Summary: Guide stops 7/15/2015 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 63 Old 07-15-2015, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Summary: Guide stops 7/15/2015

Last updated: 7/20 22:22CDT

There's a big thread talking about the issue, but I figured I would post a summary of the situation.
  • Around the July 4th holiday the DNNA guide update process stopped adding new days. The last day in the guide was 7/15.
  • DNNA/ReplayTV were made aware of the issue after the holiday and said they were working on the problem.
  • On 7/20 ReplayTV.com reports the parent company Digital Networks North America has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (liquidation).
Long-term Solutions
  • Easiest solution is to sign up for PERC/Laho. Info HERE
  • If you have a Windows machine available, you can install WiRNS 3.0, and get a Schedules Direct account. (cheaper than LaHo)
Disclaimer: I run PERCdata..

FAQ @ XMLTV

I'll keep this top-post updated.
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Last edited by Reden; 07-20-2015 at 09:26 PM. Reason: Replay went under!
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post #2 of 63 Old 07-18-2015, 12:13 AM
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Thank you, Reden. I am brand new to this forum. I just registered because of this problem. I love my DVR's and would like to continue to use them, so this concerns me a lot... not to mention, I'm missing all of my shows I have scheduled to record. Another concern that I have is that my cable provider has notified me recently that they are dropping their analog signal and are going to force us to switch to digital, or rent their cable box. I am very "old school" and I am perfectly happy with my CRT TVs. The big flat screens are nice, but they are still way too expensive to justify what they do... they are still just TV's. Anyway, I don't know how you know what you know, but I'm glad that you do! Have you heard anymore about DNNA having a fix yet? How did this happen in the first place? Lastly, will the service still work with a digital broadcast even if they do get it working again? Thanks again.

Own Two 5040 Replay TV DVR's, Both with Dual Maxtor 340GB HDD's (680GB's Each)
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post #3 of 63 Old 07-18-2015, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnlovrs View Post
Lastly, will the service still work with a digital broadcast even if they do get it working again?
Unfortunately, the RTV units cannot do anything with a digital signal. Once your cable company switches to digital you will need to have a cable box to send the signal to the Replays, with an IR blaster to change channels. It's an annoying and inelegant setup, but necessary if you want to Replays to keep working. Your cable company may have some basic digital adapters which should cost less than their full cable boxes, but either way you need some sort of box for each RTV.
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post #4 of 63 Old 07-18-2015, 09:41 AM
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Thanks for the updates from everyone on this and other forums. I didn't even realize this was an issue until this morning when I went to check the guide for my regular weekend recordings (which is all I have for the summer). I did notice that the guide had some programming errors a coupe of days ago, but I was still able to move days into the future at that point.

I called this morning (even though I know they are closed) and got the recording stating that they are aware and working on it. I may call Monday to offer support (there are still lots of us out there).

Meanwhile, instead of converting boxes to LaHo and having to build that server, I may just get a cable company dvr for now.

Hope they do fix this. I love my RTVs.
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post #5 of 63 Old 07-20-2015, 09:25 PM
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From the original thread {https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-replaytv-showstopper-pvrs/2057450-guide-stops-7-15-a-5.html#post35911834}:

======
DNNA filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy today
According to ReplayTV.com DNNA filed for chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy today, 7/20/2015. It's possible that another company could buy the technology and crank up the service again, but it seems unlikely since it doesn't generate any revenue. Personally, I would be willing to pay a few bucks a month to have the service. In the mean time, I guess try to figure out how to use WiRNS.
======

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post #6 of 63 Old 07-20-2015, 09:39 PM
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bankrupt

The recorded message at the DNNA phone number now says the company's filed for bankruptcy. Looks like the end of the free guide, among other things.
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post #7 of 63 Old 07-20-2015, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interrociter View Post
The recorded message at the DNNA phone number now says the company's filed for bankruptcy. Looks like the end of the free guide, among other things.
My guides were not free for my four showstoppers. I and lots of other people paid close to a thousand dollars each for them and was told that they came with "lifetime" guide service. I guess I have lived too long as I am still alive but my showstoppers are now doorstops! Am I bitter yes, but I am grateful for this forum and all its members who have helped me out over the years.

Last edited by cajon; 07-20-2015 at 09:55 PM. Reason: addind lines
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post #8 of 63 Old 07-21-2015, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarl_cabot View Post
From the original thread {https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-replaytv-showstopper-pvrs/2057450-guide-stops-7-15-a-5.html#post35911834}:

======
DNNA filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy today
According to ReplayTV.com DNNA filed for chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy today, 7/20/2015. It's possible that another company could buy the technology and crank up the service again, but it seems unlikely since it doesn't generate any revenue. Personally, I would be willing to pay a few bucks a month to have the service. In the mean time, I guess try to figure out how to use WiRNS.
======

I installed WiRNS3 4 years ago when it became available. I prefer it for the networkable Replays (7 of my 8 Replays are 5xxx). I suppose no one wants to buy a useless 2020. At least it worked until the end.
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post #9 of 63 Old 07-21-2015, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajon View Post
My guides were not free for my four showstoppers. I and lots of other people paid close to a thousand dollars each for them and was told that they came with "lifetime" guide service. I guess I have lived too long as I am still alive but my showstoppers are now doorstops! Am I bitter yes, but I am grateful for this forum and all its members who have helped me out over the years.
You're right, we did pay for the guides when we got our units. It's just been so long since I paid for my "lifetime" service that I've come to think of it as free on a continuing basis. But not anymore.
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post #10 of 63 Old 07-21-2015, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interrociter View Post
You're right, we did pay for the guides when we got our units. It's just been so long since I paid for my "lifetime" service that I've come to think of it as free on a continuing basis. But not anymore.
The only way the service could have really been "Lifetime" is if the parent company set up a protected trust fund to ensure that guide data servers and all the personnel / hardware / fees could have been paid out by the trust.

I am sure this didn't happen.

That being written, I know that the "Lifetime" lump sum was more to pay for the hardware than it was to provide the guide data...

I have no regrets with my purchases over the years. My RTV's serve me well now, and will continue to serve me into the future provided the hardware still functions.


Cheers!
Doug
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post #11 of 63 Old 07-22-2015, 09:59 PM
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstoffa View Post
The only way the service could have really been "Lifetime" is if the parent company set up a protected trust fund to ensure that guide data servers and all the personnel / hardware / fees could have been paid out by the trust.

I am sure this didn't happen.

That being written, I know that the "Lifetime" lump sum was more to pay for the hardware than it was to provide the guide data...

I have no regrets with my purchases over the years. My RTV's serve me well now, and will continue to serve me into the future provided the hardware still functions.


Cheers!
Doug
Its funny as I read this, those who gambled on Tivo and got their lifetime subs have been able to, with some cajoling, transfer their lifetime everytime they upgraded their Tivo's ... guess they got their technological
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post #12 of 63 Old 07-27-2015, 11:05 AM
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Success with WiRNS/FreeSCO (and Some Tips)

I spent most of Sunday setting up WiRNS/FreeSCO and successfully populated the guide. Here's a few things I found to help others:

1) Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. I wasted a lot of time when I missed or incorrectly performed critical steps.

2) WiRNS 3.0 worked better for me than the earlier 2.1. The old phone numbers were removed, leaving a fake number for "Any Town, USA" and the only the WiRNS channel lineup and "Other." WiRNS 2.1 left the prior phone numbers and added the WiRNS channel lineup, which was on another page. So, not following instructions and not scrolling to the next page, I selected a wrong lineup

3) When you set up SchedulesDirect, be sure to edit your channel lineup to remove channels that are not provided in your cable/satellite service. Also remove channels that you don't watch, HD channels which carry the same programming as SD channels already in your lineup, channels that don't carry programming (e. g. weather), etc. I didn't do that and it took well over an hour to download programming for some 500 channels and a Showstopper crashed several times late in the process.

SchedulesDirect has a way of deleting or adding ranges of channels, described on the edit page. I would suggest deleting all channels and adding back the ones you want. Make sure any channel that has recording scheduled is included.

4) While the phone line connection is active, don't open any windows on WiRNS except the Live Logfile Viewer.

5) If you get messages that a program can not record because its channel has been removed from your lineup, verify that the channel is back in the lineup and select "Change record options" for that program. However, don't change anything and select Done to have the programs marked for recording.

6) Many homes are pre-wired for 2 phone lines. You may be able to use the wiring for the second line to connect your dialup replays together and to the the FreeSCO modem. The standard colors are red and green for the primary line and yellow and black for the second line. Be sure to disconnect the second line at the phone company drop to your home.

7) It appears that the ReplayTV clock is not being set by WiRNS.

8) For the long term, I plan to jumper the relay in my USRobotics modem to always be on, and disconnect the speaker. I will probably dedicate a laptop computer as my WiRNS server machine. To conserve energy, I may just power it up once or twice a week and do forced net connects to load the guide data.

In summary, it took some effort on my part to get WiRNS set up. I held on until what, we now think, is the bitter end. I went to a lot of trouble finding workarounds when the guide updates from DNNA's servers were not working. I can't help but think that Panasonic kept the service funded to avoid tarnishing its brand name, even if the fine print in the service contracts or legal precedents gave them an out. I don't think anyone in the business seriously thought the machines would not have been rendered obsolete by evolving technology long before now. However, they haven't, as ad hoc support groups have made software and hardware upgrades (e. g. larger capacity hard drives with 133 hours recording, new IR codes for current set top boxes.) Except for being tied to SD quality and recording one channel at a time, the machines compete well with current technology. Their most valuable feature, in my opinion, was free guide updates, now replaced by much less expensive guide updates than Tivo offers. Also, there are no monthly fees or restrictions on what may be recorded, as there are for cable or satellite providers. I feel that my efforts were well worth it and I'll continue to use my Replays for the foreseeable future!
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post #13 of 63 Old 07-27-2015, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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When I was running FREESCO without a phone line, I think I wrote a script that looped through "ATA" modem commands so it was always active. Just jumpering the relay won't be enough. The "server" modem must be sending out an answer tone. IIRC, I limited the active times to when the device polled to limit wear on the relay.

ATM0 to the init will turn off the speaker. You can also use ATM0A as your answer command.

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post #14 of 63 Old 07-27-2015, 02:10 PM
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Since my background is as a hardware engineer, I tend to think of hardware solutions. Turning off the speaker in software is definitely more elegant, but it means finding and reverse engineering the program running on the FreeSCO Linux virtual machne. My guess is that all that is required is editing a script.

The relay is a different story. When the modem receives the answer command, one of the things it does is energize the relay to connect the phone line to the data transceiver. If the phone line is connected all the time, it really should not matter, although some modems might treat is as a fault condition when they receive signals while the line is supposed to be disconnected, and cease to work. So, this fix might not work on all modems.

The electronic switch which energizes the coil could be jumpered out to energize the coil all the time. An alternative hardware solution is to remove the relay and jumper across its "normally open" contacts.

Either way, the modem would always have the phone line "answered" which would busy out a standard phone line, so calls from other modems and outgoing calls would not go through. For the direct modem to modem connection here, it really should not matter.
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post #15 of 63 Old 07-27-2015, 03:54 PM
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Well, every good thing must come to an end. While we all may like to think of "lifetime" as our "lifetime", realistically I can't believe that most people don't realize that companies fail everyday. Nothing requires a company to continuing to operate if they can't make a profit or just don't want to do "it" anymore. But it's amazing this technology that we all love so much, lasted this long. I can't even remember the year I got my 1st 3000. I'm guessing it had to be in the mid 90s. Then I went to the 5000s when they were available and had as many as 4 at one point. To this day, I still have 2 that are operational. The living room unit has been updated via WIRNS since the last time it was "doom and gloom". And my wife's I had left on the "mother ship" until this past Saturday when I realized the "mother ship" was gone. She still records her Jeopardy. She had not told me of any problem but I guess when I trained her on how to use the Kodi/XBMC box, she remembered when she had to and was watching from there the last few days. There was a part of me that wanted to tell her "I couldn't fix it this time." just so we could finally move on. But, for now they still work with WIRNS and I have to pay for Schedules Direct anyway (for my HTPC) so might as well keep it going.

So for all you out there that still love your Replays, just get WIRNS with Schedules Direct. It surely must be worth $25 a year to keep them going, right? My daughter still had one of my old 5000s (they are all old) hooked to her nice HD TV, but she decided to just let it die and not go the Wirns root. I am sure she will not be alone.
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post #16 of 63 Old 07-28-2015, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
7) It appears that the ReplayTV clock is not being set by WiRNS.
I would have preferred to contact you on Planet Replay, but I couldn't find your user name on there. But, I hope that you saw this topic on Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=14654, in particular, my own experience with setting this up: http://planetreplay.com/phpBB2/viewt...?p=73114#73114. In addition, I hope you saw Robert's (reden) excellent information on the XMLTV forum...

Anyway, I have my Showstopper using Freesco to connect to WiRNS every day, and it always sets the clock just fine. You should be sure and check your WiRNS log during the net connect period to see that it is serving ntp-production.replaytv.net and that it is sending the time response. Here is what mine looks like for the start of my Showstopper's net connect:

Code:
[7/28/2015 04:50:47] [DNS] Returning 1.2.3.4 (TTL: 900) for production.replaytv.net to 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:48] [PLUGIN] LoginLogout Skipping Login (nightly, attempts: 1) for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:48] [PLUGIN] AuthCtrl using authcmds from: C:\WiRNS\authcmds for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [DNS] Returning 1.2.3.4 (TTL: 900) for ntp-production.replaytv.net to 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Proxying request to ntp.x.x for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Adjusted response by -6 seconds for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Proxying request to ntp.x.x for 11.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Adjusted response by -6 seconds for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Proxying request to ntp.x.x for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Adjusted response by -6 seconds for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Proxying request to ntp.x.x for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Adjusted response by -6 seconds for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Proxying request to ntp.x.x for 1.2.3.5
[7/28/2015 04:50:50] [NTP] Adjusted response by -6 seconds for 1.2.3.5
Now my log looks a bit different than yours probably would because I have my DNS TTL set short specifically for the Showstopper that DNS caches, and I also have my time response being adjusted to make up for the broadcast delay due to digital broadcasts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
8) For the long term, I plan to jumper the relay in my USRobotics modem to always be on, and disconnect the speaker. I will probably dedicate a laptop computer as my WiRNS server machine. To conserve energy, I may just power it up once or twice a week and do forced net connects to load the guide data.
I know that Robert responded and you replied, but the modem speaker volume is a straight forward setting in the mgetty script, and documented in j.m's ReadMe how to change it. I wrote a little about the mgetty script in my posts on Planet Replay...

And, I am using a laptop to run Freesco on, which is working out very nicely! I had to mess with the setting to keep it running when the cover is closed, and I had to put it on UPS because I could not find a way to set it to boot up on power restore, but it is working just great! And, it was by far the easiest way for me to find something with a floppy boot with a PCI Ethernet and a serial port to run the documented version of Freesco...

Henry
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post #17 of 63 Old 07-28-2015, 02:22 PM
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I have several 5Ks and a 4K, and my dad has several 5Ks as well. Is it possible to set up one WiRNS to serve up both sets of RTVs, even if we are in different houses? Or does the WiRNS need to be in the same house?

Thanks!
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post #18 of 63 Old 07-28-2015, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treker79 View Post
I have several 5Ks and a 4K, and my dad has several 5Ks as well. Is it possible to set up one WiRNS to serve up both sets of RTVs, even if we are in different houses? Or does the WiRNS need to be in the same house?
While I don't think it's impossible, I think it's difficult.

Your LAN and your dad's LAN are different LANs, thus they are not on the same subnet; and unless you have some time of permanent network bridge between your LAN and your dad's LAN, it will be difficult to route traffic from, say, your dad's Replay to your WiRNS box. I am sure your WAN IP's change over time... requiring you both to reconfigure things...
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post #19 of 63 Old 07-28-2015, 05:17 PM
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While I don't think it's impossible, I think it's difficult.

Your LAN and your dad's LAN are different LANs, thus they are not on the same subnet; and unless you have some time of permanent network bridge between your LAN and your dad's LAN, it will be difficult to route traffic from, say, your dad's Replay to your WiRNS box. I am sure your WAN IP's change over time... requiring you both to reconfigure things...
and at least one of those ISPs would have to allow incomig connections to port 80. Most block that port. You can run a web server on a different port, but IIRC the Replays don't have a way to change what port they try to connect to.
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post #20 of 63 Old 07-28-2015, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treker79 View Post
I have several 5Ks and a 4K, and my dad has several 5Ks as well. Is it possible to set up one WiRNS to serve up both sets of RTVs, even if we are in different houses? Or does the WiRNS need to be in the same house?
As others have replied, it is difficult. I am doing it myself, using a combination of techniques, many of which were added just for such purposes. But, as others have replied, it starts with having a fixed IP address for WiRNS. This can be accomplished by getting a static IP address from your ISP, which might be expensive, or can be accomplished by setting up a house-to-house VPN, which might be fairly easy to do if you use the same router in both houses. If you setup a house-to-house VPN, then WiRNS and the Replays in both houses would be on the same network and you would just set it up normally. If you were to get a static IP address in your house, or get access to some Windows server, then you can configure WiRNS with the Replays as remote/net connect only, so that it can serve guide to all the Replays, but only access programming through the MyReplayTV interface...

Henry
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post #21 of 63 Old 07-29-2015, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnlovrs View Post
Thank you, Reden. I am brand new to this forum. I just registered because of this problem. I love my DVR's and would like to continue to use them, so this concerns me a lot... not to mention, I'm missing all of my shows I have scheduled to record. Another concern that I have is that my cable provider has notified me recently that they are dropping their analog signal and are going to force us to switch to digital, or rent their cable box. I am very "old school" and I am perfectly happy with my CRT TVs. The big flat screens are nice, but they are still way too expensive to justify what they do... they are still just TV's. Anyway, I don't know how you know what you know, but I'm glad that you do! Have you heard anymore about DNNA having a fix yet? How did this happen in the first place? Lastly, will the service still work with a digital broadcast even if they do get it working again? Thanks again.
mtnlovers,
When you get your digital set top box, you could always purchase a cable that goes from your replayTV to your cable box. This would remove the need for the sometimes unreliable IR blaster. It plugs into the set top box ir port and there is a port on the back of the Replay TV. Sellers on eBay called g-gray and ejs3 sell these cables that work great. Just search "Tivo IR Cable". They work on either Tivo or ReplayTV. See this thread for more details. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/27-rep...mcast-dta.html

If you can't get an IR code to work with your new cable box you may need to get a new RID file into your box. Search AVSForum or there is a thread here:
http://www.replaytvupgrade.com/add_ir_codes.html
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post #22 of 63 Old 07-29-2015, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for all your help! I found that my external modem has a volume control knob for its speaker, so I'll just set the knob to minimum. That way, if I decide that I want to hear the speaker, I can just turn up the volume without changing any configurations in software.

As for the Showstopper clock, I confirmed this morning that WiRNS is not setting it. There was a reference to the replaytv.net URL in the log before I updated WiRNS, but I don't see that anymore. However, I don't think the clock was being set before I updated WiRNS. I'll go through the forums and look for the solution. In the meantime, I'll manually adjust the clocks in my Showstoppers as necessary.

I have 4 Showstoppers and a modem that will share the same second, pre-wired phone line (which is not in use as a second phone line.) In the past, while one machine was downloading the schedule, another might try to call out. When it didn't detect dial tone, it would drop off and, I believe, the first machine would recover. I would get a message that one machine didn't detect dial tone, but I am quite sure the others got full schedule updates. If dial tone detection is turned off, I suspect that the second machine will really mess things up by attempting to dial and connect.

In order to use FreeSCO's telephone line simulator option and eliminate relay noise and excessive wear, I could have designed and constructed some hardware to provide dial tone and trick the modem into reporting ringing when a Showstopper goes off hook. However, I decided to take the straightforward way out and order a simulator.
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I have 4 Showstoppers and a modem that will share the same second, pre-wired phone line (which is not in use as a second phone line.) In the past, while one machine was downloading the schedule, another might try to call out. When it didn't detect dial tone, it would drop off and, I believe, the first machine would recover. I would get a message that one machine didn't detect dial tone, but I am quite sure the others got full schedule updates. If dial tone detection is turned off, I suspect that the second machine will really mess things up by attempting to dial and connect.
When you get it working with WiRNS, it will schedule each unit to dial in at a different time. However, WiRNS is assuming Ethernet units since it's operation with dial-up units is newer (and done mostly by me), so it makes the time between connections pretty short, I think something like 8 minutes, which may not be enough time for your dial-ups to complete their net connect. I only have the one Showstopper that I leave running for compatibility testing, and I have it at the end of my net connects so that it never has a problem...

If you have a problem with there not being enough time between the units "dialing in", I can see if I can do something about that in WiRNS. There had been a request to make this configurable in the past, but they wanted it to be so general that I couldn't see doing that. But, I might could at least tell that there are dial-up units in the mix and increase the time between units in that case. Your other choice would be to just put in some "fake" RTV units as disabled with names between each of your "real" units just so they will add an additional 8 minutes time for your "real" units...

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Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
In order to use FreeSCO's telephone line simulator option and eliminate relay noise and excessive wear, I could have designed and constructed some hardware to provide dial tone and trick the modem into reporting ringing when a Showstopper goes off hook. However, I decided to take the straightforward way out and order a simulator.
I'm also using a phone line simulator, and it makes the whole process so much easier!

But, I will point out to you that since dial-up units only net connect when they're scheduled to, you could just have Freesco and the modem operational during that net connect period. You could also only have WiRNS operating during that time period as well...

Henry
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post #24 of 63 Old 07-30-2015, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for your detailed reply, Henry!

For the time being I will update my 4 Showstoppers using a forced net connect, one at a time, shortly after midnight GMT, which is 5:00 PDT. (The Guide receives an added day starting at midnight GMT.) If you can add a configurable start time, that would be fantastic!

For the long term, once the novelty wears off, I'll fall back on automatic updating. I do find that appending one day of data is taking less than 8 minutes for my channel lineup, but I'll insert the 3 fake machines, (real - fake - real - fake - real - fake - real) to add margin..

Working with the current WiRNS, I can set up a laptop without a battery, powered through a power strip and timer. The timer would power up the laptop, which would load WiRNS and the FreeSCO virtual machine enough ahead of time to download the update from Schedules Direct and then receive call-ins for updates from the 4 Showstoppers. Sometime later, the timer would shut down the power strip to the laptop, phone line simulator, and external modem.

If the start up time were made configurable, I would keep WiRNS and FreeSCO where they are now, on the main home computer, which is left powered during waking hours. I would schedule the machines to be updated during our dinner hour.

Thanks, again, Jim!
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post #25 of 63 Old 07-30-2015, 10:40 PM
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For the time being I will update my 4 Showstoppers using a forced net connect, one at a time, shortly after midnight GMT, which is 5:00 PDT. (The Guide receives an added day starting at midnight GMT.)

Remember that Showstoppers only download 7 days of guide data, so having an extra day available does not help them at all...


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If you can add a configurable start time, that would be fantastic!

Well, having generic configurations was what I was trying to avoid. But, I might look into doing something about being able to configure the 8-minute between netconnects setting...

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For the long term, once the novelty wears off, I'll fall back on automatic updating. I do find that appending one day of data is taking less than 8 minutes for my channel lineup, but I'll insert the 3 fake machines, (real - fake - real - fake - real - fake - real) to add margin..

That should do the trick, at least to give you 16 minutes per net connect instead of 8...

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Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
Working with the current WiRNS, I can set up a laptop without a battery, powered through a power strip and timer. The timer would power up the laptop, which would load WiRNS and the FreeSCO virtual machine enough ahead of time to download the update from Schedules Direct and then receive call-ins for updates from the 4 Showstoppers. Sometime later, the timer would shut down the power strip to the laptop, phone line simulator, and external modem.

Yeah, that's pretty normal to try to schedule it all in that way and in that order...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
If the start up time were made configurable, I would keep WiRNS and FreeSCO where they are now, on the main home computer, which is left powered during waking hours. I would schedule the machines to be updated during our dinner hour.

Maybe you're not aware that the startup time is already configurable? This idea of only needing to have the WiRNS computer on for a short while for the net connects is a very old one, which WiRNS has allowed for as long as I've even known about it...


What's not configurable is the amount of time between units. So, you have already configured your Showstopper's net connect times, whether you realize it or not. It already shows you that in the log:


Code:
[7/30/2015 04:49:48] [PLUGIN] GetNextCall initialized.
[7/30/2015 04:49:48] [PLUGIN] GetNextCall Time: 04:44 for 12 min to 1.2.3.5.

But, what's not configurable is the time between the net connects of the next unit. If I had another unit after this one, it would be schedules for 04:52, and that's not configurable. If you add a "dummy" unit, then you can get the next unit to be scheduled for 05:00 instead, adding an additional 8 minutes...


So, what I might look into is either automatically or user configuring to be able to have more time between net connects to allow for the dial-up net connect, which is longer...


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post #26 of 63 Old 07-31-2015, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, again for your wonderful help, Henry! I know that you and others put a monumental effort into developing the software, which must have required a great deal of reverse engineering, and your efforts are very much appreciated!

Regarding the extra day in the Showstopper's stored guide, if, let's say, today is Friday and I have downloaded guide data sometime earlier today (or yesterday after 0:00 GMT,) my internal guide ends at 0:00 GMT (5:00 PDT or 8:00 EDT) on the next Saturday after tomorrow (8 days from today). If I perform an update later today after 0:00 GMT, the internal guide will end at 0:00 GMT on the next Sunday after this coming Sunday (9 days from today.) (This assumes that WiRNS has downloaded enough guide data. I have my setup configured for the default of 14 days from Schedules Direct.)

This day is normally not important. If you wish to search for programs, you are probably better off searching in WiRNS than using the Showstopper search function, but the Showstopper will search all days in its memory. It might make a difference if you were planning to be away and were shutting down your computer while gone. The Showstopper may record some programs that it would otherwise have have missed.

Anyway, I am new to this, but I think I found the place to configure the Showstopper update time in the Updater menu. It appears to default to 3:00 AM. From some earlier reading, I was under the impression that the Showstopper chose the update time using some internal random algorithm. I didn't know that the ReplayTV server (now superseded by WiRNS) programmed the next connect time.

I have managed to connect my 4 Showstoppers, located in 3 rooms, to the second, pre-wired home phone line. Not all homes have this line. If you are sufficiently skilled, you can open a phone jack and see if there is a cable with 4 wires, red, green, yellow, and black, connected to the jack. Sometimes, the yellow and black are left disconnected. If so, they need to be connected to the terminals from the yellow and black wires to the jack at each phone jack on the premises. If 2 cables, connect the yellows from both cables and blacks from both cables.

In older homes, the cable may have 3 wires. You need 4 wires, so you are out of luck. In multiple dwelling unit buildings, you may find a bundle of color coded wires. A trained telephone installer would be able to select an unused pair and connect it as a second line at each of your jacks. Otherwise, I suggest that you leave things alone.

Inspect for a small plug-in transformer connected to the second phone line. This was used to power the dial lamp on the AT&T Princess phone, popular in the 1970s. If you have one, it needs to be disconnected and removed. Also, disconnect the second phone line at the telephone company interface, usually located on the exterior of the home. If you have a basement, it may be there.

Once you have confirmed or connected the second phone line, you can purchase breakout adaptors for each jack where you need to plug in a Showstopper, modem or phone line simulator. They should be available in your local hardware stores. Do not confuse with the more common adaptors that provide 2 jacks for the same phone line. The jacks are labelled line 1 and line 2.
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Quote:
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Regarding the extra day in the Showstopper's stored guide, if, let's say, today is Friday and I have downloaded guide data sometime earlier today (or yesterday after 0:00 GMT,) my internal guide ends at 0:00 GMT (5:00 PDT or 8:00 EDT) on the next Saturday after tomorrow (8 days from today). If I perform an update later today after 0:00 GMT, the internal guide will end at 0:00 GMT on the next Sunday after this coming Sunday (9 days from today.) (This assumes that WiRNS has downloaded enough guide data. I have my setup configured for the default of 14 days from Schedules Direct.)
Oh, yeah, that makes sense! I was thinking about WiRNS and the fact that whether it had 13 days of guide data or 14 days of guide (or maybe even 15 days of guide data from your idea), wouldn't matter to the Showstopper. But, obviously net connecting after 00:00 GMT makes sense from the standpoint of getting as much guide data into the Showstopper as possible. The only question is, how is not every time after 00:00 GMT. I update mine at 4:00 AM (as you can tell from my log snippets), so by the time I wake up it has as much guide data as possible. So, isn't any time after 00:00 GMT jus as good? I guess if you are awake and using your Showstopper to look at guide information, then it's kind of nice, but it's still only in the evening that it would suddenly grow another day, so it wouldn't be useful before then. And, you really wouldn't want to performing a net connect on a Showstopper during "prime time"! I think the norm was that Showstoppers typically dialed in during the wee hours, and since my Showstopper net connect is on the end of everything else, at 4AM there's not much chance of mine doing anything important!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
Anyway, I am new to this, but I think I found the place to configure the Showstopper update time in the Updater menu. It appears to default to 3:00 AM. From some earlier reading, I was under the impression that the Showstopper chose the update time using some internal random algorithm. I didn't know that the ReplayTV server (now superseded by WiRNS) programmed the next connect time.
Yeah the server always programmed the time, and there are some allowance for randomness to kind of make sure they don't get hit with all the dial ups at the same time. But, the good news is that it is controlled by the server, so that works out really well for you!

Quote:
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I have managed to connect my 4 Showstoppers, located in 3 rooms, to the second, pre-wired home phone line. Not all homes have this line. If you are sufficiently skilled, you can open a phone jack and see if there is a cable with 4 wires, red, green, yellow, and black, connected to the jack. Sometimes, the yellow and black are left disconnected. If so, they need to be connected to the terminals from the yellow and black wires to the jack at each phone jack on the premises. If 2 cables, connect the yellows from both cables and blacks from both cables.
I have my home wired with 12 pair home run, so having extra connections is clearly not a problem. That allows for 3 phone lines, Ethernet, and a lot of other things, especially room-to-room connections!

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In older homes, the cable may have 3 wires. You need 4 wires, so you are out of luck. In multiple dwelling unit buildings, you may find a bundle of color coded wires. A trained telephone installer would be able to select an unused pair and connect it as a second line at each of your jacks. Otherwise, I suggest that you leave things alone.

Inspect for a small plug-in transformer connected to the second phone line. This was used to power the dial lamp on the AT&T Princess phone, popular in the 1970s. If you have one, it needs to be disconnected and removed. Also, disconnect the second phone line at the telephone company interface, usually located on the exterior of the home. If you have a basement, it may be there.
I have a 2-line Princess phone with the dial lamp, so it uses 3 pair to operate it! But, since I have 12 pair running home run, I can send the transformer power just to that one phone jack and not have to worry about it all over the house! And, since I put in dual 3-pair phone jacks, I can plug the 2-line Princess phone into one phone jack which has the transformer wired, and a normal 2-line phone into the other phone jack!

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Once you have confirmed or connected the second phone line, you can purchase breakout adaptors for each jack where you need to plug in a Showstopper, modem or phone line simulator. They should be available in your local hardware stores. Do not confuse with the more common adaptors that provide 2 jacks for the same phone line. The jacks are labelled line 1 and line 2.
In my case I have three-way breakout adapters, which are labeled line 1, line 2, and line 3! They look just like the two-way breakout adapters, but instead of having line 1, line 2, and line 1+2, they have line 3 in the third connector...


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post #28 of 63 Old 08-01-2015, 11:41 AM
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If your machines update once a day, in addition to receiving schedule changes, they receive data for one additional day. It probably doesn't make much difference now whether you pick up that additional day soon after 0:00 GMT or wait until late at night. When DNNA was providing the guides and I noticed that a nightly update had failed, I'd wait until after 0:00 GMT to do a manual update to shorten the next nightly update (or maybe it got skipped altogether?) With a shorter connect (or no connect), the chances of that machine and another being connected at the same time were reduced.

It would be nice if you could look into the clock update issue. I believe the servers for replaytv.net were provided by DNNA and will be shut down, if they haven't been shut down already.

You have a luxury having your home wired with 12 pairs! I know a fellow that bought a new house before construction was complete, and had it wired with ethernet jacks conveniently located in all rooms.

For those who are working with existing telephone company wiring, here is a little background. Those who already have this background can check me for correctness.

The reason why some earlier phone jacks had 3 wires was to support party lines. Telephone service used to be a significant expense for many families. Where I grew up, party lines were common and a private line was considered a luxury. The two phone services on a party line shared the same wire pair back to the telephone company's "central office." The third wire in the home was grounded and allowed the telephone company equipment to ring either phone independently. When metered local calling and direct long distance calling was introduced, a resistor to ground in one party's phones was added. The phone company equipment would test for the resistor to determine which party was making the call. The cost of providing wire pairs back to the central office dropped and the tables turned, the extra equipment costing more than the extra wire pair. Furthermore, there was a phone company overhead expense for completing toll calls to busy signals because the other party on a party line was using the phone. Party lines thus became a pain for the phone companies but it was hard to get the regulated pricing changed to eliminate them.

The 4 wires must have been introduced when second phone lines to the same residence was becoming most commonplace, probably as the baby boomers became teenagers and talked a lot on the phone, so the parents got them a separate line so the main phone line wouldn't always be busy. Installation of a second line was less labor intensive if the wires were already there. On request, the phone companies would come out and pre-wire new homes while the walls were still open.

Anyway, I've found that the second wire pair was often used to provide low voltage AC for the Princess phone dial lamp. Once the phone companies authorized users to disconnect their phones and turn them in when they moved, a lot of transformers got left behind, still connected to the second lines.

As for multiple dwelling unit buildings, it is common to find a bundle of wire pairs to each phone jack. One pair is assigned for each unit's primary phone line. Other pairs may be connected as needed to provide 2 or more lines to the same unit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cap_ncrunch View Post
If your machines update once a day, in addition to receiving schedule changes, they receive data for one additional day. It probably doesn't make much difference now whether you pick up that additional day soon after 0:00 GMT or wait until late at night. When DNNA was providing the guides and I noticed that a nightly update had failed, I'd wait until after 0:00 GMT to do a manual update to shorten the next nightly update (or maybe it got skipped altogether?) With a shorter connect (or no connect), the chances of that machine and another being connected at the same time were reduced.

It would be nice if you could look into the clock update issue. I believe the servers for replaytv.net were provided by DNNA and will be shut down, if they haven't been shut down already.

You have a luxury having your home wired with 12 pairs! I know a fellow that bought a new house before construction was complete, and had it wired with ethernet jacks conveniently located in all rooms.

For those who are working with existing telephone company wiring, here is a little background. Those who already have this background can check me for correctness.

The reason why some earlier phone jacks had 3 wires was to support party lines. Telephone service used to be a significant expense for many families. Where I grew up, party lines were common and a private line was considered a luxury. The two phone services on a party line shared the same wire pair back to the telephone company's "central office." The third wire in the home was grounded and allowed the telephone company equipment to ring either phone independently. When metered local calling and direct long distance calling was introduced, a resistor to ground in one party's phones was added. The phone company equipment would test for the resistor to determine which party was making the call. The cost of providing wire pairs back to the central office dropped and the tables turned, the extra equipment costing more than the extra wire pair. Furthermore, there was a phone company overhead expense for completing toll calls to busy signals because the other party on a party line was using the phone. Party lines thus became a pain for the phone companies but it was hard to get the regulated pricing changed to eliminate them.

The 4 wires must have been introduced when second phone lines to the same residence was becoming most commonplace, probably as the baby boomers became teenagers and talked a lot on the phone, so the parents got them a separate line so the main phone line wouldn't always be busy. Installation of a second line was less labor intensive if the wires were already there. On request, the phone companies would come out and pre-wire new homes while the walls were still open.

Anyway, I've found that the second wire pair was often used to provide low voltage AC for the Princess phone dial lamp. Once the phone companies authorized users to disconnect their phones and turn them in when they moved, a lot of transformers got left behind, still connected to the second lines.

As for multiple dwelling unit buildings, it is common to find a bundle of wire pairs to each phone jack. One pair is assigned for each unit's primary phone line. Other pairs may be connected as needed to provide 2 or more lines to the same unit.
My house (built in 1969) has 3 wires between phone jacks: red, green, yellow (unused).

Another nearby house (built the same year) had 3 pairs: green, blue, orange; each pair had one solid color and the other with a white stripe. I don't remember which pair had the phone on it.
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Telephone Twisted Pair Color Coding

This appears to be a subset of the color coding for a 25 pair cable. If the installer followed the standard, pair 1 (primary line) had the blue, pair 2 the orange and pair 3 the green. The 25 pairs would be connected in order at cross connect blocks that the linemen referred to as "66 blocks," often installed in telecom closets in businesses or multi-dwelling buildings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25-pair_color_code
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