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Opinions on possible bad HR34 needed.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Soulweeper, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    While watching the news last night, on the HR34, the audio started dropping in and out and the picture broke up really bad....looked like a mosaic, and it just so happened that the HR24 in the other room was on the exact same channel, and none of that happened on it, so the issue was with the HR34.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but that rules out a common denominator, UNLESS there was possibly an issue with the splitter that could cause at least the audio dropouts and picture breaking up.

    These things might be related...maybe a bad chip or??

    Bottom line....unless anyone thinks it's likely the splitter, everything points to the unit itself.

    Anyone agree/disagree?

    This unit already has an issue using component cables, so this might be related, but doubt it.
     
  2. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Swap positions between the 2 units and see if the problem still exists.
     
  3. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    But then I have to swap the position of the power inserter too, correct?
     
  4. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Nope
     
  5. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    I thought one side of the splitter has to go the power inserter, and that port always has to be used. Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

    I remember marking which port on the splitter goes to the power inserter for some reason.

    Would I need to unplug both units before swapping the cables on the splitter?
     
  6. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Don't move the splitter or anything else, just move the units.
     
  7. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Ah....gotcha.:grin:
    I did that already, about a week ago, because I'm also getting these diagonal "lines" in the screen, that look almost like a computer screen refreshing when filmed....best way to describe it, only via component.....and it didn't resolve that. I started a thread about it as well
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=212678

    but this may or may not be related, as I just noticed the dropouts and picture breakup last night, and it just so happened that the other tv was on, connected to the HR24, and on the exact same channel, and it wasn't happening on that one. I've heard an occasional audio drop, or have seen a glitch in the picture here and there, on probably every receiver we've ever had.......it's pretty "normal". I noticed this only because the other tv didn't do it, and I'm also getting theses diagonal lines, so I'm watching this unit more closely than I normally would.

    I can swap the position of the units again though....and watch for this other issue. My gut feeling is that it's the unit itself, as it seems to me that the splitter is pretty unlikely as the culprit, would you agree?
     
  8. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    If you've swapped the location of the units, leaving the wiring as-is, and the problem follows the unit then I'd say the problem is with the unit.
     
  9. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Exactly. I'll do that later. I just solved the diagonal lines problem I've been having, which turned out to be the particular component input I was using on the tv, the other one is fine. That definitely has nothing to do with audio dropouts though.
     
  10. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Thinking about that again, it would actually be easier and faster to swap out the splitter, as I remembered I have a spare. We have stuff that records on the HR34 that doesn't record on the 24, and vice versa, and I might leave it swapped a few days to monitor it, so just changing the splitter would be easier. It's easy access.

    That being said, because of the power inserter, is it better to unplug everything before swapping out the splitter, or does it even matter? What's most important is that the right cable from the correct port goes to the power inserter.......maybe that's what I'm remembering, and confusing the two. Just making sure.
     
  11. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Doing that doesn't test the cabling from the splitter to the set, the connections, and what the cable might be picking up from other sources. Best do what Runner suggested.
     
  12. Soulweeper

    Soulweeper Icon

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    Jan 9, 2005
    There's nothing wrong with the cabling or connections from the splitter to the set. The reason I say that is, that particular cable from the splitter isn't very old at all. Anything is possible, but it's all protected, less than 40 feet in length, nothing even close to a sharp bend, etc. etc. And what could the cable pick up from other sources? I made sure that cable was a couple cavities over from any electrical as well. Again, anything is possible, but I was very careful with all this stuff when I put it in.

    That being said, I think I will just swap the units next time I get an audio drop or a picture breakup like last night. Moving things around today, I had a few resets, so sometimes that itself makes weird things resolve themselves. When I see/hear it again, I'll swap them.

    But yeah, if I swap them, and the problem is still there, then it definitely points more to either the splitter, cable, or connectors.
     
  13. Soulweeper

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    Just an update, to those of you that gave your input......I left everything where it was, because in the process of diagnosing the diagonal lines I was getting, the receiver was reset several times, and that sometimes resolves issues, so I figured I'd wait and see. Plus, the issues I first posted about didn't seem like they yet had any type of consistency, so swapping the receivers seemed a bit premature.

    So, for days now.......no picture breakup(that we've seen), no audio drops. That either means it's simply very infrequent, or my thought was it could be something with just a particular tuner in the HR34, but that's just what I'm assuming. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does the HR34 change tuners every time you change channels? If I remember correctly, that's what the HR24 does, and that's how I determined once that I had a bad tuner, so I'm assuming the HR34 must be the same. Again, I'm just assuming.

    But tonight......we had the tv paused for awhile because the phone rang or something, and we sat back down, hit play, and soon after the picture broke up pretty bad a couple times in about 10-15 seconds. I waited to see if it would keep doing it for a minute or so, and was going to put the HR24 on the same channel in the other room if it did. Well, when I backed it up to where the picture broke up, and played that part again, it was fine. Again....correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't whatever it was, have been recorded?? Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but it seems that's how it should be.

    Anyhow, still not consistent enough to use a receiver swap as a process of elimination. Over the years, with every receiver we've had, there's little hiccups here and there, and quite a few times I've seen the same thing on both receivers, so sometimes it's "normal."
     
  14. Datagg

    Datagg Legend

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    Had same issues.... HD issues. Unit replaced.
     
  15. Brubear

    Brubear Legend

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    reset everything fixes a lot of issues
     
  16. DaaQ

    DaaQ Legend

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    What kind of TV is it and what type of input are you using?

    Sounds like it could be either and HDMI input/output issue or temperature related, especially since it didn't record it, the satellite signal coming in is not to blame.
    Anyway check the internal temp of the receiver by pressing and holding info until the information screen loads up, and select more system info.
     
  17. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    I had a lot of similar issues with my HR34 and it turned out to be the SWM16 switch was bad. Since its been replaced I have had zero issues. Something to keep in mind anyways. When the tech arrived he said the switch was extremely hot.
     
  18. Soulweeper

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    It's a Samsung DLP, and I'm using component right now.
    In this particular instance, I agree.

    It's 114 degrees.....which is pretty normal, correct?
     
  19. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    It is.

    My best guess is a bad spot on the HDD that affected that moment of the playback. This does not have to happen each time you play the same spot, either. More than 3 of 10 times might point to it being a bad spot. And of course lots of bad spots portends possible early demise of the HDD.

    When a HDD tries to read a sector that has corrupted data on it, it keeps reading it over and over until it finally reads it correctly (if ever). In streaming digital video, "correctly" to the OS/playback application means that the PTC metadata flags in the headers in consecutive packets seem to time out correctly or "line up" properly in time, for lack of a better way to explain that. If they don't the HDD is instructed to try to reread the sector until it gets it right or until a certain number of unsuccessful tries implies that it is too corrupted. In streaming media, if that takes too long (if the buffer on the HDD runs out and the buffer in the decoder then also runs out of data), the MPEG decoder will experience buffer underflow, which manifests as macroblock pixelation, audio dropout, muting to black, frozen or stuttering video, whatever.

    Since a HDD can stream 12 HD viceo streams at once, it normally has time to reread that sector multiple times before it gets the data and can go on to the next sector. If the data is really corrupted or there is an actual physical defect in the media large enough to really mess up the data, it either will not be able to read the data in time, or it will give up after ~10 tries, or it may be so corrupted that it does not recognize it well enough to reread it at all, and it just gives up and moves on to the next sector.

    In that case it will probably glitch every time you try to play it back, but it might manifest slightly differently each time. The decoder makes intelligent guesses about the data that is missing, and it might miss different bits at different reads, so it can appear different each time, or maybe not.

    In non-streaming media this usually manifests as the computer responding slowly, or the app crashing, but that is because it is not on a timed schedule like streaming media is and has time to keep trying to read the data.
     

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