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FIOS TV pixellation fix - attenuate to SNR 31

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by AbMagFab, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Good post...thanks for that. Seems that they might be getting a handle on things. :up:
     
  2. JonHB

    JonHB New Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    I found out last night that a few of my recordings were missed because Tivo stated that there was no signal. Sure enough, the channels in question were completely black, not even pixelated. I removed my 10db attenuator and the channels came back. However, I now have pixelation on a new set of channels (different ones from when I first put the attenuator on). Yep, I'm starting to think there was something changing on VZ's end as well. I'm in SoCal, and unfortunately, I don't follow the news on the analog disco dates so I don't know for sure if that is related. My pixelation is now on Showtime HD and I'm probably going to drop those channels anyways...
     
  3. ilh

    ilh New Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
    Based on another thread in this forum, it would appear this "filter" is a low-pass filter so MoCA signals don't mess with the TiVo's tuners.
     
  4. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Correct. In November one marked "Low Pass Filter 5~860MHz" was installed between splitter and feed from ONT. A few cable ends, splitter, router, and ONT were also swapped out for updated models in November. None of it made one iota of difference. The number and severity of tiling channels remained exactly as they were for weeks. It all cleared overnight a few days later. A tech said that the problems had been corrected at CO. Later I found out that some using Motorola boxes had difficulties in many, not all, areas served by VHO8 during the same period - to about the level seen on the Sonys, not the mess on the Toshiba. The S3 would have fried or been comatose had it been in place then.

    I have been expecting a flurry of pixelation when Verizon drops the analogs, 6/23 here, then adds new channels later. I wasn't expecting it this soon. The FO men's final was a disaster throughout (tiling wise also). I was a jackass for not recording on antenna channel or backing up on one of the Sonys. Complacency. Tiling and no tune has coincided with changes made at VHO. I agree that Verizon in particular has challenged the TiVos' tuning abilities. But am I the only one disappointed by TiVoJerry's post a few days ago? His suggestions are appreciated and they're not inaccurate. Missing though was an acknowledgement that, in terms of QAM tuning, Tivo is bringing up the rear. To me this apparent acquiescence doesn't bode well for TiVo's current or future products. Bicker recently listed robustness as his top priority. I would settle for competitive performance. In the meantime I hope VHO8 and the Ambler CO get their acts together. Or it will be a rough summer for the S3.
     
  5. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Here, here! :up: :up:
     
  6. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
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    No reason for anybody out your way to be apprehensive about new installs. You might remember that my best stretch with FiOS TV was the first 8 months. Perfect. Error free (except for billing of course). And VHO8 - Philadelphia has a well earned reputation for [insert slanderous noun of choice here ____________] and it seems VZ is dragging its heels on updating early COs. Mine 3 years old now. So what's life like in/on Lake Oswego?
     
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Yep, still looking forward to FIOS' big pipe and lotsa HD channels. Life is good here...last weekend it snowed not too far from here. This weekend it will be 80 degrees or so. :confused: Other than that it's all good! (I usually hate that saying, but it applies at the moment.) :)
     
  8. Thos19

    Thos19 Member

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    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA
    Well that was brief.

    My pixelation is back, as before. Noticed it as I was about to watch the NBA finals last night. It was only happening on one tuner, so I simply watch the game on the "good" tuner.

    (sigh) Guess I gotta try the attenuators again, tonight.

    Since this all started when they dropped the analog channels in my area, I wonder if things might improve when they add the new HD channels in early July. I can hope, right? Right? :(

    Thos.
     
  9. ilh

    ilh New Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
    After reading about how MoCA can adversely affect the THD's tuners, I disconnected my FiOS-supplied ActionTec router from the coax. (It is connected to the ONT via Cat5 since I had FiOS internet long before TV was avilable.) After returning all my FiOS STB's, there was no point in having MoCA any longer for me.

    Anyways, after doing this, I don't believe I have seen a single RS uncorrected error for several days. Before, I would get a few thousand over the course of a 4-hour NESN recording. The last several times I've checked, my RS uncorrected/corrected errors have been 0/0, even after 4-10 hours on channels that used to show occasional minor pixelation and RS uncorrected errors (e.g., NESNHD, DSCHD, etc...).

    I think there is something to this MoCA interference, or at least ActionTec interference. Maybe I'll try removing my attenuators now.

    --Lee
     
  10. Thos19

    Thos19 Member

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    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA
    The only pixelation I get is on the local HD channels 802-808. Anything above is perfect with no errors corrected or uncorrected.

    I have my FIOS internet in the same set up as you, ilh, as I had it a year before FiosTV was made available in Abington, MA. Cat5 cable from the basement. Fios is just coaxial cable from the street.

    I don't know much about MoCA. Care to elaborate further?

    Thos.
     
  11. ilh

    ilh New Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
    The Verizon STBs talk to each other and the ActionTec router using MoCA, which is essentially ethernet over coax. This is how their DVR can stream content to other STBs.

    MoCA uses frequencies above 1GHz, which shouldn't interfere with cable tuning (up to 850MHz with Fios, I believe). However, in a thread in this forum, a TiVo employee stated that MoCA can adversely affect a TiVo's tuning and that it is recommended to have a low-pass filter between MoCA and the TiVo, and that Verizon is now installing such filters in new installations with TiVos.

    This does beg the question why is the TiVo's tuning affected by MoCA? It sounds like it is missing its own internal filter.

    --Lee
     
  12. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Is it possible to unplug the actiontec router from the system and see if the pixelation disappears? Would MoCa need to be disabled on the ONT at all (I'm not really sure how they work)? Does anyone with ethernet running to their ActionTec router experience pixelation?

    If we can do field testing to determine if it's the actiontec router and/or moca, we could take steps to mitigate them. For instance, since I don't have any Verizon set-top boxes, I don't really need the actiontec router, and I don't need the moca.
     
  13. Rowan

    Rowan New Member

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    Jun 29, 2000
    Carrollton, TX
    I have ethernet running to my ActionTec from the ONT and still get pixelation but I do have two verizon boxs that are connected up to the ActionTecs moca connection.
     
  14. ilh

    ilh New Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
    That was exactly my configuration. The ActionTec and your two STBs are talking MoCA. It might be worth taking your ActionTec and STBs off coax for an hour or two to see if it improves things for your TiVo. I wouldn't recommend leaving unterminated coax laying around though as that could cause other problems (reflections). Best would be to route your TiVo Coax straight to the ONT.
     
  15. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    This is something I can do as a test, but with my schedule, I won't have much chance to until Wednesday evening. If anyone has the opportunity to try it earlier, I'd love to hear your results. Hopefully it will be "I saw pixelation, unplugged my router, pixelation went away, plugged it back in, pixelation came back."
     
  16. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,140
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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    FYI, I use MOCA with Motorola NIM100 boxes and 2 S3s and have not experienced any sustained visual interference issues. My cable company recently expanded to 850MHz for video channels and still no issues for me. As stated MOCA operates >= 1GHz. The NIM100 boxes can be configured to use different frequencies if desired, but I left them at their default which I believe is close to 1GHz.
    I saw that statement by TivoJerry about MOCA possibly interfering which got me wondering, so I went and checked a few channels for which I noticed I was getting some RS correctable & uncorrectable counts. Unplugging my MOCA devices did not change anything and then a couple of days later I checked again (with my MOCA units plugged in) and there are no RS errors anymore, so I conclude that was a cable company signal issue that was cleared up. These were HD channels recently added to the lineup.
     
  17. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Does anyone know if I can physically reconnect the ethernet connection between my ActionTec and the ONT (and disconnect the coax connection) and reasonably expect the router to continue providing internet service? Would the home office need to reconfigure anything in the system, or would it simply work?

    I briefly unplugged the coax to test it's affects on TV pixellation, but couldn't bear to be without my Internet long enough to get definitive results. My ONT still has a CAT-5 cable running into the box (but not plugged in), so all I would need to do is connect the actiontec to the wall.
     
  18. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Verizon installed a low pass filter in November 2.5 months before buying first TiVo, an S3, but I did have 4 cablecard devices in place then. It did not decrease tiling.

    The VZ filter is 40mm long; 14mm across the flats. (9/16 X 1.75"). Chrome with silver tape around center chamfer "5~860MHz Low pass filter". No brand or part # markings.

    I have a free VZ STB connected in office but never use it. Currently I'm getting mild tiling through S3 on local HDs w/o attenuation so have 11dB att. at its cable input. For purpose of this post I removed attenuators then later disconnected Actiontec from splitter. No difference in tiling behavior on locals observed with or w/o router connected.

    Living with FiOS and a TiVo could be miserable if not for attenuators - very dependent on your VHO and CO and how they're managing things at any one time. It varies much. I would think that they'd have enough sense to not add the new channels during the Olympics. Dropping the analogs here Monday. We'll see.
     
  19. webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    In the interest of data collection, is it possible for you to remove the low pass filter and repeat the with/without attenuator tests? (I assume you can screw it on/off the coax line like the attenuators).

    I've been attempting to test the without/without actiontec-speaking-moca stuff on my simple setup, but the pixellation I was seeing in normal configuration was pretty weak today. It's hard to test when it's not broken.
     
  20. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Sure. Thursday evening though. Note that my VZ feed has been improving through the week. Thursday's signal is anybody's guess.

    I assume you've seen the benefits of attenuators. That's where you'll see dramatic change.
     

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