Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dialog PVR recording woes.. 2nd time running

So Dialog doesn't learn from it's mistakes. Well that is something that goes without saying. The new "HD" PVR has some recording issues, this is the second PVR to have issues.  The other Techosat PVR issued with the SD channels and the 4GB Pen Drive too has unresolved issues. It seems that they haven't checked it before issuing and are now using the subscribers as guinea pigs.

Well here are some of the issues of with the previous non HD PVR.
  • When Time Shifting a channel the video gets stuck for a second or two every few minutes. It looks like a manufacturing issue with the decoder and the problem has been deemed as unsolvable.
  • When recording one channel while watching another, the entire decoder gets stuck and scrambles the channels being watched and recorded, only after switching off the decoder and turning it on again does the decoder function properly but only to get stuck again later on if the recording is resumed. However it is reported that this problem has been sorted, however we are unable to confirm it.
  • If there is a signal loss due to rain, recording indicates and disk space in the storage device gets used up but sometimes no picture gets recorded.
The issues with the brand spanking new HD PVR
  • The basic recording function is faulty. The recorded video cannot be watched. So much for it being a PVR.
Looks like the new HD PVR cannot carry out the basic function it was built for. Yes, the geniuses at Dialog TV engineering will sort out the matter provided it is not a "manufacturing issue that is unsolvable". But truth be told, did Dialog TV ever test this HD PVR, or did they just dump it on unsuspecting subscribers who are asked to pay thumping rentals. Now how ethical is it to treat subscribers as guinea pigs unless they are informed beforehand and are waived of additional rentals until the problem is solved.

The above is just one of the faults of the HD PVR and only time will tell of any faults in the other functions.

On other news it is highly likely that SET SIX will telecast the SLPL cricket tournament. Is it going to the next new channel on the "HD" pack. It would be quite interesting to see what happens.

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Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.


kappa said...

I hope dialog will not add the new channel (Set Six) to the new HD pack and force all customers to buy the HD package or follow the dirty trick they used, when introducing Setanta where they forced all customers including who subscribed for the gold package to pay it seperately.

May PEO tv introduce HD TV at a an affordable rate and give a good run to dialog with a healthy price competition.

The sad truth is dialog and peo tv both and SL is still far away from other asian countries who are already into HD with really affordable prices.

leyland said...

agree with the Admin regarding the HD decoder's PVR issues, it is basically useless at the moment.

nilu said...

they did not plan to introduce HD till SLT HD plan leaked some how to Dialog. that why they cannot provide good service because they in a rush.

Priyantha De Silva said...

Thanks Admin for the new post with valuable info. included. I came here to report what I've experienced today with my new HD connection and That what I want to say. I also have recording problem. Can't watch the recorded videos.

Nokia said...


Got a call from DTV Technical team today. As they were trying to find the issue with the PVR service.
They requested to use a different pen drive and try recording a content.

I had a 4GB pen drive and I used that for the testing pourpose... It was working fine. The picture quality too very good. I think the error is with the Kingston Pendrives given to us.

Didnt get any feedback wheter they are going to change the memory given to me. For the time being I dont-mind using my 4GB pendrive for PVR and keeping 16GB for my personal usage lol

Nokia said...

@ leyland
Can you too try a different Pen drive and try PVR and inform the outcoume please.

Further there are some 61MB odd Kingston Data on the pendrive which cannot be deleted from the decorder. try deleting it on a PC and use it on the Decorder. (I'm going to try that tonight)

Dude said...

They probably issued a 16GB Pita Kotuwa Kingston Pen Drive for the HD PVR, LOL...

kappa said...

Does any one have any idea of the channels which might get added to the HD lineup? Will dialog charge separately for that?

Kevin J said...


leyland said...


tried a different pen drive which was also a 16GB kingston and it works perfectly!!!

leyland said...


I went a step further and tried a full re-format of the DTV supplied pen drive, but it does not solve the issue and it appears that at least some of the DTV supplied Kingston pen drives are faulty or are fake kingstons.

Priyantha De Silva said...

for me too, They spent about 4 hours in our home and went out without any solution. They changed 3 equipments , 2 SIM s and also 3 Pen Drives, which they brought. But also for my 4 GB pen, it worked somewhat better, but still some unclear moments.

They said, will inform me in 3 days after they get to know more about the issue.

Nokia said...

@ Kevin J

You are So lucky :)

Ramishka said...

My mini review of DialogTV HD package + HD decoder (after about 30 mins of viewing):

- HD channel quality is superb. Dialog is giving true 1080i channels, not just upscaled-to-HD channels.
- HD package seem to carry Nat Geo HD Asia which appears to have better content (and less ads?) than the SD counterpart.
- Good choices for SD channels that came as a "bonus" on HD package. BBC Ent, History and Ten Action are all pretty decent channels.
- SD channels that come with HD package are definitely of better quality than other SD channels. Saw that everything on that new transponder is beamed down using MPEG-4 compression. Perhaps it's time to move everything else to MPEG-4 as well? Maybe it's just me but I think even the older channels look a little better on the new decoder.
- New decoder's UI is a huge step up from the crappy shit that was in the previous MPEG4 decoder. It looks far more polished and displays more informative data.
- Hardware build quality of the new decoder appears to be very good. Again, a step up from the old Technosat decoder which felt very cheap.
- EPG loads faster and there are two modes to view program listings.
- Recording and playback worked on the 16GB flash drive dialog gave for free. Seem many complaints about this feature not working so guess I'm one of the lucky few.

- Need more HD channels. LKR990 per month just for 4 HD channels is a ripoff. I activated this assuming Dialog would add more channels over time. If not I'll just discontiune and keep downloading shows off the internet.
- I cannot believe they launched this without Discovery HD world. Additionally, Star Cricket HD is badly needed. It's not an HD package unless it has a dedicated HD Cricket channel on it :p Also, why isn't Comedy Central (India feed at least) not available on Dialog TV yet?
- For the love of god get rid of ad ridden Star Movies India and get the asian feed (Fox movies premium or whatever its called now) back on.
- Channel selection menu does not automatically disappear after you select a channel for viewing. You have to press Exit to make is dissapear. Not a big deal but I noticed this immediately.

E2C said...


hey What is the size of your tv ?? is it led or lcd ??

Ramishka said...


It's a 40 inch Samsung LCD.

kappa said...

Do they show Sri Lankan cricket matches in Ten HD?

Lankan Blogger said...

The SL vs India series will be shown on Ten HD, which is probably why Dialog chose Ten instead of ESPN.

Priyantha De Silva said...

We had a power cut today on day time, then was unable to watch the Test match. But just I saw an add on Ten HD , they are showing the match on Ten Cricket and also on Ten HD. but EPG not says so. ???

I was going to leave Dialog even without paying the bills for 3 months, and after HD news, I paid. Expecting they will add more impotent HD channels in the future.

* Star World HD
* Star Cricket HD
* Discovery HD
* VH1 HD
* ZEE Studio HD
* Animal Planet HD
* Al Jazeera HD
* Animal Planet HD
* Discovery Science HD
* Nat Geo WILD HD
* HBO's in HD

Means, I need less than 20 HD channels for the money that I'm going to pay. If not, I'm going to download and watch them via internet, accordingly to the screen ratio 16:9 in HD.

Ramishka said...

They were not showing the sl vs pak match on ten HD. It was showing tour de France live.

E2C said...


thx 4 replying . and i agree with you star movies india HD SUCK in Big Time

we need Fox movies Premium HD
dialog pl pl add this channel

Priyantha De Silva said...

English Subtitles !

A country like Sri Lanka , need more subtitles in English programmes. But, We can't get subs for HD channels using the remote.Star Movies HD, also contains subtitles, but we can't change manually. I think DTV must consider about that option available on Remote Controller specially in HD's.

* Star Movies India HD

Until then I personally like Star Movies India Feed with subs. It contain 3-4 times adds in one movie , but the duration for the time of adds is only one minute, with countdown timer at the top of the left in seconds.

First, my personal concern is to have more HD channels before long.

* Recording ..

Now I use my 8GB pen drive to record, as someone has said, I keep DTV flash drive with my PC.
But Recording times is incorrect on Star Movies HD. I recorded one and recording was stopped before the film last. Also, some times the movie begins before the EPG time. Also, It's got 5 GB for recording 1 and half hours movie in HD.

leyland said...

According to the Wikipedia entry for DVB-S2, the bandwidth management improvements of DVB-S2 and MPEG-4 compression, a HD channel only requires the same bandwidth as a SD MPEG-2 channel. If this theory holds true to DTV, they should be able to launch at least another 8 - 10 HD channels on the new transponder. Maybe they are playing the waiting game to see what Peo TV do with their rumored HD launch. Hope they add at least Star Cricket HD and ESPN HD in time for the Olympics and T20 WC without additional cost to current HD pack customers!

Priyantha De Silva said...

I've recorded another movie, according to EPG, it was 2 hours movie. After 48 minutes it has been stopped. But remain capacity , more than 4GB of the Pen Drive.

also, Star movie's EPG is also wrong. Say another and show another.
They always do ?

don said...

Has anybody tried the time shift facility on dialog tv. if so please tell me how to do that on this new HD decorder

Ramishka said...

When switching to non HD channels on the HD pack, I noticed that the resolution changes to 720p from 1080i. This causes some delay when switching to one of those 4 channels from any other 1080i channel. Anyone noticed this?

As far as I know you can't time shift regular broadcasts on DTV. They must be talking about seek/rewind/playback functionality of programs recorded using PVR.

Anonymous said...

This is for those who complained about interruption of recordings halfway while the pen drive is having more empty space.

Change the file format to NTFS in your pen drive coz other file formats has limitations in the maximum file size. e.g. FAT 16 can can store maximum of 2 GB file in a single file and when it exceed saving automatically stops.

leyland said...


You can upscale non-HD channels by pressing the V.Format button (top left, below the power button on the remote) and setting the channel to 1080i, which will eliminate the delay of switching resolutions. The V.Format button will change the resolution of the currently selected channel, but I think there is a setting to set this for all channels buried somewhere within the Preferences.

Priyantha De Silva said...

Changed the file format to NTFS. But then, the pen drive is not recognized by the decoder, and says need 'Fat32" or another file format.And automatically re-direct to the format position of the decoder it self.

*** Recording ***
When we record a channel, we can't see the all the channels while that time. Only can see the channels in the same transponder.

If we record a Movie from Star Movies HD, we can't watch BBC news or ITN etc. But we can watch BBC Entertainment, ftv or TEN HD those are in the same transponder.

Now I see I don't have much facility for the money that I'm going to pay after the month.

Ramishka said...

Thanks it worked.

I was mistaken earlier. How you can time shift channels is covered in section 6.3 of decoder manual.

don said...

@Ramishka, Thank you very much for the information.unfortunately I didn't get the manual. I informed the dialog and promised to send it ASAP

Mario said...

Sorry for the delay in updating guys...

Sent DTV a text last Friday and on Sat morning the guy calls when he is at my gate !!

I dont have an HD TV as yet and the guy was reluctant to connect it to my existing SONY 21" WEGA FLAT.

Anyways 1st of all iv had no problems with any recordings/playbacks.

Quality of the existing channels seem better on the new decoder.

But the quality of Star Movies HD seems to be a little lower than the other HD channels. Crappy channel anyway. I also hope DTV for heavens sake changes it to something else at least.

I have one issue: The pic of the all the HD channels seems a little stretched from the top & bottom. Maybe cuz its formatted for widescreen ratio ? I tried adjusting the settings but cant get the size like the other channels. Any one have suggestions ?

leyland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leyland said...


The stretching issue definitely due to the fact that your tv has a 4:3 aspect ratio whilst the HD channels are in 16:9 aspect ratio. It should sort itself out once you buy a widescreen HDTV. In the meantime, try setting the HD channels to use Letterbox format (It should be somewhere in Menu > Preference), however this would mean black bars are added to the top and bottom of the screen.

Priyantha De Silva said...

@ Mario ,

To get the best picture quality, must connect to the TV and Decoder via "HDMI" cable. Do not use the AVI cables.

I got the cheapest HD Ready TV from the market for monthly payments , named, INNOVEX(from Damro). I don't think It is Best But it's better than 4:3 ratio's tv.

Mario said...

Thanks Guys.

@ Priyantha

I have heard of it. Whats the size and how much was it ?

Priyantha De Silva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priyantha De Silva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priyantha De Silva said...

@ Mario...

I searched them on the net and found.
the Price from Rs. 19 900 upwards.

here is the link for HD/HD ready tv's

I've got the 32" one. Price is below 45 000 rupees, I have to pay about 55 000 rupees for that one in monthly installments in a year with the interest.

I Couldn't pay that amount at once and had to buy in that way.
(Because of HD "Curiosity" )

Mario said...

In some other news..

There is a new broadband company.

Also there is a rumor that all the existing frequencies of all the radio stations will be re-assingned within the next 2 months

Nokia said...


The PVR works on EPG. If the EPG is wrong PVR starts on EPG time and Ends with EPG time. And I have noticed that the star movies HD EPG is wrong most of the times. In this case the recording wont help the subscriber.

Further there is another option to set time for recording. (Starting time and end time) so for this we should know the times of the programmers. And the funny thing is we can get the times from EPG and which is wrong 

I hope DTV management will look in to this an improve the EPG on their content with the correct time frames

SLP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SLP said...

There are few things that is never gonna change... one of it is the attitude of dialog's employees...

As we all know most of all dialog employees are stubborn and self esteemed peoples. Since they are employing in a strong organization and since their organization wont take the matters seriously this thing is escalated.

This people do the customer service just to the routine and not genuinely on their feelings. Because of that, the emotions they make is always artificial.

The things behind dtv scenario also is the same. There is no human touch and no emotional background to all of these stubborn shit asses and also they are just incompetent with the knowledge in need.

girls gone their coz they pretty and boys gone there coz they are chatty. All of these high and mightiest just dont know what to do.

this EPG issue, channel management, and all of the rest of the things are happens just because their careless attitude and stubborn nature.

There shall present few overall developed people with atitude, emotion and knowledge. But the majority is not. And until the Dialog manages that, this shitload is passed to the customer.

EPG management, BOX management are few bold examples.

Yet, EPG uploading is just feeding the channels details provided by the original providers to the up-link system through a computer UI. They can get it from the original provider, Through Internet or By manual feeding....

Bunch of deep lazy shit buggers....

Priyantha said...

I think Dialog should Add Following Channels
Star World HD
Setanta HD
Six HD
Discovery HD
ZEE Studio HD
Movies Now HD
Star Cricket HD
FOX Movies Premium HD

and next month will come following Channels to the TV

Star Sports HD
Neo Sports HD

Then Dialog will be the number one in Asia, Most of customers will stay with Dialog. Other wise next BIG competitor will capture all.

TV & Radio Sri Lanka said...

Please continue commenting under the latest post titled "PVR tips for recording with incorrect EPG information".