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Old 02-28-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
w2jo
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 90
Tivo + Netflix video/sound Stuttering Problems

I have been having problems since I got Netflix some months ago with my Tivo Series 3 HD INTERMITTANTLY having start/stop (stuttering) of picture+video at intervals of every few seconds when playing back a Netflix video. I think I have finally identified the problem. Please read on.
1) Tivo told me that the problem was not in the Tivo.
2) Comcast speed demonstrated 12 to 14mbps download speed whenever I tested. Comcast said the problem was not them.
3) Netflix said the problem was not with them.
4) Restarting the Tivo had no good effect.
5) Restarting the router+modem had no good effect.
6) I tried turning the "picture quality" on Netflix down from AUTO to MEDIUM. Stuttering was a tiny bit better, but not fixed.
7) I tried turning the "picture quality" down on Netflix to LOW. This further reduced the data download speed and somewhat reduced the "stuttering", but did NOT fix the problem.
8) Since the problem was INTERMITTANT, I looked to see what was going on in the TiVo when the problem was happening. I noticed that when the problem happened, the Tivo was busy DOWNLOADING TWO TV PROGRAMS and at the same time trying to play my Netflix program!

This leads me to believe that the Tivo has inadequate CPU processor speed to be able to accommodate all three jobs at once. What do you guys think about this? is there any way to speed up the CPU in a Series 3 HD? Thanks
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
w2jo
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 90
I have definitely confirmed that the Series 3 HD "start/stop" stuttering problem is related to the Tivo Series 3 trying to store programs on TWO TV channels while playing back a NetFlix video. I did this by buying a Roku 3 streaming controller. With the Roku 3, I performed the following experiment.
(One of my old EE professors said: "A well prepared and executed experiment is worth 10,000 expert opinions.")
1) Turn on the Roku 3 box and playback a NetFlix program.. No video playback problem.
2) Turn On the Tivo HD Series 3 and playback a netflix program SIMULTANEOUSLY with (a). No video playback problem. (Internet running intermittantly at up to 12mbps on my comcast internet connection.)
3) Start recording ONE program on Tivo. (b) There was a minor problem at first when I started the playback on Netflix, but it settled down and then ran the NetFlix program fine.
4) I turned on the SECOND Tivo Series 3 to record a SECOND TV program simultaneously with the first and then tried to play back a Netflix program on the Tivo. (c) I got the "Start/Stop" Intermittant playback on Netflix as expected. The playback on the Roku box was steady and clean as expected.

I would say this is EXTREMELY strong evidence (very close to "proof") that it is the Tivo Series 3 that is causing the Netflix playback problem. I will note here that a few years back I used Netflix with this same Tivo and DID NOT run into this problem. So I suggest that "maybe" the problem resulted in a less than optimized firmware update in the Tivo Series 3 over the last few years. Of course, it may be that I never had a simultaneous 2 channels at once recording occur whilst playing back a Netflix program in the past.

In any event, I have a question just for my future reference. Does anyone know if any of the LATER Tivo boxes have this problem fixed? I am hopeful that later units with more CPU MIPS will not have the problem.
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