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16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 523025 19-Sep-2011 14:02 Send private message

Thanks Gary, it's nice to see that TC is keeping an eye out on these forums. 

We've had a TBox since day 1, actually, we've "bought" ours. Overall I guess I'm kinda happy with the decision. My wife...not so much. Admittedly, our Tbox is nicknamed "Tbag", so that may give an indication of some of the levels of frustration we've experienced in having this device under our telly.

On a side note, an unintended consequence of having Tbag in our lounge proved helpful when our chimney had to be taken down due to Feb's earthquake. We remained relatively comfortable in the lounge whilst waiting for a replacement logburner, due to the warmth emitted from the device. All that it needed was a large fan directing airflow out towards the couch, who needs a heatpump when a Tbox is in the hizhouse!

But I digress. Gary, I do think you and the team at TC deserve some +1's in regards to the T-box. It certainly has made Tv watching in our house a lot easier. The are some great features in your device and kudos to TC for entering the PVR market. Admittedly it was sometime in coming but better late than never I say. The Tbox has fantastic potential and I think perhaps that's its biggest downfall.

I don't intend to believe that I speak for everyone who has a Tbox, but from reading this and other online forums out on the interwebs I think that most would probably agree when I quote Brando. 

"I (the Tbox) coulda been a contender!"

After all mySky had been out on the market for sometime. You knew what you were up against. The bar had been set, the die were cast, the moulds had been made, the competition measured. And yet, what did we get. It's taken months of hair pulling and teeth gnashing, patches, reboots and updates. And still, in some respects you guys haven't got there. Yes, absolutely you have closed the gap. But, .... you know sometimes I'm lost for words.

As mentioned earlier, there is a lot to like about the TBox and there are things about it that shine when directly compared to mysky. The interface/gui, the epg/planner and the remote are some examples. Yet, again I can't help but think that  those and other functions/features could be sooo much better!

Sometimes the combination of issues caused by the faults within the Tbox itself and the service provided by TC (of which we NEVER get any recourse) really cause me to question my decision to plonk $500 down on this. My better half is constantly reminding me that I "...wouldn't put up with this $#!t If we bought it from Harvey Norman" Yes, and No I suppose.

Anyways. Is there an actual list of things that are being fixed? Or features that are being implemented? Don't keep telling us that updates "are coming within weeks". Set a date! and then STICK TO IT!

We are being used as beta testers anyway, so why not formalise it with some sort of web page where we can sign into that has some sort of survey/feedback form. Rather than users coming on here and listing all the same things over and over a structured approach would really help you out. And us, the people that care enough to stick with you guys and see it through.

Here's my .2c in regards to issues. (I've followed this thread from day 1, so I hope I'm not going to repeat anything already brought up). My main gripes and suggestions are about the GUI.

Reduce the font size and display more information on screen - I'm sure you can fit more than ONE HOUR of programming across the EPG. My and many others televisions are large screen. They have a lot of real estate for you to use when displaying the GUI. Why then, in the EPG and Planner do you only display such a small amount of information.  I'm sitting 3 metres away from the screen not watching from out on the lawn. The unresponsiveness of the remote doesn't help navigation. 

Have icons on screen that relate to your recent colour changes. - I shouldn't have to come back to this forum to remind myself what the different coloured text in the Planner means.

Use the buttons on the remote to interact better with the EPG and Planner. - Yes the red/blue/green/yellow and filter buttons have some function, but there are several other buttons that could be used. For example, instead of the yellow and blue being used for -+24 hours use the grey buttons with the fast fwd/rewind and then the blue and yellow can be freed up for other uses. Alternate viewing times perhaps?

Picture in Picture!! - Three decoders in the Tbox, let me see the All Blacks score a try without missing out on the fifth tackle action of the Warriors, or the lotto result over on tv2. We had P in P about a decade ago, surely we can select which channel has sound?


Filters in the Planner....hmmmm - This needs a revamp.

1 -Under the SERIES filter we just want to see the names of series that I've linked, not every episode ever recorded. This is where you check if you've linked Project Runway for the wife, when she asks "wasn't that on last night, you said you linked it."

2 - ALL is exactly the same as OLDEST is exactly as RECORDED. Redundancy much? Instead of RECORDED it should be NOT VIEWED. Then we can see what we haven't watched!!

3 - Get rid of ALL and make it FAVOURITE recordings. Say you give us the option when we press 'record' to add 5 series links as favourites, this way it will only display the episodes of the 5 favourites. Great for all the RWC matches! Also SERIES that are FAVOURITES should never get bumped in a conflict over recordings that aren't.

4 - On the Planner if something is VIEWED, display the date stamp of when is was last viewed. That way I know if I've watched it or someone else in the family has watched it.

5 - Make it so that I can delete an ENTIRE series of recordings at once. Or allow me to tag multiple episodes for later deletion.

6 - Under NEWEST remove the TO BE RECORDED. Have a separate tab for future recordings, these AREN'T latest recorded programs.

7 - Think about the logical order of how the Filters are laid out. The current setup is very clumsy, I think NEWEST (without future recordings) should be displayed. Or maybe NEWEST NOT VIEWED should be first followed by FAVOURITES then by OLDEST...it doesn't really matter after that...just speed up the response.

Lastly, Telstra will have to unlock the rest of the space on the HDD. THE RWC is really pushing the boundaries of the current capacities, I've had to delete series links so as to not have recording fails. Also with the new SOHO channel coming from Sky with all the great HBO programming (Game of Thrones anyone?) I think will cause similar problems. For this household at least.

Thanks to geekzone.co.nz for this forum, it's been the only way I've stayed sane dealing with TCL issues. Telstra themselves need a pat on the back for communicating through here also. TCL need to link back to here from their own website.

Cheers,

Troy














 

265 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 523028 19-Sep-2011 14:06 Send private message

From my observation some of the pixilation is not in the transmitted signal and hence must be T-Box related.  That at least applies historically (ie. several months ago).

eg. we had cases when watching 'live' TV where the screen was pixilated enough to be annoying and 'cured' it by rewinding back say 10 mins.  On delayed viewing, there was no pixilation in the same material.

Similarly some items that have been pixilated when viewing 'realtime' (& we also recorded) have not been pixilated when later playing the recording (fairly rare that we view live & record though). 

Both scenarios show that the pixilation was not in the transmitted signal.

I have also seen cases where re-winding etc has not helped.  In particular, thinking of a case a month or so ago when there were major problems with the transmitted signal.  That incident was discussed in GZ at the time (signal badly affected / green blocks over much of screen).  But that was a one-off situation (so far).

I do not watch sufficient TV to know whether these behaviours still apply.

566 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2

Trusted
TelstraClear

  Reply # 523100 19-Sep-2011 16:03 Send private message

Hi Troy,

Thanks for the feedback, comments and suggestions. I’ve sent them on to the broadcast team. Some have already been considered and noted and the ideas for the filters etc will be looked at along with what others have suggested.

In general, there are three categories. The first are the suggested interface and usability enhancements and changes. We’ve noting these and it’s interesting how often there’s as much agreement on a feature or change as there is disagreement about the suggestion. We are looking, though, at everything that’s been suggested in various GZ threads, as well as from our customer help team and many other sources.

The second group are performance improvements. The next update will deliver many of these performance improvements. As noted earlier, it’s undergoing engineering testing now and should be released to your T-Box in a matter of weeks. While we’d like to give a definite date, we won’t because we want to be certain that the update will deliver what it is designed to do. That means working repeatedly through a lot of user scenarios. If that process can be successfully completed quickly the update will be delivered to T-Boxes as early as possible.

If it takes longer than expected, or a tweak is needed, it may be a week or so later than we’d like. As we did with the last update, we’ll post here and let customers know as soon as we know the release is ready and what changes/improvements the release will bring. We think it’s better to let you know what we know when we know it, instead of falling short on a promise, or purposefully long-promise so it looks like we delivered early. So – best I can do is ‘a few weeks’. Rest assured, I’m as keen as you to have the next update on my T-Box.

The third category are the bugs. Although many of these are being posted by many people multiple times, this is useful as it helps us keep an eye on what’s happening and when. It also helps us look for behaviours that we can replicate in the lab that will assist us and the team in Europe to isolate the root cause of an issue. Posting a list of the known bugs (while it might result in fewer posts here) is likely to be less helpful. Although it doesn’t seem like it, there are really only a dozen or so issues that cause most of the frustration. As mentioned, many of these are being worked on for the release after the one coming in a few weeks. Again, we don’t know the timings, but we’re working as hard as we can to get that release out as soon after the performance update as we can.

The broadcast team really do appreciate the bug reports, support and feedback. They (and me and many others in the TelstraClear team) are also T-Box customers and we, like you, know what works well and what needs more work. And we also have families who are just as forthright as GZers and their families! Laughing

Gary

566 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2

Trusted
TelstraClear

  Reply # 523107 19-Sep-2011 16:06 Send private message

DS248: From my observation some of the pixilation is not in the transmitted signal and hence must be T-Box related.  That at least applies historically (ie. several months ago).


Hi DS248. That's the ‘stuck frame flashing’ that has been logged and forwarded to the European software developers for investigation. In the meantime these workarounds will help:
  • If in Live TV and behind ‘live’, briefly fast forward.
  • If in Live TV and caught up with Live TV, pause for a couple of seconds then press stop
  • In watching a recording, press Stop and then select the recording again in the planner and select ‘Last Viewed’.
 Gary

834 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 64


  Reply # 523153 19-Sep-2011 17:43 Send private message

TelstraClear:
The problem where the end of a programme isn’t recorded is caused by the channel/broadcaster running programmes past the time they say they will in the schedule. We have raised this with the broadcasters but it’s an operational decision they have made to run overtime. You might like to complain directly to the channel operators that you find to be the worst offenders. Personally, I use a 10 minute recording buffer to make sure that the ends of programmes are recorded as, in my experience, some channels can be 5 or more minutes out.



While I recognise that broadcasters often have to change their schedule or that they over-run, I am not really sure that increasing the buffer is an ideal solution. I suspect that simply increasing the buffer time would also increase the frequency of receiving the 'You have two recordings set' message that occurs where a new recording starts after the previous one ends (because the buffer creates a recording overlap).

eg. Record two programs

Channel one,  8:30 to 9:30pm
Channel two,  8:30 to 9:30pm

While I have not checked and am open to being corrected I would have thought that with a 10 minute start and end buffer and the above scenario I think would mean that no programs would be recordable in the 8pm-8:30pm and 9:30 to 10pm time slots due to the existing programs still recording and the tuners being in use.

While I can't speak for anyone else, I would prefer the option (along with the buffer) to be able to specify a manual start/end time for each conflicting program if there is a clash between two schedules.  That way I get to decide which program is important to me and which one I don't mind missing part of.   

Just my thoughts. 




TwoSeven

127 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 523166 19-Sep-2011 18:12 Send private message

TwoSeven:While I can't speak for anyone else, I would prefer the option (along with the buffer) to be able to specify a manual start/end time for each conflicting program if there is a clash between two schedules.  That way I get to decide which program is important to me and which one I don't mind missing part of.  

You can speak for me Wink  Back in April I requested the ability to manually set recordings (same as with the digital decoder) and was told that was coming this year. But I think you're asking for a variation where a scheduling conflict could be manually adjusted? Sounds useful, but I can see that needing a lot more thought than a simple manual recording option.

I also suggested that we have the ability to specify a different before and after buffer. I'd most likely use 1 or 2 minutes before and 10 minutes after. That would be really handy as I get sick of fast-forwarding 5 minutes at the start of every recording.

I suspect priorities will have altered, but I still hope a manual option comes out before Xmas. 

177 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 523610 20-Sep-2011 15:56 Send private message

Well after several weeks of no real freezing problems it has been worse than ever the past few days. There doesn't seem to be any particular time it does it. The other day it happened during a recording which of course meant the recording stopped and we could not restart it. Last night it froze some time during the night when no-one was up (I know this because it recorded some programmes up until 10.30 pm and when I turned it on at 7 am the screen was black). I rebooted and it came up with a message saying "not subscribed" and I couldn't get out of that so had to reboot again. Then this afternoon it froze while I was in the planner. I could still see the planner but could not navigate around and the little box in the upper right corner which normally shows what is on was black. So I had to reboot. Now the programme I was trying to view when I did the reboot says "Viewed" and when I click on that programme it doesn't give me the option of viewing from the start or last viewed place and my 55 minute programme plays for about 5 seconds and stops and takes me back to the planner. It is so disappointing to see things getting worse again. I thought it was bad before but I'd almost go back to the way it was after my experience in the last 48 hours!  Thank goodness for On Demand - almost makes me think I should cancel the T-Box and get unlimited broadband and watch every On Demand!

120 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 523617 20-Sep-2011 16:06 Send private message

lanceanz:
TwoSeven:While I can't speak for anyone else, I would prefer the option (along with the buffer) to be able to specify a manual start/end time for each conflicting program if there is a clash between two schedules.  That way I get to decide which program is important to me and which one I don't mind missing part of.  

You can speak for me Wink  Back in April I requested the ability to manually set recordings (same as with the digital decoder) and was told that was coming this year. But I think you're asking for a variation where a scheduling conflict could be manually adjusted? Sounds useful, but I can see that needing a lot more thought than a simple manual recording option.

I also suggested that we have the ability to specify a different before and after buffer. I'd most likely use 1 or 2 minutes before and 10 minutes after. That would be really handy as I get sick of fast-forwarding 5 minutes at the start of every recording.

I suspect priorities will have altered, but I still hope a manual option comes out before Xmas. 


Ditto from me. I'd like to be given the choice to tweak start and end times for programs that may clash. A slider next to the names of the programmes that overlap would do the trick.


Also, last night was not a good night. Three programmes failed to record, Man Vs Wild was partially recorded and system needed a reboot. Good thing was the updatting didn't take too long.

177 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 523645 20-Sep-2011 17:25 Send private message

I have had too many problems with the buffer. It doesn't tell me there is a recording conflict - instead it just gives me failed recordings. It may work well if you are recording programmes at totally different times but most of our recordings are during primetime and on different channels so if it's trying to record a few minutes before and after each programme and another channel it's just too much. Instead I record the programme directly after the programme I want to watch and 9 times out of 10 I do need to do it. I wish the TV stations could just stick to their schedule!

127 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 523653 20-Sep-2011 17:49 Send private message

Arrived home to find my box frozen (recording light red, power light red, no output to TV and unresponsive to remote). Cycled power and working again.

Last recording was Judge Judy starting 1045 today Tuesday 20th Sept. Info says PART RECORDED, but 34 minutes have been recorded. I've therefore not lost anything because I had nothing scheduled between then and my arrival home. This is not the first time I've seen PART RECORDED and had the entire programme. I'm guessing that (in this case) it is not freezing till it ends the recording.

 

177 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 523681 20-Sep-2011 18:57 Send private message

lanceanz: Arrived home to find my box frozen (recording light red, power light red, no output to TV and unresponsive to remote). Cycled power and working again.

Last recording was Judge Judy starting 1045 today Tuesday 20th Sept. Info says PART RECORDED, but 34 minutes have been recorded. I've therefore not lost anything because I had nothing scheduled between then and my arrival home. This is not the first time I've seen PART RECORDED and had the entire programme. I'm guessing that (in this case) it is not freezing till it ends the recording.

 


I've also had "Part Recorded" when the whole thing has recorded.  It seems to happen when the T-Box freezes while recording the programme after it.

120 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 523843 21-Sep-2011 06:55 Send private message

I've just noticed a minor bug in the GUIDE display.
It occurs during the half-hourly GUIDE update, when it shifts the spreadsheet cells across to the left by a half hour.  
When viewing the GUIDE +24 hours, the cell in the header row with the day-of-the-week in it (TOMORROW, FRIDAY, Etc.) changes to TODAY after the update.
The good news is that after the next navigation command on the remote the GUIDE displays the correct day of the week again.
Has it been reported before?

3324 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1156


  Reply # 523885 21-Sep-2011 09:20 Send private message

I have had my T-Box now coming up to six months, I have reported previously that I have not had issues with it. So OK how is it going six months on.

The only freezing I ever experience is the occasional freezing or pixalation during Sky sport outside live broadcasts, other than that it is not an issue.

I never experience failed recording.

I get a slow down in the EPG when I have not rebooted for a while, this is not a marked slow down more like a 5 to 10 % slow down.

I still reboot my T-Box routinely for maintenance.This is usually either weekly or fortnightly depending on what I am doing.

So six months on, I am still very satisfied with the T-Box.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

62 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 524024 21-Sep-2011 12:44 Send private message

ChristineNZL:
lanceanz: Arrived home to find my box frozen (recording light red, power light red, no output to TV and unresponsive to remote). Cycled power and working again.

Last recording was Judge Judy starting 1045 today Tuesday 20th Sept. Info says PART RECORDED, but 34 minutes have been recorded. I've therefore not lost anything because I had nothing scheduled between then and my arrival home. This is not the first time I've seen PART RECORDED and had the entire programme. I'm guessing that (in this case) it is not freezing till it ends the recording.

 


I've also had "Part Recorded" when the whole thing has recorded.  It seems to happen when the T-Box freezes while recording the programme after it.


Yup I've noticed that as well... Happened yesterday morning when box crashed overnight (blue light, red recording light, nothing happens when pressing the light)

Well done telstraclear, we're doing your software testing and paying a few hundred a month for the privilege! 

-Not targetted at the Telstraclear people monitoring these forums, I really do appreciate your comments and I see that you are trying to help, but overall the experience isn't that great.

KiwiNZ, I do wonder if there are non-technical people using the box in your household? This is a technical forum and most of us understand the concept that nothing's perfect, but this box is not in beta testing anymore and as we're paying big bucks for it, I'd expect more.

For most people, this is just a box to watch tv - it should just work, like the TV has worked for decades now... 

Fog

165 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 524059 21-Sep-2011 13:50 Send private message

Mado1, I agree with all that you have said. If I had to reboot our t/box weekly I would not be keeping it. It should not require all that rebooting, it is not a computer as such, and even if it was, you should not have to reboot all that often anyway.
As far as I am aware, this decoder has been on the market for two years and all the problems should have been fixed long ago.

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