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Old 03-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
TZR916
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Angry Do all Tivo's Stutter when playing recorded shows?

I got my Elite almost one year ago. I have Comcast with cable card. Hard wired to Netgear router, no Moca, no tuning adapter. I only watch local news live, everything else I record. Within the first few weeks of getting the Tivo I noticed intermittent stuttering when playing back my shows and it continues going on a year later. It comes and goes- I can watch 5 or 10 shows without any stutter, then the next 1 or 2 shows will stutter a few times or be annoying or be just unwatchable.

I doubt that it is signal related because it never stutters on live Tv and I have now moved to a completely different house yet the stutter continues. My old house had 5 outlets and I used a drop amp for my cable modem but the signal was clean to the Tivo. At this new house there is just one outlet split right at the outlet for modem and Tivo.

I doubt that it is hard drive related because if I rewind the recording and play back the spot where is was stuttering, then there is no stutter! Or if I exit to live Tv then go back and watch the same show later, then the stutter is gone.

I doubt it's video out related because it happens whether I am connected directly to my Sony Tv hdmi or through my Onkyo AVR hdmi or to a second Tv in another room via Component.

A year later, I am kinda getting sick of it. I've seen other threads/posts about similar stutter. So here are my questions-

Is this normal?

How much does your Elite/XL4 stutter?

Should I use my warranty/BB extension and exchange this thing?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TZR916 View Post
How much does your Elite/XL4 stutter?
The only time my Elite stutters is on playback and only when it is in the process of a network connection to the TiVo servers.

I can 99% guarantee that if I force a network connection it will start stuttering. Does not matter if any tuners are recording, but it is worse when they are. Rewind and it will not stutter in the same place.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
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I don't see the stutter issue myself, but what I do see is my Elite is very sluggish in responding to commands in HDUI. I think the main problem is the processor in the Elite is just barely beefy enough to handle 4 tuner load. My 2 tuner units have always been more responsive and the Mini just blows my other units away as far as responsiveness.

As an experiment what you can try is for other tuners that are not currently recording anything tune them to channels you don't receive, or music choice channels. This should reduce the load on the Elite and you can see if that reduces or eliminates the stutter.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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I should have mentioned that the stutter happens even when ZERO tuners are recording.

But I am curious how does one change the unused tuners to another channel?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TZR916 View Post
I should have mentioned that the stutter happens even when ZERO tuners are recording.

But I am curious how does one change the unused tuners to another channel?
Tuners are always recording something (buffering live TV). While in live tv press right and choose one of the 3 circles to switch to that tuner. Then tune to a channel you don't receive. Repeat for each circle (tuner) except tune to a different channel you don't receive until all tuners are that way. Now try playing back a recording to see what happens. NOTE: Each tuner has to be on a different channel you don't receive in order for this to work since under normal conditions if you tune to a channel already being recorded it will just switch to that tuner.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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So if the tuners are "always recording", then is there really no difference between viewing live Tv and viewing a show recorded three days ago? If not, why do I NEVER see a single stutter when I'm on live Tv?

I will try your test but it might not behave any different than what I am already doing - When I start to see stutter, if I dump to live Tv then go back and resume playing that show, the stutter is usually gone.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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So if the tuners are "always recording", then is there really no difference between viewing live Tv and viewing a show recorded three days ago? If not, why do I NEVER see a single stutter when I'm on live Tv?
Well it's actually additional load because not only is the unit recording 4 streams, but it's also playing back a 5th one in that scenario. For live TV it's back to 4 streams.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:37 AM   #8
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i see no speed difference between my Premiere 4 and my 2 Tuner Premieres..
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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Well it's actually additional load because not only is the unit recording 4 streams, but it's also playing back a 5th one in that scenario. For live TV it's back to 4 streams.
It should not be stuttering even when the Premiere is reading/writing eight or nine streams. Five streams is certainly not an issue.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
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I was having the exact same problem. I was getting stuttering intermittently. When I rewound it was not there. I thought the hard drive was going. Did a kickstart 54 test and it did not show anything. Support suggested remove ethernet (in my case) and remove the cablecard and just use the tivo to playback to try to eliminate sources. It still stuttered. I exchanged the box.

One thing I did notice. I use pytivo and used it to "pull" a movie to the box. Just when the transfer was going to start. The new box stuttered for a second.

I think that like others indicated that the processor cant handle the load. Especially with the HD interface which seems to really drain it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:02 AM   #11
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It should not be stuttering even when the Premiere is reading/writing eight or nine streams. Five streams is certainly not an issue.
For a healthy unit yes. But here we are trying to reduce the stress on the unit to see if it helps in this case such that if it does then it would indicate a potential issue with the unit, perhaps a hard drive problem.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TZR916 View Post

How much does your Elite/XL4 stutter?

Should I use my warranty/BB extension and exchange this thing?
I have owned a Premiere XL4 for about one year and also have Comcast CTV and a hard-wired ethernet connection.

I get the occasional "stutter" which is clearly not a signal problem. I assume that it is, in fact, HDD-related but have not diagnosed the issue. At first I was concerned that it might be evidence of a significant defect, but the occurrence is rare enough that I have not pursued any remedies to date.

I have found the easiest and most reliable cure is to hit pause and then (frame-by-frame) rewind a couple of times. When I resume play, the stutter is gone if it wasn't a signal issue. YMMV.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Like the OP, I often get stuttering and pixelation on my Xl4 when playing back recorded shows, and never get it while watching live TV even though its basically the same process, just a few milliseconds after record rather than hours or days. It doesn't seem to matter if anything else is recording or not. I didn't see this with my 2 tuner Premiere.

Recording is a pretty light process, just storing the bitstream to disk. Playback is where all the decoding, formatting, upscaling etc. happens. I also have the XL4 on a Gigabit switch with a 50/5 internet connection so thats not my issue.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #14
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I would exchange the XL4 if you are getting stuttering and pixelation when playing back a recorded show. If either of my Elites were exhibiting that behavior I would be taking them to Best Buy to use the four year extended warranty I got on them.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #15
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Wd20ears

I've been noticing stuttering in my Premiere (2 tuner). I had upgraded the drive immediately to a WD Green WD20EARS after purchasing it and set the original drive aside. The stutter is present both live TV and in the recording. Happens every 30 seconds or so.

I only use an antennae with this Tivo. Tomorrow I am having a cable card installed. So i decided to put the original drive back in so the pairing was done with that drive in place. I immediately noticed the stuttering disappeared while using the original drive.

As a test today I cloned my WD20EARS to another WD20EARS (using a hardware cloner). Just put the new drive in and the stuttering is back.

Not sure what that indicates. I don't believe both drives can be bad, but maybe that model drive is not recommended? (I had thought I had read it was ok....). I can't remember how I upgraded this the first go round (been awhile and the Tivo has not been used for 1yr+).

Anyways, before Comcast arrives tomorrow, the original drive will go back in. Then i will just use JMFS to upgrade once again to a 2TB. Hopefully it works better this time. Perhaps I should pick a different model hard drive? Recommendations?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #16
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Did you use wdidle to disable Intellipark on the WD20EARS? My preference for replacement drives in TiVo's have been WD's AV drives (WD20EURS now) and those come with Intellipark disabled.

Scott
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #17
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Absolutely NO pixellation here. I only have very intermittent stutter, more precisely it's like someone is pressing pause/play.... pause/play..... pause/play.... at different intervals.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:39 PM   #18
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Did you use wdidle to disable Intellipark on the WD20EARS? My preference for replacement drives in TiVo's have been WD's AV drives (WD20EURS now) and those come with Intellipark disabled.
Honestly, I don't recall any more. I thought WDidle3 was to help with this drive not starting after (warm) reboot? I'll definitely look into it. (Mine doesn't exhibit that problem.)

BTW, by "stutter" i mean pixelation.

I may have been too pessimistic. It stuttered twice with the new drive immediately after starting (about 2 minutes apart), but I haven't noticed it since.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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Honestly, I don't recall any more. I thought WDidle3 was to help with this drive not starting after (warm) reboot? I'll definitely look into it. (Mine doesn't exhibit that problem.)

BTW, by "stutter" i mean pixelation.

I may have been too pessimistic. It stuttered twice with the new drive immediately after starting (about 2 minutes apart), but I haven't noticed it since.
Greg,

First thing I would do is pull the drive and check the state of wdidle to see if you have modified it from the default of 8 seconds. Not sure whether to recommend bumping it up to 300 or totally disabling it as some have reported issues with totally disabling it on the EARx models but I can tell you that it is totally disabled on the EURS AV models.

I believe your memory of disabling wdlidle for boot issues was an issue about 2 years ago related to using WD green drives in S3's.

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Old 03-31-2013, 07:04 PM   #20
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brand new XL4

I just got a new XL4 and mini combo. Haven't had TIVO in about eight years. Had a few premier at the PIL homes put in though.

So, after three days of use, I am experiencing the stuttering on recorded playback. this is either with other shows being recorded, or not. (I know, somethings is ALWAYS being recorded)...it isn't THERE on the recording, since I can backup and replay and it doesn't repeat itself in the same place, but it happens again a bit latter.

Why is this? What is the 54 reboot test and would that tell me if there are HD issues?

should I just return this one to tivo and get a replacement?
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:47 PM   #21
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The stuttering video issue appears almost always just after the daily call when the tivo is "loading" the data.
My only guess is that this is causing many disk seeks as it updates the internal database.
The database is a standard mysql and likely can not be easily tuned by tivo.
I think the problem first started after the first fall update.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:35 PM   #22
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I thought the Tivo connects at 2AM. I don't even wake up for at least another four hours and I am watching live news for another two hours. So I probably don't start playing back my shows until at least six or eight hours after the 2AM connect. It can't still be loading the data? I have had this issue since I first got my Elite which was April 2012.

I'm betting an exchange/replacement box would do the exact same thing.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:52 PM   #23
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None of my tivo premieres or elite stutters except in very rare occasions which I'm guessing is HDd related. I would exchange your box.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:01 AM   #24
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I thought the Tivo connects at 2AM. I don't even wake up for at least another four hours and I am watching live news for another two hours. So I probably don't start playing back my shows until at least six or eight hours after the 2AM connect. It can't still be loading the data? I have had this issue since I first got my Elite which was April 2012.

I'm betting an exchange/replacement box would do the exact same thing.
No Tivos connects at a time that always changes. That way all tivos don't call home at the same time and overwhelm the Tivo servers.
If you go to central->settings->Network you will see the last time and the next time the connection is made.
If you see the stutter the network connection screen will say in progress.

How long it takes depends on the amount of data loaded and maybe also the number of season passes you have.

If it is a hard disk issue (I don't to think this is) you can run kickstart 54 and later kickstart 57. (it takes a long time to run the full smart test)


http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #25
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No Tivos connects at a time that always changes. ...
Aha, very good to know. I bet this is the culprit.

Thanks
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:01 AM   #26
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Just got some stutter. Looked in my System Info. Showed that around the moment when the stutter started the Tivo did a "VCM Connect" and "Indexing".

Is there any setting to force the connect to only happen between 11pm-6am??? Instead of right when I really want to enjoy watching my shows...
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #27
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nice

wouldn't that be nice!
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:51 PM   #28
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I still get studdering during playback mostly but its limited a just a few channels an is always just those few channels thank god
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:03 PM   #29
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I was having the exact same problem. I was getting stuttering intermittently. When I rewound it was not there. I thought the hard drive was going. Did a kickstart 54 test and it did not show anything. Support suggested remove ethernet (in my case) and remove the cablecard and just use the tivo to playback to try to eliminate sources. It still stuttered. I exchanged the box.

One thing I did notice. I use pytivo and used it to "pull" a movie to the box. Just when the transfer was going to start. The new box stuttered for a second.

I think that like others indicated that the processor cant handle the load. Especially with the HD interface which seems to really drain it.
This was my original post. My exchanged box stuttered during playback today. Based on other posts in this thread, I checked and the box had just updated the listings for its daily call to Tivo. It had just started to process them. If tivo support still reads these threads, this is a HUGE clue as to this problem. Would save everyone going through the hassle of getting replacement boxes. Maybe they(tivo) can fix this.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:14 PM   #30
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I checked and the box had just updated the listings for its daily call to Tivo. It had just started to process them.
Is the update you mention called "VCM Connection" in the System Information?
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