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Discussion Starter #1
For about the past 8 or so days, both of my satellite boxes are freezing the picture. They are DirecTV RCA 3rd generation RF-controlled boxes and have worked solidly for about 3-4 years. My Replay boxes are unmodified 2020 and 2001 models and are connected to the DSS boxes via serial cables.


My signal strength is consistently in the mid 90's, all cable connections are solid, weather conditions have been uneventful, and there are no obstructions in front of the dish.


DirecTV says that it is probably either the LNB or my receivers. I find it hard to believe that both receivers would crap out at the same time.


DirecTV also specifically said that "there is no way that the access card would cause picture freezing." I have valid subscribed acces cards (no emmulation, blocker boards, hacked cards, etc.--don't ask me how I know about these... ;))


I am getting very close to dumping satellite and bringing in cable again. Major bummer!


I am going to try removing ReplayTV from the mix on one of the boxes to see if it continues to freeze and I will keep you updated.


Anyone else suffering from the same symptoms?


Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

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DTV has had problems recently with their uplinks. However, they will NEVER tell you ANYTHING is their problem. The receiver/LNB may have been a wild goose chase to get you off their back until the problem is fixed.


However, the answer to a few questions could help narrow the possibilities. Are you watching thru the PVR or directly? If so, try watching with the TV connected directly to the receivers. This can be done with many newer TVs by hooking up the second output from the receiver to an AUX input on the TV.


Are you watching both boxes at the same time on different channels and they both have the same problem at the same time? Transmission problems are usually on certain transponders and usually not all of them at the same time. If you are having a problem on one channel switch to another one and see if the problem is on that channel also.


Do you get any messages on the TV Screen like "Searching for Satellite Signal" or a Numbered message.


If you have a good signal strength on all transponders and do not get a "Searching for...." message, then it is more than likely a transmission problem not reception.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
DTV has had problems recently with their uplinks. However, they will NEVER tell you ANYTHING is their problem. The receiver/LNB may have been a wild goose chase to get you off their back until the problem is fixed.
Typical ;)

Quote:
However, the answer to a few questions could help narrow the possibilities. Are you watching thru the PVR or directly? If so, try watching with the TV connected directly to the receivers. This can be done with many newer TVs by hooking up the second output from the receiver to an AUX input on the TV.
I have been watching them exclusivly through ReplayTV. I just disconnected one of the from ReplayTV and am watching it directly. We'll see if it freezes of not.


Oh, and for what it's worth, it doesn't freeze all the time, just at least once per day. Sometimes a day went by without freezing. Problem is that I have no confidence in being able to record anything through ReplayTV (or a VCR, for that matter.) I have had no less that 6 shows record as nothing but a frozen image.

Quote:
Are you watching both boxes at the same time on different channels and they both have the same problem at the same time? Transmission problems are usually on certain transponders and usually not all of them at the same time. If you are having a problem on one channel switch to another one and see if the problem is on that channel also.
The boxes are set to two different channels and they freeze at different times. As far as changing channels, the box is frozen, not just the picture. No button pressing (on the DSS remote or on the receiver) has any affect. Only unplugging the box and re-plugging it back in un-freezes the picture (on both boxes).

Quote:
Do you get any messages on the TV Screen like "Searching for Satellite Signal" or a Numbered message.


If you have a good signal strength on all transponders and do not get a "Searching for...." message, then it is more than likely a transmission problem not reception.
Nope, no message. Just plain frozen picture. When I reboot, I think "Stand By..." or some such may have come up once or twice, but as far as I recall, rebooting cleanly brings back the picture with no messages.
 

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Let's see if you get the freezing directly from the receiver.


Do BOTH boxes feeze up ... when the picture freezes on them?


Read ELECTRONIC1's post - 3rd from the top.


Link


It may be part of the problem.
 

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I've been having one of my units freeze on a daily basis since about 10 days ago. But the last three days it's been okay. And yes, it's a third generation unit.


But I haven't checked yet this morning.


It's definately the receivers; Replay would not be causing such an occurance. Almost certainly DTV is causing it in their anti-hacking campaign.
 

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I had this happen a few times on my RCA 3rd generation hooked up directly to a tv w/o ReplayTV involved. I would have to unplug the box to unfreeze it. I heard that it could be due to the old "H" card in the box.


I ended up replacing the sat box.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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Originally posted by whirly
Let's see if you get the freezing directly from the receiver.


Do BOTH boxes feeze up ... when the picture freezes on them?
I'm testing it out on one of the boxes bu having it connected to the TV only. When connected to ReplayTV, both boxes freeze, but not at the same time. They seem to be "acting up" independently.

Quote:
Originally posted by whirly
Read ELECTRONIC1's post - 3rd from the top.


It may be part of the problem.
Quote:
And the Ryan posted
I've been having one of my units freeze on a daily basis since about 10 days ago. But the last three days it's been okay. And yes, it's a third generation unit.


But I haven't checked yet this morning.


It's definately the receivers; Replay would not be causing such an occurance. Almost certainly DTV is causing it in their anti-hacking campaign.
That's pretty much what I suspect. A relative of mine is "into" hacking DSS cards, so I get to hear all the ins and outs of that stuff. (Maybe I know too much! ;)) Anyway, I never actually used any of the equipment myself, (I have two subbed boxes for which I pay over $60 per month) but I admit, that being a (classical) hacker at heart, the technology behind it is very fascinating. Unfortunatly, some legitimate customers (AKA Me!) might be getting hit by ECM-related stuff.


Both boxes began freezing up on Monday, the 22nd because one froze while recording "Unwrapped" on the Food Network (which airs on Monday nights) and the other froze on CNN (Monday, the 22nd's date was on the screen. :D) Since then they have frozen up just about every day, more or less, but not at the same time.


From some reliable "sources", this seems to be about when the latest hashing and ECMs have been sent. And yes, DirecTV keeps saying "It's your hardware." The conspiracy theorist in me says that they are trying to cycle out the old equipment. Of course, my boxes have to be the high-end RF-controlled boxes, so replacement could be costly. Typical. :mad:
 

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My box was frozen again this morning after being okay for a couple days. It froze last night between 12:00 and 12:30 am ("Good Eats").
 

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Yes, after reviewing dozens of posts on the DSS chat boards, it appears that D.A.V.E. is the culprit. However, not to fear ... this WILL pass and best of all it isn't the ReplayTV units.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I ran through all DirecTV's troubleshooting suggestions, tried a new LNB, and still both boxes continually froze. There was about a 4 day period without freezing, but then, back to freezing every day. Enough was enough.


I went to Circuit City and purchased two new Sony DirecTV receivers: a SAT-A55 and a SAT-B55. They are identical receivers except that the A55 has an RF remote and includes a Dolby Digital output (Bought it for the RF remote capabilities.) The A55 was $99.00 and the B55 was $49.00. Don't believe the Circuit city web site. The prices didn't match the prices in the store (the store was much cheaper.) Go figure.


I called DirecTV and had them deactivate my old boxes and activate the new ones. There was no charge, it took about 10 minutes, and since then, things seem to be rock-solid. I'll definatly post if I get any more freezing.


After checking on several "legit" (DSS user) and several "not-so-legit" (DSS hacker) forums, the pattern has emerged that the receivers that seem to be freezing mostly are RCA 3rd-generation boxes. While I really don't have a problem with buying replacement equipment, what really pisses me off is that DirecTV just passes it off as "bad equipment". If they would simply say "Those boxes are problematic and we strongly suggest you upgrade to a new receiver, I would accept that, but they simply state that "It's your equipment" that's the problem. Not very "customer-friendly" if you ask me. :mad:


Anyway, I also want to mention that an added bonus of these specific models is that when you change a channel, only a very tiny channel "bug" appears in the upper right corner of the screen (channel logo image and channel number) which disappears after a few seconds. It is completely hidden by the ReplayTV banner and when the ReplayTV banner disappears, the satellite bug remains for just a couple seconds. It's very unobtrusive. Very cool! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, and as for my old receivers, a friend of mine already has them. Sorry...
 

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Yes! I have been having the SAME problem for almost 2-3 weeks now. I bypassed the Replay system, and the satellite works fine on its own, but skips and loses connection with the dish when operating through the Replay unit. I was thinking it was a problem with the original hard drive going bad, (which is why I'm logged on to this site.. to find out how to replace it) but now that I hear that you are having the same problem at the same time with two seperate units, it has me scratching my head again. I've already ordered a new Maxtor 80gb drive to replaced the original, so let me know if you have found a fix.


FoleyPhoto
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:
FoleyPhoto said:
I bypassed the Replay system, and the satellite works fine on its own, but skips and loses connection with the dish when operating through the Replay unit
Hmmm. Your problem seems to be different.


I did disconnect the ReplayTV box from both DSS receivers and watched DSS directly, and they still froze. That eleiminated the ReplayTV boxs as a problem.


Per DirecTV's suggestion, I replaced the LNB with a new one and still, both boxes froze. That eliminated the LNB as a problem.


I asked DirecTV about the access card, and they repeated several times that the access card could not possibly be the problem. That eliminates the card as a problem.


I relented and replaced the only part of the equation that was left: the receivers. Since replacing the receivers Wednesday night, I have had no freezing. The new receivers have new access cards, both boxes are connected to ReplayTV boxes (models 2020 and 2001), and I put back the original LNB.


So far, so good.
 
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