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· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Check your target version tonight/tommorow.

As was posted here earlier and a C&P from another site that references a VP's response to a subscriber regarding the upcoming code:

The new feature set, if all passes, includes the following:

- Far improved operational stability for channel tuning (far few lock-ups during channel change -- in fact, so far we have seen none from that cause)
- Far improved timer performance for DVR recording, and for PPV recordings (again, so far no failures)
- Far improved performance for playback of DVR recordings (again, so far no failures)
- New sorting criteria for recordings
- A way to jump to identified times of recordings (i.e. 1 hour in)
For the majority of us that were on A8, this is great news as we'll finaly get the long sought after features that BC delivered to a selected few hundred.

For those of us on BC just waiting for the box to die after too many reboots, this should be a life saver.

Do check out all the new features in the beginning of the BC thread.

Enjoy the improved stability that CC brings.
Have faith that while not 100%, it's the closest the box has ever been and that new and exciting stuff is in the pipe.

From my experience in the past several weeks, what was quoted appears true for the most part.

Unfortunatly my source of information that gave me a closer view than most is no longer available.

Good luck and enjoy the efforts of many.

I'll still be around to help out as best I can.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
satellite said:
Are you sure it will be any different this time? Thats not what the CSR told me.
A while ago, I could be sure, not so today, but what I do know is the VP quoted earlier has indicated it's going out with whatever bugs it has, the customers needs this release.

I know that BC units were dying near the end of the field test, so it was pulled days after deployment. Only about 500 got the code.

In the case of CC, no such FATAL bugs exist, so there is NO REASON to withdraw the release.

While uncertain, I would expect the deployment to be staggered over the next few days to ease the burden at the call centre.

As has been stated many times before, CSR's only see a small portion of the picture.
In the past, I was priveleged to a broader view of things, but now things are different.

At the end of the day, what does it matter?
We don't control the decisions they make directly.
Just enjoy the improvements.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
satdude said:
... and they will start looking into enhanced features!
The last thing I saw was new guide graphics and work on Searchable guide with many days of data.

Could be an interesting year.
Lets see what Santa brings us faithful subjects.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Congratulations to...

Ouser said:
So who won the sweeps we had a while ago? Did anyone get the right date? Were they in the know ;)


3 members got the correct week, they are:
gbarr14, satdude, SatTV1994

13 members were correct that the code would NOT be C4 or C8 but a later version, which CC is.
They are:
bigb, brownriggd, cellarboy, cory, dlegouff, gmd, gretsky, jackmil, JoBel, lumpy, NO-CRTC, satellite, Tim1

Congratulation to all that participated, we are all winners with CC.

A couple of the names were beta testers, but did not have priveleged information.
Heck even I got it wrong and I wasn't just standing on the doorstep, I was inside the house for crying out loud!

The overwhelming majority thought it would be C8 and would come after August 14th.

See the results HERE.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I'm quite positive that there was little if any work done on the DVI sections of code.
Mostly tuning failures and DVR trick mode fatal crashes.
I believe, for the most part, that this is substantially better.
They chewed off an rather large piece to fix since A8/BC.
I hope in the future they provide more frequent incremental 'adjustments' rather than such massive code changes that will clearly create some new unforseen gotches, of which I've only had a few in the past month.

I'd be happy with 2 releases a year with a few fixes and a few features along the way.

Trying to fix everything all at once is just asking for disaster.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
My Bell, Tivo, Replay and Cable HD PVR doesn't skip back like the 530 does.
But initialy they had problems with a driver doing read after writes and everything you saw was buffered through the hard drive as you might expect.

Not unlike a true UPS, where you are 100% power off battery, but the A.C. manins are on and charging it at the same time.

The workaround was to drop from a live data stream and into the hard drive buffer.
That's why there is some buffer sizing and delay issues.

It operates more like a standby power supply, that is on AC mains until the power goes and then switches over to batteries.

I hope you get my analogy.

I had requested that they re-vist that again after some other bugs were flushed out. Hopefully, but I have no leverage anymore.

In the upcoming new IPG, the DVR sort is much cleaner implemented with the button renamed to SORT and indicators that show what is being sorted and if ascending or descending.

For those that 'missed' CC, don't worry.
Chances are they targeted a few thousand new ones each day.
At the end of the run, up to a week maybe, then ALL remaining will get it as it will be the only 530 code in the stream.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #81 ·
A well known bug!

GaryE said:
...1 bug... when I press Options-6-4-6 I get booted out the the menu. ...
This 'feature' has been broken since the original DSR500.
The Video Adjustments didn't work and the design was clunky.
So it's been temporarily taken out.

The plan is to use an calibrated overscan slide in the background with a pop-up box that will allow you to centre/adjust the output.

I have no idea when we will see that though.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #90 ·

Tup said: many of you guys had CC long before us???? Seems there are some Beta testers here who kept hush hush!
There was a total of 5 members here plus myself that have had CC in advance as part of a very tightly controlled field test.

Remember all the flap a year or so ago, well it was true and those that discounted the invitation got left out and those that took the opportunity have been privelege to stuff no others have had.

They had to be hush hush or loose the privelege to comment on bugs and features.

None the less, virtually all the comments here made it back to the development teams one way or another, that I can gaurantee.

That is why several of the enhancement requests the members made are included in the release with more to follow.
Also how a major effort to address all the concerns repeated incessantly by DKS, a.k.a. Kevin270 were put to the top of the list.
Hopefully he approves of the efforts. If not c'est domage!

Those that have been around a while and can put 2 and 2 together along with recent comments can likely figure out what was going on.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Wendy MacKinnon said:
Other than the skip forward button seeming to have a bit of a delay (as mentioned by others), the machine seems to be working very nicely....
Quite right, that is new in 00.CC
I think it's to ensure that it doesn't crash like before.
A small prcie to pay in my opinion.

In fact, the response is about the same as my Motorola cable DCT6412 PVR that is coded by the big guys at TVGuide (Prevue in Canada).

Maybe part of the problem was they were pushing it a bit to far for the drivers and their code experience or the hardware, dunno.
Just glad to have a workable box finally.

On the timer issues, maybe check the FREQUENCY of the timers.
Is it possible 1 or more are set to daily, or MON-FRI or something.

There was an timer overlap bug about 2 release ago, but that was fixed, unless it broke again.
It had to do with using UTC (aka GMT) internally were Monday actually started Sunday afternoons.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Wendy MacKinnon said:
... Unless, as you say it is a time zone bug - I seem to remember that happening with A8 before,...
Should I report it to *C, do you think?
If it's reproducable, I most certainly would.
Provide as much detail as possible to help them identify the problem.
Ask them to forward it to their supervisor so that a bug gets entered into their development bug tracking system.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #114 ·
A troubled time...

Sorry Mike, D.D. was just trying to do what he thought was best for those that appeared quite troubled with the receivers and given his position on the DSR530 program, it made sense at the time.
The invite was NOT associated with DHC, but direct from the head of the development team.

It was a great program for those that made it through and I hope it continues, but the program has lost it's captain and I fear no one is steering the ship. Thankfully, some future directions have been put in place to make it a better unit if they follow through, but without a customer advocate at the program helm, I can't be certain.

Things eventually caught up with him as it did with me as well.

Do keep Hugh's position in mind, at the time, all hell was breaking loose and emotions were extremly high and quite problematical.

I see now with CC, aside from some expected posts, the rukas has subsided.
I see this as a good thing, it means they have almost arrived.
Either that, or everybody sold their units or is on vacation, but I suspect it's mostly the former.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #122 ·
Yes, I think a tech support person would be able to assist you better.
I think the CSR's are more into billing and package changes, while the TSR might be better at wrong channel maps, downloads and technical issues like that.
If that fails, try and ask for a supervisor and escalate it a wee bit at a time.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Those numbers are bogus!

They only ordered 20K units and ~ 1/2 are still warehoused with A4.
They should start moving now that CC is out and the boxes bad reputation is changing for the better.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #143 ·

Kevin270 said:
...The DSR530 has some definite hardware problems. I don't think that the firmware fixes are going to address a lot of the problems that still exist. ...
I guess I see the glass as half full, while you see it as half empty.
But given the fact that new code has changed the behavior in ways we thought may have been hardware failures, strongly suggest you may be in error.
I think now that there is substantially improved fundamental stability, there is clearly a time to do some optimizations and rethink the way some work arounds were done to get the box out.

I know before I left the project and had delivered the new IPG, there was noticable improvements in IPG navigation and usage due to some very simple re-thinking of the way things should be done.

While it doesn't matter to me any more, I really think you'll be surprised at how some simple changes have resulted in a much better performing box in many ways.

I hope they are able to bring it all together for the fall like they planned, but I'll be happy with a pre-Christmas release.

As for the speed, I guess they felt it was better to be stable that a speed racer that crashes.
Overall, I find the performance to be comparable with the Moto Cable PVR DCT6412 that has it's own shortcomings and is written by the Gemstar TVGuide group.

I have seen dual recording in prototype working, but it's not next on the list, Searchable & faster extended guide is.
A partial implementaion is set for Christmas with a little luck.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #145 ·
That would normally be true, but in the re-write process to accept the new graphics, many old baggage routines were stripped out as well as a general simplification of code as a result of a VERY high degree of re-usable code that in operation, results in a much more fluid unit to use.

For example, virtually ALL of the Options screens have the video window, so no need to turn video on and off all the time.

When browse bar graphics come up, there will be no video scaling, resulting in that annoying flicker and no video mode switching for the box.

So less to do, less changes, less to go wrong and better performance.
At least in the areas we had time to optimise.

Probably not in the area you wanted, but a start.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #147 · (Edited)
The USB<->IDE thunking was a major issue.
The engineer that spec'd it left the program quite some time ago for unknown reasons.

You are correct that there is sufficient bandwidth in USB 2.0, but there is always some latency with it.
The initial drivers for the NEC interface chip were quite problematical and underwent several updates to even become usable.
Again, the chip ( Read Hardware) was fine, but it was the driver code (Read Software) changes the solved the day.
Kevin270, are you paying attention here!

There was a very early prototype that was IDE only, but it never progressed any further.

If the 530 follows in the steps of the DCT6412 that went to SATA in their Phase III implementaion, then I'd expect better results.

But I don't see that happening until all the inital units are sold.

Dual tuning was a timing/code complexity issue, plain and simple.
The unit needed to be brought to market and a conscious decision to deliver it with a dedicated watch and record tuners was made.

As part of the upcoming searchable guide, the code foundation is being purchased from another vendor and incorporates most of the advanced features, of whcih dual recording is only part.
Things like conflict resolution and content retention are a large part of that as well.

So by having supposedly mature tested code over newly invented code and just integrating the engines into the IPG should make for a much better product as well.

The slow DVR list recall is not a hardware issues, it a s/w one in the way the data needs to be read/created.
A better form of indexing the table of contents will solves Kevin's issue.
They will get to that at some point, but as has been shown, they were focusing on some basic stability for the CC release.

I think additional optimization could be made to have performance of trick modes become comparable with the Echostar 501/Bell 5100 that does true read after write so all video is buffered through the hard drive.
That is the standard of performace I had asked for going forward.

No more clunky switching from live to LOD buffer and near instant trick mode response.

Remember, what they have achieved in ~ 1 year for a 1st unit.
Have other vendors accomplished as much with as little in such a short time?

If they are able to follow through on certain visions set out and listen to customers and prioritize activities, they will evolve the 530 into a remarkable unit.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #158 ·
PLease Mister, May I have some more? (Guide Data, that is!)

Keane said:
..., but are they going to make the info more alos? With Persona, the guide was searchable ...and the descriptions of all shows was vastly superior to SC. ... Every show had a decription that was detailed. That would make the $800 worthwhile if SC matched this.
The current guide data provider has 4 levels of title and program detail.
If memory serves me correctly the have been using a level 1 or 2, the least amount of data.
This is because of the legacy units.
Additional data would overrun them and many oldtimers will have surely noticed that it's gotten worse as additional channels are added, hence so many without any descriptive data at all.

In order to effectively have a searchable guide, you at least need several more days of data beyond the current 3.
To address that, a new guide transmission system has been designed and ordered.
That will easily allow 7-14 days of data.
In addition it also permits the most verbose level 4 program title and episodic descriptions.
Doing this seperatly for all advanced receivers, 500, 505, 530, 207 & 317 will not impact the legacy units.

· Banned
3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #160 ·
With a content retention system and smart recording tags like, record once, record all, record new, then the NEW and REPEAT tags in the guide data can help a lot.

But the system is only as good as the guide data provider, who in this case is the SAME provider that supplies TIVO, so I'm very optimistic about things.

The challenge will be integrating the shrink wrapped code into the existing system.
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