HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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MonkMad
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HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

I saw posts about people losing a few channels after upgrading to the latest (20200907) firmware, but in my case, my HDHomeRun CONNECT seems to have lost all channels after the upgrade. My other tuner (Prime) seems to work fine.

Troubleshooting steps taken so far:
  • Changed antenna and coax cable to eliminate signal or equipment issues
  • Power cycled the unit by removing power (and all other cables) and plugging them back in
  • Updated firmware again, by downloading the bin file from the site, and issuing the following command, which succeeded

    Code: Select all

    hdhomerun_config.exe <MYCONNECTID> upgrade hdhomerun4_atsc_firmware_20200907.bin
    (Original update was from a Windows PC, but I downloaded the firmware again, to ensure file corruption was not the cause)
  • Multiple channel scans, via the web interface and the Windows application; all return with zero channels found
Thanks for your help and suggestions.

NedS
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907

Post by NedS »

Some very odd readings coming in. I will run this past Nick and see if we can figure out what is going on.

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907

Post by MonkMad »

Thank you Ned, much appreciated.

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907

Post by MonkMad »

Hi Ned, Nick,

Were you able to look into this issue? (I logged a support ticket also, but that has not received a response either)

Thanks

nickk
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907

Post by nickk »

The scan is reporting super-strong signal across unused channels and the LTE band. That likely means an amplifier somewhere is distorting.

The unit is 5.5 years old now... possible the power adapter is failing which can in-turn cause the input stage amplifier to distort.

If you have any other electronic devices with an 5V power adapter it would be an interesting test to try another power adapter. Anything 1A or higher will work as long as the plug fits and it is 5V (exactly).

Nick

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907

Post by MonkMad »

Thanks Nick.

I'll try to find another power supply. Does the Prime have a similar one? Mine is sitting next to the Connect. The SD site says it is 5V 2.5/3A regulated power adapter - 2.1mm plug, center positive.
I will also the check coax filters/connectors in the line. There are a couple, which haven't been changed in years, but could have given up in the TX heat :)

I saw some weird results last night, when the umpteenth scan (must have been the 20-something trial) found 8 channels, and I was able to play one using a network stream option in VLC as well. Thinking that you had done some voodoo magic (=background/server fix ;) ), I replaced the line with the previous (bigger) antenna connection, and scanned again. This time, it found a single "5004" channel, which I wasn't able to play. Then it lost all channels again on the next scan (and continues to miss them).
Your comment about a failing power supply seems to be the best bet for now. I'll report back on what I find. I'll also try and compare the lines and antennas using an actual TV.

First successful scan last night
Image

Second one
Image

Third run and current state
Image

nickk
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by nickk »

Confirming you can use the PRIME power adapter with the HDHR4-2US.

(Though not the other way around - the HDHR4-2US power adapter won't power a PRIME).

Nick

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

Thanks for the confirmation regarding the PRIME's power supply, Nick.

I tested the CONNECT with the PRIME power supply. It seemed to have no issues with the power, but could not detect any channels either. The behavior is inconsistent (with both CONNECT and PRIME power supplies), in the sense that sometimes it detects around 3 channels (which can be watched as well), but on other scans it detects 0 channels. This does seem to eliminate the power supply as a root cause I think. Thoughts?

I also tested the coax line and the antenna, with a TV sitting right next to the CONNECT. The TV got 79 crystal-clear TV channels, a couple of additional channels with poor reception, and even a few audio channels (from our local PBS affiliate). So, I think the coax, antenna and reception quality can also be eliminated as root causes.

Finally, I noticed something else today, which makes me think it is something inside the unit which is failing - the amplifier, ROM, or some other component. Here is the behavior, which I was able to replicate at least twice:
  1. Scan channels on the CONNECT, until at least 1 (or more) are found - I have been able to find a max of 8, though 3 is the most common number. It takes a LOT of tries though.
  2. Watch at least one channel to ensure it works, and save the stream address/url
  3. Wait for some time (I have tried from 15 minutes to a couple of hours)
  4. Scan again - this time 0 channels are found, and the lineup.html page also shows 0 channels, no matter how many times you refresh it
  5. Try to watch the channel from Step 2 above (using the saved URL) - It doesn't work
  6. Power off the unit, wait a few minutes, and power it back on
  7. Navigate directly to the lineup.html page, and voila! Some channels have magically appeared (usually 3), which can be watched as well
I don't know all the inner workings, but it seems to me that some storage/ROM/RAM component somewhere is still holding on to an old channel scan, which shows up after the power down/up. I've seen this happen in routers sometimes, e.g. when you flash a new DD-WRT build, clear the settings, power down/up, and find the old settings still there. Usually this is fixed by a hard (a.k.a. 30-30-30) reset, but I'm guessing that would be too much to expect from the CONNECT? :)

Please let me know if you think this unit is dead/dying. (Sigh) I'll start looking for a new one.
Also, just for my curiosity, is there something I could do with this unit, except trash it? I'd love to tinker with the innards, knowing full well that it will void the warranty, nothing is guaranteed etc.

scottshoenfelt
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by scottshoenfelt »

So I solved my problem, maybe the solution will help you as well. I got all my channels back instantly when I relocated my LTE filter from the "antenna end" of my wire run to the receiver end (actually its about 2/3 the way to the receiver). I do live really close to a cell tower so maybe a tenant on the tower has made a change that altered the interference pattern. I have an older house that has been remodeled a few times, and my guess is that i've got inadqeuately-shielded coax somewhere on the cable run that was picking up new interference.
If you need an LTE filter, here's the one I use:
Channel Master LTE Filter Improves TV Antenna Signals
by Channel Master
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JGSC5AO/re ... yFbVQN0E1B
Best of luck, hope this helps your problem too.

P.S. How Bout Dem Cowboys....?

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

Thank you for the details, much appreciated. I'm wondering if the upcoming 5G rollout is resulting in frequency bands becoming more crowded.

In my case, the antenna and coax did work with a TV sitting in the same location as the CONNECT, without using any filters on the line. So, I'm not very hopeful about LTE being the cause in my case (vs the CONNECT device itself). That said, I did order an LTE filter, and will report the results of my tests when it arrives.

Oh, and Go Astros! :!:

signcarver
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by signcarver »

The LTE issue will most likely not be seen on a TV and as nickk reported "super-strong signal across unused channels and the LTE band" I would look into such filter.

Yes it could be caused by a bad amplifier but I strongly suggest to always use an LTE filter with any OTA tuner these days. Since you mentioned sitting right next to the TV, I have seen components in electronics cause such issues so you might try moving it further away from the TV... I even had a power supply to a network switch that every time it was plugged in (whether powering something or not) would cause the caller id feature not to work in my house as well as 4 neighbors' homes so the issue could be "anything" but the hdhomerun tuner itself would most often be far more susceptible to strong signals and interference than the one in a tv.

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

Thanks signcarver; good info. Much appreciated.

The filter should arrive tomorrow; I'll let everyone knows what happens.

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

UPDATE: The LTE filter arrived and was attached directly to the CONNECT device. The number of channels found increased from 3 to 7; but still far from the approximately 80 channels available.

I think it is some component inside the device which has failed/is failing. The LTE filter seems to have found some channels which normally are far away and suffer from interference, but not the super-strong local ones, which TVs can sometimes pick up even without an antenna (e.g. channels 2.1 and 8.1).


Nick, signcarver, any thoughts?

Nick, I've also enabled Diagnostic logging, so you should be able to see the last scan with the LTE filter.

signcarver
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by signcarver »

Super strong typically still typically needs to be attenuated but you haven't really given any levels yet for the community to give advice (nickk/neds have an advantage there as they can see the scan results).

Personally I would go through every physical channel with config_gui and check the levels on each channel (and possibly attempt to view such in vlc, i would not want to see any at 100% strength as you have no indication as to how much above 100 it is)

Yes it is possible the internal amplifier/splitter is messed up but that is extremely rare and I'd look at other sources of amplification including things on unused channels. I don't believe you gave your location, other than perhaps implied Houston, distance to towers and antenna setup (antenna model, pre amp, amps, length/type of cable...). From what I remember about houston is many vhf channels and typically people these days have poor vhf antennas that rely on the cable for vhf which can easily change properties with slight movement/bend anywhere along the line.

Other than looking at the channels, I'd either wait to see what nickk/support says or just go out and buy a quatro.

MonkMad
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Re: HDHR4-2US (Connect) lost all channels after 20200907 - MonkMad

Post by MonkMad »

Interesting tips about the attenuation and signal strength, signcarver. (On a side note, there are no readily apparent instructions about which details or levels to provide, when posting an issue in these forums. The only obvious thing in most documentation and posts is to enable Diagnostic logging). Your comment led me on a search to find how to check signal strength etc. See screenshot below. The signal strength does not seem to be close to 100% for the channels I checked.

Image

Also, I'm applying Occam's Razor here, the only thing which changed when the number of channels dropped from around 80 to single digits, was the update to firmware 20200907. No h/w (power supply, ethernet, coax, antenna) or even location change. Still, I've checked all the above mentioned components by replacing them one by one, to no significant improvement. Even after adding an LTE filter to the setup, there is only marginal improvement.

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