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X1 DVR

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Message 50 of 1,107
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I'm having the same problem.  I just realized I lost about a dozen shows.  I have not really seen that there  is a solution yet, other than rebooting. I'm going to try that now but that doesn't seem to work in all cases. If Comcast comes up with a fix, please let me know. Thank You.

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Message 51 of 1,107
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In the past week from the update we have lost I've 30 of my special needs daughters favorite show. I have them all taped because they are her favorite and now we just haves handful. I am ticked off that this happened only have 32% and it keeps deleting please fix
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Message 52 of 1,107
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I'm having this issue too. It is just deleting programs daily without need for space. It may be a coincidence, but I've noticed really becoming a problem since I upgraded to the new guide. In about the last week it just deletes older episodes of shows despite being at 50%. Any help?

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Message 53 of 1,107
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Happened to me today in St. Paul, MN.  Lost all of the movies I had been saving to watch when I had time.  Many were Lifetime movies that are not On Demand.  I am NOT HAPPY.  How can I get them back or is this fix not going to be able to restore them?  I am only at 30 some percent !

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Message 54 of 1,107
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Update.  I went to the DVR manager and marked every remaining episode to keep until "I Delete".

 

So far so good.

 

 

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Message 55 of 1,107
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I've noticed that I can no longer select keep until "I Delete".  My options are space needed or 1 year.  I'm trying the 1 year option and hope that helps.  I called asking for a credit, but was told that a technician needs to come out before they'll entertain a credit.  What a waste of time! 

 

Yesterday, I was watching a recorded NHL playoff game that was still ongoing.  In the middle of the 1st period, the DVR stopped playing (i.e. the show disappeared) and took me to the live game in the 3rd period.  I missed most of the game.  Last evening, the DVR wouldn't let me record anything.  My scheduled shows would not record.  It seems like the problem is getting worse.  Comcast - please address the problem!

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Message 56 of 1,107
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Clarification:  I sleect keep until "I Delete" on the web's DVR Manager.  I just checked, and that option remains available.

 

Thanks

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Message 57 of 1,107
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Same issue in Northern CA.  Not cool and no fix.  This, after an almost 2 week debacle to even get the thing working properly to begin with.   Why did Comcast put this POS platform our when it CLEARLY is not ready???

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Message 58 of 1,107
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Comcast is NOT going to fix this problem because they don't know how! Every time I have an issue, the answer is "we are working on a fix". Local technicians all admit that they don't know much about the x1 boxes. Last night about half of the recorded shows on our dvr disappeared,  even though there was only about 60% of drive space used. I hate x1! 

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Message 59 of 1,107
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The same stuff is happening to me too. I'm so angry!!!
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Message 60 of 1,107
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We noticed yesterday on our x1 DVR (Northwest IN) that our shows are also being deleted when we do not have a full bar of recordings.  We were up in the 60's and now shows have been deleted and you can not watch them on Demand because some are already deleted from there.  A couple are new series shows and we're missing the Pilot and a few after that.

 

Anyone hearing from Comcast on this?  Any idea on how to get these back?  I guess I will be on the phone tomorrow to try and see what they can do about it.  I'm sure the same as usual....bring the box in or we'll send a tech out.  Both of these will result in loosing what we have left.

 

When I was inticed from a Comcast rep back in December to switch I was told the shows would be there forever because they are in the "cloud" so no worries on how much to tape.  We switched from Tivo and I'm thinking maybe we should have stayed with them.  We didn't have these kinds of problems!

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Message 61 of 1,107
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Having the same issue, just got the 'new' update a few days ago (x1 was installed in September, alexandria va) and episodes are disappearing even though I had plenty of space. This is NOT ok! I had some sentimental stuff saved and I'm really crushed that it's gone. And I was saving the last episode of Sherlock !!! I need my cumberbatch fix! Comcast better fix this, the dvr shouldn't automatically delete stuff !if there is a fix I would love to know! Can provide version numbers if needbe. Thanks.
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Message 62 of 1,107
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I am soooo very mad I had less than 50% saved and found recordings I watched frequently !
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Message 63 of 1,107
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I am so mad that this happened again. I lost shows in November and now I just lost 15 shows over the last 3 days. This needs fixed and for all lost shows Comcast should offer credits for what it will cost to recoup the shows on iTunes. All of my shows were old and I can't get them ON Demand anymore.
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Message 64 of 1,107
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Hello, ComcastThomas,

 

I just noticed that there is a new update available for my X1 box, and I just downloaded and installed it using the "Update Version" button on the Setting>About menu.  Did this new version fix the problem?

 

Here is the version info from before and after the update:

 

Before:

STB Timestamp:  Fri Mar 07 22:05:09 UTC 2014

STB Version: PX001AN_1.3.2p2s2_PRODsd

 

After:

STB Timestamp:  Thu Apr 17 03:10:08 UTC 2014

STB Version: PX001AN_1.3.2p3s1_PRODsd

 

I'm not sure how to interpret that info, but it seems strange that the update is 4 days old.  Why wasn't it installed automatically overnight?

 

I was not expecting the deleted shows to magically reappear, and they did not show up in the list of recordings.  Is there any way to get them back from OnDemand?

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Message 65 of 1,107
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I'm having the exact same problems in Spokane, WA.  Just spent 2 hours on the phone with Comcast customer service--brilliant people as always.  The first rep hung up on me when I asked for a supervisor (Denver rep unique identifier S8#) and the second rep was chewing gum so loudly I had to mute her until she transferred me (Denver rep Janessa, identifier DP4/).

 

I finally got a Supervisor who admitted she had no idea what the problem was and told me Comcast had never heard of this issue--I guess the phone reps do not read the forums (Denver Supervisor Stephanie, identifier QGB ).  At least Stephanie was polite, and competent at customer service, if not tech support.

 

Frankly, when Comcast reps don't even know why the power button on the remote doesn't turn the box off, I can't place any faith at all in them. (Hint: http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/x1-power-save-faqs/)

 

These people should be shamed until they provide decent tech support and customer service.  It's not like they can't afford it--have you looked at your bill lately??

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Message 66 of 1,107
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Same issue happened to ustoday. I'm in Sacramento area. Re-initializing did not help. Very frustrating - we want to record series and watch them on our schedule, often that means saving them for a few weeks and watching several episodes over a weekend. Can't do that when it randomly purges our recordings - spoils the whole series if you are missing several episodes! Any suggestions or help appreciated. Thanks

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Message 67 of 1,107
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Post your issue on the xfinity Facebook page.
I akways get corporate attention from there and surprisingly quick.
Just be courteous. They callef me the next day and I got at least t a one month credit.
Waiting to see if any more get deleted .
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Message 68 of 1,107
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I've decided that the x1 boxes must be running windows 95! When tech support doesn't know what to do, the standard answer is "reboot". I think this forum is just a way to get customers off their back and make us think that they are listening. Funny how you never see notices of known problems on the main website. 

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Message 69 of 1,107
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Question for those customers who are being affected, and please be honest! 

 

How many episodes did you have in your "deleted" folder?

 

The reason I ask is becuase the only two times this happened to me was when I got lazy and forgot to erase programs from my deleted folder then I recorded a couple movies back to back in one day.  In each instance like that the DVR chose to delete the OLDER programs first instead of the stuff in my deleted folder first.  Your deleted folder contributes to your used space, though it doesn't show on the bar.  In both instances this happened to me, recording the longer movies caused the total to go over 100% though my bar clearly said I was at about 60%.  The bar at the top only shows what you have in your RECORDINGS, but the deleted folder adds to your space unless you erase them.

 

What I THINK-the programs that my DVR deleted from my "recordings" folder...every time...were older than the ones in my deleted folder.

 

Most people are like me here---about 50%-60% on your DVR BUT that doesn't included your deleted folder, which accounts for space as well.  If your DVR needs space, it looks for the oldest stuff to delete first, regardless of what folder it is in, UNLESS you select to save until you delete.

 

One would THINK that Comcast could set it up that would make it a priority for the DVR to auto delete the "trash" from our deleted folder FIRST if it needed more space.  But a fix for this problem doesn't seem to be coming.

 

My advice: Make darn sure you are staying on top of erasing unwanted programs from your deleted folder, mark the older stuff to erase when "I Delete," and this should not be a problem.

 

It's a hard lesson to learn.  I was half way through an entire series on my DVR when suddenly I lost all the episodes and it occurred to me what happened.  So my heart goes out to whoever lost stuff...but we can avoid this, guys.

 

If you all had empty "Delted" folders and this happened, have the tech come out and look at your DVR because something is wrong.  But I am betting donuts that the problem most people are experiencing is similar to mine.

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Message 70 of 1,107
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I only had maybe 20 items in deleted folder.  All the shows of mine that disappeared no longer appear in comcast's on demand or available to watch shows.  Seems like if the show is no longer available on demand or their network for all viewers then it deletes from your dvr too?  Just what I seem to notice.  I am having problems for the last few days.  Only 3 different shows are being affected.  I would think all new shows trying to record would not record if it was a problem with me not erasing my deleted shows.  Could be they were some of the oldest shows I have recorded though?  Techs from Colorado all act like they have never heard of the problem and hang up on you after being on hold forever!  

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Message 71 of 1,107
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If it's corresponding only with the On Demand then it may be a different issue.

 

I have programs on my DVR that are specifically set to only delete when "I Delete" and they are still around and not available on demand.  It seems maybe your issue is different.

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Message 72 of 1,107
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I think that Calhoun07's suggestion is a possible explanation for my problem last week.  My DVR was 75% full on Sunday April 13, and I suspect the Deleted folder had about 20 shows in it, many of which were recent sporting events (hockey, basketball, and baseball games recorded in the last couple of weeks), and I had added extra time to each of these games and thus they were probably each 4 hours or more long.  And that Sunday, I had scheduled a lot of recording in the evening (60 Minutes, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Good Wife, Masterpiece).  So, I suppose it is possible that the X1 decided that it had to delete some older shows to make room, and since the oldest shows were things like Grey's Anatomy and CSI recorded months ago, the X1 deleted them first rather than the recent games.

 

But if that were the case, I have two comments:

 

1. The X1 went way overboard in its deleting, because it went from 75% full to 25% full in about one day.  I estimate that the needed space for those Sunday shows was approx 5 hours (which I think is about 5% of the DVR space).  I estimate that the X1 deleted about 50 hours of recordings during that one day.

 

2. If Comcast is going to call this a "feature" of the X1 rather than a software bug, then this "feature" is going at the very top of the list of things I don't like about the X1.  There are lots of things that I really do like about the X1 compared to the old DVR box (e.g. more space, better guide, easier closed captioning), but there are lots of things I don't like and this "deleting without permission" problem is the worst.

 

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Message 73 of 1,107
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By posting the experience I had am I in no way what so EVER saying that's the way it should be.

 

I think that's what happened in my experience.  Yes, I think it went overboard on mine, too.  I recorded a couple two hour movies over night and woke up this morning to find 10 of 11 programs deleted from a series I recorded and 4 of 8 episodes of another series I recorded.  If the DVR needed the four hours extra space, it delted way more than four hours of space.  I think maybe it deletes more than the required space, maybe knocking back to about 80% full including the deleted programs, but I have no way to verify that for sure as the bar showing used space does not included the deleted folder.

 

Somebody from Comcast needs to weigh in on this.  They need to be aware this is happening, and why.  I don't care if I have older programs saved in my "recordings" folder marked to delete as space needed.  Logic would dictate that if the DVR needs extra space that it should clear out the deleted folder first before it goes after anything in the saved recordings folder.  But logic seems to be beyond the capability of Xfinity programmers. 

 

I posted my experience not to justify what happened, but hopefully Comcast can be aware of what is one cause of the problem and issue a patch to fix it.  There's no reason why it should be clearing out saved recordings before erasing deleted shows.

 

BTW, I have shows much older than the ones that got mass erased but they are all marked as saved until I delete.  The others, unfortunately, weren't.  That's my fault.  After the first time it happened I should have stayed on top of it but I got lax over time and paid the price.  I lost about three series I was following on my DVR today.

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Message 74 of 1,107
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To add to this....I don't ever erase our deleted shows file.  It must delete them or filter them out after time or there would be tons more in ours than the 24 I went in and manually erased today for the first time.  I also had all of our shows set up to delete only if room was needed and now I changed almost all of them to when I delete them.  I will see if this helps.

 

More hours of shows have been disappearing than room needed for our new recordings too.  I also agree it should only erase deleted/previosly viewed shows and not shows in our new recordings to make room!  So my next biggest concern is why am I learning more on this forum than from the Comcast tech help I have been calling the last few nights about this?

 

What really makes me mad is that the last two nights I have been on the phone for hours with comcast techs and none of them ever mentioned these could be our issues.  One tried a reboot and said they would send a ticket to the higher ups to check into.  The next one put me on hold and then hung up on me after 20min. of sitting on hold.  The 3rd is supposed to call me today with a supervisor.  I will see how that goes.

 

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Message 75 of 1,107
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Why are you learning about it here?  Because I think that most reps they hire for the phones aren't customers/users themselves, and don't know the issues we face and stopped to figure out why.  Somebody calls in and says the DVR is deleting their shows, they may not know to ask the right questions to figure out the reason.  So...I would mark it down to poor training or lazy reps.

 

So, if you get a hold of the supervisor, ask them if the deleted folder could affect it, I would be curious to see what they say.  I posted my idea on their FB page but nobody from Comcast has responded yet to me to verify this may be the problem.  Maybe if their phone reps aren't aware of the issue  if enough of us report this and complain maybe they will issue a patch to fix this so the DVR clears out deleted files first before going after saved recordings, regardless of how they are set to delete by the user.

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Message 76 of 1,107
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I didn't talk to Comcast Customer service reps.  I talked to actual X1 Xfinity technicians for cable/dvr problems.  Granted it was later in the evening when I called.  They should know what issues the X1 DVR boxes are having especially since there seems to be lots of complaints on their site about all of this.   This is not a new problem with the X1 DVR's.  I wish they could just be honest to their customers!!!!

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Message 77 of 1,107
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First I want to apologize for the issue that you were all having with the DVR deleting programs to early.  The good news is that we have found the issue and have just completed the deployment so the DVR should go back to the normal process of deleting recordings. 

 

The problem was we were not erasing the recordings in the Recently Deleted folder and were instead, erasing the oldest recording(s) with the setting of Save “Until Space is Needed” when the DVR needed more space for recording.  The bug also had a side impact on the Disk Full percentage we are showing on the screen.

 

Thanks for everyone who reported the issue and the discussion as it helped us quickly identify and fix the problem.

 

ComcastThomas




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Message 78 of 1,107
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Thank you Thomas, for the update.  It makes sense given everyone's feedback.

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Message 79 of 1,107
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Thank you ComcastThomas! I'm wondering if there is any way to recover the deleted recordings or are they lost forever? When can we expect to see the update pushed to the boxes? Thanks!
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Message 80 of 1,107
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Thanks, Thomas! Is this an update we can all expect on our DVRs or do we need to download any updates?  Will they be all at the same time to all customers or staggered to different areas/markets?

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Message 81 of 1,107
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I'm having the same issue.  Anything older than 30 days has been deleted from my X1 box.  I've called Comcast several times and they keep saying it's a known issue and all of the saved programs should be in "the cloud".  I'm highly doubful any of these recordings will be restored.

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Message 82 of 1,107
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Thank you for the update ComcastThomas. As others are asking are we going to get our shows back as I lost another 5 episodes today. If we cant get our shows back will Comcast be crediting our bills?
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Message 83 of 1,107
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I got a reduction in my bill earlier this year. They just gave r me a $65 credit.
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Message 84 of 1,107
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Sorry, but the recordings cannot be recovered.  My only suggestion is to see if you can find them via the On Demand service.

 

The bug existed in one of our server components in the network that manages al of the scheduling so there is no update needed on the boxes in your home.

ComcastThomas




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Message 85 of 1,107
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Of course 90% of the recordings that Comcast deleted are conveniently not On Demand. God, I wish I was able to switch to a different cable company.
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Message 86 of 1,107
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This just started happening to me this past week (4/21/14) and I think it may have been part of some kind of update to my X1.
We have about 25% missing recordings. We also had a problem where we couldn't turn off the Descriptive Voice Service on our
box. Please keep us posted on what is being done about this. I pay for DVR every month, I expect to
have it in its entirety.
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Message 87 of 1,107
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So far the fix has not worked for me. Programs are still deleting with no permission. It is not older programming nor if my deleted folder excessively large. 

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Message 88 of 1,107
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I had the descriptive voice problem recently,  but the previous update fixed it. The deleting recording problem still persists with current version. 

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Message 89 of 1,107
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javanasse wrote:

So my next biggest concern is why am I learning more on this forum than from the Comcast tech help I have been calling the last few nights about this?

 

What really makes me mad is that the last two nights I have been on the phone for hours with comcast techs and none of them ever mentioned these could be our issues.  One tried a reboot and said they would send a ticket to the higher ups to check into.  The next one put me on hold and then hung up on me after 20min. of sitting on hold.  The 3rd is supposed to call me today with a supervisor.  I will see how that goes.

 


THIS.  Comcast tech support really needs to gain some competency in dealing with X1 issues.  I have had to sit through them rebooting the X1, re-pushing my subscriptions/entitlements, etc. when I knew that wasn't the issue (we are well-trained at this point to reboot things).  I just wanted to open the ticket in the hopes that the issue would be escalated or at least make a ripple somewhere down the line.

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Message 90 of 1,107
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Agreed.  When I chatted and when I had a tech visit, neither one of them had any idea about this issue or how to fix it.  If they had, they could have saved me and them a lot of frustration.

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Message 91 of 1,107
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So, the admin on facebook just told me that I have to keep my recored content at less than 45 percent of the dvr/cloud capacity or it will begin deleteing my recorded programs! They mentioned that there was a signal issue in my area when in fact this has been going on since last October.

In January, corporate called me and re-structered my account to lower my bill somewhat. And assured me that this was soon to be fixed. Now, it is worse with the the X1 cloud move.

So, I think I should only have to pay 45 percent of my bill until it is completley fixed and I get what I am being sold.

Go fill your gas tank and have the oil company siphon it back out if dont use it soon or fill above 45 percent! See how that works?

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Message 92 of 1,107
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I see now that after they forced everbody to update to the horrible new guide that you can NO LONGER SAVE PROGRAMS UNTIL "I DELETE!"

 

Now it's only saved for a max of ONE YEAR.

 

To Comcast:  You do realize that I live in Kansas City, right?  You do realize that Google Fiber is calling me to get their service, RIGHT? 

 

You are making the choice easier and easier everyday, KEEP UP THE WORK!

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Message 93 of 1,107
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I had this issue since I got X1.Comcast has told me this is a known issue. I've had comcast out to my home over 13 times in one year for one thing or another with X1, and this is the last remaining issue. I've grown extremely tired of their excuses and lack if progress. It's so easy to see why they are among the worse cable providers out there. I shouldn't have to calculate in my head the amount of space available or have to mark everything "until I delete" so I don't lose programs. TiVo worked better than this. Friends and family who have verizon or direc tv don't have all these issues. COMCAST, get on the ball and give your customers what they paid for!!!!!!
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Message 94 of 1,107
9,236 Views
I have lost 36 recordings in blocks of 12 this week. Once we had a power outage due to weather, and twice I unplugged my box, once to move it, and once because the box froze.
I called twice and both times told they have never heard of thus issue. Luckily the recording names still showed up on the other box in the house so I was able to know
What I'm missing. And they're deleting mostly the previous days recordings and random others to make 12. This x1 has been nothing but trouble. All the techs who
Have come to the house all say they will not get it cuz of how bad it is. And I don't care if they're on demand. I DVR stuff cuz I'm sick of commercials. And most on demand
Won't kept you fast forward. I do have a lot of scheduled recordings, so if this is what's causing the deletions I need to know. I'm sick of having the box switched out.
Have had 3 boxes in a year and all 3 have done this!
Posted by
Service Expert

Message 95 of 1,107
9,218 Views

That's so strange.  I've never had that happen one time since I got X1 in June 2013.




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Posted by
Official Employee

Message 96 of 1,107
9,213 Views
I have lost 36 recordings in blocks of 12 this week. Once we had a power outage due to weather, and twice I unplugged my box, once to move it, and once because the box froze.
I called twice and both times told they have never heard of thus issue. Luckily the recording names still showed up on the other box in the house so I was able to know
What I'm missing. And they're deleting mostly the previous days recordings and random others to make 12. This x1 has been nothing but trouble. All the techs who
Have come to the house all say they will not get it cuz of how bad it is. And I don't care if they're on demand. I DVR stuff cuz I'm sick of commercials. And most on demand
Won't kept you fast forward. I do have a lot of scheduled recordings, so if this is what's causing the deletions I need to know. I'm sick of having the box switched out.
Have had 3 boxes in a year and all 3 have done this!

______________________________

One thing I would do is change your settings from "as space is needed" to " keep for 1 year" and see if they still disappear. You also have a lot of scheduled recordings that the DVR might be making room for.



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Posted by
Problem Solver

Message 97 of 1,107
9,211 Views

Bep1976 wrote:
I have lost 36 recordings in blocks of 12 this week. Once we had a power outage due to weather, and twice I unplugged my box, once to move it, and once because the box froze.
I called twice and both times told they have never heard of thus issue. Luckily the recording names still showed up on the other box in the house so I was able to know
What I'm missing. And they're deleting mostly the previous days recordings and random others to make 12. This x1 has been nothing but trouble. All the techs who
Have come to the house all say they will not get it cuz of how bad it is. And I don't care if they're on demand. I DVR stuff cuz I'm sick of commercials. And most on demand
Won't kept you fast forward. I do have a lot of scheduled recordings, so if this is what's causing the deletions I need to know. I'm sick of having the box switched out.
Have had 3 boxes in a year and all 3 have done this!

I would advise you count up how many hours of recordings you have in total. There is a known issue in regards of the arris dvr not reporting the correct amount of space left. Also you must keep the the deleted folder empty!

Good luck!

Shane!

Posted by
Contributor

Message 99 of 1,107
29,679 Views

There dont' seem to be any good technical details of how the X1 Cloud DVR actually works. It's not in my market, nor do I have any interest in it, but I find it really strange that no information is out there (that I can find anyways).

 

So the basic model for the cloud DVR would be to record the same MPEG-2 stream that is used for the linear QAM channels to a dedicated 500GB for that customer, and then allow them to stream it back via a VOD-like system, either QAMs in a pool with VOD service, or another set of QAMs that work exactly the same way. I have found online that the shows are individual to each user, like CableVision's RS-DVR, so that's settled. It's probably using a 10gbps IP-multicast network to distribute the channels within the datacenter to the "DVR" servers, although that's an irrelevant technical detail.

 

But here's where I can't find good information. If you record the same MPEG-2 streams to disk and then play them back via VOD, you can only put two DVR streams on any given QAM, since they were, in many cases, tri-muxed with stat multiplexers in the first place, so the instantaneous bitrates jump all over the place, even though the average bitrate tend to be about 12mbps.

 

I can't imagine Comcast would use bandwidth that inefficiently. One solution would be to use a separate set of DOCSIS channels form those used for HSI for Cloud DVR, as you could combine 8 QAMs and end up with enough bandwidth for probably 20-21 DVR sessions, which is a lot better than the 16 you'd get with a straight QAM-based VOD system.

 

However, that's all with MPEG-2. X1 boxes can decode MPEG-4. So it would make sense to use MPEG-4. However, to transcode everything in real time for DVR viewing sessions would take an absolutely insane amount of electrical power and hardware to do, so that's probably not realistically possible. So does Comcast have a separate set of the same channels in MPEG-4 that the X1 cloud is using for recording? If that's the case, they could be running fixed bitrate ~9.5mbps MPEG-4 channels, which would get them 4 DVR sessions per QAM, or maybe even go down to ~8mbps MPEG-4, and use DOCSIS to stream them down to the X1 Cloud DVRs. However, this would mean that DVR recordings would look significantly different from the linear QAM/local DVR recordings in terms of video quality. If the MPEG-4 was compressed off of the original feeds Comcast is getting at much higher bitrates, paradoxically (for those of us who used to use VHS anyways), the DVR recordings could be *higher* quality than the original broadcast on the linear QAM channels, although depending on how the compression is done, it could also be lower quality.

 

So how does the X1 Cloud DVR actually work?

Posted by
Gold Problem Solver

Message 100 of 1,107
29,676 Views

Comcast has never posted the details you are looking for.... I firmly believe they never will as X1 is Comcast's "secret baby".

If you find them, let us know.


BiggAW wrote:

There dont' seem to be any good technical details of how the X1 Cloud DVR actually works. It's not in my market, nor do I have any interest in it, but I find it really strange that no information is out there (that I can find anyways).

 

So the basic model for the cloud DVR would be to record the same MPEG-2 stream that is used for the linear QAM channels to a dedicated 500GB for that customer, and then allow them to stream it back via a VOD-like system, either QAMs in a pool with VOD service, or another set of QAMs that work exactly the same way. I have found online that the shows are individual to each user, like CableVision's RS-DVR, so that's settled. It's probably using a 10gbps IP-multicast network to distribute the channels within the datacenter to the "DVR" servers, although that's an irrelevant technical detail.

 

But here's where I can't find good information. If you record the same MPEG-2 streams to disk and then play them back via VOD, you can only put two DVR streams on any given QAM, since they were, in many cases, tri-muxed with stat multiplexers in the first place, so the instantaneous bitrates jump all over the place, even though the average bitrate tend to be about 12mbps.

 

I can't imagine Comcast would use bandwidth that inefficiently. One solution would be to use a separate set of DOCSIS channels form those used for HSI for Cloud DVR, as you could combine 8 QAMs and end up with enough bandwidth for probably 20-21 DVR sessions, which is a lot better than the 16 you'd get with a straight QAM-based VOD system.

 

However, that's all with MPEG-2. X1 boxes can decode MPEG-4. So it would make sense to use MPEG-4. However, to transcode everything in real time for DVR viewing sessions would take an absolutely insane amount of electrical power and hardware to do, so that's probably not realistically possible. So does Comcast have a separate set of the same channels in MPEG-4 that the X1 cloud is using for recording? If that's the case, they could be running fixed bitrate ~9.5mbps MPEG-4 channels, which would get them 4 DVR sessions per QAM, or maybe even go down to ~8mbps MPEG-4, and use DOCSIS to stream them down to the X1 Cloud DVRs. However, this would mean that DVR recordings would look significantly different from the linear QAM/local DVR recordings in terms of video quality. If the MPEG-4 was compressed off of the original feeds Comcast is getting at much higher bitrates, paradoxically (for those of us who used to use VHS anyways), the DVR recordings could be *higher* quality than the original broadcast on the linear QAM channels, although depending on how the compression is done, it could also be lower quality.

 

So how does the X1 Cloud DVR actually work?