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HR21-200's going bad?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by BarkingGhost, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. BarkingGhost

    BarkingGhost Legend

    165
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    Dec 29, 2007
    NE Atlanta...
    Ok, both of my HR21-200 units are flaking out of late. Both of these are tied to two different 50" plasma televisions, and each of these televisions also have a Blu-ray player. When something starts acting funny, I have the convenience of a 23" Samsung flat panel TV that I can tote around for testing.

    The HR21-200 in the Living room will occasionally draw out a green horizontal line across the top of the screen within a fraction of a second, and then the entire screen goes black and no audio or video is observed. Connectivity is HDMI and I've observed this condition when replacing cables and using different inputs on the plasma.

    During an event I can unplug from the plasma and into the 23" tote-along and problem continues to be observed. I've changed out cables and this problem isn't observed with the Blu-ray player on all tested inputs. I assume it is the HR21-200. If I turn it off and let it sit for an hour it works again, but the amount of time to the next event cannot be predicted and I cannot reproduce the issue at will.

    The HR21-200 in the basement will occasionally go black on the screen, but the audio will continue to play. Likewise, I've swapped out cables and used different inputs on that 50" plasma, and can swap-in the 23" tote-along Samsung TV and continue to observe the issue. I can simply turn off and back on the DVR and the problem resolves itself.

    Additionally, the basement HR21-200 is now recording nothing. I setup Thursday evening to record Conan at 11PM EST and Jay Leno ~11:30PM and this meant the two would overlap. Additionally, I setup for a 6AM recording of a movie on another channel (either HDnet Movies or MGM HD).

    All three showed up in the recorded shows screen, all show they recorded for the length anticipated, but when I tried to watch them my observation is a blank screen and no audio ... for about 1-2 seconds and then the pop-up appears prompting me to decide as to Delete or Do Not Delete. In all instances, I chose not to delete and tried to replay with the same condition.

    Strange is that at 8PM on the same evening something recorded successfully, and again at 3PM the next day. And while these hollow-recordings took place the same shows successfully recorded on the HR21-200 in the Living room.

    Checking signal strength provides for mixed results. I have a D* provided 4x8 multiswitch, and it is powered. I am not sure which satellites are responsible for which shows (Conan on TNT, Jay on NBC, the movie on either HDnet Movies or MGM HD, and the successful recordings on CBS and the Military channel.

    Going to one satellite to the other and denoting the transponders that are valued (i.e. not N/A) I see a lot of them in the high 80's to 100, and some that are in the 18-36 range. I also see some at 0. But if some transponders are not used (not transmitting) I am not sure if that is reported as N/A or 0.

    There are way too many satellites X transponders X tuners to be able to conclude it might be the multiswitch, but I figured I'd give some aspiring tech person a go at this. These HR21-200 units are about 3 years old, but I am not sure the grief I'd have to go through to get D* to replace them. I do have the Protection Plan.

    Thoughts, suggestions?
     
  2. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2004
    WOW - you have lots of strange symptoms going on.

    I'd start with the basics.

    Power down the unit completely for an hour - pull the plug.

    While powered down, remove the access card and carefully reinsert it.

    Also while powered down, completely unplug all cables on the DVR(s), including the satellite coax in cable. Then reinstall carefully, making sure there is a good connection with each one.

    Power back up - plug back in (after the hour).

    See what happens.

    If things are corrected - congrats. Connections/cables are the #1 source of weird HD receiver and HD DVR behavior.

    If not...you've at least eliminated the most common/obvious source of problems, and likely need to proceed to next steps...

    Let us know how that turns out, and if you get any error messages on your screen during this reset process. There could be other sources, but a process of elimination (especially the easy ones) is a good approach.
     
  3. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2006
    You say you have a 4x8 powered multiswitch - which one? All the 4x8 powered multiswitches as far as I know are not HD compatible.
     
  4. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The OP said its been in place with the HD DVRs for years...but that unit would be my next target for testing (trying to switch ports) once the first base things are tried...
     
  5. davel

    davel Godfather

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    May 1, 2007
    Why randomly pick an hour? There is no difference between 30 seconds and an hour.
     
  6. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    There is indeed a difference between 30 seconds and an hour...ask any technician....it has to do with discharging the electronic components inside fully.
     
  7. davel

    davel Godfather

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    May 1, 2007
    Yes I understand capacitance, but why an hour, when DTV techs say pull it for 30 seconds?
     
  8. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Let focus on this person's dilemma.

    I could debate in detail on why 30 seconds is not enough (capacitance is only one part), but that doesn't benefit the problem this person is having. Let's both be part of the solution.
     
  9. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    37,060
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    An hour sometimes isn't enough. I recommend 6 hours or overnight just to be safe.

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk
     
  10. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I would certainly agree that longer is better than shorter....good suggestion.
     
  11. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Southern...
    Depends on what you're talking about. "Holding your breath" comes to mind. :D

    I'd say if the 30-second power-down doesn't help, try an hour. If that doesn't work, try overnight. If THAT doesn't work that's not the solution to the problem.
     
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Yup - that's kinda where we started back in Post #2... ;):D

    We haven't heard anything from the OP yet either...
     
  13. BarkingGhost

    BarkingGhost Legend

    165
    2
    Dec 29, 2007
    NE Atlanta...
    My mistake as it is a 6x8 multiswitch: Zinwell WB68.

    All, I have already disconnected all cables overnight, with the access cards removed. Because of the randomness in events it truly is difficult to capture a moment.

    And while swapping out coax cables seems natural, I would really have to relocate equipment to another room as the RG6QS is in the form of structured wiring in the home.

    But, I can try different ports before placing an order for a new WB68.
     
  14. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Los Angeles
    I'd start with pressing & holding {INFO} and then Running the system test. This should give you an indication of what in you infrastructure is causing problems. Then it's not as much of a crap shoot.
     
  15. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    So with everything re-connected...are you getting less, more, or different symptoms?
    If there are still issues with the OP - that's a great next step to see the results.
     
  16. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Really it should be the first step .. It takes just a a minute to run and runs many tests .. Could quickly pinpoint any issues ..

    Alas, I seem to be the only one that suggests it.
     
  17. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Good point.

    An easy step, and you're right...a good first one.
     
  18. btx

    btx Cool Member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    I lost one this week. Tech had to replace one of the lines to the dish too. I never had issues with that line (and it is winter, so lightning is not an issue) -- so I kind of suspect that the receiver took it out too. Good tech fixed me up, though.
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Over the years, we've learned that pulling the cord and letting it sit for long periods of time does, sometimes, help. It has helped me a couple times. Discharging capacitors can take a lot longer than 30 seconds.

    Rich
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Piscataway, NJ
    I agree. I usually pull the plug on an HR I'm having a problem with when I go to bed and reboot it in the morning. Sometimes, it actually fixes the problem. I don't think that it's gonna do anything for the TS tho.

    Rich
     

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