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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Nov 2, 2008 #941 of 1597
    hkancyr

    hkancyr New Member

    67
    0
    Jan 20, 2002
    CT
    Yeah baby,
    Glad to see so many problems getting fixed with new Expanders!
    Side note: My Dual Tuner SD TiVo internal 500 Gig drive just died too. Fortunately I had the original 80 Gig drive with Sys 9.1 on it and I installed it and that fixed it. I checked out the Seagate site and that drive was under a 5 year warantee and it too will be replaced for nuttin. I can hardly stand all this good news.
     
  2. Nov 11, 2008 #942 of 1597
    Flyinace2000

    Flyinace2000 New Member

    234
    0
    Aug 2, 2005
    Little help. I have FIOS and TivoHD. I am getting pixelation on 3 stations DiscoveryHD, UniversalHD, and WealthHD (who cares honestly). Anyway. I have rebooted and tried a few combination of attenuators with no luck. So far the problem MAY be asociated with Cable Card 2, but haven't been able to confirm on CC1. Any ideas what to try? SNR is 36 and signal stregnth is 100 (unless the station is pixelating and it varies 70-100)

    Help!

    Thanks
     
  3. Nov 12, 2008 #943 of 1597
    ferky1

    ferky1 New Member

    145
    0
    May 2, 2002
    Philadelphia...
    Not a happy camper here, and it sounds like I'm not alone.

    Comcast Philly customer here with a TivoHD and M-card. My first M-card crapped out after a few days and I got a new card 2 weeks ago that has been working fine. Just yesterday I noticed pixilation on just one network HD channel and today things have gotten a lot worse.

    My HD networks, certain HD premiums and a few other digital channels are pixilating and even going out entirely. Signal strength on these channels generally stays in the 30-45 range, sometimes it goes all the way to 0 and the screen greys out (CNN, CSPAN and others have been at 0 all day), other times the signal will work its way up into the 60s and the pixilating will stop for a few minutes. Nearly all of my other channels, including some HD premiums and SD networks are all in the 99-100 range.

    The line to the Tivo is behind a 2-way splitter---amp---4-way splitter, so I bypassed the amp and splitter, restarted and nothing changed.

    I've read a lot of posts here and the talk about filters and attenuators is confusing and I can't even be sure if that's the fix for me. I definitely don't understand the 'db' talk and hesitate to buy hardware that I don't know how to use.

    Please help, I've had Tivo since 2000 and want this to work so badly. I am no fan of Comcast's DVR, but at least I can watch all of my channels in my bedroom without having to deal with this crap. Tivo is close to losing a long-time supporter. . .
     
  4. Nov 16, 2008 #944 of 1597
    subgenius37

    subgenius37 New Member

    14
    0
    Nov 15, 2008
    So I had some Tivo HD Pixelation problems with FiOS, I have 2 Tivo HDs and I was having problems on both so I knew it wasn't just the tivo box. I tried the attenuators, that Verizon provided, to dampen the signal and that helped some but didn't really fix it. I had Comcast before with multi-streaming cards and never had a problem. Just so you know FiOS has multi-streaming cards, they may not have a number in there systems and the techs may not know about them but if you are insistent you can get them. It took me two tries and I finally got some. That didn't fix my problem either. But it was cheaper so that was a plus. So what finally fixed my problem was two diplexers http://www.beachaudio.com/Dynaflex/S-252-p-70205.html 2 bucks a piece. Basically I have a MOCHA based FiOS router for my internet and the internet signal was bleeding into the TV signal and TIVO couldn't process it. Oddly enough you plug the wall end into the "out" (or end with only 1 side), and the tivo end into antenna end. What does it do, it acts as a filter and strips out the signal issues. Added plus, I don't need the attenuators anymore! I have NO problem watching a 37-38 DB signal at 100% strength. Verizon didn't know what the heck they are/were so I had to buy them myself. Hope this helps others.
     
  5. Nov 17, 2008 #945 of 1597
    substance12

    substance12 Member

    69
    0
    Feb 6, 2008
    you said you bought 2 diplexers. where did you place the 2nd one?
     
  6. Nov 17, 2008 #946 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
  7. Nov 17, 2008 #947 of 1597
    Frederick H.

    Frederick H. New Member

    9
    0
    Nov 9, 2004
    Sarasota,...
    Good question! And I add another: How did you figure this out and find a product to help fix it?

    I did some research and found:
    http://dynaflex-inc.com/pdf/Telephone&VideoAccessories.pdf

    Page G-14

    My guess is that he needs one for each Tivo. Each one separates out the video and internet signal that Verizon is carrying on one cable. Once the internet signal is removed the Video signal is no longer polluted by the internet signal. The connection that is only internet is unused. He could probably split the video-only signal again to send to the second Tivo if they were near each other, otherwise one for each Tivo.

    Another question: Did you turn off the power to the router to see if it cleared up the pixialation? If this confirms it is a bleeding signal problem it would help other diagnose the probelm.

    Thanks
     
  8. Nov 17, 2008 #948 of 1597
    substance12

    substance12 Member

    69
    0
    Feb 6, 2008
    I should read better. I just saw subgenius37 had 2 tivos. obviously he put one on each.

    I think I can guess at how subgenius37 will answer your question. The use of a low pass filter (LPF) is suggested on the tivo forums as well as here and quite possibly on dslreports. but finding a lpf is such a pain in the ass that people opt to use a diplexer.

    I myself have tried disconnecting my actiontec and it didn't clear anything up... so I'm skeptical. Granted I tried this for less than 5 minutes...

    I ordered a diplexer from partsexpress. when it arrives in a few days i'll report back. also make sure to get a 75ohm terminator for the satellite end of the diplexer.
     
  9. Nov 17, 2008 #949 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    He most likely read this post. We were discussing diplexers at some point many pages back, but hadn't come to any real conclusion about them. I bought one at Lowes that turned out to be the wrong product (it has too large a frequency range). The MOCA-bleed is still an area of troubleshooting that could use more testing. I had Verizon turn MOCA off on my OTN (in favor of ethernet internet), but still use the actiontec router (with no coax connected). I still experience pixellation from time to time, usually only minor, but enough to ruin a show about once a month or so.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2008 #950 of 1597
    subgenius37

    subgenius37 New Member

    14
    0
    Nov 15, 2008
    Sorry I wasn't clear in my other post. I have two TivoHD boxes so 1 for each box.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2008 #951 of 1597
    subgenius37

    subgenius37 New Member

    14
    0
    Nov 15, 2008
    Correct I read a post on another thread, which I also responded to. So thanks to everyone on this forum that was discussing it. I didn't find a place on this forum on where to buy a diplexer that worked and the use of multi-streaming cards so I thought I would tell my story. Once I got the multi-streaming cards the pixelation switched in appearance, hard to describe but my brain some how saw a difference. I also noticed that the pixelation only really started to appear with medium to high internet traffic, so I was able to test and determine that there was positive linear relationship on internet traffic and pixelation. A test may be to start high volume download etc and see if this increases pixelation.

    After I noticed the correlation I bought the diplexers that people were describing on this forum and it fixed my problem. Thanks again.
     
  12. Nov 18, 2008 #952 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
    0
    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    I have looked for a correlation between pixelation and internet usage, but have been unable to find a connection. When I was still using the moca connection for Internet, I would queue up several linux distributions in BitTorrent, and let them all start at once. These files are several gigs in size, and have enough people seeding them, that you can hit your download cap and keep it pegged for 10-15 minutes easily. Even with this fire hose of bandwidth usage, I wasn't able to detect any increase in pixelation on my traditionaly flakey channels.
     
  13. Nov 21, 2008 #953 of 1597
    sandun

    sandun New Member

    4
    0
    Dec 13, 2007
    Hi,
    I have read through most of the posts on this thread, and most posts seems to indicate issues with either content provider signals (Comcast/Verizon etc.) or hard drive issues.

    I currently have 2 TivoHD units. One (with 750GB internal drive) have been working fine for the last 11 months with one m-card (Comcast). I bought this brand new. There are no pixelation issues on this unit.

    The second TivoHD - which I recently got, is a refurb from Tivo.com. Briefly tested the unit (i.e works OK). Then I replaced the internal drive with a new 640GB WD green drive from NewEgg. Comcast came in last week to install a m-card. At the same time, they replaced the 2-way coax splitter I had (I think it was a RadioShock "gold", -3db) with a generic "silver colored" they had with them. (Not sure why they had to replace it).

    Now that I have recordings on the unit and I use it (its in the bedroom), I have noticed a lot of pixelations. That is, see frequent "blocks", "tears" etc. on the picture (has not frozen yet).

    The interesting thing is, that these artifacts can also be seen on downloaded video podcasts as well (DL.tv, CNET, NYTimes, Onion News etc). Has anyone else noticed this?

    Next, I transfered an HD program from the other (good) TivoHD - and it played without any issues.

    Over the weekend, I will transfer and playback a few more shows - if the artifacts show up, then I can assume that the issue is related to the hard drive (in this case, my 604GB hard). (which means, I can test again after replacing the HD).
     
  14. Nov 21, 2008 #954 of 1597
    substance12

    substance12 Member

    69
    0
    Feb 6, 2008
    i tested unplugging my AT router altogether and i still had the pixelation. my thought, and this is just a thought, is that the moca signal is still coming from the ONT.
     
  15. Nov 22, 2008 #955 of 1597
    dashby61

    dashby61 New Member

    1
    0
    Dec 29, 2004
    Denton, TX
    I have Verizon FiOS and recently purchased a new Tivo HD from Costco.com. Verizon came and installed two S-Cards. They also had a channel lineup change right around the time of the installation. I have been using an SD Tivo with no issues, but the new Tivo HD had severe pixellation issues on only one channel.

    After reading through this thread, I took the advice from tivo.com to check the signal strength on the problem HD channel (550 USA network, especially during NCIS). Turns out that the signal was easy to check using Tivo, and that the signal strength was wildly fluctuating. When it would drop low, the pixelation would occur behind the on-screen meter. I passed this to the Verizon tech support, who are sending out a repairman to install a low-pass filter or diplexer in the cable line. As per FiOS tech support, M-cards are not yet available in Texas or I would have had him switch out my S-cards and save a little money in the process.

    This whole thing has caused me to work up a quick troubleshooting guide that goes from free to expensive. In my opinion, the best way to go about fixing pixelation issues is:

    1) With FiOS, use the advice from http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport...quality_issues_with_Verizon_FiOS_service.html to see if the signal strength is the problem. If so, call Verizon to fix it.

    2) Reboot the Tivo

    3) Check your connections to make sure the cable is on tight

    4) If you use an expander, try unplugging it to see if that fixes the problem. If so, before you return it, you may want to replace the cable to see if that works. The cable with some of the expanders is sub-quality. If you don't want to do that, or it doesn't work, you may want to get a replacement from Western Digital if it's still under warranty. If it's out of warranty, either go without it or try buying a new one -- but test it right away!

    5) If you don't use Verizon, you may want to try ordering a cheap $2 low-pass filter (attenuator) or diplexer and put it in the cable line before the Tivo. This may fix the problem, and you're only out $2. See http://www.beachaudio.com/Dynaflex/S-252-p-70205.html.

    6) The hard drive in the Tivo may have too little cache and may be filling up and overflowing. If so, you may want to replace the hard drive (but this is not for the faint of heart). Replace it with a drive that has much more on-board cache.

    7) Finally, if all that doesn't work, time to see if Tivo can replace your Tivo HD under warranty. If not, time to either buy a new Tivo or, yikes, go with the cable company's DVR -- but only under gunpoint.
     
  16. Nov 28, 2008 #956 of 1597
    jburvant

    jburvant New Member

    4
    0
    Nov 27, 2008
    I’ve been reading through this thread to get some tips on dealing with my pixellation problems. First off here’s my setup: My cable provider is Charter, I have the 180 GB Tivo HD, I’m using a Motorola M-card, and the cable from the wall is going straight to the Tivo( no splitters).
    I receive about 40 HD channels and have noticed pixellation on 6 channels. All 6 have tons of RS Uncorrected. This is what their diagnostics looked like:
    - 707 ABC HD, 710 CBS HD, 712 PBS HD
    o Frequency = 759,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 44-56, sometimes drops to 0
    o SNR = 29-30 dB

    - 730 DISC HD, 740 HDNET, 741 HDNETMV
    o Frequency = 753,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 44-56, sometimes drops to 0
    o SNR = 29-30 dB

    Here is a sample of channels that work perfectly:
    - 703 CW HD
    o Frequency = 777,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 81-87
    o SNR = 34 dB
    - 706 NBC HD
    o Frequency = 627,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 93-100
    o SNR = 36-37 dB
    - 708 FOX HD
    o Frequency = 777,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 81-87
    o SNR = 34-35 dB
    - 720 ESPN HD
    o Frequency = 825,000 KHz
    o Signal strength = 81-93
    o SNR = 34-35 dB
    - 731 TNT HD
    o Frequency = 807,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 81-87
    o SNR = 34 dB
    - 750 HBO HD
    o Frequency = 741,000 KHz
    o Signal Strength = 62-68
    o SNR = 32 dB

    Now it seems to me that those of you with FIOS needed to knock down their SNR a bit, and maybe, in contrast, I need to boost my signal to get those pixellating channels above the 32 dB SNR level. Does that seem right? Could a signal booster from radio shack do the trick? or maybe just replace the cable company provided coaxial cable with a quality one?
     
  17. Nov 29, 2008 #957 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

    20
    0
    Jun 30, 2008
    I bought 2 TIVO HD's about 5 months ago, same time I signed up for Verizon FIOS. The install went fine, but I noticed one of them had pixelation (call this one HD TIVO #1). The one that had pixelation issues (HD TIVO #1) did not have a HD TV, so it was obviously only on the SD channels. Some were better than others. I lived with it and it was never all that bad but noticeable.

    My HD TIVO #2 was installed in my basement on a 42" HD TV and has never had a single problem at all, not a single pixelation issue.

    So yesterday I bought a sweet 42" HD TV for HD TIVO #1 that has the pixelation issues and guess what? Still has pixelation issues, but not so much on the SD channels - more on the HD channels. So, I unplug HD TIVO #1 that has pixelation issues and plug it into the basement to replace HD TIVO #2 that works fine to check the connections/wiring. There is still a pixelation issue using the same connections and TV that works fine with HD TIVO #2. So, the issue is local to the HD TIVO #1 box somehow, not the wiring or signal strength at all!

    I have replaced the HD on HD TIVO #1 (moved up to 500 gig), so I am thinking to try another HD that has bigger cache or to put back the original HD that I still have lying around. HD TIVO #2 still has the original hard drive with an external 640 gig SATA drive - no problems at all, as stated earlier.

    Another thing I would like to try to isolate as possible problem is the cable cards in TIVO #1. Anybody know how I can remove them from TIVO #1 and put them in TIVO #2 without having to get Verizon FIOS bozos come out to the house? This way I can see if the cablecards in TIVO #1 work fine in TIVO #2 to remove that as an issue. Last thing I can imagine as a possible issue is the tuner board in the TIVO box or the motherboard losing bits somehow, which would be very bad indeed.

    This is actually a perfect scenario to isolate *my* problem, as I have one that work perfectly and one that does not so I can mix and match until it works fine. Any other suggestions?
     
  18. Nov 29, 2008 #958 of 1597
    V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    393
    9
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    FiOS does not pair cable cards (at least not in Texas), so just pull them out and swap them. It only takes about two minutes for the box to recognize the new cards and start working. You don't need to do anything or call anybody. You will get a message at first to re-do guided setup, but just ignore it.

    If the cable cards don't identify the problem, swap the hard drives. Of course, make sure to keep any external drives connected to the same internal drive when you move them. Should be very easy to identify the problem this way, just like like you said. If it turns out to be a bad box that you need to send back to TiVo, make sure to put the stock drive back in before you send it! Good luck.
     
  19. Nov 29, 2008 #959 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

    20
    0
    Jun 30, 2008
    Can I do this on the fly, or do I need to power down before removal/installation, then power back up?

    Thanks!
     
  20. Nov 29, 2008 #960 of 1597
    V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    393
    9
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    No need to do anything at all except just eject the cards.
     

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