View Full Version : One happy customer is utterly disgusted now!
06-05-2004, 11:51 AM
I was a very happy user of BTV and a satisfied customer. Till I was bit by the "No audio" bug a month or so ago. Many of the regular forum members are aware of the bug -- all of a sudden there's no audio in live or recorded TV.
I have tried every possible way to solve this. That includes reinstalling Windows XP, reloading all the drivers, swapping video cards, reinstalling BTV 100 times. Heck, I even changed every possible cable I could think of. Nothing worked. I even posted a few times on the forum to ask for help and let other people know. Some of you tried to help and I really appreciate your help. But I still don't have audio.
Oh yes, I did try the SnaptStream official "Tech Support". After numerous emails, the only thing they could come up with was to ask me to sign-up for the 3.5 Beta program. I'm not an expert on the subject, but how can you ask your client to participate in the beta testing to solve his OWN problem!! I don't have a working setup of BTV and I have to be a beta tester to get my BTV working!!!! Is this a standard practice in the software industry or am I overreacting? If this IS a standard practice in the industry, why is everyone accepting it?
Out of desperation, I did download the beta version. And guess what, I can't even get BTV to load anymore. I wasn't surprised because this , after all, is a beta version. But the bottom line is, once again, I have wasted some valuable time because SnapStream failed to take care of this customer.
I did try to post in the beta forum to report this problem. I couldn't because I could not even log in the beta forum using the password provided. I did try from multiple different computers using IE, Mozilla dn Firefox. Either the password provided was wrong or there's something screwy going on.
I apologize if my rantings sound too negative. After weeks of struggling, I'm thoroughly frustrated and disgusted. My only consolation is, I was planning to buy FireFly and Beyond Media, but now I know better.
I did notice that many other forum members had similar problems? Have your problems been resolved? By the "official" tech support? Or, were you given cookie-cutter apology and asked to participate in the beta testing?
06-05-2004, 12:03 PM
ok. deep breath.
First off, snapstream doesn't have infinite resources. Secondly they are fixing bugs - the bug fix is called 3.5. It also brings a lot of new stuff as well.
Even if they released a 'patch' for your problem, it would have to go through a string of tests included beta testing before it could be made publicly available otherwise they would be supporting untested code which is a bad idea for everyone.
By offering you the invite to beta test 3.5 they are letting you get at a 'fixed' bit of code. You shouldn't really be put off by the 'beta' tag. it's been through many iterations already and is only being released to a wider beta test audience now that it's mostly stable. (there will be some issues for some people obviously, but it's pretty good right now).
The worst that could happen is that you uninstall 3.4 and install 3.5 to see if it works. if it doesn't roll back to 3.4.x or whatever last worked for you. Since your current setting doesn't work I don't see that you have a lot to lose just from trying it.
As to why you can't access the forums; to my knowledge you just need to use the right password and you should get in. You can get the password from the betaprogram.snapstream.com website after you've signed up for the beta.
I know it doesn't look like they're listening to you - but remember with several thousand users it just isn't possible to release individual releases for every user - but they are listening to your bugs and as soon as they have a stable version of code it is released. Hence the 3.5 beta now available.
The response times from support have been slack recently but they have recruited a few more folks to help with that and it should be better. To answer your question - yes I had some issues with 3.4.x that I was told wouldnot be fixed in a patch but would be in 3.5 - and true enough - they have been.
I'm not familiar with the 'no audio' bug. Never had any issues with audio ever - but it's a pretty straight forward thing I'm sure could be fixed fairly easily somehow. Out of interest - did it just 'stop' or had you done something with the machine/btv around the same time that might have caused a conflict?
06-05-2004, 12:27 PM
Merrypig, as always you're the first one to offer help and guidance. Thank you.
I agree to most of what you just said. Yes, I understand they don't have infinite resources. No one does. That includes me, doesn't it? How many times do you expect a customer to install, reinstall, roll-back BTV? I'm a techie and I love tweaking computers. Spending hours to fix someone else's bug is not my favorite pass-time!
I tried the beta version knowing it is a beta and actually mentioned in my post that I wasn't surprised when it didn't work. It is a beta after all. But my point was, it was just another fruitless attempt, for me at least, that added to the frustration. I don't expect a beta software to work smoothlessly. I don't blame SnapStrem for having a bug in their beta. But, nonetheless, frustration adds up.
As you mentioned, I could easily roll-back to a previous version? Which one? 3.4? prior versions? I have tried all and none worked.
As for accessing the forums, I did try the listed password at betaprograms.snapstream.com. That didn't work. Guessing I must be reading it wrong or typing it wrong, I had asked somebody else to do it for me also. No luck! It keeps telling that the password is incorrect.
It is unrealistic to expect a software company to release patches for individual users. I understand that. And SnapStream has usually been pretty good as far answering my emails is concerned. There are many companies who don't even bother. I'm not saying they ignored me. But, I feel like I have had enough.
I wrote the post to know if anyone else is having similar issues or am I the only one. My views may have been a little extreme or I may have been venting. The only way to find out is if other users share their views also.
06-05-2004, 12:37 PM
apologies I missed the part where you had actually tried 3.5; I saw the problems logging into the forum and for some reason my mind said you hadn't been able to get 3.5 either.
It's odd that 3.5 should have the same problems when it's so radically different.
Do you have the pvr250 or ati card? can you get audio and video using their respective applications that come bundled with the cards (wintv2000 or mmc etc) ?
I understand if you don't want to go through it all again - I don't really know the history of your problem so you've probably done all this. I'm just surprised that audio is the problem. video I could have understood =)
06-05-2004, 12:44 PM
What hardware do you have? The only "audio bug" that I am familiar with is loss of audio when using the PVR250. I had this problem. The only fix for me was switching PCI slots. However, from your description this doesn't sound like your problem. Hope you can find a solution, but I totally understand your frustration when a great product suddenly stops working.
06-05-2004, 12:44 PM
Hey merrypig, I really appreciate your help!
I have a PVR-250 card and I have tried 3 different ATI cards. Although I didn't try MMC, but I do get sound from other applications, such as WMP9 or WimAMp. Even I load BTV, I can hear the menu animation sounds, just no TV audio.
As for 3.5. I was able to download and install, and run teh setup wizard. After that, I just get an icon on the system tray. When I try to load the app, nothing happens. Nor can I access the app using web browser.
06-05-2004, 01:02 PM
uglyduck; we should take the 3.5 discussion into the beta forum. Or to PM.
I appreciate you're having trouble getting into the forums - all I can say is make sure that you use the right forum with the right password. there are (were?) two 3.5 forums. one is obsolete now since we went 'public'. You want the more general btv beta forum, not the one labelled beyond tv 3.5
As a hint, the right forum password for the "Beyond TV" does not start with a digit. I think I should leave it to Brett to PM you the actual password, I dont' want to overstep my place and give out the password.
PM me or brett if you still can't get in.
06-05-2004, 02:03 PM
Word to the wise:
I have a future recommendation for you (realizing that hindsight is 20/20). I do this to all of my systems I've ever built. As you install all your programs and drivers during your OS setup process, you use a 3rd party backup/restore program to create ghost images of the drive letter that has your OS on it (The lame default system state snapshot tool in winXPhome doesn't do ghost images, but the winXPpro does have an alright backup/restore tool that will work). And I usually update the ghost file as I'm installing things along the way, just in case something doesn't install right, and you need to revert back to a point of before you made a bad change to the system. Then after installing and tweeking everything, once I consider my system to have ultimately reached a state of total 'sweetness', then I still run backup images anytime I make any type of good change, and I store them on a different harddrive, as well as my local drive (just in case a harddrive fails mechanically). Then, if you always have a 'sweet-state' copy of your OS drive, and something like this happens to you like above, then you just run a full system restore from your image file, and if you STILL had no audio after restoring your OS drive to sweet-state, then you could safely assume that you have a hardware problem (like a failed card or something). I've always used this practice of backing up everything, and I've never regretted it once. Another good reason: Whenever any of my various www forum friends get hit by a virus, I never see thm for like a week and then they return saying, "whoa, sorry I wasn't here I got a virus and had to re-install everything on my harddrive". The last time I got hit by a virus and it destroyed my OS, I just ran my restore and brought my system back to the week before (since I usually backup my OS once a week). And it took about 20 minutes and I was back to the 'good ol days' when everything was working. I can't imagine spending so much time installing so many things, tweaking everything (especially all the time to tweak XP so it will go fast and not look gay), and spending all these hours worth of setting up, and not even backing it up. To me, that would be superfoolish
unfortunately for me, trying the 3.5 beta on a different system from my 'production' one acutally CAUSED the no-audio problem - no audio of any kind until I re-installed the audio drivers!
have you tried re-installing audio drivers?
I guess this is also motivation for taking a system checkpoint before installing a beta.
06-05-2004, 03:02 PM
Uglyduck, sorry for the confusion with the forums. I suspect you are doing the same thing I found another user doing yesterday. It was a fair mistake. They were trying to access the 3.5 Beta Forum. This forum will be removed sometime next week it was for the closed beta testing of 3.5. Please use the password you were provided at betaprogram on the regular BeyondTV Beta Forum (currently the second option).
We occasionally suggest the 3.5 beta when we have run out of additional ideas. There is only so much we can try, ESPECIALLY when we are unable to reproduce the bug. However, please do not get offended by us suggesting the beta. As it stands 3.5 is currently in active development, development on v3.4 has stopped, so it would be impossible to get a patch out for that version. Also, considering all the underlying changes from 3.4 to 3.5, if we patched 3.4 it could happen that the problem could resurface with 3.5.
I don't typically handle the audio bugs as I am not quite as famaliar with them. Put please PM your email address and I will take a look, and even forward your support ticket to a developer for some more questioning. But as I mentioned if its going to require patching, it unfortunately will have to happen in 3.5 for the reasons MerryPig already explained.
06-05-2004, 07:53 PM
No audio bug...? Must have missed it during my time off. Can you point us to other users who report it?? Did they solve it?
I had one audio problem during an earlier Beta version (but not a no sound issue) and resintalling the audio drivers did the trick. No problem with tthe current Beta version which is so stable I have nothing to report.
If you have tried all versions and none worked, and changing cables, pci etc. does nothing then it sure is a tough one. So I understand why support would point you to 3.5 Beta. Not much to loose. Bummer it didn't work.
Does the sound work with the PVR application: WinTV 2000? If not have you thought that maybe your card is shot? Is there a way you can physically check your sound out on the PVR?
Shooting in the dark here, but the fact that you hear other sounds obviously doesn't mean that the PVR is getting sound out.
Sorry if I mention solutions you have already tried. Just trying to help.
As usual merrypig's answer was well written and thought of, so not much more to say on that front.
06-05-2004, 09:02 PM
Thank you all for all the suggestions. Most of these I have already tried though. One last thing I'm going to try is to get the PVR card installed in a new computer and install BTV 3.2. I got 11 desktops arund the house. One of them has to work. :D
06-05-2004, 10:10 PM
11 desktops!? holy crap!
06-06-2004, 06:09 AM
The only time I ever had the audio cut out was if I tried running BTV in one user account and switching to another user account on the same machine. My fix was 'don't do that' and eventually I installed it on a dedicated PC and have not seen the problem again.
06-06-2004, 09:49 AM
11 desktops: More than at my office!
06-06-2004, 11:31 PM
I am using a Shuttle XPC with RealTek audio chip connected to stereo via SPDIF out. My audio cuts out when I run the setup wizard. Why? Because the setup wizard kicks the audio system out of "Output digital audio only." mode and into no digital output. I simply reset the setting and all is well.
Lesson learned is that the setup wizard messes with the Windows audio mixer. Make sure the setup wizard or BTV is not disabling a necessary audio device, output or recording.
06-09-2004, 11:55 AM
yes, 11 desktops. But some are REALLY old though. Like teh 233 MHz pentium machine I have. But, works perfectly fine as a SAMBA file server. ;)
06-09-2004, 12:53 PM
Ahhh I see. you mean like in table tops not desk tops. you use the boxes as a work surface :)
Bit like what I used my old sun3 for =)
06-10-2004, 08:55 AM
My Sun Ultra5 works as a backup server. You count that as table top too? ;)
06-10-2004, 09:02 AM
06-10-2004, 02:08 PM
Just another example of how this company does not support their product. You heard it from the trainees mouth! Unbeleivable!
06-10-2004, 02:16 PM
Just another example of how this company does not support their product. You heard it from the trainees mouth! Unbeleivable!uhh...what?
06-10-2004, 02:41 PM
Brett: Stop"dissing" the support :D
I went back into your post to try to understand, but couldn't find anything to suggest lack of support. Seems to me the very fact you are here talking to people, is a positive indication. And certainly you've been active reconnecting users with support following the email problem.
I continue to believe that there is only so much Snapstream can and should do for support. The line is difficult to find, but the concept: "I bought your $60 product now spend $500 man hours to make it work on my machine" is not realistic.
Snapstream provides an opportunity for users to test their setup for 30 days. They'll assist within reason. I don't believe they should be required to do a full fault tracing, guide the user through a OS re-install or that type of things.
To me if logs, reports and directview don't report anything on BTV's side, that's it. Not much else to do.
I continue to believe BTV needs to be more fault tolerant so we don't hear "every other software works on my machine so it has to be BTV" (which we know from experience is not necessary the case).
I believe 3.5 is on track for that.
06-10-2004, 02:50 PM
yup. with good error messages the community /end user can solve 99% of the problems.
You already have a logging mechanism. how hard can it be to put some print statements in when something goes wrong to say why.
Just another example of how this company does not support their product. You heard it from the trainees mouth! Unbeleivable!
Jrivers - This is an official warning. Any further inflammitory and untrue comments like this will be dealt with immediately by banning you from the board.
I know for a fact that we support our product. I hear of support issues daily from Tuck, Brett and RobertH, and I am in communication directly with everyone in this company on a daily basis. Support cares, they are very hard pressed right now to help everyone they can, and it's an utmost issue to them and even myself that people are helped quickly and efficiently.
For someone with only 5 posts so far, all nearly of the same vein as this (unproductive and inflammatory, from someone who doesn't even own our product or has gone through the support process), you are pushing the line where I am going to have to make an example of you. I've never had to ban anyone, but don't think you won't be my first.
If you can't say something nice or constructive (criticism for something you know about to help make it better is NOT unproductive, nor is comparison) to add to the conversations, then DO NOT POST.
[EDIT: Corrected a spelling error.]
06-10-2004, 03:14 PM
You've most likely already tried this Uglyduck, but do you have audio in applications other than BTV? I currently have a no audio bug, that appeared after I installed the btwincap drivers for my wintv. But this bug affects all programs, including amcap, dscaler, media portal and btv. What tuner are you using? Soundcard? Cable? Maybe there's something tech support missed..
06-11-2004, 08:42 PM
I went through the reformat-->reinstall-->pray routine again, and ...lo! Now it works!
It wasn't really fun going trhough it, but at least it works again.
BTW, I did post a messsage thanking Tech support for offering help via PM.
Link to my post (http://forums.snapstream.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16039)
06-11-2004, 08:51 PM
One suggestion though, this fourm already has solutions/workarounds for numerous bugs/issues. During reinstall, whenever I needed to find something, I had to come to the forum and do multiple searches and read through 100s of posts. All these info can be made even more helpful by creating a comprehensive document. We have a few sticky here and there and a few guides, but not a comprehensive troubleshooting guide.
Is there a way to incorporate the info into the KB or FAQ? Or maybe we could have a Wiki?
06-11-2004, 11:24 PM
We are implementing a new KB/support system in the coming weeks.
Glad it works, sucks you had to do that though,
06-12-2004, 11:44 PM
I had a difficult audio bug that I think was a registry key remnant messing with the mute function of the different audio sources on my Shuttle SFF system. It would always mute recordings. It worked properly at first. This was with an ATI AIW 9000. I didn't like that graphics card anyway so I ditched it and got the Happauge 250 and a different graphics card and my system runs SO MUCH COOLER it's amazing. It used to get disturbingly hot with the ATI, now it is room temperature and I don't have to listen to the fan spin up RPM's in response to all the heat. The sound or video still don't show up during the setup wizard, but it works great anyway.
So if you're familiar with working in the registry you might want to check out some of the keys associated with your sound levels, sources, especially startup defaults.
06-15-2004, 10:36 PM
This is what I mean by does not support their product. The trainee said and I quote
"development on v3.4 has stopped, so it would be impossible to get a patch out for that version"
Well if 3.4 is the current version that means their will be no patch for it! Ive never heard of a software company not issueing patch for their current versions! This makes no sense. If its that bad, keep it in beta until its fixed! At least dont charge for it till all of the bugs are worked out. Im an avid gamer and pay less money for games that have better tech support! Ive even downloaded free software that better tech support and support their software better. You people pay a lot of money for this software/hardwaer. Expect a working product for your money! From what ive seen on this forum I think a lot of people have forgotten that!
06-15-2004, 11:04 PM
The new "patch" is called 3.5. And it's a monster upgrade that is radically different (under the hood) from 3.4. It will be free to existing users. Wether you call it upgrade or patch is irrelevent. The end result is BTV keeps getting better and better at an amazing pace, adding great features that users have been asking for. And it has been free since PVS 2.0.
If you had more than 7 posts you'd probably know that.
Since you seem to dislike BTV that much, don't own it and bring no constructive comments, I fail to see the point of your continuing presence on these forums and wonder why you'd want to continue read the forum and continue posting.
Why don't you just go find a free PVR software with great official company support and be gone?
It's up to you (or maybe Don), but being a misinformed unhappy grouch is a weird way to spend your time.
06-16-2004, 07:14 AM
maybe Snapstream should just call 3.5 188.8.131.52 to stop people whining...
06-16-2004, 07:37 AM
Or maybe just scrap all the numbering they have been using and call it version 3.0 - Service Pack 5 and don't bother to document all the new features like multiple tuners, etc.
Of course that would make the current version 3.0, Service Pack 4c.
06-16-2004, 07:53 AM
Still new to all this myself................so I'm curious. I'm still trying to get the trial version to work for me (I'm assuming the problem is on my end...can't get thru the setup wizard).
My question here, tho, is- Is there a price difference between 3.4 and 3.5 for NEW users? In other words...if the upgrade from 3.4 to 3.5 is going to be free, am I money ahead by purchasing 3.4?
06-16-2004, 08:04 AM
Yes, all 3.x upgrades have and will continue to be free. If you are having problems please contact support @ http://www.snapstream.com/support they will be glad to help you.
As for JRivers, your obviously just trying to start a flamewar and I have therefore locked this thread. I believe we do very good support here at Snapstream and have done so for quite some time. If you have issues with the way Snapstream does support you can PM me personally. I am sorry we have different points of views.
For the rest of you guys, I have been out of town this week, and only infrequently checking the boards, I should be back sometime early next week.
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