Author Topic: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?  (Read 10274 times)

Offline markb

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2011, 06:43:59 PM »
As for your being "gobsmacked that the Topfield doesn't check in regularly even in stand-by mode": for Topfield and the Beyonwiz PVRs (and many others) "standby" really means "turned off except for the front panel". It's nothing like a PC being in Standby or Hibernate mode. It's like a PC when it is in Shut down mode.

If I was designing an internet connected PVR I would make "standby" mode shutdown all the analog outputs and harddisk etc but keep the firmware running merely to maintain the ICE service polls. In such a state the PVR would consume an insignificant power and generate insignificant heat, and ICE would work much better!

Offline boomerangirl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2011, 08:26:11 PM »
I agree with markb.  Aside from the potential inconvenience of a locked tuner, powering the entire unit up for 90 minutes a day just to make sure IceTV is in synch is a waste of electricity.  Integrate over the average lifetime for a unit and multiply by the number of units sold, and the waste becomes significant.

If the hardware is active enough in standby mode to power up when the time comes to record something, I can see no reason why the firmware couldn't be modified to wake up automatically 12-24 hours (or the user decides the interval) after the last power down and then synch with the IceTV web server.  That way you could go overseas for a week or three and leave the PVR in standby, but still send it stuff to record via the web.

Offline Daniel Drysdale at IceTV

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2011, 08:27:06 PM »
Sadly as it stands at the moment there are no PVRs designed around IceTV, we are always added to existing machines and have to work within the limitations of the platform.

We feel your pain on this issue and always do our best to encourage our partners to "do the right thing".
Cheers,

Dan
Software Manager @ IceTV

Offline prl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2011, 10:40:34 AM »
I agree with markb.  Aside from the potential inconvenience of a locked tuner, powering the entire unit up for 90 minutes a day just to make sure IceTV is in synch is a waste of electricity.  Integrate over the average lifetime for a unit and multiply by the number of units sold, and the waste becomes significant.

If the hardware is active enough in standby mode to power up when the time comes to record something, I can see no reason why the firmware couldn't be modified to wake up automatically 12-24 hours (or the user decides the interval) after the last power down and then synch with the IceTV web server.  That way you could go overseas for a week or three and leave the PVR in standby, but still send it stuff to record via the web.
A way of using the front panel timer to wake up the recorder once or twice a day to update the IceTV EPG has been described to you. In detail, including the shortcomings. With the current state of the Topfield firmware, it would still need to run for more than 60 minutes to get the update even if there was a specific mechanism for timed IceTV updates.

I agree that having to turn a PVR on for 90 minutes to update the EPG when it should only take a few minutes is a waste of electricity, but that's largely down to a firmware fault in the Topfields, not something inherent in the IceTV mechanisms. A Beyonwiz updates its EPG and IceTV Interactive data within a few minutes of restart, so it clearly can be done. Both the Beyonwiz and Topfield could improve this mechanism by having a "power-on-only" timer type.

As for the kind of "active standby" you describe, there are PVRs like that. The TiVo is one (The Foxtel IQ another, IIRC). Their "standby" power is normally very close to their power when fully running. So you trade the waste of 90 minutes a day to the waste of the time that the PVR isn't being used.

A major reason for the way that IceTV works (the PVR initiates the exchange) is to get around the fact that most home networks don't have a fixed network address/port for any IceTV server to connect to. That's because ISPs share out a relatively small number of IP addresses from the  amongst all their customers, using Network Address Translation (NAT).

My experience is that for PVRs that are in regular daily use, this is close to a non-issue, or at least wouldn't be improved significantly by using an update timer. I only have an update timer on the PVR that's not user on a near-daily basis.
Peter
Beyonwiz T4 in-use
Beyonwiz T2, T3 & T4 for testing

Offline boomerangirl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2011, 03:51:31 PM »
A way of using the front panel timer to wake up the recorder once or twice a day to update the IceTV EPG has been described to you. In detail, including the shortcomings.

Right, and it's a hack -- hence the shortcomings.

With the current state of the Topfield firmware, it would still need to run for more than 60 minutes to get the update even if there was a specific mechanism for timed IceTV updates.

Right, and that's because of another hack.


As for the kind of "active standby" you describe...

Whoa there!  I never mentioned "active standby", and I certainly don't want something like a TiVo guzzling power 24/7.  I was referring to the current capability of the 2460 -- the fact that it can already wake up from it's (hopefully low-power) standby mode for scheduled recordings.

My experience is that for PVRs that are in regular daily use, this is close to a non-issue, or at least wouldn't be improved significantly by using an update timer. I only have an update timer on the PVR that's not user on a near-daily basis.

Fair enough, you're happy with the functionality of your PVRs.  I'm not entirely happy with mine, but I guess I'll get over it -- especially in light of Daniel's comment about the difficulties of working with hardware vendors on a post hoc basis.  To be fair, following a call to tech support, both the 2460 and my IceTV subscription have been working in harmony for the last 24+ hours and I'm impressed by the overall functionality.  Here's hoping I won't have to come back into this forum begging for help again.

Offline tonymy01

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2011, 04:19:09 AM »
I think you are missing something.   In standby mode, the unit is not capable of operating *anything* on the main motherboard.   The only thing powered up is the front panel, it has enough smarts in it to know the time, and to know the next time it should fire up the power line going to the main motherboard to get the motherboard software booted.
You can help that along on a regular basis by creating a view timer, this is not a hack, this is a way of ensuring that on a (in Peter & mine and many many other's cases) daily basis, the unit wakes up (i.e. boots up!) in order to download the timer information from ICE.   Not a hack in any way, just a smart thing to do.    The unit goes back into standby at the end of the view timer, and you have perfect power saving compared to a TiVo like "standby" which merely turns off the video output (i.e. no power saving whatsoever compared to complete motherboard shutdown which the Beyonwiz and Topfield and I am sure most PVR models do).
Regards
Regards
Tony

Beyonwiz DP-S1 & Topfield 5K (using PerlTGD to upload ICE EPG/timers for the 5K, normal ICE interactive for the Wiz).

Offline prl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2011, 09:40:25 AM »
...
You can help that along on a regular basis by creating a view timer, this is not a hack, ...
I think it is a hack, though perhaps workaround would be a gentler way of describing it. You definitely don't want it to fire while you're watching live TV, and it can conflict with recording timers. Which is why people normally set these timers for times when the PVR isn't being used. The correct way of implementing this, IMO, has already been discussed on the Beyonwiz forum - a "power-on-only" timer that starts the PVR, but does not change services at startup, and does not conflict with any view or recording timers. That would not be a hack or workaround in any sense, and would allow the full flexibility of the timer mechanism to be used.

The fact that the time to do this on a Topfield must run for 60 minutes+ is not because this is a workaraound, or a hack. It's because of a problem in the Topfield firmware. My understanding is that that problem exists no matter how the Topfield is turned on: by hand, by a view timer or by a recording timer.magic.

Anyway, I think I've exhausted my useful contribution to the topic. Boomerangirl has been given a mechanism that does, I in my opinion, 90-95% of what's she requires. The fact that the timer needs to be longer than should be necessary is a problem in the Topfield firmware and is a better topic for the Topfield forum. It's entirely up to her whether she uses the hack/workaround or not.

Offline boomerangirl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2011, 10:41:37 AM »
I think you are missing something.   In standby mode, the unit is not capable of operating *anything* on the main motherboard.   The only thing powered up is the front panel, it has enough smarts in it to know the time, and to know the next time it should fire up the power line going to the main motherboard to get the motherboard software booted.

Nope, not missing anything there.  That's pretty much what I figured was going on -- hence my suggestion that this minimal functionality could be used to schedule daily synchs with the IceTV webserver even if the unit is not otherwise waking up for any reason.

You can help that along on a regular basis by creating a view timer, this is not a hack.... Not a hack in any way, just a smart thing to do.

On the 2460 at least, this process involves doing one thing (reserving a 90 minute block of tuner time) in order to achieve something totally unrelated (getting updates from the web server).  So it's a hack.  Call it a workaround, or a 'smart thing to do' if you like... but its still an inelegant solution to the problem, and like most hacks it has unintended side-effects: locking up one of the tuners and (on the 2460 at least) guzzling electricity for 630 minutes each week, every week of the year.

That's 'smart' in the same sense that Microsoft bugs are 'features'.

Offline boomerangirl

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2011, 10:53:21 AM »
My partner in crime emailed tech support around the same time I started this thread -- they took a while to respond (so I'd recommend phoning instead) but here's some more information related to the original topic of this thread:

<paste>

- The 'resend all recordings' does not need to be clicked on each time you make a change. It's meant to be used after you do a factory reset, or delete all your channels. Both those operations cause the recordings to be removed and need to be resent. That's what the resend does.

- Make sure that if you do click on 'resend all recordings' that you first delete all the upcoming recordings (reservations page) on your Topfield. If you don't delete those first, the Topfield will get confused with the resend and show you errors on our website.

- The 2460 talks to us like it's a 2400. Unfortunately we can't tell the difference. So when you see 'Topfield 2400' on our website, it is definitely your Topfield 2460 talking to us.

- The "Last EPG Fetch" should update hourly while your Topfield is on. This entry basically tells you the last time your Topfield talked to us. If the box is on, and doesn't talk to us, then that indicates usually a network problem, or there's some corruption on the box stopping it from working properly. In that case, probably the best thing to do is to get in contact with us again.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions or problems.

</paste>

Thanks to David Peterson for this.  I hope the thread helps other newbies out there in the future, but I hope even more that the IceTV staff get around to working up some additional documentation as promised earlier in the thread.

Offline Shadow

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2011, 09:22:11 PM »

- The "Last EPG Fetch" should update hourly while your Topfield is on.
It's a good thing they say "should"

If you are lucky it will do the first fetch after one hour of running.

With power prices there is no way I am leaving it running 24/7 just to get IceTV data.

To make dummy startups and leave it running for over one hour just to fetch is a joke.

No info if the show is a Repeat is also fairly poor.

ICETV data fetching is one place where my Beyonwiz DP-P1 really shines, the first fetch is done when it is starting up.

It also has Repeat flags.

All down to poor Topfield firmware.

Offline IanL-S

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Re: How often should Topfield 2460 interact with the IceTV website?
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2011, 02:10:12 PM »
November 22 2011 firmware for 2400/2460 is now available. A version is also avaiable for the 7100+. It seems to have fixed all know IceTV related issues. No EPG corruption, no mysterious disappearance of reservations, more frequent downloading of EPG data and reservations (I understand this now happens every 15 minutes). Update of EPG data and reservations can be forced by putting the Toppy into standby for a very short time (turning it off and turning it on again).

Update 6-1-12Unfortunately it has its own issues; After a while downloading of both timers and EPG data stalls. In most cases, this can be rectified by powering down the Toppy for a short time. If that does not fix it, the quickest solution is to Rest service list (which can be found under System recovery. Then do a service rescan. Once this is done, go to IceTV Interactive and resent timers to the Toppy. Now, you need to reactivate IceTV (need to re-enter user name and password) and shortly all should be well with the world.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 01:10:39 PM by IanL-S »
IceTV: 2xTRF-2400 + 2xTF7100HDPVRt + SKIPPA + T2 + U4
No IceTV: a few Toppys
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Check out the oztoppy wiki and Topfield Aus Forum for Toppy help


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