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Old 03-05-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
cs8100
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Question Very dark 'un-viewable' picture on S2 Tivo.

I have two S2 Tivos (+one temporarily disconnected). I have Cablevision SD cable boxes.

The 'problem' Tivo is a S2 DT model TCD649080.
The other is a S2 Humax T800.

Problem: DT Tivo 649 - any content recorded after 2/24/13 (approx) AND any channels watched 'live' are so dark it is unusable. Basically, you can see figures moving but no real images. I have tried every combination of brightness, contrast, etc. I can think of with no noticeable change. This was all work fine in the beginning of Feb and has for the past 4-5+ years.

Content recorded earlier in February 2013 looks fine. AND - if I transfer a program from the Humax T800 to the DT 649, it plays fine. Content I move from DT 649 to Humax T800 is as dark and unusable as it is in the DT Tivo.

I have verified that bypassing the Tivo 649 and going straight from the cable box to the TV works fine.

My thinking is that there is a problem with the component(s) in Tivo 649 that capture(s) the video from the cable source. I have tried all possible alternative Tivo outputs: Svideo, composite, RF and multiple TV inputs to eliminate the obvious. I have restarted and re-powered the Tivo a few times.

My questions for the forum:
  1. What might I have overlooked?
  2. Anyone seen this before? Suggested fix?
  3. Does it make sense to try to repair? $ vs. remaining life?
  4. If I decide to try to have it repaired, do I do that with Tivo directly? Other repair options?

Other info:
My dissatisfaction with Cablevision's services cannot be described with civil discourse. For example, they randomly apply changes to the STB and restart it. It does not remember the previously set volume setting, so it defaults to 17/30. When you watch a program that recorded before you found out you have to raise the STB volume, you have to BLAST the sounds around the program. Poor cable products and service along with the lack of MRV on S3 & HD Tivos has left me reluctant to upgrade. If I change to FIOS, their DVR option (includes MRV) + economics probably does not end with a new Tivo.

Appreciate any suggestions...
Thanks,
CS8100

Last edited by cs8100 : 03-05-2013 at 09:05 AM. Reason: finishing
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
Arcady
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It sounds like the input hardware on your TiVo has gone bad. If your cable box is connected to the AV input, try running it to the RF input. If it is connected to the RF input, try connecting it to the AV input. If swapping the input doesn't fix it, then your A/D converter may be broken, which means you need a new motherboard.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:54 PM   #3
unitron
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The 649 is the only S2 not famous for power supply problems, but that doesn't make it impossible, and power supply problems can cause all sorts of strange symptoms.

Familiarize yourself with "capacitor plague" and then visually inspect the TiVo's power supply.

Is there anything wrong with the sound on those "dark" recordings or the "dark" live shows?
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #4
Arcady
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Why would recordings made before a certain date work? Or ones transferred from another TiVo? There's no way a power supply is causing this.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
unitron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcady View Post
Why would recordings made before a certain date work? Or ones transferred from another TiVo? There's no way a power supply is causing this.
If the circuitry that converts the TV signal to the digital file is affected by power not being what it should, but the circuitry that converts files to what goes out the audio/video outputs is not affected because it's less sensitive to power problems, then it could be the power supply.

Remember the one of the first reports of the "capacitor plague" problems was DirecTiVos where one tuner still worked fine and the other one didn't work at all, and one capacitor replacement later both were working fine.
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