1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Blank recording

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by hdwatcher, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    One certain way to test if it is the tuner (or cabling for the tuner), would be to activate Double Play, switch to the background tuner, and then change to the channel with the issue.

    - Merg
     
  2. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    3,866
    4
    Aug 2, 2008
    Good point... another nice use for DP! You no longer have to swap cables to test an issue like this.
     
  3. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    4,266
    1
    May 28, 2007
    The only thing I'll add to Merg and RACJ's comments are the fact that my problem was very intermittent. I tried many times to duplicate it but could not. And of course that makes this a very hard problem to solve!

    I was just lucky that one day that I was up in the attic and happened to see some coax braiding sticking out from a crimp connector on one of my WB68's. I messed with the connector, then went to the DVR on the other end, which just happened to be recording on the background tuner. Switching to that recording gave me a gray screen. I re-crimped the connection, and that fixed it. After that, I swapped all my crimps for compression fitting in the attic. Since then, I have replaced one WB68 with a SWM8, and have slowly been replacing the rest of the crimp connectors in the house with compression.
     
  4. finaldiet

    finaldiet Hall Of Fame

    1,158
    0
    Jun 13, 2006
    I had one blank recording this past week. That was the first time its happen. I have been getting a lot stops and starts, like the picture freezes for a second and then starts. First problem real problem I've had on my HR20.
     
  5. optimus prime

    optimus prime Cool Member

    12
    0
    Jan 18, 2007
    We had numerous blank recordings over the past year, growing in frequency. The reason was a failed HR20-700. DTV just replaced the receiver yesterday w/ a HR23-700.

    When you go to play your show, does it immediately go to keep/delete or is it a blank screen for the duration of the desired show (i.e. 1 hour of blank screen for a 1 hour show)?
     
  6. bigds01

    bigds01 Cool Member

    16
    0
    Oct 3, 2008
    It starts black and immediately states would you like to delete the program. It isn't a cabling issue, I can't explain why, I just know it isn't. What I have seen on this board is an incredible increase in black and pixelated recordings since the 34c upgrade.
     
  7. optimus prime

    optimus prime Cool Member

    12
    0
    Jan 18, 2007
    Yup, the immediate keep/delete (for us) was due to the tuner having lost acquisition, filled with blank space, so an immediate keep/delete.

    Like I said, it was a failing receiver that was replaced by DTV under the maintenance agreement.
     
  8. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    7,058
    60
    Jul 19, 2005
    Jackson
    Great logic....so you have already gone through and checked all your cabling and connectors so they are now ruled out?
     
  9. bigds01

    bigds01 Cool Member

    16
    0
    Oct 3, 2008
    Yes, I checked all of the cable, and it was all good.
     
  10. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    4,266
    1
    May 28, 2007
    Did that include unscrewing every connector to make sure there is not outer braiding visible anywhere around the center conductor and its insulator? And don't for get about any connections in the back side of wall plates. These are all possible points of failure.

    Of course I'm not trying to suggest that it can't be the receiver, but more commonly this problem is due to signal quality issues. If everything else checks out, it could very well be a bad tuner that is failing intermittently.
     
  11. finaldiet

    finaldiet Hall Of Fame

    1,158
    0
    Jun 13, 2006
    Its a blank screen. I noticed it happened on the same show, CSI-MIAMI last week and this week. The only two times.
     
  12. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    I have had "blank" or "black" recordings as well. In my case:

    1) They appear to have nothing to do with the up rev, as they happened just as frequently before as they do after.

    2) They appear to have nothing to do with signal level

    3) They appear to have nothing to do with iffy connections, iffy tuners, not getting the voltage back to the LNB, or failing switches.

    I can say this with confidence for one simple reason, which is quite often I can get them to play back perfectly on the second or third try. Sometimes I have to FFW to the end, sometimes I don't, and sometimes they will FFW and then stick at some point. But I can usually start them over and they play just fine.

    So instead of all of the ancillary half-baked theories above, my half-baked theory is that the DVR actually loses track of where files are. When you try to play them, it sometimes just can't find them. Then later, it can. This points to a problem with the cataloging system of metadata on the HDD. It works 99.9% of the time, but it should work 99.999% of time. It needs to be fixed. DTV. It needs to be fixed.

    Also, oddly, I can repeat the problem with recordings from my local PBS station, most of which end up as black recordings and can't be played back. Yet some can be, on a second or third try. THis points to individual issues with individual signals as being more susceptible.

    So returning to the concept of workarounds, if you have a black recording, don't simply delete it. Try to play it a number of times. In my experience, that usually works.
     
  13. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    4,266
    1
    May 28, 2007
    Back when I was having problems with black, blank, gray or IKD recordings, I could never get them to play. I tried everything - reboots, power down, FF, REW, etc. I only ever had the issue on my living room HR20. Once I fixed the loose connection, I never had them again (except for explainable situations due to weather),
     
  14. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    Which proves that there can be more than one cause for what appears to yield the same result. This only supports my argument that the reasons are not as cut and dried as some may think.

    In my case, your cause could not possibly have been the same as my cause, as the programs sometimes would eventually play back.

    In your case, my best guess would be that a loose conx could indeed cause a black recording. If there is a loose connection, it can prevent the multiswitch (every LNB has one) from changing polarities. Signal from the other polarity can still radiate through a loose connection because it is RF at a relatively high frequency (L-Band). IOW, on a loose conx DC can fail while RF signal may not.But the signal will be muted because the signal coming through is different than the one the receiver thinks it is getting, which either prevents authentication or is at the wrong frequency (polarities are typically offset by half the bandwidth of the transponder, meaning the tuning is set half-way between two channels of the opposite polarity).
     
  15. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    4,266
    1
    May 28, 2007
    All good point, TomCat. :) The only problem I have is when people point to the software. Basically, anytime an issue crops us right after a new release, it's just human nature too immediately blame it on the software, yet there are so many other thing that could be the cause. Software is about the only thing that D* can guarantee to be consistent. Hardware, on the other hand, no so much.
     
  16. Fab55

    Fab55 AllStar

    89
    0
    Jul 25, 2008
    I had my first blank recordings ever last night, on my HR20-700. I have a SWM set-up, so only 1 cable run to the box. All of my 7pm-9pm shows on my local NBC were blank. I didn't catch them while they were recording, we were watching something else. But I did see Leno on live after the recordings were done.

    I tried DP immediately after I found the blank recordings, and both tuners are fine. No weather last night either. Hulu, here I come!
     
  17. DFDureiko

    DFDureiko Godfather

    274
    0
    Feb 20, 2006
    I too, have not had this happen for a very long time (since the first HR20 issues)
    now with a new HR22.....first the pilot of V did not record, now last nights CBS primetime shows, NONE of them recorded, they were in the list, but was a grey screen. Then after reboot, the shows were gone from the list.
    again, have not had this happen for years.............
    Dan
     
  18. DFDureiko

    DFDureiko Godfather

    274
    0
    Feb 20, 2006
    after just posting I tried to watch an OTA channel. I have a 10 day old AM-21, says tuner has been removed........?
    noticed another thread on that issue as well.
    Sure does seem to be related to the last software upgrade. as I said above, had not had issues for years....
     

Share This Page