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Old 02-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #121
kmalone576
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Anyone found a way around this?

I'm still having pixelation problems.... With the current attenuators, I have a SNR of 34 on one channel (no pixelation) and a SNR of 27-28 on another with bad pixelation. Removing some attenuation improves it on one, but then the 34 goes up and I have pixelation on that channel. Is there anything do to about the wide variation of signal on different channels? Or do I just have to pick which channels I care more about watching on Tivo and watch the others on the Verizon STB which can somehow tune all channels properly?

On a (?maybe) related note, at the home tech store (www.hometech.com) on the page where they sell attenuators, they have something called a satellite inline IF slope equalizer. The description is as follows

"-12dB @ 40 MHz
-5.5dB @ 1 GHz
-0.3dB @ 2.1 GHz

Coaxial cable attenuates high frequencies more than low frequencies. The TSEQ-2150 creates an attenuation loss equal and opposite to cable loss. This problem is most severe when cascading amplifiers one after the other. The signal differences are amplified to a point where the higher frequency signals are so small compared to the low frequency signals that they can no longer be received. The TSEQ-2150 provides a balanced signal level by compensating for the high frequency attenuation and allowing all signal levels on all channels to be of equal amplitude at distant locations. Therefore, the picture quality on higher channels will be maintained. "


Does anyone know if something like this would be of any use in this situation where the signal seems different at different frequencies? I really don't know much about this stuff so this thing may be of no use but it caught my eye.

Last edited by kmalone576 : 02-29-2008 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:13 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by kmalone576 View Post
I'm still having pixelation problems.... With the current attenuators, I have a SNR of 34 on one channel (no pixelation) and a SNR of 27-28 on another with bad pixelation. Removing some attenuation improves it on one, but then the 34 goes up and I have pixelation on that channel. Is there anything do to about the wide variation of signal on different channels? Or do I just have to pick which channels I care more about watching on Tivo and watch the others on the Verizon STB which can somehow tune all channels properly?

On a (?maybe) related note, at the home tech store (www.hometech.com) on the page where they sell attenuators, they have something called a satellite inline IF slope equalizer. The description is as follows

"-12dB @ 40 MHz
-5.5dB @ 1 GHz
-0.3dB @ 2.1 GHz

Coaxial cable attenuates high frequencies more than low frequencies. The TSEQ-2150 creates an attenuation loss equal and opposite to cable loss. This problem is most severe when cascading amplifiers one after the other. The signal differences are amplified to a point where the higher frequency signals are so small compared to the low frequency signals that they can no longer be received. The TSEQ-2150 provides a balanced signal level by compensating for the high frequency attenuation and allowing all signal levels on all channels to be of equal amplitude at distant locations. Therefore, the picture quality on higher channels will be maintained. "


Does anyone know if something like this would be of any use in this situation where the signal seems different at different frequencies? I really don't know much about this stuff so this thing may be of no use but it caught my eye.

EDIT: Per the OP's post, this device apparently does NOT work and may cause cable card problems.


Sorry to hear that your signal and TiVo are giving you grief. By your description it's fairly obvious that your incoming Verizon signal strength has a wide disparity between various frequencies. It's apparent that their answer to most situations is to pump out the strongest signal possible. That seems to work for their box but for the moment TiVo and/or the cable cards they supply aren't able to handle it.

I think my first option would be to have Verizon come out and attempt to stabilize their signal across all frequencies as much as possible. I've no idea how or if they can do that, but if you're seeing that much difference it doesn't seem like that would be a normal situation.

Failing that the attenuator you've found may be the perfect answer. I had to do a little digging, but I'm assuming that it's this one?



Although it's designed for a satellite system I don't see any reason it wouldn't work with a regular cableco signal. The question is, which frequencies are you and/or others seeing problems on. Perhaps someone with some more in-depth experience will chime in?

But for about 10 bucks w/shipping, I think it would certainly be worth a try. If it works you may be in line for the Pioneer Club Founder's Medal of Honor and all of the associated privileges!


EDIT: Per the OP's post, this device apparently does NOT work and may cause cable card problems.


Last edited by richsadams : 03-15-2008 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Warning
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #123
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yeah I doubt verizon's going to be able to stabilize the signal - especially since it works with their STB. That was the item I saw, I've ordered it because as you say its cheap and it can't hurt trying it out.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:11 AM   #124
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yeah I doubt verizon's going to be able to stabilize the signal - especially since it works with their STB. That was the item I saw, I've ordered it because as you say its cheap and it can't hurt trying it out.
Thanks for keeping us updated. Let us know how it turns out and TIA.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:53 PM   #125
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I am still not experiencing any problems, but my question is, does the TIVO HD work well with Cox cable? If it turns out that I end up with all these problems with FIOS as so many other are, I will switch out FIOS TV before I go back to that horrible moto box.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:56 PM   #126
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I am still not experiencing any problems, but my question is, does the TIVO HD work well with Cox cable? If it turns out that I end up with all these problems with FIOS as so many other are, I will switch out FIOS TV before I go back to that horrible moto box.
Yes, although I believe Cox in N. VA now now delivers some of their HD channels using SDV. The TivoHD cannot currently tune SDV channels, but the USB SDV adapter (coming later this year) should address that.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:34 AM   #127
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Ok, so I guess I am not immune. I finally discovered some weird happening on some HD channels last night. I was watching Terminator on FOX and while there was no "Pixellation" at least what I would think pixellation looks like (the screen was crystal clear, there was a weird lag when the camera panned and their was actio scenes. Close-ups seemed to be fine, there was no audio lag, just when there was panning of the camera around the room or following a character it was like almost slow-mo. It hurt my eyes to watch. Didn't happen on the SD versions of the channels, and didnt happen on all HDs. I restarted the box and then went to bed, this morning it seemed backed to normal. I did check the cable cards while it was happening, and it showed he signal strength jumping between 93 and 100. The Uncorrected whatever was 0 and the DB was around 36-37. I don't know what any of that means other than signal strenght but I guess I will see how it looks tonight. Anyone experience anything like this?
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #128
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Ok, so I guess I am not immune. I finally discovered some weird happening on some HD channels last night. I was watching Terminator on FOX and while there was no "Pixellation" at least what I would think pixellation looks like (the screen was crystal clear, there was a weird lag when the camera panned and their was actio scenes. Close-ups seemed to be fine, there was no audio lag, just when there was panning of the camera around the room or following a character it was like almost slow-mo. It hurt my eyes to watch. Didn't happen on the SD versions of the channels, and didnt happen on all HDs. I restarted the box and then went to bed, this morning it seemed backed to normal. I did check the cable cards while it was happening, and it showed he signal strength jumping between 93 and 100. The Uncorrected whatever was 0 and the DB was around 36-37. I don't know what any of that means other than signal strenght but I guess I will see how it looks tonight. Anyone experience anything like this?
I've seen the same thing on HD channels now and again...and like you not on all channels, etc. If I rewind and play it again, it's still there. It's fairly rare though so I've attributed it to the broadcast itself. Our local NBC affiliate had all sorts of issues when they were converting everything over to HD. There were constant video and audio problems on their HD broadcast (but not on SD). I record the NBC Nightly News in HD and it was fairly painful to watch and listen to for a while. Now that they're done everything is just about perfect though.

I happened to be in Costco the other day and noticed that sort of behavior as well as sporadic pixelization on all of their display HD TV's. I asked one of the floor people about it and he said that he thought it was the a problem with the amp/distributor setup they had. I've seen the same thing in our local Circuit City now and then. HD PQ seems to be an issue no matter what kind of equipment is involved.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:10 PM   #129
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I may be in the same boat. Never had any issues until two weeks ago. I was checking the threads and it seems like the signal was too hot, but I didn't think my tivo should be rebooting every ten minutes or so. The replacement tivo seems to be working fine - so wish us luck.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:30 PM   #130
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I may be in the same boat. Never had any issues until two weeks ago. I was checking the threads and it seems like the signal was too hot, but I didn't think my tivo should be rebooting every ten minutes or so. The replacement tivo seems to be working fine - so wish us luck.
Luck
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:18 AM   #131
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Rich,

How did you find this thing. You need to get out more

Brian

P.S. - A few weeks into fios with 22 pounds of attentuation on the tivo and all appears to be working well. Thanks again for all the help.


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Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Sorry to hear that your signal and TiVo are giving you grief. By your description it's fairly obvious that your incoming Verizon signal strength has a wide disparity between various frequencies. It's apparent that their answer to most situations is to pump out the strongest signal possible. That seems to work for their box but for the moment TiVo and/or the cable cards they supply aren't able to handle it.

I think my first option would be to have Verizon come out and attempt to stabilize their signal across all frequencies as much as possible. I've no idea how or if they can do that, but if you're seeing that much difference it doesn't seem like that would be a normal situation.

Failing that the attenuator you've found may be the perfect answer. I had to do a little digging, but I'm assuming that it's this one?



Although it's designed for a satellite system I don't see any reason it wouldn't work with a regular cableco signal. The question is, which frequencies are you and/or others seeing problems on. Perhaps someone with some more in-depth experience will chime in?

But for about 10 bucks w/shipping, I think it would certainly be worth a try. If it works you may be in line for the Pioneer Club Founder's Medal of Honor and all of the associated privileges!

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:54 PM   #132
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Ok so its getting close to the point where I will be tied to TIVO as my 30 day moneyback guarantee is going to expire next week. Other than the 1 evening where there was a few HD channels that seemed to lag, I have had 0 problems and I love my TIVO so much I think you would have to pry it from my dead cold hands... I am hoping my experience sticks as I am going to hand back my Motorolla box that has been staring at me lifeless under the TIVO since I switched. I do not miss On Demand that much and have downloaded some UnBox videos which were cool, although allegedly On Demand will be pushing out HD content and UnBox does not. Does anyone know when UnBox will if ever have HD content? I did a trial on Rhapsody and it kicked A**, such great digital quality pumped through my sound system. Too bad I already have so much ITunes stuff, but I have also downlowed some stuff to enable me to play ITunes stuff through TIVO.. Very cool. Anyway, for anyone who is still on the fence, I love it....
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:06 PM   #133
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Rich,

How did you find this thing. You need to get out more

Brian

P.S. - A few weeks into fios with 22 pounds of attentuation on the tivo and all appears to be working well. Thanks again for all the help.
Ha, can't blame me for that one. That little device was found by another member (on this post). I'm still waiting to hear if it worked or not.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:52 AM   #134
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curious too

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Ha, can't blame me for that one. That little device was found by another member (on this post). I'm still waiting to hear if it worked or not.
I'm curious to hear if kmalone576 had any luck with that gadget too.

I've been having all sorts of trouble trying to find a good medium amount of attenuation so that I can get all of the HD channels w/o pixelation.

6db fixes pixelation on ESPN but still get pixelation on HDNet and DSCHD.
9db fixed pixelation on ESPN and DSCHD but still get pixelation on HDNet.
12db fixes pixelation on ESPN, DSCHD, and HDNet, but now the signal isn't strong enough on Food and HGTV and the TiVo can't tune them in.

Ugh.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:00 AM   #135
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Thanks!!

First I want to say thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post your experiences and opinions. I had FiOS installed this past Monday; my first THD install went flawlessly, and although the second THD was a little more problematic (four Fiber Solutions CRSs and four CableCards over four hours), everything is working beautifully! I am still stunned at the difference in the picture quality compared to Comcast -- even my wife noticed it which is saying something!

Unfortunately, I sat down to watch a basketball game tonight on ESPN HD and experienced the dreaded macroblocking (or pixelization) on both THDs. I was able to convince the FiOS CSR to schedule a visit, and now that I came across this thread I feel that I'm better prepared for the service call.

I plan to print AbMagFab's and bkdtv's posts and give them to the tech so hopefully they'll be better prepared for the next TiVo install -- maybe that'll get me some good karma!!

I'll check back and post my experiences; hopefully it'll be good news!
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:33 AM   #136
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So the "inline slope equalizer" thing didn't work - It seemed to have the same affect as attenuation (affected all channels equally)... but then when I took it off my cable cards ceased to work! I don't know if it is unlucky coincidence or somehow the device fried or reset my cable cards - they won't get any channels and say "not tuned, wrong card state" on the diagnostic screen. Whether it was related or not I don't know, but it seems awfully suspicious. So anyway bottom line is it didn't help with pixelation and may have crashed my cable cards. Sometimes I guess you have to take one for the team.... Verizon guy is on his way out today.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:57 AM   #137
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So the "inline slope equalizer" thing didn't work - It seemed to have the same affect as attenuation (affected all channels equally)... but then when I took it off my cable cards ceased to work! I don't know if it is unlucky coincidence or somehow the device fried or reset my cable cards - they won't get any channels and say "not tuned, wrong card state" on the diagnostic screen. Whether it was related or not I don't know, but it seems awfully suspicious. So anyway bottom line is it didn't help with pixelation and may have crashed my cable cards. Sometimes I guess you have to take one for the team.... Verizon guy is on his way out today.
Sorry to hear that, but thanks very much for the follow up.

I'll add a note to my post to steer clear of them!
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #138
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A very new idea

Ok, I may have had a revelation today! Could this problem be caused by RF noise? Let me explain and give some water holding ability to my theory. I have two TiVos, and HD and a Series 3. The Series 3 worked perfect until one day it didnít. Had Verizon out checked everything and bla bla to no avail. I was able to get things working ok with some attenuation though. Well later I found it worked flawlessly again with NO attenuation. Couldnít even begin to explain it but I thought what the hey Iíll take it. Well then I added an HD unit and had problems from the get go even though the Series 3 continued to work like a champ.

Well tonight I sat with a pile of attenuators futzing with the HD unit and a light bulb went off. What had changed with the Series 3 from when it worked to didnít and did again? Well nothing except its location. Everything was in a temporary pile of equipment for many months and during that period was re-organized once or twice. Currently all my gear is housed in an equipment rack, where the Series 3 has always worked flawlessly, and when I added the TiVo HD I pulled out the Verizon DVR and stuck the HD in its place, where it never worked. Well when the bulb went off I pulled it out of the rack and positioned it as far away as I could with the cables that are in place and wallah (sp?) or at least almost. Now I have one tuner that works perfect with no attenuation and the other is better but still needs a little help.
So this begs the question, could this be entirely an issue of RF noise and attenuation is only helping to reduce the noise? Could the cover be pulled and some shielding added to the tuner to help the noise?

What are everybodyís thoughts?
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:09 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by sturdydog View Post
Ok, I may have had a revelation today! Could this problem be caused by RF noise? Let me explain and give some water holding ability to my theory. I have two TiVos, and HD and a Series 3. The Series 3 worked perfect until one day it didnít. Had Verizon out checked everything and bla bla to no avail. I was able to get things working ok with some attenuation though. Well later I found it worked flawlessly again with NO attenuation. Couldnít even begin to explain it but I thought what the hey Iíll take it. Well then I added an HD unit and had problems from the get go even though the Series 3 continued to work like a champ.

Well tonight I sat with a pile of attenuators futzing with the HD unit and a light bulb went off. What had changed with the Series 3 from when it worked to didnít and did again? Well nothing except its location. Everything was in a temporary pile of equipment for many months and during that period was re-organized once or twice. Currently all my gear is housed in an equipment rack, where the Series 3 has always worked flawlessly, and when I added the TiVo HD I pulled out the Verizon DVR and stuck the HD in its place, where it never worked. Well when the bulb went off I pulled it out of the rack and positioned it as far away as I could with the cables that are in place and wallah (sp?) or at least almost. Now I have one tuner that works perfect with no attenuation and the other is better but still needs a little help.
So this begs the question, could this be entirely an issue of RF noise and attenuation is only helping to reduce the noise? Could the cover be pulled and some shielding added to the tuner to help the noise?

What are everybodyís thoughts?
Interesting theory. I'm not sure about RF noise, but an EMF and EMI has been known to cause problems for a number of folks with TiVo eSATA expansion drives when they place them too closely to a high power source such as a receiver or UPS or near a strong magnetic field such as a sub woofer. Running coax in line with power cables can cause PQ issues as well. (Power cables should never be bundled with any other cables and if they have to cross it should be at 90 degree angles.)

It would be interesting to find out if placing a TiVo that's experiencing trouble in another location, preferably as far away from where it's currently located, makes any difference.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:11 AM   #140
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I just recently fixed up my pixelation problem by adding 11 dB of attenuation to my TiVo HD. I had started noticing the pixelation showing up, but only on my local SD channels. Other channels were just fine.

What's kind of strange is that it had been working great for three months; the pixelation only started a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what changed during that time, but I finally got too annoyed with the pixelation and broke out the stash of attenuators that the FiOS installer had left me. I was surprised that I needed to go up to double-digit attenuation to bring the level down.

I got the feeling that the SNR value on the TiVo HD CableCARD diagnostic screen maxes out around 36 dB because the first 8 dB that I put on didn't even change that number. It wasn't until I got the attenuation up to 11 dB that the SNR number dropped down to 34 dB.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:04 PM   #141
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I just recently fixed up my pixelation problem by adding 11 dB of attenuation to my TiVo HD. I had started noticing the pixelation showing up, but only on my local SD channels. Other channels were just fine.

What's kind of strange is that it had been working great for three months; the pixelation only started a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what changed during that time, but I finally got too annoyed with the pixelation and broke out the stash of attenuators that the FiOS installer had left me. I was surprised that I needed to go up to double-digit attenuation to bring the level down.

I got the feeling that the SNR value on the TiVo HD CableCARD diagnostic screen maxes out around 36 dB because the first 8 dB that I put on didn't even change that number. It wasn't until I got the attenuation up to 11 dB that the SNR number dropped down to 34 dB.

Nope, I've had the SNR # at 37 or 38 originally.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:33 PM   #142
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Fios or not?

I now have Directv with TIVO and am thinking of consolidating with Verizon Fios for TV, Internet and Home phone.The price would be about the same as with the individual services but internet will be much faster (vs DSL), and unlimited LD with phone. My question though, is Fios Tivo as good as, better than, or worse than Directv Tivo. I'm concerned with moving around the screens, setting up recordings, Season Passes, and obviously, the quality and reliability of the picture. Should I switch to Fios and why? Or should I stay?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:06 AM   #143
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I now have Directv with TIVO and am thinking of consolidating with Verizon Fios for TV, Internet and Home phone.The price would be about the same as with the individual services but internet will be much faster (vs DSL), and unlimited LD with phone. My question though, is Fios Tivo as good as, better than, or worse than Directv Tivo. I'm concerned with moving around the screens, setting up recordings, Season Passes, and obviously, the quality and reliability of the picture. Should I switch to Fios and why? Or should I stay?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
I made the switch from DirecTV to FiOS in August. The SD picture quality on Fios is definitely better (much less compression on the signal, I suspect). I originally had Verizon's DVR (not TiVo) when I switched, but I finally convinced the wife to go back to TiVo in February. We now have a TiVo HD, and I am really happy to be back :-) When I was with DirecTV, I had both S1 and S2 TiVos for about 6 years.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:12 AM   #144
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for the record, I had verizon out here a while ago (oh, probably a month or two at this point!) and they tried to diagnose the problem - they then added some attenuation lovin before the tivo and things have been rock solid since. I'm unsure how much because I wasn't here when they were and I never think to check.

so it does seem the signal strength screws with mr. tivo.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #145
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FIOS signal

So the last verizon tech I spoke with over the weekend confirmed what I have wondered about for a while. Verizon has been changing their signal strength on occasion which would explain why you can have a perfectly working set up all of the sudden become problematic. He said their signal had gotten hotter in my area (MD) in late 2007 which was causing a lot of problems for people near the home office. This was about the time I had started having pixelation problems. At that time the tech came out, measured my signal (<+20) and attenuated it fixing (mostly) my picture. That particular tech had no knowledge of any change in signal. The tech who came out over the weekend measured my same signal and found it to be -8db (before attenuation) and thought it was too low (at least for their box) and removed some attenuation that was on the line close to the ONT. He said that because they were getting so many calls about errors from a too strong signal and having to put so much attenuation on most set ups that Verizon had recently bumped their signal down by a few decibels. So now I had to remove some of my attenuators on the Tivo. I currently only have a 6db attenuator on my box with an SNR around 35 on most channels with great picture, no RS errors (corrected or uncorrected). So although the Fios/S3 combo is not without issue, I'm glad to finally have a reason why I can have no problems for so long and then all of the sudden have pixelation without changing my set up. I know some have said that the signal strength is determined by the ONT, but there most be some influence that the fiber signal coming in plays in determining how strong the signal ends up at your STB.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:52 AM   #146
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Smile

Just had FIOS installed yesterday. Got same story as kmalone576. Tech told me that Fios was too hot and they have lowered it in my area (Pittsburgh) to be +12 db. My installation has 2 splitters before Tivo. Tech did a line test and found it perfect at the tivo (+4??). Have not noticed any pixellation yet.

Picture quality MUCH better than comcast. Esp on analog chanells.
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:26 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by kmalone576 View Post
So the last verizon tech I spoke with over the weekend confirmed what I have wondered about for a while. Verizon has been changing their signal strength on occasion which would explain why you can have a perfectly working set up all of the sudden become problematic. He said their signal had gotten hotter in my area (MD) in late 2007 which was causing a lot of problems for people near the home office. This was about the time I had started having pixelation problems. At that time the tech came out, measured my signal (<+20) and attenuated it fixing (mostly) my picture. That particular tech had no knowledge of any change in signal. The tech who came out over the weekend measured my same signal and found it to be -8db (before attenuation) and thought it was too low (at least for their box) and removed some attenuation that was on the line close to the ONT. He said that because they were getting so many calls about errors from a too strong signal and having to put so much attenuation on most set ups that Verizon had recently bumped their signal down by a few decibels. So now I had to remove some of my attenuators on the Tivo. I currently only have a 6db attenuator on my box with an SNR around 35 on most channels with great picture, no RS errors (corrected or uncorrected). So although the Fios/S3 combo is not without issue, I'm glad to finally have a reason why I can have no problems for so long and then all of the sudden have pixelation without changing my set up. I know some have said that the signal strength is determined by the ONT, but there most be some influence that the fiber signal coming in plays in determining how strong the signal ends up at your STB.
I work for Verizon and this is Bull Crap. We do not change our signal. The only thing left to blame is the Tivo box. I do own a TIVOHD even though I work for Verizon.:
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:13 PM   #148
rifleman69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
I work for Verizon and this is Bull Crap. We do not change our signal. The only thing left to blame is the Tivo box. I do own a TIVOHD even though I work for Verizon.:

Wanna bet?
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:42 PM   #149
kmalone576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
I work for Verizon and this is Bull Crap. We do not change our signal. The only thing left to blame is the Tivo box. I do own a TIVOHD even though I work for Verizon.:
Well it seemed like a good explanation to me. So you're telling me that my Tivo has twice suddenly become unable to tune Verizon's never changing signal requiring me to change the level of attenuation to it all other things being equal? I'm not defending the S3 - it definitely has issues, but a signal change makes a lot of sense in what I and others have experienced. And in dealing with multiple different verizon CSR's and techs there is a wide variety of knowledge and understanding of the product, so I'm not surprised some Verizon employees have different information than others.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:11 PM   #150
richsadams
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I can't say one way or another about Verizon changing or not changing their signal strength, but cableco's have been altering their signal strength for years depending on the localized requirements. I don't know why Verizon would handle things any differently.

I agree with kmalone576 that the Verizon tech's explanation makes sense based not only on his but many other's experiences here. However again, can't argue the issue with regard to what Verizon may or may not do either way.
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