Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 401 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #12001 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 02:07 PM
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I'd try pulling the power briefly, then reconnecting. Once the DVR+ reboots, you'll probably have far fewer problems. If nothing else it'll fix your red LED not coming on.
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post #12002 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 02:15 PM
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TiVo does that already. In fact, for me that's a bigger objection than their price: they track just about every button you press on your TiVo remote. They know what you skip, what you FF through, what you go back and watch again, and what you watch in slo-mo!
Yeah, TiVo's penchant for snooping is what I had in mind. In many ways I think this could have been a driving force behind the merger. Ubiquitous and targeted advertising is definitely the short term future, before it goes all Max Headroom and they remove the On/Off switches from our devices.

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I doubt the DVR+ does (at least for OTA channels; it probably does it for Sling already) - yet. But I could see that becoming the "price" of our "free" guides. I wouldn't be surprised to see a firmware "upgrade" in the next year (mandatory if you want to keep your Rovi guide) which adds ads to it.
As a PSIP guy I was all smug when posted that. But right after I hit "Submit Reply" my smugness quickly faded as I realized that EPG advertising could just as easily be delivered via PSIP, even though it wouldn't be narrowly targeted. Shave a little bandwidth here and there and you would have plenty of room for advertising. It would probably be contingent on makers of devices like the DVR+ enabling that tag, but it also might not be difficult for the deliverers of advertising to insert some kind of If/Else statement into the stream that blocks the EPG if advertising isn't available. Maybe that is something that will come with the ATSC 3.0. But when privacy snoopers close one door, another one opens: AdBlock+ and Ghostery for all your DVR's!
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post #12003 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 02:22 PM
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JH, that's what I did, pulled the power for about 5s, and replugged in.

Also the audio has now disappeared on recording and live playback modes. Even the audio that was working prior on an older "Nature" recording before did not come back up now. I checked the blu-ray player on alternate HDMI and the audio was fine to the same tv. The video playback is ok right now, and I'm actually recording the game I wanted to watch (without audio), which isn't that important for this content. But for other programs its critical. I'll try to a "factory reset" after the game is over. The fact that both occurred during the same time period has me concerned. I'll have to wait a day for the Channel Master Support. This unit has done pretty well for my purposes up 'til now, but these are full-on problems beyond simple annoyances (LED light, intermittent reception etc).
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post #12004 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 02:33 PM
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As a PSIP guy I was all smug.... But ... my smugness quickly faded as I realized that EPG advertising could just as easily be delivered via PSIP, even though it wouldn't be narrowly targeted.... Maybe that is something that will come with the ATSC 3.0. But when privacy snoopers close one door, another one opens: AdBlock+ and Ghostery for all your DVR's!
That's certainly possible, but remember: advertising is already part of the programs themselves - even on PBS! (I know they're only "enhanced underwriting credits," but they sure look like ads to me.)

At least if your DVR+ is disconnected from the Internet, it can't snoop on you, which IMO is the biggest concern. Without the snooping, adding ads to the EPG isn't much of an advantage.

As far as blocking Internet ads, if it gets to that point, Rovi may have a defense: ads could be served from the same server as the EPG itself, with encryption to ensure that no "man (or machine) in the middle" could strip them out. It's a matter of how determined they are.
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post #12005 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 02:47 PM
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JH, that's what I did, pulled the power for about 5s, and replugged in.

Also the audio has now disappeared on recording and live playback modes. Even the audio that was working prior on an older "Nature" recording before did not come back up now. I checked the blu-ray player on alternate HDMI and the audio was fine to the same tv. The video playback is ok right now, and I'm actually recording the game I wanted to watch (without audio), which isn't that important for this content. But for other programs its critical. I'll try to a "factory reset" after the game is over. The fact that both occurred during the same time period has me concerned. I'll have to wait a day for the Channel Master Support. This unit has done pretty well for my purposes up 'til now, but these are full-on problems beyond simple annoyances (LED light, intermittent reception etc).
Actually you're almost certainly still recording the audio; the problem is most likely getting the audio out of the DVR+. But I agree that's a pretty serious problem. You're only alternative would be to transfer your recordings to a PC (using DVR+ Lister or the like) and watch them there.

I take it the "power cycle" in your first post referred to pulling the power, not just turning it off and on with the button or remote. That should have fixed the LED light. Let us know if the factory reset fixes either the "won't record" or "no audio" problem. If it still won't record, the only other things I can think of to try are reformatting the HDD (at least at 1% you don't have many recordings to lose), or maybe reinstalling the firmware on the chance that it got corrupted somehow (see Pachinko's "maintenance restart" instructions).

No audio sounds like an HDMI handshaking issue, but since it just now stopped working, and rebooting the DVR+ didn't fix it, it's hard to know what else might work. Maybe a different HDMI cable, or experimenting with the HDMI audio and video settings in the menu will turn up a setting that still works.

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post #12006 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 03:13 PM
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Yes, I will repost later, thank you.
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post #12007 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 04:00 PM
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So, I did an extended power-cycle which fixed both problems. I unplugged for 15 min - until the unit had lost all its heat (normal to the touch). This fixed both problems. I was able to record again, and the audio came back up. Sure enough the audio on the game from before was back.

Wondering if this is a one-off or some start to degradation. I'm considering requesting another unit through warranty since I'm still under the 1-year warranty. @ month-9 this is entirely too early for degradation imo especially at the entry price-point.
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post #12008 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 04:07 PM
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Actually you're almost certainly still recording the audio; the problem is most likely getting the audio out of the DVR+. But I agree that's a pretty serious problem. You're only alternative would be to transfer your recordings to a PC (using DVR+ Lister or the like) and watch them there.

I take it the "power cycle" in your first post referred to pulling the power, not just turning it off and on with the button or remote. That should have fixed the LED light. Let us know if the factory reset fixes either the "won't record" or "no audio" problem. If it still won't record, the only other things I can think of to try are reformatting the HDD (at least at 1% you don't have many recordings to lose), or maybe reinstalling the firmware on the chance that it got corrupted somehow (see Pachinko's "maintenance restart" instructions).

No audio sounds like an HDMI handshaking issue, but since it just now stopped working, and rebooting the DVR+ didn't fix it, it's hard to know what else might work. Maybe a different HDMI cable, or experimenting with the HDMI audio and video settings in the menu will turn up a setting that still works.
This audio thing happened to me once. Only a factory reset solved it. Hard reset did not do the trick.
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post #12009 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 06:12 PM
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At least if your DVR+ is disconnected from the Internet, it can't snoop on you, which IMO is the biggest concern. Without the snooping, adding ads to the EPG isn't much of an advantage.
I agree, to a point. In many ways any advantage derived from advertising would be a perceived advantage on the part of the purchaser. How many products, signs, bus benches or other objects have advertising on them these days that most people don't really even notice?

I also see a more "sinister" (said somewhat facetiously) force at work here. The DVR+--the device aimed to some extent at those who wanted to "cut the cord", can now become the J. Edgar Hoover of your house. This is especially true if they add a feature that many people wish was here yesterday: Whole home connectivity. With this one merger between TiVo and Rovi, the contract with Channel Master opens the door to a decent revenue stream for CM and a window into your life. If the advertising and data mining come to fruition, the DVR+ is the keyhole to more than just what you watch. Your Internet enabled refrigerator can now connect via your DVR+ to the new and improved TiRovi. So can your Internet enabled coffee maker, your smart TV, smart thermostat and any other Internet enabled device in your house. TiRovi could become like Google when it comes to mining data. The RFID tags on products in your refrigerator can report back how often you replace them, thereby enabling your DVR+ to report back so ads can be delivered to you about which product to buy as a replacement. Smart TV combined with viewing habits can determine where your TV's are located. If your night routine is the Fallon monologue, sex with the wife and sleep, your DVR+ would be able to determine that. And statistics show that there are products that appeal to people with similar routines. The voice activated, smart TV that shows mostly children's programming in the afternoon? Your DVR+ will know what is going on there, too. That movie you scheduled to record at 3:00pm on a hot August afternoon? You might get a friendly reminder that as a good citizen, you might want to let it record and watch it later that evening when peak electricity demand as slacked off.

All of a sudden you are as connected and watched as any U-verse or Time-Warner customer. You got the DVR+ to save the money you were spending on cable or satellite, but how many DVR+ channel packages would it take before you were spending half of what you were spending for the other pay services? And all the while your DVR+ is lurking under the TV, laughing. Laughing maniacally like that guy in Reefer Madness. And by the way..."If you liked Reefer Madness, download the Channel Master Consumer app and scan this QR code to receive a coupon for $5 off any edible at participating boutiques when you purchase a Colorado tour package from Lost in the Ozone Tours."
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post #12010 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 08:13 PM
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I'm not too worried. It sounds like you're thinking the DVR+ could be programmed to "steal" info from the overhyped "Internet of Things" in your home - but it can't steal info that, say, your refrigerator can't provide. But if your refrigerator can provide data to an "evil" DVR+, it's probably spying on you already! There's no reason to assume Frigidaire is more trustworthy than Rovi.

Any new functionality (like whole-home) would require you to upgrade your firmware to a new, potentially "evil" version, but I don't think there's anything about whole-home specifically that makes it riskier than any other firmware upgrade. If the firmware's programmed to spy on your TV habits or whatever, it'll do so whether it supports whole-home or not.

I'm trying to think if there's any way Rovi could force you to upgrade to some future "evil" firmware, but at least until ATSC 3.0 comes along, I don't think they can. At worst, you may need to downgrade back to today's version (132R) or an earlier one, then set up a firewall to block your DVR+'s from accessing either the firmware upgrade site or the current Rovi servers. (That would keep Rovi from sabotaging your PSIP guide by overlaying it with useless data and/or nags to upgrade.) That means you'd have current functionality (so no whole-home) with the PSIP guide, and probably also lose CMTV, but nothing worse. I bet you could even still use the apps!

It's an interesting potential concern, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
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post #12011 of 16648 Old 05-08-2016, 09:06 PM
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I'm not too worried. It sounds like you're thinking the DVR+ could be programmed to "steal" info from the overhyped "Internet of Things" in your home - but it can't steal info that, say, your refrigerator can't provide. But if your refrigerator can provide data to an "evil" DVR+, it's probably spying on you already! There's no reason to assume Frigidaire is more trustworthy than Rovi.
I see it less as stealing, and more like clicking on the terms of usage. For example, Rovi not only partners with Channel Master, but Frigidaire, Mr. Coffee, Samsung, Nest and others. If using the Rovi guide means you have accepted their terms, then any Internet enabled device in your home that has wireless activated will freely be able to transmit and share data to their partners. Behaviors can be identified through statistics, and the more people providing statistics the more accurate the identification. If the RFID on a gallon of milk stops sending data, or is paired with data from another gallon of milk for one day, ever 7 days it can be deduced that the consumer is using a gallon of milk every week. If your smart TV is on for 3 hours every weekday at a certain time it can be deduced that a resident of that household is present at that time of day. Your smart Nest thermostat basically confirms that when the temperature programming adjusts to a comfort level that statistically, men prefer. It also knows when your wife or girlfriend is present because the thermostat adjusts to a statistically female-friendly temperature, and we all know that's an argument men don't win.

Where I am heading with this is that up until this zero hour occurs, all this data would have been sent through your Internet router to each of the companies using their Internet enabled smart device to collect data, and targeted advertising or other market schemes would be executed by those companies, or collected and compiled by a third party in conjunction with those companies. In a Channel Master/TiRovi scenario, your DVR+ becomes the central collection point for this data and sends it to Rovi, who then uses it in accordance with whatever marketing plan, research or other purpose already designed with their partners. In many ways it really is like Google data collection, with the DVR+ functioning similarly to the way your G mail, search history and browsing habits do for Google when you use the Internet.

How far into the future this is, I don't know. But from a technological perspective it's not farfetched, and in fact, very doable. But the ironic part of this is that if all this comes to be, the DVR+ will have morphed from a device specifically designed to allow the user to watch and record OTA programming to a device that is as intrusive from a privacy perspective as any other media delivery device. And the OTA aspect of the DVR+ shrinks as the above mentioned features are developed. Look at it this way: Channel Master doesn't make a cent off me (post-purchase) if I don't watch the Internet channels and get my EPG via PSIP. They might make a small amount if you only watch the OTA channels and get your EPG from Rovi, and a more yet if you purchase the available channels. But they could make loads of money by functioning as the vacuum Hoovering up full life spectrum data from the people who use the DVR+ in a whole house setup. So I think the whole house thing, which in itself is a great thing for DVR+ owners, is also a potential gold mine for Channel Master. So I'm guessing that when they do add the whole house feature it will also come with built-in wireless right out of the box. The OTA stuff could become almost an afterthought, as the programming packages become more robust and they become able to compete with the cable and satellite boys.
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post #12012 of 16648 Old 05-09-2016, 07:29 AM
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So, I did an extended power-cycle which fixed both problems. I unplugged for 15 min - until the unit had lost all its heat (normal to the touch). This fixed both problems. I was able to record again, and the audio came back up. Sure enough the audio on the game from before was back.

Wondering if this is a one-off or some start to degradation. I'm considering requesting another unit through warranty since I'm still under the 1-year warranty. @ month-9 this is entirely too early for degradation imo especially at the entry price-point.
HDMI handshake can be tricky no matter the device, especially if you are running the signal through an A/V receiver. Sometimes I will lose audio when switching from one input to another, and the (easiest) answer is to power off everything for a few seconds then power back up again. It's happened to me on my DVR+, my Roku, and my Panasonic Blu-ray player. All are channeled through my Onkyo A/V receiver, and I think it just loses or misses the handshake on occasion when switching devices.

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post #12013 of 16648 Old 05-09-2016, 07:49 AM
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So, I did an extended power-cycle which fixed both problems. I unplugged for 15 min - until the unit had lost all its heat (normal to the touch). This fixed both problems. I was able to record again, and the audio came back up. Sure enough the audio on the game from before was back.

Wondering if this is a one-off or some start to degradation. I'm considering requesting another unit through warranty since I'm still under the 1-year warranty. @ month-9 this is entirely too early for degradation imo especially at the entry price-point.
I've had loss of audio on HDMI-connected devices several times. The solution has sometimes been as severe to disconnect both the electrical cord and HDMI cable from both devices, wait about 5 minutes, then reconnect everything. So your loss of audio doesn't sound like a DVR+ specific issue.

The DVR+ is known for displaying a variety of problems requiring a hard reboot every so often. Once a month I do a hard reboot - disconnect the power cord from the DVR+, wait a minimum of 5 minutes, then reconnect the power cord. To me, it's a minor annoyance. If you've had the DVR+ plugged in for 9 months, it's not surprising that a few hiccups occurred. IMO, if any problems disappear after a hard reboot, and there's no problems for several weeks, returning the unit under the warranty won't fix anything. Such hiccups are due to the programming and have nothing to do with the hardware.
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post #12014 of 16648 Old 05-09-2016, 08:05 AM
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I wouldn't recommend to cure HDMI/HDCP handshake-negotiation process's quirks by powering off/on sequence;
it's hot-plug highly dynamic process by nature;

so, just disconnecting/reconnecting HDMI cable from any end would fix HDMI/HDCP problem, if it really attributed to it.

Just for example, I got all the issues (and another one - very distorted sound) on pair of STB (HD/MPEG-4) and Dell 28" monitor HDMI 1.3 (also used with BR player, different dish and DTV HD DVRs and OTA DVRs:TR-50 and K-77); pretty often the STB and the monitor did not establish connection and it goes to sleep mode, usually I did reboot the receiver, but one day I did decide to wait - counted 8 attempts before the monitor show up normally.
So in my case, the STB making more then 8 attempts to establish a link. Perhaps it did try each mode what Dell's EDID provide to STB.
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post #12015 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 10:22 AM
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Version 134R has been released today. But can't download it yet from the website. Just saying current release 134R.

Edit: website has been updated. We can now download it.
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Last edited by Alainl12; 05-10-2016 at 10:43 AM.
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post #12016 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 11:23 AM
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May 10? True, they missed their original deadline, but not as badly as I expected.

If anyone has the time to download & install 134R, I hope they also have the time to check out some of the known 132R issues: https://web.archive.org/web/20160426...n-Issues-132R-. Also if 134R locks up when watching YouTube videos as 132R sometimes did.

Edit: CM's website is confusing. Here's the direct link to the 134R download page: http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...re-Update-USB-. Otherwise, you have to go to their support page, then to the DVR+ User's Guide, then to "How can I keep my DVR+(CM-7500) up to date?" to find the link. It's not located anyplace obvious.

(CM has started a "Known Issues 134R" page, which is of course currently empty; but they've unfortunately chosen to redirect the current "Known Issues 132R" page to it, so you have to go to the WayBack Machine to see the 132R issues now.)

Other things to look out for: any changes in how the remotes (original or new) function; any problems with HDDs spinning down or back up; do formerly incompatible HDDs now work (or formerly compatible ones fail); etc.

Some of those issues were intermittent (e.g., no red LED when recording, or front-panel power button doesn't work), and others are specific to certain hardware (e.g., the IR extender) so we won't know if those have truly been fixed for a while.
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post #12017 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 12:18 PM
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Version 134R has been released today. But can't download it yet from the website. Just saying current release 134R.

Edit: website has been updated. We can now download it.
Downloaded it. Haven't installed it yet. I'd like to see a spec sheet on what it includes. Has anyone seen that yet?
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post #12018 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 12:53 PM
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Downloaded it. Haven't installed it yet. I'd like to see a spec sheet on what it includes. Has anyone seen that yet?
No. The only thing I saw is a post on facebook.

"Software update 134R is here! This update fixes the issue of Sling TV cutting out and returning to OTA. Along with the Sling TV fix we are told the update also includes some minor bug fixes".
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post #12019 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 02:04 PM
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Presumably they addressed (or at least, tried to address) the seven issues they knew about, since they now claim there are no known issues with 134R.

Of course they still may not have those issues fixed. Remember they claimed to have fixed the LED going out once before (I think with 124R), yet it still didn't work correctly. Computer programming is hard!

But the Sling TV issue was the "biggie." It was keeping a lot of folks from using Sling TV on the DVR+. They'd try it, get kicked out a few times, then give up and ask Sling TV for a refund.

That probably wasn't doing CM any favors with Sling TV.

I'm hoping the Sling TV issue was the same as the YouTube lock-up issue LenL reported and the CMTV issues I've had, and the various apps were just reacting differently to the same underlying error. But we won't know until we try.

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post #12020 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 02:33 PM
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It is still mind-boggling to me that after all this time and after all the many firmware releases they still cannot push out a perfect firmware package that doesn't have issues that need to be fixed in the next release.

I used to use a ReplayTV and TiVo (including the new Bolt) and I never saw this kind of thing time after time, release version number after release version number.

Why can't Channel Master fully test everything before they release the software? (I can understand this not being successful when the DVR+ was new. But it has been out long enough now.)

And finally, because they eventually (after 4 declines) force people to update even if people decline the updates, it is imperative that they come up with a way to release software that works perfectly.
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post #12021 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 04:13 PM
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"Software update 134R is here! This update fixes the issue of Sling TV cutting out and returning to OTA. Along with the Sling TV fix we are told the update also includes some minor bug fixes".
"[W]e are told the update also includes some minor bug fixes" sure is some strange phraseology, considering that the people who posted this presumably work for the same company. In my head I'm seeing update release meeting, with coders, social media people, PR people and maybe a honcho or two in attendance. And in that meeting I see all those people discussing--perhaps line by line, what the new update entails so everyone knows what is going on and how to word the press release and other announcements. But maybe my head was at a different meeting.
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post #12022 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 04:46 PM
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One fix they should make is not FORCE an update. Simply provide 4 notifications that an update is available over time and then stop the notifications. The owner of the device should be in complete control of the device. Seeing as the firmware they release is bug ridden it should be a priority to make this change!
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post #12023 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 07:39 PM
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In my head I'm seeing update release meeting, with coders, social media people, PR people and maybe a honcho or two in attendance. And in that meeting I see all those people discussing--perhaps line by line, what the new update entails so everyone knows what is going on and how to word the press release and other announcements. But maybe my head was at a different meeting.
I don't think that meeting has ever happened in any company at any time in any universe!

Does anyone know if CM even does the programming and testing? I envision them submitting tickets to the E* programmers and getting the firmware back, then testing it manually (rather than using something like Selenium testing) because the E* programmers have already said it was OK.

Anyway ... you guys are downloading it and installing it I guess. My DVR+ is still saying that version 132R is the same version as on the website when I check for a new version.
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post #12024 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
Anyway ... you guys are downloading it and installing it I guess. My DVR+ is still saying that version 132R is the same version as on the website when I check for a new version.
My DVR+ isn't connected to the Internet, so I downloaded it to my laptop. Since I'm not doing the Sling thing I'll probably just sit on it for a few days till I hear how it's working for others.
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post #12025 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post
One fix they should make is not FORCE an update. Simply provide 4 notifications that an update is available over time and then stop the notifications. The owner of the device should be in complete control of the device. Seeing as the firmware they release is bug ridden it should be a priority to make this change!
If you would more familiar with e*/dish "philosophy", you would know they are pushing new FW very hard, twist your hands urgh devices, like night reboot regardless of your (customer) desire to watch TV that time...
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post #12026 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by midas89 View Post
It is still mind-boggling to me that after all this time and after all the many firmware releases they still cannot push out a perfect firmware package that doesn't have issues that need to be fixed in the next release.

I used to use a ReplayTV and TiVo (including the new Bolt) and I never saw this kind of thing time after time, release version number after release version number.

Why can't Channel Master fully test everything before they release the software? (I can understand this not being successful when the DVR+ was new. But it has been out long enough now.)

And finally, because they eventually (after 4 declines) force people to update even if people decline the updates, it is imperative that they come up with a way to release software that works perfectly.
because CM is not making the FW nor testing it; they just host it at web site.
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post #12027 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 11:12 PM
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OK, P Smith, I stand corrected. Change my wish to: The people who actually make the firmware need to do a better job of testing it before release, since everyone is forced to take the update after 4 denials. (There has to be a way to test it fully in advance of release.)

The people who make the firmware should be able to test it so that there are not so many bugs that need to be fixed when the next firmware update is released.

(As an alternative, if they actually could release bug fixes much faster after release of the major firmware update, that might help. But instead, they just leave the bugs out there and take their time before fixing.)
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post #12028 of 16648 Old 05-10-2016, 11:44 PM
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too many wishes ...
e*/dish never been good for fixing/testing bugs ... first versions came so buggy - that's usual; customers are "Guinea pigs" and live with and forced reporting the bugs, some "last priority" bugs never fixed, etc
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post #12029 of 16648 Old 05-11-2016, 12:46 AM
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I just cut the cord with (after 20 years with cable followed by 3 with dish and 13 with Directv) and ordered a DVR+, which arrived yesterday. When I hooked it to my Vizio 4K TV all I oould get to display was the splash screen. I went to the ChannelMaster support web page, which said I needed to get the latest software, which would be installed if I booted up the box with the software on a USB drive. When I did this, nothing happened. l then hooked it to a non-4K TV and everything worked fine and I was able to upgrade the software, which then worked as it should on my 4K set (I'm glad I had a second TV for this). So far, I am favorably impressed with this DVR.

Bob

Bob
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post #12030 of 16648 Old 05-11-2016, 01:35 AM
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in such case, if HDMI/HDCP handshake didn't go well, try use other input TV, perhaps some HDMI port is restricted to high level
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