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Old 02-24-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
ahwman
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Both of my Premiere's are crashing intermittently

I'm a new TiVo adoptee and purchased two Premiere XL4's with lifetime service. That said, I'm having intermittent soft reboots sometimes as often as once/day on my family room Premiere and only a few times on my master bedroom Premiere (which is used a lot less). It never happens while simply watching live/recorded TV, but only when I'm interacting with it. I use the TiVo iPad app most of the time versus the remote (not sure if this has anything to do with it) and today I hit the TiVo button and heard the ding but the TiVo never opened up the page so I hit it again and all of the tuner lights illuminated briefly and the unit restarted unexpectedly and then I saw "Welcome, Starting Up..." Because both of my Premiere's have done this I'm hard pressed to believe it's a double hardware fault. Again, this only seems to happen when I interact with the TiVo. Tech support could only tell me that TiVo's will reboot to protect themselves - not sure from what in this case... My signal levels are perfect and both TiVo's are hardwired over gigabit with plenty of air ventilation and nothing above or below them. I'm hoping that TiVo keeps some sort of event logs which tech support could analyze. Anyone else seen this kind of behavior?

Last edited by ahwman : 02-24-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
True Colors
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If these were old Tivos that were boxed up for a while then might have been possible that they are going through a succession of software upgrades to get up to the newest release.

However, since the XL4 is a new model, then I doubt that this is your problem.

Tivos are somewhat similar to desktop computers. Three of the common points of failure are:

1 - power supply
2 - hard drive
3 - motherboard

If your Tivos are NOT under warranty then you can attempt to identify and correct the problem on your own. If you need help in this regard then there are plenty of people on this website who can walk you through this.

On the other hand, if your Tivos ARE under warranty and Tivo tech support is not able to assist you, then it is probably better for you to exchange the Tivos as opposed to fixing them yourself. If Tivo finds out that you have cracked open your box and attempted repairs then they can void your warranty. If you decide to do a return, then do not delay on this, because the time frame is short to do an exchange without any cost, if I recall correctly.

Tivos are designed to work well straight out of the box with minimal(or no) hassles. I had a similar problem to what you are describing with a Tivo Premiere that I pirchased and Tivo exchanged my product for me. The replacement product came in quickly and has worked just fine.

TC
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:43 PM   #3
ahwman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Colors View Post
If these were old Tivos that were boxed up for a while then might have been possible that they are going through a succession of software upgrades to get up to the newest release.

However, since the XL4 is a new model, then I doubt that this is your problem.

Tivos are somewhat similar to desktop computers. Three of the common points of failure are:

1 - power supply
2 - hard drive
3 - motherboard

If your Tivos are NOT under warranty then you can attempt to identify and correct the problem on your own. If you need help in this regard then there are plenty of people on this website who can walk you through this.

On the other hand, if your Tivos ARE under warranty and Tivo tech support is not able to assist you, then it is probably better for you to exchange the Tivos as opposed to fixing them yourself. If Tivo finds out that you have cracked open your box and attempted repairs then they can void your warranty. If you decide to do a return, then do not delay on this, because the time frame is short to do an exchange without any cost, if I recall correctly.

Tivos are designed to work well straight out of the box with minimal(or no) hassles. I had a similar problem to what you are describing with a Tivo Premiere that I pirchased and Tivo exchanged my product for me. The replacement product came in quickly and has worked just fine.

TC
I appreciate your suggestions, however being that these TiVo's are both brand new (less than 30 days old) and both exhibiting the same behavior, I find it hard to believe that both could have the exact same hardware failures at the same time. Furthermore, because the TiVo's aren't crashing while playing live/recorded TV but rather only when I interact with them at random times, tells me this is a software bug. TiVo has agreed to replace both, however I would have to reprovison both cable cards as well as reconfigure both from the ground up and loose all recorded content as well as thumb ratings, etc. and at the end of the day more than likely be right back where I am now. It just frustrates me as I spent almost $1,700 and sold my HTPC so that I wouldn't have to put up with a crashing computer or constant updates/bugs and here I am now chasing down rebooting issues with my TiVo's. Not at all what I expected...
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
True Colors
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Obviously, you could be correct. There is definitely a chance that your problem might be software related.

However, there is also a chance that the problem might be something else.

If you want to tinker around with your current tivos before you attempt a product return, then there are a couple of things that you might try.

1 - can you tell us which software version you are on? You can determine this by navigating through the Tivo menu screen and checking your "account and system information."

There is a chance(at least some chance) that your software is not completely up to date. If this is the case then you can try forcing a connection to the Tivo mothership to get your software updated.

2 - are your Tivos connected to a power outlet directly in the wall, or are they connected to UPS devices? Some Tivo users have reported improvement in stability with their Tivos by using a UPS. I have one of these myself. You do not need a big UPS because the power draw from a Tivo is very low.

3 - Which Tivo menus are you using? High def, or standard display? At times in the past, some users have reported that their Tivos behave better in one mode or the other. You can change this in your settings menu.

4 - if you want to deal with Tivo support, then try to get a level 2 support person. In my experience, level one support doesn't do much good.

5 - you might also try to get help from the support forum on the tivo.com website

www.forums.tivo.com/

6 - as a last resort...... you could do an exchange.... over the years, some Tivo owners have reported that they ordered Tivos which malfunctioned, but then they exchanged them and the replacement devices worked fine. I ran into this myself a bit when I bought a new Tivo Premiere a couple of years ago. The first product kept crashing on me but the replacement product that they sent me has been working fine with very little problems.

If I recall correctly, with Tivo, they give you "X" number of days(30, or 45, or something) where you are able to do an exchange at no cost whatsoever. After that, they do charge you something for doing an exchange.

Again, sorry that you are having this problems. It is terrible that you paid all this money and then have to deal with this hassle.

Tivo is awesome once your system becomes stable, and I hope you stick with it. I am a huge fan of Tivo myself, but I will admit that at times it can be a love/hate relationship!

TC
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
dlfl
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Do you have them on UPS? I would put at least one (that crashes the most) on a UPS just to rule out power surges. (All TiVos should be on a UPS.) Also, try using just the TiVo remotes for several days to rule out some problem related to the iPad app.

Try to keep your 30-day return policy in effect. Sometimes these problems just never get fixed and you don't want to be left holding the bag.

A cable signal problem seems unlikely based on your description. Those can be the hardest to get fixed since you are at the Cable co's mercy and they usually don't support TiVo very well. However, you might want to try requesting new cable cards just to rule out that possibility.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
ahwman
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Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions. I'm hoping I have nailed down the issue after speaking with TiVo tech support. They informed me tht my signal levels are too hot - signal level 95 and SNR 38. He said that my SNR should be between 29-35 and that this is most likely over stressing the CPU tring to correct the levels and therefor causing reboots to protect itself. I always thought that the higher the better in regards to SNR. I ordered a mixed bag of attenuators and hopefully this will stabilize my TiVo's.

Fingers crossed!
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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I'm sorry to rain on your parade but what that Tivo rep told you is almost completely BS.

Here is the TiVo support page for diagnosing signal strength and SNR:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...nal%20strength
You will find a chart that says the optimum range for signal strength is 80-99, so 95 is just peachy. Your SNR is higher than normal for that signal strength but how that could be a problem is beyond me -- it just means you have a little less noise than normal.

I don't have a Premiere but that support page covers them and the numbers are the same as for the Series 3 models, which I do have. Many of my channels are saturated at 100 but if I were to attenuate them to the "optimum" range, I would have other channels below the minimum acceptable strength. Signal strength across all your channels is usually not anywhere near constant -- take a look. My "saturated" channels perform just fine but maybe Premiere's are less tolerant of this -- could be I guess.

I wish you luck with the attenuators. I'll be amazed if they are the fix. (But it won't be the first time I've been amazed.)
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
True Colors
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... the UPS device is the most important thing to try here, in my opinion.

TC
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #9
ahwman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
I'm sorry to rain on your parade but what that Tivo rep told you is almost completely BS.

Here is the TiVo support page for diagnosing signal strength and SNR:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...nal%20strength
You will find a chart that says the optimum range for signal strength is 80-99, so 95 is just peachy. Your SNR is higher than normal for that signal strength but how that could be a problem is beyond me -- it just means you have a little less noise than normal.

I don't have a Premiere but that support page covers them and the numbers are the same as for the Series 3 models, which I do have. Many of my channels are saturated at 100 but if I were to attenuate them to the "optimum" range, I would have other channels below the minimum acceptable strength. Signal strength across all your channels is usually not anywhere near constant -- take a look. My "saturated" channels perform just fine but maybe Premiere's are less tolerant of this -- could be I guess.

I wish you luck with the attenuators. I'll be amazed if they are the fix. (But it won't be the first time I've been amazed.)
Trust me, I would generally agree with everything you've stated, however I have come across many TiVo users in other forums, and read several product reviews on the attenuators I purchased who claimed this solved their problem. If this doesn't work, then I don't know where to go short of replacing both DVR's and quite frankly I'm already worn out from this whole process...
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