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Old 07-12-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
guptasa1
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New TivoHD w/ Cable - Few Corrupt HD Channels

Hey all,

So I have a brand new Tivo HD (XL) and just switched from DirecTV to cable (as I can't use their new dish because of a treeline). So far, I'm quite happy as I can now get a lot more HD than I could before (and I was actually losing it with DirecTV cuz of the not-able-to-upgrade thing).

Anyways, it's been working great until tonight, and I noticed for several hours now (4+), three of my HD channels are showing video corruption - two of the Starz channels and the Encore channel (which I think is also Starz). The corruption is similar to rain fade on a satellite TV. All other HD comes in brilliantly, as do the SD feed of those channels, and signal strength for those channels is reading as 100%.

Can I assume this is a feed issue tonight? Or could it be something else? Thanks! (There has been some weather in the area, but I would think with cable it would be an all or nothing outage...)
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:16 AM   #2
Resist
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Have you called your cable company? I would start there first.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:23 AM   #3
bkdtv
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What cable company?
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:04 AM   #4
guptasa1
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Thanks for the feedback! Atlantic Broadband and yes, I did call. She just said the usual stuff - restart the box, etc., etc...if it keeps up someone will have to come out. This morning the signal is much better but there's still some corruption on those three channels. Just going to bed now, so I'll see if it's there when I get up. I *really* feel like it's a feed problem - the frustrating thing is I don't know how to verify that... But I'm thinking if signal strength is reading 100%, it can't be my box, yes?

Unfortunately, my local cable office isn't frankly even aware cable cards work... Heh. I'm in a small town and when I ordered cable w/ cable cards and they literally looked at me like I was crazy and told me they have cable cards but they don't work (no I'm not kidding). They also told me there's no way I would have a guide with them or could access the music channels, etc., which is all wrong info of course - everything works just great (except for PPV, which I knew up front).

At any rate, as I said, I get that channel, TiVo doesn't seem to indicate searching or low signal in any way, and everything else comes in great, so I'm thinking it must be something with their feed of those channels. (They were just added to their lineup last week here...) Agree? Disagree? Any way to be sure? Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
bkdtv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guptasa1 View Post
At any rate, as I said, I get that channel, TiVo doesn't seem to indicate searching or low signal in any way, and everything else comes in great, so I'm thinking it must be something with their feed of those channels. (They were just added to their lineup last week here...) Agree? Disagree? Any way to be sure? Thanks!
The TiVo allows you to check whether signal errors are the culprit.

Tune to a channel where you see the issue. Then open Messages & Settings -> System Information -> DVR Diagnostics. Locate the channel and the RS Uncorrected Errors field.

RS Uncorrected errors is how the TiVo reports signal errors that cause pixelization and audio dropouts. If you see 0 RS Uncorrected errors on the channel, then you know you are seeing the channel just as it is delivered. A few hundred RS Uncorrected errors won't be noticeable, but if you see millions RS Uncorrected errors per second, then you know that additional pixelization and/or AV degradation is introduced. This could be caused by an out-of-spec signal (the upcoming 11.0d software will help here) or it could be caused by a defective splitter or damaged (ex: cut / chewed) coax.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
rainwater
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You should call the cable company and have them come out and test the line. I wouldn't even mention cablecards or anything regarding them. They should be able to send a tech out who can see if the problem is the signal quality.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:32 PM   #7
guptasa1
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Well, to update here, as of this afternoon, all three channels are coming in just fine again, perfectly strong.

I did check RS uncorrected errors, and there were indeed some (several thousand) for the Starz channel the tuner had been left on since it had been happening, but I retuned to it (resetting the number), and no more of these errors are occuring at this time. On the other tuner, on a good channel, there were none of these. So the question now becomes, what caused these...

I would think (and tell me if I'm wrong) if it were a splitter or damaged coax, it would not have resolved itself, correct? It worked fine before, and it's working fine now.

What can cause an "out-of-spec" signal? Good to hear a software update may soon help help this, but is this a cable company issue, or an issue at my end? Could these RS uncorrected errors be because of a signal garbled on their end as its sent out? Could it be a cablecard issue at all, or no? And if I'm getting these errors, how can signal strength still show as 100%?

I'll keep an eye on it and have the cable company come out if necessary, but I have to, from my experience, they're likely to just tell me its probably the box without really investigating. He did test the signal strength originally and said it was pretty good, though he wasn't sure how I'd do with a splitter. (Since the box they gave me in the first place is defective and needing replaced [just want to test out the in demand stuff], it is NOT currently hooked up and there is no splitter involved at the moment).

Thanks for the help on this! Hopefully just a fluke, but time will tell...
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:35 PM   #8
guptasa1
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By the way, I see the 11.0d rollout is underway and everyone should have by the end of July. I was able to confirm I do *not* yet have it - I'm still with 11.0c, so that might help possibly if this recurs...
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:19 PM   #9
mattack
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Also check the signal strength.. Mine was in the *40s* on some channels I *did* get (with splitters), and I had no signal on others. I added an amplifier/splitter combo (I had to buy it since our house already has as many splits as the cable company supports), and it *seems* to have solved my issues -- at least on a few channels I care about. Even though my signal strength is "only" in the 80s.
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
guptasa1
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Hmmm, well, just to update, experienced this again last night on the same 3 channels.

This time, channel strenght was reading in the 100's and there were no RS uncorrected errors, so I'm thinking it may be the cable feed. Again, it's fine today. Next time I see it happening I'm gonna call the cable company and see if they can look at the source feed.

Also, I now have the cable company cable box, and it was displaying the same problems, so it's definitely not only the Tivo at least.

Thanks for the suggestion. Lowest signal strength I've seen for any channel is in the 70's, and these tend to be standard def (almost analog) channels... All the HD ones seem to stick at 100.
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