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Horizontal lines via Component or Composite video connections

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by adamwsh, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Aug 5, 2012 #1 of 30
    adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    Oct 22, 2002
    All of a sudden, tonight, my TivoHD is showing horizontal lines no matter what I'm watching... Live TV, paused TV, a recording, a menu, etc.

    This is appearing using both the Composite and Component video outputs. So I don't think it is the TV, because they are on different input sources, and others (DVD, Wii, etc) do not show this problem. In fact, the Wii was tested using the same Composite input on the TV. It only showed the horizontal lines when the Tivo was being used as the source.

    Here is a video of the issue as caught by my camera on my phone. It is especially noticeable around 0:13 & 0:14. I fear there is an internal problem with the Tivo, unrealted to the typcial hard drive failures I've experienced in the past. This unit is exactly 5 years old this month.

    Any ideas as to the cause & solution to the problem?

    http://youtu.be/okTML1opCH8



    Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 5, 2012 #2 of 30
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,736
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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area


    Check for loose connections between the Tivo and the TV? Make sure the cables are plugged in all the way.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2012 #3 of 30
    adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    Oct 22, 2002
    Yup, did that already before posting this thread. Unplugged and plugged twice. Also, as mentioned, used both Composite and Component connections and both exhibited the problem.
     
  4. Aug 6, 2012 #4 of 30
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,786
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Adam,

    Check for capacitor issues in the power supply.

    Scott
     
  5. Aug 6, 2012 #5 of 30
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
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    If you'd put the camera on a tripod or something else steady and not jumped from screen to screen rapidly enough to induce an epileptic seizure I might be able to tell you something other than that it's not CRT horizontal retrace lines.

    But yeah, if it's an S2 or S3, eliminate the possibility of "capacitor plague" in the power supply as a matter of GP.

    Then pull the drive and run the manufacturer's long test.

    Which gives me another idea.

    Reboot and see if it happens during the very first screen (Welcome), which is on the motherboard and not the drive.

    Also, see if it makes a difference having co-ax and Ethernet and USB cables hooked up to it or not.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2012 #6 of 30
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I'd suspect a power supply issue as well.




    OTOH, how is your TivoHD getting its signal, OTA?
    I've seen interference like that when truckers in the area (illegally) use high powered CB transmitters.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2012 #7 of 30
    adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    Sorry about that. It didn't seem so fast when I was doing it. I was also just trying to show that it was consistent across all screens and didn't change with the screen image.

    Also, I did reboot it, and the lines appeared immediately when the Welcome screen came up.

    I am not familiar with this "capacitor plague" you are talking about, or the "power supply" issues others have referred to. Could anyone elaborate on these? Are they easy to fix or does it mean I have to trash it?

    As much as I'd like to upgrade to an XL4, I'm not really interested in dropping $399 for one.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Aug 6, 2012 #8 of 30
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Wikipedia has a page on "capacitor plague".

    S2 and S3 power supplies are at risk for it.

    There are a number of threads around here dealing with the topic.

    After you finish the wikipedia article, try searching this site for "S3 power supply", that should come up with some stuff that'll save us having to repeat ourselves a lot.

    There's a good picture of how subtle the visual clues can be here:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=479176

    and if you can solder, you can fix it for $10 worth of parts.

    If that's what's causing the problem.

    But try the reboot again, with nothing hooked up to the TiVo except the power cord (and the external drive eSATA cable if you have an external attached), no cable, no antenna, no USB or network cables or dongles, and see if you get the same symptoms.

    If so, open it up, inspect the power supply capacitors, and temporarily disconnect the cable to the internal hard drive and boot it again.

    Without the hard drive connected it won't go beyond the Welcome screen, but if something about the hard drive is generating some sort of interference when it's spinning, it won't be able to do it with the combo data/power cable removed.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2012 #9 of 30
    adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    Oct 22, 2002
    I looked into it the Capacitor Plague and opened my Tivo and did not find any signs of bad capacitors or any other bad components.

    I've now tried it on a different TV using different video cables and still saw the problem.

    I also used compressed air to clean all internal components of dust. Didn't seem to help.

    It would seem I have a bad video board.

    Sounds like I need a new Tivo, right?
     
  10. HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

    2,376
    1
    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    The noise looks like what you see when screwing the coax cable into the RF input.

    Is the noise recorded in your recordings? Try playing back a new recording on a different device like a PC?

    I suspect it is a loose connector, broken shield or a grounding issue. Plug the DVR directly into the wall outlet bypassing any outlet strip.
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Are you feeding that HD both cable and OTA antenna and seeing the problem on both?
     
  12. adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

    180
    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    Ok, so here's a list of what I did and saw:

    * Messed up video appears on ALL screens: Welcome/Powering Up, All Tivo Menus, Live TV, Paused TV, Recorded TV, Paused Recorded TV. (The messed up video didn't change depending on what I was viewing.
    * The messed up picture varies from barley noticeable to making it unwatchable.
    * I tried 3 different inputs on my TV using 3 different cables (1 Component & 2 Composite).
    * I tried disconnecting everything but the video cable(s).
    * I moved it out of the cabinet, in case anything near it was interfering with it.
    * I tried it on a completely different TV.
    * I opened the case and looked for any signs of bad capacitors or any other fouled innards. (Didn't not find any)
    * I used compressed air to blow out all dust from the inside of the case, including removing the cable card, blowing that out and putting it back in.
    * No other devices connected to my TV had a problem (DVD, Wii, etc).

    Just over 1 year ago, I replaced the hard drive in this TivoHD with "Western Digital 1 TB AV-GP SATA 3 Gb/s Intellipower 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM AV Hard Drive- WD10EVDS" I can't imagine this would have caused the motherboard to fail, but I really can't figure out why else it would. This TivoHD unit is 5 years and 1 week old today.

    I have two Series 2 boxes. One is 9 years old with a replaced hard drive (probably did that 6 years ago), and that one is still running strong. The other Series 2 is 10 years old with the original hard drive and only problem with it is that it occasionally freezes requiring me to pull the power cord to reboot.

    So, my question now is, what is the life expectancy of Tivos? Does it depend on the model? I can understand the hard drive failing much more than I can understand the motherboard failing.

    Tivo Customer Service said I could exchange my TivoHD for a refurbished one for $150, but A) I had replaced the hard drive, so that eliminated that option, and B) If I'm gonna spend $150, I may as well buy a Premiere.

    Convinced the motherboard on my TivoHD is hosed, I went and purchased an XL4 from Best Buy yesterday. Connected it to the same TV using the same Component Cables and it works fine. So it was certainly the TivoHD that was the source of the problem, but I still am not sure exactly what about the TivoHD was causing the problem. I'd like to know, because now I have a TivoHD that aside from the messed up picture is otherwise fine, with a nice 1TB HD in it! What do I do with it now?

    I'd appreciate further thoughts on this, especially my two bolded questions above.

    (Oh, and btw, for the record, I like the look of the HD Menus on the XL4, but they are really sluggish!)

    Thanks, gang, for your help and support!
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    "What do I do with it now?"

    Mail it to me and forget you ever owned it.:)

    But seriously, have you tried booting it up with the combo data/power plug removed from the hard drive?

    You'll still get the welcome screen that way, and you'll either eliminate the drive as the source or confirm it.

    And I still wouldn't give the power supply a passing grade without subbing in a known good one from another HD or HD XL, or checking all of it's outputs for flatness with an oscilloscope.

    The motherboard can go bad, it's just the part least likely to.


    Oh, when you send it, if you think you'll need it you can keep the remote, but be sure to include the original hard drive.

    Hey, I'll even chip in on the shipping.

    :D
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    One other thought, you could try recording something and copying it to computer via TiVo Desktop or even just a TiVo to TiVo transfer to your new TiVo and see if the interference is actually in recent recordings themselves.

    If it shows up in recordings made before the problem started, then the cause is supernatural and you'll need to contact an exorcist.
     
  15. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,589
    2
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    If the problem is only with newer recordings, it could be a recording issue (although it seems like it would affect only analog recordings), but it sounds more like a playback issue. Can you try HDMI playback?

    As unitron says, it could still be the power supply, so you could test that with an oscilloscope. And if that passes, I suspect the motherboard has various "bypass capacitors" (if they're still called that) here and there. If one of those near the video output circuitry failed, that circuitry might see local voltage ripple. I'm not familiar with the motherboard circuitry.

    If you don't want to engage in the adventure of fixing the TiVo HD, you can sell it on eBay or elsewhere with appropriate disclaimers about the video problem.
     
  16. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,665
    4
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    Possible ground loop noise.
    Disconnect the Coax cable from the TiVo.
    If the problem stops, you will need to ground the Coax cable to the home's electrical system.
     
  17. adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    Oct 22, 2002
    That is one thing I did not try. Man, now I regretting setting up the XL4. I'd bet it's the Drive. I'll have to test that tonight when I get home.

    Thanks.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Remember, I'm not talking about anything being wrong with the software on the drive, but with something about it creating electrical noise that's getting picked up somehow.

    Which may leave it still perfectly fine to use in a computer.

    I still lean toward suspecting the power supply.

    Take a look at the picture this guy just posted.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=490795

    I almost couldn't spot the bad one myself.
     
  19. adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

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    0
    Oct 22, 2002

    Ok,yeah, I looked at that thread, and the picture. I do see the slight bulging he's talking about. I do not have any capacitors that look like that.

    And I understand what you mean about the drive operating causing the interference, not what's on the drive, but the drive spinning/being powered up. That would suck if a 1 year old drive is doing that. Although, buying a new drive for $60 is a lot cheaper than paying $399 for a new XL4 (plus $399 for lifetime service).

    Ugh!

    Again, I'll check the drive tonight.

    Thanks.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Could be the drive generates that kind of noise and there's a little RF filter cap on it to shunt that noise to ground and that little cap has failed.

    I'm not hard drive designer/witch doctor/voodoo priest so I can't say for sure.

    But troubleshooting/diagnosis is a matter of eliminating variables so that you're only testing one thing at a time.
     

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