Author Topic: Padding and missing the ends of shows  (Read 2198 times)

Offline superdadplus

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Padding and missing the ends of shows
« on: December 03, 2013, 01:04:22 PM »
Hello.

My family and I have laboured along with this for some time and I'm finally having another go of getting it sorted out.

I suffer from the  'missing the ends of shows' problem that gets mentioned here from time to time.

It appears that the problem occurs when both tuners are in use and the Humax has to 'switch' to recording the new show.

If I have three minutes of "start padding" set, the Humax will switch to recording the new show 3 min before the scheduled start, which in practice seems to be a minute or two prior to the end of the current show.

If the two shows are on the same channel, I will get the missing minutes at the start of the second show recording, but that requires that I know which recording was immediately following.

If the two shows are on different channels, then the end of the first show is never recorded.

Am I mistaken in my description of the issue? If I'm correct then I have this complaint:

Why can't the humax, or IceTV warn me that there is scheduling conflict and show me the problem recordings in the schedule so I least have the option of fixing them?

If I'm incorrect, are you able to correct me?

thank-you

d

Offline prl

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Re: Padding and missing the ends of shows
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 05:13:11 PM »
You are correct about the description, and it's a generic (i.e. not specific to Humax) problem -- it occurs on most PVRs.

As far as IceTV and the PVR are concerned, there isn't a scheduling conflict (they only consider overlap of the actual core time of recording timers in making decisions about conflicts).

If you have a reasonably crowded recording schedule, then reporting conflicts of padding time on the PVR is likely to produce a good number of false alarms.

IceTV can't warn you about padding collisions, because, except, I think, for Windows Media centre, IceTV has no information about the padding settings on a PVR.

IceTV try to predict when shows will actually start and end (rather than their scheduled start and end times), but I don't think they'll ever be able to do this prediction to the accuracy needed to ensure that a recording starts and finishes exactly when the broadcast of the show does. If it could, there'd be no need for padding.

You're going to lose something, no matter what the PVR tries to do.

The root problem, anyway, is of the networks' making, not IceTV's.

IceTV may like to say "Never miss your favourite show again," but you also need to read the disclaimers. And IMO they don't cover all the problems that can mean that you can indeed miss your favourite show. To misquote Thomas Jefferson, "Eternal vigilance is the price of never actually missing a show when using IceTV". Lost some of the pithiness of the original ;)
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline superdadplus

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Re: Padding and missing the ends of shows
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 10:33:10 PM »
Thanks for your response PRL.

I don't recall us having this problem when we had an ozTivo, but if this is a feature of all 'modern' PVRs then... well, I'm back to pining for a Tivo (and not for the first time :^(

However, I don't understand a couple of points in your explanation.

Quote
If you have a reasonably crowded recording schedule, then reporting conflicts of padding time on the PVR is likely to produce a good number of false alarms.

Under what circumstances would a false positive occur? As I understand it, start times always trump end times, so whenever I have one scheduled show finishing at 830 and the next scheduled show starting at 830 I will be facing a potential problem unless the other tuner is available.

Certainly there are some shows where the last couple of minutes aren't so important, but equally there are others where last (or first) couple of minutes are important. IceTV (and the humax) are aware of which tuners are in use and could flag potential problems, allowing me to make case by case decisions about how to handle the possible problem. (A classic use case for computer assisted scheduling.) Currently, I have to eyeball my entire schedule and try to spot where problems might be, which is precisely the kind of thing that PVRs were supposed to help me out with (weren't they?)

At any rate, it's nice to know I've correctly identified the problem. I've removed the start time padding which, I hope, will stop us from missing the final tag joke in every damn sitcom we record.

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The root problem, anyway, is of the networks' making, not IceTV's.

I don't see how that's the case. The root problem is that the service and equipment I purchased from IceTV has certain failure modes. IceTV have all the data required to recognise when these failures could be triggered and could warn me, but they don't. The networks have nothing to do with that.

thnaks!

sdp

Offline prl

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Re: Padding and missing the ends of shows
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 08:40:20 AM »
...
Quote
If you have a reasonably crowded recording schedule, then reporting conflicts of padding time on the PVR is likely to produce a good number of false alarms.

Under what circumstances would a false positive occur? As I understand it, start times always trump end times, so whenever I have one scheduled show finishing at 830 and the next scheduled show starting at 830 I will be facing a potential problem unless the other tuner is available.
You could get a false positive about padding clashes if, say one tuner is occupied with something else, and you have a recording ending at 20:30, 30 minutes padding, and another recording scheduled for the same tuner at 20:45. There is a possibility that you could lose the end of the first recording, but it's unlikely.

I've removed the start time padding which, I hope, will stop us from missing the final tag joke in every damn sitcom we record.
That is a false hope. It may reduce how often it happens (if pre-padding on the Humax over-rides the "core" time of another timer), but it won't stop it happening. If the "core" time of a timer always overrides padding, then what you've done will have no effect at all on the problem you think it will fix. I don't know what, exactly, the padding priority rules are on the Humax. I don't have one.

Quote
The root problem, anyway, is of the networks' making, not IceTV's.

I don't see how that's the case. The root problem is that the service and equipment I purchased from IceTV has certain failure modes. IceTV have all the data required to recognise when these failures could be triggered and could warn me, but they don't. The networks have nothing to do with that.
...
The root problem is that networks don't actually broadcast according to their published start times. This can (as I described earlier) lead to situations where it isn't possible to record all of a set of programs that are not scheduled to conflict with each other, even if you know in advance what the actual broadcast times are. It also means that padding is both required, and can't always be effective.

IceTV does have the information available to flag when there are not enough tuners available to record the IceTV EPG (core) times for the recordings you want, and it does so. IceTV has no information about your padding settings.

I solve this problem by paying careful attention to when my recordings are made and by having four tuners (in two PVRs) available to resolve core time and padding conflicts. I need to find the latter myself.

I don't believe that IceTV is nearly the automated process that statements like "Never miss your favourite show again" imply. However, the problems you complain of are covered by an IceTV disclaimer: "IceTV cannot be held responsible for recording errors caused by broadcasters late schedule changes, or TV shows intentionally or deceptively aired after their scheduled times."

I think it's a very useful service, but I don't think it's in any way perfect, and broadcaster scheduling makes perfection impossible in many cases.

Offline superdadplus

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Re: Padding and missing the ends of shows
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 01:30:43 AM »
Quote
I solve this problem by paying careful attention to when my recordings are made and by having four tuners (in two PVRs) available to resolve core time and padding conflicts. I need to find the latter myself.

In all seriousness, what's the point of IceTV then? I may as well just read a printed schedule and program things manually.

sdp

Offline prl

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Re: Padding and missing the ends of shows
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 03:51:08 PM »
Your choice, of course, but don't expect the results to be much different.


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