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What's wrong with my TiVoHD?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Saturn, Oct 30, 2013.

What's wrong with my TiVo?

  1. Bad hard drive in TiVo (Seatools is wrong)

    3 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. Bad HDMI port on TiVo

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Bad HDMI port on TV

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Bad Power Supply in TiVo

    4 vote(s)
    33.3%
  5. Other (explain below)

    3 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    Symptoms: Non-repeatable dropouts of video and audio during playback every few minutes on all recordings. TV blinks grey for a split second and the audio drops out for a second or two. Audio does NOT drop out if fed directly from TiVo to Receiver, but it does drop out if feed through HDMI and TV.

    I tried rebooting and I saw the startup screens twice, meaning it rebooted itself during the first boot. Took the HD out (Seagate SV35 1GB) and ran SeaTools for Windows on it, passed all tests including the Long Generic. Booted up fine after that. Didn't have time to test it after that to see if the problem went away.

    Checked capacitors on TiVo's power supply, none were bulging.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    I suspect the HDMI has a problem related to incompatibility of the Tivo implementation and your TV's implementation. Of course the first thing you should try is a new HDMI cable.

    My theory doesn't fit any of your poll choices.

    Try component video and audio. I have a TiVo HD and I went to component 4 years ago due to frequent lockups using HDMI (which went away with component).
     
  3. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    Interesting theory, except this problem cropped up recently. This TiVo and TV had previously worked together for at least a year and a half like this. Replacing the HDMI cable would be tricky at best because the TV is wall-mounted and the cable is in the wall. It would be cheaper, but I'll probably try that if replacing the HD doesn't fix it.
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Hook the TiVo to the TV (or another TV) via composite (yellow plug) or component (red,green,blue) for a while and see if the problem persists.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Maybe the HDMI cable failed recently. You can't use the existing cable to pull a new one?
     
  6. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    Upon second thought I think I have two HDMI cables in there, I can probably swap them.
     
  7. pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

    669
    0
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Could the cable have been disturbed recently? Perhaps the TV or TiVo were moved for some reason? Could be one or both connectors on the HDMI cable are flaky and it only worked reliably in one position. I had that happen recently to the cable that came with an iPhone.
     
  8. SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Active Member

    3,686
    11
    May 25, 2006
    Atlantic...
    You could run the HDMI cable on the outside of the wall to see if the old cable is the problem. No use going thru all the trouble of pulling a new cable if the old isnt the problem.
     
  9. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    The TiVo sits in a cabinet and the TV is mounted on the wall. Not much to disturb.

    Interestingly, the problem has disappeared (for now) after running Seatools on the hard drive. So I'm left with:

    -flaky HD "fixed" by Seatools
    -HDMI cable problem that was "fixed" by unplugging the TiVo to take it apart.

    If it starts happening again I'll switch HDMI cables. But I'm leaning towards bad HD considering the double reboot I saw.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I wouldn't give up on the bad power supply idea just yet.

    Not all bad caps have visual indications.

    That's why $diety invented things like voltmeters and oscilloscopes.
     
  11. squint

    squint New Member

    846
    0
    Jun 15, 2008
    The HDMI port on the Tivo could be failing. That presents as intermittent video/audio until it stops working altogether one day.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    It also occurs to me that if SeaTools "fixed" that drive (probably by moving data from sectors going bad to the previously hidden sectors held in reserve for just such an occasion), that the drive is on its way downhill and it's a good time to start looking for an under $100 deal on a WD20EURS, in addition to telling me which model number power supply that thing has so I can tell you which caps you should go ahead and replace at the same time to get ahead of the game.
     
  13. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    Thanks for the offer but
    1) no way I'm buying a WD drive...still compatibility problems with TiVos.
    2) I can find my own caps, thanks. :)

    Interestingly, the problem returned with a vengeance and swapping to the other HDMI cable in the wall fixed it. So I've got a new cable and 90 degree adapter on the way...
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    What kind of compatibility problems?

    (other than S1s don't like Caviar Blues, PATA or SATA, even with a Marvell chipset adapter)
     
  15. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    I bought a WD green drive for my S3 way back when. It wouldn't boot from it. Googled and it was a known incompatibility.

    Apparently (some? all?) WD drives also have a soft reboot problem with TiVos. Really the problem is probably the TiVo's non-compliant SATA controller, but w/e. There's some utility you can run on the drive to change some setting to fix the problem but that's way more effort than I want to spend on it these days.
     
  16. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ Member

    523
    0
    Jan 12, 2011
    North...
    I voted HDMI on Tivo, since Im assuming you already tried a new HDMI cable, and input on the TV.
     
  17. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,785
    27
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Not an issue if you buy the drive indicated (WD20EURS).

    Scott
     
  18. Saturn

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    12,255
    6
    Apr 10, 2001
    So why the WD20EURS over Seagate's SV35 or Pipeline drives?
     
  19. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Because I'm currently using 3 of the EURSs and they're all doing fine, whereas I have no experience with those particular Seagates.

    If you get a new old stock WD20EURS, you may need to run wdidle3.exe /D to disable the Intellipark feature, but the newer ones seem to either not have it or come from the factory without it enabled.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The regular WD Caviar Green drives have, or at least have had, a feature called Intellipark.

    Basically this parks the heads and spins down the motor if there's no data I/O for a certain (adjustable) number of seconds.

    For a lot of "green" applications this would be a good energy saving feature.

    But when you warm boot a TiVo, and sometimes even with a cold boot, it causes problems, because the drive isn't called on soon enough in the boot process and it goes to sleep.

    The TiVo wasn't designed to cope with drives that can go to sleep on their own, because a TiVo is constantly reading from and writing to the hard drive, except during a boot or reboot period where it's getting itself woken up and organized before it starts trying to talk to the drive.

    If the drive is asleep when the TiVo tries to talk to it, the TiVo doesn' know to wait for it to wake up, and so it'll interpret that as a need to reboot or as a bad drive.

    If it reboots, then the drive has time to wake up, not get called upon before the timeout runs out, and go back to sleep before the TiVo calls on it and doesn't get a reply.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    TiVo themselves put some drives with that feature enabled (and therefore that problem) into TiVos in the factory before figuring out what was going wrong.

    So there was nothing wrong with the drives themselves.

    They were doing what they were designed to do.

    It was just that that particular feature is incompatible with use in a TiVo, but once it's disabled they're fine drives for a TiVo, and even better there than higher RPM hotter running drives like the Caviar Blacks.
     

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