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DirecTV receivers and HDMI problems

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Stevie, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Jul 2, 2011 #1 of 77

    Stevie Cool Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    The reason for this post is to see how prevalent this problem is and what people believe may be causing the problem.

    I'm a service provider for three companies that service warranty claims for HDTV manufacturers. In other words, I'm the guy that goes to end users' homes, opens up the 32" or larger TV and replaces bad components. I've been doing this for 2.5 years. The companies that subcontract me service mainly two of the largest selling brands and also some minor ones.

    Beginning last year about this time and affecting all TV brands that I service, I started seeing issues where HDTV's main boards were needing to be replaced because one or more HDMI inputs had failed. In the past few months, this has grown to be the most common problem/repair with the TV's that I service.

    What has been glaringly obvious is that this HDMI problem always involves a DirecTV receiver (most recent models: HR24-200, HR24-100, R22-200). I have yet to see an HDMI problem that involves a Dish receiver. Cable receiver HDMI problems are very rare and usually isolated to audio problems and not video.

    When I question the end user about the problem while I am repairing the TV, the story is usually the same: The HDMI input in use goes out first, end user puts it in others, then they go out shortly afterward.

    Initially after the repair, the same receiver was connected and the problem often repeated itself. Now after a repair with this particular problem, I am leaving the end users' homes with their TV's connected with composite or component cables and recommending to not reconnect their repaired TV via HDMI until the receiver is replaced.

    Since I began suggesting having the receivers replaced, "repeat business" has dwindled. :)

    All three warranty companies have asked me to record and forward the model numbers of the receivers connected - I'm assuming at the request of the TV manufacturers.

    I'm not an electrician, just an A+ certified computer tech. I swap boards, solve problems and try to make end users happy.

    So anyone know anything that could shed some light on this?

  2. Jul 7, 2011 #2 of 77

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
    I've had my receivers hooked up over HDMI for over 3 years now and haven't had a single HDMI port go bad. However I am using HR21 and HR22 HD-DVRs, and you seem to be having more problems with the HR24s from your post.
  3. Jul 7, 2011 #3 of 77

    cajunrc Mentor

    Dec 2, 2006
    I started having HDMI problems when my HR20 was replaced with a HR24-500.
    At first it had trouble handshaking with an HD channel so I would go to an SD channel for a few minutes and back and it would work. After a while it quit. This was not my tv but my Onkyo AV receiver that was bad as after that i could not even use the DVD player throught it and had to have the Onkyo repaired at a cost of over $100.00. At the time Doug Brot contacted me about my posts but I never heard anything else about DTV receivers.
  4. Jul 7, 2011 #4 of 77
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    This is a new one to me but you can check it out for yourself, Stevie. Do a search of the DirecTV forums using the search terms "HDMI" and "bad", and you won't find much. Maybe some of the jacks on HR20s are starting to go bad, but some of those DVRs may be 5 years old and it wouldn't be unusual to find more failures on them.

    I'm still trying to figure out how a HDMI output could blow up a TV's input board. Maybe if there was a short but that is just as likely to come from a cable. You don't say if you replace the HDMI cables in these situations. In 30 years of selling consumer audio, about the only service truism I've found to be accurate is "Suspect the least expensive component first." That would be the $10 cable.

    Coincidence is an amazing thing. Especially when you are looking for them, they are all over the place. When you buy a new car, all of a sudden everybody you see on the road is now driving that car. Two days before, you never noticed them. Maybe there is some cause and effect with the TV input boards going out and DirecTV receivers, but at least from other people posting on this forum, I haven't seen it.

    One last thing: I'm one of those folks who absolutely hates HDMI connectors. It is the worst connector the consumer electronics industry has ever come up with. It's funky, doesn't seat well, can easy to come loose and sometimes requires software updates to work right. I'd blame HDMI for these problems before I'd blame the DVR, but then, that's me. My coincidences tell me that HDMI is the source of all evil when things go bad. :grin:

    EDIT: Four years between registering and your first post, Stevie! That's a feat. I waited over three years before I made my first post and look where I'm at now. It's all downhill from here, Stevie. :p
  5. Jul 7, 2011 #5 of 77
    Church AV Guy

    Church AV Guy Godfather

    Jul 9, 2007
    I'm afraid I have to disagree with you here. While the HDMI connector is hardly great, it's far from the worst connector in the industry. Heck, the standard RCA connector is absolutely TERRIBLE. Whoever thought that connecthing the SIGNAL BEFORE the ground was a good idea? The standard NEMA power cord is nearly a disaster in that is comes loose so very easily, and is so bulky, a strain relief created a strain loop in the wire.

    Yes, the HDMI connector is far from perfect, but it is also far from the worst. My biggest problem with it you never even mentioned. It is so long, and it sticks out so far, it is fairly easy to damage the socket it plugs into just by flexing the wire.
  6. Jul 7, 2011 #6 of 77
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    I can't disagree with a word you said, Church AV Guy. :)

    Especially when you point out another problem with a HDMI connector. :D
  7. Jul 7, 2011 #7 of 77

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    3 out of 4 of my TV's are connected via HDMI.
    One is an HR24 and nothing has blown out in six months.

    But I will say the HDMI connection on the HR24 is a wee bit flakey. Have a thick 12' cable going to the connector and it stresses it abit and can lose audio/video by wiggling it.
  8. Jul 7, 2011 #8 of 77
    David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I've been using, with no adverse effects, the monoprice swivel (link) to reduce strain and help with the room taken by cable sticking straight out.
    initially I used these for tight space but noticed they exert a bit less leverage on port so use them in a few spots. have not had any issues with them.
  9. Jul 7, 2011 #9 of 77

    allenn Icon

    Nov 19, 2005
    I had an HR21-200 for 3 years before the HDMI port went North. I tried a new cable to no avail. If I wiggled the HDMI cable the picture would come back on. D* replaced the DVR with an HR22-100. I am using the original HDMI cable with no problem other than slow response and channel changes.
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I've got seven Panasonic plasmas and use only HDMI cables on them. Some of the TVs have three HDMI feeds on them. I've never had a problem with the HDMI inputs. I do use 90 degree HDMI connectors in some places to relieve the strain on the cables.

    If you're servicing Sony or Samsung TVs, they have always had HDMI problems. Those problems seem to be restricted to the TVs and not the D* DVRs.

    I have had one D* DVR that had a problem, but that was a physical problem caused by the previous owner digging around inside the box and wrecking the internal part of the HDMI port.

  11. mis3

    mis3 New Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    I have my DTV receiver and other inputs going to my Onkyo receiver via HDMI, then from receiver to TV via HDMI. Whenever I get a DTV firmware update, the HDMI video path stops working on my receiver. I can use HDMI directly from each component to TV, but not through receiver. I normally play around with the wires for a couple of hours, then eventually give up and connect directly to TV. About 24 hours later, the issue resolves itself and I can go back to using the receiver to pass through HDMI video signals.

    I wonder if there is anything similar going on here. If not, is anyone else having the same problem as me with their HDMI video through a receiver?
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I don't have any problems with my two HDMI enabled Sony AV receivers.

  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Never had any issues like you describe using the same wiring scheme through my Denon.
  14. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have a Toshiba REGZA HDTV connected to my R22-200 via HDMI and it's been working for over 2 years now.

    It does have a bizzare problem though. If I turn the TV and the DVR on simultaneously using the DirecTV remote, and the TV was tuned to DirecTV, everything works fine. If I turn the TV on (but not the DVR) and watch shows OTA using the TV's tuner, DVD player, etc. and THEN turn on the DVR and switch the TV's input to DirecTV, after an hour or two the audio suddenly sounds like Donald Duck. Switching the input (via the TV remote) back to the TV's tuner and then back to DirecTV fixes the problem (for an hour or two).

    Like I said, bizzare, no? :confused:
  15. Stevie

    Stevie Cool Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

    One clarification: I didn't mean to imply that it's widespread or a big enough problem to draw conclusions or concerns. I'm assigned to a large area in the center of my state (non-metropolitan area) and I notice when the same problems happen more than others. I haven't ruled out the TV models or even a compatibility issue with the TV and receiver.

    Until this HDMI issue started popping up, the only regular issue was a capacitor problem on the power boards of some HDTV models. Some manufacturers were repairing these after the normal warranty period.
  16. az99

    az99 Cool Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    My Dynex lost all 3 HDMI inputs while connected to a HR24.
  17. waylonrobert

    waylonrobert AllStar

    Apr 22, 2010
    I've had multiple HD boxes over the past 2 years connected via HDMI and never had any issues.
  18. detlanta

    detlanta New Member

    Jul 15, 2011
    Stevie, I know exactly what you're talking about. Ive had direct tv for 2 months now and I've been thru 4 HD boxes and both of my tv main boards went out TWICE. I've had 2 electricians check it out and numerous DTV techs and they can't tell me what it is. IF YOU FIND OUT WHAT IT IS PLEASE LET ME KNOW
  19. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Reading this thread has several different issues.
    I haven't had any using HDMI, but I wonder about the OP's question, and if it could be due to a grounding problem?
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Something I've alway wondered about: Why don't the HRs use a three prong plug? They bond the HDD to the chassis in most of the HRs I've opened up. Wouldn't it be simpler just to ground the whole system from the ground in the receptacles?


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