Manhattan T3-R failing to record specific programmes

timey

Standard Member
I’m posting this here because I have searched everywhere and can’t get an answer. I’ve also contacted Manhattan but as with everyone else it’s “we might take a while to respond due to COVID-19”. Plus it’s a weird problem that I can’t understand why it is happening and wondered if any of the technical gurus here could offer any insights.

I’ve had my Manhattan T3-R for about six months now and I’ve been generally very happy with it. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some recorders, but it’s generally reliable and very nice to use.

However, lately it has stopped recording certain programmes, and the weird thing is it’s always the same programmes. I record Cheers and Frasier on Ch4 HD (104) every morning and last week all 4 of the recordings failed on the Monday morning (3rd August). They recorded fine the rest of the week, but yesterday and again today (10th & 11th August) they have failed again. All other programmes are recording fine.

The reason given is “loss of signal”, and the only thing I can think of is that that particular channel has some particular signal problems at that time of day, but I haven’t heard of any and can’t find anyone else having the same problem. Has anyone heard of something like this happening and have any idea what the cause is - i.e. is it a fault with the box or just some weird signal thing with Channel 4 HD. (I’ve changed one of the programmes to record on SD tomorrow to see if that makes a difference).

Thanks for any advice anyone has.

Alex
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Does the T3-R have an option for reporting signal strengths ? It might be useful to check these at different times of the day if so. Have a look in the set-up or tuning menus. If it doesn't, you could look for a similar option on your TV.
 

timey

Standard Member
OK, thanks for the advice. I will check that and see if there is a problem at that time of day.

As an experiment I recorded another programme on Ch 104 and it worked fine, but that was at 12:05 instead of earlier in the day.

Alex
 

timey

Standard Member
I did wonder if it might be something to do with the sun being in the direction of the transmitter (it’s slightly ENE of us) at this time of year. I know that can affect satellite transmissions but I didn‘t think it affected terrestrial signals so much, but I’m no expert. Also, that theory fitted with Cheers but not so much with Frasier as it is on later when the sun has moved a bit. I’ve set some other programmes to record on other channels at similar times, so I’ll see what happens with those. 🙂
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Series link IDs may be a cause. (

Cheers:
But they look OK for this and next week for C4 HD.
So you may want to delete and re-enter the reservation if the code has changed since last week (new series 11 eps from perhaps last Friday??)

But C4 move the Cheers time around - this week it's 0630, 0655 next week its 0720, 0745.
I can envisage a scenario where it was later, moved earlier and the recorder not waking up in time to see the earlier one; but in doing so updates the timer for the next recordings.
In theory the recorder should update the EPG and scheduled recordings data in the background and/or during an - often overnight - power up check for updates. But...

Frasier:
Today 0840
CRID www.channel4.com/25873/024
Series CRID www.channel4.com/C4ED0020723162130354
Today 0910
CRID www.channel4.com/27895/001
Series CRID www.channel4.com/C4ED0020723162130354

Again the codes for C4 HD look ok for the next 7/8 days; but I can't check the older ones.
Again the times move to be 5 min earlier (published start time) next week, but that wouldn't cause an issue (most PVRs wake up 15 mins to catch a variation from published time in any case).
I note C4 treat the 24th episode in a season as being the same series as the 1st in another season with Frasier.

NB The only way the sun affects terrestrial is by overheating masthead amplifiers, expansion/contraction causing wires to break, and general UV degrading of plastics causing water to be allowed in to cables and connections.

Satellite: Sun outages for Astra 2 here, occur in mid October and end February/early March each year. Even then only for a few minutes once each day.
 

timey

Standard Member
OK, thanks for that detailed reply, Rodders.

I have spoken to the aerial installer that did the install and amongst other things he did mention series links, and that does make sense actually. I’ve reset the Frasier series recording, so I’ll see what happens with that tomorrow (e.g. if Cheers fails but Frasier doesn’t).

I do think it must be something like this as the box is working fine for everything else and there are no signal problems that I can see. I’ll see what happens over the next few days and go from there.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions so far.

Alex
 

mikej

Well-known Member
I'm not familiar with this PVR but presumably, once you've set a series link record timer, you can look ahead in the EPG and see if certain episodes haven't flagged up to record, which would indicate a problem with doing so for a particular program ?
 

timey

Standard Member
Hi Mike

Yes, that’s another good suggestion. I’ll check that out when I can and see if it highlights anything, and it’s a good one to remember for the future.

Alex
 

timey

Standard Member
So, I don’t think it was series links. I deleted and then re-entered all the timer events, checked that they were flagged up to record etc, and the same programmes failed to record again this morning (Wednesday). I had also set up recordings on a USB stick via the (Samsung) TV, but those worked fine.

In the meantime, Manhattan came back to me and said that my signal strengths were too high (!) and suggested buying a variable attenuator to reduce it. They failed to tell me, however, what precentage signal strength I should aim for, bearing in mind I’ve no idea at what percentage the recordings are likely to succeed. It also still doesn’t explain why only those programmes are failing, nor why it should start happening now after 6 months of everything working fine, but they always ignore that part of my messages.

Anyway, I found an old attenuator that I had from previously (5db) and it has reduced the signal strength on Channel 45 to 94% from 97%. I’ve no idea if this is enough but I have set various programmes to record on different channels tomorrow (or later today in fact) and I’ll see how those go. If needs be I will get a variable one as suggested but I’m not conviced that that is the solution, plus I will have to try it at difference rates and wait a day each time to see if the recordings succeed.

So, still a bit of a mystery but I will report back.

Alex
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a firmware issue to me, especially if other recordings were OK. Signal quality of ~75% is the lowest that I would go to for reliable transmissions. Is the latest firmware installed?
 

timey

Standard Member
Automatic updates are On, and it says there is no software update available at this time, so I guess it must be. Info screen says software version 1.08.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
I think that the attenuator idea is a crock. If the signal were too strong then you’d still get something, maybe broken up due to tuner overload, but you’d still have something. This is down to the PVR not handling the EPG data correctly. That your Samsung TV managed to record something further supports that, to my mind. By all means try an attenuator, but I don’t think that’s the solution. Manhattan need to do better.
 

timey

Standard Member
Hi Clem

Yeah, that was my thought too, although I'm not an expert so wasn't sure. But I'm holding off getting an attenuator just now for that same reason. I do think there is some problem that the box is not handling correctly, which could be the box's fault or something external - still trying to track it down.

I'm not confident of getting any recognition of a box problem from Manhattan though. Whenever I speak to them they don't seem interested in helping me diagnose the problem, just pointing out all the various problems in an audio/visual setup that can cause problems for the box, none of which would be the box's fault.

I'll keep investigating but I might just have to give up and use the TV for these particular programmes. The problem is they are not available on catchup, otherwise i would just use that method to watch them.
 

timey

Standard Member
OK, so tonight I had two different plans to try out. One was to bypass the signal booster and use the box's in-built 5v voltage to power the aerial. This way I could possibly eliminate the signal booster as causing the problem. When I did this the box was getting a signal but with much less strength, around 75% on Ch45 and 38% on Ch55 (despite this I was still getting a decent picture on Quest HD, which uses Ch55).

However, I thought about what has been happening and it has always been programmes in the morning, and before we have woken the box up from overnight. Once we started using the box subsequent timed recordings would work fine. So, I'm thinking maybe it has something to do with auto-standby?

So, instead of Plan A I am implementing Plan B tonight. I checked the auto-standby, and it is set to 3 hours, which is fine, but it was also set to Smart Mode, and I am wondering if this is causing problems with the box waking up in the morning. So I have set it to Standby only to see if this makes a difference.

Of course, I could be braking up the wrong tree but at the moment I am going to try anything I can to get to the bottom of this.

Alex
 

Tex04

Standard Member
Hi, I have the same problem with my Manhattan T3-R.

When I first got it about 2 or 3 months ago, it seemed very reliable but now it's failing to record things. I get a message saying 'Failed recording due to no signal'. Particular programmes such as Today at the Test cricket highlights on both BBC 2 and BBC 4, QI on BBC 2 and some films on Talking Pictures and the Sony film channel. It defeats the object of having a recorder box if you can't rely on it recording and it's really starting to be very annoying. I'm pretty sure it started after the last software update 3 or 4 weeks ago. Is anyone else getting this problem? I haven't contacted Manhattan yet.

The other thing I wondered is whether the auto standby would affect recording, i.e. the box goes off after three hours of non use. But my feeling is that surely it would switch itself back on for a recording.
Any help gratefully received. Thanks
 

timey

Standard Member
Yeah, I was wondering if it’s something to do with that software update too. Maybe you should speak to Manhattan about it as well, the more people that do the more it might convice them that there is a problem with the software.
 

timey

Standard Member
OK, so that worked. Everything recorded this morning. I’m wondering if I should turn the Max Energy Saver mode back on to make sure that actually is the problem, before I report it to Manhattan.
 

TJT1

Member
It's always worth checking that a 'fault' is repeatable. Otherwise it could just be a coincidence that no one else can repeat.:)
 

timey

Standard Member
I’m on it. I’ll be putting it back to the way it was and see what happens tomorrow.
 

timey

Standard Member
I’m also wondering if there’s not some other factor at work here too. Coincidentally, we got a new router the same week as that last software update. Not sure if it could be a factor or why that would affect recordings but you never know.
 

timey

Standard Member
Right enough, it worked this time, despite setting it back to previous settings.

The other thing I did the other night was restart the box, maybe that cleared something that had gotten into a loop in the software or something, who knows? Obviously I will now leave it in the previous settings and see if it starts acting up again.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions so far. Sometimes it helps just to relate the situation to other people - it helps the thought processes. 🙂
 

TJT1

Member
First thing to do when a 'problem' arises with pretty much anything electrical is to switch it off at the mains then switch it back on again. You would be surprised how many 'problems' this fixes, and is much quicker than posting on a forum and awaiting a reply (which will likely ask if you have power cycled it).
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
The trouble with issues such as these is that if they’ve occurred once, they can occur again. One-offs do happen, of course, but this issue sounds like a bug somewhere that needs fixing.
 

TJT1

Member
The 'trouble with issues such as these' is if they are not repeatable, it is jolly difficult to find the 'bug'
 

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