TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-30-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Angry Ready to say buh-bye to Tivo because of constant freezing.

I'm at my wit's end right now. I'm on my 4th Tivo HD XL in the past 3 years maybe. They all start freezing maybe once a month, then once a week, and now daily and even when I'm just watching a program. It's freezing so much my programs aren't being recorded. I haven't seen a recent Daily Show in weeks.

I know this was a problem with these units from reading this forum in the past, and I just scanned through all the threads but none seem to specifically address this problem now except for maybe installing a new drive, which I don't think is a reasonable solution unless Tivo pays for it. Does anyone know if there is a final solution to this problem? Otherwise I think I might be done with Tivo and switch to whatever Comcast has to offer for DVRs (haven't looked into this yet).

I've been a loyal Tivo guy for something like 10 years, going back to DirecTivo. I'm even on the Tivo Advisors panel.

Thanks and Frustrated,

Brian
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
jrtroo
User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,516
Your machine is well out of warranty, so repairs are on you.

What steps have you taken to address? Have you tried any kickstarts? Is it on a UPS?

Most likely issues are hard disk, power supply, or power quality. Hard disks fail- it is always just a matter of time. But, since this keeps on repeating, I would look towards this being an environmental issue.

I'm always unsure what loyalty means. To me, it includes sticking with a product during adversity.

This should be solvable, and if you are here for some help, more data is needed.
__________________
TiVo Owner
jrtroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks jrtroo.

I just found the long thread called "Disappointed in TiVo - Lack of Support for Series 3" and I can see the points being made there. I guess I think of my Tivo not like an iPhone but more like my Denon amp, which has been going for over a decade with nary a problem. And I don't pay an annual fee for it.

So I guess now the question for me is, What's the best unit to buy these days? Also is there any way to get my current Tivo's programming copied to a new unit? I recall when I have had my XL HD unit replaced, I lost all my programming as everyone said there was no easy way to transfer.

Thanks,

Brian
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
dlfl
Cranky old novice
 
dlfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 5,990
Are you using CableCARD(s)? Tuning Adapter? Have you checked signal levels? Excessive signal can cause freezing. The tuner circuits have protective elements that blank the signal if it's too hot.

If hot signal is your problem, you will have the same kind of problems regardless of which TiVo model you run.
__________________

"It must be swell to be so perfect and odor-free" -- Del Griffith


VideoReDo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

pyTivo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dlfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
poppagene
User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 701
Season Passes can be saved on line at tivo.com and coppied over to a new unit.

As for shows, I use tivo desktop to save any shows I need to keep on my computes hard drive. Then I transfer them as needed or desired to the replacement tivo.
poppagene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
L David Matheny
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 1,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
I'm at my wit's end right now. I'm on my 4th Tivo HD XL in the past 3 years maybe. They all start freezing maybe once a month, then once a week, and now daily and even when I'm just watching a program. It's freezing so much my programs aren't being recorded. I haven't seen a recent Daily Show in weeks.
Some of this has already been mentioned, but think: What can go wrong with TiVo hardware? Internal causes include hard drive failure and "capacitor plague" either of which can be hastened by overheating. Is your unit well ventilated? Does the temperature in System Information look reasonable? Have you run any Kickstart routines? Have you run manufacturer diagnostics against your hard drive? Do all capacitors look OK? Are power supply voltages within a few percent of nominal, measured under load?

External causes include dirty power, dirty RF signals, and maybe even voltage spikes or DC offset on things like your network connection. Are you using a UPS? Does your antenna or cable signal pass through a grounding block, connected to the same grounding point as your electrical service? Are any other inputs suspect? There must be more; keep thinking.
L David Matheny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
zalusky
Registered User
 
zalusky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Cupertino, CA
Posts: 3,785
I had my S3 Tivo in a cabinet and had poor ventilation. The hard drive failed pretty quickly. I replaced the hard drive and took the glass door off the front and have not had a fail since.
__________________
I will never forget the face of my wife as I left to go the operating room to donate my kidney and give her back her life.
zalusky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks everyone for the advice. I must say measuring voltages at capacitors isn't exactly normal consumer level skills. Though I have done that in a previous life, I wouldn't dare open something like my Denon or McIntosh amps or even my DVD player for that matter. Many of the suggestions here are great but not for a "normal" person I don't think.

I don't have a heating or ventilation issue, and I'm running off a dedicated circuit to my main panel and then through a Monster Power conditioner (not that I'm a big Monster fan but their power conditioners have reduced a lot of signal noise in my stereo systems).

Thanks for all the things I should I test. I do have a cablecard setup and didn't know about the signal strength issue, nor the Kickstart which I will try. Just seems all my previous units have deteriorated like this one so I assumed it was just bad drives as the discussion was years ago.

Brian
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 13,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I must say measuring voltages at capacitors isn't exactly normal consumer level skills. Though I have done that in a previous life, I wouldn't dare open something like my Denon or McIntosh amps or even my DVD player for that matter. Many of the suggestions here are great but not for a "normal" person I don't think.

I don't have a heating or ventilation issue, and I'm running off a dedicated circuit to my main panel and then through a Monster Power conditioner (not that I'm a big Monster fan but their power conditioners have reduced a lot of signal noise in my stereo systems).

Thanks for all the things I should I test. I do have a cablecard setup and didn't know about the signal strength issue, nor the Kickstart which I will try. Just seems all my previous units have deteriorated like this one so I assumed it was just bad drives as the discussion was years ago.

Brian
Inside a TiVo is a lot less scary than inside your Denon as long as you keep in mind that the power supply is not shielded once you take the top off of the TiVo.

Always know where both ends of the power cord are.

Hook the negative lead of the voltmeter to the metal chassis over on the side where the power supply isn't and then go to the plug from the power supply that plugs into the socket on the motherboard.

The yellow wire should be +12, the red +5, and the orange +3.3

Just stick the positive probe down into the plug where the wire enters until you contact the metal at the end of the wire.


And give the capacitors on the power supply board a really close look (unplug it for this) to see if any have even a hint of a bulge on top or any leakage whatsoever.

As for going through 4 658s in 3 years, it's time to suspect something in the environment to which you've been subjecting them, whether it's poor ventilation, dirty wall socket power, too much signal strength, or maybe even voltages on the cable that shouldn't be there, possibly due to it not being properly bonded and grounded at the service entrance.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Unitron - thanks very much for these instructions. I will try everything you say this weekend. I pretty much have ruled out ventilation or dirty environment - it's a very clean room and my AV rack is not closed up and the room is always on the cool side.

I've been looking all over trying to find instructions for the Kickstart but can't seem to find them.

cheers,

Brian
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
L David Matheny
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 1,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Unitron - thanks very much for these instructions. I will try everything you say this weekend. I pretty much have ruled out ventilation or dirty environment - it's a very clean room and my AV rack is not closed up and the room is always on the cool side.
I referred to "dirty" power or signals, but I didn't mean physically dirty as in clogged with dust (although that's bad, too); I meant electrically dirty as in loaded with voltage spikes or DC voltage offset, which can upset or even damage components inside your equipment.
L David Matheny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks David for the clarification. My power should be clean (don't really know how to tell if it wasn't). It's a separate circuit straight from the main panel and then through a Monster power conditioner. Perhaps I should consider a different conditioner.
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
HomeUser
Registered User
 
HomeUser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A2 Michigan
Posts: 2,315
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Unitron - thanks very much for these instructions. I will try everything you say this weekend. I pretty much have ruled out ventilation or dirty environment - it's a very clean room and my AV rack is not closed up and the room is always on the cool side.

I've been looking all over trying to find instructions for the Kickstart but can't seem to find them.

cheers,

Brian
richsadams Kickstart post

Same problem with 4 TiVos... I would think it has to be environment. If the signal level is OK have the grounding of the cable where it comes into the house checked.

Troubleshooting digital cable signals on TiVo Series3 and Premiere series boxes
__________________
VicW, Ex-Comcast customer ... And loving it!.
HomeUser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 01:46 PM   #14
L David Matheny
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 1,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks David for the clarification. My power should be clean (don't really know how to tell if it wasn't). It's a separate circuit straight from the main panel and then through a Monster power conditioner. Perhaps I should consider a different conditioner.
Monster's gear is overpriced, but it's usually of pretty good quality. I doubt that your problem is dirty power. Most of the things I mentioned are normally quite unlikely, but still worth considering when faced with a strange problem.
L David Matheny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 13,545
Also

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

Generally about 60 seconds after you apply power to the TiVo is when the front panel light change happens that you need to catch.

I miss 'ol Rich.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #16
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I must say measuring voltages at capacitors isn't exactly normal consumer level skills. Though I have done that in a previous life, I wouldn't dare open something like my Denon or McIntosh amps or even my DVD player for that matter. Many of the suggestions here are great but not for a "normal" person I don't think.
Then perhaps "normal" people should not purchase sophisticated electronics. Certainly I would never seek to own anything I was incapable of repairing myself. At the very least, anyone who does has to take whatever chance throws at them and pay through the nose - perhaps fraudulently - for maintenance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
I don't have a heating or ventilation issue, and I'm running off a dedicated circuit to my main panel
'Not necessarily relevant. Power issues are often experienced on the mains, and while back-feeding interference through the breaker panel attenuates the level of interference, it does not eliminate it entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
and then through a Monster Power conditioner (not that I'm a big Monster fan but their power conditioners have reduced a lot of signal noise in my stereo systems).
I cannot speak to the unit specifically, but knowing Monster, there is a fair chance that unit does nothing whatsoever, or at least nothing significant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks for all the things I should I test. I do have a cablecard setup and didn't know about the signal strength issue, nor the Kickstart which I will try. Just seems all my previous units have deteriorated like this one so I assumed it was just bad drives as the discussion was years ago.
It's possible. Four short-lived units out of four strongly suggests an environmental issue, however.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #17
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks David for the clarification. My power should be clean (don't really know how to tell if it wasn't). It's a separate circuit straight from the main panel and then through a Monster power conditioner. Perhaps I should consider a different conditioner.
A high quality UPS would be a better choice.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 01:16 PM   #18
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
Monster's gear is overpriced, but it's usually of pretty good quality. I doubt that your problem is dirty power. Most of the things I mentioned are normally quite unlikely, but still worth considering when faced with a strange problem.
They are more than merely over-priced (and hugely so at that). More often than not, the units claim to address issues that are of little or no actual technical concern. Hype is one thing, but Monster's equipment is nothing but hype. I have not observed their products in general to be of superior construction nor to be made from superior materials. Again, however, I cannot specifically say this relates to the unit in question.

I can however categorically say that 90% or better of all issues in electronic systems relates to either power or grounding. Certainly there are many exceptions, but power and grounding are the very first place to look, especially for intermittent issues.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #19
lrhorer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by babatunde View Post
Thanks David for the clarification. My power should be clean (don't really know how to tell if it wasn't).
A power monitor or Digital Oscilloscope attached to a PC will do it. Some UPS units have pretty good power monitoring.
lrhorer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2012, 07:16 PM   #20
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks Everyone! I will report back results.

Brian
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #21
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
Are you using CableCARD(s)? Tuning Adapter? Have you checked signal levels? Excessive signal can cause freezing. The tuner circuits have protective elements that blank the signal if it's too hot.

If hot signal is your problem, you will have the same kind of problems regardless of which TiVo model you run.
Have finally had time to look into the suggested possible problems. My signal strength is 100 and SNR is 37dB. I don't know if "excessive" is more or less than 100 but usually 100 means the max, so perhaps this is my problem? Sounds like there's no fix for this???

I tried to run the Kickstart HD Test (54). It pass the first three tests, then on the Extended Test if froze after about 2 minutes "pink screened" on me (that's what happens when it freezes -- the screen turns mostly pink and yellow, frozen). It said it got 10% of the way in when it froze.

Internal temperature reports "36c (Normal)" btw.

thanks

BT
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 04:23 PM   #22
dlfl
Cranky old novice
 
dlfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 5,990
The KS54 result indicates a failing hard drive, although you could try running it again just to be sure. That would be your primary problem

If ALL your channels have sig strength of 100 (which is a max and means it could be 100 or anything above that) your signal may be too hot. It usually varies from channel to channel. In my case they range from 76 to 100, with 100 being the value for about 1/3 of the channels. My belief is that signals only slightly above 100 do no harm, whereas values below 70 are where you run into weak signal problems (e.g., pixelation and RS error counts).

I've also been told that there is a range of sig strength (somewhere above 100) where, although you don't see any video blanking, there is a long term "fatigue" effect on the limiting circuit elements and eventually the tuner fails.

There actually are very simple solutions for hot signal, either an in-line attenuator or a splitter used just for its insertion loss. I recommend getting a set of 3 attenuators (3, 6 and 10 dB attenuations), so you can try several values.
For example: http://www.amazon.com/3db-Coax-Cable.../dp/B0013L69D2
By trying different attenuators I determined that with 3 dB I know that my channels that say 100 are actually only slightly above that, and I didn't want to use more attenuation because the few channels I have that read around 76 would get lower and might start pixelating. In principle I should complain to my cable co and try to force them to reduce the channel-to-channel variation but (given the response I typically get and the hassle of dealing with them) I don't think it's worth it.
__________________

"It must be swell to be so perfect and odor-free" -- Del Griffith


VideoReDo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

pyTivo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dlfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #23
unitron
Registered User
 
unitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 13,545
Remember when your analog stuff would freeze up if the signal was a little too strong, or just stop recording, or refuse to start, if there was a momentary loss of signal?

Yeah, me neither.
__________________
(thisismysigfile)


"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
unitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #24
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks. I'll try the test again. Could be it was just 'ready to blow' - it's been freezing pretty much daily for weeks now.

I don't know how to check specific channel strengths? I just hunted around in the menu system until I found the 100% spec.

- BT


Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
The KS54 result indicates a failing hard drive, although you could try running it again just to be sure. That would be your primary problem

If ALL your channels have sig strength of 100 (which is a max and means it could be 100 or anything above that) your signal may be too hot. It usually varies from channel to channel. In my case they range from 76 to 100, with 100 being the value for about 1/3 of the channels. My belief is that signals only slightly above 100 do no harm, whereas values below 70 are where you run into weak signal problems (e.g., pixelation and RS error counts).

I've also been told that there is a range of sig strength (somewhere above 100) where, although you don't see any video blanking, there is a long term "fatigue" effect on the limiting circuit elements and eventually the tuner fails.

There actually are very simple solutions for hot signal, either an in-line attenuator or a splitter used just for its insertion loss. I recommend getting a set of 3 attenuators (3, 6 and 10 dB attenuations), so you can try several values.
For example: http://www.amazon.com/3db-Coax-Cable.../dp/B0013L69D2
By trying different attenuators I determined that with 3 dB I know that my channels that say 100 are actually only slightly above that, and I didn't want to use more attenuation because the few channels I have that read around 76 would get lower and might start pixelating. In principle I should complain to my cable co and try to force them to reduce the channel-to-channel variation but (given the response I typically get and the hassle of dealing with them) I don't think it's worth it.

babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 05:07 PM   #25
madscientist
Deregistered Snoozer
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lexington, MA
Posts: 3,133
Can't wait until SSD's are cheap enough to replace rotating media. SO much more reliable. Only question is whether they would wear too quickly when used in something like a DVR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
Remember when your analog stuff would freeze up if the signal was a little too strong, or just stop recording, or refuse to start, if there was a momentary loss of signal?

Yeah, me neither.
Going from stateless to stateful is a much more significant and difficult change than it often seems at first glance. And making delicate hardware resiliant in the face of your typical consumer environment is not always so simple. Ditto for the software: it's much simpler to give up when confronted with an unexpected situation than to figure out what the best response would be (and implement it).
__________________
"Please remain calm--I may be mad, but I am a professional!" -- Mad Scientist
madscientist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 05:31 PM   #26
dlfl
Cranky old novice
 
dlfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 5,990
The per-channel numbers are in DVR Diagnostics. The info will be for the two channels you currently have tuned. There is another way to look at signal strength per-channel and it is a lot faster than the DVR Diagnostics pages. It is in Settings ... Channels ..... Signal Strength. This method will kill any recordings in progress and the 30-min buffers, however.

In DVR Diagnostics take note of RS Errors (Corrected and Uncorrected). If they are zeros then signal problems (other than those already in the distributed signal) are NOT causing video problems on that channel -- it must be the hard drive --- or power supply.
__________________

"It must be swell to be so perfect and odor-free" -- Del Griffith


VideoReDo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

pyTivo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dlfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #27
babatunde
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 34
Thanks Mad and dlfl!

- BT
babatunde is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:13 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |