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Old 10-27-2008, 09:17 PM   #331
Gregor
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Originally Posted by FiosUser View Post
Just thought I would report that today I got a diplexer from Home Depot (the only one they have, which was $9+)

I removed all my attenuators and put the diplexer in and all my pixelation is gone. The picture is better now too.

I put the cable from the wall going into the OUT of the diplexer (the side with only one opening) and then put a line to the Tivo from the ANT (not satellite) end of the diplexer.

Happy FIOS'ing!
Why did you hook it up that way?
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:32 AM   #332
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What diplexer did you buy? I can't see any on their web site.

I've tried the attenuators and it has helped. But I still get some pixelation. The Fios tech left me a low pass filter to try but that didn't work either.
Still going strong. No pixelation whatsoever.

Ha ha, as if that store would actually have something on its website!

Sorry, there was not a brand or anything. It just said "Diplexer" on the package (just another cheap A POS).

You'll have to actually go there for this I guess (if you can).
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:31 AM   #333
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I've started to get pixelation after the channel realignment. Of the channels I watch I seem to experience it mostly on FLN 166 and disc HD. I checked out the diagnostics on FLN and SNR was around 31, signal str was wack, etc. I'm not sure attenuation is the solution here.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:13 AM   #334
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I've been playing with attenuation ever since I got FIOS with moderate success, meaning I was able to get the pixelation down to minor events where I could still hear and see what was happening, as opposed to losing whole chunks of programming.

I started with 10dB, then moved to 16, then 20, then 19. Then FIOS came out and added a low pass filter so I took of the attenuators off, but the pixelation came back, so I put 10 on, but I was still getting significant pixelation so I just went to 13, which seems to be working well.

I really want to try out the diplexer, though, I gotta get one.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:11 PM   #335
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My report has gone to the Chronic Resolutions Team in Providence. The original trouble ticket is closed, but presumably "Tony" has the issue as one of his to-dos.

If anyone else is still experiencing pixelation after applying the attenuation fix, I'd suggest you keep on them -- perhaps we can achieve some sort of critical mass to get them focused.

I'd especially look at lower QAM frequencies... in my case, I have consistent pixelation on 123, 117, and 111MHz. It appears that the attenuation fix might have worked for them, but the signal is not stable enough -- signal strength is highly variable, as is the SNR, with occasional crashes to 0. You'll only be able to find out what channels are on what frequencies by going to the TiVo's diagnostics screen, hitting the Live TV button, finding the channel, left arrow back to the diagnostics screen, hit Live TV, channel up, left arrow, repeat ad nauseum.

If you are in New England, the lower frequencies I mentioned map as follows:
  • 111MHz 622 (Science HD), 630 (Animal Planet HD)
  • 117MHz 585 (Big 10 HD), 625 (Smithsonian HD)
  • 123MHz 628 (History HD), 639 (TLC HD)

If I reduce the attenuation, that seems to fix those lower frequencies by making the bottom end of the range of instability still high enough to avoid uncorrectable errors, but at the expense of blowing out all of the other channels.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:18 PM   #336
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pixelation and audio drop outs on particular show?

has anyone ever had pixelation and audio drop outs but for only 1 show? I need to test this more thoroughly but Iron Chef on FLN almost always pixelates/audio drop outs on me. I briefly checked out FLN at another time and the diagnostics showed the signal strength going back and forth as it did with Iron Chef... but the show still played fine.

I've already called up fios and they reset my cable cards, which I'm not sure if that did anything at all. For me this all started happening after the channel realignment. Only previous incident was with the olympics.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #337
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has anyone ever had pixelation and audio drop outs but for only 1 show? I need to test this more thoroughly but Iron Chef on FLN almost always pixelates/audio drop outs on me. I briefly checked out FLN at another time and the diagnostics showed the signal strength going back and forth as it did with Iron Chef... but the show still played fine.

I've already called up fios and they reset my cable cards, which I'm not sure if that did anything at all. For me this all started happening after the channel realignment. Only previous incident was with the olympics.
Have you ever seen it live? Have you checked the RS numbers when it happens? It could be the feed from the network to Verizon.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:32 PM   #338
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Have you ever seen it live? Have you checked the RS numbers when it happens? It could be the feed from the network to Verizon.
I've seen it live. what i need to test out is to watch the program 20 mins before IC comes on, the program itself, and 20mins after.

There are RS numbers though I cannot remember what they were. Is there an acceptable RS corrected or uncorrected number? I was watching some program last night that had 100 corrected and it was just staying there.... no pixelation whatsoever.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:40 PM   #339
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I've seen it live. what i need to test out is to watch the program 20 mins before IC comes on, the program itself, and 20mins after.

There are RS numbers though I cannot remember what they were. Is there an acceptable RS corrected or uncorrected number? I was watching some program last night that had 100 corrected and it was just staying there.... no pixelation whatsoever.
You won't see corrected errors. Small numbers of uncorrected errors may be unnoticeable. If you're seeing glitches and the uncorrected number is 0, then the glitches are actually being broadcast.

In the test you describe, I think the counter will reset at the beginning and the end of the recording... you may want to keep that in mind. You'll be able to tell by looking at how long the TiVo has been tuned to the channel. That would reset with the RS counters.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #340
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I need to test this more thoroughly but Iron Chef on FLN almost always pixelates/audio drop outs on me.
I'm recording Top Chef on FLN right now ("Octopus" @ 11pm Eastern on 11/6). I'll let you know if I see anything.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:02 AM   #341
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I'm recording Top Chef on FLN right now ("Octopus" @ 11pm Eastern on 11/6). I'll let you know if I see anything.
There were ~12500 errors, 90% of which were corrected. The rest occurred in two stretches of about 1.5 seconds each that showed some tearing.

And, to confirm my previous postulate, though the channel remained the same, the counters reset when the recording was over.

EDIT: ... and there were 0 errors of either stripe in the next 30 minutes.

Last edited by sinanju : 11-07-2008 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:07 AM   #342
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My report has gone to the Chronic Resolutions Team in Providence. The original trouble ticket is closed, but presumably "Tony" has the issue as one of his to-dos.

If anyone else is still experiencing pixelation after applying the attenuation fix, I'd suggest you keep on them -- perhaps we can achieve some sort of critical mass to get them focused.

I'd especially look at lower QAM frequencies... in my case, I have consistent pixelation on 123, 117, and 111MHz. It appears that the attenuation fix might have worked for them, but the signal is not stable enough -- signal strength is highly variable, as is the SNR, with occasional crashes to 0. You'll only be able to find out what channels are on what frequencies by going to the TiVo's diagnostics screen, hitting the Live TV button, finding the channel, left arrow back to the diagnostics screen, hit Live TV, channel up, left arrow, repeat ad nauseum.

If you are in New England, the lower frequencies I mentioned map as follows:
  • 111MHz 622 (Science HD), 630 (Animal Planet HD)
  • 117MHz 585 (Big 10 HD), 625 (Smithsonian HD)
  • 123MHz 628 (History HD), 639 (TLC HD)

If I reduce the attenuation, that seems to fix those lower frequencies by making the bottom end of the range of instability still high enough to avoid uncorrectable errors, but at the expense of blowing out all of the other channels.
This exactly matches my experience, except I would add 600 (CNN HD), can't remember its QAM but it was low too, perhaps 127MHz.

I gave up calling Verizon. I have my attenuation such that I am mostly OK, but I really wish they would clear up their apparent signal strength variation in those low QAMs. It can be fine for an hour or two and then signal strength drops and it is completely unwatchable for 15 minutes.

--Lee
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:36 AM   #343
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There were ~12500 errors, 90% of which were corrected. The rest occurred in two stretches of about 1.5 seconds each that showed some tearing.

And, to confirm my previous postulate, though the channel remained the same, the counters reset when the recording was over.

EDIT: ... and there were 0 errors of either stripe in the next 30 minutes.
I turned on FLN the other night and I was getting the pixelation/audio drop out (some random show, not iron chef). So that throws out the idea that it's that particular show.

I called up FSC and the guy could not resolve my issue and raised it to a higher tech support level. I'm supposed to get a call on monday.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:43 AM   #344
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This exactly matches my experience, except I would add 600 (CNN HD), can't remember its QAM but it was low too, perhaps 127MHz.

I gave up calling Verizon. I have my attenuation such that I am mostly OK, but I really wish they would clear up their apparent signal strength variation in those low QAMs. It can be fine for an hour or two and then signal strength drops and it is completely unwatchable for 15 minutes.

--Lee
For me, CNN HD is on 231 MHz. It took a long time to figure out the right combo of attenuators to get the problem down to where it is now -- the techs don't trust them, claiming the numbers on them are rough estimates.

How did they close out your ticket? Were you sent to Chronic Resolutions or do they think it's fixed. If the latter, I would encourage you to keep pressing them. It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease and right now, it would appear the squeak is not loud enough.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:45 AM   #345
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I turned on FLN the other night and I was getting the pixelation/audio drop out (some random show, not iron chef). So that throws out the idea that it's that particular show.

I called up FSC and the guy could not resolve my issue and raised it to a higher tech support level. I'm supposed to get a call on monday.
I noticed afterward that FLN had random moments of pixelation myself... I just hadn't updated my posting.

*sigh*
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:46 PM   #346
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Thumbs up

The attentuation fix solved the problem for me on both of my Tivo HD boxes. Used a -20 db attentuator on each and have experienced no pixelation issues in over a week.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:56 PM   #347
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if I have signal strength that is going between 50-100 (on my problem channels)... it doesn't seem to me that attenuation would be the fix for this scenario. anyone care to comment?
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:42 AM   #348
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Cool Just some thoughts

I personally don't believe attenuating the signal is ever the correct answer, ESPECIALLY if it drops the signal strength below 90. I know that sometimes it seems to clear up a problem, but it is just masking things.

For example, when I first got my S3 a couple of years ago I had big problems on some channels. I also had LOTS of devices connected to my cable (a 6-way splitter and another 4-way off of that on just the drop where the TiVo was, plus multiple splitters on drops in other rooms. All those splitters and connected devices cause a lot of attenuation, so I suspected the problem was weak signal. I bought a cheap booster at the hardware store and tried it out. During lots of playing around and testing with different configurations, I happened to notice that the bad channels seemed to clear up at one point where I had the booster in line but UNPLUGGED. When not powered, the booster acts like a massive attenuator, so this really surprised me. Further checking showed that although the bad channels had gotten better, most of the previously GOOD channels now had very low signal strength and new problems. In the end, all the problems proved to be with the incoming signal and were fixed by the provider when I pushed them to provide decent service.

I also wanted to remind everyone that pixelation or other signal problems do not always come from the TiVo. It sure seems easy to blame TiVo, but you have to watch other devices and signal sources a lot to get a good comparison. When I am at home I am watching a TiVo device 99.99% of the time, so when I see the occasional program that pixelates a lot I tend to assume it is another friggin FiOS/TiVo issue. But I have the same cable that feeds my S3 connected to my Sony plasma TV without cable cards. That TV has digital tuners, so it gets most of the non-premium channels. The other night when the TiVo was busy on both tuners I switched over to the straight cable feed in the TV to watch a different channel, and I occasionally saw some of the same pixelation issues that we usually attribute to the TiVo. In this case there could be no doubt that the problem was being broadcast instead of being caused by either the TiVo or a cable-card.

I occasionally travel a lot, and when away from home I get to watch lots of different cable providers without TiVo or cable boxes, and I often see pixelation issues, proving that the signal problem is not unique to FiOS. I am certainly not trying to say that all, or even most of the PQ problems we see are are outside the TiVo, but some of them are. Don't be too quick to judge.

Another PQ issue that is often blamed on TiVo is the loss of detail in very fast moving scenes in HD. I can say with confidence from repeated comparisons that this problem is NOT TiVo. I see the same loss of detail on direct-connected HD TVs, both at home and in other locations.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:30 PM   #349
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I personally don't believe attenuating the signal is ever the correct answer, ESPECIALLY if it drops the signal strength below 90. I know that sometimes it seems to clear up a problem, but it is just masking things.
Verizon has issued a technical bulletin to their field techs telling them to attenuate exactly as described in the subject of the original posting in this thread.


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For example, when I first got my S3 a couple of years ago I had big problems on some channels. I also had LOTS of devices connected to my cable (a 6-way splitter and another 4-way off of that on just the drop where the TiVo was, plus multiple splitters on drops in other rooms. All those splitters and connected devices cause a lot of attenuation, so I suspected the problem was weak signal.
A six-way splitter and an additional -12 dB of attenuation was required just to get the signal in my house down to where most channels are just above a 90 signal strength.

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I bought a cheap booster at the hardware store and tried it out. During lots of playing around and testing with different configurations, I happened to notice that the bad channels seemed to clear up at one point where I had the booster in line but UNPLUGGED. When not powered, the booster acts like a massive attenuator, so this really surprised me. Further checking showed that although the bad channels had gotten better, most of the previously GOOD channels now had very low signal strength and new problems. In the end, all the problems proved to be with the incoming signal and were fixed by the provider when I pushed them to provide decent service.
Glad that worked out for you. However, something else is going on here. Both Verizon and TiVo know it. As I mentioned, Verizon has forwarded my problem to a chronic issue department and TiVo closed my bug report as a duplicate of one they're already working on.

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I also wanted to remind everyone that pixelation or other signal problems do not always come from the TiVo. It sure seems easy to blame TiVo, but you have to watch other devices and signal sources a lot to get a good comparison. When I am at home I am watching a TiVo device 99.99% of the time, so when I see the occasional program that pixelates a lot I tend to assume it is another friggin FiOS/TiVo issue. But I have the same cable that feeds my S3 connected to my Sony plasma TV without cable cards. That TV has digital tuners, so it gets most of the non-premium channels. The other night when the TiVo was busy on both tuners I switched over to the straight cable feed in the TV to watch a different channel, and I occasionally saw some of the same pixelation issues that we usually attribute to the TiVo. In this case there could be no doubt that the problem was being broadcast instead of being caused by either the TiVo or a cable-card.
Yes, pixellation can be caused by other things, but we're referring to pixellation actually reported as RS-uncorrected errors. Pixellation caused by problems between, for example, FiOS and the broadcaster very likely won't appear as uncorrected errors. The pixellation would be sent to the subscriber as if it were a proper picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post
I occasionally travel a lot, and when away from home I get to watch lots of different cable providers without TiVo or cable boxes, and I often see pixelation issues, proving that the signal problem is not unique to FiOS. I am certainly not trying to say that all, or even most of the PQ problems we see are are outside the TiVo, but some of them are. Don't be too quick to judge.
Other services sometimes suck, too. Good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post
Another PQ issue that is often blamed on TiVo is the loss of detail in very fast moving scenes in HD. I can say with confidence from repeated comparisons that this problem is NOT TiVo. I see the same loss of detail on direct-connected HD TVs, both at home and in other locations.
Yes, we know about bandwidth limitations, too. Have a look at the conversations in this forum related to Comcast squeezing 3 HD channels into 1 QAM and you'll see how much we know about it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:48 PM   #350
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update

just had a fios tech come out. He did the usual line test to see if any hardware was bad... none of it was.

end result is that disc hd and ktla HD are horrible. disc hd has wild fluxuations in signal strength and ktla hd 505 is just pixelated to hell but has 100% sig strength 38snr.

he played around with various attentuators. i know the fios techs know this by now.

briefly checking FLN 166 and national geo HD 621... these seemed ok. /crosses fingers

the main piece of news I want to share is that the tech told me that ever since the channel realignment, other customers with tivos have been having problems. so I'm not alone in this. they suggested I call tivo and see what they have to say. Swapping out cable cards was an option thrown out there but he didn't have any on him. He also was not aware of the M-cards.

update1: fln and 621 still affected though it seemed not as bad. 505 cleared up (wierd).

Last edited by substance12 : 11-15-2008 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:51 PM   #351
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Verizon has issued a technical bulletin to their field techs telling them to attenuate exactly as described in the subject of the original posting in this thread.

etc. etc. etc.
Glad you are so sure of yourself. I got my problems fixed. Hope you can do the same.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:19 AM   #352
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Glad you are so sure of yourself. I got my problems fixed. Hope you can do the same.
I've got a copy of the bulletin on my desk. I'd be happy to scan it for you and post it, if you find it so hard believe.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:07 PM   #353
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So I had some Tivo HD Pixelation problems with FiOS, I have 2 Tivo HDs and I was having problems on both so I knew it wasn't just the tivo box. I tried the attenuators, that Verizon provided, to dampen the signal and that helped some but didn't really fix it. I had Comcast before with multi-streaming cards and never had a problem. Just so you know FiOS has multi-streaming cards, they may not have a number in there systems and the techs may not know about them but if you are insistent you can get them. It took me two tries and I finally got some. That didn't fix my problem either. But it was cheaper so that was a plus. So what finally fixed my problem was two diplexers http://www.beachaudio.com/Dynaflex/S-252-p-70205.html 2 bucks a piece. Basically I have a MOCHA based FiOS router for my internet and the internet signal was bleeding into the TV signal and TIVO couldn't process it. Oddly enough you plug the wall end into the "out" (or end with only 1 side), and the tivo end into antenna end. What does it do, it acts as a filter and strips out the signal issues. Added plus, I don't need the attenuators anymore! I have NO problem watching a 37-38 DB signal at 100% strength. Verizon didn't know what the heck they are/were so I had to buy them myself. I saw the tip on this thread, thanks for the help. BTW You may be interested to know that some pixelation problem maybe coming from the single stream cards, I know that lots of people had problems with them at Comcast. I can't verify they actually did anything in my case other than make things cheaper per month (3.99 x 2 cards instead of 3.99 x 4 cards). However if the 2 dollar diplexers don't help then you may consider trying the multistreaming cards.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:27 PM   #354
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I've got a copy of the bulletin on my desk. I'd be happy to scan it for you and post it, if you find it so hard believe.
Dude, chill out a little. What V7Goose is trying to say is that attenuators, which are the most common "solution" to pixellation doesn't really solve the issue. They only dampen the issue. Attenuators do nothing to fix the overly hot signal put out by the OTN, they do nothing to fix TiVos low-quality tuner cards, and they do nothing to "clean the cards" at the Verizon head-end (which is what V7Goose got them to do for his pixellation).

Everyone, consumers and FiOS techs, know about attenuators as a work-around. What V7Goose is advocating is a more complete set of solutions that actually fix the problems instead of mitigate them. There's no reason to jump on his case.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:04 PM   #355
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So what finally fixed my problem was two diplexers at 2 bucks a piece.
Thanks for the link. I've been trying to buy a diplexer for a few weeks but I haven't found one locally.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #356
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Just so you know FiOS has multi-streaming cards, they may not have a number in there systems and the techs may not know about them but if you are insistent you can get them. It took me two tries and I finally got some.

I'd like to get and M-card for my Series 3, if for nothing else than to reduce my bill. Can you tell us a little more how you were able to get Fios to give you one (I've had no luck)? Did they require a tech visit?

Thos.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #357
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Thos, the S3 doesn't support M cards yet (well, not in M mode, anyway -- the point is, you still need two).
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:49 PM   #358
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So I had some Tivo HD Pixelation problems with FiOS, I have 2 Tivo HDs and I was having problems on both so I knew it wasn't just the tivo box. I tried the attenuators, that Verizon provided, to dampen the signal and that helped some but didn't really fix it. I had Comcast before with multi-streaming cards and never had a problem. Just so you know FiOS has multi-streaming cards, they may not have a number in there systems and the techs may not know about them but if you are insistent you can get them. It took me two tries and I finally got some. That didn't fix my problem either. But it was cheaper so that was a plus. So what finally fixed my problem was two diplexers http://www.beachaudio.com/Dynaflex/S-252-p-70205.html 2 bucks a piece. Basically I have a MOCHA based FiOS router for my internet and the internet signal was bleeding into the TV signal and TIVO couldn't process it. Oddly enough you plug the wall end into the "out" (or end with only 1 side), and the tivo end into antenna end. What does it do, it acts as a filter and strips out the signal issues. Added plus, I don't need the attenuators anymore! I have NO problem watching a 37-38 DB signal at 100% strength. Verizon didn't know what the heck they are/were so I had to buy them myself. I saw the tip on this thread, thanks for the help. BTW You may be interested to know that some pixelation problem maybe coming from the single stream cards, I know that lots of people had problems with them at Comcast. I can't verify they actually did anything in my case other than make things cheaper per month (3.99 x 2 cards instead of 3.99 x 4 cards). However if the 2 dollar diplexers don't help then you may consider trying the multistreaming cards.
I'm not sure how the heck this works but I'll try anything at this point. Wouldn't this be the same as using a low-pass filter? I've tried a low-pass filter and numerous amounts of attenuation and while I can reduce the pixelation, it still happens.

In any event, you say that you ran the feed from the ONT (the wall) into the single input on the diplexer and then I assume you used the left side/antenna side to output to the Tivo HD?
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:09 AM   #359
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I'm not sure how the heck this works but I'll try anything at this point. Wouldn't this be the same as using a low-pass filter? I've tried a low-pass filter and numerous amounts of attenuation and while I can reduce the pixelation, it still happens.

In any event, you say that you ran the feed from the ONT (the wall) into the single input on the diplexer and then I assume you used the left side/antenna side to output to the Tivo HD?
Could a picture be posted?
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:42 AM   #360
subgenius37
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thos19 View Post
I'd like to get and M-card for my Series 3, if for nothing else than to reduce my bill. Can you tell us a little more how you were able to get Fios to give you one (I've had no luck)? Did they require a tech visit?

Thos.
So I called the FiOS support line. Contacted the "customer support"/"order new service". I was still having pixelation problems so I asked them if I could get a tech to come out and replace my cards with Multi-streaming cards. They said they only had one SKU in the system for cards. I assured them that I knew that they had them and that on the official Verizon Fios forum people had indicated they had received them as long ago as August. So the customer support rep sent out a tech to fix my problem with these new multi-streaming cards and added a ton of notes on what to bring. He shows up with single streaming cards, he didn't get the notes. So he called his boss had a little back and forth then drove across town to pick up the multi-streaming cards. Came back and installed them no problem (well as little problem as cable cards usually cause techs). So just being persistent worked. Very few people (senior tech only) even knew they had them. No one in the call center in any category knew they existed. I think the persistence point needs to come with the local office as they actually have the inventory, but that's just a guess based on my experience.

- James
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