HR20 OTA dropouts/pixelation (1 Viewer)

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bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
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Marietta, GA
Starting a new post as my previous trail has been neglected by me (travel, remodeling, etc.)

My local channels work fine after a restart but after a few days degrades to unwatchable with pixelation and dropouts. The signal meter in the setup screen shows strong signal on both tuner 1 and turner 2 but after a few days, the signal strength goes from 90% to "not acquired" and back and forth - predominantly tuner 2 but occasionally tuner 1. I was advised to try swapping positions with a known good HR20 but pretty sure antenna, splitter, cables, etc. are fine and trying to avoid the hassle of getting to the back of the units. Since a restart ALWAYS corrects the problem temporarily, I'm reasonably confident of the hookup. Seems like a hardware problem but curious why a restart cures it every time.

Would appreciate any thoughts on how to solve this frustrating behavior.

Bryan
 
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jdspencer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 22, 2004
4,087
18
Binghamton, NY
Are you sure that the problem isn't with the antenna?
Does this happen with all OTA channels?
Is the antenna connected using diplexers on the sat line?

With the trees now getting their leaves, you may be suffering from multipath.

You really need to check the coax and connections from the antenna to the DVRs. Connect one of the DVRs to the antenna without using a splitter.
 
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bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
20
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Marietta, GA
Thanks for your response. Checking the connection without the splitter is fairly easy so I'll try that with little confidence. My antenna has a clear view to the transmitters and signal strength on most OTA stations are over 80%. The condition occurs on all OTA channels. IMHO, the biggest clue is that all works fine after a restart but degrades in a couple of days. Another restart and all is well again.
 

bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
20
0
Marietta, GA
Oh well, thanks anyway. I'll start checking some power supply voltages but don't have any values to reference. Any clues on that? Maybe a restart momentarily takes some of the power supply lines off their normal load and allows normal voltages to be restored. Since all other functions perform flawlessly, I would think the OTA board (or its power source) may be at fault. If I knew of a HR20 boneyard, it would be handy to cannibalize another unit for substitution troubleshooting.

Although its a nuisance to keep resetting the receiver, at least I have three other HR20s in other rooms so my redundant recordings are still available as backups.
 
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tkrandall

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 19, 2008
87
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metro Atlanta
Which model HR20, may I ask? HR20-100s were known, I believe, to have some units with faulty OTA tuners. (I had one for a few days.) Have you tried the other HR-20s in that location, or are they also hooked up to OTA?

I have had a HR20-700 for 2.5 years and it is consistent with OTA. I live a mile or two beyond the NW side of Kennesaw mountain and so my signals are all highly attenuated by the terrain so I use an old style 4228 antenna and pre-amp and get pretty good results overall for my poor reception. That said, the HR20-700's OTA tuner is rather poor at weak signal w/multipath, so it is no where near as good as the TV's tuner or the DTT900 converter box tuners I have.
 

bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
20
0
Marietta, GA
OTA pixelation on HR20-100

Thanks for the comments. My HR20 is a -100 that was purchased new less than a year ago (new old stock that still had the original D* seal) and hasn't been used all that much. My other -100 receiver is O.K. but does need an occasional restart to clear the pixelation. My two -700 receivers perform fine.

I did not try swapping receivers to explore the location/cabling possibility as the restart cure seemed to rule out a connection issue. I did, however, go direct from the antenna to the coax leading to the errant receiver so eliminated the splitter as a potential. All my HR20s are connected to the common antenna via a splitter. Curiously, when I change channels, say from 5.1 to 8.1, that very temporarily settles down the pixelation but the problem really doesn't go away for more than 15 minutes or so. The restart cure lasts for two or three days. BTW, I converted to the SWM system a couple of months ago but not sure if that is a factor. I don't recall having much of a problem with the pixelation problem before converting so may just be coincidental.

I am located in NE Cobb County on Sweat Mountain with a clear shot to the transmitters and consistently have 90% plus signal strength on most OTA channels.

We are pretty local so if you have any further thoughts please give my a call at 770-509-0453.

Regards,
 

raoul5788

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How are you connecting the antenna, straight from the antenna to the HR20, or are you diplexing the signal with the Directv dish cable?
 

bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
20
0
Marietta, GA
OTA Pixelation

I am connecting the OTA connector on the receiver through about 50 feet of high quality RG-6 to a 4-way splitter that feeds my other three HR20s and the splitter is connected to a UHF antenna. I get very good signal strength as I am on a mountain looking at downtown Atlanta about 30 miles away. I'm quite confident that my signal strength is solid but the signal strength meter alternates between 90+ and "not acquired". I get more drops on tuner 2 than tuner 1.
 

raoul5788

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I am connecting the OTA connector on the receiver through about 50 feet of high quality RG-6 to a 4-way splitter that feeds my other three HR20s and the splitter is connected to a UHF antenna. I get very good signal strength as I am on a mountain looking at downtown Atlanta about 30 miles away. I'm quite confident that my signal strength is solid but the signal strength meter alternates between 90+ and "not acquired". I get more drops on tuner 2 than tuner 1.

Splitting an antenna four ways will significantly reduce the signal strength. I would try bypassing the splitter and connecting the antenna directly to the problem HR20 and see if that makes a difference. If that helps, then an inline amplifier or amplified splitter would probably fix the problem.
 

bgcarl

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 6, 2009
20
0
Marietta, GA
OTA Pixelation

As mentioned in post #7, I did go direct to the antenna to eliminate the possibility of a defective spliter. I am aware that a 4-way splitter will attenuate the signal at each output about 7 db. However, with that attenuation, I still get over 90%+ signal strength and the other receivers on the spltter with even more cable length are consistent with that value too.

I suspect there is an issue with the OTA board in the receiver but really don't have enough info to troubleshoot (waveforms, supply voltages, etc.) I was hoping there was a software fix as the curious cure of restarts temporarily fixes the problem for two or three days. Guess I could insert a timer to power off for a few minutes each 3:00 A.M. but not a very satisfying resolution.
 

raoul5788

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As mentioned in post #7, I did go direct to the antenna to eliminate the possibility of a defective spliter. I am aware that a 4-way splitter will attenuate the signal at each output about 7 db. However, with that attenuation, I still get over 90%+ signal strength and the other receivers on the spltter with even more cable length are consistent with that value too.

I suspect there is an issue with the OTA board in the receiver but really don't have enough info to troubleshoot (waveforms, supply voltages, etc.) I was hoping there was a software fix as the curious cure of restarts temporarily fixes the problem for two or three days. Guess I could insert a timer to power off for a few minutes each 3:00 A.M. but not a very satisfying resolution.

Sorry, I missed the part about bypassing the splitter. It could still be the problem. The signal strength meter isn't really all that accurate. To eliminate the HR20 in question, you would have to switch it with one that does work correctly. That would be my next move.
 
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