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Tivo HD Pixelation Troubleshooting

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

  1. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
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    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    Will do. I should be getting it today so I'll do some testing and will post my results on Monday.

    Last night the pixelation mysteriously stopped so I'm guessing Charter must have sent someone to the area. I didn't see any temporary cable runs on my street though, so maybe the problem was further up or it was a simpler fix. You would think they might actually call and ask me if my problem was resolved or to just let me know they had been out. Still praying that the new antenna works better than my current one so I can free myself of Charter forever.
     
  2. May 3, 2010 #1442 of 1597
    brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
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    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    I bought the Clearstream 1 Convertible. It definitely works better than my other antenna. I scanned the channels and it picked up about 20 additional OTA channels that I didn't realize we could even get. I'm still doing some testing but so far it looks pretty good. I just have to make sure in bad weather whether or not the signal remains strong. I also have to experiment a little more with the placement of the antenna. If all that goes to plan then I'll be marching into the Charter office next week to cancel.
     
  3. May 4, 2010 #1443 of 1597
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
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    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    I'm too lazy to plug in your coordinates to see where you live. But you should definitely make sure your VHF stations (if you have any) will come in under marginal conditions. E.g. in the Amazon comments you link to, someone from my neck of the woods said: "One friend's house in northeast Portland, OR is only 5 miles from the towers but in a difficult spot and he also needed a ClearStream 5 for still-VHF channels 8, 10, and 12." My experience was similar. My Silver Sensor antenna worked great when all the locals were UHF, but now I have marginal reception on the channels that switched back to VHF-high in June of last year. Just like your Clearstream 1, my Silver Sensor is (nominally) a UHF-only antenna.
     
  4. May 5, 2010 #1444 of 1597
    brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
    8
    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    I was having a hard time finding the sweet spot inside so I decided to move my indoor/outdoor antenna outside to see if I could get a stronger signal. I disconnected where the outside cable enters my house and connected the antenna. Looking at antennaweb, I'm now getting all the OTA channels I'm suppose to get including UHF and VHF. I didn't get any pixelation last night at all across the board. Unfortunately there is not any bad weather in sight. But even if my signal drops a bit I think I'll be fine with my locals since right now they are all coming in at around 95% signal strength. I could have gotten them close to 100% but some minor OTA channels suffered. So I tried to find a balance to where I could get all the channels offered. If those minor ones go out during bad weather then that will be fine with me. I'm going to test it for another day or so but it's looking like I'll be able to cancel Charter by the end of the week.
     
  5. May 5, 2010 #1445 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Nice work! I may have missed it but did you happen to mention how far you are from the major antenna array? Most cities have one area, usually the highest nearby geographical location, where most if not all of the major networks affiliates install their broadcast antennas. TIA and congrats!
     
  6. May 5, 2010 #1446 of 1597
    brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    11,325
    8
    Oct 11, 2002
    Smyrna, GA
    Looking at antennaweb, that distance for me is around 12 miles. There are two others that stretch out to 23 miles and 31 miles as well. I guess I'm lucky that most are fairly close and that I must be in a good area. I took my other antenna to my brother's house (not even 2 miles from mine) a couple of months ago and he couldn't get anything with it. He does live in what I would consider a low lying area so I guess the signal is being obstructed.
     
  7. May 5, 2010 #1447 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Good info. I used a OTA for a while once. I was about 11 miles from the network affiliate antennas and the HD signal was pristine. You should be in good shape. Enjoy!
     
  8. May 7, 2010 #1448 of 1597
    willv28

    willv28 New Member

    36
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    Nov 17, 2009
    Well, this is a new one to me. Seems that it was never anything to do with the cable at all. My pixelation problems are caused by my cell phone. I have a blackberry which I got recently for work. The frequency used for 3G is close and no matter how far in the apartment the phone is away from everything, it still causes the pixelation. So, for now when I wanna watch TV I will turn off the phone.

    The cable guys did fix a leak that was happening, but it was the phone. That's why I was glad when actual charter techs knocked on the door and not the contractors. No chance they would have thought of that. I was like, right, it operate on about the same freq. Never heard of it causing problems, but it does...
     
  9. May 8, 2010 #1449 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    For the life of me I can't remember what it was about, but I remember reading about someone else's issues with their cell phone causing havoc. Guess you live an learn. Who needs a phone when you're watching TV right?

    Thanks much for the follow up! :up:
     
  10. e_dogg

    e_dogg New Member

    1
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    Jan 21, 2007
    I've got a TiVo HD that I've been using for quite some time now without any trouble at all. I moved this past weekend and had to switch from Verizon FiOS to Comcast cable. I've just got their "limited" package which is pretty much broadcase channels and a few others like Discovery. It also includes HD channels. I haven't watched TV much lately because I've been busy unpacking, but SD and HD channels looked just fine when the cable was connected directly to my TV.

    Since I'm in the midst of unpacking, I finally just got around to hooking up my TiVo and have noticed that most of the HD channels have pixelation (I think I found a couple that don't do it). If it matters, the TiVo is connected with an HDMI cable and the coax cable is connected directly to the TiVo from the wall.

    While I haven't had a chance to read through this entire thread, I did read the last few pages and haven't really seen a situation like mine. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  11. treyhsmith

    treyhsmith New Member

    2
    0
    Apr 1, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I moved my stalwart TiVo HD from TWC to Grande Comm (moved to temp apt while house hunting). I have pixelation now on Grande, where it used to be clean on TWC.
    DVR Diags shows: Signal strength 50-56, SNR 30-31db, RS Uncorrected 10012 (climbs by apx 5 every 5 sec), RS Corrected 10856622 (climbs 5000-800 per second).
    The two RS stats seem scary. I've had 3 techs out so far - they say the signal strength is fine according to their meter. We've replaced coax cables, barrel connectors, splitters to no avail. Suggestions? Thanks fellas.
     
  12. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    They need a new meter :D SNR and Signal strength is too low. You should be seeing SNR 34 or above.
     
  13. treyhsmith

    treyhsmith New Member

    2
    0
    Apr 1, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Thanks for the quick reply.
    What should I see for signal strength?
    Could this be caused by a bad CableCard? (At least this one was "new in box")
     
  14. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    See this TiVo support web page:

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/150/kw/signal strength/p/88,90/r_id/100041

    Recommended signal strength is 80-99. Assuming QAM-256 modulation your signal strengths barely meet TiVo's minimum requirements. SNR is low as SCSIRAID said. The RS error counts indicate a signal quality problem.
     
  15. eisenb11

    eisenb11 New Member

    391
    0
    Sep 6, 2006
    Redondo...
    I have a S3 OLED with Fios and seem to be running into pixelation issues now. Everything was perfect for years until about a month ago.

    Now I'm getting random pixelization. Sometimes it's so bad that it looks like the screen freezes and I'm forced to fast forward through it. Audio gets all messed up during this too. The problem is very intermittent which makes it hard to troubleshoot.

    Kickstart 54 showed SMART failures on the main drive. So I got rid of the expander and swapped the main drive out for a new one. No more SMART errors, but the pixelization problem didn't go away.

    Supposedly attenuation is no longer needed since 11h, but I decided to try that anyways. I tried attenuating at -3, -6, -10, -13, -16, -20 until I lost the signal. I saw pixelization occur at all of those attenuation levels - some were worse than others.

    Usually RS Corrected and Uncorrected are going nuts during the pixelation, but I noticed that a couple of times the Corrected and Uncorrected numbers didn't change from the values before and after the pixelation - not always, but I did see this a couple of times.

    This is very strange, does anyone have any ideas or know if there is a Fios issue that's been introduced in the last month or so?
     
  16. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
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    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    Does this happen on just a few channels or on all channels? Most of my FiOS channels come in w/o any errors, correctable or uncorrectable. But a few channels experience a fairly large number of correctable errors and even a few uncorrectable ones. I see the video glitches on the screen, but I know what to look for. Thankfully my kids don't (one of the few problem channels is Disney 780).

    But this isn't "new". I've had the problem since install, around April.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with my FiOS fiber and ONT. It could be some design defect in the TiVo HD (I have multiple boxes with the problem). But I think it's something to do with how the shows are encoded and multiplexed together onto the fiber. However, I'm not very knowledgeable about this stuff. You might search around on dslreports to see what the "experts" say.
     
  17. Sep 7, 2010 #1457 of 1597
    mphtrilogy

    mphtrilogy New Member

    49
    0
    May 29, 2007
    I am having a ton of problems as well. They started about a month ago. I am getting pixelation on some channels and on recorded shows, some are only recording as a "partial" becuase the pixelation is so bad it drops the rest of the program. I don't know if it is my expander or my FIOS. I have had attenuation on it for the past two years just fine, and I have removed the attenuation, problem still exists. I put it back, still exists. Next thing I guess is the expander, but I am really not sure what the problem is. Its not on every channel, and its not at all times, mostly at times from 5pm - 1am or so, heavy peak usage. Also mostly on HD channels.

    Really frustrating, not sure what i should do, but I am looking at going back to a plain old DVR again...
     
  18. Sep 7, 2010 #1458 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    That sounds frustrating as well and that you've done your homework.

    There's a very good chance the issues are being caused by the expansion drive. Have a look at this post for some suggestions and see if it helps...

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7553444#post7553444

    Can you also post what brand, size and age your expansion drive is?

    Best of luck and let us know how things go.
     
  19. Sep 7, 2010 #1459 of 1597
    mphtrilogy

    mphtrilogy New Member

    49
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    May 29, 2007
    It's (the expansion drive, 500G, My Tivo Expander by WD) is about two years old, I know I am facing the problem of losing my recordings if I try and test out the tivo without it right?

    The fact that I am having mostly problems on the HD does that make sense for the Expander?
     
  20. Sep 7, 2010 #1460 of 1597
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Unfortunately yes. All recordings are striped across both drives, so if the Expander is beginning to fail it will affect everything.

    The lifespan for the WD 500GB My DVR Expanders has been about 12 to 18 months so there's a very good chance that's the key to the problems you're seeing.

    Yes, if you divorce your Expander (be sure to follow the proper procedures as listed in the referenced post) you would lose all of the recordings made since it was connected.

    If you can keep your TiVo running long enough you could try transferring any non-copy protected recordings to your computer via TiVo Desktop or one of the third-party programs like KMTTG and then back when you have things resolved.
     

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