Weird DVR quirk

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Jennifer
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Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 14:48

This is not something that actually "matters" -- in a couple days it'll be moot anyway -- but I AM very curious about it: Jeff and I have Comcast cable (his choice; were it entirely up to me we wouldn't have cable at all). In a couple days we are switching to AT&T because he qualifies for a mega-discount, which is why this is all going to be moot, but: a couple days ago we had a very powerful electrical storm here, which presumably fried the cable box -- when I woke up next day it was completely dead, as though it were not even plugged in. So we got a replacement box at the nearby cable office, a surprisingly painless procedure (we were in and out in less than a minute).

On our old box, the DVR was IIRC about 70 percent full. (I think two hours of recording time equals about one percent of the DVR storage capacity.) On the new DVR, a few things were missing -- the ones I recall were, the entire run of Black Lightning, the last season of Mr. Robot, and a lone episode of "Lucy, Daughter of the Devil" which aired when Adult Swim celebrated its anniversary many months ago. I think Jeff still had his Krypton episodes there too; they're gone now. But most of the DVR stuff is still there. Jeff speculated that maybe the missing content was stuff that is no longer on Comcast's servers. (I just-now checked; Mr. Robot and Black Lightning are both listed as "On Demand" options -- but not free on-demand options. You have to pay for them.)

However, for all the things missing, there's still PLENTY there, enough that I would guesstimate the DVR should be at least 50 percent full. For example: I have series recordings set up to capture the episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" airing on various Golden Oldies channels -- right now there's 18 episodes of AHH and 50 episodes of AHP. So, 43 hours just of Hitchcock recordings -- that alone should be a bit over 20 percent of the DVR storage, no?

No. As of now the DVR shows as being only 2 percent full, which corresponds to the handful of recordings our new box has picked up. I did random checks of the older stuff -- the DVR recordings which apparently do NOT count toward my new storage total -- yes, they're actually THERE; it's not a case of "Well, the name of the show or movie appears on your DVR list, but if you try to play it, nothing happens." Also, the amount of new content does roughly correspond to "two hours equals one percent of the total," so it's not as though our new DVR has such a hugely expanded storage capacity that 50 percent of the old storage equals only one or two percent of the new.

If we were staying with Comcast, I'd make a point of NOT deleting any old stuff, even after I watch it, to see if this "It doesn't count toward your storage total" thing continues.

Does anyone know how or why this is happening? I gather that DVR stuff is stored partially "in the box" and partially "in Comcast, somewhere," but dunno how the breakdown works. I do recall at least one night some months ago when I was watching a DVR recording while something weird happened on Comcast's end -- from my perspective, what happened was I could still watch the show (a "King of the Hill," FWIW), but watching it was all I could do -- I could not fast-forward through commercials, could not rewind, could not pause, the recording just kept moving forward at standard speed until it reached the end, at which point IIRC I got one of those "Sorry, we can't handle DVR shit right now" messages from Comcast on the screen.
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Highway
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Highway » 23 Jul 2018, 15:32

I am guessing that you don't have a multi-DVR setup, in order to be able to record more shows and have more time. If that was the case then it makes sense that the things that were on the DVR box you didn't exchange would show up in your list.

My best guess is what Comcast is doing is actually accessing OnDemand content that matches what you recorded. It's not a bad idea, and would explain the "network problem" issue you had.
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Jennifer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 15:48

Highway wrote:
23 Jul 2018, 15:32
My best guess is what Comcast is doing is actually accessing OnDemand content that matches what you recorded. It's not a bad idea, and would explain the "network problem" issue you had.
Hmm, sounds good but I don't think that's it. After reading your comment I did another test: one of the old recordings that's still on the DVR is "Robin and the Seven Hoods" (I had a mild curiosity about seeing an old "Rat Pack" movie). That is indeed available "On Demand" -- but, again, you have to pay for it. Just like Mr. Robot and Black Lightning -- but those disappeared off the DVR while "Robin and the Seven Hoods" has not.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Jennifer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 15:53

Another bit of data: episodes of "The Expanse" are also pay-on-demand, yet Jeff's old episodes ARE still there. So: Mr. Robot and Black Lightning -- my copies are gone, gotta pay to watch. "Lucy, Daughter of the Devil" -- my copy is gone and it is wholly unavailable On Demand. "The Expanse" -- pay to watch On Demand, Jeff's copies are still on the DVR. "Krypton" -- pay to watch On Demand, Jeff's copies are NOT on the DVR. "Robin and the Seven Hoods" -- pay to watch On Demand, still on my DVR.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Jennifer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 16:16

Plus, of course, even if I could figure out some firm rule determining what stayed on the DVR and what vanished, that still does not explain why all my previous stuff apparently counts as ZERO percent of my new storage capacity.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Highway
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Highway » 23 Jul 2018, 17:01

There is zero data from your old DVR on your new DVR. Understand that right off the bat. It didn't magically transfer itself in the less than a minute you were in the Comcast office sliding your box under the prison window and getting a new one. All the stored data on that old box is still on that old box sitting in their office.

Your counterfactuals don't really indicate that what I said above is false. If they are pulling OnDemand or InDemand (which used to be the name for pay-to-watch content) content off of Comcast's servers, they're doing it 1) as a bit of a favor and 2) subject to the copyright owner's conditions. So if they want to make it available, understanding that you had recorded it, then they could do that with a flag. But if they didn't want you to be able to watch a copy you "saved" when you don't have the data, then they would make you buy it again.

One test furthering this hypothesis would be to see if any of the content that you are showing on your list of 'saved' shows is *not* available for streaming from Comcast at all. You have not mentioned anything that's available for you to watch, but is not available for streaming from Comcast.
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Jennifer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 17:18

Highway wrote:
23 Jul 2018, 17:01
One test furthering this hypothesis would be to see if any of the content that you are showing on your list of 'saved' shows is *not* available for streaming from Comcast at all.
Found one example right off the bat: on 6/30 Jeff recorded Svengoolie's airing of "The Leech Woman," which is still on our DVR but is not available via streaming at all, neither as a Svengoolie episode nor the movie on its own.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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lunchstealer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by lunchstealer » 23 Jul 2018, 17:22

How long have you had that DVR? I haven't seen Lucy, Daughter of the Devil for YEARS.
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Jennifer
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Re: Weird DVR quirk

Post by Jennifer » 23 Jul 2018, 17:41

lunchstealer wrote:
23 Jul 2018, 17:22
How long have you had that DVR? I haven't seen Lucy, Daughter of the Devil for YEARS.
We've had this one about a year; we moved in a bit over two years ago, but after awhile our original DVR was having weird issues, so after multiple calls to Comcast dd not fix the problem, we went ahead and replaced it. That episode of Lucy aired when Adult Swim was celebrating their anniversary or something, and aired at least one episode of every show they ever did. I recorded that "Lucy" and also set a series recording in case they aired any additional episodes, but they never did.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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