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Old 08-17-2014, 03:10 AM   #1
UtahJoe
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Can signal issues be related to the Tivo itself?

Hello,

I'm having some problems with my Tivo HD that I'm hoping to get help with.

A few nights ago we started getting some macroblocking, accompanied by audio drops. This happens occasionally and I didn't think much of it.

It has gotten worse, and the TV has become unwatchable. We are now getting the "Searching for signal..." message occasionally as it drops out completely.

My signal levels are holding at about 44, with SNR between 23 and 29. About every 30 seconds the signal drops to 0, and sometimes signal lock is lost altogether.

I am also seeing massive RS numbers. A channel that has been tuned for 220 seconds is showing 187,277 uncorrected, and 2,605,611 corrected. I read somewhere that you should see a handful of these in an hour, but mine are climbing by the thousands every second!

I have changed the coax from the wall to the Tivo, tried connecting the Tivo to another outlet, and removed the splitter from the stream... all resulting in the exact same signal levels. Our other Tivo in the home (a Premier) goes through the exact same splitter and is reporting 85% signal level and upper 30's SNR.

Whatever is going on seems to be related to this Tivo box, but I'm not understanding how.

A little weird thing happened this week that I'm not sure is related, but just in case - we called and cancelled service on a Series 2 that we stopped using. The next day, this Tivo HD showed "Tivo Service Interrupted". I called because I figured she accidentally cancelled service on the wrong box, but that wasn't the case. The guy told me the Tivo HD hadn't connected in 5 days, but I know that still shouldn't have caused the "Interrupted" message. He told me I needed to call tech support, and I planned on doing it the next day. The problem resolved itself before I could call, and it these macroblocking problems started shortly after. I doubt it's related, but wanted to mention it just in case.

Any suggestions? Is it possible that the Tivo is causing these signal issues? A defective tuner seems like a possibility, but it would be odd for them both to fail at exactly the same time.

Last edited by UtahJoe : 08-17-2014 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:07 PM   #2
wtkflhn
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Are you dealing with cable cards, cable at all or off the air reception?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:36 PM   #3
UtahJoe
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Are you dealing with cable cards, cable at all or off the air reception?
Hi there,

Yes, we have a multi stream cable card.

And now, we are getting no signal at all. It's progressively gotten worse up until now, but now it won't tune anything.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
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Hi there,

Yes, we have a multi stream cable card.

And now, we are getting no signal at all. It's progressively gotten worse up until now, but now it won't tune anything.
So you're getting the same problem on both cable tuners?

Have you tried the Over The Air input with some sort of antenna to see if you can get anything at all?


Are you aware of the infamous Series2/Series3 power supply problem where bad capacitors cause the power supply to work less well than it should, causing all sorts of strange symptoms depending on just how degraded it has become?
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
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If this unit has a lifetime sub it might be worth checking into a power supply failure. Otherwise it's hardly worth enough to bother with, although if the PS is still good it might be worth a few bucks to someone. The most common failure is capacitor disease evidenced by one or more bulging caps in the supply, even just slightly bulging is suspicious. If functionality other than tuning, including menu navigation and playback of previous recordings, is normal it probably isn't a PS problem.

There are several good threads on replacing caps and photos of slightly bulging caps here but (of course) I can't find them right now.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
UtahJoe
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Originally Posted by unitron View Post
So you're getting the same problem on both cable tuners?

Have you tried the Over The Air input with some sort of antenna to see if you can get anything at all?


Are you aware of the infamous Series2/Series3 power supply problem where bad capacitors cause the power supply to work less well than it should, causing all sorts of strange symptoms depending on just how degraded it has become?
Hi,

Yes, we are getting the exact same problems on both tuners and they degraded equally over time.

I was not aware of the power supply problem on these boxes, but after reading this I looked into it.

In addition, the box has also started squealing! It has to be the hard drive or power supply I imagine. But the weird thing is there is absolutely no other symptoms. Menus, navigation, video on demand, transferring shows from another TiVo, and playback of recorded shows work perfectly fine. It just won't tune.

It shows no signal, exactly like it isn't plugged into the cable line. I have of course brought it to a known-to-be-working outlet and have the same results.

If it sounds like it's toast anyway, I'll probably try my hand at repairing the caps if that's the problem. But at this point TiVo has a sale on Roamio's for $149 and I can still use my expander drive, making it plenty large for us. It might be time to kiss this old girl goodbye.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahJoe View Post
Hi,

Yes, we are getting the exact same problems on both tuners and they degraded equally over time.

I was not aware of the power supply problem on these boxes, but after reading this I looked into it.

In addition, the box has also started squealing! It has to be the hard drive or power supply I imagine. But the weird thing is there is absolutely no other symptoms. Menus, navigation, video on demand, transferring shows from another TiVo, and playback of recorded shows work perfectly fine. It just won't tune.

It shows no signal, exactly like it isn't plugged into the cable line. I have of course brought it to a known-to-be-working outlet and have the same results.

If it sounds like it's toast anyway, I'll probably try my hand at repairing the caps if that's the problem. But at this point TiVo has a sale on Roamio's for $149 and I can still use my expander drive, making it plenty large for us. It might be time to kiss this old girl goodbye.

Squealing could be the drive, magnetostriction in the power supply, a power supply capacitor gassing out through a very small opening, the fan complaining about insufficient lubrication, or a combination of the above.


If it's not obviously the power supply (visibly domed caps), it might still be the power supply, and you'd need the DC outputs checked with a voltmeter to know for sure one way or the other, but power supply problems can keep you from successfully troubleshooting if it's something else as well.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
UtahJoe
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Squealing could be the drive, magnetostriction in the power supply, a power supply capacitor gassing out through a very small opening, the fan complaining about insufficient lubrication, or a combination of the above.


If it's not obviously the power supply (visibly domed caps), it might still be the power supply, and you'd need the DC outputs checked with a voltmeter to know for sure one way or the other, but power supply problems can keep you from successfully troubleshooting if it's something else as well.
Ok, I took it apart and unplugged the hard drive and fan. I plugged it back in and the squealing (maybe more of a high pitched whistle) continued, coming straight from the power supply. The caps are showing some bulging.

I've attached the best pictures I can get. Do these look like they're done? If they are, is it possible this ifs only affecting my tuners?

Thank you so much all of you, for all of your help. This box is older, but it works just fine fo r what we need it to do... so if I can get it back up that would be great!
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg pic2.jpg (41.8 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by UtahJoe : 08-29-2014 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
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Ok, I took it apart and unplugged the hard drive and fan. I plugged it back in and the squealing (maybe more of a high pitched whistle) continued, coming straight from the power supply. The caps are showing some bulging.

I've attached the best pictures I can get. Do these look like they're done? If they are, is it possible this ifs only affecting my tuners?

Thank you so much all of you, for all of your help. This box is older, but it works just fine fo r what we need it to do... so if I can get it back up that would be great!

Got a soldering iron, 40 Watts or higher?

I won't swear you don't have any other problems, but you need to repair that power supply or replace it with a known good one before you can have any confidence in further troubleshooting.

And yeah, a power supply declining in capability could easily account for your tuner trouble--it even caused some Series 2 DirecTiVo units to have one tuner work and the other not work because of one bad cap.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:27 PM   #10
UtahJoe
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Got a soldering iron, 40 Watts or higher?

I won't swear you don't have any other problems, but you need to repair that power supply or replace it with a known good one before you can have any confidence in further troubleshooting.

And yeah, a power supply declining in capability could easily account for your tuner trouble--it even caused some Series 2 DirecTiVo units to have one tuner work and the other not work because of one bad cap.
I do have a soldering iron... I have done some soldering, but never on a PC board. This seems like a good opportunity to learn! I just have to wrangle up the caps, but I think I can do that tonight down at the electronics store.

I found a recent thread where Unitron gave a lot of advice on this, so I'm going to read through that.

Edited to add: I found this parts list: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=505873

I've found all of the caps within specs at Digikey, except for the one at C306. The specs on the original cap are 55ma ripple current and 2.8 Ohm impedance. The one in the thread above is 4.5 Ohm. That seems like a big difference to replace, but at the same time I can't find one that meets the original specs. Is the 4.5 Ohm OK to use?

Last edited by UtahJoe : 08-30-2014 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:02 PM   #11
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I do have a soldering iron... I have done some soldering, but never on a PC board. This seems like a good opportunity to learn! I just have to wrangle up the caps, but I think I can do that tonight down at the electronics store.

I found a recent thread where Unitron gave a lot of advice on this, so I'm going to read through that.

Edited to add: I found this parts list: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=505873

I've found all of the caps within specs at Digikey, except for the one at C306. The specs on the original cap are 55ma ripple current and 2.8 Ohm impedance. The one in the thread above is 4.5 Ohm. That seems like a big difference to replace, but at the same time I can't find one that meets the original specs. Is the 4.5 Ohm OK to use?

Did you check Mouser.com?
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