Setting of Clock seems off by 5-7 seconds

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by worachj, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    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.
     
  3. oViTynoT

    oViTynoT Obvious Forum Lurker

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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...)
     
  4. May 1, 2011 #4 of 38
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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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?
     
  5. May 1, 2011 #5 of 38
    worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. May 1, 2011 #6 of 38
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Could a dying motherboard battery cause severe clock drift?

    I don't know...just a thought.
     
  7. May 1, 2011 #7 of 38
    V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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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.

    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?
     
  8. May 1, 2011 #8 of 38
    worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    My first thought was that it was a channel specific problem, but I’ve notice it on other channel’s 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 it’s not that big of a deal, but it is an annoyance and I notice the difference.
     
  9. May 1, 2011 #9 of 38
    orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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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.
     
  10. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  12. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

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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...
     
  13. Ed_Hunt

    Ed_Hunt Pokerpro

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    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.
     
  14. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  15. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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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?
     
  16. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    Well I recorded NFL Live on all three of my TiVo’s (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 isn’t specifically the S3’s, but a timing issue.

    My conclusion is that it’s either a timing issue with TiVo’s server, or with ESPN changing their start times. I really don’t think it’s an ESPN problem because I notice the time difference on other networks/channels as well. It’s hard to believe many other networks have decided to change their start times at the same time. I’m inclined to think it’s something to do with TiVo’s server, either the time is being handled differently or I’m connecting to a different server than I was before.
     
  18. Stuxnet

    Stuxnet Alien Infidel

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    Sync your PC to NIST so you can see whether this is TiVo or cable or network... ya gotta have a reference.
     
  19. aforkosh

    aforkosh Member

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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.
     
  20. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    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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