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3D Upgrade Paralyzes DirecTV Boxes

DirecTV customers woke up to gray screens on Tuesday after an automatic update crippled HD DVRs. How did installers fare? Was it an opportunity or a giant pain?


Julie Jacobson · June 8, 2010

Integrators didn’t need a tweet from DirecTV to learn about an an automatic update that crippled HD DVRs overnight.

By morning, frantic customers and loved ones were calling installers with tales of woe.

“My wife called as I was on the way to work this morning. Kids were up and couldn’t watch Curious George,” wrote FINS on remotecentral.com.

On the same site, edizzle reported: “It is the update for 3D. all 5 of my boxes were frozen and i have already fielded dozens of calls. most were fine after one RBR (red button reset), some required two. 3D on 6/11 channel 106. get your goggles ready.”

And this from an integrator with the user name Fiasco: “I’m going out to a house tomorrow afternoon to fix their DTV boxes (they have 7). “

Meanwhile, industrious integrators recognized an opportunity when they saw one.

Marioamp recommended: “Bottom line, call your current and old clients and offer a fix; it may spark a conversation about some upgrades. At the very least, you’ll come out looking like a concerned CI, that’s calling to help client with an issue that’s obviously not caused by you or any equipment you sold.”

DirecTV posted this message on Twitter earlier this morning:

HDDVR customers: If your HDDVR will NOT power on, unplug the unit from the wall, wait 15sec, then replug, & repeat 1x to restore service.

That seemed to do the trick, except for SignatureSV, who got a “gray screen of death lol” even after four RBRs and two unplugs.

Please share your experiences in the comments below. Was it an opportunity or one giant pain? Did you charge for truck rolls? Did you have a Web cam on site to diagnose the problem remotely?!



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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