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Ready to say buh-bye to Tivo because of constant freezing.

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by babatunde, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. babatunde

    babatunde New Member

    42
    0
    May 30, 2002
    Have finally had time to look into the suggested possible problems. My signal strength is 100 and SNR is 37dB. I don't know if "excessive" is more or less than 100 but usually 100 means the max, so perhaps this is my problem? Sounds like there's no fix for this???

    I tried to run the Kickstart HD Test (54). It pass the first three tests, then on the Extended Test if froze after about 2 minutes "pink screened" on me (that's what happens when it freezes -- the screen turns mostly pink and yellow, frozen). It said it got 10% of the way in when it froze.

    Internal temperature reports "36c (Normal)" btw.

    thanks

    BT
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    The KS54 result indicates a failing hard drive, although you could try running it again just to be sure. That would be your primary problem

    If ALL your channels have sig strength of 100 (which is a max and means it could be 100 or anything above that) your signal may be too hot. It usually varies from channel to channel. In my case they range from 76 to 100, with 100 being the value for about 1/3 of the channels. My belief is that signals only slightly above 100 do no harm, whereas values below 70 are where you run into weak signal problems (e.g., pixelation and RS error counts).

    I've also been told that there is a range of sig strength (somewhere above 100) where, although you don't see any video blanking, there is a long term "fatigue" effect on the limiting circuit elements and eventually the tuner fails.

    There actually are very simple solutions for hot signal, either an in-line attenuator or a splitter used just for its insertion loss. I recommend getting a set of 3 attenuators (3, 6 and 10 dB attenuations), so you can try several values.
    For example: http://www.amazon.com/3db-Coax-Cable-Attenuator-each/dp/B0013L69D2
    By trying different attenuators I determined that with 3 dB I know that my channels that say 100 are actually only slightly above that, and I didn't want to use more attenuation because the few channels I have that read around 76 would get lower and might start pixelating. In principle I should complain to my cable co and try to force them to reduce the channel-to-channel variation but (given the response I typically get and the hassle of dealing with them) I don't think it's worth it.
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,400
    5
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Remember when your analog stuff would freeze up if the signal was a little too strong, or just stop recording, or refuse to start, if there was a momentary loss of signal?

    Yeah, me neither.
     
  4. babatunde

    babatunde New Member

    42
    0
    May 30, 2002
    Thanks. I'll try the test again. Could be it was just 'ready to blow' - it's been freezing pretty much daily for weeks now.

    I don't know how to check specific channel strengths? I just hunted around in the menu system until I found the 100% spec.

    - BT


     
  5. madscientist

    madscientist Deregistered Snoozer

    3,980
    13
    Nov 12, 2003
    Lexington, MA
    Can't wait until SSD's are cheap enough to replace rotating media. SO much more reliable. Only question is whether they would wear too quickly when used in something like a DVR.

    Going from stateless to stateful is a much more significant and difficult change than it often seems at first glance. And making delicate hardware resiliant in the face of your typical consumer environment is not always so simple. Ditto for the software: it's much simpler to give up when confronted with an unexpected situation than to figure out what the best response would be (and implement it).
     
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    The per-channel numbers are in DVR Diagnostics. The info will be for the two channels you currently have tuned. There is another way to look at signal strength per-channel and it is a lot faster than the DVR Diagnostics pages. It is in Settings ... Channels ..... Signal Strength. This method will kill any recordings in progress and the 30-min buffers, however.

    In DVR Diagnostics take note of RS Errors (Corrected and Uncorrected). If they are zeros then signal problems (other than those already in the distributed signal) are NOT causing video problems on that channel -- it must be the hard drive --- or power supply.
     
  7. babatunde

    babatunde New Member

    42
    0
    May 30, 2002
    Thanks Mad and dlfl!

    - BT
     

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