Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

ACE - Expert

Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

[ Edited ]

As some have posted there is a update rolling out. This is not the train wreck of the search and on-demand. It appears that  this update has changes that include -

Tips on the OK splash screen

Fewer clicks to reach the CC toggle.

Multiple Favorites guides

Improved picture

View next episode on recording stop menu

 

Please help. If anyone notices any other changes please post.

 

The good - The picture is great. It rivals FIOS. The CC access is improved, but, still not one button.

 

The bad - The favorites changes broke the ENTER button access to the favorites guide. It used to be that pressing ENTER- Down Arrow- OK displayed the favorites guide. With the new update - Pressing enter still produces a similar side  menu. The menu is improved - Favorites is at the top & CC farther down. If  pressing OK produced the Favorites guide, all would be well.  But, it does not. It produces another menu that starts with the full guide - which there is no need for - The full guide has it's own button.  And, a favorites guide button with the possiblity of additional favorites guides, Pressing OK on either the full guide or the Favorites highlights and checks the button & returns to the program that is playing.  NO guide -  Broken!

 

I have reported this to attcustomercare & working with them to resolve. The first they said I had a bad load & they reloaded. This did not help. They think it is just me. But, others have reported this behavior, earlier.

 

Please help - If you click the enter button & see CC in the side menu, you have the new update. If you have it, please try the favorites guide & post whether or not you get the guide displayed. If you do not have a favorites list, it is easy to build one with one channel.

 

The ugly - The tips on the OK splash screen. Not so much the meaningless drivel in the tips. That is easily ignored. Except for that poster that thought they were being reminded to pay their bill. The ugly part is that at&t would spend resources on it instead of something that can improve the system  - Such as testing to make sure it works - Such as - under the Main Menu swapping GUIDE at the top with Favorites (third) to make Favorites quicker to access (GUIDE already has its own button. It does not need to be first.  - Such as - checking usablity for more efficiencies. Such as listening to posters on what they need. OR, rather responding - Listening is of no value if it does not result in improvements.

 

View next episode on recording stop menu is only good if you want to erase later. If you erase first, the View next episode goes away. So, it needs a way to erase then view. Another button? or a set-up option. Also, it needs to be moved below erase on the menu.

*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.
Message 1 of 43 (3,361 Views)
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

[ Edited ]

I now have the new firmware and you're correct about the favorites implementation. It appears to work as intended in the following locations:

- From the main menu: (Menu -> down arrow -> down arrow -> OK), which brings up the MY FAVORITES menu.
- Within the guide: (Guide -> Enter -> down arrow -> down arrow -> OK -> [choose a favorites list] -> OK), which brings up the chosen favorites menu.

Where the implementation is completely broken is within the quick popout menu.

- While watching TV, (Enter -> OK -> [choose a favorites list] -> OK). The only action this causes is to make the popout menu disappear. No guide actually comes up. There is a check mark next to the chosen favorites list that appears to be remembered by the STB, however, what this check mark means is unknown.

I believe that choosing a favorites list from this popout menu should do one of two things:

a) Bring up the chosen favorites guide. (I believe this is probably what was intended). This also mirrors the same behavior in the previous firmware version. However, if this is the case, the check marks are completely unnecessary and confusing since they represent nothing.

b) Set that favorites guide to be the default when pressing the Guide button. This would represent very different behavior from the previous firmware. It also doesn't make a lot of sense to put this selector in the popout menu, since this function is really a configuration option, not an immediate action function like the rest of the things in the popout menu. However, this functionality makes the check marks make sense. The check marks would indicate which favorites list is the current default for the Guide button. Sadly, this is not the function of this menu, since the Guide button always brings up the regular (all channels) guide, no matter what is checked here.

The most intuitive method they should implement is to copy DirecTV's functionality of the Guide button. First, there is a setting in the options for which favorites list is the "default". When you press the Guide button, that's the list that is shown. Pressing the Guide button again while the guide is up cycles through the other lists.

Message 2 of 43 (3,081 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

SomeJoe7777 - Thanks for checking out the behavior & posting what you observed & posting explanation of the check mark. Previous to this update, using the ENTER- Down Arrow- OK did produce a check mark on the Favorites button before it produced the guide image. That is what I expected the new one to replicate.

But, I like your interpretation better. If the guide button could be set to activate the selected favorites it would be better. Only the at&t developer/designer knows how it is supposed to work & they are not telling. I just tried that method & it does not work. The guide button still produces the full guide.
*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.
Message 3 of 43 (3,019 Views)
Scholar

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

@Somejoe777

Aviewer claims that the picture quality has improved,which I can agree.(I dont know if its comparable to Fios like aviewer said,a bit of a strectch I guess)

I think the average bitrate stream went from 5.7 mbps to an average of 6.5 mbps which any added bitrate is a plus.I would love to see it get to the 8mbps range in the future.

Can you verify Somejoe, since you have ways and equiptment to measure the bitrate stream.

Also, I agree that the favorites listing through the enter button does not work like it should.It works correct from the main menu listing though.
Message 4 of 43 (2,940 Views)
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

Viewing the Interfaces tab of the UV Realtime tool, it appears that the bitrates are unchanged.  What would account for any improvement in picture quality would the process of upgrading the encoders.

Message 5 of 43 (2,929 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

peteyboy - Thanks for checking the favorites function.

Picture quality is a lot of perception - Years ago I had Optimum in New Jersey & Cox in CT & just accepted them both as OK. When FIOS was swapped in in NJ I was very impressed with the picture. In reality it probably was not that much different than Optimum. When i first got U_verse I was not impressed with the picture, but direct comparison with OTA showed the two to be the same on my 50" Panasonic plasma..

I really like seeing detail - like fans behind the batter in a baseball game. I think the latest update has improved that detail & has more color & more contrast.

As for TVs I have two older Panasonic Plasmas picked because I thought they had the best picture on display. And, a new Toshiba LED that jumped out at me at Costco. In addition to the good stuff listed above the Toshiba has outstanding white. Most reviews look for good black, but the white really makes this picture sing.
*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.
Message 6 of 43 (2,921 Views)
Guru

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

I have one of the new VIP2250 DVRs, the latest DVR model that AT&T has that stores 160 hours of HDTV programming.  One of the things that this particular piece of hardware has is a dedicated H.264 video decoder chip.  What does this mean?  It means that the video stream is being decoded in hardware as versus software like on the older boxes.

One of the things that I noticed right away when I was watching TV on this new box is that there is indeed a marked improvement in HDTV picture quality.  I was watching the movie "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" on one of the movie channels, I think it was FXMovie.  I remember a couple of years ago if you were watching something that would cause a lot of motion on the screen you'd see a muddy mess of compression artifacts.  Last night, I was watching it and during the scene in which the airplane flew through the big glass window causing it to shatter to pieces, the picture DID NOT become a muddy mess.  It was fluid, it looked beautiful!  And that was even with me standing two feet away from my TV screen!

I have to hand it to AT&T, I have indeed noticed a vast improvement in HDTV picture quality!  Now, if only I can con the support team into getting me a VIP2200 (the STB version of the VIP2250 DVR).  Fat chance of that happening.  Oh well, I made sure that the VIP2250 was on the big TV.

Message 7 of 43 (2,900 Views)
Scholar

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

aviewer,I'am like you that I like to see deatail in my sporting events.Like the fans in stands,facial stubs of the pitchers.Wrinkles,pimples,freckles and creases in peoples faces,blades of grass and texture and grains of dirt...lol

I'am also a DIY calibtator on avsforum.I have a colormunki display colorimeter that you can buy from around $150 at amazon and use with the free HCFR software found at avsforum and I also use the free calibration disc's (AVS709HD and Mascior's which is awesome ,GCD) found there as well.

I calibrated the THX mode on my Panasonic GT30 and my custom mode.One for day mode at 40ftl and the other for night at 30ftl with masciors calibration disc's 4% window patterns and my blu-rays and HDTV viewing have looked fantastic.

I strongly recommend anyone thats into calibrating to checkout the colormunki display + HCFR along with the free mascior disc and read up on the calibration for dummies guide and fine tune your HDTV for optimum picture.

Warning though ! It causes OCD as you will be fascinated by this hobby and will be calibrating trying different methods at all hours and time.
Message 8 of 43 (2,895 Views)
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help


trparky wrote:

I have one of the new VIP2250 DVRs, the latest DVR model that AT&T has that stores 160 hours of HDTV programming.  One of the things that this particular piece of hardware has is a dedicated H.264 video decoder chip.  What does this mean?  It means that the video stream is being decoded in hardware as versus software like on the older boxes.


 

All of the Motorola VIPxxxx and Cisco ISBxxxx boxes that AT&T has ever used for U-Verse have always done H.264 decoding in hardware.

 

The 1st-generation boxes (Motorola VIP1200, VIP1216, VIP1225, Cisco IPN330, IPN430, IPN4320) all used the Sigma Designs 8634 CPU, which has an integrated hardware H.264 decoder.

 

The 2nd-generation boxes (Motorola VIP2200, VIP2250, Cisco ISB7005, ISB7500) use the Broadcom 7405 CPU, which also has an integrated H.264 decoder, but is faster overall.

 

 

Message 9 of 43 (2,892 Views)
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help


trparky wrote:


I have to hand it to AT&T, I have indeed noticed a vast improvement in HDTV picture quality!  Now, if only I can con the support team into getting me a VIP2200 (the STB version of the VIP2250 DVR).  Fat chance of that happening.  Oh well, I made sure that the VIP2250 was on the big TV.


You might consider getting the new Cisco ISB7005 wireless receivers which have the same hardware and memory founded in the new DVR's.  I have 2 of them, and they work great.  Much faster than the VIP1200 STB's.

Message 10 of 43 (2,890 Views)
Scholar

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help


texasguy37 wrote:


You might consider getting the new Cisco ISB7005 wireless receivers which have the same hardware and memory founded in the new DVR's.  I have 2 of them, and they work great.  Much faster than the VIP1200 STB's.


I have 2 of those wireless receivers in my setup and these little stb are a miracle worker.

 

They produce a great reliable picture with nice quality.

 

I would of thought, that since they are wireless that there would be alot of pixelation and hitching but that is not the case.

 

Kudos to U-verse on this part.

 

Message 11 of 43 (2,877 Views)
Guru

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

Then something changed in hardware.  I don't know what but something must have changed.

 

VIP2250 has got to be two to three times faster in terms of operating speed.  The menus don't lag, when you press a remote button it responds instantly and far faster than the VIP1200 that I still have.  In doing so, this has improved the responsiveness of pause and rewind functions on the VIP1200 since the VIP1200 uses the VIP2250 as the buffer agent when using the functionality.

 

Combine that with the fact that HDTV picture quality is better on the VIP2250 than on the VIP1200, I'm thinking some serious amounts of changes happened in both hardware and software.

Message 12 of 43 (2,876 Views)
Highlighted
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help


trparky wrote:

 

Then something changed in hardware.  I don't know what but something must have changed.


As SomeJoe pointed out, the new DVR's have a different, faster chip and more memory.  The increased speed of the new DVR's is noticable compared to the older units.

Message 13 of 43 (2,828 Views)

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help

I'm a bit confused.  Is the picture quality better because of new firmware or new hardware?

 

I've noticed improved PQ, especially how it was a few years ago.  I still see issues when there is a large amount of detail and movement.

Message 14 of 43 (2,594 Views)
Expert

Re: Update rolling out - The good, the bad & the ugly - Please help


michail77 wrote:

 

I'm a bit confused.  Is the picture quality better because of new firmware or new hardware?


I don't think it has to do with the latest firmware update.  One reason would be that AT&T has been going through the process of upgrading the encorders in their infrastructure.  Also, the new DVR's and wireless receivers, which have a different, faster chip and more memory, may deliver a better image to your TV.

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