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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Dec 3, 2007 #421 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    That's excellent news and encouraging for others experiencing similar issues.

    We had problems with Comcast earlier this year as well. Three truck rolls and each tech (all different) said everything was "perfect"...often connecting one of there own DVR's and saying "See? The picture's great. Must be your TiVo." We knew it wasn't and on the fourth truck roll the tech left for about 20 minutes to work on the "head end"(?) and when he came back everything was indeed perfect. He said someone had made some "changes there" and that he fixed it. :rolleyes:

    Thanks again for posting your story...it's good to know that things can be resolved one way or another. :up:
     
  2. Dec 5, 2007 #422 of 1597
    steinercat

    steinercat New Member

    108
    0
    Nov 16, 2007
    So the signal strength on the TiVo should be in the 80s-90s?

    Mine is aroun 40-50 and I'm getting pixelation on a couple of HD channels and snow on many of the non-HD channels.

    Thanks for any conformation.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #423 of 1597
    SMB-IL

    SMB-IL Member

    39
    0
    Mar 5, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    The SNR is usually in the 32-35 range and the RS Corrected on most channels remains at 0, while RS Uncorrected sometimes goes up a few points every once in awhile -- which is NOTHING like I had a week ago, where the RS Uncorrected would get into the MILLIONS within a few minutes; just rolling numbers!

    When I first got the Series 3, I clearly remember playing around with all the menus and finding the signal strength meter and finding that all channels were at or near 100, so I think the higher the number on the TiVo, the better picture. When the signals were dipping below 55 or 60, that's when the pixelating started like crazy. 60-65 seemed to be the minimum on most channels for a clear picture.

    Everything is still stable and even survived last night's snow storm; which frankly, I thought would bring all of the horror back, but this morning, everything was great.

    What's also great is that no one from Comcast ever suggested that it was the TiVo causing the problems -- it is their CableCARDS in there, after all, and they do now refer to the "TiVo Series 3" by name on billing and in conversations I've had with customer reps.

    YMMV, but IMO, if you've had a consistently good picture and no audio dropouts before, the problem is not with the TiVo, it's with the signal getting to the TiVo, so call the cable company and ***** because at the prices everyone pays for TV, that picture should really be flawless 99.99% of the time!
     
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #424 of 1597
    steinercat

    steinercat New Member

    108
    0
    Nov 16, 2007
    just called COX Las Vegas and reported the pixelation issues which are getting worse.

    They said to turn off the TiVO and restart.

    It has helped somewhat, but there are still many channels with snow or now only pixelizing a little. still unacceptable.

    They're sending a tech tomorrow to swap cards.

    The nice lady on tech support said this has been a common issue/ticket for them as of late.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2007 #425 of 1597
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I'm having some pixelation on my S3s, which I don't think is the standard problem, and I'm quite puzzled but it.

    It only happens on one channel, SCI-FI (SD cable, digital), that I know of, it may happen on other subchannels on the same QAM carrier, but I don't know which channels those are. That's carried on a very low frequency RF carrier, 105MHz, it would be in the FM radio band usually, but its not the lowest frequency carrier.

    When its happening there's a dropout every second or 2, constantly. The audio gets really quite annoying. With the 9.2 software at least the video doesn't break up totally, just show small patches of macroblocking.

    This happened on one of my S3s, then later on it was on both of them. Then I swapped around some of the cables on my splitter (and really didn't do anything apart from unhook them, then hook them back up to different ports), and now its only happening on one of the S3s again. When it was happening on both of the S3s, I was thinking it was a source problem, but now as the same source is feeding both and only one is doing it, I'm not sure.

    The signal strength is 95 on that channel. It would be 100 if I didn't have the distribution splitter (6 way) in there. As I said every other channel I've looked at is fine, with strengths in the 95-100 range. The SNR is 35-36, even when the problem is happening. When the problem happens the RS uncorrected just counts, fast. When its not happening I get zero for RS corrected and uncorrected.

    I'm a bit stumped by this.
     
  6. Dec 6, 2007 #426 of 1597
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    3,687
    4
    Oct 31, 2007
    I live in the North Dallas area and I have Verizon Fios cable, internet and telephone. I have been experiencing major pixilation for the last month or so - especially in the lower numbers.

    We’ve had technicians try to help, installing new cards and a lot of different settings, with no improvement. Recently we have also starting having telephone interference - so we brought the tech back out to take a look.

    To fix this problem he installed an RF Suppressor out at the box and low and behold the pixilation went away - completely. This is a better picture then I have ever had, absolutely no pixilation at all. No promise that this will help you, but the quality is so much better we actually call Verizon to let them know about this wonderful side effect.

    Good luck to everyone.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2007 #427 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Congrats on the newly found nirvana! :up:

    I know it's a stretch to ask, but is there any way you can post a photo of your new RF Suppressor, or possibly give us the brand, any model number you might find, etc.?

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  8. Dec 6, 2007 #428 of 1597
    madoverlord

    madoverlord New Member

    38
    0
    Jun 29, 2004
    Wilmington NC
    I've posted earlier about my pixelation issues, which are now mostly gone. But the remaining problem is just damn bizarre.

    I am now seeing consistant pixelation issues on just one channel (ABC affiliate HD) on just two nights a week (Wed,Thursday)!

    So Desperate Housewives records fine, no digital glitches at all, on Sunday. But shows like Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, and Grey's Anatomy all have digital hits every 3-5 minutes. So since DH is my wife's favorite show, while my TiVo doesn't think I'm gay, it does fear her more than it fears me.

    The only real difference between Sunday and Wed/Thurs is that on Sunday, the Tivo is usually just recording shows (when doing DH, it's also recording another HD show), whereas on Wed/Thus it is usually recording 2 HD shows and we are also watching something. I am wondering if this is the issue, with a possible side-order of 720p->1080i upconversion being done in the TiVo as well (we have our TiVo do the format conversion).

    Meanwhile, after about 3-4 weeks of continuous operation, RS Uncorrected on both tuners is 0, RS with Correcteds of 24 and 181, and SNRs of 34 or 35.

    I occasionally see a hit on other channels but the rates are very low.

    One weird idea that just occurred to me when I was previewing the posting was that maybe the hits are being caused when we FF through commercials on the program being recorded.

    I'll test that tonight (grin)

    Go figure!
    R
     
  9. Dec 6, 2007 #429 of 1597
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    The error statistics (Corrected and Uncorrected) only apply to the time since the last tune, ie since the TiVo started watching that channel. Its not telling you that you had zero uncorrected in the last 3 weeks, but only since the last time it changed channel on that tuner. There's a note on the diagnostic screen about time since last tune.

    If you looked on Wed or Thursday while it was recording, it may show more errors.
     
  10. Dec 6, 2007 #430 of 1597
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I swapped the port the second S3 was attached to, and replaced the connector with a better one. I'm now trouble free on both S3s.

    I don't know if its the swapping ports, or the changing of the plug which did it. I had a lot of trouble with crimp video connectors, they don't seem to like me, so I've been replacing them with compression fittings, which is what the cable company uses. They seem to cause much less hassle.
     
  11. Dec 6, 2007 #431 of 1597
    steinercat

    steinercat New Member

    108
    0
    Nov 16, 2007
    wow....the Cox tech came today...looke at the coax cables on the splitter (to TiVo and Internet router) and right away pointed out that it was poor quality and was interefering with the channel signal.

    replaced with RG6 cable, and low and behold.....my channel signal strength is now 100.

    Haven't noticed any pixelation yet. He warned me though that the pixelation happens regardless of signal strength...though TiVo boxes seem to be more prone to it than the Cox DVR.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2007 #432 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Great news...thanks for sharing. :up: As someone famous once said..."Pixelation do happen". :rolleyes: A little here and there is to be expected. We see it once in a while OTA direct to our TV...no TiVo in the loop.

    I suspect a lot of issues could be cleared up by replacing coax, Ethernet, HDMI and any other assorted cables. I know I have a bad habit of using whatever I have thinking that it's the best quality stuff and then remembering that it was the best I could get when I bought it...five years ago or whatever. :eek: Then a lot of us have no control over what the cableco's have installed outside so we're at their mercy to some extent.

    I think the last part is a fair statement. Cableco's have dedicated equipment designed to operate within their parameters. TiVo's have to work across a wide variety of cable companies, equipment, quality of service, etc. With so many variables, it has to be a real nightmare to get everything to work properly sometimes.

    Thanks again and enjoy!
     
  13. Dec 7, 2007 #433 of 1597
    jgerry

    jgerry save vinyl

    2,250
    0
    Aug 29, 2001
    Atlanta,...
    I'm having this exact issue as well. Where are you located?

    I have one Comcast Multistream cable card. I seem to have excellent signal strength -- showing 100 / 36 SN ratio for NBC.

    Every HD recording I've made from NBC in the last week is useless. On hour long programs, I get a partial recording, usually about 54-57 minutes in length. On a half hour recording, I get a partial recording about 26-28 minutes in length. The entire recording is unwatchable. I get about 1-2 seconds of viewable video, then pixelation, then another 1-2 seconds of video... I can't tell much with the audio because I don't get a consistent signal long enough for my receiver to lock on. I get a few words here and there but mostly nothing.

    Tonight, I was recording something on both tuners. NBC on one, ABC & MSNBC on the other. The SD program from MSNBC looks fine. NBC & ABC HD programs are unwatchable. I wonder if the problem has something to do with recording on both tuners.

    Comcast was, surprise, no help. They say everything is A-OK on their end. They said to call Tivo. One other issue, I've been having pretty severe intermittent issues with my Comcast internet service lately. But it's pretty sporadic, and doesn't seem to coincide time-wise in any way with my Tivo issues. I tried to get a Comcast tech out this morning, but he called me and asked, "Is your internet up right now?" I said yes, and he said he wouldn't come troubleshoot unless it was actually down. I guess I'll be lying about that next time. :rolleyes:

    I rebooted to see if this helps, but certainly the recordings themselves are incomplete. Maybe more frequent reboots will help for next time.

    Has anyone called Tivo, maybe gotten a replacement unit, and been able to work around these issues?
     
  14. Dec 7, 2007 #434 of 1597
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    3,687
    4
    Oct 31, 2007
    Well, three days and still no pixilization. I am not sure if it was the RF Supressor fixed the problem, but I could not be happier.

    Rich, I opened the home owner access panel at the box but did not see anything. I assume the supressor is inside the technitions panel. I will keep an eye on the TV and update this groop if I see any changes.

    It would be interesting to see if anyone else in the Plano area could see if this fix wil work for them as well.

    Scott
     
  15. Dec 7, 2007 #435 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for that Scott. I thought it was something they installed inside your home.

    Glad to hear things are going well. Enjoy! :up:
     
  16. Dec 8, 2007 #436 of 1597
    bensler

    bensler New Member

    15
    0
    Sep 9, 2007
    Hello. If you have any suggestions, please help. I had major pixelation issues on the HD channels only with Comcast Cable Company for a while with the Series 3. When the upgrade happened to 9.2, I have very LIMITED pixelation on the HD channels (mainly ABC and NBC), but it was very tolerable. All of a sudden tonight, I noticed tons of pixelation. Does anyone have any suggestions? Does anyone know what is going on? I am located in Houston. Thanks!
     
  17. Dec 9, 2007 #437 of 1597
    shamu20

    shamu20 New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 8, 2007
    I'm having similar problems. Pixelation was fine after 9.2 until this past Monday. Now I can barely watch an HD program. What's going on?? I'm in North New Jersey.
     
  18. Dec 16, 2007 #438 of 1597
    net114

    net114 Tivolitic Guru

    860
    0
    Dec 29, 2000
    florida
    I just moved and I was hopeful that pixelation issues would go away because my signal was really bad in the old place. So...still had issues. Tried everything I could think of...the tech installed an amp, so I isolated the line for my TivoHD and tried it. Still had problems. Then, I had no problems....it just went away. Then, problems returned. Then, they came back.

    I thought of everything...started brainstorming. Hmmm...maybe on the weekends, when more people in my neighborhood are watching tv, it affects my signal! No, that doesn't sound right. So I started trying to figure out, why would it come and go?

    I've isolated it down to two possible solutions:

    1. one of the cablecards sucks
    2. one of the tuners is not working right

    I came to this by tuning in to a known pixelating channel, (HBO) and watched. It pixelated. So I changed that channel to 002, then switched to the other tuner/card and changed to the known HBO pixelating channel. CLEAR. No problems at all, after leaving it there forever. Reversed the process, putting the other tuner/card onto HBO, and it was BACK. Pixelated again.

    Did this over and over, and my conclusion HAS to be that one of the cards is not so good, or a tuner is not so good. My guess is that it is an SCARD problem with one of the cards. When I put the "bad" card onto a basic cable channel, it doesn't seem to have the problem either, so that makes me think it isn't decrypting so well.

    Tomorrow I will take each card out one at a time to isolate which one is "bad" and see if my theory holds. If it does, then hopefully I will be able to get a tech to come out and give me a new card.

    I guess my conclusion is to check and see if a pixelating channel does bad on both of your cards. If one is clear, the other might need to be changed out. Even if yours does bad on both cards, changing them out might help.

    I'll update with more once I experiment by taking out the cards one at a time, and also when i get a tech out here to replace the suspected "bad" card.
     
  19. Dec 16, 2007 #439 of 1597
    fergie8

    fergie8 TiVoite via RCN

    63
    0
    Oct 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Your problem sounds quite like the problem I had, which I reported in the TiVo HD Pixelation with 9.2a thread. The difference being that I had only a single M-card in my TiVo HD whereas you have two S-cards.

    My guess would be that you have a defective tuner in your TiVo HD.

    When I had this problem, my best guess at the time was that if my single M-card was causing the pixelation, then I'd be seeing it on both tuners. I'm not sure that's a logical conclusion, but that was my best guess at the time. Apparently TiVo had a similar best guess too because they offered to replace my TiVo HD without even suggesting a cable card swap first. I haven't had pixelization problems since I got the new TiVo HD.

    Unfortunately I couldn't get the lame RCN tech to try to pair up my existing M-card with my new TiVo HD. He insisted on putting in a new M-card instead, which left me unable to test my theory that it was the TiVo HD tuner causing the problem, not the cable card.

    So we're both guessing and, unfortunately in many cases, so is TiVo support.

    I'd be curious to know if your service number on your TiVo HD starts with 652-0001-803F-....? Just kind of wondering if there are bad tuners out there, are they bad in batches? Another wild guess of mine. :rolleyes:

    Hopefully you will have a different solution for this problem than I had. Shipping tivos back and forth was not so fun for me. I'm happy that I have a working TiVo HD now, but getting to that point wasn't the most positive experience of my life, to say the least.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,

    --
    Michael
     
  20. Dec 16, 2007 #440 of 1597
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    The diagnostics screen (TiVo Central>Messages & Settings->Account & System Information->Diagnostics) will tell you which tuner and which cable card is being used without taking the cable cards out.
     

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