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HR21-700 balking on playback

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by bsprague, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Mar 1, 2011 #1 of 15
    bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    After a few years of near perfect performance my HR21-700 is balking on playback of recorded network shows. It will "freeze frame" for several seconds and then resume playback.

    A search here brought up a couple old threads suggesting hard disk failure.

    I've done a couple menu resets and an overnight surface scan.

    Besides a replacement, are there other suggestions?
     
  2. Mar 1, 2011 #2 of 15
    hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

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    Ogden, IA
    What info did the surface scan provide? It does sound like the HD is going south. You could also try adding an eSATA external drive and see if that solves the problem (plus you will get a lot more recording time). Several of us on these forums are big fans of the 2 TB EVDS drives mated with a Thermaltake Docking station.
     
  3. Mar 1, 2011 #3 of 15
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I have to agree that this seems like a drive problem and long term that's only going to go one way.... downhill

    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk
     
  4. Mar 2, 2011 #4 of 15
    bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    I started the surface scan when as I went to bed. At about 2% it was showing no errors. When I got up in the morning it had rebooted and was operating as if nothing had happened. I was thinking about the eSATA, but it is no longer my primary DVR so don't want to spend the money.

    I think I will check the DirecTV service plan rules and decide if I need to sign up to get a replacement. I can't remember if they replace units without the service plan, if I have to wait 30 days or what. Meanwhile I will watch the newer, bigger TV with the faster receiver.

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2011 #5 of 15
    bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Thanks for confirming my thoughts.

    If I had an iPhone I should be able to get an ap that will eliminate the need for an DVR! (grinning)
     
  6. Mar 2, 2011 #6 of 15
    barryb

    barryb New Member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    My HR21-700 bit the dust last week. Hard drive failure.
     
  7. Mar 2, 2011 #7 of 15
    bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Do you get a free replacement? Or do you have to be on the service plan to do that?
     
  8. Mar 2, 2011 #8 of 15
    CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    Worst case scenario is without the service plan its $20 shipping...and if you owned the unit, your replacement will be leased. Any unit that dies while you are a current customer is replaced like for like free of charge provided you pay the $20 shipping if you don't have the protection plan. This means you really don't have a choice what model they send you, you could get anything from a 20 to a 24.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2011 #9 of 15
    bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    The surface scan seems to have worked. At least for now.

    We watched a full one hour of a recorded network TV show with no problems.
     
  10. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Thanks for the reply. $20 is fair.

    I should look up the service plan to see what it really does. I've only needed one service call in 5 years when a receiver died. I was on the plan then and really didn't think about it.
     
  11. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    This thread is getting a little old, but in the interest of helping viewers know more about the service process for hard drive failure I'm updating it. I am the original poster.

    The performance of the receiver was better for awhile. Then, two weeks ago it got worse. Playbacks would freeze. Scanning and rebooting didn't fix it this time. I did the long disk scan from the menu that pops up when you press SELECT while the screen reads "receiver self check" following a red button reset. This time it found errors.

    I put off calling a CSR until I knew I would be home for a few days. My first CSR said she didn't do tech support and transferred me to one that did. She was in Oklahoma in a building that included 1200 tech support CSRs! I should have said "Tech Support" to the computer voice instead of "Hard drive failure and stuttering playback".

    She had me start a recording, play back the recording, switch channels and play back the recording again. I think she was checking the two tuners. Then she had me hold down the INFO button for several seconds and a screen popped up giving the choice of "Run a System Test". That's easier than rebooting!

    The test revealed two disc errors with an error code. She said she would send me a new receiver if I "paid half the shipping", or $20. I agreed and she said FedEx will bring it in three to five business days.

    It is not here yet on day 2. So far, DirecTV service is good except that it seems to me that since they own the "leased" receiver they should take responsibly for it and fix it with out me paying the freight. Second, they should be able to allow me to track the shipment so I know when to be home. 3 to 5 business days is pretty wide and FedEx tracking is very good. Although she said nobody has to sign for it (!) leaving a large box on the front porch seems a little strange.

    I'm replacing a 6 year old receiver and have no idea what model they are sending. But, I will report when I do.
     
  12. admdata

    admdata Legend

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    Apr 22, 2011
    If the unit is owned they will replace it with a owned unit, as along as you active it through the Access Card Department!
     
  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    Not unless you have the protection plan. They do not on a regular basis replace an owned unit for free with another owned unit if you don't have the PP. They will if you DO have the PP. Without the PP, an owned may be replaced for free with a leased unit.
     
  14. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    A box showed up on the front porch. It had an HR21-100 in it to replace my HR21-700. Everything looked identical and, although I suspect it is rebuilt, the condition was new and shiny. I was surprised to find that the B-band converters were nearly frozen to the connections on the old receiver. It took a wrench to get them off.

    When I plugged it in it went through the boot cycle to a setup screen that asked me to confirm the antenna and connection. Then it self tested to failure. I rebooted and it did fine the second time. Then it went to a screen that said to call DirecTV for activation. I was on hold for only about a minute and I was connected to a nice guy in Oklahoma. He activated it, suggested he could do better if it was connected to a phone line, continued anyway and stayed on the phone with me until I got channels.

    Then it wanted to download fresh software. The CSR said to do it. He still wanted to stay on the phone to make sure it all worked. I asked him to let me go it alone so I could do other things! I promised to call back if things went wrong.

    Because of the new software, it had to reboot and download the sat info again. All together, I had one download and three re-boots. So plenty of time was consumed.

    More time was consumed getting the settings to match the TV, programming the new remote to control the TV and Bose speaker set, including volume. Then I needed to re-select the correct subscribed channels to streamline the guide. Also, I needed to reset my favorite shows to record.

    It took a couple of hours, but went smoothly. Not having the $6 per month protection plan was fine. This replacement cost $20. 5 years on the plan would have been $360.

    Of course all the old recorded content was lost. The best news is that the thing now works again and the soft but irritating clicking sound we've been listening for a couple of years to has gone away.

    I give DirecTV a high quality grade for customer service. The CSRs were good, I was not on hold for more than a minute, the box arrived on time and it all worked well. The only frustration that couldn't be helped was the need for so much set up time.
     
  15. bobfrapples

    bobfrapples Cool Member

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for the update. My experiences with their customer service has been very similar whenever i've had to deal with them. Short hold time on the phone and generally fair policies when trouble arise.
     

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