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How can I speed up my HR-24 Receiver?


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55 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:29 AM

The biggest delay is when I try to access my recordings list or the current programming list. Takes about six seconds between pressing the remote button and having the DVR respond. I called up the DTV CSR and he said that is normal because my DVR is using 90 percent of its recording capacity.

Is there any way to speed up the response time of the HR-24? It seems slower than molasses.

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#2 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:29 AM

If you're using the DirecTV remote that came with it try this:

Put remote in TV mode
Press and hold Mute and Select until the green light flashes twice.
Enter 9-6-3 on numeric key pad.
The green light on remote should flash twice.
Press the Channel Down key.
The green light on remote should flash twice again.

Then clear NVRAM by doing this:

Tune to channel 1 and give everything time to load, about 30 seconds should be more than enough. Then press the red, red, blue, blue, yellow, green buttons in that order. You should then see a "nvram/flash is cleared" message on screen.

Edited by RunnerFL, 26 July 2012 - 09:34 AM.

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#3 OFFLINE   John Strk

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:51 AM

Also try deleting some recordings to free up available space.

My HR20-100 was slow for a long time since I always had less than 15% available HD recording space but I now always have it around 25-30% or more available and I've noticed it responds much quicker. That combined with the HD GUI and latest firmware updates it's a better box :)
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#4 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:59 AM

i tried your suggestion and it did seem to work very well. I had called up the "Technical Support" expert at DTV and he had no such fix. He just said I needed to empty out my DVR recordings! Kind of sad, really.

In terms of your instructions, should the remote be in TV mode the entire time? I never saw the "nvram/flash is cleared" message, but it must have cleared it anyway.

Can you tune it to Channel 1 at the beginning, or do you have to wait, as per your instructions?

Thanks, will use this again if it ever gets sluggish.

#5 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

i tried your suggestion and it did seem to work very well. I had called up the "Technical Support" expert at DTV and he had no such fix. He just said I needed to empty out my DVR recordings! Kind of sad, really.

In terms of your instructions, should the remote be in TV mode the entire time? I never saw the "nvram/flash is cleared" message, but it must have cleared it anyway.

Can you tune it to Channel 1 at the beginning, or do you have to wait, as per your instructions?

Thanks, will use this again if it ever gets sluggish.


The remote should only be in TV mode for the first set of instructions. The two suggestions I provided are separate and have nothing to do with each other.

Clearing NVRAM should be done with the remote controlling your DVR. You should see the cleared message in white text in the lower left area. Depending upon the size of your TV it may or may not be in an area with a white background making it harder to see.

With the remote controlling your HR24 tune to channel 1 and wait a few seconds, probably no more than 15 then enter the colored key sequence provided above.
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#6 OFFLINE   bt-rtp

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:26 PM

One more thing I find that helps is to go to a sports channel such as ESPN on channel 206 and then press the exit key a couple times. For some reason that kills something running in the background (score center ?) and speeds up channel changing and menu interaction.
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#7 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:51 PM

One more thing I find that helps is to go to a sports channel such as ESPN on channel 206 and then press the exit key a couple times. For some reason that kills something running in the background (score center ?) and speeds up channel changing and menu interaction.


Hitting Exit on an Active Channel disables the active features. In the case of ESPN, it disables ScoreCenter.

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#8 OFFLINE   JerryMeeker

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

I called up the DTV CSR and he said that is normal because my DVR is using 90 percent of its recording capacity.


FWIW, I recently upgraded both of my (owned) HR24's to 2TB drives, so both are currently less than 10% utilized. Response is very snappy. Over the course of the years I have used DTV DVR's, when utilization goes over 50%, I consider it a sign that a capacity increase is needed. If you wait too long, there is the risk of losing all that recorded content.

#9 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:15 AM

i tried your suggestion and it did seem to work very well. I had called up the "Technical Support" expert at DTV and he had no such fix. He just said I needed to empty out my DVR recordings! Kind of sad, really.


Not really sad, more like well informed. The HRs do slow down as the HDD approaches full. So do computers.

In terms of your instructions, should the remote be in TV mode the entire time? I never saw the "nvram/flash is cleared" message, but it must have cleared it anyway.

Can you tune it to Channel 1 at the beginning, or do you have to wait, as per your instructions?

Thanks, will use this again if it ever gets sluggish.


Every time one of my HRs gets sluggish, which is rare, I flush the Guide Data and that seems to cure the sluggishness. Not having normally slow HRs, I've never seen any difference after using the NVRAM clearing method, but I have always gotten the "cleared" message.

Rich

#10 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:21 AM

FWIW, I recently upgraded both of my (owned) HR24's to 2TB drives, so both are currently less than 10% utilized. Response is very snappy. Over the course of the years I have used DTV DVR's, when utilization goes over 50%, I consider it a sign that a capacity increase is needed. If you wait too long, there is the risk of losing all that recorded content.


I've been running a 24-500, our main viewing HR, all year long with less than 20% Available on the meter. It has a 2TB internal drive in it and it has gone as low as 15% Available and has shown no sluggishness at all. I kinda think D* fixed this problem without telling us about it. The rest of my HRs are at about 50% Available. Three years ago, I would have definitely said that when your external/internal drive reaches 30% Available, watch out for the the HR to start bogging down. Now I don't know quite what to think.

Rich

#11 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

I realize posts 9 & 10 are contradictory, but I can only tell you what I've seen and the 24s don't seem to have this problem, as far as I can tell.

Rich

#12 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:30 AM

Overall my 3 HR24-500s are running better than they ever have. But I have to clear NVRAM weekly to keep it that way. Since that is so dead simple, I don't consider it an issue. And note, I don't worry about how much is on my hard drive, I've not found that to be an issue even when I get down to about 20% or so, which is very rare.

Since the hard drive, external or internal, is married to the receiver and not the account, I don't use them much for things I want to archive.

Now to get unified recording management...

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#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:09 AM

Time to clear up a myth that I've been spreading.

Clearing NVRAM was never needed.

What was happening was being on channel 1 for 30 sec.

Going through the whole colored button pressing, merely caused us to stay on channel 1 for 30 sec.

"Live and learn" ;)
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#14 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:56 AM

Not really sad, more like well informed. The HRs do slow down as the HDD approaches full. So do computers.



Every time one of my HRs gets sluggish, which is rare, I flush the Guide Data and that seems to cure the sluggishness. Not having normally slow HRs, I've never seen any difference after using the NVRAM clearing method, but I have always gotten the "cleared" message.

Rich


All I can say is what the DirecTV CSR told me didn't help me at all. And a full dvr would have no effect on a slow guide response. The NVRAM clearing made a noticeable difference for me. A competent CSR would know of that technique. I shouldn't have to go to a private message board like this to get the right answer.


What does pushing 9-6-3 on the remote control do?

#15 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:07 AM

All I can say is what the DirecTV CSR told me didn't help me at all. And a full dvr would have no effect on a slow guide response. The NVRAM clearing made a noticeable difference for me. A competent CSR would know of that technique. I shouldn't have to go to a private message board like this to get the right answer.


But, did he suggest flushing the Guide Data? I never said that a full HDD would have an affect on using the Guide, it will affect the performance of the HR.

Rich

#16 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

What does pushing 9-6-3 on the remote control do?


It keeps the "Mode ID" signal from being sent with every remote keypress. Less data being sent gives you faster remote/UI response.
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#17 OFFLINE   mitchflorida

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

But, did he suggest flushing the Guide Data? I never said that a full HDD would have an affect on using the Guide, it will affect the performance of the HR.

Rich


No, he didn't. How do you flush the Guide Data?

#18 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

No, he didn't. How do you flush the Guide Data?


Reset the dvr, then when it comes back up to live TV, reboot it again.

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#19 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:25 PM

Reset the dvr, then when it comes back up to live TV, reboot it again.


Right, but it's got to be done within 30 minutes. To clarify, the HR has to rebooted twice within 30 minutes.

Rich

#20 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 03:30 PM

Right, but it's got to be done within 30 minutes. To clarify, the HR has to rebooted twice within 30 minutes.

Rich


If you're rebooting it, waiting for it to get to live tv, then rebooting it again that's definitely inside 30 minutes.
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#21 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

If you're rebooting it, waiting for it to get to live tv, then rebooting it again that's definitely inside 30 minutes.


Reboot, while waiting for it to get back to live go to do something else and get distracted, forgetting about it for over 30 minutes.

#22 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:18 PM

Time to clear up a myth that I've been spreading.

Clearing NVRAM was never needed.

What was happening was being on channel 1 for 30 sec.

Going through the whole colored button pressing, merely caused us to stay on channel 1 for 30 sec.

"Live and learn" ;)


Ok, I'll bite. What does staying on channel 1 do to speed things up? Or at least in some cases?

#23 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:34 PM

Reboot, while waiting for it to get back to live go to do something else and get distracted, forgetting about it for over 30 minutes.


Not the point, but... If you're that dead set on doing it then you won't be distracted.
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#24 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:37 PM

You could also click your heels together three times and whisper "there's no place like home".

That would probably be just as effective.

And, wait a minute, isn't the HR24 supposed to be powered with a CPU at least twice as fast as earlier DVR models? Kinda seems to support the theory of the DVR just being too busy doing too many things (things not asked of it before all of the crap features that have been added) and that it is thrashing because of that. True, that is also just theory, but much more well-supported than some of the ridiculous things we see on these forums.

If something (that fixes sluggishness) works, it works, and that's valuable information. What is not valuable is a ton of superstitious behavior surrounding this subject that just confuses the issue. There is also a lot of "faith" in procedures we do not understand, and faith is no substitute for understanding. If you understand the process you can understand why a particular change in user behavior may or may not make a difference to that process. If you don't understand, you are left with superstition and faith, and neither of those have proven to be all that reliable.

A "full" HDD is just one example. I wonder how a file on a HDD, a file that I am not accessing makes accessing other files on the HDD slower? It can't, since it is technically removed from and physically outside of the current, ongoing HDD R/W process, by definition, to begin with.

Were this file or all of these files that filled my user partition also on the partition where the OS and everything else is, it might have some bearing. But it isn't, so it doesn't. Really. How could it possibly?

On top of that is the empirical proof that I have that filled HDDs and proven that it has no bearing at all on speed. I have done it numbers of times on HD DVRs and it has had ZERO effect, each time. On a PC, well that's different. Files fragment on a NTFS PC; they don't on a Linux-based DVR. Virtual memory paging files expand dynamically on a PC (unless you have the sense to fix the size so that they don't) and that can be hampered by a full HDD when the data is being written to the same partition. That does not happen on a DVR, which keeps media on a separate partition. What slows a PC HDD by being full just does not apply to a DVR HDD.

OK then, how about the fact that a full HDD has a large database while an empty HDD has a tiny database? The answer there is that the database under practical use never has much more than a thousand entries. If a 2 TB HDD can hold less than 500 hours of programs, the DB can't really be all that large, can it?

Plus, a DB is indexed which speeds read access to the DB. And even a low-level pro database like SQL Express can search a thousand entries in less than a second, which, yes, might take a couple more seconds on a DVR with a slower processor than your garden-variety professional media server. Is that significant? Is that why the DVR is sluggish regardless whether the DB is being accessed or not? Hardly.

That will not account for the remote taking 6 seconds to respond, especially if you have highlighted one program in the guide or program list and pressed the down arrow to highlight the visible line below it. If you want to know how long it takes to search the database of recorded programs, just resort your program list (and if you want to know how long it takes to search the guide data DB, try Smart Search). Even on a full 2 TB HDD resorting the program list will take only a few seconds. That's normal. But 6 seconds to navigate from one item to the next one in the list? There has to be another explanation for the sluggishness, because the DB is not being accessed for that particular task.

And simply scrolling the page down also does not search the entire database; in fact that happens at the moment you press the list button, whereupon the first few entries display pretty quickly, and the other entries first churn in the background and then are ready waiting for you to scroll down (or back up).

OK, here's another "useful" tip: flush that nasty guide data. At least that will make you feel better

Really? Might just as well try a little Immodium. The guide data is only accessed by low-level indexing processes in the background, and when tiny portions of it are read into the GUI on command (when you display the guide). Low-level processes are supposed to be pre-empted by high-level processes such as "respond to that button press" or "Record CH 249 now". The high-level processes should never be sluggish because ofissues with lower-level processes. A design strategy that didn't do that would have no reliability at all.

Flushing the guide data is really only useful if the guide data is corrupted and it is hanging your DVR needing it to be reset, or making it act erratically. That's why its not in the manual and is kept in the back pocket of technical support (until the internet outed it, that is).

And what is the first thing that happens when you flush the guide data? All of that meticulous, intensive background indexing that your DVR has been doing for the last nine days is thrown right out the window, and it has to start over from scratch. You just added a new significant task load to your already-sluggish DVR that it will have to do all over again, and those processes are now again in competition with whatever the real churning process logjam might have been. Good for you.

And that's just two or three.

Here's another: Flush that stinkin' NVRAM.

If flushing the NVRAM was helpful, why would that not be a routine that the DVR does on its own at startup or shutdown? Or when the screen saver kicks in, or at any other low-use time? Why are only the smartest guys in the room allowed to know that trick? If you really are one of the smartest guy in the room, I don't need to elaborate and provide the answer (hint: there is no good reason for any customer to know this). But it makes you feel like you've done something; it alleviates that horrible feeling of not being in control, at least for about as long as the few seconds it takes to either realize that it really didn't work, or for most of us, to imagine and pretend that it might have.

Knowing that your DVR is slower than it once was is one thing, but wildly jumping to a premature conclusion that this is because of something it can't possibly be is just ludicrous.

Bottom line, take the advice on this forum with a giant grain of salt and understand that much of it comes from really wonderfully-earnest and good folks who, while their hearts are in the right place, just might not have the first clue regarding what they are talking about.

Edited by TomCat, 27 July 2012 - 04:49 PM.
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#25 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:39 PM

Ok, I'll bite. What does staying on channel 1 do to speed things up? Or at least in some cases?

I've had "a little birdie" nagging in my ear over this, of a while, and it keeps telling me it is just the act of being on channel one for 30 sec that has made any change.
Can't say why channel one, but since we need to change to it to follow the colored buttons, to disprove "this birdie", one would need to have the slowness, tune to channel one for 30+ sec, find no change, and the come back to channel one and press the colored buttons, and find a change.

Anybody game?

I haven't had enough slowness to try.
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