72 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2014 10:35 AM by texasbrit RSS

HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

jkm2730

My HR34-700 which has worked well for a year but now seems to have recording problems. When you playback the recording the video freezes in the first few seconds and the audio continues to play.  You can NOT fast forward, rewind or skip forward, skip back.  This happens on various channels at various times.  I have been able to duplicate it by recording 5 channels manually off of the Guide.  It appears that the first recording of the batch shows the freezing symptom but the 4 others are OK.  Now I did this test manually in the Guide as I wanted to know if one of the 5 tuners/recorders in the HR34 was causing this problem.  I only attempted this test 2 times.  The first time all 5 shows worked OK the second time I attempted it I was able to duplicate it as written above.  I did this test as I have lots of experience using multiple tuners/recorders in Windows Media and I wondered if the HR34 had a "bad" tuner.  I assume the electronics in the HR34 has 5 separate digital tuners/recorders.  If I correct it could be that one tuner is an issue.  I am not sure how the HR34 prioritizes the tuners and whether or not it selects the same first tuner each time the first recording begins.  I will attempt a few more trys of the 5 manual recordings to see if I get again get 4 good shows and one bad.  The problem is intermittent but seems to be more frequent than when it was first noticed a few weeks ago.

 

I contacted the customer service folks at Directv but they were of no use.  They told me they suspected the HDMI cable between the HR34 and the TV.  That told me how well they understood the problem.  They also had me run the standard system test and reset the system with the red button. I went along with them but had already done both of these along with checking all cables, there was nothing to note.  They offered a $49 visit but I declined because I think I may be on to something and since it is not consistent in being able to duplicate I don't want to fork over money for someone to do everything I've already done and tell me they cant find any problems and not be able to duplicate the recording issues.  Although we have save some of the recordings that have the issue and intend to save more if they occur.  That is if my wife doesn't get ****** when you show failed to record again and chuck the HR34 out of the house.  Watching her select her recorded show and see a frozen screen with normal audio and her ****** off look is killing me.

 

We have seen this happen once in the live mode but only when we were in the Guide and the picture was in the upper left hand corner.  We were able to get the frozen screen to go away that time after exiting out of Guide, changing channels and going back to the problem channel.  We also have an HD box in our bedroom (H25-500) which does not show these symptoms, so far.

 

Any suggestions?

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    litzdog911

    Might be a dying hard drive ....

     

    Run the Built in Self-test (BIST) to try and repair your hard drive. To run the hard drive checks, please follow these steps:

     

    * Reboot DVR via red button inside card door.

    * When you see "Running receiver self-check" press select

    * You will see "Entering Diagnostics Mode..."

    * Select Advanced Tests Menu -> Hard Drive utilities -> Short Smart test

     

    You can also run the file test, and the DVR can sometimes repair a bad file report.

    * If the other tests pass, run the surface test.   Warning: This process could take several hours to complete. You may want to run it overnight.

     

    The good news is that every attempt is made to save programming. This is less destructive than a reformat all and could provide you with a more stable system if you are having problems that appear to be related to the hard drive. 

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    shannon01

    Tell them the lights don't come on, they will usually ship a replacement for $20 to cover shipping.  

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    tsesee

    I have the same problem with some recordings. It happens on multiple stations. I many times have the problem if I pause a program and come back a few minutes later. When I start, it freezes the picture and continues the audio. Sometimes if I fast forward it, it stops audio, the pointer remains in the position until it hits the end of the pause and then resumes normal playback. Other times if I FF, it jumps back to the beginning. This symptom generally happens on a recorded show. This is a relatively new HR34-700. Maybe I'll give CS a call and see if they'll replace it with a 44.

    • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
      jkm2730

      Well that's not great news for me as I just received the replacement HR34 and had hoped that would fix the problem but you are telling me you HR34 is relatively new.  Well we will watch as many of the shows as we can and install this new unit this weekend and keep our fingers crossed.  Pixelation and stuttering has always been a very rare happening and doesn't happen often enough to complain so we just live with it. 

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    tsesee

    PS I am also having the pixelation and stuttering problem.

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    jkm2730

    Well It's back and has been for a couple of weeks.  Soon after I installed a replacement HR34 it happened once and so I pretended it didn't as I didn't want to believe it.  It has happened twice this week on two separate recordings, 2 different channels.  Before I call Directv back does anyone have any ideas?  It's either a problem with multiple Genies or it's the service, I just don't get it. 

     

    If I do have to call them up what exactly should I say to avoiding getting stuck at the basic level customer service level as they will probably be useless.  I can already hear them telling me "we've never heard of this problem".  I find that highly unlikely since there are two on this post along that have this problem.

     

    HELP ME!!!!!!!

    • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
      tsesee

      I called DTV and their tech had me try to recreate the problem, but of course it wouldn't. I decided to do the long hard disk surface test. At first, it would run for 7% of the disk and freeze. I tried it a number of times and it would always do the same. I noticed that my disk free space was 93% which was 100 - 7. I deleted a couple of shows and reran the surface test. It made it all the way. I reran it and it again completed. This was several weeks ago and I had my first instance of the problem today, but it was only on a paused program. I have since paused programs and they catch up correctly. None of my records have had a problem. Not sure what this means, but you might try the surface test (overnight) and see a. if t freezes about where your empty space begins, or b. if it fixes the problem. Best of luck!

    • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
      paris1

      I could have written your posts word for work. I'm having the exact same problem in the exact time frame and sequence as you have. Welcome to the club. I replaced my DVR about two weeks ago, woke up this morning and tried to play back two shows recorded on different channels at different times and they both froze up within the first minute of playback while the audio was unaffected. Exact same problem as I had on the old recorder, which was one year old when replaced in December. Rather than call Direct TV, I thought I'd Google the problem and see if I could find it. That's how I ended up here. One thing mentioned earlier (or on another thread dealing with the same problem) was a possible bad HDMI cable. The poster blew it off as a ridiculous diagnosis, but I recall in an earlier conversation with Direct TV (prior to replacing the DVR) one of the techs mentioned this as a possibility. I'm wondering if it might be worth trying a replacement cable as we seem to be running out of options here. BTW, we are in the middle of a drought here in Northern Calif., so weather considerations could not enter into the situation. Anyone have any thoughts on this? I know HDMI cables are rather complicated in nature and I'm beginning to wonder if the one I've been using through multiple DVRs may be failing.

      Update: I tried swapping out HDMI cable and playing back one of frozen recordings. No luck!

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    ryanyoung7259@gmail.com

    Hello. I have been following this thread for quite some time. I have actually found a fix for this issue…

     

    Whenever the symptoms appear, just update the DVR’s software. This has worked on 3 separate occasions with my HR34.

     

    DirecTV releases software updates every few weeks, but the DVRs don’t automatically update.

     

    Here’s how to force your DVR to update:

      1.) Restart the receiver by hitting the red reset button or if you’re lazy go to Settings--> Reset --> Restart Receiver

      2.) When the blue welcome screen appears, press 0 2 4 6 8 on the remote. This will force the DVR to look for an update.

      3.) Once the download is complete, your DVR should work again. If the symptoms reappear in a few weeks check for an      update again. I have yet to encounter a situation when the symptoms appeared and there was no update available.

     

    Thankfully, this update fix doesn’t have to be done on the Mini Genies. The main DVR will push any downloaded updates to them.

     

    Also, I’ve found that a lot of issues, such as the TV Apps menu not appearing, can be alleviated by a simple software update.

     

    Best of luck to you!

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    peds48

    I Would ignore the above message, the DVRs do update automatically, forcing an update can cause all sort of issues including "bricking" the DVR and or lost of the playlist.  The reason why you think updating is working is because forcing an update requires a rest which is most likely is what is fixing this issue temporarily.  You are not getting new updates, but a copy of the same software that you have

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    icedcorn

    At the risk of saying "me too", ME TOO!

     

    This started on Monday 1/13. I was trying to watch news LIVE on a mini Genie box where it just locked up. Figured it was just the dish, turned off and went to work.

    Then I got home and went to play a recorded news program. 5 minutes in, froze, then black screen and audio only.

    Then I went to watch live TV. Same deal!

    Then I went back to the HR34 main unit, tried to watch the recorded show and similar problem - but no audio, just complete freeze.

    Hit the red button on the HR 34, everything worked ok for that night. Next day, same issue.

    GAH! Red buttoned again.

    Then reset cable modem and router. Flashed router with new firmware. Checked coax on home DTV network kit. GenieGo is all blue lights also.

     

    I've had this HR 34 since May 2013, no problems until recently (previously I had mini Genies that were not showing pictures at all or sound but that's another thread).

     

     

    I Haven't been able to test this morning, but i did ask for a signal refresh.

     

    it seems to be an ongoing problem with WMUR abc 9 when i am watching live on any unit (main or mini) or watching a recorded news program.

     

    FTI, my system software is dated 1/8/14, but i don't have the version handy. Maybe its related?

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    ndfan1993

    Just experienced a situation on H2 where a recorded program had this pop up in the last 4 minutes of the show. Hoping that we get an answer or solution for this soon.

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    ndfan1993

    Called today after it froze again - the best they could do was send a new receiver (HR34) out. They said they couldn't send the HR44. This whole process is a lesson in incompetence.

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    jkm2730

    I just got off the phone with DTV tech support and they had me do all of the same ridiculous steps they do everytime and the conclusion was I need a tech visit.  OK I already got them to mail me a re-furbished HR34 for $20 and now they want another $50 to send out the tech.  At least they were willing to discount the visit with a $20 credit.  One question they asked me was "Do you have ethernet cable hooked to the HR34?"  Why would they ask that and what does that have to do with this problem?  Matter of fact I do have an ethernet cable hooked to the HR34 as that's how its hooked up to network. 

     

    Is there any chance this is part of the problem???????  I used to have a DECA Broadband Adapter (model DECABB1MR0-01) hooked up at my router (Ethernet from the DECA to the router and Coax to the DECA)  I removed it a long time ago, way before the freezing issue showed up, so I doubt it is/was part of the freezing problem.

     

    My intention is to show the tech the dozen or so recording that are frozen on 4 or more channels-I hope that is enough to show my problem as we all know that its hit and miss on duplicating the freezing.

     

    Any thoughts?

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    austinpop

    I'm having this same problem. I have the protection plan.

     

    Are there any magic phrases I can use with the CSR to ensure a service call rather than have them automatically ship me a replacement HR34?

     

    Thanks!

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    benp

    I Read this thread and reluctantly called. I am on my second HR34. I'm losing 3-4 shows a week at this point.  since I had a case history, the tier 1 guy told me it had to be transferred to the Case Management department, and they would have to conduct tests before determining whether to send a technician out. sigh!  When they call, I'm referencing this thread and demanding they send an HR44 by mail or technician. I don't care. I just want this fixed! I did mention my plan to do this, and he said if a technician was deemed necessary, it would depend on if he had them on his truck. Sigh!

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    benp

    Technician just left.  As you guys have reported with your techs, he knew immediately that I needed a 44 and swapped it out.  Called the 34s ****.

  • Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues
    austinpop

    I'm still going through the steps to trigger a truck roll. My goal is still to get a tech to come out and swap in an HR44.

     

    However, I must say that one of the steps recommended by the phone tech support guy seems to have stopped the freeze problem for the time being. I am assuming it's only a matter of time, but for now, the freezes are gone on my HR34.

     

    The step was to unplug the SWIM power inserter and wait until the LED goes out (about 45 seconds) before plugging back in. That, coupled with a restart of the DVR, seems to have solved the problem, at least for now.

     

    We shall see.

     

    Here's what the inserter looks like. You may have to search to find it.