NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

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I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,144

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

The apparent logic process of how a download and loading works

 

Tonight, at 2:00, the usual download of the updates to the catalogue occurred.

This one was a very fast one, about 45 seconds for me to get back to my TV watching, and no reboot required.

 

These are the observations.

 

I went to the guide and found that the schedule next Monday was now present (it is currently Tuesday morning), so basically, you get the update for 6 days later at 2 a.m. (in my case it is that time, almost always)

 

The shows were all there for the full Monday, including indicators of New showings.

 

I next went to the future recordings section of the List for the PVR - all future recordings for Sunday were there, but none of the Monday recordings were updated and current with the guide.  I will watch to see when this update process occurs.

 

I then went to On Demand, and immediately noticed that a number of the categories had no picture art.

I went into one of them, and it indicated "loading" prior to seeing any catelogue information.

 

I would appear that this updated catelogue information is not loaded until you request the catelogue by entering the category by clicking on the tile.

 

I escaped to go back to the overall view of all categories, and all picture art was now there, and when I went into each category or channel, there was a very brief quick loading process for all that I tried to enter.

 

When I went into an actual on demand channel from the channel station number rather than the on demand grid, there was a slightly slower loading occurred, but then was faster.

 

So it appears that the downloaded updates need to be downloaded to memory sectors either in memory or on the drive, and once loaded there, they are loaded to the video display for access and navigation each time you enter a section.

 

Now here is what I think can go wrong that creates problems.

 

1. I have had times when downloads have taken long period of time - this may depend upon how much updating is being pushed down, and possibly to how many boxes in the area. Note these are all just thoughts based upon my knowledge of how systems work, and the expreriences with my own box and reading other reports.

 

If it is a large download, patience is required, as it may just take time for the catelogues to load - some have suggested leaving On Demand alone for up to 30 minutes.

 

 

2. It would seem that in some cases, the box may be aware, probably through an integrity check on the download, that things didn't come down cleanly, and a reboot occurs - possibly to clean corruption in memory.

 

3. In some cases, the download will start over, anywhere within minutes to hours, and may be a result of the box or server being aware that an imcomplete download has occurred, so it repeats until it gets the full download.

 

4. In some cases, these downloads keep repeating over and over again, or it just freezes up.  A reboot sometimes helps when it freezes, allowing possibly for a clean download, but I suspect these situations occur when the download has failed due to signal strength, possibly issues at the time with the box, or cabling in the area, or upstream back to the servers.  These upstream ones, often occur as area problems, while if it is your box, or your cabling to your home or in your home, it will only show at your home.  Ask when you call techs to take a look at the neighbourhood.

 

5. I have noticed that if loading is taking a long time, and I get impatient and try other on demand stations, and get the same long loading issue, eventually, the box will completely freeze, and usually a reboot will fix the problem, and sometimes I will notice another download occur.

 

6. And finally, the issue of non-recordings - this I have narrowed down, to shifts in the schedule at the last moment from your regular schedule due to changes in programming at the broadcast level.  The only way I have found to avoid this is to check your days recordings each day in advance, and adjust, or you can also set to record at any time, any channel, any day, but you will often have lots of clean up to do, but you won't miss parts or all of your show.

At least now that we can multi select for deletion, it is easier to clean up, and Anyplace TV is also beneficial for double checking, and cleaning up too.

 

My general observation, is that in many ways, this is nothing different than we have to deal with when OS, like Windows does it's monthly updates, and occassional urgent updates.  The amount of time it takes to do the update differs depending upon the amount of code and information being changed, and may also required multiple reboots, and sometimes, none.

 

The advantage of the design with Windows, is that you can defer the loading and update process to a convienent time.  With the settop boxes, we seem to have no choice when it will happen, and we may get frustrated if we lose some of a recording, or have to wait to get back to our viewing - as you will notice by the time of day I often post, it is the middle of the night that I watch a lot of TV.

 

It has been suggested that you may be able to delay the update process by setting recordings for those times - I have noticed that seems to be the case most of the time.  You could record a long showing, say like the shopping channel and defer the update.  Not sure if this is always reliable, but what is when it comes to anything in life.

 

Just my observations of possible explanations to the concerns that people have raised about frequent downloads, and updates and reboots.

 

It appears that in general, reboots will not be necessary, except in the case of a software update to the box, or possibly firmware updates, and typically should happen automatically, but in some cases, you may find you have to do it.

 

The daily guide updates, and the subsequent loading to the PVR, guide, and On Demand updates should not need reboots, unless possibly it didn't come down properly, or maybe corruption of memory occurred, or didn't clear.  I have learned that this is one, we just need to be patient, but if it is taking a very long time, a reboot is probably required, and possibly another download will occur as well at that time, or unexpectedly later in the day.

 

There is no question in my mind, that there are many things going on with an update, as is true with any modern technology.  And with the complexity, and reliance on clean signals and complete downloads and updating with 100% integrity of the data required, there is a greater risk for issues.

 

This is the benefits of IPTV, as with anything on the Internet and high speed access, there is less chance of corrupted data, as it will just be resent, but is still dependent upon clean signals, and no corruption during the update process on your device - that is why it always says, do not interupt the process.  Failures are basically an interuption in the process, either by us, a power failure, or somewhere in between the device and the servers.

 

This will explanation will not fully relieve the frustration that people have with the frequent downloads, and reboots, but it may help to relieve the frustration, and know when to reboot on your own, or get tech support to take a deeper look.

 

In general, I would have to say that we now have a fairly reliable and stable device, and hopefully, these boxes are well prepared to take on the future changes to IPTV, which they are certainly designed for.  

 

But for now, happy viewing.

 

If someone wants to simplify this explanation into simple troubleshooting points, feel free.  My brain is done for now. I just really want to sleep.

 

Bruce

 

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,144

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

Small update - the first thing in terms of future recordings that populated was the little red dot or dots for single or series recordings, but the list of future recordings did not reflect these changes yet, so that data had not been loaded through the whole device.

 

When I checked in the afternoon, everything was populated as expected, my Anyplace TV was all current (I didn't look to see how this product changes up as the data moves to it, and the connected data from the PVR moves to the software on my computer).  Myabe for curiousity some other day.

 

So for me, it becomes clear that there are many key points where the download can fail, the loading across the various modules can fail, and if the box gets stuck in a process it will slow down and eventually only a reboot will pull it out of the issue, and maybe the reboot alone will solve the issue, or maybe th downloads may have to come.  If this continues over a long period of the day, I personally bring tech support into the picture, to make sure the box communicates fully, signal strengths, is there any area issues, or other ideas from their end.

 

But in general, I have found that unless you are dealing with signal issues or area outages, or possible back at the server ends or inbetween, or your box has become so corrupt there is no saving it and needs to be swapped out, then the reboot will solve the key failure points of loading everything through the device modules and will probably be solved quickly with no download.  In other cases, a download may have to repushed, and the box will often do that on its own it must have some integrity features built in, as sometimes it does do it on its own.  And you need to be patient - if is says loading, that can take a while and my experience is that can be up to 30 minutes, but definitely don't go from one persistent loading message on a station or on demand, and then escape out and try another - do this enough times and I can assure you will probably end up with a frozen box.

 

It is definitely a complex beast, very depend upon clean downloads, and clean distrubtion and running of routines between the box, and I suspect if we start trying to do things to soon, we risk running into future problems.

 

But this is the nature of complex devices - we have highspeed Internet in here, whole home communication, PVRs, schedules, channel and settings selections, daily updates, software updates, and all these things have to work together well.  No wonder the whole implementation was a disaster from day one - it involved too many fingers and companies in the game and probably communicated hopes and expectations of the development that proved not to work as designed - that is to be expected, and I don't excuse the company for not planning for failure or disaster in major changes.  It happens, I know it has to me, but I always planned how I could roll back, but I don't think they were able to probably due to contract obligations and changing availability of support from companies.

 

Ahh the saga of Rogers' cable, all the way back to Scientific America when the model moved from the original models of analogue stations, that all core stations could be tuned on your TV, with a descrambler for purchased channels, or pay per view.  Pretty simple technology back then and well established and reliable.

 

And we are not finished with changes, but there is a very well established of stable IPTV out there, all over the world, so hopefully Rogers takes advantage of it.

 

For now I understand basically what this box is doing, and where things can go wrong, how to troubleshoot from my end, and how to guide the tech support based upon what they know and I know.

 

It has been a long time, and I thank all the people here on the board that got us here.  It has been a long, frustrating at times, but ultimately productive process.

 

Bruce

I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 2

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

Scroll? You can scroll? How do you scroll? I've never been able to do this in either the old or new version of navigatr.

Also, Why oh, why is the channel number not shown on recorded programs? 

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,144

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

You can scroll up and down in the list view, but not from right to left or visa versa, some areas you still cannot scroll, while in things like settings you can scroll.

 

And yes, you are raising one of the most repeated concerns, the lack of channel, and now even reduced information on shows in the PVR listings.

 

I feel you pain.

 

Bruce

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 2,733

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

@Ruth1997:

 

Check out the following link for a summary of the new features of the latest Navigatr firmware, as well as a list of items that have not been completed:

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/PVR_settop_boxes_remotes/message...

 

You can see channel information if you use AnyPlace on a computer/tablet/phone. See the following link on that topic:

 

http://www.rogers.com/web/support/tv/anyplace-tv/410?setLanguage=en

 

By using AnyPlace instead of the PVR, you can search the IPG much more easily and the search results are much more useful. It's also much easier to review your existing recordings or scheduled recordings using AnyPlace, since more information, like channel number, is available for these recordings



I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 2

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

Isn't it a bit rediculous that the box that I rent (the PVR) can't tell me the channel it recorded?

Just more work for the customer. 

Also, what's IPG?

 

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 2,733

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment


@Ruth1997 wrote:

Isn't it a bit rediculous that the box that I rent (the PVR) can't tell me the channel it recorded?

Just more work for the customer. 

Also, what's IPG?

 


It will tell you the channel when you play the recording. It's at the top left of the screen.

 

IPG - Interactive Programme Guide (the guide).



I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,144

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

Using search in our Nextbox Navigtr software compared to Rogers Anyplace TV (or as identified on the URL: RogersOnDemand.com)

 

We did a search for a TMN movie just released today and were going to record it on the PVR from TMN 1 channel 312, but were late - since we don't have that wonderful feature of the other carrier - restart -, we rely on search to find a show at other times.

 

Well, we used the Nextbox search - returned the one result - the one we were already late on channel 312 TMN 1

 

Well, we went to the Anyplace TV, opened the manage PVR (did run into an old bug though - sometimes you get a bad page link have to clear Rogers Anyplace cookies (not the whole cache), or do as I did and switch to another browser.

 

From their, we did a search for Hail Ceasar - returned 39 times over the 4 TMN stations to choose from over the next 3 days.  Picked one two hours later on different TMN station.

 

This is a major flaw in the search in Navigtr and makes it basically useless when you want a full listing of all available times and stations. We got the one choice of the same time on a second TMN channel - useless result.

 

And nice thing is you select the desired one out of the list of 39 showings, and you set up your recording directly form the search - you can do this from the box too in terms of recording or reminder or series set up, but I did another one - designated survivor on Dec 14th, lots listed from On Demand earlier in the season, but only one station choice and time choice, none of time shift channels we are subscribed to.  Use the anyplace search on manage PVR - we get all different channels, SD and HD, and different times that day to choose from.

 

Major flaw in the search engine, has been mentioned from the time that Anyplace TV came back on line as it didn't work for a while during the early implementation of the "new" Navigtr guide.  Still, Anyplace TV is an important complement to using your box efficiently.

 

Anyplace TV wins hands down (when it works). You can search Anyplace TV in the forum, or Internet, or on Rogers pages for more details.  Is available for tablets and phones too, doesn't work on all devices, and on some devices, you can watch some TV shows live too, as not only can you check PVR, you can see the guide in a "huge" view. And home version allows for watching live and on demand, on some devices too.

 

Just thought I would bring it up, as the question does still come up, and although it has been reported numerous times, has never been responded to.

 

Bruce

I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 665

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

This is a problem I have noticed too and it is really frustrating.

I usually try to set u my recordings each evening while sitting in front of my TV. It only makes sense if needed, to use the search feature on the box. As you mentioned, Anyplace TV is much better. However, for me it is quite inconvenient because I don't often have my computer handy.
I would love to see the box search show the alternate times and channels like it used to, but I' won't hold my breath waiting for that feature to return.
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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 28

Re: NextBox Navigatr - October/November 2016 Deployment

I've had very few issues with the latest software, well done on the improvements.

One strange issue that is frustrating, sometimes multiple tiles are showing the same image of one show. (The same wrong picture is shown for multiple different shows) it's like there is an image caching issue. I've had to switch to the list view as it's impossible to see what shows I'm looking at when the picture is the same on multiple shows.
The show that the picture represents is watched and deleted but it appears on many other tiles now.