TiVo is working on a fix for transferred shows that freeze while playing

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Phil_C, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Phil_C

    Phil_C Active Member

    127
    79
    Oct 28, 2011
    Chicago

    Advertisements

    Thanks to @TiVo_Ted, TiVo is now aware of our problem with transferred shows freezing when we attempt to play them on the Bolt TE4.

    They set up several pairs of boxes and, after a couple of days, were able to reproduce the problem intermittently. There is more than one cause, including signal glitches in source programs that the TiVo transfer process can't handle, and "security key association" problems. They also observed the issue where two duplicate copies of a transferred program sometimes appear. They are continuing to investigate.

    A fix will have to be incorporated into a future client release.
     
    el-such-n-such and HerronScott like this.
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,408
    3,819
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    The duplicate copies is a client issue?
     
  3. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

    166
    43
    Mar 26, 2016
    SoCal
    I love that they are finally looking into this, but I'm not sure that those causes sound right. Does it seem right that a security key issue wouldn't manifest itself until well into the program? Doesn't it seem awfully coincidental that so many programs, recorded from different sources, years apart, by multiple people, would all have a signal glitch at the eleven minute mark?
     
  4. Phil_C

    Phil_C Active Member

    127
    79
    Oct 28, 2011
    Chicago
    Since you all want to analyze every word, here is the direct quote from TiVo_Ted:

    As an update, we have been able to recreate this problem and have discovered 3 discrete issues so far:
    1. If there is a signal glitch in the source program, that can screw up the destination copy from that point onward.
    2. On some programs, 2 copies show up on the destination device for each source (i.e. dupes).
    3. A security key issue where a later segment in a program is associated with the key from an earlier segment. This causes playback to fail due to security reasons.
    All of these are transient issues that do not occur regularly and do not always reproduce. We are continuing to investigate, but these fixes will clearly need to come out in a new client release.

    Dissect away!! :):):)

     
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,408
    3,819
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...

    Advertisements

    I've watch many transfers using TiVo Online between Series4 and Series5, with and without TE4. To say that two copies "show up" isn't how I would phrase it. I see the same program show up twice in my To Do List. That's a client issue? Yes, they are dupes, but it's because two copies were requested. Maybe Online has developed a stutter.

    As for items 1 and 3, I don't have a Bolt.

    Searching, I find a post from 12/2016 observing duplicate files.
    Problems transferring recordings from Romio to Bolt
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  6. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

    166
    43
    Mar 26, 2016
    SoCal
    Analyzing and dissecting minutia is how most bugs are found. As I used to explain to my clients, who would never supply detailed error messages and such when there was a glitch, one doesn't find software bugs by sticking a thermometer in the computer. Most of them require detective work.

    The interesting thing in the more detailed report was the additional detail on the security key issue. If he is saying that they do some kind of chaining of segments, that could make some sense, but I certainly wouldn't have expected them to operate that way. (In part because it would make these transfers even more fragile, which could be what we are seeing.) There do seem to be a couple of people around this forum who have a programmer level understanding of TiVo's encryption. I hope one of them sees this and weighs in.

    I still think that, in addition to what they have now, they are going to eventually find some kind of Data Typing or Structure problem in their video file headers, or resource forks, or whatever they call them. (Essentially that the Hydra programmers and the TE3 programmers are not using the same assumptions about the file layout.)

    I forgot to ask before --- If the fix for this is going to wait for a big software release (which is completely plausible to me) are they going to offer any relief to the people who can't get all of their files off of their old TiVo by the time they are to be deactivated on September 7?
     
  7. Phil_C

    Phil_C Active Member

    127
    79
    Oct 28, 2011
    Chicago
    A probable Q1 release was mentioned. As for relief in the interim, I would suggest that folks affected with this issue try to contact TiVo_Ted. I'm not sure he will weigh in here in the forum. He said he has been swamped lately and is unable to spend much time in TCF. He did respond to my PM.
     
  8. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    6,023
    778
    May 30, 2008
    The reported timing (11 minutes, 22 minutes, etc) has always struck me as something to do with commercial breaks, and recent posts that transfer failures seem to happen at skip mode points would seem to support that theory. It's quite common to have timing issues or even resolution changes during the breaks, which is why everything that I transfer to my PC goes through VideoReDo's QuickStream Fix before I process it any further.

    Now that they're working on the issue I would expect a fix in the next update.
     
  9. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,408
    3,819
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
  10. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

    166
    43
    Mar 26, 2016
    SoCal
    I first started noticing anomalies about a year ago and always wondered if the video file header problem that I theorized had started with whatever adjustments they made to make room for the skip mode data in the file. It wouldn't have to manifest itself only at skip points, though. My failures certainly don't. Depending on the details, there could be any number of symptoms. And it doesn't require a program to actually use skip mode ... only for Hydra to be interpreting the file header wrong.
     
  11. Phil_C

    Phil_C Active Member

    127
    79
    Oct 28, 2011
    Chicago
    Yup. I have PBS and HBO shows (no commercials) that freeze.
     
  12. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    6,023
    778
    May 30, 2008
    That throws out my theory.
     
  13. Reality Check

    Reality Check New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 4, 2018
    I'm seeing this transferred-recordings-freeze-during-playback bug with recordings I'm moving to my new BOLT VOX from my old Premiere. I transferred a couple dozen or so recordings. I didn't notice the problem until weeks later when I noticed some transferred recordings freeze ... often around the 10 or 11-minute mark, but also at other points much further into the recording (e.g. more like 30 to 40 minutes).

    • only some transferred recordings freeze upon playback
    • the point at which playback of a particular recording freezes is consistent and persistent (reboot, power-cycle, repeated playback attempts, skipping, etc. have no effect on the "freeze point")
    • repeatedly deleting such a recording and re-transferring it can (at least once) result in a good (fully-playable) copy or, more often, just a different "freeze point" (e.g. it froze at 0:10 before, delete, re-transfer, and it freezes at 0:31 or 0:44 or back to 0:10 on successive re-transfers)
    • that fact that the "freeze point" changes to either earlier or later (or even disappear) in the exact same recording for successive transfer attempts, suggests the bug is not with the source but (at least in part) with the transfer process ... some type of real-time programming bug, buffer(s) overflowing, critical section not fully/correctly protected by semaphores, etc.
    • freezing occurs with commercial-free recordings too
     
  14. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    55,195
    7,901
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    The security key issue is probably the hardest for them to fix. This is a delicate dance between them and CableLabs and if they update their security system at all I believe they have to pay to have it re-certified by CableLabs. Given that the problem is intermittent and CableCARD is on it's last leg, I wonder if they'll even bother.
     
  15. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,408
    3,819
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    But why just on Bolt?

    And why is the Standby bug just on TE3?

    Some strange stuff.
     
  16. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    55,195
    7,901
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Yeah not sure about that. I have issues with my Bolt we do not have with my Wife's Roamio Pro.
     
  17. Reality Check

    Reality Check New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 4, 2018
    Ok, I've had time to do some more checks.

    Recall that with the Premiere, there were two inputs: one for cable and one for antenna (OTA = over the air) content.

    So my old Premiere has a mixture of recordings. Mostly off Comcast/Xfinity cable, but also numerous ones off the (unscrambled, no security keys!) over-the-air (OTA) antenna. So I've got a 1-hour HD OTA documentary recording from Channel 9-1 (SF Bay Area PBS TV station KQEDDT) that I've transferred from the Premiere to the Bolt.

    Playback of this recording is freezing right now at the 10:55 mark (and it's commercial free).

    I delete this recording from the Bolt and re-transfer it from the Premiere using the web-based TiVo Online service.

    Upon playing back this newly-retransferred recording on the Bolt, it is again freezing at the 10:55 mark.

    Anyway, the point of all this is to say that since this is a totally free program recorded off the antenna input of the Premiere, the problem is not (or is not limited to) an issue having to do with encryption or playback rights or key management. Nothing to do with the cable card or CableLabs.
     
  18. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

    166
    43
    Mar 26, 2016
    SoCal
    What do they mean by "update?" Modify the source code? Keep the same source, but recompile? If they broke it when they moved it to Hydra, it sounds like they may have already modified it, whether intentional or not. Or did Cable Labs somehow certify the Hydra version, or the entire box, even though it has bugs?

    Do you know the answer to my questions about TiVo_Ted's statement? If the keys on later segments are not the same as earlier ones, it sounds like they are doing some kind of block or key chaining. And this application doesn't seem like a good fit for that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  19. Reality Check

    Reality Check New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 4, 2018
    Another observation: I transferred all 8 episodes of BBC America's "Planet Earth: Blue Planet II" (CC, R, SAP, HD, 720p, with commercials) on Comcast/Xfinity from my old Premiere to my new Bolt VOX.

    Here are the episode by episode results when I try to play these transferred recordings on the Bolt VOX:

    Episode 1 (recorded on 1/25): playback freeze at 00:33:06 of a 1:30:00 recording (during commercial)
    Episode 2 (recorded on 1/28): playback freeze at 00:21:38 of a 1:30:00 recording (NOT during commerical)
    Episode 3 (recorded on 2/04): entire 1:30:00 recording plays OK
    Episode 4 (recorded on 2/10): entire 1:30:00 recording plays OK
    Episode 5 (recorded on 2/17): entire 1:30:00 recording plays OK
    Episode 6 (recorded on 2/24): entire 1:30:00 recording plays OK
    Episode 7 (recorded on 3/10): playback freeze at 00:10:16 of a 01:00:00 "making of" recording (NOT during commerical)
    Episode 8 (recorded on 6/30): playback freeze at 00:10:17 of a 02:00:00 "best of" recording (NOT during commerical)

    I tried deleting the freezing episodes 1, 2 and 7 and re-transferring. Each freezes again in exactly the same place.

    In an earlier posting, I described how the freezing problem also occurs with commercial-free HD recordings which were broadcast over the air (OTA) and "in the clear" via the antenna input (no content protection or security keys, no cable card needed or involved).
     
  20. Reality Check

    Reality Check New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 4, 2018
    Here's the next possibly significant observation:

    Using the old Premiere, the box that the transferred recording was originally recorded on, I can play the original recording just fine from the Premiere's "My Shows" list (Premiere's hard disc).

    But when I stream that same recording after being transferred to the Bolt from the Premiere (selecting the Bolt at the bottom of the Premiers's "My Shows" list, and then selecting the transferred copy of the original recording sitting on the Bolt's hard disc), then it freezes in exactly the same place as when attempting to play back "natively" on the Bolt.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements