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Refurbished HR21-200 - jumpy video, turns itself on for no reason, pic frozen

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Casey21, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Casey21

    Casey21 Legend

    Sep 20, 2007
    I have a refurbished HR21-200. It didn't take long before the problems started. Jumpy video, dvr turning itself on, audio drop-outs, and picture completely frozen. Last night was the worst - we were watching a recorded episode of Whale Wars and the picture froze and we couldn't get the DVR to do anything. Did a restart and it was working this morning. I'm not sure what # we're up to right no on restarts. We have to restart everytime the dvr develops jumpy video. Is there something we can have the dvr run so we can check for errors? I thought I saw something on the forum previously but did some searching and just couldn't find the post. Thanks, in advance, for your help!
  2. bubbagscotch

    bubbagscotch AllStar

    Oct 31, 2009
    If you have it connected to a surge protector try plugging it straight into the wall and see if that helps. Let us know what results you get.
  3. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Also....you may want to make sure you have the latest national firmware version in that unit.
  4. Casey21

    Casey21 Legend

    Sep 20, 2007
    I'm assuming you're not referring to the software version which I know how to check. Not sure where to find the firmware version #.
  5. Casey21

    Casey21 Legend

    Sep 20, 2007
    I do have it currently plugged into a surge protector. I can unplug and plug it straight into the wall. Before I do so, however, I'd like to know the "science" behind that decision.
  6. Manctech

    Manctech Icon

    Jul 5, 2010
    Most likely the receiver is faulty. However we say that because in our experience the receiver does not work properly when plugged in to some surge protectors. I can't speak for everyone else, but I do not know the science behind it. I just know it can cause problems. Furthermore, a "surge protector" is nothing more than a power splitter. It's probably the biggest myth that they actually protect you against anything.
  7. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    You probably shouldn't lump all "surge potectors" into the same bucket. While many of them are nothing more than power strips (or extension cords), surge protectors do exist. Many surge protectors only protect equipment from small "surges" in power. Something like a close lightning strike is still going to overwhelm its protection.

    Worse for DVRs is power "dips". A typical "surge protector" is not going to handle lower power situations. The DVRs are very sensitive to that situation.

    It's good to eliminate the surge protector/power strip when trouble shooting, because it if is malfunctioning it could be providing inconsistant power, which wouldn't be good for the DVR.
  8. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    This is normally not something you need to check. When a receiver is installed it automatically updates to the current NR, if needed. This usually happens within the first hour after activation, based on my own experiences.

    That said, the current National Release for your box is 0x03DF. You can confirm which version you are running by going to Menu, System Setup. The first screen (Info and Test, IIRC) will show you what release you're on and when you got it.
  9. Casey21

    Casey21 Legend

    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks all. We have a replacement arriving this week. The csr also mentioned surge protecters might not be what you want to plug the dvr in to. The csr lives in Denver, like us, and knows this city suffers thru tons of power surges. Denver doesn't have the best infrastructure.
  10. johnp37

    johnp37 Icon

    Sep 14, 2006
    Central NJ
    Most likely you have a bad receiver, which, since it is a refurb, is not surprising. Anyhow, try the following which is a diagnostic submenu most subscribers are not aware of:
    Reboot via menu as follows:
    Parental, favorites & setup
    System setup
    Scroll to Reset-press reset
    Click on restart receiver-press(DASH) on your Directv remote when prompted
    When "running receiver self check" displays, immediately press SELECT-then displays "entering diagnostics mode".
    Select Advanced tests Menu-Hard Drive Utilities-Surface Test and run. Be advised this test may take 90 minutes or longer. Do not interrupt the test. This test will indicate PASS or FAIL when complete.
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I would too.

    The odds on getting an actual refurbished HR are high. You'd be better off getting another replacement rather than screwing around with this one. The last step in any refurbishing process must be making sure the item runs correctly. Obviously, this wasn't done to your "refurbished" HR. Get another replacement, don't waste your time trying to fix the one you have.

  12. NaperDan

    NaperDan Legend

    Jun 8, 2009
    Something to think about...when the hard drive hangs, the unit will restart, which should explain its turning on all by itself. Remember...these units are ALWAYS on. When off, they are only in standby. They are still recording. The hard drive is still working. Note that when you turn one "on" you can rewind to the maximum capacity of your unit, even though you weren't watching anything. After a restart, the lights all stay on.

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