TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #1411
nsk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
I have Verizon Fios (along with TiVo HD) and am noticing similar issues for the last 6 weeks. I have already had Verizon come by twice; yesterday the tech stayed for five hours and pretty much replaced all Verizon accessories, installed a new M-card, but still the same issue. I have no issue with the music (rhapsody) or other video services such as netflix. However, I am reasonably convinced (after yesterday's extensive tests) the issue is solely restricted to acquiring the cable signal and that it is TiVo's fault.

While I love the TiVo UI and especially the ability to transfer shows to my PC, I am pretty close to giving up. For the first time, I have Verizon's box and am thinking about canceling TiVo service.
nsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 07:29 PM   #1412
erb2000
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
It sounds like classic cable card failure. It doesn't happen often, but it absolutely does happen. Sometimes a cable card firmware update will present problems (or fail) or they just die.

Are you seeing issues on both tuners or only one? If only one I'd say that cable card needs to be replaced. If on both I'd say that they either both need to be re-initialized/re-paired/re-hit by your cableco and if that doesn't work replacing them would be the next step.

You can try calling your cableco to have them do a few things over the phone (if they will) but a truck roll is probably in your future. There shouldn't be any charge if it turns out to be a cable card problem. If they do send a tech out ask them to have him/her bring more than a couple of replacement cable cards. There are stories here and on other forums about techs having to try up to a dozen or more cable cards before finding a couple that will work.

BTW you probably have two "S" (single-stream) cable cards. Most cableco's only have "M" (multi-stream) cable cards now. That's fine, but whichever they have you will still need two cable cards for your Series3.
Thanks for the quick reply, Rich. When this first started happening we did have both cable cards (S types) replaced (with M types). They paired fine and did not fix anything.

For this problem to be a cable card problem would mean that both cards went bad at the same time, and both the new cards are also bad.

I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the cable cards control which channels are authorized. They are not tuners. When I try to change to a channel that is not authorized, I get a different message saying "not authorized".
erb2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 07:41 PM   #1413
richsadams
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsk View Post
I have Verizon Fios (along with TiVo HD) and am noticing similar issues for the last 6 weeks. I have already had Verizon come by twice; yesterday the tech stayed for five hours and pretty much replaced all Verizon accessories, installed a new M-card, but still the same issue. I have no issue with the music (rhapsody) or other video services such as netflix. However, I am reasonably convinced (after yesterday's extensive tests) the issue is solely restricted to acquiring the cable signal and that it is TiVo's fault.

While I love the TiVo UI and especially the ability to transfer shows to my PC, I am pretty close to giving up. For the first time, I have Verizon's box and am thinking about canceling TiVo service.
Yours sounds more like it could be a couple of things. Possibly a hard drive that's having I/O error correction issues or more likely a bad tuner.

Does it happen on both tuners? The best experiment to run is to watch the 'offending' channel live. As you start, go into DVR Diagnostics and check the RS Uncorrected and Corrected counts. As you watch and see events, go back into DVR Diags and recheck the RS counts. Post back what you see.

The RS Uncorrected counter counts how many times the demodulator was unable to recover any bit errors in the data in a packet. These events will likely result in pixelization/macroblocking or worst case a loss of picture and/or sound. If the counts remain zero then the problem is either 'upstream' from the hub (i.e. came from the provider) or something else is going on such as the mpeg PAT is changing.

I'd also call TiVo and discuss it with them. The first-line CSR will probably have you do a few tests but if they can't get it sorted they may hand you off to a second-level tech. They can view the logs for your account and/or may have some other suggestions. If there is something physically wrong with your TiVo they will offer to exchange it. An exchange is $49 if it's under the one-year labor warranty or $149 after that.

If it happens to be a failing hard drive you could run a few of the built-in diagnostic programs called "Kickstarts":

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

KS54 will run a SMART test to determine if there are any issues with your hard drive. It's not infallible but may be able to tell you if there is a problem. If it turns out to be a hard drive you can replace it yourself or go ahead and exchange it. If you're up for a DIY replacement you can upgrade it at the same time. All the info you need can be found by clicking on the link below my sig.

I forgot to ask but do you happen to have an eSATA drive attached to your TiVo? If so, there are some other things to check as well.

Hope that helps and let us know how it goes.
richsadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 07:51 PM   #1414
richsadams
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by erb2000 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply, Rich. When this first started happening we did have both cable cards (S types) replaced (with M types). They paired fine and did not fix anything.

For this problem to be a cable card problem would mean that both cards went bad at the same time, and both the new cards are also bad.

I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the cable cards control which channels are authorized. They are not tuners. When I try to change to a channel that is not authorized, I get a different message saying "not authorized".
Ah, got it. Although both cards could be problematic if a firmware update failed, that doesn't sound like what you're seeing then. Everything goes through the cable cards so they can be troublesome, but again, if they were replaced already, it's not likely if you're seeing issues with both tuners.

First I would get with TiVo and have them review everything with you. They may have you run some Kickstarts and try some other things. They should be able to help you narrow it down though. It may be a bad tuner after all or it's remotely possible (as with nsk's) a hard drive. Hard drives are the most common failure point (by far) but in your case it does sound like tuner issues.

Lifetime service is tied to your TiVo so you'd have to work with TiVo on a transfer. I'm not sure what they might want to do...they change what they'll do for folks now and then so you'd have to ask.

Out of curiosity, what happens if you disconnect your broadband connection (wireless or Ethernet)? Also what happens if you plug TiVo into a completely separate power outlet (w/o a surge protector or UPS, etc.)? Let us know if it clears up. It's rare, but there are some other things to look for if doing either one resolves things.

Let us know how things go and best of luck!
richsadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2010, 09:59 PM   #1415
nsk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks Rich for your help. I appreciate it very much. I went to one of the offending channels and checked the uncorrected and corrected counts (even as the picture was pixelating). They both show 0. The SNR is 36 and signal strength is 100.

I also forgot to add that the TiVo menu lags pretty badly at times and I have to wait a long time for response. Some times, I even see the menu while the TV picture still playing in the background (imagine TiVo background not being there and instead you have the regular TV playing; TiVo menu appears on top of the picture and I can navigate it).

I do have a myDVR expander (the one recommended by TiVo; with eSATA). I will check the Kickstart diagnostic and will report back tomorrow. Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you could let me know the additional check-ups associated with eSATA.

Thanks once again,
Nanda

Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Yours sounds more like it could be a couple of things. Possibly a hard drive that's having I/O error correction issues or more likely a bad tuner.

Does it happen on both tuners? The best experiment to run is to watch the 'offending' channel live. As you start, go into DVR Diagnostics and check the RS Uncorrected and Corrected counts. As you watch and see events, go back into DVR Diags and recheck the RS counts. Post back what you see.

The RS Uncorrected counter counts how many times the demodulator was unable to recover any bit errors in the data in a packet. These events will likely result in pixelization/macroblocking or worst case a loss of picture and/or sound. If the counts remain zero then the problem is either 'upstream' from the hub (i.e. came from the provider) or something else is going on such as the mpeg PAT is changing.

I'd also call TiVo and discuss it with them. The first-line CSR will probably have you do a few tests but if they can't get it sorted they may hand you off to a second-level tech. They can view the logs for your account and/or may have some other suggestions. If there is something physically wrong with your TiVo they will offer to exchange it. An exchange is $49 if it's under the one-year labor warranty or $149 after that.

If it happens to be a failing hard drive you could run a few of the built-in diagnostic programs called "Kickstarts":

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

KS54 will run a SMART test to determine if there are any issues with your hard drive. It's not infallible but may be able to tell you if there is a problem. If it turns out to be a hard drive you can replace it yourself or go ahead and exchange it. If you're up for a DIY replacement you can upgrade it at the same time. All the info you need can be found by clicking on the link below my sig.

I forgot to ask but do you happen to have an eSATA drive attached to your TiVo? If so, there are some other things to check as well.

Hope that helps and let us know how it goes.

nsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 02:19 AM   #1416
richsadams
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsk View Post
Thanks Rich for your help. I appreciate it very much. I went to one of the offending channels and checked the uncorrected and corrected counts (even as the picture was pixelating). They both show 0. The SNR is 36 and signal strength is 100.

I also forgot to add that the TiVo menu lags pretty badly at times and I have to wait a long time for response. Some times, I even see the menu while the TV picture still playing in the background (imagine TiVo background not being there and instead you have the regular TV playing; TiVo menu appears on top of the picture and I can navigate it).

I do have a myDVR expander (the one recommended by TiVo; with eSATA). I will check the Kickstart diagnostic and will report back tomorrow. Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you could let me know the additional check-ups associated with eSATA.

Thanks once again,
Nanda
From your further description and the fact that you have a My DVR Expander I'd say the issue is more than likely the Expander. The additional symptoms are very much in the hard drive problem camp and the Expanders are becoming notorious for problems after 12 to 18 months. Have a look at this post for more about troubleshooting the Expander:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...44#post7553444

The next step is to disconnect and properly divorce the Expander. Chances are things will return to normal.

Let us know how things go.
richsadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 06:06 AM   #1417
SCSIRAID
Registered User
 
SCSIRAID's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 2,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsk View Post
Thanks Rich for your help. I appreciate it very much. I went to one of the offending channels and checked the uncorrected and corrected counts (even as the picture was pixelating). They both show 0. The SNR is 36 and signal strength is 100.

I also forgot to add that the TiVo menu lags pretty badly at times and I have to wait a long time for response. Some times, I even see the menu while the TV picture still playing in the background (imagine TiVo background not being there and instead you have the regular TV playing; TiVo menu appears on top of the picture and I can navigate it).

I do have a myDVR expander (the one recommended by TiVo; with eSATA). I will check the Kickstart diagnostic and will report back tomorrow. Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you could let me know the additional check-ups associated with eSATA.

Thanks once again,
Nanda
Is the offending channel an SDV channel? There is a known issue with SDV channels pixilating that TiVo is said to be working on.
SCSIRAID is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 04:38 PM   #1418
nsk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks for the help. I just unplugged the Expander (properly) and at first glance, it seems like the issue has been resolved. I will monitor it for another few hours just to be sure! If the expander is the problem, does replacing the eSata cable solve the problem? How do I figure out where the issue is (enclosure, hard disk, cable)... I tried doing the Hard Disk diagnostic (as per your previous post) procedure during start-up, but nothing happened; it went through the usual splash screen.

What options would you recommend (including internal upgrade) as I would definitely need more space. Thanks once again for your time. I appreciate it very much.

------------------------

Update: It has been a few hours and no problems at all! Thanks for helping isolate the problem. I also looked at the link for TiVo upgrade through your signature. I am thinking about Internal TiVo upgrade. Do you think it is worth checking with a different eSATA cable first? Thanks

--------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
From your further description and the fact that you have a My DVR Expander I'd say the issue is more than likely the Expander. The additional symptoms are very much in the hard drive problem camp and the Expanders are becoming notorious for problems after 12 to 18 months. Have a look at this post for more about troubleshooting the Expander:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...44#post7553444

The next step is to disconnect and properly divorce the Expander. Chances are things will return to normal.

Let us know how things go.


Last edited by nsk : 02-19-2010 at 07:01 PM.
nsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 04:39 PM   #1419
nsk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks SCSIRAID. I do not think it is the SDV channels as I have FioS. It appears that the problem is due to my DVR expander (I will monitor it over the next few hours to be sure). Thanks for your time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
Is the offending channel an SDV channel? There is a known issue with SDV channels pixilating that TiVo is said to be working on.

nsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 04:43 PM   #1420
SCSIRAID
Registered User
 
SCSIRAID's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 2,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsk View Post
Thanks SCSIRAID. I do not think it is the SDV channels as I have FioS. It appears that the problem is due to my DVR expander (I will monitor it over the next few hours to be sure). Thanks for your time.
Agree... I didnt catch the fact that you have FiOS.... Hopefully you have found the problem.
SCSIRAID is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2010, 08:00 PM   #1421
richsadams
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsk View Post
What options would you recommend (including internal upgrade) as I would definitely need more space. Thanks once again for your time. I appreciate it very much.

------------------------

Update: It has been a few hours and no problems at all! Thanks for helping isolate the problem. I also looked at the link for TiVo upgrade through your signature. I am thinking about Internal TiVo upgrade. Do you think it is worth checking with a different eSATA cable first? Thanks

--------------------------
You could give a replacement eSATA cable a try. The recommended SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $10. If that doesn't do the trick then I'd recommend an internal hard drive upgrade. You sound pretty savvy and shouldn't have any problem with a DIY upgrade as long as you follow the directions in the FAQ.

Let us know how it goes!
richsadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2010, 12:47 PM   #1422
nsk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks. I have ordered the eSATA cable; If it doesn't help, I will get the internal drive replacement (also gives me time to see what is happening on March 2). Thanks very much for your help.



Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
You could give a replacement eSATA cable a try. The recommended SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $10. If that doesn't do the trick then I'd recommend an internal hard drive upgrade. You sound pretty savvy and shouldn't have any problem with a DIY upgrade as long as you follow the directions in the FAQ.

Let us know how it goes!

nsk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #1423
jonja
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 77
SDV Pixelation -- affects Charter too (not just TWC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Camber View Post
I just received a call back from TiVo this morning and can confirm that they are working on a fix for the SDV macroblocking/pixelation issue. As usual they will not give any sort of time frame for when it will be released.
My only concern is that Tivo may treat this as a TWC issue only and the fix may not fix my problems, which are identical but on Charter. I am in a very small market in CT and doubt there are enough Tivo customers for Charter CT for this to show up as even a blip.

(If you recall from past posts, I receive pixelation/macroblocking on only a couple channels which are SDV only, such as SyFy .My signal strength is in the 87-93 range, 35 Db, and with NO RS errors on the SDV channels.)
jonja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2010, 04:46 PM   #1424
SCSIRAID
Registered User
 
SCSIRAID's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 2,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonja View Post
My only concern is that Tivo may treat this as a TWC issue only and the fix may not fix my problems, which are identical but on Charter. I am in a very small market in CT and doubt there are enough Tivo customers for Charter CT for this to show up as even a blip.

(If you recall from past posts, I receive pixelation/macroblocking on only a couple channels which are SDV only, such as SyFy .My signal strength is in the 87-93 range, 35 Db, and with NO RS errors on the SDV channels.)
I would expect a fix to cover all cable providers as its a mpeg issue and they all do SDV basically the same way. All we now is a fix...
SCSIRAID is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 12:55 PM   #1425
LockRob
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 27
new model

I'm wondering how the release of the new model will impact the need for work on this issue...
Does anyone know if the Premier has the same SDV pixelization issue? Will Tivo continue(?) to work on this issue? I was hoping we would see some movement on this by now, and am kind of surprised that Tivo still believes that people will invest in a device that does not give watchable recordings of SDV channels. I can't tell you how often I end up with a recording that makes me guess at every third word, and looks like a piece of cubist art, for 5 seconds out of every 3 minutes.
It's nice that they have worked on the search feature, but until they fix the recording quality issues, I will be telling everyone I see to go the HTPC route.
And I certainly won't be upgrading or recommending upgrades.
LockRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #1426
richsadams
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by LockRob View Post
Does anyone know if the Premier has the same SDV pixelization issue?
Since the Premiere won't be released for another month or so...I don't think anyone knows. Good question though. It'll be interesting to see if the Premier's architecture and/or software has overcome some of these things. We've never experienced the problem on our TiVo HD (other than the occasional broadcast/signal corruption plus we don't have SDV of course) but it's got to be terribly frustrating. If they do find a cure hopefully it will be backward compatible.

Last edited by richsadams : 04-13-2010 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Tyop…d'oh!
richsadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 09:53 AM   #1427
Luis214
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 18
Hello all, just had a quick question and was looking for some suggestions. Here are the details.

I have a Series 3 Tivo HD with hdmi connections (monoprice cables). Comcast is my provider. It is out of warranty.

I've been having a few issues.
1. When I turn the tv on, I sometimes get the grey screen that says "hdmi cable not permitted". This goes away if I turn the tv off and on, but it's probably 1 out of every 10 times I turn on the tv that this happens. I ended up sending my tv in have it overhauled/checked for other things and they didn't see anything wrong with the hdmi port.

2. I'm getting a lot of intermittent pixels showing up while watching recorded shows.

3. The sound cuts out after I skip a commercial and I have to rewind 10/20 seconds or so to get it back.

I did a little homework and saw that running the "kickstart" program may help. Any other thoughts? Will Tivo Customer service walk me through this or be able to help?
Luis214 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2010, 02:13 AM   #1428
Dabreeze
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 12
What is a exceptable number for uncorrected RS Errors ? Yesterday, I finally removed my 19db attenuators. I do have the D software and noticed a increase in these RS numbers. Although, I don't see any discernable pixalation on any channels. I'm having 1 M-Card installed today by Verizon replacing the 2-SCards. Is their anything I should look out for or possibly bring to the Tech's attention ?

Thanks.
Dabreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2010, 06:16 PM   #1429
Dabreeze
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 12
Update on my Verizon Tech visit today. The Tech was right ontime. He checked out my signals and found that I was off some bytes so he checked the wiring and the problem was a splitter which he replaced. He took out my 2 SCards and replaced with Moto M-card. After the initiation process and authorization, which went well I checked the RS Corrected and unconnected number and they were at O. The SNR was 38DB and the software version was updated to 11.0g. There was no truck roll fee and no pixalation anywhere on any channels. Enjoying the Final Four coverage. GO WVU.

ALL'S PERFECT...HAPPY CAMPER ! Thank you Shawn !

Happy Easter !
Dabreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 06:00 AM   #1430
denialmark
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4
Now that DirecTV has stopped manufacturing the HR10-250 HD TiVo, our customers are looking for ways to keep their units up and running. While these units have been very solid performers, with many are over three years old, some are beginning to exhibit problems.
This guide covers some general TiVo problems, and problems specific to this model unit.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
denialmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 11:20 AM   #1431
jeremynkay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Pixelation: Cable or Tivo's fault?

Hi all,
I have a TivoHD on Comcast cable (boston area), with a Motorola M-card that was installed relatively painlessly about six months ago. No external hard drive. Service has been flawless for that whole 6 months -- until Sunday, when I suddenly started getting severe pixelation and sound stuttering (see below for details). I've been reading this thread carefully and I suspect that it's due to cable rather than Tivo (for reasons I'll get into below in just a sec) but I'd just like to have some input from you expert-type folks on whether that's true. The cable tech is coming tomorrow, and I suspect he will try to blame this on the Tivo if he encounters any problems in fixing it... I want to know if I have the right to insist that the Tivo is blameless!

So, with that preface, here's my symptoms and what I've done:

The problem:
- Pixelation and sound skipping so severe that TV is unwatchable.
- Happens on SD and HD cable channels.
- Happens equally badly on all affected channels
- Is limited to cable networks - SD and HD versions of ABC, NBC, Fox, etc are fine.
- I have an antenna, and OTA is fine.
- Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.
- The exact pattern of macroblocks and digital distortion is preserved if I record something or rewind live TV.

Here's what I've done:
- Checked for hard drive issues with Kickstart 54 (SMART and overnight test).
- Checked for signal strength: Tivo diagnostics gives me signal strength 100 and SNR 37-38 on all channels (affected and unaffected)
- Checked for errors: RS uncorrected error rate is 0 even after a long time on an affected channel.
- Normally my cable signal is not split at all. I had a couple splitters lying around and I installed both (in series) in case attenuation might help. No effect. Not sure the exact attenuation that this achieved. The readings in Tivo diagnostics were unchanged.
- Unfortunately I don't know what the signal strength & SNR were before this all started -- never had a reason to look.

My conclusions from all this -- please let me know if you disagree:
-I doubt it's the hard drive because of the fact that it operates normally on certain channels, and because the exact pattern of distortion is getting recorded and played back. I read somewhere on this thread that if the drive were going bad, the patterns would be different when playing back the same video.
- It doesn't sound like a problem with the signal being too strong because the RS error rate is 0

So my questions for you:
- Any ideas what's going on?
- Can I insist to the cable tech that the hard drive is ok?
- Any suggestions for things for the cable tech to look at? I guess I should mention that I live in a large apartment building so the cable setup might be different than most people on this thread.

Thanks for your help!
jeremynkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 12:46 PM   #1432
SCSIRAID
Registered User
 
SCSIRAID's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 2,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremynkay View Post
Hi all,
I have a TivoHD on Comcast cable (boston area), with a Motorola M-card that was installed relatively painlessly about six months ago. No external hard drive. Service has been flawless for that whole 6 months -- until Sunday, when I suddenly started getting severe pixelation and sound stuttering (see below for details). I've been reading this thread carefully and I suspect that it's due to cable rather than Tivo (for reasons I'll get into below in just a sec) but I'd just like to have some input from you expert-type folks on whether that's true. The cable tech is coming tomorrow, and I suspect he will try to blame this on the Tivo if he encounters any problems in fixing it... I want to know if I have the right to insist that the Tivo is blameless!

So, with that preface, here's my symptoms and what I've done:

The problem:
- Pixelation and sound skipping so severe that TV is unwatchable.
- Happens on SD and HD cable channels.
- Happens equally badly on all affected channels
- Is limited to cable networks - SD and HD versions of ABC, NBC, Fox, etc are fine.
- I have an antenna, and OTA is fine.
- Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.
- The exact pattern of macroblocks and digital distortion is preserved if I record something or rewind live TV.

Here's what I've done:
- Checked for hard drive issues with Kickstart 54 (SMART and overnight test).
- Checked for signal strength: Tivo diagnostics gives me signal strength 100 and SNR 37-38 on all channels (affected and unaffected)
- Checked for errors: RS uncorrected error rate is 0 even after a long time on an affected channel.
- Normally my cable signal is not split at all. I had a couple splitters lying around and I installed both (in series) in case attenuation might help. No effect. Not sure the exact attenuation that this achieved. The readings in Tivo diagnostics were unchanged.
- Unfortunately I don't know what the signal strength & SNR were before this all started -- never had a reason to look.

My conclusions from all this -- please let me know if you disagree:
-I doubt it's the hard drive because of the fact that it operates normally on certain channels, and because the exact pattern of distortion is getting recorded and played back. I read somewhere on this thread that if the drive were going bad, the patterns would be different when playing back the same video.
- It doesn't sound like a problem with the signal being too strong because the RS error rate is 0

So my questions for you:
- Any ideas what's going on?
- Can I insist to the cable tech that the hard drive is ok?
- Any suggestions for things for the cable tech to look at? I guess I should mention that I live in a large apartment building so the cable setup might be different than most people on this thread.

Thanks for your help!
This statement concerns me.... "Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.". I dont see how that can be true.

Do you have a regular cable box you can watch at the same time and see if the same channel exhibits the same problem? You might also try hitting the 7 second 'instant reply' button on TiVo remote when the problem occurs. I have seen issues with stuttering where simply jumping back 7 seconds solves them. With RS Uncorrected count = 0 it certainly doesnt appear to be a signal issue.
SCSIRAID is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 12:18 AM   #1433
jeremynkay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
This statement concerns me.... "Is limited to live tv -- recordings are fine.". I dont see how that can be true.
Um, I meant recordings made before this problem started... sorry for not being clear. Recordings made after the problems started look bad. This includes the cache of live tv... so when I hit the 7-second rewind button it looks just as crappy as when it first came through. Including the blocked-out portions of the screen appearing in exactly the same place. So, sadly, the rewind button isn't going to fix this.

Unfortunately, I don't have a cable box I can use to test the cable signal separate from the Tivo.

I guess I'll see what the repair tech says tomorrow...
jeremynkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 06:37 AM   #1434
SCSIRAID
Registered User
 
SCSIRAID's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 2,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremynkay View Post
Um, I meant recordings made before this problem started... sorry for not being clear. Recordings made after the problems started look bad. This includes the cache of live tv... so when I hit the 7-second rewind button it looks just as crappy as when it first came through. Including the blocked-out portions of the screen appearing in exactly the same place. So, sadly, the rewind button isn't going to fix this.

Unfortunately, I don't have a cable box I can use to test the cable signal separate from the Tivo.

I guess I'll see what the repair tech says tomorrow...
Ok.. that makes sense now. Since the SNR and RS Uncorrected count is good, I would probably suspect the cablecard. This lines up with the fact that the only impacted channels are encrypted digital.
SCSIRAID is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #1435
jeremynkay
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
Ok.. that makes sense now. Since the SNR and RS Uncorrected count is good, I would probably suspect the cablecard. This lines up with the fact that the only impacted channels are encrypted digital.
Your suspicion turned out to be spot on. Cable tech came today... swapped the cablecard for a new one... everything fixed. Thanks so much for your advice!
jeremynkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2010, 04:00 PM   #1436
wifi-er
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Angry Pixelation on Series 3

I too have been having issues with the HD 3 and on many channels not just HD. I've had the cable company replace the cable cards and it has not helped. My series 2 (5 years old) is still perfect but this machine started having issues after 1-1/2 years. I've gotten the new premiere Series 4 (which will be delivered today), and opted for the extended warranty given the issues I've had with the HD 3.
wifi-er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2010, 04:24 PM   #1437
willv28
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 36
I got my tuning adapter today. Already I notice pixelation and brief drops on some channels. I always saw brief pixelation at times on these channels without the adapter. But it never froze or tunes out. Pixelation on these channels would happen on ALL devices, both my TiVo and cable co owned DVR.

Hopefully it's fixed when SDV is turned on. But I doubt it. Not sure what to do right now. I don't think attenuation will work. Not sure if it isn't their problem. I once complained about USA having a severe pixelation problem. But it since went away a while after though they didn't believe me.
willv28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #1438
brettatk
If I Only Knew
 
brettatk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 10,039
We got a lot of rain this past weekend and pixelation started occurring on my Tivo HD. I've ran into this problem a few times and so far Charter has been able to remedy the situation by checking the signal outside and replacing appropriate lines where needed. I called them last night as TV was barely watchable. Of course the first thing they assume is that the problem is inside. I know 100% that the problem is not inside, but outside in one of the lines. I have come to loathe Charter. They said they had a 1-3, and 3-5 time slot open. I directly told him that I was not going to take off work again for a Charter technician to blow off the appointment because he was over scheduled. I said they needed to have someone come out and check the outside lines. I was told he couldn't guarantee that. So I guess I'll tell the Charter tech the same thing when he calls me to confirm later this afternoon and see what happens. I've been waiting for U-verse but might strongly reconsider DirecTV depending on how this plays out.

Last edited by brettatk : 04-27-2010 at 10:18 AM.
brettatk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 08:41 AM   #1439
brettatk
If I Only Knew
 
brettatk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Smyrna, GA
Posts: 10,039
Figured I'd follow up with my problem. Tech came out to my house Tuesday after work. He tried to blame the problem on an amplifier I had installed about 2 year's ago. But then he said he did notice a signal drop outside when he was testing. I was told he would have a truck roll out to the street to do more testing and replace any cables that needed to be replaced. I left shortly after and when I came home all my HD stations were completely out. Called Charter again and talked to a girl who said she would get hold of the tech and find out what was going on. Was told again that within 24 hours a truck would be sent out. Got home last night to more bad pixelation. Called Charter once again and was told that there wasn't anywhere on my account where a service truck roll out was requested. I about lost it on the guy. He said he could forward a request to my local tech supervisor and they would contact me today. I'm sure I'll be told that another tech will need to come out before they can issue a service truck roll out.

I almost canceled Charter completely yesterday and I'm still considering it. Luckily I am able to pick up local HD OTA and have been recording off of that. Besides periodic signal flunctuations, it has been working pretty good but would like to try and find a stronger indoor antenna.

Edit: Just did some research and ordered an Indoor/Outdoor antenna that had excellent reviews on multiple sites. Should be delivered tomorrow. If it performs better than my current one then adios Charter. I can live off it until U-verse is available on my street. I say street because it seems streets on both sides of ours does have U-verse so hopefully it will be here soon.

Last edited by brettatk : 04-29-2010 at 09:35 AM.
brettatk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #1440
dlfl
Cranky old novice
 
dlfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 5,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettatk View Post
.......Edit: Just did some research and ordered an Indoor/Outdoor antenna that had excellent reviews on multiple sites. Should be delivered tomorrow. If it performs better than my current one then adios Charter. I can live off it until U-verse is available on my street. I say street because it seems streets on both sides of ours does have U-verse so hopefully it will be here soon.
Please post which antenna you bought and your results with it, when available. TIA.
__________________

"It must be swell to be so perfect and odor-free" -- Del Griffith


VideoReDo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

pyTivo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dlfl is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVo® is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:38 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |