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Old 04-14-2015, 08:58 PM   #1
mk553
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TiVo mini stuttering

Hello,

I'm curious if anyone else has had 'stuttering' issues with their TiVo mini.

Here's my setup:

- TiVo Premiere 4 with MoCa enabled
- One TiVo mini that's hooked up to my old 13" CRT TV in a laundry room.

Because the Mini was stuttering -- usually only on certain channels -- I thought maybe it was the cable company. But the stuttering does not happen on the Premiere 4. I did have the cable company come out to check, and they gave me some new wires, but nothing helped.

Thinking the Mini was probably bad, I just bought a new one (especially since they came with the lifetime subscriptions this month) to replace the old one -- but it's having the exact same trouble!

As far as the channels I generally have trouble with, they're local broadcast stations, I believe in HD. The Mini is set to display at 4:3 ratio, in any resolution (480, 720, 1080) because it 'tested' good with all those displays. (I tried setting it to only 480i/p, but then the picture didn't look quite right on other stations.)

For some odd reason, the Mini can't be set for the older SD menus, but that's a complaint for a different topic.

What else can I check?

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Old 04-14-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
BigJimOutlaw
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I'd try replacing the splitter(s) in between the Premiere and the Mini. A POE filter on the input side of the primary splitter wouldn't hurt either if it's not already there.

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Old 04-14-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
JWhites
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hmm if both Mini's are giving you the same problem then it's either an issue with the network or the Premiere 4 itself. I know you like MoCA but perhaps try running an Ethernet cable. I'm not sure how you wouldn't know if the channel you are watching is HD or not since it usually shows in the channel call letters and the guide. If you are using the Mini on an SD 4:3 television I'm assuming you are using the breakout cables for composite video and audio, so the Mini should just be set to 480i since you aren't going to see any improvement with it being set to anything else and it will keep the Mini from having to downconvert the 720p and 1080i content back down to 480i which could cause an unnecessary workload on the components. Anyway the Ethernet cable would take the workload off the already taxed CPU of the Premiere 4. Another alternative would be to use MoCA adapters in place of the internal MoCA in the Premiere 4. It could also be an issue with the splitters and if you are using a MoCA filter at the entry point of your coax network.

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Old 04-16-2015, 05:54 AM   #4
mk553
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Re: TiVo mini stuttering

Thanks for the suggestions -- I'm going to try some of these things over the weekend, including:

- Installing the POE filter;
- Using my ActionTec MoCA adapter instead of the Premiere 4;
- Checking my splitters (there's one on the outside of the house, and one on the inside);
- Seeing if Ethernet helps.

I'd switch to ethernet, since I already installed Cat5 cable throughout most of the house -- but I don't have it ran into the laundry room where the mini resides. I'll run a line across the floor anyway, just to see if it makes a difference, if all else fails.

Will let you guys know how it goes!

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Old 04-18-2015, 06:48 PM   #5
mk553
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Well, I tried out some of the suggestions this weekend, and here's some of the results:

I disabled the MoCA networking that's built into the Premiere 4, and hooked up the ActionTec MoCA hub. Unfortunately, no luck on that alone.

I installed the PoE adapter where the cable comes into the house, but was unable to get any TV signals with it installed (mostly, there was no TV picture, but some strange colorful artifacts would display occasionally). So I removed that.

Finally, I hooked the mini up to the network with Ethernet (on a 'dumb' Gigabit ethernet switch with the rest of my computer network), and still the same problem...

The main problem is that, mostly on certain channels, 'stuttering' occurs in a major way -- the picture will play a bit, then stop for about a second or two, and then pick back up with a bit of lapse in time. In other words; unwatchable. :-(

Oh, and I also set the mini to 480i on my old-fashioned TV, for what's it's worth.

Okay, with that part out of the way, I actually installed a new mini in another room (I had purchased a second one, when I got the replacement mentioned earlier).

Interestingly, the results are exactly the same. Most channels are fine, except the same handful of ones (and they'd coincidentally be the handful of ones I prefer to watch!).

Again, these same channels come through fine in other rooms where I have a standard TiVo (i.e., TiVo 2, and Premiere 4's), so it's just affecting the Mini's.

I'll probably have to call TiVo support, but anything else I can try, that you can think of?

Note that I didn't touch the splitters between the TV's yet. I know that they're relatively new, though, as the cable guy who come out replaced those 'to be on the safe side' since I was already having problems, and put new 'connectors' on the ends of the cables at the same time. I always lose my cable when it rains, but the cable company can't figure that one out. (But I have Charter Cable, which explains that.)

Thanks again.

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:52 PM   #6
imagexpo
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When I experienced stuttering on my Mini I found the Ethernet speed was only 18 MBs, I installed some powerline adapters from TP Link ($35) from Amazon. At first I had the same stuttering but after about 5 minutes it went away and it's been great for weeks now. (BTW the observed Ethernet speed on the adapters is 70 MBs).

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Old 04-26-2015, 06:52 AM   #7
BioGman
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Setting the network priority

I noticed the same problem on my Mini. I figured it stemmed from something with my network speed. I went to my router configuration/prioritization menu and moved the Tivo's up the list to be top priority use. That moved my computers and iPhones and iPads down the list but so far it has all worked. I just did this last week so I'll have to wait to be absolutely sure it worked.

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Old 04-26-2015, 07:13 AM   #8
JoeKustra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioGman View Post
I noticed the same problem on my Mini. I figured it stemmed from something with my network speed. I went to my router configuration/prioritization menu and moved the Tivo's up the list to be top priority use. That moved my computers and iPhones and iPads down the list but so far it has all worked. I just did this last week so I'll have to wait to be absolutely sure it worked.
Do you have a router option for Dynamic QoS? Netgear has that.

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Old 04-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #9
BioGman
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QoS

Yes I set the QoS to prioritize the Tivo's.

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Old 04-29-2015, 05:07 PM   #10
JoeKustra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioGman View Post
Yes I set the QoS to prioritize the Tivo's.
It can't hurt to disable it as a test. Mine likes to change priorities, so I keep it disabled.

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Old 04-29-2015, 06:59 PM   #11
telemark
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You'll want to look at the error rate on the Tivo Premiere, and if that screen is available on the Mini, there too.

If you have a way to graph the network traffic speed, I would look at that. This could help separate corrupted mpeg signal from network bottleneck. Isn't there a MoCA strength meter or tester somewhere on the Tivo? What's it say?

After you narrowed those two variables down, transfer a "bad" channel video to a PC twice. Use both TS and PS mode. Try to play it various software players. You're looking for if there are any problems on strict players vs liberal players. The strictest test is a mpeg validator.

That reminds me btw, does it affect both live and recorded, or just one or the other?

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Old 05-27-2015, 10:42 AM   #12
dougdingle
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I installed my Mini this weekend in the spot where a Series3 lived before, and got stuttering and intermittent "Not connected to network" errors immediately. This was strange because I was using the same CAT5E cable that had been feeding the S3 for about seven years.

So I used my cable checker and found to my astonishment that the CAT5E connector was miswired, AND had one wire open, and had been that way for 7 years! How the S3 managed to get guide data, updates, and videos from my other TiVos for 7 years I have no idea.

I lopped off the connector, installed a new one that tested good, reconnected the Mini, and haven't had an issue since.

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:49 AM   #13
Time_Lord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdingle View Post
So I used my cable checker and found to my astonishment that the CAT5E connector was miswired, AND had one wire open, and had been that way for 7 years! How the S3 managed to get guide data, updates, and videos from my other TiVos for 7 years I have no idea.
Often intermittent and/or poor cabling issues are not perceived by users until you start to stress the network, granted the mini only uses up to about 20Mb/s but I'm sure its much higher than your S3 used.

-TL

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