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Series 3 Verizon FIOS HD compat?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mchad, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Aug 1, 2007 #441 of 2214
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    FIOS does have alot of clear QAM channels, but I'm not sure about watching them via the S3. The first 40 channels are clear, as well as all the OTA HD channels and many of the music channels.

    What isn't there ire channels like ESPN-HD, Discovery HD etc.
     
  2. Aug 4, 2007 #442 of 2214
    PlanoHD

    PlanoHD New Member

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Plano, TX
    I have Verizon FIOS in Plano, TX. My Series 3 started having problems again in mid-July. HD and non-HD channels are now pixelating so much that most of the recordings can't be watched. For a while, the problem was on non-HD channels but now it's on both. Several months ago, I was having problems with pixelation on local HD channels but it magically went away after a month or so of going back and forth with TIVO and Verizon about the problem. Does anyone know what the latest TIVO software update is and when it came out?
     
  3. Aug 5, 2007 #443 of 2214
    Ilene

    Ilene Member

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    Dec 26, 2001
    Plano, Tx
    Ditto here also in Plano.
    After months of trying nearly everything posted in all the threads with no success, I decided to check all my connections from the TiVo to the TV including the cable from the wall. I also checked my modem connections, making sure everything was securely connected. Don't really know if this worked or not, but from 4/10 - mid-July the pixelation went away. I officially received 8.3 on 5/10, but I wonder if the beta version being out there positively affected things. Now like PlanoHD, it's back!!! (I haven't repeated the above-too much work to get behind the furniture to recheck the wiring and the modem connections.)

    What's changed? Nothing on my part (I did attach an external drive, but that was weeks ago). But TiVo did release the cheaper version of the S3 with 8.1. Just seems too coincidental to me....

    I am not too worried about this right now, but when the fall season starts up, I won't be happy. I record "must see TV" on my S2 as a back up (luckily it is a recorder so I can burn a DVD to watch in the living room - as most that have posted here have been whining about - I would prefer to MRV from my S2 to my S3, but we all know that we can't do it. Really don't understand the logic. From me to me, non "digital". And if I were to transfer from S3 to S2 wouldn't be in HD (but I am getting off topic -sorry).
     
  4. Aug 5, 2007 #444 of 2214
    PlanoHD

    PlanoHD New Member

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Plano, TX
    After reading some of the recent posts about the Series 3 slot 2 issues, I decided to remove the card in slot 2. The pixelation appears to be gone and I am hopeful that perhaps I will have one tuner until TIVO fixes the problem. However, this leaves me with only one working tuner. The "experiment" is still underway but this is what I did:

    1. Removed the card in slot 2.
    2. Restarted the TIVO.
    3. Re-programmed the card in slot 1 through the TIVO setup menus.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2007 #445 of 2214
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    Yepper... but it's not a specific channel with any rhyme or reason to it... it just seems to happen.

    As of the other day, I was still getting distortion type pixelization every once in a while.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2007 #446 of 2214
    Ron Tobin

    Ron Tobin Member

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    May 13, 2004
    Sarasota, FL
    Does anyone have a chart, sorted by frequency, of what channels are on what frequencies? That would be alot easier way to isolate the problem. It's very time consuming having to tune to each channel and then go to the diagnostics screen to determine the frequency.

    It's also interesting that different pockets of the country have different issues. It's definitely a Verizon/Cable Card issue and Verizon needs to stop giving as an excuse that "they don't support Tivo". It's the cable card that they are supporting.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2007 #447 of 2214
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    I have two S3 TiVos connected with FIOS and I don't have any problems what so ever, here in Tampa FL. One of the TiVos was from the initial batch, since I bought it day one; and the other I just received a few weeks ago. I also live in a brand new house with RG6 coax, and only one high quality splitter between the TiVos and the brand new ONT (just installed last week).

    I know it's a pain, but maybe it would be worth a try to buy a brand new 50' RG6 coax cable from Home Depot and run it directly from the ONT to the TiVo to rule out any wiring problems. It might be possible that the TiVos are more sensitive to interference than other devices/software versions.
     
  8. Aug 5, 2007 #448 of 2214
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    Yeah, I know that our house is wired with the heavy stuff... but there are some splitters and such, so that's why I put in the drop amp.

    It's only intermttant, so that tells me that it's not a signal problem on the house side.
     
  9. Aug 5, 2007 #449 of 2214
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

    465
    4
    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Intermittent problems could be the amp itself, only one way to know for sure. To much signal can be worse than not enough.
     
  10. Aug 5, 2007 #450 of 2214
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    The problems exisied prior to the amp's install and they really haven't changed much. (Haven't happened in the last two days...)

    The drop amp is a very high end unit and specificially made for this type of application. I'm positive based on the symptoms that it's not the issue.
     
  11. Aug 7, 2007 #451 of 2214
    Flenser

    Flenser New Member

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    Mar 10, 2005
    I put in a call for Comcast to come back and install video service again. :-(

    History: S3 purchase after four days of a Comcast DVR. Two moto CableCards from Comcast, no issues for months. Switch to FIOS TV when it's available in my town. No problems for a couple of months, then pixillation. Tech comes out, they screw with the router, replace the ONT, mess with the interior wiring, and everything seems fixed. Two weeks later, pixillation. Tech comes out, messes with everything and declares it's the TiVos.

    I have two S3s with a total of four CableCards; all show the same problems. Some channels have minor pixillation, others are unwatchably bad, others give me a grey screen since they can't even tune in.

    The thing that makes me think that it's the TiVo is that I can switch to one of the not-so-bad channels, and it's flawless for a count of 10, then it starts dropping audio and pixillating. Switch to another channel and back to the first, and it's flawless for another count of 10. That sounds like a buffering issue or something to me.

    I'm fairly t'd off, but thank goodness it's not sweeps week.
     
  12. Aug 7, 2007 #452 of 2214
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    Well,

    I finally caught the pixelization / signal issue as it was happening, and immediately went to the diagnostic screen in the Tivo 3.

    What I noticed was that the signal's dB range would fall to 0 and then jump to 74, then 86, then 0, and repeat in and around those ranges.

    So the issue is that the Tivo is loosing it's signal lock on specific channels as the signal appears to cut out.

    More over, it was only happening on CCard #1, CCard #2 was rock solid.

    Does that sound like the two CCard issue that's been mentioned?

    Gerhard
     
  13. Aug 8, 2007 #453 of 2214
    bhaas

    bhaas New Member

    174
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    Aug 5, 2003
    MD
    time for a little mythbusting:
    there is nothing fragile about fiber! Glass itself has amazing tensile strength, the individual fibers are cocooned in kevlar then wrapped in 3mm plastic, and the bundle is inside armored cable. Its almost the same stuff that has been sharkproofed for 20 years under the ocean. Backhoe fades are certainly a reality, but that happens with CATV and power, too.

    VZ is not running fiber to individual houses until they specifically sign up for FIOS. Eventually they will replace the copper plant to everyone, but its far easier to let market forces dictate when to yank the copper at each house.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2007 #454 of 2214
    PlanoHD

    PlanoHD New Member

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Plano, TX
    I had posted recently that it looked like the pixelation was fixed on my S3 by removing the card from slot 2 and re-programming the card in slot1. This only worked for a very short time. Now I have regular pixelation even with one card.

    I also have observed the signal problems that Gerhard mentioned. My S3 has trouble locking onto the channel when the pixelation is occurring.

    Has anyone called TIVO for help?
     
  15. Aug 13, 2007 #455 of 2214
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    I'm going to have to go with the ONT is loosing a signal on that channel and that that is causing the issue.

    It's go to be a Verizon Head End or Distribution issue...
     
  16. Aug 14, 2007 #456 of 2214
    JonInVA

    JonInVA 1080 or bust

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    Jan 17, 2005
    Ashburn, VA
    I've had pixellation on the same six FiOS TV "HD National" channels (825, 826, 827, 828, 833, 834 here in Loudon County VA) since I purchased my Series 3 back in February. It's always on these same six channels, and it always shows itself across all six channels simultaneously after the tuner has been locked onto any one of these six for 5+ minutes. If I change the channel on that tuner to any other channel but these six, wait 10-20 seconds, and then tune back, I'll have a solid picture for another 5 or so minutes.

    It's very consistent, and very repeatable.

    The best theory I've ever heard about the issue is that the S3 is having a hard time keeping the CableCARD paired up when tuned to one of these six channels, possibly because of something Verizon was doing on the fiber side, or something the ONT was doing on the coax side. I've tried everything I can think of on the COAX side to no avail.

    I'm not at all surprised to hear that others are experiencing similar phenomena, or that the TiVo HD buyers are experiencing what appear to be even worse problems.

    If the Verizon Motorola 6416 works fine, and an S3 with CableCARDs does not, then there is some sort of fundamental incompatibility here. I've never once tried to place blame, because it's useless and I've got an engineering background. I know how this stuff goes.

    I just hope enough people experience it such that TiVo can actually isolate the issue. TiVo support engineers: feel free to contact me if you're trolling. I'd be very willing to run some test scenarios with you guys - I'm just completely burnt out on tech support call centers and avoid them like the plague.
     
  17. Aug 14, 2007 #457 of 2214
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

    465
    4
    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    It's interesting that those are the only channels you're having problems with since those are the ones that require a CC to decode. But since it isn't all of the CC channels, it may be the frequency those channels are on. If you have a regular QAM tuner, maybe you could do a scan to see if those channels are next to each other.

    The S3 may just be more susceptible to signal loss than the Moto DVR. I used to have a Pace STB that was much more susceptible to strong/weak signals than any other brand STB the cable company distributed. But it was still possible to get a perfect picture by tweaking the signal levels (amp/attenuator).

    Not sure about VA, but here in Tampa, neither of my S3's have a problem with those FIOS channels and my friend also has a S3 and FIOS and doesn't have problems. I am expecting a TiVo HD soon, so I'll report back once I try it out.
     
  18. Aug 14, 2007 #458 of 2214
    Ron Tobin

    Ron Tobin Member

    149
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    May 13, 2004
    Sarasota, FL
    Ben:
    As I reported either here, or on another thread, here in Sarasota I've now developed pixelization problems with some SD channels. My HD pixelization problems have mysteriously gone away. But what's interesting, is that when pixelization issues arise, the frequencies are grouped together. I've isolated my SD pixelization to a group in the 400mhz area.

    I called into VZ tech support and they are scheduling yet another service call to my house. But I told them that I need someone that is familiar with and understands cable cards, inasmuch as it's the cable cards that are having difficulties decoding the information and causing the pixelization. Not overly confident that they will be able to fix it (other than suggesting that I dump my Tivo S3 and switch to a Fios DVR) but I have no choice but to start this nonsense again.

    It's got to be a distribution center problem, i.e., Temple Terrace or Sarasota. Not sure how their signals are distributed.
     
  19. Aug 14, 2007 #459 of 2214
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

    465
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    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Ron,
    Since the problem doesn't seem to affect Tampa, I doubt it is Temple Terrance, I think it was more likely a problem in your house (ONT, wires, etc) or Sarasota.
     
  20. Aug 14, 2007 #460 of 2214
    Ron Tobin

    Ron Tobin Member

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    May 13, 2004
    Sarasota, FL
    I suspect then, that if Tampa is fine, then it's something either along the way from Temple Terrace or the local distribution point. When I had the HD problems, they did all the wire tests, splitter tests, changed out the ONT, yet still never landed on the cause or a solution.

    I'll post results after their visit.
     

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