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Old 11-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #961
rickwagner50
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Well I have determined that it is definitely something in the hardware on TIVO #1 for me. Swapping hard drives and cablecards did nothing to resolve the problem. I have effectively isolated the issue to the HD TIVO itself and not FIOS, cabling, hard drive or cablecards causing the problem.

So now my next problem is how to get this fixed? I bought the HD TIVO back around July. Is it still under warranty? WIll TIVO replace it or charge me? I also have lifetime on it - will that be transferrable?

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:54 PM   #962
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Originally Posted by rickwagner50 View Post
Well I have determined that it is definitely something in the hardware on TIVO #1 for me. Swapping hard drives and cablecards did nothing to resolve the problem. I have effectively isolated the issue to the HD TIVO itself and not FIOS, cabling, hard drive or cablecards causing the problem.

So now my next problem is how to get this fixed? I bought the HD TIVO back around July. Is it still under warranty? WIll TIVO replace it or charge me? I also have lifetime on it - will that be transferrable?

Thanks
TiVo has a one year parts warranty so you can call TiVo and get a replacement for $49. They can take care of the lifetime transfer no problem. Do NOT tell them that you opened the box to swap hard drives...that voids the warranty.

Sounds like a faulty tuner IMO. Nice job of trouble shooting! Most folks wouldn't go to that extent and that gives you a very solid diagnosis when you call TiVo to get it replaced. I've had only one poor experience with TiVo customer service (although I've only dealt with them about four or five times and the negative was with the billing dept.), but if for some reason the first person you talk to doesn't agree to send out a new one just ask for a supervisor. Be firm but polite and you should get taken care of in one call.

Thanks for keeping us posted!
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:42 PM   #963
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Well except for having to wait over 20 minutes to get someone on the phone I had a very good experience getting TIVO to send me a replacement. They are going to charge me the $49 for replacement, which is OK by me. I just want one to work and they agreed that the lifetime would transfer from the old one to the replacement HD TIVO. They never asked about if I opened it up or not. I will be putting the original hard drive back in before I send it back, of course.

Thanks for the help in diagnosing this and hopefully it helps to dispell some myths and add some clarity to what could cause pixelation issues.

I'll keep you posted when I get the replacement and what I find with it.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:38 AM   #964
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Well except for having to wait over 20 minutes to get someone on the phone I had a very good experience getting TIVO to send me a replacement. <snip>
Sounds good and thanks for reporting back.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:52 AM   #965
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Well I have determined that it is definitely something in the hardware on TIVO #1 for me.
Was the problem evident in recordings ? i.e. if you immediately skipped back - did you still see issues ?
I ask as I have had issues, but they are definitely only in the playback - rewind/replay would always be OK, whether off of the 30 minute buffer, or a prior recording. I suspect the disk cache, or possibly available processing RAM as this is/was mainly evident on HD. Have just swapped to a WD EVCS - so hoping it's gone ... but who knows, of course the machine hasn't been under load today at all!
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:23 AM   #966
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Have just swapped to a WD EVCS - so hoping it's gone ... but who knows, of course the machine hasn't been under load today at all!
Let us know how your WD10EVCS works out and if you are still seeing any issues (and if so, what they are). The drive is fairly new and so far others are reporting great success with it. All of the data points we can get are helpful to those that follow. TIA!
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:01 PM   #967
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Well I have determined that it is definitely something in the hardware on TIVO #1 for me. Swapping hard drives and cablecards did nothing to resolve the problem. I have effectively isolated the issue to the HD TIVO itself and not FIOS, cabling, hard drive or cablecards causing the problem.
I like this diagnostic data you've collected. To me, it implies that some of the tuner cards (not the cable cards) aren't quite as "strong" as others. They could still be within acceptable specs, but something with the FiOS signal is requiring the tuner cards to have higher manufacturing tolerances.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:26 PM   #968
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Was the problem evident in recordings ? i.e. if you immediately skipped back - did you still see issues ?
I ask as I have had issues, but they are definitely only in the playback - rewind/replay would always be OK, whether off of the 30 minute buffer, or a prior recording. I suspect the disk cache, or possibly available processing RAM as this is/was mainly evident on HD. Have just swapped to a WD EVCS - so hoping it's gone ... but who knows, of course the machine hasn't been under load today at all!
My problems were always in the same spot when I would rewind and replay from saved shows. In other words, if there was a line of pixelation at a certain spot on the screen at a specific spot in the show, it would be in the exact same spot if I rewound and played it again. So it definitely seemed like a tuner issue. And I never saw any *additional* pixelation after rewind and replay or playing from prior recordings.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:33 PM   #969
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Well except for having to wait over 20 minutes to get someone on the phone I had a very good experience getting TIVO to send me a replacement. They are going to charge me the $49 for replacement, which is OK by me.
Found out today via email confirmation that I am getting a refurb unit sent to me as replacement. Not sure I am too excited about that, but if it works I guess that is OK.

One more question - am I OK to swap out the stock HD from the refurb replacement into the HD TIVO I am sending back to them? Reason I ask is this would save me some hassle, as I have re-used the original 160 gig drive from my HD TIVO that is getting sent back and I would rather not have to re-format it and install a new hard drive in it's place (it is in my Son's PC). Any way I can just swap the hard drives? I *think* that as long as they are the same HD TIVO model number then I should be OK because the serial number and ID information is on the motherboard, not the hard drive. Of course, I will have to let the TIVO OS to update on the one I am sending back so they don't realize I have swapped it out, but I think that should be all I need to do. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:13 AM   #970
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I believe you are correct as applying other people's images does not give a problem. I doubt they even worry on return, they simply put it in the refurb pile and make sure it's working.

All replacements from Tivo are refurb (just as many mobile phone companies do now) - I've not had an issue with their refurbs though. I work on the principle that production units are sample tested, whereas refurbs are guaranteed tested - it's worked well for me over the years from Sony, Dell, HP and many other suppliers.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:19 AM   #971
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Samsung vs. WD - no contest !! (IME of course)

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Let us know how your WD10EVCS works out and if you are still seeing any issues (and if so, what they are). The drive is fairly new and so far others are reporting great success with it. All of the data points we can get are helpful to those that follow. TIA!
Well finally got the WD10EVCS installed. Using WinMFS I copied the 2/3 full Samsung "1TB" contents to the WD 1TB (quoted as the WD is 890Mb larger than the Samsung currently awaiting a full backup and restore as MFSAdd does not work twice on TivoHD internals) ... no problems as usual - thanks Spike. Installed, no gray screen - as expected.

And when tested - with both tuners recording HD, and me playing HD too - no issues whatsoever. I've also had no 'reports' from other users - so I think the Samsung was the culprit for paly back pixelation when system under load. So the only question is whether this drive is 'in spec' or defective - will investigate further now I have a working Tivo again.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:58 AM   #972
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Well finally got the WD10EVCS installed. Using WinMFS I copied the 2/3 full Samsung "1TB" contents to the WD 1TB (quoted as the WD is 890Mb larger than the Samsung currently awaiting a full backup and restore as MFSAdd does not work twice on TivoHD internals) ... no problems as usual - thanks Spike. Installed, no gray screen - as expected.

And when tested - with both tuners recording HD, and me playing HD too - no issues whatsoever. I've also had no 'reports' from other users - so I think the Samsung was the culprit for paly back pixelation when system under load. So the only question is whether this drive is 'in spec' or defective - will investigate further now I have a working Tivo again.
Thanks very much for the follow up. Looks like the Samsung's might need to be avoided (although IIRC there are others here using them successfully. Perhaps they've changed something?)
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:06 AM   #973
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Thanks very much for the follow up. Looks like the Samsung's might need to be avoided (although IIRC there are others here using them successfully. Perhaps they've changed something?)
Life is soooo funny. Tonight - first time ever - I have audio stutter and minor freezes, but they are in the recordings ... Now it's about -4 on my deck, and I used to get issues with the digital before I got HD when the temp. really dipped (has to be moisture in the wire somewhere) but haven't seen them for a while. Anyway, at least it'll save me getting the the case resonance for a while

For Samsung diagnosis - 'cos I think we all want to know why they are working out fine some places, and not others.

Mine has HDD P/N: HD103UI/Y REV.A (below Model #)

Interesting also is that in the information list bottom right,
item 2 says SEC-HD103UI(B). And item 4 2008.05, presumably manu. date.

So - for those with perfectly working Spinpoints, are any of these datapoints different (and yes I know you have to open the case to see - but you want to help, right).
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:41 AM   #974
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For Samsung diagnosis - 'cos I think we all want to know why they are working out fine some places, and not others.

Mine has HDD P/N: HD103UI/Y REV.A (below Model #)

Interesting also is that in the information list bottom right,
item 2 says SEC-HD103UI(B). And item 4 2008.05, presumably manu. date.

So - for those with perfectly working Spinpoints, are any of these datapoints different (and yes I know you have to open the case to see - but you want to help, right).
I was getting the same odd capacity numbers that someone else mentioned with their spinpoint upgrade, so I decided I'd open the case and re-supersize it again... and I'd also had occasional audio dropouts that weren't there if replayed again (so not in the data stream), though I think I never saw/heard the audio dropouts when watching a previously-recorded show (and yes I know that even live tv is really recorded and played back).

So I've disabled the AAM in hopes that'll speed up drive responsiveness, since the TivoHD is inside a cabinet and the noise isn't noticeable anyway.

My drive (which never had a hard boot or reboot issue) has the same item 2 as above, but the P/N is HD103UI/JP1 and the manufacture date says 2008.10.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:42 PM   #975
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So - for those with perfectly working Spinpoints, are any of these datapoints different (and yes I know you have to open the case to see - but you want to help, right).
Yes, the UI is different than the UJ drive. the Samsung "UJ" Spinpoint runs flawlessley here. The "UI" is a 5400RPM drive, while the "UJ" is a 7200RPM drive. There are other posts around the forums that the UI didn't always spin-up with a reboot. But the UJ seems to be fine, at least it is here.

I don't think the UI is a Spinpoint, at least according to Samsung's website. There's about a $10 difference in price (the UI being the lower cost one).
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:01 AM   #976
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Yes, the UI is different than the UJ drive.
Interesting - the 5400 is the "Green" drive of course, and when I mistakenly jumped on the Samsung band wagon for my TivoHD - the thread I was following implied the 5400 would be the better choice (indeed I avoided the UJ from my favorite etailer). So, can those with working Spinpoints confirm that they are using the 7200rpm UJ ? Is that the common thread with working Spinpoints ?
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:58 PM   #977
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Apologies in advance if someone already mentioned this -
too many pages to read through...

I started having pixelation issues about 2 months ago after almost 2 years of everything being just fine.

I thought it was a signal issue from my cable (TWCNYC).

After having the cable company come out to check the signal and then troubleshooting with a TiVo tech on the phone - the TiVo tech suggested that my cable cards were goin bad and were no longer holding their pairing and activation...

Bottom line - swapped the 2 cable cards on Thursday for 2 new ones and BAM... NO MORE PIXELATION.
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:55 PM   #978
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After having the cable company come out to check the signal and then troubleshooting with a TiVo tech on the phone - the TiVo tech suggested that my cable cards were goin bad and were no longer holding their pairing and activation...

Bottom line - swapped the 2 cable cards on Thursday for 2 new ones and BAM... NO MORE PIXELATION.
Very good to know...and info that might help others. Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:23 PM   #979
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Hey there,

I have been a long time TiVo user now and I currently have a TiVo HD that I love.

I just switched to FIOS last week. I've experienced picture skipping and freezing since my first day. I started at around a 37 SNR. I have a small batch of attenuators, and I've tried all different combinations of them and I have gotten it down to around 31 SNR with two 8db attenuators.

However, I'm still getting skipping. Its not all of the time, and I think its less than it was, and its only on HD channels, especially USAHD, but its still there... Should I try to go lower? When do I know if I have gone too low?

I'm really starting to go crazy. Obviously just about everyone at FIOS is clueless about what is going wrong... is it possible that its the cable card? I have one M cable card, and overall, my TiVo works, its just periodically (especially at night), I get skipping and freezing on HD channels...

Thank you for any help!
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #980
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Hey there,

I have been a long time TiVo user now and I currently have a TiVo HD that I love.

I just switched to FIOS last week. I've experienced picture skipping and freezing since my first day.
Are you talking about the fast-forward/back to normal "picture skip"? If so we see that periodically on both our Series3 and TiVo HD...and we're still on Comcast. I think the "feature" was added around v8.1 to compensate for signal and/or data I/O interuptions. It's annoying, but we don't see it too often so tolerable. If that's it I'm not so sure attenuation will cure it completely.

With respect to when you know you've gone too far attenuation-wise, you'll lose your picture completely. No harm done of course.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:10 AM   #981
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With the problem affecting so many users, I'm astounded that the problem has not been authoritatively identified and solved. I see pixelation on some of my fios channels, and I believe I've narrowed it down to only channels in the higher frequency ranges, nearing the high end. That is, from about 550,000-690,000. Most of the pixelating channels are in that 690,000 frequency batch.

Signal levels are generally in the 85 range, with snr of 34-37, with most channels, including pixelating channels. However, sometimes I see that the signal level drops to 68, and bounces between 68 and 85. I don't know why I'm not getting nearer 100, but I don't think that's the problem.

That said, I'd think a diplexer blocking all frequencies over 860 would work, IF the problem is in fact bleed over from the moca set up used in the fios system.

On the other hand, if the problem is in cablecards, the diplexer will obviously have little or no effect. I've only just received the cablecards, and the installer tech mentioned that he had to search long and hard to find them (2 s-cards for each of 3 tivos). Apparently they're in short supply in my area (Philly suburbs)? I'm actually hoping the problem is with the cards, and that simply swapping them out will work. Even better, if I could get m-cards instead, that would be best, just for cutting costs.

I never saw the problem with my motorola 6416s. So what's the deal? Bottom line is, is there a definitive statement of the problem?
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:01 AM   #982
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Are you talking about the fast-forward/back to normal "picture skip"? If so we see that periodically on both our Series3 and TiVo HD...and we're still on Comcast. I think the "feature" was added around v8.1 to compensate for signal and/or data I/O interuptions. It's annoying, but we don't see it too often so tolerable. If that's it I'm not so sure attenuation will cure it completely.

With respect to when you know you've gone too far attenuation-wise, you'll lose your picture completely. No harm done of course.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
Actually I just mean that while watching tv, certain HD channels constantly skip to the point of freezing at times. Last night a couple channels, after skipping, just plain went out. Its really really frustrating, and has been occurring consistently since we got FIOS installed last week.

Verizon is overnighting me a new cable card. If that doesn't work, I'm probably am going to ask TiVo for a new box. I have lifetime service, so something better work!
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #983
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With the problem affecting so many users, I'm astounded that the problem has not been authoritatively identified and solved. I see pixelation on some of my fios channels, and I believe I've narrowed it down to only channels in the higher frequency ranges, nearing the high end. That is, from about 550,000-690,000. Most of the pixelating channels are in that 690,000 frequency batch.

Signal levels are generally in the 85 range, with snr of 34-37, with most channels, including pixelating channels. However, sometimes I see that the signal level drops to 68, and bounces between 68 and 85. I don't know why I'm not getting nearer 100, but I don't think that's the problem.

That said, I'd think a diplexer blocking all frequencies over 860 would work, IF the problem is in fact bleed over from the moca set up used in the fios system.

On the other hand, if the problem is in cablecards, the diplexer will obviously have little or no effect. I've only just received the cablecards, and the installer tech mentioned that he had to search long and hard to find them (2 s-cards for each of 3 tivos). Apparently they're in short supply in my area (Philly suburbs)? I'm actually hoping the problem is with the cards, and that simply swapping them out will work. Even better, if I could get m-cards instead, that would be best, just for cutting costs.

I never saw the problem with my motorola 6416s. So what's the deal? Bottom line is, is there a definitive statement of the problem?
Check a few posts back. Webin and RickWagner50 hit the nail on the head. What I tried to say some months back. Your not going to get a lot of help from the FIOS techs since they all know it is a third party vendor issue.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:51 PM   #984
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Actually I just mean that while watching tv, certain HD channels constantly skip to the point of freezing at times. Last night a couple channels, after skipping, just plain went out. Its really really frustrating, and has been occurring consistently since we got FIOS installed last week.

Verizon is overnighting me a new cable card. If that doesn't work, I'm probably am going to ask TiVo for a new box. I have lifetime service, so something better work!
Ah, got it. It does sound like a signal issue if the picture is going away completely. Does that still happen without any attenuation? If not, you might be on the verge of too much attenuation.

Anyway, best of luck and let us know what happens.
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:43 PM   #985
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I put on a diplexer, and the results: no change. Still running up the both the corrected and uncorrected, still seeing pixelation. I have to think the fault lies elsewhere, and my first guess is the cablecards, though who knows?
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #986
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Update on my HD Tiov pixelation issues

Well I got the replacement HD Tivo and right away I got MORE PIXELATION. After getting over the initial frustration I did some more digging. I am such an idiot. Turns out that ONE of my cablecards was causing the pixelation. I must have missed it because when the good one in the 'bad' HD TIVO was used it seemed fine. I did not even think to try both tuners to see if the issue was on both. That would explain why some channels would be ok on the 'bad' HD TIVO. It was using the cablecard that was fine at those times. So when I would switch between tuners by pressing "Live TV" button it would always pixelate on the one tuner but not the other.

So, bottom line is the problem for me was the cablecard. FIOS just replaced it today and I am now pixelation free. YAHOOOO!

Sorry for the mistake on my part. I should have been more methodical in my testing when moving TIVO box 1 and box 2 around for testing. So, I spent $50 for a refurb TIVO box for nothing. I guess I deserved it.

Hope this helps all.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:30 PM   #987
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So, bottom line is the problem for me was the cablecard. FIOS just replaced it today and I am now pixelation free. YAHOOOO!
I'm glad for you! But sad for me...

I've been watching this thread for a couple of weeks now in hopes I wouldn't run into the pixelization issue, but I wasn't so lucky. Now it's time to chime in. My recently purchased refurb TiVo HD has pixelation on a handful of channels all within the freq range of 351000khz - 369000khz.

I tried the Diplexer and attenuation on my own with no improvement, then called TiVo. They said call FiOS. I had the FiOS Tech here today and got him on the phone with TiVo. FiOS Tech did the LPF and his own attenuation, still no help. I, fortunately, did check both CCs and the problem existed on both tuners. TiVo asked to switch the CCs (Motorola BTW), so FiOS tech did that. Had the same problem on the same channels even put the CCs in a CC ready TV and everything looked good there, ruling out the CCs. TiVo issued an Exchange RMA.

So Tivo isn't off the hook on a tuner issue AFAIC. Sending unit to Tivo tomorrow.

Silver lining... I'm still in my 30-day warranty and shipping both ways is on TiVo, so this one is costing me zero. I still have the Verizon DVR to hold me over.

It'll be a couple of weeks before I see the new TiVo HD. I'll check in when I get it.

What is puzzling me is that the Tivo Rep claimed this is a hard drive problem. Since I'm in warranty, I didn't want to try swapping the HD. So I can 't prove anything, but how can a bad HD only affect a handfull of channels. Wouldn't it cause problems with all channels or at least all High-Def channels?

I still think there's a tuner issue that TiVo isn't fessing up to.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:17 AM   #988
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Well I got the replacement HD Tivo and right away I got MORE PIXELATION. After getting over the initial frustration I did some more digging. I am such an idiot. Turns out that ONE of my cablecards was causing the pixelation. I must have missed it because when the good one in the 'bad' HD TIVO was used it seemed fine. I did not even think to try both tuners to see if the issue was on both. That would explain why some channels would be ok on the 'bad' HD TIVO. It was using the cablecard that was fine at those times. So when I would switch between tuners by pressing "Live TV" button it would always pixelate on the one tuner but not the other.

So, bottom line is the problem for me was the cablecard. FIOS just replaced it today and I am now pixelation free. YAHOOOO!

Sorry for the mistake on my part. I should have been more methodical in my testing when moving TIVO box 1 and box 2 around for testing. So, I spent $50 for a refurb TIVO box for nothing. I guess I deserved it.

Hope this helps all.
Really?!

I doubt the cable cards are your problem. Post back when it starts pixelating again.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:23 AM   #989
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I'm glad for you! But sad for me...

I've been watching this thread for a couple of weeks now in hopes I wouldn't run into the pixelization issue, but I wasn't so lucky. Now it's time to chime in. My recently purchased refurb TiVo HD has pixelation on a handful of channels all within the freq range of 351000khz - 369000khz.

I tried the Diplexer and attenuation on my own with no improvement, then called TiVo. They said call FiOS. I had the FiOS Tech here today and got him on the phone with TiVo. FiOS Tech did the LPF and his own attenuation, still no help. I, fortunately, did check both CCs and the problem existed on both tuners. TiVo asked to switch the CCs (Motorola BTW), so FiOS tech did that. Had the same problem on the same channels even put the CCs in a CC ready TV and everything looked good there, ruling out the CCs. TiVo issued an Exchange RMA.

So Tivo isn't off the hook on a tuner issue AFAIC. Sending unit to Tivo tomorrow.

Silver lining... I'm still in my 30-day warranty and shipping both ways is on TiVo, so this one is costing me zero. I still have the Verizon DVR to hold me over.

It'll be a couple of weeks before I see the new TiVo HD. I'll check in when I get it.

What is puzzling me is that the Tivo Rep claimed this is a hard drive problem. Since I'm in warranty, I didn't want to try swapping the HD. So I can 't prove anything, but how can a bad HD only affect a handfull of channels. Wouldn't it cause problems with all channels or at least all High-Def channels?

I still think there's a tuner issue that TiVo isn't fessing up to.
It is without a doubt a Tivo Tuner issue. Sift throught the BS posts about it being a FIOS signal problem, cable card problem, etc. I'll admit that maybe 1% is due to these, but I am skeptical of the people who continually post that it is a FIOS signal issue.

Do yourself a favor and get a refund and go with the Motorola DVR. It does not pixelate, because it has magic software. It is decoding the same ONT signal which must be bad, so that is the only explanation you can come too.

If it walks like a duck its a duck!
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #990
rickwagner50
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciucca View Post
Really?!

I doubt the cable cards are your problem. Post back when it starts pixelating again.
I will certainly keep everyone posted on this. So far, it sure looks like a cablecard issue for me. Prior to the FIOS replacement card, one tuner was fine and the other tuner was pixelating. The moment the new cablecard was in it went away on both tuners.
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