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Nebula – cannot enable/disable Timer mode?


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All VCRs can be put in Timer mode to enable the recording of any programs stored in the programmer. The VisionPlus does this with the "Schedule Recording" button prominently located in the Recording Setup. I know the FusionHDTV doesn’t have this, and it doesn’t look like the Nebula has it either (using 3.12b3). Am I right, and has there been any discussion about it here that I’ve missed?

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The VisionPlus does this with the "Schedule Recording" button prominently located in the Recording Setup.  I know the FusionHDTV doesn’t have this, and it doesn’t look like the Nebula has it either (using 3.12b3)

DigiTV is either active (i.e. running with a visible window and picture) or inactive (hides itself as an icon in the Windows taskbar)

At the start time of a timer event, DigiTV will start recording whether active or inactive at the time. Depending on how it's set it will either record while displaying the picture/sound or silently (black picture, no sound) and may also minimize to the task bar.

There is no "wait for recording timer standby mode" as DigiTV will normally be running in background with a taskbar icon when the main window is closed.

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I thought as much. I just did a couple of quick little tests.

First, I set the timer to record something while playing a file with DigiTV. The timer kicked in and stopped playback, something that would never happen with a VCR.

Second, I set the timer to record Nine, and in the meantime started recording Seven. DigiTV crashed when the timer attempted to override the current recording. I repeated the test twice and had one more crash.

The VisionPlus lets you disable the timer globally or on an event-by-event basis, and won’t override your current manually initiated recording, which is how VCRs work. The lack of these features in the Nebula and FusionHDTV limit the usefulness of daily and weekly schedules, as they will interfere with your use of the software if you are not sticking with your schedule!

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It's a reasonable compromise whilst the software doesn't support simultaneous recording and playback. It makes a lot more sense to capture the scheduled recording. You can always use another application to do the playback of previously recorded programs. I'd like to see your VCR do that :blink:

Manual vs Scheduled recording is more problematic. Ideally I guess the software should prompt the user (and default to the scheduled recording if no response ~)

You can't instantly jump forwards 3 minutes through the ads with a VCR either but that's no reason to carry those limitations forward into the 21st century :P

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First, I set the timer to record something while playing a file with DigiTV.  The timer kicked in and stopped playback, something that would never happen with a VCR.

DigiTV v3.5, when released, is slated to address this issue.

Second, I set the timer to record Nine, and in the meantime started recording Seven.  DigiTV crashed when the timer attempted to override the current recording.  I repeated the test twice and had one more crash.

Can you please tell me which version of the software are you using, and exactly what steps you used to cause this problem to occur?

I just tried to reproduce what you are seeing, using v3.12b3, but had no problems. I set a timer for Ch9 for 5 minutes in the future, changed to Channel 7, hit 'r' to do a 30min OTR, and then when the 5 minutes elapsed, DigiTV stopped the OTR, changed to Ch9 and commenced the timer recording.

The current version of DigiTV gives timer recording a higher priority than OTR recording or playback. I suppose it is personal preference as to whether this is a reasonable approach or not.

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I agree with DigiTV's behaviour in choosing to follow the scheduled recording event rather than continue the current playback or recording session.

To my thinking if I've gone to the trouble of setting the timer in advance, I want it to run no matter what I'm doing at the time!

Sometimes you want to record two things at once, that's why I have purchased two Nebula cards and have them in two separate PCs :blink:

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First, I set the timer to record something while playing a file with DigiTV.  The timer kicked in and stopped playback, something that would never happen with a VCR.

Agreed, but with a VCR you still couldn't watch one program and record another. You can't have it both ways.

I do think it would be a good idea to have an "inactive" option on a timer recording. I have about 9 timers set up for weekly recording but occasionally I don't want one to record on a particular week, or to record something different just once. For example, when the short-course swimming was on there was no Star Trek Voyager that week - it would've been nice to simply mark the timer setup as "inactive" and then change it back later. As it was I had the choice of remembering to turn off the PC that night, of deleting the timer and remembering to re-create it, or of letting it go and deleting it the next day.

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Personally, I’m not fussed that scheduled recording takes precedence over playback, because I only play back recordings with DigiTV for testing purposes.

But scheduled recording SHOULD NOT override a recording that is started manually. This goes against everything those of us who have mastered VCR programming have learned over the years. Assuming that for some reason most users prefer it this way, there needs to be a way of globally disabling the timer or individual events. Otherwise you will need to delete or modify the time of every schedule that is going to clash with your change of recording plans, or suffer the consequences.

Even this was easier to do when I was recording everything on JVC VCRs. If I wanted to disable a particular weekdaily schedule, rather than delete it, I would just set the date to start the next day. Programming everything to the minute can be tedious, so with various VCRs I would deliberately set overlapping times to simplify the task. You see, I’ve learned to recognise all the nuances of programming and use them to my advantage!

Edit: HyperReality, re the timer recording crash

I was more disturbed by the timer interrupting the current recording than the crash, so I wasn’t paying attention to it, but rest assured I’ll do some more testing! Other problems I’ve had include the channel change problem which results in 0 or 3KB files being recorded, and DigiTV (at least pre 3.12b3) crashing when playing back .mpg files recorded on a FusionHDTV Lite.

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Tvboy

Interesting stuff really

Even this was easier to do when I was recording everything on JVC VCRs. If I wanted to disable a particular weekdaily schedule, rather than delete it, I would just set the date to start the next day. Programming everything to the minute can be tedious, so with various VCRs I would deliberately set overlapping times to simplify the task. You see, I’ve learned to recognise all the nuances of programming and use them to my advantage!

I guess you have implemented an understanding way beyong the average mortal. Most people I know have developed a basic competency in VCR and now DVB app recording techniques. Congratulatins on the achievement but many consumers are 'back there'

Other problems I’ve had include the channel change problem which results in 0 or 3KB files being recorded, and DigiTV (at least pre 3.12b3) crashing when playing back .mpg files recorded on a FusionHDTV Lite.

Ummm... Can you be more specific ?

I haven't seen the first problem you mention so cannot comment but why would you want to playback a Fusion recording in DigiTv ??

Doesn't make a lot of sense ??

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Ive never had a timer need to kick in when maunally recording (OTR), but when watching live tv, the timer kicks in and records as expected (which is good because a timed recording is a recording worth keeping right? :blink: )

Note that 312b3 does have an intermittent channel change bug when changing from channel 9 (well for me in Sydney at least), so this may be the cause of the crash

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Ummm... Can you be more specific ?

I haven't seen the first problem you mention so cannot comment but why would you want to playback a Fusion recording in DigiTv ??

Doesn't make a lot of sense ??

A number of users were discussing the failed recording problem in the thread on the 3.12b3 software several weeks ago. I mentioned the second problem to show that I’d found another way to repeatably crash DigiTV. What I wanted to know originally was the reason why FusionHDTV's recordings wouldn’t play properly in DigiTV, because it played everything else I tried.

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Just to define it clearly, the issue is over whether a scheduled recording should interrupt when:

1) viewing live TV

2) viewing a recording

3) a manually-started recording is active.

In the case of 1, I believe there is universal agreement that the scheduled recording should interrupt.

In the case of 2, I'm not sure why it's sometimes seen differently, because the issue seems to be the same as 1: momemtary interruption of what you're currently viewing. Perhaps, with an interrupted recording, there is the extra effort of restarting playback and locating your position if you decide to sacrifice the scheduled recording and continue with what you were watching. But I don't understand why anyone would be prepared to miss out on entire shows they went to the trouble if setting a timer for so that their spontaneous decisions to watch pre-recorded shows won't be interrupted.

In 3.11 and earlier, DigiTV would interrupt in the case of 1 but not 2. Thanks to this, I missed out on a number of shows. In 3.12, it was changed to interrupt both 1 and 2 in response to a request by myself and presumably others. Nebula said they would add something that popped up on the screen to warn you that a scheduled recording was about to begin, but they didn't implement this in 3.12 beta.

I'm curious as to what Richard meant when he said "DigiTV v3.5, when released, is slated to address this issue."

As for case 3, it's a bit more complicated. I tend to agree with tvboy that it should not be interrupted. However, I don't think a global timer enable/disable is the solution. First, you might forget to set it to "disable", and your manually-started recording will get interrupted anyway. Second, you may forget to set it to "enable", and you'll miss your scheduled recordings(s). One of the worst things about VCRs is missing shows because you forgot to enable "timer mode", even if it was a necessary feature. In any case, it's not necessary for a TV card, and DigiTV should simply distinguish between a manually-started and scheduled recording and act appropriately, until someone comes up with a better idea.

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I'm curious as to what Richard meant when he said "DigiTV v3.5, when released, is slated to address this issue."

Sorry, I wasn't all that clear. My current understanding is that as part of the changes to DigiTV to add multidevice support in v3.5 one of the things that is planned to be added is the ability to watch a previous recording while another is in progress - meaning that playback of a recording will never be interrupted by a timer recording starting.

As for whether OTR's trump timer recordings - that's one of those things that will be good for some people and bad for others. I suppose that a user option as to which action has priority, with a dialog (as Joey suggested above) that asks the user what they want to happen (which then falls back to the option the user has selected if there is no response in a cartain timeframe) would be a good solution.

Being able to temporarily disable multi-occurance timers (say "skip next occurance") sounds like a good feature too.

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mmm, to add a bit more.

Well If I have a timer set then it must have been for a good reason, I wouldn't want to miss the show!

In some cases I may have set a timer for a program and then found that I'm home so I will view it now. So perhaps a popup warning would be nice asking if the timer should be deleted.

In any case I think that if you are viewing a live program and a timer event is about to start a pop up window asking what to do would be nice.

Options could be :-

1. view it now - do not record

2. do not view now - record it

3. both view and record.

Perhaps even with a say 10 second default timeout just incase you have left the room and cannot select an option.

At least with later 3.5 versions watching a recording won't be an issue.

Also what is the recording priority when trying to record one program after another on different channels? I find that a lot of stuff never finishes on time.

NAC

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