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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Nov 30, 2008 #961 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Well I have determined that it is definitely something in the hardware on TIVO #1 for me. Swapping hard drives and cablecards did nothing to resolve the problem. I have effectively isolated the issue to the HD TIVO itself and not FIOS, cabling, hard drive or cablecards causing the problem.

    So now my next problem is how to get this fixed? I bought the HD TIVO back around July. Is it still under warranty? WIll TIVO replace it or charge me? I also have lifetime on it - will that be transferrable?

    Thanks
     
  2. Nov 30, 2008 #962 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    TiVo has a one year parts warranty so you can call TiVo and get a replacement for $49. They can take care of the lifetime transfer no problem. Do NOT tell them that you opened the box to swap hard drives...that voids the warranty.

    Sounds like a faulty tuner IMO. Nice job of trouble shooting! :up: Most folks wouldn't go to that extent and that gives you a very solid diagnosis when you call TiVo to get it replaced. I've had only one poor experience with TiVo customer service (although I've only dealt with them about four or five times and the negative was with the billing dept.), but if for some reason the first person you talk to doesn't agree to send out a new one just ask for a supervisor. Be firm but polite and you should get taken care of in one call.

    Thanks for keeping us posted!
     
  3. Nov 30, 2008 #963 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Well except for having to wait over 20 minutes to get someone on the phone I had a very good experience getting TIVO to send me a replacement. They are going to charge me the $49 for replacement, which is OK by me. I just want one to work and they agreed that the lifetime would transfer from the old one to the replacement HD TIVO. They never asked about if I opened it up or not. I will be putting the original hard drive back in before I send it back, of course.

    Thanks for the help in diagnosing this and hopefully it helps to dispell some myths and add some clarity to what could cause pixelation issues.

    I'll keep you posted when I get the replacement and what I find with it.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2008 #964 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Sounds good and thanks for reporting back. :up:
     
  5. Dec 1, 2008 #965 of 1597
    nigebj

    nigebj New Member

    316
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    Sep 8, 2004
    Was the problem evident in recordings ? i.e. if you immediately skipped back - did you still see issues ?
    I ask as I have had issues, but they are definitely only in the playback - rewind/replay would always be OK, whether off of the 30 minute buffer, or a prior recording. I suspect the disk cache, or possibly available processing RAM as this is/was mainly evident on HD. Have just swapped to a WD EVCS - so hoping it's gone ... but who knows, of course the machine hasn't been under load today at all!
     
  6. Dec 1, 2008 #966 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Let us know how your WD10EVCS works out and if you are still seeing any issues (and if so, what they are). The drive is fairly new and so far others are reporting great success with it. All of the data points we can get are helpful to those that follow. TIA! :up:
     
  7. Dec 1, 2008 #967 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

    307
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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    I like this diagnostic data you've collected. To me, it implies that some of the tuner cards (not the cable cards) aren't quite as "strong" as others. They could still be within acceptable specs, but something with the FiOS signal is requiring the tuner cards to have higher manufacturing tolerances.
     
  8. Dec 1, 2008 #968 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    My problems were always in the same spot when I would rewind and replay from saved shows. In other words, if there was a line of pixelation at a certain spot on the screen at a specific spot in the show, it would be in the exact same spot if I rewound and played it again. So it definitely seemed like a tuner issue. And I never saw any *additional* pixelation after rewind and replay or playing from prior recordings.
     
  9. Dec 1, 2008 #969 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Found out today via email confirmation that I am getting a refurb unit sent to me as replacement. Not sure I am too excited about that, but if it works I guess that is OK.

    One more question - am I OK to swap out the stock HD from the refurb replacement into the HD TIVO I am sending back to them? Reason I ask is this would save me some hassle, as I have re-used the original 160 gig drive from my HD TIVO that is getting sent back and I would rather not have to re-format it and install a new hard drive in it's place (it is in my Son's PC). Any way I can just swap the hard drives? I *think* that as long as they are the same HD TIVO model number then I should be OK because the serial number and ID information is on the motherboard, not the hard drive. Of course, I will have to let the TIVO OS to update on the one I am sending back so they don't realize I have swapped it out, but I think that should be all I need to do. Can anyone confirm this for me?

    Thanks
     
  10. Dec 3, 2008 #970 of 1597
    nigebj

    nigebj New Member

    316
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    Sep 8, 2004
    I believe you are correct as applying other people's images does not give a problem. I doubt they even worry on return, they simply put it in the refurb pile and make sure it's working.

    All replacements from Tivo are refurb (just as many mobile phone companies do now) - I've not had an issue with their refurbs though. I work on the principle that production units are sample tested, whereas refurbs are guaranteed tested - it's worked well for me over the years from Sony, Dell, HP and many other suppliers.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2008 #971 of 1597
    nigebj

    nigebj New Member

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Well finally got the WD10EVCS installed. Using WinMFS I copied the 2/3 full Samsung "1TB" contents to the WD 1TB (quoted as the WD is 890Mb larger than the Samsung currently awaiting a full backup and restore as MFSAdd does not work twice on TivoHD internals) ... no problems as usual - thanks Spike. Installed, no gray screen - as expected.

    And when tested - with both tuners recording HD, and me playing HD too - no issues whatsoever. I've also had no 'reports' from other users - so I think the Samsung was the culprit for paly back pixelation when system under load. So the only question is whether this drive is 'in spec' or defective - will investigate further now I have a working Tivo again.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2008 #972 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks very much for the follow up. Looks like the Samsung's might need to be avoided (although IIRC there are others here using them successfully. Perhaps they've changed something?)
     
  13. Dec 5, 2008 #973 of 1597
    nigebj

    nigebj New Member

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Life is soooo funny. Tonight - first time ever - I have audio stutter and minor freezes, but they are in the recordings ... Now it's about -4 on my deck, and I used to get issues with the digital before I got HD when the temp. really dipped (has to be moisture in the wire somewhere) but haven't seen them for a while. Anyway, at least it'll save me getting the the case resonance for a while :)

    For Samsung diagnosis - 'cos I think we all want to know why they are working out fine some places, and not others.

    Mine has HDD P/N: HD103UI/Y REV.A (below Model #)

    Interesting also is that in the information list bottom right,
    item 2 says SEC-HD103UI(B). And item 4 2008.05, presumably manu. date.

    So - for those with perfectly working Spinpoints, are any of these datapoints different (and yes I know you have to open the case to see - but you want to help, right).
     
  14. Dec 6, 2008 #974 of 1597
    ehagberg

    ehagberg Member

    93
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    Dec 27, 2004
    Montclair, NJ
    I was getting the same odd capacity numbers that someone else mentioned with their spinpoint upgrade, so I decided I'd open the case and re-supersize it again... and I'd also had occasional audio dropouts that weren't there if replayed again (so not in the data stream), though I think I never saw/heard the audio dropouts when watching a previously-recorded show (and yes I know that even live tv is really recorded and played back).

    So I've disabled the AAM in hopes that'll speed up drive responsiveness, since the TivoHD is inside a cabinet and the noise isn't noticeable anyway.

    My drive (which never had a hard boot or reboot issue) has the same item 2 as above, but the P/N is HD103UI/JP1 and the manufacture date says 2008.10.
     
  15. Dec 8, 2008 #975 of 1597
    HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    4,506
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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    Yes, the UI is different than the UJ drive. the Samsung "UJ" Spinpoint runs flawlessley here. The "UI" is a 5400RPM drive, while the "UJ" is a 7200RPM drive. There are other posts around the forums that the UI didn't always spin-up with a reboot. But the UJ seems to be fine, at least it is here.

    I don't think the UI is a Spinpoint, at least according to Samsung's website. There's about a $10 difference in price (the UI being the lower cost one).
     
  16. Dec 9, 2008 #976 of 1597
    nigebj

    nigebj New Member

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    Sep 8, 2004
    Interesting - the 5400 is the "Green" drive of course, and when I mistakenly jumped on the Samsung band wagon for my TivoHD - the thread I was following implied the 5400 would be the better choice (indeed I avoided the UJ from my favorite etailer). So, can those with working Spinpoints confirm that they are using the 7200rpm UJ ? Is that the common thread with working Spinpoints ?
     
  17. Dec 12, 2008 #977 of 1597
    Cainebj

    Cainebj Active Member

    3,766
    11
    Nov 10, 2006
    New York
    Apologies in advance if someone already mentioned this -
    too many pages to read through...

    I started having pixelation issues about 2 months ago after almost 2 years of everything being just fine.

    I thought it was a signal issue from my cable (TWCNYC).

    After having the cable company come out to check the signal and then troubleshooting with a TiVo tech on the phone - the TiVo tech suggested that my cable cards were goin bad and were no longer holding their pairing and activation...

    Bottom line - swapped the 2 cable cards on Thursday for 2 new ones and BAM... NO MORE PIXELATION.
     
  18. Dec 13, 2008 #978 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Very good to know...and info that might help others. Thanks! :up:
     
  19. Dec 17, 2008 #979 of 1597
    misstricky

    misstricky New Member

    2
    0
    Dec 25, 2006
    Hey there,

    I have been a long time TiVo user now and I currently have a TiVo HD that I love.

    I just switched to FIOS last week. I've experienced picture skipping and freezing since my first day. I started at around a 37 SNR. I have a small batch of attenuators, and I've tried all different combinations of them and I have gotten it down to around 31 SNR with two 8db attenuators.

    However, I'm still getting skipping. Its not all of the time, and I think its less than it was, and its only on HD channels, especially USAHD, but its still there... Should I try to go lower? When do I know if I have gone too low?

    I'm really starting to go crazy. Obviously just about everyone at FIOS is clueless about what is going wrong... is it possible that its the cable card? I have one M cable card, and overall, my TiVo works, its just periodically (especially at night), I get skipping and freezing on HD channels...

    Thank you for any help! :)
     
  20. Dec 17, 2008 #980 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Are you talking about the fast-forward/back to normal "picture skip"? If so we see that periodically on both our Series3 and TiVo HD...and we're still on Comcast. I think the "feature" was added around v8.1 to compensate for signal and/or data I/O interuptions. It's annoying, but we don't see it too often so tolerable. If that's it I'm not so sure attenuation will cure it completely.

    With respect to when you know you've gone too far attenuation-wise, you'll lose your picture completely. No harm done of course.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
     

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