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82 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 545727 15-Nov-2011 19:37 Send private message

Quick question - anybody else noticing the "Confidential" items on the guide? We rang TC about this today and were told it was not their issue and we needed to talk to TV1 (the channel where today we were seeing that issue). We rang TV1 and incredibly got told they had not decided what to put on yet! In an associated issue we did get a scheduled recording record the wrong channel.




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  Reply # 545737 15-Nov-2011 20:19 Send private message

TelstraClear: “Java based middleware ...


As a general rule, 3GL's need power to burn.  Java is known to have endless issues.  If I'd read the platform was C or C++ based I'd have some confidence, but Java... hummm....

TelstraClear:  Details on the T-Box and a PDF of the manual/user guide are located here (http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/residential/inhome/tv/tbox-what.cfm)


Some quite cool videos there, and I see it's got a 300Gig FXD, but I didn't see any mention of CPU, Bus speeds or RAM.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting a clearer picture now.

By heaver usage, I also wonder about how this unit really gets on with processing/recording 3 active channels.  If you press pause while watching and recording 2, then it's pushing 3 channels at the disk.  When you unpause, then it's recording in 3 and playing out 1. 

A problem with video is it's bursty.  So if you've picked 3 channels with a lot of frame change in them all at the same time, then what data though put is the CPU having to deal with?

I'm not arguing that the hardware isn't quality (who knows), but my IBM XT was quality...  but at 4.77mhz it's hardly up to the task.  Is there really enough grunt in this box to be powering a 3GL Java app such as this?






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 545757 15-Nov-2011 21:06 Send private message

DonGould:
A problem with video is it's bursty.  So if you've picked 3 channels with a lot of frame change in them all at the same time, then what data though put is the CPU having to deal with?


I may be wrong, but I would not expect that the data being sent via the cable network is a raw video stream, so I think that the 3 tasks doing the recording to HDD would just write the transmission data packets without video codecs getting involved.
I suspect that only the task displaying something to the screen is actually decoding video for presentation.
Still, I/O and CPU requirements would probably benefit from a dual or even quad cpu processor ?
I would really love to know what the hardware specs for the TBOX are ... Smile


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  Reply # 545763 15-Nov-2011 21:21 Send private message

Garfield69:  I may be wrong, but I would not expect that the data being sent via the cable network is a raw video stream, so I think that the 3 tasks doing the recording to HDD would just write the transmission data packets without video codecs getting involved.
I suspect that only the task displaying something to the screen is actually decoding video for presentation.
Still, I/O and CPU requirements would probably benefit from a dual or even quad cpu processor ?
I would really love to know what the hardware specs for the TBOX are ... Smile





This is a graph of a skype call.  You can see that the video bursts up and down.  This has nothing to do with decompression of codec.  If you get 3 channels all bursting to max at the same time, to often, then the risk of flooding memory goes up.  If at the same time the user does something that causes the computer (PVR - remember it's still just a computer) to have to fetch something from the disk, then the disk has to stop writting, go off and do the read but at the same time keep streaming in the content and buffer it until the disk is free to write again.

If the user, while watching 1, recording 2, then hits the EPG button to bring up the guide, you then have PiP going on at the same time...  see where this is going and how it could get pear shape?

If the content coming in has a high amount of movement in it then the data rate will be much higher because there is more picture change information coming in, even if it is compressed.







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Master Geek
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  Reply # 545791 15-Nov-2011 22:12 Send private message

DonGould:

As a general rule, 3GL's need power to burn.  Java is known to have endless issues.  If I'd read the platform was C or C++ based I'd have some confidence, but Java... hummm....



I have no idea what these "endless issues" are you talk about.  I've been a Java developer for over ten years and I would certainly trust a mission critical system written in Java more than I would one written in C or C++.  I would say that Java is a perfectly fine, even smart, choice for this device.

The fact that this system is written in Java will not be the issue here.  The video decoding will almost certainly be handled by hardware, so it probably isn't that either.  Apart from the hardware specs, which TCL won't reveal, my suspicion would tend towards Digisoft perhaps not dealing with threading very well.
 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 545859 16-Nov-2011 09:06 Send private message

BigBadaboom:
DonGould:

As a general rule, 3GL's need power to burn.  Java is known to have endless issues.  If I'd read the platform was C or C++ based I'd have some confidence, but Java... hummm....



I have no idea what these "endless issues" are you talk about.  I've been a Java developer for over ten years and I would certainly trust a mission critical system written in Java more than I would one written in C or C++.  I would say that Java is a perfectly fine, even smart, choice for this device.

The fact that this system is written in Java will not be the issue here.  The video decoding will almost certainly be handled by hardware, so it probably isn't that either.  Apart from the hardware specs, which TCL won't reveal, my suspicion would tend towards Digisoft perhaps not dealing with threading very well.
 


Agreed that Java is suitable for this use. To present a quote (admittedly from Oracle but I believe it) : "Today, Java technology is already present in 5 billion SIMs and Smart Cards, 3 billion mobile handsets, 80 million TV devices, including every Blu-ray player shipped, and many other embedded solutions from printers and bank machines to e-book readers and cars." 

Its not the language that can screw you up - its the way you code it....

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  Reply # 545869 16-Nov-2011 09:23 Send private message

r2b2: Agreed that Java is suitable for this use. To present a quote (admittedly from Oracle but I believe it) : "Today, Java technology is already present in 5 billion SIMs and Smart Cards, 3 billion mobile handsets, 80 million TV devices, including every Blu-ray player shipped, and many other embedded solutions from printers and bank machines to e-book readers and cars." 


pffft... this is the sort of vendor sales spin that gets us in trouble every time!

When I was growing up mum read me the story of the 3 little pigs.  Well let's look around Christchurch at all the brick buildings and have a little chat!

r2b2: Its not the language that can screw you up - its the way you code it....


+1  Totally agree with you here.

But it's not just how we code it, it's also about how we resource it.  I could equally code this app using Microsoft Visual Basic 6 but it would require resourcing to run properly.

I do agree with the person who commented about threading.  If that's wrong then I agree it's going to fail in a heap.

Who really knows.  I don't.  I haven't seen the code, I haven't talked to the developers personally and got any feel for what's going on, hell I haven't even looked at a live running box, so let's not turn this in to a Mac v's Linux war about languages.

I'm sorry, my only point was that the language choice sends up a red flag after many comments I've read about the use of Java.

Having said that, I know dozens of times that I commented about VB a decade ago and the same flags went up for other people.  All to often people would code something on a PII-300 and expect it to run on a PI-90 with half the ram, and it just didn't.

Languages such as MS VBA, Access, Java, PHP, and others, just let you get away with stuff and if you're not on your game it gets away on you.  That was simply my point really, not a focus on Java being the wrong tool, that was purely a random thought that seem to attract flys :)






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347 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 545872 16-Nov-2011 09:34 Send private message

DonGould:
r2b2: Agreed that Java is suitable for this use. To present a quote (admittedly from Oracle but I believe it) : "Today, Java technology is already present in 5 billion SIMs and Smart Cards, 3 billion mobile handsets, 80 million TV devices, including every Blu-ray player shipped, and many other embedded solutions from printers and bank machines to e-book readers and cars." 


pffft... this is the sort of vendor sales spin that gets us in trouble every time!



Well there at least truth in that all Blu-ray players do have Java ME on them so there's something there ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BD-J )

DonGould: 
Languages such as MS VBA, Access, Java, PHP, and others, just let you get away with stuff and if you're not on your game it gets away on you.  That was simply my point really, not a focus on Java being the wrong tool, that was purely a random thought that seem to attract flys :)


I'd actually say that C/C++ let you get away with a lot more stuff and can get you in even more trouble (e.g. writing out to random parts of memory that your application doesn't own? :) ) 

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  Reply # 545885 16-Nov-2011 09:52 Send private message

r2b2: Well there at least truth in that all Blu-ray players do have Java ME on them so there's something there ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BD-J )


Yip, I did note that little comment you made, I totally agree with you on that one.

r2b2:  I'd actually say that C/C++ let you get away with a lot more stuff and can get you in even more trouble (e.g. writing out to random parts of memory that your application doesn't own? :) ) 


VBA with ADO will let you open connections to databases, then not clean them up and slowly kill the application.

I'm sure we could go on for days and days and days about how a language can be used poorly.

I think I'll stand corrected on the Java comment given your BlueRay comments and ask you to comment on your thoughts on this TBox thing.

How much power would you consider an app like this TBox thing should have?

2 cores, 4 core, 512mb ram or 2Gb, PC bus speeds?

I'm sure someone's going to void a warranty eventually and pull a top of one of these pups and then post some photos for us all to actually see what's in side so we can comment and get a better picture[1].

D

[1] Sorry, really really bad pun there.




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  Reply # 545909 16-Nov-2011 10:32 Send private message

I had to Power Cycle the T-Box again this morning. I was stop go, stop go like Kapiti Coast traffic on a Xmas eve. The Guide was virtually dead.

Before re-booting I checked the unit temperature and the Box and area under the unit was only slightly warm.

Now this cannot be "heavy usage" as there were no overnight recordings scheduled and it had been 'idle' for at least 12 hours.

Even after re-boot the unit is sluggish. press channel +  1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears]. Entering say 004 , 1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears].

I waited 30 minutes and tested again, I wanted to enure no background activity was going on. The results as as above.

After 40 minutes the case temp is still only luke warm.

I have to confess my patience with this is thin. I don't normally tolerate this from a product I am paying good money for.






Mike

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

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  Reply # 545910 16-Nov-2011 10:35 Send private message

KiwiNZ: I had to Power Cycle the T-Box again this morning. I was stop go, stop go like Kapiti Coast traffic on a Xmas eve. The Guide was virtually dead.

Before re-booting I checked the unit temperature and the Box and area under the unit was only slightly warm.

Now this cannot be "heavy usage" as there were no overnight recordings scheduled and it had been 'idle' for at least 12 hours.

Even after re-boot the unit is sluggish. press channel +  1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears]. Entering say 004 , 1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears].

I waited 30 minutes and tested again, I wanted to enure no background activity was going on. The results as as above.

After 40 minutes the case temp is still only luke warm.

I have to confess my patience with this is thin. I don't normally tolerate this from a product I am paying good money for.




What's the system doing with the hard drive with all these reboots that people keep talking about?

Is it stopping to do integrity checking?






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  Reply # 545911 16-Nov-2011 10:40 Send private message

The state my unit was in this morning the HDD was idle. After reboot and the 'update' which is the EPG down loading the HDD would seem to be idle as there is no audiable sound from the unit. However I cannot really say if there is any File system journalizing going on as there is not system monitor available.




Mike

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

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 545928 16-Nov-2011 11:08 Send private message

KiwiNZ: I had to Power Cycle the T-Box again this morning. I was stop go, stop go like Kapiti Coast traffic on a Xmas eve. The Guide was virtually dead.

Before re-booting I checked the unit temperature and the Box and area under the unit was only slightly warm.

Now this cannot be "heavy usage" as there were no overnight recordings scheduled and it had been 'idle' for at least 12 hours.

Even after re-boot the unit is sluggish. press channel +  1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears]. Entering say 004 , 1.2.3.4[info banner].4.6.7.8[ picture appears].

I waited 30 minutes and tested again, I wanted to enure no background activity was going on. The results as as above.

After 40 minutes the case temp is still only luke warm.

I have to confess my patience with this is thin. I don't normally tolerate this from a product I am paying good money for.




That's standard behaviour on my box. Seems to me that you were lucky not to have the 4-8 second wait for a button press to become an action.
It kind of reminds me of one of the laws of physics- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but with the t-box the reaction is 8 seconds away.

My unit often makes HDD sounds, even when idle. It also churns away when the unit has crashed and is unresponsive, so I've learned to ignore disk activity as being relevant to the normal or abnormal operation of the box.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 546003 16-Nov-2011 13:20 Send private message

clivestart: Quick question - anybody else noticing the "Confidential" items on the guide? We rang TC about this today and were told it was not their issue and we needed to talk to TV1 (the channel where today we were seeing that issue). We rang TV1 and incredibly got told they had not decided what to put on yet! In an associated issue we did get a scheduled recording record the wrong channel.


Hi Clive - yes we had this on Saturday night.  My girls wanted me to record 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments.  This was on TV2 and advertised on the TVand TV Guide yet on the T-Box EPG it said CONFIDENTIAL in bold letters.  It recorded the show okay but I did wonder what it meant and obviously does not fit in with what you were told as it was certainly a pre-planned airing.  I had just assumed it was a T-Box issue as surely if a channel were unable to provide programming details it would say TBA as it did in the TV Guide when Masterchef finished.

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  Reply # 546011 16-Nov-2011 13:29 Send private message

ChristineNZL:  EPG it said CONFIDENTIAL


This is common stuff and the TV guys just don't get it.  They're busy having industry game playing about the rights to just tell people stuff and in the mean time us users are just getting po'ed about this crap.

I had the same thing with TV3 and Telstra the last time I had digital TV running and followed the comments between the two providers with interest and some amusement as they each pointed fingers at each other.

The providers were quite amazed that I bothered to follow it up to understand why my EPG was just crap.

 




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