TiVo actually works with Internet connection down (no BSC)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by sfhub, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I don't know when this changed.

    It used to be if your Internet connection was down, your TiVo would have all sorts of BSCs (Blue Spinning Circles) even when you tried to playback already recorded shows.

    I used to have to disconnect the ethernet wire to get it to stop with the BSCs.

    Today I happen to have Internet issues and my connection is down.

    Surprisingly I can still playback shows with no BSCs. There is just a blank image for stuff it needs to download in real-time.
     
  2. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Disconnecting the Ethernet cable has been discovered to be a short-term remedy for the BSC; apparently if your TiVo knows the connection is down, it won't bother trying, but if it does try and is unsuccessful, it will wait while spining blue circles. But after a couple of weeks of no connection the guide will run out; then about a month later authorization will expire and you will have a semi-brick until you connect back to the Internet.
     
  3. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had my internet down for a couple of days without blue circles in the past year. I had to connect via tethering my iPhone to get guide data updates.

    I think the blue circles happen more often when there is a problem on the server side rather than the connection side. Every time I’ve had blue circles, my connection has been fine.
     
  4. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    In the past I have tested pulling the wire from the broadband connection and had spinning circles, which is what led me to pull the ethernet from the unit itself which seems to timeout things much quicker since the interface is down.

    I was surprised this time, I didn't even need to pull the ethernet cable from the unit. What you describe seems to indicate this change was in place for at least this year.
     
  5. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't commenting on trying to run TiVo with no Internet connection but rather how "tied" to the server the Real Time usage of the UI was. There was a time when you need to explicitly let TiVo know the Internet connection is down (to have a usable UI) by pulling the cable at the TiVo. Now it appears they keep track of whether your Internet connection is up or down automatically, so even if your broadband modem has no connection (but your TiVo still has ethernet connection) it won't try and access the servers.

    Now if the TiVo servers are up, but not responding, then you'll still get BSCs, so it would be nice if they used the same mechanism that they use to tell the system the Internet connection is down (thus skip real time connections to TiVo servers) and trigger that if the servers time out so you get a couple of hours of reprieve from BSCs when the servers are up but not responding.
     
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  6. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    A device can tell if the connection to the Internet is down right away; but the only way to tell if a server is down is that it doesn't reply when you send it a message. When it doesn't reply there is no way to know whether it's permanently down or there is just a momentary interruption in service. That's why we have time-out intervals and blue circles.

    Also, I think your memory is an unreliable narrator.
     
  7. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    That's why you can just put a flag that says no response last time, don't bother checking for a few hours.
     
  8. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Yah - sometime recently* they dramatically improved its response when the network is up, but the internet is down. I first noticed this a couple of weeks ago as my internet was going in and out badly due to a poorly cable line (and lots of rain). The features that you would expect needed internet connectivity of course didn't work (but failed promptly), and the features that we were all irritated were internet dependent for no good reason, just did what they were supposed to do with no internet connection.

    * Definition of 'recently' could go as far back as six months...
     
  9. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    So every time you have an interruption of service you want to shut down for a few hours?
     
  10. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Nope, not shut down, pause the real-time queries for a few hours, spare the user from spinning circles while still allowing them to use their DVRs like we used to in series 2 and 3 when the UI didn't have real time queries to retrieve album covers and related meta data.

    It isn't like there is anything critical happening with those real time queries. I'm sure if you did a poll, if TiVo's servers are down, would you prefer constant BSCs so that TiVo can immediately get you your album covers once the servers come back up, or would you prefer it pause queries for a few hours and just let you use the DVR as you normally do, with no BSCs, placing placeholders for data not currently available, most people would prefer the latter.

    I'm currently using Quattro with no internet connection (not by design, but due to circumstance) and I can playback shows, I have skip mode (on all but the newest recorded shows), it records fine. If I didn't have some placeholder images, I wouldn't even have noticed my TiVo couldn't connect to the servers.

    I remember how painful it was to use the UI when certain servers were up but not responding. I figure when that first happens, just set a flag that says servers didn't respond, don't check again until X hours later. Then for a few hours, it'll just behave like your Internet connection was down (like I describe above)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  11. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Hours? A momentary glitch shuts down a feature for hours? I don’t think so.

    What you do is make the function continue without relying on getting the information. Like you can play an episode without getting all the graphics, etc.
     
  12. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    If you read, that is EXACTLY what I suggested.

    It already CAN function today without getting all the graphics. That is the way it works when your Internet connection is down.

    I am just suggesting it in a way that piggybacks on existing functionality rather than a more extensive re-write.

    What you are experiencing with BSCs (when a server is up but not responding) is NOT that it can't work without the information. It is that they chose to continuously redo the query/timeout cycle. If they simply had a flag that said, last time I tried, this server didn't respond, don't try for another few hours then you could do playback, with no BSCs, and you would have placeholder's for images (like you do currently)

    Whether this feature is optimized for a granularity per server type (so you have the minimal level of paused requests) or whether they optimize this feature only for servers that would cause BSCs in the UI, are implementation details.

    They could probably make these non-essential BSC-inducing requests asynchronous and non-blocking vs synchronous blocking, but that would probably involve more significant code changes. What I am suggesting piggybacks on mechanisms the UI already supports.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Been mentioned many times in different BSC threads, what you're suggesting would work as well. It's not like Tivo doesn't know this is a problem, they just don't care to fix it. Like most every other issue that comes up.
     
  14. Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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    They only care if it impacts sales.
     
  15. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    They were nice enough to add Skip mode to Premieres even though they didn't need to and it added some cost to port over some ADA stuff.

    That got them some goodwill from my standpoint even though it didn't affect me.
     
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  16. Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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    Agree! They do many good things. But they consider the design which causes the BSC's to be a desired feature, and not a bug to be fixed. Did they fix it when they redesigned everything for Hydra?
     
  17. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure. I haven’t seen many circles since I went to hydra. I have seen connection issues and some graphics not appearing but it didn’t freeze the box like before. So, maybe they fixed it from stopping the. Or from moving on. For example, I’ve seen occasional slow load of the graphic strip on the menu screen but it doesn’t make you wait for it to load.
     
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  18. Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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    If so, that is a Hydra improvement I have not seen mentioned before.
     
  19. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    It is a hard one to attribute because it is hard to say if the issue is the same level as the bad blue spinning circles. But I can say the only thing I’ve had to wait for that is network related has been a slow search. In have seen slow descriptions in the guide but could still navigate it and pick channels. I haven’t seen that in months. Are those the same problem or are they just different manifestations of the software? I’m not sure.
     
  20. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Our Roamio Pro was doing this as far back as December 2015 (which I posted in one of the BSC threads). It would report different error messages whether it lost network connectivity locally (pulling the Ethernet cable) versus losing Internet access (router/upstream switch) and in either case, there weren't any issues with using the TiVo.

    Scott
     
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