1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What is "good" digital viewing?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dlfl, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1 of 35
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    My THD is about 2 mos old now. I'm on Time-Warner digital cable with cable cards and tuning adapter. I've read a lot in this forum and in the TiVo support pages, and have familiarized myself as much as possible with the TiVo's diagnostic pages. As far as I can tell from all of this research, my TiVo is functioning as it should and tuning all the channels it is supposed to.

    However, my viewing quality isn't perfect. Most of the time the picture is excellent on all channels but on almost any channel I pick, it is rare to be able to watch for an hour without at least one A/V glitch. The video glitches may be pixellation or momentary freezes. Audio glitches are momentary drop outs. Most of the glitches are fraction-of-a-second but a few are worse than that. On most channels, most of the time, the number of glitches per hour will range from none to several, but some channels, sometimes, have more frequent glitches, maybe 20 or so per hour.

    My signal strengths are in the 80-99 range on all channels and the number of RS Uncorrected errors is usually zero, or at most a few, any time I check. I have the impression that the glitches are more frequent on HD SDV channels but no hard statistics. They definitely occur also on non-SDV channels.

    I had an S2 for 3 years and I know the number of noticeable video glitches then was much less than what I'm seeing now.

    I have to make the decision whether this viewing quality is reasonably acceptable so I should just live with it -- or -- it should definitely be better and I should go through the hassle of trying to get TWC and/or TiVo to do something to improve it. My impression from what I see in posts here and from my own limited interaction with TWC and TiVo is that there isn't any action that either of them will take that is likely to improve things.

    So I'm asking other users to post what they think are reasonable expectations. Should I let (almost) well enough alone, or is it worth a battle for improvement?
     
  2. Aug 6, 2009 #2 of 35
    longball07

    longball07 New Member

    28
    0
    May 27, 2009
    Isn't if funny how the more technology you pack into a product the more problems you have with said product. I have a series 2 that is close to 4 years old and I just got a Tivo HD. I have only had my Tivo HD for 4 days and have already had more problems with it then I have ever had with my series 2. Nature of the Beast I guess.
     
  3. Aug 7, 2009 #3 of 35
    dolfer

    dolfer Miles Standish Proud

    710
    0
    Nov 3, 2000
    Milford,...
    dlfl & longball... both of you make good (and very valid) points and observations...

    I have owned a Tivo since 2000 and progressed with each generation from s1 to s2 to Tivo HD. And yes, as the technology gets "better" the problems tend to be more plentiful. With each layer of complexity (ex: adding a Tuning Adapter!) more things can go wrong.

    Other than the very agonizing first month or so of ownership, where I was getting glitches every few seconds (there was a problem with my particular brand of Cable Card) I have not had frequent issues. Every once in awhile I get a glitch but nothing too annoying. Most of the time it's during live TV upon the initial channel change.

    The problem I am having is with the TA. It's totally unstable. I disconnected mine. Waited for the update. Update came. Appeared to fix things. Then the aggravating "reboot" behavior started up again. Now it's disconnected again and in the trunk of my car. Perhaps I have a defective unit? Dont know. But I plan on getting it replaced and seeing what happens.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2009 #4 of 35
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    First, thanks for responding.

    I'm curious: Ignoring "initial channel change" glitches, would you say your "glitch rate", averaged over all the channels you view, is comparable to mine (1 to 3 per hour)? More? Less?

    Yeah, I've followed your problems on another thread. Very weird. I've only had my TA for a month but it has been rock solid. Go figure......
     
  5. Aug 7, 2009 #5 of 35
    dolfer

    dolfer Miles Standish Proud

    710
    0
    Nov 3, 2000
    Milford,...
    I am going to say it's about 1 per hour. Nothing to get worked up about. Nothing that I wouldn't expect in a Tivo-less set up just using a Digital Cable Box.

    For fun, I will note these glitches and if it ends up being more frequent than 1ph, I will let you know. It "seems" like 1ph... Could be more. Could be less! ;)
     
  6. Aug 7, 2009 #6 of 35
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Both of these comments kind of match what I've been thinking. Normally you expect a digital version of something to be more precise, accurate and reliable. Not so with digital cable.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2009 #7 of 35
    realityboy

    realityboy Well-Known Member

    2,882
    62
    Jun 12, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I have to say that my tuning adapter has been fairly solid as well. It did stop working once, but after a reboot it came back on. It was an isolated event. I don't really see that many glitches other than the ones at the beginning of a channel change. I would say it's slightly less than one per hour. I rarely watch the SDV HD channels though. The one channel that I do watch that has noticeable problems to the point of distraction is WGN. (especially during WWE Superstars)
     
  8. Aug 7, 2009 #8 of 35
    bobrt6676

    bobrt6676 Member

    189
    0
    Dec 31, 2007
    Huber...
    My observation seems like some days I have no issues. Other days I experience fraction of a sec. audio dropouts, pixelation etc. Just when it starts to get aggravating enough to think about complaining the issues straighten up and all is well. Bottom line my daughters TWC 8200HD box has the same pixelation issues.(No audio dropouts though)
    My TA has been pretty solid. Maybe once a month I lose the SDV channels and the green light is blinking. I just unplug/replug the power cord followed by the USB and all is well again.
    My picture quality is excellent on HD channels and since I got my 1080P Plasma on HDMI cable even the analogs are much better than before.
    I chalk it up to digital cable and live with it. I suppose if I constantly had audio and picture issues I would maybe check/replace cables etc. and if no improvement complain. You could have cable issues coming into your house.
     
  9. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Bump...

    Anyone else willing to estimate how many A/V glitches they average per hour of viewing on digital cable? I was hoping for a larger sample of responses.

    Does anyone almost never see any glitches (i.e., far fewer than one per hour)?

    Please give the Cable Co and whether you have a tuning adapter.

    My son has satellite and says he never sees glitches other than two or three times a year when it rains really hard.

    Thanks
     
  10. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,801
    9
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    I'm on Comcast, and had to add an amplifier myself since our house already has the maximum # of splits and I wanted to add several devices in my room...

    But after that, *on the channels that I watch frequently* (mostly the networks, but a few shows on other networks), I almost never see glitches.. Except, as I just posted, on UniversalHD, where I'm watching one show a week ("Love Monkey" showing episodes that never aired on CBS). There, I'm getting a few really bad dropouts per show. I haven't tried re-cabling to figure out if I have a bad cable, or somehow that ONE station is worse than the others for signal strength.
     
  11. realityboy

    realityboy Well-Known Member

    2,882
    62
    Jun 12, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I have another station that has frequent dropouts also now that I've thought about it.

    Channel 726 (WBDT - CW) is sometimes unwatchable and usually has a few minutes dropped out of shows lately. It wasn't a problem before.
     
  12. mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

    215
    0
    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    My first 6-8 months of S3 viewing were awful. Glitches, on almost every channel, numerous times per hour. With each subsequent software update, however, it became better and better. Now, almost two years later, and since 14-18 months, it is rock-solid. My tuning adapter works flawless (though it does remain an eye-sore).
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    During your awful first 6-8 months, did you check the RS Uncorrected counts?
    Also, what cable co?

    And thanks to you and everyone who has responded......

    If anyone has had DirectTV during the last couple of years, I would like their estimate of average glitches per hour, excluding periods of extremely hard rain.
     
  14. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,323
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Ive done lots of parallel recordings with TiVo and SA8300 and in my experience glitches fall into three buckets.

    1) Glitches from content providers or cableco processing prior to edge modulators (where the Forward Error Correction code is inserted). - These glitches do not result in RS Uncorrected count increasing on TiVo and also appear identically on the 8300 recordings.

    2) RF Glitches - These glitches do result in RS Uncorrected count increasing on TiVo. In many cases you can also see a glitch on the 8300. However the 8300 seems to do a MUCH better job dealing with these interruptions than TiVo. The 8300 seems to handle them smoothly and seamlessly while the TiVo goes ape***** by comparison.

    3) SDV Glitches - Here in Raleigh there seems to be an issue of glitches only on SDV channels. The rate of occurance is very high.... 2-30 per hour. Very very annoying. TWC/Cisco/TiVo are working the issue but havent seemed to come up with a solution. Raleigh is running a Cisco SDV solution with Cisco QAM Edge modulators. Systems using other equipment may not see the issue.

    In magnitude... #3 is by far the worst for me... #1 is next with possibly 1 or less events per hour and then #2 being fairly rare.

    YMMV
     
  15. nhaigh

    nhaigh New Member

    984
    0
    Jul 16, 2001
    Lawrencevill...

    I have FIOS in NJ (no tuning adaptor). With TNT and USA I get some glitches, maybe one or two every couple of shows but I got the same with Comcast so that maybe in the stream. The rest of the channels I watch are a near to perfect as I could imagine with an odd glitch every couple of months.
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,052
    26
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    First, thanks for the detailed information. Very interesting.

    Do SDV glitches show up in the RS error counts?

    Is there a particular character to SDV glitches or are they just a random assortment of break ups, pixelation, freezes, audo drop-outs, etc.? I've recently had 2 or 3 freezes that lasted several seconds on one of my SDV channels. As always the RS Uncorrected error count was zero afterward. I've had digital for about 5 weeks now and this is the first time freezes that long have shown up.

    I'm on TWC with a Cisco STA1520 TA. Does that mean my QAM edge equipment must also be Cisco? My guess is "no".
     
  17. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,323
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    No... The glitches I see on SDV channels do not increment the RS Statistics.

    For me... they glitches on SDV channels are signlficant blocking and audio dropouts. The events can be several seconds long. Sometimes (not very often) the 'time since tune start' (or something like that) is reset to zero as if the TiVo executed a retune. This also clears the RS counters.

    No... Just because you are on a Cisco head end with Cisco Cablecards and a Cisco Tuning Adapter doesnt mean that your SDV Edge QAM's are Cisco. They could be Big Band Networks units or somebody elses.
     
  18. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    I have Comcast in South Jersey. My glitch rate is probably 1-2 per hour, small sections of pixelation for a split second. I've had another problem though that I can't explain. My Tivo HD seems almost like it runs slow and will occasionally jump to catch up to the live recording. My recording will go from the middle of a scene to the middle of a commercial instantly, like the end of the scene and beginning of the commercial were skipped over.
     
  19. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,323
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Ive seen that before. It could be the way TiVo compensates for a partial dropout and gets audio and video back in sync... just a guess though.
     
  20. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,801
    9
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    If it 'jumps', then it sounds like the signal completely went out.

    If it goes into "fast forward" motion (for a few seconds at most, usually), that is one way that Tivos compensate for some kinds of corrupted signal, from what I understand. I have seen this too.
     

Share This Page