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News on the pixelation issue fix for TiVo HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by GoldenTiger, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Aug 12, 2007 #81 of 144
    aus1ander

    aus1ander New Member

    516
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    Sep 17, 2004
    Yup, I'm one of those people who have noticed it on OTA. Macroblocking on OTA seems completely random on my TiVoHD. I can go days without have problems, then an entire night of programming can be macroblocking-plagued. The only time I get macroblocking thats predictable is when I have multipath (which I can hear, since its always associated with the helicopters that occassionally fly through my line-of-sight). Now before I had the TiVoHD and watched directly on my TV, I never had macroblocking except when I had multipath, which again, only usually lasts 10-15 seconds, not the entire program.

    I've tried pretty everything, but I'm now convinced this is an encoding issue. Lately, most of the HD shows I've recorded have been off NBC, which happens to be the strongest station I receive (90% or higher, compared to FOX which I get at 70%). The macroblocking usually leads to the picture freezing, but I can always hit "skip forward" to get it unstuck.
     
  2. Aug 15, 2007 #82 of 144
    mwenn1

    mwenn1 New Member

    5
    0
    Aug 15, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just bought my Tivo HD and Cox is coming out this weekend to install the cable cards I will let you know how it goes.
     
  3. Aug 15, 2007 #83 of 144
    Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

    916
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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest
    You might contact your cable provider and "ask" them to bring out several cable cards, to prevent you being disappointed. My experience was less than satisfactory.

    After a four day period, the installer went through a total of 14 cards before the Tivo was configured to receive all of the channels beyond the 99 without cards.

    In my case the issues of , pixelation, slow screen freezemenu navigation, random reboots, did not rear it's ugly head "until" after the cable cards were installed...

    One other factor was, the fourth installer actually was "qualified" to setup a Tivo...

    My guess is that BrightHouse is intentionally NOT having their techs trained to install Tivo Devices, rather they/BrighHouse are attempting to force the consumer to accept their inferior equipment...
     
  4. Aug 15, 2007 #84 of 144
    jtreid

    jtreid New Member

    320
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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    First, I have an S3 and not a THD. Second, I did have pixelation problems when I first got the S3 and now it seems to be fixed. I don't want to start any more of the flaming that has recently gone on in this thread, but here is something I am beginning to theorize based on what I've gathered from this and other threads and my experience with my added esata drive. I have no factual evidence, but it seems to make sense.

    1. Pixelation happens with or without CC's.
    2. Adding CC's seems to make it a lot worse.
    3. Heat doesn't seem to be contributing.
    4. Changing signal strength has an affect for some.
    5. No one is really noticing varying signal strenth over time, but do from different sources.

    My experience
    I had pixelation several months ago and it is now gone. I changed nothing; so Tivo or Comcast did. When I had pixelation, it was actually recorded that way. I could pause the pixelation. Therefore, it was on the input side of the recording and not the output side of the Tivo. This may not have been the case for all my pixelation, but I never saw any on the menus.

    I added a FAP750 esata drive after the pixelation magically disappeared. I had random problems with freezes, slow response and reboots I contributed to the FAP. I moved some things around and reseated the esata and I've not experienced any further problems with the esata in I guess about 6 weeks. I seem to remember before the thing began to slow in response some (stress some) pixelation and things quicky went down hill. I didn't see all the reboots or freezes happen, but probably I did witness two or three and I'm sure there was pixelation just prior.

    My theory:
    My FAP was not making good connection and was contributing to the workload the tivo processor was enduring. It is possible that the THD processor, eventhough, they say it's faster, may not be as good at interfacing to the tuners and CC's (read this as hardware drivers). It is further possible that the data stream coming from this hardware may have some higher bit-error rate causing retries or excessive error-correction to occur (read this as signal strength related); thus overloading the processor which affects everything including pixelation of the menus.

    If this is the case, it sounds like Tivo has to find some horsepower somewhere which can mean significant rewrite to core code or maybe just new drivers for the hardware. However, I've seen hardware cause problems that even us software guys can't fix. I've been in the firmware writing profession since 1992 and I know that sofware can fix a lot of hardware problems. Let's just hope this is the case for Tivo.
     
  5. Aug 15, 2007 #85 of 144
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
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    Jan 2, 2004
    OK, I have to drop from lurker mode now for a moment.:)

    If I read your post correctly, you did not start recording anything until the Star wars movie and then you first saw the macro blocking on playback. That seems more like the difference that started the issue.

    as for OTA - it is an antenna and I would wonder about macro blocking reports for that. OTA will have signal strengths fluctuating and also of course random interference can occur. The question is.. is it in the recorded stream or does it randomly occur in the playback of an OTA recording like you saw with your CC recording?

    just some questions to help clarify the situation
     
  6. Aug 15, 2007 #86 of 144
    TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

    1,117
    10
    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well, the movie was the first thing I believe I tried to record AFTER I got the cable cards installed. Prior to the cards being installed, I had recorded some SD channels, but I never noticed macroblocking on anything, live TV or recorded programs, until after the cards. The movie was the first time I noticed the macroblocking. I hit rewind and backed up to watch that segment again, but the macroblocking was gone.

    After that, I've seen the issue on both recorded shows and on live TV, HD and SD channels, and on menus.

    Here's the funny thing. I thought that the problem wasn't recorded into the stream, because when I backed up to see if I could see the blocking again, it wasn't there. Then the other night, I hit rewind on a recorded program and the blocking was there, in the exact same spot that it occured the first time.
     
  7. Aug 15, 2007 #87 of 144
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

    334
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    Jan 30, 2002
    Blocking is without a question in the recorded stream for me.
     
  8. Aug 15, 2007 #88 of 144
    jtreid

    jtreid New Member

    320
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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    Just to clarify, you have an S3, not THD, and you see blocking in the menus?

    That is strange. When you backed up, could you pause on it and the blocking remain, indicating it is recorded that way?
     
  9. Aug 15, 2007 #89 of 144
    jtreid

    jtreid New Member

    320
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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    Sorry if that seems stupid. I just noticed in your sig that you have both. Which one is doing this?
     
  10. Aug 16, 2007 #90 of 144
    TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

    1,117
    10
    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    The THD is doing it. I never ever had a problem with the S3. It seems the S3 went through many of the same issues early on that are now being reported on the THD (many of those issues involved FIOS, such as odd fast-forward/rewind skipping), but I never saw them. Although I had a S3 the week they came out, I didn't have FIOS at the time (I had "regular" cable TV). By the time I got FIOS, either TiVo had already resolved those issues with the S3, or I was never going to have them, because the S3 works like a charm and always has.

    I was convinced that the blocking on the THD couldn't be reproduced on command, it seemed random no matter what was being displayed (recorded, live, menus, etc.), but then I saw the blocking in the recorded stream in exactly the same place. Unfortunately, I did not think to pause the program, and I didn't re-check it. I guess it could have been a coincidence. If it happens again, I will backup and try to pause.

    And again, because the THD issues seem to be very similar, if not the same, as issues the S3 boxes had initially, that boosts my confidence level that TiVo can fix it. I suspect that the THD software is some type of clone of the early S3 software and hasn't evolved down the same path yet.
     
  11. Aug 16, 2007 #91 of 144
    Brighton Line

    Brighton Line Member

    143
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    Mar 15, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have a THD with SA Cablecards (Cablevision NYC) and I'm experiencing macroblocking or pixelation on both cards while watching Live TV or recordings since the cards were installed. I used the THD for 5 days with just cable (no box) and had no problems at all, even on HD digtial channels.
    We have the 30 day window I just don't know if I will keep THD with this problem, return it and be out the almost $47 for the card install.
     
  12. Aug 16, 2007 #92 of 144
    aus1ander

    aus1ander New Member

    516
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    Sep 17, 2004
    There is a new service update that was just released today. Force a call and see if this fixes things.
     
  13. Aug 16, 2007 #93 of 144
    cina

    cina New Member

    4
    0
    Aug 16, 2007
    I received my Tivo HD 1 week ago and Cablevision installed two cable cards today. Today, I started getting bad picelation. I can't go 15 seconds without the problem Super annoying.

    I received a service update about an hour ago. Nor at 8.1.7b2-01-2-652. No help. Still bad pizelation.
     
  14. Aug 16, 2007 #94 of 144
    jazmaan

    jazmaan New Member

    74
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    Aug 30, 2002
    What brand of Cablecards? I'm getting no pixellation on the new update with Motorola cards on TWC West Los Angeles.
     
  15. Aug 18, 2007 #95 of 144
    cina

    cina New Member

    4
    0
    Aug 16, 2007
    (continuing my saga of dealing with severe momentary (lasting 1-3 seconds) pixelization with Tivo HD with CableCards every 15 seconds or so on all channels...)

    I have SA (Scientific Atlanta) cards through Cablevision. Yesterday I was on the phone with Tivo for 45 minutes. They tried a number of things. They told me I had to get my CableCards re-authorized by Cablevision.

    After 1 hour on the phone with Cablevision, reauthorizing the cards, resetting boxes, trying a bunch of things, they said they would need to send a technician. The technician spent 2 hours at my house. Check signal strength, tried new wiring, checked all (and changing some) connections / splitters). Tried the Tivo Box on multiple TVs. Bypassed all existing wiring. No help. Cablevision conclusion - it is not a problem with their SA CableCards or their service - it is a problem with the Tivo HD box. Cablevision sais get a replacement Tivo HD.

    Called Tivo again - asked for a replacement, should come within a week.

    Frustration, time and $ all mounting.
     
  16. Aug 18, 2007 #96 of 144
    TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

    1,117
    10
    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I hate to tell you this, but the replacement TiVo is likely to exhibit the same behavior with your setup as the original box.

    These issues are almost certainly an issue with the TiVo software in certain installation conditions. The couple of software updates that have been issued have fixed the problem for a lot of users, but some users are still experiencing issues. It's likely that the problem won't be fixed for everyone until more software updates are issued. I still think that will be sooner rather than later, but might not occur before you get your new TiVo.
     
  17. Aug 18, 2007 #97 of 144
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    Hmmm. People say the cable companies favor their DVRs over TiVo. But, let's assume this IS a TiVo problem (which it probably is).

    HOW MUCH IS THIS TIVO SCREWUP COSTING THE CABLE COMPANIES????

    A LOT!!!!
     
  18. Aug 18, 2007 #98 of 144
    d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

    763
    0
    Oct 12, 2000
    Twin Cities...
    Your frustration is understandable, but please chill.

    The vast number of TiVoHD users are using Motorola Cards...along with mine, this 2nd update has seemed to fixed the issue....especially with anything recorded since the update. A number of folks with SA cards are still experiencing issues.

    Yes, there is a problem. TiVo has acknowledged it, and they are continuing to work on this. This follows a similar pattern with some other units....the problems do get fixed.

    As for this costing the cable companies...my cable company only had to spend more time at my house because they didn't know how to fully support cable cards and get all my channels aurhorized correctly.

    In the end, this experience should be a learning situation for TiVo....they would be much better off if they improved their hardware/software beta testing on new hardware units.

    Call TiVo and ask for a credit on service for every month that this issue continues...seems to be fair.
     
  19. Aug 25, 2007 #99 of 144
    toxicpenguin

    toxicpenguin New Member

    14
    0
    Mar 28, 2004
    Manhattan, NY
    I spoke with a technician @ Tivo yesterday. I too have 2 SA CC's with annoying pixelation. Mine is so annoying that my better half forced me to resurrect my S2 box AND go get back a TW STB till I resolve the issue (return tivo, wait for a update to fix issue, divorce) lol....
    Anyways, the technician told me that although he cannot commit when... their technicians seem to have an update that they are currently testing which should work.
    In any event, he noted in my account that once the issue is resolved, they will refund me any $$ for the time I kept the S2 running, and reset my 3 year contract for the T-HD from the date I am satisfied with the service. Also, he extended my 30 day return to 90 days.
    I suggest you all do the same... just to be on the safe side.
    Hey I have had Tivo since 5 years now, with excellent customer service every time i called. I dont think they will sc*** with anyone.
    Cheers
     
  20. Brighton Line

    Brighton Line Member

    143
    0
    Mar 15, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I too called Tivo last night, explained my problem and the CSR said a software update will fix the problem. The CSR would not comment on when it would be available and wanted to end the phone call.
    I then asked to extend my 30 days stating that I do not want to pay three years for a product that does not work, that I can not watch (well I can watch). I was then put on hold once more and the CSR said that she talk to her supervisor and that they will open a case. I got a case number and the CSR said that if the issue is not resolved they will send me a new box.
    HUH???
    At this point being on the phone over an hour (greeting said 2 minute wait, I waited 30) and my 30 days not being up until 9/10, I let it go.
    If the software updated isn't pushed by my 29th day, I'll call back to cancel with case number in hand and see if they will extend the 30 day's. I am not paying $7.58 for 3 years or $200 cancel fee for a product that does not work.
     

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