07-04-2014 9:49 AM
I'm having a problem with the (HR-34 Genie) DVR playback which only started a few weeks ago, coincidentally on the same day that a software update and been pushed to the unit. (Admittedly though, that really could be just a coincidence.) Basically, the problem is that quite often (but not always) when I try to fast-forward a recorded program, the program will in fact begin to fast-forward, but the progress bar doesn't appear on the screen. When that happens, the unit (seemingly) also ceases to accept any commands from the remote and as a result, I'm unable stop the fast forwarding. I'll try to press the STOP button many times (and the remote control indicator light shows that a signal is being sent) but the DVR won't stop fast forwarding. Even if I try to shut the Genie unit off altogether, it doesn't respond and keeps fast forwarding. Eventually (after perhaps 20 to 30 seconds), the system resumes acknowledging the remote commands and I can stop the fast-forwarding. As I said, it doesn't happen every time, but perhaps it happens one time out of every 4 or 5 fast-forward attempts and the speed at which I fast-forward seems to be irrelevant. One variation of this problem which I occasionally encounter is that the progress bar *does* appear, but the unit still sticks in fast-forward and doesn't respond to remote commands for 20 to 30 seconds. If the fast-forwarding reaches the end of the recording, then the "Delete" option will appear right away and I'll once again have control. I seem to have no other problems with any of the other remote functions (such as accessing menus, adjusting the volume, displaying program information, scrolling through the guide, etc...). It's only when I try to fast-forward a recorded program and only once out of every few attempts. (I'm not sure about fast-reverse because I rarely do that. Also, I haven't yet experienced this on either of my Genie mini clients, but I very rarely watch recorded movies on those particular sets, so I can't say for certain whether or not the problem is isolated to just the HR-34.
So, here's what I've done so far in trying to troubleshoot the problem ... none of which have resolved the issue.
1. My first thought was to make sure nothing was blocking the remote signal. However, it's an open line-of-sight (10-feet max) with no obstructions.
2. I put fresh batteries in the remote control. (Problem persists.)
3. Thinking that perhaps my remote control is malfunctioning, I've tried using both of the other remote controls from the client boxes. They work just fine in terms of controlling the HR-34, but the problem persists.
4. I've tried resetting the HR-34 (twice). Once I simply pressed the red reset button behind the front panel. The second time I actually unplugged the entire unit and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then plugged it back in. (Problem persists.)
5. I've made sure the HR-34 is relatively free of dust, and is located on an open shelf with full ventilation on all sides. The room it's in is also air conditioned, and kept in the low 70's at all times.
6. Typically, I keep the HR-34 plugged into a (APC) UPS to help protect it from spikes and power fluctuations. However, as an experiment I tried plugging the unit directly in the wall outlet, thinking that perhaps the problem is somehow being introduced by the UPS. But the problem persists.
7. Finally, when fast-forwarding, I've made sure not to press the remote control buttons to rapidly. I'll press the FF button once, wait a second, then press it again to advance to the next speed, then wait, (etc..). The problem though persists.
Well, that's about all I've tried so far. As I said, this all started just a couple of weeks ago or so. Whether or not it has anything to do with the software upgrade, I don't know. Overall, I love the Genie and in all other respects it seems to be working well. Does anyone have any thoughts about what I should try next?
Thanks in advance.
07-04-2014 10:10 AM
My first thought was a malfunctioning remote but your test precludes that. You might run the built in self tests and see if the HR34 reports any flaws. These tests are harmless so don't be reluctant to run them. Any errors reported are grounds for replacing the HR34.
You may have a faulty hard drive. You can check it thus:
Run the Built in Self-test (BIST) to check and possibly repair your hard drive. To run the hard drive checks, please follow
* Reboot DVR via red button inside card door.
* When you see "Running receiver self-check" press select
* You will see "Entering Diagnostics Mode..."
* Select Advanced -> Tests Menu -> Hard Drive utilities -> Short Smart test for starters.
You can also run the file test, and the DVR can sometimes repair a bad file report.
If those tests pass, run the surface test.
Warning: This process could take several hours to complete. You may want to run it overnight
07-04-2014 11:01 AM
Assuming you have an RF-capable remote, switch the HR34 and the remote to RF and see if the problem goes away.
07-05-2014 8:44 AM
Thanks for both of these responses. Over the weekend, I'll try dcd's suggestion and see what the results are. As far as the remote being RF (per texasbrit's suggestion), I'm honestly not sure what capabilities the remote has. It's the stock remote that came with the HR-34 when I got it, nearly two years ago. I've always assumed it's just a standard IR remote. How would I tell if it has RF capabilities?
07-05-2014 9:29 AM
Look at the model number on the top left corner if the remote. If it has an "R" as part of the model
Number, then the remote is RF capable
07-06-2014 10:29 AM
Well Folks. I have a couple of things to report, resulting from the tests that were suggested above. First of all, my remotes are all RC65 models ... which don't have RF capabilities, so I've been unable to test out RF. Also, I followed dcd's instructions and ran the diagnostics. First, I ran all of the hard-drive related tests, including the file test ... all passed! However, while looking through the menu of various tests that could be performed, I noticed the Remote Control test, so I figured I'd might as well try that. As you're probably aware, the test is relatively simple. It asks you to press 1, then 2, then 3, then the Select button (making sure to keep the remote pointed at the receiver for 10 seconds following). The test doesn't take very long, so I tried it three times in a row ... all succeeded. However, I then tried a fourth time and this time, when it came to the part where you enter the Select button, it seemed to take a bit longer to process and then resulted in code 9406 Fail. I immediately tried the test again, and this time it passed. In fact, it passed two more times but then failed again. I'm estimating that it failed once out of every 4 to 5 attempts ... and only on the "Select" button part of the test ... the numeric keypad (1,2,3) tests always seemed to work immediately. Next, I went and gathered the other two remotes from the two Genie clients and tried them on the HR-34. Both of them experienced random, periodic 9406 failures. (Note that all three remotes have fresh, relatively new batteries, which I've put in within the past few days while trying to troubleshoot this problem.) One final interesting note, upon trying to exit the diagnostics menus altogether, the system wouldn't respond to the remote. I tried a couple of times but no response. I then picked up one of the other remotes (that like the others had demonstrated random failures) and tried, and the system responded immediately.
So, is it possible that I actually have three failing remotes, all of which are failing in the same, random way? Remember that most all of the remote functions appear to work just fine, which makes this even more confusing. Given my lack of knowledge on how the system really works, please forgive this question but ... could it be possible that the problem is not in the remote controls themselves, but rather in the IR receiver in the HR-34 itself? Just a thought. Again, any suggestions would be welcome.
07-06-2014 11:04 AM
Even more suggests you have IR interference and you need to try RF. Order an RF-capable remote from DirecTV or from solid signal, and see if that solves the problem.
07-06-2014 11:56 AM
I agree with texaxbrit. It's much more likely that something in your room is interfering with the remote's IR signals than that the IR Receiver is defective. You can buy an RF-capable remote for ~$20, so give that a try first. If it's still flaky with an RF remote, then you know it's the DVR.
07-06-2014 12:13 PM
Thanks for the advice. Admittedly it puzzles me that all of a sudden there could be IR interference, given that the I haven't added or changed any electronic devices in that room since the Genie was installed nearly two years ago, and the problem only started (seemingly out of the blue) a couple of weeks ago. However, I know enough about electronics to know that I know very little about electronics! I'll certainly take your advice and purchase an RF remote. It will likely take a few days to arrive, but once it does and I've had an opportunity to test it, I'll report back.
07-06-2014 1:41 PM
Keep us posted.
07-16-2014 5:02 PM
As promised, I'm updating you as to where I stand with this issue. I did in fact purchase an RF-capable remote, which eventually arrived. I programmed it (and the HR-34) per the on-screen instructions and confirmed that everything was functioning correctly. I didn't post back to this forum immediately because I wanted to give it a few days before determining whether or not the problem was corrected. The first couple of days, everything worked perfectly and the system was no longer getting stuck in fast-forward. I did encounter one incident where the on-screen guide froze for short period and I couldn't exit it, but I'm attributing that to perhaps the system simply being busy at the moment. Anyway, I was about ready to declare success when, last night, the system once again got stuck while in fast-forward. I wasn't able to stop it for well over 30 seconds, after which it resumed acknowledgment of my remote commands. This of course is with the new remote, operating in the RF mode. Admittedly, it has only happened once during the entire week (as opposed to a couple times per night as when I was using the IR remote). Still, it's a bit disconcerting and I'm not certain where to go from here. I hesitate to call out a tech, simply because I can't reproduce the problem on demand. It happens when it wants to. I'm going to try the RF remote for a few more nights. Perhaps it was just a fluke. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for everyone's help and advice.
07-20-2014 8:46 AM
Well folks, I've been using the new (RF) remote for nearly two weeks and finally this weekend had a chance to really run it through its paces. I'm afraid the problem persists. Interestingly, although having it getting stuck in Fast-Forward happens a *little bit* less frequently, I've now also started encountering situations where it gets stuck in Fast-Reverse as well. On top of that, it seems that having the Guide randomly freeze up on me for about 30-seconds or so (which earlier above dismissed as the system simply being busy) is now occurring on a more-frequent basis. As I mentioned earlier, the self-diagnostic disk tests all come up clean.
I've read a few threads on this forum about others encountering the Guide (freezing) issue on the HR-34 after a recent software update had been applied. I'm wondering if something similar could be affecting my unit? Any thoughts on what I might try next?
07-20-2014 10:48 AM
I think this is the software update issue you mention. Hopefully there will be a fix soon.
07-20-2014 10:48 AM
You've ruled out ust about everything except the Genie DVR. I've not seen any other posts about FF getting "stuck", so it's not a common issue. If it's really bothering you, then replacing the Genie is about all you can do. You'll probably have a hard time convincing DirecTV that this issue warrants replacement, though.
07-20-2014 10:59 AM
Thanks texasBrit and litsdog911 for your suggestions and trying to help. I think I'm going to hold out for a while and hope that perhaps this really is software related and that a new version will eventually be pushed down that corrects it. The fact that this issue first appeared about the same time as the last software update, there might be something to it. I'll be reaching my two-year mark in just a few months so perhaps I'll be able to take advantage of an equipment upgrade at that time. Meanwhile, as long as the problem doesn't get any worse than it is, I should be able to live with it for a while. I'm still overall very happy with DirecTV and the Genie. And hey ... I at least got a new back-lit remote control out of the deal!
Thanks again everyone for trying to help!
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