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Picture freezing on DVRs. Please help; it's driving me crazy!!! (long)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by RoyGBiv, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    I have had a problem for some time now with one HR20 and one HR22 where the picture freezes though the box will still respond to commands other than “trick play” keys. This post is long, but I am trying to describe exactly what is happening and my current hardware setup.

    This first started in September on the HR20-700. The picture just simply froze while I was watching the US Open tennis finals. It did not respond to any transport keys, but if I pressed “stop” I could get the usual choices, including “resume.” If I pressed “resume,” it would actually restart back at the beginning of the recording. I could FF to the point it had stopped, and I could continue watching. This happened several more times during that recording and again with other recordings over the next few weeks. At that time I had a Seagate FAP attach via eSATA. I removed it and used the internal drive. It seemed that the problem was resolved, and I assumed I had a bad external drive.

    I then purchased an HR22 to have additional tuners for recording. Within a few days this exact same thing happened to the HR22! I then had it happen on the HR20 again, this time with a recording on the internal hard drive. Unfortunately this has continued intermittently ever since. Last night, I had this happen on three different programs on both recorders. When I say the recordings freeze, I mean just that. They don’t “stutter.” They just stop completely as if on pause. If I leave them and go to do something else, when I check back, it will not have moved at all. I’ve left it like this for as long as 30 minutes. The screen saver does not come on. BTW, I have an additional HR20 in my bedroom, which I only watch recordings on rarely, but it has never happened yet on that machine.

    Since it has happened with two different DVRs and 3 different hard drives, I wonder if it is some type of system problem. Initially when it first happened on the HR20, I had a WB68 multiswitch. When I purchased the HR22, I changed to a SWM-8. It has happened with both types of switches. I have checked all the cabling from the LNB all the way to the DVRs. There are no obvious problems. There are no obvious signal issues. Every time I check the signal strengths they are excellent on all sats and OTA. Both machines are using 0x290 software, but both had the problem with previous software. Updating made no difference.

    This condition only happens on recordings. The picture has never frozen watching “live,” even if I am watching using the buffer. It has happened on recordings from both OTA and satellite (I have an AM21 for the HR22). I cannot figure this out!

    When it occurs, the DVR still does respond to the remote. Any key other than one of the “trick play” keys works as it should. If I press a “trick play” key the front power light blinks as it would receiving any signal. Also, there is no sign of damage in any of the recordings. When I do “resume,” that is start at the beginning because that’s all it lets me do, I can then fast forward to the exact spot it froze. It will play through it normally without any glitch. It will also then randomly stop somewhere else. The stops can happen either while watching at normal speed or occasionally when FF x1. I don’t believe it has ever occurred when rewinding, nor do I think it has ever happened with FF >1, 30 sec slip, or 6 sec rewind.

    There is one additional issue, but I have no idea if it’s related. Occasionally, I will not be able to tune in any of the D11 channels on either tuner of either HR20. At the time this happens, I have excellent signal strength on all transponders on those receivers. I have no idea why this happens, and it doesn’t happen with the HR22. I am planning on replacing the LNB to see if this problem resolves, as I have tried everything else. (It also has happened with both the WB68 and SWM-8.)

    Any help or thoughts on this problem that has me and my wife quite frustrated, would be appreciated.

    SMK
     
  2. Anaisa

    Anaisa Cool Member

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    Sep 5, 2008
    What about disconnecting the HDMI and trying to reproduce the issue with analog component or composite? I know is a long shot, but if the connection is analog, it eliminates the "other" stuff you have.
     
  3. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    I should have been specific about my TV connection. I do not use HDMI. It is over component.

    SMK
     
  4. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Anyone?

    SMK
     
  5. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    are you using ota diplexed in? please describe the exact setup you have for swm including all splitters, diplexers, and the dish type.
    also, does it do this with am21 not connected?
     
  6. Igor

    Igor Godfather

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    Jan 3, 2005
    So far your experience seems unique. I assume the two boxes that experience the issue is located close by, may be at high temperature.

    What do they report as temperature?

    Are these boxes connected to your home network?
     
  7. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    More info:

    The boxes are not currently connected to a home network, though the HR20 was for some time prior to all this happening.

    The specifics of my sat to DVR hookups:

    sat-----4 lines to SWM-8

    Output 1-------30 foot (or so) of coax to PI-----20 foot (or so) to SWS2-----1 output to each DVR.


    Output 2-------to HR20 in bedroom

    OTA is not diplexed. It is separate cable all the way to the boxes.

    Again, satellite and OTA signal on all 3 boxes is excellent and essentially the same (maybe 1-2 points variation between tuners or DVRs).

    Temperatures are in the "normal" range for the two DVRs. The HR20 has always run hot, and is about 125 with no changes over its lifetime. The HR22 is about 105, which is the same as it's been since I've had it. These boxes are close to each other in one wall unit, but they are not stacked, and are on different shelves about 4 feet apart with good ventilation for both.

    SMK
     
  8. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    are the dvr's affected hooked to the same power source or circuit?the description makes it look like so but want to check.
    there was a post just recently about interference, wonder if this is the issue.
     
  9. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 2, 2008
    I'm curious, when the picture freezes does the sound continue? If the picture freezes and there is no sound, it probably lost the signal at that point. Have you checked the power that you have the DVR's plugged into? I had recording issues like that and also blank screens or an immediate "delete now" message. Adding a UPS has resolved those problems for me. The UPS not only keeps the power constant, it acts as a filter if you have dirty power.
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    What is the full model number of the 20? Is it an HR20-100? Since you have the same problems on both, the solution probably lies with your "system", the dish, the cabling, etc.

    Kinda hard to believe you have two bad HRs that do the same thing. I really doubt that.

    Had your dish aligned lately? Snugged up all your fittings? The eSATA was obviously not the problem. I've never had an FAP fail by itself. I did have a 20-100 destroy one and I knocked one over and killed it, but they are really stable and do come with a five year replacement warranty. And the techs at Seagate are trustworthy, in my opinion.

    Rich
     
  11. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Icon

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Thanks for the continuing suggestions. First, both machines are hooked up to the same "power source." The problem really doesn't seem to be the power supply, though. The machines are still working. There is no interruption of power, and they don't reboot. If I press any key other than a transport key, they respond.

    The picture and sound both freeze. I don't get blank recordings, and I don't get the dreaded immediate "delete/don't delete" message (though I rarely have gotten that too in the past like most people). In fact, if I restart from the beginning, I can often play the whole recording. One example was watching "Crusoe" (I'm sorry, but my wife is a Sean Bean fan and wanted to see it!) Thursday night which had been recorded OTA the week before. It froze 3 times, and we finally gave up trying to watch it. Then yesterday morning just to check and see what would happen, I restarted it on the same machine, and it played fine for 2 hours with no freezing, stuttering, or interruptions.

    I do wonder about the dish alignment for the new sats, though I still wonder how this could be the problem because I'm watching recordings, and most of these recordings were made from an OTA antenna. Last night we had relatively heavy rain. The readings on 101, 110, and 119 all remained in the upper 80's to mid 90's where they usually are, but the readings on 103(c) were in the mid 50's instead of the mid 80's to low 90's, and the readings on 99(c) actually all went to zero's at one point from the mid 70's to upper 80's. I also have a new slimline5 LNB on order from Solid Signal and will change that out. I figure once I do so, I will have changed the non-DVR pieces of hardware which could be causing problems (the dish LNBs and the multiswitch). I guess there could be cabling issue somewhere where the cable is behind walls, but I can't see why that would happen.

    Both HR20's are 700's, and the HR22's manufacturer is 100 (which I believe is currently the only one).

    I will try to look into things further including realigning the satellite dish.

    SMK
     

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