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HR20 OTA Problem or Not?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   geekmom

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:30 AM

We have the HR20, before that we had the HR10-250. Where we live we do not have the HD D* local channels so we have use OTA now for several years.

I need some facts. With the HR10-250, when we recorded local HD broadcasts, some channels were ALWAYS worse than others with pixelation and audio dropouts.

Now, with the HR20, the situation is the same, lots of pixelation and audio dropouts on some of the HD locals.

Other HD recordings are just fine, it is just the local HD broadcasts via OTA. So what is the problem? If watching the HD locals live they will drop out of HD to SD and back again but pixelation is not a problem.

Why would the live be OK but the recordings have so many problems?

I never know whether to report it as an HR20 issue with the various releases or whether there is some coherent reason why OTA HD broadcasts will always be messed up.

An explanation of the techies here is welcome :)

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#2 OFFLINE   Neil Derryberry

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:41 AM

First and foremost, check your signal strengths via the signal meter on the antenna channel edit page. I rent my home so I didn't do a permanent antenna install - my antenna is on a mast secured to the back deck so I can remove it easily. I found that I wasn't using a tall enough mast to clear some ground level obstacles and fixing that issue improved OTA "dropouts"

Barring that, please go to antennaweb.org and figure out a few things.. do you have the right antenna for your location/distance from the towers? Is it aimed correctly? antennaweb will show you all of this information - post it here so we can help further.

Since the problem followed you from HR10 to HR20 I'm sure there is something that needs to be corrected with your antenna setup, not your DVR.
Neil Derryberry, WD4NET
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#3 OFFLINE   geekmom

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:55 AM

First and foremost, check your signal strengths via the signal meter on the antenna channel edit page. I rent my home so I didn't do a permanent antenna install - my antenna is on a mast secured to the back deck so I can remove it easily. I found that I wasn't using a tall enough mast to clear some ground level obstacles and fixing that issue improved OTA "dropouts"

Barring that, please go to antennaweb.org and figure out a few things.. do you have the right antenna for your location/distance from the towers? Is it aimed correctly? antennaweb will show you all of this information - post it here so we can help further.

Since the problem followed you from HR10 to HR20 I'm sure there is something that needs to be corrected with your antenna setup, not your DVR.


Hi Neil, thanks for the reply. My signal strength is 95+ on all channels. I did use antennaweb.org when we first installed. Our situation is pretty cut and dried, all of the antennas sit on ridge 5000 ft above Albuquerque proper, we live on the west mesa so the antennas are approximately 4000 ft above us with clear line of sight to them. I think what truly puzzles me is that the recordings are torn up with pixelation and audio dropouts while the live broadcasts do not seem to have those issues.

I am REALLY crossing my fingers that when the HD locals are part of our D* package here that somehow we will get decent HD Local recordings :)

#4 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:59 AM

Almost sounds like multipath issues. May need to move your antenna around a bit and see if you get better reception.

#5 OFFLINE   geekmom

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 10:10 AM

Almost sounds like multipath issues. May need to move your antenna around a bit and see if you get better reception.


I think I'm not being clear about our experience. I expect WYSIWYG so...........if the live broadcasts are relatively problem free why would the recordings be plagued with pixelation and audio dropouts?

#6 OFFLINE   mridan

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:15 AM

I think I'm not being clear about our experience. I expect WYSIWYG so...........if the live broadcasts are relatively problem free why would the recordings be plagued with pixelation and audio dropouts?


I agree with you, it's a problem with the HR20 not OTA signal.I have the same problem with OTA,my signal strength average 100%,live tv no problems,watch a recording pixelation and audio dropouts.Drive me nuts

#7 OFFLINE   Ed Campbell

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:27 AM

I agree with you, it's a problem with the HR20 not OTA signal.I have the same problem with OTA,my signal strength average 100%,live tv no problems,watch a recording pixelation and audio dropouts.Drive me nuts


I have to agree. geekmom, I'm at 6500' and clear line-of-sight to the antenna farm on Sandia Crest -- from 47 miles away. Readings on my HR20 are all about 10% higher than I got with the HR10 and all I'm using is my same old Silver Sensor sitting on top of the receiver.

And my recordings are fine. It sounds like the recording process in your box is the problem.

#8 OFFLINE   thegamer36

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:32 AM

I am seeing the same thing with my setup. I did not get these issues with the HR-250 box. My wife almost went back to watching the non hi-def version of Grey's Anatomy.

It mostly happens when watching a recording, but I have seen it with live tv as well, just not as much.

#9 OFFLINE   mikeny

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:46 AM

I believe there's a problem with the HR20 playing back OTA right now. I get those dropouts followed by pixleation. It started with 0x11b. I find that especially the Fox/ABC recordings (strangely both 720p) are not playing back properly. They can become frequent within a given program. I have watched live and not seen a problem. I've even seen in a show that was recording that it was fine live but when playing back the same episode, there were dropouts.

It seems less severe with 0x120.
SL3 SWM, 3 HR24-500s, H25-500, DECA

#10 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:05 PM

I believe there's a problem with the HR20 playing back OTA right now.

This must be a location-specific issue with certain station reception, as I have 9 local OTA channels with no lipsync or reception quality issues on any channel.

#11 OFFLINE   Neil Derryberry

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:30 PM

I misunderstood.. that's what I get for not reading the post twice before I opened my yap. I didn't realize that the issues were with recorded OTA and not live OTA. My apologies!
Neil Derryberry, WD4NET
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#12 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:54 PM

I misunderstood.. that's what I get for not reading the post twice before I opened my yap. I didn't realize that the issues were with recorded OTA and not live OTA. My apologies!


Yea, me neither. Ooops.
I personally haven't had any playback issues of OTA programs that aren't already there live.

#13 OFFLINE   kellen34

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:21 PM

I've experienced the same same thing with the pixelation and audio drop outs on recorded OTA channels. I've also noticed that this seems to be more of a problem when I'm at home watching TV, while recording on another channel. I might be watching a game and I rewind to see the play again, then I fast forward to catch back up during the commercials. I actually do this a lot during a game. I've noticed that when I do this, it seems to cause the audio drop outs and pixelation. It has done it during Idol everytime except for one time. That one time, I was not at home and the DVR was left alone to record without any other useage. Idol recorded perfectly that time and played back perfectly.

It is bothering my wife and I so much that we don't record the HD OTA channels anymore. I've tried calling DirecTV and they do not care. As long as they have you locked into a 2 year contract, they have you. I can't wait until mine is up so I can switch to Dish. I've thought about eating the $12.50 per month and switching anyway.

#14 OFFLINE   geekmom

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 06:19 PM

I have to agree. geekmom, I'm at 6500' and clear line-of-sight to the antenna farm on Sandia Crest -- from 47 miles away. Readings on my HR20 are all about 10% higher than I got with the HR10 and all I'm using is my same old Silver Sensor sitting on top of the receiver.

And my recordings are fine. It sounds like the recording process in your box is the problem.


Hi Ed, I certainly follow your posts since we share the same OTA HD channels. So, sounds like you suggest I talk to D* about the problem or wait to see if future releases fix it? I am on 120 :)

#15 OFFLINE   geekmom

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 06:22 PM

I believe there's a problem with the HR20 playing back OTA right now. I get those dropouts followed by pixleation. It started with 0x11b. I find that especially the Fox/ABC recordings (strangely both 720p) are not playing back properly. They can become frequent within a given program. I have watched live and not seen a problem. I've even seen in a show that was recording that it was fine live but when playing back the same episode, there were dropouts.

It seems less severe with 0x120.


Hi Mikeny, our worst channels are Fox and NBC; the best is CBS and ABC sits right in the middle (not as bad as FOX/NBC but not as good CBS :)




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