Feeds

Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

Virtual relocation to France brings back vanished English channels

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

There’s still no word from Sony to indicate when it will fix a glitch that put many of its hard-drive-equipped Freeview video recorders out of action this weekend.

The problem affects Sony’s HXD series of digital video recorders (DVRs) located across the length and breadth of Britain. Many owners arrived home on Friday evening to find their HXDs were unable to show any of the Freeview channels and presented only an empty Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). For some, the EPG vanished after a few seconds when listing channels but not programmes.

Neither resetting the boxes nor retuning them appeared to solve the problem, users reported. Worse, when folk tried their machines again on Saturday morning, rather a lot of the DVRs appeared to have frozen during the middle of an automatic update procedure leaving nothing but the word “Update” on the screen.

Some users report that forcing the DVR to do a soft reset - hold in the power button for five seconds - then cutting the power as it starts to reboot gets the Sony boxes out of the “Update” lock, but not everyone who tried this trick found it worked successfully.

Other experimenters have claimed that re-initialising their boxes as if they were located in France helped by switching to an alternative EPG: Guide Plus+, which Sony presumably uses in France in place of a local equivalent of the Freeview EPG. You can still select English as language the the box uses for its UI.

Sony admitted the issue this weekend on Twitter. “A major technical issue has been flagged to our dedicated team. We will update you ASAP,” it said in a stock response to all. But it has said nothing more since.

The affected Sony boxes were actually made by Pioneer on Sony’s behalf, so Sony will have to pass the buck to its supplier and await a response before it can report on what caused the outage. That explains its reticence to discuss the matter further, but that’s of little consolation to punters unable to watch their favourite TV shows in the meantime.

With no further commment from Sony and the appearance of the “Update” message on screens, some users suggested that the company had caused the problem rolling out a dodgy firmware update.

However, other, more technical users - among them respected BBC staffer and Doctor Who Restoration Team member Steve Roberts - suggested that the glitch was the result of a Freeview EPG change with which the Sony software was unable to cope.

“The firmware hasn‘t updated, it‘s a change to the EPG being transmitted by Freeview that is the problem,” Roberts claimed on AVForums.

And there seems to be no basis to some bizarre allegations that the glitch was an attempt to inject malware into the boxes via the EPG. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?