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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Aug 5, 2008 #801 of 1597
    gwsat

    gwsat New Member

    455
    0
    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    My first DVR was a TiVo S1, which I bought in 2000. My first HD DVR was a Scientific Atlanta SA8000HD, which Cox OKC first made available in 2004. Later, Cox upgraded those to the 8300HD model. I still have one of them on my other HDTV but hate to use it because its SARA software is so awful. Anyway, until recently, I had no idea that the S3 would retain an already accumulated buffer, despite recordings having started on both tuners.
     
  2. Aug 5, 2008 #802 of 1597
    hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Despite the occasional challenges of pixelation and lockups, the S3 has a lot of nice features and is really the only DVR I've used since February. Little things make a difference. The 2 Sonys are still plugged in and receiving guide data but they are there for archived stuff and as backups for important programs. Makes more sense to unplug them, spare the HDDs and 24/7 28 watt-hours each, then do manual recordings using TiVo or online guides. Wasteful as mostly idle backups. Since 2/4/08 I've only missed one full recording with the S3, and two partials when turning on the TV caused lockups; recording automatically resumed after reboot on one of those. Not bad for 6 months.

    The Sonys do have more flexibility in basic recording, playback, and display functions; and are much more robust in handling off signals than the S3. The single tuners and 250gb storage limitations are killers with HD though. They're somewhat sluggish to any command and guide/menu navigation. Plus the guide itself can be fragile. Not wise to count on a long discontinued product forever.

    Best combination would be the interest/commitment of Tivo and the solvency/resources of Sony with cable technology at maturity. Outside of that, I hope TiVo Inc. can maintain the balance between reliability and features while dealing with the vagaries of the cable industry. I've never used a cable company box of any kind and wouldn't consider what Verizon is offering now.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2008 #803 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Wow! :eek: I have never heard it put so well! Here, here! :up: :)
     
  4. Aug 6, 2008 #804 of 1597
    hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Rich,

    Thanks for the enthusiastic comment, but I think I jinxed myself with recent posts. The local FiOS signals have been off but manageable since June 7th or 14th. Mostly just local HDs. With 14db att. at S3, 8db at Toshiba, no worries. Until yesterday. 8db at Tosh now not enough - locals and others. Not a good sign at 2 months or so and counting. S3 still fine at 14db. Spare attenuators lent to NJ TCF member a month ago.

    With large package of channels yet to come, I think I might be in the long trough before the ravine. Frustrating because it's clear Verizon can deliver a high quality feed on a pretty consistent basis. Then the sour periods. It would be nice to know the reasons for them, and how much attention they give to the matter.

    Heck
     
  5. Aug 7, 2008 #805 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Hang in there...it sounds like VZ's tech expertiese is considerably better than their billing dept. Do you call them every time something goes south or do you just say a prayer and hope for the best? Just curious as to what we might expect when and if they ever decide to activate the lines they recently burrowed under our front yard. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Aug 7, 2008 #806 of 1597
    hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
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    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    Rich,

    My signal problems are so easy to address with attenuation or antenna now that I don't bother calling. If a serious split develops between high and low level signals, then I will have to call a lot - as in July and November last year.

    You're right to say that Verizon has the expertise to fix it. Even here with the obsolete equipment at my CO, and far from a stellar VHO, they can find the remedy to catastrophic feeds within 24 - 36 hours. The difficulty is in getting them to use their expertise. As I posted earlier in another thread today, it takes a visit from a top tech or "Big Boss" to push the matter to where it needs to go, in my experience. So I've had to endure a series of service calls and home appointments before resolution. "Inefficient" would be the euphemistic word for the process. The timing of top tech visits and resolution were not a coincidence. The calls and appointments had to be made.

    On the other hand it is clear that many FiOS TV customers have not seen one tile yet and won't this year, the next, or the year after that. It's not possible that your CO will have the antiquated equipment mine has - and an in house ONT to match same. No way will you be served by VHO8, and that is a very good thing. As one of my California nephews would say, "No worries".

    It would be good if TCF posters using FiOS would list the area in their profile. Better yet, their VHO and CO. Easier to see patterns if they're there to see.

    Prayer is reserved for the upcoming addition of channels challenge.

    I probably shouldn't say this but Verizon has had network problems which I mostly associated with copper wiring and analog signals. I was thinking of underground burial for the aesthetics but passed on it. So how much rain do you get out there? A lot of it at one time? You good with a shovel?

    Good luck, but you probably won't need it. (except for billing)

    Heck
     
  7. Aug 8, 2008 #807 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Rain? Um, that's what they get in Seattle. By comparison we're in the sun belt here. Ha! :rolleyes: Have shovel, will dig, no worries.

    It'll be interesting to see how it goes though. Can't wait for the "big pipe" broadband for down/up loads as well as the reportedly improved TV PQ in SD and HD! :)
     
  8. Aug 8, 2008 #808 of 1597
    JasonMowry

    JasonMowry New Member

    18
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    Nov 3, 2005
    Southeastern PA
  9. Aug 13, 2008 #809 of 1597
    sundaydrive

    sundaydrive New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Nice to have a place to come and try to figure out some fixes. I just had Fios installed Friday and am having horrible pixelation issues on several channels. Once I get home tonight I will check the diagnostics and see what my signal looks like.

    Thanks guys.

    Curt
     
  10. Aug 13, 2008 #810 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Hey Curt...welcome to the forum. :up: Please let us know how things go...if you have to have the signal attenuated, etc. Verizon installed the FO cables and equipment here in Lake Oswego about 45 days ago and I'm waiting to get their sales pitch. I'd like to jump ship (Comcast) but am still a bit nervous about things. I'd really like to know how the "local" VZ folks handle these issues. TIA!
     
  11. Aug 13, 2008 #811 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Welcome aboard Curt! If I go outside and yell real loud, will you hear me?

    I'd definitely start with some attenuation on the line, maybe get the SmartHome attenuator pack. I'd be curios to know if you "solve" your issues with the same amount of attenuation I do (6dB). Also, can we assume you are using a TivoHD?

    Edit: If it turns out that 6db is the right amount for you, it could be an indicator that the "hot" signal is the same across small geographic areas, maybe what comes from the local head-end. (this would, of course, be muddled by house-specific factors like number of splitters and quality of coax).
     
  12. Aug 13, 2008 #812 of 1597
    sundaydrive

    sundaydrive New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    I had the service guy out this morning and he took a look at some things. When he checked the signal, it was 'very high' and he started adding attenuators. None of the ones he attached fixed it, but he was probably shooting for the +5 realm, which according to info here is still high. Once the attenuators didn't work he said 'It's your Tivo' and left.

    And yes I am using HD Tivo. Channel 512 is giving me fits which means I miss Terminator and House unless I watch just plain 12...../shudder =^)

    Curt
     
  13. Aug 13, 2008 #813 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Yea.... 512 is the worst for me, too... followed by 506. But with my attenuation, they are both watchable 95% of the time.
     
  14. Aug 13, 2008 #814 of 1597
    markpickett

    markpickett New Member

    15
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    Dec 29, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    I've been having intermittent pixelation for the past week, mostly on HD channels, but sometimes on SD channels, too.

    I've had my Tivo HD for almost a year, but this problem is new. I've had the same wiring setup for all that time. I've got one splitter between the Tivo and the wall, since my cable modem is in the same room. The TV with cable box in the other room never has pixelation, so I don't think it's the signal. I've checked the diagnostics, and I've got a signal strength of 42, and SNR of 27 dB. These stats are the same whether I've got pixelation or not. I've got a Motorola M-card, if that matters.

    Do you know what could be causing it? Thanks!
     
  15. Aug 13, 2008 #815 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    My guess (completely unfounded and based only on observations and a rudimentary knowledge of electronics), is that the signal arriving at the tivo is "leaking" and causing RF interference inside the tivo box, possibly in the cable card.

    But we are still trying to figure it out.
     
  16. Aug 13, 2008 #816 of 1597
    sundaydrive

    sundaydrive New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Ok, here is what Diag shows me. Both channels have varying levels of pixelation.

    Cable Card 1 (channel 510)
    Signal Str: 100
    SNR: 36-38
    RSU: Stays at zero
    RSC: 802 after 5 minutes on channel

    Cable card 2 (Channel 512)
    Signal Str: 93-100
    SNR: 31-36
    RSU: 5056
    RSC: 188064 after 10 min on channel

    Channel 512 (Fox HD) is my worst by far. I will look for parts to attenuate the signal this weekend and give it a try.

    I feel that having to do this is totally unacceptable. Something like a Tivo should have the same ability to translate a signal as the stupid STB that Verizon wants to rent to me, especially for the price I paid for this thing.

    Curt
     
  17. Aug 14, 2008 #817 of 1597
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

    270
    0
    Jun 29, 2004
    Buy the attenuator pack from smart home. Then keeping adding until the problem disappears. I had to add -16db to get it to be stable.
     
  18. Aug 14, 2008 #818 of 1597
    markpickett

    markpickett New Member

    15
    0
    Dec 29, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Would an attenuator fix my problem, too? I've got a signal strength in the low 40s. Would attenuating the signal decrease the signal stregth?
     
  19. Aug 14, 2008 #819 of 1597
    ursa99

    ursa99 New Member

    35
    0
    Aug 21, 2005
    Yes, attenuation will decrease your signal. Having said that, with a signal in the low 40's, I'm surprised you get a picture at all. Chances are if your signal is breaking up (you didn't state what your problem was) that you need to actually increase your signal. First check all your cables and insure they are all tight and are properly terminated. Otherwise I'd call your cable Co. for a visit as your signal strength seems very low...I don't think attenuation is an option to pursue.
     
  20. Aug 14, 2008 #820 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Agree with Ursa99...I'm surprised that you're seeing anything at all with a SS of 40. You need a stronger signal and attenuation will result in a weaker one.
     

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