Missing the first few minutes of recordings

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by kmp14, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Feb 5, 2006 #81 of 105
    chris_h

    chris_h New Member

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    Dec 17, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    I think that the theory is if you have bad sectors on your drive, that it will take many read retries to get good data from the drive to fire a recording. Since video read/swrites take priority over SW and database reads, it could take up to a minute or two for the SW to do all of the accesses to the drive needed to actually start the recording.

    I am not saying I have knowledge of this from logs or knowledge of the tivo SW. I am to a degree repeating what I have read here.

    The other theory about late-starting recordings is that the clock on from one satellite/transponder (I think the time is maintained on the ground, not on the bird) can be off from the others. If your tivo is on a channel that has it's clock late, by the time the recording starts, the progam on another transponder already started. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the hard drive. But the effects of these two problems would be addative.

    The time-sync issue shows up for all users (of the transponder with the issue) and so it is very prevalent when it shows up.
     
  2. Feb 5, 2006 #82 of 105
    DeWitt

    DeWitt Member

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    Jun 30, 2004
    Saratoga...
    Heavy fragmentation causes things to be slow. It can take two or three minutes for the recording to start as a result. Try adding a season pass, i'll bet that is slow too. C&D should fix these issues, or reimaging or replacing the drive. I reimaged mine about a month ago and it runs like the day it was new.
     
  3. Feb 11, 2006 #83 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Dec 21, 2001
    UPDATE:

    OK, I have replaced the drive and that went smoothly, though for some reason I am no longer receiving the local SD channels -- they all say "Channel Not Available." They don't appear in the guide either, so I am guessing maybe I have to wait for the guide to populate. Anyone else experience this when changing a drive?

    I just tried back-to-back dual-tuner HD recordings, which previously would always result in missing minutes at the start of the second programs, and both of them recorded without incident -- no missing time -- so this is an encouraging sign.

    I'll report back once the guide loads and I re-input all the Season Passes.

    [Edit] I just called and had them re-send the authorization signal and the SD locals came back.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2006 #84 of 105
    TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    That is a theory. Unfortunately, PVR HDDs don't fragment due to the types of recording routines used by Tivo, Replay, and most others, so I doubt there is much credence there.

    And there is "slow", and then there is "slow". Remember, when you press record in Live TV and see a long pause, Tivo (if it is operating properly) is already recording what you are trying to record and has been either since the last channel change or since the program began, so it appears to be waiting to start recording, but it has actually been recording since before you even told it to, so that will appear slow, but actually isn't. IOW, the recording is happening, so "slow" isn't even an option. What might be taking time is for Tivo to remind itself to convert the current "buffer" recording into a permanent recording, and reconciliation regarding upcoming conflicts about when this new recording will end (will the new current recording extend beyond the pending scheduled recording start time of both tuners, for instance).

    On the other hand, if it is slow because it is having HDD problems, which should be evident by it also spontaneously rebooting or acting wacky otherwise, then you have to weigh how invasive the possible more-invasive fixes are by how well each can predict success, or by how much trouble and cash you are willing to deal or part with.

    C&D will eliminate all cataloging errors regarding what is on the drive, and that is a valid first step, but if the problem is related to bad sectors that may have developed since the drive was formatted, bad sectors will not get sectored out by a C&D, which means it's not a matter of whether the problem will return, it's a matter of when. A reformat might get the drive working properly again (which is much more invasive than a C&D) and will also sector out the bad spots, but if a drive is developing bad sectors it may be doing so due to catastrophic failure of the magnetic media, which means that it will only be a matter of time before new bad sectors cause the problem to reappear. Either way, its not assured that you have rooted out all of the cancer.

    To me, there is nothing worse than losing 5 minutes out of the concluding moments of episode 24 of "24", so what I would do if I were experienceing the late starts or spontaneous reboots is do the C&D once there are repeating problems such as this, and make preparations to simply replace the HDD(s) soon after. YMMV. If you can reformat a drive, that's certainly cheaper, and you get to play with the house's money for a while, but the risks of secondary problems might make that an eventually fruitless exercise.

    If a Tivo is just plain slow, remove all unnecessary WLs and SPs, and clear the thumbs ratings and suggestions, which may incrementally or significantly speed it up, depending on how many things get removed or reset. Tivo will become exponentially slower the more items it has to reconcile in its database. If reconciling 10 items against 10 items will take X amount of time, then reconciling 100 items against 100 items could take X amount of time multiplied by 100. IOW, if you have 10 SPs Tivo will have a lot less to think about than if you have 100, and will be significantly, exponentially faster. If you have a lot of WLs, SPs, thumbs ratings, etc., removing even 10% of those items can sometimes speed it up significantly.

    Newer reconciliation algorithms in 6.2 make that process faster, but the same principles apply. 3.1 only becomes noticeably slow when there is a bloated database. 6.2 is fast enough for a bloated database to not really matter. Also, if you use "save all eps" and "save until I delete" for everything and manage the space manually, that gives the Tivo database a lot less to consider when adding new recordings or indexing data, which theoretically could also speed things up, depending on how Tivo handles these things.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2006 #85 of 105
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    SD Locals will also come back on their own in about 12 hours.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2006 #86 of 105
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    This is complete and total nonsense. The block-size used for DVR's results in no significant fragmentation.

    Stutters usually = bad hard drive. C&DE just masks the issue for a while.
     
  7. Feb 12, 2006 #87 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Dec 21, 2001
    I guess I got impatient. :) Any idea why they take so long to come back??
     
  8. Feb 12, 2006 #88 of 105
    TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Block size is only part of the story. PVRs typically have ZERO fragmentation due to the methods used, regardless of block size.

    Rhetorically speaking, what is the worse sin? a poster that tries to present what appears to be a credible, if slightly flawed theory, or a secondary poster that feels obligated to slap that first poster in the face with his particular version of the cold hard truth, as quickly, as firmly, and as rudely as possible? Sometimes it's a lot easier to swallow such medicine if it isn't served up with quite so much vinegar. If the real object is to share information, that might be something to consider. If on the other hand the object is to lord it over everyone about how clever one might be, I guess it makes no sense to try that approach instead.

    Folks are just doing what comes naturally, and are simply trying to make order out of chaos. Reasoning out conclusions, even if they are incorrect, is a central tenet of human nature, it's part of what we are supposed to do. I'm thinking that returning a weak serve with an overhead smash might just be an example of poor sportsmanship, and probably isn't all that appreciated. At least that's been my experience.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2006 #89 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Dec 21, 2001
    Thanks for that excellent suggestion! Since I had to recreate all of my Season Passes anyway, I put them all in just as you suggested. So far, so good. I have a total of about 20, and previously, trying to add one, or even make a modification to one, would result in a minimum of 5 MINUTES of staring at the "Please Wait ..." screen. Now, with the new drive, and the 20 SPs back in, "Please Wait ..." only displays for about 3 SECONDS. I'd say, THAT is quite an improvement. :up:
     
  10. Feb 12, 2006 #90 of 105
    newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    SE PA
    does having a WL NOT on auto record still cause a slow down?
     
  11. Feb 12, 2006 #91 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Dec 21, 2001
    I just tried to add a few more Season Passes, and ran into a bit of a problem with this method. I started getting "conflict" warnings, telling me there is not enough available disk space -- it gave me the option of adding the new SP, or cancelling a previously scheduled recording. When I added it, the previous scheduled recording disappeared from the "To Do" list. Question is, will it return once it figures out that there IS plenty of space since I will be manually deleting recordings? Or is it just simply gone unless I manually re-schedule it?

    [EDIT]: OK, I decided to delete all the Season Passes and then re-created them once again, this time leaving the "Until Space Needed" option selected. That allowed all 20 SPs to be entered with giving a conflict warning. I'll tell you this though, with the new drive, this is thing is now a real pleasure to use -- it responds as fast as I can push the buttons. I entered in those 20 SPs in about fifteen minutes.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2006 #92 of 105
    tivoboy

    tivoboy Member

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    SFO
    So, I have been having this issue as well, a couple of weeks but only a couple of times. Mostly OTA FOX local HD, and when there is something else being recorded. Is the best solution to start, a clear and delete?
     
  13. Feb 16, 2006 #93 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    So far, the "best" solution seems to be to replace the hard drive. That appears to be successful 100% of the time. I did that last weekend, and so far, this problem has not returned. Before I replaced the drive, it would happen on virtually every recording.

    That said, a "C&D" is certainly cheaper and worth a shot. If it doesn't fix your problem, you could always replace the drive later.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2006 #94 of 105
    newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    did you restore the old stuff to the new drive?
     
  15. Feb 17, 2006 #95 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Nope. I just popped in the new drive and started from scratch. Had to go through "Guided Setup" and all ...
     
  16. Feb 19, 2006 #96 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    Dec 21, 2001
    Just another update, now that a full week as gone by since I changed the drive. The thing is still working great -- no reboots, responds speedily to commands (virtually as fast as my SD TiVo), has not missed anything at the beginning of recordings, and still only takes about three seconds to add or rearrange a Season Pass (now up to 25 SPs).

    :up:
     
  17. Feb 19, 2006 #97 of 105
    leftcoastdave

    leftcoastdave New Member

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    Sep 4, 2003
    Monterey, CA
    After my drive replacement in December, I had around the same number of SP's as you now do. Initially the response to commands and actions such as adding recording events was lightening fast. Since then I have noticed a gradual degradation in response but nothing like it was before the drive replacement.

    More importantly, the drive replacement corrected all of the system performance problems I was having. I am still reboot free and have had no late starts or partial recordings since December 1, 2005.

    I think you made the right call to scrap the failing drive and move on.

    Dave
     
  18. Feb 19, 2006 #98 of 105
    newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    See to me, restoring to a new drive would be the 'definitive' statement on whether or not it's a bad drive or just a 'too full' one. If you would put the same stuff back on a brand new drive and had the same problems, then I guess it can't be the drive right?

    inquiring minds :)
     
  19. Feb 19, 2006 #99 of 105
    videojanitor

    videojanitor Member

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    :) Well normally, I am one who loves these kinds of experiments, and if I had TWO units, I probably would have tried that since I would have another machine to keep up with the daily recordings. Lacking that though, I went for the most expedient, though costlier, route. I wanted the thing back up and running ASAP, and this seemed like a sure bet.
     
  20. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    SE PA
    my 3.1 machine is not picking up the first minute or so again. It shows blank space at the front. But i'll never do 6.x voluntarily on that machine :)
     

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