HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Teacher

HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

My HR34-700 which has worked well for a year but now seems to have recording problems. When you playback the recording the video freezes in the first few seconds and the audio continues to play.  You can NOT fast forward, rewind or skip forward, skip back.  This happens on various channels at various times.  I have been able to duplicate it by recording 5 channels manually off of the Guide.  It appears that the first recording of the batch shows the freezing symptom but the 4 others are OK.  Now I did this test manually in the Guide as I wanted to know if one of the 5 tuners/recorders in the HR34 was causing this problem.  I only attempted this test 2 times.  The first time all 5 shows worked OK the second time I attempted it I was able to duplicate it as written above.  I did this test as I have lots of experience using multiple tuners/recorders in Windows Media and I wondered if the HR34 had a "bad" tuner.  I assume the electronics in the HR34 has 5 separate digital tuners/recorders.  If I correct it could be that one tuner is an issue.  I am not sure how the HR34 prioritizes the tuners and whether or not it selects the same first tuner each time the first recording begins.  I will attempt a few more trys of the 5 manual recordings to see if I get again get 4 good shows and one bad.  The problem is intermittent but seems to be more frequent than when it was first noticed a few weeks ago.

I contacted the customer service folks at Directv but they were of no use.  They told me they suspected the HDMI cable between the HR34 and the TV.  That told me how well they understood the problem.  They also had me run the standard system test and reset the system with the red button. I went along with them but had already done both of these along with checking all cables, there was nothing to note.  They offered a $49 visit but I declined because I think I may be on to something and since it is not consistent in being able to duplicate I don't want to fork over money for someone to do everything I've already done and tell me they cant find any problems and not be able to duplicate the recording issues.  Although we have save some of the recordings that have the issue and intend to save more if they occur.  That is if my wife doesn't get pissed when you show failed to record again and chuck the HR34 out of the house.  Watching her select her recorded show and see a frozen screen with normal audio and her pissed off look is killing me.

We have seen this happen once in the live mode but only when we were in the Guide and the picture was in the upper left hand corner.  We were able to get the frozen screen to go away that time after exiting out of Guide, changing channels and going back to the problem channel.  We also have an HD box in our bedroom (H25-500) which does not show these symptoms, so far.

Any suggestions?

Message 1 of 73
ACE - Expert

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Might be a dying hard drive ....

Run the Built in Self-test (BIST) to try and repair your hard drive. To run the hard drive checks, please follow these steps:

* 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

You can also run the file test, and the DVR can sometimes repair a bad file report.

* If the other tests pass, run the surface test.   Warning: This process could take several hours to complete. You may want to run it overnight.

The good news is that every attempt is made to save programming. This is less destructive than a reformat all and could provide you with a more stable system if you are having problems that appear to be related to the hard drive. 

*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 2 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

I ran the Surface Test last night and when I awoke this morning the box had powered itself off so I don't know if there were any Errors Found or Errors Corrected.  I ran it again this morning and got these results:

Surface Test:

Errors Found  --  0

Errors Corrected  -- 0

I ran the following tests this morning as recommended by the reply:

File System Verification  --  PASSED

SMART Short Test  --  PASSED

SMART Long Test  --  did not complete as I didn't want to wait 5 hours, it was running SLOW

LBA Fix  -- PASSED

Any more suggestions?

It's possible the Surface test I ran last night had errors corrected so I suppose something has changed now but I'm not very confident of that.  I've worked with computer building and repairing for years and have rarely seen a HDD repair itself.  I will try some more manual recording on all five tuners and try to recreate the problem.

Message 3 of 73
ACE - Expert

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Yes, it's possible that the drive diagnostics repair the problem.  Is it still happening?

*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 4 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

litzdog911,

I tried to duplicate it Sunday afternoon and couldn't recreate the problem.  It also recorded the Denver Broncos game on Sunday night and after painfully watching that I wish the problem would happened during that recording so I wouldn't have had to suffer though it.  Either way I appreciate the assistance and will update this thread if the problem comes back.  Thanks for your help.

Message 5 of 73
ACE - Expert

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Keep us posted.   If you would be so kind, please mark any responses you find helpful or "question answered".  Thanks.

*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 6 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Well it's back.  Unable to duplicate it for a couple days but today it happened twice while watching a live channel, just changed the channel  and it comes back to normal.  I then manually recorded 5 shows at the same time (did this 3 different times) and the first show in each 5 show recordings had the frozen video problem the first 2 times but the 3rd attempt I couldn't repeat the issue.  I recorded 15 different channels during this testing to prove it's not related to a specific network.

any more idea's?

Message 7 of 73
ACE - Expert

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Time to call DirecTV and request a replacement DVR. It's free if you have their Equipment Protection Plan, or within 90days of installation.  Otherwise $20 for shipping.

*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 8 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Thanx for your help I hope that my experience with Directv CSR's goes smoother this time.  I asked them for a DVR replace when I first noticed this problem and they said they couldn't do that but could dispatch a tech out for $49 (then offered me a $20 credit) to bring it to $29.  I was determined to figure it out on my own so I declined the service call.

Message 9 of 73
Professor

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Tell them the lights don't come on, they will usually ship a replacement for $20 to cover shipping.  

Message 10 of 73
Expert

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

The $29 for a service call is a pretty good deal.  The Tech would almost surely replace the Genie and would check out the rest of your system as well.

Message 11 of 73
Tutor

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

I have the same problem with some recordings. It happens on multiple stations. I many times have the problem if I pause a program and come back a few minutes later. When I start, it freezes the picture and continues the audio. Sometimes if I fast forward it, it stops audio, the pointer remains in the position until it hits the end of the pause and then resumes normal playback. Other times if I FF, it jumps back to the beginning. This symptom generally happens on a recorded show. This is a relatively new HR34-700. Maybe I'll give CS a call and see if they'll replace it with a 44.

Message 12 of 73
Tutor

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

PS I am also having the pixelation and stuttering problem.

Message 13 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Well that's not great news for me as I just received the replacement HR34 and had hoped that would fix the problem but you are telling me you HR34 is relatively new.  Well we will watch as many of the shows as we can and install this new unit this weekend and keep our fingers crossed.  Pixelation and stuttering has always been a very rare happening and doesn't happen often enough to complain so we just live with it. 

Message 14 of 73
Teacher

Re: HR34 Freezes Video at beginning of recording but audio continues

Well It's back and has been for a couple of weeks.  Soon after I installed a replacement HR34 it happened once and so I pretended it didn't as I didn't want to believe it.  It has happened twice this week on two separate recordings, 2 different channels.  Before I call Directv back does anyone have any ideas?  It's either a problem with multiple Genies or it's the service, I just don't get it. 

If I do have to call them up what exactly should I say to avoiding getting stuck at the basic level customer service level as they will probably be useless.  I can already hear them telling me "we've never heard of this problem".  I find that highly unlikely since there are two on this post along that have this problem.

HELP ME!!!!!!!

Message 15 of 73
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