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Channel 4 - Problems recording at primetime


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Old 27-01-2013, 23:16
SnapeyDS
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I am having problems with recordings ending prematurely on most of Channel 4's primetime shows. This has been happening for a while. My box is following the EPG and stopping the recording when the EPG says the program has finished.

The best example of this is Homeland which I set to record the whole series. When I sat down to watch the whole series most episodes finished roughly 30 or 60 seconds before the end, which of course means that I probably miss the most important part and have no idea whats going on when I start the next episode

Other programs include Grand Designs, Pillars of the Earth and a new series World Without End. Basically all prime time programs between 21:00 and 23:00.

Is anybody else getting this problem?
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Old 28-01-2013, 09:59
grahamlthompson
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I am having problems with recordings ending prematurely on most of Channel 4's primetime shows. This has been happening for a while. My box is following the EPG and stopping the recording when the EPG says the program has finished.

The best example of this is Homeland which I set to record the whole series. When I sat down to watch the whole series most episodes finished roughly 30 or 60 seconds before the end, which of course means that I probably miss the most important part and have no idea whats going on when I start the next episode

Other programs include Grand Designs, Pillars of the Earth and a new series World Without End. Basically all prime time programs between 21:00 and 23:00.

Is anybody else getting this problem?
Everyone I imagine, afaik Channel 4 don't currently use accurate recording signalling.
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Old 28-01-2013, 17:14
adgloride
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I have the same problems on Channel 4. The only way round it is to add 5 more minutes to the recordings every week.
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Old 28-01-2013, 19:20
mjr
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Might I suggest making a complaint to:
[LIST][*]Channel 4 via their contact form (I raised it as a technical fault.)
[*]Freesat via their forums.[/LIST]The more people that bring this to C4 and Freesat's attention, the more likely it is to be fixed.

For what it's worth, I raised this will Channel 4 at the end of 2011, with quite a reasoned complaint thanking them for the effort they put into getting their channels on Freesat, but stating how much the lack of Accurate Record was letting them down due to missing the end of programmes. They came back to me and said they were going to implement this in early 2012, but in the meantime I'd need to manually alter the recording times. Unfortunately it hasn't (yet) happened as they promised...
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Old 28-01-2013, 21:53
SnapeyDS
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I have recently contacted freesat and they claim to be unaware of the problem and say that nobody has reported it previously. I know this is untrue because I reported it myself on more than one occasion over a period of about two years.

If more people respond to this thread here I will sign up and start a thread on the FreeSat forums.
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Old 29-01-2013, 08:12
paul1962
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I have recently contacted freesat and they claim to be unaware of the problem and say that nobody has reported it previously. I know this is untrue because I reported it myself on more than one occasion over a period of about two years.

If more people respond to this thread here I will sign up and start a thread on the FreeSat forums.
There is a thread on the Freesat forum already about this where someone from Freesat claimed that all channel providers provided the accurate record signal. We're still waiting for a reply from followup posts where we've said they don't.

Currently there isn't a commercial offering, other than Sky, which will let you record programs via satellite without missing the start and/or end and correctly handles any change in a programs broadcast time I'm beginning to think 10 to Sky is well worth it for a working HD PVR.

ITV2/3 don't appear to be using accurate record either even though ITV(1) does.

Also be aware that Freesat <freetime> will never correctly handle a program whose start time is change to more than 15 minutes before it's scheduled time and the program wil ljust be missed.
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Old 29-01-2013, 08:41
technologist
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Accurate record requires and intimate link between the playout system and the Code & Mux ..
most broadcasters do not use it .. choosing to "work by Clock work " to change the P/f information in EIT.
I think that Freesat use P/f signalling as does Sky .
- bearing in mind that Sky use all the rest of the DVB EIT for their proprietary EPG
so Freesat EPG is Private data albeit in DVB EIT format.

Red Bee Plays out all BBC Entertainment services - and these are all very reactive channels with very close p/f linking ..... but it may be that the BBC technology cannot be used for commercial services.... like Ch4 (BBC news Channels are on clockwork)
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Old 29-01-2013, 09:10
Automan
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I may be in error but if I recall Chn4 do transmit the accurate start data on the Freeview platform and thus a Freeview+ box does not have this problem?

Can anyone confirm?

Automan.
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Old 29-01-2013, 12:34
paul1962
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Accurate record requires and intimate link between the playout system and the Code & Mux ..
most broadcasters do not use it .. choosing to "work by Clock work " to change the P/f information in EIT.
I think that Freesat use P/f signalling as does Sky .
- bearing in mind that Sky use all the rest of the DVB EIT for their proprietary EPG
so Freesat EPG is Private data albeit in DVB EIT format.

Red Bee Plays out all BBC Entertainment services - and these are all very reactive channels with very close p/f linking ..... but it may be that the BBC technology cannot be used for commercial services.... like Ch4 (BBC news Channels are on clockwork)
Thanks for the explanation.

The problem is the typical home user expects a PVR to record what it's told and if they're going to miss bits of programs it's no good to them.
Regardless of the broadcaster Sky get it right the majority of the time. I did some random tests on ITV3 at the weekend on the HDR1000S and my old Sky+ SD box, the Humax and I suspect other Freesat boxes failed misserably but the Sky+ was fine.
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Old 29-01-2013, 14:29
Automan
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Accurate recording start normally works on all the ITV channels but never the +1 variants so never record a program from these.

To test Freeview+ vs Freesat+ I have set both of my boxes to record the same programs from CHN4HD and will report back.

HummerUK
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Old 29-01-2013, 16:15
REPASSAC
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Thanks for the explanation.

The problem is the typical home user expects a PVR to record what it's told and if they're going to miss bits of programs it's no good to them.
Regardless of the broadcaster Sky get it right the majority of the time. I did some random tests on ITV3 at the weekend on the HDR1000S and my old Sky+ SD box, the Humax and I suspect other Freesat boxes failed misserably but the Sky+ was fine.
Additionally the freesat G1 and G2 EPG data is different and some there have been some broadcaster slip ups with providing full G2 data..
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Old 30-01-2013, 19:48
SnapeyDS
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There is a thread on the Freesat forum already about this where someone from Freesat claimed that all channel providers provided the accurate record signal. We're still waiting for a reply from followup posts where we've said they don't.
I will have to look into this later in the week and sign up and join in. I guess every voice helps.

Freesat aren't doing themselves any favors by denying that there's an issue. Maybe they have no interest in retaining their users .
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Old 30-01-2013, 20:42
mjr
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The thread I've seen on the Freesat forums, the Freesat representative seems to think start/stop signals are sent, but just at the wrong times

http://community.freesat.co.uk/t5/Ch...42/page/2#M242

(As far as C4 tell me, they simply don't send AR data on Freesat.)

But regardless of whether they send them or not, if the recording misses the start/end then there is something fundamentally wrong.

One thing we (somehow) need to get Freesat to understand is that this isn't just an occasional thing with C4, it's consistently wrong.

It's almost as if nobody at Freesat has ever bothered to try recording something off C4 - or at least not with Freesat kit
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Old 30-01-2013, 23:08
SnapeyDS
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One thing we (somehow) need to get Freesat to understand is that this isn't just an occasional thing with C4, it's consistently wrong.
Consistently on their main shows. If I was a suspicious person I would almost start to think C4 do it on purpose so you watch their channel rather than record

But regardless of whether they send them or not, if the recording misses the start/end then there is something fundamentally wrong.
If freesat don't understand this they might as well just give up.
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Old 30-01-2013, 23:20
mjr
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If freesat don't understand this they might as well just give up.
Indeed. To add to the frustration, I've just noticed the latest reply from Freesat to that thread talks about a bug in the firmware of Humax's latest hardware and suggests a firmware update.

Presumably the user they were responding to had a separate issue of entirely failed recordings on Humax's latest PVR too, but it only adds to the confusion about the Accurate Record issue and its cause
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Old 30-01-2013, 23:29
paul1962
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What the Freesat people don't get is that they can't blame the channel providers.
There is plenty of Freesat advertising now especially for <Freetime> so what the consumer sees is the Freesat brand and what it supposedly offers. If a channel fails to provide AR and the consumers gets recordings with bits missing it's the brand that suffers.

I have just received an email from Channel4 confirming that they do not send the trigger signals for a AR. However, they go on to say that they are working on this and they hope to have it in place by the end of Feb. They also say the BBC is the only provider which has AR, which is obviously wrong
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Old 31-01-2013, 00:04
SnapeyDS
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Indeed. To add to the frustration, I've just noticed the latest reply from Freesat to that thread talks about a bug in the firmware of Humax's latest hardware and suggests a firmware update.

Presumably the user they were responding to had a separate issue of entirely failed recordings on Humax's latest PVR too, but it only adds to the confusion about the Accurate Record issue and its cause
I briefly read that a few minutes ago after being redirected from a specific C4 thread by a post from a freesat mod. That thread seemed to relate to a different type of recording problem rather than this specific one.

And I have an old Foxsat-HDR anyway.

And I just watched a recording of Derek and missed the end of Karl Pilkingtons speech because of this problem
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:04
Automan
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Sorry in the delay replying to my test but my BT Infinity failed again and as usual it took 4 days to fix.

Anyway, on Freeview+ CHN4HD does start more at the correct time...

e.g. Utopia this week.

Samsung Freesat+ 21:59:57
Panasonic Freeview+ 22:02:10

So if they have it setup for Freeview I would have thought adding to Freesat should be fairly straightforward?

Automan.
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Old 03-02-2013, 14:45
nagasaki
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I contacted Channel Four about the recording problem and got the following reply.

"Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries.

We are sorry to hear of your frustration when recording programmes on our channels; however, this is a known issue with Freesat which we are working to rectify. In the meantime, we would advise that you set your recorder manually. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us here at Channel 4 and for your interest in our programming."

Not at all impressed.
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Old 03-02-2013, 17:02
SnapeyDS
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We are sorry to hear of your frustration when recording programmes on our channels; however, this is a known issue with Freesat which we are working to rectify. In the meantime, we would advise that you set your recorder manually.
I do hate the set your recorder manually response. This means you cant use series link and it increases the risk of recording clashes.

Nice to see that they are finally saying that they are aware of the issue. Sadly I have been aware of it for over 2 years and contacted both Freesat and Channel4 and the issue is still there. I don't expect the issue to be rectified any time soon.
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Old 03-02-2013, 17:12
SnapeyDS
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I signed upto the Freesat forum on 31st Jan 2013 and added my voice to this thread http://community.freesat.co.uk/t5/Ch...ght/false#M273

Sadly I have had no response yet .

If others sign up and add their voice maybe it will help.

I would have loved to have added my voice to this thread http://community.freesat.co.uk/t5/Ch...m-p/3038#U3038 which relates to the Channel 4 recording problem but for some reason Freesat see the problem as being solved in the thread above . I dont see a solution anywhere .
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Old 03-02-2013, 17:48
mjr
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If others sign up and add their voice maybe it will help.
Done What frustrates me most is that this would be so trivial for them to test and then acknowledge the problem.
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Old 03-02-2013, 18:09
paul1962
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Freesat don't see it as their problem.
There isn't any requirement for the channels on Freesat to provide information which will let us accurately record their programs.
The majority of channels do not provide this information which, IMHO, makes Freesat useless all you watch is BBC and ITV
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Old 03-02-2013, 18:31
mjr
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I've added another post suggesting how they could mitigate this:
Originally Posted by mjr on freesat community forums

Here's an idea for the next revision of the Freesat specification:

Allow boxes to configure use of both Accurate Record and Padding simultaneously. When recording a channel that does support Accurate Record, use those timings, otherwise go by the clock timings with the specified padding applied. (Maybe also let the user set their preference for AR/Padding/Clock times in the schedule list per-event and/or per-channel if they want to override the auto-detection.) This will at least help mitigate the problem for channels which don't yet support Accurate Record.

Also please work with the broadcasters to help them add Accurate Record support - maybe offer them a reduction in their EPG fees for the year in which they add it - and communicate with your userbase here as to the progress.

What do you think, Freesat?
To be honest I'm amazed something like this isn't already in the specifications.
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Old 11-02-2013, 00:13
SnapeyDS
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Looks like when my current box breaks down or if i put pvrs in any other rooms i'll be giving up on Freesat and giving Freeview a try.

Trying to talk to Freesat appears to be the same as trying to talk to your ISP, they blame the box manufacturer or the broadcaster or just bury their head in the sand hoping that you will go away. Its their brand that's being harmed but they just don't seem to care. If a third party was damaging my brand name (yes i own a business) I would be talking to them asap and would hope for a prompt solution.
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