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DirecTV Customers Beset with Glitches in Wake of HD DVR Upgrade (Update)

Yesterday, DirecTV rolled out what it called the “Whole-Home DVR service,” which, for $3 a month, allowed customers to access their DirecTV DVR servers from any room in their home, even those not equipped with DVR, and record HD video. A useful enough service, but it appears the upgrade has been followed by hitches: This morning, a number of DirecTV customers nationwide have been complaining about their service being down. According to DirecTV, this morning they have been “experiencing higher than normal call volume” about hardware problems, many of which are coming from people who rebooted their drives last night only to find that they wouldn’t come back on.

As annoying as the problem is, DirecTV has a better Twitter presence than do many companies of its size — much less TV providers — and it’s been responsive all morning to dozens of customer complaints. If you’re one of those afflicted, here’s what you can do:

The blanket advice DirecTV has been giving people is to “Try unplugging [their HDDVR drives] from wall/power strip for 15 secs 2x, without letting receiver power up in between,” and based on Twitter responses, this seems to be working for a number of people.

Update: According to a Geekosystem commenter, the general consensus on DBS forums appears to be that guide data is being corrupted; when it works, restarting twice will clear out the bad guide data and allow a fresh data download.

If that doesn’t work, you can call DirecTV customer service at 1-800-531-5000 (though you should be prepared to compete for a rep with scores of other customers experiencing similar problems). DirecTV hasn’t yet explained the origins of the issue besides saying that their “engineers are investigating,” but hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. One side benefit: When it is, maybe Twitter will come back as well, as it’s been over capacity on-and-off this morning as DirecTV service complaints have surged.

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