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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. rifleman69

    rifleman69 Member

    853
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    Jan 6, 2005
    Oregon

    Nope, I've had the SNR # at 37 or 38 originally.
     
  2. mona6356

    mona6356 New Member

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    Mar 17, 2008
    I now have Directv with TIVO and am thinking of consolidating with Verizon Fios for TV, Internet and Home phone.The price would be about the same as with the individual services but internet will be much faster (vs DSL), and unlimited LD with phone. My question though, is Fios Tivo as good as, better than, or worse than Directv Tivo. I'm concerned with moving around the screens, setting up recordings, Season Passes, and obviously, the quality and reliability of the picture. Should I switch to Fios and why? Or should I stay?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  3. TheBar1

    TheBar1 Long Time Lurker

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    Dec 26, 2001
    Northern NJ
    I made the switch from DirecTV to FiOS in August. The SD picture quality on Fios is definitely better (much less compression on the signal, I suspect). I originally had Verizon's DVR (not TiVo) when I switched, but I finally convinced the wife to go back to TiVo in February. We now have a TiVo HD, and I am really happy to be back :) When I was with DirecTV, I had both S1 and S2 TiVos for about 6 years.
     
  4. threshar

    threshar New Member

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    May 20, 2002
    for the record, I had verizon out here a while ago (oh, probably a month or two at this point!) and they tried to diagnose the problem - they then added some attenuation lovin before the tivo and things have been rock solid since. I'm unsure how much because I wasn't here when they were and I never think to check.

    so it does seem the signal strength screws with mr. tivo.
     
  5. kmalone576

    kmalone576 New Member

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    Jul 1, 2007
    So the last verizon tech I spoke with over the weekend confirmed what I have wondered about for a while. Verizon has been changing their signal strength on occasion which would explain why you can have a perfectly working set up all of the sudden become problematic. He said their signal had gotten hotter in my area (MD) in late 2007 which was causing a lot of problems for people near the home office. This was about the time I had started having pixelation problems. At that time the tech came out, measured my signal (<+20) and attenuated it fixing (mostly) my picture. That particular tech had no knowledge of any change in signal. The tech who came out over the weekend measured my same signal and found it to be -8db (before attenuation) and thought it was too low (at least for their box) and removed some attenuation that was on the line close to the ONT. He said that because they were getting so many calls about errors from a too strong signal and having to put so much attenuation on most set ups that Verizon had recently bumped their signal down by a few decibels. So now I had to remove some of my attenuators on the Tivo. I currently only have a 6db attenuator on my box with an SNR around 35 on most channels with great picture, no RS errors (corrected or uncorrected). So although the Fios/S3 combo is not without issue, I'm glad to finally have a reason why I can have no problems for so long and then all of the sudden have pixelation without changing my set up. I know some have said that the signal strength is determined by the ONT, but there most be some influence that the fiber signal coming in plays in determining how strong the signal ends up at your STB.
     
  6. bigguy126

    bigguy126 Member

    95
    2
    Sep 4, 2007
    Just had FIOS installed yesterday. Got same story as kmalone576. Tech told me that Fios was too hot and they have lowered it in my area (Pittsburgh) to be +12 db. My installation has 2 splitters before Tivo. Tech did a line test and found it perfect at the tivo (+4??). Have not noticed any pixellation yet.:)

    Picture quality MUCH better than comcast. Esp on analog chanells.
     
  7. ciucca

    ciucca New Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    I work for Verizon and this is Bull Crap. We do not change our signal. The only thing left to blame is the Tivo box. I do own a TIVOHD :eek: even though I work for Verizon.:
     
  8. rifleman69

    rifleman69 Member

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Oregon

    Wanna bet?
     
  9. kmalone576

    kmalone576 New Member

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Well it seemed like a good explanation to me. So you're telling me that my Tivo has twice suddenly become unable to tune Verizon's never changing signal requiring me to change the level of attenuation to it all other things being equal? I'm not defending the S3 - it definitely has issues, but a signal change makes a lot of sense in what I and others have experienced. And in dealing with multiple different verizon CSR's and techs there is a wide variety of knowledge and understanding of the product, so I'm not surprised some Verizon employees have different information than others.
     
  10. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I can't say one way or another about Verizon changing or not changing their signal strength, but cableco's have been altering their signal strength for years depending on the localized requirements. I don't know why Verizon would handle things any differently.

    I agree with kmalone576 that the Verizon tech's explanation makes sense based not only on his but many other's experiences here. However again, can't argue the issue with regard to what Verizon may or may not do either way. :confused:
     
  11. kas25

    kas25 New Member

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    Mar 10, 2003
    NJ
    I just got a package of different stregth attenuators and have started experimenting with different ones. Is it recommended to start with the larger or smaller numbers? Will I lose any quality? If so, more or less with larger or smaller numbers? Thanks.
     
  12. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    I've had 3 Sony cablecard devices for 29 months, 1 Tv & 2 DVRs; and a c.c Toshiba Tv for 16 months. The last 15 months with FiOS. First 8 of those months were completely free of tiling/macroblocking/pixelation. Tiling first seen on Toshiba in August - local HDs. Worst stretch was in November - Toshiba pixelated horrifically on over 50% of all SDs & HDs; small macroblocks also appeared through 3 Sony tuners every 30 - 60 seconds on a few channels. After ripping apart house & swapping out much equipment to no avail, Verizon "Big Boss" passed matter on to next level. Tiling became a non-issue in next 24 hours. He called to say that problem had been fixed in nearby central office. Since then Toshiba has tiled occasionally on local HDs. By design, the Sonys will shut off feed if signal is too hot. I've yet to see that happen with either FiOS or Comcast. No macroblocks observed through them since 11/07 (1 very brief exception).

    I've had an S3 for 7 weeks. First 2 weeks - it tiled on local HDs (507-525MHz) & 5 others on 2 frequencies; Toshiba tiled on locals to lesser extent. Attenuation beyond that of VZ 5way splitter is not an option currently. While it can clear the locals, quite a few SDs & HDs are knocked out or pixelated with just an 8db attenuator added. Antenna channel chosen when tiling appears in locals. Fine for that. With addition of 2nd cablecard after 1st 2 weeks, I've seen significantly worse performance on tuner 0. It has no tune or heavy pixelation on all channels 711-777MHz, inconsistent tuning 639-645MHz, & the same occasional difficulties as tuner 1 on locals. No problems with either tuner below 507 or above 777MHz. Pixelation on Toshiba & tuner 1 has been much less in last 5 weeks. Tuner 1 usually shows 0&0 for errors on channels that tuner 0 has off the chart errors - upper frequencies.

    Exchange S3 was requested last week. If it also has problems, especially beyond the locals, I'll see what remedy Verizon can provide; and continue to remind TiVo Inc. of its product's weaknesses. I wrote Toshiba off long ago.


    Rich --- Did you hear about that unfortunate woman's run in with a sting ray in the Keys? How long are the odds against that ever happening? I doubt I'll ever be able to get my wife out for a boat dive again. (It was never easy.)
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Start small and work your way up. Each attenuation will reduce signal strength. Eventually you'll reduce the signal to the point that it will be lost on some or all channels. Hopefully you'll find a "sweet spot" before that.
     
  14. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I saw that news story...beautiful spotted eagle ray jumped out of the water and into the boat, knocking her over along the way; banged her head on the deck and died. :eek: (Sad that they let the ray die.) I've read other stories about rays clearing the water like dolphins...weird. The odds of that happening to anyone are probably much smaller than being hit by lightning...much smaller I would think. Freak of nature I suppose.

    We had the opportunity to swim w/mantas in Hawaii a while back...awesome experience! :up: Here are a couple of pics of the wife and I with a few of the friendly little guys...

    http://i31.tinypic.com/2cf3yvp.jpg
    http://i30.tinypic.com/10hvh1i.jpg

    Okay...back OT. ;)
     
  15. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Much, much, much smaller chance than being hit by lightening. Sometimes people aren't open to the laws of probability. It's just the deep, dark, mysterious ocean - not their element. You either have the mentality of a diver or you don't; though my wife and I witnessed large school of graceful eagle rays gliding just overhead while hunkering down behind reef to stay out of strong current. - Windward side of Grand Cayman in very rough conditions. Except for us, everyone had gone with the current. You can imagine the disaster scene at surface 45 minutes later. What a contrast of images in one dive!

    Off the old airport, Big Island, right? I took my ex-girlfriend's son there to get certified. That night dive was his first after certification. 3 boat loads of Cousteau people also came to see the mantas. They acted like they were schoolchildren seeing the circus for the first time. Mantas enthusiastic also. Good memories..........


    Gotta go


    ,
     
  16. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    That's the place. The best used to be off shore at the old Kona Surf Hotel, but since their lights no longer shine in the water, the mantas have moved on. Still a great experience! :up:

    Travel safe.
     
  17. webin

    webin New Member

    307
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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    I'm going to post a more in-depth report in the FioS thread, but I thought I'd briefly mention my experience with macroblocking on the CC install I had this afternoon.

    After getting the CC's functional, my installer flipped through various channels to make sure it was all working. We found macroblocking, but ONLY on channel 803, which is CW. It could have been on more, but none we saw. I mentioned the signal could be "too hot" as I've seen around the forums, and he pulled an attenuator from his pocket (not sure what size) and tried it, but didn't make a difference. Eventually, he decided to swap out my OTN box, upgrading me from "806 to 812". Essentially, my Internet is now MoCa instead of Ethernet. It fixed the macroblocking on that channel, and I haven't seen any picture quality issues on any channel in the 2 hours I've been playing with it. I also notice that my SNR is 37 or 38 on many channels. For the time being, it seems to be working nicely, so let's hope it stays that way.

    Edit: Also, I'm getting +3dB signal strength from the wall, and the installer told me they are putting out +11dB at the central office (where ever that is), and hope to bump it up to +18dB (for reasons I can't remember).
     
  18. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Good info. Thanks for posting. :up:
     
  19. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Perhaps you could verify with installer that it's a Motorola ONT. They usually call back or leave a card. A number of techs have bemoaned the fact that they couldn't upgrade my ONT further - & from Tel Labs to Motorola. Incompatilbility with old equipment at my central office. Motorolas are supposedly better at dealing with line errors. My ONT is a 612 as I recall.
     
  20. vinsuz

    vinsuz New Member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    I had the Verizon tech out to look at my HD boxes. His meter showed a "perfect signal" (according to him); 0db and full signal strength. We tried several combinations of attenuators to no avail -- they didn't seem to improve the affected channels and made unaffected channels worse.

    Interestingly, before the tech arrived, some of the channels experiencing problems cleared up on their own, but the problem returned on those same channels after the tech disconnected and reconnected the coax. And after a couple of days the channels cleared up again. As it stands now, it seems the affected channels have moved and reduced in number (as far as I can tell as it's hard to keep up with 300+ channels).

    None of my HD channels seem affected anymore (at least for now), so I'm just going to live with the situation. I did call Verizon's cancellation department even though I really didn't want to cancel the service, and asked for a "free" HD set-top box so that when I encounter an affected channel I can switch TV inputs to watch the set-top box. Not only did they agree, they also gave me the movie package for free for the rest of the year AND $100 off my first bill!

    I really don't know what to think, but my feeling is that the problem has less to do with the actual signal and is an issue with the CableCards and/or the TiVo tuners. But that's just my gut talking.
     

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