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Help please - Tuner gone bad on a series 2

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by mikeandnikki, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Dec 28, 2006 #1 of 190
    mikeandnikki

    mikeandnikki New Member

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Through trial and error, I have determined that the line 2 tuner in the DirecTivo box in my living room has gone partially bad. A number of channels get intermittently pixilated (garbled video and sound) including CNN, Comedy Central, Bravo, and TBS. Other channels are fine. It doesn't matter which input cable is going into the 2nd tuner - the problem persists there. The line 1 tuner has no problems with these same stations (and my other DirecTivo is having no problems at all eliminating a signal issue).

    What I am wondering is if anyone knows how I can get this repaired? Anyone had this issue previously and is there a course of action I can take?

    Given that the tuner is DirecTv specific, I assume that only they would have replacements - but with their move to the non-tivo boxes will they have any or provide any help (I've emailed them but am not optimistic)?

    You guys are the greatest source of help so if there's an answer I know someone here has it. Thanks in advance
    Mike
     
  2. Dec 28, 2006 #2 of 190
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    I haven't seen any posts here where anyone has successfully replaced or repaired a defective satellite tuner. You're lucky that it's Tuner 2 that's defective because you can still use this DVR as a single-tuner Tivo.
     
  3. Dec 28, 2006 #3 of 190
    goony

    goony New Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    You might want to use the search function and look for the word tuner and specify Search Titles Only and only search in this DirecTV Receiver with Tivo forum - this has been discussed a few times before.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2006 #4 of 190
    JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    30,681
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    Binghamton, NY
    Check all TPs on tuner 2 and check to see if you are missing the even numbered ones. If so, then it's possible that the voltage regulator that selects the odd/even TPs for that tuner has failed. This is a somewhat easier repair. And, before you ask, I don't know what part or where it's located on the main circuit board. You can check this with a voltmeter to see if you get 13vdc or 18vdc on the sab line,
     
  5. Dec 28, 2006 #5 of 190
    mikeandnikki

    mikeandnikki New Member

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Thanks guys - as usual - you are on the ball. I took Goony's advice and searched around (I am still fairly new to the site and did not know about all the search criterion I could specify and so my previous searches had come up with too much information).

    A couple of the threads I found discussed removing the s-video output and going back to composite video output. I thought this was strange but figured it was worth a shot. Low and behold - the moment I removed the s-video cable from the back of the box, the breakup stopped. I have now rewired to not use the s-video and have had no problems on any channel for over an hour! :confused:

    Does anyone know why the heck this worked? Not looking a gift horse in the mouth but I am concerned that maybe I am just not seeing the problem and the degradation of the tuner is continuing and will eventually completely blink out, I'm just not seeing symptoms any more. The only other option is that the problem exists in an area that affects the s-video output. Any thoughts or experiences?

    Thanks again for your help. Based on what you have said and what was in other threads, sounds like if this does go, I might as well just look to get a new box versus fixing the tuner.

    Tentatively happy and very appreciative : )
    Mike
     
  6. Dec 28, 2006 #6 of 190
    JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    Why this worked for one tuner and not the other is beyond me. Try reconnecting the s-video cable to see if it comes back.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2006 #7 of 190
    QED

    QED New Member

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    Sep 27, 2003
    Philadelphia...
    I read those same threads a couple of months ago. I also read the composite vs. S-video solution but did not try it. I am now wondering if this works due to a collection of dirt/dust in or around that area of the circuit board maybe causing a short/voltage drain. Did you try taking the cover off and giving the innards a good clean?

    My solution was less technical. I got a refurbished Hughes unit off of ebay. It was a steal at under $50 delivered. There was (maybe still is) a seller (tivoitcom??) who sold only refurbed Hughes' units. Mine works great. It came with an old software version but forcing a call to the mothership downloaded v6.2. I then upgraded the drive to a 400GB Seagate and I'm happily sitting on a 357 hour unit.
     
  8. Dec 28, 2006 #8 of 190
    goony

    goony New Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    I've been wondering about this fix. No, I don't think dust & dirt would be the issue.

    I need to open up one of my spare DTivos and have a good look around inside... with no schematics it will be a lot of guessing but maybe I can figure out a way to do some tests.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2006 #9 of 190
    bILLH97

    bILLH97 New Member

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    Sep 30, 2003
    I had a Hughes HDVR-2 had the same problem. Bad tuner on input 2. About 3 years old. Went to Wal-Mart and bought new old stock Direct TV Tivo R-10 for $100. My wife hated the idea of a non-Tivo unit. There are several companies on e-bay for geting a refurbished one and changing the HD but decided to buy the new R-10 instead.

    Bill :)
     
  10. Dec 29, 2006 #10 of 190
    mikeandnikki

    mikeandnikki New Member

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    Dec 28, 2006
    It's like a light switch - if I unplug the s-video - both tuners work perfectly - if I plug it back in, the distortion happens instantly on tuner 2 (with tuner 1 still operating fine). It's the darndest thing.

    I have not opened up the case and cleaned it out (it's 4 years old so there may be a lot of build up). Probably not a bad idea to clean at this point anyway. I'll experiment once complete and post if I find that fixes the problem.

    Think I may start looking into the series 3s and switching to cable just to be prepared if this is just a reprive measure and not actually a fix.

    Thanks again everyone. 6 hours later and still no problems. At a minimum, this bought me some time to look at my options. I know that DirectTv CSRs would have been useless at helping me and that this community was my only hope. Thanks for coming through.
    Mike
     
  11. Dec 29, 2006 #11 of 190
    goony

    goony New Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    What is the S-Video cable feeding to? your tv set??

    I'm trying to develop a theory as to what is going on... do you possibly have another TV set with an S-Video input that you could replace the current TV set with to see if it still happens? Even if you do, it wouldn't be an easy task to switch, probably.

    Don't go to the bother of doing this unless you have an overwhelming technical curiosity about this issue.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2006 #12 of 190
    mikeandnikki

    mikeandnikki New Member

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    Dec 28, 2006
    The s-vid is going into my Onkyo receiver which is then heading on to the TV. When I have a sec, I will try direct plugging the s-vid cable into the tv (it's a 43" so it takes a little manuvering). I'll let you know what I find out.

    I don't think it has anything to do with this but I have swithed out the original HD for a 250gb one (years ago). I only mention as I saw this in a number of other posts reporting this problem. My guess is that it is a total coincidence but in case it matters...
    Mike
     
  13. Jan 12, 2007 #13 of 190
    shredhead

    shredhead New Member

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    Oct 14, 2003
    not sure if this is a similar issue...

    One of my HDVR2's had pretty jumpy/jittery video coming from both composite and SVideo connectors. Most visually noticeable was TEXT when you'd change channels or look at any of the Tivo menus. Definitely wasn't the TV set because I checked multiple inputs and multiple devices. The problem later went away on its own. My other units didn't have this problem so it wasn't the signal.. Wierd.. Whatever chip controls video output is perhaps about to go bad. The hard drive is making noise too.. If this happens again I'll get my video camera to make up a sample.
     
  14. Jan 14, 2007 #14 of 190
    blksnake

    blksnake New Member

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    Oct 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Mike! Your tip worked for me! :)
     
  15. Feb 4, 2007 #15 of 190
    wareynolds

    wareynolds New Member

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    Jan 28, 2004
    so is/was it just that the svideo was plugged in?

    I also am confused on the channel thing, if I have a dual LNB circle dish, with another dish for locals and all going to a multi-switch, would is not be a problem on all channels? It does seem to be on a few things we record. but it seems every time we record we have a problem. If it were a tuner 2 issue shouldn't it be all channels sometimes and no some channels all the time? thanks in advance.
     
  16. Feb 7, 2007 #16 of 190
    astrongone

    astrongone astrongone

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Oregon
    Removing the S-Video cable to test and confirm that the pixilation would stop solved the problem. I have just pulled the S-Video cable several nights in a row and get good recorded results. :) :up:
     
  17. Feb 7, 2007 #17 of 190
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Cocoa, Florida
    If it were a tuner issue, it would be on certain (or all) channels (based on transponder polarity) on a certain tuner (Satellite input). In general tuner problems can be checked by swapping the inputs on the back of the box. If it stays on the same tuner it is likely an issue with the tuner (or at least not an input signal issue). If it changes with the input swap it is most likely a problem with something other than the tivo (lnb, multi-switch or wiring).

    In this case the problem went away when the S-Video was disconnected, indicating some kind of interference from the S-vid circuitry when the cable is connected.

    For the OP, Did you try a different cable?
     
  18. Feb 9, 2007 #18 of 190
    jangelj

    jangelj New Member

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    Oct 23, 2002
    I had this exact same problem. The symptoms (pixellation on tuner 2) started occasionally, then happened more and more frequently. Finally one morning I got up and my tivo had a blank screen and the Hard drive was clicking. So I thought that the HD going bad had caused the pixellation. GREAT! I thought. It's a good excuse to finally put a big (250 GB) HD in my directivo.

    I bought a western dig. 250 GB HD and, copied from the old HD (it had enough life left in it for me to make a copy). I installed the new HD and lo and behold the pixellation continued. That's when I came to the forum and saw the posts about unplugging the Svideo. So I unplugged the svideo, hooked up with the rca jack and it worked perfectly...for days...no pixellation.

    So I tried some different scenarios. I plugged in directly from svideo on the tivo to the tv (I normally use a selector switch) and the pixellation came back immediately. I went svideo on the tivo to the switch (the way it was originally setup) and the pixellation was there. It seems that whenever an svideo cable was plugged into the tivo it would pixellate on tuner 2.

    What i find strange/interesting is that I've had this HDVR2 for 4 years and never had a problem. It seems very odd that the HD would go bad at the same time that this pixellation problem pops up. Is there a connection? (and, yes, I did try 3 different svideo cables).

    John
     
  19. Feb 14, 2007 #19 of 190
    AaronFord

    AaronFord New Member

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    Nov 5, 2003
    You guys are awesome! I just had the same problem with my (3 year old?) Hughes HDVR2. Switching from s-video to composit fixed the problem.

    One of the posts I read mentioned something about voltage regulators controlling transponder polarity for each tuner. If this is accurate, then it's conceivable that the voltage regulator is no longer functioning within its ideal operating range 100% of the time and that using the s-video cable changes the circuit current flows just enough to cause the intermittent problems. I know... it's a stretch but it is a plausible theory. It could also mean that I might have a total failure at some point in the future-I'll have to wait and see.

    (FYI) Here's what was happening with mine. When viewing channels on one tuner, the images on some channels were intermittently garbled/pixelated (it's been getting worse over the last few weeks). It only happened on every 3rd or 4th channel. After using the TV Line button on the remote to switch to the other tuner, I could browse through channels with no problems. This indicates that it's probably not a hard drive issue.

    I went through all the Satellite Signal Strength tests and found intermittent signals (ie. fluctuating from 0 to 85-90) on some of the Transponders for Sat Input 2.
    Sat 101 (A): Transponders 24, 25, 28 were intermittent (18 & 26 had zero signal)
    Sat 119 (B): Transponders 25, 26 were intermittent (25 had zero signal)
    Sat 110 (C) - all ok

    After removing the s-video cable and switching to a composite cable, the fluctuating signals were all stable at 85-95% (the Transponders with zero signal were unchanged).

    Diagnostic Tip: Someone told me to go into the Signal Strength screen and find one of the transponders with fluctuating signals. While keeping that screen on the TV, swap the cables for satellite input 1 and satellite input 2. In my case, the fluctuating signal stayed on Satellite input 2. This indicated it was an issue with the Tuner, not with the dish, LNBs or wiring.
     
  20. Feb 14, 2007 #20 of 190
    JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    30,681
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    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    For future reference, those TPs that had 0 are spot beams.
     

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