5-second stall when resuming playback

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by schwinn, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Jul 2, 2017 #1 of 26
    schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    Sep 18, 2004

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    I've been seeing a weird issue on my refurb Roamio now that I'm on Comcrap service (Middletown, CT if that matters). I was on Cox before and didn't see this issue, but now I do, so I'm wondering if this is just a Comcrap "feature" or if there's something wrong in the Tivo.

    The issue is, if I fast forward or rewind, and then resume playback, about half the time the video playback stalls for about 5 seconds before continuing. Other times, there is no "stall" in this manner... and playback resumes with no issues. This happens on live programming and recorded programs as well.

    Again, I didn't have this issue with the previous provider. This Tivo has had some other weird issues in the past: One is that the "bloop" sounds would stop for no reason after a week or so - no specific timing pattern. That hasn't happened in a while now. The other issue is that if I use the Roamio's remote (in RF or IR mode) it often double-clicks buttons very often. Some days are good, others are not as finicky. When I switched to my older IR remote (from a Premiere) this doesn't happen. It's probably not relevant, but just wondering since it's "yet another" problem on this device, which may indicate overall issues or something with this particular unit?

    If anyone can give any ideas or troubleshooting, I'd appreciate it. None of these are huge problems, but it would be nice to get them figured out or fixed.
     
  2. Jul 2, 2017 #2 of 26
    UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    I'd consider the stall a major problem assuming you are not exaggerating the length. Have you tried a reboot? I don't see how the problem is the cable co.
     
  3. Jul 2, 2017 #3 of 26
    NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    are you within the return window of the seller, and have you reported?
     
  4. Jul 3, 2017 #4 of 26
    schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    Not exaggerating. I guess I just don't think it's that bad, overall. Part of it is because Tivo's refurb process seems to be quite lacking. Specifically, this was a Tivo supplied replacement, the 3rd unit actually. The first unit was the wrong kind (2 tuner instead of 4), the second had a bad tuner #3, and this is the 3rd which has the remote weirdness and the dropping out of the "bloops" before (hasn't happened for a while now). I also hate having to replace units when you end up losing all the previously recorded content because of it.

    I have rebooted a few times since moving here, but those may have all been during initial setup, so I will be sure to try again today if it happens (which it likely will).

    The reason I thought it was cable-co related is because, in the earlier days of HD Tivos, fast forwarding was affected on some channels because of new encoding methods being done on certain channels. For example, I remember specifically that NBC had changed the way they encoded, which cause fast forwarding at 1X to fail to work... it wouldn't forward "smoothly" and would stutter all the time... and it would end up not being 1x because of this. 2x and 3x were unaffected. I figured the same thing may be happening here. (Eg TiVO fast forward is not smooth anymore ) I believe the issue with NBC back then was that they encoded fewer P-frames and did many more I-frames, which cause this problem. I figured something like that may be happening here, too? After all, fewer P-frames means you get more for your bandwidth... and Comcrap just changed over to all digital (without a tuning adapter) here, so I imagine they must be struggling for bandwidth. I know they dropped some programming down to 720p from 1080p, presumably for this reason as well (one of the many reasons I still call them Comcrap...)

    EDIT: I tested the problem a bit further. This is a 720p stream on Syfy's show Face Off. When I 1x fast-forward, it forwards... then when I resume playback, about half the time it does this pause thing... which takes about 3-5 seconds to resume playback. I took a video of it with my phone, and will try to see how I can post it (or a link) here.

    I then rebooted, came back... same thing happens. No, it's not a stall in the video stream (I tested the problem at different places in the video, for example).

    Again, I'm wondering if it's just me, if it's just Comcrap CT, or something else. I would consider swapping it out again, but given this is the 3rd unit, I'm hesitate to repeat that replacement-cycle again...
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  5. Jul 3, 2017 #5 of 26
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    How did you get a two-tuner Roamio? There is no such thing?

    Reboot is always the first thing to try with a Tivo issue.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2017 #6 of 26
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Maybe it's related to this: Busted! Comcast Down-Converts native 1080i Channels to 720P!!!
     
  7. Jul 3, 2017 #7 of 26
    schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    I don't want to get off-track from the original topic, but just to clarify, the first unit was a 2-tuner Premiere... it was supposed to be a 4-tuner which was later replaced with the Roamio 4-tuner I have now.

    JoeKustra - I'm not sure what I'm looking for on that thread. I do know that Comcrap is down-rezzing, but the issue at hand is the weird pause when resuming. Just to be clear, this pause issue happens on other channels, too... this was just one of the more recent ones I recalled, so I tried it.

    As mentioned above, I did try rebooting... I normally do that, but I wasn't sure if I did it for this issue specifically... so I did it today, and it didn't solve the problem.

    In the end, it sounds like this is a device-level problem, since no one else is seeing it?
     
  8. Jul 3, 2017 #8 of 26
    kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It's not just you. I've seen others mention it, and I personally experience it. And I fully believe it's related to Comcast's re-encoding. I just haven't had the give-a-damn to build a channel list, and correlate it with MPEG2 vs MPEG4, resolution, bitrate, recompress levels, 720p/1080i shenanigans - or any Tivo software updates.

    ie, I don't have any answers. But I don't want you to jump to 'defective device' prematurely.
     
    slowbiscuit likes this.
  9. Jul 3, 2017 #9 of 26
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I record, then watch Late Night, which never has Skip Mode, so I use FF to skip commercials. I never see a lag over 1 second. This is with a basic Roamio also. I don't have Comcast or H.264 on my feed.
     
  10. schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    Aha, thank you for the info that it's not just me.

    I would consider doing the channel list/catalog of behavior, but I'm not sure how to find the MPEG2/MPEG4 and other detailed info. I can tell 720/1080 since that shows in the description. If you can show me how to dig deeper, I can certainly do so.
     
  11. davidscarter

    davidscarter Active Member

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    Go into Settings -> Account & System Info -> TiVo Box Diagnostics. There you'll see block listings for each tuner, and which channel it is tuned to; you'll want the line that says Video PID, which will be either MPEG2 or H.264 (i.e. MPEG4).

    (Another way to tell would be to look at the size of each recording; the MPEG4 recordings will be much smaller than the MPEG2s, about 1.5GB per hour, as opposed to 4 to 6GB per hour.)

    I'm on Comcast and they switched a bunch of HD channels over to MPEG4 early in June. The local simulcast channels are still MPEG2, while most of the cable channels have been switched over to MPEG4 (some exceptions: ESPN & ESPN2, and Weather Channel).
     
  12. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    It's definitely an mpeg4 playback issue, on Comcast at least. Workaround when you see the freeze is to immediately hit rewind then play. As you said it's somewhat random but annoying when skipping around a show.
     
  13. schwinn

    schwinn Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    davidscarter: Thanks for the info. I did some looking today and found that I'm seeing the issue on at least 3 channels (FX, Nick, and Syfy). Based on your 1.5GB/hr, they are all MPEG4 streams. I noticed the issue on various programs on these channels (not just a single show per channel)... probably about 6-8 shows so far.

    slowbuscuit: Agreed, seems to be MPEG4 as noted from my quick findings here. Another workaround I found was to use the 8-second skip-back button (aka "Instant Replay" button). This gets the playback working immediately as well.

    Further testing - I need to see if this pause-issue happens on my Premiere unit in the bedroom... I don't think it does, which would imply it's a Roamio specific issue. I'll check it out later today and report back.

    Again, glad to see it's not just me. But, now the question is, how do we get Tivo on board with fixing it?

    EDIT: Just tested with my (2-tuner) Premiere... this issue is not present there, as I suspected. Same channels (I tested the same shows, too)... doesn't have this problem. So, it seems to be Roamio specific.

    EDIT2: Saw the issue again on another channel - Comedy Central, which shows H.264 (presumably, MPEG4)... so, again seems to be MPEG4/H.264 specific.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  14. SMB-IL

    SMB-IL Member

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    Mar 5, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I've also seen this issue and it only seems to happen when switching from fast-forward or rewind at the slowest speed, for example if you overshoot the program and hit rewind once to back up a little. It doesn't happen at faster speeds or if using the 30-second back button. I've only seen it on Comedy Central, but decided that it wasn't an issue worth chasing as TiVo has become pretty non-responsive to most customer issues.
     
  15. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    It can happen with any trick play function, including forward/back skip.
     
  16. zamiv

    zamiv New Member

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    Oct 5, 2014
    Hitting a quick slo-mo then play gets video going instantly, although an annoying workaround.
     
  17. Ell-jay

    Ell-jay New Member

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    Dec 31, 2015
    Same exact problem on just installed Roamio Plus with Lifetime - Comcast Bay Area.
    Play freezes going from FF, Pause, or Slow. Switching to PCM from Dolby didn't fix it.

    1st TiVo rep said it's a known issue, would issue case ticket, and email me about escalation if not resolved in 24 hours.
    Never got the email, and found 'Case # 07814597 Closed' after checking my account.

    Got a supervisor on my next call, who told me this was NOT a known issue, and repeatedly tried to convince me it was a wireless issue, even after I told him it happened on already recorded shows. He then asked how I acquired the unit, and when I told him it was a gift from a friend, he suggested that she gave to me because of this freeze issue, and he then asked if she was currently having the same problem with this Roamio.

    The call instantly went from frustrating to infuriating. I told him it was insulting on multiple levels to even suggest that my friend would knowingly give me a unit she knew didn't work properly without alerting me, and that it was impossible for 2 people in different locations to use the same box at the same time. He said, "Oh."

    When I asked what TiVo was going to do to fix this, he said they would start to 'collect data' to see if enough other users were experiencing the same issue, and if so, it might then be referred to engineering.

    Essentially - no fix. My problem - not Tivo's. But please feel free to buy another Roamio because you are a valued customer.

    This is completely unacceptable as I FF to Play constantly while watching sports, and this basic function was flawless on my S1, S2, and HD.

    It is NOT related to Comcast derezzing to 720 or their MPEG4 conversion because my just replaced TiVo HD did not have this glitch.

    Please report to TiVo if you have this issue.
     
  18. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    (Shameful TiVo customer support, both levels. So sorry to hear it.)
     
  19. Ell-jay

    Ell-jay New Member

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    Dec 31, 2015
    Thanks for the support.

    Been reading other posts and think it might be a Hydra issue - so pondering a UI 'downgrade' as possible fix.
     
  20. SMB-IL

    SMB-IL Member

    57
    5
    Mar 5, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    For what it's worth, I'm still seeing this issue, although the "freeze" has become of shorter duration -- it used to be up to 15 seconds and now never over 5 seconds -- and I've never installed Hydra.
     

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