Pace CableCARD HD Boxes (TDC779X, TDC778X and DC757X) - Page 22 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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lindend's Avatar lindend
10:45 AM Liked: 10
post #631 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,017
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

But Lindend is always saying that bug X is in the TVGuide software and that is common between the Motorola and Pace.

Depends on what X is. To draw an analog to computers, our firmware implements an API and the app (i.e. Office etc.) runs on top of the API. So the same app could theoretically run on Windows, Linux or whatever as long as it implemented the Win32 API needed by the app.

The core DVR functionality is implemented in our firmware and exposed by an API set. The EPG provides a user interface to access to DVR building blocks in the firmware. As I mentioned to another AVS user via PM, the firmware is capable of a few second jump back after completing a trick operation, but if the EPG doesn't provide the user interface to access the functionality, the user has no means of getting to it.
lindend's Avatar lindend
10:53 AM Liked: 10
post #632 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,017
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Sorry, It is just VOD that doesn't work with that error dialog that tells you to call a phone number.

It should have listed an error code. Do you remember the code?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

It appears that VOD needs a IP address to work?

Correct. The VOD app won't launch without it. The IP address is normally obtained several minutes after the box boots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Does it download menus from the provider and send the play request via IP?

The streaming/trick requests come via IP for all VOD vendors. The menu construction varies depending on the VOD client.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
12:21 PM Liked: 10
post #633 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

It should have listed an error code. Do you remember the code?

Sorry, I didn't see an error code. I will note it down next time.

I am sure you understood this. The DVR had a IP address and the VOD worked then for some reason it loses the IP address without a reboot (the up-time in the diag screen confirms no reboot happens).
Gemini88's Avatar Gemini88
01:36 PM Liked: 10
post #634 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2008
To: WHAT HAPPENED and LINDEND: You are right about the PACE PVR"s here in Canada... You can buy them outright... Which is why I asked about the difference in the three products(778X,779X and775X).... As for the sattillite boxes..same thing..you can buy them outright here in Canada...(that's why I wanted to know about PACE USA) Last Quiestion: does PACE in the US sell any refurbished units??? (BTW: I love your thread here...looks like you two are saving quite a few peoples butts>>>>(LOL)ThankYou
lindend's Avatar lindend
01:44 PM Liked: 10
post #635 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,017
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Sorry, I didn't see an error code. I will note it down next time.

By any chance, do you have the diags screen info when the box loses its IP address? In particular, we're interested in the IP INTERFACE STATUS.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
02:41 PM Liked: 10
post #636 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

By any chance, do you have the diags screen info when the box loses its IP address? In particular, we're interested in the IP INTERFACE STATUS.

IP INTERFACE STATUS: SCP_IF_DOWN

I would think that these would be interesting as well:

IP: ----
STATE: WAIT_DC_OR_C
TOTAL PACKETS: 306
ERROR PACKETS: 183
IP INTERFACE STATUS: SCP_IF_DOWN

I posted this information before, here is the link and quote (Ignore the values in BOLD and you have the pre-reboot status of the "13. Interactive Info" screen):
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

With the new FW 10.60 every time I go to watch VOD I have to reboot the DVR to make it work. On the old FW version I would have to reboot occasionally but not everyday I wanted to checkout VOD.

Is this VOD issue being worked on? Is the issue with the PACE box or the Mediacom system? This needs to be resolved soon.

Before rebooting the Dashboard shows the IP address in red. Can a special button sequence be added to the IP screen to make the DVR acquire a new one like the new CC reboot sequence?
Clicking the red IP address brings up the following (note values in (bold) are after reboot):
13. Interactive Info
IP ---- (10.12.222.215)
UPM 0x09613f
UPSTREAM ID 0x07d4
DOWNSTREAM ID 0X011D
STATE WAIT_DC_OR_C (RUNNING)
MAC ABOUT CNTR 6
TOTAL PACKETS 306 (2)
ERROR PACKETS 183 (0)
IP INTERFACE STATUS SCP_IF_DOWN (SCP_IF_UP)

SOCKET PORT STATE
00 - 11 UNUSED


lindend's Avatar lindend
03:10 PM Liked: 10
post #637 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

I posted this information before

Indeed. I apologize. I saw your post before I asked the question, but I didn't read it carefully enough (I missed the fact that you put both the good and bad values in the table). Sorry.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
03:15 PM Liked: 10
post #638 of 1068
06-24-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Indeed. I apologize. I saw your post before I asked the question, but I didn't read it carefully enough (I missed the fact that you put both the good and bad values in the table). Sorry.

No need to apologize. I am happy that PACE is looking at the issue

Could I throw out a guess that those erroneous packets are causing the issue (or at least proof of a system type issue)?
Not to say that there shouldn't be some kind of recovery from the errant state though.
rockman1_1's Avatar rockman1_1
07:10 AM Liked: 10
post #639 of 1068
06-25-2008 | Posts: 49
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Was this HD content? If so, what channel was it?

The skipping program was HD content. I believe it was FXHD, but it may have been TBSHD. The other tuner was on SD, MSNBC.
lindend's Avatar lindend
11:19 AM Liked: 10
post #640 of 1068
06-25-2008 | Posts: 1,017
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

No need to apologize. I am happy that PACE is looking at the issue

We have some follow up questions for the next time this happens:

1. If you stay on the diags page 14 for 5-10 minutes in this state, do the values change? In particular, what are the power levels (pwr)?

2. Can you please capture a screen shot of page 15.

3. If you leave the box for a while, will it ever acquire an IP address on its own? What is the max amount of time you've waited for an IP addres?

4. For diags page 13, do the values in the STATE: field ever change?

In regards to the request for a hidden key sequence to force the box to re-acquire an IP address. The moment the box loses its IP address, it will try to obtain a new one. There really isn't a need for a hidden sequence to activate the search. What is unclear is why it can't re-obtain one.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
01:03 PM Liked: 10
post #641 of 1068
06-25-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

We have some follow up questions for the next time this happens:

3. If you leave the box for a while, will it ever acquire an IP address on its own? What is the max amount of time you've waited for an IP address?

I can kind of answer this one now. Unfortunately this is the first time I went in to diagnostics to try to capture why VOD didn't work. This was the 5th or 6th time that VOD quit working since the new 10.60 FW. I have waited two full day before and the VOD would not start to work on its own again (if the box was recording a show I didn't want to reboot it.)

As Murphy would have it, the VOD has worked for 3 consecutive days in a row since last reboot (that is a first for FW 10.60). I will collect your information on the next VOD lockup (if it happens to me and not my son).

Is this the level you are interested in (earlier post)?:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

OOB Tuner SNR shows GOOD to FAIR Signal -2.6 Freq 75250
Upstream Lvl=56 FAIR


lindend's Avatar lindend
07:37 AM Liked: 10
post #642 of 1068
06-26-2008 | Posts: 1,017
Joined: Dec 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Is this the level you are interested in (earlier post)?:

Could you also please post the details from Diags page 14 (in a working scenario)?
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
11:14 AM Liked: 10
post #643 of 1068
06-27-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

We have some follow up questions for the next time this happens:

1. If you stay on the diags page 14 for 5-10 minutes in this state, do the values change? In particular, what are the power levels (pwr)?

2. Can you please capture a screen shot of page 15.

3. If you leave the box for a while, will it ever acquire an IP address on its own? What is the max amount of time you've waited for an IP addres?

4. For diags page 13, do the values in the STATE: field ever change?

In regards to the request for a hidden key sequence to force the box to re-acquire an IP address. The moment the box loses its IP address, it will try to obtain a new one. There really isn't a need for a hidden sequence to activate the search. What is unclear is why it can't re-obtain one.

Lindend,
You have PM...Too much to post here....
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
11:21 AM Liked: 10
post #644 of 1068
06-27-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

It should have listed an error code. Do you remember the code?

The error code for VOD not working today:

Unable to connect to VOD Server.
Cable Operator Reference 204
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
11:23 AM Liked: 10
post #645 of 1068
06-27-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
My tuner swap is not working today along with VOD, watching live TV, Cable card is not working.

Trying to swap tuners yields:
Unable to process request
A service problem has been detected.
Code ACC
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
02:12 AM Liked: 10
post #646 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Well VOD failed again tonight.

The message box has no code:

Unable To Process Request

Please Call
Customer Service at
800-332-0245

I captured some diagnostics and didn't see anything wrong. The IP address is fine. No new error in the screen 13 (the same number of error since it booted 65). The cable card is fine. I will PM the diag screens.

You press the VOD and then about 20-30 seconds later the message box above pops-up.

Rebooting the DVR restored VOD operation.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
11:34 AM Liked: 10
post #647 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Well VOD failed again tonight.

The message box has no code:

Unable To Process Request

Please Call
Customer Service at
800-332-0245

I captured some diagnostics and didn't see anything wrong. The IP address is fine. No new error in the screen 13 (the same number of error since it booted 65). The cable card is fine. I will PM the diag screens.

You press the VOD and then about 20-30 seconds later the message box above pops-up.

Rebooting the DVR restored VOD operation.

No VOD again to day noon. Same as above, IP address fine, Cablecard fine.
I am not going to reboot yet.

One difference is that diag screen 13. has
SOCKET PORT STATE
00 36371 OPENED

Usually it seems all the Sockets are UNUSED. Is this significant?

UPDATE: I called Mediacom and the customer service Representative says she couldn't communicate with the box. So maybe the IP address is lost but the DVR doesn't know it yet? Does it only show the lost IP address after a certain period of not hearing a ping message?

WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
12:17 PM Liked: 10
post #648 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

No VOD again to day noon. Same as above, IP address fine, Cablecard fine.
I am not going to reboot yet.

Lindend,
What can be done at this point. Less then 12 hours of VOD working. Mediacom not being about to talk to the DVR. Is it time to exchange this DVR? Seems weird since before 10.60 this didn't happen. Are PACE and Mediacom working the issue? I think this recent VOD failure is the one that has been happening mostly. The CCard and no IP address VOD failure bring up a VOD error box pretty fast where this failure takes 20-30 seconds to pop up the "Unable to Process Request" box with no error codes.

Is Pace's software responsible for that "Unable to Process Request" box (it was in the Diag I sent you).
lindend's Avatar lindend
12:51 PM Liked: 10
post #649 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Usually it seems all the Sockets are UNUSED. Is this significant?

For this version of TV Guide, this is normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

UPDATE: I called Mediacom and the customer service Representative says she couldn't communicate with the box.

That communication isn't done over IP but via a proprietary protocol to the headend. Don't have enough info at this point to further narrow down the issue.

We initially are suspicious about your signal (but we don't have enough screen caps yet to prove/disprove the theory). Do you have any splitters in your residence?
lindend's Avatar lindend
01:02 PM Liked: 10
post #650 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Is it time to exchange this DVR?

So far, it wouldn't appear like a hardware issue.

One thing to note about the diags signal level reports. They can be +/- 4 from the level reported in diags. The further away from 0, the greater the potential variance. Thus, while your signal may be shown in green, its possible that its really right on the edge. Do you have any equipment to measure the signal when it reaches your house and then when it reaches the box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Are PACE and Mediacom working the issue?

I'm afraid I can't comment on this one in the public forum (or via PM). But I will say that your AVS report is the first time I heard of this issue.

We aren't aware of any code change/fix in 10.60 that might cause this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

Is Pace's software responsible for that "Unable to Process Request" box (it was in the Diag I sent you).

Normally, the VOD app shows an error code that gives a hint to what went wrong. I didn't see the code in your screen cap, so I can't tell remotely what went wrong.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
01:03 PM Liked: 10
post #651 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

For this version of TV Guide, this is normal.



That communication isn't done over IP but via a proprietary protocol to the headend. Don't have enough info at this point to further narrow down the issue.

We initially are suspicious about your signal (but we don't have enough screen caps yet to prove/disprove the theory). Do you have any splitters in your residence?

Yes there are splitters and taps.
PHP Code:
----TAP-------------TAP---------Splitter (3way)----Splitter (4way)----PACE DVR
 Cable modem      Phone Modem 
Why would rebooting change a signal level issue? Can you be more specific about the signal level you are worried about. The return path looks to be around 40. Is that high?
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
01:28 PM Liked: 10
post #652 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Do you have any equipment to measure the signal when it reaches your house and then when it reaches the box?

Not at 75 ohms. The test gear I have access to is for 50 ohms.

Which frequencies are you wanting to look at?
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
05:43 PM Liked: 10
post #653 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

So far, it wouldn't appear like a hardware issue.

One thing to note about the diags signal level reports. They can be +/- 4 from the level reported in diags. The further away from 0, the greater the potential variance. Thus, while your signal may be shown in green, its possible that its really right on the edge. Do you have any equipment to measure the signal when it reaches your house and then when it reaches the box?

If you think that low signal levels are exposing a PACE bug I might believe that.

I removed the splitters (only left taps) and the signal level reported by pace for OOB is 10.4dBmV. This doesn't make the VOD start to work though. If high levels of signal don't restore VOD operation and a reboot does how could it be a signal issue (expect as I stated above)?

The unit has not received a Poll Req since when it stopped working 6 hours ago. What frequency are these sent on (OOB)? The unit then has not returned a Poll ACK for 6 hours.

How often should these polls be? Doesn't this look like the mechanism to receive them is malfunctioning?


This is from diag screen 10. Upstream Modem
Reportback Path StarVue
Status IDLE
Freq 10400
Level 38
IPPV Enabled
Last Poll Req 41 06/30/2008 12:39:36
Last Poll Req 41 06/30/2008 12:39:43

As to what in the new FW version that could have caused this, I would say the same bug that causes the box to start on channel 1 instead of the last channel (race condition with drive spin-up.) If the codes authors are not experienced in writing thread safe code then the entire unit could be riddled with race conditions. The receive thread (one receiving the polls) could be pending in a dead lock.
lindend's Avatar lindend
07:14 PM Liked: 10
post #654 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

I removed the splitters (only left taps) and the signal level reported by pace for OOB is 10.4dBmV. This doesn't make the VOD start to work though. If high levels of signal don't restore VOD operation and a reboot does how could it be a signal issue (expect as I stated above)?

I never stated that it would solve the problem (if I confused you on this, I apologize). We just noticed that the diagnostics revealed a potential issue with signal quality--hence the question about splitters. We're just trying to collect info on the problem right now and isolate potential causes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post


How often should these polls be? Doesn't this look like the mechanism to receive them is malfunctioning?

I'm looking that info up for you. I'm also trying to get details on what frequencies should be checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post

I would say the same bug that causes the box to start on channel 1 instead of the last channel (race condition with drive spin-up.)

That particular issue is a bug in the EPG and not Pace code. Our code is in fact written to be thread safe from the ground up. As I mentioned before, the EPG isn't HDD spin up/down aware (it has nothing to do with thread safety) and the work around we have for that problem wasn't 100% foolproof.

I can definitively state that the two issues are not related.
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
10:19 PM Liked: 10
post #655 of 1068
06-30-2008 | Posts: 1,791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

That particular issue is a bug in the EPG and not Pace code. Our code is in fact written to be thread safe from the ground up. As I mentioned before, the EPG isn't HDD spin up/down aware (it has nothing to do with thread safety) and the work around we have for that problem wasn't 100% foolproof.

I can definitively state that the two issues are not related.

Thanks for clarifying that. I didn't take what you said before as a statement that there was a bug with the EPG provider.

I have another bit of information. I rebooted tonight to get VOD working again.

From a working condition if you remove the RF connection and try VOD you get the same error box in 30 seconds (no error code). But that error box is followed by another error box that has the 204 error code. If you look in the diag. the IP address is lost in that condition. Re-attaching the RF cable and trying VOD and you get the 204 error code dialog again. Letting the DVR acquire an IP address and VOD works again.

When I removed the RF cable from the non-working condition this afternoon and tried VOD I only got the error box with no error code and didn't get the following box with the 204 code. And the IP address was never lost by trying VOD with a unattached RF cable. So what ever logic in the DVR that clears or determines that it can't communication via IP and clears the address was not functioning. I left the box in the non-working state for 6 hours and it never would do VOD until I rebooted it.

This seems to isolate the issue as a client and not a server issue because the DVR is behaving differently without the RF cable in the working VOD and non-working VOD case.

I hope this behavior gives some clues to the designer of IP subsystem of the PACE DVR.
lindend's Avatar lindend
08:08 AM Liked: 10
post #656 of 1068
07-01-2008 | Posts: 1,017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappend View Post


How often should these polls be? Doesn't this look like the mechanism to receive them is malfunctioning?

Polling frequency is site specific (often its just once a day).
WhatHappend's Avatar WhatHappend
06:26 PM Liked: 10
post #657 of 1068
07-06-2008 | Posts: 1,791
Joined: Nov 2005
As a test I turned off the "Hard Disk Sleep Mode". VOD has been working for over 6 days. (First time since 10.60 FW)

The 10.60 FW is the first software that has allowed my DVR to sleep the hard drives consistently. My unit has 3048 "# Standby Spindowns" now with the new FW. (The is only 365 days a year and FW 10.60 has been out less then 3 months? That is a lot of spindowns per day.)

It would seem the VOD issue may be related to HDD Spindown just like the starting up on channel 1 issue is.

I am going to re-enabled sleep mode to save power again (I will be on vacation for a week.)
acidtec's Avatar acidtec
11:16 PM Liked: 10
post #658 of 1068
07-09-2008 | Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2007
Ok, Mediacom says the box is bad, but I want a second opinion. I have a 779x, and everything works ok except the VOD. It loads fine, pulls all the EPG, and everything is ok until you attempt to watch a program. It then pops up with a grey box stating "In order to start cable service for this device, please contact your cable provider." It then has the CableCard ID, Host ID, and Data, followed by UnitAddress, Card S/N, eCM MAC, and Host MAC. You can see the first couple of frames of the movie in the background, and that's it.

Provider is Mediacom, FW is 10.57. They've hit the box, and I've power-cycled it multiple times (hard and soft) with no change. My secondary DCT (SD-only) works fine with the VOD. All signal stats appear to be good, the line tap was replaced last week, diags show all green. All other functions (DVR, HD channels, etc) work fine.
toadtaste's Avatar toadtaste
02:54 PM Liked: 10
post #659 of 1068
07-10-2008 | Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2007
acidtec. You are correct this box is not bad, but wasn't provisioned correctly. I sent you a PM about getting it resolved for you.
payouthead's Avatar payouthead
08:30 PM Liked: 10
post #660 of 1068
07-15-2008 | Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2007
Hi folks
I have the DC757X box here and I have a spare SATA hard drive just sitting in a box. I want to use it for DVR functions, but I get a "DVR SERVICE UNAVAILABLE" error message. Anything I can do to fix this?
Thanks

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