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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. Dec 18, 2008 #981 of 1597
    igrok

    igrok New Member

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    Dec 7, 2008
    With the problem affecting so many users, I'm astounded that the problem has not been authoritatively identified and solved. I see pixelation on some of my fios channels, and I believe I've narrowed it down to only channels in the higher frequency ranges, nearing the high end. That is, from about 550,000-690,000. Most of the pixelating channels are in that 690,000 frequency batch.

    Signal levels are generally in the 85 range, with snr of 34-37, with most channels, including pixelating channels. However, sometimes I see that the signal level drops to 68, and bounces between 68 and 85. I don't know why I'm not getting nearer 100, but I don't think that's the problem.

    That said, I'd think a diplexer blocking all frequencies over 860 would work, IF the problem is in fact bleed over from the moca set up used in the fios system.

    On the other hand, if the problem is in cablecards, the diplexer will obviously have little or no effect. I've only just received the cablecards, and the installer tech mentioned that he had to search long and hard to find them (2 s-cards for each of 3 tivos). Apparently they're in short supply in my area (Philly suburbs)? I'm actually hoping the problem is with the cards, and that simply swapping them out will work. Even better, if I could get m-cards instead, that would be best, just for cutting costs.

    I never saw the problem with my motorola 6416s. So what's the deal? Bottom line is, is there a definitive statement of the problem?
     
  2. Dec 18, 2008 #982 of 1597
    misstricky

    misstricky New Member

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    Dec 25, 2006
    Actually I just mean that while watching tv, certain HD channels constantly skip to the point of freezing at times. Last night a couple channels, after skipping, just plain went out. Its really really frustrating, and has been occurring consistently since we got FIOS installed last week.

    Verizon is overnighting me a new cable card. If that doesn't work, I'm probably am going to ask TiVo for a new box. I have lifetime service, so something better work!
     
  3. Dec 18, 2008 #983 of 1597
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    Check a few posts back. Webin and RickWagner50 hit the nail on the head. What I tried to say some months back. Your not going to get a lot of help from the FIOS techs since they all know it is a third party vendor issue.
     
  4. Dec 18, 2008 #984 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Ah, got it. It does sound like a signal issue if the picture is going away completely. Does that still happen without any attenuation? If not, you might be on the verge of too much attenuation.

    Anyway, best of luck and let us know what happens. :up:
     
  5. Dec 18, 2008 #985 of 1597
    igrok

    igrok New Member

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    Dec 7, 2008
    I put on a diplexer, and the results: no change. Still running up the both the corrected and uncorrected, still seeing pixelation. I have to think the fault lies elsewhere, and my first guess is the cablecards, though who knows?
     
  6. Dec 22, 2008 #986 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Well I got the replacement HD Tivo and right away I got MORE PIXELATION. After getting over the initial frustration I did some more digging. I am such an idiot. Turns out that ONE of my cablecards was causing the pixelation. I must have missed it because when the good one in the 'bad' HD TIVO was used it seemed fine. I did not even think to try both tuners to see if the issue was on both. That would explain why some channels would be ok on the 'bad' HD TIVO. It was using the cablecard that was fine at those times. So when I would switch between tuners by pressing "Live TV" button it would always pixelate on the one tuner but not the other.

    So, bottom line is the problem for me was the cablecard. FIOS just replaced it today and I am now pixelation free. YAHOOOO!

    Sorry for the mistake on my part. I should have been more methodical in my testing when moving TIVO box 1 and box 2 around for testing. So, I spent $50 for a refurb TIVO box for nothing. I guess I deserved it.

    Hope this helps all.
     
  7. Dec 22, 2008 #987 of 1597
    gtcar

    gtcar New Member

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    Dec 6, 2008
    I'm glad for you! But sad for me...

    I've been watching this thread for a couple of weeks now in hopes I wouldn't run into the pixelization issue, but I wasn't so lucky. Now it's time to chime in. My recently purchased refurb TiVo HD has pixelation on a handful of channels all within the freq range of 351000khz - 369000khz.

    I tried the Diplexer and attenuation on my own with no improvement, then called TiVo. They said call FiOS. I had the FiOS Tech here today and got him on the phone with TiVo. FiOS Tech did the LPF and his own attenuation, still no help. I, fortunately, did check both CCs and the problem existed on both tuners. TiVo asked to switch the CCs (Motorola BTW), so FiOS tech did that. Had the same problem on the same channels :( even put the CCs in a CC ready TV and everything looked good there, ruling out the CCs. TiVo issued an Exchange RMA.

    So Tivo isn't off the hook on a tuner issue AFAIC. Sending unit to Tivo tomorrow.

    Silver lining... I'm still in my 30-day warranty and shipping both ways is on TiVo, so this one is costing me zero. I still have the Verizon DVR to hold me over.

    It'll be a couple of weeks before I see the new TiVo HD. I'll check in when I get it.

    What is puzzling me is that the Tivo Rep claimed this is a hard drive problem. Since I'm in warranty, I didn't want to try swapping the HD. So I can 't prove anything, but how can a bad HD only affect a handfull of channels. Wouldn't it cause problems with all channels or at least all High-Def channels?

    I still think there's a tuner issue that TiVo isn't fessing up to.
     
  8. Dec 23, 2008 #988 of 1597
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

    270
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    Jun 29, 2004
    Really?!

    I doubt the cable cards are your problem. Post back when it starts pixelating again.
     
  9. Dec 23, 2008 #989 of 1597
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    It is without a doubt a Tivo Tuner issue. Sift throught the BS posts about it being a FIOS signal problem, cable card problem, etc. I'll admit that maybe 1% is due to these, but I am skeptical of the people who continually post that it is a FIOS signal issue.

    Do yourself a favor and get a refund and go with the Motorola DVR. It does not pixelate, because it has magic software. It is decoding the same ONT signal which must be bad, so that is the only explanation you can come too. :)

    If it walks like a duck its a duck!
     
  10. Dec 23, 2008 #990 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    I will certainly keep everyone posted on this. So far, it sure looks like a cablecard issue for me. Prior to the FIOS replacement card, one tuner was fine and the other tuner was pixelating. The moment the new cablecard was in it went away on both tuners.
     
  11. Dec 23, 2008 #991 of 1597
    webin

    webin New Member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    Hillsboro,...
    Don't get too cocky, especially when you're wrong. V7Goose's proof the moto boxes can pixellate too.

    I was gonna scrape the dslreports forums for reported pixellation there, but decided to spend my day on pursuits more enjoyable than cringing at your posts. It's a shame really, because I mostly agree with you. As I stated recently, I think the primary issue is with tivo tuners, but there ARE other issues in play. Stop punching people in the face for trying to work out the problems.
     
  12. Dec 23, 2008 #992 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Seriously? You are kidding right?
     
  13. Dec 23, 2008 #993 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Makes perfect sense. Thanks for the data points. :up:
     
  14. Dec 24, 2008 #994 of 1597
    esb1981

    esb1981 New Member

    121
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    Dec 2, 2007
    Connecticut
    Well, it's been awhile, but I'm back. I mean, my pixelation is back. To recap, I've been through 2 different boxes, probably half a dozen cable cards, had multiple tech visits from Cox (they swear the signal is fine), upgraded the hard-drive, attenuated, added tilt compensator, etc. What finally solved my problem of pixelation on a few channels at specific frequencies between 681-689 MHz (signal strength starts strong, then fluctuates wildly) was that I moved to a new town, though Cox is still my provider.

    The pixelation was gone and uncorrected errors 0. Then, we added a TV in a new room so Cox had to install an amplifier at the entrance point. This boosted the signal bigtime, and the Tivo had pixelation on the same channels and frequencies as I had before (687 MHz), in the different town! So I attenuated and put the tilt compensator on, and that seemed to take care of it.

    Yesterday, the pixelation returned after being gone for 2-3 months - on the same frequency, of 687 MHz. Doh! The one thing I've noticed now is that it really seems to be an issue on Tuner 1 (not sure why I never noticed that before - maybe this is new).

    So here are my thoughts. I'm still under warranty - I know it's partly a tuner issue since my Moto box is fine, so do I dare try to get a new box from Tivo? Have they improved construction of their tuners, or are they still weak? I tried swapping boxes once, 10 months ago, and that changed nothing. But the idea that it's worse on one tuner tells me there may be a tuner defect.

    My second thought is... since my symptoms are similar to what Fios people have, even though I'm with Cox, could a Diplexer/low-pass filter solve my problem too? Could the internet signal be bleeding over and bothering that one frequency?

    Or do I just hope this goes away?

    Thanks for listening, and sorry for the length.
     
  15. Dec 24, 2008 #995 of 1597
    igrok

    igrok New Member

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    Dec 7, 2008
    Just wondering, has anyone tried a motorola NIM-100 in line just before a tivo HD? It occurred to me that since the coax to the tivo is suspected of having bleed through of ethernet (thus Verizon's suggestion for a diplexer or low pass filter), that a NIM-100 might just do the trick nicely. It might also account for the observation that the motorola DVRs are not having the pixelation problem, since the motorola DVRs may well have the guts of the NIM100, or their equivalent, inside them. That is, since the motorola units have a single coax input that carries both tv and ether, they're getting separated inside the DVR, while the tivo units are taking separate tv and ether inputs. Yet the tv input on the tivo units is taking the coax cable that still has ether riding on it, since the coax comes from the ONT before it gets to the actiontec router; at least, in my setup, the coax from the ONT splits, with one feed to the actiontec, and one feed to a splitter feeding all the TVs. The actiontec then has ether running to my bridged router which feeds a switch feeding all my computers as well as my tivo units.

    Seems to me that I can pull the ether running to the tivos, and use a NIM-100 to feed separate coax and ether to the tivos (assuming that it works and the actiontec will still feed DHCP this way even with the tivos getting ether pre-actiontec, or does this not work?). Just curious, since you can pick up a NIM-100 for about $30 on ebay.
     
  16. Dec 26, 2008 #996 of 1597
    esb1981

    esb1981 New Member

    121
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    Dec 2, 2007
    Connecticut
    My pixelation continues to be wretched. Anyone have any thoughts? I am so utterly frustrated because I thought this was DONE with. It used to happen on both tuners, but now it's only happening on one. I thought tuners couldn't "go bad." But it's happening at the same exact frequencies as it used to. Why?? Why did Tivo build tuners that do not get the job done??
     
  17. Dec 30, 2008 #997 of 1597
    NatasNJ

    NatasNJ Bone marrow lover!

    11,558
    3
    Jan 7, 2002
    Philly
    I get pixelation on a few channels with Tivo HD box & CC FIOS Verizon service. Mainly HGTV and FOOD Network and a hand full of Premium channels. All HD. Without having to READ this whole thread can anyone direct me to

    1.) Which menu I should look at to determine my problem (error codes, signal strengths, etc..)
    2.) Based on that info what is BEST option to try and solve it?

    I also notice my pixelation tends to be time of day specific. Like it is in the evening but usually not during the days.
     
  18. Dec 30, 2008 #998 of 1597
    rickwagner50

    rickwagner50 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    My issue seemed to be non-recurring across all channels like yours. It turned out that one of the cablecards was bad and the other was fine. It just depended on which cablecard was being used as to when I would see pixelation.

    To see if it is unique to one of the tuners/cablecards in your HD TIVO just swap between the 2 cablecards by pressing the "Live TV" button a few times. This toggles between the 2 tuners/cablecards. Try a few different channels on each tuner. If one tuner has pixelation issues for a given channel and the other does not then you likely have an issue with one of your cablecards and should get a replacement from FIOS. That did the trick for me.
     
  19. Dec 30, 2008 #999 of 1597
    esb1981

    esb1981 New Member

    121
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    Dec 2, 2007
    Connecticut
    NatasNJ -- go to Messages & Settings and then DVR Diagnostics. This will show you diagnostic information for both of the tuners. I would recommend tuning each tuner to a problematic channel and then going to the diagnostic screen after a few minutes.

    You want to look at the Signal Strength (scale of 0-100), the SNR (signal to noise ratio) and the RS Corrected and RS Uncorrected erros. RS Uncorrected errors means the tuner was not able to reconcile a bit error in the data stream, and pixelation likely occured.

    On good channels, for me, the uncorrected errors will be 0, there might just be a handful of corrected errors, and the SNR for a strong signal will be around 35 db. Signal strength might be 88-100, depending on the channel.

    Problematic channels will show the signal strength high and then suddenly fluctating wildly. The corrected and uncorrected errors will spike.
     
  20. exegesis48

    exegesis48 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Just got back from a six month deployment. Was hoping to come home and find that Tivo had fixed the pixelation issues while I was gone. Strangely my wife claimed that they had gone away or that she didn't notice them. I turned to the problematic channels though, and sure enough, there was the pixelation as strong as ever. This problem has been occurring ever since i got my Tivo HD over a year ago and I went through all the headaches of calling Tivo and having them deny any and all knowledge of the problem and then having Comcast come out and spend several tech call outs telling me that the signal is perfectly fine.

    Is there ANYTHING that can be done? Is Tivo even aware of the problem? I'm so disappointed as it's one of my favorite channels (TBS HD) that has the pixelation issues.

    Thanks for being such a great community.
     

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