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Gray screen on TV with Directv receiver
This thread has 12 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Wednesday November 30, 2011 at 22:01
Munson
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I am having an issue with Directv receiver displaying gray screen on TV after system is on for awhile. Changing channels on the Directv receiver will fix the problem.

Here is the system overview. Directv Slimline5 dish on the roof about 100 feet of RG11 coax run from roof to multiswitch in the rack, and about 50 feet of RG6 from multiswitch to Directv receiver (I do not know what brand multiswitch is installed). Directv receiver is a HR21-100, and it is hooked to a Sony Qualia KDX-46Q005 TV. There are two other receivers in the building that as far as anyone knows, have not had an issue. Both of these receivers are H21-100, not DVR’s like the one that is having the issue. The other two receivers do not get used nearly as much as the one that they said is having the issue.

First thing customer said the Directv box was bad, I went out and they had a new box, also a HR21-100 and I installed it. I never saw the problem. Directv box was hooked up component to video 5 of the TV.

I received a call the next day that it was doing the same thing. I went out again and changed the hook up to use HDMI between the Directv receiver and TV on video 7. Again, I never saw the problem myself, I was there for over an hour. Later that day a received an emailed photo of the TV with the gray screen.

I have now tried two different Directv receivers, on two different inputs on the TV, with two different cable types. Based on what has already been done, the only things I can think of are that the TV has a problem, or the LNB or multiswitch has a problem.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions on what I should check, or what you think it might be?
Post 2 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 01:08
TRCGroup
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Gremlins?
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Post 3 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 02:14
SignatureSV
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I too get this issue 1-3 times a week along with random blue screens that lock the receiver up. Also if I have something paused for anything longer then 25 minutes the receiver locks up.

I'm guessing software issue is to blame. Everything is hooked up via HDMI through my Denon receiver
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Post 4 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 08:10
mariomp
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Is this a DirecTV thing or is your display going into sleep or burn-in protect mode?
Post 5 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 08:19
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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On December 1, 2011 at 02:14, SignatureSV said...
Also if I have something paused for anything longer then 25 minutes the receiver locks up.

Same thing with a, recently added to system, HR21-700 here. Although it seems to lock up much sooner than 25 minutes of pause.

Wife puts it in pause while she's on the phone so maybe it really is 25 minutes....lol



Have had no problems other than that one issue....
Post 6 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 15:30
Ernie Gilman
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Those receivers should go into the bouncing DirecTV logo screen saver after a few minutes in pause. I've never seen ANY gray screen from a DirecTV brand receiver.

LNB and multiswitch problems will cause loss of signal problems -- screen freezing or loss of signal message.

You need to pin down how much time it takes for the problem to occur; whether it happens every time that happens; if not, whether it happens during particular times of day... TSS mentioned pause, but you didn't; is that a factor?

And you need to look at all the parts of the system. You might instantly recognize something terribly squirrely, even though a gray screen makes zero sense at all.

I'm remembering a couple of problems I've had; in one, the LNB failed on local HDs only on the master bedroom TV. Turned out, when the temp was below about 60 degrees outside, all TVs could not get those channels, but they only looked at the master bedroom TV, showing a problem with accurate depiction of the problem. When I arrived at noon all was okay. I finally found the problem when I got there at 9:00 AM one day, and was able to confirm that all receivers did it.

Another problem was caused by strange wrong connection of two multiswitches with splitters, and the problem at receiver A was caused by a channel selection at receiver B or C. You have to know what those other receivers are doing.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
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Post 7 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 17:41
NEZBO
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The grey screen is output from the DTV box. The older software would have a black screen when switching channels. It is changing to a grey screen. If it is locking up, make sure it is on a channel that they have. if you change to a channel that is not on their package, it will be a grey screen. If it is locking up on Grey, I would guess it is the sofware issue. Also check to see if box is over heating.
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Post 8 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 19:03
william david design
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I would swap one of the known working boxes that are already on site and swap to a known good output at the switch. The fact that you are getting gray screen on component or HDMI leads me to think that the TV is at fault.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
OP | Post 9 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 21:48
Munson
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I was out there again today. Did not have much time to work on, so I still have not reproduced the problem while I was there. I swapped the Directv receiver with one in another room. This room has the same setup except for no DVR. I also replaced the multiswitch, both old and new are Zinwell WB68.

Now I guess I wait to see if the problem goes away, switches rooms, or remains with first TV. This should mean either multiswitch was the problem, receiver/DVR is the problem (which would mean two bad receivers with the samer problem in a row), or TV is the problem.
Post 10 made on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 23:48
Ernie Gilman
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On December 1, 2011 at 17:41, NEZBO said...
The grey screen is output from the DTV box.

Under what conditions have you seen this?

The older software would have a black screen when switching channels.

My HR24/500 has software 0x4e2 from nineteen hours ago. The screen goes to black when I change channels. This makes me look into things a bit.

And I just pinned this down. I've got my DVR set up so that Pillar Box side bars are black. If I change this setting to gray, then the screen goes gray between channels. So the screen goes to "the color chosen in Setup for Pillar Box side bars." It does not go to gray or black per se.

I just set my Favorites to all channels and went looking. 604-1, which I do not get, hung up on gray for about three seconds, then went to a DirecTV logo with elevator mucous. Music. Whatever. Channel 612 hung up for three seconds before the DTV logo.615-1 hung up for almost ten seconds. I think this is the essence of the issue. And though something is clearly not performing properly, if this is the origin of the problem, avoiding those channels would solve the manifestation.

The next step for your customer would be to confront the gray screen with the INFO button, pushing it more than once if needed in order to have INFO show what channel number he's on. This may lead to you setting up and paring down Favorites 1 to the channels they actually watch, or at least changing it to "Channels I get."
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 11 made on Friday December 2, 2011 at 00:43
Munson
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On December 1, 2011 at 23:48, Ernie Gilman said...

And I just pinned this down. I've got my DVR set up so that Pillar Box side bars are black. If I change this setting to gray, then the screen goes gray between channels. So the screen goes to "the color chosen in Setup for Pillar Box side bars." It does not go to gray or black per se.

I just set my Favorites to all channels and went looking. 604-1, which I do not get, hung up on gray for about three seconds, then went to a DirecTV logo with elevator mucous. Music. Whatever. Channel 612 hung up for three seconds before the DTV logo.615-1 hung up for almost ten seconds. I think this is the essence of the issue. And though something is clearly not performing properly, if this is the origin of the problem, avoiding those channels would solve the manifestation.

Good info to know on the gray verse black screen.

Favorite channels would not fix the problem. This customer puts on ESPN when he gets to his office, and leaves it on this almost all day. The problem is that, that every 45 minutes the screen goes gray, and changing the channel up one channel then back down fixes the problem.

I think the every 45 minutes in not completely accurate, because I have been there three times or 1-2 hours each time and I have never seen the problem. I know for sure that it is happening because I was sent a photo of the problem.
Post 12 made on Friday December 2, 2011 at 01:05
Ernie Gilman
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That leaves me wondering about heat, as mentioned before. Is that receiver cool enough that you could pick it up and mash it into your face without feeling like you had to throw it across the room? I think it helps in situations like this to have a memorable way of expressing the issue.

AND we still have to hear back, now.

Is the client keeping a diary of the times he's found it to be gray.

As for discovering the gray versus black, that success was a total fluke based on the idea that these guys never explain everything to us.

Next time you're there, or better yet over the phone now, be sure that symptoms are being written down very systematically.

Another odd one that became obvious to the client -- he used UHF 17 to broadcast SD video from a satellite receiver to the whole house antenna system. It quit working at night. After I lectured him on discovery through listing everything he found out, about a week later he called to say he had found that it went out at the same time every night... around dusk... had outdoor lights... turned them off one night and the problem went away. That was almost as much of a headscratcher stiil, because they were standard PAR lamps. But one of them buzzed oddly. He replaced that and the problem went away.

Write down everything and a pattern is likely to emerge.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 13 made on Friday December 2, 2011 at 23:12
Munson
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On December 2, 2011 at 01:05, Ernie Gilman said...

Is the client keeping a diary of the times he's found it to be gray.

As for discovering the gray versus black, that success was a total fluke based on the idea that these guys never explain everything to us.

Next time you're there, or better yet over the phone now, be sure that symptoms are being written down very systematically.

Write down everything and a pattern is likely to emerge.

I would agree, but in this case that is not going to happen. This is a high profile client that does not call us, he has people that call us. He pays for things to work, not keep a diary.

This may sound worse than it is. Good client, does a lot of buisness with us. Just pays us for things to work.

Good news so far, I have not received a call that the gray screen came back today.


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