1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

FIOS TV pixellation fix - attenuate to SNR 31

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

  1. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Go back, then, earlier in the thread, to the poster who commented how that the Motorola boxes don't exhibit this problem as much, and explain how is it that people don't notice problems with Motorola boxes as much as they do with TiVo boxes. As long as there is a difference, there, and TiVo isn't the winner, then TiVo has a problem.

    Clever engineering involves more than manipulating physical qualities.
     
  2. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    No, thanks. Once again, however, I can only suggest you read MY posts, wherein I explain the fact and why TiVo would be potentially foolish to follow suit.

    Right. And you have been a professional communications engineer for how long? Your degree in electrical engineering or physics is from which university? You have designed how many RF or digital circuits?
     
  3. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    And you've effectively shown why electrical engineers with discipline-induced myopia, who therefore don't understand systems engineering, aren't good product team leaders.
     
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Even if they were true, and much of what has been posted here is nothing more than uneducated, unsupported nonsense, whining and moaning isn't going to solve anything, especially talking to a flunky 1000 miles away from the problem.

    Or deliberately annoys everyone else, which is the troll's objective. I've also seen some posts which smell heavily of agents provocateur, although of course I have no proof and am even uncertain of what organization might support them. That said, I am convinced the majority of posters reporting problems in this thread have a legitimate problem.

    AMEN!! We seem to be growing into a nation of chronic whiners. The worst offenders in this thread have done nothing but make phone calls, (allegedly) write letters, and complain about how bad their situation is. It's amazing how few can tell us what the levels behind their TiVos are, as this is the primary diagnostic which allows anyone to embark on a course of action. Without that measurement, any and all actions of any sort are nothing more than farting in the wind. If the user is too lazy or inept to obtain a measurement of the signal levels, then they have rather little chance of fixing the issue. I haven't seen anyone post a spectrum analysis of the signals behind the TiVo, and that is the second important diagnostic without which little other than signal level and perhaps equalization can be addressed. Finally, I haven't seen a single measurement of OOB signals made by anyone at the back of the TiVo. This artifact strikes me to be likely as the most significant proximate cause of problems on FIOS systems, although high levels also seem likely as a proximate cause, and improper equalization is definitely not completely off the radar.

    I suggest getting some measurements. No technician or engineer worth even half his salt would ever even begin to try to fix an issue without proper measurements. While I am not expecting the people of this forum to be technicians, a clue needs to be bought from those people who fix these sorts of issues for a living. Certainly, sticking in a pad to see if it helps is both inexpensive and easy, but it is a shot in the dark, and without a good diagnostic, there is no way to tell how close to the mark the shot may be hitting.

    If you haven't already, I rather wish you wouldn't. Attitudes like yours are a refreshing break from whining and silliness.
     
  5. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    lrhorer,

    You are apparently having difficulty with reading comprehension. Either that, or you are falling prey to the "design for design's sake" mentality that so many less than effective engineers have historically taken.

    Here are some facts, just so you don't have to go back through posts which completely refute your position.

    1) I currently have BOTH TivoHDs and a Moto 6416-2.

    2) At the time that pixelation is happening, BOTH TivoHDs often experience the issue - on the same channel, at the same time. The Moto unit does not display the issue. It may be dropping frames, but it is not perceptable to the user.

    3) When the units are swapped so as to even remove the physical port that they are plugged into, the symptoms follow the TivoHDs and never follow the Moto. Your comment that Tivo cannot design for both low signal strength as experienced by cable users AND "the very small percentage" of Fios users, is frankly totally incorrect. As evidenced, Motorola is already doing it. In fact. And frankly, from a design perspective it would be a superior solution to force amplification of a low signal environment rather than casually disregarding a high signal environment (in particular with the low signal percentages are dropping and the high signal - fios - is the most rapidly growing segment). Further, it solves yet another problem. As you correctly point out, many cable customers were forced to have amplification due to low signal strength. Guess what? The cableco does that at no cost because of the Tivo would in theory suffer, so would the cableco devices. So, the consumer is not left with the dilemma that everything that the cableco/vz provides works correctly and only the Tivo does not. So, that solution would provide a Tivo that works everywhere that content is provided - including both with Cable and with Fios. The current design does not.

    4) These are consumer electronics devices, intended to provide a given result to the user. A failure mode of imperceptable frame drops is a superior mode than massive pixelation and audio drops. That's even assuming that frame dropping is occuring on the Moto.

    5) Tivo claims themselves that "they know about it". They simply blame Verizon. Moto doesn't have to. To insinuate that Tivo is not aware is frankly disengenous and unethical. There is even a mention on their site about this and the link to contact Verizon. I'd say that's pretty much proof. You may not agree.

    6) The Tivo reports both S/N AND signal strength.

    7) You completely fail to recognize that Tivo has the issue here. Not Verizon. Look at Tivo sales vs Verizon Fios sub growth. Which do you think is growing faster? Now, look at Fios sub growth compared to cable sub growth (such as Comcast). There is an increasingly large difference whereby Fios is gobbling up huge areas of the market. VZ has no legal requirement or financial incentive to fix what you consider "their problem " (and which I don't think is their problem). Even though they are not legally required to do so at this time, they are already complying with part of the integration ban by supporting cablecard. If Tivo is going to simply blame VZ and not address this (as obviously Moto did with their design - factually proven) then they are for the most part isolating that entire market segment, which serves to even diminish their current market in the face of increasing competition and price pressure. Let me give you a little tip - when that happens to companies and they become more revenue challenged, the first thing that suffers is engineering design and quality. From a marketing perspective they're forced to try to keep up with adding features, but they then lack the resources to adequately fund such projects. As a result, customers typically start to see more and more issues. So while you think Tivo's position on this will not affect anyone other than those "few" (in your opinion) people affected by this, in fact that is far from the truth. Frankly, I'm already of the opinion that that's why we're experiencing some of these issues to begin with. They've already started that spiral.

    This frankly seems to be more of the issue where some Tivo users are terribly excited to have the most elegantly designed mousetrap that often doesn't trap the mouse. It is honestly a perspective that overly technically focused individuals lacking overall design and quality objectivity can fall prey to. This is the reason that qualified engineers without project focus are often not allowed to have any decision making within the project. They are given very specific requirements and technical specifications along with literal use cases - but not freedom of design. "Heads down tactical" engineers focus on a single tree, but completely miss the fact that the forest is burning down around that tree.

    And again, I'd ask for that IEEE or whatever you want "industry standard" that mandated SNR at 31. Please show me that spec outside of Tivo.

    For those that think this is just whining, grow up and treat Tivo and these devices for what they are. They are commodity consumer electronics. Simply being "fanboys" of Tivo without creating pressure here and in other public forums serves no purpose. It will certainly not generate any emphasis to Tivo to actually correct these issues. So long as people here would prefer to attack those experiencing severe issues which frankly make their product worthless and blindly support a product, Tivo will be more than happy to roll more less than quality product out and not make needed improvements. Tivo still has promise and can still fix some issues. But by endorsing their abandonment of existing customers you undermine your own future.
     
  6. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    If you are accusing me of being a troll, how about this? Let's talk off-line. I'll PM you a con call 800 number. I can walk you through everything on this end, including my device sn's, etc. Whatever you need to feel comfortable that this isn't a troll. It's just a customer who paid up front for products and then paid monthly, and who has been given a run-around and no working solutions from Tivo for over a year. Let me know. I'm available right now.

    And now you expect Tivo customers on Fios to have their own spectrum analyzers? Are you SERIOUS?
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I think you need to look again. CATV Broadcast signals* range from 55.35 MHz up to 800+ MHz in 6 MHz increments (with a 4 MHz gap between channel 4 at 67.35 and channel 5 at 77.35, plus a 20 MHz gap from 88 - 108 MHz between channels 6 and 98 for FM radio stations). The frequencies between 5 and 45 MHz are used for upstream transmissions for 2-way communications in order to deliver internet access, SDV, IPPV, etc.


    *Most CATV systems offset their broadcast frequencies by 10KHz from the FCC standard OTA frequencies. The standard OTA freqencies are 55.25MHz, 61.25MHZ, etc. Some CATV systems make use of the FM band from 88 - 108 for video or other transmissions.
     
  8. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Abso-friggen-lutely. Given our disagreement on other issues, I thought it important to highlight things we agree about.

    This is the most critical point in this thread. I haven't seen some people that this comment was directed to respond to it yet.

    That's not what online forums are for. Rather, online forums are for fostering the best experience for users, not for setting unfounded expectations. The way to create pressure for TiVo is to stop giving them money. Period. That's what businesses acknowledge. Money. Nothing else matters. As you can see, "whining" doesn't have the effect you desire. It works against what a lot of other people want, and so you won't -- WON'T -- get the unrebutted soap-box that you need for your tactic to work. So get over that, and use the appropriate measures for applying pressure: Stop giving TiVo money if you don't like what they're giving you.
     
  9. sinanju

    sinanju Member

    654
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    In support of your point, wm2008, here's some discussion on the subject taken from the Verizon tech notice that documents the attenuation workaround. To quote:

    *Wacky grammar as written.
     
  10. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    Also, an update FWIW. While my SN has not changed (as reported by the Tivo) the pixelation issues have dramatically increased. Previously pixelation typically happened on some non-broadcast network (ie, not on ABC, CBS or NBC for example) HD streams. In particular over the past couple weeks, pixelation now happens on just about any channel. This past week CBS was pretty much not viewable. I can't say what else may be going on, but I've made no changes inside my home, no ONT changes, no attenuators, splitters, etc, and no changes to the Tivo. It doesn't "appear" as though the signal was made hotter by VZ. But I can't say for sure.
     
  11. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    Well, I disagree, Bicker. I understand your point. And it is very possible that I will stop giving Tivo money - no doubt about that.

    But my point is that reputation matters also. And the more people that can see - and read - that Tivo is not the second coming of Christ and that there may be issues, the greater chance that public perception may generate some desire for movement by Tivo. Further, the more people that continue to bring up these issues and not allow them to drop, the more "evidence" newer people have to try and force Tivo to accept responsibility and do nothing about it. It's about turning on bright lights to make serious issues visible rather than allowing a company to sweep their problems - and customers - under the rug. It's about those people (like me) who didn't purchase their units direction from Tivo, who spent the money up front and experienced issues, who listened to Tivo tell them that the issues would be resolved for more than a year, and who now have no recourse to get their money back that was effectively stolen. Those customers can stop paying monthly fees, but that does nothing for the devices themselves, and since Tivo disables all useful function of the devices within 30 days of killing your Tivo sub, that's a big issue.

    I don't expect everyone to climb on the soap box. I also just don't appreciate when people are so myopic in their love for Tivo that they abandon and ignore real issues. Tivo counts on that.
     
  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Then be fair and don't expect to have an unrebutted soap box. Don't disparage people for criticizing your criticisms.
     
  13. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    Criticism is fine. Open minded and willing to listen is part of it. I do not expect to not be rebutted. I do expect that people who claim to know what they're talking about not make crap up or ignore what they don't like hearing. That's the problem. Like lrhorer insinuating (pretty much stating) that I'm a troll here and not genuine. After he made that claim I offered a quick solution to "rebut" his allegation. Still waiting.

    But anyway, I do realize it's an uphill battle. But not fighting it is what I've done for a year. I just lurked, listened to Tivo, called them, tried diagnosing on my end, lived with the issues - but said nothing. More than a year of that is long enough. As I've said before, were the TivoHD reliable I'd love it completely. Money certainly wasn't the issue as I bought 2. But I should have known better when I wasn't comfortable enough to lock myself into a service agreement to save on monthly fees. I guess I should have listened to my gut feeling then. Now I've got quite a bit of money invested and it doesn't look like there is a likely long term solution. I posted in another thread that the problems are increasing. Because pixelation on another show that we recorded was so terrible last night it was not viewable. So, we decided to try the netflix on demand again. We've had mixed results so far. Started playing a movie. TivoHD locked up. Had to unplug it - no response from remote. Rebooted. Tried again with another title. It started to load, then locked up. Same thing. Neither title was HD. Just 2 cents.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    My reading comprehension is fine.

    No, I am just an effective engineer who understands the the physical limitations of RF systems, the reality of the signal level profiles experienced by better than 80% of the CATV and OTA attached TiVos, and the global ramifications of implementing a less sensitive receiver than is deployed in the TiVo. It might well help YOU, but YOU are not 80% of CATV users out there.

    I read and understood that. What you don't seem to understand is, it isn't particularly relevant. The fact refutes nothing, but does serve to underline your lack of understanding of the situation.

    I also read and understood this from your posts. Having dealt with precisely this situation innumerable times in my career as a CATV engineer, I am painfully ware of how irrelevant this also is.

    'Again with the irrelevant. Now if it did follow the Moto, you would have something, but in the event a very different something. As it is, I don't see anyone claiming the Motorola is not less susceptible to the issue. What you seem unable to grasp is the Motorola is less susceptible BECAUSE IT IS LESS EXPENSIVE AND INFERIOR. I cannot count the number of highly sensitive, extremely expensive devices (including TVs) I have seen which are driven insane by high signal levels when much cheaper, much lower quality devices work just fine, the two sitting right together, side by side. When I was an undergraduate in Physics at A&M, I worked in the lab. We had one RF receiver which cost over $20,000 (more like $80,000 in today's dollars). At the time, with the exception of a SQUID probe, it was one of the most sensitive devices on the planet. It would have a total meltdown if taken out of a totally shielded room. It could literally be driven nuts by a persons's breath or bringing one's hand close to its sensor. When I was a CATV engineer, our technicians were given very inexpensive little 19" color TVs right off the retail dealer's shelf (I think they were Panasonics, or maybe Samsungs) to carry to customer's houses. They even had mechanical rather than digital tuners, and had to be used with a converter to receive more than 12 channels. Virtually every day one of our techs came across a customer whose $2000 TV was having fits, but the little 19" models had a perfect, if small, picture. If I recall, I think they cost us about $58, in lots of 100. The tech would (or was supposed to) check the levels at the tap, and if they were good, pad down the TV. Significant to this thread, the reverse was not true. Frequently, a customer would complain of snowy pictures, and upon arrival the picture would indeed be a bit snowy. Plug in the cheap little TV, and sometimes there would hardly even be a picture. Everything comes at a price, and the completely inevitable price of greater sensitivity - the ability to capture lower level signals - is a higher susceptibility to distortion and common mode interference.

    It's not just Tivo, and please provide the credentials or engineering specifications which support your assertion that I am incorrect.

    No, they aren't. As with every CATV equipment manufacturer of which I am aware, they assume their customer - the CATV provider - will be bound to deliver whatever amplification is necessary to bring the signal levels up to acceptable levels for their device. TiVo does not have that luxury. Their customer is not a CATV company, and indeed the TiVo may not even be attached to a CATV company.


    You are seriously suggesting TiVo should be responsible for supplying amplifiers for their customer? Are you nuts? There is no reason TiVo should be supplying filters, attenuators, or equalizers with their product, but you can't be seriously saying they should deliberately design their system so it frequently requires a $30 amplifier rather than a $2 attenuator?

    Some do. Many do not. Indeed, TWC here used to charge for them. I don't know if they still do, or not, but I suspect they may. It is true in a properly designed and balanced CATV system, a customer with 1 or 2 TVs less than 40 meters from the subscriber tap should never need an amplifier, but in the event of a customer having more than that number of receivers and being further from the subscriber tap the TiVo is able to handle it. Just as a matter of record, the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD I was forced to use for an interminable time was not. Without my house amp in place (I have 12 outlets), the 8300 could not retrieve signals on many channels. Both my S1 and S3 can. Not having done the testing, I cannot say for certain, but I suspect it might handle high levels batter than the TiVo, as well. The 8300HD is the sorriest, most pathetic piece of crap ever attached to a CATV drop.

    I am sorely tempted to reply sarcastically, but I will refrain, and merely point out the idealogical myopia displayed in your posts in general is definitely highly evidenced in these sentences. If you will look on the back of the TiVo, you will see two inputs. One says, "antenna". I don't mean to be offensive, but the simple fact is you are being very self-centered with your thinking. The number of TiVo users employing their antenna inputs is probably greater than the number of FIOS subscribers (many people use both inputs, after all). Not only that, but design specs and good intentions aside, the number of CATV outlets out there with lower than spec outputs is appallingly high. The number of above spec outputs, even adding FIOS into the mix, is comparatively low. I know, because I have made the measurements, many hundreds of times. The prudent 3rd party engineer will design toward the presence of low signal levels, both OTA and CATV, rather than high levels, as it is by far the more common problem, and vastly the more difficult and expensive one to correct for the customer. The fact it leaves you in the cold is admittedly bad luck, but frankly it is the chance you took when you decided to go with a provider who chooses to deliberately deliver out of spec signals to their subscribers.

    To fend off what I perceive as a likely retort, I am not suggesting FIOS re-engineer their systems, either. If I were designing an ONT, I would more than likely design it precisely as they did, with the exception of insuring there are no spurious OOB carriers present at the customer port. Since there is no systemic or economic impact (as there is with CATV plant) to producing high subscriber levels, and since it allows for many more receivers and longer wall drops without amplification, higher levels at the ONT are definitely the way to go. Verizon can easily buy 10 - 20 times as many attenuators and equalizers as amplifiers for the same cost, and they are likely to be needed on far fewer systems. It's a great financial move. (I do believe I would have built in a variable attenuator into the design, however, and rely upon the installers to set proper levels. Apparently Verizon does not trust their installers to handle this properly. Unfortunately there is probably some wisdom in this attitude.)

    No, they are intended to provide a given result when supplied with signals meeting industry standard specifications. They won't work with U-Verse, and they won't work with European standards. Although they do work at least somewhat with higher than acceptable signal levels, there is no reason to expect they must. That is why standards exist. FIOS is not meeting them. Conditioning the signal so it does meet those standards is quite easy and inexpensive. Yet you whine on, and on, and on...

    I don't know whether they do, or not. It is certainly possible they ("they" being TiVo engineers, not some number of front line CSRs) are aware of and have investigated the situation.

    Again, perhaps "they" ("they" being an official statement from authorized public company representatives of TiVo, Inc.) have, and perhaps not. It is perfectly clear from the few measurements which have been posted here the FIOS signals are far, far outside industry specifications, however. I'm not sure "blame" is the right word, but it certainly is not TiVo's fault FIOS is delivering signals that do not meet industry standard specs.

    That is just silly. Motorola doesn't sell its DVRs to consumers, so if their boxes ever do suffer any systemic problems, they would be discussed exclusively between Motorola and their corporate customers. No consumer would ever be involved or informed of any of it.

    I never said they were not. I never commented on it one way or the other. It's irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    Are you mad, or are you just being deliberately obtuse? This is an engineering issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with whose business is enjoying more revenue growth.

    No one, certainly not you, has presented a single fact to this end. On a Motorola DVR, for a typical, flat FIOS signal, what is the nominal overload level in dBmV? For the same profile, what is the minimum sensitivity in dBmV? For an optimum signal level with the same profile, what is the minimum S/N which will result in a signal capture with better than 1E6 bits / error? What are those same numbers if the frequencies above 850 MHz are filtered out? What is the maximum triple beat product the receiver can handle with the aforementioned error rate? What are the values of the same metrics for the TiVo? Answer those questions and you will have made a case for Motorola having "successfully addressed the problem". Until then you've done nothing but make a lot of aggravating noise. Meanwhile you are complaining about how lazy Tivo is without lifting a finger to resolve your issue.

    <tons of highly irrelevant, totally unsupported horse pooky deleted>

    Try reading my posts. Unless I am much mistaken, I was the first to point out this is a bogus metric through which to attempt to resolve the issue. Oh, and just BTW, industry standard CATV specs are based mostly on FCC regulations, and are published by the SCTE, not IEEE.

    Which perform well within acceptable parameters when used with signals that conform to industry standards. That you choose to employ them with signals that far exceed industry standards is your problem. That some other device is capable of working more reliably under those conditions and performs less reliably under more common conditions is irrelevant. I have some $1 plastic mugs which can take far more punishment than one of my $30 pieces of Waterford crystal, too. I don't think my guests would be terribly impressed if served in the plastic mugs at a formal dinner party.
     
  15. Timber

    Timber Active Member

    1,622
    0
    Apr 28, 2002
    NoVA
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I never said that, and in fact I was not thinking of you when I made the general statement. I hate to be specific on this sort of thing, but for example one of the posters claimed to be a Verizon employee, and I found his posts less than credible. He is a good candidate for being a likely troll. There have been several others whose posts seemed more intent on raising a disturbance than offering any good content. I'll not comment on your possible motivations (I feel that to be inappropriate) except to say it does not seem very much to me you are a troll or have the intent to merely stir up trouble. In short, the comment was not aimed at you. I'm sorry you thought it was.

    'Not unless you have a reliable signal level meter to hand. If not, the call would be pointless. Assuming you don't own one yourself, if you get a Verizon tech or other qualified technician or engineer out to your house and I happen to be online, then drop me a PM and I'll speak with him to help you resolve the issue. Otherwise, you can have them take the measurements and get back to me. A better notion, however is to simply have them verify (and modify, if necessary) the signal levels to make certain no digital carrier is below -15dBmV and no analog carrier (excluding FM audio carriers) is below -3 dBmV, no digital carrier is above 0 dBmV and no analog carrier is above +12, no digital carrier is more than 9 dB higher than any other digital carrier, and no analog carrier is more than 9 dB higher than any other analog carrier. Have them look for carriers above 850 MHz and insure that any such carriers are at least 20 dB lower than the lowest digital carrier. Make them show you the readings on the SLM and make them show you the entire spectrum up to 1500 MHz on the analyzer.

    I don't particularly think you are, but on the other hand I don't really care if you are. Enough participants are reporting issues that I am pretty well convinced they exist, and the conversation is an important one, even in the event you should be just trying to get a rise out of people. Again, I'm not suggesting you are.

    Which is one of my major points. Quit looking to TiVo to fix something they did not break, and could not fix even if they did. Even assuming your incorrect assertions concerning the design of the S3 / THD were correct, a re-design of the platform would not help you fix your problem, as only newer models would enjoy the design. Even if they went to the absurd length of issuing a recall, it would still take many weeks to resolve an issue not of TiVo's making in the first place. A trouble call to Verizon should take far, far less time. Barring satisfaction from them, a few minutes on the internet and a few dollars on your credit card can resolve the issue, but first you should have those measurements.

    Of course not! A spectrum analyzer is as close as a phone call to Verizon. Even I don't have my own Spectrum Analyzer. It belongs to the company. Even at that, given company policy I would make sure my boss would know should I ever take it home for personal use.
     
  17. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I've seen this document before, and whether official or not, it's not very credible. While the Tivo (or any other reasonable consumer-grade TV receiver) should be able to handle any single carrier, even a digital carrier, of +15 dBmv, it requires quite an unusual receiver to handle 133 carriers all +15 dBmV in level, especially if they are digital. That is a broadband level of more than +57 dBmV, or over .70 volts. It's 1.7 million picowatts dumped into a device designed to detect signals as low as 400 picowatts. Think of it as trying to hear a child's whisper in the middle of 100 Rush concerts. The suggestion a consumer-grade device should be designed to handle 133 carriers at +15 dBmV is not reasonable. On the other hand, -15 dBmV is quite low for an analog AM video carrier, but not at all for an FM or digital carrier of any sort. Indeed, -10 to -20 dBmV is pretty typical for such carriers.

    Perhaps more importantly, it doesn't properly address the very real issue of spectrum flatness (even though it brings it up), focussing instead only on channel 55, and it says nothing concerning the OOB carrier many FIOS customers are reporting and which I consider to be most likely the most significant culprit. Of course, hitting the receiver with .7 volts and a high level carrier just above 1 GHz is a lot like sitting it on an anvil and hitting it with a sledge hammer. Failure shouldn't really be unexpected.
     
  18. wm2008

    wm2008 New Member

    62
    0
    Jan 2, 2009
    lrhorer,

    Sorry - I've been tied up. I had to move my Moto box to my downstairs family room just as company got here to watch the AFC game, and both of my Tivos were pixelating so incredibly bad that they are worthless at this point. The moto unit performed perfectly. Neither Tivo performed whatsoever. I showed the differences (connected both to my display) for our friends to display the obvious Tivo design defect.

    You see, we'll just have to disagree. There is no industry standard of 31db. What you consider irrelevant to this situation precisely describes your inability to understand the market, and the situation. Failure modes are the key issue here, and the failure mode demonstrated by the Tivo is unacceptable. Your refusal to acknowledge that there is some meaning to the fact that the Moto units when connected to the same port on the same segment to the same display on the same channel at the same time never every exhibit any issues, and the Tivos continue to fail simply indicates to me that you simply want to defend Tivo no matter the circumstance. I'm sorry, but being a CATV engineer carries no weight for me. Frankly, if anything it shows some amount of bias in that you have a personal view based on your experiences of what you think the technology "should" be, rather than what it is. The inability to produce any sort of regulation or standard which clearly shows Verizon producing a signal "out of compliance" is simply evidence that it does not exist. Remember - my larger issue is that the Tivo - whether or not the signal is hot - cannot meet the performance specs and characteristics of the so-called "inferior" moto unit. At this point in time, it is frankly in this circumstance a failure.

    Your opinion is that tivo bears no responsibility here. You have a right to that opinion. I just think you're so far off base that you can't see straight about this. You tell me that my assertion that attenuators are not an "easy and simple solution" is not true and to prove it. Do yourself a favor and read some other posts and threads. Perhaps, maybe just this thread where there are documented examples of attenuators not correcting the issue. It is a lie to say that they are a simple and effective solution. It is accurate to say that sometimes it is a cheap solution that may or may not last. That it does not always fix the issue, and that it can cause problems in other areas. To deny this is unethical and dishonest - or simply uneduated.

    Furthermore, please do me a favor and read a bit more carefully and with a bit more consideration. I never ever said that Tivo should ship amps with every unit. I simply said that it would be a more effective solution for tivo to ship less sensitive tuners which in SOME cases may require amplification, but would require attenuation in far less instances. It would enable the Tivo HD to (in theory disregarding other sw issues, netflix lockups, etc) to be more reliable for more people. Further, I'd love to see the metrics you have to defend your position that Fios THD customers are such a small percentage. Further, I'd love your business background and perspective to illustrate why such a market group should be disregarded.

    I will not comment on what I may be your competence technically as a CATV engineer. I will only say that I believe your troubleshooting techniques and analysis to be very poor in this case. As an engineer, I find fault with both your position and your examples. I simply do not agree whatsoever with your position or statements. Were any of my engineers to respond to customers in this fashion I would terminate them. I realize I am not your customer, but frankly my perception is that you may as well be employed by Tivo. You simply can't find any fault with them or their product.

    Still waiting for that "Industry Standard" you keep talking about.

    Summary? I do think Tivo bears responsibility. This is a marketing nightmare. These devices are not functioning properly, and Tivo blames Verizon. Verizon blames Tivo. Problem? It's Verizon's network and they don't need Tivo. The tuner is improperly designed and implemented. It is too sensitive - assuming that signal is the issue (and if it's not, then attenuation does nothing whatsoever). I think Tivos casual disregard for the situation is reprehensible. It is unacceptable. It frankly rises to the level of class action to be honest.
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    /Sigh. I simply can not remain silent. You're just too stubborn. Also, I've been asked specifically by several of this forum's most respected members to not withdraw from the community because of a few people like you.

    It's blatantly clear that your tivo's aren't working. Either fix them or get rid of them. I'm fairly confident you could convince tivo that your boxes are catastrophically borked and have them send you new ones. They're nice like that. Or, you could buy the attenuators we've suggested, maybe a low-pass filter, and get a fairly decent picture. As I said last time, complaining to us doesn't really make your tivos work.

    You mean 31 signal to noise ratio (or SNR, or S/N). But since we're gentleman, we'll overlook misused terminology. Anyone without specific knowledge of CATV systems could make that mistake. Also, to the best of my knowledge, and I could be wrong, no one has claimed 31 SNR to be an industry standard. It was determined to be a good number through trial and error field tests. From the very first post of this thread:
    lrhorer went through a very detailed explanation of why the Motorolla box doesn't show the same errors a tivo box does. I actually learned a great deal from his discussion of tuner sensitivity. What's more, based on this new knowledge, I have a much more thorough understanding of what's occurring on the two boxes, and what an end-user can do to negate the problem. It's perfectly clear for me, why isn't it for you? Of course, it's become remarkably clear that you don't care about the engineering limitations, so I guess the facts don't really matter. You're too stubborn to see the problem as anything more as "tivos don't work so tivo sucks".


    I find his experience as a CATV engineer to be invaluable in understanding the technical limitations we are facing. Instead of imposing some personal bias on what he feels the technology "should be", lrhorer has given us the cold, hard, unrefutable facts about the system design, whether we like them or not. In fact, I would argue that it's YOU that are showing a bias of what the technology "should be". Simply, you feel the tuners should work for both very weak signals AND very strong signals. It's a desire that's not economically feasible (as lrhorer explained), and I feel Tivo has done a decent job designing the THD to work with both extremes.

    What we ALL are saying is that attenuators usuaully are able to fix most of the pixellation problems people have. The problem of course, is that the hot signal is not the only problem. For instance, in some cases an out-of-band signal (the MoCa band delivering internet and program guide) is interfering with electronics in the tivo and causing additional pixellation. This may actually be part of your tivo's problems. In cases like these we recommend a low pass filter or diplexers to cut out signals over 850 Mhz.

    Well now you're just being overly dramatic. When have we denied that attenuators may not fix all the pixellation. Did you even read the discussion on diplexers we had last month? What we CAN assert is that attenuators a cheap band-aid that has a pretty good chance of helping out. On my system, a 6Db attenuator was all I needed.

    I did go back and read what you said, and while you didn't specifically say "ship amps with every unit", that is the gist of how I interpretted your previous statement:

    What you are saying is Tivo should redesign an existing product to conform to a new system that barely existed when the TivoHD was engineered in Q1/Q2 2007. FiOS launched in October 2006 (TV came after Internet) and had less than half a million subscribers when THD launched in July 2007. As of Q2 2008, Comcast TV has 24.7 million subscribers, and FiOS had 1.2 million at that time. Through Q3 2008, FioS had 1.6 million TV customers (it could be as high as 2 million today).

    Here are the web pages where I found that information:
    http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=122850
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070724-tivo-hd-series3-lite-gets-official.html
    http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/05/verizon-sued-for-allegedly-inflating-fios-subscriber-numbers/
    http://www.fierceiptv.com/story/verizon-adds-233-000-fios-tv-customers/2008-10-27
    http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/05/comcast_beats_estimates_thanks.php

    Combine those numbers with all the other CableCos and people using THDs with over the air transmission, and FiOS has no more than 2&#37; market share (that's my estimation), and those using THD's with FiOS is probably less than 100,000 people (again, my own back-of-the-napkin estimates). Also, we can estimate that less than half of THD/FiOS users are experiencing pixellation, based on how many people in this forum report no issue vs how many report issue. My point here is that the TivoHD IS designed to work well for the vast majority of the people using it. Yes, that fact sucks for us on this forum, since we are on the short end of the stick.

    Since you sound like a project manager of some sort, and see fit to question lrhorer's competence, I see it fair game to ask you about the team morale and turn-over rate of those people you are in charge of. If you respond to you engineers in the manner you do here, I'm sure they hate you. If the tone and attitude you use on this forum is at all indicative of your professional mannerisms, it sounds like you make a crummy boss. I'm not just referring to your aggressive responses to those opposing you or your inability to have a calm, level-headed discussion, but also your stubborn desire to stick to "what you know is right." You ignore any facts that contradict your point of view because they don't conform to your world view. It's a dangerous position to take, particularly if you make executive decisions concerning your projects (or whatever work you do professionally).

    I think you're a delusional. :D In the long run, it doesn't really matter what you think, or what I think, or what anyone else here thinks. You are too stubborn to believe anything other than that you already believe, and no amount of back and forth will convince anyone of anything new.
     

Share This Page