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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. Oct 3, 2009 #821 of 866
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    The "fix" included new tuner improvements to better handle the FiOS signal. That eliminated massive RS Uncorrected errors that caused pixelization. If you aren't seeing RS Uncorrected errors on your DVR Diagnostics screen, then you you should see the signal exactly as delivered. If you're still seeing larger numbers of RS Uncorrected errors (i.e. tens of thousands), then those could cause dropped frames.

    Stutter can also be an early indicator of internal or external drive failure; stutter is common on My DVR Expanders that are starting to fail. As mentioned above, various display settings on some popular Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba 120-240MHz LCDs will also cause stutter with certain signals regardless of your box and provider, which you can read more about on the AVS Forum.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2009 #822 of 866
    JAB

    JAB TiVoist Emeritus

    384
    8
    Apr 27, 1999
    The TiVo was sending 1080i to a Denon 5308, which uses a Realta to convert to 1080p/60, before delivering the signal to a Sony VPL-VW200. The Sony upconverts to 96 Hz / 120 Hz and refreshes at 192 Hz / 240 Hz.

    I don't think this is a settings issue. I normally don't let the Sony process the picture any further, although I've played with Motion Enhancer in an attempt to get rid of the problem. With Motionflow off, the Sony just repeats frames to reach 120 Hz / 240 Hz. And, the only thing I'm permitting the Realta to do is deinterlace and scale.

    I too thought that 11.0d might have been simply masking the pixelation by dropping overly pixelated frames. That's certainly what it looks like. I'll take your word that it doesn't.

    The effect is 100% reproducible on replay.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2009 #823 of 866
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    If you're still seeing RS Uncorrected errors, then you could have dropped frames. I assume you've tested the TiVo without a My DVR Expander to rule that out as a possible cause.

    Have you disabled the Denon's video processing to rule that out as a cause? [Yes, I realize that Realta HQV should provide excellent deinterlace and scaling.]
     
  4. Oct 3, 2009 #824 of 866
    JAB

    JAB TiVoist Emeritus

    384
    8
    Apr 27, 1999
    Removing the DVR Expander will be a real PITA. I'd like to exhaust everything else first, especially since I don't think the DVR Expander is the problem. Would you expect a hard disk issue to be 100% reproducible on replay and so intermittent? My past experience has been that such problems were in the signal before it reached the hard disk.

    The problem only occurs on some channels some of the time. I don't think I've ever seen it on anything other than a broadcast network, which tends to point the finger at the broadcaster or FiOS, although it could be something like the 11.0d issue.

    It did occur to me, as I posted my last message, to completely disable the Realta and let the projector do the deinterlacing. I'll try that. Good suggestion.

    I should probably mention that I'm particularly sensitive to these types of issues, so a significant percentage of other people watching the same material probably wouldn't notice it, especially if they were viewing it on a smaller screen.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2009 #825 of 866
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
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    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    The problem is that exhausting everything else first means trying your local cable company next, to see if you have the same problem. If you do, then you are back to it being most likely a DVR Expander problem (or perhaps a hard drive problem, I suppose). It seems to me that divorcing the DVR Expander is a less draconian test scenario than switching providers would be.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2009 #826 of 866
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    If you see this issue primarily (or only) on broadcast networks, you might connect a set-top antenna to the TiVo to compare feeds. Verizon FiOS passes local networks as is, so if you see the same issue on a secondary source, that would rule out a signal problem as the cause.

    If you're within 15 miles of the broadcast networks, you might try small set-top antenna like this ($11.99).
     
  7. Oct 3, 2009 #827 of 866
    JAB

    JAB TiVoist Emeritus

    384
    8
    Apr 27, 1999
    Perhaps "everything" is too extreme a statement. How about everything less inconvenient first? I wouldn't certainly divorce the DVR Expander before switching providers. However, there are a number of things that can be done short of switching providers.

    I have a nice rooftop antenna with amplifier that often does a good job of pulling in signals, although I haven't used it since getting FiOS. The only reason I haven't tried the antenna yet is the problem is so intermittent, that I'm not really in a position to record every show twice, from two different sources. However, that is another excellent suggestion, so I'll put it in the queue. I really appreciate your insights on this.
     
  8. Oct 3, 2009 #828 of 866
    JAB

    JAB TiVoist Emeritus

    384
    8
    Apr 27, 1999
    OK. First, I'm a moron. Fringe is broadcast in 720p, which means the S3 was converting 720p to 1080i before the Realta ever saw the signal. The very first thing to try would be native output from the TiVo. Unfortunately, the episode in question was deleted, so I'm at the mercy of the problem surfacing again for more diagnostics.
     
  9. Oct 4, 2009 #829 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    It's not in the Recently Deleted folder?
     
  10. Oct 4, 2009 #830 of 866
    evlg

    evlg New Member

    24
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    Jun 26, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    When I see the problem RS Uncorrected Errors is reported as 0.

    I never noticed this problem before 11.0d, and it started happening as soon as I received 11.0d

    I don't have any fancy 120hz or 240hz equipment and I certainly haven't modified any settings.

    It really feels like to me they just tweaked the tuner to stop reported RS Uncorrected errors in this instance, and drop the frame to "fix" the pixellation issue. I.e. hide the symptom if they couldn't fix the problem.

    Does anyone remember the original Quake 1 QTest? When the framerate got low, a turtle icon appeared. They implemented some optimizations after that, but the biggest change they made was the remove the turtle icon. When the final version came out everyone said "hey no more turtle!" and it sure felt faster.
     
  11. Oct 4, 2009 #831 of 866
    JAB

    JAB TiVoist Emeritus

    384
    8
    Apr 27, 1999
    Nope. First thing I checked. :)
     
  12. Oct 4, 2009 #832 of 866
    Dmon4u

    Dmon4u Unresponsive User

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    Jul 15, 2000
    PA
  13. Oct 4, 2009 #833 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Agreed. Ours has been almost flawless since our install almost six months ago (even before v11.0d). Just wish we'd made the switch sooner.
     
  14. Nov 2, 2009 #834 of 866
    Floridaman

    Floridaman New Member

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Bradenton, FL
    I have the Tivo HD XL model dvr. I am using it with Fios and it has the current software 11.0D My signal strength is 100% on all channels and I subscribe to every channel. The SNR reading is 37 on all of the channels. I haven't had any issues with pixellation but just in the past few days have noticed audio drop outs. The sound will cut out for a second then it is fine for a few minutes and then does the same thing again. Tivo is telling me that the signal is way too strong and needs to be adjusted with an attenuator. They also believe this will take care of the audio issue. I thought the 11.0D software addressed these issues. Is the audio cutting out a problem related to SNR or is there a problem with the Tivo unit itself? Should I get an attenuator and if so what db rating should I get?

    Thanks
     
  15. jayhajj

    jayhajj New Member

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    Dec 22, 2009
    I have a Premiere with FiOS service and was getting 91% signal strength and 37db SNR. My TiVo was intermittently rebooting and hanging in the menu. When I contacted TiVo for support, the representative said it was because my signal was too high that and the extra processing power required to run the HD interface was too much for the TiVo. He referred me to this thread. Sounds like "Get attenuators" is right up on their list after "Pull the power cord". If this is so common, TiVo should stock them and provide for free or shipping costs only or partner with a company to provide a variety pack at a good discount.

    I have three other Premieres that had been running the old menu with no problems but when I enabled HD menus on one, it hung too. When I disabled HD interface on the main TiVo for 4 days, it didn't have problems any longer either.

    These Premieres replaced HDs that had functioned for 9mos with no problems.

    I ordered one each of 3db, 6db, 8db, 10db & 12db attenuators from
    http://www.cableandwireshop.com/cable_tv_satellite_in_line_attenuator_fam-3_to_20_db_pad.html
    for $9.75 plus $3.39 USPS First-Class Mail Parcel shipping.
    Ordered on Saturday and received them Wednesday. Chose these vs smarthome to have more flexibility with smalled sizes since I didn't expect to be using the 20db ones they included in their variety pack. With these you get a lot more specific in the db amount you use.

    I added an 8db & 3db to drop the readings to 50% signal strength and 31db SNR. I guess the db ratings aren't an exact science so don't only order "X"db if you need to drop your SNR by "X". Are their any negative consequences to a 50% signal strength?

    I'll update later once I confirm if the TiVo can run for a few days without a reboot or hang.

    -Jay
     
  16. DeWitt

    DeWitt New Member

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    Jun 30, 2004
    Summit, NJ
    The reboot and hang issues in the premeire using HD menu's are well known and documented. Rumor is Tivo will have a fix soon. The Fios signal strength should not be an issue.

    On my HD I removed all my attenuation after the software fix.

    My new Premiere XL runs very happily in SD mode with signal strenght in the high 90's without any issue on Fios. I have been beating it up with channels that caused issues on the HD and have not yet had an audio/video glitch or freeze/reboot.
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Agreed, the FIOS signal shouldn't be a problem at all. We have FIOS and our Premiere XL is doing fine...although the HDUI is pretty slow. Signal strength is 94% - 97% and SNR is 37 - 38 on both tuners.

    Have a look at your RS Corrected and Uncorrected errors. The best experiment is to watch the 'offending' channel(s) live. As you start, go into DVR Diags and check the RS Uncorrected and Corrected counts. As you watch and see events, go back into DVR Diags and recheck the RS counts. Post back what you see. The RS Uncorrected counter counts how many times the demodulator was unable to recover any bit errors in the data in a packet. These events will likely result in macroblocking and at worst can cause the unit to freeze or reboot.

    Not saying that attenuation might not fix things, but odds are it won't make much or any difference. An update may resolve things or it could be something else such as a hard drive.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  18. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    As noted above, there are known stability issues with the HDUI's TiVo Central. For now, the only solution is to switch to the "classic" SD interface under Settings -> Display.

    TiVo says that it will have a fix for the HDUI instability later this month.
     
  19. jayhajj

    jayhajj New Member

    12
    0
    Dec 22, 2009

    Well after three hours with the attenuators, the HD menu hung. I have been assuming the box was wedged but I had a recording going this time and it was only missing the time from when I pulled power, so it appears the HD menu is all that is hanging. I have never gotten any RS errors of either kind and the TiVo rep was informed of this.

    I called TiVo support to get additional assistance and the new representative said right away that this is a HD menu issue and attenuators were not needed and I could remove them. I complained that the previous rep had me waste money and wanted some credit or discount to use at the TiVo store, maybe for a $10 shirt or something. He put me on hold for a minute and came back, oh yes, I did need the attenuators. :rolleyes:

    TiVo had no ETA on the fix and I complained that if I wanted the classic interface, I would have stuck with my four HDs! I also mentioned my 30 guarantee and what if I wait 2 months and their is no fix. He noted on my account, so if the fix isn't soon, I can return them.

    I can't believe a major bug such as this slipped by QA. They mush have really rushed this out. Why? :mad:

    -Jay
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Really? Zero errors? With FIOS? That is very unusual by itself...but really neither here nor there I suppose.

    Historically TiVo has always been able to address issues like this and there's no reason to think that they won't this time. It's never soon enough but I'm pretty certain they will take care of it...hopefully sooner than later because it is quite frustrating at the moment.
     

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