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How was your install experience?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV - HR21 Discussion (private)' started by tfederov, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Aug 2, 2007 #1 of 28

    tfederov Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Okay, now that I'm up and running I thought I'd share my install experience.

    I came home at lunch to see if there was an early delivery. Sure was! :D I brought it in and started to unhook my HR20 in the living room. The first thing I noticed was I needed to unclip my zip-ties so I could remove my antenna cable. Aside from that, looking at the back of the HR21 the coax connectors seem to be a little longer than the HR20s. I got everything hooked up and I was ready to go.

    Sure enough once it fired up all of the channels with the exception of the locals were active. I logged into the DIRECTV site to shoot a refresh and life was good. I also went into the dish setup and changed it from 3 LNB to 5 LNB. A few more minor tweaks (resolution, pillar box color, etc.) and I was in business. Initial reaction was very pleasing.

    Time for the networking.... I pulled the MAC from the HR21 and added it to my filter list on my router. I set the IP on the HR21 and tested. No joy. I had network but no internet. I rebooted my router and replaced my wireless adapter with a known good. Still nothing. I was on my lunch break so I had to run for a while.

    I came back from work early *cough* and got back to setting up. I tried to set the network defaults and the box froze. I rebooted and tried again. It looked as it worked but when I went into advanced there was still some residue of an old static address. It's a new box so I ran a C&D (much faster than the TiVos!). The yellow record light was stuck on and still no joy with the networking. Another reboot. I finally decided to troubleshoot from the router out. First thing I did was kill MAC filtering and the darn thing lit up like a Christmas tree.

    I'm not sure if I have the wrong MAC address being shown to me from the receiver or not. I just know when I turn on "Enable the following" it goes away. Other than that it was pretty straight forward and I'm up and running. I need to still filter my channels and let the guide data populate so I can set up my Series Links but other than that I think we're in business.

    How did everybody else's installs go?
  2. Aug 2, 2007 #2 of 28

    azarby Hall Of Fame

    Dec 15, 2006
    Recevied the HR21 around 2:30 today. I had all the cables already in place so powering up was pretty easy. The trap door would not close on the card, so I took a sharp knife and scrapped a few thoudsanths off the back edge (non connector end) and the door now closes properly. I had to redo the sat setup and the only thing was that it said there was an error. Of course there was, as we don't get anything from the 99 sat. The SW should recognize the zip code and know th t we don't get anything off of that bird and suppress the message. The network connected correctly and shares both music and jpgs. My locals were missing, so I re-hit the box and they appeared instantly.

    I reprogammed the remote to operate on code 00003 from AV1 as this box and an HR20 are connected to the same plasma.

    Current configuration is

    SWM5 cascaded from the WB68

    Bedroom HR20 off the WB68- Toshiba LCD HR20 and LCD on UPS, network and phone connected.

    Guest room HR10-250 off the WB68- old sony CRT, phone connected

    Family room HR20 from SWM port1- HDMI switch- Panasonic plasma, analog audio to Dennon 3805, Optical audio to Dennon 3805 all on UPS, network and phone connected.

    Family room HR21 from SWM port1- HDMI switch- Panasonic plasma, analog audio to Dennon 3805, Optical audio to Dennon 3805 all on UPS, network and phone connected.

    The only problem so far is programming the Harmony 880 for the HR21 on 00003. I took the configuration (HR20-700S3) from the Harmony site, but it appears to not be set up correctly as it interfers with the HR20 on the default set up. May have to customize it.

  3. Aug 2, 2007 #3 of 28

    spoonman Icon

    Feb 21, 2007
    When I first turned my on the video locked up and I had gray screen on every channel. I figured I just needed to do the re-activion thing. I did that and still had all gray on all channels. I did a rebooted on the box and everything seems ok now.
  4. Aug 2, 2007 #4 of 28

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    My install was fairly smooth at first - my box was setup with a Cali zip code and configured for a 3-LNB dish. I re-ran satellite setup and it was golden. I then was going to try network setup and it locked up at the system test - I had video in the window but the box was unresponsive to the remote or front panel. I reset without the network cable and later tried again. This time I managed to get system test run but trying to get my networking setup locked it up. A reboot later and I had network connectivity and media sharing going, but no internet connectivity. After another reboot, I have full connectivity. During one of these cycles, I did the "IAMANEDGECUTTER" search, set my Playlist sort options and setup a few Series Links and options. So far things are working fine.
  5. Aug 2, 2007 #5 of 28

    Drew2k New Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I had a few problems with my install.

    I was connected via FTM port to the SWM5, and via HDMI to the TV. I also had an S-Video cable to the PC and captured the entire setup process.

    First thing I noticed is that the HR21 was outputting 480p to the TV over the HDMI cable, so everything was "squished".

    All of my channels were active, including locals, so I didn't have to send a reauthorizaton.

    The box locked up when I tried to get to Info & Test, but I eventually noticed that it was only set to 3-LNB dish and the wrong ZIP, so I re-ran Satellite Setup and finally I could get to Info & Test.

    I had lots of problems getting the HR21 networked - couldn't figure out which port to use, and had to reset the network settings to defaults. Finally a network reset to reboot while using the top ethernet port worked.

    Other than that, everything was good. :)
  6. Aug 2, 2007 #6 of 28

    Koz Icon

    Sep 16, 2006
    Was going to post pretty much the same things as Drew2k. Resolution was locked at 480p. Needed to redo sat info. But these are due to the fact that D* played with them before we got them and are not fresh from the factory like most people's will eventually be.

    Other than that, my only frustration is with trying to get this new Vizio tv set up properly. Looked horrible out of the box. Got it looking pretty decent now. Still need to tweak a few things, but I'm sure it will never look as good as the Sharp in the living room.

    And now I have to think about if I want to network it and how to do it. Thinking about using the spare whole in the wall (due to using SWM and having holes for 2 cables for the R15 that used to be there) to run an ethernet line from the kitchen.
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #7 of 28

    Drew2k New Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I'm just really surprised that DIRECTV set up my HR21 using a 3-LNB configuration. They know I have the SWM5 and that I have the HR20, so shouldn't it have been set-up for 5-LNB before shipping it?

    I'm guessing maybe 3-LNB is just the default, and all they did was insert the access cards and activate the receivers, then ship them out. The main goal, after all, was to get these in our hands.
  8. Aug 3, 2007 #8 of 28

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    Mine was set up for 5 LNB (I didn't check, but the HD locals were there after I replace the 11111 zip code with the correct one).
  9. Aug 3, 2007 #9 of 28

    islesfan Hall Of Fame

    Oct 18, 2006
    Could not have been easier. Still resending authoriztions as my local channels are only appearing in SD, not HD. Otherwise, completely uneventful.
  10. mhayes70

    mhayes70 New Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    Mine wasn't that bad at all. Just had some minor issues at the beginning. But a RBR fixed it. I noted this is the issues thread.
  11. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006

    Dumb question, did you re-run the sat setup? Mine was set for 3 LNB.
  12. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    never quite understood the "sat setup" in these... why have it when it already takes 5 minutes in startup to "check sat settings"?
  13. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    With the exception of my HDMI issue my install was pretty much flawless.

    I did have an issue setting a Static IP but I really think that, and alot of other install issues I'm seeing you guys post about, was because the unit was pre-setup before leaving D*. A simple "reset everything" cleared up any setup issue I had.

    As for the HDMI issue, hey doo doo occurs... That's why it's called "testing" right? :)
  14. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    That's a really great question ...

    You'd think the "Step 1 of 2: Checking satellite connection ..." message at boot-up would be verifying the number of LNBs on the dish and which satellites are accessible, and at first boot, would prompt the user to confirm the settings it found.
  15. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    mine fired right up.. had to do the sat setup, reathorize stuff too..
    network didn't work at first, ran network setup>no connect.. after I restarted for sat setup network came right on by itself..
    set my resolutions> native on 480p,720p, 1080i..\
    still have to set a "favorites" for CIR...
  16. tfederov

    tfederov Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Don't forget the Edge Cutter menu like I did (if you're into sorting your playlist).
  17. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    My install went very well. Had cable in place from the SWM. Soon after bootup I discovered that the zip code was wrong so I ran the setup and everything was fine.

    I also have the same problem with the access card. The door won't close.

    You guys are just way to fast. Everytime I find a bug, it has already been reported here. :)
  18. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    UPDATE 8/5/07

    Once I moved around all my units between the various rooms so that I could add the nice new black HR21 into my all-black-equipment rack in the Home Theater, the setup and install had no big surprises.

    The moving around took more time than the install. I also had to leverage my newfound expertise with the compression connector tool to make a couple of newer coax connections (we certainly can't have any crimpers anymore!). I also had a new HDTV set to install in the Master Bedroom (42" Samsung DLP).

    I tried the D*TV online reauthorize, and after 2 tries found it did nothing. I used the 1-800 D*TV phone line to do it over the phone, and instantly, my locals appeared just fine. Otherwise, with the zipcode, network, display, and other basic setup items, it went quite smoothly.

    I decided that the best home for the HR21 was in the rack of my dedicated Home Theater, since all equipment there is black anyway. I have several post-install photos that I've added here.

    Here are my observations after 48 hours:

    1) I have seen many of the things posted already, so I won't repeat all of those here (lockup upon running system test, RBR needed for several channel changing situations, etc.). I'll add this first one that Earl also reported - eSata does not appear to be active (yet). I attempted to use the Seagate eSata 500GB drive that worked perfectly with one of my HR20-700's, and did the full reboot cycle. At first, it looked like it would go through the reformat process and then start up - it never made it more than 30 seconds into the process before locking things up. RBR time. Perhaps the next CE?

    2) The temperature levels (thanks to side ventilation & fan location) seems to be considerably better with the HR21 over the HR20. I have yet to see the HR21 get over 116 degrees, even after 7 consecutive hours of running and testing, and the fans seem to kick in as soon as the temp gets over 115. Great improvement.

    3) I took signal strength levels originally before I had my SWM5, then again after the SWM5 and related splitter(s) install, and finally thereafter with the HR21 installed. Interesting results to a point. I have attached several Word docs here that show comparisons for all 3 labeled screens for 101,110, 119, 103, and the FTM levels. I did not include the 99 sat (even though I have those) because levels on all transponders on 99 have been and still are either very low or 0.

    While weather and other factors can change levels from day to day, overall I'd say the signal strengths were solid to start with, dropped very slightly on some transponders after the SWM5, and then went back up to the original or higher levels after the HR21 was installed. While this is anything but scientific, please note that the first 2 levels were for the original tuners in the HR20-700 in that location as compared with final level readings reflecting the new HR21 tuners now located in it's place, but using the exact same cables , splitters, etc. (minus OTA, of course). I was equally interested in comparing the lines, SWM, and splitter(s) impact as I was comparing the 2 units themselves.

    4) Transponder signal levels on both Tuner 1 and 2 are virtually the same on all sats.

    5) Some sections of the setup menu seems to be fast, while other parts are slower. In addition, I saw some tearing/screen splitting when scrolling was turned off, and it went away when off.

    6) As others have pointed out, having Sound Effects turned on caused several negative audio issues, and turning it off seems to rid the machine of all the (already) reported problems.

    7) After running the unit for various tests over 7 hours, I was surprised to notice that there continued to be almost no hard disk noise to speak of - the drive is very quiet.

    8) I have successfully been running WMP11 with the HR21 displaying photos and playing MP3 music files. It appears that these display and play slightly quicker than they did with the HR20 previously in that same location.

    Again, I have included sat/transponder signal strength comparison photos in Word docs (each 1 page), as well as installed front and back shots depicting the HR21 in operation. The back view shows cable connections, except for the eSata cable, which I disconnected after the unsuccessful activation attempt.

    SUMMARY - Overall, for being out of the box there are actually a relatively manageable number of issues. When I think back to where the HR70's were when I first got them, the HR21 seems to have leapfrogged the first few months of CE fixes to start at a point more like 75% of the way to where the HR70's are now. I suspect that with 3-4 CE's on these boxes, they could catch up, assuming there is some internal knowledge sharing at D*TV going on between the HR21 and HR20 teams.

    Attached Files:

  19. say-what

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    My install was fairly routine. But I did set this up 1st in a room that had a YV with an hdmi port, before moving it to it's testing location.

    The hdmi install was as expected. Machine booted up and got to live. I really didn't do anything else b/c I wasn't going to leave the machine here. I then decided to "Reset Everything". Well, maybe I was impatient, but the unit got to a point where only the "REC" light and display resolution were lit and after a period of time - I forget how long, but I couldn't hear any sound from inside the box and it was at least 30 minutes, I RBR'd. Maybe I jumped the gun, but upon reboot, I was brought to the initial guided setup. Completed this setup and shut down via menu restart so I could unplug. All of this was done with the hdmi connection.

    Upon moving the unit to it's testing location, I connected it via component to a video switch w/ sound through the standard RCA connections. The switch also connects to the H20-600 (I use an external USB fan to cool the H20) that sits on top of the HR21. My high temps are about 120 and the unit will cool to about 111. Fan seems to cycle on somewhere above 115 as this is the highest I've seen the unit without the fan running. I also connected the HR21 directly to my network without issue - just went throught the normal network setup. Signal strength's are the same as my other units. It does fail the LNB Output test as other's have noted. What exactly is the LNB Output test testing anyway?

    The major issue I had was with the unit locking up when using the info button on the remote to access the Information screen. That seems to have been remedied by once again redoing the Sat Setup upon Drew's suggestion.

    Really haven't had any other issues - it'd be nice to get the blue ring to function properly (i.e. stuck on dim issue) and it would be nice to have more feedback via the front panel lights upon a reboot as that one period where the unit goes dark has you worrying the 1st time through.
  20. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    I got my FedEx notice on the door on Thursday when I got home from work and was able to pick up the unit at the FedEx office that night. Yay! Then I went home and turned on the computer and it was completely hosed. It remained comatose until I could get my friend out Sunday night to fix it. Set up the HR21 on Saturday and experienced many of the same issues as others. Was aware from reading posts (at work :)) about the 3 LNB, zip 11111 issues, so redid satellite set up first.

    My locals weren't working, so I had to wait until I got my PC fixed to refresh - they're OK now. Locked up a few times on Info Test and had to reset. LNB test fails.

    One thing I have run into that I have not been able to resolve, though, and have not seen anyone else posting about. Despite having 9 other DVRs on my account and they are all working properly, if I hit 'Play' or 'Rew' - any of the DVR function buttons - I get the message "DVR service is not activated on your account. To activate, call 1-800-DIRECTV od visit DIRECTV.com". My DIRECTV.com account also shows that I am subscribed to DVR service. Refreshes, resets, etc. do not clear this up. I think I will need to have the "powers that be" look into that.

    Will check back when my DVR stuff is resolved and I've had a chance to play with things.

    MAN! Did I feel cut off from the world without my PC for 4 days! Glad to have that back! :D

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