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My first 100 Days with the HR-20


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#26 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:15 PM

4. On occasion the HR 20 will shutdown a tuner without warning. Programs won't record and even their system test will not report the problem.


Ah ha!!!

I'm not crazy!! ;)

(Well, at least there's evidence I didn't imagine this HR20 problem. ;) )

Some time back I reported this. My report was met with the following response from others on this board: <crickets chirping>

Both tuners appear to be working and both show excellent signal strengths, but the HR20 will simply refuse to USE one of them. A soft reboot will clear the problem.

When the HR20 enters this "mode", the section on the info page about tuners will read something like this (going by memory, I'm at work and away from my HR20):

SAT Tuner 1: MPEG2, MPEG4, Record
SAT Tuner 2: MPEG2, MPEG4,
ATSC Tuner 1: Record
ATSC Tuner 2: Record

Note the lack of the word "record" at the end of the line about the second tuner. When the HR20 is working properly, it will have the word "record" at the end of each line.

To comment on the OP's other complaints:

Recently' the HR10 (older TiVo based unit) has become less stable. The last few firmware updates, combined with some additional data in the satellite stream has destabilized it. Some examples include missed recordings with a bogus "someone in your household modified the season pass" reason for the missed recording and the occasional outright lockup.

So, in light of the recent destabilization of the HR10, I find the HR20 to be at least as reliable, perhaps a bit more so. In fact, the more I've been using my HR20, the more I've been growing to like it.

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#27 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:29 PM

My first 100 Days with the HR-20
- The HR-20 has problems starting and stopping a show on time. It is almost mandatory to "pad" record requests if you want the first few seconds or last minute of a show.

This is the only problem I have with two HR20s, and its a BIG problem with me. We should not have to pad ever show.


One possibility for this problem is that the Satellite shows lag the time the box uses. Or to put it another way if you compare a OTA show to a satellite transmission of the same show using a PIP window on the TV for example. You will see tha the OTA is ahead of the Sat version. two reasons come to mind for this lag. Reason 1 time to compress, reason 2 time spent uplinking and downlinking it from the Geosynch orbit.

Thus if the show ends exactly on time and the HR20 stops recording exactly on time you may lose a bit at the end.

And of course the networks never seem to start and end on time anyway.

In summation it may not be the HR20 it may be a combination of external events.
The cure is to pad the start and stop times. A default pad setting is a necessity these days.

#28 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:32 PM

One possibility for this problem is that the Satellite shows lag the time the box uses. Or to put it another way if you compare a OTA show to a satellite transmission of the same show using a PIP window on the TV for example. You will see tha the OTA is ahead of the Sat version. two reasons come to mind for this lag. Reason 1 time to compress, reason 2 time spent uplinking and downlinking it from the Geosynch orbit.

Thus if the show ends exactly on time and the HR20 stops recording exactly on time you may lose a bit at the end.

And of course the networks never seem to start and end on time anyway.

In summation it may not be the HR20 it may be a combination of external events.
The cure is to pad the start and stop times. A default pad setting is a necessity these days.

All true info, but doesn't the HR-20 get it's time from the SAT data stream too?
A.K.A VOS

#29 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:40 PM

True I would expect that it gets its time from there but if that time is correct then the HR20 time will not match the downlinked show. If they are offsetting the time sent to receivers to match the delays in the process then that becomes a moot point.

I suspect that different encoders being used have different delays too, MPEG2 vs MPEG4 and possibly even different makes and models of SD MPG2 encoders. HD vs SD and so on.

I know that the USB2 MPG capture device on my XP MCE system really delays the signal as compared to live if I put both in a pip window on the TV.

#30 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:49 PM

True I would expect that it gets its time from there but if that time is correct then the HR20 time will not match the downlinked show. If they are offsetting the time sent to receivers to match the delays in the process then that becomes a moot point.

I suspect that different encoders being used have different delays too, MPEG2 vs MPEG4 and possibly even different makes and models of SD MPG2 encoders. HD vs SD and so on.

I know that the USB2 MPG capture device on my XP MCE system really delays the signal as compared to live if I put both in a pip window on the TV.

Which is most likely not happening. The group delay is not being accounted for.They also can stop early too, so?
A.K.A VOS

#31 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:49 PM

Ken, thanks for the info. I appreciate the honest review.

I left DirecTV about 6 months ago because of problems with the HR20. I just popped back into the forum to see if things had improved. It sounds like they haven't. Perhaps I'll check back in another 6 months.

In the mean time, I've been quite happy with Comcast and the Tivo Series 3. Comcast had to visit me twice to fix CableCard problems. However, the day-to-day operations of the Tivo is nearly flawless. It has recorded thousands of shows with zero errors.


$800 for the series 3 and $8 to $13 a month, Ouch

#32 OFFLINE   kbohip

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 04:43 PM

You know, at first I was a bit worried after reading Ken's thread, and truthfully I still am. The thing is though, these problems aren't that bad considering the problems I had years ago with Dish dvr's. Now those were crappy dvr's! I remember the big thing that everyone was waiting for on the 522 dual tuner model (Dish's first).

The big thing we were all waiting for after "Charlie" had promised it to us in one of his worthless "Charlie Chats" was name based recording. That's right, we wouldn't have to setup the dvr the same way we'd been setting up vcr's for years.:eek2: Keep in mind that at that time Directv was introducing the Directivo. Amazing that I stayed with Dish for as long as I did back then. The 522 never did get NBR either.:nono2:

There are two things I'm really looking forward to that the HR20 has that the HR10 doesn't. The recording space indicator and the 90 minute buffer. I still to this day detest Tivo for not having this. I also can't wait to get away from the stupid Tivo autocorrection feature that tries to guess how far back it should go when I press play after fast forwarding. All it does is make me try and guess how much farther I need to go after I see the show starting.

#33 OFFLINE   jbrasure

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:13 AM

$800 for the series 3 and $8 to $13 a month, Ouch


But if it actually works, then it is so worth it!

#34 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:23 AM

Fish Man,
There is a way to see the problem. Just not where you think. Go into Setup and Satellite and then when you get to Signal Strength go to Signal Meters. I think this is the only place where the HR-20 actually shows you the readings on BOTH tuners at the same time.
I just check that every so often to correct the issue. It's part of the HR-20 babysitting plan.


Ah ha!!!

I'm not crazy!! ;)

(Well, at least there's evidence I didn't imagine this HR20 problem. ;) )

Some time back I reported this. My report was met with the following response from others on this board: <crickets chirping>

Both tuners appear to be working and both show excellent signal strengths, but the HR20 will simply refuse to USE one of them. A soft reboot will clear the problem.

When the HR20 enters this "mode", the section on the info page about tuners will read something like this (going by memory, I'm at work and away from my HR20):

SAT Tuner 1: MPEG2, MPEG4, Record
SAT Tuner 2: MPEG2, MPEG4,
ATSC Tuner 1: Record
ATSC Tuner 2: Record

Note the lack of the word "record" at the end of the line about the second tuner. When the HR20 is working properly, it will have the word "record" at the end of each line.

To comment on the OP's other complaints:

Recently' the HR10 (older TiVo based unit) has become less stable. The last few firmware updates, combined with some additional data in the satellite stream has destabilized it. Some examples include missed recordings with a bogus "someone in your household modified the season pass" reason for the missed recording and the occasional outright lockup.

So, in light of the recent destabilization of the HR10, I find the HR20 to be at least as reliable, perhaps a bit more so. In fact, the more I've been using my HR20, the more I've been growing to like it.



#35 OFFLINE   dvrblogger

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:32 AM

I was doing some filing tonight and came across my receipts for the three HR-
12. Connecting the HR-20 to a network where UPnP is active will cause the HR-20 to lockup and cease operation. It will also prevent it from rebooting properly until the network cable is removed. This isn't a huge problem now because I don't need/want to play music or display pictures through the HR-20, but it will be if they require the network connection for their Video on Demand services.


What other upnp devices do you have ? I have multiple PC and windows home servers,xbox and others and do not have lockup problems.

#36 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:12 AM

Of course, it doesn't help matters that there are OTA stations missing from the guide (which means I can't get them), mis-mapped stations and wrong guide info for OTA as well.



Hasan, I've read elsewhere about this. A couple people were missing some digital locals. They found out the missing stations weren't showing up on Zap2It. They contacted the stations to find out they weren't submitting guide data to Tribune. The stations started submitting guide data, they showed up on Zap2It and the next day they appeared on the HR20 and could tune to them.

Now I have no idea if this works all the time but it seems to be the crux of the OTA issues. If Tribune isn't tracking the station then the HR20's don't know anything about them. So make sure the stations are submitting guide data to Tribune and properly identify their frequency.

#37 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:19 AM

Fish Man,
There is a way to see the problem. Just not where you think. Go into Setup and Satellite and then when you get to Signal Strength go to Signal Meters. I think this is the only place where the HR-20 actually shows you the readings on BOTH tuners at the same time.
I just check that every so often to correct the issue. It's part of the HR-20 babysitting plan.


When I do that it shows everything being just fine.

Both tuners show good signal.

Perhaps I was not clear enough about this in my post.

The "smoking gun" evidence that the software in the HR20 has entered the mode where it's going to "ignore" one of its (perfectly functioning) tuners and refuse to record 2 things at once is in the info screen, where one of the tuner's descriptions doesn't have the word "record" at the end.

That's been my experience anyway.

So my babysitting step is periodically checking the info screen. :)

#38 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:29 AM

So my babysitting step is periodically checking the info screen. :)

Don't babysitters get paid?
If I had to babysit my HR-20, I wouldn't.
If you have a tuner that keeps dropping off line, I'd go through the steps to troubleshoot it down to where the problem came from and replace the bad component.
These are to be enjoyed & not babysat. IMO
If you want help with this RM me.
My HR-20s babysit me & not the other way around.
A.K.A VOS

#39 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:59 AM

Don't babysitters get paid?
If I had to babysit my HR-20, I wouldn't.
If you have a tuner that keeps dropping off line, I'd go through the steps to troubleshoot it down to where the problem came from and replace the bad component.
These are to be enjoyed & not babysat. IMO
If you want help with this RM me.
My HR-20s babysit me & not the other way around.


It doesn't "drop offline".

As the OP said, it get's excellent signal strengths, the software just occasionally (once every three weeks or so) decides it isn't going to make scheduled recordings from one of the 2 tuners (at random), precluding recording two things at once.

Even in this mode, you can watch live from that tuner, and you can see that both tuners have excellent signal strengths on all 5 sats.

This is a 0x168 bug that several people have now noticed. (It does seem to have been introduced in 0x168 or one of the CE releases leading up to 0x168.)

It's not terribly severe and frankly the DirecTiVo's (HR10, R10) bogus "someone in your household modified the season pass" recording failures have caused me to miss way more recordings than this minor HR20 glitch.

I design satellite uplink transmitters by profession. My wiring quality, I dare say, is in the 99 percentile.

Thanks, but no thanks on the troubleshooting help. This is clearly a firmware bug, but a minor one, so I'm by no means in a panic about it. I'm confident it will be shaken out in a future release.

#40 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:19 AM

Don't babysitters get paid?
If I had to babysit my HR-20, I wouldn't.
If you have a tuner that keeps dropping off line, I'd go through the steps to troubleshoot it down to where the problem came from and replace the bad component.
These are to be enjoyed & not babysat. IMO
If you want help with this RM me.
My HR-20s babysit me & not the other way around.


VOS,

I've gone through the entire troubleshooting routine on this one. Not only changing cables, but changing multiswitches. I also think it's one of those issues that happens a lot more than it is reported because it's only going to be seen on certain occasions and then only if the person is recording two shows at the same time.
I'd live with this issue if DirecTV would fix some of the other bugs I've noted.

#41 OFFLINE   hasan

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:26 AM

Hasan, I've read elsewhere about this. A couple people were missing some digital locals. They found out the missing stations weren't showing up on Zap2It. They contacted the stations to find out they weren't submitting guide data to Tribune. The stations started submitting guide data, they showed up on Zap2It and the next day they appeared on the HR20 and could tune to them.

Now I have no idea if this works all the time but it seems to be the crux of the OTA issues. If Tribune isn't tracking the station then the HR20's don't know anything about them. So make sure the stations are submitting guide data to Tribune and properly identify their frequency.


That is an excellent suggestion! Of course, I knew I could do this, but silly me, I expected D* to do the follow-up, as they are the ones not delivering on the service that they purchase from Tribune. I find it ...well...disconcerting that I have to chase down their problem. They've been told many times. Why won't they do the leg work?

In any case, I'm afraid when I call these stations, I'm going to get a "blank stare" (excuse the mixed metaphor) when I say, "You need to send your channel information to the Tribune Company". I can just hear them saying, "Who are they?" "How do we contact them?", "What are we supposed to send them?"

If anyone knows (since it appears I'm going to have to do D*'s job for them) EXACTLY where this info is supposed to be sent at "Tribune", and what that information is, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me, and I'll begin the odyssey of chasing down the individual stations.

I have no addresses, no contact person, nothing about Tribune.
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#42 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:31 AM

VOS,
I've gone through the entire troubleshooting routine on this one. Not only changing cables, but changing multiswitches. I also think it's one of those issues that happens a lot more than it is reported because it's only going to be seen on certain occasions and then only if the person is recording two shows at the same time.
I'd live with this issue if DirecTV would fix some of the other bugs I've noted.

Clearly I haven't run across this.
What exactly is it?
You watch one & record another. Since the tuners will swap for each channel change if there is no recording, you won't see it until the "bad" tuner is used for recording?
Or when you only set up two recordings?
The program doesn't record?
Just trying to get a handle.
A.K.A VOS

#43 OFFLINE   Fish Man

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:38 AM

Clearly I haven't run across this.
What exactly is it?
You watch one & record another. Since the tuners will swap for each channel change if there is no recording, you won't see it until the "bad" tuner is used for recording?
Or when you only set up two recordings?
The program doesn't record?
Just trying to get a handle.


The unit will get into a mode where it will NEVER record 2 programs at once. Each recording that fails will be listed as "canceled" in the history list for the reason that it conflicted with the one that DID record.

When it is in this mode, and is recording one thing off the satellite, you can still watch another satellite delivered channel. (Both SAT tuners obviously are working.)

But, again, it will NEVER record 2 things at once. (Reboot, clears the "mode".)

Signal strengths on both SAT tuners look good on all sats when in this "mode".

"Smoking gun" indication of this mode appears on the info screen, where one of the SAT tuners will not have the word "record" at the end of its description.

Like I posted above:

SAT Tuner 1: MPEG2, MPEG4, Record
SAT Tuner 2: MPEG2, MPEG4,
ATSC Tuner 1: Record
ATSC Tuner 2: Record

Again, I'm at work and this is from memory, so wording is almost surely not exact. However, note the lack of the word "record" at the end of the line about SAT 2. Note also the comma. It is always present in this "mode".

The way I read the above, tuner 2 is "active" (and, indeed, you can watch live TV off of it) but the firmware has decided it will not RECORD from it for some reason.

#44 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:45 AM

The unit will get into a mode where it will NEVER record 2 programs at once. Each recording that fails will be listed as "canceled" in the history list for the reason that it conflicted with the one that DID record.

When it is in this mode, and is recording one thing off the satellite, you can still watch another satellite delivered channel. (Both SAT tuners obviously are working.)

But, again, it will NEVER record 2 things at once. (Reboot, clears the "mode".)

Signal strengths on both SAT tuners look good on all sats when in this "mode".

"Smoking gun" indication of this mode appears on the info screen, where one of the SAT tuners will not have the word "record" at the end of its description.

Like I posted above:

SAT Tuner 1: MPEG2, MPEG4, Record
SAT Tuner 2: MPEG2, MPEG4,
ATSC Tuner 1: Record
ATSC Tuner 2: Record

Again, I'm at work and this is from memory, so wording is almost surely not exact. However, note the lack of the word "record" at the end of the line about SAT 2. Note also the comma. It is always present in this "mode".

The way I read the above, tuner 2 is "active" (and, indeed, you can watch live TV off of it) but the firmware has decided it will not RECORD from it for some reason.

Thanks, I've read some posting of this, but mistook this for the "old tuner #2" problem.
Rarely do I find two things to record at the same time, but about once a week I do for the HBO/Starz premiers. So far haven't been bit with it.
A.K.A VOS

#45 OFFLINE   jonaswan2

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 08:51 AM

That is an excellent suggestion! Of course, I knew I could do this, but silly me, I expected D* to do the follow-up, as they are the ones not delivering on the service that they purchase from Tribune. I find it ...well...disconcerting that I have to chase down their problem. They've been told many times. Why won't they do the leg work?

In any case, I'm afraid when I call these stations, I'm going to get a "blank stare" (excuse the mixed metaphor) when I say, "You need to send your channel information to the Tribune Company". I can just hear them saying, "Who are they?" "How do we contact them?", "What are we supposed to send them?"

If anyone knows (since it appears I'm going to have to do D*'s job for them) EXACTLY where this info is supposed to be sent at "Tribune", and what that information is, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me, and I'll begin the odyssey of chasing down the individual stations.

I have no addresses, no contact person, nothing about Tribune.


Well TMS has a pretty long contact list page. I have no clue who you should tell them to contact, but the TV operators should know.

http://www.tms.tribu...m/contacts.html

#46 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:08 AM

$800 for the series 3 and $8 to $13 a month, Ouch


Well if you like Tivo and want a good DVR for cable/OTA

Also a possibility is that one of Tivos specials was taken advantage of.

Right now Tivo is running a promo where they sell you a new series 2 Tivo for $299 and transfer the lifetime sub. Only Product Lifetime Service subscriptions activated before June 15, 2003 series 1 are eligible. Of course you are paying them $200 over the price for a new series 2 that you have to pay monthly for.
http://www.tivo.com/...series2plt.html

Someone on a video forum mentioned that they have also run that sort of special for Series 3 Tivos also. No mention of price for that was given.

So presuming that Tivo stays in business, With the pricing below, anything over 1 year with the one year plan is gravy. Per the Tivo website http://dynamic.tivo....eries280hrDTDVR
$16.95 per month with 1-year plan Reduced from $19.95
$14.95 per month with 2-year plan
$12.95 per month with 3-year plan

Being somewhat pessimistic I'm not sure what will happen to Tivo when they lose all revenue from DirecTV. Or I'd most likely jump on it to replace my aging Tivo Series 1.

#47 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:13 AM

Clearly I haven't run across this.
What exactly is it?
You watch one & record another. Since the tuners will swap for each channel change if there is no recording, you won't see it until the "bad" tuner is used for recording?
Or when you only set up two recordings?
The program doesn't record?
Just trying to get a handle.


VOS,

Here's how I discovered the problem

I was recording one show and went to record another. The HR-20 came back with the you have stop the first recording to do that message.
I thought...hmmm...I thought this thing could record two shows at once.
So, I tried a few combinations of trying to record two shows and it keeps balking.
So, I run the system test...everything comes back as having passed (Tuner 1 and Tuner 2).
So, I go into the Sat Setup and look at the signal on Tuner 1 and then switch to Tuner 2 and both are receiving signal.
Hmm..
Try to record two shows again...no luck
So, I go back to the Sat Setup and go to signal meters (where it displays both tuners at the same time...and bingo...Tuner 1 is fine, Tuner 2 is showing 0.)
So, it appears both tuners may work...but not at the same time.

I reboot the machine and it then shows signal on both tuners in the Signal Meters screen and agrees to record two shows at once.

Now, every so often (if I know I'm going to be recording on both tuners) I go to Signal Meters to check to make sure it's working.
It doesn't happen (or I don't notice it) that often, but it's something I have to be aware of.
I have seen this issue on two of our boxes. Once on one and twice on another. The third has probably never been called on to use both tuners at the same time.

It's an annoyance, but compared to the other issues...

#48 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:33 AM

KenS,
This is so close to the "bad tuner #2 (or #1)" bug, but may just be a subset.
I have so little tolerance for things like this, that I'd be getting the box replaced. If after that it I found it returning only then would I start to think it was software.
As [I think I have posted] there was a batch of bad tuner #2 some months ago, that really was bad hardware. I don't know what was the cause down in Mexico, but they built a bunch that all had a problem very close to this.
A.K.A VOS

#49 OFFLINE   YDKCooKiE

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:10 AM

I'll be honest, I came from Time Warner cable which used the SA 8300HD DVR - I wasn't terribly impressed, the UI looked like something out of the Commodore days of computing, and I couldn't get the channels I wanted due to the fine folks at TWC arguing with some network executives over where they put the network on their service.

That said, I've had no problems using the HR20 that I have, and it's features are at least comparable, if not better than, my old 8300HD. So far I'm impressed, and I can't say I've had a TiVO to compare to, so I'm perfectly happy with what I've received. I haven't seen many of the issues that folks here complain of, such as pixellated images, audio not matching up, much of that just hasn't been my experience.

The only thing that's annoyed me thus far was the scroll speed within the guide, which is mostly fixed, and I had already made it a habit of stopping a show from recording 2-3 minutes after the actual "Scheduled end" due to the fact that a lot of network execs allow their shows to go over the one hour limit. All in all, I've been impressed, and I'm about 4 months into my service.

#50 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 06:24 AM

What other upnp devices do you have ? I have multiple PC and windows home servers,xbox and others and do not have lockup problems.


Wireless cameras from Panasonic have UPnP enabled as does my router. It's really not all that obscure.

If I turn all the UPnP devices off and plug my network cables in the HR-20s will boot properly. If I put the UPnP devices back online and reboot the HR-20 it will invariably lock during the boot-up sequence.

I haven't tried since the last patch because the patch notes had nothing about the issue and, frankly, I'm getting tired of debugging the HR-20.




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