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Potential causes for 2 HR24's with recording glitches in the same place?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by MISpat, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    For a while now I have been noticing glitches in DVR recordings as well as when I'm watching TV through the buffer (rewound at some point and not caught up to live TV yet). The video & audio drops out for a second somewhere in the recording, occasionally longer but I can't usually tell for just how long.
    This has been happening on BOTH HR24's. I had a service call and the tech said my signal strengths were low and ended up replacing the dish and aligning it. Signal strengths were great after that, but the problem persists.

    A 2nd tech came out supposedly to "check the resistance in the cable runs" but did nothing after seeing the strong signal strengths. (He visually inspected a couple of the cables where they connect to the receivers) He believes that both HR24's are failing and need to be replaced. However, I find this to be HIGHLY unlikely because I recorded the same program at the same time on both DVRs the other night, and both recordings had the glitch in the EXACT same spot.

    Other important info:

    - Both DVRs have been down to under 20% free space a couple times but are currently both over 60%.
    - This happens even when the weather is perfectly clear.
    - Signal strengths are all strong as a result of the dish replacement/alignment.
    - Not sure if the dish type shown in my signature is accurate anymore (as a result of the first service call)

    Any ideas as to what can be causing this? D* tech support says perhaps the multiswitch and/or the SWM. I have another tech coming out on Tuesday. I don't mind them swapping out the DVRs as long as they have other HR24s on the truck, but I doubt it will solve the problem.
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Sounds like it's is in the feed and not anything on your end.
     
  3. sonofcool

    sonofcool Legend

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    Dec 23, 2007
    Agree. I see this too from time to time on several DVR models.
     
  4. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Are you talking in the transmission itself? This happens in approximately half of my recordings regardless of the channel, so I can't see that being the cause. Any other possibilities?
     
  5. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    If both units have the same glitch in the same spot, and the glitch is always there, then it's not the units.

    If you rewind and the glitch is still in the same spot it's something that was in the feed when the recording was made.
     
  6. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    Nov 25, 2009
    A possibility is quality of AC power to your units. I have a UPS between wall outlet and my HR24's to protect against surges & brownouts.
     
  7. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I have both units hooked up to a UPS. I also had the SWM on a UPS but the first tech removed it and said it causes problems (interference or something... didn't sound right to me, but I left the UPS on the SWM out of the picture for now)

    RunnerFL, the glitch is in the same spot if I rewind and play it again. Could it be the SWM or the multiswitch causing the signal issue to the DVRs? Or cabling perhaps? (don't know if cables in the walls ever go bad over time)

    With my signal strengths as strong as they are, and for how often this happens, I still can't believe it's a transmission issue in the feed as opposed to something with hardware in my house. There would be a ton of people on here complaining about it if it was a global issue.
     
  8. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it could be water in a connector or cracked housing on the LNB. I'm confused by the setup in your signature. Do you have a SWiM LNB or standard LNB with an external SWiM8/16?

    Have you by chance watched something as it was recording to see if it happens live?
     
  9. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Ive always been confused by that too... I don't really know what an LNB looks like or where it is (I assume outside as part of the dish?)
    Would this picture of my SWM8 and multiswitch (I think that's what it is) tell you?
    (look at the splitter/multiswitch just to the right of the SWM, not the one above it)

    I haven't noticed it in live TV, but I don't watch live very much. I've just asked my wife to pay attention and let me know if she sees any glitches.

    Thanks for your help...
     

    Attached Files:

  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Do you have one coax coming down from the dish? [SWiMLNB]
    If you have 4 coax, you have a separate SWiM.

    In your photo of the power inserter, I see an 8-way splitter, but what bothers me is there are some "caps" where coax doesn't connect, but they don't look to be terminations.
    Not that this is your problem, but it isn't correct either, and who knows what problems it's causing.
     
  11. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    VOS, I used to have two cables coming in from the dish, but those were abandoned when they installed the SWM (or am I referring to that device incorrectly? A power inserter?) There is only one cable coming into the house from the dish now.

    Are you referring to the two silver colored caps on the splitter covering the connectors with no coax attached? Those were given to me by an installer to put on the open connectors. I'm supposed to have something different on those? (and I thought that splitter was called a multi-switch. So now I feel totally clueless as to the equipment I have in that room for D*)
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You have:
    a SWiM dish, where "the SWiM" is at the dish.
    You have the power inserter, pictured.
    The 8-way splitter has the wrong caps. These are dust/weather caps that come on other SWiM switches.

    You should be able to find these locally at home depot, lowes, etc.:
    http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...inator-(10-Pack)-(CP2507-10)&sku=782644000256
     
  13. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Tech is here right now. He replaced the regular DECA which was connected to my router with a Broadband DECA. He said he was having the exact same problem in his own home and changing to a Broadband DECA solved the problem.

    I wonder if this is why D* system was saying I didn't have the Cinema Connection Kit when in fact I did.
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Get him to change the "caps" to terminations.

    As for a "regular" DECA verses a BB DECA [or CCK], I've used/tested both without your problem, so seems highly unlikely it is it, as it also has nothing to do with a SAT feed having a glitch, but not terminating the splitter ports "sure can".
     
  15. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    I asked him about that and he said you don't even need anything on those. So I'm going to try to get the terminations at Home Depot.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  16. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Apr 21, 2009
    PS I asked the tech what I hardware I had and updated my signature with it... sound right?
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Your "tech" isn't quite up to speed. Doesn't seem to even be a fair installer.

    Your sig looks correct, "but" if you notice, we try to keep then short and/or limited to 3-4 lines.
    You can keep the same info, but rearranged:

    Patrick
    Dish type – SWM3 LNB, 2 HR24-500, H23-600, Whole Home w/ broadband DECA (CCK)
     
  18. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Don't bother. That part, he's right about. The rest, maybe not so much.

    I do.

    And the answer is "none".

    As an RF Engineer for many years, who has probably dropped or lost many more terminator caps than most of us have ever seen or come in contact with (I can open any of half a dozen drawers in this very room and pull out one as an example), I can assure you that terminations aren't really that necessary on the subscriber ports of hybrid splitter. On the through leg of a direct coupler, maybe, or when power levels are higher and cables are shorter. The difference in level and reflection in any part of a system such as this would be pretty much less than significantly measurable or viewable whether there were terminators, weather caps, or nothing at all on those ports. They are more effective in keeping water from sucking up into the device than anything else, and even then are mostly unnecessary.

    And for anyone who might care, here is why:

    What we have with coaxial cable is waveguide design, primarily. A termination to a RF port presents as an infinitely-long piece of coax; 75 ohms impedance-wise at all frequencies from DC to light. An open port with no termination at all presents as an infinite resistance. So one is effectively a 75-ohm load and the other is effectively an infinite load.

    The terminated port has no impedance mismatch, so no RF power is reflected. The open port has a severe impedance mismatch, so most of the RF power is indeed reflected. But due to the design of hybrid power dividers (splitters) and the typical length of coax as installed in normal distribution, most if not all of what is reflected never makes it back to where it might be able to cause problems.

    In digital RF distribution (analog carriers modulated by digital signals) such a reflection might raise the aggregate multipath interference level only very slightly, and not enough to make any difference to the ability of the decoder, which is designed to be very good at completely equalizing out short reflections. Even if we assume that it wouldn't, and could still somehow properly decode, such a reflection would still be completely invisible in the picture, because that is locked against degradation just by virtue of it still being in the digital domain.

    In analog RF distribution the timing of any sizable reflection is so short that it is all but invisible in the picture even though it is there. IOW, it appears as virtually the same image laid over the original image and offset by a teensy-tiny fraction of a pixel, which is essentially invisible. If the time delay were more it would eventually become visible because it would be offset like a ghost, but for that to happen you have to run that reflection through a lot more cable, and that will attenuate it to a level where it will no longer be visible long before the delay increases enough to actually see it.

    That is the same reason longer reflections are not a problem for digital decoders; the length of the cable to get the reflection that late attenuates the interference to a level where it no longer can be a factor. Multipath is only problematic if the reflection is both delayed significantly AND the level is close to the desired signal level, and internal reflections in distribution can't do either of those things well, and neither of them together at the same time.

    Use 'em if you got 'em, but don't fret if you don't.
     
  19. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I didn't read any farther because you're wrong, and should know better.

    Signals reflect off open ports. Even you should "know this".

    Now if you have happened to follow some of the issues posted on this forum, you'll find many issues due to not terminating open ports. I don't need to make this up. There here.
    Maybe the worst case was a HR34 that shared the SWiM with another receiver on the SWiM, but the SWiM reported there weren't any channels free for it to use. Terminating all the opens had the HR34 boot up with all 5 tuners.

    You just keep amazing everyone with your complete lack of understanding what's going on with DirecTV, while pontificating for a half a page or more.

    If you really are an RF engineer [and I have my doubts] you're the worst one I've run across in the past 40 years.
     
  20. MISpat

    MISpat Legend

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    Well that's all Greek to me, but it won't hurt to get the proper terminators so I'll just do it.
     

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