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HR34 mysteriously changes channels

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by lbweber, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    I upgraded to Whole Home and added an HR34-700 a few months ago. Since that install I have had a problem that defies logic. I am hoping that one of you can help clear up the mystery and provide a solution. First I will describe my configuration which is a bit unusual.

    Configuration:
    I have a HR34, HR20, H24 and two D12 (SD) receivers. The HD boxes share the Whole Home network. All the DirecTV STBs use SWM. One of the D12s is used as a video source for a very old TiVo (Phillips HDR612). The TiVo uses an IR blaster to control the D12 and the D12 uses composite video/audio to return the program back to the TiVo. The TiVo sends its signal directly to the TV. The HR34 and the TiVo/D12 are in the same room, the other receivers are in other rooms.

    The Problem:
    When the TiVo changes to a new channel (by sending the 3 digit channel number to the D12 via IR), the HR34 also changes to the new channel. The result is that if you are watching a program, (recorded or live), the program stops and you are on the new channel.

    Failed Theories.
    1) I thought that somehow the IR blaster was being seen by the HR34 so the HR34 got the command along with the D12. But this isn't the case: the D12 and IR blasters are inside a cabinet with closed doors. To make double sure I covered the entire front of the HR34 with a heavy cloth and it still changed along with the D12.
    2) I thought maybe the shared SWM connection somehow caused the HR34 to change when the D12 changes channels. To test this I manually did a channel up and down using the front panel switches on the D12. The D12 changed channels (and the TiVo received the new program source) but the HR34 did not change.
    3) I disconnected the IR blaster and the HR34 continued to change channels (although without the IR blaster, the D12 did not change.)

    So what is left?
    It appears that the HDR612 is somehow controlling the HR34. The HR34 does support RF remotes but it is not enabled. (Maybe it is enabled even when you don't set it up as such.) But nowhere can I see any RF remote support in the HDR612.

    I appreciate any suggestions, ideas or further experiments to resolve the mystery.

    Larry
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I count 10 tuners, so the first question is: What type of SWiM do you have?

    Only a SWiM-16 can support 10 tuners,

    "So", if you don't have a SWiM-16, then you need to remove two tuners to be within the eight tuner limit.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    So how is it that you control the TiVo if it is entombed in a dark cabinet?

    Are you controlling the TiVo with a peanut remote or some other remote?

    Have you contemplated changing the remote code or using RF mode on your HR34?
     
  4. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Until the tuner count is addressed, this may be a wild goose chase.
     
  5. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    Yes I have a SWiM 16.
     
  6. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    The TiVo is out in the open. The D12 and the IR blasters are in the cabinet.

    I use a Harmony remote to control all components including the surround receiver. In testing the various configurations I use the other remotes because it is more convenient that keep switching modes on the Harmony.

    I considered converting one receiver (probably the D12 driven by the IR blasters) to use alternate IR codes. But when I did enough tests that proved that there was no leakage of IR between the D12 and HR34 (covered the front of the HR34 in one test and disabled the IR blasters in another) it became clear that alternate IR codes would not help or hurt the mystery. Going to RF on the HR34 may or may not help, in so much as one remaining theory is that the HR34 is receiving RF from some not understood source, going to RF would not affect the situation.
     
  7. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    VeryOldSchool counted correctly, there are ten tuners: 5 (HR34) + 2 (HR20) + 1 (H24) + 1 (D12) + 1 (D12).

    Because I see the HR34 changing channels when the TiVo changes, even when the TiVo is not controlling the D12 I think even the SWiM (if it were an issue) would be ruled out.

    Maybe an interesting test would be to isolate the TiVo from its inputs and outputs and isolate the HR34 from its inputs and outputs and then see if the mysterious bond between the two devices exists. If not, then start adding the inputs & outputs back until the condition returns. My concern in doing this is that something might get mis-implemented. I might want to try at least some isolation of inputs/outputs.
     
  8. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Did you change the HR34 to run with a different IR codebase, or RF, or is it "stock"? I have a feeling the TiVo is talking to the D12 using 00001 (Stock codebase) and y our HR34 is also setup to receive 00001.
     
  9. otaliema

    otaliema AllStar

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    I'm going to go with a theroy simular to Runners. The TiVO is talking to both D12 and HR34. But i think it's the TiVO remote not the IR blaster.
    Might put the HR34 in RF mode even if you don't have a RF remote aslong as you can get to the front of the unit you can use the front panel to confirm the settings and exit out to the programing and see if the channels change still.
    If that works just get a RF remote if needed other wise put your D* remote in RF mode and call it a day :)
     
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I thought about that but when the OP indicated that the HR34 changes channels even when the D12 doesn't, I discounted your theory.
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'm pretty sure the HR34 doesn't "see" TiVo IR.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Since it doesn't look to be a tuner count problem, this would look to be the next.
     
  13. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

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    I agree. I don't think the OP is blocking out the IR signal from the Tivo's IR blaster enough. That Tivo IR blaster is strong. If the cabinet had a glass door, it'd be no problem for the IR to leak into the cabinet that way.

    If the OP wants to use IR for everything, he should build a proper IR fort for the Tivo IR blaster: use cardboard or something else solid and 100% opaque. Make sure there are no gaps. A heavy cloth is still too thin.

    Personally, I'd just switch the HR34 to RF mode and forget about it.
     
  14. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

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    You're right, but it can jam it or cause garbage to appear. That's not the OP's symptoms though.

    The OP could also just use the front panel buttons to try changing channels on both the D12 and HR34. If that works OK, it's an IR issue.

    I'd also lose the Harmony remote for now -- maybe it's not set up correctly or is defective.
     
  15. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    Runner, I will give this a try, thanks
     
  16. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    I don't think it is the TiVo remote for two reasons. 1) the HR34 changes channels when the TiVo started a scheduled recording. Thus the TiVo remote is not in use. 2) In my tests I display the HR34 on the TV while doing a channel up on the TiVo remote. What I see on the HR34 banner is the new channel entered as a series of digits. So if the current TiVo channel is 4, the channel up produces on the HR34 "0", "0", "5" (like someone is entering the individual key strokes.) I also changed the inter-key timing on the TiVo to enter the keys more slowly and the HR34 showed the entered keys slower.
     
  17. lbweber

    lbweber Cool Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    The HR34 channels when the TiVo changes even when the IR blaster is disconnected (of course the D12 does change because it gets no IR.)

    The "IR fort" is pretty strong, the doors are oak not glass, the IR blasters are pointing to the back of the cabinet, the cabinet is on the opposite from the HR34, separated by the receiver and center speaker. I will retest with even more isolation to be sure.

    IR leakage was my initial guess, it makes so much sense but I can't find anything to support this.

    Right now the best hypothesis is RF signal sharing (even though I have no evidence that the HDR612 has a RF transmitter). I think the D12 supports RF but it should be a receiver, not a transmitter.

    My backup hypothesis is even more far fetched: there are really 2 causes to the channel changing. Thus when I eliminate the options one at a time, I see no change and wrongly rule out that option as a cause.

    BTW, thank you to all of you that have offered your insight and suggestions.

    Larry
     
  18. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    I agree that changing the IR codeset on the HR34 is probably the best bet.

    You said you tried covering the front of the HR34 with a cloth, but I'm betting the IR signal was getting through it still. I believe your TiVo sends out the IR signal 2 ways. One is through the little IR emitters that are on a cable that plugs into the back of the TiVo and then sticks to the front of your D12. The other is a IR blaster that is built into the front of your actual TiVo unit. I'm betting the IR blaster on the front of the TiVo unit is the one causing this issue. I'm not sure if you can shut that one off in the menu somewhere or not, but if you can I would try that. The IR sensors on the DirecTV receivers are pretty sensitive, and it's not uncommon for them to pick up interference from TV backlights, direct sunlight etc and have it cause issues. A fix for that is to tape over the IR receiver to block some of the signal so the remote signal is still seen, but the other interference is not. I'm thinking the cloth over the front did the same thing, it blocked some of the IR signal, but not enough so the receiver still responded to the TiVo's blaster commands.

    Turning off the Tivo front blaster in the menu if possible, or changing the IR codeset for the HR34 should take care of the issue.
     
  19. otaliema

    otaliema AllStar

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    Just a random thought. on this set everything up normal. and tape some cardboard/card stock somthing that IR can't through at all over the IR sensor on the HR34 this will rule out IR as the source or confirm it's the problem.

    On your set up, I guess i'm having problems drawing this one in my head. The HR34 center speaker and TiVO/D12 combo are all in the same section of the entertaiment center or the receiver units are in differant parts of the enteratiment center and can had doors closed in front of them?
     
  20. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

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    The first sentence doesn't make any sense from a grammatical point of view. I can't tell what you meant. I think you meant to say that you unplugged the IR blaster and the Tivo still changed channels on the HR34 but not on the D12.

    My Tivo IR blaster can change channels when the receiver is in the next room. Your IR fort isn't nearly as strong as you think it is. IR signals tend to bounce around a lot.

    The last paragraph tells me it's definitely interference from the Tivo's IR blaster. That's exactly how the Tivo changes channels. You either have a really sensitive HR34 or a really strong Tivo. Or it could be electrical interference, which is why you have problems even when the IR blaster is disconnected. Either way, the solution is the same. Change the IR codeset for the HR34 or switch the HR34 to RF mode.
     

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