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Lost recordings - Unable to track programme

#1
Over the last week or so our T2 has been losing recordings for no apparent reason. There are usually 5 or so programmes recorded every day (radio and video) and pretty much every day now we lose one or two - there is no video preview available, the programmes are zero length and give an error message stating "Unable to track programme". The .HMT files exist but the .NTS files don't, so I have written a cron script that logs in every hour and emails me when a recording fails. FTP is a powerful feature but I'd settle for actually recording programmes to be honest!

Some more info - the box is running the latest official firmware and we are using "Accurate Recording", rather than padding, just because of the number of programmes that get delayed by sports etc. One suggestion on the 'net referred to duplicate channels when auto-tuning, so I manually tuned the box and it made no difference. Interestingly, all the lost programmes seem to be on a BBC Mux. Our transmitter is heading for the digital switchover in a month or so, which may also be relevant as they might be tweaking something.

Before I drop a line to Humax Support so that they have something else to ignore, has anyone got any thoughts about what the problem is or how to cure it?

PS - this forum looks interesting, I seldom run a standard firmware on any box. I've flashed PDAs, phones, routers and NASs in the past, not to mention my MyStuffed Toppy, so I'll join in where I can :))
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#2
Your "unable to track program" problem is the AR/Padding dilemma.

AR relies on the Now/Next flags being transmitted correctly, which sometimes they are not. If you monitor the Now/Next OSD, you will see that sometimes it switches late, and sometimes not at all. If Now/Next was broadcast reliably, AR would be great.

If you set up a default padding, the recording is then governed by the EPG data not Now/Next. The timer is initially programmed when you set the recording by the EPG data at the time (as it is with AR), and corrected if there are any changes whenever the Humax is powered up fully (not just when it is out of standby making an unattended recording). 15 minutes before the scheduled time the Humax wakes up and checks the latest EPG for the channel in question (but still half asleep because it doesn't do anything else), so as long as the EPG has been updated to track any broadcast time changes the recording will track them.

Thus the dilemma. AR (ie padding = 0) relies on the broadcasters getting Now/Next right, which often they don't. Padding picks up the most recent scheduled time for the programme, but can't track any last-minute changes due to over-running live events.

Over on the AVForum ( you might be interested in that: http://www.avforums.com/forums/pvrs...r-fox-t2-hd-pvr-master-thread-part-seven.html ) the consensus is 2 minutes pre- and 5 minutes post-padding; only a few people swear by AR.

So basically it's not Humax's fault.
 
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Sam Widges

Active Member
#3
Thanks for the info, that's cleared up the problem, but I think that this is still a bug. Humax should be aware that start flags could be missed or corrupted, in which case the box should abide by the schedule that was set initially or from the EPG as it is currently broadcast. At least that way, you are still likely to get most if not all of what was intended. I'll drop them a line with a feature request.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Thanks for the info, that's cleared up the problem, but I think that this is still a bug. Humax should be aware that start flags could be missed or corrupted, in which case the box should abide by the schedule that was set initially or from the EPG as it is currently broadcast. At least that way, you are still likely to get most if not all of what was intended. I'll drop them a line with a feature request.
In my experience missing "start flags" (they are actually changes of state) are very rare (but not totally unknown) on the major channels. Perhaps you could document time, date and channel of any future failures to allow us to compare notes.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#5
Thanks for the info, that's cleared up the problem, but I think that this is still a bug. Humax should be aware that start flags could be missed or corrupted, in which case the box should abide by the schedule that was set initially or from the EPG as it is currently broadcast.
What???

If AR is supposed to track schedule changes due to prior over-runs using the now/next info, how is the box supposed to tell whether the now/next is in error or tracking an actual over-run? There are no two ways about it - if the broadcasters don't get it right the box can't either.
 
#6
very odd that you're getting these, i tape loads every day without a hitch, have you been regularly rescanning for channels these days, have you checked that you have no channels in the 800 ranges, a list of those you missed would be handy, you say mainly bbc, i'd have thought the smaller channels would be the problem with not broadcasting the stop start signals, certainly i find if i ever do get the end of recordings chopped its always on the +1s

did you remember factory reset before yr rescan, if you dont do this then some channels may remain i think?

for me its simply the most stable device i've ever encountered
 
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Sam Widges

Active Member
#8
What???

If AR is supposed to track schedule changes due to prior over-runs using the now/next info, how is the box supposed to tell whether the now/next is in error or tracking an actual over-run? There are no two ways about it - if the broadcasters don't get it right the box can't either.
Good point about actual overruns. Scratch that idea then :)
 
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Sam Widges

Active Member
#9
In our area, on the Sudbury transmitter, accurate recording has never been that reliable, but every time we get a new PVR, we give it a go to see if it has improved. So far that includes a 9200T, a Toppy and now the HDR T2.

This time round, all the lost programmes seem to have been on the BBC mux - here's the most recent crop, logged by my email early warning system:
History Cold Case_20110623_2100
The Kennedys_20110624_2100
Have I Got a Bit More News for You_20110625_2100

It's interesting to note that these have all been at 9pm, but in the past we have also lost radio programmes at 6pm.

That's a good point about doing the factory reset when rescanning, I didn't do that but I did an automatic scan and cancelled after 5s which I believed should flush out the channel list. Unfortunately, I don't think that SWMBO will be too happy about having to re-enter all her schedules AGAIN while I experiment, so the next tuning opportunity will be in a month's time at digital switchover.

Edit - I've just checked out the SQLITE database and there are no channels in there with 800+ numbers.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
#10
I use AR all of the time, mainly on BBC or 5-ish channels and I've only seen one failure since I got the box. It was Family Guy on BBC HD a couple of weeks ago and I think the schedule did actually get changed around that night so it wasn't shown. This is the ultimate 'you mileage may vary'!
 
H

Humaximum

#11
I think that it's important to ask the question, Are other Freeview HD PVR's losing recordings in the same way, or is it occurring with just the Humax HDR? Therein lies the answer....
 
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Sam Widges

Active Member
#12
I think that it's important to ask the question, Are other Freeview HD PVR's losing recordings in the same way, or is it occurring with just the Humax HDR? Therein lies the answer....
This has been a problem for five or more years and in 2 different houses 20 miles apart. As per my previous post, every time we got a new PVR we gave it a go to see if it had improved. So far this has included a 9200T, a Toppy and now the HDR T2. Unsurprisingly, this problem has always been associated with the same transmitter. Right now, I'm hoping that the digital switchover might cure the problem in a month's time.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
#13
Are you factoring in the Wimbledon effect?

As far as I know History Cold Case was not broadcast in the end, HIGNFY was a repeat so I didn't bother with that but it is also the kind of thing which would have been dropped by a tennis overrun. The Kennedys was recorded correctly by my Foxsat HDR but being on Sunday that would not have been affected by the tennis.
 

jons

New Member
#15
Also - how do you get rid of the files that show up on the recording directory listing as 'Lost recordings - Unable to track programme' - as they don't allow deletion through click menu?
thanks
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#16
The same answer to both questions: enable FTP access in the Humax menus (Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> FTP Server = On), then you will be able to access it from an FTP client on a PC (or whatever) across the network at the IP address shown on the Configure LAN part of the menu (Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Configure LAN).