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HR20 Troubleshooting Guide

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by iacas, Dec 8, 2006.

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  1. Dec 8, 2006 #1 of 29

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    I mentioned yesterday that I was going to start a troubleshooting guide. I asked for PMs for solutions, etc. but didn't get any...

    So, I've created a document with the only trouble I've encountered (and its solution).

    You can check out the currently VERY short document at this location:

    If you have any additional information re: troubleshooting (problem and solution), please contact me via email or private message.

    Thank you.
  2. Dec 8, 2006 #2 of 29

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Please feel free to contribute or discuss items I've listed (again, there are very few - please contribute) here in this thread. With any luck, it will be made a sticky some day.

    Thank you.
  3. Dec 9, 2006 #3 of 29

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006

    Great work.

    D* has a number of other items in their troubleshooting broken down into these areas:

    Remote Control Solve your remote control problems here.

    Channel Trouble Solutions to your channel problems.

    On-Screen Messages Remove error messages and resume your TV viewing.

    Signal/Picture The most common solutions to signal and picture problems.

    Pay Per View Get exactly what you want.

    directv.com Get help with online orders, registration and more here.

    We see questions come up every day that these address. So we know that dbstalk users are missing these solutions.

    The problem is that D* desperately needs your technical writing skills.

    I do not know how comprehensive you want to make this but I for one would like to see your guide be the one central resource. We could print this out and have it near the HR20 for times when I am gone and my family is having a problem.

    Also, D* has not figured out how to put links in pdf files but it would be easy to let a person click on an interactive menu and then as they aswer questions, move him to the solution or next question. I would be happy to help if you are interested.

    I know that this would be yet more work for you. Sorry.

    Part of the reason that your document is so needed is that D*'s materials are so bad. I can sum up every trouble shooting script this way:

    1. Reset the HR20.
    2. Change the batteries.
    3. Reformat the HR20.
    4. Replace the HR20.
    5. Repeat from step 1.

    In other cases their suggestions are misleading, or even absurd to the point of being funny like this one:

    Unplug your receiver for 15 seconds and it will reset itself.

    That I want to see! I picture a little arm coming out of the HR20 and plugging itself back in!

    It is under this page:


    This goes to show how badly needed your document is. It is so important that I will add your document to my signature.

    Good job!

    - Craig
  4. Dec 9, 2006 #4 of 29

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Thanks. It's just a start, but that's where everything begins.

    I'm sure that as the troubleshooting guide becomes more complex, I'll break it into sections like what DirecTV has done on their site.

    But for now, I'm keeping it simple and focusing on collecting problems and solutions.

    Furthermore, if the official troubleshooting guide worked, there'd be no need for this guide. My intent isn't to mirror or duplicate what D* has provided, but to provide quick, accurate answers to both common problems and to problems D* doesn't cover (or doesn't cover well or correctly).

    For example, I haven't seen anyone having trouble with the remote really need to be told "check your batteries." Including such a "solution" (as D* does) would only needlessly bulk up the guide I'm trying to build.

    I'm glad you posted the links, though, as it reminded me to include a link to D*'s official troubleshooting site. I've added that URL to the guide.

    Again, I intend to include answers to both frequently encountered problems and to problems D* doesn't cover well or correctly.

    My plan is not to include every possible solution to every possible problem, nor is it my plan to include solutions to problems people don't encounter very frequently. If DBS suffers a wave of people whose remotes won't work because their batteries died, by all means I'll include that as a solution.

    Such an interactive menu requires a LOT of thought and is an incredible pain to maintain. I've built these types of systems before and even systems that have only 100 possible outcomes are surprisingly large.

    I appreciate the offer to help. I'll take you up on it if I ever need the help.

    I agree they're bad. That's why I'm doing this, and that's why I'm not just including their troubleshooting library by default. I'm letting the market decide what should be included, basically.

    Again, thanks. If you see a problem and solution discussed in a thread, please pass it on to me, either by posting in this thread here or via PM or email. I can't catch them all. If everyone pitches in, we can catch them all and everyone will benefit in the end.
  5. Dec 9, 2006 #5 of 29

    bret4 DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    So far the best thing I did was do a full reset and format the drive. Still get some little glitches with sound droping out once and one time the picture froze and the sound kept playing. Those things didn't require me to reset the unit. This has made the HR20 much more solid for the past few days now than it was when I first got it. The cursor moves faster in the guide too.

    When I got it, it had Oxbe and was upgraded to Oxfa when it was first installed. That's a big jump in upgrades. Never know what kind of garbage was left behind from the old Oxbe software before the Oxfa upgrade.

  6. Dec 9, 2006 #6 of 29

    HolmesCo Icon

    Dec 4, 2006
    I think this is a very good thing, and esp the gloassary of terms, there is so many abbreviations I read here that I have no idea about.

    I have a problem, that I don't think I have seen anyone else talk about, not precisely the way it happens to me anyway, and my fix, for what its all worth.

    I have only had my HR20 for about 8 days now but some 3 or 4 times I have found when I turn my tv on, that there is no audio, no video, BUT I can hit the Info button on the HR 20 remote and it will show as normal, the channel its tuend to, program name etc. on the banner. I try hitting various buttons, pause, play etc, but to no avail.

    I can also hit List, Guide etc, and they all work, just no video or audio.

    I am unable to do anything about it except change channels, sometimes 2 or 3 times, then it starts to work. I leave the HR on all the time, which is possibley pertinenent, though I understand turning it off doesn't do much except extinguish the LEDs.

    Anyway if thats any help, feel free, or I can provide more info etc. This has happend I would say 4 times? Last time was yesterday morning (it alwasy seems to be in the morning-I wonder if D* does some housekeeping overnight that causes it).
  7. ekb6

    ekb6 New Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Great troubleshooting guide ... now about the "unwatchable bug" that has me searching the net for the best deal on Dish Net and composing emails telling DirecTv where to put their early cancellation fee ...

    I got my first Tivo when the max recording capacity was 9 hrs and used both stock and modified units -- including DTV Tivos -- ever since until I switched to HD two months ago.

    And I never had any vapor recording problems with Tivos and I have never read any reports of DishNet HD recorders recording ghost programs ...

    The HR20 has had this problem since the first unit rolled off the boat from China -- the CNET reviewers noted it even before -- or maybe just after -- the HR20 was unleashed on option-less DirecTV customers.

    Does anyone know if a.) anybody at DirecTV knows or cares about what is, after all, a pretty major design flaw if it causes you to miss the Super Bowl or a news report about the end of the world and b.) whether anyone at DirecTV who does know about the problem is in a position to do something about it ...

    My guess is that DTV is -- and will forever -- stonewall and claim there is no problem because it can't be fixed in firmware and replacing a few hundred thousand machines is rather expensive ...

    I'd like to be proven wrong, but my instinct says early adopters of the HR20 will be wearing this particular shaft for a long time ...

    Also, please check me on a few observations. My experience is that the problem is entirely random, just as likely to happen on SD as HD channels and totally unrelated to whether one or two programs is scheduled to record.

    Oh, and have you any experience with the HR20 agreeing or refusing to record two HD programs simultaneously based on its mood at any given moment?

  8. iacas

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    No, I haven't.

    And since this was your first post, welcome to the forum.

    I intended this thread to contain problems _and_ solutions, not just moaning or complaining or listings of problems, which your post seems to be. There are a lot of posts on this forum on the "unwatchable" bug - you can read those and post in those for more.
  9. ekb6

    ekb6 New Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Here's a question without any whining ... have you experienced a case where you set a program to record, for example, a three-hour program plus one hour and have the HR20 stop recording at 3:28, 3:40 or some other odd hour?
  10. musiclover408

    musiclover408 Mentor

    Mar 16, 2006
    Hi, I just hooked up my HR20 (replacement for a previous HD Tivo) and am getting major pixelization on quite a few channels (almost all the locals) as well as others. It's so bad that it is unwatchable. I didn't experience this with my previous receiver. I called customer service and of course they had me do simple things like unplug the coax cables and replug them in...look at the signal strength meters... and reboot the machine a couple times. Nothing fixed the problem. So they schedule a tech to come out on Tuesday. We all know how helpful these techs are that the send. So, since there are a lot better people to help on this forum I thought I would ask for any suggestions. Thanks in advance!

  11. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Yes, that is a current issue with the unit.
  12. irie4ja

    irie4ja AllStar

    Oct 20, 2006
    Tried to Record Brotheres and Sisters tonight. Went to play it nothing threre, It also corrupted al the other recordings in"MY PLAYLIST" that were working fine earlier today.. THE PROBLEMS JUST NEVER END!!
  13. argo000

    argo000 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    when I try to access a channel directly, whether it's a single digit or multiple digits, almost inevitably, the digits are duplicated.

    No matter how softly and quickly I hit the "2" I will see a 22, or 222 or worse 2222
    which is a pain when I'm taken to a "channel not available" and I have to wait for it too!

    Does anyone have this problem, or better yet, a solution?!

    Thanks very much. Look forward to fixing this one.
  14. iacas

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    Today I added a few notes:

    • Added a solution about forcing an update.
    • Added a solution about adding networking capabilities (may need some tweaking).

    As always, please let me know if there are other problems with solutions for the guide.

    While it's not my intent to track transient or temporary problems (like the low VHF bug), I will add problems and solutions to the guide if they last an inordinate amount of time.
  15. Ronv

    Ronv Legend

    May 29, 2006
    :( Same problem here, but not all the time, and unable to duplicate with any reliability...:confused:
  16. iacas

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    This thread is for discussion (and updates) to the troubleshooting guide. Please take all actual troubleshooting questions to the main HR20 forum.
  17. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
  18. iacas

    iacas DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
  19. paulman182

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 4, 2006
    I do not think this is absurd at all. If you unplug the receiver for 15 seconds, obviously you plug it back in at the end of that time.

    Otherwise, you are unplugging it forever, not 15 seconds.
  20. SiCHIPS

    SiCHIPS New Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Folks, I am a new DirecTV subscriber of less than 3 weeks and have repeatedly seen very serious MPEG problems EVERY morning at 8:12am while watching a local HD feed from Boston's WCVB-HD of Good Morning America!
    The problem IS NOT PIXILATION AS I SEE IT! If it occured for 1-4 seconds I would not say a thing but this problem can occur for upward of 20 seconds and prevents one from having ANY IDEA what is being broadcasted!
    Imagine watching a football game during a critical "snap" or "touchdown" and experiencing this problem! PLEASE HELP IF AT ALL POSSIBLE WITH THIS ISSUE! --- MANY THANKS!

    Yes the problem occurs on other HD and non-HD channels whether recorded or viewed or both!


    I have the problem documented on my pictures website at:
    www SiCHIPS smugmug com (put in the dots) in the DirecTV MPEG problem!! gallery.

    These pictures demonstrate the problem clearly with still frame images taken at about 5 frames per second with my SLR.

    The more people look at these pictures and check if they have similar problem and complain to DirecTV the better OFF WE WILL ALL BE BY GETTING THIS ISSUE RESOLVED AT THEIR END!!!

    Summary: Not an HDMI or Component video issue since problem is evident on DVR recorded source to the internal disk. Occurs on HD channels or not independent of recording or viewing preference. Problem was/is 100% repeatable on above show and time (others also are possible).

    Facts: DirecTV service supervisors claim (ignorantly) that the problem is with the installation and the service techs (using logic on their side) state that it is absolutely not an install issue but rather a feed issue. A senior level tech suggested (and I totally agree) that placing an HD box in parallel (using 1 of the 2 feeds from the HD dish) while using the other feed on the HR20 box and supplying the two HDMI outputs into my Sony XBR3 set would allow me to rule out if it is a box problem or not. BUT, DirecTV will not allow me to do this test (they will not supply the box unless I FULLY PAY for it with NO RETURN MONEY BACK) unless I go to BestBuy and buy the box myself and then return it myself!!!

    These guys are CHEAP, useless and unwilling to help resolve customer issues!
    I have over 40 hours in the past 3 weeks (for as long as I have been a customer) and have given me nothing but grief!!! yes, Customer Retention has been notified and spoken to. Promises but NO DELIVERY AS OF YET...

    New updates: I have checked the GMA feed on WMUR-HD (Ch-9 Manchester NH) as an OTA while recording on the HR20 WCVB-HD (Ch-5 Boston MA) and didnot see the problem on the OTA but the HR20 version HAD the problem!
    I now have the ability to watch and record WCVB-HD as an OTA and on the HR20! Test will be done on Sunday or Monday's morning broadcasts... Stay tuned!

    email me at SiCHIPS@Comcast.net
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