I've been working on this non-stop for 3 days and I'm losing patience. I'm about 80% certain this is a TiVo issue, but I need confirmation. I have a TiVo branded DVR, the code starts with 540. It arrived via FedEx on Saturday. The two TV's I used are regular tube TVs. One is an RCA and the other is a Toshiba. Here's the scenario - (read like a timeline):
First wiring set up:
TiVo->TV via RCA Jacks/S-Video cable
DVD/VCR->TV via Coax
In this first set up, I am able to use the VCR/DVD player to play DVDs and I switch the TV to the RCA/svideo input to watch TiVo. When I finished the guided setup (after a couple of adjustments for vonage-related issues), I noticed that the audio was awful. The video is crisp and clear, but the audio sounded similar to what you might hear if the audio was being piped through a handheld AM radio with a bad signal. If you listen carefully, you can hear what the person/people are saying, but the static/noise is much louder. There's also a sort of 'squealing' noise to boot. However, the TiVo noises, like when I touch buttons on the remote, sound just fine. Also, as a side note, the little introduction video clip with the dancing mascot has the same horrible audio quality.
Called TiVo, they said that I have a weak cable signal. I went ahead and downloaded the 7.2 update, so the software is current.
Here's setup 2:
cable company->telephone pole->house->tivo (as direct as I could make it)
tivo->tv via RCA jacks
Same issue with audio. Having the strongest signal possible didn't even lessen the effect of the bad audio. The TiVo sounds are just fine, it's live TV that sucks.
I swapped the RCA cable with ones that I *know* work just fine...same audio problem.
I swapped the Coax with the highest-quality stuff I have (cable I used for a satellite receiver)...same audio problem.
I went from TiVO to TV using Coax (RF-out from TiVo to TV)...same audio problem. Even during the introduction movie.
BUT when I put the Tivo in standby and just use the TV (the cable signal is being passed through the TiVo), the audio/video looks fine through the TV.
I tried with several different cables and two different TVs. I get the same horrible audio sound no matter what the combination of wiring/TV.
I suspect that there's a problem with the Tivo. I know both TVs work fine because I have plugged stuff in with the RCA jacks without a hitch (gamecube, etc).
Although I doubt I can do anything other than get a new TiVo, does anyone have a recommendation for me? I can't imagine there are any other setup issues that I've missed.
The only thing I can think of is when I set up the TiVo, I chose "Expanded Basic" cable instead of "Basic Cable". This only expands my channel listing instead of making the TiVo search for a different type of signal. For either selection, I have no cable box...i just pipe the signal into my house right from the pole.