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DVR Dementia

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TomCat, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Jan 3, 2012 #1 of 14
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Here's an odd failure scenario:

    Had an HR20 for about 15 months. It worked fine until about 6 months ago, when I noticed that it started to not display the screen saver in most cases (I keep it on a channel I don't get to keep the noise down) and instead just displays a black screen. But it recorded and played back just fine, has had a couple of updates and a couple of reboots since with no change.

    New Year's Day: No power for about an hour. On bootup, I notice that there are only 4 items in the menu popup instead of the normal 7 or 8. I try a second reboot, but it stalls immediately on a dim blue light on the power button, forcing me to pull the power. It boots and comes up, but the menu still has only 4 items in it.

    I get distracted and don't get back to it til later that night, whereupon I notice it missed 3 records. Further testing shows "QuickTune" now has no entries in it, and while I can get to the playlist, channel up/down has no effect, and it won't respond to the guide button.

    This is not good; getting serious. I boot it again, this time going to the "reset defaults" option, which has solved squirreliness on other DVRs in the past. It hangs on reset again and needs a full power interrupt to boot. On bootup, no channels available; on guided setup no sats available (which I know is not true as other DVRs hooked to this system are working fine), again no ch up/dn, no guide page.

    But I can get to my recordings and play them fine, so what I have at the moment is a DVP (player). It seems like any move beyond this will mean I will lose my recordings (only 380 hours worth), and that I may have no option but to do without these two record ports and play off all of the shows until I can try to get a replacement.

    Also, a GUI is on the way; God knows how it will handle that.

    Suggestions? Comments? Similar experiences?
     
  2. Jan 3, 2012 #2 of 14
    Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    Your watching the slow death of a DVR I'm affraid. You could run a HD test on it but I would watch all of your recordings first.
     
  3. Jan 4, 2012 #3 of 14
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I have tried my last options, which are leaving it unplugged overnight (I've seen that work) and swapping cables to rule them and the dish/switch out. No go.

    I am thinking maybe it lost its ability to send voltage to the dish. That's fatal for recording, although it plays fine.

    But is it fatal to playback too? Will there be a timeout when it can't see the sats for a number of days, what is that expected time frame, and will this lock out playback?

    Luckily, 99% of this stuff is backed up.
     
  4. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Epilogue:

    Did the "02468" forced software reload, which fixed all problems. Woo hoo!

    Although none of you suggested this directly, my thanks to the forum and all of the smart guys who populate it, as without the forum, I would be breaking in some new DVR about now, and some 360 hours of recordings would be no more than dust.

    I love a happy ending.
     
  5. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    However, I would try to watch whatever recordings are on that DVR and be prepared for an eventual failure. :(

    I had an HR20 a while back that showed the same symptoms as yours. I may have jumped the gun on it, but took the opportunity to acquire an HR24.
     
  6. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    My HR20 is still churning along, but I know its not long for this world. Its got some expanding caps that could fail at any time. I've relegated it to recording almost nothing but OTA recordings, so when/if it dies, the recordings will be playable on the replacement DVR. Something to think about if you suspect a problematic dvr, and have other(s).
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've been checking the insides of some of my HRs lately and see no capacitor problems (visually). All five of my owned 20-700s are dust free and the 500 that I own had just a little dust in it around the fan. I had reason to pop the top of my 21-200 the other day. Thought the barrel to motherboard connection had broken due to yet another loose barrel lock nut. You would not believe the dust in that thing. Turned out the barrel connection was OK, but I had to get a can of air and blow the thing out. I don't think I've ever had a DVR open and seen that much dust.

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Which model of the 20s was it, Tom?

    Rich
     
  9. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Whoa, hello...

    Are you saying that OTA recordings are portable?
     
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Hmmm. That should be an easy answer. Should be. I am not in front of it and I can never keep that straight, plus I have both 100's and 700's. This one has separate LEDs on the blue ring, where others have multiple LEDs per section of the blue ring, if that helps identify it.

    As for the life of HR20's, and while I actually prefer HR20's, It is getting to the stage where any HR20 is at least a couple years old, so PS's are definitely in question. Of course caps are pretty easily replaced. So any advantage a HR20 may have over say a 21 or a 23 might be less than it used to be, in the case of longevity at least.
     
  11. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Seems to me last FW versions [HR22-100] disabled the hole; before you could play those without connecting coax cable ... Perhaps other model still allow that.
     
  12. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    It still has to be a working dvr, just not the same one. As recently as a few months ago I retasked a HDD from 1 dvr to another, and as most of us know the recordings are all there, just not playable(message about problem with access card or something like that), but the OTA recordings are playable on any HD DVR that you have if you move the drive to another DVR that you may have. They are not encrypted due to the nature of OTA. SO to answer TomCat's question, yes they are portable between dvrs on your account, possibly anyone's account for that matter, havent tried the second one to verify though. OTA recordings are not married to the DVR like the sat recordings.
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I don't remember what the physical differences in the 100 and 700 are, if there are any. Haven't seen a 100 in quite a while, but I think I remember them looking "cheaper" or not so well made. Might be my imagination.

    Rich
     
  14. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    At least I know there is real difference between -700 (Pace) and -600 (LG), not that big but significant and require different line of FW.
     

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