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Going downhill fast...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by t_h, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

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    If your no longer using the 3rd dvr you could just bypass the switch entirely with a couple barrel connectors to eliminate it as part of the problem. Just make sure they are rated up to 3ghz to meet the HD requirements. It doesn't matter what cable from the dish goes to what cable to the receivers as long as you get 4 cables in use for receivers now.

    The slimline dish actually has 5 lnbs, 1 for each sat location, and an integrated switch to support the 4 outputs.
     
  2. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Ah, so I've got a cascaded switch the way it is now. I've had trouble with those before.

    The receivers must be outputting voltage on the lines that are hooked up, yes? I cant tell which four of the six are 'live' because they all go into the wall behind the switch. If I could check them with a dvm while i'm up on the ladder to find the live four and not have to play "okay honey, did the picture go away?" for half an hour that'd be a good thing.

    There really is a difference between barrel connectors? I have a whole box full of them, most of them from a batch I bought new a few years ago. I never knew there was a bandwidth rating on something so simple. You learn something new every day.
     
  3. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    t_h .. you know, I must apologize for not stepping in here earlier. This thread has evolved (or devolved) into a bit of "shin kicking" as you so duly noted.

    First off, if it's not too much trouble, you really may want to pull that ladder out and check the switch to verify that it is a Zinwell WB68 .. If it's not, then you've got a good reason to believe that is the problem right off the bat. However, based on your comments, I'd be in your camp believing that you already have the correct switch.

    There was a case a few weeks back where a gentlemen was getting intermittent signals on his receiver. Our first guess was that the BBCs had started failing. As he watched the signals on the receivers there would be periods of time where the signal strength went down to zero and then back up to the 90s. The solution in that case turned out to be the LNB on the dish itself.
     
  4. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    I haven't been following it very closely since I don't subscribe to NFLST, but from other posts here today, it sounds like you can get the NFL HD package for free right now.
     
  5. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    No problem Doug, I can manage. Anyone gets on my nerves I'll kick them back into play. Maybe a little community healing is called for, perhaps a nice round of kumbaya? ;)

    If I had a bad LNB or something bad in the dish itself, wouldnt that affect both receivers equally and at the same time? Or would it be plausible for one receiver to successfully record a show while the other one fails to record the same show on the same channel at the same time? I had thought that an LNB would tune to a particular station from a particular satellite and then both receivers recording (oh say, Eureka) at the same time would share that signal?

    We've had that happen a bunch of times since I duplicated most of our SL's on both boxes a while back to resolve other recording issues. I've never had a recording that both boxes do both be blank. Its always either one or the other.

    The six minute re-record of Eureka was another example of weirdness. Bringing up the show description says one hour, playing it produced a six minute play. I forced the re-record on the other receiver as well and it recorded fine.

    I dont think its a bad second tuner thats sporadically in use...we're doing dual tuner recordings all the dang time. I have hundreds of episodes of flawless Caillou, Barney and so forth. A bunch of them are even in HD. I'm still trying to figure out the benefit of kids animation in HD, but there it is...

    Hey trh...any info on how I'd go about getting the free NFLST in HD? Be advised that I've beaten directv about the head and the shoulders with great regularity over the last year about glitches, missed shows, and this HD transition. The retentions lady promised me a bunch of freebies and credits and about 2/3 of it didnt happen and it took me three calls back to get everything promised. The last CSR finally just gave me a bulk credit to make up the difference but it sounded like I was throwing the last straw on the camels back...

    I'm also wondering about my receivers. They came in plain brown boxes (hr20-100's)...does that mean they were refurbished? Seems all the new ones I see are in pretty colored boxes. I'm wondering if I inherited someone elses unfixed problems...
     
  6. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

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    t_h - If the box is plain brown it doesn't necessarily mean it's a refurb. You can tell by the model number - if it has an "R" toward the end that will be the indicator.
     
  7. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Ah...these say "hr20-100s" on the label on the back. Thanks!

    So any comment on whether I should be able to get some sign of DC voltage with a meter on the 'live' wires when I'm hanging off the side of the house?
     
  8. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

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    Hopefully the fine folks here can help you narrow down your issues or you can simply go back to the HD-TiVos. It is not fun switching providers.

    I was never able to solve my issues with blank recordings and lockups so I did vote with my feet and went to Dish. I didn't lose a grand, but a couple hundred bucks - but now I have a DVR that works to my satisfaction with zero issues. The ViP722 is definitely a solid piece of equipment.

    If you do decide to look at switching, be sure to check out the Dish side of DBSTalk. They sure helped me out!
     
  9. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    I had dish network some time back. It was frankly the worst customer service experience in my life. The service was okay, the equipment was pretty flaky, and when I canceled a year later they jumped through hoops to try and make me miserable and charge me for all sorts of things. I think they got their pants sued off for those cancellation terms/fees shortly thereafter?

    They might be better now, but they're one of the 3 companies I wont ever do business with again.

    Its a shame because Directv's stuff has been good for a long time. I had one of the original receivers (Hughes or Philips? I forget) and a pair of the sony receivers and never had any trouble with them, and the only times I ever talked to directv was when I originally hooked up, when I moved and when I canceled them to try Dish because they were cheaper. They were always nice folks. Even the Directivos were pretty good, despite not getting much in the way of new software features, until Directv changed to the newfangled "data stream" guide data a couple of years back.

    I feel like such a whiny biotch but all I want to do is have some tv shows recorded reliably and without a lot of aggravation. I dont want to have to think about it, make a lifes work of it or presume when I turn the tv on my show wont be there and hope for the best...

    I had less trouble from my old Sony directv receivers hooked by a smart control wire to a sony vcr...although those 30-40 vhs tapes took up a little space.
     
  10. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

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    Yea, I hear you. In my first 'stint' with DirecTV I had a Samsung unit that was rock solid for years. The only issue I've had is with the DirecTV branded hardware: the H10 and now the HR20. The HR20 was solid for six months and then...

    I just hope I don't have the same experience with Dish that you had. :nono2:
    So far it's been pretty good.

    I hope you find a solution to your issues...
     
  11. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

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    Technically speaking it is a cascaded switch setup but it always has to be in this sense so it should be working ok. Using 2 wb68s cascaded isn't recommended but a wb68 right off the dish should be fine. Any line with an active receiver should be putting out 13v or 18v dc so you can test to see which lines are live just make sure your meter is set correctly =)

    You could probably use one of your connectors but since you are trying to eliminate possible problems it's probably best to stick with a know and tested connector rated up to the proper specs. If you read around enough on the forums you will see things like barrel connectors or wall plates identified as the source of issues. With the Ka sats the stack plan goes past 2 ghz which is around double what most cable co's use and may be beyond the capability of cheap pieces designed for cable stuff that only goes up to around 1ghz.

    Yeah it would be weird but it could be a dying lnb. That is what it turned out to be for the ZDnet blogger that had issues recently. Was effecting his 2 dvrs differently but turned out to be the LNB.
     
  12. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Thanks, thats good info on the voltage readings.

    I must misunderstand how the lnb/integral switch thing works if two receivers can record the same show at the same time and one works while one fails, and the fault is in the lnb/integral switch.
     
  13. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    If the voltages happen to be switched "wrong" for the receiver, then it just won't work. A failed/failing LNB could certainly contribute.
     
  14. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

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    I have no idea how that would be either. One thing I've learned from years in the tech support industry is that when things are broken they often don't break as expected.
     
  15. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Okay, heres the progress with two oddities, one perhaps serious.

    I unhooked the multiswitch, found voltage on four wires going into the house to the receivers and hooked those up to the four dish outputs, nice and snug.

    Re-ran the dish setup on both receivers. One oddity is that one of them walked me through the tv set resolutions and one didnt.

    When I was done I checked all the signal meters. Nothing on 103s or 99s, but good signal on 103c and 99c, and I think thats what I had before.

    But when I went back to look at the signal meters on my living room unit for a second time, on 110 I was getting 97% on tuner 1 and wandering from the mid 50's to low 60's on tuner 2. Hmm. Hadnt seen that before. The upstairs receiver on 110 is getting 96's on both tuners.

    I unscrewed the two BBC's from the back and switched them to see if the bad signal would flip from tuner 2 to 1, but now both tuners are showing a solid 96-97.

    I checked all the wires for tightness from the back of the unit to the wall plate, although I didnt remove the wallplate to make sure the wire was snug on the back of that.

    What could cause low signal on a tuner that goes away just from switching the wires?

    I switched them back, still 96-97%.

    I seem to vaguely recall seeing a post where someone had this problem and switching the sat wires or unplugging and replugging them made it go away for a week or two and then it came back.

    Quite possibly the cause of at least SOME of my problems, and if the switch was contributing to any issues, maybe we're homing in on it.
     
  16. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Oh and it looks like that switch was a zinwell wb68. There was no sticker or label on it, but the markings on it match a picture I found of a wb68 online.
     
  17. DrummerBoy523

    DrummerBoy523 Godfather

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    LOL. I totally understand your frustration.
     
  18. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    Run without the WB68 for a while (assuming you don't need that other DVR the other 2 cables are going to). This will for sure eliminate the switch as the problem or not.

    Believe me, I went thru this last winter. Spent 2 weeks troubleshooting checking the switch and all cables and it ended up being a bad LNB. I replaced my dish and haven't had a problem since.
     
  19. t_h

    t_h Icon

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    Maybe that switch wasnt a WB68. I looked at it again and there is no label or model number on it. I presumed since it looked the same as a wb68 picture I found that it was, but I see that an old switch I had in my shed (at least 4-5 years old) looks exactly the same and its label says its some other model. That was installed with a 3lnb tall oval dish.

    Although I could get HD channels on all the sats just fine before.

    Still wondering about that tuner2 that dropped its level into the 50's until I unplugged and replugged the wires.
     
  20. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    I'm amazed that there is nowhere in the receiver itself that tells what switch and LNBs are attached to it if I'm reading this thread right?

    I guess that is two places E* is ahead of D*? In all of the VIP series DVRs with DP and DPP as I understand it, the receiver can tell you on the TV screen what switch(s) and LNB(s) are being used and run diagnostics on them as well all from the DVR.

    I do see messages here from both camps that their provider has called and told them they need to schedule a service call. That's what I rmember seeing anyway.
     

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