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Old 02-18-2008, 09:35 PM   #571
richsadams
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30746 - Series3 w/2 Motorola "S" cable cards - No problems
30746 - TiVo HD w/1 Motorola "M" cable card - No problems
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #572
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TiVo HD Owners Consider Class-Action

Regarding grey screen on TiVo HD units, a bunch of us from the TiVo.com forum have been discussing this and TiVo, rightly so, pulled the posts.

TiVo has been sent the draft of the press release "TiVo HD Owners Consider Class-Action For Poor Product Engineering and Support: Group To Investigate Having A Judge Certify A Class For Lawsuit"

TiVo has not responded to the draft, but please read the release and if interested, send an email if intereted in joning the class, should a lawsit be filed and a class certified.

See http://www.silverknight.com/TiVo_HD_...ider_Class.htm
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:04 PM   #573
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Just as an FYI, the Forum is actually tivocommunity.com. TiVo, Inc. has nothing to do with this forum. It is operated by Capable Networks, an independant organization. As such TiVo, Inc. does not moderate this forum, does not have the ability to modify or remove posts, threads, etc.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that TiVo, Inc. has their own forum. I forget that it's even there it's so poor and probably why they have a link to this one. I've no idea why they waste their time with it. I'm sure they are fully capable of removing posts though...although based on what I've seen I suspect TiVo Inc. folks visit this forum more often than they do their own and probably don't pay much if any attention to the few posts that it gets.

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:38 AM   #574
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Let's make some more attorneys rich. They are the only ones that benefit from Class Action. The last time I was involved, after about 5 years, I received a check for $1.74 as part of the class. Attorneys got the bulk of the $50M settlement.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:53 AM   #575
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Let's make some more attorneys rich. They are the only ones that benefit from Class Action. The last time I was involved, after about 5 years, I received a check for $1.74 as part of the class. Attorneys got the bulk of the $50M settlement.
+1

Plus I'd have a difficult time at best trying to demonstrate how I was "harmed" by a product like TiVo that was clearly malfunctioning and could easily be replaced under warranty. "Oh, those support calls, and the UPS shipping and deliveries...they've caused me so much mental pain and physical suffering!"

Now if TiVo's airbag failed to deploy during an episode of Cop Rock or something...then I'd be inclined to get a bit litigious!

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress (read: back OT).
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:41 PM   #576
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Let's make some more attorneys rich. They are the only ones that benefit from Class Action. The last time I was involved, after about 5 years, I received a check for $1.74 as part of the class. Attorneys got the bulk of the $50M settlement.
Sometimes it helps to smack a company on the side of the head with a "clue by four". That's what a class action lawsuit does. The lawyers make a lot of money; sometimes the "victims" lives are improved in some small way.

The attorneys are not always the only ones to benefit.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:24 PM   #577
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+1

Plus I'd have a difficult time at best trying to demonstrate how I was "harmed" by a product like TiVo that was clearly malfunctioning and could easily be replaced under warranty. "Oh, those support calls, and the UPS shipping and deliveries...they've caused me so much mental pain and physical suffering!"

Now if TiVo's airbag failed to deploy during an episode of Cop Rock or something...then I'd be inclined to get a bit litigious!

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming already in progress (read: back OT).
My wife calls me a TiVo windbag because I always say how much I like it.

That said I feel TiVo support could stand some help. They just don't seem to care.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:07 PM   #578
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My wife calls me a TiVo windbag because I always say how much I like it.

That said I feel TiVo support could stand some help. They just don't seem to care.
Agreed, I've had both good and mediocre service from TiVo CSR's over the years. My last round (billing) was especially frustrating...I was given total misinformation. However on other occasions it's been very pleasant and satisfactory. I haven't met a company yet that budgeted enough on training/paying their support people...hence there's often a revolving door.

I also think a lot has to do with both party's attitude going in. After having read some of the rants (some legit and others from another planet ) here I can imagine how those folks came across with TiVo's CSR's. Couldn't pay me enough to deal with it!

However by comparison to other companies, TiVo support has been above average in my experience(s). There's always room for improvement though and YMMV.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:58 PM   #579
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Rich,

Make sure the Tivo doesn't spill your coffee in your lap.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:20 PM   #580
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Rich,

Make sure the Tivo doesn't spill your coffee in your lap.
I have one of the early Series3's that included a cup holder. I'm very careful about that sort of thing.


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Old 02-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #581
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Pixilation and Cable Cards

This is another update. I continued to have pixilation and loss of signal problems but I also realized many of the channels were also missing program information. I did find an answer to this problem of refreshing program information while ensuring that I was using the correct service (Cablevision of Long Island or Cablevision of Woodbury). As per instruction found on this forum I redid the part of setup that selects your cable provider. To be sure I selected a choice of not sure and after checking through a number of channels I finished the process and now all channels had program information. I also noticed that my pixilation problems of 2 channels (USA and AMC) were lessened. Rather than occurring every minute or so, this now occurred every 3 or 4 minutes. Coincidence?

Just yesterday my Internet ordered attenuators (Smarthome) arrived. I started by using 3 decibels with little effect. I then went to 6 db and again not much change. When I went to 10 db pixilation and loss of signal came only after 4 or 5 minutes but of briefer duration. I went to 13 db and watched both stations for up to ten minutes and no pixilation. I did notice a weakening of signals down to about 85-90 for both the USA and AMC channels. I checked other channels, especially the high def ones and everything was working fine though I did notice that signal strength for 777 (MonsterHD) was 45-50 but the image was fine.

I still have to record or watch something for a half hour or more to be sure if my problem is completely solved but so far so good.

I should mention that I did speak again with TIVO support and they assured me that they were working on the problem of TIVO and the NDS cable cards with a solution coming over the next several months.

John
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:05 AM   #582
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Thanks for the update John. The strength at which cable companies deliver their service can not only vary, but the strength of the various bands of channels delivered on certain frequencies can vary within that as well. It sounds like you've been able to attenuate the signal of the offending channels without compromising the rest...good job.

A signal strength of 95 or 100 is fine, but my limited experiments show that PQ will usually remain good/stable until it drops to under 55 or so. It appears that there's no need to have excellent signal strength (90 - 100) on all channels. Although attenuation may lower the signal strength on all channels, you've demonstrated that it can correct the problems on some without impacting the quality of others.

I've no idea what TiVo is going to do software-wise to compensate for the cableco/cable card variations. If it works I wonder if folks will have to remove their various attenuators when the upgrade is distributed.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:56 PM   #583
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Update: Still pixelation

Updating my situation...

Started with many visits from Comcast, signal strength was fine, replaced all cables. Purchased attenuators, helped reduce the frequency and intensity of pixelation I was having. Replaced M-Cards few times, no effect.

Finally replaced the Tivo unit and replaced it again due to problems activating my cable cards, which turned out the be the cards though. 2 weeks later finally got a working card with test channels showing, but got pixelation again on the new tivo unit, very disappointing. Put the attenuators back on seems to stop the pixelation, but I'm basically back to where I started with no real fix.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:09 PM   #584
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Red face Soooo Frustrating

It seems like the specifics of the pixelation issues vary wildly. Here's mine.

Have had Tivo for about 4 months working great with no pixelation. Super Bowl Sunday arrives with heavy pixelation every 10 seconds or so, making the SUPER BOWL unwatchable. After some time and tinkering, we find that it's only Tuner 1 that pixelates on HD channels of NBC, CBS, FOX, and other "network" channels.

We swapped the cards between slots, and the problem moved to Tuner 2. Call Verizon Fios, they come out, replace the cards, and problem remains exactly the same.

I have some attenuators on the way... Any other thoughts/ideas out there?

Tivo HD w/ Verizon Fios and 2 of their Motorola Cable Cards

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #585
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It seems like the specifics of the pixelation issues vary wildly. Here's mine.

...

I have some attenuators on the way... Any other thoughts/ideas out there?

Tivo HD w/ Verizon Fios and 2 of their Motorola Cable Cards
I believe the only way to get rid of pixelation is with the attenuators. The problem is probably the Tivo Hardware, probably not fixable in software, probably TIVO will never admit it, and We are all probably going to have to live with it for the life of the S3/HD boxes we own.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:21 PM   #586
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Does/Has anyone else seen the pixelation ONLY on broadcast channels, such as CBS, FOX, etc. Tivo seemed to say that this indicated a problem with Fios despite other HD boxes working perfectly.

Somehow i trust the "community" more than Tivo, at this point. Does anyone else have any additional insight on this particular set of problems?
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:18 PM   #587
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When I had this problem it was pretty much all channels. A software update from Tivo has fixed the problem. I don't have any attenuators or amplifies on my connections. I do have Comcast cable for TV (FIOS for Internet). I do have a single M card which Comcast supplied and it's worked well from day one.

I will still occasionally get a hickup or two while watching a show but it's rare and usually one for a moment. I attribute that to glitches in the feed from the cable system and not Tivo.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:29 PM   #588
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Tiling on Different Brands - pixelation

As of four weeks, I'm new to TiVO but not new to cablecards. I found this thread last week and would like to share my experiences for mutual benefit, hopefully. I've owned various cablecard devices for over two years. All are still in daily use. They are a first generation Sony XBR SXRD Tv built 10/05; two Sony DHG-HDD250 DVRs both built 7/05, purchased 11/05 & 7/06; a Toshiba 27HL95 LCD - 2/06,11/06. Four weeks ago I bought a series3, supposedly built 12/28/07 according to the TiVO CS agent (07Jan-08 on stamp). From Comcast I switched to Verizon FiOS Internet when first available in my area, then to FiOS TV about a year later - 11/29/06. My township in the Philadelphia suburbs was one of the first to in turn get both services from VZ. I've received HD by OTA and/or cable since January 2001 and have never used a service provider's DVR or STB. All VZ cablecards are Motorola version 4.21.
The HDD 250s have been in routine use for time slipping (90 minute buffer), for recording a few cable and broadcast programs, and very extensively for recording tennis tournaments - 10+ hours of daily coverage in the first week or so of the Majors. These Sony DVRs are known for bad behaviour from time to time, usually following a poor Gemstar TVGOS update or less frequently a Cablelab update. They are also prone to becoming unresponsive to commands when their disc drive is near full. I have periodically lost the use of each of them (to slip & record) for up to 4 sequential days, though almost never at the same time. So at least one of them has been fully functional throughout ownership of the two - probably just luck. Neither of these units have been sent to the Sony service center for updates or repair though I did do an update on one of them 5 months ago.
I bought the S3 out of concern that my luck with the Sonys would run out and for other reasons. Though with an excellent QAM tuner, they depend upon analog carried data for the guide which is also very slow to repopulate if a reset results in loss of all data, as it sometimes does. There remain open questions about what will happen with next year's transition and about long term support from Sony and the new Gemstar/Macrovision entity (They have full control over TVGOS). I'm more concerned about the latter as VZ is already doing a VBI digital to analog conversion for closed captioning in their converted lower channels but not for TVGOS data. A 4 way bowtie antenna remains in my setup for this purpose and for the times when the bedroom Toshiba is pitching fits with VZ's local HD feed.
For years I've known TiVO to have a very loyal following. Their business model is based almost entirely on the functionality of their DVRs and the substantial subscription revenue derived from them. Sony made the HDD250s & 500s for just a brief period in 2005 without any real promotion. Guide data and software updates are directly and quickly acquired online with the TiVOs. I chose the S3 mainly because of the ease and free choice of adding eSATA storage, and because of its front panel display (I didn't realize that, unlike the Sony's, it appears only during recording and the characters are so tiny as to be near useless unless it's sitting next to you - clock excepted). It was my understanding is that the S3 was in planning for quite some time before production. It has been on the market for many months (18?) so presumably the new product bugs should have been worked out by now. The S3 does have many features and advantages over the Sony units (definitely not in basic recording & functions however). But with 4 weeks of ownership, I'm quite surprised that the HD TiVOs seem to still be in the Beta phase. The question is whether or not TiVO Inc. will finish the job on the current models or simply move on to the next generation.
I'm not wild about the fact that my S3 has sputtered into restart 10 times when either my wife or I have been in the room (the display really comes to life then! - 3 green screens observed). This is something the Toshiba repeatedly did out of the box until Tosh. CS finally got someone to do an update 3 mo.s after purchase. My larger concern is the S3's severe vulnerability to less than perfect CATV signals. It doesn't take much tiling (pixelation, macroblocking) to annoy the hell out of you. As with the potential quality of an HD picture, the accuracy of picture displayed depends on everything in the stream. I've witnessed this on my other devices. For the first 6 mo.s or so with FiOS, everything was perfect. Mid summer last year, the Toshiba began tiling badly on all local HD channels, as well as on a few others in SD & HD. Over a period of days and visits with cablecard and feed swaps, VZ techs checked out every possible thing in the house. Final determination was that it was a street or nearby CO (central office) problem - maintenance/repair usually done only after midnight). Within 24 hours the Toshiba's tiling vanished and a tech called to confirm that it was at the CO.
Tiling has resurfaced from time to time since then, reaching its worst ever in November when the Toshiba had horrific tiling on all local HDs and severe tiling on half the remaining SD & HD channels. VZ techs then replaced the ONT (optical network terminal) with a newer version; same for the splitter, router, inline filter and several cable terminals. No improvement. Once again the problem was at the CO. It was completely resolved within 36 hours after the last house visit. Since November tiling has been episodic and severe only on the local HDs and HBOHD. As the Toshiba is a secondary display used at most for 45 minutes weeknights, more so on weekends by my wife, I've just switched to the OTA local HDs in the guide (also TVGOS) when VZ has had signal issues. How many support calls are you allowed before being blacklisted?
With one exception in over 2 years, the Sony cablecard equipment (1 Tv, 2 DVRs) has exhibited only the most mild tiling - one small to medium macroblock every 30 to 60 seconds or so. These 3 units did this to the same limited level in November when the Toshiba was struggling to provide any channel in near watchable form. The one exception happened in the DVRs' recording of ESPN2HD's coverage of the Australian Open on two consecutive nights at 3:30AM last month; there was severe tiling in each night's first half hour of recording. I suspect that VZ was doing work at the local CO those times. Outside of this exception, the tuning of the 3 Sony devices has been rock solid flawless since November. Naturally I came to think of the Toshiba as the canary in the coal mine with respect to VZ's signal quality. Its picture would disintegrate well before anything would start to be amiss with the Sonys.
All things considered, I really didn't expect to be owning another canary with the S3 (better - much more sensitive and with a far superior diagnostics screen). But it has been exactly that so far. For much of the first 2 weeks with the TiVO, the Toshiba was also having tiling problems, though not as broadly as the S3. Only 1 card was inserted, tuner 1, for the first 2.5 weeks and, until last week, I only monitored channels I was ever likely to watch. The S3 could not properly tune the local HDs, HBO - 1 HD & 2 SD, and Starz - 2SD. All other channels were fine. The tiling varied hour by hour - sometimes completely gone, often horrific. Many calls were made to VZ. I tried some of the handful of attenuators a VZ tech had given me. I was able to freeze the RS uncorrected values on the local HDs where the SS & SNR values had been swinging wildly; tiling be gone. But it came at a high cost. Attenuation caused either complete dropout of a channel (HBO HD) or other channels RSuc numbers to fly off the charts. For tuner 1 in this period the problem frequency ranges were 507-525mghz (8 local HD on 4 frequencies) and 633-645mghz (HBOHD & 4 premium SD). When checked by VZ at device end, the signal level was fine, 0db, but of course tiling had taken the day off in honor of the visit.
Recently I did find out from a tech that there is a better ONT than the one I have - better at filtering/blocking errors. In fact the Nov. tech intimated that the replacement unit wasn't his first choice. Apparently VZ is only installing Motorola ONTs now, not the Tel Lab ONT I have, unless there's an issue. It is not allowed in my location because of an incompatibility with the old equipment at the local CO. Since mid summer, I've thought that VZ would resist doing any serious upgrades at the CO and VHO level until they begin having problems with their own customer end equipment. This may in fact be happening now at a location served by the same CO. 3 miles from me VZ is experiencing major difficulties in getting anything to work properly at a townhouse complex. Who knows? Maybe there's room for optimism on the signal source end of the stream.
Back to displays... The Toshiba's tiling stopped around 2/10. By Valentine's Day 2/14, the S3 stopped tiling as well on channels I'd observed. I gave T1C1 (tuner 1) 3 days of no tiling before adding a second card on the 17th at T0C2, slot 2. (A 5th card was scheduled for delivery the 20th; setup is easiest on the SXRD.)
[FYI: I've never called for a tech to install or swap cablecards between devices once they've been activated and initialized. My procedure has been to put the device into standby, unplug it, wait 5 minutes, insert card, plug into outlet, and power on. (Bring TiVO out of standby) Within a few minutes all is up to speed. Sometimes a hunt for network in the cc menu seems to nudge things along. This has always worked for the 3 Sony units, the Toshiba, same for the S3. Usually to be avoided is supplying current to device with cc removed as you'll, at least, be asked to redo setup - time consuming on the TiVO, incredibly tedious on the Sony DVRs as each desired channel needs to be individually mapped to your position of preference (the price of a free guide). I'm not sure if I've ever bypassed the TiVO repeat guided setup question or have only ignored or agreed to it at different times.]
The results with T0 so far have not been great. (Since enough card swaps have been done inter and intra device, it's not significant to note that it's cablecard 2; the problem is at T0.) While T1 has continued to be fine except for very occasional tiling with the local FoxHD and Comcast Sportsnet HD, 519 & 639 mghz respectively, T0 has been a different story. Though I didn't monitor "all received" channels until mid week, I'm pretty sure that faults were consistent from late Sunday the 17th through most of Friday 2/22. Problem frequencies at T0 were as follows: 591 - 2HD, 597 - 1HD, 639 - 1HD, 645 - 1HD, 2SD, 711 - 1HD, 729 - 5SD, 771 - 3SD, 777 - 10SD. (Channel bits seen at both levels for both good & bad tune) Fox is the only local channel that tiles. The number of problem channels began to shrink quite a bit by Friday night. Saturday yielded the best results to date - clear picture with RSuc at zero on all channels except for the 3 SDs at 771mghz and the 10 SDs at 777mghz. At those frequencies there is no signal lock/tune, where there's oscillation between QAM256 and QAM64 or there's complete fragmentation into tiny mosaics. (T0 seems to give an especially hard hit to cartoon, 2nd tier sport, and religious programs.) Drift began Sunday so that now there is additionally no tune for the 5 SDs at 729, and unacceptably high RSucs again for the 2 HDs on 639 and 711, the only two channels with which T1 has any continuing difficulties once in awhile.
With TiVo and other cablecard devices, there's been much suspicion about the cards themselves when troubles occur; CATV techs included. Out of curiousity, and frustration, I pulled the card from slot 2 last Wednesday while the S3 was powered up and without repeating guided setup. I wasn't surprised that there was no change whatsoever in the values for T0. With both T0 and T1 tuned to the same HD channel, the values were the following: T1 - SS 90/95, SNR 35db, RSc/RSuc 0/131 in 8 minutes; T0 - SS 59/68, SNR 29/31, RSuc 5400 in 4 minutes. The values for all other issue channels also remained as they were before card removal. While the ONTs with VZ may indeed filter/correct errors in the signal, I doubt that any cc has been designed for that role. (though it might introduce its own possibly) The fact that tuning accuracy has varied so widely at both T0 and T1 in 4 weeks of observation also suggests that it is not a matter of the S3's tuners "getting along" with the cablecard. Though some have held out the M series card as the Holy Grail, I can't see how it would help with my situation. (VZ doesn't have it yet anyway.) Perhaps Verizon is doing something wrong with their encryption which is challenging some QAM tuners. I've heard that the Phila. VHO has really irritated many customers who haven't been able to tune the local HDs on QAM w/o cablecard since November when VZ began providing a non conforming signal. (Unlike Comcast, VZ is not a member of ATSC. Normally a QAM tuner has no difficulty tuning/displaying any non encrypted digital signal.) The problems have occurred only with certain brands, Sony for example, but also with the 19" LCDs that VZ recently gave away to new customers! (They're "working on the problem". Still...2/26) An old LG receiver I have will tune the locals on digital; not so with the Sonys.
With no real knowledge of consumer electronics, I can't draw any conclusions about what I've seen on the S3. - Just semi-educated guesses based on my own experience and on those posted in this thread and others. These HD TiVOs seem to be in a class of their own regarding vulnerability to weak signal quality. With my S3, tuner 1 is very highly sensitive, tuner 0 extraordinarily so. I 've received less than ideal signals from VZ for half the time I've used their service - the recent half. The devices I own vary widely in their tolerance of it. On a scale of 1-10 in ability to receive a less than perfect signal then display a clean picture, I'd give the 3 Sony devices a 9, the Toshiba Tv a 3, the TiVO S3 a 1 on tuner 1, an 0.5 on tuner 0. I haven't yet decided if it's a linear or geometric progression. While the values on the diagnostics screen wander with imperfect feed, I think they're only very rough reflections of signal quality; moreover they're revealing how well or badly the TiVO is tuning (differences between T1 & T0, same signal). With VZ anyway, it is not unique to me to have service deteriorate after many months of perfection; fiber optic cabling hasn't prevented expansion problems. With many of their best techs sent to far flung territories to oversee new installations, the focus seems to be on maximizing fannies in seats. While I'm glad that somebody eventually tinkers with things on their end to greatly improve signal quality, I have zero belief that it will stay that way - not at least until my CO's equipment and ONT are upgraded. TiVOs, at this point anyway, seem to require the best equipment and settings throughout the stream.
Just the posts on this thread indicate that many people across the country, with various cablecards and service providers, are seeing the same deficiencies in their TiVO's tuning. My guess is that while signal amplitude may often be the culprit for local HDs (too high), the tuning weaknesses are not limited to that. While TiVOs seem to have a narrow range of signal amplitude in which they can tune properly, their problem is much broader than amplitude alone. I've no clue whether it's more software than hardware or vice versa, though I suspect the first. Perhaps a dual tuner HD DVR, along with its other features, was too ambituous a project for TiVO engineers. "Here's your new ride. Enjoy it. Just don't drive on anything but freshly resurfaced Autobahns. Slow way down for bends in the road. And for God's sake, park it if storm clouds appear." Maybe a dragster isn't all that well suited to real world circumstances.
If I didn't have access to a decent OTA feed, or if there were any problems at all with channels most recorded, I would have returned the S3 in the first week. (though ESPN2HD is not far from TCM which has tiled on the Toshiba in the past, not recently.) It's hard for me to believe that TiVO Inc. would be so brazen as to not finish the job on these DVRs, thereby leaving many of their most loyal customers with an inferior product. (multiple TiVO DVR owners). I can't see Verizon ignoring forever its early adopters served with obsolete equipment. Am I too optimistic?
I'm curious as to how many of you have exchanged units with TiVO, because of tiling on T0 and/or T1, and have had no further issues for at least two weeks. Same for M series card replacements. I haven't mentioned my calls to TiVO CS reps. The agents have been courteous and generally eager to help, but their advice hasn't been all that useful. On alternate calls I've been advised to attenuate and boost the feed. So would that be one of each? 2 of one & 3 of the other? Or tailored to the channel to be watched/recorded? Several times I've been told that HD TiVOs do indeed have very sensitive tuners. Do you mean that also in a good way? Or just the bad way I'm confronted with that results in ugly tiling? I'm flippant about their suggestions only here, not on the phone with the agents. I'd never want to be on the front line for a company that has unresolved faults in their product. As long term TiVO customers, do you all see this company fixing the bugs in these two DVRs?

Sorry for the typos & redundancies. Gotta go....
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:46 PM   #589
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So tonight I was watching Jericho on a TivoHD recorded in HD from a terrestrial broadcast. I saw at least 5 hits of pixelation and audio drops outs during the show. Same thing on Eli Stone recorded the same way. No cable cards at all, but I do have analog cable. I have seen the same things on my Series 3.

It seems to me that the pixelation problems are universal and like a previous poster said most likely a Tivo hardware design flaw. Even if the pixelation is triggered by an flaw in the signal, the Tivo does a cruddy job of handling it. I would be nice if tivo could find a software fix for this, but I am not holding my breath.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:24 AM   #590
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Okay...hmm52...welcome to the forum...I think. You are certainly in the running for the longest post on the forum this year, and perhaps for previous years, but I'm not taking the time to check. I'm sure your post was filled with valuable knowledge, but I got lost somewhere near half way and skimmed the rest.

I did pick up on a couple of things. If your Series3 has rebooted repeatedly and you've seen the GSOD more than a few times, your hard drive is most likely failing. That is not normal behavior and you should contact TiVo for a replacement. If you're experiencing tiling/macroblocking you can try following the advice about attenuating your FIOS signal.

We have had our Series3 w/Comcast/Motorola "S" cable cards for over a year and (with brief exceptions which are to be expected) do not experience the tiling issue. We've had our TiVo HD w/Comcast/Motorola "M" cable card for a few months and have not had any problems either. We've never had to return any TiVo's over the years. That's not to say there aren't problems now and then, but most of the people that find their way to this forum have problems...the other four plus million that have TiVo subscriptions are apparently doing okay.

With regard to bugs and software updates, this post by a TiVo employee that frequents the forum has more info.

If you'd like an answer to a specific question, it's best to make it simple and short otherwise you're likely to be ignored.

Good luck...I think.

Last edited by richsadams : 02-27-2008 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshdog View Post
So tonight I was watching Jericho on a TivoHD recorded in HD from a terrestrial broadcast. I saw at least 5 hits of pixelation and audio drops outs during the show. Same thing on Eli Stone recorded the same way. No cable cards at all, but I do have analog cable. I have seen the same things on my Series 3.

It seems to me that the pixelation problems are universal and like a previous poster said most likely a Tivo hardware design flaw. Even if the pixelation is triggered by an flaw in the signal, the Tivo does a cruddy job of handling it. I would be nice if tivo could find a software fix for this, but I am not holding my breath.
I disagree with your first statement about pixelation being a TiVo flaw but absolutely agree with your second statement. I have both an SA8300 DVR and an S3 side by side.... For a while I was recording the same shows on both to experiment with the pixelation issues. I found that when an S3 recording pixelated I could go to the 8300 and find a glitch at the very same place. The difference was that compared to the 8300, the S3 was having a heart attack where the 8300 was displaying a minor glitch. TiVo mpeg error recovery needs improvement.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:29 AM   #592
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I work in the consumer electronic software industry. Although I don't work for TIVO I can't see the following not also being true for TIVO software development.

This problem has been discussed on these boards for over a year and half. If it could be fixed in software it would have been already, a few releases have gone by since it was first reported. Usually if it hasn't been fixed in 2 releases, it's due to total incompetence, or the SE has exhausted all software possibilities to fix it. TIVO is not a company with a lot of financial assets, if they admit there is a problem and they admit there is no software solution then they will probably go out of business. Their only course of action is to deflect blame to the signal provider.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:04 AM   #593
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Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
TiVo mpeg error recovery needs improvement.
Bingo!
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:26 AM   #594
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Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
I work in the consumer electronic software industry. Although I don't work for TIVO I can't see the following not also being true for TIVO software development.

This problem has been discussed on these boards for over a year and half. If it could be fixed in software it would have been already, a few releases have gone by since it was first reported. Usually if it hasn't been fixed in 2 releases, it's due to total incompetence, or the SE has exhausted all software possibilities to fix it. TIVO is not a company with a lot of financial assets, if they admit there is a problem and they admit there is no software solution then they will probably go out of business. Their only course of action is to deflect blame to the signal provider.
I'd agree to a major extent, however given the variables between cableco and even local OTA signal delivery equipment (particularly in light of Verizon's entry into the market w/FIOS) I'm not so sure that I'd give up hope that things can be resolved.

It's obvious that there are marked differences with providers from one part of the country to the other; both cableco and OTA. It's a real patch work out there. Often small enterprises have been purchased by one of the big boys (TW, Cox, Comcast, etc.) and although they've done their best to integrate the systems, it hasn't been pretty. Local broadcasters work on shoe string budgets at times as well. It's true that all companies are working with the same standards, but meeting those standards is anything but...well, standard.

That said, there are literally millions of TiVo's in the wild that would appear to be operating normally as ours do. That's not to say that the issues many folks on the forum are running into aren't TiVo's "fault". But again, given the huge disparity in what could be considered a "good" incoming signal on all frequencies, I'm honestly surprised that there aren't more problems than there are, and with SDV coming down the line... It's no excuse, but I'd certainly hate to be part of TiVo's R&D department and have to deal with the plethora of what-ifs. "Oh by the way, these guys in Lizardlick Idaho have changed their equipment to this or that now...we'll need to update our software again."

It doesn't seem as if there will ever be total stability in the broadcast market so I don't expect that TiVo will ever be able to fully address all of the differences immediately, but I don't think they've thrown up their hands and walked away from making every effort to do so.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:46 AM   #595
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Hi All,
Sorry for my ignorance...But what does this pixelation problem look like? Is it the whole picture?
I see pixelation in the backgrounds/dark areas of some of my recorded shows...Is that what you are talking about? If so, would love to try the fix.
If not...is the pixelation problem when the pic freezes and looses the signal sometimes?

Just wondering exactly what the pixelation problem is.

BTW: I have Series 3 with Verizon FIOS and 2 CCs.
Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:03 AM   #596
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The problem goes by various names, tiling, pixelization, macroblocking, etc. It pretty much looks like this:



The problem can be momentary and is not unusual in normal digital broadcasts once in a while (weather related, etc.). But in most cases reported here it is more frequent, it can be much worse and can ruin the PQ completely. It can be accompanied by loss of picture and/or audio if it's severe enough.

Some folks here have resolved the problem by attenuation of the FIOS signal when it is too strong.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:26 PM   #597
bossmancometh
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A quick shout-out to WESTTOWN73. The advice to replace the cable running from the Comcast splitter outside my house to the back of my TIVO eliminated all my pixelation problems. Instead of giving me a new cable, HD installer had split the signal from my Comcast internet service, cut a 10-year-old DirecTV cable and affixed his own to it. For $22 at Best Buy, problem has been gone for a couple weeks now. And life is good again.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #598
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thanks rich! I see that a couple of times on my WB station, but usually only happends once per show (and I only watch SuperNatural on that station)...so if this problem is a constant problem on a channel I don't think I have that.
I do have the "tiling" problem on my local sports Network (NESN) but I figured it was just the broadcast.
Would it hurt my PQ if I did this fix for Verizon and didn't need it?
Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #599
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Rich,

In response to your post concerning the signal differences between service providers.

I would be more optimistic if the following was NOT true:

The Motorola boxes basically work with any signal, including Verizon FIOS, without any hardware or software tweaks out of the box. To not start an argument concerning features I am only talking about being able to take a QAM signal on any frequency and channel anywhere in the country and present a pixel free picture to the TV.

I'm sure there is a QAM transmission and reception standard, I don't know what it is, but I can deduce that TIVO cannot handle the entire spectrum +/- dbs and signal quality. If the FIOS and others SP signal fall within that spec then TIVO needs to be able to handle it.

As i said before if they knew how to fix the problem in software it would have been done already.

Last edited by ciucca : 02-27-2008 at 03:29 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #600
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Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
Rich,

In response to your post concerning the signal differences between service providers.

I would be more optimistic if the following was NOT true:

The Motorola boxes basically work with any signal, including Verizon FIOS, without any hardware or software tweaks out of the box. To not start an argument concerning features I am only talking about being able to take a QAM signal on any frequency and channel anywhere in the country and present a pixel free picture to the TV.

I'm sure there is a QAM transmission and reception standard, I don't know what it is, but I can deduce that TIVO cannot handle the entire spectrum +/- dbs and signal quality. If the FIOS and others SP signal fall within that spec then TIVO needs to be able to handle it.

As i said before if they knew how to fix the problem in software it would have been done already.
Agreed about the boxes...as long as the comparison is apples to apples...moto boxes w/cable cards and not the ones without CC's/proprietary processors (6014, etc.).

We've seen a number of improvements and "bug fixes" over the past year, meaning that they were software, not hardware upgrades. So again, I have to believe they are still working on it. Plus there are a number of posts like DingoAce10's on the forum indicating that it was a local issue causing the problems and nothing to do with TiVo. Narrowing things down can be quite a challenge sometimes, but saying that it's always a TiVo problem and that TiVo has given up some how just isn't realistic.

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