Forum > Decoders > PVR Decoders > UEC 4 Tuner HD PVR REBOOTS
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  #11  
Old 2017-11-30 , 10:39
MC Marietjie's Avatar
MC Marietjie MC Marietjie is offline
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@Geoff I have asked Phil to come on here to respond to you - we are not wilfully or purposefully attacking or doing anything to any of the decoders.
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  #12  
Old 2017-11-30 , 13:01
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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The loss of power, even for a few milliseconds on the LNB ports IS now confirmed to happen on the SD PVR, the UEC HDPVR 4 tuner, the Pace 4 tuner and on the HD PVR2P.

It happens during the CAS endless service authentication checks. Different decoders react to it differently. Older LNBs do not ake kindly to these interruption in power. Neither do Multiswitrches. Some shut down long enough to for some decoders to decide that there has been signal loss, which will then stop recordings. Others will (if the this happens when the service authentication is in progess) decide that the decoder needs to reboot.

On the UEC, what happens is the 18V voltage disappears long enough for the decoder to reboot after which it restores to default network settings, which means 10 600 as a local oscillator. On older LNBs this setting should be 10700. The second effect it restores the mode setting to Universal, which means in the absence of a switching frequency setting. the decoder, now cant pick up the not hi-band transponders and channel 195 is on one of them.

The ONLY way to get this to not happen is to ensure the LNB never loses power (13V and 18V) which means one MUST use a MS and feed that with permanent power. This then stops the signal loss which stops the decoder form rebooting or resetting the network settings.

It went undetected by myself for a very long time because the SD PVR alwys ensure stable power to the two LNB ports one which is always 18V and the other is always 13V.

Removal of the SD PVR one loses this power stability exposing what is happening.

Now as far as I am concerned it is completely intentional because it is the CAS system that is causing all of this!

The same is happening to a lessor extent with the Pace 4 tuner, but if the LNB is aging, it is also sufficient to cause this same problem. The common factor IS the CAS system. To get around it on the Pace 4 tuner, one must at the moment ensure IT is permanently tuned to a channel on a HOR transponder, which then means the 18V is alwys present.

It is a sad day that MC thinks it acceptable to implement a process that cause older decoders to fail when they should not. there is NO need for the power instability issue on the tuners.

BUT I have solved this problem with an old SD PVR permanenetly set up just to provide power to a MS, which then keeps the LNB happy.
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  #13  
Old 2017-12-01 , 07:42
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hilt_ctn hilt_ctn is offline
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Interesting goings on here

I have an " unsupported" setup. There was a thread about this a while back. In short, I have

SmartLNB ---> Unicable ---> HD-PVR 2P
SmartLNB \--> Twin cable -> 2x6 MS --> HD-PVR 4P ( original Pace )

The 4P rebooted randomly at 16h35 yesterday. The 2P did not

Not 2 minutes after the abovementioned reboot, we had a call from the in-laws telling us their SD-PVR ( hanging off a twin LNB ) had just rebooted and the info bar seemed to think it was 1970.

So our HD-PVR 4P and an SD-PVR hanging off a completely different setup rebooted at the same time
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Last edited by hilt_ctn; 2017-12-01 at 07:45. .
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  #14  
Old 2017-12-01 , 09:01
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Thanks for the confirmation.
I presume you have a LMX 500 LNB?

I will be installing a SD PVR today, stripped down to act only as a stable power supply feeding a 2x6 MS to which my own SD PVR is connected. I am convinced that some of the recordings that now fail due to "signal loss" and "power failures" are going stop.

Unfortunately the root cause will still be there. The power dips on the output ports of the MS will still show and the reboots of the SD PVR are going to continue.
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  #15  
Old 2017-12-01 , 09:50
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hilt_ctn hilt_ctn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
Thanks for the confirmation.
I presume you have a LMX 500 LNB?
Yes sir that's the one
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  #16  
Old 2017-12-01 , 11:49
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MC Marietjie MC Marietjie is offline
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This from Phil Nicholson....

Hi Geoff
All decoders are part of a bigger system. At time of design, optimal memory for price and functionality are designed into the hardware so as not to make the decoder too expensive, but also to support its functionality for the expected design life of the specific model. As the entire system grows to accommodate new services these decoders can run short on hardware resources as the models get older. It is a natural consequence. Planning for memory requirements 5 to 10 years into the future is not an exact science as you are aware.

The manner in which we save memory for the older models is to reduce the number of days of EPG. It is not in our interests to deliberately destabilize any model of decoder as all new decoders are subsidized by MultiChoice, so each upgrade actually costs us money. Also, any customer who has held onto his/her decoder for 5 or more years is obviously a loyal subscriber who we want to keep happy for as long as is possible on their originally purchased hardware.

I hope that has put this conspiracy theory, that seems to come largely from your pen, to rest.
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  #17  
Old 2017-12-01 , 12:51
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Sandtonman Sandtonman is online now
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Default Why a conspiracy?.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
..... Now as far as I am concerned it is completely intentional because it is the CAS system that is causing all of this! ......

.............. It is a sad day that MC thinks it acceptable to implement a process that cause older decoders to fail when they should not. there is NO need for the power instability issue on the tuners.......
Hi Geoff, Greetings from Sandton!

The technical description you provided in the long post seems (as always) extremely well researched and highly detailed. You've verified the technical conclusions and illustrated a valid workaround. so, QED on that!

What I don't understand is why you claim this is "completely intentional" on the part of MC?

The 2 paragraphs that I've quoted above are inflammatory in the extreme and will only serve to detract MC completely from your valid technical observations.

Instead of attacking MC, why not simply suggest that they take a look at your technical results and that they investigate as to whether any recent changes to the CAS system may have caused power disruption with older decoders resulting in reboots, setting changes and channel loss?

MC Phil is a good bloke who will not be messing you around. But, from reading his response, he has missed the gist of your technical post.

Hopefully, MoM will have passed on your post (without the conspiracy theories) to the appropriate technical teams for detailed investigation.

Best wishes, as always and thanks for your technical contribution.

Cheers, Keith.
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Last edited by Sandtonman; 2017-12-01 at 12:56. .
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  #18  
Old 2017-12-01 , 13:32
cdbjhb cdbjhb is offline
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Geoff will have his reasons, like I am sure you have your reasons for criticising MC's policies when it suits your understanding.

IMO it is more likely them putting the priorities they have at the front of other concerns, which can easily look like a lack of consideration for the customer, but I do not know what Geoff has perceived.

One point that did not gel with me; the cost of subsidising decoders does not negate the possibility that other needs justify a related further expense to the company.
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  #19  
Old 2017-12-01 , 16:37
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Tulani Tulani is offline
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Coincidentally my much loved UEC 4T gave up on me this week.

So Geoff I leave you now to soldier on with this one.

Since we are not privileged with decoder trade in itís now on the postmortem bench.

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  #20  
Old 2017-12-06 , 17:23
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Default Final post on the UEC Reboot Issue

Refer to this thread for some of the background to this issue.

The UEC 4T is a 4 tuner decoder, mostly installed together with a TWIN LNB and 2 x 4 MS or 2 x 6 MS. The CAS checks 4 times a day also cause this decoder to freeze and reboot. Below is a way to keep using this decoder for those that do not want to replace the decoder.

In cases where this decoder is combined on a MS with a SD PVR, the SD PVR ensured a stable power feed for the UEC decoder, until MC started messing around with the power stability on the SD PVR. What this meant is the power issues on the UEC decoder were pretty much hidden. Those with UEC decoders only will of course experienced the issue as soon as the CAS system started causing power related issues.

ALL universal LNBs (which is used in just about every older installation in SA) depend on a stable uninterrupted power feed from the decoders connected to them.

The control voltage for VER transponder reception is between 11V and 14V, and the voltage for HOR transponder reception is between 16V and 20V. the nominal values are 13V and 18V respectively.

Very few users have more than a TWIN LNB installed, which meant it was mandatory to use a 2 x 4 MS minimum with this decoder. The MSs available are rather cheap ones, most with no external power socket available, so they require a stable source of 13V AND 18V
to work properly.

Now on my still working UEC 4 tuner, about 4 times a day, the CAS system causes the voltage supply to the 4 tuner ports to fluctuate. If that fluctuation drops below the threshold of 11V for VER reception, that port stops working, signal is interrupted and the decoder most likely WILL trigger a reboot especially in the middle of a service authentication process. The same for the 18V HOR port. A drop below about 16V WILL make that port switch to VER which is the same as a signal loss.

Now 4 times a day, during the CAS process, the voltages on the ports drop below the threshold, causing as a minimum signal loss which stops recordings that may have been in process and WILL interrupt the authentication process, causing the decoder to freeze and possibly reboot.

The ONLY way to avoid unnecessary reboots, is to provide the LNB and the MS with an external power source, that at least keeps the LNB going and the MS working while the CAS messes around with the decoder.

So the same applies, one can use an old SD PVR together with a 2 x 6 MS to ensure stable power for the LNB and MS. I have also tried a Pace 4 Tuner that is not activated as a temporary solution and that works as well. You have to tune the decoder to a channel on a HOR transponder to ensure the 18V supply is available on one port.

Somewhere along the line, MC decided to change the default local oscillator setting on the decoders from 10700 to 10600, forgetting that for many years, ALL LNBs in SA had a Hi-band Lo of 10700. This had no real effect on anyone because MC was NOT using any Hi-band transponders. So it did not matter. Now, this is a sure fire way to detect when the decoder has restored to defaults during a reboot cycle. IF you have previously set that parameter to 10700, then that setting is restored to 10600.

Then along came the new satellite. Hi-band transponders are now being used for some channels. The UEC decoder software was not updated and provided with the "switching frequency" parameter, so the decoder does not receive the channels on those transponders.

The ONLY fix was for agencies and MC to tell unsuspecting users that the decoder was faulty, or even if they did tell the user the real reason, the outcome was always replace your decoder and these were replaced with the Pace 4 tuner decoder.

BUT those users out there that do not fall for these stories have another way to sort out that problem. Set the decoder to Standard working instead of Universal, which forces the decoder to convert all received transponder signals as if they are Lo-band and then all the channels on the "Not hi-band" transponders are now received, even if at slightly lower levels than they should be received.

Ironically, the same little trick works with the SD PVR, the Pace 4 tuner and the HD PVR 2 tuners. BUT even more interesting is that the SD PVR took all this in its stride and would work fairly well when set on Universal anyway, contrary to what MC was telling everyone. Because the SD PVR is not DVB-S2 compliant, no one would have needed this, EXCEPT when MC chose to put a SD channel on DVB-S on one of those transponders ---

The problem is every time the decoder reboots after or during the authentication process, it resets istelf to defaults and the decoder then loses access to the "not Hi-band" transponders, until the Standard setting is restored.

The UEC decoder is able to be set to record the SD version of a channel if you choose to do so, and the the HD version of that channel is on one of the "Not Hi-band" trasnponders. The EPG will display the channels with the HD label. The setting will show as set to record that HD channel. Just set the decoder to Universal and the SD channel will be recorded.
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Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
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1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
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Last edited by Geoff D; 2017-12-06 at 20:10. .
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