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Old 04-30-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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Setting of Clock seems off by 5-7 seconds

It seems like during the last month something has changed in the setting of the clock on my S3. For the last month the clock is being set about 5-7 seconds earlier than it should, causing the truncation of programs and missing part of programs that run right up to the last second. I never had this problem until this month.

It’s just an observation/complaint. I know it’s trivial and I can adjust by adding padding, but I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed a change.

The daily updates are still occurring around the same times as always so it seems to me that TiVo has changed something in the way it updates the clock on the S3. I haven’t notice a change on either my TiVo HD or S2, it’s just the S3.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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...I havenít notice a change on either my TiVo HD or S2, itís just the S3.
Are you recording the same programs on those DVRs as well? If the shows are being truncated on those other platforms, I'd say it was the network extending beyond the top or bottom of the hour by those few seconds.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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Sync your wristwatch to an NTP sourced clock (like your PC, if it's set up to do NTP) and then compare that to the TiVo's front-panel clock (if it's an OLED S3...)
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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Adding that my S3 648 w/OLED is just about PERFECT on time in sync with USNO. All shows via OTA are ON-TIME.

However, if a time discrepancy between the clock and the shows starting and ending via CABLE channels, then the problem may be with the fact, if we are discussing the digital tiers, that it is taking some time to encode the stream and send it out. In other words, the data is held in memory, and essentially delayed, for encoding/processing before being spit out on a stream to your home, especially if it is a really LONG stream with a whole lot of data. This delay can be several seconds such as 5 or so. This can vary from cable system to cable system with some having only 1 or 2 seconds delay.

Just a possible explanation that may not be your case. Perhaps something internally in the TiVo?
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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The setting of the time on my S3 has been perfect since I purchased it in 2006. It has only been sometime during this month that the time is off by 5-7 seconds. My first thought is that TiVo changed something in the way it updates the clock or their algorithm on when to start/stop recording of programs.

It’s really not that big of a problem, it’s just a small irritation. If no only else has notice a change, then its something unique to my situation. I just would like it to go back to the way it was. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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Could a dying motherboard battery cause severe clock drift?

I don't know...just a thought.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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Cool 5 Seconds?

I'm just flabbergasted that a difference of 5 SECONDS, even if it really does exist, could ever be observed to cause any impact on recordings. Not saying it is not possible, but not probable in my experience.

Been using TiVos for about 10 years, and for the types of programs I record and the channels I record from, this just is not realistic. Virtually all programs have at least minimal padding on both front and back of the broadcast times, from general station splash screens to various commercials and other filler. But more importantly, the stations just do not seem to observe such critical time hacks.

On the other hand I HAVE observed channel specific time mismatches where the beginning or ending of programs seem to be cut on a regular basis for several days or weeks. But these problems have ALWAYS been station specific for me, indicating that the problem was a timing issue from the broadcast end, and not from the Tivo. The most common culprit is Turner Classic Movies where it is quite rare for any program to actually start at the exact time in the listing (and the difference is usually minutes, not seconds). Normally this does not affect the starting program, but occasionally they seem to be far enough off on their timing that all programs are clipped at either the beginning or end for some period of days. For comparisons, virtually EVERY program on Fox Movie Channel starts exactly on time.

But even with FMC, where the movies always start with a 10 second countdown, the exact time of program start is obviously variable within 5 seconds, where the leading countdown on the TiVo recording can start anywhere from 9 -3 seconds prior to the "NOW" splash screen. All this is simply meant to illustrate why I cannot fathom a 5 second clock difference (which I doubt is really there) from actually having any real affect on recordings. Television broadcasts are not the same as NASA launches; maybe what you are seeing is a problem from the broadcast end?
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post
On the other hand I HAVE observed channel specific time mismatches where the beginning or ending of programs seem to be cut on a regular basis for several days or weeks. But these problems have ALWAYS been station specific for me, indicating that the problem was a timing issue from the broadcast end, and not from the Tivo.
My first thought was that it was a channel specific problem, but Iíve notice it on other channelís as well. I agree that 5-7 seconds is not that big of a difference but it is noticeable when it cuts off the last line/joke of shows that run to the last second, or cuts off the preview of next weeks show.

As I said before itís not that big of a deal, but it is an annoyance and I notice the difference.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Community, Parks & Rec, 30 Rock, The Office, etc., have a short segment during the ending credits that usually run right up to the beginning of the next show with no commercial inbetween. I could see 5-10 seconds having an impact on those.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Yep, 30 Rock is one of the shows, but now I missing 5 more seconds than I use to. The other problem shows are CBS shows like NCIS and Mentalist where I lose some of the next weeks 10 sec preview at the end of the show. Same thing happens on Bravo shows like Top Chef. They use to record fully to the end, but not now.

I first notice the difference on my weekly recordings of ESPN NFL Live. My recordings use to start right on the Sport Center update lead in and end right on time. Now the recordings start early and end early.

Many shows that used to record properly are now starting and ending 5-7 seconds early. It makes no difference if its a OTA or cable channel.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
Could a dying motherboard battery cause severe clock drift?

I don't know...just a thought.
I like your thought!

Since I'm the only one noticing a problem it may be clock drift. I know PC clocks can drift when there's a weak battery but I thought that was caused by of turning off the PC and relying on the battery to retain the clock time.

Since I never turn off my TiVo, could the weak battery be the cause?
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:16 AM   #12
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It's unlikely to be a motherboard clock battery issue. Firstly, everytime the TiVo syncs up with TiVo, it resyncs its internal clock via NTP. It may do this constantly if hooked to a broadband connection, as well.

Is it happening on all channels or just a few? It's possible that the station's clocks have drifted a bit compared with the USNO time.

And remember stations and networks have come up with a bunch of anti-DVR techniques meant to foil DVRs. In the past few years, more and more stations have started butting the end of one show with the beginning of another (instead of putting a few ads in-between), so if your DVR's clock isn't in sync with the station's clock, you'll either lop off the beginning or the end (the extra ads are inserted in the usual ad breaks). Other techniques include time-offsetting where a show starts at xx:59 or xx:01.

Most likely, it's the station's clocks have drifted and are out of sync - it's probably been happening for years and only now did you notice it because of the show-butting trick which forces the end of the credits to absolutely end on the hour instead of chopping off an ad...
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post
I'm just flabbergasted that a difference of 5 SECONDS, even if it really does exist, could ever be observed to cause any impact on recordings. Not saying it is not possible, but not probable in my experience.

Been using TiVos for about 10 years, and for the types of programs I record and the channels I record from, this just is not realistic. Virtually all programs have at least minimal padding on both front and back of the broadcast times, from general station splash screens to various commercials and other filler. But more importantly, the stations just do not seem to observe such critical time hacks.

On the other hand I HAVE observed channel specific time mismatches where the beginning or ending of programs seem to be cut on a regular basis for several days or weeks. But these problems have ALWAYS been station specific for me, indicating that the problem was a timing issue from the broadcast end, and not from the Tivo. The most common culprit is Turner Classic Movies where it is quite rare for any program to actually start at the exact time in the listing (and the difference is usually minutes, not seconds). Normally this does not affect the starting program, but occasionally they seem to be far enough off on their timing that all programs are clipped at either the beginning or end for some period of days. For comparisons, virtually EVERY program on Fox Movie Channel starts exactly on time.

But even with FMC, where the movies always start with a 10 second countdown, the exact time of program start is obviously variable within 5 seconds, where the leading countdown on the TiVo recording can start anywhere from 9 -3 seconds prior to the "NOW" splash screen. All this is simply meant to illustrate why I cannot fathom a 5 second clock difference (which I doubt is really there) from actually having any real affect on recordings. Television broadcasts are not the same as NASA launches; maybe what you are seeing is a problem from the broadcast end?
I have many shows, particularly sports talk show, PTI, Around the Horn and the sports reporters as well as some broadcast shows that go right to the end. So it can be a problem, and I have seen the clock go off by a few seconds. I would think though it would be more of an internal battery problem rather than a motherboard. Just a thought.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #14
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What Iím noticing is not station or network caused. Iím aware that some networks run pass the hour and change the start and stop times of shows.

What Iíve notice is that recording from multiple networks/channels that use to record perfectly for years are now starting and stopping 5-7 seconds earlier than they USE TO.

I have two clocks within eye sight of my TiVo that are synced by the atomic clock. Iíve notice that in the past the front display of my TiVo would display the start of a recording 5 seconds after they started. I was always concerned that I was missing the start of programs but they were always right on the mark. When I checked yesterday it now displays the start of a recording on the minute, which confirms that there has been a 5 second change from what was being done in the past.

To me this enforces my belief that something has changed on TiVoís end and itís not the stations/networks. My guess is that something on the server my TiVo connects to has changed or maybe Iím connecting to a different server.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #15
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Are you recording the same programs on those DVRs as well, and if so, do those DVRs also have the unwanted timeshift?
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:04 PM   #16
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Are you recording the same programs on those DVRs as well, and if so, do those DVRs also have the unwanted timeshift?
I have not recorded the same program on the other DVR's. MY S3 is my main DVR and used for 95% of my viewing.

Good thought! I will set up duplicate recordings on all my TiVo's(S2, S3, Tivo HD) for today's ESPN's NFL Live and report back.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:37 PM   #17
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Well I recorded NFL Live on all three of my TiVoís (S2, S3, TiVo HD) and all three recordings are virtually the same. They start and stop 5-7 seconds earlier than they should.

So I guess that means the problem isnít specifically the S3ís, but a timing issue.

My conclusion is that itís either a timing issue with TiVoís server, or with ESPN changing their start times. I really donít think itís an ESPN problem because I notice the time difference on other networks/channels as well. Itís hard to believe many other networks have decided to change their start times at the same time. Iím inclined to think itís something to do with TiVoís server, either the time is being handled differently or Iím connecting to a different server than I was before.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:03 PM   #18
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Well I recorded NFL Live on all three of my TiVoís (S2, S3, TiVo HD) and all three recordings are virtually the same. They start and stop 5-7 seconds earlier than they should.

So I guess that means the problem isnít specifically the S3ís, but a timing issue.

My conclusion is that itís either a timing issue with TiVoís server, or with ESPN changing their start times. I really donít think itís an ESPN problem because I notice the time difference on other networks/channels as well. Itís hard to believe many other networks have decided to change their start times at the same time. Iím inclined to think itís something to do with TiVoís server, either the time is being handled differently or Iím connecting to a different server than I was before.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:00 PM   #19
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I posted the following in another thread several months ago:

There's a clipping problem when shows , such as many network comedies, have an ending segment under the credits that goes right to the actual end of the program's allotted time:

I have found that, depending on the channel, there can be anywhere from a 5 to 12 second delay between the time a program is received over the air and when it is received through the cable system and Tivo. So programs on the Tivo tend to cut off slightly early. This delay is too short to be set using any of the overrun settings and is, unfortunately, inconsistent between channels, so it would be impossible to set universally. The only safe way to record successive programs in this situation is to manually add a buffer to the first program, thus requiring 2 tuners for this situation. If the programs are both on the same channel, one can extend the recording of the first channel to also cover the second program, but because the extension options are quite large after 30 minutes, you get a lot of waste if there are 2 or 3 programs like this in succession.

[New material]

I was able to determine the delays because I have an antenna feed to my computer and am using CableCards on my TiVos. I can pick a position to observe both screens and was able to runa stopwatch to calibrate the differences.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #20
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I was able to determine the delays because I have an antenna feed to my computer and am using CableCards on my TiVos. I can pick a position to observe both screens and was able to runa stopwatch to calibrate the differences.
Apples and oranges. The TiVo displays what's in the buffer, and not the input signal. There will always be a delay in what the TiVo displays, but not necessarily what it records.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:45 PM   #21
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I'm just flabbergasted that a difference of 5 SECONDS, even if it really does exist, could ever be observed to cause any impact on recordings. Not saying it is not possible, but not probable in my experience.
I guess you don't actually like to SEE the entire program you record.

NBC programs actually seem to be flowing over _less_ than they used to, but for example, if you record the Thursday night comedies with no padding, you will MISS part of the last joke.

Mythbusters typically runs over a fraction of a minute (and I pad all Discovery channel shows for the same reason). In fact, I pad almost every thing I can, unless I know there's a conflict (and I will then often "live with" missing a tiny bit in the middle)

I oh so wish that Tivos would allow padding *on the same channel* to use the same tuner. That would essentially *double* the number of tuners for my purposes. (I would pay $$$ for this feature, even though I have lifetime subscriptions.)
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #22
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If you have ever watched two news people trying to carry on a conversation over a satellite link, you can understand how Tivo might clip the end of some recordings.

An assumption.... The recordings are from cable and not OTA

Imagine a cable network such as Discovery sends out their signal exactly at the listed broadcast time. Besides the delay caused by digital processing at various points in the broadcast chain, there is also a delay caused by the uplink to the satellite. Then there is a delay caused by the downlink. Unless the cable network starts the program early, there is no way you can receive it on time.

Now another problem. I know Comcast used to, and I think still does, use a service called HITS (Headend In The Sky). They received many cable network channels in Denver and then repackaged them for use by their local franchises. So besides the uplink and downlink delays caused by the original network, there would now be an additional delay as HITS uplinks the sevice to the satellite and the local franchise downlinks it to their local headend.

Add various digital delays in the local processing equipment as well as the local commercial insertion equipment and you have problems.

Perhaps someone who is familiar with the way these uplinks and downlinks work can explain it better, and certainly more accurately, than I can. I don't have any inside knowledge but am simply repeating things I have heard.

If the local cable company has recently changed the path the signal takes to get to your Tivo, this could explain the recently observed delays.

YMMV
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:05 AM   #23
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My cable company is actually 3-5 seconds behind OTA transmissions.

I'd say it's the cable company.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:06 AM   #24
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I've got seasons and seasons of cooking shows saved from the food network. It is not at all uncommon for the shows to start from 3 to 10 seconds after the hour or half hour. In fact, it is not very common at all for these shows to start right on the hour. Almost always a few seconds late.

Broadcast network shows typically start almost exactly on the hour or when scheduled(unless following a live show, etc.).

My experience.(close to 10 TB worth of shows saved on Tivo's and PC's).
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:48 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by worachj View Post
What I’m noticing is not station or network caused. I’m aware that some networks run pass the hour and change the start and stop times of shows.

What I’ve notice is that recording from multiple networks/channels that use to record perfectly for years are now starting and stopping 5-7 seconds earlier than they USE TO.

I have two clocks within eye sight of my TiVo that are synced by the atomic clock. I’ve notice that in the past the front display of my TiVo would display the start of a recording 5 seconds after they started. I was always concerned that I was missing the start of programs but they were always right on the mark. When I checked yesterday it now displays the start of a recording on the minute, which confirms that there has been a 5 second change from what was being done in the past.

To me this enforces my belief that something has changed on TiVo’s end and it’s not the stations/networks. My guess is that something on the server my TiVo connects to has changed or maybe I’m connecting to a different server.
Again, my TiVo clock is ON THE MONEY with USNO and all recordings are in their entirety with none of your problems. My vote if we are talking about this happening on the digital tiers only (or even analog as 68oliver's explaination is sound regarding head-ends in the sky), is that it is the data stream, probably a very long one. The delay not only occurs at the encoders and buffers there, but also in your box as it holds video in memory (buffer) until it gets the necessary data to spit out the content to your TV. From your perspective, it all looks smooth as silk, but it causes a delay in reaching your box and your TV screen, hence the programming starting late and overrunning into the next few seconds of the next hour. IN other words it all gets delayed a number of seconds. This is very common but will vary from cable co to cable co depending on how much they are putting in the stream. The more data, the longer; the less data, the shorter. Keep in mind a singal stream can have several channels in it, especially SD. Now multiply that by all the other streams that contain all the other channels and you get the idea. It could be only the channels on a particularly long stream and not other channel on other streams having this problem.

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #26
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In the past my recordings have been spot on since I purchased my S3 in 2006.

In April, shows began recording 5-7 seconds earlier than they use to.

Something has changed; the old way work perfectly for me.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:04 AM   #27
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In the past my recordings have been spot on since I purchased my S3 in 2006.

In April, shows began recording 5-7 seconds earlier than they use to.

Something has changed; the old way work perfectly for me.
I checked my TiVo last night against this site:
nist.time.gov
and the red recording light turned on within one second of the NIST time.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:14 AM   #28
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I checked my TiVo last night against this site:
nist.time.gov
and the red recording light turned on within one second of the NIST time.
Yep, mine starts right on time also. That does not mean the clock and the time TiVo starts recording are in sync.

Something changed, what use to work perfectly is not working now.

ADDED EDIT:
My S3 clock display used to be 5 seconds slow, but the recordings were mark on. Now the clock display is right on but my recordings start 5 seconds early. They have changed the syncing of the clock. I prefer the old way better. I donít care if the clock display is right I want the recording correct.

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Old 05-03-2011, 01:42 PM   #29
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Yep, mine starts right on time also. That does not mean the clock and the time TiVo starts recording are in sync.
...
When I checked it last night, the program was recorded starting at the point in time that the red light came on. I verified that by playing back the recorded program.

I'm not sure what is the cause of the problem you are experiencing, but I do know that my TiVo's clock is sync'd within an accuracy of one second and the program is recorded properly.

So I suspect the problem you are seeing may be one that is local to your TiVo or its environment. <shrug>
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #30
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Yep, mine starts right on time also. That does not mean the clock and the time TiVo starts recording are in sync.

Something changed, what use to work perfectly is not working now.

ADDED EDIT:
My S3 clock display used to be 5 seconds slow, but the recordings were mark on. Now the clock display is right on but my recordings start 5 seconds early. They have changed the syncing of the clock. I prefer the old way better. I donít care if the clock display is right I want the recording correct.
Are you sure something didn't change on the cable side to add a delay? If there is a noted delay on some cable systems vs OTA of just a couple seconds, is it possible your cable company has done something that increased or added a delay?
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