Reply
Posted Oct 10, 2013
Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

Hello,

 

I have to say that I am very disappointed with my DVR box.  Let me state that the standard box in the other room has worked great.

 

  1. The settop appears massively under powered.  You guys need to upgrade to a much faster CPU.  The settop can take a long time to perform some functions.  As a "for instance" switching from the standard guide to a guide listing for an individual channel takes three or more seconds.  Setting a recording can also take a long time.
  2. Loading apps is horrible.  Perhaps you could save the app to the hard disk and only re-download it when a new version is available.  Would be nice if the secondary settop could also access the app from the DVR box.
  3. The box responds horribly.  It often misses keystrokes (even if not typing particularly fast).  The box often misinterprets keystrokes,  I can be pressing the up or down arrow (maneuvering through the guide or favorites) and the box will interpret the keystroke as a different arrow key, the exit key, or even the On Demand key.  It often will just change channels while I am in the guide.
  4. The box will sometimes (several times a week) mute when I am changing channels.  The settop appears to be muted as the volume and mute controls on the remote control the TV and have no effect.  I have to the go to Options/Restart and restart the settop in order to cure the problem.
  5. I at first thought I had an IR problem with the remote (as I had to hold the remote high in the air to get around line of sight problems, but I recently bought a RF remote control.  It works much better, but all of the problems still occur (just less frequently).

 

I also have a couple of suggestions...

 

  1. It takes a lot of keystrokes to maneuver the settop to a favorite channel listing.  You have 3 unused buttons on the remote.  These are the A, B, and C colored buttons.  Why not allow assigning these keys to a user settable favorite list so that the list can be accessed at the touch of a single button.
  2. On your website, the guide is a bit of a pain.  You have access to either normal or HD versions.  It would be nice if the channel list could be filtered by using the favorites lists setup on the settop.  If that is not practical (I know it is technically possible) then perhaps allow setting a favorite list on the website interface for the guide (even a single list would be a huge improvement.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael.B

 

Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

4,157 views
10 replies
(0) Me too
(0) Me too
Post reply
Replies
(10)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 11, 2013
0
(0)

Michael.B - You will find a lot of agreement on the poor design that causes slow response and incomplete implementation of the favorites feature. Apparently, the designers did not understand that favorites implies favored (or expedited) access.

There are two things that may improve response time - The DVR STB should be connected to the RG via cat5 (if install is not pair bonded) and do a whole house reboot - Pull power on all boxes & restore in order - RG (wait for all green) , DVR (wait for viewing available), other STBs.

You say you feel you probably had an IR problem, but you have a RF remote. I believe the IR problem probably still exists. You must take additional action, as described below. Another alternative is the Easy Remote app for smart phones and tablets.

IR Issues

Going back 5-6 years there are many posts about IR interference. Remedies included taping over the IR sensor, hiding the STB, turning off auto brightness on the TV.

A common fault was the info button press corrupting to an STB mute action. The number of reports of this have totally fallen away. My personal initial primary problem was getting the zero to register. But, one day long ago that just went away.

Niles Audio Corp. makes IR repeaters & has a video on their web site showing the fragility of the IR coding that is used for U-verse & other boxes. They said their new line of repeaters could handle it. Oddly, a U-verse customer posted in this community that they had a NIles install that was not working & after they contacted Niles they did not get any satisfactory resolution.

I came to believe that the IR sensor is too sensitive, That the DVR is worse than other STBs. That command type buttons are worse than the number buttons. That, somehow software updates can make it better or worse, So, it is a moving target. Hard to pin down.

I noticed that the U-verse remote does work better than my Logitech Harmony model 700. I looked at the IR signal through a digital camera. It appeared to me that the Harmony IR signal is stronger than the U-verse remote. This reinforces my theory that the IR sensor is too sensitive.

Recently, my most common problem was FF and Play Buttons often corrupted to chan up and chan down more than six times a night while watching recorded shows, exclusively.

I happened to notice that I had a specific kind of "duct tape" covering the blue light on the STB. Actually, it just looks like duct tape, but is electrical tape available at the Home Depot in the electrical dept. - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-2-in-x-150-ft-Vinyl-Electrical-Bundling-Tape-Silver-3...

This tape has a degree of transparency. I thought I would use it to cover the IR sensor. The remote has never worked better. In over 20 evenings since I applied the tape - watching recordings while FF through the ads - I have not had one chan up - chan down corruption . Previously, there would have been at least 6x20=120 occurrences.

Almost all button presses are accepted & none are changed to a different action.


RF Issues

It should not be a surprise, but it is, that half the problems with the RF remote are IR. I run an STB well hidden for a second TV. I had the IR sensor covered with black tape. I replaced the black tape with the "duct tape" & saw an immediate improvement in response to menu buttons. The number buttons were already good - see below for that solution.

The STB using RF must be hidden due to the dongle conversion of RF to IR. If it is not hidden it is subject to the following problems:

IR corruption - Ironically, the RF remote was often offered as a resolution for IR problems. But, if the STB is not hidden nothing has changed to eliminate theI IR corruption problem. If the corrupting light can be seen by the STB IR sensor it will continue to corrupt the IR signal.

If the STB IR sensor can see IR from another remote, it will respond to it.

If another STB can see the IR generated by the dongle, it will respond to it.

 

Note that hidden means the IR does not see outside light - If you have an optical repeater(like the Niles mentioned above) it is IR subject to corruption. If you have an IR receiver that produces RF to go through a wall, it is still IR subject to corruption. Any optical link open to the room is still open to IR corruption.

 

Only if the remote is RF (like the point anywhere remote) transmitted to a well hidden device will it ward off IR corruption. The ultimate solution is a wireless remote app. These are available, but incomplete & other devices do not yet support wireless remote. But, the Buddy TV remote can be used for a u-verse STB.


Previously, I found the RF remote lacking in RF power - in the same room, twelve feet away, hidden only by a thin sheet of cardboard. One method to increase RF power is to hold the remote under your chin while pressing a button - using your head as an antenna.

A better way is this antenna placed in the battery compartment - http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Innovations-A-BOOSTER-Universal-Antenna/dp/B00009WCAP/ref=sr_1_8?ie=U...

With this antenna, the channel numbers are almost always accepted. With the "duct tape" in place, the other buttons work almost every time. The remote now works better than ever.

STB Issues

Once IR and RF issues are resolved, there are timing issues with the STB to contend with. Numbers process fast and Menu items process slow. You need quick, light touch on some numbers to avoid duplicates and a slow, strong press on menu activities. Effort is required to suppress the urge to press again while waiting for a response. It takes concentration to get effective results. Frequently a second press immediately cancels a slow responding first press. Current IR and RF issues amplify the effect of the timing issue.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

[ Edited ]
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 12, 2013
0
(0)
Another thought on DVR connection is to connect it to the least used TV.

I really must change my recommendation of the Easy remote. I do not know how that happened. Of the choices available, Easy remote is by far the worst. I meant to say Buddy TV.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 13, 2013
0
(0)

Hello Michael.B,

 

I'm sorry about the difficulties you are having with your DVR. In addition to the issues Aviewer explained, the possibility of having a defective DVR exists. I can help you determine if a replacement DVR is needed. I have sent you a private message to assist you further.

 

SadathCS

ATTU-verseCare

If you encounter any issues with your service or equipment, I recommend checking out our Troubleshoot & Resolve solutions to help diagnose the issue.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 17, 2013
0
(0)

Interesting that you mention BuddyTV.  I looked into the App but I don't see anything about U-verse support in it (at least in the Android version).  Also, I went into the Options on the DVR settop and I don't see anything about enabling external device control.

 

Michael B

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 17, 2013
0
(0)
Michael.B - Descriptions appear to be especially lacking on remote support. I sent the following e-mail to Buddy -

The IOS version of the Buddy TV remote supports at&t U-verse with an exact replica of the remote.

Does the Android version do the same?

I will post the answer. Also, you could download the app & see what you can do.

Enabling is not under options. It is on channel 9301.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 17, 2013
0
(0)

Thanks for the offer on the setto[.  I have already arranged for tes settop box replacement with AT&T customer support.

 

Sorry about the response.  I tried answering the email but I got email failures (not sure why).

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Oct 17, 2013
0
(0)


You're welcome Michael.B, I'm glad you were able to make these arrangements.

If you encounter any issues with your service or equipment, I recommend checking out our Troubleshoot & Resolve solutions to help diagnose the issue.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Nov 3, 2013
0
(0)

Did you ever hear back from the folks at BuddyTV?  The othe thing with BuddyTV on Android is that when you load the channel guide some of the channeks are wring and it stops loading channels at 1103.

 

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Nov 3, 2013
0
(0)

I finally upgraded to the high capacity DVR box.  Now almost everything is (almost) great.  I no longer get buttons being changed around ransomly.  I still get an occosional missed/dropped button press but life is so much better.  AT&T should drop the normal DVR box and get new hardware similar the the high capacity unit!

 

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
Nov 4, 2013
0
(0)
Michael.B -
I did get a reply that did not make any sense -

Thank you for your interest in BuddyTV.

AT&T has not released the capability to do this on Android due to some issues with Android in particular. When they release this, we'll be moving ahead with it. We don't have an ETA as of yet.

Thanks, Bill.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Problems with U-Verse DVR Settop Box

Share this post
Share this post