Originally posted by HDTVFanAtic
I am spending Thanksgiving week with a family relative that has the R5000HD. It's given me a chance to kick the tires without actual purchase.
There are several major issues that I would like comment on. He is on the E* system with all the latest software from your company.
1) Despite all the initial claims of error free recording, the unit errors out and chokes on about 1 in every 8 captures. Of course, it always seems to choke when its a showing of something that cannot be replaced easily - such as Hamlet the other day on SHO or The Amityville Horror. It seems this happens whether you record constant or nullstripping the excess. MPEG2Repair seems to show that the more and more errors occur as time goes forward. What is being done to fix this?
Wow, what a laundry list! I think you are hanging on to some kind of misplaced theory that we somehow add some sort of cumulative errors to both the recorded stream and into the STB as well.
What I advise you to do is run simultaneous analog VHS recordings along with your captures and compare each glitch point to see if it was in the original stream. Also, if you have the luxury of doing so, make the analog recording from an unmodofied box so that you can also rule out that the R5000-HD is somehow "feeding" these errors back into the data bus.
We do this 'round the clock and we have found that there are numerous errors that are "in the stream", e.g. they are not even due to local reception drop-outs & glitches (as verified through simultaneous captures done on setups in different parts of the country). Either E* has some uplink problems or less likely their multiplexers are occasionaly hicupping.
Analysis with MPEG2Repair is not really appropriate since it looks for errors in the actual MPEG data rather than in the stream structure which is what re-multiplxing is about.
2) The unit seems to get "stuck" on PPV for lack of a better term. If you cap a PPV channel, then the channel appears to blank itself out when the movie ends - and then asks you to buy the next movie once it starts - wanting a yes or no answer. When the R5000 tries to change channels at the next cap time, its stuck on the PPV wanting a yes or no so you miss any and all future captures.?
You probably can't schedule PPV events this way. They may have to be recorded manually since there is no way for the R5000 to get feedback from the screen and answer the dialog box.
3) If you set up a PPV event, the unit seems to start up to a minute before the event - yet the channel is not open - so it appears the unit errors out for lack of a stream and shuts down?
4) Thus, it appears all PPV has to be done manually - and be quick on the draw as they only open up the channel at :00:00 and quickly start the movie.
A provision can possibly be made for starting PPV events...
5) The PVR does not load a default capture schedule. Thus if you leave for the day and the power glitches for a second thus reseting your computer - the computer comes back up ready to capture - but without a default capture list loaded..
What is a "defualt capture list?" You have to save your list to a specific file name and then what you can do is put that name is the command line for the PVR and place that link in the startup folder. That way when the computer re-boots it will automatically run the PVR and load that session. But you do have to save it first (File->Save or Save As).
6) Zap2it for some reason times out every 10 or so minutes. Thus when you try to go to another webpage, it asks for a name and password - taking you to the options screen before you can then get to listings.
I have tried to adjust the computer giving zap2it a trusted site url designation and essentially have it opened up on the computer - yet this continues. Considering Auction Software has a place for your name and password that instantly transmits it to eBay when it places a bid, couldn't this be built into the R5000 system so it would always insert it and take you to the listings without the intermediate hassle every few minutes?
See reply by MichaelZ.
7) Several times the capture doesnt start - the app says waiting on drive - and nothing happens. As this is a 3.04 P4 with no other apps running - dedicated to capturing from the R5000HD, this sound very strange. Especially as it ruins your chance at the capture.
You would have to supply us with more specifics so we can work with you to try to see why this is happening with your setup...
I could see someone living with problems 1-6 above. What I cannot see them living with is #7 or #8....the worse problem.
#8 The worse problem - and this is REALLY BAD is now that the R5000 system is in place, the brand new 6000 (this was sent by E* as a warranty replacement several weeks before the mod) seems to loose audio sync the longer it goes.
Within a day or so. there is a lag of audio and picture of several seconds. This lag includes the cap - as well as the on screen output. The only way to clear it is to unplug the STB and plug it back in.
It might just be coincidence, but my relative said they didnt notice this until last weekend when the new software upgrade came out. I don't see how it could be causing the lag in the STB output to the TV as the software is on the CPU - but something clearly is messed up.
We have seen this happen quite a bit in our tests and it has nothing to do with the R5000-HD or any of the software upgrades. Using our "monitoring" process as described under #1, this is always attributed to a bad glitch in the stream that causes the STB decoder to be thrown off sync. It is not cummulative as you state. Watching the analog VHS, this is a typical scenario: everything is fine, then there is a pretty bad glitch, usually with a long video freeze. After that the audio can be BADLY out-of sync (a few seconds or more) and the video is "jerky". Watching the R5000-HD capture, before and after that glitch point, the sync is fine. So, I don't know how it could be that we feed these errors into the STB but somehow not into the recorded stream???
It also appears that the new software is causing alot more errors than the older versions - as reported by MPEG2Repair and MPRobe.
What would be causing this as it has made most caps unusable - atleast the ones that actually don't error out and restart the file.
I was very interested in this unit but after test driving for a while, I have major concerns.
#8 is an absolute deal breaker for me.
As mentioned previously, these tools are not really appropriate for analyzing the quality of the R5000-HD remultiplexing. They will report (and properly so) any errors caused from reception glitches and drop-outs. These are beyond our control and are passed on as is into the final stream.
Sorry to loose you as a customer.
What is being done to fix these problems?
As soon as testing is completed we will be introducing a version that will hopefully never "error out" and re-start on bad stream errors. Our user base has indicated a preference for a continuous file containing whatever bad glitching exists rather than multiple parts. This "error resilience" has already been improved in the current version. Thank you.