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#315411 - 4th May 2009 7:40pm TopUp TV Owners - Important Info
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
As some people may know I am a member of the BETA team for TopUp TV. If anyone on here is a TopUp TV user, they may have found their box is unable to start since yesterday. It seems the daily EPG update issue has killed off just about every 6300 box it landed on (n other words the majority of people who leave their boxes on 24/7 - not me fortunately).

This issue is limited to the Thomson 6300-xx series of boxes, appears to have affected boxes running all software builds including 2.99, 3.31, 3.53 and 3.59, though users of Vestel T845 and Thomson 6021 boxes may well have experienced random lockups and crashes as a result of the faulty update.

I believe at present TUTV don't know if it is related to the box software (this sounds unlikely because it covers so many builds) or whether the update itself was faulty, or somehow picked up some interference. A few members of the BETA team have raised their conclusions that after repairing their hard drives in Linux, it appears to be have been an issue with a Cartoon Network splash screen advert (the adverts you see the first time you turn the box on after the EPG has updated). It is unclear at this stage whether user's running the Freeview+ EPG have been affected by the issue, though this does appear to be the case.

Here is the official line from one of the BETA staff:

Quote:
Dear Beta-Team,

you will no doubt have read (or, possibly, experienced) an issue on Sunday that caused a lot of G1s to refuse to boot. We believe the issue is EPG related and has not been experienced today after the usual 11:15 download.

We're working hard to determine what actually went wrong. We have units that failed and can examine their disks. We can also look at the changes we've made for the next download (expected shortly) as it wasn't affected by the issue.

I'd like to pass on TopUp's apologies to anyone affected by this issue. We've been working since yesterday on the problem.

Today's download worked as usual ~ so we'll work to get normal service back as quickly as possible.

Obviously we're very, very concerned by what's happened and will make sure it doesn't occur again.

regards,

Kieron.

Now from what I have seen, users are able to fix the box, however in some cases, it is only possible by repairing the hard drive inside a Linux OS enviroment. If this is the case for your box, and you are having a problem, id be happy to assist you if you don't know or understand Linux.

Firstly though, users experiencing booting issues, should try restarting the box 2 times or so, and if this fails to work, try and leave it for a few hours and then see what happens; if this still fail's to work, you should perform the following recovery steps:

Procedure 1: Front Panel Reset (software revert)

Note: you will need to be able access the back of the DTR and the front panel buttons and it may take several attempts to get this to work as it is all in the timing!

1. Remove power to the unit by removing the power cable from the back of the DTR.
2. Wait 20 seconds and restore the power cable while holding in the standby/power on button on the front panel of the DTR.
3. Release the standby button immediately you see a light ‘blip’ on the DTR front display and then immediately press the following front panel arrow buttons quickly and in the sequence Menu then OK
4.The DTR will now show the Orange LED with the Green LED flashing until the revert has been completed in about 60 seconds. The DTR will return to ON automatically.
5. If requested, perform a channel scan to complete the operation

Procedure 2. Front Panel Reset (Reformat HDD)

Attention: this will unfortunately cause your recordings to be lost.

1. Remove power to the unit by removing the power cable from the back of the DTR.
2. Wait 20 seconds and restore the power cable while holding in the standby/power on button on the front panel of the DTR.
3. Release the standby button immediately you see a light ‘blip’ on the DTR front display and then immediately press the following front panel arrow buttons quickly and in the sequence Up>Down>Left>Right
4.The DTR will now show the Orange LED with the Green LED flashing until the format has been completed in about 60 seconds. The DTR will return to ON automatically.
5. If requested, perform a channel scan to complete the operation

If these steps fail to resolve the issue and the box will not come out of standby, then the hard drive either needs to be repaired from within Linux as mentioned above, or the box itself is messed up. You can return the box to where you purchased it from as faulty, if you are under warranty, or of course you can telephone TopUp TV customer services if you purchased the box from them, own a box that is not under warranty, or subscribe to the TUTV Anytime or PictureBox package. They will most likely replace any boxes under warranty or with subscriptions attatched to them, it is unclear what line they are taking with regards non-subscribers with boxes no longer under warranty.

TopUp TV Customer Services - 08444 159 159 (local rate from a BT landline).

If there are any further updates to the situation or the cause of the issue is confirmed, I shall let ye know.

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#315525 - 4th May 2009 9:33pm Re: TopUp TV Owners - Important Info [Re: MattLFC]
_jase_
Unregistered


its fooking sh!t yes its allways crashing snob waste of money if you ask me. smile

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#317989 - 11th May 2009 11:07am Re: TopUp TV Owners - Important Info [Re: ]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
TUTV are apparently being a bit arsy regarding who is responsible for the mass-failiure last weekend. Whilst it is quite clear that the failiure was caused by the daily EPG update, they are (somewhat understandably when one considers 200,000+ boxes have been affected) trying to push the blame away from them (it does appear it was a cartoon network splash screen advert that caused the problems but it should have been checked by TUTV so make of that excuse what you will) and reportedly refusing to replace any boxes that are out of warranty and not under active-subscription.

Even with a warranty, you will find it tricky to get a replacement, as due to the problem being software related, and not a hardware issue, there is no legal responsibility for them to replace the box (its complicated so dont ask).

Anyway, anyone who is having problems getting their boxes replaced, keep on at customer service, and if you still have no joy, let me know and I will see what I can do.

They have since released a video for customers affected by the issues, as well as performing courtesy calls and sending out emails to all their active Anytime and Picture Box subscribers to check if they are having problems and inform them of the issues. Setanta Sports subscribers who subscribed through TUTV may well have the same contact.



Btw jase, im not sure when your experience was, but if it was under v2.99 I understand completely what you mean by crashing etc, but since the pulled v3.31 in October and all subsequent versions (basically any version that has featured Freeview+) the software has been pretty much rock solid, albeit the Freeview+ element isnt working as it should be with regards the AR and EPG signals only being processed one at a time instead of at the same time. We are currently recieving new development units and testing newer software at present, which the public should see within the next 4 - 6 months, which will hopefully iron out the existing problems in the current official release v3.59.

I used Sky+ for almost 5 years before I moved to TUTV, and whilst that was less problematic, when Sky+ was new, it took approx 3 years for Sky to implement all the features and work around all the bugs; indeed they actually had to change to PVR2's before the bugs were resolved. TUTV+ has only been on the market just over 2 years, and with a much smaller budget or investment than Sky+ had, yet it has (imho) just about caught up (and in some ways surpassed) with Sky+. Im sure Mark, having seen my TUTV+ box in action a fair few times, will agree with me when I say it is stable and reliable.

Indeed, TUTV+ is a far cheaper option than just about every other Freeview PVR on the market, and far more supported because they have an active subscriber base of around 400,000 customers, which means they will continue to develop the box software and implement new features in the future. How many Freeview PVR's purchased over 2 years ago are fully compliant with Freeview+, pretty much zero (bar the high end and expensive Humax's) and how many even to this day, are completely bug free, none. Sky+ is a great product, but at £199 for the box (or £49+£60 with a subscription for 12 months) and then a rolling cost of £10.00 per month without any extra channels or content, it makes you realise how much of a bargain a £50 TopUp TV box really is.

smile

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