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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Chimpware, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Aug 23, 2007 #181 of 1597
    mjsmith3

    mjsmith3 New Member

    41
    0
    Feb 28, 2004
    Fairfield, CT
    Compulady,

    I had what might be the same issue as you. Tivo S3 was fine. TivoHD was ok on card 1 but horrible pixellation on card 2. Mostly fixed by forcing several calls and rebooting. Now I only have the minor pixellation issues that many people with SA cards have.
     
  2. Aug 24, 2007 #182 of 1597
    johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    77
    0
    Feb 2, 2005
    Have we in fact determined that Motorola M-Cards do not have the problem?

    Does everyone who has the pixelation have it on both tuners?
     
  3. Aug 24, 2007 #183 of 1597
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
    0
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Not sure there's enough data to say that no one with a Motorola MCard sees the problem, but I have an Moto MCard on two boxes - saw pixelization before b2, but not after.
     
  4. Aug 24, 2007 #184 of 1597
    johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    77
    0
    Feb 2, 2005
    Great news. I'm getting a TiVo HD before the TV season starts, and hoping to try for an MCard. Ditching the useless Moto 3416.
     
  5. Aug 24, 2007 #185 of 1597
    mchief

    mchief Morey

    333
    0
    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I have only one channel that is horrible - almost unwatchable. I have a SA cable card in the HDTV and PIP. Side by side the TivoHd is horrible - the SA cable card in the TV has no problem. An hour later the picture was fine on THD. This is the HD version of Golf Channel. I had problems with the SA8300HD - some macro blocking on most channels, but only occasionally. Some day all channels on the 8300 were unwatchable.

    I have a SA M-Card from Comcast, Alexandria, VA and 1b

    I have had the THD for only 1 week and other than the GC have seen very infrequent problems. Once in 2 or 3 hours.

    Last night I saw a >1 second burst on a recorded SD program, but no more.

    I cannot explain the GC problem, on the 8300 this was frequent which I attributed to the channel because it would usually go off the air after significant macro-blocking problems.
     
  6. Aug 24, 2007 #186 of 1597
    Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

    916
    0
    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest
    The pixelation has gotten worse since the latest "patch"... now the screen freezes on a few of the HD channels/feeds
     
  7. Aug 26, 2007 #187 of 1597
    navman

    navman New Member

    18
    0
    Aug 10, 2007
    Got my TivoHD a few days ago and had the cable cards installed, without a glitch even though the installer just brought 2(S-cards). Have had a lot of macroblocking/pixellation issues about 1 a minute but that hasnt been my main issue. It has been the audio dropouts, saw "The Hills Have Eyes" recorded from HBOHD which consistently has a signal strength of over 90. Probably had the dropout happen every 5 minutes or so, very irritating. I know that is something I will not be able to live with. The much maligned SA 8300HD which I had for over a year never had any of the two above mentioned issues.(even though my signal strength was much lower when it was connected to the SA box, took care of that issue when I had the cablecards on the TivoHD installed) On the bright side love the tivo interface when compared to the SA box, always have and thats why I upgraded from Series2. Unfortunately if there is not a fix to these issues I see myself having to go back to the SA8300HD as much as I would hate too. I bought the TivoHD not because I wanted a compromise but because I wanted the BEST, and so far it leaves a lot to be desired...........
    Both the pixellation and audio dropouts are reproducible on rewinding. When I first read about the pixellation issues, I thought it was people complaining that had nothing better to do(and were absolute sticklers for perfection) , but as you can see from the length of my post it is really very irritating and makes some recordings unwatchable, and thus my rant.
     
  8. Aug 26, 2007 #188 of 1597
    johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    77
    0
    Feb 2, 2005
    Are these SA cards, or Motorola?
     
  9. Aug 26, 2007 #189 of 1597
    navman

    navman New Member

    18
    0
    Aug 10, 2007
    hmmm thought i mentioned it, but i guess i forgot to, they are SA cards.
     
  10. Aug 26, 2007 #190 of 1597
    dtivofan23

    dtivofan23 TiVo addict

    524
    0
    Nov 3, 2004
    Navman I Am Having The Same Issues I Hope Tivo Fixes This Because I Really Dont Wanna Have To Return This Box.

    I Also Was Using A Sa8300hd And Didnt Have These Issues But The Sa Interface Is Garbage. Hopefully This Issue Has Nothing To Do With The 2 Sa Cards That I Using Now.
     
  11. Aug 26, 2007 #191 of 1597
    johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    77
    0
    Feb 2, 2005
    It's looking more and more as if most of the folks having the problem have the SA cards.

    When I call for my install I am going to see first if I can do a self-install with an Mcard, and if not, at least if the installer can bring a Moto Mcard. It's worth a try.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2007 #192 of 1597
    TokyoShoe

    TokyoShoe Frustrated TiVoHD'er

    118
    0
    Jul 27, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Actually I have the problem big time on all HD recordings, and I am using Motorola Cards.
     
  13. Aug 26, 2007 #193 of 1597
    wbradney

    wbradney New Member

    79
    0
    Mar 3, 2003
    Same here - Motorola (S) cards in my Series 3 on Verizon FIOS.
    But in my case I've only started seeing severe macroblocking in the last two weeks or so. I had similar problems back in Jan-Feb, but an update in late Feb seemed to fix the problem and I haven't seen any significant problems until early Aug.

    This morning most channels (SD or HD) were barely watchable (constant pixellation/audio drops) on the S3 (both tuners), but all were fine on my S2 via the Verizon/Motorola SD STB, so I decided to try to do as much troubleshooting as possible before calling Verizon.

    My default setup is as the Verizon techs left it -- line into a 6-way -12db splitter, 1 out to the TV room, where a 2-way -3.5db splitter drives the S3 and the SD STB, 1 out to the Verizon/Actiontech router, 4 others terminated.

    I noted the signal strength reported by the S3 on all channels - the average range was 80-90, but severe macroblocking occurred on probably 75% of the channels, and for those channels the signal would jump all over the place, sometimes even dropping to zero/grey screen, or reporting "No signal on tuner 2".

    Next I took the SD STB and the splitters out of the equation and wired the Verizon line directly into the S3 (I was a little wary of this since the FIOS signal is supposed to be so 'hot' -- but I was pissed off at having such a crappy signal). This improved things somewhat.

    The signal strength meter now showed consistently 95-100 for almost all channels and no pixellation on those channels where the meter stayed solidly inside that range. As I went through all of the channels, however, some 20 or so still showed severe macroblocking after 2 or 3 seconds of being tuned (curiously, the first few seconds even on those channels were good, then it deteriorated to being unwatchable/grey screen after about 10 seconds).

    Those bad channels were (on the Verizon/Freehold system):

    67 SNY
    102 SCIENCE
    103 DISCTIMES
    105 MILI
    141 DHC
    143 FITTV
    144 FOOD
    145 HGTV
    148 DCHOME
    169 BBCA
    170 COMEDY
    177 FOXREAL
    178 FUEL
    229 DCKIDS
    408 HBOC
    410 HBOZ
    830 YESHDNY
    851 HBOHD

    Only a couple of these I care about, so I decided to put the 2-way spiltter back in place to bring the SD STB back into the mix, and the levels stayed pretty much the same, with same unwatchable channels. Only a couple of those channels I really care about, one of which is also available SD, so I declared a temporary victory and left the 6-way splitter and the ActionTech out of the loop.

    A couple of hours later I noticed the general, widespread macroblocking was back, and now most channels were again crappy, although it seems not quite as crappy as at the start of the day (1-2 second drops every 20-30 seconds, so still unwatchable).

    I put everything back the way it was to begin with, and now perversely only those channels above are bad again -- I'm getting 90 or above for most channels and they're rock-solid, but those same channels above are lousy.

    Next step I guess is to call Verizon and have them come and tell me it's Tivo's problem...

    I should reiterate that between the end of Feb and the beginning of Aug I noticed no appreciable pixellation at all.

    Also, the pixellation occurs in recordings, and when rewinding the live buffer.
    Never seen any problem with the Menus.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2007 #194 of 1597
    fullmetaljester

    fullmetaljester New Member

    10
    0
    Feb 15, 2006
    Boston
    I had the base firmware out the box, had horrible pixel issues. However the latest update fixed it completely, been using it all weekend no problems. The lag between channels is annoying but not a showstopper. I do realize its more the tuning of the CC than the Tivo.
     
  15. Aug 29, 2007 #195 of 1597
    compulady

    compulady New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 29, 2006
    How do you get this firmware? I am getting alot of pixelation.

     
  16. Aug 29, 2007 #196 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Since you have an original S3 and this thread is "Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting" for the new TiVo HD units, you may want to check a couple of other threads that focus on the original S3 including:

    S3 Pixelization /Macroblocking?

    Based on everything you've said it sounds very much like you have a signal problem. The S3's processing ability is very sensitive to signal degradation of any nature. Splitters, coax cables and a number of other things can contribute to audio/video problems including macroblocking or loss of picture and sound all together. That's not to mention a new signal issue with your provider which will exacerbate things if what you had was borderline in the beginning. Best bet is to have Verizon come out and test everything, both inside and out. It may be a problem with their system, your cables/connections or your cable cards (which they can "re-hit").

    FYI - TiVo's "Signal Strength" meter measures signal to noise ratios. A high reading may indicate lack of noise, but not necessarily a good signal…that can only be measured with the (fairly expensive) equipment used by the cableco’s.
     
  17. Aug 29, 2007 #197 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Firmware is downloaded and installed automatically...no action is required on your part.

    It's likely that you already have the latest firmware for the TiVo HD which is v8.1.7b and for the original TiVo S3, v8.3.1 (which has been out for a while now). You can check this by going to TiVo Central (the TiVo button on your remote control) > Messages & Settings > Account & System Information > System Information and looking at the Software Version line.
     
  18. Aug 29, 2007 #198 of 1597
    mchief

    mchief Morey

    333
    0
    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I was watching the almost unwatchable UHD US Open Tennis coverage. Macroblocking is terrible. I have an SA M-Card in my THD. I also have a SA S-card in my TV. Using PIP I put the tivo picture split screen with the tv/cc. No macroblocking to speak of on the tv while significant distortion on the tivo. There is also a 2 second delay on the tivo when compared to the tv. Not sure what that means other than tivo may be on it's way back to CC.
     
  19. Aug 29, 2007 #199 of 1597
    mjsmith3

    mjsmith3 New Member

    41
    0
    Feb 28, 2004
    Fairfield, CT
    Still getting horrible/frequent pixellation on many channels. 2 SA cards. Tivo seemed to fix the Motorola card issue pretty quickly. I'm a little disappointed in that is has been a few weeks since then and this issue is still unresolved for me with my SA cards.
     
  20. Aug 29, 2007 #200 of 1597
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    My Motorola cable modem (retail cost under $100) can display both a "downstream power level" reading in dBmV and also a "signal to noise ratio" in dB.

    Please enlighten me on how the sub $100 Motorola product can incorporate "fairly expensive" equipment while a $300 TiVo HD can't.

    The Motorola "power level" aka "signal strength" (NOT S/N) is also quite accurate. When I inserted a 2:1 splitter the reading went down by about 3.5 dBmV. When I inserted a 6 dB attenuator the reading went down by about the proper amount. When I inserted a 15 dB distribution amplifier the reading went up by the proper amount.

    It isn't rocket science, and it isn't as "fairly expensive" as you say.
     

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