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Old 02-12-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
pgreene8
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Green Screen & Freezing: Cable Signal strength?

Last few days I have had issues with my TiVO S3 HD freezing or getting a green screen (without characters) . After it occurs, the TiVo is completely locked up, won;t respond to commands from the remote or anything. I need to yank the plug and reboot.
Called TiVo and they had me look at the diagnostics on the Cable Card and then they determined that the strength of the cable signal was TOO STRONG at 100% and should be at 80 - 85%. They say a strong signal can "do all kinds of things" to TiVo and that I need to get Time Warner to dampen my signal.
This sounds a little fishy. Has anyone else heard of this?

Thanks so much
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
richsadams
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Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear that it's under aggravating circumstances.

To answer your question, yes, a signal that is "too hot" can cause data I/O problems AGC issues and other problems which can result in video issues or locking up the box all together. That's not to say something else might not be causing issues, but it's a start. I'd call the cableco and have them check on things. They may have inadvertently changed something (perhaps for a neighbor) and can correct it or they may be of the "a stronger signal is a better signal no matter what" mindset. If it's the latter and they won't do anything you could try attenuating the incoming signal.

I'm almost certain Comcast has boosted their signal here. I had an unexpected reboot a couple of days ago (which has never happened) and the signal strength is now pegged at 100% on every channel where it used to fluctuate slightly between 95% and 98% or so. We're getting ready to switch to FIOS so I'm not going to pursue it now (although I may run into the same issues with VZ...but that's another thread).

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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I might be having this problem as well so I will go an check my signal stregth when i get home since my tivo has been rebooting randomly at times. How do you get your Cable company to "dampen" your signal? Sounds like an odd request to Tech Support.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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It is odd, and the Time Warner rep on the phone had no idea. He thought the technician who visits will know. Guess we'll see about that.

If you follow the link that Richsadams sent, then you find an adapter that will attenuate the signal. I'll try that if Time Warner fails.

I should say I have not had spontaneous rebooting. The problem is the green screen (accompanied by a loud screeching sound) came when watching a recorded show, and then multiple freeze / lockups during live TV. You might want to call TiVo first.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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I also live in NYC and have been having the same problem since the end of January. Tivo has replaced my box three times, but now on the last box the problem has reappeared. They have offered to change my box again, but I'm starting to think this is too much of a coincidence and that their is something else going on. I have had TWC come to my house three times now to "install"/activate the cable card and no one (from TWC or Tivo) has mentioned anything about the signal level interfering with my box's functionality. Pgreene8 -- have you had any luck with TWC helping you fix the problem? Has anyone tried "attenuating" the signal after this green screen problem and had any success?
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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No, not fixed

Hi DanDan09 -
I thought the problem had resolved itself; the signal strength had dropped to 93%, and no problems for a couple of weeks. I thought the problem might have been related to the fact that Time Warner was laying new cable about a block and a half away (on 72nd St), but that work is finished.

And just this afternoon there was another screeching green screen!

To answer your question, I have not had TWC come to attenuate the signal, but I guess I will now. Was considering asking TiVo for a new box since the warranty lasts only another month, but judging from your experience, that would be a waste of time.

Do you live on the Upper West Side by any chance?
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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Hi Priscilla:

Sorry to hear the problem has reappeared . . . are you using an HDMI cable to connect your tivo to your TV? I've been doing some research and it appears that some people say that this might be causing the problem.

No, I live in downtown Manhattan. Yeah, if you do ask TiVo to switch out your box just go ahead and make a TWC appointment for the day after you think your new box is going to arrive and save yourself the trouble of trying to install the cable card on your own. They will want to send someone out to your place to "initiate" the card despite the fact that you could do it over the phone . . .
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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Yes, I do use the HDMI cable that TiVo sent with the box. I have to say the thought had crossed my mind that the cable might be a problem. It was such a relatively inexpensive cable.
When TiVo sent you the new box, did they make you return the old one first, in other words, were there dread TiVoless days?
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:43 PM   #9
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You have two return options -- one where they place a hold on your card while they send you a box or you can send yours outright and be tivoless for some time. I let them place a hold on my card and sent my bad box back to them after they sent me a new one. The only thing to keep in mind that if it's a HDMI handshake problem I'm not sure if their is any fix for it . . . at least nothing that I have found so far other than to hook you your tivo with component cables . . .
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #10
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How do you check cable strength?? Thanks
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTDFXD View Post
How do you check cable strength?? Thanks
System Information screen -> DVR Diagnostics

That will show the signal strength (and any signal errors, identied as RS Uncorrected errors) for the two currently tuned channels.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:31 PM   #12
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HDMI Handshake problem?

Dan -
Thanks for your feedback. I have 2 more questions:

1) What did you read that has makes you believe it is related to the HDMI cable instead of the signal strength? The idea of component cables is not too palatable. BTW - my signal strength varies on the two tuners (100 and 93).

2) If I remember correctly, you exchanged both your TiVo box as well the cable card. Or was it the same card that was just reactivated? Has the green screen/freezing problem stopped for you now?

For me, the problem arrives in bunches: 2 - 3 incidents within a 24-hour period then long intervals in between events. Kind of like the 2nd Avenue bus.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quick update:
TWC came and put a splitter on the coax, but it did not diminish the signal strength, which always seems to always vacillate between 93 & 100. The tech was reluctant to do anything else to decrease the signal strength. I should add that there is already a splitter between the modem and the TiVo, so he added a 2nd splitter to the mix.
We'll see what happens.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for keeping us posted. Let us know how things turn out.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:02 PM   #15
George Cifranci
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I used to get a Green Screen of death when I first got my Series 3. I would frequently get a Green Screen and full lockup after I turned on my HDTV and Receiver with my Harmony Remote. The solution (there is a whole thread on this) was to disconnect the Ethernet cable from the TiVo S3 and use a USB to Ethernet Adaptor instead. After doing that I never got a Green Screen again (it has been 2 years). I even recently confirmed the USB to Ethernet adaptor was a fix when I thought I would plug the ethernet cable directly back into the TiVo S3 to see if the Green Screen issue would happen again. The very next day when I went to turn on my HDTV sure enough I got a Green Screen and the TiVo was locked up. So back to the USB to Ethernet Adaptor I went.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #16
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Things were fine for a couple of weeks. But last night another screaming green screen. CoAx splitter is not the solution.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:54 AM   #17
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George -
So you're saying to try a USB to Ethernet cable, with the Ethernet side plugged into the modem and the USB into the TiVo S3? Interesting
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgreene8 View Post
George -
So you're saying to try a USB to Ethernet cable, with the Ethernet side plugged into the modem and the USB into the TiVo S3? Interesting
With the USB Ethernet adaptor one side of course plugs into one of the Series 3's USB ports and you plug your ethernet cable into the other end. here is the exact model I use...

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F5D5050...7579443&sr=8-1

After I started using that in late January 2007 I never got a green screen again.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:51 PM   #19
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Thanks George. A picture is worth a lot of words. I get it now and will try it.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:55 PM   #20
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George is your TiVo S3 an HD model?
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #21
George Cifranci
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George is your TiVo S3 an HD model?
I have the original TiVo Series 3 (the first standalone model that could do HD) bought in late 2006 (with the OLED display on the front).

What model do you have?
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Cifranci View Post
I have the original TiVo Series 3 (the first standalone model that could do HD) bought in late 2006 (with the OLED display on the front).

What model do you have?
I have the S3 HD (HiDef), just about a year old. I wonder if it makes a difference. I ordered the adaptor you suggested. Another poster on this thread suspected the HDMI cable btw the TiVo and the TV. Guess we will see soon enough.

Too many variables!
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:02 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by pgreene8 View Post
I have the S3 HD (HiDef), just about a year old. I wonder if it makes a difference. I ordered the adaptor you suggested. Another poster on this thread suspected the HDMI cable btw the TiVo and the TV. Guess we will see soon enough.

Too many variables!
So yours has the Cable Card slots on the front correct?
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #24
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Exactly. Cable card slots on the front with a drop down panel.
Looks like TiVo calls it the TiVo HD DVR (I did not get the pricier one, the "XL").
https://www3.tivo.com/store/boxes.do..._boxeslist_img
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #25
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Exactly. Cable card slots on the front with a drop down panel.
Looks like TiVo calls it the TiVo HD DVR (I did not get the pricier one, the "XL").
https://www3.tivo.com/store/boxes.do..._boxeslist_img
And you are still getting the green screen? That's disappointing to hear. I would have hoped they would have fixed that issue in the TiVo HD. In any case getting the USB to Ethernet adaptor fixed that issue for me.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:05 PM   #26
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To avoid confusion these are the model names commonly used here on the TCF to identify the three hi-def TiVo models:

TiVo Series3 (or S3)

TiVo HD (or THD)

TiVo HDXL (or HDXL)
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:30 PM   #27
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Don't think it's HDMI

I've been having the same problem off and on for the last month or so. Originally I had my TiVoHD hooked up with HDMI, but after seeing the suggestion that HDMI was the culprit I switched to component cables. Came home from work today and it had happened again. This time it was a blank screen, but the high pitched beep was the same.

So, I suppose HDMI may be the reason the screen is green, rather than blank, but it doesn't seem to be the cause of the problem.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:19 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jzylks View Post
I've been having the same problem off and on for the last month or so. Originally I had my TiVoHD hooked up with HDMI, but after seeing the suggestion that HDMI was the culprit I switched to component cables. Came home from work today and it had happened again. This time it was a blank screen, but the high pitched beep was the same.

So, I suppose HDMI may be the reason the screen is green, rather than blank, but it doesn't seem to be the cause of the problem.

What kind of HDTV do you have? (make/model) Is it s rear projection?
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:24 AM   #29
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It's a Vizio LCD TV. I don't know the model number off the top of my head, but it's about 2 years old. I've had the TiVoHD hooked up to it for about that long, but the beeping just cropped up in the last month or two.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:57 AM   #30
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Angry Ethernet / USB adaptor update - not the solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Cifranci View Post
I used to get a Green Screen of death when I first got my Series 3. I would frequently get a Green Screen and full lockup after I turned on my HDTV and Receiver with my Harmony Remote. The solution (there is a whole thread on this) was to disconnect the Ethernet cable from the TiVo S3 and use a USB to Ethernet Adaptor instead. After doing that I never got a Green Screen again (it has been 2 years). I even recently confirmed the USB to Ethernet adaptor was a fix when I thought I would plug the ethernet cable directly back into the TiVo S3 to see if the Green Screen issue would happen again. The very next day when I went to turn on my HDTV sure enough I got a Green Screen and the TiVo was locked up. So back to the USB to Ethernet Adaptor I went.
George -

I hooked up the USN adaptor last week and it seemed to be doing the trick. No Green Screen after a TWC line-up change (those seemed to invoke a Green Screen within a day or two). Everything was ok until today, after TWC sent a firmware update to the cable card last night.
Thanks again for the advice, but I wanted to let everyone know that it is not the answer for all Green Screens.
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