Recovery of programs on demand!

OP
J

Jeddy

Member
yes, we commented similar above, but you know how it goes, in the absence of other suggestions or proof of what is going on and with the suggestion it has worked for others it's worth a try. If I'm still posting in a few weeks I suspect I'll assume it has made no difference. In that case I'll probably change to using Quad9 as I used in the past, but other than that I guess I'll have to continue to delete cookies manually.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
the suggestion it has worked for others
Yeah, but that's the point - such impressions are highly subjective. No harm in giving it a try, but it is rather like striking a match and expecting the streetlamp across the road to light up just because somebody observed that to happen.
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
If changing the DNS is a placebo which works for me and I don't have to keep deleting cookies I'll settle for that.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I think yours is a very good test - you have documented the problem you are having well, and it should be clear if DNS makes no difference. If it does make a difference, then we should work out what the mechanism might be.
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
Thanks and for the avoidance of any doubt, I suggested previously that maybe I should try using all the players I normally use, delete cookies and then see what happened, I did that at the time and have used the odd player since and have had to delete cookies today. I know the suggestion was that it takes a while to 'settle down' (which again I struggle to understand), but we'll see. I'll try and keep this thread updated in case anyone can see a pattern. If in a few weeks nothing has improved then at least that'll save the next person the effort of trying changing DNS.
 

A1944

Member
Frankly, I can't see cookies and DNS as being connected.
No, nor do I, but the DNS change in my router was suggested and appeared to solve the problem as I had changed nothing else.

However, as I think I said above, I had no proof that it was the solution and I do not understand why it should have worked, nor why it seemed to need a few days to settle down.

All I know is that I have now not lost the catch-up EPG for over a year.
 
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OP
J

Jeddy

Member
As an aside and for the record, I had general network problems this a.m. (no internet), so ended up rebooting the router. Whether this could also have an effect by clearing caches on there I've no idea, but probably best add it to the list of things done, just in case it helps later on.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Flying a kite here (but perhaps it will trigger a thought for somebody with more knowledge):

What if the "with cookies" and "without cookies" execution pathways are differently sensitive to server responsiveness. That could explain why clearing cookies makes a difference, and why changing DNS makes a difference (although I would not expect either to be more than temporary).
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
It would also be interesting to know what these cookies contain. After I deleted them, I had no problem using iplayer etc., i.e. no need to logon again so they obviously don't hold logon information. I did however notice that after deleting them and going back in the EPG (old progs), it does take multiple seconds to display anything, but maybe I need to pay more attention to how fast that is when I've not just deleted them but have gone back in the EPG. Do they contain information relating to historic programs.
Or maybe there is something else going on, does it take a while to 'settle down' after changing the DNS because it takes 7 days to get rid of 'corrupt' entries relating to the EPG as they gradually get older and older until they are eventually deleted once they are 7 days old? Looking at an older post of mine, I know I was at one point complaining of the historic EPG being incomplete rather than totally missing - like some of it was wrong, but some usable.
Right now it feels like there is a jigsaw on the table along with a load of pieces... and a hammer!
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
That could explain why clearing cookies makes a difference, and why changing DNS makes a difference (although I would not expect either to be more than temporary).
There are a number of people here who have reported a permanent improvement in the historic EPG and usage of the players after changing the DNS. I originally suggested the change because I was puzzled that so many people were coming here and reporting problems which I had never experienced. DNS seemed the most likely candidate. My suspicion is that when the DNS on the Humax is set to the router then there can be problems when using some common models of router.
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
A quick google of 'freeview dns' is of some interest with some suggestions to not use the default router DNS, although naturally some of the hits do refer to humax.
Is it possible that deleting cookies is actually doing more than deleting cookies, e.g. deleting a cache too?
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
Sounds plausible, but again - how would changing DNS improve the situation?
What do we know? 1) I sometimes loose the players from display 2) Catchup EPG data sometimes displays no information. 3) Deleting 'cookies' which may include other stuff fixes - at least for a while.

I'm assuming that if there is a DNS problem (e.g. slow ISP / router DNS) then the humax would not unreasonably decide it couldn't use the players so not display them or catchup information.
If I was writing the code I'd want to store as much catchup information on the box as possible to avoid keep downloading it (performance, why download the last 7 days when you only downloaded it 1 hr ago so only need the latest hour of catchup - it's not like the catchup information changes!), maybe I'd store it in the cookies or something which gets deleted at the same time. Maybe I'd store which DNS I used to try to download it (maybe not). However I still need to download some catchup information everytime catchup is invoked so would need a working DNS every time I invoke catchup and if it isn't up to speed I'd just give 'no information'. Maybe if the user paged back they'd notice times when there was valid catchup information from when the DNS was working (as I reported), typically the catchup EPG only shows the last 2(?) hours so unless the user used catchup within the last 2 hours (I normally rely on recordings so may only try catchup every few days or even weeks) they're just going to see a screenful of no information catchup EPG - and what user is going to try and scroll back further when it's clearly not working? (Well, me as I did report in another thread.) Maybe each day (or time) you turn the box on it brings the catchup EPG up to date so even if you don't use catchup much it may still be loaded for days when the DNS was working and not for days it wasn't.

Given that not everyone is screaming about this I'm theorising that this could be a problem with a particular router (Huawei B535-232 here), or a particular ISP (Three) or a combination of the above. If a router / ISP combo is resulting in duff (or missing) info being stored in something which isn't a cookie but which gets deleted when you delete cookies, then deleting 'cookies' would clear the problem and changing the DNS (away from that of the router / ISP) would prevent it coming back? Maybe Three have a really slow DNS and the humax gives up before it gets a suitable response? Which still leaves the theory that something is still being left in the humax catch-up data which prevents it displaying correctly and which only gets deleted after 7 days once the old EPG data rolls off so it takes 7 days after the change of DNS to 'settle down'.

I'm still struggling with that last bit, why is something still breaking the catchup once the DNS has been changed and cookies+ deleted? Is something happening in the humax as it tries to roll the old EPG data until all the EPG data since the the change was made? Could (really clutching at straws now) something not being deleted by cookies+ store the DNS which was tried for old downloads? Maybe it still tries or checks the wrong stored DNS until they have all rolled off? Maybe the DNS information is stored for each section of catchup so it knows where to go for a particular section of catchup?

I know - there are still holes in that logic! Maybe it'll prompt someone to be able to put something together.
 
OP
J

Jeddy

Member
I don't know but it remains true for some users that changing DNS stops the need to clear cookies. Until we know what information is stored in the cookies I don't think we can go any further.
I was theorising that catchup EPG falls into the Cookie+ category - not cookies, but is possibly deleted when you say to say to delete cookies - no doubt if they were to say 'delete cookies, cache etc. etc.) it'd raise more questions than needed, just tell the average user they are cleaning something up using a term they may understand.
 
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