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pixelization and purple horizontal lines

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by psywzrd, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Nov 5, 2013 #1 of 28
    psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    My S3 just started showing major pixelization and purple horizontal lines today (live TV, menus and shows recorded today). What's really strange is that shows that I recorded before today will play fine other than the purple horizontal lines. Shows that I recorded today are unwatchable because of the pixelization, audio dropouts and the horizontal lines (same problem with live tv).

    I've rebooted several times and the problem does not go away. When I reboot, the screen looks fine until it gets past the "Almost There" screen. Once that disappears, the purple horizontal lines appear.

    I also checked under DVR Diagnostics and see a lot of RS Uncorrected.

    Any idea what this problem could be? I did a search here but didn't find much. Does it sound like a power supply issue?
     
  2. Nov 6, 2013 #2 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    How is the video output connected to the television?
     
  3. Nov 6, 2013 #3 of 28
    psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    Component cables to my Denon receiver and then component out to my television. I have other sources connected as well and those are fine.

    Could the problem be my cable in? I know the RS Uncorrected could cause the problems with the picture but I'm not sure if they could be the cause of the issue when I'm in the Tivo menus.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2013 #4 of 28
    psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    So I just spoke with Tivo. Boy has their customer support really fallen off. The guy I spoke with was absolutely clueless.

    Anyway, his suggestions were to try different component cables and a different coax cable. My cable company is coming out tomorrow afternoon to troubleshoot the cable line and see if there might be an issue there. Swapping out the component cables is easy enough but I just didn't have time to do it this morning before I had to leave for work.

    I'm kind of puzzled by this issue though. The RS Uncorrected leads me to believe that there could be a problem with my cable cards and/or the cable line itself, but those purple lines that appear everywhere make me think that I might have more than one problem going on.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2013 #5 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    You could easily have more than one problem going on.

    "Capacitor plague" is taking out more and more S2 and S3 power supplies every day, and it's about time for the original internal drives on S3s to start going bad.


    And of course with the recent release of the Series 5s, TiVo sent out the secret suicide code to all the older models to get people to upgrade. :D


    I'd run a composite video cable (yellow RCA plug) from the TiVo straight to the TV, or any TV you can get in the same room with it that has a composite input, bypassing the Denon for now, and see what you get.

    Don't cheat and use the Denon's video upconversion, take it out of the equation entirely.

    By the way, does your Denon use a 2 or 3 prong power cord?


    The most puzzling part so far is that you don't have the purple lines when the first screen is shown. That screen is built into the motherboard, the "just a few more minutes" screen is on the hard drive.

    You can disconnect the drive and still get the welcome screen. That's all you'll get, it'll just sit there 'til you unplug the TiVo.

    But it's puzzling that you don't have the purple bars on the first screen because it has to go through the video output circuitry that everything else does.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2013 #6 of 28
    psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    My Denon has a two pronged plug. I tried plugging my S3 directly into the wall rather than my UPS and the problem persisted. I also tried the composite cable like you suggested and still had the same problem.

    I did run a Kickstart 54 and the hard drive appears to be ok, which isn't surprising since I just got a new drive within the past few months.

    I guess the next thing now is to see what happens when the cable guy comes tomorrow.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2013 #7 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You still need to check the power supply with a voltmeter, but I fear your motherboard may have received the "new model is out" auto-destruct prompt.

    But that unaffected Welcome screen is like the dog that didn't bark in the night.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2013 #8 of 28
    psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    I honestly don't even have the skills to check the power supply like that. What would be the easiest way for me to determine if it's the motherboard or the power supply? I'm not technical at all when it comes to this kind of stuff. I'm good at hooking things up and I can swap out a hard drive but my "skills" pretty much stop there.
     
  9. Nov 7, 2013 #9 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    I may have confused you with another S3 owner with problems.

    Have you taken the top off of the TiVo and looked at the capacitors on the power supply circuit board?

    You say you get the purple lines on menus, but not on playback of older shows?

    If you get them on menus, then that takes the tuners out of the equation, because the menus come off of the hard drive, but they didn't have to go through the tuners to get there, and don't have to go through the tuners to get to the video output circuitry.

    Check the menus and see if you get the bars on both the ones that have some movement in the background and the ones that don't.

    And see if the colors look like they always have.


    EDIT:

    Oh, wait, my eyes were blurry when I re-read your original post.

    You do get the purple lines on old shows?

    But other than that they're okay?

    But you don't get them on the first screen that says "Welcome, Powering up..." or "Welcome, Starting up..."?

    What about during the second screen, which says something like "Almost there, just a few more minutes"?

    That one comes off of the hard drive, not the motherboard like the first one.

    What about the startup video that shows the TiVo guy jumping around? Or the THX screen, if your model does that?
     
  10. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    I don't get them on the "Welcome! Powering Up..." screen, but now it looks like I am getting them on the "Almost there..." screen. I barely got them on the THX screen but they were pretty bad on the animated screen with the Tivo guy jumping around.
     
  11. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    Cable guys just left. As I thought, it has nothing to do with the cable line. Now I just need help figuring out if a new power supply will do the trick or if I have to get a new Tivo altogether.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    It seems that the more movement of what's on the screen, the worse the bars are, which is certainly a clue, but I don't know enough about how TiVo turns 1s and 0s into video to figure out exactly to what it is a clue.

    Maybe it's some really weird malfunction of the color killer circuitry, which ordinarily keeps black and white black and white.

    Are/were you recording shows off of analog cable, digital cable (with or without cards, with or without tuning adapter for Switched Digital Video), or digital Over The Air?

    The good news is that if you solder $10 worth of replacement capacitors into your power supply and the problem isn't any worse, you can probably sell the supply to someone here, although you'll have to undercut "the big guys" considerably.

    Do you have a 648, 652, or 658?
     
  13. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    It's a 648. The shows I record are digital cable with cable cards but no tuning adapter. The pixelation seems to have gone away but the purple bands remain. It's watchable now but it's definitely annoying.

    I can't solder - don't know how to do it and don't have steady hands at all. Is it worth it for me to just order a replacement power supply from Weaknees and see if that fixes the problem? I think they have a 15% restocking fee though, so it'll cost me either way. I don't know if anyone else has them any cheaper. I just don't know what else to do at this point. I don't really want to spend money on a new Tivo, especially after I just upgraded the hard drive in this one recently. If that's my only choice though, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    What part of the country are you in?

    Perhaps we can find you a less financially painful alternative.
     
  15. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
  16. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    Ask around to see if there's a good "mom and pop" type TV or stereo repair shop in your area where you can talk directly to the repair tech instead of having to go through all the rigidity and formalities of a big impersonal outfit.

    I'll come back this evening and put up a list of the capacitors that should be replaced on the power supply that any bad ones would almost certainly be among, either now or down the road.

    You should be able to get out for $50 or less, parts and labor.

    (of course what we really want is a tech that's "intrigued" enough by the problem to do some troubleshooting for you while they've got it on the bench swapping caps, if for no other reason than so that I find out what's causing those bands)

    If the power supply hasn't given trouble yet, this should keep it from doing so in the future for another several years.

    If the problem is, or also is, the hard drive, it can be replaced.

    If the problem is the motherboard, that's much worse because of the lack of service information, but if the TiVo is lifetimed, 648s still have value because the lifetime can be moved by moving the crypto chip to another 648 motherboard.

    Also, you'd probably be able to sell the repaired power supply to someone here and recover some or all of what you paid to have the new caps put in.
     
  17. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    Thank you. I'll see if I can find any shops in my area that can do the repair for me. If you could list the capacitors that should be replaced, I'm sure that would be very helpful.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    As far as I know there was only one model of power supply used in the 648

    3Y Power Technology

    P/N 3BS01002146P

    TiVo P/N SPWR-00008-000

    The big capacitor, C120, which is rated 470uF at 200Volts, should not need replacing, as it isn't part of the switching circuitry and doesn't have to work very hard.

    And the very little electrolytic caps are probably fine as well.

    It's the mid-sized ones on both sides of the main heat sink that are suspect.

    C401 2200uF 6.3V
    C402 2200uF 6.3V

    C403 1000uF 6.3V +3.3V output rail (orange wire)

    C501 3300uF 10V +5V output rail (red wire)
    C502 3300uF 10V +5V output rail (red wire)
    C503 3300uF 10V +5V output rail (red wire)
    C504 3300uF 10V +5V output rail (red wire)


    C601 2200uF 16V +7.5V output rail (gray wire)
    C603 470uF 16V +7.5V output rail (gray wire)

    C701 2200uF 25V +12V output rail (yellow wire)
    C702 470uF 16V +12V output rail (yellow wire)


    All must be low ESR and rated at 105 degrees Centigrade/Celsius

    HerronScott has a list for the 648

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9131293#post9131293

    that includes part numbers if you want to order from Digi-Key, but if you take it to a shop, they're going to want to supply the parts themselves, not just for the markup on them, but also because "we don't know where these parts came from, we can't guarantee them", a perfectly reasonable stance for them to take.

    But doing it yourself isn't all that hard.
     
  19. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    Thank you so much for posting that information. I totally struck out trying to find someone local to do this for me:(. They were either too far away or they didn't even want to attempt the repair for fear of making the problem even worse.

    I ended up ordering a replacement PS from Weaknees, so I'll just have to hope that the PS is the cause of my problem. If not, I'll just have to pay the restocking fee and send it back to them. Then I'll have to decide if I want to pay the big bucks for a Roamio or if I can make due with a Premiere as a replacement from Tivo.
     
  20. psywzrd

    psywzrd New Member

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    Mar 25, 2003
    So my replacement PS arrived from Weaknees today and I'm thrilled to report that it fixed my problem! The PS came just in time too because I came home from work today to find my S3 in a reboot loop. Swapping it out was a piece of cake and I'm happy I didn't have to order a new Tivo. I do wish that I was able to do the repair myself (or find someone local to do it for me), but I know my limitations and I would have screwed something up for sure.

    Thanks again for all of your help unitron - it's much appreciated!!!
     

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