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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've had my HR20-700 for over a year or so now. I've experienced the same problem too frequently - on both the national release software and even the most recent CE versions. I'm thinking DirecTV either doesn't know about this or has no idea what's causing it!! Does anyone else have this same problem?

Basically, I record NY Mets games and will watch them back either delayed or the next day. Typically, after a few days the receiver will end up with a game that seemed to tape fine; but when I try to play it just shows "Do you want to delete..?".

I believe it's due to tuner #2 since I can still watch other channels just fine. But, after this happens if I tune to the channel I'm recording (assuming the game's still going on), I'll get the 'Check Satellite Signal' or similar message. Only a reboot will fix this.

So, I literally have to reboot the damn thing a few times a week so I won't get another bad recording.

Considering how many new features DirecTV has been adding I'm convinced this isn't happening to many people.. otherwise, wouldn't you think it'd be a high priority fix?? Maybe it's due to the fact I'm recording a sports-package channel and not normal channels.

Anyway, if they can't fix this - how about at least using tuner #1 to record a program if #2 isn't working.. just a thought!

thanks,
joe
 

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This sounds more like a hardware issue than anything else.
Since every time you change a channel [if there is nothing recording] you are changing tuners, there doesn't seem to be a way to select which tuner will be used for a recording. It simply is the one not currently tuned.
If you haven't yet, you can try swapping the SAT feeds and the BBCs around and see if it makes any difference, to see if it's the receiver or what is connected to each tuner that is the cause.
I haven't had a missed/blank recording in almost 18 months.
"If I were you", I'd do some troubleshooting and get a replacement if it turned out to be the receiver.
 

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VOS is correct.. it has been a long long time since I experienced any recording issues on my HR20-700. I would be looking for a defionite issue with your hardware or wiring.
 

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I have to agree with VOS and LarryFlowers. What you have is a hardware issue. Sounds like one of your tuners is shot, especially if a reboot fixes the issue.

I'd definitely call DirecTV and get a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice! I'll see if I can't get a new box from DTV. I had always just assumed this was still a problem for many others but just wasn't getting fixed.

thanks,
joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bad news.. I spend 30 minutes on the phone with DirecTV and they won't replace the receiver. They said it's a 'known issue' and they can't issue a replacement.

So, it's OK that I've missed a number of baseball games from the $250 MLB package.. it's OK that I have to reboot my receiver 2-3 times a week just so I won't miss any more games (which still doesn't always work). According to the rep, they'll escalate the issue. But, given this has happened to me for about a year now I'm not holding my breath they'll figure it out.

Thanks for the ideas though.. I'll try changing the SAT feeds and see if anything changes. I didn't realize the tuners always changed so it's likely not an issue with 1 specific tuner.

I did notice that once this happens (and before I reboot the box), if I do a system test, it'll ultimately hang around 90% and won't recover. The only option at that point is pressing the red button. (and even after telling the rep that, they *still* wouldn't replace the box...)

thanks,
joe
 

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When I got home, I swapped input connectors of the 2 tuners to see if the problem moved -- nope....tuner 1 still not getting a signal.

Did a reset (soft reset from the main menu) and the problem cleared. Also, the 2 blank recordings were gone from "My List".

The receiver is less than 3 weeks old....so if this crops up a couple more times, I will ask D* to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did call again, and after some convincing that I tried everything, they sent me a new receiver.

But, when it arrived it was the HR21-700. I currently have a HR20-700 and the obvious difference is the lack of OTA tuners that I had. But, thinking that the blank recordings were a worse problem to fix, I hooked up the HR21 and activated it.

I will say I'm really leery about sending back the HR20 though. Though it's only been 1 day, the HR21 is *noticeably* slower - especially using RF remote. Plus, I seem to see all kinds of articles recently about these 'blank recordings' and am really not sure it's a hardware issue (at least with the receiver).

I'd much rather keep my HR20 if I just had some inkling of hope that DTV can and will fix these problems (as they insisted they would on the phone!)

Since I've got a few days before I'll return my HR20, please let me know what you think.

thanks,
joe
 

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jpage4500... I've seen cases where a receiver that seems sluggish will speed up after the first or second day of housekeeping. You shouldn't be seeing a real speed difference.

I agree that there is likely a hardware issue with your HR20, and as far as OTA, call customer service and be polite, and you never know... they may send you an AM21.
 

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jpage4500 said:
I did call again, and after some convincing that I tried everything, they sent me a new receiver.

But, when it arrived it was the HR21-700. I currently have a HR20-700 and the obvious difference is the lack of OTA tuners that I had. But, thinking that the blank recordings were a worse problem to fix, I hooked up the HR21 and activated it.

I will say I'm really leery about sending back the HR20 though. Though it's only been 1 day, the HR21 is *noticeably* slower - especially using RF remote. Plus, I seem to see all kinds of articles recently about these 'blank recordings' and am really not sure it's a hardware issue (at least with the receiver).

I'd much rather keep my HR20 if I just had some inkling of hope that DTV can and will fix these problems (as they insisted they would on the phone!)

Since I've got a few days before I'll return my HR20, please let me know what you think.

thanks,
joe
If you're "unsure", hold on the the HR20 for a while. "I think" you have around 30 days before it get charged as unreturned equipment, but even then, once you return it, you get it credited back to your account.
Also the HR21 may get a software update which might help too.
 

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jpage4500 said:
Bad news.. I spend 30 minutes on the phone with DirecTV and they won't replace the receiver. They said it's a 'known issue' and they can't issue a replacement.

So, it's OK that I've missed a number of baseball games from the $250 MLB package.. it's OK that I have to reboot my receiver 2-3 times a week just so I won't miss any more games (which still doesn't always work). According to the rep, they'll escalate the issue. But, given this has happened to me for about a year now I'm not holding my breath they'll figure it out.

Thanks for the ideas though.. I'll try changing the SAT feeds and see if anything changes. I didn't realize the tuners always changed so it's likely not an issue with 1 specific tuner.

I did notice that once this happens (and before I reboot the box), if I do a system test, it'll ultimately hang around 90% and won't recover. The only option at that point is pressing the red button. (and even after telling the rep that, they *still* wouldn't replace the box...)

thanks,
joe
D* got same script..... http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=133090
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice!

Just wanted to update that I've been using the HR21-700 for a few weeks now and haven't had any recording issues. So, I guess I'll chalk the problems up to bad hardware.

But, it's a little upsetting that DTV tried so hard to convince me it was a known 'software' issue and they couldn't replace the box because of that fact. It was as if they'd rather let me suffer through problems then even give a new box a shot. Sure, I get it's expensive to replace boxes but probably more expensive to replace customers!

On a side-note, I really have to say that the 30 second skip on the HR21 is noticeably faster than my old HR20. It almost seems to skip instantly even in HD material where the HR20 would take maybe 1 second. Could be a software thing but I'm not sure..

thanks,
joe
 

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I have been having a problem like this for 8 months and have called DTV on numerous occasions. It happened yesterday again. I go to watch an HD channel or view something I recorded and the screen is gray. I have to do a red button reset to get it to come back. DTV told me it is a knwn issue and the next release should fix it. They have refused to exchange my DVR even though I have been reporting this problem for 8 months. I will wait for the next software update and see if it happens again because they won't do anything else.
 

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FWIW, I have an HR21 and was getting one grey screen rcdg out of every 15 or 20 for a while but it seems to have resolved itself. Only one in the last 2 or 3 months. No idea what changed but I can live with it as it is now more reliable in this regard than my old DTiVo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't know if this is the same issue as I had but I was able to get a replacement receiver and it's worked well for the past month or so.

If they ask you to try something like reset everything, just tell them you already did this and you still have the same problem... and don't mention the 'blank recording' issue as that sent them into this whole thing about being unable to replace the receiver. I think I just said every time I tried the 'system test', the receiver locked up. It did about 50% of the time in my case but I wasn't going to give them any leverage to make me wait for a software update. I missed enough recordings already!

good luckl
joe
 

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My problems are only with the mpeg4 channels. Dtv tech just left and said the problem was splitting the cable to add ota. This worked fine with directv hd tivo but he says you can not do this with the mpeg receivers. Will wait and see if this fixes the problem
 

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mgmrick said:
My problems are only with the mpeg4 channels. Dtv tech just left and said the problem was splitting the cable to add ota. This worked fine with directv hd tivo but he says you can not do this with the mpeg receivers. Will wait and see if this fixes the problem
Yes, you can't use diplexers with the H/R2x units that require BBC's because it interferes with their operation. If you use a SWM, there is a way to go back to using diplexers, but it may be less expensive just to run another piece of coax for the OTA feed.

I have this idea, just a gut feeling, that the blank recordings are related to signaling problems. It could be that a bad tuner, LNB, multiswitch, BBC, or cable is causing the problem. I have noticed that often times when I am changing channels, I very briefly get a gray screen and a 771 error. What if this happened at the start of a recording, but some software issue just "held onto" that gray screen and didn't respond or "do whatever" to finally start recording the signal that appears a half-second later? Could this cause the blank recording? Of course this begs the question, why am I getting this brief gray screen and a 771 error? All my signals strengths are fine. Maybe this has to do with the signal sent out to the multiswitch that then comes back and has to be un-stacked by the BBC? Is it a symptom of a failure of the BBC or switch, or is it something in the software that's just taking a little longer to process?

Anyhow, those are just some thoughts. Maybe those with more knowledge about the software and switches and BBC's might have an answer.
 

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This past Thursday I called DirecTV to have a couple of my boxes that I no longer use turned off. (They don't give you this option on their web site). At the end of the call, the person that helped me asked if there was anything else they could do for me. Well, I decided to tell them about my HR20-700 problem, the same problem mentioned in this thread. They sent me to technical assistance, where I explained that ever since I got my 20-700 about a year ago, everytime there was a rain storm, I would lose tuner 1 and it would not come back. I even mentioned that I knew it was not due to water getting on the connections outside, because I've monitored when this happens and it happens before it ever begins raining. I loose tuner one and it never recovers after the rain has stopped. They had me perform the test of swapping my sat inputs on the back without doing a reset to see if the loss of signal would move to sat 2 when I did it. Well, it didn't move. Tuner one was still out, even with the sat 2 input cable to worked fine on sat 2 input. She then said I had a bad 20-700 and swapped it out right then. I received my new HR20NC-100 (don't know what that NC stands for) today. Haven't opened it yet. I requested another HR20-700, so I could keep my antenna input, but she told me she couldn't promise anything. So, I took what I could get. I'll let everyone know how this goes once I use it for a few weeks. I also was able to get the HD package that contains HDnet Movies, Universal HD, etc for free for 3 months. I know why people get the blank recordings: tuner 1 has stopped working and that show tries to record on tuner 1 while it is out. Since we only have 1 buffer, we think everything is okay when we are watching live TV since we see a picture. The only way to really know if tuner 1 is working is to view the signal strenths. That's why we can go for days thinking everything is fine, but keep getting blank recordings. After that "recording" is made, the DVR records on tuner 2 for the next recording. It records fine, so we all keep wondering what is causing the blank recording. No signal on tuner one is the cause. One more hint that tuner one is out. Your remote will start responding VERY slowly to your commands.....Anyway, I'll let everyone know how this new receiver works. I've never had a problem with an HR21-100 I have in another room. Never had tuner one go out and not come back after a rain.......
 
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