subsequent program will be delayed or additional recording time needs to be allocated for the game if you want to view the winning touchdown later. This also provides alerts to last minute schedule changes like peremptions and important events like a Presidential address.

Tie the above to the timer events either by just adjusting the channel/time slot that was changed or using the name based recording the has been suggested elsewhere. The utility is obvious.
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 09:35 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolim2873 View Post

I have read that the Dish ViP (i.e. HD) receivers, are smart enough to go back and put the beginning of the show in the recording without having to rewind first (but I don't have first hand experience of this).

They do. That's the way most name-based DVRs (for cable and satellite) handle it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolim2873 View Post

Both of my Dish SD receivers also start recording from the moment that you hit the REC. However, rewinding back to the beginning of the show (assuming it's within the 60 minute buffer and the channel was not been changed), and then hitting REC, will record from that point. My 508 did this even before when it only had time-based recording identical to the current DTVPal DVR software (name-based recording has been a recent software upgrade for the 508).

I tried this same procedure with the DTVPal DVR (rewinding first), and while it looked like if was doing it correctly, it only started recording from the point the REC was hit, not at the rewind point. I think this is just a bug in the current DTVPal DVR software that hopefully they will fix.

Good info, thanks. So this might be something we see on the DTVPal DVR with a future software update.
Mary in WI's Avatar Mary in WI 09:38 AM 01-03-2009
I have been very happy with my DVR and timed recordings. But last night, I had a show set to record. I had set it up several days ago. When I went to locate it in "My Recordings", it had a label of "Skipped".

Does anyone know what might have caused this?

Nothing else was set to record at the time, and I had my DVR off. But I did see the red record light came on at the appropriate time. And actually, it stayed on for over an hour longer than it had been set for. When I turned my DVR on, there were no messages, and nothing appeared to be recording. Nothing else was scheduled to record that night. After seeing that my scheduled program did not record, I turned the DVR back off.

But the red light continued to stay on. The only way I got the light to go out, was to turn the unit back on, set up two currently airing programs to record, then cancel the recording of both. Then when I turned my unit off, the red light finally went off.

I have not found any mention of the "skipped" label in the DVR manual.
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 09:46 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Note the bolded portion isn't possible with a timer-based DVR. A timer-based DVR can't tell when the program actually started.

I suggested a compromise for a timer-based DVR, which would record the buffer from the most recent 30 minute block.

True but if he meant from the time the channel was selected that is possible.
jlkane's Avatar jlkane 09:48 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrym80 View Post

Has anyone gotten a response from Tech@echostar.com yet on any topic?

This morning I received a response to the enhancement request I sent them via e-mail at Tech@echostar.com on January 1. It was a form response, of course, though it carried a tech support rep's name in the signature. But at least it's a (tiny) sign of life. Given the holiday-season timing, I think that's all a guy could hope for.

(And to me it feels better to have submitted my suggestion clearly and in writing than to have had another conversation like the pathetic and frustrating one I had yesterday with a rep on the tech support phone line. I'm pretty sure the nice fellow had NO IDEA what a DTVPal DVR was. I escalated my call to his manager, who insisted that all the reps had been trained ...and seemed generally uninterested in hearing from me.)
R Johnson's Avatar R Johnson 09:52 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by avshelden View Post

Pardon the lengthy post, I know I tend to be verbose and I also wanted to let folks know a bit about the type of user I am to be able to judge the applicability of my comments.....

I give it a 9 out of 10 based on my experience.

Thanks very much for your thoughtful post.
I'm glad to hear that you're pleased with it.
It sounds like this unit is something I might want to buy.
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 09:56 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

Add option to only record new episodes to the event timer. Again several people have asked for this since it saves disk space.

That would be a form of name-based recording. Name-based recording encompasses any form of recording that uses the actual guide information to schedule recordings.

With the current software, all recording on the DTVPal DVR is done independently of the guide information. The guide information only has three purposes: (1) to let the user see what's on, (2) to simplify initial timer creation, and (3) to label timer recordings in My Recordings with whatever text happens to be on that time slot.

If Dish Network is to implement name-based recording when TVGOS is available, they've got to figure a way to preserve timer-based functionality when TVGOS isn't available, or is available, and then becomes unavailable. Without TVGOS, you don't have the original air dates and repeat flags necessary to differentiate new episodes from repeats. They've also got to deal with the situation where PSIP program information is temporarily unavailable (or generic) for some reason.
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 09:59 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

My experience with TVGOS is that you get listings for a lot of stations (even cable) that are in your market area that you can't receive which makes me wonder if they have changed how it works or the DVR only displays data for stations you can view. I say this because even though I have the TV Guide logo the info displayed for each channel is the same as the PSIP data that my TV gets. The only difference is that for some channels the DVR displays 7 days of data and the TV only shows about one day. For other stations the guide only gives a day or two of data. PSIP can go out (I think) up to 16 days if the station wants to send it so just the number of days does not tell whether it is PSIP or TVGOS data.

I have this exact situation right now with my local CBS affiliate KOVR in Sacramento. I see the TV Guide logo but I don't believe I'm seeing any TVGOS program information. I think it's only PSIP info. KOVR only transmits a few hours of PSIP info. If I turn on the DVR and it's tuned to a different station and I look at the guide, KOVR will show "No Information Available." As soon as I tune to KOVR, the information fills in. This indicates PSIP info. I'm in contact with the engineer and should have an answer on Monday.
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 10:01 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary in WI View Post

...Does anyone know what might have caused this?

....

No.
Others have seen this also. If you select the skipped program and click on info it may say something like "skipped because of failure to start recording" but don't know what that really means or why it happens. My GUESS is that maybe there was a temporary signal loss and the recorder just didn't continue to look for a signal.
ProsPops's Avatar ProsPops 10:07 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Albrecht View Post

Earlier today I had reported the following problems:

1. random reboots
2. occasional black screen lockup
3. no TVGOS
4. ethernet connection dead

Update:

By the way, in all of the above, I don't have any reason to believe that changing to F202 did anything whatsoever to fix bugs or create new ones.

Looks like it's time to call tech suppport and ask for a replacement DTVPal.

What do you have the UPDATE option set to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

I thought I was one of the luck ones as I have not seen any resets until now. I just got two resets in the space of 30 minutes.

My diagnostic counters show 18 power cycles and no reset history.
I think most of the power cycles are due to playing with the TVGOS translation feature but since each reboot increments the power cycle counter there may have been some reboots I did not notice (kind of hard to not notice one however).

I was recording one program while watching another. Recording and viewing resumed after the interruption.

Firmware F202.
No internet connection.
Update set for 3AM.

Try setting the UPDATE option to DISABLE (MENU>SETUP>UPDATES) and see if it helps...some have reported that it does.
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 10:08 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

That would be a form of name-based recording. Name-based recording encompasses any form of recording that uses the actual guide information to schedule recordings.

....

Not necessarily. A more primative version is just to say that if that channel and time has a repeat program (not necessarily that same program, just a repeat of something) don't record it.

All I am saying is these are things some have asked for. Didn't say that some like using PSIP to make last minute schedule changes or name based programming are not major changes.
ProsPops's Avatar ProsPops 10:16 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabeader View Post

note:
The manual like all manuals, is a work in progress. Please use it as a guide, but not the be all, end all of information.

pa...any idea if/when Dish will fill out the support section of the Pal's website with more information like the manual suggests is already there? Even just a FAQ would be very helpful.

***Or would that be too much like assuming responsibility for giving CORRECT information?***
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 10:25 AM 01-03-2009
Does anyone know if the program guide can be a combination of PSIP info and TVGOS? Everything I've been reading here seems to assume one or the the other. There must be some people here who are getting TVGOS for their local stations and also receiving out of area stations not covered by TVGOS. What does the guide show for stations not covered by TVGOS? If it shows something, it must be PSIP program information.

I cannot test this myself right now because my local CBS affiliate is not transmitting TVGOS even though the logo appears.
mw390's Avatar mw390 10:31 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolim2873 View Post

Dish programmers have a long history of not getting it right. It does not surprise my that it is not right on the DTVPal DVR either. As long time Dish DVR user, I'm used to the inconsistent forward/backward scanning and 30 second skip and 10 second skip back.

Yeah but what about DVD recorders or HDDVD and BR players? Dish don't make them...
xmen888's Avatar xmen888 10:33 AM 01-03-2009
I can make my unit reboot consistently. I don't believe the TVGOS has anything to do with the reboots. I think it's a memory buffer issue.

I was recording a 1 hr program with a signal strength in 91% range. 20 minutes into the recording I start watching it from the beginning. I do skip the commercials when watching. My unit will reboot at least once every time before the 1 hour recording is finish. I have done this three times and all three times it rebooted at least once.

My unit will also reboot if recording two shows at once, but that is not consistent, about 50/50 chance.
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 10:36 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

Some original and some an attempt to capture what others have said.

Okay. Here's my wish: The ability to use TVGOS from more than one market. There must be many people who can receive stations from more than one market. Even if you have to leave your antenna pointed to a different station overnight once a week it would be nice to have. It could work like this:

Primary Zip Code: XXXXX
Secondary Zip Code: YYYYY
mw390's Avatar mw390 10:38 AM 01-03-2009
You know, it's like this everyplace. You would THINK that in Engineering 101 or whatever they teach. Do what the competition does as well as them and then do better. Case in point. I'm a mainframe systems programmer for over 30 years. For most of those years IBM did not provide a tape management system for keeping track of files on tapes. Finally in the late 80s (or maybe early 90s) IBM came out with one. I figured great, I'll switch and save money. Well when I looked at it it was NOT a transparent replacement for the competition. I went to a seminar in Manhattan with the developers and boy did I let them have it (nor did I know my future boss was in the room). They said we tested it. I said well if you did you certainly did NOT test it anywhere in the US because any current customer would ask what you were smoking. I told them, you have to have a DIRECT, TRANSPARENT, EQUIVALENT replacement or all you are offering is headaches for everyone. To this day I think IBM doesn't outsell the competitors (2 products) and they were bought years ago by Computer Associates.
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 10:38 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post

Does anyone know if the program guide can be a combination of PSIP info and TVGOS?

Yes, it can.
Scooper's Avatar Scooper 10:39 AM 01-03-2009
I got a Hard Drive upgrade to work today -

500 GB Western Digital AAK I believe for the firmware - I'm NOT taking it apart again.

Whoo-hoo - 71 + hours HD recording.
Scooper's Avatar Scooper 10:49 AM 01-03-2009
Soapbox time for those of you complaining about the "jerkiness" when doing trickplays -

How many of you know that Echostar and Tivo are in a lawsuit over Echostar's alleged infringementof Tivo's '389 patent ?

Well - along about last year, Echostar came up with their own method (also patent pending) that does not infringe on the '389 patent. In rough terms - Echostar (hereafter known as E*) does a simple dump to harddrive, counting the different frame types. When you do a trick play, E* does a on-the-fly calculation of how far to skip in the video file and looks for the nearest "whole screen" frame. It's GOING to be jerky compared to Tivo's method, but for the most part , it works. From what I've seen on the DTVPAL DVR, they are using the same method as the DBS DVRs - and it's going to have the same issues. It's rather CPU intensive.

The above is just my observations. The logic behind them may or may not be correct, but I'm guessing it is.
jeffmplsmn's Avatar jeffmplsmn 10:55 AM 01-03-2009
Receiver R188005XXXX-XX
Firmware F202TALD-N
Boot strap 1011TALD
Processor ID 29347107
I had the program guide update enabled 1:00AM
I had my real zip code entered.
I have it set to my real time zone.
I have TVGOS
I only had ethernet connected to do the software update
My video memory (VRAM) test is OK.
HD PASS or NOT RUN with 0 error count.
No USB device
My power cycle count is 39
My exceptions count is 0

I have now disabled the updates, removed my zip code, reset the power cycle count, and will thoroughly test the box with these new settings.
mw390's Avatar mw390 11:06 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

Soapbox time for those of you complaining about the "jerkiness" when doing trickplays -

How many of you know that Echostar and Tivo are in a lawsuit over Echostar's alleged infringementof Tivo's '389 patent ?

Well - along about last year, Echostar came up with their own method (also patent pending) that does not infringe on the '389 patent. In rough terms - Echostar (hereafter known as E*) does a simple dump to harddrive, counting the different frame types. When you do a trick play, E* does a on-the-fly calculation of how far to skip in the video file and looks for the nearest "whole screen" frame. It's GOING to be jerky compared to Tivo's method, but for the most part , it works. From what I've seen on the DTVPAL DVR, they are using the same method as the DBS DVRs - and it's going to have the same issues. It's rather CPU intensive.



The above is just my observations. The logic behind them may or may not be correct, but I'm guessing it is.


Describe trick play
Tom Albrecht's Avatar Tom Albrecht 11:06 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProsPops View Post

What do you have the UPDATE option set to?

Try setting the UPDATE option to DISABLE (MENU>SETUP>UPDATES) and see if it helps...some have reported that it does.

Yesterday I reported that I had reset the update option to DISABLE, and set the zip code to 00000, and a reboot occurred within minutes. So my first conclusion was that changing these settings resulted in no improvement.

However, since that one reboot, I have watched for a couple of hours last night and again this morning, and no reboots.

Perhaps the change in settings did not take effect until the next reboot, after which all is well.

Stay tuned. If the reboot or lockup comes back, I'll report. If not, this could possibly have fixed the problem.

Question: Why do you think this solves the problem? The reboots were happening all the time, not just at the scheduled update time. Or is the the zip code change that is thought to be the crucial thing? I'm curious what the reasoning is. In any case, it might possibly be working.

I did talk to the Dish chat folks for a long, long time yesterday evening, and a new DTVPal is likely on its way. At the start of the chat, they had no familiarity with what this product is and no means to replace it. After a lot of work by the diligent chat guy, he appears to have moved mountains and figured out how to get me a new unit.
Servicetech571's Avatar Servicetech571 11:10 AM 01-03-2009
Did any of the beta testers not have ANY of these problems or where they just not allowed to talk about them?
bfdtv's Avatar bfdtv 11:16 AM 01-03-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mw390 View Post

Describe trick play

"Trick play" refers to DVR functions like replay, 30s skip, ffw, rew, etc.

Dish Network's trickplay functions used to be highly responsive, but they modified them as mentioned by Scooper.

Sony's implementation works like TiVo's. Sony discontinued their product less than a year after it hit the market, so it made no sense for TiVo to take them to court.
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