Neutral Axis

ReplayTV Hiccups Again

by on Sep.29, 2009, under Uncategorized

ReplayTVI’ve recounted problems on this blog before with my aging ReplayTV DVRs that I can’t bear to give up.  Upon arriving home today I found both of my units in a continual state of rebooting.  Cue despair.  How in the world did two go down simultaneously? Answer: Thank goodness they didn’t … ReplayTV’s server did.

Every day a ReplayTV checks via internet with the mothership server to get new schedule data and verify activation.  It then combines the new data with the old.  Normally all that happens in the background without the user noticing.

In this case, the point at which the bootup failed was just before live TV would begin.  From past experience, I know that a network problem can cause a system hang to happen at that point, so I disconnected the network cable and then had a successful boot and playback.  Mild relief.  The problem wasn’t a hard drive problem as compatible drives are getting hard to find.

With everything working, I plugged the ethernet back in and everything seemed to continue working.  That is, until I forced a network connection to the ReplayTV server.  At the “combining data 80%” prompt, it hung.  That spells trouble because it could be a fried network port.

I contacted Mike Menard, who operates the website Mikeboy’s ReplayTV Parts to ask his opinion of my problem.  A few minutes later he responded with a link to the AVS Forum that answered my problem.  All ReplayTVs nationwide went down today due to a ReplayTV server problem.  Everyone was hanging around the 80% mark.  Somebody reported that tech support (I didn’t even know that tech support existed anymore) said they were aware of the problem and were investigating.  This could either be fixed shortly, or given the near obsolete status of ReplayTV, it could be the final nail in its coffin if nobody bothers to fix the server problem.  We’ll see.

[Update 12:05pm 9/30/09 – The mothership seems to be working again.  That’s the first outage of this kind I’ve experienced in nearly 10 years with ReplayTV.]

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