Update. The signal strength to the house was extremely weak. Not enough signal for the DVR to work but the small boxes work fine.
the XG2 is an HD set top box that also functions as a hub (for MoCA) and can provide the smaller xi3/xiD set top boxes with a loaned tuner. there is no DVR in an XG2 so you probably have the cloud DVR. play a recording, when the 'menu disappears press the down button and see if the source shows "DVR" or Cloud icon + "DVR". what you describe is too low signal or too high noise or both.