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Old 09-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
pdxdave
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recordings not finishing.....

So I don't post a ton here, usualy don't need the help as my TiVo is pretty well behaved.
Within the last week or so I've had 4 different recordings not complete, one stopping 1 minute in (CSI), Greys Anatomy stopping at 1:32, etc...
My signal is at 100, no corrected or un-corrected errors and a good SNR.
I throw myself on the mercy of the experts....
any ideas?
D
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:22 PM   #2
nooneuknow
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Originally Posted by pdxdave View Post
So I don't post a ton here, usualy don't need the help as my TiVo is pretty well behaved.
Within the last week or so I've had 4 different recordings not complete, one stopping 1 minute in (CSI), Greys Anatomy stopping at 1:32, etc...
My signal is at 100, no corrected or un-corrected errors and a good SNR.
I throw myself on the mercy of the experts....
any ideas?
D
I had that problem last season with every CSI flavor. You'll need to "pad" the recording(s) by editing your season pass. You can specify for it to add 1 minute (or however many you need), and if you have extra recorded at the beginning you can do the same with that and make it start later. It will still behave the same as any other season pass, just slightly shifted (padded). If you record other programs on the same channels immediately before or after, keep in mind that you'll need to do those too.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:27 PM   #3
pdxdave
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The short recordings were completely random.... Xfactor one night, Greys another, CSI the next. Different networks and times.
I called TiVo and we kinda figured out its a weak signal issue but my signal is outstanding.
I'll try padding the time on my season passes and see what happens...
D
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by nooneuknow View Post
I had that problem last season with every CSI flavor. You'll need to "pad" the recording(s) by editing your season pass. You can specify for it to add 1 minute (or however many you need), and if you have extra recorded at the beginning you can do the same with that and make it start later. It will still behave the same as any other season pass, just slightly shifted (padded). If you record other programs on the same channels immediately before or after, keep in mind that you'll need to do those too.
I think you misread the OP. Padding isn't going to hep a recording that stops in the beginning or middle. Sounds to me like the hard drive is dieing. Seems that the hard drive is freezing during the recording.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:21 AM   #5
nooneuknow
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Originally Posted by pdxdave View Post
The short recordings were completely random.... Xfactor one night, Greys another, CSI the next. Different networks and times.
I called TiVo and we kinda figured out its a weak signal issue but my signal is outstanding.
I'll try padding the time on my season passes and see what happens...
D
I'm really not very sure you were given proper information/advice by the outsourced TiVo CSR. If you mean by "outstanding" that your signal strength in pegged at 100 and doesn't sometimes drop below 100, if anything, the signal might be a too strong, which is easily fixed with inexpensive "attenuators", which cableco trucks carry on-board. Your signal would have to drop below 80 (or sometimes even much lower to cause problems, in most cases). If your SNR (different parameter, related to signal) is always above 36 and fluctuates higher, same fix.

You can also use a splitter to attenuate, if you have one around, before spending money on attenuators, or chasing after cableco trucks trying to get free ones.

However, I can't see either a weak or strong signal or SNR issue recording all but the last 1-2 minutes of a program (unless there were quality issues throughout what did record, which even then, you'd expect to have missing chunks in places other than just the end).

It's sometimes a good idea to call again, hope for a different CSR and see what they say. It's called "CSR Roulette", as it's your luck of the draw as to who you get and if they have a clue. Unfortunately, some don't.

-Best of luck
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WhiskeyTango View Post
I think you misread the OP. Padding isn't going to hep a recording that stops in the beginning or middle. Sounds to me like the hard drive is dieing. Seems that the hard drive is freezing during the recording.
It's not like I'm exactly new at this (5+ years w/TiVo, over 20+ w/hard drives, and 10+ cable/MSO).

You go straight to one of the worst case, and most expensive, scenarios. "Hard drive freezing up"? Oh, please, you're the first person I've heard in 20+ years use the word "freeze" regarding a hard drive, other than sticking one in a freezer to try and get it to come back to life long enough for data recovery.

Where's all the OTHER problems that would be happening, if your FUD, the sky is falling, hard drive scenario was the case?

@pxdave: I was going to add, to only change one thing at a time, so you know what works. Anybody with diagnostic skills knows this, as well as you don't just go straight to the worst case scenario. So, I've added it here.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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Here's a link to a good TiVo FAQ regarding signal troubleshooting. It's for the TiVo HD line, but still applies to the Premiere:

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/150

Along with the fall, comes different programming, there's also the weather, which tends to affect the signal (it gets stronger with the cooler temperatures). Long coaxial copper runs are affected, while fiber optics are not.

Sorry, WhiskeyTango, if you find my response to your post a bit strong.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #8
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OK, thanks for all the input. Just so we're straight it's a THD thats probably 4-5 years old with no mods and an "approved" 1TB external drive.
I'm using cable cards from what was Verizon, now frontier.
I had two attenuators in line, a 6db and a 10 db. this was to combat the well known pixalation issue. I've removed both and replaced the 10, as the pixalation returned.
I'm re-booting as I type this and then I'll check my signal strength and snr.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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Ok, signal strength is now 93 and snr is 35. The only issue I can find today is channel 680, syfy hd is having some pixalation issues and seems choppy.....
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pdxdave View Post
OK, thanks for all the input. Just so we're straight it's a THD thats probably 4-5 years old with no mods and an "approved" 1TB external drive.
I'm using cable cards from what was Verizon, now frontier.
I had two attenuators in line, a 6db and a 10 db. this was to combat the well known pixalation issue. I've removed both and replaced the 10, as the pixalation returned.
I'm re-booting as I type this and then I'll check my signal strength and snr.
Covering this post and the update:

OK. That's a VERY good signal and SNR is in range. They will vary from channel to channel, due to the frequency differences. So, you might want to see if it has some drastic variation, on problem channels. Too bad you don't have a -3dB to try adding, if you find the SNR going 36+ (TiVo HDs are really sensitive with the SNR, even if the signal level is perfect). In order to keep my SNR at 35, I would have to attenuate to the point of the signal getting as low as 75, which makes some channels hiccup.

But, you added a very important "data point". Those "approved" expanders are known for frequent, and early, failure, as well as causing recording quality problems, and there are whole threads here about it. Sometimes it's just the eSATA cable (there's a certain one that people on here swear by). I'll have to suggest you dig around on here and read up on it. It could be your problem.

Beware, though, that if you disconnect it and run without it, you will lose all recordings that were recorded after you hooked it up, leaving only what you had before hooking it up, AFAIK.

While I wouldn't call anything that happens with those drives a "freezing" issue, unless you wind up putting it in the freezer (which many have actually done, to either get a short burst of life out of them, or to break the case open), Whiskey Tango may have nailed it, without knowing you had the expander. He must be psychic, I guess.

At the same time, if you can record some 1080i or 720p HD channels but not others, that still points to the quality of the cable feed.

For peace of mind, consider doing what most using those expanders do at some point, which is to eliminate them and upgrade the internal drive. There's whole threads covering how to do that, as well.

If you come up with any more things you feel may be relevant, feel free to post updates.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pdxdave View Post
So I don't post a ton here, usualy don't need the help as my TiVo is pretty well behaved.
Within the last week or so I've had 4 different recordings not complete, one stopping 1 minute in (CSI), Greys Anatomy stopping at 1:32, etc...
My signal is at 100, no corrected or un-corrected errors and a good SNR.
I throw myself on the mercy of the experts....
any ideas?
D
One problem that TiVos have that VCRs don't is the inability to ride out a temporary loss of signal.

If it's recording a one hour show and the signal is interrupted 3 minutes in and gets restored 4 minutes in, you don't have a one hour recording with 1 minute of dead air, you have a 3 minute recording with a one hour green progress bar on the bottom of the screen.

Since the signal interruption may well have happened before it got to the TiVo's tuners, there's nothing that can be done to the TiVo to prevent it.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:22 AM   #12
nooneuknow
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One problem that TiVos have that VCRs don't is the inability to ride out a temporary loss of signal.

If it's recording a one hour show and the signal is interrupted 3 minutes in and gets restored 4 minutes in, you don't have a one hour recording with 1 minute of dead air, you have a 3 minute recording with a one hour green progress bar on the bottom of the screen.

Since the signal interruption may well have happened before it got to the TiVo's tuners, there's nothing that can be done to the TiVo to prevent it.
I have to disagree, slightly. Due to a neighbor having their cable feed coming from a box far away, instead of the closest one (which has unused taps), and my having a double feed, Cox is always winds up pulling my feeds trying to find the neighbor's feed. I can lose 15 minutes or more until I go verbally b-slap the guy, if I'm around and figure it out. So, if I lose 15 minutes in the middle, I get a solid green bar, with 15 minutes of black at the end. The show will just jump 15 minutes ahead where the interruption happened. Both my HD units do this, as well as four Premieres. Since the neighbor is always having some sort of problem, my scenario is frequent.

Something closer to your scenario has happened, and gets reported in the Recording History logs as "not recorded due to no signal". This only happens if they have me disconnected at the time a recording is to begin, and then it's a matter of mere minutes before the TiVo gives up trying. Sometimes, even though logged as not recorded, the program data will be in the NPL, but it's just black screen with a black progress bar that may sometimes have a tiny amount of green at the beginning.

I'm not saying you're wrong. The tivo HD line went through a lot of minor hardware revisions (and can have different versions of PROM firmware). I'm running two of the newest revisions manufactured right before they discontinued production. Older revisions may not behave the same (actually, I'm quite sure of that, since I had two of the oldest vintage, now retired, and I had verified with a TiVo engineer, that they made changes that could affect this sort of thing).

Last edited by nooneuknow : 09-25-2011 at 07:23 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:08 AM   #13
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I have to disagree, slightly. Due to a neighbor having their cable feed coming from a box far away, instead of the closest one (which has unused taps), and my having a double feed, Cox is always winds up pulling my feeds trying to find the neighbor's feed. I can lose 15 minutes or more until I go verbally b-slap the guy, if I'm around and figure it out. So, if I lose 15 minutes in the middle, I get a solid green bar, with 15 minutes of black at the end. The show will just jump 15 minutes ahead where the interruption happened. Both my HD units do this, as well as four Premieres. Since the neighbor is always having some sort of problem, my scenario is frequent.

Something closer to your scenario has happened, and gets reported in the Recording History logs as "not recorded due to no signal". This only happens if they have me disconnected at the time a recording is to begin, and then it's a matter of mere minutes before the TiVo gives up trying. Sometimes, even though logged as not recorded, the program data will be in the NPL, but it's just black screen with a black progress bar that may sometimes have a tiny amount of green at the beginning.

I'm not saying you're wrong. The tivo HD line went through a lot of minor hardware revisions (and can have different versions of PROM firmware). I'm running two of the newest revisions manufactured right before they discontinued production. Older revisions may not behave the same (actually, I'm quite sure of that, since I had two of the oldest vintage, now retired, and I had verified with a TiVo engineer, that they made changes that could affect this sort of thing).
I was speaking from my experience with S1s and S2s. If they fixed it starting with the S3s, great.

Except that they should have updated the software for the older units to fix the problem for them as well.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:33 AM   #14
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So after a little looking it seems that its only doing this on HD channels.....
At one point it froze up while watching a show live.
Since its just HD channels I cant imagine its a drive issue, maybe a tuner card problem?
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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So after a little looking it seems that its only doing this on HD channels.....
At one point it froze up while watching a show live.
Since its just HD channels I cant imagine its a drive issue, maybe a tuner card problem?
Are those over the air HD channels or cable HD channels?
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #16
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So after a little looking it seems that its only doing this on HD channels.....
At one point it froze up while watching a show live.
Since its just HD channels I cant imagine its a drive issue, maybe a tuner card problem?
Along with agreeing that Unitron asked a pertinent question:

I've seen borderline hard drives, especially expander drives (or the eSATA cable), be the reason for TiVos recording everything, but HD, without problems. The "kickstart" hard disk tests available on your TiVo include a "Conveyance Test", which measures if the drive(s) can keep up with the expected throughput. You have to remember that your TiVo is recording (and buffering), even if you watch Live TV.

To either implicate or eliminate signal/tuner issues: Keep an eye on the RS Corrected and RS Uncorrected errors on the diagnostics screen, while tuned to live programming. They reset to zero each time you change the channel on the applicable tuner. See how many of each you get with HD vs non-HD channels (and especially your problem channels), as well as if one tuner works with a problem channel vs problems with same channel on the other, and report back. I suggest taking notes, as opposed to trying to just remember.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #17
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Gotcha.....
Thanks for the input guys, I'm on a quest now!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:34 PM   #18
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pdxdave: Did you ever fix your recording issues? Many of my recordings are short always at the end, averaging 1 minute or more.

Tankx
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
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pdxdave: Did you ever fix your recording issues? Many of my recordings are short always at the end, averaging 1 minute or more.

Tankx
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I have found it's the network broadcast schedule. They do it on purpose, to aggravate DVR users on behalf of their advertisers.
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