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2 weird issues.....

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Greg Alsobrook, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    Let me preface by saying I am very knowledgeable when it comes to this stuff... But I am experiencing two issues I cannot explain.. Maybe one of the DTV techs can help me on this one.. I have two HR20-700's... One hooked up via component to an old school Mitsubishi rear projection HDTV.. The other is hooked up to a Sony Plasma via HDMI.. I have both of these issues on both tv's...

    1st issue... This is going to be very hard to explain.. So I've got a couple pictures for you here... cool2play.com/directv.htm ..This is not the only channel this occurs on.. But it is very noticeable on this channel.. On channel 236.. which is E! ... There is about a quarter inch line that runs vertically down the very right side of the 4:3 viewing area.. Where it is recreating a strip from another part of the picture... It may not seem like that big of a deal... But it is very distracting while watching programming...

    2nd issue.. Every once in a while... While watching a program.. The video will slow down and appear slightly choppy for about 5-7 seconds... The audio remains fine.. It's almost like a buffering issue in either the box or the sats...

    Has anyone else ever noticed either of these issues? Thanks in advance for any input...
     
  2. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    I've seen the same thing you have in the 1st issue a few times. Frankly, it's one of the little annoyances of the HR-20 that I kind of ignore.
    As for the second issue, first thing I'd check is your signal strength. Is it good on all the sats and relatively equal across the transponders?
    Also, how full is your HD?
     
  3. cygnusloop

    cygnusloop Hall Of Fame

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    Well, I think I can comment on your first issue.

    What, exactly, you are seeing in the "gutter" of the 4:3 frame, I'm not sure. It does appear to be a wrap of the original 4:3 frame, but I would suspect it is happening at the source.

    As to why you are seeing it:

    I assume by looking at the pictures, that you are using the HR20 in pillarbox mode, with pillars set to "gray".

    The pillarbox mode of the HR20 only appends pillars to the full 640x480 SD frame, a 40 pixel wide bar on one side, and a 40 pixel wide bar on the other, making it a full 720x480 = 16:9 frame. This leaves you with no overscan of the original SD frame.

    Pretty much all SD program material was shot and broadcast with the assumption of some overscan. All action typically takes place in the "safe action area". Without any overscan, you can see all kinds of "junk" in the gutters of the frame. Sometimes it closed captioning, or other data. European programming can be especially bad. In your case, I think it's some kind of processing artifact that originated at the broadcaster, if not earlier in the signal chain.

    The best solution that I have come up with is to use the 4:3 mode of my TV instead of the HR20 pillarbox mode. The pillarbars generated by the 4:3 mode of my TV include some overscan, and hide most (usually all) of the junk.

    Exactly how to set this up depends on your preferred native and resolution settings on the HR20. For it to work, you need to have Native=ON, and at least one SD and one HD resolution selected (480p and 1080i, for example), and the HR20 format set to STRETCH (Don't worry, it won't actually stretch anything.) When you tune to an SD program, the HR20 will send a 480i/p signal to your TV, and your TV will "remember" its last setting for 480 material (such as 4:3 pillar mode, or some stretch mode if you prefer).

    When you tune to an HD channel, the HR20 will send a 720p/1080i signal to the TV, and the TV will know to switch back to its 16:9 viewing mode. So, no messing with remotes to set up the viewing modes when switching between SD and HD programming, (of course until you want to zoom into letterboxed SD, otherwise known as the worst of both worlds :) .)

    P.S. If you are watching an HD channel that is broadcasting an SD program, the pillarbars are added by the broadcaster, and there is really nothing that you can do about it. Sometimes they do a reasonable job of including some overscan, sometimes not.
     
  4. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    2nd issue worries me. It could be a hard drive problem.
     
  5. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    wow.. thank you VERY much for your help... you are correct... native is on.. set to pillar box... and side bars set to gray...

    Setting it to stretch.. then telling my tv to make the pillar boxes did fix the problem..

    As for the second issue... I'm not sure that it's a hard drive or signal strength problem.. Signal stregth is excellent across the board... and my HR20's are otherwise flawless... I can't even remember the last time I had to reset either one of them.. neither hard drive is full at all.. it doesn't do the lag very often.. and it may be something that most people wouldn't even notice... just didn't know if anyone other than me had... thanks again everyone!!! you guys rock!
     
  6. Fish Man

    Fish Man Godfather

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    +1 to everything cygnusloop said.

    That's absolutely classic "frame gutter" that the overscan of a tube TV hides.

    All of my local HD channels present 4x3 material in "pillarbox" format, as opposed to stretchovision, for which I am grateful. (I hate TV stations that present SD material on their HD channel stretched!)

    However, when the HD broadcast channel "pillarboxes" material at the source, this "trash" in the gutter is often seen too, as transmitted right from the station!

    Interesting story:

    I was watching the local news on my ABC affiliate recently, just after purchasing a new LCD TV. This affiliate does not yet transmit their local news in HD and presents it in "pillarbox" on their HD channel with black pillarboxes. I also have my HR20 pillarbox color set to black.

    I was observing a light gray "flair" in the upper left hand area of the left pillarbox.

    "DAMN!" I was thinking, "this TV has a defect!!" "DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!"

    Then it occurred to me, "The station is generating the pillarboxes, it's probably them!"

    I changed to another HD channel transmitting a 4x3 image. Sure enough, uniformly jet black! I changed to an SD channel and let my HR20 generate the pillarboxes. Again, uniform and jet black!

    Whew!

    As to your other problem: As others have said, it sounds like either the hard drive or a signal intermittency of some sort. Since 2 units are both doing it, it's probably signal.

    Does it do issue 2 only on HD locals? If so, could be a D* backhaul problem.
     
  7. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    no.. HD locals are okay.. just audio pops on one specific channel when coming back from commercials... my signal strenghts are great.. here are my readings on the 101...

    Satellite 101:
    1-8 = 96, 97, 96, 97, 96, 98, 95, 97
    9-16 = 96, 97, 97, 0, 97, 100, 96, 99
    17-24 = 96, 93, 96, 53, 97, 100, 96, 99
    25-32 = 96, 0, 96, 74, 96, 96, 92, 99

    ..and i would doubt it would be a hard drive issue with two otherwise flawless machines... I dunno.. it's not that big of a deal.. i only notice it a couple times a week.. if that... and i watch a fair amount of tv... just wondering if anyone else had seen it... anyways... thank you so much for the help guys... i really do appreciate it...
     
  8. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    I get the same videa slow down every once and a while. And I have read here that others have seen it too. Not sure what to make of it. Hopefully a future software update will clear it up.
     
  9. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Have you rebooted this machine lately? If not...do a reset (from the menu) and see if the problem goes away. Let us know what happens.
     
  10. carlsbad_bolt_fan

    carlsbad_bolt_fan Icon

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    I've seen this too...looks like whatever I'm watching will sort of have a "strobe" effect. Last time this happened, I went up one channel and that looked fine. Back down to the channel I was originally watching, the "strobe" effect was still happening. Went away soon after.

    I noticed this during the Bond weekend one of the Starz (I think?) channels had. Haven't seen it since on any other channel.
     
  11. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

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    well.. it may be a hard drive issue after all.. when it did the lag thing tonight... i immediately rewound it and it didn't do it on the playback... oh well.. it doesn't do it very often and it's not for long at all.. and since the boxes are otherwise flawless... i'm not going to trade them out... i'm surprised that I have two boxes that do this and no one else has noticed theirs do it...
     
  12. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    You got 2 responses saying that they saw it too (including me).
     
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