This will be my final post to this thread, since you folks seem to think that I have violated some unwritten code of conduct.
No. We have all been down this road before for many years and have seen things like the Pioneer actually be the root of the problem. As noted, Pioneer Elite AVR's are known to have HDMI/HDCP handshaking issues. Just take a trip over to AVS and you'll see that. All we suggested was to spend 5 minutes of your time to just make sure the Pioneer wasn't the problem. If it was it could have saved you (and still could) hours and days of frustration with DirecTV techs who don't know what's going on.
As it happens, the 1080p/24fps signal is being passed successfully from my A/V receiver to the HR20-700, as witnessed by the simultaneous 720p and 1080i lights on the front panel. This is what DirecTV engineering told me. If you disagree with engineering and/or with the results of this test, please let me know.
Uhhh, yes, I do disagree. Yes, 1080p/24 is going *out* of your HR20-700, but that doesn't mean your Pioneer receiver is actually doing the HDMI/HDCP handshaking properly to display it properly (a known issue with Pioneer's). Thus our suggestion of simply bypassing the Pioneer so that you'll know for sure what the problem is. And just because your Bluray is fine doesn't mean the Pioneer (or any TV for that matter) won't have an issue with the HR20. Every device is different on how it handshakes with HDMI/HDCP and it doesn't take much for it all to go wacky. Heck, my Home Theater PC works great via HDMI but once in a while my TV will lose it's handshaking sync and I'll have to actually unplug the TV from the wall to get it "reset". Basically have to reboot the TV. This isn't an uncommon thing with HDMI.
The problem now has been isolated to "native" mode. When it's off, there is no bottom tearing. When it's on, there is. You folks have devoted more than a page of posts to criticizing me for not performing your "required" test. Perhaps posting something more constructive would make better use of your time -- and mine.
Hey, if you'd rather spend hours on the phone with DirecTV vs. 5 minutes to run a cable it's your time. But knowing that certain Pioneer Elite's have a handshaking issue would certainly want me to confirm that mine didn't have the problem. So if you get your replacement HR2x and it still has the problem, are you going to keep getting replacements in hopes it will work or will you finally eliminate the Pioneer as the cause after weeks of replacements?
For the record I think it's just as likely to be a bum HR20-700 as anything. But knowing the history of handshaking issues with Pioneer Elite's I would certainly want to test it.
Good luck to you. I hope it's simple and your replacement works.