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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. kmalone576

    kmalone576 New Member

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    Jul 1, 2007
    I'm still having pixelation problems.... With the current attenuators, I have a SNR of 34 on one channel (no pixelation) and a SNR of 27-28 on another with bad pixelation. Removing some attenuation improves it on one, but then the 34 goes up and I have pixelation on that channel. Is there anything do to about the wide variation of signal on different channels? Or do I just have to pick which channels I care more about watching on Tivo and watch the others on the Verizon STB which can somehow tune all channels properly?

    On a (?maybe) related note, at the home tech store (www.hometech.com) on the page where they sell attenuators, they have something called a satellite inline IF slope equalizer. The description is as follows

    "-12dB @ 40 MHz
    -5.5dB @ 1 GHz
    -0.3dB @ 2.1 GHz

    Coaxial cable attenuates high frequencies more than low frequencies. The TSEQ-2150 creates an attenuation loss equal and opposite to cable loss. This problem is most severe when cascading amplifiers one after the other. The signal differences are amplified to a point where the higher frequency signals are so small compared to the low frequency signals that they can no longer be received. The TSEQ-2150 provides a balanced signal level by compensating for the high frequency attenuation and allowing all signal levels on all channels to be of equal amplitude at distant locations. Therefore, the picture quality on higher channels will be maintained. "


    Does anyone know if something like this would be of any use in this situation where the signal seems different at different frequencies? I really don't know much about this stuff so this thing may be of no use but it caught my eye.
     
  2. Mar 1, 2008 #122 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003

    EDIT: Per the OP's post, this device apparently does NOT work and may cause cable card problems.


    Sorry to hear that your signal and TiVo are giving you grief. By your description it's fairly obvious that your incoming Verizon signal strength has a wide disparity between various frequencies. It's apparent that their answer to most situations is to pump out the strongest signal possible. That seems to work for their box but for the moment TiVo and/or the cable cards they supply aren't able to handle it.

    I think my first option would be to have Verizon come out and attempt to stabilize their signal across all frequencies as much as possible. I've no idea how or if they can do that, but if you're seeing that much difference it doesn't seem like that would be a normal situation.

    Failing that the attenuator you've found may be the perfect answer. I had to do a little digging, but I'm assuming that it's this one?

    [​IMG]

    Although it's designed for a satellite system I don't see any reason it wouldn't work with a regular cableco signal. The question is, which frequencies are you and/or others seeing problems on. Perhaps someone with some more in-depth experience will chime in?

    But for about 10 bucks w/shipping, I think it would certainly be worth a try. If it works you may be in line for the Pioneer Club Founder's Medal of Honor and all of the associated privileges! ;)


    EDIT: Per the OP's post, this device apparently does NOT work and may cause cable card problems.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2008 #123 of 866
    kmalone576

    kmalone576 New Member

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    Jul 1, 2007
    yeah I doubt verizon's going to be able to stabilize the signal - especially since it works with their STB. That was the item I saw, I've ordered it because as you say its cheap and it can't hurt trying it out.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2008 #124 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for keeping us updated. :up: Let us know how it turns out and TIA.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2008 #125 of 866
    NovaFIOS

    NovaFIOS New Member

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    Feb 21, 2008
    I am still not experiencing any problems, but my question is, does the TIVO HD work well with Cox cable? If it turns out that I end up with all these problems with FIOS as so many other are, I will switch out FIOS TV before I go back to that horrible moto box.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2008 #126 of 866
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Yes, although I believe Cox in N. VA now now delivers some of their HD channels using SDV. The TivoHD cannot currently tune SDV channels, but the USB SDV adapter (coming later this year) should address that.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2008 #127 of 866
    NovaFIOS

    NovaFIOS New Member

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Ok, so I guess I am not immune. I finally discovered some weird happening on some HD channels last night. I was watching Terminator on FOX and while there was no "Pixellation" at least what I would think pixellation looks like (the screen was crystal clear, there was a weird lag when the camera panned and their was actio scenes. Close-ups seemed to be fine, there was no audio lag, just when there was panning of the camera around the room or following a character it was like almost slow-mo. It hurt my eyes to watch. Didn't happen on the SD versions of the channels, and didnt happen on all HDs. I restarted the box and then went to bed, this morning it seemed backed to normal. I did check the cable cards while it was happening, and it showed he signal strength jumping between 93 and 100. The Uncorrected whatever was 0 and the DB was around 36-37. I don't know what any of that means other than signal strenght but I guess I will see how it looks tonight. Anyone experience anything like this?
     
  8. Mar 4, 2008 #128 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I've seen the same thing on HD channels now and again...and like you not on all channels, etc. If I rewind and play it again, it's still there. It's fairly rare though so I've attributed it to the broadcast itself. Our local NBC affiliate had all sorts of issues when they were converting everything over to HD. There were constant video and audio problems on their HD broadcast (but not on SD). I record the NBC Nightly News in HD and it was fairly painful to watch and listen to for a while. Now that they're done everything is just about perfect though.

    I happened to be in Costco the other day and noticed that sort of behavior as well as sporadic pixelization on all of their display HD TV's. I asked one of the floor people about it and he said that he thought it was the a problem with the amp/distributor setup they had. I've seen the same thing in our local Circuit City now and then. HD PQ seems to be an issue no matter what kind of equipment is involved.
     
  9. Mar 4, 2008 #129 of 866
    joysbox

    joysbox Happy Happy Joy Joy

    161
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    Jun 27, 2003
    Leesburg, VA
    I may be in the same boat. Never had any issues until two weeks ago. I was checking the threads and it seems like the signal was too hot, but I didn't think my tivo should be rebooting every ten minutes or so. The replacement tivo seems to be working fine - so wish us luck.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2008 #130 of 866
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Luck :up:
     
  11. brigont

    brigont New Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Rich,

    How did you find this thing. You need to get out more :)

    Brian

    P.S. - A few weeks into fios with 22 pounds of attentuation on the tivo and all appears to be working well. Thanks again for all the help.


     
  12. NovaFIOS

    NovaFIOS New Member

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    0
    Feb 21, 2008
    Ok so its getting close to the point where I will be tied to TIVO as my 30 day moneyback guarantee is going to expire next week. Other than the 1 evening where there was a few HD channels that seemed to lag, I have had 0 problems and I love my TIVO so much I think you would have to pry it from my dead cold hands... :) I am hoping my experience sticks as I am going to hand back my Motorolla box that has been staring at me lifeless under the TIVO since I switched. I do not miss On Demand that much and have downloaded some UnBox videos which were cool, although allegedly On Demand will be pushing out HD content and UnBox does not. Does anyone know when UnBox will if ever have HD content? I did a trial on Rhapsody and it kicked A**, such great digital quality pumped through my sound system. Too bad I already have so much ITunes stuff, but I have also downlowed some stuff to enable me to play ITunes stuff through TIVO.. Very cool. Anyway, for anyone who is still on the fence, I love it....
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Ha, can't blame me for that one. ;) That little device was found by another member (on this post). I'm still waiting to hear if it worked or not. :confused:
     
  14. psuzebra

    psuzebra New Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Limerick, PA
    I'm curious to hear if kmalone576 had any luck with that gadget too.

    I've been having all sorts of trouble trying to find a good medium amount of attenuation so that I can get all of the HD channels w/o pixelation.

    6db fixes pixelation on ESPN but still get pixelation on HDNet and DSCHD.
    9db fixed pixelation on ESPN and DSCHD but still get pixelation on HDNet.
    12db fixes pixelation on ESPN, DSCHD, and HDNet, but now the signal isn't strong enough on Food and HGTV and the TiVo can't tune them in.

    Ugh.
     
  15. vinsuz

    vinsuz New Member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    First I want to say thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post your experiences and opinions. I had FiOS installed this past Monday; my first THD install went flawlessly, and although the second THD was a little more problematic (four Fiber Solutions CRSs and four CableCards over four hours), everything is working beautifully! I am still stunned at the difference in the picture quality compared to Comcast -- even my wife noticed it which is saying something!

    Unfortunately, I sat down to watch a basketball game tonight on ESPN HD and experienced the dreaded macroblocking (or pixelization) on both THDs. I was able to convince the FiOS CSR to schedule a visit, and now that I came across this thread I feel that I'm better prepared for the service call.

    I plan to print AbMagFab's and bkdtv's posts and give them to the tech so hopefully they'll be better prepared for the next TiVo install -- maybe that'll get me some good karma!!

    I'll check back and post my experiences; hopefully it'll be good news!
     
  16. kmalone576

    kmalone576 New Member

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    Jul 1, 2007
    So the "inline slope equalizer" thing didn't work - It seemed to have the same affect as attenuation (affected all channels equally)... but then when I took it off my cable cards ceased to work! I don't know if it is unlucky coincidence or somehow the device fried or reset my cable cards - they won't get any channels and say "not tuned, wrong card state" on the diagnostic screen. Whether it was related or not I don't know, but it seems awfully suspicious. So anyway bottom line is it didn't help with pixelation and may have crashed my cable cards. Sometimes I guess you have to take one for the team.... Verizon guy is on his way out today.
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Sorry to hear that, but thanks very much for the follow up. :up:

    I'll add a note to my post to steer clear of them!
     
  18. sturdydog

    sturdydog New Member

    11
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    Nov 23, 2002
    Annapolis, MD
    Ok, I may have had a revelation today! Could this problem be caused by RF noise? Let me explain and give some water holding ability to my theory. I have two TiVos, and HD and a Series 3. The Series 3 worked perfect until one day it didn’t. Had Verizon out checked everything and bla bla to no avail. I was able to get things working ok with some attenuation though. Well later I found it worked flawlessly again with NO attenuation. Couldn’t even begin to explain it but I thought what the hey I’ll take it. Well then I added an HD unit and had problems from the get go even though the Series 3 continued to work like a champ.

    Well tonight I sat with a pile of attenuators futzing with the HD unit and a light bulb went off. What had changed with the Series 3 from when it worked to didn’t and did again? Well nothing except its location. Everything was in a temporary pile of equipment for many months and during that period was re-organized once or twice. Currently all my gear is housed in an equipment rack, where the Series 3 has always worked flawlessly, and when I added the TiVo HD I pulled out the Verizon DVR and stuck the HD in its place, where it never worked. Well when the bulb went off I pulled it out of the rack and positioned it as far away as I could with the cables that are in place and wallah (sp?) or at least almost. Now I have one tuner that works perfect with no attenuation and the other is better but still needs a little help.
    So this begs the question, could this be entirely an issue of RF noise and attenuation is only helping to reduce the noise? Could the cover be pulled and some shielding added to the tuner to help the noise?

    What are everybody’s thoughts?
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Interesting theory. I'm not sure about RF noise, but an EMF and EMI has been known to cause problems for a number of folks with TiVo eSATA expansion drives when they place them too closely to a high power source such as a receiver or UPS or near a strong magnetic field such as a sub woofer. Running coax in line with power cables can cause PQ issues as well. (Power cables should never be bundled with any other cables and if they have to cross it should be at 90 degree angles.)

    It would be interesting to find out if placing a TiVo that's experiencing trouble in another location, preferably as far away from where it's currently located, makes any difference.
     
  20. Marc

    Marc Active Member TCF Club

    14,764
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    Jun 26, 1999
    McMurray, PA
    I just recently fixed up my pixelation problem by adding 11 dB of attenuation to my TiVo HD. I had started noticing the pixelation showing up, but only on my local SD channels. Other channels were just fine.

    What's kind of strange is that it had been working great for three months; the pixelation only started a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what changed during that time, but I finally got too annoyed with the pixelation and broke out the stash of attenuators that the FiOS installer had left me. I was surprised that I needed to go up to double-digit attenuation to bring the level down.

    I got the feeling that the SNR value on the TiVo HD CableCARD diagnostic screen maxes out around 36 dB because the first 8 dB that I put on didn't even change that number. It wasn't until I got the attenuation up to 11 dB that the SNR number dropped down to 34 dB.
     

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