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Contributor Xcelplus
Contributor

Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

Hi,

Switched to NBN last week and the internet stopped working for about an hour yesterday... so we couldn't access streamed content (paid TV packs).

Live to air TV was still working... but surprisingly all the shows recorded to the STB wouldn't play because there was no internet connection (that's what the error message said). The recorded content is all on the hard drive... so the internet should not affect ability to play this stuff? 

Our cable internet has been working for years... with virtually non stop 24/7/365 up time... so we haven't run into this problem before. Now with the less reliable NBN we've suddenly got a problem?

Is this normal? Can it be fixed? Comments?

😞

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Contributor whattalkingyou
Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

see https://yescrowd.optus.com.au/t5/TV-Entertainment/Internet-down-can-t-watch-recorder-programs-or-use...

Basically, the internet connection is used to verify your Fetch subscription.

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Please note that I am not employed by Optus and as such any views are my own and the information provided is (at best) general only and does not take into account your dreams, aspirations or financial circumstances.

 

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Contributor Xcelplus
Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

Basically I agree with the complaints on this topic.

It's bad enough that the internet is down.

There is no good reason recorded programs should not be accessible while the internet is down.

Verifying your subscription should not be necessary if you're watching recorded programs?

At least live TV works. I think originally even live TV wasn't available when the internet went down?

The Fetch/Optus policy adds insult to injury. Please ask someone to reconsider how this is implemented? It's a minor tweak which would make it easier to tolerate the constant outages on NBN?

πŸ™‚

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Contributor whattalkingyou
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Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?


@Xcelplus wrote:

Verifying your subscription should not be necessary if you're watching recorded programs?

I don't disagree, but that's how Fetch works (even the retail one AFAIK).  If you don't have a valid subscription, you can't watch recordings you made when you did have a subscription - or in your case when the boix cannot verify your subscription. 

As an example of other services :-

  • YouTube Premium allows you to download and keep recordings specifically for times when you have no network access, and they will be available so long as your device connects to a network once every 4 weeks
  • Netflix also allows offline access to downloaded contentfor a certain period between verification checks (also good for offline access)

@Xcelplus wrote:

At least live TV works. I think originally even live TV wasn't available when the internet went down?

I think LiveTV used to fail after 7 days because the box couldn't download the program guide.


@Xcelplus wrote:

Your policy adds insult to injury.


I think you mean Fetch/Optus policy Smiley Mad

 

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Spoiler
Please note that I am not employed by Optus and as such any views are my own and the information provided is (at best) general only.  It does not take into account your dreams, aspirations or financial circumstances.

 

---


Please note that I am not employed by Optus and as such any views are my own and the information provided is (at best) general only and does not take into account your dreams, aspirations or financial circumstances.

 

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

Its probably a hangover from the days of "FreeTV". Going back a few years the FTA industry was terrified of a new invention called a PVR that enable realtime recording and instant ad skipping. As with the introduction of VCRs they threw whatever they could at the manufacturers to try stop/induce them to not make them or to limit their capability. One measure was the EPG which the FTA networks have long retained the copyright rights to. 

The Free To Air Networks came up with the "FreeTV" (designed to be anything but) accreditation that specified what a PVR was allowed to. In return the maker was given free access to the nation's FTA EPG. The requirements have always been tightly wrapped in NDA and anyone accepting the deal can't say what it is (would be bad publicity otherwise I assume). But observable limitations included:

  • Add Skip ability of only 3 minute steps or more (So really only FF for skipping ads allowed)
  • No ability to transfer recordings off the machine
  • Recordings subject to Oz copyright law and able to be remotely managed, deleted, one view enforced etc.

That last one is probably why the Fetch units are so locked down. Its probably still a requierment unfortunately.

Peter Gillespie

Contributor Xcelplus
Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

If the box was online and validated 20 minutes ago... then shouldn't it recognise for 24 hours or 7 days... or something similar... that the box is authorised to play the recordings?

That would ensure that outages did not stop you from viewing your recordings?

Surely that's a reasonable compromise between security and reasonable access?

πŸ™‚

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

I din't know the exact criteria. Now days its common for services to only need validation every month or so. But FreeTV is a throw back to the dark ages of 2010 so possibly not as 'sensible' as your suggestion.

Peter Gillespie
Contributor Xcelplus
Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

Telstra modems (in particular) used to require validation every hour or so (username & password)... and it caused no end of bother till they got rid of the "heartbeat" feature. What we see here is a similar problem... only even worst because it's a real time validation system. Telstra got rid of the problem by getting rid of the troublesome log in requirement (they used a MAC address instead) and extending the time between verification to about a week. That eliminated the problem: a huge number of calls to the service desk were also eliminated. Optus always used the MAC address of the modem... so it never had the problem... except with the FetchBox (a problem than continues to today?).

Given that the solution worked so well with modems... why can't we apply a similar solution to the FetchBox?

Optus staff I've talked to often don't realise this problem exists and haven't realised that the solution is fairly simple?
I'm hoping someone from Optus will read this suggestion... recognise that it's worth trying to implement to improve customer satisfaction (and because it's fairly simple and sensible)? How many calls to Optus would be avoided freeing up the service personnel? Seems like a win/win?


πŸ™‚
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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

A great suggestion but if I'm right the validation is a contractual requirement for Fetch TV. They are not allowed to skirt the copy protection features of the device (no matter how sensible)

Peter Gillespie
Contributor Xcelplus
Contributor

Re: Why are Fetch STB recorded shows unavailable when internet is down?

The squeaky wheel gets the oil?

If you don't ask you won't get anything?

A reasonable request might get a reasonable response?

πŸ™‚

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