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Old 08-16-2007, 06:42 PM   #91
Brighton Line
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I have a THD with SA Cablecards (Cablevision NYC) and I'm experiencing macroblocking or pixelation on both cards while watching Live TV or recordings since the cards were installed. I used the THD for 5 days with just cable (no box) and had no problems at all, even on HD digtial channels.
We have the 30 day window I just don't know if I will keep THD with this problem, return it and be out the almost $47 for the card install.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:43 PM   #92
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There is a new service update that was just released today. Force a call and see if this fixes things.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:55 PM   #93
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I received my Tivo HD 1 week ago and Cablevision installed two cable cards today. Today, I started getting bad picelation. I can't go 15 seconds without the problem Super annoying.

I received a service update about an hour ago. Nor at 8.1.7b2-01-2-652. No help. Still bad pizelation.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:26 PM   #94
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What brand of Cablecards? I'm getting no pixellation on the new update with Motorola cards on TWC West Los Angeles.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:10 PM   #95
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Pixelization

(continuing my saga of dealing with severe momentary (lasting 1-3 seconds) pixelization with Tivo HD with CableCards every 15 seconds or so on all channels...)

I have SA (Scientific Atlanta) cards through Cablevision. Yesterday I was on the phone with Tivo for 45 minutes. They tried a number of things. They told me I had to get my CableCards re-authorized by Cablevision.

After 1 hour on the phone with Cablevision, reauthorizing the cards, resetting boxes, trying a bunch of things, they said they would need to send a technician. The technician spent 2 hours at my house. Check signal strength, tried new wiring, checked all (and changing some) connections / splitters). Tried the Tivo Box on multiple TVs. Bypassed all existing wiring. No help. Cablevision conclusion - it is not a problem with their SA CableCards or their service - it is a problem with the Tivo HD box. Cablevision sais get a replacement Tivo HD.

Called Tivo again - asked for a replacement, should come within a week.

Frustration, time and $ all mounting.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:20 PM   #96
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I hate to tell you this, but the replacement TiVo is likely to exhibit the same behavior with your setup as the original box.

These issues are almost certainly an issue with the TiVo software in certain installation conditions. The couple of software updates that have been issued have fixed the problem for a lot of users, but some users are still experiencing issues. It's likely that the problem won't be fixed for everyone until more software updates are issued. I still think that will be sooner rather than later, but might not occur before you get your new TiVo.
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:09 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cina
Cablevision conclusion - it is not a problem with their SA CableCards or their service - it is a problem with the Tivo HD box. Cablevision sais get a replacement Tivo HD.
Hmmm. People say the cable companies favor their DVRs over TiVo. But, let's assume this IS a TiVo problem (which it probably is).

HOW MUCH IS THIS TIVO SCREWUP COSTING THE CABLE COMPANIES????

A LOT!!!!

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Old 08-18-2007, 04:49 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin
Hmmm. People say the cable companies favor their DVRs over TiVo. But, let's assume this IS a TiVo problem (which it probably is).

HOW MUCH IS THIS TIVO SCREWUP COSTING THE CABLE COMPANIES????

A LOT!!!!
Your frustration is understandable, but please chill.

The vast number of TiVoHD users are using Motorola Cards...along with mine, this 2nd update has seemed to fixed the issue....especially with anything recorded since the update. A number of folks with SA cards are still experiencing issues.

Yes, there is a problem. TiVo has acknowledged it, and they are continuing to work on this. This follows a similar pattern with some other units....the problems do get fixed.

As for this costing the cable companies...my cable company only had to spend more time at my house because they didn't know how to fully support cable cards and get all my channels aurhorized correctly.

In the end, this experience should be a learning situation for TiVo....they would be much better off if they improved their hardware/software beta testing on new hardware units.

Call TiVo and ask for a credit on service for every month that this issue continues...seems to be fair.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:08 PM   #99
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I spoke with a technician @ Tivo yesterday. I too have 2 SA CC's with annoying pixelation. Mine is so annoying that my better half forced me to resurrect my S2 box AND go get back a TW STB till I resolve the issue (return tivo, wait for a update to fix issue, divorce) lol....
Anyways, the technician told me that although he cannot commit when... their technicians seem to have an update that they are currently testing which should work.
In any event, he noted in my account that once the issue is resolved, they will refund me any $$ for the time I kept the S2 running, and reset my 3 year contract for the T-HD from the date I am satisfied with the service. Also, he extended my 30 day return to 90 days.
I suggest you all do the same... just to be on the safe side.
Hey I have had Tivo since 5 years now, with excellent customer service every time i called. I dont think they will sc*** with anyone.
Cheers
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:52 AM   #100
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I too called Tivo last night, explained my problem and the CSR said a software update will fix the problem. The CSR would not comment on when it would be available and wanted to end the phone call.
I then asked to extend my 30 days stating that I do not want to pay three years for a product that does not work, that I can not watch (well I can watch). I was then put on hold once more and the CSR said that she talk to her supervisor and that they will open a case. I got a case number and the CSR said that if the issue is not resolved they will send me a new box.
HUH???
At this point being on the phone over an hour (greeting said 2 minute wait, I waited 30) and my 30 days not being up until 9/10, I let it go.
If the software updated isn't pushed by my 29th day, I'll call back to cancel with case number in hand and see if they will extend the 30 day's. I am not paying $7.58 for 3 years or $200 cancel fee for a product that does not work.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:59 AM   #101
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Why not call again and talk to yet another rep?
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:13 AM   #102
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Why, oh why, won't TiVo allow us to open cases online? I think almost everyone agrees that calling them is painful, at best.

Even my crappy cable company, Charter, has an online chat feature, which I always use. It's much faster that waiting on hold for an eternity.
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #103
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Or that Awesome new feature that TWC rolled out in Manhattan ... you call them, and if the wait is over 5 mins they offer you the option of punching your telephone number in, and their system will call you back when you are 5 mins away from a rep. You dont lose your place in line either.

Anyways Brighton Line... you probably got a pissed off operator or a CSR who is well "challanged". Call back, tell them you have a HD issue, and you would like the call to be escalated to an HD rep. They are soo much more experienced, and if you are with tivo for more than 3 years will get good service.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:22 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxicpenguin
I spoke with a technician @ Tivo yesterday. I too have 2 SA CC's with annoying pixelation. Mine is so annoying that my better half forced me to resurrect my S2 box AND go get back a TW STB till I resolve the issue (return tivo, wait for a update to fix issue, divorce) lol....
Anyways, the technician told me that although he cannot commit when... their technicians seem to have an update that they are currently testing which should work.
In any event, he noted in my account that once the issue is resolved, they will refund me any $$ for the time I kept the S2 running, and reset my 3 year contract for the T-HD from the date I am satisfied with the service. Also, he extended my 30 day return to 90 days.
I suggest you all do the same... just to be on the safe side.
Hey I have had Tivo since 5 years now, with excellent customer service every time i called. I dont think they will sc*** with anyone.
Cheers

Hope they fix it soon... my 30 days are closing fast. The pixelation is still to the level I consider "unwatchable" , though it saw a huge improvement with the last patch (b2).
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by TiVoPony
Hey guys,

We are aware that some of you are still reporting macroblocking or pixelation on certain channels. The team here continues to gather information to understand possible causes - they're making good headway.

The update we released on August 1st has proven to fix the issue for some customers, and we are working hard on a fix for the remaining cases. We will provide more concrete information as we can.

In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and the detailed feedback you've been providing.

Pony
Do you have an update on when the next software fix will be pushed out? I too have serious pixelation, the problem did not occur until after Cox installed SA cable cards. Before that OTA was pixelation free.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:41 PM   #106
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Arrow Returned my Tivo HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVotion
I hate to tell you this, but the replacement TiVo is likely to exhibit the same behavior with your setup as the original box.

These issues are almost certainly an issue with the TiVo software in certain installation conditions. The couple of software updates that have been issued have fixed the problem for a lot of users, but some users are still experiencing issues. It's likely that the problem won't be fixed for everyone until more software updates are issued. I still think that will be sooner rather than later, but might not occur before you get your new TiVo.
I love TIVO. My Tivo HD was the 5th Tivo I purchased. After many hours on the phone with Cablevision and with Tivo and 3+ hours of in-house service visits from the nice Cablevision tech, they can not resolve my pixelization issues. Of course, Tivo says it is Cablevision's problem and Cablevision says it is Tivo's problem. I have returned my Tivo HD and have now gone back to the to the Cablevision / IO SA high def DVR. My better half, being used to Tivo's great interface, hates that box.

One interesting thing that the last Cablevision tech said. He reported that he received an internal e-mail the there was a problem with the Tivo HD boxes and do even go out to the customer site and try to fix it. I doubt that this was an 'official policy' statement from Cablevision, but rather, possibly, the various tech's discussing their negative experiences with Tivo HD. He also said that the higher cost original Series 3 has given no problems.

Now that I have the Cablevision IO DVR, and the picture is perfect, my 'better half' wants me to get a Tivo series 3. She simply hates the IO DVR interface.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:38 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Globular
Why, oh why, won't TiVo allow us to open cases online? I think almost everyone agrees that calling them is painful, at best.

Even my crappy cable company, Charter, has an online chat feature, which I always use. It's much faster that waiting on hold for an eternity.

Thats a great idea, then Tivo wouldn't need to pay all those reps that are in a hurry to get off the phone...

Not unlike so many PC venders that offer online assistance... Then we wouldn't have to endure that dreadful music Tivo forces anyone on hold to listen to... It's so bad I place my phone on Speaker... If only we were paid for the hours spent on hold...
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:36 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by cina
One interesting thing that the last Cablevision tech said. He reported that he received an internal e-mail the there was a problem with the Tivo HD boxes and do even go out to the customer site and try to fix it. I doubt that this was an 'official policy' statement from Cablevision, but rather, possibly, the various tech's discussing their negative experiences with Tivo HD. He also said that the higher cost original Series 3 has given no problems.
Sounds like this is referring specifically to the pixellation problem. When the tech arrived a couple of days ago to install the CableCards on my second TiVo HD he mentioned that there was a problem with pixellation on those boxes and asked if I still wanted to have the cards installed. The tech who arrived to do my first TiVo HD a couple of weeks earlier didn't say anything about that, so I guess this e-mail was sent around sometime in the past couple of weeks.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:46 PM   #109
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TIVO Series 3

Hi everyone,

I have had a Series 3 HD since the first day or week it came out. Within a few weeks of having it the pixelation started. A few weeks later is dissapeared and about 2 or 3 months ago it came back worse than ever, so much so that you can't even any HD channels and some digital channels. It happens most of the time on NBC HD and on the FLC. I've had comcast come to my house 5 times over the past two months, they've installed power booster, signal tests , you name it, in fact at this point, they don't want to come to my home anymore. Tivo constantly said it was a comcast problem and comcast truly has gone out of there way to come to my home and do everythign they can. They guy even climbed a pole near my home and ran a direct line to the box to test it out. The comcast DVR in houston is terrible. The boxes break down every few months, reboot on their own and have a terrible interface and no online capability. So, I ordered a Second HD series 3 to make sure it wasn't just the box. Sure enought within minutes of having it, i had the same problem. At this point, i would have to believe its a TIVO problem as my Comcast HD boxes have no pixelation. So, if the comcast boxes don't have the problem, there appears to be no image problem on older tivos like my tivo series 2 but only on the HD Series 3 tivo and all of you on this post with this problem, odds are its a TIVO problem.

Doesn't seem like tivo has an information as to an update or replacement or plan of attack and is very disappointing in tivo. Not only as a devote tivo user for the past 7 years i am also a shareholder and wondering when those shares should be sold as it appears tivo has no plan and wouldn't be surprised if a one time charge to replace all these boxes is going to have to happen, especially if this is a hardware problem. The huge problem is i've yet to hear from someone at tivo acknowledge this problem as a tivo problem and not point the finger at the cable provider.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by damonnoah
I have had a Series 3 HD since the first day or week it came out. Within a few weeks of having it the pixelation started. A few weeks later is dissapeared and about 2 or 3 months ago it came back worse than ever, so much so that you can't even any HD channels and some digital channels.
Sorry to hear you are having problems, but this is unlikely to be a systemic problem with the Series 3 boxes.

I had similar problems when I got my first S3, but all the problems were traced to fluctuating Comcast signal strength - they eventually found a bad piece of equipment in the neighborhood and replaced it.

There are a few with SA cards that have reported pixelization issues with the S3, but I suspect most are cable related.

Something changed 2 or 3 months ago for you - unless the S3 failed (possible, though seems unlikely), it would seem to be a cable company issue.

If you can, swap out the S3 and see if the problems continue - if they do, it's almost certainly a cable signal issue.

Not really sure what you expect Tivo to do about this - I presume that if there is a widespread Tivo hardware/software issue, Tivo will adress it.

But, other than with the known problems with the drivers for THD that Tivo has acknowledged, the vast majority of pixelization issues are caused by the failure of the cable company to deliver a consistent signal within proper specs.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:44 PM   #111
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Thanks for the note. When i first got the Tivo 3 i had the pixelation issue and it seemed to go just go away. I thought it was related to an update to the software. I would say about 7 or 8 months had passed with perfect results and back in June around the time of another update everything regressed to a terrible picture. I had comcast out there several times and they did a ton of signal strenghth tests (albeit) in the system diagnostics it does show varying signal strenght (only when pixelation occurs). It's odd. I've swapped out the box with a brand new box configured on another TV which i subsequently returned. They swamped out the box in question as well, yet the problem remained. It only occurs on a few channels. The comcast folks have been out here countless times and now will only come out here with charging me a site visit. The pixelation does not occur on any of the Comcast boxes, nor does it happen on any of my series 2 boxes. I have also swapped out the cards three times. I've literally done everything humanely possible to address this and yet still have the same problem. So, i can record non-HD channels, but with a few Pioneer 61" screen and an HD Projector home theatre that seems slighly going backward. I love TIvo, i love the interface, online scheduleing etc but at this point i don't see any new options. The fact that when the new Tivo HD box was relased this problem has resurfaced is led to believe that not many folks had purchased the T3 at $800 and when the consumers ate up the Tivo HD, the problems really become widespread.

Comcast indicated the signal strengh is perfect and there is nothing else they can do. Its hard to tell them otherwise when the same channels that are unwatchable on the Tivo box are perfect on the crappy comcast boxes.

What are the options?
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:59 AM   #112
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Comcast indicated the signal strengh is perfect and there is nothing else they can do.
What did they measure? Was it at the direct feed for the S3? What were the results? If you have a good, clean, in spec signal, you shouldn't be seeing a problem on the S3 unless there is a hardware problem. Get the actual numbers from the tech. Ignore what you see on the S3 diagnostics screen - the actual cable signal is what's key.

Quote:
Its hard to tell them otherwise when the same channels that are unwatchable on the Tivo box are perfect on the crappy comcast boxes.
What Comcast won't tell you is that they require their DVR vendors to add additional circuitry to compensate for poor quality signals. This is about the only way that the cable boxes are "better" than Tivo.

If you swapped out the box in question and the problem remained, the odds are 99.99% that the problem is cable and not Tivo related.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:20 AM   #113
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What Comcast won't tell you is that they require their DVR vendors to add additional circuitry to compensate for poor quality signals. This is about the only way that the cable boxes are "better" than Tivo.
I keep reading claims like this. My response is: SO WHAT???

In theory the TiVo front-end should work. In reality it doesn't. When there is a conflict between theory and reality, theory loses! Right now the TiVo HD is FAILING in the real world, which, in the final analysis, is the only thing that matters.

What are we talking about? A better FET in the front-end? Another dollar in parts? Since you are making a claim about "additional circuitry", perhaps you can supply some details.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:02 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by jfh3
If you swapped out the box in question and the problem remained, the odds are 99.99% that the problem is cable and not Tivo related.
Gee.. I guess the cableco had better get busy and fix itself since all those Tivo HD boxes CANNOT be the problem...... since you can replace the Tivo HD and have the same pixelation problem

I guess my Samsung TV must have this secret special circuitry too since it has no problem with a cablecard.

Perhaps you should at least consider that there may be a better than .1% chance there is an undiagnosed design problem with the Tivo S3 QAM tuner/demod/forward error correction etc etc. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:30 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by jfh3
If you swapped out the box in question and the problem remained, the odds are 99.99% that the problem is cable and not Tivo related.
Nothing like a BS statistic from the Fanboys to end the argument

I am 87% sure that 79% of the Tivo HDs that have SA SCards have pixelation during 93% of shows and in 92% of the cases it is a problem with the Tivo HD as I have polled 3% of the users who have been watching their Tivo HDs 34% of the time. In addition I am 99.99% sure that anyone quoting statistics on this board is 99.99% FOS.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:42 PM   #116
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Gee.. I guess the cableco had better get busy and fix itself since all those Tivo HD boxes CANNOT be the problem...... since you can replace the Tivo HD and have the same pixelation problem
I didn't say that the Tivo HD boxes CAN'T be the problem, I said it was more likely to be a cable issue. Big difference.

(And yes, AFAIK, most CR TVs also have the additional circuitry in them)

When I got my first series 3, I had similar pixelization problems that others are reporting. I had very occasional issues with a Motorola DVR and didn't see any on a (high end) Sony TV. The first few times I had a tech out, I got "we don't see a problem, you're signal is fine, etc.", but was persistent, because it just didn't make sense to me. (Though I'll admit, my first reaction was to blame the Series 3).

As it turns out, Comcast found not one, but two problems that impacted me and everyone on my sub node. Once that was fixed, I had an in-spec signal and haven't had a single issue on the Series 3 or THD (except on the a1 level) since.

So - despite repeated claims "everything was fine", it wasn't. When they replaced the faulty equipment, the problems went away.

Some cable signal problems are easy (bad amp, too many splitters). Some aren't. Most installers are paid by the job, so they have incentive to leave as quickly as possible.

The cable companies know that their signals aren't always what they should be. Their solution was to use hardware that could compensate for this rather than have to deal with the service calls that would certainly result if those boxes just handled inspec signals. From their standpoint, probably cost effective, at least initially.

For now, anyone with a THD and SA cards - the onus is on Tivo to show the problem isn't a Tivo problem.

For anyone else, I stand by my position - it is far more likely for the pixelization problems to be cable related (either signal or compression) than it is for it to be the Tivo hardware.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:44 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID
Gee.. I guess the cableco had better get busy and fix itself since all those Tivo HD boxes CANNOT be the problem...... since you can replace the Tivo HD and have the same pixelation problem

I guess my Samsung TV must have this secret special circuitry too since it has no problem with a cablecard.

Perhaps you should at least consider that there may be a better than .1% chance there is an undiagnosed design problem with the Tivo S3 QAM tuner/demod/forward error correction etc etc. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
The guy is not talking about Tivo HD, but the original Series 3. See his original post. Since most people with the original Series 3 aren't having this problem, well, you figure the rest out.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:46 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by SCSIRAID
Perhaps you should at least consider that there may be a better than .1% chance there is an undiagnosed design problem with the Tivo S3 QAM tuner/demod/forward error correction etc etc. Just because you dont see it, doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
Certainly. Obviously I can't say there's only a .1% chance of an undiagnosed issue.

You are correct that just because I don't see it doesn't mean there isn't one. But, by the same token, just because others are seeing pixelation problems, that doesn't mean they are caused by the Tivo box and that's my main point.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:29 PM   #119
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The guy is not talking about Tivo HD, but the original Series 3. See his original post. Since most people with the original Series 3 aren't having this problem, well, you figure the rest out.
I understand that. I was trying to make a point that just because you use a different unit and the problem remains doesnt automatically mean that the problem is the cableco.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:43 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
I didn't say that the Tivo HD boxes CAN'T be the problem, I said it was more likely to be a cable issue. Big difference.

(And yes, AFAIK, most CR TVs also have the additional circuitry in them)

When I got my first series 3, I had similar pixelization problems that others are reporting. I had very occasional issues with a Motorola DVR and didn't see any on a (high end) Sony TV. The first few times I had a tech out, I got "we don't see a problem, you're signal is fine, etc.", but was persistent, because it just didn't make sense to me. (Though I'll admit, my first reaction was to blame the Series 3).

As it turns out, Comcast found not one, but two problems that impacted me and everyone on my sub node. Once that was fixed, I had an in-spec signal and haven't had a single issue on the Series 3 or THD (except on the a1 level) since.

So - despite repeated claims "everything was fine", it wasn't. When they replaced the faulty equipment, the problems went away.

Some cable signal problems are easy (bad amp, too many splitters). Some aren't. Most installers are paid by the job, so they have incentive to leave as quickly as possible.

The cable companies know that their signals aren't always what they should be. Their solution was to use hardware that could compensate for this rather than have to deal with the service calls that would certainly result if those boxes just handled inspec signals. From their standpoint, probably cost effective, at least initially.

For now, anyone with a THD and SA cards - the onus is on Tivo to show the problem isn't a Tivo problem.

For anyone else, I stand by my position - it is far more likely for the pixelization problems to be cable related (either signal or compression) than it is for it to be the Tivo hardware.
But by placing a 99.9% probablility on the situation you basically DID say that it really must be the cableco. If you had said 'more than likely' then I would have whole heartedly agreed with you.

For the record, I have an S3 and have fought the pixelation problem since last September and have had cableco folks all over this thing. Even the regional technical supervisor has been here and checked the system out with no success. I dont have a bad amp since three have been tried and I have zero splitters.

You mention 'special circuitry'; can you shed any light on what you are talking about? Its interesting that in my situation, problems occur only on encrypted streams... unencrypted streams are perfect. If the signal is 'bad' is should be equally bad reguardless of the stream payload.

I really dont want to start a foodfight here but I get frustrated when I hear 'it must be a cableco problem'.
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