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721 Acquiring Signal - Problem?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   pjmrt

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 07:49 PM

After some bad luck with my 721 (the early ones had to get returned for hardware defects), my 721 has been working reliably for a couple of years now. Only the occasional reboot needed. But lately, I've been getting momentary (just a few seconds) of interruption of the signal - causing the screen to freeze momentarily or switch to the "acquiring signal" screen for a second -- then back to normal as if nothing had happened.

Is this a sign of a developing problem? Is there any adverse alignments of the satellites w.r.t. the sun right now? Dish problem? When I've noticed the interruption - its been on the local channel feed. I believe the 721 did have some tuner problems early, but this unit has worked pretty flawlessly for over 2 years now. Any ideas out there?

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#2 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 01:01 AM

Solar conjunction is a possibillity.

What time of day?

#3 OFFLINE   boylehome

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 09:32 AM

I've been getting momentary (just a few seconds) of interruption of the signal - causing the screen to freeze momentarily or switch to the "acquiring signal" screen for a second -- then back to normal as if nothing had happened.

I have experienced what you are describing in the past, not only on my 721. What cured this problem was to replace a single connector to a switch outdoors. The center conductor shrunk back into the cable just enough to allow poor contact at a certain temperature during the day. Check all your connections.



#4 OFFLINE   rocky01

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 04:45 PM

more of a general dvr note but it's my understanding that the dvr players do require care and feeding. supposedly it is good to keep your dvr as free as possible. i have seen somewhere experts explain it is best to hold programs on there at no more than 50% capacity, as several of the oem harddrives can and do act up if they get any more full than that. that means deleting everything on dvr every so often and/or offloading your precious program material periodically --before things get dicey. that's so there are no surprises with either the old stuff you may or may not want to keep, as well as new stuff you anticipate recording without a hitch. also same folks have advised that everyone shutdown, unplug and remove smart card once a week, sort of a hard reset that keeps system clear. and as far as hard drives kicking out if not otherwise attended to closely, not only do the dvr functions get affected but also normal stuff as well, like being able to call up program guide and menus and yes, changing channels (!) without long pauses. once the hard drive gets in a blue funk it may be recalcitrant from then on, so best to follow what appear to be wise preventative procedures. once those various error messages start and you lose functions or they operate in a touch and go fashion, there is no cure except replacement with a reconditioned dvr. and even then there are reports that these "reconditioned" machines are suspect and develop same problems in record time, frustrating many. i believe places like yahoo's D**hr*p forum have files and tutorials on how to revive hard drive, but from what i hear it's a pretty white-knuckled affair (they suggest you re-read theirr instructions several times before attempting) and certainly is not dish approved and voids warranty.

#5 OFFLINE   pjmrt

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 04:48 PM

Solar conjunction is a possibillity.

What time of day?

I haven't kept track of the times, as it hasn't been often. But always in daylight - at least once was around 6:30 am.

#6 OFFLINE   pjmrt

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 04:49 PM

I have experienced what you are describing in the past, not only on my 721. What cured this problem was to replace a single connector to a switch a outdoors. The center conductor shrunk back into the cable just enough to allow poor contact at a certain temperature during the day. Check all your connections.

thanks - I check that.

#7 OFFLINE   boylehome

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 04:50 PM

rocky01, Lots of good information. The problem though is that if all of these actions are required, then perhaps E* needs to recall and replace every 721 with something that works as expected.

#8 OFFLINE   JohnH

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 05:23 PM

I haven't kept track of the times, as it hasn't been often. But always in daylight - at least once was around 6:30 am.


It is quite normal for this to occur at the time you specified(actually about 6:15-6:20 am EST these days. Each time they do a system tables change it is likely the hiccup will occur. At that time of the morning they do the MLB/NHL/NBA moves. They also do changes involving channel additions, deletions, package code changes and channel moves at various times of the day. These likely cause a hiccup as well.

I, unlike most, actually like this feature as it tells me when to look for updates to the system tables. :)

#9 OFFLINE   pjmrt

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 11:44 AM

It is quite normal for this to occur at the time you specified(actually about 6:15-6:20 am EST these days. Each time they do a system tables change it is likely the hiccup will occur. At that time of the morning they do the MLB/NHL/NBA moves. They also do changes involving channel additions, deletions, package code changes and channel moves at various times of the day. These likely cause a hiccup as well.

I, unlike most, actually like this feature as it tells me when to look for updates to the system tables. :)

Perhaps this is it - I got another couple second "acquiring signal" interruption on the local channel I was watching. The time was about 6:25 am




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