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AM21 not compatible with HR34, according to DTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by wyy183, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. wyy183

    wyy183 AllStar

    Sep 20, 2012
    Last Friday, 10/19, I modified my setup slightly.

    I have two powered, indoor antennas. I have these set about 15 feet apart, in opposite corners of a room - connected with a coupler, and then output to the AM21, which is connected to my HR34.

    I had a show that had recorded the previous Saturday, and it was somewhat pixelated. So, I decided that it was time to do an adjustment on my antennas. I set it to that station, went to the signal level screen, and adjusted the antennas until I got the strongest signal that I could. It started with a signal about 40 and I was able to get it to about 80.

    After this, I checked some other stations that were "fringe" as well, and they had better signals. So, I thought - "Why not do another Initial Setup" and see if I could pull in some more stations in my area.

    I put in my first zip code, and it went to "Searching ..." (sorry, I don't recall the exact message at the moment, but it is what it says and then comes back with the city/state that it finds for that zip code.

    It hung on this screen for about 10 minutes. If I recall, it stopped there for several seconds (20 seconds?) when I first did it. I could not cancel out of this, and the receiver was locked up.

    I rebooted. Then I tried again. It locked up again. After about 15 minutes, I called DTV. The first representative told me that the AM21 was not compatible with the HR34. I directed her to the on-line manual on DTV's web-site, and had her look at page 4, where it says:
    "Note: The following DIRECTV® Receiver models are
    compatible with the USB Off-Air Tuner: DIRECTV Plus®
    HD DVR (models HR21 and above, DIRECTV Plus® DVR
    (R22 model only), DIRECTV® HD (models H21 and above) or
    DIRECTV® Home Media Center.

    She them put me on hold when she went to check on something. After about 20 minutes, I hung up and called back. Naturally, I got a different person - someone who had a bit more common sense. He told me the same thing that the AM21 is not compatible with the HR34. We went back to the web page once again... He had me reset once more - I physically unplugged both units for one minute, and connected them back.

    After the reboot, I was able to confirm that I still had my original off-air channels, and could pull the signal strengths; however, an attempt to do the initial setup resulted in another lock-up.

    I was wondering if this latest software update had any issue with the AM21's functionality. He said that he would open something for this to be investigated.

    Has anyone else experienced any issues? Thoughts?
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Can't really help you other to confirm the AM21 does work, and in fact works better with the 34 than the others, unless they changed it.
  3. conner65

    conner65 AllStar

    Jan 26, 2004
    Mine is working.
  4. Joe166

    Joe166 AllStar

    Jan 5, 2007
    Works fine with mine.
  5. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Not only is the AM21 compatible with the HR34 it does more on the HR34 than any other HR unit. It actually scans for channels. If it weren't supposed to be compatible why add features to it?
  6. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I can attest to AM21 and AM21N both work with HR34
  7. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Are you actually just using a coupler or a jointenna type device that blocks certain frequencies from one antenna or the other? If you are actually just joining the 2 signals, you are creating mega multipath and they are not good at handling multipath at all.
  8. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Unhook one of the antennae and run the test. Note which channels it picks up, as well as their signal strengths. Then disconnect that antenna, connect the other, and re-run the test. Are there any channels overlapping?
    Do you have another digital tuner? Try connecting the antennae to it, and see how it performs. It's not conclusive, since they are different tuners, but the result can help.
  9. wyy183

    wyy183 AllStar

    Sep 20, 2012
    Let me see if I can clarify somewhat:

    - My AM21 works with my HR34. DTV says that is not compatible (both representatives said that it stated that on the screen they were looking at.)

    - I'm using a splitter/combiner that shows 5 - 1000 MHz. I'm not having any issue with my reception. The only reason that I'm using two antennas - I have a 20' x 20' room. When walking through it, you block line-of-sight to a local market. By having both, it eliminates drops when someone walks through the room. I connect to my 55" Vizio with either antenna, or the combination, and all is well. It is working with my AM21 fine.

    - The issue that I'm concerned about it that I cannot do an Initial Setup any longer. This worked fine, with the same antenna setup, prior to the latest software update.

    ** Any ideas why DTV would say that it is not compatible?
    ** What is the possibility of the software update messing with the Initial Setup function?
  10. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    Ask Directv. They are the ones who are telling customers they are not compatible. I was told the same thing but they shipped me one anyway.
  11. pearkel

    pearkel AllStar

    Feb 1, 2007
    This also caused me quite a bit of frustration, I have gone through 3 AM21's since my HR34 install. My second one quit again a couple of weeks ago, i called D and was given the same line about it not being compatiable. They wanted to send a tech out to look at(only after i told them i hooked up to a HR24 and it wasn't working because it isn't compatible with HR34:nono2:), when the tech called to get directions he asked me what was going on and said he has nothing to do with off air and couldn't help me and cancelled. I called D back and they said a tech had to come and they would call me back, they never did. I called a third time and the lady said why don't we just send you a new one. I hooked it up and it worked for about a week and quit again. I unhooked the new AM21 and replaced it with the second one and viola all channels are back. I have found not to redo setup because once my HR34 lost the channels, the only way to find them again was with a new AM21. I hooked up the third am21 to see what would happen and it too had all channels again. I am going to leave both AM21's stacked and when one goes down just hook up the other one. Tower antenna that brings all channels in on my tv via splitter so i know it isn't an antenna issue.
  12. studechip

    studechip Godfather

    Apr 16, 2012
    wyy183, I think the best solution, if possible, is use an outdoor antenna. It would likely eliminate the need for two and would get you much better signal strength.
  13. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

    Sep 4, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Or do as I have done, and put the antenna in the attic. An antenna in the attic is not as efficient as an outdoor antenna, but it is more efficient than an antenna in an occupied room. I agree that linking two antenna together is a setup for multipath, and it is multipath that causes problems, especially with digital signals.
  14. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

    Sep 4, 2009
    Cary, NC
    With digital TV, the stability of the signal is more important than the number itself. I have a channel that is constantly at 40, with no fluctuation in signal strength, and another that constantly swings between 60 and 100. The one with the constant signal, even though it is low, never breaks up. The one that swings breaks up constantly.

    Multipath causes the signal strength to fluctuate. Linking two antennas together is going to increase multipath. Positioning the antenna so that you get a steady number is far better than trying to get the highest number if the higher number is not steady.
  15. bigmike200587

    bigmike200587 Mentor

    Oct 24, 2009
    Sorry guys per "system" not compatiable. Even though in the real world it is, per "system" it is not.

    Don't shoot the messenger I'm just saying

  16. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    I've seen power glitches cause problems with the HR34/AM21 combo. Unplugging the AM21 and/or HR34 has always fixed it in the past.
    Maybe guide data just wasn't available at the time you tried to setup OTA again, causing the lockup.
    Have you tried it today (I'd go the unplugging both route)?
  17. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    I have had an AM21N on my HR34 since I received it a couple years ago. It has been sporadic but as of late has been solid. I will make an inquirey though to see if DirecTV has discontinued compatibility with the AM21s.
  18. wahooq

    wahooq New Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Mine works fine as well
  19. speedy4022

    speedy4022 Legend

    Jan 26, 2004
    The installer that installed my thr22 said the same thing but I tried it anyway and it works great. Directv may be trying to get rid of the am21.
  20. wyy183

    wyy183 AllStar

    Sep 20, 2012
    I appreciate this, and have considered an antenna in my attic; however, when I hooked up my AM21, I just kinda tossed the antennas on a shelf without doing any aiming or adjustment of them.

    Now that they are adjusted for proper signal, all is fine - with my signal.

    That's what started all of this. I wanted to check to see if there were other stations that I could pick up after doing this adjustment. That was when I tried to repeat the Initial Setup.

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