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Old 01-19-2004, 11:13 AM   #1 (Print)
Karl Erzenicnik
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DirecTivo loss of color

As a long time DirecTv user but brand new DirecTivo user I have noticed that the DirecTivo will randomly drop color and only show a balck and white picture. This occurs on direct view as well as recordings and on S video as well as composite outputs. Using the jump back 8 seconds button will restore the color. Audio also drops back from 5.1 to standard but restores without any action on my part. The receiver is a Phillips 740 which appears to be the same as the RCA and Hughes models. Is this a known issue with these models? Is there a software issue? Is the receiver bad? Any info would be appreciated!!!!
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:23 AM   #2 (Print)
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I've never seen this behavior on my HDVR2. Sounds like a bad receiver.
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:43 AM   #3 (Print)
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I have the same receiver. I also have had the color drop out a couple of times. I have only had my unit 1 week. I do not have 5.1 hooked up so I don't know about that problem. The sound does drop for a second or two every now and then.
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:09 PM   #4 (Print)
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I've noticed the same thing on my new Samsung SIR-S4040R. The picture goes black & white then back to color a few seconds later. It has only happened a couple of times. I think it was during recorded stuff though. I did see it go black & white using the RF video output. ??????
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:39 PM   #5 (Print)
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I had that once (months ago). After rebooting, never saw it again.
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:41 PM   #6 (Print)
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I've had my Hughes SD-DVR40 for approximately 2 months now and have noticed this behavior intermittently ever since I got it. I've seen it while watching live TV and recorded programs. For me, sometimes the picture goes completely black and white, but most of the time it is mostly black and white but has pale random colors that kind of scroll through the picture (hard to describe). It will usually go away on its own after several minutes, but I usually fix it right away by swapping tuners or changing channels. After the switch, the b&w persists for about a second and then the normal color comes in. I've verified that it doesn't get recorded in b&w by reviewing the same piece of video after the color is restored and it looks fine.

At first I thought that it must be a problem with my S-Video connector or cable, but I have a second composite feed going through my VCR that looks the same way.

I called DTV and explained the problem foolishly hoping that they would be aware of the problem and recommend a fix or a swap out or something, but the tech basically told me to swap out all of the parts of my system (cables, receiver, TV, etc) in order to identify the problem. Because of the snake's nest behind my entertainment center I just haven't had the time or energy to try that yet. I considered just telling them that I HAVE isolated it to the DTivo receiver, but I suspect that the resolution will be for them to send me a refurbished unit and I'm not sure it's worth the risk of taking a used receiver and effort of reprogramming all my season passes and everything.

I think I'll try the reboot asap. Has anyone else had luck with that fixing the problem?
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:02 PM   #7 (Print)
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Iíve had the very same problem ever since I bought my first Directivo over two months ago. Thinking it was my receiver I took it back and exchanged it for another one, different manufacture even. But to no avail I was still having the problem. I then began to check all my inputs / outputs and even swapped multiple cables to my television, but the problem continuted. My only other option was to troubleshoot my Mitsu HD Rear Projection TV. I then hooked up a secondary Tube TV to my other RCA outputs on the receiver and began changing channels trying to reproduce the problem. I was able to reproduce it but, only on the big screen. Where the secondary TV was still displaying color while at the same time, the Mitsu was black and white. I was able to duplicate this multiple times. So, I then figured it was my projection TV. I called the service guy out who ordered a new board (which still hasn't come in)... thinking it would resolve the problem. But now reading these few posts are getting me worried again. I wonder if some TVs (rear projection maybe) are more problematic with Directivos than others (tube televisions). I really don't know, but it certainly bugs the heck out of me. Iíll let you know what happens when the new board gets installed. Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Old 01-19-2004, 03:12 PM   #8 (Print)
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My TV is a 36" Sony tube TV and it's being fed through a Sony A/V receiver.
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Old 01-19-2004, 03:12 PM   #9 (Print)
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somthing sounds like a bad batch of directivos, my 4 month old HDVR2 hasnt had this yet.

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Old 01-19-2004, 04:14 PM   #10 (Print)
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I noticed this once with my DSR7000, it's about 6 months old. Happened a few months ago while in the Now Playing List. It went away after I started watching Live tv and hasn't come back since.
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:27 PM   #11 (Print)
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I've also seen this once. I have a HDVR2 and a Mitsu HD Rear Projection TV. The color was gone from the HDVR2 for both video and TiVo menus. My HDTV receiver, using the same dish, tuning the same DirecTV channel on the other TV input had color.

It fixed itself sometime while I was watching the HDTV receiver. Has not happend again.

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Old 01-19-2004, 05:09 PM   #12 (Print)
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I can rule out bad receiver I have had this problem with every directivo I have hooked up to my tv.


Hughes SD-DVR 40
Samsung SIR-S4120R 100 hrs
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:54 PM   #13 (Print)
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I don't think the problem has any thing to do with type of video output or TV. I've seen it on my 36" RCA using s-video and also on an old Sony 19" using the RF hookup.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:39 PM   #14 (Print)
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Just wanted to chime in as a "me too"--

I have a Hughes HDVR2 and I've lost color a couple of times. As others have pointed out, both the programming and menus appear in black and white. Each time I've had this problem, it's corrected itself--and the color does get recorded.

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Old 01-20-2004, 12:49 AM   #15 (Print)
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I've had this happen on my machine (DVR40) too, I've seen it about 3 times in the ~6 weeks I've had it.

DirecTiVo DVR40, 35 hrs
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Old 01-20-2004, 01:05 AM   #16 (Print)
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Count me in too with my Samsung 100 hour. About 3 times in 2 months so far...... And that wasn't the only issue, also had two Samsung's that had very funky responses from the front panel buttons. Push up and the guide comes up, push info and some other screen comes up, etc.... After I take it apart I find the idiots left a few of the component legs too long on the front panel circuit board and those legs were shorting to the metal panel behind the front cover. Well, I can't only blame it on the factory fools, the engineers are idiots too, they left 1/8" clearance between the solder side of the circuit board and the metal panel. No plastic sheet to protect from shorts, nothing. I chose to repair the boxes myself rather than go through the hassle of an exchange (and potentialy get one with a noisy fan or harddisk.....

And people here expect these clowns to get their HD box right the first time??? Yeah, whatever!
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:36 AM   #17 (Print)
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I've had a sony t60 since sept 02 and never had this problem. Tivo gets heavy use, is constantly full, and gets used 12+ hours a day. I guess some could call that 'abuse' but the only problems I've had is with captioning and just recently on WB some audio drop outs. I believe the locals issue I have is not receiver related as others complained about philly stations sucking as well.

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Old 01-20-2004, 10:29 AM   #18 (Print)
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I have seen problems like this before with my DVD player. It was the S-Video cable. I replaced the cable and all was better.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:52 PM   #19 (Print)
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My stock HDVR2(3) has exhibited this issue too. In the span of one week I had live TV and recordings go b&w four or five times. S-Video or RCA output it didn't matter. The issue would always self clear in a minute or so.

Now that I think about it, I haven't seen the issue in a number of weeks. Hmm, I wonder if I rebooted.

My 0.02
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:01 PM   #20 (Print)
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Count me in as well. Two HDVR2's have had this issue for me. Extremely intermittent -- I may have seen it three times in the past year.
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:08 PM   #21 (Print)
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Count me in also. My HDVR2 has done it approx 3 times in the last year. My kids will yell something like "Rolie Polie" is not in color!!

Funny thing was it happened about a month ago and Rolie was having a "Black and White "dream -- the tivo was fine. My 6 yr old was started laughing....
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:18 PM   #22 (Print)
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I've never seen this on any of my series 1 DTivos but it's occurred several times on my HDVR2's and DSR7000's. It sounds like a design flaw in the S2 DTivos since everyone that's reported the problem has the series 2 models. It also does not appear to be limited to the pre-RID models since a DSR704 (i.e. post-RID model) was repoerted to have this problem as well.

What's a VCR?
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:03 PM   #23 (Print)
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I've got a Hughes HDVR2 (not updated).

Seen this problem off and on for several months somewhat intermittently, but I have found a way to duplicate it (at least for me).

....if I flip channels real fast, as in not waiting on the video to show up on the TV (only looking at the info), the info bar will start doing this (changing colors, mottling colors to b&w). If I continue to flip quickly as this starts to occur, eventually when stopping on a channel, it will be all b&w. Sometimes, it will only have the top and bottom halves of the screen be b&w, while the middle section will be a 'see through rainbow'. If I slow the channel flipping while this is happening, it sometimes corrects itself.

It's never corrected itself for me while switching tuners, or waiting a minute or two. Only a reset via the menus or a hard boot (cycling power) to the unit clears the problem.

If I don't channel surf too quickly, I haven't seen it happen that I remember. I just keep forgetting to use the guide to find out what's on, instead of channel surfing quickly ;-)

Hughes HDVR2 - 140 hours
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Old 01-24-2004, 11:14 PM   #24 (Print)
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Ditto for me as well! I've had the problem with the RCA DirecTivo I bought in December 2003. I have the Tivo connected through S-Video and RF to a Sony 43" projection t.v. and through both inputs, the color distortion occurs. I noticed the problem a week after buying the unit and called DirecTV and got the usual advice of checking cables, restarting the unit, blah, blah, blah. I even swapped S-Vid cables, same problem. Like everyone else, it is intermittent, usually corrects itself in a few minutes, and when I rewind back to the part of the show when it occurred, there is no color distortion recorded.

Called DirecTV again today and they said to try returning it to BestBuy. Since it has been more than 30 days, BestBuy will probably tell me to send it back to RCA for warranty repairs, etc. Not sure if it will be worth the trouble since it seems that everyone who has exchanged units is still experiencing the same prob.
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Old 01-25-2004, 12:55 PM   #25 (Print)
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I have had the same problem, it has only happened twice but I just got my Samsung s4040r receiver from dtv a few days ago, I noticed if you go to the to the menu to check your satellite signal, and change transponders, the menu will flash bw with the messed up color for a brief second, simulates the the problem I have had, I am thinking of having it swapped out for a new one since it is so new.I miss my old sony receiver, but there is no way I could live without my Tivo now, I am already hooked.
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Old 01-25-2004, 04:57 PM   #26 (Print)
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I have the problem on a one day-old Hughes SD-DVR40.

Its easily reproducible if I channel surf with the Channel Up/Down button.

I don't know if it's worth it to replace. All I have to do is call DTV to de-activate the box and activate the new one... but I'd have to go back to the store, etc... if the problem happens on all of them, it's not worth the trouble.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:40 AM   #27 (Print)
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Yes the channel surfing using recreates the problem, sounds like replacing the receiver will not change anything, I am kind of disappointed.
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Old 01-26-2004, 04:12 AM   #28 (Print)
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Same problem. New SD-DVR40. Got mine straight from DTV via promotion. Just now found the forum, so I did not realize earlier it was such a widespread problem, so I called and thru my usual excellent people skills easily convinced the "extended support" rep to FedEx me out a new one straight away. She was very kind, didn't give me any hassle or anything, and the replacment was brand new, complete with remote, cables, etc, ie as if you bought it retail somewhere.

Not knowing at the time how widespread the problem was, I was slightly surprised to see the problem manifest itself on the replacement unit even before I finished guided setup. Fortunately though, ever since, this unit doesn't seem to have the problem as frequently as the first one did, which I guess is pure luck, so those that are hesitating to call in for warranty service are probably doing the right thing by being hesitant. There is every indication this is a problem affecting many of the recent series 2 DirecTiVo's, regardless of branding (which is largely irrelevent as they all, HNS, Philips, RCA, etc.) contain essentially the exact same hardware.
But then again, unless enough people report the problem through official means, will they be inclined to put out a recall or take action to prevent the prob. from occuring in future units. Or, it could just be a bad lot of chips (video processors, interlacers etc) used on these system boards that happened to effect a good number of people at pretty much the same time.

I am reporting the continued problem again to DirecTV, with references to such discussions as these, as evidence of the far reaches of the problem, but will insist I keep the unit I currently have until they have clearly identified the problem and can ship me a unit that is problem free. As other posters mentioned, you always run the risk of getting a noiser unit, or one that manifests the problem more frequently, etc. by getting warrantly service, so unless it is happening *a lot* I wouldn't worry about getting it replaced for now, but as responsible consumers we all need to let them know about the problem. Who knows, they just might send all that have documented the problem with them, brand new replacements in 6 months, after they have fixed it.

FWIW, my limited NTSC knowlege tells me its most likely a video 'sync' problem. This possibly explains the quick flickering between R,G, and B and the clearly visible horizontal 'scan lines' that I can somtimes see moving up and down the screen. Possibily a flaky interlace chip, or something along those lines.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:50 AM   #29 (Print)
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I've had this problem intermittently, as well. I had an older Hughes Series 1 Directivo hooked up in the same location with the same wiring. No issues.

The new unit is a Philips 7000. I think it happens maybe once or twice per month on my unit. If I Pause and then play again, it usually goes back to color.

It's a minor inconvenience.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:31 PM   #30 (Print)
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Same issue with my HDVR2 (unmodified). Its happened twice and in each case a quick(?) restart cures it.

Only happens when I quickly change channels over a period of 20 minutes. Maybe the 30-minute buffers cannot handle such activity.

Let's hope the HD-DVR doesn't have the same problem.
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