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Amazon VOD pixelation on Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by smbaker, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    This is a little disheartening to hear, since I was considering upgrading to Premiere from HD soon. May have to wait a little now.
     
  2. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    If you use Amazon HD movies, then I would absolutely not consider a Premiere at this time. I have effectively a zero percent success rate with Amazon HD downloads on my Premiere Elite, and a 100% success rate on either of my HDs. It is absolutely, totally, factually clear that the only variable in my particular case is the Premiere. I have now even downloaded Amazon HD content on my Elite, had massive pixelation, then bought and downloaded the same content on an HD, having zero issues. That finishes up the troubleshooting steps I've used before, pretty much proving that the fly in the ointment here is the Premiere.
     
  3. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

    259
    3
    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    Is there a way to report this bug to Tivo?

    Also... does this pixelation only affect HD content or SD content as well?
     
  4. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    2,458
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    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
  5. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    The bug has been reported. I personally believe it's been reported months ago. The fact that tech support denies knowing about it doesn't mean that there aren't tickets open. That's frankly just the performance I've come to expect from Tivo tech support. Deny, deny, deny. Some issues get fixed - others never do. I'm very disappointed as I had been quite happy with other aspects of the Elite until last week. My bubble has been decisively burst.

    As for SD content, many have reported that SD has been OK and issues were really focused on HD but I can't speak for that, as I would only download HD content if I'm paying for it.
     
  6. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

    259
    3
    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    I'd much rather have HD content, but if SD is a temporary workaround I can live with it. As long as its not a a year long temporary workaround.
     
  7. TiVoMargret

    TiVoMargret VP Product Dev, TiVo

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Hi all,

    We are actively investigating this issue. If you experience pixelation on an Amazon Video Download, please do the following:

    1. Take a picture and note the time into the movie/show where you see the pixelation. Enter 9-1-1-CLEAR on your remote control.
    2. Email the picture, the date/time and location (time) of the problem in the video, the title of the movie/show, and your TiVo Service Number to me (margret@tivo.com).

    Thank you!
    --Margret
     
  8. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Margret! I will do this. I'm curious - this issue cannot be replicated by Tivo? That would seem very odd considering the apparent high frequency of the issue being reported. Strange.
     
  9. TiVoMargret

    TiVoMargret VP Product Dev, TiVo

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    We are doing testing internally as well, but the more data the better. Home setups are very different from lab setups.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,154
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I have a 100% success rate with the Premiere. But I've also been downloading TV shows not movies.
     
  11. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I emailed Margret a more detailed trouble report and performed the 9-1-1-Clear and transferred my logs (via connect) but I thought I would post some pictures in case thread watchers were interested.

    I purchased and downloaded the new release movie The Ides of March [HD] 2011 for $4.99 last night. The pixelation issues did not begin until 30m into the film. There were a number of times during the remaining 1h 10m of the movie where pixelation occurred. Here are some images I captured.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The problem is noticeable during playback every time so it appears to be an encoding or decoding issue. It doesn't matter what the Premiere box is doing at the time so it doesn't appear to be a processor loading issue.

    The problem is also noticeable during fast forward and rewind but its easy to miss.
     
  12. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting comment. Perhaps I'll try an HD TV show and see if it's different. I'm completely convinced that there is a systemic issue with Amazon HD movies, and have believed from the beginning it's an encoding/decoding issue on the part of the Premiere. I wonder if there is some sort of difference in encoding for TV shows. I wouldn't expect that, but perhaps there is some sort of rights management there that does not exist in TV shows but does in movies?
     
  13. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest


    I stopped viewing a downloaded movie til afterwards, an noticed much less pic dropout...

    Still, I've called Amazon when there were issues with mvies that were unviewavke an rgwt were very hekpful to refund the amount paid for that movie... Yet offwewed no esplaination as to why this problem is happening
     
  14. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    He also said he believes the movie was fully downloaded before watching it. I have never ever even attempted to view a HD movie until at least hours - if not days - after it downloaded. Yet on my Premiere, every solitary, single movie had heavy pixelation. I think there are sufficient reports here to say with emphasis and authority that this issue is not related to network interface utilization during playback. Or frankly, that it's not related to cpu or memory utilization during playback either.

    What we do not yet know is if we would all experience pixelation in the same titles at the same times during playback, indicating where potentially the encoding/decoding issues me be more visible - or if the pixelation occurs at more random times following playback (meaning random from Premiere to Premiere - NOT random on an individual Premiere. We've already proven that where there is pixelation, if you pause, rewind, play over, etc - the pixelation, dropout, etc, will ALWAYS occur again and again at the same spots).
     
  15. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    As you stated, my movie was fully downloaded before playback on my Elite. The problem also occurred on previous HD movie titles on my bedroom standard Premiere. I'm near certain the network performance on the problem since I suspect that the file downloaded from Amazon is checked for integrity.

    As you stated, CPU loading at the time of playback has zero impact on the problem. I'm very surprised TiVo has not been able to re-create this problem in their labs. I'm guessing they haven't purchased too many HD movies from Amazon!

    With all of that said, the pixelation was significant but did not make the movie unwatchable. I would surmise that there are many Premiere owners who have rented HD movie titles from Amazon and haven't bothered to complain about the pixelation.

    I've decided to not complain to Amazon about my recent experience. I'm hoping Margret can report back to us that a fix to this problem has been identified.
     
  16. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest
    I'm very satisfied with the sustomer reps at Amazon when resovlingmy VOD issues
     
  17. bitzerjdb

    bitzerjdb New Member

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Amazon downloads directly to the TV or to the Series 3 Tivos are fine...Downloading to my Elite results in a unwatchable mess. Both Tivos are connected to the same network switch...I swapped the cables and ports on the switch...same result. Seems to support something is funky with the Elite.
     
  18. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to have to engage Amazon to deal with problems. I want the problem fixed. It does zero good to get money refunded if your intent and purpose is to watch the content. Frankly, IMHO Tivo should be crediting back all service fees for Premieres until such time as they release a reasonably good quality product. While I was very excited upon initial receipt of my Premiere Elite, I have come to realize that it is perhaps the worst quality Tivo device I've gotten yet. Initially it was just Amazon HD downloads. Now it's spontaneous reboots, sluggish behavior, etc. It has effectively become worthless to me and has been relegated to a pretty much unused room at this point. I'm back to using my HDs as primary devices.
     
  19. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Tampa, FL
    All of us, including TiVo, want the Amazon problem fixed. We've already had direct TiVo involvement acknowledging that they are looking into the problem and soliciting input from TCF to provide details and Premiere logs on the problems.

    I would be interested in seeing a video of the sluggish behavior that your experiencing. 20.2 is still much faster than 14.9 on both of my boxes. I'm guessing that it is something particular to the way you and a few others are using the software.
     
  20. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    At this point I've stopped using the Elite for anything other than as extra tuners in a room I don't use much, and have gone back to my HDs as primary. This is not because of the Amazon issue, but because the Elite has become sluggish and spontaneously reboots with no warning or predictability. It happens in the middle of recordings, when nothing is recording but things are playing back, etc. I am not using the software in any possible unique way period. I go to tivo central, now playing, scroll through recorded (generally just normal network like ABC, CBS, etc) content, select it and start playback. Period. Nothing whatsoever more. I can't imagine how that would be "unique" or "different" from other uses. I use it in its most basic fundamental fashion. Frankly, that's one of my biggest complaints about Tivo. I think there is way too much concentration on "gadgets" and "extra features" at the expense of quality and dependability for the "core fundamental" functions. After talking to Tivo support this past week and then again tonight, I no longer have the patience to deal with the Elite. I'm really disappointed because it really seemed like such a high quality product when I first got it. I am severely concerned that with no software or hardware changes, the behavior of the unit just randomly changes. And that Tivo did not prioritize delivery of 20.2 to customers who have legitimate recorded ticket numbers that they "claim" will be resolved by 20.2.

    Bottom line here is that I've really stopped using the Elite for the most part now. It's a $500 doorstop that every once in a while records something that my HDs do not. I have a bunch of content on it that I'm gradually moving onto the HDs and watching. Sad night. I'm going to just try to not look at the Elite for a while, and wait for 20.2 to get deployed to it (if that ever happens) and see if it's any better than 14.9.2.2, and even if it IS, keep my fingers crossed that the same delayed issues don't start popping up down the road. Bottom line is that Tivo has given me absolutely not a single solitary reason to be optimistic. The tech at Tivo tonight actually told me that I should expect this, because "it took 2 years to get the bugs out of the Series 3, and even after that we just released a fix for another issue with the Series 3". No kidding. Like Tivo should be proud that it took 2 years for the S3? Really? I did not solicit this. It was a almost word for word comment by the Tivo support person. Blew my mind.
     

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