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Are the newer units better?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Slip Jigs

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:38 AM

After several months of intermittent problems and troubleshooting, I finally called and asked for a new box be sent. CSR tried a little to talk me out of it, etc, but I insisted and even didn't argue when they said it would cost the 20 bux s and H.

The new HR20-700 arrived in only two days. Set up and activation went off without a hitch as well as the 168 update. It' s been two weeks and the unit is rock solid. Better than ever, and it's now such a pleasure to not have to worry if a program is going to reccord with dropouts and other issues.

The carton was marked with a manu date of Feb 07 - compared to the 9/06 of the original unit. Maybe there are fewer hardware issues with newer units? I know others have gone through several swaps with less success - but maybe things really are getting better.

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#2 OFFLINE   Michael D'Angelo

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:42 AM

After several months of intermittent problems and troubleshooting, I finally called and asked for a new box be sent. CSR tried a little to talk me out of it, etc, but I insisted and even didn't argue when they said it would cost the 20 bux s and H.

The new HR20-700 arrived in only two days. Set up and activation went off without a hitch as well as the 168 update. It' s been two weeks and the unit is rock solid. Better than ever, and it's now such a pleasure to not have to worry if a program is going to reccord with dropouts and other issues.

The carton was marked with a manu date of Feb 07 - compared to the 9/06 of the original unit. Maybe there are fewer hardware issues with newer units? I know others have gone through several swaps with less success - but maybe things really are getting better.


Some units just have hardware problems and need to be swapped. I have had 2 of my HR20's since September and still have the same one's. I had problems at first but the software updates have fixed all of my problems.

#3 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:11 AM

After several months of intermittent problems and troubleshooting, I finally called and asked for a new box be sent. CSR tried a little to talk me out of it, etc, but I insisted and even didn't argue when they said it would cost the 20 bux s and H.

The new HR20-700 arrived in only two days. Set up and activation went off without a hitch as well as the 168 update. It' s been two weeks and the unit is rock solid. Better than ever, and it's now such a pleasure to not have to worry if a program is going to reccord with dropouts and other issues.

The carton was marked with a manu date of Feb 07 - compared to the 9/06 of the original unit. Maybe there are fewer hardware issues with newer units? I know others have gone through several swaps with less success - but maybe things really are getting better.


The units that I purchased in March also had the same date of manufacture on them...and I had a bunch of problems with the units. I think it's more hit or miss. The key would be if we start seeing Rev numbers on the units, mobos, etc.

#4 OFFLINE   joed32

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:26 AM

I think you just had bad luckand got a bad one. Same thing happened to me about a month ago and it was a recently manufactured unit.

#5 OFFLINE   Dusty

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 11:43 AM

I am wondering about this, too. I had 2 HR20 since last September. The main one in the family room finally broke down. Because of July 4th holiday, I won't get the replacement until today. I didn't want to go without TV, so I did a complete hard reset, followed by a soft reset, and miraculously, the unit came back to life, despite that the same sequence didn't help it in the previous three attempts. It has gone three days without going dead. How will I know if the replacement is better? It seems it all depends on luck.

I can't afford to be unlucky. My wife is not as patient as I am with tech toys. She just expected them to work.

#6 OFFLINE   Vor

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:50 PM

Well, the one I bought last September never seemed quite "right", in terms like drive noise, pixelization, response time, etc. Finally it got to the point where the hard drive made loud clacking noises and wouldn't spin up, so I did the $20/refurbished replacement deal.

The newer unit was quieter out of the box, and there were some minor cosmetic differences in the case itself. Also, the remote control has certainly been revved since introduction, my original one has (I kept my original remote) a series of LEDs above the selector switch that lights up when you press a button, and weighed roughly 50% more than the one in the refurbished unit.

So they've definitely done a full spin on the remote, and it seems like they've made some changes to the box itself. Which isn't at all surprising, you get some fall-out from the first batch, then you figure out how to minimize the fall-out in the next batch.

#7 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 01:06 PM

Vor, it sounds like you had an HR20-700 originally and have an HR20-100 now. HR20-700s are still being sold, and look just like the ones sold in September.

If you hold down INFO for 3 seconds it will run a test and tell you a manufacturer number. It will either say 100 or 700.


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#8 OFFLINE   Slip Jigs

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 01:48 PM

Well, the one I bought last September never seemed quite "right", in terms like drive noise, pixelization, response time, etc. Finally it got to the point where the hard drive made loud clacking noises and wouldn't spin up, so I did the $20/refurbished replacement deal.


That's probably the best description of what my unit was like - it just wasn't quite "right." The strange this was, the symptioms that usually presented weren't typically hardware issue (except for perhaps the LNB, which I had replaced.) The only thing that makes me almost certain it was the box is that now it's fixed - and I tried every other possible troubleshooting step beforehand.

#9 OFFLINE   Dusty

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 02:23 PM

That's probably the best description of what my unit was like - it just wasn't quite "right." The strange this was, the symptioms that usually presented weren't typically hardware issue (except for perhaps the LNB, which I had replaced.) The only thing that makes me almost certain it was the box is that now it's fixed - and I tried every other possible troubleshooting step beforehand.


Just curious. Did you actually get a "new" box? Or was it a refurbished unit?

I haven't got home to check on mine replacement but when I went through similar ordeal with HR10-250 a year ago, the replacement was a refurbished unit. To me the replacement was worse than the orignal one. It does work but the picture quality wasn't as good. The color was dull and the picture was grainy. It was a major reason why I decided to leap on HR20. I hope I am luckier this time.

#10 OFFLINE   Slip Jigs

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 02:57 PM

I'm not totally sure if it's new or refurb - the packaging and manu date suggests that it s new, but is there some other indicator?

#11 OFFLINE   Dusty

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:13 PM

I'm not totally sure if it's new or refurb - the packaging and manu date suggests that it s new, but is there some other indicator?


The refurbished one should have a sticker to mark it. It should also be visible cosmetic blemish.

I just got home to check on mine. It appears to be brand new.

#12 OFFLINE   Slip Jigs

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 06:22 AM

I didn't see any stickers on the unit or the carton that it was a refurb. How's your new unit working?

#13 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 07:38 AM

My first HR20-700 "worked" after a fashion, but was a basket case of bugs. Frequent lockups and a whole laundry list of generally weird behavior.

The replacement, which I have had for several months now, has been rock solid. The replacement actually had a slightly earlier manufacture date than the original. I don't remember the dates off the top of my head but the "flakey" one was made in China. The solid one was made in Mexico. Both are -700's.

To answer the original question:

I work for a company that manufactures electronic products. It is not uncommon for the early production to have a higher field failure rate than later production. This is because you can learn where the weak points are in your manufacturing process by studying the failure modes of the returned units.

This assumes, of course, that you do have a process for troubleshooting the returned units and tracing the problem back to the manufacturing step that created the bad unit, and then have a process for implementing an improvement. I'm not certain that DirecTV has such a feedback mechanism in place. :(

#14 OFFLINE   5678YN

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 09:02 AM

I just had my install done yesterday and ended up with an HR20-100S build date 5/25/07. The tech that came didn't have the DVR, yet another miscommunication, but he got one from another tech in the area. Didn't get the box but it looks perfectly new. D* is having computer issues I guess so we couldn't activate yesterday after the install at about 5 PM.

#15 OFFLINE   Dusty

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 11:03 AM

I didn't see any stickers on the unit or the carton that it was a refurb. How's your new unit working?


I had to correct myself. My replacement is a refurbished one. There is a sticker on the bottom of the unit right next to the serial number and receiver id sticker that says "RECONDITIONED". They did a heck a good job refurbish this one, though. I can't see any noticeable blemish. It came packed just like how you will expect for a new one. However, the cosmetics is the last thing I am worried about. I am more concerned why it was returned in the first place and if they have completely fixed the problem. My refurbished HR10-250 was not very good and noticeablely inferior right from the beginning.

The unit was made in Mexico dated in December 2006, about 4-5 months newer than the bad receiver it replaced. I tried to activate the replacement unit last night but I almost fell asleep waiting on the phone for more than 30 minutes. I finally got it activated this morning before I came to work. I can't say I know how it is performing, yet, although the first impression is good. The picture quality is good. The response to the remote was instaneous. I just set up a few series. I'll have to watch it for a few days to pass some judgment. However, it does seem fine in the first impression.

The rep that helped me to activate the replacement was very courteous yet inexperienced. I told her that I could send the bad receiver in the box the replacement came in. She insisted I needed a recovery kit and sent me to a different department. Luckily, I didn't hang up. According to the second rep (probably from retention), had I got a recovery kit like she said, D* would be expecting two receivers to be returned from me. He supposedly fixed the record.

#16 OFFLINE   cmoss5

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 11:42 AM

NEWEGG.com will upgrade your HR20-700 to a bigger drive for $400 or $500,
depending on how much you add .... you ship it to them, they install the
bigger drive and ship back to you....doubles the amount for HD and SD
for your HR20-700..

QUESTION IS THIS....WILL DIRECTV EVER OFFER A LARGER HARDRIVE IN
THE FUTURE FOR PURCHASE OR LEASE OR WILL IT BE A DIFFERENT UNIT..

EARL...WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS??:grin:

#17 OFFLINE   cygnusloop

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:55 PM

NEWEGG.com will upgrade your HR20-700 to a bigger drive for $400 or $500,
depending on how much you add .... you ship it to them, they install the
bigger drive and ship back to you....doubles the amount for HD and SD
for your HR20-700..

QUESTION IS THIS....WILL DIRECTV EVER OFFER A LARGER HARDRIVE IN
THE FUTURE FOR PURCHASE OR LEASE OR WILL IT BE A DIFFERENT UNIT..

EARL...WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS??:grin:


http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=91160

#18 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 04:06 PM

After several months of intermittent problems and troubleshooting, I finally called and asked for a new box be sent. CSR tried a little to talk me out of it, etc, but I insisted and even didn't argue when they said it would cost the 20 bux s and H.

The new HR20-700 arrived in only two days. Set up and activation went off without a hitch as well as the 168 update. It' s been two weeks and the unit is rock solid. Better than ever, and it's now such a pleasure to not have to worry if a program is going to reccord with dropouts and other issues.

The carton was marked with a manu date of Feb 07 - compared to the 9/06 of the original unit. Maybe there are fewer hardware issues with newer units? I know others have gone through several swaps with less success - but maybe things really are getting better.


I got my original HR20 in September. I had VERY good luck with it. Virtually every problem I experienced until May was software related...and it got better and better and better. In May the HR20 (along with a TON of other stuff) got zapped by nearly a direct lightning hit. They sent me a refurbished replacement with a March manufacturing date. It has been every bit as good as my first one.

I am VERY pleased with D* service (in responding to my damage...new unit in 3 days from the phone call), and the progress since September. I don't think there are any significant hardware differences between a -700 from September and the one I get from March. The only thing that has changed is constantly improving software.

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#19 OFFLINE   Dusty

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 04:13 PM

I got my original HR20 in September. I had VERY good luck with it. Virtually every problem I experienced until May was software related...and it got better and better and better. In May the HR20 (along with a TON of other stuff) got zapped by nearly a direct lightning hit. They sent me a refurbished replacement with a March manufacturing date. It has been every bit as good as my first one.

I am VERY pleased with D* service (in responding to my damage...new unit in 3 days from the phone call), and the progress since September. I don't think there are any significant hardware differences between a -700 from September and the one I get from March. The only thing that has changed is constantly improving software.


Did you pay $20 for the shipping?

#20 OFFLINE   Vor

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 09:46 PM

lamontcranston, it's still a 700, the changes weren't that pronounced. Seemed like it had a few more air holes punched through, and a couple labels were slightly different.




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