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Old 09-02-2007, 05:23 PM   #121
jfh3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID
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.
OK, sorry I used 99.99% - how about "more than likely"?

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You mention 'special circuitry'; can you shed any light on what you are talking about?
I don't remember the specifics - I saw it in the recent NTCA filing with the FCC and someone else detailed the specifics. Not sure it really matters - Tivo doesn't have it.

Quote:
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.
That seems logical. In that particular case, I would frame that as a Tivo issue (likely related to CableCARD support), especially if you are convinced you have a good signal.

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I really dont want to start a foodfight here but I get frustrated when I hear 'it must be a cableco problem'.
I never said that. If you can get the cable company to show that you have a good, in spec signal and have the proof to back it up, then I'd bang on Tivo.

That's exactly the approach I was going to take. In my case, I didn't need to go to Tivo, because it WAS a cable problem.
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:35 PM   #122
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TivoHD Pixelation and sound issues

I have had my TivoHD for about 3 weeks now. The first week was spent trying to get the 2nd slot to show HD package and premium channels from my cable company Wide open west. In one visit (it took 3 visits) the installer re-wired my house, added new splitters and ran a new wire from the pole to the house. During each installer visit the card was zapped multiple times. We even swapped Tivo units.

I eventually took matters into my own hands, by
1) removing the working card from slot 1
2) Switching the CC from slot 2 to slot 1
3) Asking the CableCo to re-zap the card (first confirming the host #)
4) Re-inserting the working card into slot 2.
It worked hurray!

While the re-zapping worked, I think the TivoHD unit, when 2 cards are present, prevented the card in slot two from receiving the full programming signal. I have two SA cards.

Now I'm experiencing pixelation and sound drops. All channels (HD and Non), live and recorded. It's an annoyance at the moment.

I'm have software version 8.1.7b2-01-2-652.

In reading this thread it seems like there are more problems with the SA cards than with the Motorola cards. Does anyone know if Tivo has validated this theory?

Also, several people have reported that Tivo is still working on this issue, since it seems the recent upgrade is somewhat successful. Does anyone know the status of the next fix?

TIVO can you provide an update on this situation? If the Comcast internal memo is true : "Lucy! You got some splaining to do"?

Do not want to give up my Tivo?

MW
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:25 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by jfh3
(And yes, AFAIK, most CR TVs also have the additional circuitry in them)
Let me make sure I understand you.

You are claiming (in two different posts) that

1) cable company boxes have the "additional circuitry" in them

and

2) most TVs have the "additional circuitry" in them

and yet you are also claiming that TiVo is NOT at fault for not having this "additional circuitry" that the rest of the electronics universe has.

Do I understand your position correctly?

P.S. Sorry about the double negative, it just seems the easiest way to state things.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:32 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
OK, sorry I used 99.99% - how about "more than likely"?



I don't remember the specifics - I saw it in the recent NTCA filing with the FCC and someone else detailed the specifics. Not sure it really matters - Tivo doesn't have it.



That seems logical. In that particular case, I would frame that as a Tivo issue (likely related to CableCARD support), especially if you are convinced you have a good signal.



I never said that. If you can get the cable company to show that you have a good, in spec signal and have the proof to back it up, then I'd bang on Tivo.

That's exactly the approach I was going to take. In my case, I didn't need to go to Tivo, because it WAS a cable problem.
If you come across the tuner circuitry info again I would really appreciate a PM. Id like to understand what it is.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:09 PM   #125
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Personally I don't buy this "additional circuitry" theory. My TiVo was working just fine with a very marginal signal of -16 dbmV (as measured by my cable modem on the same splitter). I haven't seen an evidence of a problem with the TiVo front end.

On the other hand, TiVo has acknowledged (and has a fix in text for) a software problem that causes pixellation.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:48 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdlucas
Personally I don't buy this "additional circuitry" theory. My TiVo was working just fine with a very marginal signal of -16 dbmV (as measured by my cable modem on the same splitter). I haven't seen an evidence of a problem with the TiVo front end.

On the other hand, TiVo has acknowledged (and has a fix in text for) a software problem that causes pixellation.

Wow... -16 isnt marginal... its just plain terrible.

I dont buy it either... but am keeping an open mind. The tuners these boxes use are 'off the shelf' items. Its been said that the ATI tuner chipset in the Tivo HD is the same one that is in the current Scientific Atlanta cableboxes (although I cant state that as fact).

With my S3 situation, signal strength made no difference. Using amps and attenuators, I moved the level up and down with zero effect on the pixelation. Im setting at about +4 right now.

I have to wonder if the issue that bit Tivo HD may shed some light on what I am experiencing with S3. I do have SA cablecards. On the other hand, it could be something completely different.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:26 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdlucas
Personally I don't buy this "additional circuitry" theory. My TiVo was working just fine with a very marginal signal of -16 dbmV (as measured by my cable modem on the same splitter). I haven't seen an evidence of a problem with the TiVo front end.
Please confirm that you are talking about the TiVo HD. From what I read here the S3 is much better with a marginal signal.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:24 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin
Please confirm that you are talking about the TiVo HD. From what I read here the S3 is much better with a marginal signal.
Yup, TiVo HD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID
With my S3 situation, signal strength made no difference. Using amps and attenuators, I moved the level up and down with zero effect on the pixelation. Im setting at about +4 right now.
At the end of the day the number that really matters is the S/N ratio. In fact it appears to me that the TiVo HD signal strength meter seems to pretty much be tied to the S/N ratio, going up/down in increments of about seven for every db change in S/N ratio.

The reason signal level matters is that when it is low enough the front-end noise becomes significant relative to the signal level, compromising the S/N ratio. But the overall signal quality is really determined by the sum total of all sources of noise in the system, relative to the signal.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:50 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by bdlucas
Yup, TiVo HD.


At the end of the day the number that really matters is the S/N ratio. In fact it appears to me that the TiVo HD signal strength meter seems to pretty much be tied to the S/N ratio, going up/down in increments of about seven for every db change in S/N ratio.

The reason signal level matters is that when it is low enough the front-end noise becomes significant relative to the signal level, compromising the S/N ratio. But the overall signal quality is really determined by the sum total of all sources of noise in the system, relative to the signal.
Yup. Using the measurement capability of the SA 8300 which I still have on another set, SNR varies between 31 and 34 db on the channels of interest. Setting up the two tuners on channels that I watch and see issues, 8300 indicates BER of 0 on each tuner after about 2 hours. This rate is very likely after the forward error correction has done its job as the native channel BER should be nonzero.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:22 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by SCSIRAID
Yup. Using the measurement capability of the SA 8300 which I still have on another set, SNR varies between 31 and 34 db on the channels of interest. Setting up the two tuners on channels that I watch and see issues, 8300 indicates BER of 0 on each tuner after about 2 hours. This rate is very likely after the forward error correction has done its job as the native channel BER should be nonzero.
Could be, although TiVo HD reports both corrected and uncorrected cumulative bit errors (on the diagnostics screen) and I've seen both numbers sit at 0 for extended periods, albeit with a cleaner signal than you're reporting (35 to 37 db S/N as reported on the TiVo HD diagnostics screen).

Nevertheless I'm getting the pixellation that everyone is reporting. Has nothing to do with signal or TiVo front-end quality. Holding my breath waiting for the software fix.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:34 PM   #131
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Hi everyone,

I have to think its a Tivo Series 3 problem. As I said, i had the comcast folks at my home 5 times. They ran all sorts of test and even ran a line direct from the pole to my tivo bypassing all splitters and long cable runs through my home. He even went to the box down the street to double check it all. The reality is, while it may be a comcast problem which i doubt but Tivo should have a solution for this. The reality is that there are only a few cable providers out there and if they have to have special circuitry to support a non-consistent signal, tivo should adapt this as well. What is odd is that the channels that are heaviliy pixalated are few. There are two HD channels that are always pixelated and the others are fine. A few digital station but mainly the FLC. So while it may be comcast, i have a hard time believing that Comcast would push different channels at different signal strenghts.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:36 PM   #132
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I got my HD Tivo up an running today in Pasadena, CA. Both cards installed fine by a Charter contractor. He brought 4 cards (per my instructions to Charter) and only 2 worked.

I'm already experiencing the pixelation described on this thread when watching both recorded and live TV. I haven't noticed it in any of the menus. My signal strength ranges from 81 - 87 and my version number is 8.7.7b2-01-2-652. My S/N ratio is 34. The pixellation occurs every 3-4 minutes, covers 25% - 50% of the screen, and is really annoying to me.

I don't know what the TiVo engineers need to do to fix this problem, but if they can't, I don't see how they can expect consumers to continue to purchase the HD TiVo.

I purchased HD TiVo b/c I already owned a Series 2 with lifetime. If I was starting from scratch, I'd have to think hard about simply sticking with Charter's DVR if this is what I have to expect for the long term (or even short term).
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:11 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin
Do I understand your position correctly?
Yes, you do.

If the Tivo RF handles properly-spec'ed signals, there is no reason for Tivo to go to the additional expense to support the failure of the cable companies to provide an in-spec signal.

The other DVR manufacturers apparently did so, because of requirements imposed by their customer (the cable companies, not the end users). (See pages 39-41 in the recent NTCA filing with the FCC for more)
http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519612942

I have no idea what the incremental BOM cost would have been had Tivo included it in the THD, but it is > $0 and Tivo wanted to get the price point as low as possible.

They are apparently still losing money on the hardware for boxes not sold direct, so every little bit counts. I would also hope that someone did an analysis along the lines of "it would cost $x more per unit, but save $y in service costs" and that they determined that it overall it would be more cost effective to leave it out.

Last edited by jfh3 : 09-03-2007 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:05 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by jfh3
Yes, you do.

If the Tivo RF handles properly-spec'ed signals, there is no reason for Tivo to go to the additional expense to support the failure of the cable companies to provide an in-spec signal.
Assuming it does handle properly-spec'ed signals (and I've seen some debate about that) TiVo has every reason to sell a box that works with "Real-World" conditions and everything to lose if it doesn't"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
The other DVR manufacturers apparently did so, because of requirements imposed by their customer (the cable companies, not the end users). (See pages 39-41 in the recent NTCA filing with the FCC for more)
http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519612942
No such "requirements" are imposed on the TV manufacturers. Their products work fine.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
I have no idea what the incremental BOM cost would have been had Tivo included it in the THD, but it is > $0 and Tivo wanted to get the price point as low as possible.
The source you quote above says it would cost "pennies". My experience as a retired engineer would lead me to agree with that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
They are apparently still losing money on the hardware for boxes not sold direct, so every little bit counts. I would also hope that someone did an analysis along the lines of "it would cost $x more per unit, but save $y in service costs" and that they determined that it overall it would be more cost effective to leave it out.
Lost sales and loss of reputation due to reports of major problems are extremely damaging to the bottom line.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:10 AM   #135
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Assuming it does handle properly-spec'ed signals (and I've seen some debate about that) TiVo has every reason to sell a box that works with "Real-World" conditions and everything to lose if it doesn't"
EXACTLY.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:49 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by robpgreer
I purchased HD TiVo b/c I already owned a Series 2 with lifetime. If I was starting from scratch, I'd have to think hard about simply sticking with Charter's DVR if this is what I have to expect for the long term (or even short term).
You didn't mention the most important item. What kind of cablecards do you have?Are they Scientific Atlanta (SA) cards, or Motorola based cards?

I'm surprised by some of the new posts here with people surprised that there is a problem. There is a problem. Any reading on some of the other posts note as much. TiVo has stated as much.

The last software update was a big improvement for TiVoHD owners with Motorola Cards. TiVOHD owners with SA cards are still experiencing issues.

The problems will be fixed. Upgrading cable lines, checking signal strength are all the right things to do, but in the end, if you've got SA cards it's likely you are going to experience problems still.

For those on any type of monthly plan, I would ask for a credit for the month. For anyone on a transferred lifetime, I would ask them for a monthly credit on any remaining boxes in the house....Or a credit just simply applied on your account for future use....or ask for an S3 with a reduction in price for your trouble.

Personally, I would stick it out with an TiVoHD. Other than the OLED front panel and larger initial harddrive, backlit remote, and an HDMI cable, the TiVoHD actually has some improvements under the hood that may make a difference someday.

Hang-in there. I've got comcast with motorola cards, and the last update was a significant improvement for me....fully enjoying my TiVoHd, but the first weeks for me were rough too.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:31 PM   #137
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The last software update was a big improvement for TiVoHD owners with Motorola Cards. TiVOHD owners with SA cards are still experiencing issues.
I have a Motorola M-Card with a TiVo HD, and am experiencing pixelation & audio drop outs on both recorded & live showings.

There seems to be a general assumption on these forums that things are fixed for Motorola - they aren't. Perhaps it's better than before, though (I only purchased my TiVo in the last few weeks, so I have nothing to compare to - but it's still pretty bad).
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:40 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Brian-1337
I have a Motorola M-Card with a TiVo HD, and am experiencing pixelation & audio drop outs on both recorded & live showings.

There seems to be a general assumption on these forums that things are fixed for Motorola - they aren't. Perhaps it's better than before, though (I only purchased my TiVo in the last few weeks, so I have nothing to compare to - but it's still pretty bad).
For channels where you're experiencing these problems, what numbers are you seeing on the Diagnostics screen for signal strength, SNR, RS corrected, and RS uncorrected? The latter two are cumulative, so leave it on the channel for a few minutes to let the errors (if any) accumulate.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:18 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by jfh3
The other DVR manufacturers apparently did so, because of requirements imposed by their customer (the cable companies, not the end users). (See pages 39-41 in the recent NTCA filing with the FCC for more)
http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6519612942

I have no idea what the incremental BOM cost would have been had Tivo included it in the THD, but it is > $0 and Tivo wanted to get the price point as low as possible.

They are apparently still losing money on the hardware for boxes not sold direct, so every little bit counts. I would also hope that someone did an analysis along the lines of "it would cost $x more per unit, but save $y in service costs" and that they determined that it overall it would be more cost effective to leave it out.
I read this. The cable company had a DVR RF solution that they said has been working well in the field. Tivo said "no thanks" and used a cheaper solution. The cheaper solution doesn't always work (surprise!) unless several visits are made and/or the entire house is rewired -- both at the cable company's (not Tivo's) expense.

So the CE companies get to use cheaper hardware and pass the costs of support to the cable companies. Gee, I wonder why the cable companies don't like this solution?

The CE companies could minimize problems to their customers by using a solution that is proven. It's not always about being right, it's about customer experience as well. How many boxes have been returned to Tivo and how much extra has been spent on technical support to save a few pennies on the BOM? (the sad part is, most CE companies do this).

This isn't the first time for Tivo. Remember the Series 1 modems?

Finally, in your case, the Motorola DVR was ALSO behaving funny. I believe in YOUR case that it was the cable company's problem. But in OTHER cases, all the other devices work fine, which means it's PROBABLY the Tivo. Not to mention Tivo has acknowledged that there is (at least) one known issue and that they are working on the solution.

In the end, the customer just wants a solution that works, and won't spend months trying to make it work. They'll just try another DVR.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:43 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Brian-1337
I have a Motorola M-Card with a TiVo HD, and am experiencing pixelation & audio drop outs on both recorded & live showings.

There seems to be a general assumption on these forums that things are fixed for Motorola - they aren't. Perhaps it's better than before, though (I only purchased my TiVo in the last few weeks, so I have nothing to compare to - but it's still pretty bad).
I see the occasional pixelation problem with my Moto-Scards since the update, but nothing like I was seeing previously.

I'm inclined at this point to accept that the random problem once every several hours (or more rarely) has nothing to do with the Tivo HD.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:38 AM   #141
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After the update, I too am seeing occasional pixelation, I have some photos I took with pixelations seen in FOX, NBC and CBS, none however in ESPN, HBO or TNT that I have seen. All pixelations were on HD channels, none at all on SD channels so far. This is 2 days into the update, watching about 4 hours of TV.
I have 2 SA cards in the tivoHD.
Anyone else has similar reports??
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:24 PM   #142
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I purchased a Tivo Series 3. Cablevision came and after 4 hours of trying got the CableCards working! No pixelization - works great. I was never able to get the CableCards to work with the Tivo HD (tried two different Tivo HD boxes).
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:03 PM   #143
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My blocking/pixelation and sounds drops have been resolved. My Tivo HD is now working fine, It took several software updates but version 8.1.7c2 seemed to do the trick.

Wide open west cable
SA Cards.

Note: As I reported earlier, the cable company came out several times, to re-wire/upgrade all splitters, etc. I think the combination of that the upgraded wire and the software solved my problems.

MW
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:18 PM   #144
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Up until last night (9/19) I didn't have any pixelation or sound drop issues on my TivoHD (moto CC).

But last night while watching Kitchen Nightmares on Comcast's Fox HD channel, I had quite a bit of pixelation and sound drops. None of the other HD, SD, digital, analog, or Tivo Menu's have had pixelation or sound drops since the b&c updates. I suspect that it's mostly a broadcast issue since this is the only channel so far to have the issue.

Just thought I'd through that out there FWIW.
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