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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Sep 8, 2008 #861 of 1597
    hkancyr

    hkancyr New Member

    67
    0
    Jan 20, 2002
    CT
    If this were a computer I would sure think this was a driver issue.
     
  2. Sep 8, 2008 #862 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Here is a post from TiVoJerry (TiVo Employee that posts here periodically). It refers to another issue, but the remedies may be applicable:

    Apologies, I didn't save the direct link for some reason.

    Here is another thread, "FIOS TV pixellation fix - attenuate to SNR 31" which might (or might not) help.

    I'm sure others can point you to some valuable posts as well.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Sep 9, 2008 #863 of 1597
    jglonek

    jglonek New Member

    9
    0
    Sep 8, 2008
    I just went into the settings for the first time this morning on Fox HD (which is still giving pixellation).

    My signal strength was hopping around from 100 down to 50. My SNR was going 35-37db. And my RS Uncorrected was pretty high (in the hundreds of thousands).

    So, is that kind of signal bounce normal and the SNR still needs to be dropped down with attenuators and the like? Or do I have signal issues causing the pixellation?
     
  4. Sep 9, 2008 #864 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    IMO you have serious signal issues. A variance of 5 to 10 points of signal strength might be acceptable. I'm surprised you're seeing much TV at all!
     
  5. Sep 9, 2008 #865 of 1597
    jglonek

    jglonek New Member

    9
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    Sep 8, 2008
    Well luckily I got a good Fios tech on the line and they are sending someone out today to take readings! And hopefully make changes. I mentioned that TiVo suggests attenuators/low pass filters and they will do what they need to.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2008 #866 of 1597
    V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    384
    7
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Glad you finally found the information. You are seeing EXACTLY the symptoms that I experienced on all channels being broadcast on 4 different frequencies. Your signal strength should generally be over 90 and not vary by more than 10, but the error rates are the real indicators. I suggest you spend the time to check every single channel for signal strength and error rates. Write down the channel and frequencies for every one that is bad - you will see a pattern, and you will then have the necessary ammo to make them fix it.

    And despite the fact that not everyone either believes me or agrees with me, IMHO you DO NOT NEED attenuators, and probably don't need any filters either. You simply just need a clean signal to be delivered to your house - that is what you are paying for!
    Good luck,
    Goose
     
  7. Sep 9, 2008 #867 of 1597
    jglonek

    jglonek New Member

    9
    0
    Sep 8, 2008
    Well a tech just came out, who unfortunately didn't seem as knowledgeable as the person I talked to over the phone. They ran some tests inside and outside of the house and did not come across any issues and said that the signal was great.

    I mentioned to the tech about attenuators and low pass filters and they didn't have any on them (because "they aren't usually needed") so they ran back to the local Verizon building and grabbed a low pass filter for me, no attenuators for some reason. When I get home I'll test it out and see what happens.

    The kicker is that the tech said when they went back to grab the filter they talked to someone else about my TiVo and were told that TiVo's don't work well with FIOS and they probably should never have given me cable cards for it in the first place, they should have made me use one of their set top boxes.

    Nice, nice.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2008 #868 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Yah, they are idiots. But I assume you know that.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2008 #869 of 1597
    LDLDL

    LDLDL New Member

    88
    0
    Jan 12, 2002
    Brookhaven, PA
    Ordered the TiVo today, they are sending me a new one (not refurb)! I'll keep you all updated on the progress.
    ---L
     
  10. Sep 9, 2008 #870 of 1597
    LDLDL

    LDLDL New Member

    88
    0
    Jan 12, 2002
    Brookhaven, PA
    Well it seem that from Richsadams post (#862), it is suggested that you use an attenuator and low pass filter if you are a FIOS customer. Why can't the FIOS guys come out prepared and save you all of this headache?
    Ever since my pixel problem, I've been reading these post every day. It seems that we all have a problem, but not necessarily the same. I think my problem is pretty simple as my one tuner has not pixelated at all, whereas the other tuner does nothing but!!!!
    When I talked to the TiVo rep, he asked me what service I had. When I told him Comcast, he said that they really don't have many problems with that provider and this is with the new and refurb boxes.
    We'll just wait and see as I hope the box arrives tomorrow or the following day!
     
  11. Sep 9, 2008 #871 of 1597
    jglonek

    jglonek New Member

    9
    0
    Sep 8, 2008
    And I mentioned both to the tech on the phone as well as the tech that was out here before they ran back to get the filter. Ah well.

    I have the filter on, so far the signal is holding steady at 100% and the SNR is at 37db. Channels like Fox seem fine but it's still early evening. Have to see how Fringe looks when it gets recorded tonight.

    Update: Everything went perfectly fine tonight. I guess I'll see how it goes the rest of the week with this filter.
     
  12. Sep 10, 2008 #872 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    I may have missed it, but did Comcast replace your cable cards at any point? A malfunctioning cable card could certainly be the source if one tuner is fine and the other is not. I'm guessing it's tuner/cable card number one as that was the major culprit when TiVo HD's were first introduced...particularly if Scientific Atlanta (SA) cable cards were used. (Motorola cable cards had/have the least amount of problems even today.) Subsequent software upgrades corrected most of the issues, but there still seem to be a few lingering problems.

    Out of curiosity, have you tried running your TiVo without cable cards at all; either just with coax and/or with an antenna? It would be interesting to see if the same tuner has issues even without a cable card. You'd have to run Guided Setup each time, but it might be worth it.

    In any case, best of luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  13. Sep 10, 2008 #873 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Glad to hear that the low-pass filter seems to have done the trick. :up: That the signal is steady at 100% is a little concerning as it means the signal is still very strong. Normally it would fluctuate a little, but it may be fine. Keep us posted!
     
  14. Sep 10, 2008 #874 of 1597
    cassy

    cassy New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 24, 2007
    Tivo S3 Pixellation problem here too. Comcast with 2 cablecards. Happens only on HD channels. Lots of RS uncorrected errors. Leads to pixellation and reboots. Non HD channels are ok.

    Interesting this, also happens on HD ATSC OTA channels too. Pixellation, studders, but no reboot.

    This started after 9.4, hopefully they will fix it someday SOON.

    I had this problem in the past and this Tivo S3 was a replacement for an original.
     
  15. Sep 10, 2008 #875 of 1597
    LDLDL

    LDLDL New Member

    88
    0
    Jan 12, 2002
    Brookhaven, PA
    Yes....
    Comcast did come out this past Saturday and replaced the card. The problem still exsists. So far they've given me two Motorola "M" cards. The problem is on tuner 1. Tuner 0 is fine!
    Anyway, I just checked and the replacement just arrived, so we'll see when I get home. I just hate going through the whole set up thing.
     
  16. Sep 10, 2008 #876 of 1597
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    231
    0
    Sep 29, 2002
    Verizon FIOS and the S3 Tivo, my story:

    Folks, I've had issues with macroblocking / pixelizations / tiling from the very begining with my Tivo S3.

    Frankly, the video has never been perfect with ANY cable vendor. Maybe I'm just super critical, but macroblocking during action scenes is more than a little annoying.

    Anyway, I do know that with Verizon the 611 series ONT is part of my problem.

    If I put a diplexer in line with the output of the ONT, the majority of RS Uncorrected errors go away on the Tivo.

    (That's without putting one on the Tivo itself...)

    This does not fix the issues with macroblock during fast paced action scenes on the Tivo, but it does help significantly with the massive issues I have on specific channels. (Usually in the 730-780MHz range...)
     
  17. Sep 10, 2008 #877 of 1597
    SBSmithNH

    SBSmithNH New Member

    1
    0
    Mar 21, 2003
    I too have had pixelation issues with my series 3 Tivo. For 10 months, everything was working perfectly. I had added a Westen Digital DVR Expander soon after I received the Tivo Series 3. Then, I had pixelation issues. If I had 1 tuner on HD, and the other on SD, no problem... Then it became impossible to watch any HD channels.

    I had Comcast come out and replace the cable cards. I then determined it must be an issue with the Tivo. I just received a replacement, and it initially had no problems. Then, to my amazement, I still had some pixelation issues. Whose to blame? The signal coming from Comcast is great, no corrections... It then dawned on me that I had a DVR Expander, could this be the issue? I divorced the expander and I have had no pixelation issues at all.

    I have a new DVR Expander coming from Western Digital. I wonder how many pixelation isses are related to the same problem. I am not sure if I will actually use it.
     
  18. Sep 10, 2008 #878 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    There have been a number of reports of macroblocking, reboots, etc. where the cause was narrowed down to WD's My DVR Expander (as well as a few other models). In most cases it turned out to be the supplied eSATA cable. Early on some WD My DVR Expanders wouldn't even work with the OEM cable.

    It's not a cure-all, but the recommended SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $10 and may be a wise investment for anyone having issues that has an expansion drive connected to their TiVo.
     
  19. Sep 10, 2008 #879 of 1597
    ursa99

    ursa99 New Member

    35
    0
    Aug 21, 2005
    I haven't given up...and I have exactly the same problem in the 400 - 429KHZ frequency range. I have a 611 ONT with a low pass filter attached that has made no difference. Pixelization occurs randomly and not constantly. Mostly, at least this week it begins around 8:00PM EDT and includes signal bounce from 0 to 100 and all integers in between. I have used a variable attenuator and tuned to where it almost loses the picture and the pixelization continues. I believe the TIVO's error correction is inferior to that of the Verizon boxes. From another post it was reported that the Verizon boxes see the same dirty signal and it's RS errors but is able to correct them. I also believe that a dirty signal is the root cause of this and since TIVO will unlikely fix the hardware the solution is to get Verizon to clean up their signal. Easier said than done but I'm in contact with at least one level up from the Tech's and working my way thru the maze to hopefully get them to fix it. Otherwise I'm weighing my options as some channels are just plain unwatchable. TIVO really needs to acknowledge this poor error correction and make good on the $$$'s we spent on these boxes. I expected a whole lot more when I put my money down...

    -ursa
     
  20. Sep 10, 2008 #880 of 1597
    JasonMowry

    JasonMowry New Member

    18
    0
    Nov 3, 2005
    Southeastern PA
    For the record I have FIOS in Southeastern PA with a 611 ONT from a few years ago. I've tried attenuators, and they only mitigate the problem for some channels while others randomly pixelate frequently. I tried adding a diplexer (860MHz and under split to TiVo) to no avail at all. Since my issues have all been confined to carrier frequencies in the 400MHz range (which is on the lower end of the scale) I even tried adding a tilt compensator (which attenuates more for lower frequencies than higher ones) but I've never been sure if this works any better than a standard attenuator. These are all still in my signal chain and I still regularly experience pixelation on the same channels on just one tuner. I previously had two other TiVo HD units that both experienced pixelation more on one tuner than the other (though one unit was reversed as to which tuner was stronger, and yes this is independent of which cable card is in which slot.) Verizon changes my channel lineup tomorrow, so I'm crossing my fingers for a miracle....
     

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