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The October 2001 AudioVideo International (sorry, they don't have a web presence) has an article detailing the heat related problems of DirecTV receivers.


These receivers use an access card to activate the user's subscription to the service. Apparently the heat generated within the units warps these cards until they fail electrically, sometimes within just days of being placed in service. DirecTV charges a fee for replacements and consumers must wait for the processing and shipping of the replacements. They must pay $39 for the replacement and are subsequently credited $29 when the defective card is returned.. The receivers responsible for most of these problems are the Sony SAT A55 and B55 models.


Workarounds have included removing the card slot assembly from the unit and hanging it outside the case via the 4" ribbon cable it's attached to, removing the receiver's cover entirely and installing supplemental fans to cool the units.


So apparently we're not the only ones plagued by heat problems.
 

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Bizarre. I had heard of this type of failure in a few DirecTiVo units where the internal fan had failed, permitting the unit to overheat. I'm surprised to hear about it in other receivers.


My TiVo and my DirecTiVo both output a steady stream of warm air from their fan ports on warm days. My dual-drive 120GB Replay will go from warm to the touch to very warm to the touch, but otherwise seems happy. I did ultimately remove the drive bay covers, though.
 
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