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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since March, 2000, I have been using an RCA DTC100 exclusively to receive OTA programming. There's lots of it in the Baltimore-Washington area. My older son has just returned home to live with us and wanted to subscribe to DirecTV at his expense. A dish was installed yesterday to confirm that a usable signal was available at my home. The DTC100 was now receiving Channel 100 and my son was happy and said he would call DirecTV after dinner to order service. My wife switched the DTC100 Input back to Ant A to resume watching something on a PBS Channel.


To make a long story short, about 4:30PM EDT, the TV screen went black and a message appeared stating something about updating and it would take about 4 minutes. 2 minutes or so into this, the Power Indicator on the DTC100 went OFF and the TV screen went dark. The HD Monitor Indicator remained ON. This condition went on for about another 15 minutes and my wife then tried to re-power the DTC100. It would NOT Power-up! The HD Monitor Indicator would NOT Turn-off! The unit was locked-up! I unplugged it for 20 minutes and plugged it back in. Still locked-up! Can't turn Power ON and can't turn the HD Monitor Indicator OFF. I unplugged the DTC100 again and left it unplugged all night. Plugged it back in this morning with the same results. Still locked-up! Called RCA. Seems that my DTC100 is no longer in warranty and they want $239.95 to exchange it. Of course, they have never heard of this problem ever happening!!!


I am really ticked-off! What update was sent by DirecTV that LOCKED-UP my perfectly good OTA receiver? DirecTV says that no update was directed to my receiver and RCA doesn't know anything other than the $239.95. DUH! It had to come from somewhere! Can somebody point me in the right direction to solve this problem? Am I the only one that had a receiver fail upon updating? I didn't request this update!


Please help!



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-2old2run
 

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Ah yea...this happens a lot actually. If someone tried to turn the unit off or mess with it during the upgrade then it could be toast. I'm not sure how long the actual upgrade takes after downloading, but the machine recovers on it's own. I locked my firmware so I don't get upgrades. There is a message when the sat is downloading the upgrade that tells you not to mess with it during this process.


The upgrade is recieved by all dtc-100 units that are hooked to the sat, plugged in and do not already have the newest firmware. You weren't targetted per se, but rather you exposed older firmware to the stream. The upgrades come once or twice a day.


Unplugging will usually clear a machine of problems so I think you have a bigger problem. Try a system reset with the buttons. Power the unit on and hit the power and down arrow (onthe unit, not the remote) at the same time. You may need to try it a couple of times. If this works the system will power off after a few seconds..wait a little bit then turn the unit back on. A healthy unit will show the initial setup information on a grey background when you power up.


If that doesn't work..My advice is to keep calling back to directv and tell them that their firmware upgrade screwed your machine and they should replace it ASAP or you will call the Attourney General. Ask to talk to the supervisor...then ask to talk to their supervisor. If it doesn't work call back after 6 or 8 hours to get someone on the next shift and start all over again.


Let me know if you need more help.


Eric

 

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Perhaps Don Landis can comment, I believe he had the same problem, his power went out while the machine was updating.



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Dave
 

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Landis went several rounds with RCA over the issue as I recall. They offered him a credit towards a new reciever, but, I believe he refused it and finally acquired either another RCA on his own, or upgraded to a competitive brand. Unfortunately with only a partial update received, the EEPROM in the receiver is locked. You can return it to RCA for erasure and re-updating, but they charge quite a bit for the service. It's unlikey DirecTV will be of any help, since they only transmit the firmware updates that RCA supplies. But, try anyway - can't hurt.
 

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You might try leaving the DTC-100 connected to the satelite and "on" over night, in the hope that it would complete the upgrade on a second try.


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- gridleak... biased toward HD
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
THANKS to all that replied to my DTC100 problem. I really hate it when big corporations hold their hands out instead of acting responsibly. After all, I had no warning or choice. I will WIN this battle with the giants! Even if I have to purchase a new unit and return it when I discover that it is defective! No additional comment!


Thanks again,


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-2old2run
 

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Hi 2old2run,


You say you've had your dtc since Mar 2000 but only for ota.


Do you have an H card in your dtc? It is the card with the satellite image. If so, then that could be why the system isn't responding.


When you connected the dtc to receive satellite programming, embedded in the signal is the software upgrade. This upgrade prevents H cards from being used with the dtc.


You'd need to get a replacement card, the HU card. It should cost around $40.


Thanks,

Errol


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Keohi HDTV

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Others have reported getting a free replacement card (HU type) from DirecTV, with enough complaining.


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"better living thru modern expensive electronics"

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Quote:
Originally posted by kealii:
Hi 2old2run,


You say you've had your dtc since Mar 2000 but only for ota.


Do you have an H card in your dtc? It is the card with the satellite image. If so, then that could be why the system isn't responding.


When you connected the dtc to receive satellite programming, embedded in the signal is the software upgrade. This upgrade prevents H cards from being used with the dtc.


You'd need to get a replacement card, the HU card. It should cost around $40.


Thanks,

Errol

DTC-100's did not ship with H cards. They only shipped with HU cards. However, they work(ed) fine with an H card. If this was 2old2run's problem he would still be able to get OTA and his machine would not be locked on HD. Also the unit does not require an access card for the firmware upgrade. There must have been a power interuption or some interaction with the unit while it was attempting an upgrade. It's a really bad design that doesn't allow for a system reset to good firmware. I would argue very strongly that the "firmware upgrade procedure" is not part of the normal warranty coverage and that directv/RCA have a "good faith" responsibility to correct a problem that was not present at the time of purchase.


Again, threatening with going to the Attourney General works wonders.



e
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks but, the DTC100 came with an HU type (Football) Card. Additionally, the unit powered-down by itself and was not the result of someone turning it off before the update was completed. There was NO loss of power (AC Mains) at the time nor was this the result of a power surge.


I believe that the data was corrupted (may have been received while my son & I were dressing the cables and standing in front of the oval dish) and did not execute properly thus causing the failure.


Just to make a point, an Access Card is NOT required for the DTC100 to operate as an OTA receiver. One does NOT need to have the card installed in order to turn the unit ON. The card that was in the receiver was the one that was supplied with the DTC100 when I bought it. I purchased the RCA DTC100 exclusively for use as an OTA receiver NOT for the DirecTV. And... more specifically as a receiver for my Mits HDTV! The RCA DTC100 was the most readily available and affordable unit at the time I bought it. I wanted to enjoy HDTV and did not want to wait & wait & wait for the Mits unit. Nor did I want to pay $2000! Yes! I had to re-adjust the Mits via the service menu to get a full screen, etc., etc. In other words, I did not buy the DTC100 to subscribe to DirecTV! There was only 1 HDTV Channel on DirecTV at that time and as I recall, they only transmitted after 10:00PM PT and it was the same movie over and over and over again and it wasn't true HDTV as the movie was format converted. Even the Dolby sound was junk! I certainly was NOT about to pay $40-$50 a month to view junk broadcasting. Yes, I was a member here (Bayn) at that time and read quite a bit of useful information on this HDTV Forum! Somewhere along the line I changed my ISP, forgot my password and couldn't get back in as a registered user.


I just thought that this may have happened to someone else and they could share their experience with me. I am a retired EE and do know how to plug the unit into the outlet.


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-2old2run
 

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Hi 2old2run,


Sounds like the dtc is "toast". I know of only Don who's had a system fail during upgrade interruption.


You may want to do a quick search here on what he did exactly to resolve the problem.


You are not alone in using the dtc for ota only. Lots of folks including myself use it just for that purpose since I mostly rent DVDs for movies. By the time the movies show up in DirecTV, I would have seen it already.


Hope you get the unit fixed since we here in the DC/Balto area have a LOT of stations broadcasting in HD already.


Thanks,

Errol


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Keohi HDTV

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They're LSIC surface mount devices with multiple closely spaced leads off all four sides and machine soldered to the main board.
 

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Here's the deal straight from the H's mouth...


I was simply recalibrating my dish in the afternoon when dtv sent down their FIRST unannounced upgrade to the dtc-100. For the previous week, dtv had only announced and sent their upgrade at 5am EST last Fall. In the process of swinging my dish in and out of signal to peak the signal strength, dtv happened to pop that upgrade signal without notice and since I interupted the signal by swining the dish in and out of the stream, the upgrade was interrupted mid way and the dtc-100 was left with a dead eeprom.

I had no clue at the time what had happened to my 14 month old dtc-100 so I called the TCE customer no-service and was put at my request to a technical supervisor-specialist in dtc-100 firmware updates. He confirmed after several button pushing tests that my dtc-100 was fried. He had me unplug it for 48 hours and call him back. It was still dead with the same exact symptoms described in this thread by 2old2run. He asked me for my serial number and verified I was registered but the bad news was that he could not do anything for me and suggested I contact direcTV for their assistance in obtaining restitution. I did that next. Their managing supervisor told me to send the complaint in writing. I did that with all the details as to what happened. They offered me a credit of $200 toward the purchase of a new dtc-100. I, initially told them that this was not satisfactory and threatened to sue them. They told me basically to go ahead and sue.


As some of you may recall, I have a couple of friends who work for dtv in their engineering. I contacted them and got little help because they don't have any power to set policy when it comes to customer relations, but did tell me that what RCA tech. said is quite possible. Their only suggestion was that they should stop the transmission of the upgrade in the day. You see, this is a typical engineer's response. It was not on how to rectify my loss but do something to prevent the loss to others. Unfortunately, it was decided that my case was so unique that I was a colateral loss and acceptable. The afternoon upgrade schedule continued.


Next I received the letter of credit from dtv customer no-service.


I contacted my attorney and got a free estimate on the cost to sue direcTV. He suggested I take it myself to small claims court but that the resolve may not be enough to be worth my time and trouble. I may still do that. Since I was offered the $200 the court evaluated loss may only be estimated at used equipment cost replacement value, ca $250 or 50% of the value of a new one. This would mean that I, realistically, could only gain by $50, if I won. His representation could cost me $500 if he has to stand in court and spend 2 hours on the case. Fortunately, my time is worth far more than to my TV business than to get restitution from dtv through the courts or from harassing their customer no-service group. I took my $200 credit and applied it in January when I re subscribed to the basic minimum. I have watched several PPV's and have not been charged yet as I continue to use up my $200 credit.

I obtained a fairly new (3 month old) dtc-100 for a steal price and considered myself lucky on that. As soon as I hooked it up, it took the upgrade on the next 5 AM scheduled notice and has been working fine since.

My plan is to use up my $200 credit and then, unless dtv offeres new AND DIFFERENT, from dish Network HDTV programming, I will cancel my subscription permanently.


So far my loss is a dtc-100 that after replacement was a net loss of $25 with the credit. I told you I got it cheap!


DirecTV's loss: I was a platinum subscriber with extras, at $90 per month. After the lack of getting Showtime HD and adding DN, I reduced my sub to a smaller package but still paid an average of $45 per month. I reduced it to nothing since that November death signal. Unless dtv gets hot and heavy, my sweet revenge will cost them hundreds! and they may still get a legal notice to answer my claim in small claims court here in Jacksonville, Fl.


I will be willing to go along with any class action effort at this time but I doubt this unique situation is wide spread. On the day of my death signal I spoke to that RCA tech, later calling back with the verdict after 48 hour unplugging I was told that "several" reports of the same thing happening to others. I was told that this download was large enough that the existing OS had to be dumped from the memory before the new software could be loaded. If that got interupted by power failure or signal interruption (my case) the dtc-100 would be brain dead that only a factory hard wire programming to a connector inside could achieve. They said that the cost would not be worth it and to talk to direcTV about it. I was also told that shutting off the receiver or attempting to change to antenna would not disrupt the download, only a signal interruption or an unplugging would cause the problem.


For the other well meaning advisors in this thread, it has nothing to do with the type of card or whether the card is in or not. The only reason why I was told to unplug the dtc-100 for 48 hours was the remote possibility that I had not suffered the interrupted signal and that my dtc-100 had just locked up due to some other glitch and this would reset the dtc. If the download was interrupted then this power down would not help as the original software was already deleted in the first few seconds of the upgrade process.


OK guys, that's my story. It ain't over yet. I have not gotten full payback from those dtv and RCA incompetants yet. The method of firmware upgrade is flawed and dangerous. They know it and consider what happened to 2old2run and myself and several others as colateral losses and will just tough it out with you to escape having to pay up full restitution for the damage they did. I for one, will continue to get my payback until I am satisfied. Meanwhile I am getting free dtv through my credit.


PS- I am aware that soon after I was offered that $200 credit that direcTV made a similar $200 credit offer for other subscription changes and receiver purchases etc. This unrelated credit also affected the value of my loss, so rest assured, I have that $200 credit figured into my restitution in addition. I expect to be getting credited dtv for a long time.


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Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by 2old2run
Since March, 2000, I have been using an RCA DTC100 exclusively to receive OTA programming. There's lots of it in the Baltimore-Washington area. My older son has just returned home to live with us and wanted to subscribe to DirecTV at his expense. A dish was installed yesterday to confirm that a usable signal was available at my home. The DTC100 was now receiving Channel 100 and my son was happy and said he would call DirecTV after dinner to order service. My wife switched the DTC100 Input back to Ant A to resume watching something on a PBS Channel.


To make a long story short, about 4:30PM EDT, the TV screen went black and a message appeared stating something about updating and it would take about 4 minutes. 2 minutes or so into this, the Power Indicator on the DTC100 went OFF and the TV screen went dark. The HD Monitor Indicator remained ON. This condition went on for about another 15 minutes and my wife then tried to re-power the DTC100. It would NOT Power-up! The HD Monitor Indicator would NOT Turn-off! The unit was locked-up! I unplugged it for 20 minutes and plugged it back in. Still locked-up! Can't turn Power ON and can't turn the HD Monitor Indicator OFF. I unplugged the DTC100 again and left it unplugged all night. Plugged it back in this morning with the same results. Still locked-up! Called RCA. Seems that my DTC100 is no longer in warranty and they want $239.95 to exchange it. Of course, they have never heard of this problem ever happening!!!


I am really ticked-off! What update was sent by DirecTV that LOCKED-UP my perfectly good OTA receiver? DirecTV says that no update was directed to my receiver and RCA doesn't know anything other than the $239.95. DUH! It had to come from somewhere! Can somebody point me in the right direction to solve this problem? Am I the only one that had a receiver fail upon updating? I didn't request this update!


Please help!


This is the problem with mine that i found in another post in 2001.Does this mean it is no good anymore?

My post was rca dtc100 fix? By hydef


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-2old2run
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jym
Is DirecTV still sending the DTC100 update? How often?


-JYm-
No it isnt JYm, just was trying to get a reply on mine.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jym
So the only way to get the update is to bring the unit into RCA service?


-Jym-
I guess it will randomly update but no set time
 
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