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Old 01-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
mangurian
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Can time shifting be turned off?

Unless I misunderstand, my TIVO is always buffering about 30 minutes of data even when I am watching live.
  1. Is it true that my TIVO is always buffering ?
  2. Can I turn that feature off when I want to ?

According to the Google study, there is a positive correlation between hard drive usage and drive failure (highly dependent on drive age). I have no reason to live buffer shows like, e.g. Seinfeld, so I could save some wear and tear if I could turn time shifting off. I use my TIVO as my only source of HD (I have no set top box), so I watch shows live using the TIVO tuner very often.

Thanks,
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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You can stop live TV buffering by putting the Tivo in stand-by or by tuning to a non-existant channel.

However the hard drive will continue to run. The only way to stop that is to unplug the Tivo.

Edit: Correction. Stand-by does not kill the live TV buffers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
You can stop live TV buffering by putting the Tivo in stand-by or by tuning to a non-existant channel.

However the hard drive will continue to run. The only way to stop that is to unplug the Tivo.
As I stated, I watch my live TV using the TIVO tuner, so the options above
don't help me. Seems as though TIVO should put the "no time shifting" capability on their software "to do" list.

Spinning down the hard drive would also increase overall reliability (heat kills) although this side benefit may not be a biggie.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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Not true. Tons of threads here on this. Most here are of the understanding that a constantly working drive that was designed for such tasks is not a risk by always writing to the drive.

At least one user is not worried about the on/off nature of drive wear, and just puts their tivo on a timer.

I'm sure someone will put in links to those, but I always say to just use search.

I also wonder why so many users play around with the buffers instead of recording more and skipping commercials.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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There is a correlation to usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtroo View Post
Most here are of the understanding that a constantly working drive that was designed for such tasks is not a risk by always writing to the drive.
Please read the Google report. I'd bet that nobody uses more hard drives or has a larger database of drive statistics than Google. They do find a correlation between usage and drive life for young drives and older drives.

I would also hazard a guess that Google uses drives designed for heavy usage (just as TIVO does - I hope) for their servers.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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The whole point of the live buffer is so you can use it unexpectedly. You don't plan to want to skip backwards and see something again, it just happens. Could be anything: a nipple on the superbowl, some guy swearing on a live broadcast, or even to see a funny part of a show again. I use it sometimes if I turn on the TV and something good is on, but I missed the first few minutes and want to start at the beginning. Turning it off defeats the entire purpose of the buffer.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mangurian View Post
Unless I misunderstand, my TIVO is always buffering about 30 minutes of data even when I am watching live.
  1. Is it true that my TIVO is always buffering ?
  2. Can I turn that feature off when I want to ?

According to the Google study, there is a positive correlation between hard drive usage and drive failure (highly dependent on drive age). I have no reason to live buffer shows like, e.g. Seinfeld, so I could save some wear and tear if I could turn time shifting off. I use my TIVO as my only source of HD (I have no set top box), so I watch shows live using the TIVO tuner very often.

Thanks,
Even if you did, the hard drive still has to run to process the updated guide data and to use the swap file. The hard drive doesn't care if just the buffer is off -- it's still the same amount of "wear and tear".

You also misread that study, drive failure rates are not highly dependent on drive age or use. In fact it's the exact opposite. So don't worry about it.

http://storagemojo.com/2007/02/19/go...re-experience/

Scroll down to "Over work = early death?"
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mangurian View Post
According to the Google study, there is a positive correlation between hard drive usage and drive failure (highly dependent on drive age). I have no reason to live buffer shows like, e.g. Seinfeld, so I could save some wear and tear if I could turn time shifting off. I use my TIVO as my only source of HD (I have no set top box), so I watch shows live using the TIVO tuner very often.

Thanks,
I've run servers with different hard drive power options. I've noticed that hard drives that spin down to save power seem to fail quicker than hard drives that continously spin 24 / 7.

From what I read, the most strain on the hard drive is in the spin up cycle. That stress is not present when the drive spins 24 / 7.

I have several hard drives in servers that spin 24 /7 which are 7 years old and are running with no problems. I've had hard drives fail where were only 2 or 3 years old which were spun down with inactivity.

My 2 cents.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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I've run servers with different hard drive power options. I've noticed that hard drives that spin down to save power seem to fail quicker than hard drives that continously spin 24 / 7.

From what I read, the most strain on the hard drive is in the spin up cycle. That stress is not present when the drive spins 24 / 7.

I have several hard drives in servers that spin 24 /7 which are 7 years old and are running with no problems. I've had hard drives fail where were only 2 or 3 years old which were spun down with inactivity.

My 2 cents.
From my years administering a data center
I agree.
Same goes with turning lights on/off
And turning car on/off (don't know much
about the new cars auto start/stop system).
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #10
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If I go to the "Season Pass" screen, there is no PIP for any channel.
Does the TIVO keep buffering the last tuned in channel or does it not
record anything in this state?

Anyone know ?
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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And turning car on/off (don't know much
about the new cars auto start/stop system).
Yeah, I leave my car on all of the time and the only problem I've had is finding it the next day.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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The TiVo is always buffering. It was designed to do so and so were the hard drives. TiVo uses special "media drives" (which probably doesn't mean much, but manufacturers can charge more).

As has been stated, it's been demonstrated that leaving a drive running 24/7 does not damage it. I don't want to jinx myself, but for what it's worth, my Series 3 has been running for a little over 6 years (52,560 hours) nearly non-stop (on a UPS) and still works fine. My Series 2 was still running when I retired it a few years back (about 5.5 years old) and there are people here still using Series 1 boxes from around 2000.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangurian View Post
According to the Google study, there is a positive correlation between hard drive usage and drive failure (highly dependent on drive age).
Link to Google study - http://static.googleusercontent.com/...k_failures.pdf

And here's their conclusion which states they were not able to make a conistent pattern between high utilization levels and drive failure rates.

"One of our key findings has been the lack of a consistent
pattern of higher failure rates for higher temperature
drives or for those drives at higher utilization levels.
Such correlations have been repeatedly highlighted
by previous studies, but we are unable to confirm them
by observing our population. Although our data do not
allow us to conclude that there is no such correlation,
it provides strong evidence to suggest that other effects
may be more prominent in affecting disk drive reliability
in the context of a professionally managed data center
deployment."

I think this is where you are referring to age and failure with their higher utilization drives. The graph of the data showed less than 6 months and older than 5 years having a significant higher failures with high utilization drives.

"Overall, we expected to notice a very strong and consistent
correlation between high utilization and higher
failure rates. However our results appear to paint a more
complex picture. First, only very young and very old
age groups appear to show the expected behavior. After
the first year, the AFR of high utilization drives is
at most moderately higher than that of low utilization
drives. The three-year group in fact appears to have the
opposite of the expected behavior, with low utilization
drives having slightly higher failure rates than high utilization
ones."

Scott
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:50 AM   #14
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Yeah, I leave my car on all of the time and the only problem I've had is finding it the next day.
It does wear the ignition module and is hard on the battery. It's a lot like that light bulb that has been constantly on for like 75 years (I learned of it many years ago) at a very low wattage. Basically, the principle is, the most efficient use of a device with the least changes at its minimum and anything will last the ages. Best gas mileage is steady driving with least amount of quick accelerations and stops.

I just had to replace my NINE YEAR old car battery. We thought about it, and we think it is because I virtually don't do any night time driving so I almost NEVER use the headlights. An engineer once told me that if one would NEVER use the headlights on a car, the battery would last far longer than it normally would, like maybe longer than a decade.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Agreed. The whole point of the design for ALL DVR's is to always have the trick-play feature because you will use it unexpectedly. This also makes the DVR easier for people to use rather than an additional step. The very first generation of Dish DVR's (not the DishPlayer 7100, but the 50X-510) were later made to spin down after a time of no use. Now, all the DVR's have the HDD spinning at all times. Also, it is the actuator/arms that seem to wear out or fail first, not the bearings of the HDD, or it would be happy to keep spinning but it can't write or it is writing and corrupting.

Yes, there are HDD's that are specifically designed for the MVPD DVR's that address many of the HDD issues for 24/7 DVR use. Ironically, I think the more channels of programming that it needs to write simultaneously is what may cause an HDD to have a shorter life. Again, not the bearings, as most people think.

Now, what the OP wants is how the DVD Recorders with HDD's work. They can function like a DVR, with Chasing Playback, all the trick-play even for a currently recording show, just like a TiVo or other DVR's, but the HDD is NOT recording until you press that record button, otherwise it is just a tuner until you press Record or set up a timer to record. However, the HDD will continue to spin. Now, on my later model Panasonic's, they would spin down after a good half-hour or so of just watching live TV. I miss the DVD recorders. I still have some and still have use. I think they are only 2 currently manufactured in the US while Europe and Japan still have good demand, but maybe not for long and the DVR US style begins to pick-up in Europe.

Last edited by Series3Sub : 01-03-2013 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:16 AM   #16
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Best gas mileage is steady driving with least amount of quick accelerations and stops.
Actually, according to Popular Mechanics, quick accelerations are desired (not flooring it). They claim that speeding up too slowly you will spend a lot of time in an inefficient gear. The key is to speed up reasonably quickly, hold speed, then coast before braking. You wouldn't coast all the way down to 0 as you would take so long to move anywhere that the idle usage would overcome the fact that you aren't hitting the gas. Also, note that the maximum speed you choose should be a function of the distance traveled before the next stop (as well as all the obligatory efficiency/drag data).

Back on hard drives. Spinning up/down the drives up and down does account for a major portion of the drive wear. Keeping it spinning is minor in comparison (obviously it depends on the frequency of spin up/down). It would cause more wear if it is constantly writing/reading (as that is done by another mechanism). The hard drives should last on average a significant number of years in either start/stop or constant writing. Seagate, WD, etc. have done tons of research on their product quantifying this type of data. In general, Tivo probably picks an expected time to failure in their usage mode and verifies that the drives they use should provide that. Some will fail early, others won't. As others have said, beyond parking the tuner on a channel that won't be recorded, Tivo's products don't support the type of "disk saving" features the OP asked about.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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Actually, according to Popular Mechanics, quick accelerations are desired (not flooring it). They claim that speeding up too slowly you will spend a lot of time in an inefficient gear. The key is to speed up reasonably quickly, hold speed, then coast before braking. You wouldn't coast all the way down to 0 as you would take so long to move anywhere that the idle usage would overcome the fact that you aren't hitting the gas. Also, note that the maximum speed you choose should be a function of the distance traveled before the next stop (as well as all the obligatory efficiency/drag data).
Agreed on this. The owner's manual for my Toyota Camry Hybrid recommends accelerating quickly to your desired speed as opposed to slowly accelerating. It also says to coast as much as possible.

Having done this for the past 5 years and never having had to do any maintenance on the brakes so far, I think this advice is right.

On the hard drives, I have a server at home that runs 24/7 and the 4 Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drives in it are going on 7 years old. It only gets turned off once every 6 months to get the dust blown out of it. I run Hard Disk Sentinel Pro and it reports that all of the drives are in "Perfect" condition.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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What kind of "server" doesn't have filters over the intake fans to keep it from getting filled with dust in the first place? My rack-mounted server has a slide-out filter that I can clean/replace without powering down the whole thing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:50 PM   #19
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It does wear the ignition module and is hard on the battery. It's a lot like that light bulb that has been constantly on for like 75 years (I learned of it many years ago) at a very low wattage. Basically, the principle is, the most efficient use of a device with the least changes at its minimum and anything will last the ages. Best gas mileage is steady driving with least amount of quick accelerations and stops.

I just had to replace my NINE YEAR old car battery. We thought about it, and we think it is because I virtually don't do any night time driving so I almost NEVER use the headlights. An engineer once told me that if one would NEVER use the headlights on a car, the battery would last far longer than it normally would, like maybe longer than a decade.
No headlights? My headlights are always on. I've been leaving them on since the late 80's when the defensive driving courses we had to take at work always recommended leaving the headlights on so you are more visible to other people. So at work we also had to always have out headlights on. So since then I've always had the headlights on any vehicle I drive.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #20
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What kind of "server" doesn't have filters over the intake fans to keep it from getting filled with dust in the first place? My rack-mounted server has a slide-out filter that I can clean/replace without powering down the whole thing.
We've got hundreds of them at the data center at work that don't have any filters. Even if they had a filter they probably would never change them. We've seen servers that have the fans almost completely clogged with dust. They change everything out on five year cycles so they don't worry about them unless there is some kind of failure.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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No headlights? My headlights are always on. I've been leaving them on since the late 80's when the defensive driving courses we had to take at work always recommended leaving the headlights on so you are more visible to other people. So at work we also had to always have out headlights on. So since then I've always had the headlights on any vehicle I drive.
Newer model cars include daytime running lights to get that benefit (with lower power draw). Even newer cars have auto headlights so we can be ultra-lazy about turning on headlights in low-light situations and when dusk approaches, which are two key times where headlights at full brightness benefit visibility (I wish more people would turn headlights on in foggy conditions though). I prefer it over the rule of thumb of always leaving them at full brightness, since they can also be a glare risk. So it is possible to drive defensively while not actively using the headlights yourself.

I mostly wish we didn't seem to be on a trend with headlights to be making them constantly brighter and a larger risk to night driving (or having folks muck with the aiming of the headlights to "get more distance"). Sure, brighter headlights on my car help me, but introduce a bigger risk to everyone around me. I love it when I can drive at night without anyone else on the road within my field of vision, since I can actually dark adapt enough to help see beyond the headlights, as long as I am not using the high beams. Although I know I'll very likely lose that ability as I get older.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:45 PM   #22
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I just had to replace my NINE YEAR old car battery. We thought about it, and we think it is because I virtually don't do any night time driving so I almost NEVER use the headlights. An engineer once told me that if one would NEVER use the headlights on a car, the battery would last far longer than it normally would, like maybe longer than a decade.
I'm surprised that would matter much. (Although admittedly if you never use headlights you can never accidently leave them off after turning off the car. Draining a battery flat will definitely shorten it's life)

I'd expect that the car's alternator could produce enough electricity to run the lights / stereo / etc while still charging the battery. So with the engine running I wouldn't expect headlights on vs headlights off to impact battery use; it'd still be charged up. And headlights shouldn't be anything next to the drain of actually starting the car; that's what takes such a big battery.

I'm be more likely to chalk up a 9 year old battery to it being a bit oversized (compared to normal for that class of vehicle), or longer trips (less eginine starting), or mild weather (extreme hot or cold can damage batteries)... But what do I know
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