HR24 acting up, but only on two channels (1 Viewer)

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videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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OK, so I think this is pretty weird (I think):

I have three DVRs in my system -- an HR54, an HR24, and an HR20. Recently, my wife started noticing that some of the channels she watches on the HR24 are pixellated and breaking up, to the point where they are virtually unwatchable. In checking it out, I determined that it only seemed to be happening on two channels: 285 and 286. On the HR54 and HR20, there is no problem.

Here's what I have done in the way of troubleshooting:

1. Checked signal levels of course. All seemed plenty high enough (80+ mostly).

2. Swapped LNB with a spare.

3. Restarted DVR several times. Unplugged for 15 minutes.

4. Streamed content from the HR24 to the HR54 -- played without any problems, indicating to me that the recording on the HR24 drive is fine.

5. Tried the reverse -- streamed recording of CH 285 from the HR54 to the HR24 -- pixellated just as if it was playing locally.

From the above, it seems that there is something in the stream of those two channels that this particular HR24 does not like. For the life of me, can't think of what else it could be. The problem may affect more than just these two channels, but out of the 50 or so channels I checked, these were the only ones having an issue.

Anyone have any idea of anything else I can look at? Can someone with an HR24 take a look at 285 or 286 and see if you are having this problem? It's not subtle -- it's pretty much breaking up constantly.

Thanks!
 

raoul5788

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Sounds like a cabling issue to me. Have you checked all of the connections? Take them apart and make sure there is no corrosion or incorrect length center conductors.
 

Jimbo

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By chance is this HR24 the farthest away from the Power Insertor ? (also would check the cabling as Chip mentioned).
I would also swap locations of the HR24 with another and see if it continues to happen ...
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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Thanks for the replies! I have checked the cable/connectors and they seem good, but looks can be deceiving. The HR24 is only about 15 feet from the power inserter. The HR20 is closer, at about 5 feet. The HR54 is the farthest away, at about 60 feet.

I would think that if it was a cabling issue, then the bits recorded on the HR24 drive would be corrupt, but they're not, since those recordings play fine when streamed to another machine. It's as if the HR24 is having trouble decoding these channels. It shows the problem either when playing them from its own drive, or streaming content recorded from those channels on the other DVRs. That is puzzling.

Today I will do as you suggested and try moving the HR24 to another location. I will report back.
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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OK, moved the HR24 to another room -- same result. Noticed that there are two other channels affected: 277 and 346. Does anyone know if these, along with 285 and 286 are on the same satellite/transponder?
 

Jimbo

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Thanks for the replies! I have checked the cable/connectors and they seem good, but looks can be deceiving. The HR24 is only about 15 feet from the power inserter. The HR20 is closer, at about 5 feet. The HR54 is the farthest away, at about 60 feet.

I would think that if it was a cabling issue, then the bits recorded on the HR24 drive would be corrupt, but they're not, since those recordings play fine when streamed to another machine. It's as if the HR24 is having trouble decoding these channels. It shows the problem either when playing them from its own drive, or streaming content recorded from those channels on the other DVRs. That is puzzling.

Today I will do as you suggested and try moving the HR24 to another location. I will report back.
OK, if you moved the recvr to a location that the other recvr was at and your still having the issue, the recvr is going bad, more than likely its a hard drive going.
Call D* and have it replaced, hopefully they will just drop ship you one .... tell them when you call in what its been doing, but when you tried to turn it on this morning you got no picture at all, its Dead Jim ...
Other wise they will want to send someone out and isolate it, which you have already done.
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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I gotta think about this for a while, as my wife has a ton of shows on that machine that she wants to keep (like almost every episode of "Top Gear.") Foolish to archive on a DVR I know, but you try to tell her that! I may just have to get another machine and then keep this one on the network so she can stream those shows from it. What's another $7 a month?? Still doesn't make sense to me that the problem only happens on a a few channels. If the drive was dying, I would think it would affect all channels. Also, as far as I know, when streaming from another server on the network, the stream doesn't buffer through the local HDD (or does it?). Shows recorded on these channels on another machine then streamed through the HR24 show the same problem as if recorded locally.
 

Jimbo

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I gotta think about this for a while, as my wife has a ton of shows on that machine that she wants to keep (like almost every episode of "Top Gear.") Foolish to archive on a DVR I know, but you try to tell her that! I may just have to get another machine and then keep this one on the network so she can stream those shows from it. What's another $7 a month?? Still doesn't make sense to me that the problem only happens on a a few channels. If the drive was dying, I would think it would affect all channels. Also, as far as I know, when streaming from another server on the network, the stream doesn't buffer through the local HDD (or does it?). Shows recorded on these channels on another machine then streamed through the HR24 show the same problem as if recorded locally.
Get a new machine and then do the On Demand for the Top Gear episodes.
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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Thanks ... may have to do just that. I'll try a few other things first -- running internal diagnostics on the hard drive right how. Doubting it will find a problem -- this just has the smell of some kind of weird MPEG decoder issue.
 

Bmax60

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Jul 2, 2017
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Drums, PA
Hello videojanitor,

Sorry to all of the people trying to help here, but they obviously do not have an HR24. You are wasting your time checking cable connection and location of DVR issues. This is a real problem. I also have it. And no, it's not a hard drive going. I'll refrain from listing all the reasons that suggestion was way off. (more than likely......)

I went on this site to look for someone else having the same problem and I saw your post. I only knew about 285 and 286, but I went to the two other channels that you listed and they are both doing the same thing. I felt it couldn’t be anything wrong with the signal (which I also checked) or any other cabling/LNB issue due to it being just those 2 (now 4) channels. We were away starting Fri (6/30/17) morning and since we got back Sat evening, 285 was acting up. I checked a few other channels myself, and found 286 just because it was close. This is a D*** problem with hardware/software or some change in the compression method. There is no other way we could both have this very specific problem at the exact same time. Thanks for posting so I know to stop looking for issues with my setup.
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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Thanks so much for posting this information. As a broadcast engineer, I know a thing or two about troubleshooting these kind of problems, and from all the tests I've done, I could only conclude that there is something happening on the streams of these channels that the HR24 does not like. That said, I have since obtained data from some other HR24 owners, and they are not having this problem -- however, their machines are HR24-100s and HR24-200s -- mine is an HR24-500. I am wondering if the problem is confined to a particular manufacturer? By chance, is your machine a -500?

It seems to me this started around the time that DirecTV added a few new HD channels -- wondering if something changed during this process, perhaps just a slight variation in the MPEG profiles on these channels? Whatever happened, I would like to get this info to the right person at DirecTV, but don't have a good idea as to how to do that. Certainly a CSR is not going to understand this. I do have some technical "hotline" numbers at work that I can call when DirecTV has a problem with our station's signal. I suppose I could go nuts and call them on that line. At least that would get me right to the tech operations center.
 

DukeBlue

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Jul 3, 2017
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North Carolina
Hi Videojanitor,

I have two HR24-500's and a HR54-500 after reading you post I checked them to see if they had the problem also. I'm getting the pixelation on both HR24's but not on the HR54. It happens on 276, 277, 285, 286, and 346 may be other channels but I didn't go through them all. I looked up which satellites have these channels and all are 101 except 346 it's on 103cb.
 

videojanitor

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Nov 3, 2008
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Good report -- thank you! Starting to think this may be isolated to the HR24-500 models. I checked 276 and can confirm it is also problematic on my machine, so that's five bad channels so far. I started a thread in "the other forum" as well, to see how many HR24-500 users we can get to check these channels.
 

Jimbo

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Hello videojanitor,

Sorry to all of the people trying to help here, but they obviously do not have an HR24. You are wasting your time checking cable connection and location of DVR issues. This is a real problem. I also have it. And no, it's not a hard drive going. I'll refrain from listing all the reasons that suggestion was way off. (more than likely......)

I went on this site to look for someone else having the same problem and I saw your post. I only knew about 285 and 286, but I went to the two other channels that you listed and they are both doing the same thing. I felt it couldn’t be anything wrong with the signal (which I also checked) or any other cabling/LNB issue due to it being just those 2 (now 4) channels. We were away starting Fri (6/30/17) morning and since we got back Sat evening, 285 was acting up. I checked a few other channels myself, and found 286 just because it was close. This is a D*** problem with hardware/software or some change in the compression method. There is no other way we could both have this very specific problem at the exact same time. Thanks for posting so I know to stop looking for issues with my setup.
If that's the case, why wouldn't everyone have issues on those channels that are using a HR24 ?

edit:
I decided to check it out on my HR24, been watching 285 and 286 for a short while, maybe 30 minutes, no issues.
So I decided to check and see what model I have ...
It is a -500.

Video Janitor, is this happening on normal viewing or recorded, or both ?
 

Bmax60

Member
Jul 2, 2017
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0
Drums, PA
If that's the case, why wouldn't everyone have issues on those channels that are using a HR24 ?

Since you seem to be determined to defend your misguided advice, you should really pay attention. I also have an HR24-500, so it IS isolated to that exact model. I think you should just drop this. I know you were trying to help, but not having an HR24 of any variation, you should have looked away. If you go to the original post, the man who started it is very knowledgeable and was mainly asking for others to confirm or deny this exact behavior, which you could not. If you reply, I will list the multitude of reasons why it could not possibly be the hard drive.

HAVING SAID THAT, THE PROBLEM IS GONE THIS MORNING. THE OTHERS WHO HAVE IT SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONFIRM THIS.
THEY OBVIOUSLY FIXED IT.
or maybe all or our hard drives miraculously fixed themselves overnight.
 

raoul5788

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:welcome to Satelliteguys Bmax60!

First off, please tone it down a bit, we are a community here that prides ourselves on helping to find solutions to problems, not cause them. Thanks!

Until you posted, videojanitor was the only person I am aware of with this issue. That points to something with his setup, not a national problem. That's why he was encouraged to thoroughly troubleshoot his system. I did check the transponder maps and all four of the channels in question, 276, 277, 285, and 346 come from 103cb t12. It could be a Directv issue, but no one but you two have reported it. Check your signal levels on that transponder and see if there is any fluctuation. You both could have a bad lnb, or it may have been cleared up nationally.
 
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raoul5788

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Hi Videojanitor,

I have two HR24-500's and a HR54-500 after reading you post I checked them to see if they had the problem also. I'm getting the pixelation on both HR24's but not on the HR54. It happens on 276, 277, 285, 286, and 346 may be other channels but I didn't go through them all. I looked up which satellites have these channels and all are 101 except 346 it's on 103cb.
:welcome to Sateliteguys DukeBlue!

The hd versions of those channels are on 103cb.
 
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videojanitor

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Confirmed -- all those channels are fine here now. Wow, that was a strange problem. To answer the question posed a few messages back, it was happening on both live, recorded, and Whole Home-streamed recordings of those channels.
 

raoul5788

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Confirmed -- all those channels are fine here now. Wow, that was a strange problem. To answer the question posed a few messages back, it was happening on both live, recorded, and Whole Home-streamed recordings of those channels.
Which makes me think lnb since it doesn't appear to be a nationwide issue.
 

videojanitor

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The LNB was my first thought, but I swapped in a new LNB, and also hooked the machine up to a completely different dish/coax/power inserter/LNB. Also, the problem was visible when watching recordings from those channels via Whole Home, and that doesn't use the LNB (connected to the client DVR) at all.
 
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