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Old 01-09-2008, 10:04 PM   #481
lrhorer
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On the border

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Originally Posted by srcohen View Post
I wonder: Is the cable card more sensitive to signal strength?
Not directly, no. The RF signal never reaches the CableCard. It is possible, however, that a marginal signal for an unencrypted channel coud cause an encrypted channel to croak. It's pretty unlikely, however.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:07 PM   #482
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Take note of the channel assignments of whatever local VHF Broadcast stations are in your area and look closely at those same channels on your TV without an STB or DVR. Are there beats in the picture?
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm really about at my wits end! Now that you mention this, before we had Digital we had occasionally noticed some PQ issues on analog channel 11 - it turns out the closest broadcast station to us is 8 miles away and broadcasting on channel 11. So when I got home today I tightened all my connections. Analog 11 looks fine on all TV's, but sure enough, the pixelation on the two digital channels continues. I will try pulling at the cables to see if the connectors come off.

We never had problems when we had Cox's DVR - only the Tivo. I replaced splitters, replaced cable cards, have had Cox out 3 times and they've said the signal is "fine," I've removed splits, added attenuators at various levels, and even tried a tilt compensator. The only thing that has shown any improvement is attenuating, but I can't attenuate any further without losing other channels due to low signal strength. I don't know what to do. I feel like I've been spending more time troubleshooting than enjoying the Tivo, and both Cox and Tivo customer service have not been helpful. I'm almost ready to give up...
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #483
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I tested my cables and they seem to be crimped well. Any other thoughts? Anyone? Please?
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:55 PM   #484
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I tested my cables and they seem to be crimped well. Any other thoughts? Anyone? Please?
Are you seeing the RS Uncorrected count incrementing with the pixelations? If not, the issue may be elsewhere.

EDIT: Looked back and saw that you already said RS Uncorrected was spiking.....
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:15 PM   #485
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Are you seeing the RS Uncorrected count incrementing with the pixelations? If not, the issue may be elsewhere.

EDIT: Looked back and saw that you already said RS Uncorrected was spiking.....
Yep. And I should add that it is happening irregularly. Sometimes I'll tune to one the channels and it'll be fine for a while - no Uncorrected and just a couple Corrected errors - and then all the sudden they start incrementing and pixelating. Other times I'll tune to the channel and it'll start happening right away. It did seem to become less frequent when I started attenuating, but my signal is now so low that I am close to losing my 800 MHz channels. Thanks for your help...

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Old 01-12-2008, 11:43 AM   #486
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Here's a thought as to ingress causing my picture problems... is it possible that the open RF connection labeled "antenna" on the Tivo HD could lead to some interference? I mean, if I have a 3-way splitter and an open port that isn't terminated, that could cause noise in the line... so is it possible that the antenna connection on the Tivo is picking up interference from my one nearby VHF broadcast station? I'm sorry if this sounds like a silly question... I'm just throwing stuff to see if it sticks, at this point.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #487
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Here's a thought as to ingress causing my picture problems... is it possible that the open RF connection labeled "antenna" on the Tivo HD could lead to some interference? I mean, if I have a 3-way splitter and an open port that isn't terminated, that could cause noise in the line... so is it possible that the antenna connection on the Tivo is picking up interference from my one nearby VHF broadcast station? I'm sorry if this sounds like a silly question... I'm just throwing stuff to see if it sticks, at this point.
I would say it's worth investigating since you have the nearby VHF transmitter. Cable terminators are cheap and might help.

I would find the frequency of the affected channels (use the diagnostic screens on the TiVo), and learn the frequency of the transmitter before spending a lot of time on this possibility though. I think antennaweb.org (if I have it right) will give you the transmitter frequency.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:02 PM   #488
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I would say it's worth investigating since you have the nearby VHF transmitter. Cable terminators are cheap and might help.

I would find the frequency of the affected channels (use the diagnostic screens on the TiVo), and learn the frequency of the transmitter before spending a lot of time on this possibility though. I think antennaweb.org (if I have it right) will give you the transmitter frequency.
Just tried the terminator - no luck. The nearby VHF station is at channel 11, and the problematic channels on the Tivo are at 645 MHz and 661 MHz, which is much higher. So... it's probably not the issue.

I think the only thing left for me to do is exchange the Tivo for a new box since I'm still within my return period. Of course that probably still won't solve it and it'll create a major hassle as I lose all of my recordings and then have to go through the cable card installation again, and from experience I'm sure Cox won't be able to pair them correctly. Could both tuners possibly be bad? I just don't get it. Maybe I should just go back to Cox's DVR.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #489
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Angry How come we never had this problem before?


I've been reading the various problems people have been having with Series 3 and HD Tivo's and can confirm that I see the same issues on my Series 3. My question is, how come the Series 3 performed flawlessly until 9.x rolled out. Since then I have experienced every glitch mentioned in the threads. If pixelation is being caused by poor RF you have to ask yourself what you changed in your home wiring to introduce the problem. I find it hard to believe that we all changed our cabling and brought these problems upon ourselve. Anyone else agree?

BTW - I have been lurking for a long time but haven't posted very many times. I have (1) Series 3 with a 1TB E-SATA drive plus (3) Series 2 TiVos networked together so I have am quite familiar with most things TiVo.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:32 PM   #490
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If pixelation is being caused by poor RF you have to ask yourself what you changed in your home wiring to introduce the problem. I find it hard to believe that we all changed our cabling and brought these problems upon ourselve. Anyone else agree?
That's a great point. I mean, I've been reading these forums and I know the Tivo HD, in particular, has tuners that are "more sensitive" to signal strength issues than other tuners. But if I never had any problems with Cox's DVR, made no changes, and Cox has been out 3 times and said that my signal strength was within specs...
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:14 PM   #491
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I've been reading the various problems people have been having with Series 3 and HD Tivo's and can confirm that I see the same issues on my Series 3. My question is, how come the Series 3 performed flawlessly until 9.x rolled out.
You must be kidding! That's such an incredibly wrong statement. There were many people extremely upset at all the problems of the S3 with 8.x software. Bicker (you may know him) was strongly upset at TiVo, mounting a campaign saying the S3 shouldn't have even been released because it had so many problems.

Most (not all!) of the problems people have attributed to software and 9.x were there long before 9.x. The actual number of complaints back then was fewer, but that's because there were many fewer HD TiVos being sold. I would guess the number of HD TiVos has increased by a factor of 10 in the last year. Any time you get that many more units sold, you're going to get that many more complaints.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:29 AM   #492
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Would Series 3 Box Solve my Pixelation Problems?

Okay, so here is my take on this, please let me know if you all think I am on the right track...

There is something wrong with my cable signal that is causing the Tivo HD tuners to overload at a couple frequencies and causing pixelation. The cable company cannot figure out what the problem is or will not admit to the problem, and therefore they will not fix the problem. The problem does not occur on cable company's Motorola boxes. We know that the Tivo HD tuners are more sensitive to signal strength or signal issues -- be it too strong or too weak a signal -- than other boxes.

So my question is this... should I return the THD to Best Buy and order the Series 3 for $399 off TivoCommunity's store. Could this possibly help?? Is the Series 3 a more "robust" box with stronger tuners that are less susceptable to signal strength imperfections? If I could know for sure the Series 3 would clear up the problem, even for the additional $150 it would cost me, I would go for it in a heartbeat. What do you guys think?
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:05 PM   #493
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I've had a post on this issue (separately), but it's gone unanswered. Maybe I can get some help on this thread.

I've got Comcast (in CT) with a Series 3 Tivo, and get severe pixelation on the Fox and CBS HD channels (233 and 234). It occasionally happens during the week, but it primarily happens on Sunday during football. I'll be watching the pregame show, it will look fine, and as soon as the game starts the channel becomes unwatchable. I never noticed this problem before football season started (around the time of the latest software update as well). It seems odd that this would happen more when football is being broadcast.

My signal strength is between 90-100 (until the pixelation starts, then it varies). The SNR is at 35 or 36 on each tuner. Both channels are on the 615Mhz frequency. The channels directly above and below them come in perfectly; it seems that only this frequency is affected.

I've had Comcast out here 3 times. They checked the line (said it was fine) and swapped out both cable cards. This hasn't fixed the problem.

If I check antennaweb.org, I find that the local fox affiliate broadcasts on Frequency 61. Interference maybe?

"red - uhf WTIC 61 FOX HARTFORD CT 257° 8.9 61"

So...that's all the information that I have. I am at my wits end...does anyone have any recommendations? I'm willing to try anything at this point. Terminating the antenna input on the Tivo? Attenuators? Anything.

Last edited by Michael1025 : 01-13-2008 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:05 PM   #494
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My signal strength is between 90-100 (until the pixelation starts, then it varies). The SNR is at 35 or 36 on each tuner. Both channels are on the 61.5Mhz frequency. The channels directly above and below them come in perfectly; it seems that only this frequency is affected.
Sounds like your problem is identical to mine, except its happening on different frequencies - my problem channels are at 645 and 661 MHz. You could try attenuating - that helped somewhat for me, but didn't completely clear up the problem. Just be careful not to attenuate so much that you lose your higher frequency channels. I tried terminating the antenna port and it didn't make a difference. I've found that sometimes the channels will be fine the first few minutes I am tuned to them, but then something happens where the tuner overloads or whatever and the problems begin. So if you are watching a 3-hour football game you are more likely to have problems than if watching a half-hour sitcom.

That you were able to notice a correlation with the software update is very interesting. But then again we know that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. I mean, for all I know the attenuation didn't even help, it could've just been coincidence.
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:50 PM   #495
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I don't know if the correlation was with the software update or the start of football season (I'm not likely to be watching 3-6 hours of live HD on a Sunday otherwise).

The Tivo is still under warranty - is it worth it to swap it out for a new one? Could this be caused by bad tuners? Has anyone had any luck doing this?

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Old 01-13-2008, 09:43 PM   #496
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The Tivo is still under warranty - is it worth it to swap it out for a new one? Could this be caused by bad tuners? Has anyone had any luck doing this?
Can't hurt to call Tivo and see what they say - maybe they'll send you a new box. When I called them about this awhile ago they were steadfast that the problem was related to signal strength. But you, like me, had the cable company out 3 times and they've found no problem. So how can it be signal strength? Good luck, and definitely keep us posted on what happens. My box is still within Best Buy's return window until 1/31, so I'm still considering swapping mine out there.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:23 PM   #497
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All - update. I called Tivo this evening and they are shipping out a new box. You have to put an $800 deposit on it (which is refunded once they get your box back), and pay a $50 return fee. I'll let you know if anything changes - in the meanwhile, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm happy to try them. The new box won't arrive for about a week.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:32 PM   #498
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Okay, so here is my take on this, please let me know if you all think I am on the right track...

There is something wrong with my cable signal that is causing the Tivo HD tuners to overload at a couple frequencies and causing pixelation. The cable company cannot figure out what the problem is or will not admit to the problem, and therefore they will not fix the problem. The problem does not occur on cable company's Motorola boxes. We know that the Tivo HD tuners are more sensitive to signal strength or signal issues -- be it too strong or too weak a signal -- than other boxes.

So my question is this... should I return the THD to Best Buy and order the Series 3 for $399 off TivoCommunity's store. Could this possibly help?? Is the Series 3 a more "robust" box with stronger tuners that are less susceptable to signal strength imperfections? If I could know for sure the Series 3 would clear up the problem, even for the additional $150 it would cost me, I would go for it in a heartbeat. What do you guys think?
The cable companies will not (and should not) admit to a problem that is not their own...

I have 2 Series3's a 1 THD in my house. And to be specific, I have had 3 different THD's in the place of the 1 that's here -- can you say swaps :-) ..

The 2 Series3's are in the same room, and the THD is in another room.

I have swapped box locations, cards between boxes, cables, splitters, amplifiers, etc etc etc. My neighbor is a Cox field installer/tech who did my install and who has helped with every step of trouble shooting I have done. In a sense of perfection, at this point, signal levels at all of my outlets is perfect according to Cox's standards. 0 to +5 db on the input and attenuated to 40-44 db on the return path (which doesn't matter now, since the Tivo's aren't 2way yet)... but the reason it's balanced perfectly is before I had Tivo's I have Cox's DVR's which are 2 way. So as I was saying, the install and everything is perfect.

I never ever had pixelation on my Cox DVR's (except for when the DVR's HD itself started to go bad, *smile*... box swap fixed it).

I bought 1 Series3, put 2 single stream cards in it and didn't have any issues with it for almost a year. Purchased a 2nd Series3, put 2 cable cards in it, didn't have any issues with it for 4-5 months. Purchased the TivoHD, Put 1 M-card in it and started having issues almost instantly with it. I can't say alot, but I can say that Tivo had it fixed at one point in time, then broke it again and it hasn't been well since. (All this time the 4 s-cards in the 2 S3's remain 100% stable). I had cox come out and try another M-card in THD, nada, still tiling. Had them come out and put 2 S-cards in.. nada still tiling.

Then I got to thinking.... like I said, the 2 S3's are in the same room. I took one "offline" and put the THD where it was. Still had problems. Took the knowingly working S-Cards out of the 1st S3 (year long), had cox unpair from S3 and Repair to THD.. Immediately saw problems. Put the THD's cards in the S3, Paired them, No Problem on S3 (using THD's cards)... Swapped cards back, just because... problems still only on the THD..

I've left alot of the troubleshooting out just because I've redundantly repeated it over and over to Tivo's tech support (and it's getting old).. but the conclusion i've come to is... it doesn't matter where I have the box or what cards I have in it.. I know via trial and error that the cable cards are working fine, and the cables, amps, splitters and Series3's are Fine.. it's the dang TivoHD box that has the pixelating issue (which as I said earlier Tivo had fixed at one point in time).

Since the beginning of this problem to now, my neighbor (the cox guy) has started seeing more and more THD's out in the field that also have the same issue. He verifies signal is good at demarc, in and out of splitters/amps, and at the outlet and then promptly tells the customer to call Tivo and report the problem because there is nothing he can do to fix it (since he can't, and it's quite obvious)... that is, shy of convincing them to return the POS THD to the store and either get a S3 or rent a DVR from Cox :-)
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:02 AM   #499
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DigitalJem, thanks so much for your post. It does help verify what I had feared - the problem must be the box. I mean, like you, I've done inifinite amounts of troubleshooting and nothing has cleared it up, Cox has been out 3 times and said the signal is perfect, etc etc. My question to you is did you have the problems on all channels or only specific ones? That's the one thing that doesn't make sense to me - why would it happen specific to just a couple channels.

Also, you mention Tivo had fixed the problem at one point... how did they do that? I think my best bet is probably to swap out the THD box for another while it is still within my return period. TivoCommunity doesn't have any Series 3's in stock, and all other retailers have them priced out of my range. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:01 PM   #500
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I should clarify that the issue that I'm having is with the S3...
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:28 PM   #501
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I wanted to post an update to my issue. Just to recap, the TivoHD I originally had obviously had one bad tuner. This explained why some shows were fine and others were crap. After a lot of testing, I discovered that one tuner was always the one with pixelation. If you are having problems, make sure you isolate if it is happening to you on just one tuner or on both. I thought my problem was with my scards, but after switching them out (over a long and trying period with techs), I switched out my TivoHD.

Now, I have no problems at all. All pixelation is gone. Occasionally I will still get a scard "hiccup" where one of my cards thinks it is not activated, but my pixelation issues have been gone since changing out my box.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:21 PM   #502
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Here's what worked for me. I installed the HD Tivo this afternoon 1-15-08. The Cable installer was clueless but I managed to get an M-card installed. First thing I found out was the installer did not provide the proper information back to Comcast and I was missing some of the premium channels.

Once I got that all worked out I still had pixelation on HD and non-HD channels. It was beyond terrible. I forced a network connection and the unit downloaded some sort of update and installed it. That also did not fix the pixelation problem. I tried to force a second network connection and Tivo told me that it could not connect due to a service update that was due to take place at 2am. I restarted Tivo and it began the download. Once that service update, whatever it was, was installed the pixelation problems went away.

So in summary, there appears to be a major service update that can have some effect on new HD Tivo systems. You may have to restart or wait for the update to automatically happen in the middle of the night.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:00 AM   #503
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The cable companies will not (and should not) admit to a problem that is not their own...

My neighbor is a Cox field installer/tech who did my install and who has helped with every step of trouble shooting I have done. In a sense of perfection, at this point, signal levels at all of my outlets is perfect according to Cox's standards. 0 to +5 db on the input and attenuated to 40-44 db on the return path (which doesn't matter now, since the Tivo's aren't 2way yet)... but the reason it's balanced perfectly is before I had Tivo's I have Cox's DVR's which are 2 way. So as I was saying, the install and everything is perfect.
Unfortunately, your post doesn't really prove the problem isn't "a problem that is not their own."

Every tuner has it's tolerances. The CableCARD spec/testing procedure makes sure all boxes meet the specified ranges. But, your cable box or the S3 may be handle poor signals better than the spec requires. So, while testing with other devices is useful (especially if all devices exhibit the problem), it unfortunately, doesn't prove the signal is within the spec's tolerances.

I just did a google search on "qam troubleshooting", and came up w/ this document from Cisco.

http://www.ciscosystems.com/en/US/so...cd804bac8c.pdf

You only mention the cable company checking the power level. Looks like there are a lot more analysis of the signal that the cable company could be doing that you don't mention them having done.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:14 AM   #504
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I've been on the forum long enough to know that "pixelation" is a coined term on this forum, but you guys do know the correct term for this behavior is "tiling" right?

I've dealt with it on and off over the 3 or so years I've had my tivo and for the last few months it has been pretty terrible. It seems to come and go with various updates they push out, but the last update I got brought it back and it has stayed.

From what I've seen, the issue is purely a tivo issue and while some of the cable techs you guys have been getting could have been a little more educated, it isn't their fault or problem even if they manage to lessen or even eliminate the issue.

My current tivo is a Series 2 540 40 gig model that I piggybacked a 200 gig drive to that has worked relatively well for me over the years. This week the freezing and tiling got unbearable right before I went into a gsod. Since the first complete check I let it do the tivo refused to boot past the "just a few more minutes" stage and ended up a complete brick. Looking around on the forums I see there are quite a few more people that ended up in the same situation as I did, so I'm leaning towards there must have been some kind of minor update possibly to help with the issue but as I can't view anything anymore I will never know for sure.

Not being ready just yet to drop the cash for a S3 or THD model, I figured I'd try an instantcake restore on the 200gig drive to see if I could salvage the tivo for $20 instead of a major investment. I'm happy to say that everything booted up just fine and the tivo is actually responding better than it has in years. And I didn't notice any tiling (ok pixelation... ) this morning but until I spend some time watching it I'm not prepared to concede victory just yet...

It is encouraging though... I'm just p'od I lost 200 gigs of programming.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #505
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You only mention the cable company checking the power level. Looks like there are a lot more analysis of the signal that the cable company could be doing that you don't mention them having done.
Roderigo, thanks very much for your post. This Cisco document is excellent information and those of us with problems can use this to help point the cable company techs in the right direction with troubleshooting this. It certainly helps me see that the problem could, in fact, be with the signal since my issues are specific to just a couple channels. I just don't think the Cable Company will be able to fix this - they haven't yet. What continues to frustrate is the simple fact that other tuners and boxes are able to handle this. At the end of the day, I Have a Tivo HD box that is showing tiling on 2 channels that I am paying for, and we can't fix the problem.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:00 PM   #506
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Tivo Series3 Pixellation on RI Cox Cable

I share a problem with ESB1981. And am glad to see I am not the ONLY one - since thats how Support makes me feel. I am in Providence RI and am on Cox Cable. Bought my Tivo December 2007. Hooked it up to HD Cable Cards and TV in June/July and noticed rampant pixellation in July or August. Since then I've spent WAY too many hours on Tech Support and doing pointless tests.

The primary network channels are the worst offendors, but many of the HD channels, if you watch them long enough, will pixellate.

The Cox guys have been out multiple times to test the signal, run a line directly to my box from the pole and so on. I've swapped cable cards and swapped the TiVO box. TiVO HD JUST DOES NOT WORK with the Cox HD channels. There must be a problem in the TiVO hardware or firmware.


I have zero confidence that the folks at TiVO will solve the problem so am not sure what to do from here.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:30 PM   #507
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The Cox guys have been out multiple times to test the signal, run a line directly to my box from the pole and so on. I've swapped cable cards and swapped the TiVO box. TiVO HD JUST DOES NOT WORK with the Cox HD channels. There must be a problem in the TiVO hardware or firmware.
I have zero confidence that the folks at TiVO will solve the problem so am not sure what to do from here.
I understand your frustration, but thousands of people with TiVo HD and Cox do not have your problems; what is it that makes your situation different from their's?

There's at least half a dozen people in Rhode Island here who have Cox, and presumably do not have your problems (Search the forum for "Rhode"). Have you checked with them?

Have you tried attenuation? Cable techs often don't check well for too strong of a signal, but that poses much more of a problem for a TiVo than a typical cable company DVR.

Do you have a friend in the same cable franchise but a different neighborhood that you can test your TiVo at? At this point it seems unlikely there's anything that TiVo (the company) can do, but there are still things you can do to test the signal. If it works at your friend's, then you have ammunition for arguing with the cable company. If it doesn't work at your friend's, then the solution will be harder.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #508
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Tiling Issues in Las Vegas with Cox

Thought I would chime in on the tiling issue as well and would appreciate any help or direction. I have a Tivo HD unit with an MStream card installed. The tiling occurrs on both tuners. It also occurs only on a select same chanels on either tuner. The channels are typically the ones that are not your typical network affiliate channels (ABC, NBC). I have tiling on ESPN, Discovery, etc. The signal strength on the channels of questions are approximately 44 on the tivo channel strength meter. What would be my best next steps:

Call Tivo - See if they can resolve, get a box exchange?

Call Cox - Send the same guys out that couldn't pair my mstream card and have them fumble around with no solutions
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:52 AM   #509
richsadams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaquade View Post
Thought I would chime in on the tiling issue as well and would appreciate any help or direction. I have a Tivo HD unit with an MStream card installed. The tiling occurrs on both tuners. It also occurs only on a select same chanels on either tuner. The channels are typically the ones that are not your typical network affiliate channels (ABC, NBC). I have tiling on ESPN, Discovery, etc. The signal strength on the channels of questions are approximately 44 on the tivo channel strength meter. What would be my best next steps:

Call Tivo - See if they can resolve, get a box exchange?

Call Cox - Send the same guys out that couldn't pair my mstream card and have them fumble around with no solutions
Not sure what the exact cure will end up being, but signal strength around 44 is far too low. I'd get Cox involved first to resolve the low signal strength issue. You can call TiVo but that's pretty much what they'd probably tell you as well.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:16 PM   #510
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I just bought a new 40 Inch HD TV and another THD. My TV Has PIP on analog channels only and I asked Tivo if I could use a splitter and the guy said well test your signal strength but I was on like an HD channel I think and it was in the high 90's so he told me I could split it up. I found an old extra coaxial and was using the splitter. I don't really use the PIP but wanted to try it. Well this past week I keep seeing pixelation problems on some of my recordings and I read several posts here. I called Tivo just now and she told me to 1st by pass the splitter and hook the cable from the wall directly back into the Tivo box. My bedroom THD is hooked up directly to the Tivo Box and is fine never had any issues. She then said if that doesn't help take out my cable cards and it could be one of my cable cards. She said I doubt if it's a Tivo issue but I just read above where someone had a bad tuner. I dread the thought of returningmy Tivo or even having my cable company come out with new cards cause it's such an ordeal. But I don't know if my problem is on one tuner or both. But hopefully hooking my cable back into the Tivo will solve my problem will see.
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