Monday, 25 July 2011

Fetch TV pull latest stable firmware release and release another one...

Fetch TV have unsurprisingly pulled the buggy 4.8.04-11 so-called "stable" release that came out last Thursday and have now released an emergency fixed stable release, namely 4.8.05-02 - installation instructions are in the usual place. Yes, I'm keeping personal copies of all known firmware, so I still have a copy of the miscreant 4.8.04-11 release.

I've now had a chance to install the 4.8.05-02 release and it seems to simultaneously record OK (I tried SD+SD, SD+HD and HD+HD - all had the appropriate two red blobs and played back their recordings OK). I also checked out the resume playback capability from some older recordings and had no problem, but I've not had bugs in this area in previous firmware anyway, so I've no idea if 4.8.05-02 fixes this playback issue or not.

Bad simultaneous recording bug in latest firmware

Ah well, the rejoicing lasted about 3 days then - predictably, Fetch TV have introduced a nasty new bug in the latest firmware that a lot of people will hit. It seems that recording two programmes simultaneously will often only record one properly (immediate symptom is that one of the two recordings fails to have a red blob next to it - almost as if the software pressed stop on one of them at the start).

When the failed recording is played, it wil display a blank screen, pause the playback and put up a length time of 0 minutes and 0 seconds. No amount of keys seem to resurrect the playback either. It happened with me when recording a mix of one HD and one SD programme, but I guess I'll try other combinations and report back here (yes, I did try to "restart" the second recording either via the EPG or via the Record button, but all that did was end up with a load of zero-length recordings - one for each resumption attempt!). users have also seen this bug, so until Fetch TV fix this, I would either advise you to downgrade to the previous stable release or avoid simultaneous recordings. I'll see if I can report this to Fetch TV's dreadful ticketing system.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Tesco (instore) selling 8320HD's for £95

If you're very lucky, your local Tesco might still have some 8320HD's in stock, because they're apparently doing a shelf-clearing price of £95 now. They'll fly off the shelves at that price (in my case, my local Tesco has never stocked any 8320HD's so no flying there) - perhap trying the apparently not-very-helpful customer helpline on 0800 505 555 (9am to 6pm) to find out the closest store with stock might help.

There's a HotUKDeals posting on this, though predictably some people slag off the 8320HD for the flaky firmware (I've pointed out that the latest firmware is actually not too bad at all).

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sixth beta morphs into stable release

The URL for the sixth beta (no mention of a beta tree in the URL) should have given the clue that after over 5 months, FetchTV have finally decided that version 4.8.04-11 will be a stable release. If your 8320HD is hooked up to the Net, a green SW. UPGRADE item will appear when you press the Menu button on your remote. Select that option and upgrade to this latest stable release, but if it doesn't work, there's always the USB stick route instead.

Some users are having trouble resuming playback of a recording that they'd pressed stop half way through viewing when using the 4.8.04-11 release - I've been unabled to reproduce this issue: all resumptions worked for me. Note that you can't resume during the first or last minute of a recording playback  (don't ask me why!). Overall, though, it does seems quite a reasonable firmware release for once.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sixth beta seems to be as good as the fifth one

Yes, another week, another beta - this time the 6th consecutive beta has turned up with a version number of 4.8.04-11. As ever, the installation instructions are on the Latest Firmware page and it seems to be another good release on a par with the 5th beta. I can still see an old bug of dropping live TV frames when early-exiting playing back a recording (I just had it when playing back tonight's Tour De France highlights recording - I used the stop button because I'd caught up live via skipping the ad breaks). Rumour has it that it fixes the Sky Go On Demand crashes that Sky subscribers had been seeing with the 5th beta, but since I don't have a Sky sub, I can't confirm or deny that.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Fifth beta turns up - first one showing promise

Yes, another week, another beta firmware I'm afraid - at least the 5th beta I know of since last February's so-called stable release. For the record, it's version 4.8.04-10 and the usual installation instructions are on the Latest Firmware page. I've installed it on my 8320HD and it fixes the remote control repeating bug and also seems to login properly to Sky Go (formerly Sky Player) and play the sample channel OK (I don't have a Sky sub). There's also no sign of some of the other beta bugs (blank recordings, unable to pause live TV properly), so could this be the first beta that I might actually keep on my 8320HD?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

FetchTV incredulously wins a third award

I'm convinced that none of the ISPA members have ever used a 8320HD, otherwise they would never have given FetchTV an award (their third award of the year would you believe it), this time for "Best Over-the-Top TV".

Let me see, we have Tesco discontinuing the 8320HD, horrendous bugs such as repeating remote control buttons, failure of Accurate Recording to catch starts or ends of shows and a totally broken Series Link facility existing for at least 5 months now, plus a series of rabidly buggy beta firmware releases in the meantime. Yeah, that's worth an award - for the flakiest PVR known to man...

Friday, 1 July 2011

Fourth (buggy) beta released

With each of the recent beta releases seemingly adding more bugs than they fix, Fetch TV have tempted fate for the fourth time with yet another beta, this time version 4.8.04-08. As usual, installation instructions are on the Latest Firmware page and I've installed the beta on my 8320HD.

It seems to have pretty well cured the repeating remote control bug, but I still get repeated horizontal/vertical slats on FF/REW'ing. Talk on suggests that Sky Player login doesn't work with this latest beta, but that's hardly a critical loss, since it's so awful anyway. Live pause now works for both SD and HD channels, but I've had a couple of "blank" recordings (possibly when doing 2 simultaneously), so I'm back on the Feb 2011 stable firmware again.