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Greetings from the inside - Page 2  

post #31 of 230
Hi Richard - your presence here is most welcome.

Here's my little story.

I had a 3030 (in fact, I can get it back if I need to.) Its operation was nearly flawless for the last several years since I bought it, and had Great Wife Acceptance Factor :-). Last week I "upgraded" (I now hesitate slightly to use that word) to a 5040, mostly based on my strong experience with the earlier product, but also to gain support for a Samsung SIR-TS160 DirecTV receiver that it seemed was probably never going to get IR support in the 3030, but was recently added to the 4/5000 models.

The experience has not been dreadful, by any means, but I have noticed a bunch of annoyances that I feel are worth highlighting that make this a less pleasant experience than the old box, and that tech support has not seen fit to provide any meaningful reply on, to date.

1) While the 5040 is downloading a show (at only 128kbps, not very taxing) from a fellow PlanetReplay user, live TV on the Replay stutters often, as though it's not capable of keeping up with the incoming download and live TV at the same time. This is dreadfully annoying, since it can take upwards of 4-5 days to download a single 1-hour show from a friend at that kind of transmission rate.

2) (But probably more importantly) My old 3030 controlled my Sony B55 DirecTV receiver flawlessly through serial. Never screwed up a single channel change once in the several years I've had it. The 5040 often seems to not successfully make channel changes to that same box, (and therefore recording the wrong channel) even though it's hooked up through exactly the same serial cable, in exactly the same way. All the obvious things like rebooting the sat receiver and checking the solidity of the cable connection have been checked multiple times. Just flipping with the Channel+ button is enough to see the problem occur after a few attempts. This is a deal breaker, if you can't ensure that a recording will safely take place as scheduled.

2a) Channel changes take far longer than on the old box (Probably 5 seconds or so, even with the serial cable). This effectively makes surfing impractical.

3) The box spontaneously crashes or reboots way too often. I've seen 3 unwelcome reboots during playback or other normal usage in one week of usage. By contrast, the lockup rate on the 3030 was maybe once every two months or so on average, far less of a nuisance.

These are my biggest beefs about the new box thus far, it really hasn't been as smooth as the older box, even if the older one was slightly less capable in some ways given the lack of a broadband connection. I'm willing to wait it out and see if some of these things can be investigated and addressed in an upcoming software release, but it's been mildly distressing.

Regards,
Andy, Longtime Diehard Replay early adopter. :-)
post #32 of 230
Hey Richard,

Welcome. Is there and ETA that is more specific than Q1 for 5k&4k streaming/sharing? There are a lot of us that would love to leverage our 4K's and 5K's.
post #33 of 230
Well, RB:

First and foremost, welcome. I'm sorry you got such a sour send off from the "other" forum. (I have two DTiVos, as well as a Replay 3060, so I spend time in both.) Fanaticism can be a double-edged sword.

You can count me in the camp of folks with older Replay units that are waiting on the sidelines for SBLU to get the newer units straightened out. They just don't seem to be stable, despite the major hardware upgrade.

With your expertise, I'm sure SBLU will find those stacks of user requests to be more than wasted bandwidth on the company pipes. Just don't make the interface too cute. (Like I said, I already have two DTiVos.)
post #34 of 230
Welcome back!

I'm glad sonicblue has changed their policies. (not that I knew what they were before since you guys couldn't tell us :) ) I hope the voices on this forum can help shape your company since we all have a vested interest in it.

I won't beg for any help just yet. :) Most of that has been done on various other threads. I just hope you have the chance to look at some of them and try address some of the major issues that pop up. Addressing these issues is what will make replay a better product for everyone. (Although it looks like you're already underway)
post #35 of 230
Richard,
Welcome! We couldn't be happier that you are here with us. Thank you so much!

The noise that 5000 model owners are talking about is the very noisy fans. Do you know if they have now begun using quieter fans on the 5160s or beyond? It is so odd, because the 4000 units were so quiet.

Please ask around SB/ReplayTV about the fan noise, it has been a huge issue here.

Thanks and again, welcome!
~Replayer (a.k.a. Markito Burrito)
post #36 of 230
Welcome to the forums RB! It is nice to see a SB employee will be posting regularly (anyone know what happened to Lyndon, btw? I haven't seen him in a while).

I am also one of those that is waiting for SB to straighten out a few of the issues on the 5k series before upgrading. I currently own 3 3k series units, and would like to replace them with 2 of the newer units. But hopefully some of the issues that people have seen will be sorted out soon (although the $100 worth of rebates is very tempting).

Glad your here and hopefully you won't be scared off.

-Scyber
post #37 of 230
Hi Richard and thanks for spending time in this forum. I am a proud owner of two (unhacked) series 4xxx ReplayTVs. I think one of the biggest questions we all have is will there soon be a release that better addresses conflict managament? As you know the TIVO conflict management is vastly superior to RTV. I realize this is a huge change in the current software to implement but was wondering if you guys are/will be taking any steps in that direction?

Thanks and again a warm welcome to this forum.

-Kevin
post #38 of 230
Welcome to the forum, good to see someone here representing SB.

Quote:
Originally posted by SonicRichard
They are 5000s.
But can YOU stream between them at high quality with both units turned on? ;)

-Gary
post #39 of 230
Quote:
Originally posted by SonicRichard

(The previous was a joke. Do not submerse any electronic equipment in water unless it is painted yellow.)

-RB
I painted mine yellow before submersion but it still tripped the GFI :mad:

Welcome aboard Richard. I'm sure you'll feel welcome and at home, but never leave the flak jacket out of reach. Honeymoons here tend to be short lived ;)
post #40 of 230
So Richard, tell us more than the press release does about the new DVD Player that Sonic Blue won a "Best In Show" award for. A networked DVD Player. With a network card already there is what I read.

Will it network with a Replay?
What about a networked DVD Recorder instead of player?

And when is the handheld Replay hitting the markets?

Oh, by the way, better quality picture and sound on the 45xx series in the future, please?
post #41 of 230
Richard,i hope you get a chance to address this commercial advance issue for those with software release 300 on their units...perhaps a timetable for the fix or if there is anything one can do to deal with it....
post #42 of 230
SO richard you have 320GB 5000 models ... thats very interesting...

Since i don't think there's a 320GB HD (IDE) drive out there then it means the 5000 does support 2 drives....

Correct me if i'm wrong.


Low.
post #43 of 230
Richard,

Very nice to have you around. Hopefully, we won't scare you off with our energy about the Replays'.

My question relates to C-Band/4DTV guide support. There is an aftermarket interface box to translate the serial output from the RTV into the Motorola 4DTV C-Band receiver Sat and Channel. I'd live to get in touch with the best person at SonicBlue to enable the direct support of the 4DTV's, using serial support.

ANy Hope?
post #44 of 230
RB, Replay friendlier? Does that mean that they are going to do something about the G/NG problems? (No to-do-list, no conflict warnings, full Replay but nothing recorded - just out of G space?)

In other words, are we going to see those improvements we've been waiting 3 years for?
post #45 of 230
Quote:
Originally posted by Serra
RB, Replay friendlier? Does that mean that they are going to do something about the G/NG problems? (No to-do-list, no conflict warnings, full Replay but nothing recorded - just out of G space?)

In other words, are we going to see those improvements we've been waiting 3 years for?
Serra, do you have a newer unit? There ARE conflict warnings now (in some circumstances) and the whole "out of space due to lots of guaranteed recordings but nothing actually recorded" isn't a flaw, it's how it works. I prefer it this way....
post #46 of 230
Welcome Richard,
I am glad you are here to help answer questions. It will hopefully save
days of debating and speculation that usually occures.
Someone with true insight at SBLU is much welcomed here.

AnthonyNYC
post #47 of 230
Welcome back Richard.

I have been a diehard TiVo user for several years and I love my D-TiVo. I don't know if you continue to browse the TiVo boards but there is a growing discontent with TiVo's early adopters and TiVo's lack of any plans for HDTV support.

Can you tell me where Replay stands on HDTV? It appears that next year is going to be huge for HDTV and Replay could grab some market share from TiVo if they were first with HDTV support.

Thanks.
Gary
post #48 of 230
Good to see Mr. RB here! :D

Was wondering about a few things:

1) Playback issues: I keep getting picture freezes during playback. I'm assuming it's an incorrectly encoded MPEG, due to me asking the machine to do too much - like recording one show at HIGH and playing another HIGH back at the same time. Are there any plans to make the playback process a little more forgiving so the playback doesn't freeze?

2) Network issues: There is some indication that having three or more Replays on the wire makes them lose track of each other. ReplayLyndon once said this was a known problem and being worked on. Any status update?

3) 48 hour reboots? Any improvement planned?

4) 4000/5000 interoperability?

These are sort of revenue issues as far as SB are concerned, in that I will not be at all tempted to buy a fifth or sixth ReplayTV until they are properly addressed. And, yes, I would otherwise be in the market for a fifth or sixth ReplayTV.
post #49 of 230
Quote:
Originally posted by GScott
Welcome back Richard.

I have been a diehard TiVo user for several years and I love my D-TiVo. I don't know if you continue to browse the TiVo boards but there is a growing discontent with TiVo's early adopters and TiVo's lack of any plans for HDTV support.

Can you tell me where Replay stands on HDTV? It appears that next year is going to be huge for HDTV and Replay could grab some market share from TiVo if they were first with HDTV support.

Thanks.
Gary
Until they hammer out the copy protection issues for HDTV, any work done towards making an HDTV PVR would be wasted effort. At this point, I am recommending to all of my family and friends to NOT purchase anything for HDTV. Maybe after the new encoding standards are set and adopted (next summer?), but not now.
post #50 of 230
Welcome Richard!!!

Very glad to see you here in the Forum.

Could you please give us an idea on when MyReplayTV (or the ReplyTV itself) might support on demand recording of shows. I believe that the first hint of that being a future posibility was with the introduction of the 4xxx series.
post #51 of 230
Hi RB,

No issues - Just Welcome.

Glad sanity returns to SB.
post #52 of 230
Quote:
Originally posted by Scyber
Welcome to the forums RB! It is nice to see a SB employee will be posting regularly (anyone know what happened to Lyndon, btw? I haven't seen him in a while).
I'm sure you can figure it out Scyber, he's still there, but not for long.


Greetings Richard!

Nice to hear from someone inside. I'm a bit of a ReplayTV evangelist myself, most members in this area are! I love my ReplayTVs!

I've got a few issue. I'll save more for a later time/date.

For now, can you give any info on upgrade paths? I've got three 3k models and I've got 2 5040s waiting to be picked up at CircuitCity. After dealing with customer service hell for the past week I'm about ready to just forget about the 5040s. It's really been frustrating and disheartening.

I've heard from your CEO and others at the company the CS issue is being worked on. That's good to hear, it really needs help and quickly. Maybe the move was done a little premature? It seems SB may have hurt themselves by making this switch during the holiday buying season. Really bad choice if you ask me.
post #53 of 230
Thread Starter 
Okay, here come the replies:

1. On Noise: The 5000s have a louder fan – we aren’t pleased with it either and are working towards a fix. We are working on ways to quiet it by reducing rotation speed when the box isn’t hot. We’re not certain that can happen, but there are people working on it. I’ll let you know more as I know more.
2. On No Commercial Skip: This was a production issue on some of the boxes, can be fixed, and will be fixed. The engineers believe that it is a short term problem, which will probably be repaired within 3 months. It requires a remote reprogramming of an FPGA (Geek-speak for a programmable chip), and you have to make that sort of thing bulletproof. If we screw it up, the box won’t boot any more. I don’t know if this is going to be tied to a whole release or sent out as soon as we are confident of the fix.
3. On Serial Control: If the DIRECTV receiver has no Serial Control, you’re not going to be able to use serial, obviously. However, it is true that there is a new serial protocol used by some DIRECTV receivers. We don’t support it, yet. I believe we will, but I don’t have an estimate on it. I’m not even sure in Engineering who works on that sort of thing. I hate being the new guy.
4. On streaming high quality shows and playing high quality shows while recording high quality shows on 5000 boxes: Yep, it’s not reliable. We have a build that has significantly better performance, and those changes will be in the next release.

Thanks very much to Lyndon, Jateen, and Lance for some of the answers. Remember, I only have this roll because I can type fast. There are some really smart guys standing right behind me.

Cheers,
-RB
post #54 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by cliffcor
Richard,

Very nice to have you around. Hopefully, we won't scare you off with our energy about the Replays'.

My question relates to C-Band/4DTV guide support. There is an aftermarket interface box to translate the serial output from the RTV into the Motorola 4DTV C-Band receiver Sat and Channel. I'd live to get in touch with the best person at SonicBlue to enable the direct support of the 4DTV's, using serial support.

ANy Hope?
At this time we don't intend to extend support to the C-Band systems. I hate to tell you, but you're in a dying breed. You don't speak Latin, do you? ;) Seriously, it is not on our list of things to support. Sorry.

-RB
post #55 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by allaboutthetoys
Hey Richard,

Welcome. Is there and ETA that is more specific than Q1 for 5k&4k streaming/sharing? There are a lot of us that would love to leverage our 4K's and 5K's.
Definately part of the next release. I'll give you a better idea of when that will be when I have a better feeling for it.

-RB
post #56 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by sixt7gt350
Just don't make the interface too cute. (Like I said, I already have two DTiVos.)
How about warm and intuitive?

We won't be selling plush toys any time soon.

-RB
post #57 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by moyekj
Hi Richard and thanks for spending time in this forum. I am a proud owner of two (unhacked) series 4xxx ReplayTVs. I think one of the biggest questions we all have is will there soon be a release that better addresses conflict managament? As you know the TIVO conflict management is vastly superior to RTV. I realize this is a huge change in the current software to implement but was wondering if you guys are/will be taking any steps in that direction?

Thanks and again a warm welcome to this forum.

-Kevin
Better conflict management will come in several waves. You'll get the first taste of it in the next release. Then, sometime in the future, we'll make improvements that make TiVo's conflict management of today look like machine code (complicated and hard to use), but of couse, because I said that, they'll start working on a better method right away, right?

-RB
post #58 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hroeder
So Richard, tell us more than the press release does about the new DVD Player that Sonic Blue won a "Best In Show" award for. A networked DVD Player. With a network card already there is what I read.

Will it network with a Replay?
What about a networked DVD Recorder instead of player?

And when is the handheld Replay hitting the markets?

Oh, by the way, better quality picture and sound on the 45xx series in the future, please?
There will be more on the Networked DVD player at CES, but it's cool. It streams content from your computer to your TV.

Will it play ReplayTV content? Well, we hope so some day, but not at ship.

A DVD recorder isn't specifically in the works.

The handheld thingy... well, it's going to take some time. We want to get that just right. I have no predictions at this point.

-RB
post #59 of 230
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by RandyL712
Serra, do you have a newer unit? There ARE conflict warnings now (in some circumstances) and the whole "out of space due to lots of guaranteed recordings but nothing actually recorded" isn't a flaw, it's how it works. I prefer it this way....
Actually, I think the G/NG method is lazy. If I tell a box to record something, it better do it. And there better be a place where I can go and see that it's going to do it. And it better notify me if something changes and it can't do it...

Uh, there's the spec, boys, go build it! :)

The features described above will appear over the next few releases.
-RB
post #60 of 230
Quote:
Originally posted by SonicRichard
How about warm and intuitive?

-RB
So the blue color scheme will turn to a warmer brown? :)
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