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Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Tutor

Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

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.

Thanks!

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Message 1 of 77
Tutor

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Well - DirecTV sent out an update a couple weeks ago, but I don't know if it attempted to address this problem.  If it was supposed to address it, it didn't work.  Trying to watch recorded 10:00pm news is as bad as ever.  It still mainly appears to be a problem with the cameras in the field as the stuttering happens on those segments.  It rarely happens on the in-studio weather segment and it never seems to happen on the primary studio cameras on the anchors.

What gives?  Is DirecTV going to find a way to fix this?  I need this to be resolved or I'm going to have to find another provider.  This is crazy.

Message 16 of 77
Contributor

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Also experiencing pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback with local NBC KCRA from Sacramento.  Especially bad with prime time Olympics.  Doesn't happen with the commercials.  Record a lot of shows and it only happens with NBC. 

Message 17 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Sandra, Do you have an HR34 Genie DVR?   If yes, see this thread ....

If not, please start your own new thread with more information about your equipment and exact symptoms. 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 18 of 77
Teacher

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

I also have been experiencing this pixelation on KCRA, local NBC for months and I don't think Directv will ever fix this problem. Time to switch to Dish.

Message 19 of 77
Contributor

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

We are also having stuttering/pixelation on KCRA. Almost all olympic coverage.  Sometimes the video stops and the audio keeps going.

My wife called DirecTV and their answer was to replace the HR34-700. They wanted us to pay shipping. Ah no! Your faulty hardware....you pay shipping. They agreed but the other issue is they expect us to return the old unit with five days. HTF can they expect us to clear our DVR in five days? At 80% full, that's like 37 hours a day of tv watching.

As an engineer, I get that designs or software doesn't always work as intended but do your best to keep your customers happy. I will be looking elsewhere if they can't make this right.

Message 20 of 77
Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

You need to think a bit re your last post.  If you continue to use the "old" Genie, all of your programs will continue to record on it and you'll never "clear it out".  The normal SWM system (which I can only assume you have" will not support two Genies connected at the same time.  It's normal to require return of the faulty box right away.  Make sure you use the prepaid box that Directv furnishes specifically for return purposes.  Do not use the box the replacement Genie comes in.

Message 21 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

In any case, the first Genie will be deactivated when the second one is activated because DirecTV will not have two Genies active on one account.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 22 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

...and if you get another HR34 to replace the old one the problem almost certainly won't go away.  You would probably need an HR44....as we have posted so many times in these forums....

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 23 of 77
Contributor

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

DCD,

I understand what you're saying about new shows continuing to record. I'm sure one can continue to watch recorded content from a deactivated device.  I was able to do this on my Dish box when I switched to DirecTV. Even Dish gave us a more reasonable length of time when we were canceling our service.  A few weeks would be way more reasonable.

An even better idea would be some app that could transfer content from the old box to the new one. I bet the five days policy was put in place in the early days when DVR's only had 40 hours of content.

Message 24 of 77
Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Now you're posting a "wish list" and we responded with a correction for your problem.  I do not believe the Genie HR34 will continue to work deactivated.

Message 25 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Nope, sorry cobra46. DirecTV DVRs essentially become boat anchors when there's no active satellite connection or subscription.  It may take a few days, but they'll stop working.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 26 of 77
Teacher

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Has anyone tried setting the resolution on HR34 to not include 1080p? Seems to me that if the box is trying to deliver that resolution, it just might be pushing the limits of the hardware to where it sometimes can't keep up. That would explain the random nature of the problem.

I'm going to give it a try as this happens to us every so often - I'll report back...

Message 27 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

terrman,

1080p is only used by a few PPV movies, so disabling 1080p in the Video Setup menu won't likely make any difference.  None of the regular satellite or broadcast channels use 1080p.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 28 of 77
Teacher

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

Right, but I wonder what the HR34 is doing under the covers with this setting regardless of program resolution. Is it up-converting everything to 1080p? It wouldn't surprise me as all the other resolutions can be unselected leaving only 1080p. Food for thought...

Message 29 of 77
ACE - Expert

Re: Genie: pixelated/stuttered/frozen playback of recorded news show

No, it's not do anything, terrman.  That setting just enables the DVR to output 1080p, but only if the source channel is providing 1080p.   Very few do.  Just some PPV channels.   Otherwise all HD channels are output in 720p or 1080i, depending on the DVR's video setting. 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 30 of 77
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