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Old 03-23-2014, 02:28 AM   #1
yawitz
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Newly occurring partial recording problem

I'm having a problem with occasional partial recordings that seems to have started in the last month or so. The common pattern seems to be as follows:

I start watching a recorded show while another show is recording.
I occasionally FF or REW the show I'm watching.
At some point I notice that the show being recorded has stopped recording, with no warning. (Red light is now off.) If I check that just stopped recording, it shows as (partial). It has not restarted recording; it's as if the recording was manually stopped (it was not).

I don't know if this is a factor, but for the most recent occurrence of this issue, the recorded show I was watching and the show that was prematurely stopped were both on the same channel. (In this case, KNTVDT, the HD version of the local NBC affiliate.) As far as I know this problem hasn't occurred while I was away (that is, while I am not watching or interacting with the TiVo).

Has anyone seen this before, or can you offer troubleshooting clues? In particular, is there any way to get to some diagnostic info that would explain the reason for the cancelled recording?

Note that I have just restarted the box, and will continue to monitor the situation.

I have a stock 2-tuner Premiere XL, with Comcast service, using a CableCard.

Thanks, all,
- Mitch
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
yawitz
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Followup:

Called TiVo support this morning. The support rep did not have any prior reports of this problem, or ideas about how to troubleshoot. I asked about how to activate or access any advanced troubleshooting logs, but he did not know about this. (All he knew about was logs for connection attempts, etc., not recording failures.)

So I'm still in wait-and-see mode. Will continue to watch for a recurrence of the problem. Again, any help via this forum would be most appreciated.

Cheers,
Mitch
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
Teeps
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Did you check history in manage downloads & recordings?
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:01 PM   #4
yawitz
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Did you check history in manage downloads & recordings?
Yup. The partial/prematurely stopped recording in question does not appear there.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:30 AM   #5
yawitz
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Well, it happened again tonight. The Blacklist stopped recording about 6 minutes in while I was watching another (completed) recording. Both tuners were in use at the time, but only this one recording was stopped. I'd love to find a way to determine why the recording was stopped. No mention of the reason in the Recording History.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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What's your signal strength on that channel? When you noticed the light go out, did you go to live TV to see if you had a signal? If so, how long was the buffer and did you try to start it recording again?
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Hello, I've had this problem in the past (but not recently). I have no proof of what's going on, but believe that the problem stems from a mismatch of data between the 2 program guide lists the machine maintains. If it's been a long time since a reboot, then give that a try. I've noticed on several occasions that the list you get when you do a channel search is different than what comes up when you search for a program by name.

On a different note, my current problem is seemingly incomplete recordings that list as "partial", but without any minutes listed. It has happened twice on one of my three premier's. What I've found is that the recordings have used the correct amount of space for a complete recording and, if you just play it, it's all there! if you try to do anything but play it, playback will jump to the end. It seems to be a malfunction of the overlap (handles) that occur between recordings. This shouldn't be a problem on a TiVo, but I've also noticed that there are no conflicts noted anymore when 2 half hour shows are scheduled on one channel (with one minute handles on each end) and there is a 1 hour show running concurrently on another channel. Has TiVo managed to allow for handles on the same channel tuner (ala DirecTV DVR's)?
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:21 AM   #8
yawitz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherry ghost View Post
What's your signal strength on that channel? When you noticed the light go out, did you go to live TV to see if you had a signal? If so, how long was the buffer and did you try to start it recording again?
Signal strength was in the 90s. When I switched over the signal was present, with good quality, but the buffer had restarted (so I could record the remainder of the program, but would miss the time between when I noticed the issue and when I restarted the recording).
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:28 AM   #9
yawitz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
Hello, I've had this problem in the past (but not recently). I have no proof of what's going on, but believe that the problem stems from a mismatch of data between the 2 program guide lists the machine maintains. If it's been a long time since a reboot, then give that a try. I've noticed on several occasions that the list you get when you do a channel search is different than what comes up when you search for a program by name.
I had rebooted a couple of days earlier, when the previous instance of the problem occurred. Also, I'm using a cable card, so no channel search is required (or allowed). Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
On a different note, my current problem is seemingly incomplete recordings that list as "partial", but without any minutes listed. It has happened twice on one of my three premier's. What I've found is that the recordings have used the correct amount of space for a complete recording and, if you just play it, it's all there!
This doesn't seem to be true in my case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
It seems to be a malfunction of the overlap (handles) that occur between recordings. This shouldn't be a problem on a TiVo, but I've also noticed that there are no conflicts noted anymore when 2 half hour shows are scheduled on one channel (with one minute handles on each end) and there is a 1 hour show running concurrently on another channel. Has TiVo managed to allow for handles on the same channel tuner (ala DirecTV DVR's)?
I haven't done a controlled experiment, but I also believe I've seen the same behavior (re: lack of conflicts), and it might have started after the last update to my Premiere (last December, IIRC). I'm assuming overlap problems occur based on tuner usage, and not just overlapping time spans of multiple shows.

Cheers,
Mitch
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
L David Matheny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
Hello, I've had this problem in the past (but not recently). I have no proof of what's going on, but believe that the problem stems from a mismatch of data between the 2 program guide lists the machine maintains. If it's been a long time since a reboot, then give that a try. I've noticed on several occasions that the list you get when you do a channel search is different than what comes up when you search for a program by name.
TiVos apparently download (and display) a channel guide that's similar to whatever TiVo gets from Tribune Media, then they do "indexing" to build an index which is optimized to allow efficient initiation of recordings. There have been reports of indexing not occurring in a timely fashion, apparently because the TiVo is distracted tending to a tuning adapter. And there have been more recent reports suggesting that the index sometimes isn't built correctly, leading to programs not appearing in the To Do List even though they are in the Guide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
On a different note, my current problem is seemingly incomplete recordings that list as "partial", but without any minutes listed. It has happened twice on one of my three premier's. What I've found is that the recordings have used the correct amount of space for a complete recording and, if you just play it, it's all there! if you try to do anything but play it, playback will jump to the end. It seems to be a malfunction of the overlap (handles) that occur between recordings. This shouldn't be a problem on a TiVo, but I've also noticed that there are no conflicts noted anymore when 2 half hour shows are scheduled on one channel (with one minute handles on each end) and there is a 1 hour show running concurrently on another channel. Has TiVo managed to allow for handles on the same channel tuner (ala DirecTV DVR's)?
TiVos apparently use some embedded timing information (probably the Program Clock Reference) for determining the length of a recording and for trick play. I have a local OTA "translator" station (one which retransmits a signal received from a more distant station), and the translation involves replacing the PSIP information in the transport stream. The equipment that inserts the new station ID, etc, apparently fails sometimes in a way that causes the timing information to stop incrementing, and I see exactly the symptoms you describe, plus if the timing info is missing (or locked up or whatever) for the whole recording, it will be discarded when it finishes because the TiVo concludes that no recording was captured.

I assume that cable companies use similar equipment to replace PSIP info in their channel feeds. If part of the program (or overlap from another program) has timing info, the recording will be listed as partial. I suspect that any missing or incorrect timing info is the fault of your cable company, but if single-tuner overlap requires the TiVo to adjust the timing info for continuity, I suppose it could be a bug in TiVo's software.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that the last possibility mentioned above doesn't really make sense. With single-tuner overlap, the timing info received from a single channel would surely have to be continuous, so the TiVo shouldn't have to mess with it.

Last edited by L David Matheny : 03-25-2014 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:31 PM   #11
shamilian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottP461 View Post
This shouldn't be a problem on a TiVo, but I've also noticed that there are no conflicts noted anymore when 2 half hour shows are scheduled on one channel (with one minute handles on each end) and there is a 1 hour show running concurrently on another channel. Has TiVo managed to allow for handles on the same channel tuner (ala DirecTV DVR's)?
In 2.3.8 Tivo attempted to use a single tuner, even with overlaps, to record 2 consecutive shows. They just copy the tail end of one show to the beginning of the second show. ( they also introduced a bug in which the Tivo sometimes forgets to record the second show at all ).
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:06 PM   #12
yawitz
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Apologies to ScottP461, but in the interest of bringing this thread back to the original topic, is there any relationship between the issues he lists and the issue I've been having with recordings-in-progress prematurely ending? In particular, if the show is correctly listed in the guide, AND it begins recording (with a correctly indicated show length), could that issue cause that recording to stop early?
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:07 AM   #13
L David Matheny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yawitz View Post
Apologies to ScottP461, but in the interest of bringing this thread back to the original topic, is there any relationship between the issues he lists and the issue I've been having with recordings-in-progress prematurely ending? In particular, if the show is correctly listed in the guide, AND it begins recording (with a correctly indicated show length), could that issue cause that recording to stop early?
If the recording begins, surely the program must have been in the guide, so I think your problem must be due to something else. To recap: The program length in the guide is correct, the program starts recording, then (before the program ends) the red light goes out and recording stops, but the TiVo is still functioning otherwise and there's no entry in History, right? Even if the signal disappeared for a while and there was no transport stream to capture, I think the recording light would stay on until the program end time.

If this problem occurs only on one channel (or maybe a few), it could conceivably be some weird signal anomaly that confuses the TiVo, but it does sound like it's behaving incorrectly for some reason. What is the TiVo's motherboard temperature in System Information? It would be interesting to run manufacturer diagnostics on the hard drive, or at least to try some of the KickStart tests. I've never used any of the KickStarts, but there's plenty of information about them in this forum.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
yawitz
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Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
If the recording begins, surely the program must have been in the guide, so I think your problem must be due to something else. To recap: The program length in the guide is correct, the program starts recording, then (before the program ends) the red light goes out and recording stops, but the TiVo is still functioning otherwise and there's no entry in History, right? Even if the signal disappeared for a while and there was no transport stream to capture, I think the recording light would stay on until the program end time.
That pretty much nails the problem. Note that the program ends relatively early (less than 10 minutes into a 1 hour program).

Regarding your other suggestions, I will check the motherboard temperature tonight and run manufacturer diagnostics on the hard drive in the next couple of days. I'm skeptical that this is the cause (which I'd think would cause a host of other hardware-related issues), but admit that anything is possible here.

Thanks,
Mitch
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #15
yawitz
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Quick update: I now have an escalated case opened with TiVo support, and will report back when I have any news. (I had low expectations that posting the issue to TiVo's own help forum would accomplish anything, but was pleasantly surprised by their responsiveness in this case.)
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #16
yawitz
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Just want to report back to the larger group here…

After receiving the 20.4.1 update a week or so ago, the above reported problem seems to have been resolved. (And I think I have matched the same conditions I had when first reporting the problem.)

Note that I think the handling of overlapping shows on the same channel/tuner has reverted to the earlier behavior (instead of being fixed, unfortunately), but I haven't done a controlled test to confirm.

Cheers,
Mitch
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