Back-To-Back Recordings

Back-To-Back Recordings

Post#1 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:55 am

I recorded 3 programs back-to-back on the same channel just to see what kind of a interruption there might be between the programs. I did re-sync the Internet clock & used the WMC7 default settings of starting 2 mins early & ending 3 mins late if possible for each program.

I did check the History & all were recorded using tuner #1.The first program ran 1:01:58, the second was 59:57, & the last was 1:02:57.

Each one ended a few seconds early, which cut off the previews for next week’s programs on the first two recordings. Not a big deal. But since there is no channel changing is there a way to reduce or eliminate that 2 or 3 second early ending of the recordings?

Just thinking about it -
I don’t usually pay attention how long the recordings are because they are padded to end 3 mins late. So if it ends a few seconds early it does not affect anything. However on the occasions that I have noticed the recording length in the status bar it has never been in increments of full minutes. It is always a few seconds less. IOW recording back-to-back probably has no affect on this since if only one program were recorded it would still end a few seconds early.

Getting back to the original question, is there a way to get a full 60:00 for a 1 hour recording?
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Post#2 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:00 am

i see the same but because i have padding its not an issue. its never something i've seen discussed tbh
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Post#3 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:29 am

Mike88 wrote:Is there a way to get a full 60:00 for a 1 hour recording?

If you have "n" tuners in your HTPC (I have 8), it is instructive to schedule "n" recordings to start at the same time, and after they have completed, look at the start and end times for each recording as shown in the History panel.

You will notice that although all recordings were scheduled to start at the same time, Media Center in fact started them sequentially, with a 3-4 second gap between each. The size of this gap will depend on various factors, such as:

-- how quickly each tuner can be tuned to the desired channel
-- the speed of the hard disk on which the recording will be made
-- the speed of your processor
-- the amount of memory installed
-- what other programs are running (and consuming resources) on the HTPC

In my case, with 8 tuners installed and assuming a 3-second gap (typical for my HTPC), the last of 8 recordings scheduled to start simultaneously in fact starts circa 21 seconds late (=7x3).

I would expect that recordings are ended sequentially too, but with less housekeeping to perform (so smaller gaps between stop times).

I am curious as to why a recording duration of 60:00 is acceptable, but a duration of 59:57 is not? I am one of those people who is really irritated by missing the starts and ends of programmes, so I use one minute of pre-padding plus 5 minutes of programme extension on Vista (10 minutes on Win7) to force Media Center to use separate tuners and hence not truncate any of the recordings.

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Post#4 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:12 am

Usually I do set to end 10 minutes late in order to force another tuner. But this was an experiment in case I ran out of tuners & needed to use the same tuner to record sequential programs on the same channel.

The 59:57 is acceptable presuming it just cuts off coming attractions. The recordings appear to start right on time, but I was curious why they ended a few seconds early.

I just checked several recordings which used different tuners. Even with the default start 2 mins early & end 3 mins late the recordings are 1:04:58. Since WMC7 seems to start recording right on time I was wondering why it does not end at 1:05:00 for example.
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Post#5 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:41 am

On my machine, WMC never starts recording on time, nor does it stop recording on time. Recordings always start a few seconds late (likely due to the fact that it takes a few seconds to tune to the required channel) and they end a few seconds late. Here's a list of my recordings from last night:

The Middle: Halloween III: The Driving started recording on 10/24/2012 6:58:06 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 7:40:01 PM as scheduled.
Guys With Kids: Apartment Halloween started recording on 10/24/2012 7:28:08 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 8:10:02 PM as scheduled.
The Neighbors: Halloween-ween started recording on 10/24/2012 7:28:09 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 8:10:02 PM as scheduled.
Modern Family: Open House of Horrors started recording on 10/24/2012 7:58:04 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 8:41:02 PM as scheduled.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Manhattan Vigil started recording on 10/24/2012 7:58:08 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 9:10:01 PM as scheduled.
South Park: A Nightmare On FaceTime started recording on 10/24/2012 8:58:04 PM and stopped on 10/24/2012 9:40:06 PM as scheduled.
House of Bones started recording on 10/25/2012 12:58:05 AM and stopped on 10/25/2012 3:10:01 AM as scheduled.
The Devil's Double started recording on 10/25/2012 1:28:04 AM and stopped on 10/25/2012 3:30:01 AM as scheduled.
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Post#6 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:29 pm

How do you get the start & stop times to display time down to the second? When I go to History it shows 8:58 pm start & 10:03 pm stop for example. When I'm playing the status bar shows a recording length of 1:04:58. It appears the programs start on time, but the coming attractions/previews get cut short. So I'm presuming the 2 or 3 second loss is at the end of the program because that's what is missing.
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Post#7 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:45 pm

event viewer?
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Post#8 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:21 pm

Yes, I used Event Viewer....not only does it show the time down to the second, but I can also copy the text from there and paste it here.
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Post#9 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Mike88 wrote:How do you get the start & stop times to display time down to the second? When I go to History it shows 8:58 pm start & 10:03 pm stop for example.

Are you looking in the right place? From the "Recorded TV" panel, select "View Scheduled", then "History" (left side bar), then select a recording where the status is "Recorded". MC will then show the details for that recording.

At the top of the panel it will say "RECORDING COMPLETED" (all in capitals!), in white, and immediately below that (also in white) it will give the start and stop times to the nearest second. E.g. on my UK system: "25/10/2012 18:00:03". At the bottom of that panel it will show (in blue) the day and month recorded (but not the year), and the start and stop times to the nearest minute.

You want to look at the start and stop times that are in white.

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Post#10 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:27 am

Thank you everyone for the information.

I did find the exact times in Event Viewer & History as CyberSimian pointed out, and they were both identical. For some reason I never noticed the times in white & focused on the ones in blue, probably because they’re at the bottom of the information & perhaps more noticeable.

I checked several recordings & they all ended exactly on the minute, such as 8:00:00. However they all started either 1 or 2 seconds late. Yet the recordings that started at 8:00:00 and 9:00:00 actually show a few seconds of material preceding the programs & cut off a bit of the following weeks previews. This made me think the recordings started on time but ended early. I checked my Windows clock against my atomic clock & Windows is about 2 seconds fast. This would explain why I would get the beginning of a program but it would end early because the Windows clock was fast.

FWIW I am using time.windows.com for the Windows time. I could see if one of the other options is more accurate, but then I might miss the very beginning of a program. As mentioned I’d rather cut off part the coming attractions so I will leave things the way they are.

Thank again everyone.
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Post#11 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:37 am

Mike88 wrote:FWIW I am using time.windows.com for the Windows time. I could see if one of the other options is more accurate, but then I might miss the very beginning of a program. As mentioned I’d rather cut off part the coming attractions so I will leave things the way they are.


You want the accurate time, period. The recommended server is pool.ntp.org. Then you need to have Windows reliably set the time at least once a day, and the way to do that is with a new scheduled task. It's all explained very well here:

http://www.pretentiousname.com/timesync/index.html
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Post#12 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:32 pm

Is there a way to soft-"force" WMC to use another tuner for sequential recordings on the same channel, but only if it isn't going to create a conflict?

For example, Ceton InfiniTV4, so four tuners:
- You want to record the three hour long shows back-to-back-to-back on say, ABC on Sunday night (which would never require more than two tuners; 8-9 on tuner "1", 9-10 on tuner "2", 8-9 back on tuner "1").
- So, at 9-10 and 10-11, you'd only have 2 tuners "3" and "4" available for other uses (because of the pre/post padding).
- Right now, mine uses the same tuner and exhibits the shifting/clipping that others describe, can I force it to pre/post pad each recording, even on the same channel?

- But let say you have three more scheduled recordings from 9-10, so you're going to need three more tuners, but with the above, you'll only have two available. Is there are way to achieve the above but have it be "when available" such that it doesn't tie-up two tuners and thus create a conflict for one of these three additional recordings?

Thanks!
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Post#13 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:36 pm

Heckler wrote:But let say you have three more scheduled recordings from 9-10, so you're going to need three more tuners, but with the above, you'll only have two available. Is there are way to achieve the above but have it be "when available" such that it doesn't tie-up two tuners and thus create a conflict for one of these three additional recordings?


The only way is through the settings, and using the "10 minutes when possible" setting will defeat your primary goal.

My solution to the conflicts was to give up on this. I changed my default to use no padding at all. I add "when possible" padding on a show by show basis as proves necessary and don't worry about trying to fix the back to back programs. It's actually been working well, and when a show does get clipped, for various reasons, it's not the end of the world... I also like the fact I'm not wasting disk space for an extra 10 minutes per show. I always have a long backlog of shows to watch, and even though I have a 2 TB recording drive, all that padding adds up.
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Post#14 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:16 am

Heckler,

I have 3 programs set to record back-to-back on the same channel & for these I've been using the default padding times. What really helps is making sure that your HTPC clock has the correct time. I've been experiencing a 1 to 2 second delay between programs & so far that has been acceptable. Take a look at crawfish's posting on how to set up the PC to reset the clock every day.
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Post#15 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:41 am

Heckler wrote:Is there a way to soft-"force" WMC to use another tuner for sequential recordings on the same channel, but only if it isn't going to create a conflict?

You have to do this manually.

The simplest solution is to get more tuners (I have eight). Then, you can (without having to think about it) always set 10 minutes of programme extension via "Advanced Record" (not "10 minutes when possible"), and this will force Media Center to use separate tuners.

If you do not have enough tuners, then you need to study the times of the programmes scheduled, identify where the conflicts occur, and not specify 10 minutes of programme extension for the programmes that experience the conflict. (Hmm, too much like hard work; much easier to get more tuners!)

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Post#16 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:39 pm

Grrrr... I would have thought that "10 minutes when possible" would allow it to actually think "Hey, if I keep recording this program and grab another tuner to record the next show on this same channel, will I still have enough tuners to not cause conflicts for other recordings? If so, then lets do it, otherwise don't extend this recording and keep using this tuner for the next show on this channel"...

Of course, I'm also the one that is sitting here saying "Microsoft, I'll but a Windows 8 Tablet when it can be used to watch DRMed recordings from my HTPC"... It seems like such a no-brainer to me...
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