Desktop plus does not work
Jan 13, 2012 at 5:36:44 PM | #1
I'm lost.. I've been using desktop plus for years and the last two its just, well sucked. I have to constantly reboot my tivo to get my pc to show up.. I've tried static ip's, bonjour, not bonjour... it just wont work consistent.. Im tired of it and am very very close to dumping the tivo because I dont use the program guide anyhow.. Western Digital makes some fine products.
I spoke to Tivo support... runaround.. useless.. I am fairly certain that this IS the tivo since a reboot consistently (like as in every time) solves the problem so I can start a transfer (and it always completes).. this is a handshake issue.. I know this.. yes, Im using wireless.. and I dont care.. I paid for desktop Plus and the wireless adapter and it should work. I've tried more than on AP router. Its not my network. Sometimes if I re-ip my PC it comes up too.. this is not acceptable...
I suspect if I went wired it would work.. I think that is maybe when it broke.. even pytivo doesnt work.. same problem.. so this is a network protocol problem and Tivo needs to fix it..
Im running the latest version 2.8.3 and I see 2.7 is having the problem as well based on the forums here.
Im going to ask for this years subscription back and buy a WD if this isnt solved soon and I expect it wont..
Jan 13, 2012 at 6:06:23 PM | #2
You say this problem started recently? Or two years ago?
When you say it won't work consistenly, in what way is it inconsistent? Is it a time of day issue, working say at 10am on weekday, but not working during prime time? What feature of the many TiVo desktop provides is the one that breaks? Or is it all of them?
Keep in mind this is a peer support forum, we are all customers here. I am willing to try to help if you are actually willing to be helped. If you are just here to rant, that is fine too, I will leave you alone.
Jan 13, 2012 at 6:23:53 PM | #3
Im aware that this is a user forum. This is not a rant.. a rant is someone blowing steam for no reason and for no outcome other than to blow steam. Id like this solved and since Tivo cant I thought Id give the "community" a try. I also dont expect Tivo to look here. Hell, they wont help me in person why would they help me here? Oh, wait, unless I buy a premier which has new features they left off of us lowly HD owners.. for no reason other than to sell more premiers.. THAT was a rant and not directed to you.. just pure steam blowing sarcasm.
To answer your questions:
Anytime of day. I only use Desktop Plus to transfer video to the Tivo. So I place the files in the appropriate folder and it should show my PC under "Now playing list".. However, the same problem exists if I try to play music from my PC (from the Tivo). Its a visibility issue. When I see my PC it works fine.. when I dont, well of course nothing works.
Again, since rebooting the Tivo always "fixes" the problem Id like to challange anyone to explain to me how it could be anything but the Tivo? Does the tivo send something at boot that it doesnt send normally? If so, its still the Tivo.
Im also fully aware that other people probably do this all the time with no issue.. Im not dumb... but something is wrong with my system and if you look at the forum others as well.. I can tell they have just given up which is a shame.. The other reality is Im using the Tivo for something it really wasnt designed for (although I paid for it) so I probably should shut my pie hole.. take the subscription loss and buy a WD Live. Its just a shame that I would need to spend $200, and lose my library (start from scratch with copying my DVDs) when this is supposed to work.
When it works, it works well. I just ripped top gun in 1080p in .mxv format and copied it up flawlessly.. talk about a tease.. at the moment I cant see my PC and will need to reboot.. what a pain.
Jan 14, 2012 at 8:48:19 AM | #4
It sounds like a discovery problem. Both Bonjour and TiVo Beacon (I highly recommend the latter) send out peroidic UDP broadcast packets to inform other devices that they exist. They are fairly small packets and UDP doesn't guarantee delivery, so if the TiVo misses a few packets it removes that device from the NPL. Also, some routers drop those packets anytime there's other traffic. When you reboot or renew your IP address the discovery service sends out a flurry of packets before settling down to periodic broadcasts, which is why that usually fixes it for a while.
Wireless just complicates the issue because there can be interference from other devices or a neighbor's network. Hard-wired is much more reliable but even then it can happen occasionally.
Here's my suggestion for what it's worth. Make sure that both the TiVo and PC are on fixed IP addresses and tell Desktop to use TiVo Beacon. Then go into the Music, Photos & Showcases on the TiVo. At the bottom of the list there is an option to manually add a server. Choose it and enter the IP address of your PC. The reason this should help is that Beacon also supports a "directed" mode that uses TCP packets addressed to one specific IP address instead of UDP broadcasts in the dark. Those packets will always go through your router and your TiVo will always know the IP address of your PC. As long as your PC hasn't gone to sleep and TiVoServer.exe is running you should be good to go. I have even seen it used across a VPN connection that wouldn't support broadcast packets at all.
Good luck and let us know if that helps.
Jan 14, 2012 at 11:08:36 AM | #5
Thanks ggieske.. Ive done this before with no success.. but I'll try it again.. can't hurt.. Thanks for explanation.. the flurry of packets you mention makes sense to me... so I take back what I said.. this could be a networking/product issue other than the Tivo.. though the Tivo shouldnt give up so darn easily...
I can;t physically get a cable to the darn box (actually can get it to the box just not the wireless router..).. just not possible or I would.. what I could do is setup a bridge of two wireless routers and connect the Tivo to one of the wireless boxes with ethernet.. however.. thats $50 and a WD Live Hub is $210 shipped and no subscription... does everything the tivo does sans the program guide.. and more.. or perhaps there is a cheap seemless ethernet plug-in device that simulates a ethernet connection via wireless.. last time I checked such a product did not exist.
Anyway.. I'll try what you suggest again.. I've always had them on static IP's however.. I just got an idea.. I think there is a way to force windows to send UDP requests... I may look into that.. I could setup a macro that just keeps cycling.... I used to do this stuff in my sleep back in the day.. nbtstat something or another.. :)
Jan 15, 2012 at 6:32:23 AM | #6
See http://tivopod.sourceforge.net/tivoconnect.pdf for Beacon documentation. I wouldn't waste any time on nbtstat - that's for Windows discovery, not TiVos.
I have no idea if Bonjour works the same because I always switch to Beacon. I've seen a number of "switching to Beacon fixed my problem" posts over the years, but not one post the other way around.
On the rare occasion that Desktop doesn't show up on one of my hard-wired TiVos I just stop all of the processes and restart them with a batch file to trigger the flurry. I wrote my own but there are a bunch of examples at www.tivocommunity.com.
P.S. Do you have cable TV outlets near your router and TiVo? MoCA may be an option in that case.
Jan 15, 2012 at 9:08:17 AM | #7
I've tried cycling the services many times. Not once has it produced a happy result. I've decided to order the WD Live Hub and see how I like it.. Im spending too much time on this problem to warrant not spending $200 for the WD. I hope the wireless works good on the WD.. you have to order a USB wireless just like the Tivo.. we shall see.
If I dont like the WD I'll probably put on my big boy pants and figure out how to run a cable thru my raised ceiling..
No, no cable outlet near the router. its in an odd place and must remain in the odd place.
thanks for the ideas.. I see there are many with this problem while looking thru the forums..
Jan 15, 2012 at 2:56:11 PM | #8
If MoCA won't help, there are also powerline adapters that send Ethernet traffic over the home's power lines. The adapter plugs into a wall power socket and offers an Ethernet port.
If your router is old and inexpensive, it might be a model that is predisposed to dropping UDP traffic. Upgrading to more modern unit, or a more capable "gaming" router can make a big difference since it is less likely to drop UDP.
Jan 15, 2012 at 5:15:27 PM | #9
Thanks curiousmark... I've looked at those.. seems $100 is what it takes to play that game (powerline).. at least at best buy.. I have some pretty sensitive audio equipment and the thought of slamming extra freqs down my AC line bothers me not to mention it comes down to cost again.. My router is brand new.. however it is specialized.. (wont get into that.. but it serves an important purpose having to do with its location... its a high powered router..) anyway.......
Im looking forward to testing the WD live hub.. BTW.. is there a way to grab my video off my tivo without losing resolution? Tivo to go or something? I'll put a hub and cable onto it temporarily to do this if need be.. little off subject but....
The reality is I despise "TV" so really no reason to keep paying Tivo so I can use my own equipment in my own home..
Jan 16, 2012 at 8:04:33 AM | #10
Jan 16, 2012 at 8:25:13 AM | #11
Very interesting.. thanks ggieseke...