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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    You could give a replacement eSATA cable a try. The recommended SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $10. If that doesn't do the trick then I'd recommend an internal hard drive upgrade. You sound pretty savvy and shouldn't have any problem with a DIY upgrade as long as you follow the directions in the FAQ.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  2. nsk

    nsk New Member

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Thanks. I have ordered the eSATA cable; If it doesn't help, I will get the internal drive replacement (also gives me time to see what is happening on March 2). Thanks very much for your help.



     
  3. jonja

    jonja New Member

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    Feb 22, 2007
    My only concern is that Tivo may treat this as a TWC issue only and the fix may not fix my problems, which are identical but on Charter. I am in a very small market in CT and doubt there are enough Tivo customers for Charter CT for this to show up as even a blip.

    (If you recall from past posts, I receive pixelation/macroblocking on only a couple channels which are SDV only, such as SyFy .My signal strength is in the 87-93 range, 35 Db, and with NO RS errors on the SDV channels.)
     
  4. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I would expect a fix to cover all cable providers as its a mpeg issue and they all do SDV basically the same way. All we now is a fix...
     
  5. Mar 4, 2010 #1425 of 1597
    LockRob

    LockRob New Member

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    Aug 24, 2003
    I'm wondering how the release of the new model will impact the need for work on this issue...
    Does anyone know if the Premier has the same SDV pixelization issue? Will Tivo continue(?) to work on this issue? I was hoping we would see some movement on this by now, and am kind of surprised that Tivo still believes that people will invest in a device that does not give watchable recordings of SDV channels. I can't tell you how often I end up with a recording that makes me guess at every third word, and looks like a piece of cubist art, for 5 seconds out of every 3 minutes.
    It's nice that they have worked on the search feature, but until they fix the recording quality issues, I will be telling everyone I see to go the HTPC route.
    And I certainly won't be upgrading or recommending upgrades.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2010 #1426 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Since the Premiere won't be released for another month or so...I don't think anyone knows. Good question though. It'll be interesting to see if the Premier's architecture and/or software has overcome some of these things. We've never experienced the problem on our TiVo HD (other than the occasional broadcast/signal corruption plus we don't have SDV of course) but it's got to be terribly frustrating. If they do find a cure hopefully it will be backward compatible.
     
  7. Luis214

    Luis214 New Member

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    Apr 11, 2004
    Hello all, just had a quick question and was looking for some suggestions. Here are the details.

    I have a Series 3 Tivo HD with hdmi connections (monoprice cables). Comcast is my provider. It is out of warranty.

    I've been having a few issues.
    1. When I turn the tv on, I sometimes get the grey screen that says "hdmi cable not permitted". This goes away if I turn the tv off and on, but it's probably 1 out of every 10 times I turn on the tv that this happens. I ended up sending my tv in have it overhauled/checked for other things and they didn't see anything wrong with the hdmi port.

    2. I'm getting a lot of intermittent pixels showing up while watching recorded shows.

    3. The sound cuts out after I skip a commercial and I have to rewind 10/20 seconds or so to get it back.

    I did a little homework and saw that running the "kickstart" program may help. Any other thoughts? Will Tivo Customer service walk me through this or be able to help?
     
  8. Apr 3, 2010 #1428 of 1597
    Dabreeze

    Dabreeze New Member

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    Jan 21, 2009
    What is a exceptable number for uncorrected RS Errors ? Yesterday, I finally removed my 19db attenuators. I do have the D software and noticed a increase in these RS numbers. Although, I don't see any discernable pixalation on any channels. I'm having 1 M-Card installed today by Verizon replacing the 2-SCards. Is their anything I should look out for or possibly bring to the Tech's attention ?

    Thanks.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2010 #1429 of 1597
    Dabreeze

    Dabreeze New Member

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    Jan 21, 2009
    Update on my Verizon Tech visit today. The Tech was right ontime. He checked out my signals and found that I was off some bytes so he checked the wiring and the problem was a splitter which he replaced. He took out my 2 SCards and replaced with Moto M-card. After the initiation process and authorization, which went well I checked the RS Corrected and unconnected number and they were at O. The SNR was 38DB and the software version was updated to 11.0g. There was no truck roll fee and no pixalation anywhere on any channels. Enjoying the Final Four coverage. GO WVU.

    ALL'S PERFECT...HAPPY CAMPER ! Thank you Shawn !

    Happy Easter !
     
  10. Apr 6, 2010 #1430 of 1597
    denialmark

    denialmark New Member

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    Apr 6, 2010
    Now that DirecTV has stopped manufacturing the HR10-250 HD TiVo, our customers are looking for ways to keep their units up and running. While these units have been very solid performers, with many are over three years old, some are beginning to exhibit problems.
    This guide covers some general TiVo problems, and problems specific to this model unit.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2010 #1431 of 1597
    jeremynkay

    jeremynkay New Member

    3
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    Feb 24, 2007
    Hi all,
    I have a TivoHD on Comcast cable (boston area), with a Motorola M-card that was installed relatively painlessly about six months ago. No external hard drive. Service has been flawless for that whole 6 months -- until Sunday, when I suddenly started getting severe pixelation and sound stuttering (see below for details). I've been reading this thread carefully and I suspect that it's due to cable rather than Tivo (for reasons I'll get into below in just a sec) but I'd just like to have some input from you expert-type folks on whether that's true. The cable tech is coming tomorrow, and I suspect he will try to blame this on the Tivo if he encounters any problems in fixing it... I want to know if I have the right to insist that the Tivo is blameless!

    So, with that preface, here's my symptoms and what I've done:

    The problem:
    - Pixelation and sound skipping so severe that TV is unwatchable.
    - Happens on SD and HD cable channels.
    - Happens equally badly on all affected channels
    - Is limited to cable networks - SD and HD versions of ABC, NBC, Fox, etc are fine.
    - I have an antenna, and OTA is fine.
    - Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.
    - The exact pattern of macroblocks and digital distortion is preserved if I record something or rewind live TV.

    Here's what I've done:
    - Checked for hard drive issues with Kickstart 54 (SMART and overnight test).
    - Checked for signal strength: Tivo diagnostics gives me signal strength 100 and SNR 37-38 on all channels (affected and unaffected)
    - Checked for errors: RS uncorrected error rate is 0 even after a long time on an affected channel.
    - Normally my cable signal is not split at all. I had a couple splitters lying around and I installed both (in series) in case attenuation might help. No effect. Not sure the exact attenuation that this achieved. The readings in Tivo diagnostics were unchanged.
    - Unfortunately I don't know what the signal strength & SNR were before this all started -- never had a reason to look.

    My conclusions from all this -- please let me know if you disagree:
    -I doubt it's the hard drive because of the fact that it operates normally on certain channels, and because the exact pattern of distortion is getting recorded and played back. I read somewhere on this thread that if the drive were going bad, the patterns would be different when playing back the same video.
    - It doesn't sound like a problem with the signal being too strong because the RS error rate is 0

    So my questions for you:
    - Any ideas what's going on?
    - Can I insist to the cable tech that the hard drive is ok?
    - Any suggestions for things for the cable tech to look at? I guess I should mention that I live in a large apartment building so the cable setup might be different than most people on this thread.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  12. Apr 6, 2010 #1432 of 1597
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    This statement concerns me.... "Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.". I dont see how that can be true.

    Do you have a regular cable box you can watch at the same time and see if the same channel exhibits the same problem? You might also try hitting the 7 second 'instant reply' button on TiVo remote when the problem occurs. I have seen issues with stuttering where simply jumping back 7 seconds solves them. With RS Uncorrected count = 0 it certainly doesnt appear to be a signal issue.
     
  13. Apr 7, 2010 #1433 of 1597
    jeremynkay

    jeremynkay New Member

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Um, I meant recordings made before this problem started... sorry for not being clear. Recordings made after the problems started look bad. This includes the cache of live tv... so when I hit the 7-second rewind button it looks just as crappy as when it first came through. Including the blocked-out portions of the screen appearing in exactly the same place. So, sadly, the rewind button isn't going to fix this.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a cable box I can use to test the cable signal separate from the Tivo.

    I guess I'll see what the repair tech says tomorrow...
     
  14. Apr 7, 2010 #1434 of 1597
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Ok.. that makes sense now. Since the SNR and RS Uncorrected count is good, I would probably suspect the cablecard. This lines up with the fact that the only impacted channels are encrypted digital.
     
  15. Apr 8, 2010 #1435 of 1597
    jeremynkay

    jeremynkay New Member

    3
    0
    Feb 24, 2007
    Your suspicion turned out to be spot on. Cable tech came today... swapped the cablecard for a new one... everything fixed. Thanks so much for your advice!
     
  16. wifi-er

    wifi-er New Member

    2
    0
    Apr 13, 2010
    I too have been having issues with the HD 3 and on many channels not just HD. I've had the cable company replace the cable cards and it has not helped. My series 2 (5 years old) is still perfect but this machine started having issues after 1-1/2 years. I've gotten the new premiere Series 4 (which will be delivered today), and opted for the extended warranty given the issues I've had with the HD 3.
     
  17. willv28

    willv28 New Member

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    Nov 17, 2009
    I got my tuning adapter today. Already I notice pixelation and brief drops on some channels. I always saw brief pixelation at times on these channels without the adapter. But it never froze or tunes out. Pixelation on these channels would happen on ALL devices, both my TiVo and cable co owned DVR.

    Hopefully it's fixed when SDV is turned on. But I doubt it. Not sure what to do right now. I don't think attenuation will work. Not sure if it isn't their problem. I once complained about USA having a severe pixelation problem. But it since went away a while after though they didn't believe me.
     
  18. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
    8
    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    We got a lot of rain this past weekend and pixelation started occurring on my Tivo HD. I've ran into this problem a few times and so far Charter has been able to remedy the situation by checking the signal outside and replacing appropriate lines where needed. I called them last night as TV was barely watchable. Of course the first thing they assume is that the problem is inside. I know 100% that the problem is not inside, but outside in one of the lines. I have come to loathe Charter. They said they had a 1-3, and 3-5 time slot open. I directly told him that I was not going to take off work again for a Charter technician to blow off the appointment because he was over scheduled. I said they needed to have someone come out and check the outside lines. I was told he couldn't guarantee that. So I guess I'll tell the Charter tech the same thing when he calls me to confirm later this afternoon and see what happens. I've been waiting for U-verse but might strongly reconsider DirecTV depending on how this plays out.
     
  19. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
    8
    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    Figured I'd follow up with my problem. Tech came out to my house Tuesday after work. He tried to blame the problem on an amplifier I had installed about 2 year's ago. But then he said he did notice a signal drop outside when he was testing. I was told he would have a truck roll out to the street to do more testing and replace any cables that needed to be replaced. I left shortly after and when I came home all my HD stations were completely out. Called Charter again and talked to a girl who said she would get hold of the tech and find out what was going on. Was told again that within 24 hours a truck would be sent out. Got home last night to more bad pixelation. Called Charter once again and was told that there wasn't anywhere on my account where a service truck roll out was requested. I about lost it on the guy. He said he could forward a request to my local tech supervisor and they would contact me today. I'm sure I'll be told that another tech will need to come out before they can issue a service truck roll out.

    I almost canceled Charter completely yesterday and I'm still considering it. Luckily I am able to pick up local HD OTA and have been recording off of that. Besides periodic signal flunctuations, it has been working pretty good but would like to try and find a stronger indoor antenna.

    Edit: Just did some research and ordered an Indoor/Outdoor antenna that had excellent reviews on multiple sites. Should be delivered tomorrow. If it performs better than my current one then adios Charter. I can live off it until U-verse is available on my street. I say street because it seems streets on both sides of ours does have U-verse so hopefully it will be here soon.
     
  20. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,994
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Please post which antenna you bought and your results with it, when available. TIA.
     

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