6 Failed HR10-250 receivers since June; what could the problem/solution be?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by mirosco, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Sep 7, 2006 #1 of 19
    mirosco

    mirosco New Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA

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    I purchased my first and only HR10-250 in May 2005. I was incredibly happy with it and DirecTV till 2 bolts came off of my 3 LNB dish mount on my roof in late April 2006. I called Direct TV and joined the Protection Plan in order to get a $30 service call for Ironwood to come and fix in May 2006.

    In late June, my HR10-250 experienced a problem with signal strength on Satellite 2 input showing zero and Satellite 1 in the 90s. Switching the cables didn’t work. Restarting didn’t fix it and repeating the guided setup didn’t work. DirecTV sent out a Technician from Ironwood who checked the cables and said everything was fine and that the HR10-250 went bad. He didn’t check the Dish which is on a steep roof.

    Since I was signed up with the Protection Plan, Direct TV sent me out a replacement receiver at zero cost.

    The same problem occurred with the second receiver after a few days. After another visit from Ironwood, Direct TV sent out a second replacement receiver. This one had a bad HDMI output. So, they sent out a third replacement receiver. Just like the others, this one went bad due to Satellite 1 tuner dying.

    Another tech comes out and another replacement receiver is sent out. He checks the connections of the dish and said that some of the cables weren’t properly connected. This replacement receiver stays up nearly 2 weeks. It died. Once again, I received another Tech visit and was sent another replacement receiver. This one also dies after about 10 days.

    Each time, the signal strength on one of the tuner shows a strong signal in the 90s and the other shows 0. Switching cables, restarting the receiver, and repeating guided setup doesn’t help.

    So, last night, I called DirecTV and told them that something is wrong with my hardware configuration and that they need to replace the dish, cables, and all hardware. The CSR was only willing to do this if I pretended to be using the DirecTV Mover program and also if I had everything ripped out before. I also tried to get them to give me an HR20 since that requires the new 5 LNB dish and thought it would be a good time to re-install. They were unwilling to do this since they don’t offer it yet. The Customer Retention CSR suggested that I buy it myself at Best Buy.

    I ended up suspending my account. I want to stay with Direct TV. I think that they will have the best HD solution starting next year. Also, I paid $500 for my HR10-250 last year and thing that I should more than just 15 months of use out of it given this high price.


    Given all of this, does anyone have any good ideas on what is causing the satellite tuners on the HR-250 to die? Also, what is my best strategy to get Direct TV to resolve my problem whether it is fixing the real problem with my current setup and getting another HR10-250 or waiting for a HR20 and getting everything rewired.

    Luckily (but unfortunately), since I cannot get all of the Pittsburgh local HD channel via an OTA antennae on my roof, I do have a Comcast DVR and am able to watch and record the HD channels that they offer via basic digital cable. So, I have the time to get this resolved correctly.

    Thanks for your help and sorry for the long-winded post!
     
  2. Sep 7, 2006 #2 of 19
    Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,959
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    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    Yeah. Something is wrong other than the HR10-250's (except the bad HDMI unit.) There's no way you would get that many with 90's on one tuner and 0 on the other.

    Make the installer climb on the roof and fix the initial error.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2006 #3 of 19
    brott

    brott at redh dot com

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    Feb 23, 2001
    Pleasanton, CA
    I had similiar problems. I have four different DirecTivos (one HD) and some would have one tuner working with the other one not. My Solution is probably not the right way to do it, but it did solve my problem. I simply removed the grounding post between the Dish and the Multiswitch and ran the line straight through. Now I have zero grounding. I'm in a virtually lightning free zone here in CA, so I just don't worry about it anymore.

    In any event, It sounds like something is wrong with the electrical connectivity which may be affecting the ability of the Multiswitch.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2006 #4 of 19
    Jeff Ray

    Jeff Ray New Member

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    Dec 30, 2003
    New York, NY
    I had a similar "gremlin" problem with a DirecTivo receiver a while back. Received two new receivers until by chance an repairperson suggested that I replace the entire dish and cabling. Sure enough, that fixed the problem that was EXACTLY what you described, i.e. signal on one but not the other. I did not incur any charges save time, aggravation, and a nice tip to the repairperson.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2006 #5 of 19
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...

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    With everything you've gone through I'd be inclined to think it is a LNB or built-in multiswitch problem with the dish. Replacing the dish and multiswitch would be the logical next step.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2006 #6 of 19
    mirosco

    mirosco New Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the advice!

    I called DirecTV and, after an hour on the phone, got them to agree to send another tech out and send out another replacement HR10-250. The CSR had problems doing this since I suspended my acount 2 days ago while I was considering what to do. He eventually re-activated my account and gave me a credit for the time between now and when the technician is coming out (which due to my work schedule isn't until Sep 18.

    I also asked the CSR for Ironwood Communications phone number. I'm going to call and talk to them before they come out. I'm going to explain that their technicans haven't been able to fix the problem (and really haven't tried)and that they should consider replacing the Dish, multiswitch, ground block, LNBs. I'm going to insist that they take more agressive action than the past and won't sign anything unless they do.

    One Ironwood tech. complained that he only got $16 for the service call and it wasn't worth his time to replace everything. He did, however, do the most of any of them that came out.

    Today, the CSR really tried to help. At one point before I agreed to just a replacement, the CSR ( knowing that I needed a new dish )said that there was an offer in the system for a free upgrade and install to the new 5 LNB dish and the H20 DVR but that it was only good for the Pacific and Mountain timezones. So, being in the Eastern timezone that ruled me out.


    I won't say that this has been a nightmare but it has been incredibly frustrating and a huge waste of time. Hopefully, it will work out this time. Wish me luck!
     
  7. Sep 8, 2006 #7 of 19
    Jeff Ray

    Jeff Ray New Member

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    Dec 30, 2003
    New York, NY
    Don't forget to tip the installer if they go above and beyond as yes, many are on a fixed per visit stipend. The fellow who came through for me diagnosed the problem and pulled parts from his truck. I gave him $50 by the way as I was totally frustrated and the CSRs were of no help on the telephone.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2006 #8 of 19
    jamoke

    jamoke not dead yet...

    37
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    Oct 5, 2003
    Mesa, AZ
    FWIW: I had some wierd SAT-2 tuner level issues that drove me crazy. Finally traced the problem to my splitting the analog AUDIO connections with a Y-connecter. Removed the Y and all was fine.

    It was probably a ground loop of some kind that shows up as a level issue on Sat-2. Wierd.
     
  9. mirosco

    mirosco New Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The technician from Ironwood came out to today and accidentally discovered what my problem was.

    In order to troubleshoot the problem, he decided to move the ground block inside the cellar and cut the 2 satellite cables and 1 OTA cable. He then noticed that one of the cables was dripping water.

    My problem turned out to be water in the cable. This particular cable was installed about 6 years ago by DishNetwork (which I had 1 year before I switched to Direct TV in order to get a series one Direct TV Tivo Receiver).

    Unfortunately, the replacement HR10-250 receiver (which was a refurbished unit) sent out by Direct TV failed 2 hours after the technician left. It appears to be a bad hard disk.

    So, Direct TV is sending out a 7th replacement receiver. I should get it in 2 to 3 days. I got them to give me a $20 credit for the inconvenience. Previously, on past failures, they gave me a $30 credit and 4 months free HD package. Plus, I have suspended my account for a couple of 2 weeks periods while waiting for a convenient time to schedule a tech. visit.

    Hopefully, this 7th replacement receiver will work. I'm pretty confident that the problem has finally been resolved!
     
  10. mirosco

    mirosco New Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I meant to also add my thanks to everyone who replied!

    The Tivo Community is a great resource with a lot of great people!

    I may not post a lot but I visit often .

    I really appreciate this site!!!
     
  11. Charlutz

    Charlutz New Member

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Columbia, MD
    You don't believe in signs from God do you? :p
     
  12. Bananfish

    Bananfish Preowned Member

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    May 16, 2002
    Belmont, CA
    Am I the only one that pictures Mirosco walking down the street, with telephone lines, electrical generators and car batteries exploding as he walks by, showering the street behind him with giant sparks.

    Good luck Mirosco! (but please don't come to my house!) :D
     
  13. mirosco

    mirosco New Member

    9
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    Feb 28, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I do believe that it is almost time to seriously consider upgrading to the HR20.

    I think that the refurbished HR10-250 units that Direct TV sends out are really crappy! As soon as the new slimline MPGEG 4-capable dish comes out, I'm going to switch to the new HR20. Hopefully, by the time this new dish is available, most of the bugs will be worked out of the HR20.

    For the time being, I'm looking forward to an extended period of blissful HDTV viewing! :)
     
  14. sjberra

    sjberra New Member

    711
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    May 16, 2005
    I agree with you, I am on my 4th HR10 in the past year. All of the preceeding units have failed in one form or the other. This last unit they sent me was a refurb'd one and it sounds like the fans are having a cat fight. About ready to chuck it all and go to my local cable company.
     
  15. Aquatic

    Aquatic New Member

    550
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    Nov 26, 2002
    JCP -...
    Interestingly enough, I'm on my original HR10-250--coming up on a year (end of OCT). ::Knocks on wood:: I did all the cabling, installing MS, etc myself, and had the DTV tech out only to put the dish on the roof and point it. (pre hr10 though). I pulled 2 more cables and phone lines down to my HDTV set in the family room, then when the tech came out to do the HR10 install I met him at the door and said "thank you very much" and sent him on his merry way.

    I have noticed a little stuttering here and there, most recently on ESPN MNF last night in the first half. The OTA is significantly better PQ than any of the other HD channels, although Sunday Ticket games aren't too bad either...

    Yep, my HDMI works too. shh... ::knocks on more wood::
     
  16. DTVPro

    DTVPro Crazy about Tivos

    194
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    Jun 24, 2005
    Oregon
    amazing that people turn such a deaf ear to the massive unreliablity of the HR10-250


    but are so quick to point out minor things with the new Hr20
     
  17. mbobak

    mbobak New Member

    82
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    May 23, 2004
    Belleville, MI
    My HR10-250 lasted just over 2 years, until it died about a month or so ago. The replacement, so far, is holding up well. I hope this one lasts another year at least, at which point I'm seriously contemplating a switch to S3 and Comcast.

    -Mark
     
  18. Sir_winealot

    Sir_winealot Seenyer Member

    2,082
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    Nov 18, 2000

    "Massive?"

    Do you have any statistical evidence which bears proof to this 'massive unreliability' of which you speak?

    I currently own 2 HR10's ....one is about 16 months old, the other around 9 months ...and I've never experienced any of said 'massive unreliability.'

    In fact, they've both been extremely reliable.
     
  19. sjberra

    sjberra New Member

    711
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    May 16, 2005
    On my 4th one in less then a year, the previous 3 failed and not sure this refub'd one if going to make it very long with the sound of the fans. There is a SD unit sitting right next to the HR10 that has not given issue one since it was installed 2 years ago.

    The units are sitting on a shelf and neither of then show any indiciation of overheating, both units run through the same APC UPS

    Personal expierence - that is massive failure rate for me.
     

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