Unusual H3 Problem

joegr

joegr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2010
310
300
Gulfport
I have a very unusual H3 problem that started a few weeks ago. It quickly went from once every day or two to now being all the time. I changed nothing about my setup before or during the problem.

Setup: Dish Hopper 3 to Onkyo TX-NR515 surround sound to Vizio HD TV via HDMI. Using Harmony hub remote (IR codes, not IP), and I have one Joey.

Problem: Turn H3 on, and the home screen menu comes up, but the PIP box for the channel is black. Sometimes, there is video but no sound. Changing the channel or playing a recording causes the video to stop and go black. At any time, pressing menu brings up the menus, or guide brings up the guide (but no currently playing video). Playing a recording acts like the whole recording played in an instant, but there is no video. Note that the Joey is correctly operating and showing video while this problem is present.

At this point, I can press menu and select settings and then diagnostics and then status. Sometimes it completes at 100%, other times it doesn't get that far. Either way, it seems to crash after that and goes through the whole reboot process. After that, the H3 works fine, until I turn it off and then back on, then it is back to no video. I can also press the red reset button to get things going till the next off/on cycle. This applies if I just turn the H3 off and on, or if I turn the whole system (Dish, Onkyo, Vizio) off and on.

What I have tried: I have tried new HDMI cables, and I have tried using a different HDMI input on the Onkyo. I am having no problems with my other video source, a FireStick. I have also tried unplugging the H3 for 30 minutes and plugging it back in. No change. I have also tried turning HDMI-CEC off on both the H3 and the Onkyo.

Concerns: I don't want to deal with Dish's normal tech support for this. I feel like I could waste hours going in circles with reboots and cord pulls due to their scripts. I am out of contract. (I have been with Dish since the late mid-90s.)

Are there any suggestions to make this less painful? (I am actually considering just dropping it and going to streaming.)
 
DISH Support

DISH Support

OFFICIAL DISH SUPPORT
Staff member
DISH DIRT TEAM!
Jun 6, 2019
706
708
I have a very unusual H3 problem that started a few weeks ago. It quickly went from once every day or two to now being all the time. I changed nothing about my setup before or during the problem.

Setup: Dish Hopper 3 to Onkyo TX-NR515 surround sound to Vizio HD TV via HDMI. Using Harmony hub remote (IR codes, not IP), and I have one Joey.

Problem: Turn H3 on, and the home screen menu comes up, but the PIP box for the channel is black. Sometimes, there is video but no sound. Changing the channel or playing a recording causes the video to stop and go black. At any time, pressing menu brings up the menus, or guide brings up the guide (but no currently playing video). Playing a recording acts like the whole recording played in an instant, but there is no video. Note that the Joey is correctly operating and showing video while this problem is present.

At this point, I can press menu and select settings and then diagnostics and then status. Sometimes it completes at 100%, other times it doesn't get that far. Either way, it seems to crash after that and goes through the whole reboot process. After that, the H3 works fine, until I turn it off and then back on, then it is back to no video. I can also press the red reset button to get things going till the next off/on cycle. This applies if I just turn the H3 off and on, or if I turn the whole system (Dish, Onkyo, Vizio) off and on.

What I have tried: I have tried new HDMI cables, and I have tried using a different HDMI input on the Onkyo. I am having no problems with my other video source, a FireStick. I have also tried unplugging the H3 for 30 minutes and plugging it back in. No change. I have also tried turning HDMI-CEC off on both the H3 and the Onkyo.

Concerns: I don't want to deal with Dish's normal tech support for this. I feel like I could waste hours going in circles with reboots and cord pulls due to their scripts. I am out of contract. (I have been with Dish since the late mid-90s.)

Are there any suggestions to make this less painful? (I am actually considering just dropping it and going to streaming.)
Hello joegr. Issues with the picture not appearing when accessing the guide or the home screen menu can be attributed to signal issues. Because you mention the Diagnostics not fully loading 100% of the time, it's likely you are experiencing an issue that will require a technician to come out to your home. We're happy to find the best solution for you if you'd like to contact us through Facebook or Twitter (Facebook Messenger at Log into Facebook, on Twitter @DISH_answers). You may also visit https://www.mydish.com/support/contact to start a live chat with a Customer Service Representative.
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell
joegr

joegr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2010
310
300
Gulfport
Hello joegr. Issues with the picture not appearing when accessing the guide or the home screen menu can be attributed to signal issues....
I respect that thought, but please be aware of this: It all works perfectly from the Joey. The problem when it happens on the hopper is every channel, even the OTA ones, and every video. At the same time, I can go upstairs to the Joey and every channel plays from it, as do the recordings. No recordings are being missed either.

A signal problem would also stop video on the Joey, since than comes from the H3 itself. This is exactly why I dread the thought of dealing with tech support.
 
E

ethanlerma

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 1, 2021
313
485
Texas
This is exactly why I dread the thought of dealing with tech support.
Problem is you are most likely going to have to contact them anyway, because I'm pretty certain that your problem is a faulty Hopper. When you have menus working as normal but linear channels showing a black screen, it could be 3 issues:

1: Bad signal. We can ignore this one since your Joeys work, but unless you have manually checked all tuners by setting up 16 recordings and seeing if they all record correctly, then there is a possibility that a few of the tuners are not getting signal, and those tuners just so happen to be the ones in use by the Hopper. Unlikely but possible.
2: Authorization. Basically, the receiver has somehow lost its decryption keys to unscramble the channel feeds, usually happens if the receiver has been cut off power for long, or you didn't pay the bill. Also unlikely, because if this was the problem a nightly reset would of fixed it.
3: The receiver itself. Basically one (or both) of the previous issues, but the cause is not an external factor like the satellite dish or cabling or billing, but the receiver has gone bad and cannot lock or authorize itself, I'm almost sure this is your problem, since it would explain why the other boxes are still active.

One thing you can try to make sure is if you have a cat 5e Ethernet cable then move one of the Joeys to the room with the Hopper, hook it up to power and video/audio the same way the Hopper out is connected to your home theater (but leave the Hopper power and satellite connections hooked up) then connect the Hopper and Joey together with the ethernet cable, this will allow the Joey to connect to the Hopper for service. If the Joey works perfectly, then you need a new Hopper. If that's the case calling in and hoping you get someone reasonable that will just send you a replacement after you explain what you did to get to the conclusion the Hopper is definitely the problem. Or pull the old "Ill go to streaming if this does not get replaced". Just make sure its actually the Hopper first, they want to troubleshoot for a reason.
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,285
16,308
Nederland , Texas
You need to get DISH back out to look at your setup and see where the problem is. It could be the cable or the switch used with the Hopper or splitter you use for joeys or the satellite lnb itself. Better to have the professionals look at it than trying to guess what it is. NO sense in putting up with a bad tv watching experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell
joegr

joegr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2010
310
300
Gulfport
You need to get DISH back out to look at your setup and see where the problem is. It could be the cable or the switch used with the Hopper or splitter you use for joeys or the satellite lnb itself. Better to have the professionals look at it than trying to guess what it is. NO sense in putting up with a bad tv watching experience.
As an EE, I can assure you that it is not the cable. While I really believe that it must be the H3 itself, I am willing to concede the 1% or less chance that it is the dish or the node. (I'm sure stranger things have happened.) However, I am not on the protect plan. I have never had a rate discount in the 23 or so years with Dish, and I just can't bring myself to pay any fees for the repair of a box that I lease from them. If they'll ship me a replacement hopper at no charge, then great. If not, then maybe I will just cancel and go the streaming. (More than half our viewing is streaming now anyway.)
If they would send an H3 and the problem remained with the new one installed, I would admit my mistake and then pay them to troubleshoot and correct the problem (as well as sending the new H3 back).

PS: I installed the dish to the eve of my 2nd story roof. I am no longer willing to go up two stories on a ladder to it, and neither was the last dish guy that came out (I forget what that was for).
 
E

ethanlerma

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 1, 2021
313
485
Texas
I have never had a rate discount in the 23 or so years with Dish, and I just can't bring myself to pay any fees for the repair of a box that I lease from them. If they'll ship me a replacement hopper at no charge, then great. If not, then maybe I will just cancel and go the streaming. (More than half our viewing is streaming now anyway.)
IIRC they will charge for shipping, but the receiver is there responsibility since it is leased. I have gone all owned on my equipment for years and not had anything replaced recently, so YMMV
 
Tampa8

Tampa8

Supporting Founder - I'll stand up and say so
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 8, 2003
18,078
7,630
Tampa/Eastern Ct
Are you on the Eastern Arc? If so do a check switch and end the use of the 77 Sat.

Have you taken the Onkyo out of the equation?

Also try turning tv on first wait a few seconds then turn on Hopper. Also if possible try a different TV or if you have them try different connection then HDMI.
 
joegr

joegr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2010
310
300
Gulfport
Are you on the Eastern Arc? If so do a check switch and end the use of the 77 Sat.

Have you taken the Onkyo out of the equation?

Also try turning tv on first wait a few seconds then turn on Hopper. Also if possible try a different TV or if you have them try different connection then HDMI.

1. Yes, I am. It only lists 61 and 72. There is no third space. I think that this has been true since install, not just lately. Still, I did try to do the equivalent of check switch, but it crashes and resets before finishing, so I couldn't save any new results anyway.

2. No, and that is a reasonable thought. I'll try it with an HDMI cable directly to the TV to see if that changes the problem.

3. It would be very difficult to try a different TV. However, I have tried it with the TV and Onkyo on before turning the Dish on. In fact, (with HDMI-CEC disabled) I have tried leaving the TV and Onkyo on and turning the Dish on and off while the others remain on. I get the same result.

Interestingly, sometimes (less than 1/2 the time) it does come on with the video going, but no sound. When it does this, there is no sound from the analog audio out either. (I can go and turn the Joey on to the same channel, and there is sound there.) When it does this (no sound), changing to any other channel (satellite or OTA) causes the video to freeze.
 
N

njack11

Member
Jan 18, 2007
10
22
joegr, you are not alone with this problem and I understand (now more than ever) why you do not want to deal with the normal tech support. I am experiencing the same symptoms that you describe. The slight difference is that I don't have it set to start up with the home screen, but with the last viewed channel, so mine comes up to a black screen (after a brief blip of the video and audio) with all of the banners, menus and guide working. I contacted support via chat on mydish.com on 11/5 and knew I was going to have to jump through all of the hoops as they went through their script. I described the issue and played along with rebooting and running diagnostics and even let them connect remotely to the H3. Then, I don't know if their shift ended or what, but the last response was to contact them if it happens again and I would need to talk to the Dr. Dish Department (2nd level support?), and the chat ended. From then until now, I have been moving recordings to my external HD in anticipation of having to replace the receiver. I also tried some things and narrowed down what causes the problem. It is when the H3 wakes up from standby. It doesn't matter how the receiver goes into standby. If it is after the nightly update/reboot, when the inactivity timeout expires, or if you simply turn it off from the remote and wait for it to go into standby (the green LED on the front goes off) after about a minute. When you wake it up, you will have the problem. To make things a little more tolerable, I turned off the inactivity timer so that it would not go into standby. That isn't recommended because they say that it won't do the nightly update, but that is not true. It does it anyway. When done watching, I would turn off only the TV, not the H3. In the morning, I would find that it had indeed updated and gone into standby (and would be in the black screen state), so I would restart it from the Tools menu and at least when I got home from work in the evening, everything would be working and I wouldn't have to wait for a reboot. So, with this knowledge, I started a second chat today to get the H3 replaced. I explained the situation and the person asked me to press the red button on the front and tell them what was on the screen. I obliged and told them that it was the normal reboot and was back to programming. They said the next time there was a pop-up, to note the error number and the message and contact them again. I told them that there is no pop-up and that I can actually recreate the issue. The response was that they will send a technician out for $95. My response was that there was no need for a technician, why can't we troubleshoot it? The response was, because you said it is working. I said give me 1 minute. I put it into standby and brought it out and told them OK, I'm having the issue right now, let's troubleshoot it. The response was, we have to send a technician out and it will be $95. I asked to be escalated to second level support or a supervisor. The response was that they couldn't do that because I said it was working. I ended the chat and called the Loyalty/Retentions number. I got a nice lady in Denver and before I even finished explaining all that transpired on the chats, she said, well, I'm not a technical person, but it sounds like a receiver issue and you are a 26-year customer that sounds like you know what you are talking about. If you think it is the receiver, I trust you and will send you a replacement free of charge. A two minute call, mission accomplished, replacement receiver is on the way. Now I hope that I'm right. But, I don't see how it could be a signal or cabling issue when my Joey3 continues to work when the Hopper3 is in this state and it doesn't happen randomly, only when coming out of standby.
 
E

ethanlerma

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 1, 2021
313
485
Texas
If you think it is the receiver, I trust you and will send you a replacement free of charge. A two minute call, mission accomplished, replacement receiver is on the way.
Now that is some seriously good luck. Hopefully it is the receiver. Do let us know the results :)
 
joegr

joegr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 8, 2010
310
300
Gulfport
So, I have a new discovery. I did think to try a streaming channel, and it was the same (blank screen). Also, I decided to try a streaming app from the H3 (I always use a Firestick instead). I tried YouTube on the H3, and that did play. Much to my surprise, after I exited the YouTube app, the Dish channels worked again, but only till the next power off/on. However, going to YouTube for a second is faster than resetting each time to get it to work, so there is that at least.

@njack11, Please let me know how the replacement goes before I attempt the same.
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell
N

njack11

Member
Jan 18, 2007
10
22
Will do joegr. The replacement is "out for delivery", with UPS' generic estimate of "by 9:00 P.M."

Like you, I was looking for a way to get things going quicker than a reset and I did have limited success with switching to non-satellite channels. Switching to the new additional Holiday DishScape on channel 305 (which is a stream) worked once, but then not the next time that I tried it. Switching to an OTA channel through the USB tuner sometimes worked and sometimes resulted in just a picture with no sound. Once that would happen, switching to any other channels would result in the channel banner changing, but the video of the first OTA channel switched to would remain. The other thing to note is that while in this blackout state, recordings still occur. After a reset, they are viewable (thankfully). Trying to view a recording while in the blackout state results in it just jumping to the end as if the playback of the recording ended.
 
N

njack11

Member
Jan 18, 2007
10
22
After replacing the H3, the issue appears to be gone. I can no longer make it happen by going into standby and coming out of it. It was also working fine this morning after it did the nightly reset and went into standby on its own. Time will tell, of course, but right now, it looks good. The only issue that I had during the swap was that although I backed up timers and settings, and although during the setup process, it said it was restoring them, they were not restored. Also tried restoring them manually from the Tools menu, and still no luck. Luckily, I did make note of the timers that I had, although I won't be able to get back the ones for programs that are not currently airing. I might try doing a backup and restore again before I pack the old H3 up and send it back.
 
navychop

navychop

Member of the Month - July 2014!
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 20, 2005
53,310
18,439
Northern VA
They answer just like any CSR, but appear to be native English speakers. At the bottom of a barrel. No mention of being "Loyalty."
 
  • Like
Reactions: charlesrshell
N

njack11

Member
Jan 18, 2007
10
22
They answer just like any CSR, but appear to be native English speakers. At the bottom of a barrel. No mention of being "Loyalty."
Correct. When I called, I went into a short hold queue and when she answered, she just said, "This is (insert name here). Who am I speaking to today.?" However, as I was explaining the technical aspects of the issue, she said, "I'm not technical. This is the Loyalty/Retentions Department". At which point I apologized for going this route, but I was getting nowhere with the website chat folks. She said that it wasn't a problem and the goal of this department is to make sure that customers don't leave. That's when she offered to send the "new" H3 free of charge.
 

Similar threads

E
Replies
19
Views
1K
navychop
navychop
KAB
Replies
2
Views
729
KAB
2
Replies
4
Views
1K
gunner44
G
D
Replies
10
Views
2K
drbaldinger
D
Joewee
Replies
0
Views
715
Joewee
Joewee

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top