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<  TAP and patch development  ~  [Ot] OTADisable -- prevent weird freezes?

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R2-D2
Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
[Ot] OTADisable should completely disable the Over The Air (OTA) firmware update mechanism used in the UK. This may prevent odd things happening when certain other STB manufacturers broadcast an update for their boxes, see here for a pretty likely recent occurrence.

Disabling the OTA mechanism will (obviously) also prevent a proper Topfield OTA being picked up. But if you're able to add this patch (or a firmware that already contains the patch) then you will probably have very little interest in an OTA. And, at the moment, you may even wish to prevent Topfield giving you any kind of "update". Laughing

Because this patch totally disables the OTA mechanism, it will reduce the processing overhead in normal operation, and this may be especially noticeable if you use Interactive Services. But I'm not really sure. Smile

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DX
Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:42 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
I think this is one worth adding to the Toppy.org.uk recommended firmware - as you point out anyone installing that is unlikely to require OTA updates.
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DPat
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Mar 2008 Posts: 16
It would also be nice if SimonC could update he patch decoader Laughing

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harrismail
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 14 Aug 2006 Posts: 395 Location: Warwickshire
Installed Ot as freeze/lockup was experienced at exactly 4pm on Monday - clock froze/locked up at that time and remote was non responsive - Toppy was NOT in standby and had been on for a while.

Steve
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simonc
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5640 Location: Cheltenham
We had similar lockups on Monday. I initially blamed a bout of patching done on Saturday (there not being anything else to blame it on), but a firmware/oad problem seems far more likely now.
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glenmcfar
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:37 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
So I had no problems at the start of the week (none Toppy-related anyway Laughing ). Does that mean my Toppy wasn't on at a specific time? Or that OTA downloads are only picked up when Interactive Services are on (cos they weren't). Or something else?

Glen.

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R2-D2
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
Or you're as unobservant as me. Or that your Toppy wasn't stressed at the critical points. Or your signal is more robust. Or, well, just about anything really. Although, bdb might be able to shed light on exactly what was going wrong during the times of the original problem.

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glenmcfar
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:13 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 4519 Location: Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
R2-D2 wrote:
shed light on exactly what was going wrong during the times of the original problem.


Obviously, that's what I was looking for rather than 'dunno!' Wink

Glen.

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harrismail
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 14 Aug 2006 Posts: 395 Location: Warwickshire
For the past week or two I've been noticing a few unexplained lockups/freezes like a few other people and put that down to the OTA upgrade problem that has been mentioned.

But today it locked up again even with the OT patch installed. The only reason I can think of that caused this was that I recently have been selecting channel 303 (usually always just a black screen) when leaving the Toppy unattended and just wanted a blank channel showing. Now I know this shouldn't make any difference at all but there has definitely been a few lockups/freezes due to periods on Channel 303? I have interactive services switched off but timeshifting switched on.

Could using channel 303 or another similar channel like 305 possibly cause any ill effects such as this?

Steve
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bdb
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:08 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Oct 2005 Posts: 499
there's not much being broadcast at the moment:

8/12-11/12 - sagem
11/12-15/12 - DTG
15/12-22/12 - DTG

I think 'DTG' is just a placeholder for nothing scheduled but this does not mean that there are no test broadcasts...
This only covers updates broadcast on the BBC mux.


The original (sept 06) problem was either due to a manufacturer broadcasting a data stream that did not comply to the spec, which along with the toppies inability to handle the error caused a crash, or due to the manufacturer broadcasting a correct, but unusual sequence that was not handled correctly.
Either way, it highlighted a bug in the toppy code, but I don't know wheteher this bug was ever fixed, since the problem went away as soon as the update was taken off air.

The red button control code, and the ota updates both uses the same protocol - dsmcc to deliver the content. The nature of the protocol leads to a high likelihood of memory leaks and buffer overflows, unless the handling code is very robust. Since topfield nicked some half finished open source code to do this, we know that their implementation is far from robust...

However, I don't see anything to associate the few reported lockups with ota updates.
To add my observations form the past week - I have experienced an increase in the occurances of the epg corruption (see here).
It has occured 3 or 4 times in the past week, with on 1 occasion occurring within 1 1/2 hours of rebooting the box.
I have also seen a completely blank EPG on several occasions (but now/next ok).

- maybe there is something upsetting things (more than usual) ...
bdb
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R2-D2
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:36 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 18 Dec 2006 Posts: 12148
bdb wrote:
I have experienced an increase in the occurances of the epg corruption
But if you're running 5.14.X still (?! Confused) then we now know at least one reason why this happens.

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SonicLife
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:21 pm Reply with quote
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harrismail wrote:
For the past week or two I've been noticing a few unexplained lockups/freezes like a few other people and put that down to the OTA upgrade problem that has been mentioned.
I have only had the single lock-up that others also seem to have had, if you are getting lots I would suggest something else is up with your toppy, or they are experimenting in your part of the world.

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:39 pm Reply with quote
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bdb wrote:
The original (sept 06) problem was either due to a manufacturer broadcasting a data stream that did not comply to the spec, which along with the toppies inability to handle the error caused a crash, or due to the manufacturer broadcasting a correct, but unusual sequence that was not handled correctly.
I'm still struggling to understand the DSM-CC stuff, so I wondered if you'd noticed (or whether it was significant) that the OTA stuff doesn't check anything about the specific values in the sections it processes. It looks to me (in my naivety) like it can't actually know what the data format is, so assuming 32-bit size fields, etc., is more than likely to go wrong. I suppose I should try instrumenting it to see what might be happening, but at the moment I'm still on the "understanding" phase, and probably still have a long way to go to catch up. (Any hints/tips/doc links gratefully received!)

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:19 pm Reply with quote
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As well as not being able to understand what format they've (seemingly) assumed for the OTA data, the part that gathers the PID for the OTA data is broken and returns a random result. If this ever manages to return 1 (which it easily could, dependent heavily on the broadcast data) then the Toppy will go off and try to receive that DSM-CC data as an OTA. Given the lax checking (I think) on the format, there's quite a lot of strange stuff that could happen... I'll add a fix to [Ot], I think.

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R2-D2
Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:34 pm Reply with quote
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[Ot] V2 adds the fix referred to above to the broken PID finding routine.

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