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Defective Replacement Receiver - IR Weak

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dcalef, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    On Nov 20, 2011 I was shipped a replacement HR-20-100S receiver as the one I had used since 06-18-07 had a fan that died and started overheating the DVR.

    3 days later I had the reconditioned replacement leased receiver and activated it. Shortly after activation I discovered the IR receiver in the replacement DVR was very weak. I sit 15 feet away, and I have to move within about half that distance to get the receiver to respond. I decided to continue to use receiver #2 or 3 that I have as my main receiver and ignore the PIA problem.

    Today I called about a signal issue on the 101 satellite, which appeared even on blue sky sunny days. Signal meters were going as low as 45% then would work back up to 97-99% for a while then back down again on all 3 DVRs. So after doing the system test and disconnecting and reconnecting the sat RF inputs to the receiver and running it again (Don't get me started on their silly "Let us just try this procedure...."), a tech is on the way to align my dish on Monday afternoon 1-2-12.

    After it was agreed I was getting a re-alignment visit, I was asked if there were any other questions. Yes, I replied, you sent me a partially defective replacement reconditioned receiver that is a PIA but I am living with. Well, simple, we'll switch you to RF remote control. No, you won't. I also watch from my bedroom and my home office that both have IR repeaters and the RF doesn't reach. NOT a solution. Gee, if you don't want to use RF, sorry, we can't help you.

    My serious gripe is, I have been a "priority" customer for years, but a partially defective receiver sent to me is good enough on my lease that I am paying for a receiver that I paid $200 to obtain, that costs them less than $63 a unit new. I am looking more and more seriously at DISH as an alternative, but I know they have BS issues as well. :mad:

    System:
    HR-20-100S
    HR-22-100
    HR-20-100
    5x1 HDMI switch to 1x8 HDMI Distribution
    IR wired from every TV to main equipment rack
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Call back after the "holiday workers" are done.
    I have no clue where you got the idea a HR20 cost less than $63 "new" but there is no $#%$% way that is true.
     
  3. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    You're assuming it's weak IR and not over sensitive IR. If you do some searches you will find that some people have had other factors impact their IR on replacement receivers. Lighting is usually the killer on these situations. You're also using 3rd party equipment and they're not going to support that.

    Most people will tell you to get some electrical tape and poke a pin hole in it and place it on the IR sensor to start.

    FYI we've all been called "gold", "priority", "loyal" customers from DIRECTV. It makes you feel special but that doesn't mean that you're entitled to anything different.
     
  4. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Okay, if DirecTV is paying more than $63.00 in quantity for the receivers they have made for them, what is the cost in your opinion? I am not talking about what they charge the retailer or what the retailer sells it for. I am talking about the price DirecTV pays for the receiver from the manufacturer in quantity. I have an acquantince who formerly worked for DirecTV 3 years ago and was involved in the purchasing chain. I believe that price I was given was not including the hard drive pricing, but I am nor sure. If you work for DirecTV in purchasing and know the actual prices, fine. I may well be wrong. But not by that much I am sure. If you don't, have you priced a DVR receiver in quantity from the Asian marketplace? Not hard to come by. I am sure by your post you are a much smarter person than I.
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I have no clue who is smarter or dumber.
    I have read that the bill of materials is something close to $200.
    $63 sounds much closer to an HD receiver than a dual SAT tuner + Dual OTA tuner DVR, that the HR20 is.
     
  6. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Thanks, Shades. I appreciate the info. The IR needs more IR light, not less. And, I am not using IR repeaters in the living room where the problem is, so no 3rd party eq. From my other TVs, the IR repater system works great back to the equipment rack in the living room. Not lighting, I have the problem at night when I only use one 60 watt bulb and the rack is dark. Yes, for a period in the afternoon, the sun strikes the front of the receivers and all three receivers get blinded by solar light.

    I understand their use of "priority" and that is why it was in quotes. They are trying to give you the impression you get special handling with the label and the not so "secret" special 800 number..... But in reality, they are not. And you are right, these night and holiday workers drive me up a wall.

    At least with my old C-Band setup years ago, I could repair the stuff myself!
     
  7. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    VOS, I respectfully disagree with the $200 bill of materials figure manufactured in quantity.
     
  8. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    The tape with the pinhole is to block some of the extraneous light that might interfere with the IR from the remote.
     
  9. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    You don't have to agree with it, but $63 is way too low. The figure is much closer to $200 than it is to $60.

    Back to the real issue here: Doesn't the HR20-100 use an external RF antenna or am I confusing it with another model? I know the HR20-700 used internal RF antenna, the H20-600 had an external RF antenna, what did the HR20-100 use? I never had a 20-100, or a 21-xxx model so I can't speak for certain about those, but I do remember reading about missing external RF antennas when some received the replacement boxes.
     
  10. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

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    I think your right with that. Check the link below. It is from Sparky_Partain from a post he made in High Def Forum.

    http://www.highdefforum.com/285420-post3.html
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I doubt the $250 charge for not returning a HD DVR is there for profit.

    While the H20s & the HR20-100 do need an antenna for their remotes with RF, this isn't the issue here as it has to do with the IR mode.
     
  12. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    For the record, I use an IR repeater system as well (next generation IR repeater). I've been using it for 5 years so that distant TV's can control the equipment in the living room.

    About six months ago, the receiver in the living room stopped receiving signals from the remote unless I was right on top of it. Couldn't figure out why. Turns out that it is the IR repeater. When I unplug the IR repeater everything works fine. When it's plugged in, I have to move right up to the receiver to get it to work.

    Don't know why it started acting like this even after using the system for several years, but it did.

    You must have an "eye" or something else that sends the signal to the living room receiver, right? Have you tried disconnecting that?

    HERE'S my thread on it.
     
  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    Doh, my bad...I forgot this guy is trying to use IR for his Rube Goldberg distribution setup...I havent use IR since I got my 1st HR20 over 5 years ago because it sucks and is too prone to interference...:D

    Did the OP get a new backlit tv recently, or add some new wireless and/or cordless devices? Did we already cover all this in an earlier post? Is is sure he got the IR repeater back in the correct place, is he overdriving the IR receiver?
     
  14. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

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    decalef, you came her for advise and a longtime very well respected DBSTalk member responded to help you and in turn you want to question what he has to say. Very bold move and not the smartest one. If you want help there are several of us that will do everything possible to resolve your issue. You commented on shades fix and assumed it was reducing your IR input but in fact it was filtering the ambient light hitting the IR receiver. Not a good move and that shows that you may not know everything about the workings of a Directv HDDVR. I know I don't and have been a member here since 07. My point is if you want help, the help is here. if you don't and just want to question the members taking their time to read and post suggestions to your issue please save us the time.

    Now I will give you a suggestion for your current issue.

    Like VOS said, wait till the "Holiday Staff" are gone and call back and explain that your remote does not work at all. You've replaced the batteries in the remote, tried a different remote and its a no go. Sometimes it takes creativity to get things rolling. Clearly you should not have to get up from the couch and walk with a foot or so to get the remote to work. DO you have the PP from directv? The staff in that dept. are very helpful and might get things resolved for you.

    I hope you don't take my post as an attack towards you in any way. The mods and the dedicated group of members really are here to help and thats all we want to do.

    Again, :welcome_s
     
  15. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    I respect the true assistance I get here from the people who really pay attention to what I wrote and really do know what is happening. For instance, ambient light. The issue occurs as much at night when there is NO ambient light striking the receivers and very little ambient in the living room. For instance, the Xantech IR repeaters from distant TVs are NOT used to repeat in the living room and are not the issue as to placement of IR blasters. Because I as a guy have been a broadcast engineer installing hundreds of satellite receivers, IR and RF systems as well as numerous home and commercial theatre installations since 1962, because I may disagree with a poster here, and have, I thought, tried to be respectful of DIY wizards who have discovered lots of legitimate issues and solutions, does not make me unappreciative of the comments.

    My comment was aimed at DirecTV's policies and often inept customer service people. For the record, DirecTV reached out to me today by phone, went through my issues and what I had done, and quickly agreed with me: The receiver I was sent needed to be replaced. It is being replaced with apologies. And I have a "new" direct number to call, and a follow-up from a "manager".

    I thank all those who offered suggestions, most of which I had already tried, ruled out, or evaluated. My commercial, broadcast and consumer experience with satellite receivers goes back to the C-Band systems before Ku was available. My mistake was, I did not make clear that I wasn't asking for help or suggestions, I was venting at DirecTV after I had identified my issue with 1 of 3 receivers working side-by-side, all controlled by same two remotes in the living room with fresh batteries and cleaned IR sensors and transmitters. Again thanks, and apologies if I offended any among all those who know this stuff better than I. Issue solved.
     
  16. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    Not used in the living room? I thought you said that's where your equipment is? How are signals from other rooms getting to the living room if you're not using IR repeaters there?

    Did you remove the IR repeater system and see if the issue was still there??
     
  17. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Spartanstew, that was among the first things I did.

    To clarify, I use the remote direct to the receivers in the living room. They do not go to a Xantech IR receiver and get repeated by the Xantech IR blasters in the living room. I did shut the Xantech system down to see if it was getting stray IR that it was repeating. In addition, the same Xantech IR blaster is used by receivers 2 and 3 with no issues. Blaster is not on the Receivers, it is about 8-10 inches in front of receiver sensors. The Xantech receivers are the more expensive filtered and tunable sensors to eliminate stray spurious IR from getting picked up and repeated.

    With the testing at night with no ambient light, the Xantech off, there is a huge difference on same remote (different assigned receiver numbers on SAT, AV1 and AV2) to receiver 1 as opposed to #2 and #3. I even reset the assigned receivers in one of 3 remotes I tried with fresh batteries from the SAT position for Rec1 to the AV1 position on the remote. I also did a hard (red button) reset of the problematic receiver as well as separately a 3 minute power off. No change in the issue after the reset or after the power off. I also changed the receiver to RF (worked fine in living room) and back to IR to see if that helped. About the only thing I didn't do was try operating the receiver Vertically or Upside down. (Okay, that's a weak attempt at humor)
     
  18. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    At least you checked. All I can tell you is that I have almost the exact same set-up (use remote directly in the living room, IR receivers are used by two other DVR's without issue, blaster is not on the receivers, but a couple of feet away) and I have the same problem with my remote on ONE DVR. I have to disconnect the IR system to use it locally. The fact that it works correctly when the IR system is unplugged tells me that it's a problem with the IR system (in my case).
     
  19. dcalef

    dcalef New Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Years ago I used the same type of IR repeater to IR Emitter blaster as you are using. I had similar problems. That is when I started using the Xantech with the special IR receivers at the remote ends that reject spurious signals that could repeat. I have had virtually no problem with the Xantech systems I have installed in a number of situations. The filtered and tunable receivers seem to have solved prior issues I had. I still turned off the Xantech and discovered my issue was still there because of experiences probably 5-10 years ago. I realize the Xantech systems are expensive, but I strongly suggest it may be a solution to your problem if you get the right IR receivers. If I get some extra spares in stock I will loan them to you to try. It is a hardwired system which can be a pain. However we now always run extra cabling pairs when we are running the audio/video signal or RF cabling out to remote TVs. My first IR repeaters via RF were labeled as RCA and they were crap. I find the RF remote sensitivity lacking in the Direct TV equipment as well in many installations. In my own home, one remote runs the 3rd receiver (an HR-22) via RF, and even then the user must hold the remote in the right position up in the air. I should run a Xantech to that location, but it does keep the user from controlling "My" 1 and 2 receivers.
     
  20. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    It's not that big of a deal now. We're only using it for when the kids are watching their shows in the Play room or the Wii Room. When they are, we just plug the system in. When they're watching their shows in the living room, we just unplug it. They even know how to do it now (plug and unplug it), so the burden is on them most of the time.
     

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