back to article Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

Virgin Media subscribers are complaining that their TiVo set-top boxes are randomly and repeatedly restarting in what appears to be a widespread service disruption. Lots of Brits posting to the UK cableco's support forum say the TV boxes, provided by Virgin Media, being thrown into reboot loops. The issue appears to have …

  1. chriswakey

    London time??

    What the fuck is 'London time'??

    GMT, surely

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: London time??

      > GMT, surely

      Unless they are talking about London, ONTARIO. ;)

      1. Mutton Jeff

        Re: London time??

        I've been there, no one talks about it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: London time??

      In the U.K. there is only London when it comes to news.

      Example,

      Snow in the North nothing on the news, Snow in London - catastrophe, cats living with dogs, end of the world apocalypse.

      Someone farts in public in London - Outrage, Fart in the North - Comment about too much gravy.

      1. tirk

        Re: London time??

        In the U.K. there is only London when it comes to news.

        One third of the population of the UK lives or works inside the M25. London produces roughly half the taxes for the UK.

        If you want us to become independent, a la Singapore, just say the word.

        (Queue the downvotes from the UKIP types I guess....)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: London time??

          The word

        2. Esme

          Re: London time??

          Please do. Then maybe the rest of us can have the government we'd like, for a change.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: London time??

            Please do. Then maybe the rest of us can have the government we'd like, for a change.

            London mostly returned Labour MPs, they didn't get the government that most of them wanted.

            It was the rest of the country that put the Torys in.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: London time??

              "It was the rest of the country that put the Torys in."

              Most of the North voted Labour too. Blame your rural neighbours in the SE, SW and Anglia!

            2. Esme

              Re: London time??

              I didn't make any mention of any particular party, m'dear. I'm just fed up with politicians treating the UK outside of London as an afterthought. Remove London from the UK, remove that particular problem.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: London time??

                "Remove London from the UK, remove that particular problem."

                But who will pay for your benefits then?

        3. bytejunkie

          Re: London time??

          how about downvotes for made up statistics internet bullshit?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_London

          in 2011 8 million in greater london.

          same year, there were 53 million in England, 10 more in the UK.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom

          so you're not even close to accurate.15% of the country live in london. less than 13% of the uk.

          so thats living in london. to go from 8 to a third of 63 the population of the UK, you're telling me there is a 13 million person influx into london on a daily basis? no wonder southwestern trains are a mess.

          show me where you got the stat from and i'll take it as valid.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: London time?? @tirk

          Give the rest of us a referendum to separate from the south-east, and I suspect you'd be on your own by Christmas. There'd be a reduction of support for Scottish Independence from the reduced rUK too, since most of the dissatisfaction up here is with you lot down there hogging all the pies.

        5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: London time??

          "(Queue the downvotes from the UKIP types I guess....)"

          Even UKIppers know the word is "cue".

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: London time??

          "One third of the population of the UK lives or works inside the M25."

          So? A fairly large chunk of the land mass inside the M25 isn't part of the GLA. Most of my work is in York but I don't really give a stuff about Yorks "local" news so what makes you think commuters care more for London news than the news for where they live?

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: London time??

          Off you fuck then, ta

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: London time??

      Probably a subconscious reference to The Clash

      London Calling / Armagideon Time

    4. Harry the Bastard

      Re: London time??

      greenwich is in london

      1. HighHo

        Re: London time??

        I would assume the times are BST not GMT.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    Dear Virgin

    Have you thought of having this slogan on your vans?

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

      I quite like the names they give their vans.

      1. Martin

        Re: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

        I quite like the names they give their vans.

        Slightly off-topic, but there used to be a wine store in Ealing which had two little vans for delivery, a red one and a white one. They were called Van Rouge and Van Blanc.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

          Citroen produced 'special editions' of their C15 Visa-based van called "Van Blanc" and "Van Rouge" in the 1980s. Perhaps it was those you saw. More details at http://www.citroenet.org.uk/utilities/c15/c15-2.html.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
        Joke

        I quite like the names they give their vans.

        Do their Vans have speed limiting devices on them?

  3. DougS Silver badge

    Tivo should act like Apple

    Don't let the cable companies have any control over the software. My Tivo has none of these problems, because I bought it so I am getting TIvo's software. It isn't perfect, a couple years ago it would restart randomly about once a month until the next software update (typically they have two major updates a year) but I'd be livid if mine was restarting every 60 seconds. I have just the Tivo and one TV, so I'd be unable to watch or record anything if this was happening!

    I know, I know, Tivo doesn't have Apple's market power so they need to appease the cable companies by giving them control of the software for branding, etc. The problem is this will damage Tivo's brand as a lot of Virgin subscribers who have this problem on their Tivo but not on other non-Tivo STBs will blame Tivo and have a permanently bad opinion of them when it is Virgin's fault.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Tivo should act like Apple

      "because I bought it so I am getting TIvo's software"

      How do you get a non-VM Tivo to work on a VM cable service?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough

    my virgin broadband is acting the goat at the minute but no TiVo here. Coincidence?

    1. unitron

      Re: Oddly enough

      Possibly not, if the Virgin boxes are as internet dependent as it seems the most recent stateside models, the Roamios, are.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Oddly enough

      No.

      I was on the phone with them - they have a routing clusterf*** of some sort. The initial blame was on a CMTS, but I suspect that it is not.

      The time for the Tivo 100% fault correlates to the time when the VPN from my house to my VM in the cloud packed up. The CMTS fault was logged later, but I would not be surprised that it is the wrong thing to blame.

      I had some giggles when talking to the guy as I was standing in front of (a different provider's) CMTS at that exact moment and it just had a fit and dropped its default for a while :)

    3. s. pam
      FAIL

      Re: Oddly enough

      It's been shitting all over itself for the last 3 days in Area 31 where we live, hiccup, burp, fart, puke then fine for a while the rinse & repeat cycle. Makes working from home awfully fucking hard.

      Must go back to garden and trim flowers !!

  5. Not That Andrew

    Intenet's fine over here, but the Virgin set-top box has been rebooting regularly

  6. Zola

    Rebooting used to be TiVo SOP

    If the latest TiVo boxes are anything like the original Series 1 TiVos (mine still going strong after 15 years) it's standard procedure to reboot in the event of an upstream failure - in the case of the S1 it will reboot if it's not receiving a TV signal (the assumption being the encoder, decoder or some other part of the chain has crashed/locked up). It's an extreme, but pragmatic, solution for a problem that happens very rarely.

    If some part of the Virgin network or cable system is down this could easily explain the behaviour of the box which will keep rebooting until normal service is restored.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SOP for VM

    My next door neighbour came round last night and asked me to look at her VM setup. The Tivo was endlessly rebooting as has been well documented here.

    I quickly re-routed one of my FreeSat feeds into her home and let her borrow my spare PVR.

    I left her happy.

    I fully expect that she'll be an ex VM customer by the end of the week. She is more than welcome to share my FreeSat.

    The postie has just been with yet another 'Buy my super reliable Cable' plea from VM. I'm having a Barbie over the weekend. Guess what I'll be using to light it?

    Posting A/C simply becuse I'm fed up with being bombarded with crap from VM. Who knows, they might be able to tack me down from my El Reg name.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I left her happy

      This comment reminds me of the days when there were electricity strikes. IIRC the birth rate shot up considerably some months later.

      Let the satisfying of dissatisfied VM customers begin... Oh? I don't have the correct equipment to loan out...

    2. dotdavid

      Re: SOP for VM

      "I quickly re-routed one of my FreeSat feeds into her home"

      Curious as to how you do that.

      "Posting A/C simply becuse I'm fed up with being bombarded with crap from VM"

      Hah! As if that'd save you - you'll just get more stuff addressed to "The Householder" ;-)

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: SOP for VM

        I'd be interested in the process for doing that too ... though my neighbours are all a bit far away for easy connection, it might be useful one day.

      2. Bob H

        Re: SOP for VM

        You can't split satellite antenna signals, each tuner (so two for most PVRs and one for a general receiver) needs an individual connection to the LNB. If you're in adjoining properties all you need is another cable down from the LNB on the front of the dish. I understand that most satellite installers fitting PVRs these days don't bother with dual output LNBs and just fit a quad as standard, so there are generally two spare outputs available for future use (or sharing with the neighbors). I'd also put an earth strap on the cable as well, just in case.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: SOP for VM

        "I quickly re-routed one of my FreeSat feeds into her home"

        Curious as to how you do that.

        I think it's a euphemism.

  8. Paddy B

    24 hour time

    Does seeing "05:00 PM" written down wind anybody else up?

    1. psychonaut

      Re: 24 hour time

      Yes! 05.00pm. You fucking morons.

      1. AIBailey Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: 24 hour time

        Almost as annoying as the line "4:00am in the morning" from Mike Oldfield's Moonlight Shadow.

      2. psychonaut

        Re: 24 hour time

        a downvote! hilarious! presumably from the committee for the integration and deliberate confusion of time formats

    2. dotdavid

      Re: 24 hour time

      Yes I prefer 05:00.00PM :-P

  9. psychonaut

    Why dont you...

    Just switch off your tivo set and go and do something less boring instead....

    You could always watch a dvd.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Why dont you...

      so the DVD of [insert current reality TV show that has its final this week] is already available?

      Wow. send the priate police round to his place this instant

      See Icon

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why dont you...

        "so the DVD of [insert current reality TV show that has its final this week] is already available?"

        No, the OP said do something "less boring", not try to watch the same boring stuff on a different media.

  10. Wardy01

    Good broadband bad TV

    Stuff like this is just plain crazy.

    Why don't they basically just build a pc and stream in the same way that other online services do (eg bbc iPlayer) ... they could free up move bandwidth for use to the broadband provision and only have to deal with a single means of data handling on their network.

    VM have great broadband imo but their TV service is just plain broken ... like why series links not start the recording when the show starts like sky does?

    I'm tempted to drop my TV and just have the broadband.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Good broadband bad TV

      @Wardy01

      Because that would mean they needed to implement multicast properly - and their techs haven't heard about it yet...

      Their network is pretty much the perfect environment for testing this kind of solution - but since the existing system works (sort-of) they stick with it

      1. Wardy01

        Re: Good broadband bad TV

        Yeh there's a thought @John Robson ... a network op that can't run a network properly ... jeez!

        It boggles the mind what speeds they might achieve if they used the whole lot of that bandwidth for data only then just piped secure content connections down it.

        Sorry about having some common sense here .... I know it's unprecedented!

  11. TallPaul

    Widespread cable broadband outage in the Cambridge area yesterday too

    I wonder if it was connected?

    It started at about 10am and they initially claimed it was planned maintenance (it would have been nice to warn us in advance about that but that's another issue) ending at 3pm but that deadline whooshed by and we didn't actually get any connectivity back until 8pm.

  12. Kirstian K
    Flame

    They have sucked recently

    Im quite hacked off with the Virgin service recently.

    the billing system update was a shambles, I was betting bills for one amount, and different amount taken from bank.

    and totally wrong bill amounts too what I was meant to be billed, oh and promises of refunds that they forgot to do twice..!

    the number of times I don't even have a internet service (120meg service, and cant even ping server to get speed test to run etc)

    as for TV, over priced, and there is very little good content at the moment,

    and I have noticed quite a few times that the on demand services are consistently off line too.

    (ive not had the issue mentioned here btw with rebooting)

    the router is also rubbish, I had an engineer round who advised just call and ask for latest hub (OK), did call up and got the rudest non English person who refused to give me a new hub.

    im just at the end of 12 months lock in after last time they overcharged, and basically wait for you to call and complain before giving you reductions (and then locking you into 12 months),

    so im off.

    im going to use the money I save per year (80-90 pcm x 12) to justify buying new swanky TV with online/ondemand stuff + free view + PCR built in, and get a cheap internet provider (only).

    oh and I DONT need a phone line thank you very much either, all I get is bloody sales calls on that line (and my grandparents....... what is it with grandparents not calling mobiles..?).

    (ex happy customer for 15 years : since Telewest)

    rant over :o)

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: They have sucked recently

      oh and I DONT need a phone line thank you very much either, all I get is bloody sales calls on that line (and my grandparents....... what is it with grandparents not calling mobiles..?).

      What, you actually plugged a phone into the line?

      The only reason to plug a phone into it would be to call them when needed since the only reason to take the phone line is that most packages are (or used to be when I last looked ages ago) cheaper with it than without.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ex-Customer

    The litany of VM's clusterf@*ks continues, we have had an intermittent but ongoing Broadband problem in WA3 area since January 2015... Estimated fix date is mid August this year!!

    According to the engineer who came to visit the problem is with the network cluster of 12 cabinets we route off and it needs major infrastructure works to resolve. I was told by one of their drones that these sort of repairs take time... Well yes I get that Einstein but 18 months?

    I suspect that they were just leaving it carry on in the hope that customers wouldnt notice but as my wife now works from home a couple of days a week a reliable internet connection is a must and their attitude was appaling.

    The gist of their customer service drone's response was 'well we will get it fixed eventually but until then you can always leave...' I expect that tactic has led a lot of people to put up with it. I went straight online the next time our internet was up and moved lock stock and barrel to SKY. And yes I know they aren't perfect but slow but reliable internet is better than it dropping out and staying off for hours at a time.

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