1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

HR34 Pixelation and Video Glitches

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Steve Rhodes, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    My 34 was working perfectly for months. It's only recently that the problems have manifested. This makes it hard for me to believe things like wiring or installation issues or temination of unused ports.

    It could be the multiswitch, but beyond that or the 34 itself, hardware seems very, very, very unlikely.
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    To come to a correct "assumption", you just need to check the basics.
    If you do have an open port on the splitter, it could be your exact cause of the problem.
    Dismissing it because it hadn't caused an problem earlier is foolish.

    This isn't to disagree that you may have a hardware, but to point you to a proper method of troubleshooting steps to eliminate other causes.
     
  3. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    I have only two splitters period. They are the very two DirecTV put in with the SWM16. Every open port on the SWM and the splitter is terminated and has been since they were installed.

    I'm dismissing them as a problem because nothing has changed. Unless the SWM switch itself is failing, or there is an invisible flaw in the cabling (the visible portions all look perfectly intact), it cannot be the cause of the problem.
     
  4. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    It's starting to sound like open ports aren't your problem.
    Splitters normally don't fail.
    I have worked with a couple of member's who have had extra coax connected to their splitters, that didn't go to a receiver. These were this way for a long time, but then started causing problems, and cabling cause do some strange things, and for some reason the HR34s seem to have these more than the other receivers.
    Given that you have a -16, you could swap receivers around between the two outputs to see if any problems stayed with the receiver, or the same output of the SWiM.
     
  5. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    So I got a new HR34 today. So far the video glitching is not happening (but we are talking only 1-2 hours of viewing, so who knows). The disappearing Whole Home is worse than ever, however. The tech ran the standard diagnostics and confirms the install is sound. He didn't replace the SWM 16 because he felt doing so would be pointless.

    We do have one cable that goes "nowhere" but it is terminated. I could remove it from the splitter and relocate the terminator down at the splitter. I could also swap the HR34 to the other splitter although since it takes up so many of the connections, that will mean it could only stay on the same side as one other DVR.

    I believe there is an HR34 software issue that affects some setups and not others. So does my technician, who reports seeing this happen at another customer's house. I can, however, do as you suggest and swap sides. I'm running out of things to troubleshoot, especially with the HR34 swapped.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    I get that you're frustrated.
    It's also still sounding like you have a problem with your system.

    The original pixelations and the receivers dropping off the network "may" be related.
    This coax that goes to "nowhere", should be disconnected and the splitter terminated. It may or may not, change anything, but doing it would be part of normal troubleshooting.

    You might also want to run the coax networking tests from your HR34 & HR24.
    Your installer may not know of these tests.

    On the front panel, press both the guide and right arrow buttons, to bring up the screen with coax in the menu on the left.
    Run the coax test for the loss between nodes, and then run the Phy rate Mesh test.
    Posting the results from all your receivers might help to see if there is a problem.
     
  7. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    I missed your post the other day and wanted to say thanks now, even though I have yet to have a chance to run the tests. I'll do that later and post the results as soon as I have a chance.

    I was told by a phone tech to disconnect the CCK because it's a "known problem" with the HR34 and Whole Home. I was then called back the next day by case management and informed there are no problems with the HR34.

    Of course, others on these very boards disagree so, well, yeah.

    Anyway, first, "thanks"

    Second, "more later".
     
  8. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    OK, HR 24 (#1)
    Node ID Phy Level
    0 -21
    1 N/A
    2 -37
    3 -27

    Dropped session count is 0.

    Phy Rate Mesh (#1)

    0 1 2 3
    0 247 252 250 248
    1 247 248 252 252
    2 248 252 249 253
    3 248 252 252 247


    HR 34
    Node ID Phy Level
    0 -35
    1 N/A
    2 -35
    3 -40

    Dropped session count is 0.

    Phy Rate Mesh (HR34)

    0 1 2 3
    0 247 249 249 250
    1 250 249 252 252
    2 247 252 246 253
    3 246 252 254 246



    HR 24 (#2)
    Node ID Phy Level
    0 N/A
    1 -21
    2 -35
    3 -26

    Dropped session count is 0.

    Phy Rate Mesh (HR24 #2)

    0 1 2 3
    0 248 251 250 248
    1 247 248 252 252
    2 247 252 247 253
    3 246 253 253 245

    I didn't test the third HR (which is a 21) because it's upstairs, never drops off the network, and really is barely used. It's on the same "side" of the multiswitch as the two HR24s. The HR34 is on the opposite "side".

    All unused coax is terminated. The HR34 is the only one that seems to consistently drop off the network. Any other "drop offs" seem actually to be that one we're using the HR34 directly and it drops off the network, it reports that whatever box we were watching dropped off. But I believe that message is spurious and has been rare enough anyway.
     
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    The HR21 can't run these tests.
    The results you posted are good.

    I would still see what happens with these coax removed and the splitter ports terminated.
     
  10. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    Thanks, veryoldschool.

    I should have been clearer. Most splitter ports are, in fact, terminated. There are two splitter ports that have coax which then runs out and is terminated at the end.

    One of those was the CCK's coax, temporarily terminated.
    One is a room currently not in use, terminated at coax (it's been that way for a long time).

    I can probably have my next technician move the termination to the splitter blocks.

    As of today, things have gotten mysteriously weird:

    My HR34 was able to see my HR24 #1, HR24 #2, and my HR21.
    My HR24 #1 was only able to see the HR34 and the HR21
    My HR24 #2 was only able to see the HR34

    That was weird.

    Then -- as usual -- it undid itself spontaneously.

    At this point, I have absolutely no idea what's going on.
     
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,487
    940
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    That should not make a difference. In fact, normally just the length of coax is sufficient without a terminator at the end (but the terminator is the right way to do it). Whether at the splitter or at the end of a coax run is pretty much irrelevant.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    I agree that it "should not" make a difference, but when you're chasing squirrels it helps to reduce as many variables as you can.

    "Normally" is another "gotcha", as a couple of unused connected coax, caused coax networking issues as they weren't terminated.
     
  13. markrogo

    markrogo Godfather

    300
    1
    Sep 18, 2007
    Some updates:

    I had another service tech visit. This cost me the bulk of a Sunday and will be the final technician visit I have regardless of outcome.

    The technician was inclined to do nothing as there was nothing wrong with my system in his opinion. I had him wait, got on the phone with case management, and explained that I wanted every active and passive component replaced that wasn't a receiver or a piece of cable the technician was certain was working perfectly. She could, I explained reasonably calmly, authorize him to do that or begin the process of winding down my service.

    I then put them on the phone so unbelievably steamed and amazed that they sent a technician to my house -- again -- without any useful agenda to resolve a problem which I'd explained on the phone was in fact getting worse.

    After about 20 minutes, it was as if the technician was possessed by aliens and replaced by a kind, helpful human being with an exceptional amount of knowledge about all things DirecTV. I am really not exaggerating. (At the end of the visit, he had spotted some old metal drawers we had that used to belong to our washer/dryer that he thought would be perfect for organizing his truck. We'd been meaning to put them on Craigslist, but never did. We offered them to him; he graciously accepted them.)

    Anyway, a good 3-4 hours ensued. The following took place:

    1) Pretty much every reasonable length of wire was checked with his device that measured that. Only one very short length was replaced.
    2) He noted that our SWM 16 was separated into two 8-port splitters, one of which had the HR34 and nothing else. He removed that splitter since it was superfluous and, in truth, it's unlikely we'll ever need those ports and can replace it with a 4-port splitter if we do.
    3) He replaced the SWM 16, which I'd been insistent with DirecTV was most certainly the cause of many of the problems.*
    4) He replaced the LNB for good measure, even though only the HR34 and the Whole Home were having problems.
    5) He located a hot-neutral reverse-wiring issue in one of our outlets that has been there for more than the 7 years we've lived in the house. It nevertheless gave me a chance to fix a potentially hazardous situation and solve a longstanding mystery about something unrelated.
    6) He reconnected my Broadband DECA -- which DirecTV had told me to disconnect to solve the Whole Home / HR34 drop problem -- and reminded to disconnect it again if that problem recurred.
    7) He set all my boxes back to dynamic IPs from static, where they had been since about 2-3 days after when I got Whole Home in the first place.
    8) He left, believing that the odds were he had fixed nothing and agreeing that my idea of getting rid of the HR34 at this point was probably good. I was not the only customer he's visited whose HR34 had gone rogue, was dropping off the network, was garbling recordings, etc.

    * The technician agreed this was most likely the only step he took that would make any difference, but neither of us was optimistic.

    Update:
    It is far too soon to draw any conclusions, but it's now Thursday and no box has dropped off the network that I am aware of. While the HR34 is hardly a go-to receiver (in fact, we will be using only for "backup recordings" for at least 6 months and we have stripped it of any rights to additional storage in favor of older, more trustworthy boxes), it has been used for two very specific troublesome recordings:

    a) USA recordings, which were glitch-laden since mid-summer
    b) My nightly 10 pm news + post-news comedies, which have been unwatchably glitch-laden of late.

    Those recordings have suffered from some very small sound drops (nothing that doesn't occur regularly on DirecTV with digital sound and mostly related now to sound levels falling, not all sound disappearing) but no visual glitches over the first 3+ days.

    I hope this is the end of the story, except for whatever credits I expect to be issued for all my troubles. I will update further as I know more.

    For those that offered helpful advice, I am especially grateful.
     

Share This Page