• Intermittent failure of DVR to record

    • This topic has 17 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago.
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    #2472998

    Hello: Not sure if this is the correct forum,but I have been having trouble recording shows on my Arris DCX3510-M  PVR on some channels and not others. I have the PVR set to record ST:Voyager on Thursdays on a channel that carries Sci-Fi programming. Two weeks ago,it recorded  3 episodes that played back successfully,but this past Thursday,it failed to record 3 shows. When I tried to play them back,all I get is a black,unresponsive screen. I am having the cable company guy up on the 30th for the third time. Previous visits have seen them replace all the coax connectors in the basement,and most recently,one of them installed an amp in the line,but I still have this problem. Other shows on different channels all record/playback without a hitch. They offered me a replacement PVR once,and I wonder if I should have accepted it. Thanks!

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    • #2473025

      Hi Oldtimer, I think you picked the perfect place to put this topic.  I wish I knew more about how cable companies and TV Networks do things, maybe then I’d be able to help you with your situation.  I’ll offer you a guess based on some things I’ve read and heard about cable companies – they probably didn’t really replace your DVR/PVR with a new one.  Check the date on the “new” one you have and see if it’s current.  They do this with cable boxes too.

      I’m not an expert on this (wish I was) so hopefully you can get a better answer to this from someone else here.  Good luck!

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #2473036

        Thanks,Charlie.Funny you should mention that. I did ask one of the techs if the PVRs were new,and he said no. Can’t recall if he said if they were refurbished or not. I will ask them for a new PVR when they come up on the 30th.

    • #2473033

      Hello: Not sure if this is the correct forum,but I have been having trouble recording shows on my Arris DCX3510-M PVR on some channels and not others. I have the PVR set to record ST:Voyager on Thursdays on a channel that carries Sci-Fi programming. Two weeks ago,it recorded 3 episodes that played back successfully,but this past Thursday,it failed to record 3 shows. When I tried to play them back,all I get is a black,unresponsive screen.

      Hello Oldtimer. I don’t use a provider supplied DVR, but rather use a DIY homemade PC version. I’ll just add my experience with missing programs, rather than dive into the technical possibilities of hardware mishaps.

      One cause can be that the program guide is not up-to-date, and the recording scheduler misses out for that reason. The second most common cause (in my case) is that for some reason the recording service was not running on the PC at the time of the broadcast. Third, the broadcast signal was not present at the tuner at the time the program aired (dead air). Probable causes for that dead air might be a connection issue to the tuner, or the tuner itself is not available for some reason.

      Hopefully that will give you a few ideas to help rule out possibilities! Good luck!

      Windows 10 Pro 22H2

      • #2473037

        Thanks,JohnW: I think if the program guide was not up to date,I would still record something in the time slot for my show. All I got was a black screen that didn’t do anything when play was pressed. I remember walking by the machine,and the darned PVR had a red record button on last Thursday,so I assumed all was good.

    • #2473108

      There’s also another “gotcha” for recording programs that most people aren’t aware of.

      The program’s owner/provider (which for Star Trek is ViacomCBS) can place a “do not record” flag on their programs which will prevent DVR’s (or other devices/programs that honor that flag) from recording them.

      Typically this flag shows up as in the Program Guide by the name of the program.

      The catch is, if a particular episode/episodes of a program you set to record on a regular schedule gets flagged as “do not record” you won’t know about it until it just doesn’t get recorded.

      Not saying this is what happened, but it can.
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      I “cut-the -cord” on cable TV way back in May 2015 and now watch my programs OTA (Over The Air) using an antenna and record some of them using a “discontinuedChannel Master CM7500TB1 DVR.

      Like you, it occasionally doesn’t record a particular program that it always recorded before.

      I’ve also see the red indicator that it’s “suppose” to be recording something but when I try to play it, I get the same “unresponsive” black screen.

      In my case it’s always been a problem with the “built-in” 1TB HDD it uses to store the recorded programs. (i.e. I open the Settings menu > Technical Info > STB Health > HDD Status and it shows an error reading the disk.)

      Using the option to reformat the HDD always fixes it, of course I then have to reschedule all my programs which can be a bit of a PITA.

      You could see if there’s such a menu for your DVR to see what the HDD status is but, since it’s a “cable company” provided DVR, any such menu it may have is most likely disabled.

      • #2473112

        Thanks,alejr,that is a new one to me. However,I successfully recorded 3 back to back episodes about 2 weeks ago,so flagging certain shows as do not record doesn’t always work. I will discuss this with the cable guy when he visits next week. You would think they would like to see an answer as much as I would,because this is their third visit to my home,and I am likely becoming a PITA for them. Your comment reminds me that I haven’t been able to record another favorite,Better Call Saul. In the case of that show,I get the opening scene recorded,about 2 seconds worth,and then the video freezes. I forget what channel it was on.

        • #2473114

          However,I successfully recorded 3 back to back episodes about 2 weeks ago,so flagging certain shows as do not record doesn’t always work.

          The “do not record” flag gets added to individual episodes so it’s not something that applies across a whole show (unless the provider actually adds it to all their episodes.)

          Typically, it’s only used for initial episodes of brand new shows and/or shows that are broadcast on subscription services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Paramount+ (which now control all the Star Trek series/films and “could” have decided to add the flag to all their Star Trek episodes.)

          Your comment reminds me that I haven’t been able to record another favorite,Better Call Saul. In the case of that show,I get the opening scene recorded,about 2 seconds worth,and then the video freezes.

          That sounds more like the same problem with the HDD used to record the programs that I’ve encountered.

          You should ask the cable guy if there’s a way for you to check the HDD’s status and reformat it if necessary.

          • #2473122

            You should ask the cable guy if there’s a way for you to check the HDD’s status and reformat it if necessary.

            I was offered another DVR on one past visit-I think I declined because I had several shows I hadn’t watched yet. When the cable guy comes up again,I will ask for another PVR. In my experience,they run various tests on the equipment while here,although I forget exactly what they do. Not sure if they reformat.

          • #2473532

            Well,the cable guy was here,and didn’t give me an argument,mainly because the cable company was out of ideas,I guess. Anyway, I got a new PVR box without asking. I will let you know if it fixed the problem.

      • #2473411

        I am going to ask the cable tech for another PVR when he visits tomorrow,and hope that the “new” one does not have a possible HDD problem as well. It shouldn’t be a problem,as the cable company has tried about everything else,and I am sure they want me off their backs.

        • #2475194

          Well,good news,kinda… The cable guy gave me a new PVR,and it successfully recorded three episodes of ST:Voyager this past Thursday. The real test will be if it repeats that performance this Thursday. Right now,it looks like the PVR was the problem.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2473126

      Totally aside. I had similar issues with something I set up. It was fouled up as the ISP supplied router was checking for firmware twice a day (which I couldn’t change at all) which entailed a brief drop of connection and a reset, which was enough to cause the whole thing so fail. It was also not as regular as you might hope so gave a nice random failure.. though it seemed to not do it if there was enough traffic through the router, which is one thing you can arrange with the Windows update “active hours”!

       

      • #2473129

        Interesting,thanks,oldguy!

      • #2473458

        the ISP supplied router was checking for firmware twice a day … though it seemed to not do it if there was enough traffic through the router, which is one thing you can arrange with the Windows update “active hours”!

        Active hours defers restarts after windows updates. How can it affect router traffic?

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1778 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

        • #2473469

          Unrelated to the thread, but just for info, B

          It works if you throttle the update so it takes a while. The fudge wasn’t used for weeks or anything.. I just needed to stop the router deciding it was idle and checking for firmware updates happening for a few hours while an obscure freesat box downloaded its firmware from distant shores from a server which seemed to be connected at bytes per minute (as firmware is seldom that large!).

          I was out while this was going on, so a lag cable didn’t affect me any.. that’s made by the abuse of two “noise reducing” chokes (adding a wire loop inside running in opposing directions through the chokes effectively introduces network cancelling noise) and you can force the connection speed down significantly without breaking the connection- the chokes just clip on, and I had them to hand anyway. (A capped contract means downloading something large to get the same effect costs.. and broadband is fairly recent here so your assumption Windows updates download in less than a week is flawed for some “out of town” though from experience it’s the phone which stops first, the broad band works with just the tip line connected..).

          Sorry it’s not all computer science with me.  I’ve also seen a desk fan cause that at 90 when the wire is at 90 degrees to the cable but that was with CAT5 cable not CAT5E (which I hope is what the router came with) and I haven’t got a desk fan here..

          I was merely indicating oldtimer might need to check his router isn’t checking for firmware updates and maybe see if he can stop that temporarily if it is, to see if matters improve.. after all it could be a very old router which is being attacked by a mirai botnet (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-enemybot-ddos-botnet-recruits-routers-and-iots-into-its-army/) or such (but why then is it active when his PVR connects, is something actually trying to compromise the PVR? )  but first off you need to characterise the problem as PVR or network related..

          Oldtimer hasn’t indicated if he has any hardware to hand suitable to cast a stream for him to record on the PVR (and I have no idea how that might be achieved..) so start by ruling out the problem I experience on a regular basis.. I boot up to no Internet, and connect to the router home screen to see it “connecting” quite often (it gives a last check date and time on the home page, so It’s obvious what it was doing….).. but on the plus point at least my router firmware is up to date!

          • #2473477

            It works if you throttle the update so it takes a while.

            your assumption Windows updates download in less than a week is flawed

            I didn’t assume anything, but I don’t believe “active hours” can be used to throttle updates.

            Please explain exactly how to use “active hours” (which only controls restarts) to arrange high router traffic (which you said was possible).

            Active hours identify the period of time when you expect the device to be in use. Automatic restarts after an update will occur outside of the active hours.

            Configure active hours

            Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1778 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

            • #2473677

              I throttled the speed with the cable to be sure, active hours was used to stop the machine from rebooting should it feel the need (at which point the traffic would be “zero” and the router would likely get to updating, dropping the connection as I find it on boot occasionally).

              I needed to leave something running and generating enough traffic to keep the router occupied so it didn’t go for an update check. Windows updates was just something I guessed would generate more traffic than the machine sat at a login that I could manipulate to prevent Windows updates from rebooting the machine when I didn’t want that to happen so it fitted two aims.

              I’m not bothering to discuss it further here as the guy wants help with his PVR connection.. I probably need help with explaining things clearly but to be honest I think the “check what the router is up to when it fails” message probably got through.. or maybe he’ll find the problem didn’t happen on days when he left his PC on..

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