DVR, i-Guide ‘Over Recording’ Issue

A number of customers have reported the following problem: They schedule their digital video recorder (DVR) to record a certain television series and select the “Only New Episodes” option. But the DVR still records “Repeat” episodes.

If you’re among the customers who have encountered this problem, we apologize for the inconvenience. This problem is not unique to Suddenlink or its customers. From what we understand, many other service providers and their customers are experiencing the same issue.

In short, here’s what’s happening:

The digital video recorder or DVR relies on the i-Guide (digital channel guide) to tell it which TV show episodes are “new” and which are “repeats.” If a particular show is a repeat, but it’s not marked as a repeat in the i-Guide, the DVR assumes the show is new and records it.

Rovi Corporation (formerly known as Macrovision) is the company responsible for the i-Guide. We have asked them repeatedly to correct this problem; ideally, by labeling every show as either “new” or “repeat,” so the DVR can tell the difference between them. In addition, every time a customer calls us to report this problem, we are making note of the details and sharing them with Rovi staff, so they fully understand the scope and urgency of the issue. Our senior executives have also had discussions with Rovi’s senior executives, to impress upon them the need to promptely resolve this issue.

Comments

  1. NIck says

    When is the problem going to be resolved? I have been waiting a while. If it is something that is “planned for the near future” I might switch to satelitte, but If I knew an anticipated resolution date I might stay with suddenlink.

    • SFYI Editor says

      Nick — Thanks for your constructive question. We’re working with Rovi to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. I wish I could give you a date certain for the fix; unfortunately, I can’t at this time. While this matter is extremely frustrating, I hope you’ll stick with Suddenlink for other reasons. But if you do consider a switch to satellite, be careful on the fine print.

  2. Simon says

    After the DVR “upgrade” a few months ago I immediately noticed this issue and hoped it would be resolved quickly. I’m disappointed to see that it has not been.

    I much preferred the older system. For one I could enable closed captions (I can find no way to do this on the new guide) and I was able to specify an aspect ratio (in my case 16:9 widescreen) on the DVR itself and it would then automatically place the black sidebars on the screen for 4:3 “normal” content as well as displaying widescreen content natively. With the new system I have to manually change the TV between Normal and Widescreen depending on the content being displayed.

    So with all these things:

    – no closed captions
    – old shows being recorded despite being set to New episodes only
    – reduced SDTV/HDTV functionality

    I can only wish that Suddenlink would revert to the older Guide. In my eyes it was much superior to the current. The lack of closed captions is probably my biggest gripe, as I am partially deaf and they were a great help to me.

    • SFYI Editor says

      Simon — Thanks for your perspective and for taking time to share it. I have forwarded your comments (and others’ comments) to our senior team that is in daily contact with Rovi on the iGuide issues. In your case, I’ve asked them to pay particular attention to the “closed captions” issue.

    • SFYI Editor says

      Simon — I’ll email you this information as well, but one of our senior engineers just informed me of the following:

      By pressing Power, then Menu, you can turn “closed caption” on and off. That is also where you can set the “4:3″ versus “Stretch” setting.

      • Simon says

        Thank you for your reply.

        I will definitely give that a try when I get home. I have searched through every menu multiple times with no avail previously.

      • Simon says

        Well, I certainly wish I had known about that three months ago. It’s solved 2 of the 3 issues I had at a stroke.

        That menu is very well hidden!

        Thanks again. Hopefully the duplicate recordings issue can be cleared up soon, also.

  3. laducote says

    Thank you for the info the on cc menu. I use this menu when my house is too noisy and I want to watch TV.

  4. Trever says

    Please keep us informed of any changes to the overrecording issue. We are still experiencing it in Jonesboro, AR, and were about to return our DVR for a new one thinking that it was somehow malfunctioning. We previously enjoyed the DVR and suggested it to many friends. We had become very reliant on the DVR to provide enjoyment without the hassle of having to work our schedule around TV programming.
    We are now having to delete show after show every night upon arriving home just to be able to watch live tv without the warning message appearing.
    This extra work, not to mention the process of having to read every episode synopsis and then worry about deleting an episode you have yet to see really diminishes the convenience that is promised from the DVR techonolgy. A convenience that is well paid for each month in the hopes that it once again lives up to its name.

    • SFYI Editor says

      Thank you for your constructive feedback. I have shared your comments, along with other comments posted here, with our senior management team, to assist in their dialogue with Rovi on solutions. It’s my hope this helps move things along.

  5. Francis says

    Is there any update for this issue? I feel that I’m paying a fee for something that has been broken for almost 4? months and I’m not getting my money’s worth. I’m having to manually select shows to record since all 3-4 workarounds that I’ve tried have shortcomings that have failed for me. Sometimes these manual selected recordings failed to record completely or even to begin recording.

    • SFYI Editor says

      The Rovi team informs us that they have updated guide data from 45 sources and are adding updates to another 25 by the end of October, all of which should progressively improve the experience. We also continue to evaluate the next version of the Rovi software in our labs to determine if it will further address this issue.

      • FYI Editor says

        Mike R — yes. Many of the issues should have been resolved. If you are still having these or other specific problems, please contact me via email at pete-DOT-abel-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thanks.

    • FYI Editor says

      Larry — A user’s manual and quick-reference brochure are available through links at this post. If you don’t see the answer in one of those, email me at pete-DOT-abel-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com, and I’ll chase down the answer for you through other means.

  6. Nick says

    Is there any chance that an autostretch format (similar to what Time Warner has) will be implemented? (I have a 16:9 aspect ratio and I have to constantly adjust for HD vs SD channels from wide to 4:3 ratio with bars on the sides.)

    • FYI Editor says

      There is an auto stretch option in the user menu. When the box is powered on, press the button to power it off and then (quickly, within a second) press the menu button. From there, you should see choices that allow you to change the aspect ratio and activate the stretch override option for 4:3 content. (This is also where closed captioning is turned on, FYI.)

  7. Craig says

    I’ve tried switching the power off and then back on and hitting the menu button to try and manually change the aspect ratio but it does not seem to work. Is there another way to change the aspect ratio to 16:9? The lines from 4:3 ratio are starting to burn in my screen due to the TV being a plazma.

  8. James Harper says

    Still having some problems with this, but when will Suddenlink offer the ability to schedule recordings online? This seems to be a common feature these days. I don’t see why it hasn’t been offered yet.

  9. Nick Cooper says

    THis would be awesome. I know both the satelitte option as well as ATT and verizon are offering this. Not asking for anything that is not above and beyond the competitions offerings

  10. Michael Ruoppoli says

    I would still like to see the search results of any kind and future recordings displayed in a list not by the day that they record. It is very time consuming to go day by day looking at multiple channels for specific items. The old guide displayed lists like this. Please get the new one to perform the same way.