Sony apologises as customers affected by Freeview glitch

Sony has identified a “major technical issue” affecting customers using its DVD recorder and Freeview devices.

Customers on Sony’s community forum reported problems over the weekend with its RDR model DVD recorders manufactured by Pioneer, including the RDR-HXD870 model.  

On Friday users complained they were unable to watch Freeview channels through the recording devices, or view Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) channel data. Comments were also made that machines were stuck in ‘update’ mode, after what appeared to be an update to firmware for the device.

After complaints were raised, Sony acknowledged in a tweet that a “major technical issue” had been identified.

Responding to customer complaints Sony said on its forum that the problem could be down to problems with data sent via Freeview telecoms firm Arqiva.

“It appears that something has changed in the way that these devices are receiving EPG data from Arqiva, the people who own and operate the Freeview standard for the UK. So we are already trying to understand what has happened and how this can be rectified, realising that a large number of people have been affected," a moderator post read.

"In the meantime, we will work urgently to understand whats happened and how we can resolve it promptly, so please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused."

As well as apologising to customers affected, Sony highlighted potential fixes for the problem while it investigated the EPG problems.  This included customer suggestions to set up machines with France chosen as the user location, in order to access a different EPG service as a temporary measure.

In a later update to the moderator forum posting, Sony said that the issues had now been resolved for most customers, who were now receiving the “correct” EPG data.

A further post stated that a problem on the broadcasting side had resulted in the “corruption of some of the RDR machines”, which was later rectified on Sunday morning.

Sony is yet to respond to requests for further information regarding what has caused the problems at this point.

UPDATE: Sony told Computerworld UK that it does not blame Arqiva for the problems which it said arose "due to corrupt data originated by broadcasters, and how this data was processed by affected Sony devices".

"Sony has been working with the broadcasters to try to work out why this issue has occurred and how to remedy it," a spokesperson said.  The spokesperson also said Sony is directing customers to information on how to fix the issues, viewable here.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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