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HR20-700's :: Does anyone know what's going on?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mccleway, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    I've got two HR20-700's that I've had for at least 4 years. Both units have been rock soild. Both units have had eSATA drives connected for the past 3 years. Never had any issues until the last 6 weeks or so. The troubles are more prevalent on one box than the other one. At first I thought that I was losing the eSATA drive, so I focused my troubleshooting there. After some mysterious unprovoked re-boots, I started focusing more on the reciever. I was just about ready to chunk it and go buy a new one, then I realized that the other reciever had been doing some rebooting as well. That's when I jumped on here and started reading. I see a good bit of people having similar issues to what I'm having, but I haven't seen a solution yet. I feel like it's something in the latest s/w updates that D* has pushed down, but does anyone know what's being done to correct this stuff? I've been a happy D* customer for 15 years now, and this crap is getting old....quick! :mad:
  2. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    One thing that could affect both DVRs at the same time might be a power surge. This can fry capacitors, especially large electrolytic capacitors that filter AC ripple in the power supply, and especially those in older models which have been around for a few years. This may mean that the caps are no longer at the same microfarad value that they were when installed, which can mean they are not filtering all of the ripple. The end result is dirty power, which microprocessors abhor.

    I am not saying this is your issue (because right now none of us really know). But I have seen DVRs that start to reboot spontaneously, the reboots start to come closer and closer together, and when you pop the hood the caps are domed and bulging.

    You can replace or bridge those caps (and you can bridge with caps that are not exactly the same value - do it in pairs) to allow you to use the DVR until you can get all of the programming watched or dubbed off, but the easiest thing to do is just have it replaced.

    Whether your issue or not, it is an object lesson and a good argument for an isolating UPS.
  3. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    I guess I should have put a little more about my setup in the original post. Both units are protected by properly grounded UPS's and surge arrestors.
  4. cover

    cover Icon

    Feb 11, 2007
    One of my HR20-700s (also using eSATA and a UPS) started having issues about 6 weeks ago. Mine wasn't rebooting (that I noticed), but recordings were failing frequently and those shows that did record were glitchy - with momentary breakups in the picture and sound.

    At first I thought there may be an issue with reception so DTV replaced the LNB and 6x8 multiswitch - that didn't help. Then I thought hard drive. Connected the eSATA to a PC and tested without finding any problems. Replaced the eSATA on the HR20 with a new drive. Still the same problems persisted. Finally, I conceded that it was probably the HR20 itself flaking out. Fortunately I was able to get an HR24 for the swap. Since the AM21 is so much better at holding onto OTA signals, if they can get the HR24/AM21 recording issues worked out then I'll be better off.

    My other HR20-700 never seemed to be having the same issues.

    It is anybody's guess as to whether the problems you're seeing are related or just a coincidence. All the testing I could do independently with my equipment suggested that it was a hardware issue with the one HR20.
  5. wesv

    wesv AllStar

    Apr 30, 2007
    I have been having a similar problem with one of my HR20-100. Breaking up only on recorded or paused programs but not live tv.
  6. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 4, 2006
    I have noticed just today that my two HR20s seem to be running slower than usual, down to the level of my HR22.

    I hope it is only temporary. I don't mind the slowdown but not sure about my wife...
  7. Aug 2, 2010 #7 of 27

    btmoore Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    Same problem here, here is a youtube of the problem.
  8. Aug 2, 2010 #8 of 27

    dc_soccerdude Cool Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Have 2 HR20-700's (one eSata and the other internal drive) and I have been experiencing the exact problem as BT shows in his youtube video for about a week now. Watching XGames over the weekend and it was almost unbearable. If you paused or rewound for any reason to watch something again you almost couldn't watch it unless you went back live which sort of defeats the purpose of having the DVR in the first place. For me it is mostly sound with some video drops. I have only noticed it on the one with the internal drive but its in our main TV watching room so the other unit doesn't get much live/trick play viewing just mostly used for recordings which don't seem to be affected. Last update I received was June 8th but the problem only started about 7-10 days ago from what I can remember so don't know what to do besides maybe call D* and ask for HR24's. But then what about by 1.5T eSata??? Guess I need to start investigating.
  9. Aug 2, 2010 #9 of 27

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    I'm going to take a guess that D* did something to the way the SD channels are compressed that has that effect. They have prioritized HD playback at the expense of SD playback.

    You could try viewing an old SD and see if they are OK.

    The other option is that they slipped in a firmware update.

    Good Luck
  10. JerseyBoy

    JerseyBoy Legend

    Sep 1, 2006
    I am having similar problems with my HR20-700 recently. Sound drop outs, pixilization, and shows not recording completly. I went into the setup and looked at the sat signal page. On tuner 1 the numbers for transponders are not steady like they use to be. One pass some are in the high 80s low 90s and others are 0 and the next pass some that were high numbers are now 0 and some of the ones that were 0 before are now in the high 80s low 90s. Each pass a different set goes to 0. I do not see this on tuner 2 and I do not see it on either tuner on my HR21. I was assuming that one of the tuners in the HR20 was going bad.

    Anyone else with these symptoms seeing what I am on tuner 1?
  11. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Well, I did what every DTV customer hates to do today.....I called DTV tech support. I got exactly what I figured I'd get:

    Now I just pray that I get a half-way intelligent "tech", and not just some "joe" off the street like most of them are.
  12. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Imagine this:

    1. Called DTV and complained about an issue that's been on going for 2 months
    2. Left both HR20-700's unplugged over night since neither was stable enough to watch
    3. Plugged both units back in the night before the "tech" is supposed to show up.
    4. Both units working fine with no issues for 12+ hours now.

    DTV claimed not to be aware of any of the issues that I was experiencing, but it's funny after two months of problems, they go away shortly after the phone call. I called last night to cancel the service appointment, since I didn't want them in my house to start with! LOL!
  13. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    And why don't you believe your problem was solved by unplugging the DVRs over night? That is a tried and true electronics solution for faults, allowing any stray voltages to drain off.

    But then, if you want to believe you are so self important that one phone call could cause DirecTV to mass forces and immediately solve a problem in your DVRs that has existed for months, go right ahead.
  14. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX

  15. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Maybe it's because I've been an electronics technician for the past 20 years, and during the past two months both recievers & hard drives have been powered down and unplugged for well over 24 hours at a time. This ain't my first rodeo so keep your comments to yourself Carl Spook. :rant:
  16. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
  17. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    As an electronics technician, what method do you propose they used to fix your boxes while they were powered down and unplugged? And even if they had been powered on, how would they have fixed your problems? You didn't report that new software was downloaded.
  18. mccleway

    mccleway Cool Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Coincidence or conspiracy? Doesn't matter. Problem is resolved. Sorry for disturbing your little clique here.
  19. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    My apologies if I made you feel as if you were disturbing us. Most of us here like knowing the hows and whys of issues and solutions. We enjoy discussing that.
    We like coming up with theories, and occasionally we enjoy shooting down others theories. In doing so, we learn more about the equipment, and in turn use that knowledge to help others with their problems.

    We usually don't know the background or experience of most of the posters. What may be obvious and already tried by some people, may be a new idea to others. It's easiest to assume little knowledge until we find out different.

    If you are satisfied that your problem is fixed, then by all means enjoy your DIRECTV. If you are still curious about what may have fixed your problem, then by all means continue here. There may be some lively and productive discussion.
  20. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    Is that a Kenwood TS-440S/AT in that photo? Also looks like a Kenwood AT-50 Power Supply.

    I was watching a recorded show last night that had audio dropouts every few minutes on my HR20-700.. was very annoying. I reset the machine and will see if that fixes it tonight. If not, I think I'll be calling D* for a replacement.

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