Humax - Upgrading it question

TurnipFarmer

Active Member
I want to upgrade my Humax manually however can I upgrade the loader version from 4.07 to 4.09 and upgrade the firmware from .06 version to .15 in one go without upgrading to the other inbetween?

Also should I upgrade the loader first? then the firmware?
Will I have to reset the humax and format harddisk after update?

Just want to make sure before I do it.
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Either order loading the updates will work. You can jump straight to .15 from any previous version but will need a full 'reset to defaults'. Note your current settings and any timers you need to recreate before doing it. Shouldn't lose any recordings.

There's no reason to reformat unless you suspect you already needed it - if you have disk corruption or its symptoms (garbled or jumbled recordings, inconsistent freespace counts, magically changing recordings or duplicated recordings). If your 9200 has had versions .06 and later installed since it was last formatted you don't need to do it again. If it had any earlier version and you didn't reformat it's a good idea to do it when convenient, the problem .06 fixed can lurk untriggered for a very long time.
 

TurnipFarmer

Active Member
thanks for the advice mate, just upgraded my Humax and had no probs, works a treat.

Oh one more question whats your opinion on this autotracking feature? does it work well?
 

crammedin

Active Member
thanks for the advice mate, just upgraded my Humax and had no probs, works a treat.

Oh one more question whats your opinion on this autotracking feature? does it work well?

My advice is its a waste of time at the moment until broadcasters adopt it fully. Its a game russian roulette otherwise. Autotracking doesnt seem to track programmes that start early on the Humax anyway, something that is fixed in the forthcoming series link OTA upgrade. However the box does track programmes that start late making it record to the end of the programme even if the programme has overrun its billed time. However this all very much depends on whether broadcasters send the signals out for boxes that support the feature. There are 3 broadcasters that have made a start to supporting it and its pretty cool when the Sony recorder or Humax records past the timer end time to capture the whole programme, but this is very much early days and sometimes the signals can often not be sent at all.
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Its not just a waste of time now, I personally have no faith it will ever work acceptably on a Humax box, because Humax made some really bad design decisions and show no interest in really fixing the problems they cause.

Most recent is their insane decision that Accurate Recording is an all-or-nothing setting. Use it on all recordings or none. Maybe OK if all channels were sending the signals, they aren't and its a near certainty some channels will never get it right (or even try to implement the signalling). Coupled with their 'use AR or padding' policy and I see no sense in enabling it - manual padding is NOT AN OPTION, resolving the padding overlaps is a PIA, error prone and falls over badly with repeat timers.

I expect AR to cause a lot more failed recordings because Humax never implemented any way to resolve recording collisions on demand, as they try to start. We'll go from the current clipping of the end of late and start of early running programmes to occasionally not recording the 2nd programme at all. By design the Humax will try to start recording and if it fails just give up, it makes no attempt wait for a free tuner and start recording late.

That little design decision is why some timers fail and all Humax do is try to predict the collisions at the time you set a timer - even with todays wholly predictable settings they still get it wrong some of the time. With programmes moving in the schedule (the magic 2 minutes many BBC1 programmes try to run late for instance) that's no longer possible even in theory.

I'm afraid half assed attempts to implement Playback are going to retrigger the core bugs Humax have resolutely refused to fix for nearly 2 years.
 

crammedin

Active Member
Indeed. Autotracking in the Humax works the same in the Sony, and like the Sony, both have autotracking (accurate recording) set globally but with the option to edit a reservation/timer so it doesnt use the autotracking feature. None of them go beyond a very basic minimum spec implementation. And in the Humaxs case I have my doubts about whether they have either the caliber of people or the resources to make it bullet proof or advanced enough to take full advantage of the hardware at its disposal.

The Humax then differs from the Sony in that it also offers a different method of recording using autopadding instead, and again this is overidable by editing any specific timers as necessary. However this is not something offered by the Sony or most of the other recorders, which is somewhat suprising given how useful the feature is, so I can only imagine this is because its a pain in the rear to implement.

While the Humax has two options rather than just the one default, autopadding is the option most customers will keep as their prefered method for recordings, and for a long time to come I expect. But if autotracking/Accurate recording is supported well by the broadcasters and more of them over time, it could well be the other way around. I know what the same broadcasters are like with the facility on terrestrial television with PDC and so I have my doubts as to whether dvd recorders and pvr users will be able to rely on the accurate recording signals.

By all means give autotracking a try as it will give you an idea of what it will be like. BBC do make use of it on much of their programmes. However you may prefer to stick with autopadding for a while longer.
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Whilst you can use manual padding to disable AR on individual programmes its a PIA because you need to manually resolve any recording collisions it causes. The scheduler will tell you about overlaps as you set timers but won't restore padding if you delete or edit other programmes to compensate - Autopadding will.

Autopadding cannot be overridden. Add manual padding and it will still autopad as well. This isn't a bad thing, the whole point of autopadding is its smart enough to disable itself when needed. You get to use both of them together.

What's missing is the ability to combine AR with autopadding (or even manual padding). If you've watched the BBC's AR signals you'll know they often aren't quite accurate enough to guarantee getting 100% of a programme. It mostly works now only because Humax got AR wrong, they start recording early on delayed programmes and the BBC deliberately delay many programmes to screw over other channels.

It also seems a no brainer that these settings should be selectable by channel. I have no faith the box will ever accurately detect which channels implement signalling and the AR/Autopad choice leaves no fallback available.
 

crammedin

Active Member
Given a few years the industry, broadcasters and manufacturers, may come up with something well thought out enough to apply to most machines in the future and maybe with a degree of sophistication. Not just a marketing gimick. Sky improved its PVR system over a few years and dispite some complaints about its PDC and series link facility, on the whole I would think they are still popular with owners. However I guess the only difference is Sky probably had more control/inflence over the broadcast system and the machines. I can see why manufacturers may be reluctant to offer the series link feature on freeview now I have had experience of it on the Sony recorder; its not very sophisticated and at times its a mess. I think its mostly to do with the broadcasters though and they will need to sort themselves out over the first weeks months of implementation for it to satisfy most people.

If you've watched the BBC's AR signals you'll know they often aren't quite accurate enough to guarantee getting 100% of a programme. It mostly works now only because Humax got AR wrong, they start recording early on delayed programmes and the BBC deliberately delay many programmes to screw over other channels.

Interesting. Presumably with BBC operating other channels and on other multiplex they are willing to put up with the risk of screwing themselves up too. I certainly have seen their stop trigger apear half way through the next programme :suicide:
 

TurnipFarmer

Active Member
I know this might sound like a dumb question but how do you activate autopadding? is that were you set the programme to start 2mins early and finish 3mins later, or is that manual padding?

I tried the autotracking last night and it missing the first minute of the programme. So like you guys say its not brilliant.
 

crammedin

Active Member
I know this might sound like a dumb question but how do you activate autopadding? is that were you set the programme to start 2mins early and finish 3mins later, or is that manual padding?

I tried the autotracking last night and it missing the first minute of the programme. So like you guys say its not brilliant.

Autopadding (for the start time and or end time) is set globally in the menu in the 'record' section (last two items in the list). Manual padding is set by opening one scheduled timer for editing (Press Guide, yellow button and select a programme set to record)
 
D

decentbloke

Guest
I would like to thank MarcDavis and Paul Shirley this useful debate. I stumbled across the discussion and it has helped me understand what was going wrong with my reserved programming. Cheers Guys :smashin:
 

bradavon78

Well-known Member
Is it possible to upgrade the Humax 9200 by an over the air option? That seems much easier than plugging it into a PC.

If not is it simple to do via a PC? I don't have a COM port. What USB to Serial cable do I need? Thanks.
 

Searcher2

Active Member
May be worth checking out digitalspy.co.uk as I am sure I read somewhere that there is shortly going to be an over the air broadcast of the firmware update which gives Series Link (1.00.20) but it's late and I'm off to bed so am not checking now.

I am a bit confused as on the Gadget Show tonight the Humax they had had Series Link and was recorded some time ago - yet I am not sure anyone has that version in reality.

EDIT : Found the quote I was thinking about on DigitalSpy

"This may be of interest
Received from HUMAX yesterday :-

At present our software developers are testing the Freeview playback group 2 software.

Unfortunately we have found an issue with the latest software so had to stop the release; we plan to have this fixed over the next few days and if no other problems are found then we will be releasing the software at the next available Over Air slot; unfortunately it is difficult to give an exact date; but as you can imagine it is in our interests to have the software release ASAP (but without problems)."
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
AFAIK the loader cannot be updated OTA. However unless you're experiencing slow start ups there's no need to update it, I think its a fairly rare problem but you'll know if you have it.

I'd inject a word of caution into talk of a new update, whilst its encouraging that Humax appear to be testing more thoroughly than before they have a history of charging ahead with new code before fixing existing bugs, the consequence is every build has bugs bad enough that nothing ever gets released OTA. The current build is believed to be from August, plenty of time to screw it up fatally before they even found this bug.

The cynic in me wonders just how bad a bug has to be to 1: even be spotted by Humax, 2: stop a release given their history of bugged to hell releases. Or what else they haven't found yet :(
 

crowncd

Standard Member
I wonder if someone can just clear a very small point for me? The Gadget Show review showed the 'Series Link' facility being used. Am I right in saying that this facility is only available on the new 320 GB machines available direct from Humax? From what is being said here, I assume a software download is required to 'fix' the 160 GB machines currently on sale in the shops but this may be some time in coming.
 

bradavon78

Well-known Member
I thought the whole point of the new 160GB T/S or T/B models were to add Freeview Playback and as such Series Link.

No?
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Yes, the TB/TS versions are supposed to be Playback group 1 machines. Except the only added feature (Accurate Record) doesn't work through an idiotic programming error they could have fixed in a couple of minutes. Neither of Humax or the DTG spotted it and Humax haven't bothered getting a fix out. Or releasing the firmware to 99% of owners.

The Gadget Show version appears to be an August build of the firmware with group 2 support that would have been released by now, except this time Humax waited a few months and eventually noticed something broken. Again the DTG didn't - so certification seems essentially worthless.

Recent 320Gb boxes from Humax have that version with broken group 2 support, no-one can stop them installing what they like at the factory, broken or not. On all other versions Playback support is little more than a label on the case.
 

crammedin

Active Member
Just to provide some correct information the freeview playback group 1 software people are running on the original 9200t and black and silver ones that came with it preinstalled (9200tb or 9200ts) is able to have timers extended to finish when the programme actually finishes rather than the scheduled stop time. Of course that is entirely dependant on broadcasters coming on board to support that system and ramping up to a fairly reliable service. There is a problem with that firmware on the humax though which will cause the PVR not to start early if a programme actually starts earlier than its scheduled start time. Not as common a very useful feature and part of the over the air download.

The reason the firmware for 1.00.20, which is on the very latest machines, was pulled from its OTA broadcast with the DTG was not at all because of a Freeview Playback group 1 or 2 bug. Its something thats on another part of the system.

I'm still expecting new bugs to apear sooner or later but then Humax will probably do a patch later for it.
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
On 1.00.15 which part of 'it uses the wrong start time' isn't a bug then Marc? You may not think its a problem, I see recordings miss the start of BBC1 programmes every damn week with 1min autopadding, the BBC regularly starts programmes early and the 9200 ignores it. Its a bug. Its a trivial bug. They couldn't be arsed fixing it.

1.00.20: since Humax decided not to tell anyone what was broken till this morning you and they can hardly complain about speculation. And for the record : I consider breaking autopadding to be a serious problem, flaky as it was.
 

crammedin

Active Member
I think you might be reading too much into my post which just supliments yours with some information that not only looks like its fact but is. Dont wish to take away the main jist of what you would like to get across today.

By the way I dont know if you read my post properly but it is I that points out the problem with the accurate recording issue with the start trigger if a programme starts earlier than its scheduled start time. I think someone else may have decided it wasnt a problem - certainly Humax think its an issue so hense why they include it as one of the bug fixes in the firmware.

Humax have been telling customers, and forumers have been discusing the withdrawal of the firmware for OTA for maybe weeks now and why it was due to an issue Humax believe is worthwhile correcting if they are going to do a mass OTA software upgrade for users on 1.00.20 or less. If you only found out today I'm sorry to hear that. Still, they are quite within their rights to re-arange their firmware for the OTA update so that a problem is removed, rather than bother about it later.

When the firmware changes are tested etc it will then go on the Humax web site for customer downloads together with the date of the OTA update schedule - not without. If anyone is interesed to see series link together with the fix humax made to the accurate recording start trigger problem I mentioned earlier in the thread, 1.00.20 firmware can be obtained by forum members at hummy.org.uk. If you want to continue to use autopadding then you may as well keep the existing firmware until the version being prepared for the OTA and Humaxs own customer web site is made available.
 

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