New HR20-700 installed.. NOT HAPPY!

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Robbert

SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Jul 14, 2005
63
0
Southern New Hampshire
Hello Everyone,

I used to have a HR10-250 which was starting to get flaky. I suspected it was the harddrive, since it had worked flawlessly before... So I decided to call DirecTV to see how much the new HR20 & MPEG4 dish upgrade would cost me.. After some haggling I got it essentially for free. So I said, Go Ahead!
The installation was done last Saturday and took from noon to 5 pm.. Mostly because the installer spent 3 hours sleeping in his van!?!?!?! Anyway, at the end of the install the HR20 was hooked up and nothing seemed to work right. He called a colleague who had another HR20 in his van, and we tried that one. Also didn't work (no picture). Then we switched from the HDMI to the Component input on my Westinghouse flat panel, and that seemed to work... Apparently the HDMI output on the HR20 has some issues... A software update pushed through within a few minutes, and suddenly the HDMI came to life. Oh well....

First impressions coming from Tivo to this HR20 are:
- Searching for shows to record takes more steps.. Menu-Search-Typing show name- Finding show and channel it's on - The receiving looking AGAIN (?????) for matching shows - Looking up the right show on the right channel again and choosing record - navigating to another panel to set up series recording. Apparently the default is to record all episodes, while I normally want to record just first run. The default doesn't appear to be changeable. Anyway, not a big deal, I'll get used to this one...
- Picture looked good initially on the MPEG4 locals, however, on one of the shows it recorded (CSI:Miami), there were lots of breakups in the picture (pixelation I guess), but what was even more annoying was the audio which seemed to speed up and slow down. This was something you could hear very well when music was playing. In spoken parts, there was just the slightest hint of stuttering. Also, the overall picture quality was more like SD than HD. Lots of MPEG artifacts, very blocky...
- And then came the biggie.. I was forwarding through the commercials and suddenly at the 2nd break it wasn't moving forward anymore, no matter what I did. It was stuck between two frames showing the two frames alternately. I figured out that the skip 30 seconds forward did work though, but that was a WEIRD experience! I really miss the audio "bleep-bleep-bleep" that the Tivo gave you as confirmation of pushing buttons.... Anyway, that leads me to my next issue:
- Fast forward seems to be very "slow" in the sense that it doesn't show you half the amount of frames the Tivo does. So it's much harder to pick the point where you switch back to play. Also, this DVR doesn't compensate for the human slow response and doesn't back up a few seconds when you do hit play coming from the fast forward mode. Also, the 30 second skip is not a skip, but a fast forward. Super lame..
- Reliability seems to be an issue.. I was watching a show on Discovery HD and it seemed interesting, so I hit the Record button to have it record the show. That seemed to work, but a day later when I decided to play back the show, it stopped at 30 minutes of the 2 hour show... Even though the time bar lead you to believe the full 2 hours were recorded. Another issue appeared with a show I tried to play and the bar appeared showing the full hour recorded, but the position indicator said "-0:02".. WHAT?? No matter what I did, play, pause, forward, skip forward, stop, play again, I couldn't get it to play the show...
- Then the last gripe I have.. When you schedule "season passes" or "Series Recording", and there is no upcoming episode after one has been recorded, there seems to be no way to get into the settings of this series recording and either adjust it or cancel it.. Anyone have any idea how to do that? It shows up in the scheduler prioritizer, but with "No Upcoming Episodes", and that means I cannot access it or delete it. What a major oversight!!!

All in all I'm very disappointed in this box. Granted, most of my complaints can be resolved by doing a software upgrade and improving the signal somehow, but my goodness.. The box is a lot faster than my old HR10, but has many, many more issues in reliability and usability..... I'm contemplating replacing the HDD in my HR10 and going back to that unit for the time being until they fix these issues.....

Anyone else seeing the same things? I wish I hadn't signed another 2 yr commitment with them at this point, as I'm very curious about my cable company's offering.. Although I suspect it's probably got the same (or similar) issues as the new DirecTV box...

---
Robbert
 
I am not kidding or exaggerating! We were having a yard sale when the installer was doing his work, so I had no choice but to see what he was up to.. He arrived around 12.30 (promised time was 8 to 12), spent about 30 minutes putting the dish together and 15 minutes putting the ladder up, taking.. uhh.. THROWING the old dish down and putting the new mount on the roof. After that he went into his van. Smoked a cigarette and sat there on his cellphone for about 20 minutes, then I didn't see him for an hour (he was still in his van). He then came out with the dish and put it in my backyard. Went back into his van and disappeared for about an hour and a half. Came out with a strap and hooked the dish to it and climbed onto the ladder and put the dish on the pole. Not aligned yet. Went back in his van for 30 minutes or so.. Came out.. Did the alignment, spent a half hour in my basement replacing the multiswitch (hooked up the wrong wires by the way, our other SD Tivo had no more reception...).. Then tried to install the HR20, and that debacle with the HDMI port took about 2 hours.. And then he dumped the box & manual in my hands and left... Yeah... No tip for him. ;)
 
When I had my AT9 installed, the guy was a little dense, but professional. Brought the old Ph-3 dish down in good enough condition that I told it and my old Sammy 360 on eBay. :)
 
- Searching for shows to record takes more steps.. Menu-Search-Typing show name- Finding show and channel it's on - The receiving looking AGAIN (?????) for matching shows - Looking up the right show on the right channel again and choosing record - navigating to another panel to set up series recording. Apparently the default is to record all episodes, while I normally want to record just first run. The default doesn't appear to be changeable. Anyway, not a big deal, I'll get used to this one...

You can change the default. If you are in the area to change the recording hit the menu button and the mini-menu will come up where you can change the default. Agreed, it's a bit buried.

Here is a tip for quick searching for a channel. Bring up the guide, left to highlight the channel number and hit the info button. Take a few seconds but the entire 14 day guide data for that channel will now appear for you. Makes quick work to find movies on HBO for example with the one click recording.

- And then came the biggie.. I was forwarding through the commercials and suddenly at the 2nd break it wasn't moving forward anymore, no matter what I did. It was stuck between two frames showing the two frames alternately. I figured out that the skip 30 seconds forward did work though, but that was a WEIRD experience! I really miss the audio "bleep-bleep-bleep" that the Tivo gave you as confirmation of pushing buttons.... Anyway, that leads me to my next issue:
- Fast forward seems to be very "slow" in the sense that it doesn't show you half the amount of frames the Tivo does. So it's much harder to pick the point where you switch back to play. Also, this DVR doesn't compensate for the human slow response and doesn't back up a few seconds when you do hit play coming from the fast forward mode. Also, the 30 second skip is not a skip, but a fast forward. Super lame..

There is currently a FFW bug with MPEG4 recordings. Should be fixed in the next update. Tons more info on DBSTalk in the HR20 forum.
 
You can change the default. If you are in the area to change the recording hit the menu button and the mini-menu will come up where you can change the default. Agreed, it's a bit buried.

Here is a tip for quick searching for a channel. Bring up the guide, left to highlight the channel number and hit the info button. Take a few seconds but the entire 14 day guide data for that channel will now appear for you. Makes quick work to find movies on HBO for example with the one click recording.

Thanks for these tips! The first one bothers me too and since we decided to reduce our Netflix DVDs at a time and upgrade to Premier, the second tip will help to find those movies we want.

I just wish the locals seemed more reliable. A lot of times I get a blank screen and then eventually the picture may come in. It seems I can't rely on recording something which is why I am still doing my main recording on my HR10-250. Maybe the next HR20 upgrade.
 
Yea, a lot of the problems with MPEG4 locals are actually with the signal itself and not really with the HR20 (although the HR20 has a problem with bad signals that needs to be tweaked/fixed). DirecTV is replacing all it's MPEG4 encoders market by market and so far in those markets they have the stations are a LOT better. BUT, no matter what DirecTV does it's garbage in/garbage out so if your local stations OTA signal is crap, it's gonna be crap on Dish or DirecTV as well.
 
Actually I'm recording OTA locals on my HR10-250 and they come in fine. An occasional loss of audio or something but 99% fine.
 
I was thinking of switching my HR10 to a HR20, but after reading these post's I think I'll wait. My HR10 is much faster with the 6.3 upgrade.
 
The new update that is rolling out now on the HR20 appears to have fixed the FFW issue and MPEG4 playback.

FYI that I've had my HR20 nearly a month and have had no problems at all outside a couple small minor issues that don't effect recording or watching said recordings.
 
I also have the HR20-700, installed 10-14. Same issue with the HDMI however I was told to await a new SW dnld that will fix this. I have a 46" Samsung LCD 1080p. I also have the altenate frame issue but have another you didn't report. Local programs recorded will constantly stop and start in playback or the screen will pixellize. I'm told this too is a SW upgrade at a 'future' date. It's supposedly due to incompatibility with some chips in selected LCD TV's.

Also NOT HAPPY!
 
The new update that is rolling out now on the HR20 appears to have fixed the FFW issue and MPEG4 playback.

FYI that I've had my HR20 nearly a month and have had no problems at all outside a couple small minor issues that don't effect recording or watching said recordings.

What update for the HR20-700 are you refering to ? Is there another one this week ?

Jimbo
 
What update for the HR20-700 are you refering to ? Is there another one this week ?

Jimbo

Jimbo,

Indeed, OxE3, which is suppose to fix the ff issues, and from what I have seen everyone who has the update seems happy. The update was staggered and started on the left coast, but everyone should have it by this morning. If not you should be able to force the download.

Peace and blessings,

Azeke
 
I just got an HR20-700 and AT9 and my installer was great. He was there at 8:15, and was gone at 10:30. He ran all new cables, mounted the dish on the roof, and added a room. He only had trouble with the RF remote, but I helped him. :) The receiver got OxE3 right away. All the locals look pretty good except for ABC; it's pretty blocky. However, I rarely watch ABC.
 
Thanks for these tips! The first one bothers me too and since we decided to reduce our Netflix DVDs at a time and upgrade to Premier, the second tip will help to find those movies we want.

I just wish the locals seemed more reliable. A lot of times I get a blank screen and then eventually the picture may come in. It seems I can't rely on recording something which is why I am still doing my main recording on my HR10-250. Maybe the next HR20 upgrade.


I also have the Black, screen issues with my non DVR MPEG 4HD reciever when it comes to locals
 
With the HR20, I have had real problems the past few days with the HD local channels and even the HD ESPN. Seems to work sometimes and then suddenly major artifacting. It was so bad on the TV show Jericho last night that I had to switch to the non-HD channel. Well, maybe the next upgrade.
 
New HR20-700 installed

I had the new AT9 and HR20-700 installed last Friday. I decided to reserve comments on the installation and the receiver until I a chance to use it for a week. More importantly, I wanted my wife to use it as well. While we had our obvious Tivo withdrawal issues, I must say that I am extremely impressed with the HR20-700. Recording is made totally easy with this. No delay's when changing channels. No navigating through screens when recording individual episodes or season passes. The only negative I have seen with this box is the fact that there is no Live Tv button. I am addicted to the ability to change between the two tuners when watching tv, especially with the SuperFan SundayTicket. That is the major drawback for me.

I was using an antenna to get my locals in HD for the past year and a half, and I must say the image is as clear as can be. The only negative with that is our local status had local weather stations that D* does not carry. This is only important in SoFlo because of all the hurricanes we get every year. Other than that, it is no catastrophe.

I hesitated for quite some time in doing the upgrade because of the comments I read here. However, I must say I am pleasantly surprise by the performance of this box. I still have my H10-250, which I moved to the bedroom, so I am not Tivo deprived, I just don't miss it in the family room.

If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact me.

Oh, btw, I have two 6x8 multiswitches hooked up to the dish and the installation is impeccable, I am totally protected for any impending hurricane.
 
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