: Dec 12th: DSR530 Code BC Fixes, Features & Bugs
So we know that given enough time and resets, ALL BC boxes will eventually die a horrible death and hopefully the 'fix' will come out before the mass graves need digging, but I'm interested in knowing what day of the week they died.
I've sensing a trend that I just can't put my finger on and "Number Johnny 5 need more input"
So please respond with what you were doing and/or the time you first noticed a dead BC box.
I have 3 for Thursday evening so far...
2006-03-12, 10:58 AM
FWIW our BC gave up on a Wednesday Morning (http://digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showpost.php?p=339817&postcount=390) during viewing, in the midst of a show with no remote input.
Kudos to SC for having a new unit on my doorstep within 48 hrs though, but going back to A8 is a bit of a drag, C'mon Easter Bunny ;)
2006-03-12, 11:05 AM
So...if this is such a prevelant issue, why not ask *C for a Downgrade to A8...or is this not feasible...
Also, I have turned off LOD...hence no lockups for a week now
I'm quite sure that A8 is no longer in the data stream, BC is present untill they stop the download, then A8 will remain.
Actually there is NO BC in the stream, the current is A8.
Warehouse boxes still have A4 and get A8 the first night.
The only way to go backwards is by going forward.
The box needs to see code with a 'NEWER' number than what it has, so no BC boxes will ever load A8.
In theory, you could take A8 and call is something higher than BC, but there are always risks and that could undo all the BC boxes out there that are still running and it would also be a distraction to create a new build with it's inherent risks and delay the much anticipated BC replacement fix which seems delayed already.
I think I'd rather race to the finish line on that one.
It's a gamble for sure, but when did that ever stop them.
Hell, releasing when they did was a gamble and we all know what happened with that.
They got bragging rights of being the first Canadian satco with an HD DVR, but at what cost?
Not sure if this is related but my box has needed resetting at least twice a week for the last month or so. I have BC and prior to that I was one of the lucky ones with a relatively stable box. I've never had this many problems - even with A4. BC was great when I first got it but now it just seems to be degrading with time.
Nothing in particular seems to lock it up. A few occassions I've just come home from work and turn the TV on (530 stays on all the time) and I can't do anything with it.
It's not looking too good for my box.
2006-03-12, 06:11 PM
I don't leave mine turned on all of the time. I shut it off when I'm not using it.
I know that the DSR530 has problems once you start getting the disk drive somewhere around 1/2 full. You pretty much have to watch a couple of shows and delete them. Once the drive starts getting full the machine becomes even more unpredictible. Chances are when you had A8 you did not have as much stuff on your disk. For me, BC works a lot better than A8, but it still does not work properly. It still has lots of bugs, but not as many as A8.
I recall reading machines crashing with the A8 code, so I am not so sure that BC is making the machines crash. The machines seem to crash at random. Motorola needs to hire people who possess strong engineering skills. The entire machine needs to be re-engineered. Once that happens, I would expect StarChoice to exchange all of our machines for ones that are built with the correct parts.
...A few occassions I've just come home from work and turn the TV on (530 stays on all the time) and I can't do anything with it.
If there were a memory leak in the code, leaving it on all the time would account for your symptons.
By putting it into standby, when you wake it back up, it might reload it's top level code and be more stable for you.
Give that a try and see if it helps.
Motorola needs to hire people who possess strong engineering skills. Possibly, but I really don't think a world class organization like Moto is deficient in engineering skilled people.
The entire machine needs to be re-engineered. I think that could only make matters worse.
It would then be some time before you get a functioning unit.
As long as the basic design is solid, it is often better/faster/cheaper to continue repairs and fine tuning.
Not unlike a construction project for Renovation over a Tear Down/Start over when the foundation and walls are still good.
It's not even been a year, if after several years, it still can't be fixed, then maybe.
Every time you start something new, there are 1000's of bugs, by now, several of them are cured.
Start again with 1000's of bugs, I don't think so.
Once that happens, I would expect StarChoice to exchange all of our machines for ones that are built with the correct parts. Expect all you want, I think the parts are OK, the code needs more time to mature and seems to be doing just that by your own admission.
If anything, I think the complexity of the project may have been underestimated by all concerned.
It's pretty easy to stand on the ouside and criticize.
I know, I do it too.
There was/is a window of time to exchange the machine.
If you used that chance or missed it, oh well, too bad.
We all had the same opportunity and access to the information here.
You should have followed the advice of the boxes major detractor DKS and stayed away then.
There was more than enough posts warning you.
You would think that if they believe that BC is destined to cause meltdowns...then they would want to get a replacement code out there ASAP.
My wife asked me today why the new features I told her about at X-mas hadn't arrived yet. The old "new firmware soon" story is getting rather too old!
Anyway, at least this makes me feel a little better about not getting the BC code. All in all, my unit is doing fairly well (pause to look for some wood to knock on....use my head instead).
The machines seem to crash at random. Motorola needs to hire people who possess strong engineering skills.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that this has been discussed a lot. Star Choice represents Canada's smallest DTH satellite provider, of that there is only a small percentage of DSR530 owners. Put this together with the fact that *C uses Digicypher II encryption on all of their receivers, a technology exclusive to Motorola, and you end up with an interesting combination. One that allows Motorola to avoid dedicating a lot of resources to fixing the problem, without worrying if *C is going to stop using their equipment...they can't! So I guess my point is that Motorola has people that can make a quality product...they just aren't being used on the 530.
Maybe, but what you forget is that while *C is relatively small potatoes as a Satellite company and Moto could even close the satellite doors, *C's parent, does a very large business with Moto on cable set tops and cable modems and commercial headend gear as well, so It's clearly in Moto's best interests to work to solve the issues.
There are other leverages as well that are less widely known.
Don't forget that *C saved Motos butt by taking all the Voom DSR550 inventory and rebirthing them as DSR505's.
That should be worth a favour or two I'd say.
Chances are when you had A8 you did not have as much stuff on your disk. For me, BC works a lot better than A8, but it still does not work properly. It still has lots of bugs, but not as many as A8.
Nope, not in my case. I've never keep recordings for too long. I currently have maybe 10 hours of SD content on there which would be a couple movies and the rest being 1/2 hour kiddie shows.
I just find it odd that BC worked great for 4-6 weeks and now it's just falling apart and I haven't changed how I'm using it at all. If BC is causing a slow death in other boxes then maybe this is a sign.
If there were a memory leak in the code, leaving it on all the time would account for your symptons.
Thanks ARR, I'll give it a try for a while and see if things improve.
...I just find it odd that BC worked great for 4-6 weeks and now it's just falling apart and I haven't changed how I'm using it at all. If BC is causing a slow death in other boxes then maybe this is a sign. The first 3 days I had BC it was absolutly horrible, I thought what the hell have they unleashed on us, but after that, like I've commented before, I can pretty much do whatever I want to the box.
I wouldn't say BC causes a slow death, it's a little more like a major coronary.
It can be just fine one moment and DEAD the next.
There is no degradation related to the death.
That's probably the suspected memory leak.
I was one of the lucky ones that had few problems with A8, however I phoned and got BC. As others have noted, BC has some better features, and for me the live TV buffer works better in BC then it did in A8 but my unit now requires a reboot at least twice a week now. All this talk about a fatal crash with BC has me hoping for a fix soon. I am wondering what will happen if these boxes continue to die after their 1 year warrenty is up? If the fix for BC isn't out by the middle of May things could get complicated. I always know when a reset is about due because the first sign of a problem is that I will change to a different channel from the guide and the banner at the bottom of the screen will update to the new channel's info, however the actual video displayed is still from the previous channel. At this point the only way to get the channel to change is to single step up or down in order to get the displayed video and the channel it thinks it is on back in sync. When it starts doing this I know a solid lockup is soon to follow, so I just do a reboot at this point and all is good for 3 or 4 days. Haven't found the root cause to this problem yet.
2006-03-13, 10:42 PM
So I guess my point is that Motorola has people that can make a quality product...they just aren't being used on the 530.You can say that again! I read some negative posts on here after I purchased my 530. Too bad I didn't find this website before buying my machine. Anyhow everyone has 20/20 hindsight. I can't cry over spilt milk, but I can complain about the lack of responsiveness from StarChoice. I can state that they have promised us all better quality code, yet the same problems exist in the code that existed from the very beginning according to some of the historical posts that I read. Why I think the machine needs new parts? First of all, the machine is as slow as molasses running up a hill. Throughout all of the software fixes, that never changed. Now with the "BC" fix, the OPTIONS-6-4-7 screen takes forever plus a day to come up, and once it's up, it takes a minute or 2 to exit out of it. What's up with that?
StarChoice also admitted to dishing out this new code in the summertime. It took them until December to dish it out and then they only dished it out to a select few and put the brakes on it. Whose to say they won't do the same thing with the C0 code or whatever other code that comes out? Whether it will even come out at Easter - who knows.
Let's not get everyone's hopes up for nothing. In the end that only creates more unhappy people and more frustrated customers. Sure, it's great to look positive and paint rainbows all over the place but the reality is that these hunches are only going to build people up for huge let downs later. Just as we have all been let down time and time again. DigitalDude was one guy who boasted about the machine by telling people there was nothing wrong with it. It was in perfect working order. I haven't read anything by this so-called DKS, but I sure have read lots of posts by Digital Dude and honestly I have to laugh at them.
2006-03-14, 07:03 PM
Ok...here's something from a *C techie regarding the BC code and fatal errors. There have been cases reported in which BC crashed the 530....and this has happened "specifically" with the 1st production run of the 530's. However, *C indicates that this was pretty much instantaneous....however, some users on DHC have indicated that this is happening over time.
I then asked *C about support after warranty for issues like these....and the response (unofficially) is that *C would replace such boxes at no charge.
Couple of recommendations which might improve the box stability:
1. Power Sensitivity: Since the 530 is "extremely" power sensitive, it is recommended to plug in the 530 (via a surge protector), to a dedicated power outlet. sometimes, if a receiver function needs more power and none is available, that function can end up locking the box....a software coding issue.
2. UHF Noise: If you are not using the UHF remote, then try removing the antenna from the 530 and see if it makes a difference.
I am going to try the above for a couple of days and see what happens...I already have LOD turned off...
*C does not have any ETA on the stable "BC" or higher version...but should be over the next few weeks (speculative)
2006-03-14, 10:59 PM
It's good to have some options to try; unfortunately I have tried all of those options. My DSR530 is plugged into an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). I did not want to spend so much money on a piece of equipment only to have it blow up due to a power surge or power failure. My machine has always been plugged into a UPS. My antenna has been removed because I use one of those Harmony remotes which uses infra-red, not UHF radio signals.
I hate to have to be the one to tell you, but my machine has had its share of problems, even though I've treated it with a gentle touch with kit gloves. I have recently disabled the LOD, which has helped prevent some of the crashes, but last night it crashed again when I was recording CSI:MIAMI. I decided to watch the local news and when I press SKIP-FWD to jump through a commercial, the display read 5-FWD and that was it - the machine jammed. The blue recording lights stopped gyrating.
The other thing I will mention is that pulled the power cord out from the back helps restore the machine better than holding down on the power button for 10 seconds. I have experienced many more problems with the power button reboot than I have with the complete electricity loss reboot. Remember to leave it unplugged until you hear the hard drive stop spinning (a few seconds). Then plug it back in. Those are my recommendations. I'm still upset that we should ever have to do this at all!
2006-03-15, 04:50 PM
Long time lurker, early adopter and concerned owner here!
I would personally like to see Starchoice come forward and extend the warranty on the 530. Im getting awfully close to my year warranty, in May, what worries me is that another poorly engineered code will result in a dead unit, say 1 week after my warranty expires.... hmmm.... could I see a conspiracy?
Come on Starchoice, do the decent thing and give us a warranty preiod within a viable code that works!