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Old 04-01-2008, 01:33 PM   #691
hmm52
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I called VZ again this afternoon on the chance that a weekday rep could revive the cablecard with a cold emit hit. No luck. It's dead, not asleep. First one in 3 years though a number were delivered DOA. I found out that PA service is a mess now because half VZ's techs here are union, half not. There is a labor issue currently in PA.

A week ago I contacted the biggest contributor to the Sony DVR thread, AVS forum. He has had a series3 also since 9 or 10/06. After initial problem and replacement, he's been very happy with it. No hard drive, pixelation or other issues.


Rich - I followed your implied advice. Took the replacement out of trunk & plugged it in at office, nothing except power cord. Within a pretty short time, Voila! Setup displayed. So you'll have to explain this: 1) It needed just one more road trip to function. 2) This unit doesn't like HDMI, comp. video, or RF connections. 3)The electricity in my house doesn't meet its high standards. I'll check for tiling/pixelation this evening. Thanks

Hk

Last edited by hmm52 : 04-01-2008 at 04:54 PM. Reason: post script
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:22 PM   #692
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I just had pixellation issues with my S3, a whole bunch of recent recordings were having problems, and then recordings from several weeks ago were showing problems.

I'd noticed some issues watching live the day before, I'd thought the incoming signal was dropping out again. However, as I hadn't been noticing any problems for the past few weeks, I decided to try a reboot and that fixed it. Recordings which were showing consistent and bad pixellation were suddenly fine again.

I don't know when the last time the S3 was rebooted, but it was probably months ago.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:04 AM   #693
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Things didn't go so well with replacement S3 last night. Endless boot loop again at home. Kickstart 57 got it to boot. Did guided setup and a few network connections; 2nd one got service update, presumably 9.2. Back into endless boot loop never advancing past welcome screen. Unresponsive to kickstart 57,58, & 52 commands. No coax connected, no cards. Only Ethernet & S video.

Some background - TiVo rep had said replacement so slow for lack of inventory. After waiting several weeks before calling, expedited processing & shipment promised on a Saturday. Unit arrives via ground UPS Monday, 2 days later. Boxes undamaged but dent on metal faceplate & front is dirty overall. Not a great appearance for a supposedly new unit.

What's going on here? Is there anything worth trying before returning it? Yeah, the irritation factor has definitely risen. I have no idea why TiVo delivers DVRs made at the end of December with software 2 versions out of date.

EDIT: Question about dent & dirt answered when boxing up for return. Fine print on packing list - "factory renewed". Request authorized for new unit 3/13. Delay because of lack of new inventory until 3/20. Knocked around non-working used unit delivered 3/25. Not good.

Last edited by hmm52 : 04-02-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:42 PM   #694
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Things didn't go so well with replacement S3 last night. Endless boot loop again at home. Kickstart 57 got it to boot. Did guided setup and a few network connections; 2nd one got service update, presumably 9.2. Back into endless boot loop never advancing past welcome screen. Unresponsive to kickstart 57,58, & 52 commands. No coax connected, no cards. Only Ethernet & S video.

Some background - TiVo rep had said replacement so slow for lack of inventory. After waiting several weeks before calling, expedited processing & shipment promised on a Saturday. Unit arrives via ground UPS Monday, 2 days later. Boxes undamaged but dent on metal faceplate & front is dirty overall. Not a great appearance for a supposedly new unit.

What's going on here? Is there anything worth trying before returning it? Yeah, the irritation factor has definitely risen. I have no idea why TiVo delivers DVRs made at the end of December with software 2 versions out of date.

EDIT: Question about dent & dirt answered when boxing up for return. Fine print on packing list - "factory renewed". Request authorized for new unit 3/13. Delay because of lack of new inventory until 3/20. Knocked around non-working used unit delivered 3/25. Not good.
The reboot loop would indicate a bad hard drive. Lousy luck of the draw...and aggravating! If it were me I'd call up TiVo and tell them how unacceptable this has been and that you want to return the unit and discontinue service. That should get their retention people's attention and hopefully some proper action.

To be honest, save for the physical appearance issues, I've always had good luck with refurbs as I know that they (at least should) have been bench tested completely before they are shipped. New units are only QC tested sporadically, so the odds would seem to be better that a refurb won't be DOA. However, your experience is certainly a lesson.

Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:30 PM   #695
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Thanks for the support, Rich. Most of my irritation comes from being jerked around by phone rep info. Told 3/13 I would get new unit as it's been an ongoing problem first reported 4 days after purchase. Told 3/23 that delay in shipment was due to shortage of new units, but some had come in 3/18. Told today that new units haven't been available since Nov. or December, refurbished only for warranty exchange; expecting anyday new DVRs with upgraded software & hardware. What to believe? Time for a letter to corporate office. A lot of effort consumed by these little boxes!
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:44 PM   #696
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I highly recommend to anyone that experiences stuttering, rebooting, or similar problems that escalate in occurrence to consider replacing their hard drive on their own, with either a kit or using WMFS. Using MFS, you don't have to even worry about getting your cablecards re-authorized.

I'm thinking that either the amount of use a unit puts on a drive for HD recordings, and if the drive gets massively fragmented, it just dies.

I'm planning on doing some diagnostics on the drive I removed from my Series 3. MFS noted that I only had 1% space remaining, which I'd like to verify. Once I get some free time to play around, I'll hook up my old Series 3 drive to my computer and check it out.

I have a Series 1 and a Series 2, and both have been happily chugging away without such problems for years. Yet every 6 months, my Series 3 would die. I would think it has to be related to HD recordings and/or drive space and/or drive usage.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:53 PM   #697
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I'm planning on doing some diagnostics on the drive I removed from my Series 3. MFS noted that I only had 1% space remaining, which I'd like to verify. Once I get some free time to play around, I'll hook up my old Series 3 drive to my computer and check it out....
The Sony DVRs (also 250gb) often get very cranky when they run low on available storage - less than 15% remaining. It's noticeable first in the progress bar. Advance and rewind are resisted or jumpy; progress bar vanishes; picture skips and locks up momentarily; reboot after multiple commands. The Sonys show % remaining in system menu. "Near Full" flag appears with progress bar. So I've gotten used to deleting before 85% capacity is reached.

Thinking that the S3 might act the same, I installed early on TiVoPlayList (found in this forum) to monitor storage. It gives details of all recordings & their size as well as totals. Nice program. Currently it shows 426gb used, 514gb available. Though the designer recommended subtracting 15% for system headroom, I only allowed for 60gb as 3/4 capacity is in 2nd drive. Don't know if that's wrong. I have seen the S3 picture frozen a few times after long inactivity. No idea why.

I'll say again that I've never required assistance when installing cablecards that have already been registered, authorized, & initialized once - Verizon & Comcast, both Motorola. The S3's cards came from the Tv and one of the Sony DVRs. Still there. Channels appeared in less than 5 minutes for both slot 1 & 2.

I'm curious what you find out about your old drive.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #698
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Pielation and Comcast

I started getting severe pixelation about a week ago, only on HD channels, of which, only some of the HD channels showed problems. There were also audio and video drop-outs, skipping and other noise related problems during the periods of pixelation. In that same time frame, half my cable cards lost their pairing. (The have since been re-paired)


I called Comcast and they mentioned VoD was being set up in the area and to wait a while and see if, when the VoD implementation was done, the problem persists. I also have seen reports that Comcast is increasing their compression on HD channels in order to put 3 HD channels where they used to put two.

>So I am thinking the problem is a Comcast signal issue. Has anyone else seen this kind of thing related to increased HD channel compression? Or is it just >something that may have something to do with Comcast putting in VoD and will disappear in a while?

Wrong. It now appears to be a TiVo problem. On one TV that handles clear QAM, I watched live as the TiVo was tuned into the same HD channel. When switching to the TiVo, and watching what was in the buffer, I saw pixelation that was not present when watching live direct from cable. Watching live direct from cable, I saw essentially no pixelation.

Has there been a recent software update?

Thanks

Last edited by matt@thehickmans : 04-11-2008 at 08:05 AM. Reason: conclusion
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:14 PM   #699
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Argh!!! My pixelation has returned. Every show on NBC last night was completely unwatchable. This is very very frustrating.

DirecTV keeps offering me great deals to go back. I'm researching their horrible DVR today and trying to determine if it will be less horrible than my Tivo HD has been. It's a shame I even have to consider this. But I'm paying Comcast way too much money, and paying Tivo every month as well. All to be aggravated trying to watch stupid TV. I may just end up trying to use my Tivo for only OTA, then chucking it entirely once I'm done paying Tivo in 18 months. I am convinced this is not a hardware problem, and I can't stomach the idea of getting another unit from Tivo and having to deal with Comcast re-authorizing a new unit. I know the Cable Card fiasco stuff isn't Tivo's fault, but Comcast and Tivo are, unfortunately, all wrapped up together in a big back of suck.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:40 AM   #700
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Is anyone seeing this issue with OTA signals? I bought my TivoHD specifically so I could go pure-OTA and dump Comcast. Ever since I installed it my picture has been gorgeous, but pixelates on multiple channels every so often (sometimes it's every minute or two during an entire program, usually it's once every 15 minutes or so. Not unwatchable, but damn annoying). I've checked and my signals strength is at least 65 for every channel. I had this issue the other night and checked the signal strength. I sat there watching the signal strength meter for several minutes with the show playing in the background. It was still pixelating, even with a strength hovering around 80!

I read through a lot of the thread, but lots of it seemed to be old firmware and most people seem to be having issues with Cablecards and cable providers. Is anyone else running OTA signals only and seeing this issue?
I'm having a similar issue and it's driving me nuts. I guess I'm lucky in one sense because it's not happening on any of my cable channels (I have HD and premium subscription channels as well as the basic digital) but since I watch a lot of network broadcasts OTA, it's a real problem for us. Our cableco (Charter) doesn't carry NBC, ABC or FOX in HD on cable so I have to get them OTA. Fortunately, the towers are close so I get signal strengths in the mid 80s to mid 90s for all of them. However, when watching programming, either 'live' or recorded, we get frequent pixelation. Sometimes, when it's happening a lot through the TiVo buffer, I'll go into the antenna signal strength meter, taking the recorded buffer out of the equation, and the picture that appears behind the signal meter is perfect. When I go back to the buffered picture, the pixelation returns! I assume that it's either a problem with ALL of my local broadcasters sending a bad signal (unlikely) or the TiVo can't handle the strong signals. Anyone have any suggestions? Should I get a weaker antenna to get a lower signal? Do I need attenuators?
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:51 AM   #701
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9.3 update any help with pixelation?

I didn't get any response from the TiVo executive whom I had written. 2nd refurb. S3 was delivered and will also be returning to Texas. Unlike the first offering, it booted & updated normally - to 9.2a. But it has worse tiling & no tune than the original, more so on tuner 1 than 0 regardless of cablecard. Something a little different! 2nd refurb. also froze & rebooted a number of times. Not a keeper. Maybe it's time to accept my original S3 as just a single tuner DVR. Pull the 2nd card or just make sure tuner 1 is doing the recording on channels that tuner 0 can't tune satisfactorily. Is there a certain way to do this? Until now, I refused to consider this compromise.

Ciucca posted last week that the 9.3 update had eliminated pixelation for at least a few days. Has anybody else with the update also seen this? No. TiVo CSR said there wasn't any way to be put on priority list.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:52 PM   #702
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Sorry I've been away. I must report sadly that the problem is still there. I monitored it for a couple of days and it is still happening.

I believe this will never be fixed by a software update. The best we can hope for is a new generation (S4?) with better (not cheapo) hardware.

I don't wish to start the same topic over again with "rich" and the other TIVO lovers. I am relying on my 20 years in the DSP field. From the evidence I can deduce that the problem is with the hardware chipset. If it was software don't you think it would have been corrected after 2 years?
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:48 PM   #703
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For obvious reasons, I'm definitely sorry to hear that. But I had my doubts that it could be remedied only with software update; first because there's such a difference between tuner 0 and 1 with my S3.

Things could be a lot worse. At least I'm not stuck with one of the refurbs. I received. Much better to have TiVo sitting on $850 than that. And I'm at a location with good OTA reception so the network channels are very rarely a problem. Tuner 1 doesn't usually have issues beyond the locals.

Worse by far - it could be my Tv with the problem. As an extended warranty is expiring the end of the year, I checked AVS thread on 1st generation Sony LCOS SXRD's bulb life. Whoa! There are a lot of extremely angry owners on that thread. Bad optical boards, new & replacement, that require dismantling to the bare bones - nice for the living room. Before a class action lawsuit was filed, it was Sony's policy to make 3 attempts to repair (lawsuit in progress means only repair offered now). If unsuccessful 3 times, they've credited owners with at minimum the original purchase price towards new Sony Tv or any other brand. Still an ordeal but one with a real resolution no matter what. This policy is not that unusual particularly regarding products with known defects. How about TiVo?

Last edited by hmm52 : 04-16-2008 at 02:49 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:34 PM   #704
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TiVo Inc. scores some points

Late today I got a call from a woman representing the TiVo exec I had written. She was very apologetic for the delay in responding and for the troubles I've had with the S3. She assured me I would be getting a new unit; stock would be available in a few days. I said that I'm not in a rush; just want a good resolution at some point. As I'm curious about the pixelation issue, she will have the lead tech call me. Besides the obvious one, "what's the source of the problem?", any suggestions for what I should ask him?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:48 AM   #705
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9.3a arrived

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I'm having a similar issue and it's driving me nuts... However, when watching programming, either 'live' or recorded, we get frequent pixelation. Sometimes, when it's happening a lot through the TiVo buffer, I'll go into the antenna signal strength meter, taking the recorded buffer out of the equation, and the picture that appears behind the signal meter is perfect. When I go back to the buffered picture, the pixelation returns! I assume that it's either a problem with ALL of my local broadcasters sending a bad signal (unlikely) or the TiVo can't handle the strong signals. Anyone have any suggestions? Should I get a weaker antenna to get a lower signal? Do I need attenuators?
I don't know exactly what your situation is but I think it's better to check signal strength, & errors, through the diagnostics screen. It's a lot more responsive to dips and peaks. It isolates the tuners. When I check on a problem channel with signal meter (no tune through tuner 0), picture will display fine with SS of 92-94 but it will note no tune at bottom of screen on 2nd tuner - DVR looks at both. Switching tuners makes no difference with your TiVo? If diagnostics show wildly fluctuating signals with peaks of 100, the signals are too strong. I've never seen that with OTA reception however; pixelation only appeared with very high winds - dips. As always antenna type, placement & orientation are factors but should have same effect on Tv or other device.

9.3a came through last night. Did a restart this morning. No change whatsoever in tuning and pixelation at this point.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:55 AM   #706
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Sorry I've been away. I must report sadly that the problem is still there. I monitored it for a couple of days and it is still happening.

I believe this will never be fixed by a software update. The best we can hope for is a new generation (S4?) with better (not cheapo) hardware.

I don't wish to start the same topic over again with "rich" and the other TIVO lovers. I am relying on my 20 years in the DSP field. From the evidence I can deduce that the problem is with the hardware chipset. If it was software don't you think it would have been corrected after 2 years?
Thanks for the update and sorry to hear that you're still having problems.

It's true that I and most of the people that own the four million plus TiVo's love them. Your situation/TiVo is a problem with which I can sympathize. I know how frustrating CE products are when they don't work. I'm certainly not here to make excuses for their product. Things could always be improved be it software, hardware, customer service, etc. Over about 8 years I've had more about ten TiVo's and one had a hard drive failure. In my book that's pretty good...particularly when compared with how many computers I've had (which is what TiVo is basically) that have failed miserably for a multitude of reasons during that same time period.

If you want to give up on a product, that's your choice. Bashing people that take time and effort to help others here is another thing.

All the best.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:36 AM   #707
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Thanks for the update and sorry to hear that you're still having problems.

It's true that I and most of the people that own the four million plus TiVo's love them. Your situation/TiVo is a problem with which I can sympathize. I know how frustrating CE products are when they don't work. I'm certainly not here to make excuses for their product. Things could always be improved be it software, hardware, customer service, etc. Over about 8 years I've had more about ten TiVo's and one had a hard drive failure. In my book that's pretty good...particularly when compared with how many computers I've had (which is what TiVo is basically) that have failed miserably for a multitude of reasons during that same time period.

If you want to give up on a product, that's your choice. Bashing people that take time and effort to help others here is another thing.

All the best.
Hey Rich,

I've really appreciated your insight on the various threads you've contributed to. I've been suffering from this audio/video hang too.

I've posted my experience in another thread...

I know its generally frowned upon to sprinkle references to another post on many threads but all these threads really are related...

Anyway, your take on my situation would be appreciated. I think its quite interesting that Tivo CSR/engineering is finally seems to be taking the bull by the horns rather than defaulting to replacement.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:12 PM   #708
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Hey Rich,

I've really appreciated your insight on the various threads you've contributed to. I've been suffering from this audio/video hang too.

I've posted my experience in another thread...

I know its generally frowned upon to sprinkle references to another post on many threads but all these threads really are related...

Anyway, your take on my situation would be appreciated. I think its quite interesting that Tivo CSR/engineering is finally seems to be taking the bull by the horns rather than defaulting to replacement.
Rich,

I'd also like to thank you for your advice, empathy & positive attitude. For those of us with experience of only 1 TiVo which doesn't work properly, it certainly helps to hear from another who's had many of them where problems have been resolved (eventually). Though earnest, the TiVo phone reps haven't provided much meaningful support to many of us; not compared to the advice in this forum.

The alternative is pretty awful as I found on the Sony thread I referred to. It got me to look at my Tv differently - as a ticking time bomb. Maybe it is that. Don't know what the failure rate of original OBs was, but it has been very high for replacements. So the posts are mostly just cascading gripes for Sony and some advice for negotiating best deal after 3rd failure - now off the table with lawsuit. Not much fun to navigate that thread........
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:49 PM   #709
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Thanks for the update and sorry to hear that you're still having problems.

It's true that I and most of the people that own the four million plus TiVo's love them. Your situation/TiVo is a problem with which I can sympathize. I know how frustrating CE products are when they don't work. I'm certainly not here to make excuses for their product. Things could always be improved be it software, hardware, customer service, etc. Over about 8 years I've had more about ten TiVo's and one had a hard drive failure. In my book that's pretty good...particularly when compared with how many computers I've had (which is what TiVo is basically) that have failed miserably for a multitude of reasons during that same time period.

If you want to give up on a product, that's your choice. Bashing people that take time and effort to help others here is another thing.

All the best.
I am not bashing you or anyone else on this board who disagrees with me. What frustrates me is the attitude that the pixelation issue must be the FIOS signal and not a deficiency with the TIVO. This opinion is not just shared by you but others on this board and the TIVO technical support organization. It's almost like you and some others on this board work for them. This can't be true right?

Anyway most cable customers have legacy wiring in there homes and the signal is being carried over coax from the distribution centers. So I have no doubt the degradation is large enough that by the time it hits their TIVO there is enough attenuation that the customer does not notice it.

I'm happy for them but that does not mean the product meets the standards for decoding QAM signals on all frequencies. The FIOS signal is within the standard. I don't care what people on this board say there are plenty of standards engineers in our company that can prove it better than I can. The fact is 99% of TIVOHD and S3 installs require some sort of attenuation at the customers home.

It is really irksome that not only will TIVO not fix the problem they will not even acknowledge it. What do they fear? I did some research and I believe the financials of TIVO are not very strong. I would not be surprised if they were looking for someone to take them over.

I guess they fear the financial hit if they had to admit there was a problem in their hardware design. I guess the cost to redesign a second generation S3/HD motherboard would cost too much along with all the replacements they would have to do for the FIOS and some cable customers who called and requested replacements, due to the pixelation problem.

A better managed company would offer their customer the attenuators everyone has to buy for free, and post a work around solution for people having the issue on their web site. Instead of making people waste countless hours on futile tech support and searching the net for this board and then researching how to fix it.

For that much trouble they should at least offer the people with the problem discounted service or a discount on the next generation when it comes out. They would earn my respect and a lot of others who have purchased their last TIVO product.

Enjoy your spring and summer. I have nothing more to say on this subject.

Last edited by ciucca : 04-17-2008 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #710
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....A better managed company would offer their customer the attenuators everyone has to buy for free, and post a work around solution for people having the issue on their web site. Instead of making people waste countless hours on futile tech support and searching the net for this board and then researching how to fix it.

For that much trouble they should at least offer the people with the problem discounted service or a discount on the next generation when it comes out. They would earn my respect and a lot of others who have purchased their last TIVO product....
Just want to point out that attenuators are not an acceptable workaround for me & undoubtedly others. A whole bunch of weak FiOS channels/signals are knocked out well before hot locals are sufficiently attenuated - even on tuner 1, the stronger tuner. Antenna a better alternative obviously in my case. Other owned cablecard devices are much less sensitive (Thank G*d!) to signal strength/quality so little or no problems with them. FiOS signal I'm getting wanders quite a bit. Within reasonable parameters? Don't know.

I agree with you that TiVo should offer some sort of redress. Ability to tune is a pretty basic function for a DVR. I also had the same thought about the discounts you mention. Let's hope they remain solvent. Check insider trading disclosures if interested....
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:13 PM   #711
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Has anyone seen if 9.3a makes a difference? I just got it this morning and was wondering if I could ditch my attenuators (16dB).

I wonder if there is some automatic gain control that isn't working properly.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:18 PM   #712
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Just want to point out that attenuators are not an acceptable workaround for me & undoubtedly others. A whole bunch of weak FiOS channels/signals are knocked out well before hot locals are sufficiently attenuated - even on tuner 1, the stronger tuner. Antenna a better alternative obviously in my case. Other owned cablecard devices are much less sensitive (Thank G*d!) to signal strength/quality so little or no problems with them. FiOS signal I'm getting wanders quite a bit. Within reasonable parameters? Don't know.

I agree with you that TiVo should offer some sort of redress. Ability to tune is a pretty basic function for a DVR. I also had the same thought about the discounts you mention. Let's hope they remain solvent. Check insider trading disclosures if interested....
I have to answer one more time.

There is a standard that is followed for head end equipment communicating with receivers at the home (Motorola DVR, etc), within that there are communication standards for the entire optical path from the electrical level on up to the signal quality presented to the receivers. If you think the signal out of the ONT in your house is not within spec, then call Verizon they will send a tech to your house and replace every bit of wiring from the drop to the ONT, to all wires in your house until it is. After that if the TIVO still pixelates then logically it must be the 3rd party equipment. Yes the signal may drift but never out of range, a quality standards compliment receiver (Motorloa STBs) should be able to handle it without constant pixelation.

I'm done now.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:55 PM   #713
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Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
I have to answer one more time... If you think the signal out of the ONT in your house is not within spec, then call Verizon they will send a tech to your house and replace every bit of wiring from the drop to the ONT, to all wires in your house until it is. After that if the TIVO still pixelates then logically it must be the 3rd party equipment. Yes the signal may drift but never out of range, a quality standards compliment receiver (Motorloa STBs) should be able to handle it without constant pixelation.
Verizon already did everything they could in my house, in November when the signal was so far out that it even began to affect the 3 Sony tuners. Then, and since then, the problem has always been in the central office. Not on the street. Not in my house. Before the S3, The Toshiba Tv was the canary in the coal mine regarding signal quality. Not 1 macroblock observed for first 8 months. Tiling on locals not uncommon after that; maybe 20% of the time overall. Toshiba twice as tolerant as TiVo of hot signals, much more than twice as tolerant of weak ones. I can't disagree or agree about my CO's signal meeting spec. But I'm sure if it was delivered as it was in the first 8 months with FiOS, there would never be pixelation on the Toshiba & far less of it on the S3.

There's been something I've been meaning to ask you, being a Verizon employee. When signal causes lots of difficulties, getting that info through to CO is inefficient to put it mildly. I've called Fiber Solutions and also left messages on Big Boss's voice mail. At times that seems to have worked quickly. Sometimes clearly not. Can you suggest a better method? I don't call if it's just moderate tiling on locals.

Sorry for being repetitive but I think there are many who don't read previous pages in the thread.

Edit: tiling comparisons between Toshiba & Tv only rough approximations, derived from frequency and number of pixelating channels. Not logging often now as it's well into third month.

Last edited by hmm52 : 04-18-2008 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:19 PM   #714
esb1981
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Originally Posted by ilh View Post
Has anyone seen if 9.3a makes a difference? I just got it this morning and was wondering if I could ditch my attenuators (16dB).

I wonder if there is some automatic gain control that isn't working properly.
Someone on another thread (can't remember who or which one) posted that he got 9.3 a few days ago and everything seems to be cleared up so far. He said that in the past if he took off the attenuators he would get constant pixelation, now he takes them off and no pixelation in a couple days.

I just got 9.3 today and have been testing one of the few channels that I get occasional pixelation on - so far i have 0 uncorrected and 0 corrected errors in watching for about half an hour. So far so good. Problem is for me it tends to come in bunches, so who knows. If 9.3 has fixed things I can't imagine it's going to solve everyone's problems, but hopefully they have done something in the software to improve the error correcting.

Fingers crossed!

Edit: I don't know how to do links properly, but here is the discussion on the other thread - go to reponse #42. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...=389603&page=2

Last edited by esb1981 : 04-17-2008 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:37 PM   #715
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Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
There is a standard that is followed for head end equipment communicating with receivers at the home (Motorola DVR, etc), within that there are communication standards for the entire optical path from the electrical level on up to the signal quality presented to the receivers. If you think the signal out of the ONT in your house is not within spec, then call Verizon they will send a tech to your house and replace every bit of wiring from the drop to the ONT, to all wires in your house until it is. After that if the TIVO still pixelates then logically it must be the 3rd party equipment. Yes the signal may drift but never out of range, a quality standards compliment receiver (Motorloa STBs) should be able to handle it without constant pixelation.
I still disagree with your statement that "logically it must be the 3rd party equipment." As there's no logic in your statement. The logic in your statement is more "we replaced all the wiring, therefore we're pretty certain the wiring isn't at fault in causing this problem." It doesn't say anything about the signal reaching the tivo box, nor how in-spec or out-of-spec that signal is.

Has Verizon tested for the signal for AM Hum? Group Delay Ripples? Phase Noise? Chroma/Luma delay? Microreflections? And a bunch of other parameters? These are all signal deficiencies that cablecard host vendors are tested against, and need to make sure their tuners can handle.

Logic would be if Verizon techs tested all of the signal parameters, and found one where the transmission was within the spec, but the tivo box isn't receiving it properly. If they clean up that parameter, then the tivo box works properly, then they have a logical argument that the tivo box doesn't meet the spec. And, maybe there's some other deficiency where the parameters on how hosts are supposed to respond aren't defined. Who knows other than verizon's RF engineers and tivo's RF engineers.

What you're describing is the troubleshooting skills cable techs generally use, because most of the time there is some problem with the equipment in the customer's home, and replacing the wiring solves that problem. Clearly, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Tivo boxes are working in many customer's homes, so there is something in the signal Verizon is sending your box that's different from what Comcast is sending my box. But, I have yet to see anyone say what requirement either company is not meeting that's causing the problem.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #716
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Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
I am not bashing you or anyone else on this board who disagrees with me. What frustrates me is the attitude that the pixelation issue must be the FIOS signal and not a deficiency with the TIVO. This opinion is not just shared by you but others on this board and the TIVO technical support organization. It's almost like you and some others on this board work for them. This can't be true right? <snip>
Thanks for that. Actually I think we're more in agreement than not. I agree that TiVo bears some responsibility for being able to record and play back data without any problems. I also believe that the providers are responsible for delivering a reasonably good, strong, steady broadcast signal 24/7 as well and of course that's never been the case either. I also agree that we shouldn't have to go out of our way to get either to work properly. So it's just as easy for me to point fingers at the providers as TiVo.

But IMHO if we step back, take a breath for a moment and look at the technology we'd see that it's (by most standards) still new. High definition signals are still "experimental" for many broadcasters (much as color and stereo once was). Cable cards haven't been around that long. TiVo Series3's are a little over a a year old and TiVo HD's half that. FIOS is still in its infancy and Verizon is still cutting its teeth on delivering television signals. Maybe TiVo should have waited until everything was perfect (years from now) before they introduced an HD option. I'm really glad they didn't though.

I'm more in the "glass half full" camp believing that everything will be ironed out. TiVo's track record bears that out. Are things perfect? Absolutely not. I also don't believe that TiVo's or the provider's engineers are on vacation either. Color TV, stereo (and now 5.1 DD) broadcast audio, cable, satellite, broadband, high definition television...all of these technologies, many of them working in concert, are being improved daily. I just don't think this is an either/or situation or that any one party is to blame is all.

BTW, I've been waiting for my paycheck from TiVo for many years now.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #717
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Rich,

I'd also like to thank you for your advice, empathy & positive attitude. For those of us with experience of only 1 TiVo which doesn't work properly, it certainly helps to hear from another who's had many of them where problems have been resolved (eventually). Though earnest, the TiVo phone reps haven't provided much meaningful support to many of us; not compared to the advice in this forum.
Cheers for that and agreed...TiVo CSR's are not being given the training and empowerment to really satisfy their customer's requirements. I'm afraid they (TiVo) suffer the same "revolving door" CSR issues that other company's have. However they really need to step up to the plate with the whole macroblocking/pixelization problem and at least admit there is a problem and make it right whatever it takes. I suspect they're working hard behind the scenes but some transparency would go a long way toward improving relationships with some of their customers.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:36 AM   #718
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Cheers for that and agreed...TiVo CSR's are not being given the training and empowerment to really satisfy their customer's requirements. I'm afraid they (TiVo) suffer the same "revolving door" CSR issues that other company's have. However they really need to step up to the plate with the whole macroblocking/pixelization problem and at least admit there is a problem and make it right whatever it takes. I suspect they're working hard behind the scenes but some transparency would go a long way toward improving relationships with some of their customers.
I should have added that it is exactly the same situation for CSRs at Verizon. My most recent series of calls to VZ got a succession of new hires (first day?) who really had no confidance in doing the most basic things - arranging a service call for example. I did my best to point them in the right direction. Result of 3 such calls, each an hour or more? - 3 no shows as nothing was entered properly into the system. I only waited in vain the first time fortunately. *** If you don't get a confirmation call the night before, don't bother rescheduling your day around a visit.

Last tech was one involved with '06 installation. He said CSR had misinformed me. All PA VZ techs are union. The reason for service delays is because of a manpower shortage and VZ's resistance to pay overtime. He came on a Saturday however. 1/2 hour to replace dead card, most of it for laptop authorization. I wish you better luck/service on your side.
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:24 PM   #719
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Originally Posted by AbMagFab View Post
Back on track...

This isn't a CC issue. I have 6 CC's in my house now (4 on 2 S3's, and 2 on the Tivo HD).

The S3's are fine.

I plugged the TivoHD into the same cable, and I get pixellation (on both CC's, for what it's worth). I played with adding and removing splitter (-7db, -4db, etc.) to see what happened. It definitely changed the picture pixellation. So I'm thinking the TivoHD has a more sensitive tuner than the S3?

I also seem to remember these same issues plaguing the S3 for a little bit. And that they released a couple of upgrades focused on the pixelation?

Anyway, in addition to the channel pixellation, I see periodic menu pixelation, which is very new. I'm on component on my TivoHD, and HDMI on my S3. I'll probably switch to HDMI on the TivoHD to see if it makes any difference.

I'm hoping a software update for the TivoHD fixes much of this, just like it did (I think?) for the S3.
I had pixelations and at times no channels at all. I went through all the troubleshooting except for the obvious... I have an RF splitter hooked up to share cable to another room. The output was not sufficient and I replaced with a 2 Way 2 GigaHertz RF Splitter from Monster (highly recommended). Picture was much clearer on both TVs.

http://www.monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=663
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:34 PM   #720
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The cable signal doesn't go above 1Ghz.. 2Ghz is needed for satellite.
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