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H21-200 Disappointing RF Range

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mjwagner, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Sep 3, 2009 #1 of 16
    mjwagner

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    I just replaced an H20-100 with an H21-200 to gain the network connection (the H20-100 did not have an Ethernet port). Unfortunately what I have found is that the RF range of the H21-200 is significantly less than what I was getting from the H20-100. I was getting close to 100 ft with the H20-100 and I am now getting less than 40 ft with the H21-200 and it is in the exact same location as I had the H20-100. Are there any HD receivers (I do not want or need a DVR in this location) that have an Ethernet port and comparable RF range to the H20-100? I think what makes the difference is the ability to attach an external RF antenna (the HR20-100 has that capability but the H21-200 has an internal RF antenna).
     
  2. Sep 6, 2009 #2 of 16
    mjwagner

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    Let me try another question. Do any of the current DirecTV HD receivers that have ethernet ports also have the ability to connect an external RF antenna?
     
  3. Sep 8, 2009 #3 of 16
    mjwagner

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    Lots of views but no responses. Not sure what to make of that. Based on my own research, I have been unable to find any current DirecTV HD receivers that have the ability to connect an external RF antenna.
    Is this something done on purpose by DirecTV to discourage people from using a single receiver to serve multiple displays within a residence? It really seems odd to me that the newer receivers have significantly less RF range than the older receivers.
    Looks like I will be returning the H21-200 and reconnecting my old H20-100.
     
  4. Sep 8, 2009 #4 of 16
    HRJustin

    HRJustin Godfather

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    None of the current HD receivers have a spot for an external RF antenna. Im not sure why they eliminated the external antenna port. I haven been using RF on my R22 and previously an R15(with a piece of coax stripped back as an antenna :lol:) I havent noticed a difference. Then again I dont really use the remote to far away.

    My only suggestion is possibly put the reciever in a more central location to both places where they remote would be used. You would then need to run longer cables to the TVs. Iim not sure of another solution if the one TV is that far away. I highly doubt that you will get better RF range on other H21s or even the H23s.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2009 #5 of 16
    mjwagner

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    Funny, I was using a piece of stripped back coax as an antenna too on my H20-100. Thanks for the suggestion but that is not an option with my setup. I am sending the H21-200 back and reinstalling my H20-100. The RF range is much more important in this case than the network connection.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2009 #6 of 16
    Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    A Galaxy...
    You could always go with an HR20 which is the HD dual tuner DVR counterpart of your origional. and yes it also has an ethernet port for networking/VOD & MVR.

    Just a thought.

    You should be able to find a verified "owned" one rather cheaply on ebay or the like...
     
  7. Sep 9, 2009 #7 of 16
    mjwagner

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    I own an HR20-700. It does not have a connection for an external RF antenna.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2009 #8 of 16
    Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

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    A Galaxy...
    That's because you have a 700 series which went to an internal rf antenna.

    The one you would want would be the HR20-100 which has what your seeking. A quick search would have revealed this right here on the forum:
    http://hr20.dbstalk.com/images/hr20_100/large/img_5975.jpg

    *Notice the power plug is different then the hr20-700's version you already possess, the addition of a 2nd ethernet loop out connection as well as the external rf antenna connection. Not to mention the obvious color change from silver to black.
     
  9. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    Excellent. Thanks for the link.
     
  10. dorfd1

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    I have a silver hr20-100
     
  11. dlpoole

    dlpoole New Member

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    I too was disappointed by the remote range of my HR21-200 when I switched to the RF remote to control it from an adjacent room. Separated by a drywall and a fireplace, the reliable range in that room appeared to be at most 5 feet - and spotty at that. The range appeared to be greater in the same room with and in front of the receiver than behind it where the adjacent room is. Two different RF remotes performed identically. A call to DTV technical support ended with changing the batteries in one of them, but no significant improvement in range. The HR21-200 remains a disappointment.
     
  12. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    I sent the H21-200 back and reinstalled my H20-100. I am now back to being able to control it from pretty much anywhere in the house.
     
  13. roadrnnr

    roadrnnr AllStar

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    Did your edit delete the part about looping an ethernet cable?

    If so that did not work?
     
  14. dlpoole

    dlpoole New Member

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    The Ethernet stub antenna made a slight difference, but the RF remotes were still maybe 50% reliable in the adjacent room, and then only if you fished for a good spot. I figured it wasn't sufficiently repeatable for others to leave the post, so I deleted it.

    I've since achieved better results with a quarter-wave monopole antenna made from a 6-7/8"l x 1/8" dia brass rod centered over and perpendicular to a 6x6" ground plane of two-sided PCB laminate and a capacitive coupler made from a 1/2" x 1-1/2" piece of single sided laminate. A 48" length of thin, 75 ohm coax connects the two. The antenna sits behind a flat screen and above the receiver so as to have a line-of-sight through the wall behind it into the adjacent room where we do most of our casual viewing.

    Extensive experimentation with the remote located in one of the many "blind spots" of the HR21's internal antenna found a "hot spot" on the front panel to the left of the card slot door and beneath the front panel buttons where the coupler would re-radiate enough signal from the monopole into the cabinet to overcome the blind spot. There's no detail in any of the internal images published on this site or others suggesting where the internal RF remote antenna is located, but there appears to be a ribbon cable running between the front panel and the main board, and that is probably the coupler's target.

    So far in two nights viewing from the problematic locations in the adjacent room, not a single remote command was missed. As always, YRMV.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    I'm pretty sure that the ribbon cable going from the MB to the front panel is for...the front panel. The lights & buttons, etc.
     
  16. dlpoole

    dlpoole New Member

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    I agree that's its intended function, but since the front panel board and ribbon are internal, the designer may have had no need to decouple them.

    If that's the case, a signal radiated onto the board or cable can be carried onto the MB. That might be the only path for getting a signal into the receiver without opening the cabinet.
     

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