Strange issue here - but it sounds like DIrecTV is aware of the issue after speaking to technical support tonight. I'm posting to see if anyone else is seeing the same pattern to this issue.
Equipment: Genie HR34-700 whole home DVR with 5 minis.
Problem: We automatically record the channel 2 news (KTVU) at 10:00pm every night in Oakland, CA and watch it delayed. When watching the playback of the recordings, sections of the news will freeze, stutter and pixelate with audio completely dropped out. We have not noticed this when watching the news live - just on playback of the recording - either through pausing or playing the recording from the "list." It happens both on the main DVR and on the minis. Resetting the devices does not change the situation. We also have not noticed it on other programs we record on the same station - like football games.
My hard drive is fine.
Live playback appears fine.
Recorded playback of this one particular program, the KTVU channel 2 news, has the problem.
More strangely: During the playback of the news, the problem never happens during commercials on the news or when the news is broadcasting the main studio cameras (it happens rarely on the weather studio cameras). It seems to mostly happen when the news cuts to live cameras in the field. And it happens during just about every segment that cuts to a field camera.
It feels like there is some sort of strange incompatibility with the field cameras and how they are fed to DirecTV and encoded by the DVR when recorded. Otherwise, this would happen with the studio cameras, commercials, and also when live.
Since our recorded news is basically unwatchable now, I really would like this solved. The person I spoke with at DirecTV tech support tonight said they are aware of this issue and engineers are working on it, but they don't know when it will be fixed. I've had my genie setup for almost a year, and this issue just started about 6 weeks ago, so it seems like a software problem DirecTV introduced somewhere. Tech support was not familiar with the pattern I described of this happening only during field camera segments.
Anyone else noticing patterns to this? Maybe we can help the engineers fix this if they get enough details. Very frustrating - and if it persists I fear we'll have to switch to cableTV (which I don't want to do).
Googling around, I found other forums discussing similar type issues. Some of those claimed the issue is more likely on an HR34-700, but I have no way to verify if another model would be better.