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Old 07-03-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
stormtech
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Audio Sync Issues - Premier with Analog

I've had my Premier 2 tuner unit installed for a little over a week now using analog cable. There is a problem with the audio sync while watching live TV. I went through all kinds of troubleshooting myself to be sure it wasn't my cable provider, HDMI cable, etc. Then after some searching, found a couple forum threads about this exact issue:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=496574

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...1204#e11051204

What happens is after watching a channel for ~20 minutes, the sound gets ahead of the picture by quite a bit - very annoying! I can get it to stop doing this if I change channels, or quickly hit the stop then play button. But, it will eventually come back.

The first thread I posted above is a couple years old so I would think the issue would have been resolved by now. The second thread is fairly current.

Armed with this information, I opened a ticket via email with Tivo support. The first response was to change the audio properties to PCM and was told that would fix it - which of course it didn't - had already tried that. Then in response, I sent a link to the second thread and said this is my exact issue which is being talked about on their own forum. I said that I find this issue unacceptable and want a software update or a new unit.

Their response was that the software engineers are working on it. The thread on their forum is now 7 months old and there seems to be no fix. I was offered to exchange my unit since it is under warranty. I responded saying how is this going to fix the issue if the same software is running on the new unit - was told that it is very likely that the new unit will do the same thing.

Now I don't know what to do. 7 months of the software engineers working on this doesn't sound too good. A unit exchange will not fix it either. I'm pretty upset about this - my old series 2 unit worked perfectly for years but I really don't want to go back to that box unless I really have to. I seem to have 2 options here - keep doing my work around by pausing/starting live TV every so often, or return the unit and go back to my series 2.

Pretty frustrated - since it has been 7 months that they've known about this issue, I don't feel that they find it a priority and wonder if a fix will ever come.

Premier 2 tuner software v20.3.1
Analog cable
1 HDTV hooked up with HDMI cable
No external audio system
Only happens when watching live TV
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
JoeKustra
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I'm sorry to hear there are no clear QAM channels with your cable feed. My cable company also has the $20 analog service but they still let the "locals" come through in HD.

I seriously doubt TiVo is working on your problem. Zito Media doesn't sound so Local, Friendly, Reliable like their web site indicates.

As was posted in the other thread, you should have many clear QAM digital channels starting about 88-1. But all cable is local.

Last edited by JoeKustra : 07-03-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
stormtech
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I don't know what QAM channels are......

How would different channels stop the Tivo unit from coming out of sync?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I don't know what QAM channels are......

How would different channels stop the Tivo unit from coming out of sync?
For cable, digital channels are sent with a QAM method. For OTA, digital channels are sent with a 8VSB method (usually called ATSC). You are the first person I have found that has no clear (unscrambled) QAM channels for your "local" stations. I quote "local" since for me "local" is NY, Philly and Harrisburg. All are over 50 miles away though many mountains. Like you, I would need a 1000' tower to receive them OTA. Your "local" or DMA (Designated Market Area) could be Buffalo, Pittsburg or perhaps Altoona.

I sometimes find my digital channels a little out of sync also. Like you, a channel change can sync them back up. They never creep but it can happen if I change the inputs on my AVR or TV.

Here's a thought. Since OTA and cable analog channels are the same frequency for 2-13, why not move the rf cable? It can't hurt and you have tried everything else I would. You will have to rescan for antenna channels. You can always rescan. As long as you don't use a cable card you can rescan your cable also.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
christheman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I've had my Premier 2 tuner unit installed for a little over a week now using analog cable. There is a problem with the audio sync while watching live TV. I went through all kinds of troubleshooting myself to be sure it wasn't my cable provider, HDMI cable, etc. Then after some searching, found a couple forum threads about this exact issue:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=496574

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...1204#e11051204

What happens is after watching a channel for ~20 minutes, the sound gets ahead of the picture by quite a bit - very annoying! I can get it to stop doing this if I change channels, or quickly hit the stop then play button. But, it will eventually come back.

The first thread I posted above is a couple years old so I would think the issue would have been resolved by now. The second thread is fairly current.

Armed with this information, I opened a ticket via email with Tivo support. The first response was to change the audio properties to PCM and was told that would fix it - which of course it didn't - had already tried that. Then in response, I sent a link to the second thread and said this is my exact issue which is being talked about on their own forum. I said that I find this issue unacceptable and want a software update or a new unit.

Their response was that the software engineers are working on it. The thread on their forum is now 7 months old and there seems to be no fix. I was offered to exchange my unit since it is under warranty. I responded saying how is this going to fix the issue if the same software is running on the new unit - was told that it is very likely that the new unit will do the same thing.

Now I don't know what to do. 7 months of the software engineers working on this doesn't sound too good. A unit exchange will not fix it either. I'm pretty upset about this - my old series 2 unit worked perfectly for years but I really don't want to go back to that box unless I really have to. I seem to have 2 options here - keep doing my work around by pausing/starting live TV every so often, or return the unit and go back to my series 2.

Pretty frustrated - since it has been 7 months that they've known about this issue, I don't feel that they find it a priority and wonder if a fix will ever come.

Premier 2 tuner software v20.3.1
Analog cable
1 HDTV hooked up with HDMI cable
No external audio system
Only happens when watching live TV
I have the same Tivo setup as you and that happens to me to sometimes. I would suspect that the MPEG convertor in the Tivo might be dropping video frames in the instances I have seen. It varies by channel. I have noticed this most on the channels that show short 1/2 hour shows with regular commercial breaks, like Discovery and A&E. If I record them, these are likely to exhibit the same thing on playback. I use VideoRedo to fix any of these shows it happens with, and a -140ms audio correction fixes most of the inconsistencies with recorded shows (that usually amounts to about 4 audio frames dropped in order to approximate where the video is at). I have seen some shows wander much farther off though, where the peoples lips don't even look like they are saying the same words, but haven't recorded those instances to see how far off it may be. Just from judging though, there might be up to 300-400ms of lag. I remember seeing a particularly long lag with Pawn Stars not too long ago as I was flipping through the channels.

Last edited by christheman : 07-03-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
stormtech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christheman View Post
I have the same Tivo setup as you and that happens to me to sometimes. I would suspect that the MPEG convertor in the Tivo might be dropping video frames in the instances I have seen. It varies by channel. I have noticed this most on the channels that show short 1/2 hour shows with regular commercial breaks, like Discovery and A&E. If I record them, these are likely to exhibit the same thing on playback. I use VideoRedo to fix any of these shows it happens with, and a -140ms audio correction fixes most of the inconsistencies with recorded shows (that usually amounts to about 4 audio frames dropped in order to approximate where the video is at). I have seen some shows wander much farther off though, where the peoples lips don't even look like they are saying the same words, but haven't recorded those instances to see how far off it may be. Just from judging though, there might be up to 300-400ms of lag. I remember seeing a particularly long lag with Pawn Stars not too long ago as I was flipping through the channels.
Thanks for your input. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one suffering with this issue.

You've gone a lot farther with this. Funny thing is with mine is I do not see it happen with recorded shows - only with live TV.

The upsetting part for me is Tivo not fixing this after reports from 7 months ago. I guess they have no real competition so they can things like this go if they want. I've become so used to having my Tivo for many years, I really don't want to do without.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
SugarBowl
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Same thing happens here. A/V sync with analog channels.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
christheman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
Thanks for your input. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one suffering with this issue.

You've gone a lot farther with this. Funny thing is with mine is I do not see it happen with recorded shows - only with live TV.

The upsetting part for me is Tivo not fixing this after reports from 7 months ago. I guess they have no real competition so they can things like this go if they want. I've become so used to having my Tivo for many years, I really don't want to do without.
For the times you have seen it happen live, have you recorded it too? From my understanding of how it works, the live presentation is the same as the recorded since you are actually watching it after your Tivo captures it. (unless you bypass your Tivo to watch it live.) The offset that happens the most for me on ordinary shows is only about a fraction of a second off, but is still noticeable. I mostly record old movies though and for whatever reason, I seem to have good luck with those.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
JoeKustra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christheman View Post
For the times you have seen it happen live, have you recorded it too? From my understanding of how it works, the live presentation is the same as the recorded since you are actually watching it after your Tivo captures it. (unless you bypass your Tivo to watch it live.) The offset that happens the most for me on ordinary shows is only about a fraction of a second off, but is still noticeable. I mostly record old movies though and for whatever reason, I seem to have good luck with those.
That's more than correct. Since you can pause and rewind what you are viewing, everything you see is from the hard disk. If you have two televisions, just watch one without the TiVo and notice the sound and picture are usually different. Add that to the fact that any analog show has been already processed somewhere to make it analog, it's amazing there aren't more problems. Someday analog will go to heaven.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
stormtech
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Originally Posted by christheman View Post
For the times you have seen it happen live, have you recorded it too? From my understanding of how it works, the live presentation is the same as the recorded since you are actually watching it after your Tivo captures it. (unless you bypass your Tivo to watch it live.) The offset that happens the most for me on ordinary shows is only about a fraction of a second off, but is still noticeable. I mostly record old movies though and for whatever reason, I seem to have good luck with those.
I've never tried recording the show while this is happening watching live - I will try that the next time it happens.

I realize that when watching live TV, I am actually watching off the hard disk or the buffer.

When I get the out of sync issue, to me it is pretty bad - a person on a show will say a 4-5 word sentence - when the sentence is finished then the lips start moving. I would say it is a good 2-3 second delay.

While I like to understand how the Tivo works while watching live TV, I am more interested to understand why Tivo won't/can't fix it. I realize that analog is on its way out, but Tivo advertises that the 2 tuner unit works with the analog - but it doesn't.

I guess I am trying to make a last stand with my cheap analog cable service. I have this personal problem of sorts of not wanting to pay big money for the cable companies to feed me advertisements. Since getting this new Premiere unit, I have signed up for a Netflix account, and also bought a Rocu unit for another TV. I'm evaluating this as a possible alternative to paying upwards of $100 a month for digital cable or satellite.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #11
christheman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
While I like to understand how the Tivo works while watching live TV, I am more interested to understand why Tivo won't/can't fix it. I realize that analog is on its way out, but Tivo advertises that the 2 tuner unit works with the analog - but it doesn't.
That's just how they run their business. In addition it seems as if the CS reps treat every single incident as if they never heard about any of the outstanding Tivo problems before, in a business-politics sort of way. As a result there has been a lot of problem solving going on here instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I guess I am trying to make a last stand with my cheap analog cable service. I have this personal problem of sorts of not wanting to pay big money for the cable companies to feed me advertisements. Since getting this new Premiere unit, I have signed up for a Netflix account, and also bought a Rocu unit for another TV. I'm evaluating this as a possible alternative to paying upwards of $100 a month for digital cable or satellite.
I'm still using analog because I am moving slower than the cable industry is at this point in time. I don't understand everything I would like to about digital cable yet, and haven't yet had the time to figure out which questions I need to ask. I would like to go into it knowing what I need to know, rather than being lead by the blind.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:18 AM   #12
nooneuknow
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I have given up on using analog with the four HD, and four Premier (TCD476320) 2-tuner model TiVos I own.

I still get audio drop-outs (sometimes even Live TV and recordings with no sound at all), with digital, even worse with HD digital, but not near as bad as the COMPLETELY UNWATCHABLE analog issues.

It's only a matter of time before my Cox market stops broadcasting in analog, at all. They just did a Tuning Adapter rollout, on their already 1GHz network, in Las Vegas, and that switch gets flipped in one day from now.

It seems backwards to force TAs upon us, while still using spectrum for analog. But, they did run a heavy campaign of TV commercials that "Our friends in the digital age, at Cox, would make sure our analog TVs kept working" after OTA went all-digital. I suspect that them keeping the propaganda running long after that took place, that they feel there could be a major customer backlash, it they didn't keep analog going for longer than they might have anticipated...
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:31 AM   #13
stormtech
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After going back and forth with tech support a few times now, they are recommending that I exchange the unit for a new one since it is under warranty. At first I thought I wouldn't even bother, but the unit just isn't right. So, I guess I will be a pain and keep sending them back until I get one that works right.

One tech told me that not all the Premier units show this behavior so there is a possibility that a new unit will work correctly. I certainly don't have my hopes up, but this unit is new and does not work as advertised - going to take advantage of the warranty.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:10 AM   #14
JoeKustra
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Wouldn't it be interesting if the replacement unit also finds your digital local channels also? Please come back and let us know.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #15
stormtech
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Wouldn't it be interesting if the replacement unit also finds your digital local channels also? Please come back and let us know.
Interesting thought. Since you mentioned this (or someone above) about receiving the digital channels, I did a little research. I recently also bought a small HDTV for another room in my house which is hooked directly to the cable line. That TV receives 12 digital channels plus the 40 or so analog.

So I did the channel scan on the Tivo unit - after a long scan it picked up 347 stations! But, while they showed in the channel list, not one of them was I able to receive. Then it was a pain staking process of deleting the 300 channels one at a time to remove them from the channel list.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:22 AM   #16
JoeKustra
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Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
Interesting thought. Since you mentioned this (or someone above) about receiving the digital channels, I did a little research. I recently also bought a small HDTV for another room in my house which is hooked directly to the cable line. That TV receives 12 digital channels plus the 40 or so analog.

So I did the channel scan on the Tivo unit - after a long scan it picked up 347 stations! But, while they showed in the channel list, not one of them was I able to receive. Then it was a pain staking process of deleting the 300 channels one at a time to remove them from the channel list.
First, (no offense) some small televisions have pretty bad tuners. I have a 12" digital 4x3 Sanyo that seems to move, gain, and lose channels on its own. But I wouldn't expect more than a dozen digital channels for "free" including QVC, HSN, and others like ETWN. Yours sounds like it works as the TiVo should work.

Second, next time you need to delete so many channels, just do a scan with no cable rf connected. When I scanned my cable from the ANT rf input of the TiVo, it picked up 12 (of 24) analog channels. I just deleted them.

When the TiVo (or most televisions) finds a digital channel it may try to find subchannels which could take a while. A scan of my TV or other DVR can take 30 minutes. I get 140 digital channels. I could get 400 on the TiVo through a cable card if I wanted to pay for everything.

If it helps, you can select the channels you like as "favorites" and then just display the favorites on your guide. Use the yellow button when in the guide to select "Favorites Only".

It really sounds like there is a problem with your TiVo's tuner. I had the same issue with an early CM7400 that picked up only my scrambled channels.

Last edited by JoeKustra : 07-05-2013 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
christheman
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Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I've never tried recording the show while this is happening watching live - I will try that the next time it happens.

I realize that when watching live TV, I am actually watching off the hard disk or the buffer.

When I get the out of sync issue, to me it is pretty bad - a person on a show will say a 4-5 word sentence - when the sentence is finished then the lips start moving. I would say it is a good 2-3 second delay.
Okay, I just did this test for myself last night. The TV show was Frasier on the Hallmark channel. There was a long lag as you have experienced. I hit Record without changing any of the options. After the red recording light on the Tivo came on, the lag continued through to the end of the program. Then after the show was over I replayed portions of the recorded show on the Tivo. For the most part that was correctly syncronized. Then I transferred it to PC. The PC version was correctly synchronized too. So for this test it apparently only happened during the actual live broadcast. It appears that the recording "binds" the audio and video more correctly than when you see it live. Although you are basically watching the show from the hard drive, that might be due to an additional AV buffer that comes after the hard drive.

Last edited by christheman : 07-05-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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Okay, I just did this test for myself last night. The TV show was Frasier on the Hallmark channel. There was a long lag as you have experienced. I hit Record without changing any of the options. After the red recording light on the Tivo came on, the lag continued through to the end of the program. Then after the show was over I replayed portions of the recorded show on the Tivo. For the most part that was correctly syncronized. Then I transferred it to PC. The PC version was correctly synchronized too. So for this test it apparently only happened during the actual live broadcast. It appears that the recording "binds" the audio and video more correctly than when you see it live. Although you are basically watching the show from the hard drive, that might be due to an additional AV buffer that comes after the hard drive.
No TiVo ever released, so far, has actually used the ATA streaming extensions command set (the feature set that is designed for AV streaming, using different algorithms, mostly to do with skipping over bad, or slow, sectors, rather than trying to re-read, or correct errors). It is a feature that must be supported by the hardware, and enabled by the software. An AV drive reads and writes the same as any other drive, if the support is not there and/or the software doesn't enable it.

Why does TiVo even use AV drives? Good question. I submit a theory that they have some sort of deal with WD, that allows them to buy them at the same price as non-AV drives, maybe even less. Perhaps WD will only replace drives for TiVo (the company) if they use AV-rated drives...
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:26 PM   #19
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No TiVo ever released, so far, has actually used the ATA streaming extensions command set (the feature set that is designed for AV streaming, using different algorithms, mostly to do with skipping over bad, or slow, sectors, rather than trying to re-read, or correct errors). It is a feature that must be supported by the hardware, and enabled by the software. An AV drive reads and writes the same as any other drive, if the support is not there and/or the software doesn't enable it.

Why does TiVo even use AV drives? Good question. I submit a theory that they have some sort of deal with WD, that allows them to buy them at the same price as non-AV drives, maybe even less. Perhaps WD will only replace drives for TiVo (the company) if they use AV-rated drives...
There might also be concerns about hardware metrics as they apply in a video application versus ordinary PC use, etc. Not that there need to be differences though.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:32 PM   #20
stormtech
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Okay, I just did this test for myself last night. The TV show was Frasier on the Hallmark channel. There was a long lag as you have experienced. I hit Record without changing any of the options. After the red recording light on the Tivo came on, the lag continued through to the end of the program. Then after the show was over I replayed portions of the recorded show on the Tivo. For the most part that was correctly syncronized. Then I transferred it to PC. The PC version was correctly synchronized too. So for this test it apparently only happened during the actual live broadcast. It appears that the recording "binds" the audio and video more correctly than when you see it live. Although you are basically watching the show from the hard drive, that might be due to an additional AV buffer that comes after the hard drive.
Thanks for posting this! Really strange that it will record properly, but still be out of sync watching live.

I called this morning to get a replacement on the way. It is quite refreshing to talk to a good customer service rep that speaks perfect English! She read the notes from my incident report, and was more than gracious with the exchange process. She agreed with me in that when you buy a new piece of equipment, it should work correctly. She also said that this is a known issue without any resolution............

At this point my main concern is that I am under the factory warranty, and if there is a slight possibility that it is a hardware problem, at least I will have it covered.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:44 PM   #21
stormtech
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Thought I would post an update -

I took advantage of Tivo's offer to exchange my unit for a new one in the off chance it might make a difference. Still the exact same issue.

I thought about just returning it now and going back to my Series 2 which has been rock solid for over 4 years, but think I will just keep the Premier unit since it is newer hardware and software. My work around of quickly hitting the pause and play button has been working and seems to keep if I stay on the same channel.

I will say this - Tivo was great about the exchange. Then sent me a new unit without charge and told me once I receive it just put the old one back in the box and ship it back (they provided a prepaid UPS label). I half expected a refurbished unit for the replacement, but it was a brand new sealed unit with all the accessories etc.

The only thing left to do is I am going to write a letter or email to Tivo about this issue. I feel as though I am a beta tester since the software in these units is flawed. And, the earliest report I've found on this issue is over 7 months old. Now come on - I would think they would be able to resolve a simple issue like this but it seems they must be just ignoring it.

Does anyone have a proper address or email address where I can send my letter of discontent to?
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:45 PM   #22
JoeKustra
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:41 PM   #23
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I'm having a similar issue with the recorded version playing back on the Tivo/TV terribly out of sync (CW/Office), but when I download it on the iPad app it plays back fine w/o issue.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:47 PM   #24
jsisley
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We have this problem too. Usually, we just hit the pause button to pause, and then hit it again to start playing again and the sync issue goes away. It has only happened with live TV, nothing that is recorded. We quit trying to watch Netflix on the TiVo a long time ago because of problems we were having with it.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #25
stormtech
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Bringing up a very old thread here, but I find it important to update this as I think the issue has finally been fixed.

About 2 weeks ago I received a message from advanced tech support that they think they had fixed the problem and to please report back. After testing for a couple days, I found the audio sync issue was still present, but took a lot longer to appear. Originally the audio sync would go out after 15-20 minuets of watching - now it wasn't appearing until after watching for 45-50 minutes which I reported back to the tech.

Then I got a similar message again this past Wednesday. I also noticed a new software version had downloaded to my Tivo a day or two before.

Well I can say that this issue is fixed for me - success! I tried 3 different analog stations for up to 2 hours each in the last 2 days with no audio sync issues at all.

Kudos to Tivo advanced tech support! I honestly thought this issue had been forgotten about, but they obviously stuck with it and make the fix.

Just looked at my software version:

20.3.7 - 1a-01-2-746
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