My wife and I have an HDTiVo running 9.3a, and have been running into an odd problem recently: occasionally the video will pause and the audio will cut out, and then suddenly both will run at high speed for a second as though they are "catching up". Other times it will just drop frames and lose the audio briefly and then resume. This happens regardless of the program source: we've seen it on LiveTV both SD and HD, on recorded programs both SD and HD, and on SD transfers from a Series2 unit elsewhere in the house. If we rewind and play the same portion of the recording, it does not happen again.
This is starting to happen at least once per half-hour recording, and it is becoming extremely annoying. I've seen a few old threads with people mentioning that this sounds like a hard drive problem. If it is, I'd be awfully disappointed; this is a refurbished unit from woot.com, less than six months old. I don't see how
it could be a hard drive problem, though, from a technical standpoint. The areas of the disk being accessed are different in every case, and the unit doesn't appear to have any trouble writing, only reading. And frankly, if read errors are occurring frequently enough to cause stream problems, shouldn't this be reported to the user in some fashion, or possibly trigger a deep fsck of the filesystem?
Somebody else pointed out that the problems could be caused by overheating. This I definitely could believe. System Information right now shows the internal temperature as 42C (Normal) -- which equals 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If that temperature is too high, wouldn't it make sense for the TiVo to say
it is too high?
This TiVo has a digital cable input, with one MCard. It outputs to our A/V receiver via component video and optical audio. This particular symptom seems to have only started recently, although we've had brief pauses since we first got the unit. Also, we've never seen this symptom on either of our Series2 units. (And we never saw any A/V problems whatsoever on our DirecTiVo units... looks like we've been on a downhill slide since then.)
I guess I'd just like somebody from TiVo (or close to them) to let me know if decoding/stream problems like this are a known issue in 9.3a and are being addressed in 9.4, or if this sounds like a more serious hardware issue. I realize these sorts of things can't really be diagnosed without looking at them in person... but somebody who understands the hardware/software more may have more insight into the issue.