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So a couple of weeks ago, I saw an HR20 at Circuit City. I decided to try it and upgrade my HR10-250. It worked for a couple of days before it died. I unplugged it to plug it into a new UPS I bought and it would never power back on.

Back to CC to exchange it. The second one was working and then last night, I had sound but the picture was frozen. Remote would not work. Buttons on the front of the unit would not work. Unplugged it and re-did the setup. However, on the last setup where it acquires the satellite info, it would get to 80-90%, and then the screen would go blue.

I called DirecTV to reconnect the HR10-250 and the guy said to try and re-format the unit. Sounds like they are having a lot of problems with the HR20. I tried that this morning. Seemed to work. Everything was working. Then I attached the network cable and ran the test and the unit locked up again. So, I guess it is back to CC again.

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting sick and tired of buying DirecTV boxes that are complete junk. When the 10-250 first came out, I went through at least 5 of those before I got one with the HDMI working and a HD that didn't fail. And now the HR20.

It is just me? Should I have to go through 5 boxes before I get one that works? Should I have to re-enter my recorded shows because the boxes last 2 weeks before they die? Does DirecTV test these things?

I have had DirecTV for close to 10 years now and I am closer than ever of going back to cable. I'm tired of having to use their inferior equipment. My first DirecTV box was a Sony. It still works today. Not all the features we have today but as least Sony can build something that works.
 

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I really wish there was an answer for you, and everyone else..

On why in one house, there are no issues... and in another there are nothing but issues.

I personally went through 3 HR10's. (Bad Harddrive, Bad HDMI, 3rd had a bad HDMI, but I opted for component).

I have two of the HR20's, and haven't exchanged either... or full formatted it... and have not even a hint of the magnitude of problems others report here.

Is it the wiring? The Power? The enviornment? The usage Pattern? ect...
ZERO idea, and wish we could find the silver bullet.

Yes, DirecTV does test them... and a good amount of testing. But there are just so many different possible combinations out in the real-world, I don't even thing the most elaborate testing plan is going to cover them. Between hardware, enviornment setups, and usage patters... you have pretty much have as many combinations as you do have setups.


So, to your current issues.

Have you tried the HR20 via component? and not HDMI?
Do you have a multiswitch involved? or the b-band converters connected?

OTA or network enabled?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a pretty standard setup. I have the 5 LNB dish with two cables direct wired from the dish to the box. No multiswitch. Using the Optical out to a Yamaha receiver, HDMI out direct to a Pioneer plasma. I have two antennas in my attic with a direct connect to the HR20 so I can get the locals in HD.

Looks like they are out of stock anyway so I will stick with the 10-250 for now. I think the TIVO interface is a lot better anyway.
 

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purdueboiler87 said:
So a couple of weeks ago, I saw an HR20 at Circuit City. I decided to try it and upgrade my HR10-250. It worked for a couple of days before it died. I unplugged it to plug it into a new UPS I bought and it would never power back on.

Back to CC to exchange it. The second one was working and then last night, I had sound but the picture was frozen. Remote would not work. Buttons on the front of the unit would not work. Unplugged it and re-did the setup. However, on the last setup where it acquires the satellite info, it would get to 80-90%, and then the screen would go blue.

I called DirecTV to reconnect the HR10-250 and the guy said to try and re-format the unit. Sounds like they are having a lot of problems with the HR20. I tried that this morning. Seemed to work. Everything was working. Then I attached the network cable and ran the test and the unit locked up again. So, I guess it is back to CC again.

I don't know about you guys, but I am getting sick and tired of buying DirecTV boxes that are complete junk. When the 10-250 first came out, I went through at least 5 of those before I got one with the HDMI working and a HD that didn't fail. And now the HR20.

It is just me? Should I have to go through 5 boxes before I get one that works? Should I have to re-enter my recorded shows because the boxes last 2 weeks before they die? Does DirecTV test these things?

I have had DirecTV for close to 10 years now and I am closer than ever of going back to cable. I'm tired of having to use their inferior equipment. My first DirecTV box was a Sony. It still works today. Not all the features we have today but as least Sony can build something that works.
You are absolutely right! These boxes or the software that runs them is JUNK. the amount of continually new and old problems indicate that Directv releases it before it is fully tested. There appears to be no system lifecycle taken into account here.

With all the good karma they had built up with the Tivo boxes you would think they wouldn't have changed until they got it right with a high magnitude of user acceptance. I long for the days that I didn't have to worry about my TV recording. It is meant to be such a trivial thing in everyday life and now I worry about it everyday. What will go wrong next. Now if we watch a movie I recorded after about 10 minutes it goes to a black screen with the Directv logo floating around but continues playing in the bakground, you can hear it. I have to hit the play button to get the image back on the screen. Another new problem that I didn't have before. I have to keep the remote next to us all the time to watch a friggin movie. Unbelieveable!

If this contiinues for a much longer time, don't be surprised if the numbers start turning the other way for Directv in people moving on to other systems. Then the loyal ones left will have to endure prices increases to maintain the stock price.

Good Luck Directv.
 

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Is the HR20 Junk? Or is it just my imagination?
:thats: !rolling In its darkest days, even with all the hoots and jeers
from the D* crowd, no one ever said that about the DishPlayer.

Sorry, guys, but payback is a biatch! :hurah: :lol: :hurah:
 

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Nick said:
:thats: !rolling In its darkest days, even with all the hoots and jeers
from the D* crowd, no one ever said that about the DishPlayer.

Sorry, guys, but payback is a biatch! :hurah: :lol: :hurah:
It was said... just not where you would see it ;)
 

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No problems here with my first, one, and only HR20, which is coming up on a couple months old now.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Is it the wiring? The Power? The enviornment? The usage Pattern? ect... ZERO idea, and wish we could find the silver bullet.

Yes, DirecTV does test them... and a good amount of testing. But there are just so many different possible combinations out in the real-world, I don't even thing the most elaborate testing plan is going to cover them. Between hardware, enviornment setups, and usage patters... you have pretty much have as many combinations as you do have setups.
Earl, I'm no HR20 hater (don't have one, so how could I be) or HR10 fanboy (have one, wish it were better), but I really think the "variety of real world situations" is a pretty shoddy excuse for a CE provider. I've had satellite TV for almost 10 years, and it's never been as unstable an experience as with the recent crop of HD DVRs and receivers, with the exception of the Dishplayer (hoo boy, that sucked). Certainly the R10 and previous SD DVRs weren't this unstable, despite being used in just as many real-world situations.

I totally understand there are a wide variety of installation environments, but that's DirecTV's problem. If they're selling a consumer electronics device, with their own "approved" Dish + multiswitch, there just shouldn't be the volume of problems people are experiencing here. If it were 1% of customers, I might understand, but it certainly feels like a lot more (10%? 20%?). Remember that this is DirecTV's flagship product, not some niche product on the bleeding edge released only for a select few (i.e. Vista alpha release).

For example, if the Dish "needs" power in a fair number of "real world" situations, then supply a powered multiswitch to customers to eliminate that problem. Or, if the HR20 barfs easily on data input overload, put better error checking in, add a larger RAM cache, whatever. If OTA can't work without causing lockups, use different hardware, or don't enable that feature.

Again, I'm not arguing that DirecTV doesn't have a difficult set of problems to solve, just that I have no sympathy for them. I'm also not saying the HR20 is junk or worthless or whatever. But blaming the customer is not a winning or reasonable strategy.

Also, it's great there are people who have a largely problem-free HR20 experience. This means there's hope. But I'd also rather assume those that are having problems aren't "doing something wrong" and try and help them fix it (as you seem to do). Again, DirecTV wouldn't provide 13 software upgrades in 4 months if the problems were generally "the customer's fault".
 

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Those "words" are not DirecTV's... they are mine, and certainly isn't an excuse.

DirecTV has acknowledged that there are issues with the unit.
And yes, there have released 13 software updates for it.. and are not done issue updates for it. They could have sat on a MAJOR update, and had all those 13 in one update... or brake them down into smaller.

Where I throw in the "real world" configurations, is to answer the question on "why" does it work for "me" and doesn't for "you".

I have the same switch as others.. Zinwel 6802 (I don't have a WB68). I have the SAME AT-9 dish. Tri-Shield RG6... I have no "special" equipment installed.

I use the HR20's as my primary receivers for the house, and they are regullarly recording things.

DirecTV is most certainly not blaming the customers for the faults of the HR20. Neither am I, nor should anyone else. Bottom line... If you have connected to a DirecTV dish, to a DirecTV multiswitch.. it should work.

But why wouldn't it? There are the other factors... The cable's being used, the fittings, the TV (HDMI is a two way communication), heat, ect... all things that could play into it.

And hence the reason why they do staggard releases...

Again, DirecTV isn't "blaming" the customers for any of the issues with the HR20. It just boils down to, there are consumer side factors that "could" play into the equation and unless they get details on those "factors", they can't even consider testing for it...
 

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After only six days with my HR20, as it stands today I made a mistake. I hardly consider myself a power user, its not filled up with series links, or networked playing mp3's. Its just recording shows for playback later, and doing my HD OTA. And its not doing either of those well. At ALL. Its slow, unstable as a heroin addict wihhheld from his drug, heck last night it took 30 seconds to stop playing a recording and return to live tv! Totally unacceptable.

And NOW I see that they may charge me MORE for this? :grrr:
 

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It is absolutely ridiculous that anyone would accept the multitude of problems associated with this product and verified by this website would consider arguing that this product is stable or even good. It's amazing that those same people would justify these problems as I have read many times on this website. There was so much talk about the Tivo loyalists being ridiculous but nothing about the HR20 loyalists? Earl seems to be the only one who looks at both sides and makes an honest assessment.

I had no problems with my HR20 for awhile also, but then I started using the more advanced features and understanding it better along with the updates that might have fixed somethings but incurred more problems, and without any hesitation, am convinced this product is junk. Whether it is the hardware, software or pre-acceptance tested updates, the product would not withstand any customer scrutiny unless they had you wrapped up on commitments for a year or two.

If this was Directv's first year in operation they would have gone bankrupt by now.
 

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I'm at a loss as to what the cause is as well. I'm set-up the same as perdueboiler. I have a 5lnb dish that goes into a grounding block and then 2 of the lines go straight to my HR20. I then go to my Panasonic plasma through HDMI. Why it works for me and not for him I don't know. I feel bad because I love this thing and it's a shame people are spending money and having these troubles - it'd make me angry that's for sure.
 

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Earl Bonovich said:
Where I throw in the "real world" configurations, is to answer the question on "why" does it work for "me" and doesn't for "you".
As far as a response on the boards go, I guess that's reasonable. Unfortunately it's not very satisfying, especially given that "DirecTV" (or its suppliers) provides the dish, multiswitch and the receiver (and often the cabling too). We've rarely needed to use the "lots o' stuff can happen in the real world" excuse before, wouldn't you agree?

DirecTV is most certainly not blaming the customers for the faults of the HR20. Neither am I, nor should anyone else. Bottom line... If you have connected to a DirecTV dish, to a DirecTV multiswitch.. it should work.
Can we stop all the back and forth threads now that Earl has said this? :)

To me it looks like this:
  1. Many people aren't having major problems with their HR20s
  2. However, many people are experiencing problems, some "severe" (requiring rebooting, or reformatting, missed recordings, lockups, etc.).
  3. DirecTV has released 13 major software upgrades in 4 months, about as concrete an acknowledgment as you can get of the severity and "reach" of the problems
  4. After the last software update, many major issues appeared to be fixed. Unfortunately for some, the fix was only temporary and they are now experiencing a recurrence or renewal of severe problems.

Therefore, the problems with the HR20 are real, widespread, and not generally the "fault" of the customers. These problems are an ongoing concern for DirecTV. Luckily, DirecTV appears it will continue to release major software upgrades in an attempt to resolve these issues.

So, if you have a working HR20, count your blessings. If you don't, there's hope, but your frustration is real and DirecTV is working on it.

As someone who wants the HR20 to be "great" before I buy one, I sure hope DirecTV gets it right. Otherwise I'll switch to a provider who can (are there any?)
 

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I've re-read Earl's words and I don't hear him blaming customers nor insinuating that Directv is for that matter.

That said, I'm glad Earl made it clear that Directv is not blaming users nor their environments. These appear to be difficult problems to find and solve (my experience has been any intermittent problem can be very difficult to solve).

With all that, I also feel Directv "should, in a perfect world" have much more thoroughly tested the HR20. But then again, I'm very sure most of the programmers who've been working under the pressures of having to resolve these customer facing problems, would also have preferred to have tested the HR20 more thoroughly before release.

Is the HR20 "junk"? Ouch, strong, passionate words. My experience suggests that it "was", but is not quite bad enough to be after receiving 0xFA. The hardware seems to be very solid, the software seems to be getting better. Since I don't know if "most", "many", "some", or a "few" of the overall HR20 owners are or did have problems, I can't say "junk" but it sure has been an interesting ride...

Cheers,
Tom
jcricket said:
Earl, I'm no HR20 hater (don't have one, so how could I be) or HR10 fanboy (have one, wish it were better), but I really think the "variety of real world situations" is a pretty shoddy excuse for a CE provider. I've had satellite TV for almost 10 years, and it's never been as unstable an experience as with the recent crop of HD DVRs and receivers, with the exception of the Dishplayer (hoo boy, that sucked). Certainly the R10 and previous SD DVRs weren't this unstable, despite being used in just as many real-world situations.

I totally understand there are a wide variety of installation environments, but that's DirecTV's problem. If they're selling a consumer electronics device, with their own "approved" Dish + multiswitch, there just shouldn't be the volume of problems people are experiencing here. If it were 1% of customers, I might understand, but it certainly feels like a lot more (10%? 20%?). Remember that this is DirecTV's flagship product, not some niche product on the bleeding edge released only for a select few (i.e. Vista alpha release).

For example, if the Dish "needs" power in a fair number of "real world" situations, then supply a powered multiswitch to customers to eliminate that problem. Or, if the HR20 barfs easily on data input overload, put better error checking in, add a larger RAM cache, whatever. If OTA can't work without causing lockups, use different hardware, or don't enable that feature.

Again, I'm not arguing that DirecTV doesn't have a difficult set of problems to solve, just that I have no sympathy for them. I'm also not saying the HR20 is junk or worthless or whatever. But blaming the customer is not a winning or reasonable strategy.

Also, it's great there are people who have a largely problem-free HR20 experience. This means there's hope. But I'd also rather assume those that are having problems aren't "doing something wrong" and try and help them fix it (as you seem to do). Again, DirecTV wouldn't provide 13 software upgrades in 4 months if the problems were generally "the customer's fault".
 

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I hated my HR20 at first. But they have been improving the software, and it was worked much better as of late.

If you think DTV's equipment is inferior, don't think the cable DVR is any better. any one I have seen sucks. and I know a couple people that have had to return theirs several times due to problems. DirecTV is usually always looking to improve channels, quality, etc. Can you say that about cable?
 

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purdueboiler87 said:
I have a pretty standard setup. I have the 5 LNB dish with two cables direct wired from the dish to the box. No multiswitch. Using the Optical out to a Yamaha receiver, HDMI out direct to a Pioneer plasma. I have two antennas in my attic with a direct connect to the HR20 so I can get the locals in HD.

Looks like they are out of stock anyway so I will stick with the 10-250 for now. I think the TIVO interface is a lot better anyway.
Hello,
I'm confused. I'm upgrading to a HR20-700 w/ the 5LNB so I can receive my local HD channels without having to use an OTA. Am I missing something here?
Thank you
Tony
 

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tonyportale said:
Hello,
I'm confused. I'm upgrading to a HR20-700 w/ the 5LNB so I can receive my local HD channels without having to use an OTA. Am I missing something here?
Thank you
Tony
Some people cannot get local hd over the sat yet, my market for instance is not offered yet. Also some people want the sub channels that D* does not provide.
 

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rutgersfan said:
I hated my HR20 at first. But they have been improving the software, and it was worked much better as of late.

If you think DTV's equipment is inferior, don't think the cable DVR is any better. any one I have seen sucks. and I know a couple people that have had to return theirs several times due to problems. DirecTV is usually always looking to improve channels, quality, etc. Can you say that about cable?
No offence but just because the competion's is junk doesn't say that D shouldn't have to fix their's.... by the way mine's been good except the vhf tuning sucks, 8(7) poor and 3(2) nonexistant (with new ant, other devices tuner's solid as a rock)
 

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tonyportale said:
Hello,
I'm confused. I'm upgrading to a HR20-700 w/ the 5LNB so I can receive my local HD channels without having to use an OTA. Am I missing something here?
Thank you
Tony
Lots of reasons many of us like OTA: fewer weather issues, better picture quality (but Directv has improved the via sat. PQ for many people), and main and subchannels that Directv doesn't offer yet.

Not everyone can get OTA, and not everyone wants to put the effort into OTA. I've got a very clear line of sight to my towers, the distance isn't too bad (40mi) and I was completely rewiring the house anyway so I tossed a medium outdoor antenna into my attic and I was good.

HTH,
Tom
 
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