AR on a per-recording or per-service basis

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think you have tried it yet, but the experimental RS Gui prompts you for padding values if you try and convert something from AR to Padded. After you have done it once, it remembers the padding settings you used last time.

You're right, making it a one-way process would simplify things and anyone that doesn't want to use it is under no obligation. However, for some reason, I'm very reluctant to globally enable padding on my box and I want a system that can selectively apply padding to channels that routinely lose bits of programmes with AR rather than the other way around. One issue is that this whole conversion process is going to have to happen at boot time (just like current web scheduling) so if you set something to record in the very near future then it will use the default settings on your box which may be a consideration.

It might have to be adaptive based on whether the box is set to AR or Padding. Handling boxes which change from one to the other would be an additional challenge however.

I like the idea of a list of channels with tick boxes, or maybe something like:

select_list.JPG


? which I'm sure has a name..
I haven't tried the experimental RS Gui yet, but would be happy to give it a go.
I am like you in that I would not want to set padding by default.
A channel list with tick boxes to select which to apply padding would be good.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
I haven't tried the experimental RS Gui yet, but would be happy to give it a go.
I am like you in that I would not want to set padding by default.
A channel list with tick boxes to select which to apply padding would be good.

Sorry Brian - posts crossed, that was directed at Black Hole who has converted a few recordings from pad to AR via rs.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Of the devices registered with the RS portal which have upgraded to at least rs 0.3.5, 18 are using padding*.. I suspect it is more common than we might think because a new user who browses through the menus may well set padding without realising the effect it has on AR.

*(I don't know how many have updated - rs 0.3.6 is out which transmits its version number along with the rest of the data so that will make it possible to get some definitive figures for RS users at least)
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Are you sure this requires a reboot? I know you can't add a recording to the schedule without a kick up the pants to make it stick, but does that apply to editing an existing entry as well?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Just thinking out loud now, I know other people don't share my opinion, but I don't get this AR-by-default preference. OK, so some have not had any unpleasant experiences with it (I have), and with padding you can cock up a recording when "times for later programmes may be subject to change", but, as a default position, the risk analysis says AR is the riskier option. It RELIES on the broadcasters telling your box when to record. You are not in control. At all. At least with padding the box WILL record at the set time, whatever happens.

For me, the situation is very firmly "padding by default, but AR would be nice if I really really trust the particular broadcaster to do it properly, or maybe only if I spot that a recording I want is subject to a live broadcast".

Now here's an interesting idea: would it be possible to up the end padding to, say, 1 hour for specific recordings? Then there would be a good margin for live shifts (I'm thinking Last Night of the Proms) without compromising another recording if it needed to start up. Might be a good option for live recordings on a non-whitelist channel.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Just thinking out loud now, I know other people don't share my opinion...

I'm sure at least as many people prefer padding as do AR - we're talking about it and can (probably) come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy.

...but I don't get this AR-by-default preference. OK, so some have not had any unpleasant experiences with it (I have), and with padding you can cock up a recording when "times for later programmes may be subject to change", but, as a default position, the risk analysis says AR is the riskier option. It RELIES on the broadcasters telling your box when to record. You are not in control. At all. At least with padding the box WILL record at the set time, whatever happens.

One of the things I really like about AR is that the recording kicks in just after the presenter has told you exactly what is about to happen (at least on the BBC channels)! It saves me from using mute/FF to get to the point at which I want to start watching. It has saved a recording for me on at least one occasion when something slipped by 30 minutes which was almost magical to SWMBO. Whatever the risk, the impact is pretty low anyway with repeats and catch-up services.

Now here's an interesting idea: would it be possible to up the end padding to, say, 1 hour for specific recordings? Then there would be a good margin for live shifts (I'm thinking Last Night of the Proms) without compromising another recording if it needed to start up. Might be a good option for live recordings on a non-whitelist channel.

Yes, we aren't bound by the padding values in the Humax menus here. It is also specified in seconds should anyone want to have finer control.
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
64 devices have installed rs 0.3.6 overnight and 14 of those use padding so, based on this limited sample, it's 80/20 AR/padding.
Thanks, I've just updated so that's another one for the AR list.:)
 

neilleeds

Member
My thoughts are (and I'm stating this because there will be others) I am perfectly happy with AR so am not especially fussed about this functionality. However if it exists, I might give padding unreliable channels a try. For me to try it I wouldn't want to pick and choose channels because I have no idea which are good with AR and which are not and I wouldn't invest effort finding out since I'm 99% happy with AR.

In summary I think people happy with AR would use it if it's a turn on and forget system with sensible defaults (poor AR channels padded with small amounts of padding).

For current users of padding I think the simplest implementation would be to globally turn on AR and use the same blacklist of channels. If the padding is handled by webif rather than the humax there is scope for greater control eg edit padding amounts per channel etc.
 

Frosty

Member
I turned on padding when I first got my box as I'm still using my Topfield for most SD programmes and the Humax for HD channels. I then disabled padding and started using AR instread. For many weeks and about 10 HD recordings from BBC1 HD and BBC HD, no problem, all started and stopped perfectly.

Sadly I set my first film (Blades of Glory or something like that) to record on BBC1 HD the other day only to find the recording failed, 0 bytes with a message seeming to indicate the box did not get a start flag as expected. Not good at all, especially as the BBC channels are supposed to be the best for trust-worthy AR working. My Topfield recorded it no problem, although I did have a few minutes start and 15 minutes end padding just in case. I assume the film went out on the HD channel around the same time as the SD one, so why did it fail! Freeview+ is supposed to be the future(and present) and reliable. Why can't the broadcasters get it right.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I assume the film went out on the HD channel around the same time as the SD one, so why did it fail! Freeview+ is supposed to be the future(and present) and reliable. Why can't the broadcasters get it right.
The first thing to check is that the box is correctly tuned and the HD channels are coming from the same transmitter as the SD channels.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Practically, it doesn't matter a jot whether recordings default to AR with a black list or default to padding with a white list as long as the software is dependable, but philosophically it is an utter anathema to me to default to the whim of the broadcasters.

The only light I can see in that situation is the extra flexibility we can have choosing padding values.
 

Frosty

Member
The first thing to check is that the box is correctly tuned and the HD channels are coming from the same transmitter as the SD channels.
Im sure my box is correctly tuned to Crystal Palace as an HD Pan Am recording lost 3 seconds exactly as specified during a scheduled 3 sec Crystal palace maintenance period. Actually, I believe this may be the first time my box was set to wake up and record during the early hours of the morning. No big loss as the film was dire, but worrying as my trust in unattended AR has gone.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
Im sure my box is correctly tuned to Crystal Palace as an HD Pan Am recording lost 3 seconds exactly as specified during a scheduled 3 sec Crystal palace maintenance period. Actually, I believe this may be the first time my box was set to wake up and record during the early hours of the morning. No big loss as the film was dire, but worrying as my trust in unattended AR has gone.

3 seconds :eek:, for heavens sake. Get a life :disagree:
 

Frosty

Member
3 seconds :eek:, for heavens sake. Get a life :disagree:
That was uncalled for an a bit nasty!
This was soon after I got my Humax and when I was watching Pan Am all the HD channels went dead for several seconds. I wondered what had gone wrong, maybe a weak signal or such which was possible as this was my first Freeview HD box, but later found out planned works of just those 3 seconds went on durong that time. Proof if needed I am on Crystal Palace and some relief it was not a problem my end. Which is the reason I mentioned it, in reply to what transmitter my box was receiving from. No need for your response!
 

Wallace

Traveler 34122
I don't think you can blame AR if there was known transmitter work going on. TBH, your lucky you only lost 3 seconds!

The debate between AR and padding will roll on and on. It is a personal choice and a balance of probabilities. I have to say that my confidence in AR took some building. I don't like being 'out-of-control' and with AR you are effectively at the mercy of the broadcasters. Fortunately, I record form the main 5 channels (yes I know Channel5 has a bad reputation for AR) and have yet to have an incomplete/incorrect recording. I would hate to miss even 3 seconds of Suzi Perry's legs on the Gadget Show!

You can see I am in the 'for AR camp', that is until I miss a favourite program.

Having said all that, on my Topfield 5810 I do NOT use AR. However, I have TAP's that pretty much ensure that padding is effectively automatically increased on-the-fly if the correct signal in not sent. I have had recordings run-on with the Topfield, specifically on Channel5, but the TAP's have kicked in and stopped it after a couple of hours. Better to have too longer recording than miss the end of something.

Merry Christmas!
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I can see we have similar taste. I would go with Pollyanna - but I would be thinking of Suzi!
 
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