Missing channels...

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:42 pm

Just picked up an HDHR Duo Connect yesterday to replace my ancient ChannelMaster DVR. Last night I did a quick setup with the HDHR (using Channels DVR server & Apple TV). Set up and good to go within 30 minutes and was getting all 18 channels (HD & SD mix) I normally get (I'm located in Toronto, so I get CDN and US stations). Then today, half of those channels are missing. I'm only getting 10 now.

I've tried rescanning using the stock HDHR interface (not a lot of options) and the Channels DVR software, as well as Plex. Did them all multiple times throughout the day. Nothing. Only finding 10 stations. Also scanned from the Channels iOS app and tvOS app. Nothing but the 10.

So, hooked the old ChannelMaster up and did a scan and I'm getting all 18 channels with strong signals. Same connecting directly to the TV and doing a scan.

Is there any reason the HDHR would stop seeing stations that are clearly being received on other devices? Is there any way to re-flash the device or a do a factory reset or anything like that?

Thanks,
Kristin.

NedS
Silicondust
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby NedS » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:28 am

Go to the http://my.hdhomerun.com/ site:

1. Click your HDHomeRun's device ID

2. If it tells you that a firmware update is available, please install it

3. Click System Status

4. Check the Send diagnostic information box

5. Go back one page

6. Click Channel Lineup

7. Click Detect Channels

Reply back to this thread with the "Device ID" printed on the bottom of your HDHomeRun tuner and we'll check the logs.

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:46 am

Done. Thanks for the quick reply!

Device information:

Model: HDHR5-2US
Device ID: 1067AA60
Firmware: 20180817

I’m handy with terminal if there’s a command line interface to do a reset or anything like that?

Thanks!

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:47 am

Also, is it weird that the model ID shows “US” when it’s a Canadian model?

NedS
Silicondust
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby NedS » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:26 am

"US" is normal, as all of North America uses that model (and maybe Japan? Something like that).

Can you tell me what kind of antenna you are using? Does it have a signal amplifier? The scans show signals that might be too strong for the HDHomeRun. Built-in TV tuners tend to be a little more tolerant of overly strong signals.

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:24 am

Hi Ned,

I’ve been using a Channel Master 4221HD antenna (for about a decade now, connected to the ancient, original Channel Master DVR). The old DVR is on its last legs...I’ve had capacitors blown on it a few times now and getting sick of soldering in new ones...this the HDHR upgrade).

Antenna is mounting on the chimney on our roof, so excellent line of site and can get all the CDN stations and a good number of US ones as well. Reception on the Channel Master is very strong, so maybe the issue is that it’s too strong for the HDHR? I’m not using an amplifier or anything like that, just a straight run from the antenna, maybe 35’ run.

Any suggestions on how I could weaken the signal as a test? I know adding a coax splitter, in theory, reduces the signal power, but would each line in the splitter need to be connected to something for that to be effective?

Thanks,
Kristin.

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:44 am

I had an old 4-way coax splitter in the basement, so attached that inline and yep, now I'm getting 21 channels. So, we're onto something! I did a factory reset on the TV for a baseline and there I'm getting 29 channels.

Of the 21 channels on the HDHR, while I'm not getting a signal, a number of them (the ones I wasn't seeing before) still aren't actually coming in. I'm getting the effect that you'd see when the signal is too weak (just pixels at around 1 fps and super choppy sound). Would this be what it looks like if these signals are still too strong?

The "local" CDN channels (from the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, which is about 15 minutes from my house) all come in fine. It's the US-based channels (a lot further away) are the ones that seem to be too strong? For example, with the 4-way splitter inline, I can now get PBS and PBS Kids, but as I said above, they're unwatchable. I guess I could add another splitter into the mix (but I'd have to go out to get one as I only had one on hand).

And some US stations, like NBC, I'm unable to get at all—with or without the splitter.

So, while I can now "see" more channels in the guide, I'm still only able to watch the ones I was able to watch without the splitter inline. And I'm still missing about 8 channels vs using the TV's tuner or the Channel Master DVR.

Is there a way for me to see the signal strength when I do I channel scan (like, do I have access to the diagnostic logs that get send to you now)?

Thanks again!
Kristin.

rrussis82
Posts: 281
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:46 pm
Location: Western MA

Re: Missing channels...

Postby rrussis82 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:40 am

By any chance, could the "missing channels" still be analog?

NedS
Silicondust
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby NedS » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:45 am

Now that I'm a little bit more awake, looking at your scans again, I'm wondering if this isn't more of an interference issue. It could be interference being picked up by the antenna, or even interference being picked up by the HDHomeRun unit itself being too close to something. I can see where you've put the splitter in and where it lowered some of the signals, but the ones that spiked up above 110~120% signal strength are still just as high.

Troubleshooting signal issues isn't my strongest suit (still learning a lot of things in this job), but if we can't figure it out then I'll poke the zen master about this when he comes in next.

You can view pretty close to what I see by going to http://my.hdhomerun.com and clicking on that "System Status" link for your HDHomeRun. There should be a system log link. I'm basically seeing that, but with the addition of a neat little chart that is made up from the scan data. This post here will explain the different values you will see when you preform a channel scan: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4474

I'll consult my notes and drink some more coffee to see if I can get my brain to work at full speed this morning (Well, technically still morning).

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:59 pm

I don't get any of that information when I view the system log? Just hard reset the HDHR to flush the logs, did a channel scan, and this is all the logs show:

Code: Select all

19700101-00:00:04 System: reset reason = power on 19700101-00:00:04 System: network link 100f 19700101-00:00:05 System: ip address obtained: 192.168.10.182 / 255.255.255.0 20190216-21:53:52 System: time changed from Thu Jan 1 00:00:21 1970 to Sat Feb 16 21:53:52 2019
Nothing else beyond that (tried several times now).

Any other ideas? Any other way to access logs? I picked up another splitter, so going to cut new RG6 cables and chain it all together, but not being able to see any of the values makes trying to troubleshoot signal issues impossible.

The missing channels definitely aren't analog, and the showed up and worked fine on the HDHR for the first 24 hours. Then, gone.

Maybe the box is a dud?

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:59 pm

OK, I'm getting all 29 channels again.

I had to add two splitters and a TV into the mix to get it to work. Cut all new cables, as well (but that didn't make a difference). Here's the run now...

Channel Master (antenna) > 35' RG6 > Splitter #1 (4-way splitter) > Splitter #2 (2-way splitter) > HDHR

With that run, I was able to get 27 channels, but a number of the troublesome channels were pretty choppy. So, I ran some RG6 from the 4-way splitter into the TV, ran the scan again...and all 29 appeared, and they're all watchable. Some of the troublesome channels were a little choppy, but watchable (and, honestly, most of them I'll never watch...now it's just my "I know I can get this working" OCD taking over).

So, not really sure what's going on, but it works. It's not pretty, but it works.

Next time I'm at the hardware store, I'll grab another 4-way splitter and swap out the 2-way and the TV and see if that works.

For what it's worth, the signal coming through it super weak for my other test devices now (the TV and Channel Master DVR)—can't even watch any of the channels on the TV and the CM DVR, I can get a few.

Would love to know why there's such a difference between the devices? Have you ever seen this before? Just a little worried there's something wrong with the box? Seems super weird that I'd have to Frankenstein the splitters into the mix to degrade the quality (to gain 19 channels)?

k.

NedS
Silicondust
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby NedS » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:52 pm

I don't think the splitters are helping at this point. I think that idea turned out to be a dead end.

theboyk
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:43 am

Re: Missing channels...

Postby theboyk » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:07 pm

Huh?

The splitters are the only thing making it work on the HDHR. If I remove the splitters, I only get 10 channels. When I add both splitters, I get 29 channels.

Doesn’t make any sense at all though.

Straight run from the antenna to HDHR, I only get 10
Channels.

Straight run from the antenna to Channel Master DVR or the TV itself, I get all 29 channels.

The only way I can get 29 channels on the HDHR is to add two splitters inline.

Any chance there’s a way I can see the info you’re seeing with the signal strength? Like I said, my logs don’t show anything with regards to channel scans or signal strength.

Am I dealing with a faulty box? I noticed the store I purchased it from had a lot of “open box” deals, so maybe a bad batch? Note, I chose a “new” one, not open box.

I only have a 15 day return window (only 10 days left now) so the clock is ticking...

NedS
Silicondust
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby NedS » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:02 pm

I'm all mixed up in the logs I'm looking at. Sorry about that. Looking at your latest scan, it looks really good. Though I do wonder if the splitters are really just acting as filters, blocking out some of the bad interference.

Normal HDHomeRuns apparently don't show much of anything in the system log. I was thinking of the HDHomeRun Prime, which does show a bunch more data in that log. Sorry about that as well.

jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13216
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Missing channels...

Postby jasonl » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:19 pm

Without the splitters, you're getting some overload from the Canadian broadcasts due to how close they are. The splitters are knocking the signal down, eliminating the overload, but also weakening some of the Buffalo stations to the point where they're barely coming in. WKBW in particular is really bad, which is not surprising because it's always the most problematic station to receive given the combination of broadcasting from way south of Buffalo and having a weak signal. The good news is that they're taking advantage of the repack to boost their power output; the bad news is that Buffalo is in phase 8 and so that won't happen until March of 2020.

My recommendation for now would be to pick up a Channel Master LTE filter (https://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Antenn ... m-3201.htm) to knock out some of the strong LTE signals you have, and try with less in the way of splitting. Overloading results from having too much combined power trying to move through, so filtering out some of the undesired signals will allow you to pass through the ones you do care about at a higher level without causing problems.

If you're using a Mac, you can download and install the previous version of the HDHomeRun software (https://download.silicondust.com/hdhome ... 180817.dmg), control-click on the HDHomeRun app in the Applications folder, select Show package contents, and open the hdhomerun_config_gui program. This is a signal monitoring tool that you can use while making adjustments to see what the levels look like. Tune to channel 38 for WKBW (ABC), 33 for WGRZ (NBC), 32 for WNLO (CW)/WIVB (CBS), and 14 for WUTV (Fox). The same program is also available for Linux in most distributions, typically as a package called hdhomerun-config-gui.


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