1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

have had hr20 for 2 days now. already I want to return it ;(

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by linuxworks, Jan 8, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    I'm sending it back. it was the only real option for me, sorry to say.

    I was worried mostly about getting bound in a 2 yr contract with no promise of real remedy. just not willing to do that, not based on the CURRENT level of service I'm seeing (and reading about, here).

    so to avoid the 2 yr thing, it seemed the best way to do that was to cancel entirely out of HD (for now) and just go back to where I was 3 or 4 days ago with my direct-tv hughes box. (one that I upgraded to 2 drives, 3 years ago and those are still chugging along even today).

    so while it would be nice to continue to have HD, I won't do that if it means I have to accept the hr20 and be bound to it for 2yrs.

    I did tell the CSR 'no hard feelings' and that I don't want to leave DTV and I fully intend to check back in 6-9mos and see what the current state of things is. but I don't think its fair to ask me to suffer thru lost shows during the time it takes for them to fix this SHOWSTOPPER (it totally is) bug.

    I was told I could go with an h20 (tuner only) but that's such a partial solution, I wasn't willing to jump on that quite yet, either.


    maybe it IS time to check out cable. I know for a fact that my cable company has no lease committment. so if things suck, you can bail out at any time. I hate cable companies (which is why I switched to DTV years ago!) but they -might- have a better story for me, at this point in time.

    /bryan
     
  2. macEarl

    macEarl Godfather

    257
    0
    Jan 1, 2007
    You may be right in this case. NASA/USAF mileage is different with avionics electronics, as is mine with the HR20.

    Best of luck,
    Earl
     
  3. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    thanks earl.

    if the system was totally in hose-mode (grin) then yes, a full power cycle would have made sense.

    in past lives, I've done some electronics design on some circuits and found that due to my poor designs (grin) some circuits may not be stable under all conditions. there could be an oscillation that during normal operation causes things to be so locked up you need to break the loop forcefully.

    in my case, the IR remote worked and the system seemed basically alive. I could watch live tv and watch OTHER recorded shows. so a harsh power-fail didn't seem like the logical thing to do, at the time.

    /bryan
     
  4. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    14,582
    369
    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Hopefully this doesn't sound pompous, but your TV seems to be kind of "cheap" and low end. Although, that's no excuse for missed recordings, I'm just talking PQ. Maybe your tv is why the picture is so bad? I had a 27" CRT Sony & SD looked just ok, & HD looked "nice." Upgraded to a 32" Samsung LCD...HUGE improvement.
     
  5. macEarl

    macEarl Godfather

    257
    0
    Jan 1, 2007
    First thing I'd noticed when I switched to lcd tv - including first use w/ s-video - is that when any of the content providers go to town on image compression it really shows on an lcd - blocky and splotchy. I'd seen that on my original JVC lcd and its Sammy replacement.

    The JVC had a vivid mode, for demo'ing at stores, and normal modes and required a pretty simple mode switch. My Samsung's def of normal, out of the box, was more like the JVC's vivid mode, and had to be tuned for color, etc, but especially brightness. A lot of the splotchy was reduced after that.

    Just wanted to mention this for the lurkers (and in case this was bryan's first lcd) - not all picture problems are due to the HR20, nor even to the price of the TV, but sometimes to the TV technology and most definitely the source.

    First thing I did when I hooked up the HR20 in comparison to the Hughes unit (just can't remember the Tivo model numbers - sorry) was to think I'd been swindled. Then I changed the channel .....
     
  6. rlnoonan

    rlnoonan Legend

    125
    0
    Jan 5, 2007
    For what it's worth, I read your post and thought it matched my situation very closely. I'd had directivo for about 3 years and everything was great. Then I finally decided to make the jump to HD and found that everything becomes more complicated.

    Anyway, what I did was to keep my Tivo unit to record anything SD and still have the reliability of Tivo (heck, I only have one TV that can do HD anyway, so I still need SD in the house). I couldn't get an HR20 anyway, so for HD I only have an H20. It works fine and I love the sports in HD. I'm on the waiting list for an HR20, but I'm in no hurry. Once I get it, I'm still keeping the Tivo (doesn't cost any extra, so why not). Maybe you have just the single TV so my situation isn't quite the same, but keeping your Tivo and just using an H20 might have been a good solution.

    Also, I found the opposite for SD on my HDTV. Before I got the HD installed I was using the Tivo on the HDTV and it looked pretty lousy. Once I got the H20 even the SD channels looked fine. You are definitely correct about the varying quality of HD broadcasts. Some are worst than SD IMHO. Discovery HD rocks though!

    I know it's too late now, but maybe this info is useful to someone.
    Bob
     
  7. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    5,957
    54
    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    It certainly does (Discovery HD Theater)! When I want to impress the guys, I put on OTA-HD Football. When I want to impress the general public, Discovery HD is THE big winner. It's kinda fun to watch people's jaws drop.
     
  8. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    its not expensive - it was $599 for a 32". sceptre is the brand and its on/off (frequently sold out) at costco.com.

    I think its an OK tuner/display. not high end but I'm not sure its junk, either. somewhere mid-stream seems where this unit falls.

    I'm very sensitive to jaggies and artifacts. in fact, the hdmi connection highlighted the 'digital-ness' of the picture even more and any natural smoothing you'd get from, say, an s-video connection only HELPED the picture.

    now, _I_ don't want to sound pompous, but have _you_ looked at what passes for digital tv in SD content? the bitstarved excuse for a signal that we get?

    the phenomenon is well known - a 20 yr old CRT analog tv will render 480i better than the best digital (pure digital) tv. unless I missed something, I've not seen any lcd render 'good old sd tv' and make it as watchable as a medium quality analog CRT tv.

    but like you say, this is neither here nor there in terms of dropped recordings.

    I have quite a few complaints about the hr20 (which now is going to be solved by returning it and bailing out of the whole scene, for now) and separate from that, I have issues with the whole roll-out of HD, from the standards they chose (all the res's and formats - and poor strategy for mapping between them - what a mess!) to the poor quality control on the content, to the lack of care in encoding (mp2 and mp4), lack care and consistency in color and even accuracy in aspect ratios! its as if this whole HD thing was rolled out by some high school seniors (sorry to insult any seniors here) ;)

    again, I am probably expecting way too much. but then again, its had quite a lot of time (by anyone's watch) and the bird is still not fully cooked yet ;)

    /bryan
     
  9. jeffloby

    jeffloby Legend

    179
    0
    Dec 3, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    I had a HR20 installed on December 23rd to replace a broke HR10-250. It has a build date of Dec. 5, 2006. As soon as it was installed in downloaded the OTA fix. Knock on wood but as of right now Outside on 1 OTA Sub channel not being on Directv's list, I have not had one problem with anything on this unit. No black screens, everything records right . I wonder if the late build date is the reason? Thanks
     
  10. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    the demo factor of HD, when HD is done right, is pretty cool.

    I did get the chance to catch a few discovery HD shows and yes, they were pretty darn good.

    I then tune to my local KRON4 (indep, @720p) and see all kinds of motion artifacts from almost anything they put on their channel! worst 720p that I've seen so far. doesn't do much to show the current state of the art..

    I then look at KQED-HD (certainly NOT via directv, since they refuse to carry that PBS station and its substations in HD and digital) and I get great demo material from it. I had my HD set over xmas and was able to watch some choir specials that were very well video'd and the colors and picture was almost as good as my still photos that I shoot (semi professionally).

    it seems the quality is all over the place. the worst is when they poorly encode SD and then 'wrap' it in HD just to claim credit for being in HD or for being a -channel- in HD. and yes, when some SD channels are better looking than HD channels and their content, something's really wrong there!

    I guess out of maybe 50 HD shows I watched over the last few weeks (from my apartment cable and also directv-hd) maybe 1 2 or 3 were impressive and the rest were either 'only OK' or downright lousy in PQ.

    the hit to miss ratio is just way too low; and so asking users to live with faulty software-based boxes AND suffer lack of quality content - that was too much for me, I guess.

    /bryan
     
  11. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

    4,642
    0
    Jul 29, 2003
    Isn't that the "Born on Date"? :lol:
     
  12. richlife

    richlife Hall Of Fame

    1,060
    0
    Dec 4, 2006
    The new Sony LCos (I can't speak for any others) come with a Vivid mode (store demo mode) set as default. The Standard mode is better (lot less brightness and glare) but I found the Custom mode with its default settings was the best for my viewing room so I set it to be the default for all programming.

    linuxworks commented that he didn't think any LCD could display SD as well as a good SD tv. I have both and the Sony LCoS is equivalent (give and take on various visual specs). And the HD!!!!!!!!
     
  13. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    I feel a little bad because I was offered a pretty good deal to 'enter' into HD. free hr20 (well, they SHOULD be free, but that's beside the point) ;). free shipping (what shipping? the install tech carried out the hr20 just like the dish and the rg6, etc). also some content discounts (free HD pkg for 4 mos or maybe longer, I forget; and some other misc movie pkgs the CSR thew in for good measure). I also wanted to retain my old tivo series2 from DTV and I wanted to keep it active for at least a year of overlap - so I asked if I could get a year's service on that old one free, just as a standby and I think they gave that to me, too.

    so I feel bad for returning the whole mess and I wonder if/when I'm ready to swtich back if I can get something as good again or if I'm now on their S-list ;) heh - that's funny - a customer being on THEIR s-list. ha!

    I suppose I could get hold of an h20 and just TUNE in HD via satellite. but being able to pause SD and not pause HD will also drive me nuts - I just know it will.

    /bryan
     
  14. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    I think mine was a later build, also. and with only 2 days of use on it, it still blackscreened.

    there simply was NOT enough time for its amount of ram or disk to GET corrupted. you'd have to be a very talented non-programmer to have an embedded system corrupt itself in only 2 days time ;)

    /bryan
     
  15. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    the standard modes on the sceptre that I have are really out of calibration. either that or the content that comes in via DTV is. I spent a good two days playing with the settings to get a natural skin tone, reasonable gray/black levels (hard to null out the greens and blues) and to set the dyn range and gamma as best I could. it wasn't easy but its now at least watchable.

    I haven't seen all lcd's, and I'm curious if there are any significant exceptions out there. its not an easy job to map 480i to something that is, by nature, a non interlaced and non-natural scale factor (from 480i to almost ANY other HD resolution or screen size).

    I know a little bit about how they managed to get the old b/w tv signal to be compatible with the 'new' color tv sets many many decades ago. it was ingenious and it did NOT break ANYTHING with its progress. the black/white tv guys could continue to receive their programming with no issues; yet the new color guys could get their programming and neither suffered due to the other. just not so with sd->hd migration. there was never really a clean strategy and just witness the immediate look on someone's face when you show them a glass CRT displaying SD vs the HD set sitting next to it also displaying SD. it just looks wrong and poorly thought out - right from the very start. not at all a clean seamless migration like the bw->color one was.

    I think I ask for too much, sometimes. this is the world of entertainment and I guess there are different levels of expectation in quality in this field. and SO much money and greed, too, to add to its mix.

    at any rate, for MOST lcd's out there - sd on glass tubes still beat sd on an hd lcd set. in almost all cases. its a sorry but true fact.


    /bryan
     
  16. sandiegojoe

    sandiegojoe Mentor

    35
    0
    Oct 2, 2006
    welcometo the world of HD. THey aren't really trying to improve those broadcasts, they just can't have dead air on their HD channel when no HD source content is available.

    As for your probs... Sounds like you got a bad box, I would have tried to exchange it.


    Some people have had problems with the new unit, some more than others. It seems like the box has some minor quirks across the board which have been getting better with time, but there are also a few bad boxes out there. Quite a few posters have had better luck after exchanging.

    I know.. too late now. But when more mpg4 channels are available later this year, and software pdates have fixed the hr20's few remaining glitches, you oughta be in good shape to pick one up.
     
  17. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

    4,642
    0
    Jul 29, 2003
    So in your mind 20% of the HR20s that DTV is shipping are bad?
     
  18. sandiegojoe

    sandiegojoe Mentor

    35
    0
    Oct 2, 2006
    20%?? Way to high. Maybe 2% tops. Some seem more glitchy than others, but I wouldn't necessarily call that a bad box. Some people have issues due to their tv/hdmi setup/ Some with OTA.. All those glitches should be fixed soon enough with updates.

    But the gist I get from reading these forums is that every once in a while someone gets one that simply can't be improved with updates.
     
  19. Wolffpack

    Wolffpack Banned User

    4,642
    0
    Jul 29, 2003
    But depending on the completely unscientific polls here, at least 20% of HR20 users are experiencing these same problems. It's not a hardware problem.
     
  20. linuxworks

    linuxworks Legend

    138
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    I strongly feel that this is software and not hardware.

    and it being a hard one to find, I bet its a multithreaded rats nest inside the code ;( (I personally hate multithreaded code as its a b*tch to debug). maybe its written in multiple languages. maybe it even has (perish the thought) java inside! ;)

    its anyone's guess how they designed the architecture of the box, but if it was a hardware error, it would probably show itself in more ways than just stuck/deleted files (in my case).

    I am sure that heat had nothing to do with it. it wasn't even on very long before the first deleted file happened.

    I have 2 very short rg6 runs (with the proper converter 'stubs' inline) going to my balcony antenna:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/161/345805982_bc2875cf95_o.jpg

    on the viewing side, the hr20 was connected both via s-video and also via hdmi to my sceptre 32" lcd.

    the setup and config was very simple. its not a very difficult config, for me - not multi room, no multiswitch (other than the dish based one built in). reasonably short runs of coax and good signal strength all across.

    finally, I have a brand new UPS on the old tivo and the new hr20. so I know it never crashed due to building power issues.

    no, I have a strong hunch that its a timing bug somewhere in the code that needs the stack to be in this state and the callframe to have that other setup on it and when some timer fires or a race condition occurs between 2 events - the logic breaks and its not handled properly.

    there could even be some malloc that is free()'d twice and this could, over time, cause some problems in the memory image that is used to run the program OR store user data. and that would explain why a reboot would fix things temporarily - reboots to tend to 'fix' memory leaks or mem corruption (due to programming errors).

    just more and more, I'm convinced its programmer error on most of these high profile hr20 bugs.

    and I'll take an even bigger leap here and make a guess that the development team is MOSTLY junior people and that there may only be 1 or 2 good seasoned engineers ON this project and I even wonder if THEY are still around at this point. all pure guessing - but this project sure looks like many that I've seen from the inside view, in my years.

    substandard designs and implementations can be patched but NEVER fully fixed - if the design flaw runs fundamentally deep.

    if they mixed something up (like timing or data structure allocation in their multitasking o/s) - it could be a long time before they can figure out a way to re-work how they dispatch service routines or allocate and deallocate memory and such.

    if I was running the project, you'd better believe that ALL new features would be suspended until the stability was 5 nines of uptime. seriously. and the fact that its taken this long to fix some basic usability flaws does not inspire confidence in their ability to get the job done in finite time...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page