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-   -   Recorded shows stuttering - help! (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/41-microsoft-ultimatetv-pvr/942931-recorded-shows-stuttering-help.html)

KlingonScum 11-21-2007 07:26 PM

My venerable old UTV is starting to stutter during playback (and in the same places when you run it back - I suspect the recording itself had the stutter in it). 'Bout every 10-60 seconds randomly, it'll "hitch" for a half second, but not consistently.

I suspect the problem is one seriously fragmented hard drive; this sucker has been maxed out in terms of space available for months now, and with it constantly deleting the old shows to make room for the new ones...it's probably not a pretty picture.

Is there any way to get this thing to defrag itself - a code or something? I don't want to lose the recordings that are on it (stutters and all), but if I have to, I have to... I just went and deleted/free'd up about half the space on it, hopefully that will help a bit, but watching live TV, it's still stuttering.

MightyEric 11-21-2007 09:05 PM

if you'll press the green lit power button on the front of the utv 3 times this will begin a "maintenance cycle" during which the green light will blink until it is done. I've always believed that this should include a comprehensive defrag, but based on the quick completion times I have seen I am not sure this is true. However, it seems to be the MS recommended maintenance procedure, so you might try it. It has never hurt anything on my 2 units.

rocket 11-22-2007 12:06 PM

I have one of my utvs that has been going strong for at least 4 years. I don't believe there is a fragmentation issue with utvs. Every so often this utv begins to slow down, and so I simply pull the power for 5 minutes.

Perhaps this defragments the guide somewhat, I don't know, but by pulling the power, the guide has to be rebuilt or reloaded or whatever.

Your problem sounds more like a disk problem. All ide disk drives have automatic disk bad spot relocation. This usually allows a failing harddrive to go on a bit longer. But if the reloacations are many, this can slow down a drive and perhaps that's what's happening to you.

lgodave 11-22-2007 01:16 PM

If your UTV is being kept clean and "cool" (out in the open or with plenty of clearance.,internal fan running,etc.) it hopefully isn't a heat issue. If you happen to have a UPS (Battery Backup) it shouldn't be a power related "hiccup" either.

Before blaming the Hard Drive for (near)failure... A simple Rebootusing the previously mentioned button press or using a reset/reboot code like 12357 may be enough to resolve issues. A "Cool down" (unplug for enough time for the system to get to room temp) may also show results. There are several ways to keep a UTV cool... If "cool downs" are the only thing that seems to resolve the issues you might try increasing the UTV's ability to cool off. Increasing air flow or clearances can have good results for those UTVs running a bit "hot".

oth 11-23-2007 09:05 AM

I suspect that utv does a directory check (scandisk) of a sort when you do a cold start when you unplug your UTC for a minute or the code methods mentioned. You will see the light blink red, yellow, green for some time if it's doing some processing. If it blinks forever your toast so there's some risk associated in doing this! I've had to swap drives and force a format and download os to get a utv running again on a few occasions. If it crashes again then in a few days then it's time for a new hd drive.


lgodave 11-23-2007 08:34 PM

If you "see the light blink red, yellow, green"... That typically means it is doing reformat and redownload of the UTV OS. When it is working properly and finishes you'll have a UTV in fresh "out of the box" condition (w/OS 3.8 no less). But you will have lost all your previous recordings and settings... So that could be a bad thing or a "fresh start".

There are various benefits to "starting over" using the 2355 2355 UTV Code. If the issue is software and not hardware related this should clear things up nicely. Just like starting from scratch on an old PC with a fresh OS install. It's a pain to start at square one... but you do get some speed/performance back (at least until you bog it down again).

Since a hard drive replacement usually means a "fresh start" anyway the 2355 2355 code can be a quick and simpler way to get the same thing without the tinkering under the hood (PULL THAT ACCESS CARD!).

KlingonScum 11-23-2007 10:53 PM

Thanks for the tips, I'll try the "3 button press" and the "pull the plug overnight" (I have known for awhile that when we get a short "brown out", you need to pull the plug because it won't turn on otherwise).

One other thing it's doing - at least I THINK it's the UTV and not one of the pieces of equipment around it; I can't localize it - is infrequently make a real high-pitched faint "beep" noise. It's infrequent - sometimes a couple of times in a minute, sometimes it goes 10 minutes without doing it (which is why I can't localize it), and it doesn't appear to be coming over the speakers since the volume of the "beep" stays the same regardless of how high the TV volume is. I'm hoping it's not the "hard drive dying" noise.

I'm a little leery of doing a full on boogie reset/redownload OS. When the 3.8 upgrade came out, it took MONTHS before it finally was able to get it all - I don't know if it's our phone line or if the problem's on Microsoft's end, but the download kept hanging.

lgodave 11-24-2007 08:14 AM

If brown outs are giving you issues you might consider an inexpensive UPS (Battery Backup)& Surge Protector Strip. Sometimes on sale for under $30. Even if Brown Outs aren't a problem UTVs and almost any other Electronics will work better protected from being placed directly into the "wild".

A UPS with AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) might be the best all around option but they are more expensive. Something that will at least prevent really low/high voltage (by switching to Battery) will help extend the Power Supply's life and prevent/reduce odd behavior based on Power issues.

RE: The 2355 2355 UTV "Out of the Box" Code

Sorry to be confusing but the 2355 2355 code DOES NOT Delete the OS. It basically KILLS EVERYTHING but the OS. So say you wanted to sell your UTV (or it's a "DEMO" sitting in the Store Display Room) you have all kinds of stuff on it and you want to delete it and get it ready for sale. 2355 2355 can quickly do this without much of any hassle.

So if you are willing to say goodbye to any recordings and settings on the UTV... You can use the 2355 2355 code and be back up and running in just a few minutes.

If I "start over" on my UTVs I usually record the MY SHOWS AUTO/SERIES recordings to Video and refer back to it if I forget about some recordings. Of coarse there are those recordings that are long "dead" so I don't have to retype ALL the recordings but it's faster/easier for me to do that then to write them all down and then type them all in again. (The UTV Keyboards comes in handy here I must admit)

lgodave 02-03-2011 09:04 AM

Topic is old but the subject is relevant to me.

One of my RCA UTVs has been doing this for a very long time. It seems to be that one of the tuners is 20-30% lower then the other. In the 60's.

I'm speculating that when it drops lower the drive records these momentary degraded signals as stutters/hiccups. (On non-DVR receivers I've seen signals in the 40's-50's that seem "fine" but DirecTV usually want to see 70+ for a signal to be considered not an issue...)

Best bet is to verify the Cable run doesn't have a bad connection or something degrading the signal. Bypass what you can and get a "clean" connection.

Disconnecting the "low" tuner might offer a temp fix to the issue.

rocket 02-08-2011 12:22 PM

I'm still going strong on my 2 utv's. I can't believe one of them now has a 9 going on 10 year old 100 gig ide drive. I still have a copy of the first Lord of the Rings ppv in keep mode.

I have noticed a few things, once in a while a sports show, like basketball with lots of fast moving motion (which requires more storage) will just seem to skip about 20 or 30 seconds. Maybe once every 10 hours I see this.

Also, I have to do the reset (using the code 12357) about once every 3 weeks now. I used to do it less often.

Both my tuners are going strong, but no longer in the high 90's, more like 80's. The unit with the 9 year old drive was my original utv I bought for $400.

I've recently upgraded my tv, however. I now have an ACER AT3265 32-Inch, one of the last of it's size which still has s-video. I also hook up my laptop (vga input) to it for playing dvd's and captured videos (which I edit out the ads). This is all ready if and when my utv's finally die, since it has all the input connections (3 hdmi) I'd ever need. In s-video mode, it allows for several video modes, including stretching s-vid to full wide screen, and 2 zoom modes for shows in letter box - like all the latest fox sports. At 10 feet away, it looks nearly as good as hd. I can get a few over the air hd shows, so I can compare. If I don't wear my low power reading glasses, I can't tell the difference at all. My eyes are getting older too

It's a steal at just north of $300 (At amazon with free shipping).

srfrdan 02-22-2011 04:33 PM

hey when my utv started acting up in 10/09 i got a new 750g hdd from weaknees.com and it works better than new. u need to hook up the phone line for a ton of updates when first installed then ur fine. dan ps i have a replaytv 5160 thats 11 yrs old and no problems yet

lgodave 02-24-2011 10:16 PM


Just got done reshuffling the UTVs again. The "stutter" is out of the stream now. Took my Bedroom UTV and made it the Primary. Still has two good tuners, only been using 1 the last 7-8 years... kicking myself I never upgraded it since the very early days. Think it was my first upgrade using a Seagate 80GB. Could use another upgrade... just need to find another 160GB.

Had a really fun time (not) waiting for the dialup to stay connected consistently and without failing to resume recently (Was finally able to get it done but it took several days) on another UTV's upgrade so I'm not looking forward to it.

Might just be time to gradually retire these fellows. Just means getting up the nerve to call and put up with a DTV tech rooting around in my DIY rats nest.

oth 02-25-2011 04:20 PM

I still got two off-line in boxes.

1- 35 hr. (the 120 got ratty from use so I put a 35 back in.)

1- 105 hr. (120 mb, it maybe a 160 mb) when the 120's got scarce.

Good tuners in both... I never had a tuner go south, just drives ove time... if you swap sizes it will reformat them and put the fresh os on it. If it starts skiping as it fills you got some bad tracks.

I havn't had any drive problems with the DTV-HD unit, so they did something right. Perhaps MS should have used Linux.. :-)... then again I never did get one new Tivo to get past starup and the replacement just lasted a week then that was it. Just my bad luck I guess.

MS made some hardware bettter then some of their software, they kept the software but dumped the hardware.


lgodave 03-01-2011 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by oth View Post

I still got two off-line in boxes.

1- 35 hr. (the 120 got ratty from use so I put a 35 back in.)

1- 105 hr. (120 mb, it maybe a 160 mb) when the 120's got scarce.

Good tuners in both... I never had a tuner go south, just drives ove time... if you swap sizes it will reformat them and put the fresh os on it. If it starts skiping as it fills you got some bad tracks.

Unfortunately UTV had issues with the tuners failing... If that hadn't been an issue, or Microsoft actually stuck with it for another year or two and offered upgrades/improved models (even non-DirecTV versions)... Maybe the modern age of DVRs would be different.

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