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Discussion in 'DIRECTV - AM21 Discussion (private)' started by tfederov, Feb 6, 2008.
The maximum signal strength for both OTA channels is pegged at 77%.
When the AM21 arrived, the male antenna connector was poking out of the FedEx box. The nut holding the connector to the chassis was also loose. Tightened the connector and put it into service. The unit is functioning ok and did not appear to suffer any ill effects.
I have no idea where we should be reporting our setup attempts, but I did find one "issue" (or two), so I'm just going to report here.
Note: I have NEVER set up the OTA channels on the HR20, so I am writing as a "first-timer" who is trying to set up ANY OTA connection ....
Setup was straightforward - swap power cord from HR21 to AM21, connect OTA line, power up the HR21
After finally starting up, the first message was about the network successfully being connected, and a moment later that message was replaced by the OTA Tuner Config messge.
A correction needs to be made to the next screen. It says "Press later to perform ...." and "Later" is one of the choices below. "later" should be "Later" in the message, to be uniform with how options appear in messages on other screens.
My ZIP code was pre-populated so I only had to hit SELECT. I suggest adding a message on-screen as a tip: "Press SELECT if this is the ZIP Code you want to set up."
Another correction needed? On the next screen, the text refers twice to the "primary local market", but the screen heading refers to "primary local area".
After the search for the local market is completed and the markets are displayed, there are two options at the bottom of the screen, "Secondary Local" and "Done". The on-screen instructions say to press "BACK" or to choose Secondary Local, but there should probably be something like the following added: "Otherwise, press DONE."
Setup continued with a message that the APG was being updated and there would be limited guide data. The screen showed "Receiving ..." for a long time, and was then replaced by a "Continue" prompt. (I suggest adding a "BEEP/BONK" alert sound when the Continue prompt appears.)
After that, I chose "Edit Off Air Channels". It would have been nice to have the PIG available while choosing which channels to remove.
Same with the Signal Meter, I had two "questions" as to "convenience": There is no Picture-in-Guide, and if this screen shows poor strength, why can't I simply clear the channel from THIS screen? Instead, there are two screens that need to be used, one to add and clear, and another to check the strengths. Simply adding add/clear to the signal strength would be a boon to the user first setting up their AM21 ...
After all of THAT, I finally got to the end of the AM21 setup, but was surprised to see screens as if I was setting up the HR21 for the first time! "Now you can activate your service"... "Begin Remote Setup" ... "Congrats". These screens are fine for someone setting up the HR21 and AM21 at the same time on a new install, but for someone ADDING the AM21 to an already-activated HR21, these screens may be seen as confusing or maybe even a nuisance.
On the back of the AM21, the OTA connector sticks out quite a bit. I mean QUITE a bit.
Heat: I first had the AM21 under the HR21, but noticed that the OTA connector was very hot to the touch. I lifted the HR21 and the top of the AM21 was also hot, much hotter than I expected. I swapped the order, putting the AM21 on top of the HR21 this time, and the AM21 is now cooler but the AM21 top is still very warm and the OTA connector on the AM21 is still very warm.
Tuning: No problems tuning. No problems with picture quality.
Drew, I'm curious about your temp issues.
While I find that the OTA input F connector is somewhat warm, I do not find it hot enough for concern. Particularly since that connector is about the only thing protruding from the box that actually connects to the circuit board. The rest of the top of the AM21 is quite cool. As for the HR21, it is reporting its' usual 115F.
Oh, and I didn't get the "activate" or "set up remote" screens; though that may have had to do with the repeat of the antenna setup/RBR issue I reported.
I'm noticing a fair amount of heat in the vicinity of the internal components - mainly the tuners. The back and top are quite warm to the touch. I have the unit on top of the HR21.
I originally had the AM21 under the HR21, but swapped them, putting the AM21 on top. Right after I swapped them, the HR21 internal temp was 118°. That was around 8 PM ET. As of now, with the AM21 on top of the HR21, the internal temp is 111°, a drop of 7°. The top of the AM21 is now only warm to the touch, with the hottest area directly over the OTA connection.
The bottom of the HR21 is very hot - I wonder if there was heat transfer when I had the AM21 under the HR21, and that's why the back of the AM21 was very hot, including the OTA connector. What I don't get is why the HR21 internal temp was higher when the AM21 was under the HR21 and the HR21 is cooler with the AM21 on top of it ...
Very interesting. I have not tried an under-HR installation. Went straight to on top. Is that a foreplay issue?
I have the HR21-200 on the bottom of the shelf, then the AM21 then my HR20-700. Out of all three the power LED on the AM21 is the brightest, compared to the HR21's LED's to me it looks twice as bright. I think it needs to be toned down a bit or it's time for the black electrical tape to make an apperance.
I am looking at my AM21 and HR21-100. The AM21 is dimmer than the HR21-100.
Also, want to make a comment about the physical install. The daisy-chained power cord is brilliant. Although shorter cords would make sense. I have a lot of excess wire. I will probably change the USB cable eventually.
So far, I am impressed with how seemless it seems. Nice job, DirecTV!
Since we now have three different versions of the HR21, when posting in common threads lik this one, please post the model number of your HR21. This just makes it easier for the DTV team to decipher problems.
Just setting mine up now--and I agree about the daisy-chained power. What an awesome idea.
My HR20-700's tuner SUCKS in comparison to the AM21. I am pointing my antenna to Lansing and NOT pulling in the Flint stations with the antenna on the HR20, but on the HR21 with the AM21, I'm pulling in BOTH sets of locals--which is awesome. It's what a TV can do in this area, but generally not the HR20's. I'm very impressed.
Received the AM21 yesterday and connected it up this morning to my HR21-200 (0x93f2). As a number of others had reported, the startup sequence hung up searching for my primary local market (prepopulated zip code 75002). After 35 minutes or so I did an RBR. This time, still with prepopulated zip code, it took about three minutes to find the local market. Loading the APG was slower than my HR20 (I didn't actually time it).
I checked the performance of the AM21 against my HR20-700. With both running off a two-way splitter from a diplexer from the SWM8 feed, the signal strengths on the AM21 were a few points higher than the HR20. To show that wasn't just the meter reading high, I also checked one very weak station - there was zero signal on the HR20, the AM21 gave signal readings in the 30s and produced a picture that broke up regularly but was at least there.
I did not having the lockup issue at all. In the daytime the signal strengths are a BIT less, but that means a little breakup on some of the flint channels, but not many. Very impressive. The HR21-200 with the AM21 could become my main box with more time and testing.
I also did not have the problem that some had when setting it up. Mine went right through the setup without a problem.
no lockup problems on setup.
Just a quick report about atsc signal: In SoCal there are plenty of high hills and mountains. A lot of multipath.
So far the with AM21 I am getting strong signals on stations that were intermittent or unwatchable in the past with the HR20-700. It's such a big improvement that I almost suspect something was wrong with the tuners in the -700.
I'll do some more testing and some quantitative signal comparisons tomorrow but so far the AM21 is impressive.
no problems on setup (w/ HR21-100)... i am now receiving MANY more channels than I was able to with the HR20-700... my only complaint is that the LED is brighter... oh.. and it bothers my wife that the DirecTV logos don't line up on the left side of the boxes... :lol: ... but overall, seems to work GREAT!
now that i think about it... i didn't get the 'on screen message' that is described in the manual... i had to manually go in and set it up... did any of you guys get that?
I did, I got the message as soon as I turned them back on after install.
hmm... guess i'll put it in the issues then... thanks!