Technical Info About the Catch Up play out schedule from the Old Dstv Forum .
Our download and repeat cycles are not set in concrete and constantly change daily, or even multiple times a day. This is why we don't publish our download and repeat cycles in a central place, because it just doesn't make sense to do it.
In exceptional cases, we do try and supply time-frames for content downloads for people who have had constant issues, but it's more the exception than the rule.
Our schedules are designed to ensure that all of the content that needs to be on both Catch Up and BoxOffice is played out multiple times a day.
This means that if you had a recording going in the morning, for example, and you missed our first play out of content, your PVR will "catch" the repeat play out later in the day or even in the middle of the night, or the following day - if the content is scheduled as such.
So it's quite possible that one person will receive a show in the morning, while you might only receive the same show the following day. There are lots of variables that have to be taken into account.
There are a number of things that can affect the play out of content to DoD and BO, and we understand that there are "unforeseen circumstances" like weather, load shedding, recordings etc. <-- even a poor installation of your dish or PVR can result in certain or all of your titles not being downloaded.
Note, the issue of scheduled user recordings conflicting with Catch Up downloads does not apply to 4-tuner HD PVRs.
Hopefully - and so far we've had a good track record - our schedules will allow all content that should be on your PVR to be received with enough time for you to watch your favourite shows before they expire.
Remember you can also catch Catch Up titles (and a whole lot more) on the Dstv Now website - http://www.now.dstv.com
We play out a show and then repeat the playout multiple times. The exact number of repeats depends on how much flexibility we have in the schedule, but it's usually played out three times.
Content is played out in real time, which means that if a show is 45 minutes long, it takes 45 minutes to download to your PVR. The actual TIME that we play out the content varies. This is on SD.
The principle is similar on HD, but shows are downloaded slightly quicker because we have more bandwidth available to HD transmissions.
Our schedulers pre-schedule shows the day before and play them out during the course of the day and night. This means that shows are downloaded to your PVRs before they are actually broadcast on live TV.
Once the show has been broadcast on live TV, a trigger on the PVR will make the CU titles available to view - which explains how multiple titles can appear at once.
So, if you take Game of Thrones, for example, which is broadcast live on a Friday, it's already played out to your PVR during the course of Thursday, but will only appear in your playlist on Friday once the live broadcast is concluded.
On 2 tuner PVRs - apart from poor installation (i.e. signal quality of less than 90%) and weather...user recordings are the big culprit to preventing CU titles form downloading onto PVRs.
The playout is then repeated for the benefit of people with 2-tuner PVRs (SD and HD) that may have had recordings going, or due to weather or the multitude of other things that can affect the playout of CU titles. Interspersed with these repeats will be new content for the following day including sport, CU and BoxOffice.
But, if you are recording, say, a movie or a long-ish documentary and it spans the full playout and repeat cycle (typically 126 minutes).
Remember, if a CU title in marked as "incomplete" by your PVR, it'll be discarded too. So even if you started recording in the middle of the original playout, and your recording straddles between the repeat and a fraction of the second repeat, you won't receive it.
I've found that recording stuff back-to-back can affect titles. Physical example: I was missing four titles on my PVR at home two weeks back because I had series recordings of about five different shows on CBeebies set for my for my son. Some of these shows run back-to-back.
I re-jigged the recordings to make sure that I wasn't recording anything back-to-back and that I spaced my recordings out a bit and I had a better CU week.
I know it's not always possible, but try and see if you can space your recordings out a bit, maybe look for repeats at different times.
You know we play out and repeat shows beforehand. So if a show you like is due to be on live TV on a Wednesday, see if you can shift recordings on a Tuesday around, especially if you are recording something long or back-to-back.
Remember, we don't play individual titles out to each PVR, we send out a 24-hour "bulk package" to all PVRs that's made up of BoxOffice, Catchup and Sport and this is made up of new episodes and repeats. Not every daily schedule contains all-new content.
What this means is that regardless of whether something is on your PVR or not, if it's scheduled to be sent out it is for the benefit of people who may not have received it.
We try as best as possible to "lump" show categories together in time slots but this can change due to unforseen circumstances (quality issues, scheduling issues etc.) and is usually a guideline more than set in concrete.
We know that series are the most popular, for example, so we TRY and keep the most popular stuff for off-peak times (either early morning or late at night), and the rest is scheduled in between.