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Dead/dying HR20-700: what to replace it with?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by greenwave, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. greenwave

    greenwave Legend

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    The last week or so my HR20-700 has been doing some weird (and annoying) audio stuttering whenever channels are changed, and tonight it announced there is a problem with the hard drive and asked for a reboot, and now is in the midst of a multi hour hard drive self-diagnostic exercise. I am not hopeful. I have an almost brand new 1tb esata attached with a ton of stuff we've been saving for the summer, all likely gone (sad).

    So, assuming tomorrow I will be asking for a replacement, what should I request? Would love an HR34 but assume that would require an install and from what I've read here it seems it may not be ready for prime time. My other HR is an HR23 and it is slow as dirt and lacks OTA, so I certainly don't want another one of those. Your thoughts appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    You can request an HR34, but you'll have to pay for it since it's not an HD-DVR.

    Other than that, you can't request anything, they'll send you whatever they have available. Might be another HR20, might be an HR24, might be something else. There's also a good chance it will be a refurb.
     
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    All of the DVRs other than the 20 lack OTA without an AM21.
     
  4. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Or in other words, you can add OTA to any H/HR21 or higher, and get OTA capabilities with it just like an H/HR20, it just uses about a 1-1/2 inch black box sitting on or very near the newer model STB's called an AM21 that you can order via your on-line acct. The guide works exactly the same as on your HR20 model, OTA stations integrated right in with the sat channels.
     
  5. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    you can request the tivo unit also
     
  6. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    Wait a minute guys, he said he has an external hard drive hooked up to this. Couldn't this just be his external drive, enclosure, or eSata cable going bad? Doesn't mean he necessarily has to replace the receiver.
     
  7. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    Sure, but that wasn't his question:


     
  8. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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    Monday they replace my 6 year old HR20 with an HR21.
     
  9. greenwave

    greenwave Legend

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    How does the HR21 compare to the HR20?
     
  10. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    No built in OTA, slower. Adds 3D support. HR22 had larger hard drive, hr23 didn't require BBCs in non SWM, HR24 brought speed and built in DECA.
     
  11. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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    Right now pretty good, but the HR20 was in it's death bed for a long time.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, it could very well be the device he's using to mount the HDD, they're the weakest links in the chain. I would have tried another device before giving up on the 20-700. If the HDD is in an all-in-one eSATA box, dig the HDD out and put it on a TT docking station and the HDD usually works as it did before.

    Shame to give up on a 20-700.

    Rich
     
  13. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Not when it was as slow as mine became.:mad:

    And I tried all the suggested tricks with no success.
     
  14. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I agree; BeerStalker is not wrong here. The first thing to do would be to boot from the internal and see what if anything changes. I think that boat has sailed, however.

    But moving an internal drive to a TT? It is interesting that this may solve problems. If the HDD is problematic, won't it be problematic whether connected internally or externally? HDDs seem to run very cool in a TT, so maybe heat can be a factor, but otherwise I don't know what to attribute any success to when using this strategy.
     
  15. JACKIEGAGA

    JACKIEGAGA N.Y. FOOTBALL GIANTS

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    Did they ship it to you? Or installer brought it?
     
  16. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    The HR20 is older, and that means that if you get one, it will likely be about two years older than if you were to get a HR21. Both are so old that if you get one it is likely a refurb.

    This age difference may not matter: If they replaced the HDD, that takes the age of the HDD out of the question. Also, it is harder and harder to find 300 GB and 320 GB HDDs, so if a DVR this old is refurbed with a new HDD, it is probably a 500. (Woo hoo!)

    But the age difference may matter: one of the common ways that DVRs fail is the PS goes bad, and that is usually due to electrolytic filter caps drying out and changing value, which can result in dirty DC power (which a AC UPS can not fix). So it is obvious that a HR20 is in much greater threat of that sort of failure than would be a HR21. Microprocessors abhor dirty power, so this can manifest much in the same way a bad HDD can, including stuttering video and audio, and increased slow response time to the remote.

    Low-priority tasks and how well they are processing is a good indicator of DVR health (if a DVR is churning its CPU it will try to postpone low-priority tasks such as the screen saver for high-priority tasks). Pause your DVR to the point where the screen saver kicks in. If the SS icon moves smoothly across the screen, you are in good shape. If it stutters or pauses more than once every few seconds, you may have a failing PS or a failing HDD.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Tom, the weakest link in the chain when using an external HDD is the device the HDD is in. I keep an extra TT dock just in case I have a problem with one of my HRs, it's the quickest way to test an external drive. If it works in the TT dock that I know is good, the old HDD external device is bad. The same thing applies to internal drives, if you're having problems and you think the HDD is bad, putting a good HDD and a good dock on the HR will quickly tell you if the internal is shot.

    I don't recall suggesting moving an internal drive to a dock. You'd have to put another internal drive in the HR just to check the old drive in a dock and that's a lot of work. I wouldn't trust the old internal stock drives in the 20-700s and I wouldn't test them.

    Rich
     

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