Sharp TU-R160HA - recording problems

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Cantata, Feb 12, 2009.

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  1. Cantata

    Cantata
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    I've had a Sharp TU-R160HA for quite a while. In general it's great, but it has a quirk with recording.
    I always set recording by pressing the record button when the prog is highlighted on the Guide. However, if there is another instance of this programme in the Guide, then it sets that to record as well....maybe a repeat, next day.
    Should it do this??
    An extreme example the other day.... Set to record a prog on Chan 4. That starts OK. But of course there is Chan 4+1, so after an hour it starts recording that as well, so it's then hogging both tuners.
    But I wanted to record something else, so I went to 'Lib' and cancelled the Chan 4+1 recording. It cancelled that OK, but on the next button press (probably 'Back') the machine crashed and rebooted.
    Variations of this problem often happen to me, always where it finds the same programme somewhere else in the Guide, and usually end up with the machine crashing.
    Is there a way round this?
    I always leave the machine on standby as recommended to pick up updates.
    Getting a bit cheesed off with the problem as it always ends up screwing up a recording that we really wanted!
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. nvingo

    nvingo
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    That is one of the idiosynchrasies(sp) of the Vestel-produced PVRs' "Freeview+" firmware.
    You could try deleting the +1 channels from the channel list - then there's no way that could happen in such instances, though there are other repeats it would still pick up (C4/E4, BBCONE/BBCThree).
     
  3. Geofbob

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    Well I'm happy to say that this certainly is not an idiosyncrasy of my pre-plus Vestel clone PVRs (a Goodmans & Digihome). If I set a recording from the EPG, and there are two or more programmes of the same name on the same channel & on the same day, a pop-up points this out to me, so I can either proceed with the recording I've chosen, or cancel and change to the other, or record both. The PVR never simply sets itself to record all the programmes of the same name; and doesn't bother me if the programme is on another day or another channel (including + 1 channels).

    This looks like a further example of how so called up-grades often make things worse.

    Is it possible that in the OP's Sharp PVR this is due to the Series Link function (which my PVRs don't have), and could be eradicated by disabling SL (if that is possible)?
     
  4. Cantata

    Cantata
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    I did suspect that it might be to do with the SL function. I had assumed you can't permanently disable it, only enable it when required. You've got me thinking, though - I'll go and have another read and a play with it.
     
  5. Geofbob

    Geofbob
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    Cantata, You may wish to read through this discussion of your PVR on Digital Spy - Sharp TU-R160HA - Personal Video Recorders - Digital Spy Forums It mentions your problem, but I'm not sure anyone ever comes up with a solution.
     
  6. Cantata

    Cantata
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    Thanks GeoffBob, I've read all of that now, also experimented with SL to no avail.
    The stuff on the other thread is all very familiar. There doesn't seem to be a solution. I think I will take it back (local Tesco) and hopefully get my money back, although having looked at the receipt I see it's nearly a year since I bought it. Pity, altho I've recently bought a new HD TV so don't need the extra Freeview tuner any more.
    Nonetheless we still want a PVR, it's so much easier than messing about with tapes. Can anyone recommend one that works consistently and doesn't cost the earth?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  7. creddish

    creddish
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    I assume you have a Sharp TU-R160HA manufactured after Oct 2007 as these are the only TU-R160HA units to have Series Record. It is the way Series Record is implemeted on the Vestels which causes these problems. The Freeview+ spec requires that Series Record is based on Series identification data which picks up only events on the same channel as the one on which the Series was programmed. However Vestel use Event identification data which includes repeats of the same event on other channels. The Vestels also record the first occurence of each event rather the one originally scheduled. The combination of these factors can cause duplicates of some events and different instances from the one seleted. I find duplicates do happen but are only occasional. Some users have claimed that duplicates are more likely if the first recording is deleted from the Library before the repeats are broadcast but I have not found this makes any difference.

    The Vestels do make alternative recordings if the first example is corrupted in any way. For example if bits are missing due to conflicts caused by programmes being recorded running early or late.

    Do you find that additional Timer entries appear in the Timers list at the time the Series is set up or do these events only get added to the Timers list at some later time or are recorded spontaneously without being added to the Timers list at ant time?
    Were you aware of any problem with the first recording which may have triggered the second recording?
    I don't know of any way of improving performance in this respect. I think maybe the software version (6.7 I assume) used on the Sharp TU-R160HA Vestel PVRs is more problematical than other Series Record versions resulting in more crashes. That's the impression I get from posts on the forums.

    Colin
     
  8. Cantata

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    "Do you find that additional Timer entries appear in the Timers list at the time the Series is set up or do these events only get added to the Timers list at some later time or are recorded spontaneously without being added to the Timers list at any time?"
    - I think they appear in the Timers list later, not at the time of requesting the recording.

    "Were you aware of any problem with the first recording which may have triggered the second recording?"
    - no, not at all.

    This is all pretty awful really for an electronics product in this day and age. I think if I find that Tesco won't take it back, I'll have a bash at Sharp.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  9. nvingo

    nvingo
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    Logically, if the first recording is longer than 1hour, at the time the repeat is shown on the +1, the first recording is incomplete triggering the Vestel's "episode recovery". Thus the repeat may not be booked for recording until it starts. Shorter than 1hour programmes may not trigger the same.
     
  10. Geofbob

    Geofbob
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    It seems almost incredible to me that the manufacturer (and the companies which "badge" the machine) could get something so wrong - didn't they test it at all?

    As indicated previously, I'm a fan of the earlier model Vestel PVRs (without SL), but these are now hard to find, and considered rather primitive by many forum members. So I'll leave it to others to recommend a PVR - though I guess it will probably be a Humax (or Topfield)!

    There is of course also the option of using an HDD/DVD recorder with an inbuilt Freeview tuner, which more or less gives you PVR functionality plus the ability to record onto, and play, separate DVDs. Here again, mine is a basic, passé - but totally dependable - Daewoo, whereas the usual recommendation is for Panasonic or Sony models.
     
  11. creddish

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    That's an interesting theory and as you say logical. I don't think the Vestels actually do that consistently. If they did I would have had many more examples whereas they are quite rare maybe 1% of recordings at the most. The examples I have had that gave any clues as to the cause were complete loss of the recording due to other issues or the start of the recording missing due to a conflict with two earlier recordings running late. Sometimes it has been self inflicted as I have started a recording from the EPG after the programme has already started.

    Colin
     
  12. creddish

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    I use a Humax 9200 as my main PVR because it is "nice" to use but unfortunately the Humax PVRs don't do a very good job of Accurate Recording. The T825 Vestel PVRs do a much better job of Accurate Recording so I use the Humax as the main PVR but back it up with a Vestel Wharfedale LP250HDMI so I can access recodings on the Vestel when the Humax lets me down.

    Colin
     
  13. Cantata

    Cantata
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    Many thanks to all the responders on my original post. Really interesting and useful.

    FWIW, after thinking again I have decided to keep the Sharp machine. The logic is....
    - there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative without spending a lot more.
    - the main issue that "does its head in" is doing more than one thing at a time, and now we have a new TV with Freeview on board, that doesn't happen so often.
    - next time I'd probably go to a Freesat tuner/recorder, and I'll wait a while and see what happens with these.

    Until then I think we can live with the Sharp's quirks with a few rules of thumb....
    - if timer recording, ensure that the box is set to one or other of the channels being recorded, then put it on standby. At least that way, if you turn it on when both recordings are running, it doesn't go looking for a third tuner and blow up. We deduced this a while ago and others have mentioned it too.
    - don't do sequences of button presses without decent intervals between them. I'm sure I've frozen it in the past by working too fast.
    - take care when recording 2 channels starting at the same time. Others have said that the BBC are conscientious at including the timing signals, maybe we've had that problem when recording two BBC channels with a common start time, the machine gets the 2 signals simultaneously and says "oh-oh I just can't do two things at once". The answer here might be to set up one of the channels to record at manually-entered times, not off the EPG, so it doesn't happen simultaneously with the other tuner.
    - the problem of e.g. Channels 4 and 4+1 are quite likely to be caused as per suggestion above. Couldn't reproduce a problem on non-overlapping programme times. So we'll just have to watch out for this one.

    I had thought I might try and beat up Sharp over all this, then I remembered that in the early days they did get in touch after I left some comments somewhere on their website.
    They were helpful and interested, suggested a few things, wanted to know results, then they discovered I live in a postcode not officially covered for Freeview, and they backed away and said that this could cause problems. This was despite my assuring them that everyone round here gets a fantastic Freeview picture, in fact I had a new aerial about 18 months ago and the engineer said the signal strength was off the scale of his test meter. We're on high ground, the TV xmitter is range 25 miles, very high mast and probably line of sight from us. But nothing doing, Sharp said.

    Many thanks again, all, great forum.
     
  14. creddish

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    The Accurate Recording control "signal" (basically the Now/Next data formally referered to as EITp/f data) is not a one-off transient signal. So the PVR does not have to do two things at once. The EITp/f (p=present and f=future) data is a status signal transmitted continuously. When the status changes to show the subject recording as "present" i.e. "Now" then the PVR detects this change and starts the recording. The status of the subject programme remains as "present" and the PVR can detect it as such until it is replaced at the end of the programme with what is currently the "future" i.e. "Next" programme. The recording is stopped at this point.

    I have to say I don't take any of the precautions you suggest and I don't get many problems. There may be something in the rapid button presses idea as I may have experienced this, particularly rapidly changing from FF to REW with Play between.

    Colin
     
  15. Cantata

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    What I'm suggesting is that if I timer record, say BBC1 and BBC2, with a common start time, then the status change that you mention may occur on both channels simultaneously, perhaps causing the software to fall on its sword.
    Sometimes I find that two recordings start OK at the 'same time', and sometimes one of them fails. I'm suggesting that when they fail maybe it's because the events are exactly simultaneous. Hence my suggestion of drastic re-timing of one recording to ensure they don't try and start together.
    I wonder if anyone actually tested this software?:D
     
  16. creddish

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    I understand what you are suggesting but I don't think this is likely to affect the operation of the PVR. The status position does not need to be acted on instantaneously. I doubt the status change triggers an processor interupt. More likely the unit regularly polls impending planned recordings in sequence. With Accurate Recording it is unlikely that the status changes are are going to occur simultaneously. To avoid any possible conseqences of this would require setting up Manual Recordings with large padding which would virtually defeat the Feeview+ functionality of the unit and increase the probability of recording conflicts.

    Not for me I'm afraid.

    Colin
     
  17. Cantata

    Cantata
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    OK.....I'll try it anyway, but do you have any ideas how to avoid the problem? It's quite fundamental really, and I'm puzzled as to why it's sometimes OK, and sometimes not.
    You'd think if the PVR has 2 tuners, and you ask it to record 2 channels starting at the same time, that it would work - every time! But mine sometimes does, and sometimes doesn't. Cannot be relied on.
     
  18. creddish

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    I'm afraid I can't offer any solution. I don't recall that specific issue being discussed previously and have not experienced anything that I would relate to it.

    Certainly no harm in trying your solution if you can accept the consequences.

    Colin
     

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