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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm having an on going battle with my DirecTivo HD units. When watching a HD recorded show, it occasionally "blanks out" the picture for a second - but the sound is continuous. I have 2 HD Tivos, and it happens in the same place, in each show - on both units.

My signal meter on all transponders, and satellites (A, B, C) are strong - 90 and above.

I've contacted DirecTV, and was told they "thought" it was "poor electricity flow" to the units.

This only happens with HD recordings - never with standard recordings.

One Tivo is hooked up with HDMI cable - the second with component cables. And yet the video "Black out" happens on each unit, at the same place in the recordings.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks so much!

Timmy Van
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone for the replies. I'm sorry others are having the same problem I'm having, but relieved too.

As I spoke with Customer Care at DirecTV, they told me "it's not at our end" with the glitches in video on the DVR. But, I can't imagine it being anything else? And from reading from your posts - it's not on our end, but from DirecTV's.

I've gone as far as I can go with trying to improve the problem, from moving the dish for a stronger signal, to changing the cable runs from the dish, to the house - along with upgrading the ground wire to eliminate "static build up" in the lines. I even installed a second dish, to eliminate the multiswitch, because I was told the "power problem" could stem from there.

As you can see, there's been a serval opinions as to the problem - and I've tried several solutions. Granted, it's not a major flaw, but since I have to pay extra for HDTV through DirecTV, I should be getting what I'm paying for.

Hopefully, in the future, the problem will resolve itself through upgraded DirecTV service for HD subscribers. It would be comforting if DirecTV would simply say that this problem exsisits to some customers, and a resolve is being worked on.

Again, thanks to you all for the replies - and if you find a resolve - or know something about upgrading the service so the problem will end, I'd appreciate the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I'm still experiencing problems from New York local feed - last night "My Name I Earl" blacked out 5 or 6 times, audio was fine. I contacted DirecTV, and was told they have no "wide spread" complaints on this problem, and have scheduled a repair technician to come and look on Sunday.

The only other thing they could tell me, is a new DVR is on the way for summer '06, that will accept MGEG4. I'm assuming with this DVR it's MPEG2?

Will the new DVR be an improvement - does anyone know? I'd really hate to sink more and more money into getting this set up to work as intended.

Today I was shopping at (I hate to say it) my local cable company, and looking at their DVR, and HD set up ...

If anyone knows about the difference between MPEG2 and MPEG4 - and if that will correct the video black out problem, I'd appreciate it!

If you are experiencing this problem, please be sure to call DirecTV and let them know about it! Talking with them - they sound as though "I'm the only one" with this going on. Remember: The squeaky wheel gets the oil ...

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Steve,

Thanks for the input - you're using the same feed I'm using - I'm in Putnam County. I had DirecTV service at the house to check my equipment, but they found nothing wrong on my end. I knew this was the case, but had to keep taking steps in order to get some sort of answer from them.

What I was told was that it "was probably" the NBC feed itself, and had nothing to do with my equipment, or DirecTV - but with NBC. The technician was suprised this "black out" occurence bothered me at all. But - to use an analogy, if you paid $10.00 to go to the movies, and every 4 minutes, the picture went dark, would you want a refund? I'm the type of person that has no problem paying for quality - but, I do want what I paid for.

After the technician left, I called DirecTV, and was told it must be NBC, and there's little to nothing they could do about it. But, since I pay DirecTV for HD, I have to address the problem to them. Finally, after talking to a supervisor, they agreed to lower my bill for 3 months to "give NBC a chance to rectify the problem."

Well, of course the Super Bowl is on NBC this year, and I'm hoping those of us that are having this problem, and have it happen just as the pass is intercepted ... will call up and complain. According to DirecTV, I'm the one and only person with this problem on file.

Steve, since your in the same area as me - when the black out happens, could you let me know the time, and what show just to compare that it happed to two customers, at the same time?

Thanks!

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Steve,

I recorded "Medium" and here's what I have for problems ...

Digital Break up at:

10:10
10:14
10:19

Black out at:
10:11
10:12
10:21
10:22

At this point I stopped watching the show - it was annoying to keep seeing the problem appear.

Does this happen to you with DirecTV & over the air recordings? Would switching to Suscom Digital Cable be any better? (I'd have to pay a 230.00 "Early termination fee" to DirecTV - but, it may be worth it if the service is better)

Thanks,

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Steve,

Thanks for letting me know what's going on with your recordings. But, I think we got lost somewhere in the translation. I'm in Putnam County, New York and you're in Westchester County New York. At most, we have 50 miles between us, and we should both be using the New York (Channel 82) feed through DirecTV.

If you're seeing the same problem,and the same times as I am - on your OTA antenna - then it's NBC for sure.

From what I'm being told - this should not happen with digital cable, as it's cable fed to from NBC to Cablevision, and then dispersed via cable to it's subscribers. As far as my understanding goes, cable companies aren't using a satellite uplink that would cause the disruption.

If enough people complain to DirecTV - maybe they'll set a fire under NBC to fix the problem. Like I've said - I've complained numerous times, and did get a discount for the next 3 months to keep me "happy" while this is looked into.

In the mean time, I'm waiting until my commitment to DirecTV is fufilled - then if HD isn't what it should be, it's off to I/O Digital Cable.

Again - thanks for letting me know what you're seeing through your OTA ...

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Perhaps we "don't know who to blame" but, we do know who we pay for the service. And for me, the buck stops there. If everyone would call DirecTV with the problem, perhaps it would generate a response - and even better - a fix. When I called on the problem, I was told "You are the only one complaining." Obviously, looking at all the posts we have here - it's not just me.

From what DirecTV told me, MPEG4 is on the way - but - the dish is much larger than the triple LNB dish we have now, and the cable carries large amounts of information. So much information, that if it's even "pinched" into a tight spot (the hole drilled through a wall is tight for the cable) information will be lost. Rain fade will be a big problem, as the new set up is very unforgiving.

Will we have to buy a new dish? And a new DVR? And, from what I was told, you have to have the new dish installed by a professional - this seems to be quite a bit to ask for, to receive the quality we should be receiving today.

I have 20 months left on my commitment with DirecTV - then, if service isn't improved, I'm going to the competition. The only way to get something done is to first file a complaint - then, hit them in their pocketbooks.

TimmyVan
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Not to be too melodramatic - we should pick a date to call to complain, then all call on the same day. That would be the 5 calls they need for someone to look at this problem. So far I've had my DVR replaced once, 3 service calls, and a credit on my account for the next 3 months for this problem.

Imagine if we ALL called, lets just say, on March 1st at 8:00 pm est (and better yet, to the same customer service representative) ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
avdiscolo said:
Does anyone here think they've solved their "blank out" issue?

DirecTV is coming out to my house for the second time tomorrow to try to fix this issue. After trying 3 different units in 4 weeks, I'm not holding my breath.
Sadly,I don't think this issue will ever be resolved. (At least with the equipment we all currently own) First, DirecTV will have to acknowledge there is a problem, and so far they really haven't. Is it the locals causing the problems? The compression used? MPEG2 faults through the multi-switch on the LNB? There are so many variables - and DirecTV thinks "no one else is complaining."

If you get a repair, or at least information from the service call, please be sure to post it here. I'm sure we'd all be interested in what happens.

TimmyVan
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
As far as I can see, the problem lies at the source, and has no reflection on TiVo, or DirecTV. HD television isn't quite perfected yet, and the "blank spots" that appear occasionally are directly from the source at NBC, CBS, NBC and so on. The uplink to the satellite at DirecTV must be different than of standard definition. When recording a show on a non-HD channel, I don't see a problem with the recording, of the same show - the same spot - where there is a problem on HD as you compare side by side.

NBC has gotten much better over time, and my hope is that it will continue to improve as they refine the process.

I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #181 ·
Steve,

Do you have any idea how to find out if my area is close enough to receive OTA HD? A website perhaps, with ZIP CODE that could estimate receiving radius? If you're near flawless OTA vs. DirecTV HD - it would be worth looking into.

Thanks!
 
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