Question about Hitachi 42HDS69 42 in. Plasma Television

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Very odd tv problem

**This is actually about the Hitachi 42HDF39 model which wasn't listed in the product list.**

I only have local channels which I receive with a powered indoor antenna. Last night I was watching tv and switched to a certain channel and it acted as though it couldn't receive the signal so I tried to change the channel to something else but the tv had just ''frozen'' up. The ONLY button on the remote and/or tv itself that would work was the ON/OFF. This has never happened before when the antenna seemed to have a reception problem. The ONLY thing I could do was turn off the tv and the antenna just so I could access my av inputs and all that, which I tested and all are working just fine. I tried several ways to get around this problem but had no luck. I called 1-800-HITACHI and the rep was unable to help me after a number of possible solutions. This morning the problem was still there so I tried something different: I shut off the tv and antenna, turned the tv back on, accessed the DTV menu, and locked out that channel. When I turned the antenna on it acted like it simply couldn't receive that channel and I was able to change the channels and even use the other buttons as if nothing were wrong. If I were to unlock that channel and attempt to receive it, the problem will come back. By the way, the other channels are working just fine. I don't understand how this one certain channel issue is causing the tv to completely freeze up.

On another note, I did lose another channel about a month ago and I haven't been able to receive it at all since then. My next door neighbor also uses an indoor antenna that's weaker than mine and he is able to receive this channel. It was working just fine until we had that ice storm that ran through the eastern coast so I assumed their tower was down, until I spoke with my neighbor and discovered that I was wrong. Is this possibly related to my current issue? I didn't have the current freezing problem when I lost that channel though and attempted to receive it. Very odd. Any ideas?

Posted by Anonymous on

  • Anonymous Mar 04, 2009

    The info you gave me was helpful in that I didn't know about the need to reboot the receiver if necessary. Unfortunately it didn't work. The signal strength should be fine as I've been watching that channel in digital for months now. I did notice that a couple of times during my experiments the last few days that I would receive a small bit of audio that played over and over like a stuck record, but I haven't seen any video at all, even just a still picture. I tried a different receiver with the same result. I emailed Hitachi to see if this was a software/hardware problem with the tv. Now I just have to wait it out. Many thanks for the help!

  • Anonymous Mar 06, 2009

    The antenna I have is a Philips MANT510 with a gain max of 50dB which can be adjusted in 10dB increments. The channel that is causing the issue (channel 3) has always been a fairly reliable signal and I've had no real problems receiving it. With this channel, anything more than 30dB would mess up the signal reception and 30dB seems to be the magic number for all the channels I can receive. I've tried increasing and decreasing the gain on the antenna for channel 3 without any luck. And this issue still occurs when I use a different powered antenna that I had for the analog signals, which can receive my digital signals just as well as the Philips. So, this makes me think that the problem isn't with the antennas.

    I also noticed in the last few weeks - mainly with American Idol which is on a different channel (11) - that it occasionally causes a reception problem and sticks like a broken record, but doesn't freeze the tv as with channel 3. Even stranger is that American Idol seems to be the only show that does this on channel 11. Other shows are received without issue. The problem has yet to occur on the only other channel I can receive now. In each case there is no video and the only audio plays like a broken record. Could the tv's digital decoder be freaking out?

    And I've yet to hear from Hitachi. Don't think I will be either. Time for another phone call, I guess.

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Digital receivers whether external to the TV (converter box, satellite) or built in are digital processors(computers). Just like computers there are times when they freeze up. This can happen if the data stream is corrupted too much to render the picture, but enough signal to lock. The processor attempts to "wait" long enough to gather enough information to begin. Just like computers, these need to be re-booted by turning on or off and sometimes unplugged and plugged in. You have either too low of signal quality or too high of signal strength, which is a problem with digital receivers.    

Posted on Mar 03, 2009

  • Jeffrey Johnston
    Jeffrey Johnston Mar 04, 2009

    One last option...you said the signal was fine...is it one of your strongest? The last thing I mentioned (too high of signal strength) might be the problem. Can you access the signal meter and see what it reads? If it reads very high, you can add an attenuator (10db) to lessen the signal. These digital systems have an upper limit of signal where they will drop out or not come in at all. Make sure to check that before you have to spend any money! 

  • Jeffrey Johnston
    Jeffrey Johnston Jan 19, 2010

    Yes, after reviewing the comments, it is likely that you have too much signal with the amplified antenna. But, since it worked for some time, you may be witnessing the starting of a slow antenna death spiral.

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