Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 181 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #5401 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIppolito View Post
OTA_Jay,

Thanks for the reply.

Do you (or anyone else) think scanning the cable band for HDTV channels would be a useful feature? Don't most cable providers have the HDTV locals somewhere in their band? If ChannelMaster provided this capability, wouldn't a lot of people use their DVR+ as a tuner / DVR, and use their basic cable as the source? Wouldn't that open up a lot of potential customers (like apartment dwellers) for them?

Thanks,
Ron
I think what you are saying is: "can the DVR+ support cable?". I hope not. First, the frequencies are different past 13. Then there is the trend toward scrambling cable signals and the need for a cable card.

Your CBS channel transmits on channel 39. Your cable feed can send it on ANY channel and let the PSIP move it to 4.1 where you can watch it.

And then there are cable internet only people who feel that the clear QAM channels that "happen" to be picked up on their TV are "free". To post more would take me off topic.
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post #5402 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm guessing by "new episodes" they mean "episodes I haven't recorded yet" rather than "episodes never aired before." (Based on my experience, that's what WMC means by "new," so that seems reasonable.) If so, they could implement this feature even with a PSIP-based guide: just check the episode title, see if it's already listed in the metadata file, and if not, record it!
I doubt this would work very well. PSIP does not have a dedicated field for episode titles (only program names, which are always the same). It's possible for whoever provides the guide data to include the episode title in the program's description, but how would CM know what to look for? The name might be in quotes, it might not be in quotes, it might be followed by a colon, or it might be followed by a period. There is no good way for CM to parse the PSIP guide to detect episodes titles, since there is no standard way for displaying them. More importantly, most PSIP guides don't have episode titles at all and only display a paragraph of plot summary for the episode.

This would only work if the Internet guide is getting changed to have a dedicated episode title field, and if the Internet guide were getting changed, anyway, then they might as well just include a "new" flag to denote previously unaired episodes, in which case episode titles would become irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
PSIP is unacceptable to me!
Would you rather have a bad guide and the ability to record by channel and time or a good guide and a DVR that doesn't record when the guide says it should, due to firmware bugs? The reviews of the latest firmware haven't been very good so far, although CM apparently plans to release a new one soon, which may render the complaints against 111R moot.

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Originally Posted by RIppolito View Post
Do you (or anyone else) think scanning the cable band for HDTV channels would be a useful feature?
Yes, but CM isn't adding it. The DVR+ is OTA only and does not support cable at all, nor will it ever support cable. You must use an antenna.
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post #5403 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RIppolito View Post
OTA_Jay,

Thanks for the reply.

Do you (or anyone else) think scanning the cable band for HDTV channels would be a useful feature? Don't most cable providers have the HDTV locals somewhere in their band? If ChannelMaster provided this capability, wouldn't a lot of people use their DVR+ as a tuner / DVR, and use their basic cable as the source? Wouldn't that open up a lot of potential customers (like apartment dwellers) for them?

Thanks,
Ron
By today's standards, network channels require a decoder (contained within a cable box or DTA (digital transport adapter) to convert the signal.
The cable providers are doing everything possible to prevent someone from receiving these signals directly from a pre-existing cable feed (which used to be quite common). These signals are encoded. They want to sell you basic cable service (compatible with a DTA box) and possibly rent you a cable box or DVR. They want to prevent you from using your own equipment (such as the DVR+).
Unfortunately, they won that battle.
The advantage of using OTA (antenna based) signal is that it isn't compressed as much and actually provides better video quality (in general) than if you were watching the same channels (assuming that they're broadcasting in HD) from a cable feed.
Even if that weren't the case, Channel Master (among others) have a more marketable product with an OTA only device, since the average potential customer doesn't want to have to pay for even the least expensive cable option (a raw feed with no box).

Last edited by OTA_jay; 10-29-2014 at 06:10 PM.
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post #5404 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
The advantage of using OTA (antenna based) signal is that it isn't compressed and actually provides better video quality (in general) than if you were watching the same channels (assuming that they're broadcasting in HD) from a cable feed.
It's important to realise that OTA is compressed, just as cable is. The difference is that OTA isn't compressed as much as cable is (most of the time). OTA therefore usually looks better than cable, but OTA still looks pretty bad compared to Blu-ray, since it is compressed much less than OTA.
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post #5405 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
It's important to realise that OTA is compressed, just as cable is. The difference is that OTA isn't compressed as much as cable is (most of the time). OTA therefore usually looks better than cable, but OTA still looks pretty bad compared to Blu-ray, since it is compressed much less than OTA.
I'm actually very impressed with the video quality through the DVR+.
If only they would get rid of the bugs!
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post #5406 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 06:07 PM
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Speaking of bugs.....
I'm surprised that this hasn't been discussed (or perhaps I missed it).
Since 111R, when you delete a show (immediately after watching it), it highlights a random show (or folder).
No association, no relationship. It seems to have a mind if it's own!
It's somewhat intermittent but happens frequently enough to be truly annoying!
It should go to the top of the recordings list (page one) but it will often land anywhere it choses!......bizarre!!
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post #5407 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
It's important to realise that OTA is compressed, just as cable is. The difference is that OTA isn't compressed as much as cable is (most of the time). OTA therefore usually looks better than cable, but OTA still looks pretty bad compared to Blu-ray, since it is compressed much less than OTA.
Sorry..... meant to specify that is isn't compressed as much.
I edited my post accordingly.
Unfortunately, the sub channels share bandwidth and bit rate.
Still it's consistently better than TWC and even Fios (the two providers in my area).
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post #5408 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jmilutinovic View Post
Hello

I am new to the forum. I have the Channel Master DVR+ (for several months). I am having a problem where after I set the DVR to record all episodes of a program (let just say "The Simpsons"). After about 2 weeks, even though it shows up as a reoccuring event, no shows record and none are indicated by the triangle on the channel guide.

Is this something others are seeing and is there a patch or work around ?
sorry everyone too busy yaking about HHD than respond to real world questions. I have seen the same occur. Not often, but yes its curious. I just ensure the show is permanently deleted, and request to record all shows again.
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post #5409 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
Sorry..... meant to specify that is isn't compressed as much.
I edited my post accordingly.
Unfortunately, the sub channels share bandwidth and bit rate.
Still it's consistently better than TWC and even Fios (the two providers in my area).
Sub-channels should be banned by the FCC for molesting the primary channels PQ!

Anyhow-the CM DVR+ likely will never add Clear QAM scanning since CM knows cable providers are encrypting everything including basic cable services to extract even more money out of customers in harware fee's required to decrypt the channels under the smokescreen of "preventing signal theft". Give me a freaking break. If you cancel cable they will cut the coax cable at the telephone pole and stop you from stealing service for even basic cable. If CM were to add Clear QAM support (assuming the tuners support it) would result in huge support headaches from customers calling into CM's support desk because they cannot tune cable channels when they are in fact encrypted. We all know that manufacturers go to great extremes to isolate themselves from consumers when it comes to support calls. Many make it nearly impossible to talk to a human being for technical problem resolution......
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post #5410 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 07:16 PM
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I do not understand why none of these DVR manufacturers seem to be able to programatically determine there are back to back recordings on the same channel, and only use 1 tuner, and implement padding on both recordings by starting early and ending late a single recording to storage but use metadata/pointers into the single recording file for start and stop times for both of the recordings asdisplayed to the user in the recordings menu item. It seems like such an easy thing to implement.......
I got lost in your suggestion but it would appear you couldn't delete one episode without deleting the other... recapturing the disk space. Without adding all that easy to do logic... Anyway regarding WMC it appears to treat each recording as an independent task once it's scheduled. So once approved one task isn't even aware of another. Now Commercial Skip does create index files which reference the beginning and ending points of commercials. And automatically skips over them which can be defeated if it guesses wrong since the actual recording is never altered.
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post #5411 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm guessing by "new episodes" they mean "episodes I haven't recorded yet" rather than "episodes never aired before." (Based on my experience, that's what WMC means by "new," so that seems reasonable.)
New with WMC means "never aired" Such that since "Rookie Blue" had already aired in Canada it is treated as a repeat and will be skipped even though it's first run here. That being if you set the series to New (versus Live or New + Repeats). Syndication repeats show up as repeats.

TiVo has a 30-day rule which is nice. You can tell it to record repeats (such as Seinfeld) and once it has recorded an episode it won't record the same episode again for 30-days. So if it repeats the same day it's simply skipped...

There are a ton of these features... hopefully they show up here at some point.
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post #5412 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post
If you cancel cable they will cut the coax cable at the telephone pole and stop you from stealing service for even basic cable.
Not certain what other cable providers agendas are but TWC (at least in my area) is providing DTA boxes for subscribers that want just the basic broadcast channels (no cable channels). These boxes aren't usable unless TWC's computers can communicate with them (for a monthly fee). They need not physically cut the cable, since the raw signal has been rendered useless without these DTA boxes connected, forcing you to pay them for the basic service. They're basically holding what should be free services for ransom!
Situations such as this make OTA DVR's so useful.....especially if you're on a limited budget.
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post #5413 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 09:16 PM
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Sub-channels should be banned by the FCC for molesting the primary channels PQ!
If you want PQ, watch a Blu-ray. I love sub-channels and record mine on a regular basis.
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post #5414 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
Their facebook page and twitter account both say the update will be available 'in a week or two'. Vudu (movies), Pandora (music), and now YouTube really round out this OTA DVR. Can't wait to see what comes next...
Sorry for the skepticism......
Hopefully, the addition of these various additional apps won't have an adverse effect on the overall performance of the unit!
Regardless, I'd be more enthusiastic if they put the emphasis on working out all of the bugs (after 10+ months on the market)!
These apps are truly secondary! They're readily available on a variety of inexpensive streaming boxes and a good number of TV's.
Not a selling point.....more a (perhaps intentional) distraction!
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post #5415 of 8202 Old 10-29-2014, 09:39 PM
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New (old) bug report!:

I noticed this tonight. I had noticed it quite some time ago once or twice but thought perhaps it was related to the broadcast itself.
Here's the scenario:
I was recording "Late Night" on CBS.
While this recording was in progress, I was watching the World Series post game (live) on FOX. I had missed some of it and needed to "rewind" approx.10 minutes.
While watching in this state, there were consistent, noticable audio glitches. The audio would blank out completely and repetitively! Very annoying!!
As soon as I advanced the "rewound" portion of the broadcast (so that it resumed live) these audio glitches completely disappeared!
The glitches that I experienced were similar to a scenario when you're making two simultaneous recordings and watching another channel
......but the results were even worse!
I can't begin to tell you just how thrilling it was to discover yet another bug!😬
BTW.....I'm convinced that this isn't simply a hard drive issue, since I've abandoned the "portable" drive and upgraded to a WD 3.5" A/V (purple) drive.

Last edited by OTA_jay; 10-30-2014 at 12:19 AM.
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post #5416 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm guessing by "new episodes" they mean "episodes I haven't recorded yet" rather than "episodes never aired before."
I would expect the latter. Guide data contains the information as to whether a broadcast is first run or a repeat. Date of first-airing is typical meta-data, which is all you need. I suspect the implementation will be a simple option box to specify "record all episodes" or "record new" when the recurring recording is set up.

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Even that other box can't get it right despite it's source (TMS) is 99% correct.
Never-ever had a problem with a prime-time OTA show -- and I record lots of them. The only time I've ever seen it have a problem is with the late-night talk shows that pull a show abruptly.

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post #5417 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 07:27 AM
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Sorry for the skepticism......
I think his post was expressing sarcasm. I could be wrong but that was the tone to me.

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post #5418 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 07:32 AM
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Parsing EPG/PSIP binary, I recall the "air date" and "episode number" tags from Tribune/ROVI's descriptor. If you're interesting, I could dig in my source code for exactly a format of the tags.
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post #5419 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I doubt this would work very well. PSIP does not have a dedicated field for episode titles (only program names, which are always the same). It's possible for whoever provides the guide data to include the episode title in the program's description, but how would CM know what to look for? The name might be in quotes, it might not be in quotes, it might be followed by a colon, or it might be followed by a period. There is no good way for CM to parse the PSIP guide to detect episodes titles, since there is no standard way for displaying them. More importantly, most PSIP guides don't have episode titles at all and only display a paragraph of plot summary for the episode.
Well, rats. Unfortunately you are correct.

In my experience the first "string" of extended text has generally been the episode title, leading me to believe it was a standard the DVR+ could exploit. But after reviewing those horrible ATSC guides, it turns out that it's only a convention; generally followed, but not a standard that the DVR+ could rely on. So I guess the "new episodes only" feature will only be available via the Internet guide Oh, well, it was a nice idea....


As for whether "new episodes" means "first aired" or "not recorded yet," the consensus here seems to be that it will mean "first aired", apparently because that's what that "other" DVR does, so everyone thinks that's what they want.

But I believe that makes the feature much less useful. I simply don't see why anyone would care whether an episode has already been aired somewhere in the world; I would expect that folks only care about whether they've seen it or not! With the possible exception of sporting events, which are rarely rerun anyway, why would you want the DVR+ not to record an episode simply because someone else has seen it?

It would seem much more useful to skip only episodes that haven't been recorded yet, particularly with PBS, which often re-airs an episode several times the week it premieres. That would let me record the episode once rather than cluttering my HDD with 3 or 4 copies of the same episode, or taking my chances with a manually scheduled weekly recording.


Sorry to say, but sometimes the consensus on this thread is simply bizarre. That was the feeling I got after I posted my previous question about back-to-back recordings; instead of getting a simple answer, the consensus was "why would anyone want that?" As if no one had ever had the first few seconds of a recording cut off (or as if no one here cares if their recordings get cut off).

I guess if I actually want help with a problem, I'll have to go elsewhere Apparently my posting anything on this thread is just a waste of time.
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post #5420 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
I noticed this tonight. I had noticed it quite some time ago once or twice but thought perhaps it was related to the broadcast itself.
Here's the scenario: . . . .
. . . . I'm convinced that this isn't simply a hard drive issue, since I've abandoned the "portable" drive and upgraded to a WD 3.5" A/V (purple) drive.
Distressing. Please check to see if it is repeatable. When you test, use a combination of CBS and NBC and the CW as these channels broadcast their HD at the highest bitrates (15-17Mbps) and will provide the most stress on the ability of the HDD and the USB interface to handle the simultaneous HD streams.

The highest stress state would be to have two of those channels recording while watching a recording of one of those channels. The DVR CPU in the box has enough power to handle three HD streams. I wonder if one would see these issues on the 1TB model that has an internal HDD on a SATA interface. I'm starting to fear the external HDD feature is going to be a continuing source of issues.

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post #5421 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
.... As for whether "new episodes" means "first aired" or "not recorded yet," the consensus here seems to be that it will mean "first aired", apparently because that's what that "other" DVR does, so everyone thinks that's what they want.

But I believe that makes the feature much less useful. I simply don't see why anyone would care whether an episode has already been aired somewhere in the world; I would expect that folks only care about whether they've seen it or not! With the possible exception of sporting events, which are rarely rerun anyway, why would you want the DVR+ not to record an episode simply because someone else has seen it?

It would seem much more useful to skip only episodes that haven't been recorded yet, particularly with PBS, which often re-airs an episode several times the week it premieres. That would let me record the episode once rather than cluttering my HDD with 3 or 4 copies of the same episode, or taking my chances with a manually scheduled weekly recording.
With "that other DVR" (you know, the one that everyone really wants but doesn't wanna pay for), to do what you want to do you simply set it to record ALL episodes. Then it will record both new episodes and reruns, but once a given episode resides on the hard disk it's smart enough to not record that same episode a second time . . .
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post #5422 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post
With "that other DVR" (you know, the one that everyone really wants but doesn't wanna pay for), to do what you want to do you simply set it to record ALL episodes. Then it will record both new episodes and reruns, but once a given episode resides on the hard disk it's smart enough to not record that same episode a second time . . .
Well, that's what WMC does, so that doesn't surprise me....

... but that was my point! What folks really want the DVR+ to do is what WMC and the "NSA of DVRs" both do: be "smart enough to not record that same episode a second time," as you so eloquently put it. But what everyone says they want is the much less useful feature of skipping all reruns, whether recorded or not - so that's probably what we'll end up with.

I thought I was clear enough, but deliberate obtuseness has a long history in this thread.
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post #5423 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That was the feeling I got after I posted my previous question about back-to-back recordings; instead of getting a simple answer, the consensus was "why would anyone want that?" As if no one had ever had the first few seconds of a recording cut off (or as if no one here cares if their recordings get cut off).
In this case you end up cutting off the end of the first show and it's "added" to the beginning of the second recording. That's fine if you are aware and you can watch the ending at the beginning of the second recording. It does get "nasty" at times if you watch the second recording before the first as you may see major spoilers such as who killed someone that more of less ruins the excitement of the first show. Ran into that enough that I pretty remember now... and avoid such. Now if you fast foward to the beginning of the second show (bypassing the end of the first) and delete the recording before viewing the first you may never know who did it!
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post #5424 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 10:50 AM
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Distressing. Please check to see if it is repeatable. When you test, use a combination of CBS and NBC and the CW as these channels broadcast their HD at the highest bitrates (15-17Mbps) and will provide the most stress on the ability of the HDD and the USB interface to handle the simultaneous HD streams.

The highest stress state would be to have two of those channels recording while watching a recording of one of those channels. The DVR CPU in the box has enough power to handle three HD streams. I wonder if one would see these issues on the 1TB model that has an internal HDD on a SATA interface. I'm starting to fear the external HDD feature is going to be a continuing source of issues.

This sounds exactly like my old 720p audio dropout issue. To re-cap, I get audio dropouts when playing a 720p recording whenever there is a background recording active. This includes "rewinding" and watching a 720p program from the buffer.


Sometimes it is worse than other times. I've always been skeptical that it is related to HDD issues. As you point out, the 720p programs should have slightly lower bit rates than 1080i. I don't get audio dropouts watching recordings from CBS regardless of background recordings, and our CBS channel is full-bitrate with no sub-channels. No dropouts from NBC or PBS 1080i recordings either (though they do have sub-channels).
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post #5425 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
... but that was my point! What folks really want the DVR+ to do is what WMC and the "NSA of DVRs" both do: be "smart enough to not record that same episode a second time," as you so eloquently put it. But what everyone says they want is the much less useful feature of skipping all reruns, whether recorded or not - so that's probably what we'll end up with.
I see no indication that people are clamoring for an either/or scenario but rather the included option of specifying that only new episodes be recorded. I strongly suspect that is what will be added -- the option to record only new episodes. The form it takes will depend on how feature-complete they want to make the DVR+. The meta-data is all there in the guide to allow them to be as complete as they want to be.

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I thought I was clear enough, but deliberate obtuseness has a long history in this thread.
When several people do not understand the point you are trying to make, to issue a statement like that is insulting.

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post #5426 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mbuchana View Post
This sounds exactly like my old 720p audio dropout issue. To re-cap, I get audio dropouts when playing a 720p recording whenever there is a background recording active. This includes "rewinding" and watching a 720p program from the buffer.

As you point out, the 720p programs should have slightly lower bit rates than 1080i.
720p bitrates depend on the Network. I transfer a lot of recordings to my server and the transfer utility shows the bitrates. CBS, NBC and CW broadcast with the highest bitrates and are 1080i. ABC and FOX broadcast at 720p but ABC runs two HD channels and so the bitrate is <8Mbps for their primary channel whereas FOX broadcasts their 720p at 13-15Mbps.

If you are having your problems with ABC, then something is really wrong.

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post #5427 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
720p bitrates depend on the Network. I transfer a lot of recordings to my server and the transfer utility shows the bitrates. CBS, NBC and CW broadcast with the highest bitrates and are 1080i. ABC and FOX broadcast at 720p but ABC runs two HD channels and so the bitrate is <8Mbps for their primary channel whereas FOX broadcasts their 720p at 13-15Mbps.

If you are having your problems with ABC, then something is really wrong.
I've generally felt that ABC was the worst with the most frequent dropouts. But I get the audio dropouts on Fox and CW (which is 720p here) recordings also.

I think the bit rates depend on the local channel, as well as the network (e.g. whether the local channel has sub-channels or not).

I think the audio dropouts have something to do with the way the audio is encoded on these 720p channels, rather than a bandwidth/HDD issue. Why they would be OK "live" but have dropouts when playing back recordings (and only when background recordings are active) is pretty strange.

This is definitely the most annoying problem with the DVR+ for me.
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post #5428 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 01:26 PM
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I think his post was expressing sarcasm. I could be wrong but that was the tone to me.
No sarcasm whatsoever.
Curious as to how you interpreted that post as sarcasm?
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post #5429 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
720p bitrates depend on the Network. I transfer a lot of recordings to my server and the transfer utility shows the bitrates. CBS, NBC and CW broadcast with the highest bitrates and are 1080i. ABC and FOX broadcast at 720p but ABC runs two HD channels and so the bitrate is <8Mbps for their primary channel whereas FOX broadcasts their 720p at 13-15Mbps.
When I had the audio dropout issue the other night, I was recording CBS (1080i) and buffering (aka, "rewinding") FOX (720p). The audio dropouts were consistent and frequent. It was quite "distressing" (as you put it), especially as it occurred with my new WD "purple" A/V drive!
I now plan to do further testing using this new drive.
I did notice (on two occasions) that the infamous "record two and watch one" scenario produced no audio dropouts with the new drive (they did occur with my "portable" drive fairly consistently). I was impressed with this outcome but that was now diffused with this "record one and buffer one" outcome!
Perhaps there truly is an internal issue with the DVR+ that's the catalyst!
Question is: Can this be remedied somehow via firmware manipulations or is it an incurable design flaw?

Last edited by OTA_jay; 10-30-2014 at 02:35 PM.
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post #5430 of 8202 Old 10-30-2014, 01:55 PM
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Just for the record, FOX is 1080i in my area.
Are you sure about that?

WNYW (if that is your local station) is shown as 720p on RabbitEars.Info.

http://www.rabbitears.info/search.ph...ch&network=FOX
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