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Old 11-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
ddonohue
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Series 2 on RCN freezing (not what you think!)

I can't imagine I'll find an answer to this, but at this point it's more of a curiosity question than anything else.

I've owned about eight Tivos, and I've had them apart practically down to the molecular level. My mom now has my old S2, and she's on RCN and is using an older cable box (DCT2500 I think) with a serial cable to change channels. It has worked like a champ.

She started to mention that some recordings were freezing - the video got stuck on the screen but the audio would continue, and sometimes it would come back after a few minutes. Other times it would continue to the end of the recording.

I know, I know... Failing hard drive, right? Or flaky power supply. Please stay with me for a moment.

I figured I'd get around to looking at it eventually, but in the meantime she acquired a hand-me-down Humax with a DVD recorder. Nice. She then had both Tivos hooked up in separate rooms, both on DCT2500s.

So as a fail safe, if she was recording something she really didn't want to miss she would schedule the same recording on BOTH Tivos instead of just the failing one.

So guess what? We discovered that when the recordings are hanging, BOTH TIVOS ARE DOING IT AT THE SAME TIME! She had a bad recording, decided to watch it on the Humax, and it had hung at the same point. She's been able to confirm multiple instances of this happening over the past few months. I also had her transfer a bad recording to her PC with Tivo Desktop, and it hangs at the same place when watching it there too.

So I'm really stumped. Can't be failing units, it must be something in the signal that is causing this to happen. She has never observed this on live TV through Tivo, though it could just be by chance, nor has she seen it on a third TV with no Tivo, just a cable box (not a 2500).

The only even vaguely similar case I could find on the net was just one Tivo and it was a bad signal splitter. I guess not many folks have two units connected the same way!

I welcome any ideas, though I'm really not expecting a fix at this point. It's more of a technological curiosity for me. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
unitron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddonohue View Post
I can't imagine I'll find an answer to this, but at this point it's more of a curiosity question than anything else.

I've owned about eight Tivos, and I've had them apart practically down to the molecular level. My mom now has my old S2, and she's on RCN and is using an older cable box (DCT2500 I think) with a serial cable to change channels. It has worked like a champ.

She started to mention that some recordings were freezing - the video got stuck on the screen but the audio would continue, and sometimes it would come back after a few minutes. Other times it would continue to the end of the recording.

I know, I know... Failing hard drive, right? Or flaky power supply. Please stay with me for a moment.

I figured I'd get around to looking at it eventually, but in the meantime she acquired a hand-me-down Humax with a DVD recorder. Nice. She then had both Tivos hooked up in separate rooms, both on DCT2500s.

So as a fail safe, if she was recording something she really didn't want to miss she would schedule the same recording on BOTH Tivos instead of just the failing one.

So guess what? We discovered that when the recordings are hanging, BOTH TIVOS ARE DOING IT AT THE SAME TIME! She had a bad recording, decided to watch it on the Humax, and it had hung at the same point. She's been able to confirm multiple instances of this happening over the past few months. I also had her transfer a bad recording to her PC with Tivo Desktop, and it hangs at the same place when watching it there too.

So I'm really stumped. Can't be failing units, it must be something in the signal that is causing this to happen. She has never observed this on live TV through Tivo, though it could just be by chance, nor has she seen it on a third TV with no Tivo, just a cable box (not a 2500).

The only even vaguely similar case I could find on the net was just one Tivo and it was a bad signal splitter. I guess not many folks have two units connected the same way!

I welcome any ideas, though I'm really not expecting a fix at this point. It's more of a technological curiosity for me. Thanks!
Is this happening on CBS soap operas, by chance?

Whether it is or not, I suspect the problem is in the signal before it gets to the house.

The network has a chance to screw it up, the satellite uplinks and downlinks between the network and the local broadcast affiliate have a chance to screw it up, the local broadcast affiliate has a chance to screw it up, and the cable company that has to convert it from broadcast flavor digital to either analog or cable flavor digital has a chance to screw it up.
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
ddonohue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
Is this happening on CBS soap operas, by chance?

Whether it is or not, I suspect the problem is in the signal before it gets to the house.

The network has a chance to screw it up, the satellite uplinks and downlinks between the network and the local broadcast affiliate have a chance to screw it up, the local broadcast affiliate has a chance to screw it up, and the cable company that has to convert it from broadcast flavor digital to either analog or cable flavor digital has a chance to screw it up.
No, no soap operas, primarily cable channels like History and NatGeo, and I can confirm that it happens on more than one channel.

I assumed it was something in the signal as you suggested, but my take on it, since it never happens on VCR-recorded shows or live, non-TiVo shows, is that it's something in the signal that is knocking TiVo for a loop. Some sort of odd extraneous noise on the signal or something, and it causes TiVo to freeze the picture. You can imagine that this is something that will never ever be able to be diagnosed by TiVo or RCN.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddonohue View Post
No, no soap operas, primarily cable channels like History and NatGeo, and I can confirm that it happens on more than one channel.

I assumed it was something in the signal as you suggested, but my take on it, since it never happens on VCR-recorded shows or live, non-TiVo shows, is that it's something in the signal that is knocking TiVo for a loop. Some sort of odd extraneous noise on the signal or something, and it causes TiVo to freeze the picture. You can imagine that this is something that will never ever be able to be diagnosed by TiVo or RCN.
I've seen that sort of thing happen, including back before my first TiVo, so I always assume it's a problem with equipment further upstream than anything in our house.
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