And the Tivo HD Bad Experience Continues...

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Chimpware, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Aug 2, 2007 #1 of 40
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    Well....

    Now that Tivo has wasted an entire day of mine making me troubleshoot an issue with Cablevision that was obviously a Tivo software issue and not a Cablevision issue I now move on to Problem No. 2, Pixelation (or macroblocking to some) on some stations intermitently. For me it is most prevalent on HBO HD, but occurs on other digital stations as well.

    So I call Tivo Support today to begin yet my second day of product development and quality assurance at Tivo, oh wait I forgot I am the consumer I don't work for them. I got confused becuase I spend more hours on this than I do at work.

    Anyway so I call and Tech. 1 listens for a minute, puts me on hold where I wait for about 5 minutes before getting disconnected.

    So I call back, and get Tech. 2, a guy who when I explain the problem tells me that the patch from yesterday had nothing to do with issues on Card Slot 2 and macroblocking on channels, and that macroblocking is generated at the cable company. Eventually when I explained graphically what I meant, he told me I meant pixelation which is entirely different. I understand the difference between the two, and until it can be proven that signal strength is not a factor I am not sure you can differentiate, but what the heck (although I bet he was thinking macrovision or something). So Tech. 2 now puts me on hold, where I wait for 20 minutes before I am disconnected.

    So, I call back for the third time and get Tech. 3, a woman who again listens to the issues and wants to put me on hold. I tell her I would prefer not to do that as I have been disconnected 2 times already. She gives me a hard time, but eventually agrees to keep me on the line while she "researches the problem". After about 10 minutes she states she needs to check with some people and as I was not in front of my Tivo to aid in troubleshooting, could she call me back at home this evening. I told her that would be OK, so she gave me a ticket no. for the complaint. We agreed that she would call at 6 pm EST, and here I sit at 7:15 pm, with no call back.

    So I decide to watch some TV, so I start a copy of DL.TV I downloaded from TivoCast and about 2 minutes in my screen goes blank for a second, then it happens again. so I rewind the show thinking possibly it has file issues, but the screen blanks at different spots in teh show then it did originally --> Hardware/Software problem (either decoder for Tivocasts files has an issue, or hardware issue), I try another and same problem with another TivoCast file. I am not using HDMI currently as I was concerned this might play a role in some of my issues so I connected by component to remove 1 digital handshake from the equation.

    So to sum up, Tech. Support is unreliable at best, at worst will point you at the cable company when they knew they had issues with SA cards in slot 2. Hardware is unreliable, and has intermitent bugs which now include;

    1. Pixelation (or if you prefer macroblocking) randomly on digital channels with both tuners, most obviously on HBO HD for me.
    2. Loss of Picture while playing back TivoCasts.

    I have not had this much trouble with a new product ever that I can remember. Even when hacking hardware, like my XBox, or my original DirecTivo it was / is more reliable and performs better (XBMC on my XBox is bullet proof).

    I feel bad for Tivo on this, they have now lost 2 addtional sales; 1. my Cable installer was planning to buy one when he intially arrived at my house and heard the price, but after 5 hours and no joy, he has decided against it, 2. a co-worker was going to pick one up today, but made the mistake of asking me about my 2, he will be staying with his S2 and SA 8300 HD for now.
     
  2. Aug 2, 2007 #2 of 40
    nsk

    nsk New Member

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    Jul 29, 2007
    I am really sorry to hear about your experience... The picture quality is a lot better today after TiVo downloaded the latest patch (x.x1b..). However, I am still unhappy with the picture quality as it does not seem to be as sharp as I had it with Cable vision! I am going to wait for a few more days and if the picture quality continues to be unacceptable, then I am thinking about returning the box (as much as I love the interface, I cannot sacrifice content for ease of use and organization!)


    This is after my rather sour experience with TiVo's tech support -- I called yesterday around 10 pm EST and after waiting for about 55 minutes finally spoke to a customer representative who told me that it some issue with TiVo and that it working to fix it. Before that, I spent about 15-20 talking to Cablevision people until some one there told me that he had had many calls on this issue and that I should get in touch with TiVo as it could be their problem (I was skeptical).

    So, thank you for taking this up with TiVo's tech support again... much appreciated.

    PS; By the way, I have a Std. Definition CRT TV and the TiVo video resolution is set at 480i Fixed (and I get poor picture quality!)... I have SA cable cards (I think Powerkey 800 series - I don't remember the specific name very well, but is from SA).
     
  3. Aug 2, 2007 #3 of 40
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    nsk,

    Can you confirm whether you are getting analog channels or the digital version of those channels? If analog channels, I assume you have set quality set to 'Best' under Settings -> Video.

    Chimpware,

    Were you in Brooklyn? Verizon FiOS launches in Brooklyn next week, so that may soon be an alternative to you. I have Verizon FiOS and have experienced neither of the issues you report.

    Yesterday, I did notice the periodic, brief resyncs (even on fixed output mode) which looked like some sort of HDMI handshake issue, but I haven't seen that again today after the update to 8.1.7b.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2007 #4 of 40
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    Not in Brooklyn, in NJ. I checked and no FIOS for me for a while. Don't really believe it is an issue related to Cablevision, or their signal at this point, but could be related to hardware Cablevision chooses (SA CC).
     
  5. Aug 2, 2007 #5 of 40
    nsk

    nsk New Member

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    Jul 29, 2007
     
  6. Aug 2, 2007 #6 of 40
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    I assume your TivoHD has software v8.1.7b, as indicated on the Settings -> System Information screen?

    With the TivoHD, live channel PQ and recorded PQ is always the same.

    The Recording Quality setting under Video determines the quality you see for analog channels, even when watching live. There is really no such thing as watching live on the TivoHD, because all content is saved to the hard drive buffer.

    When you hit the record button on a channel, does it give you the option to set quality? If it does, you are watching an analog channel.

    The TivoHD doesn't do anything to digital channels so output on those channels, should be identical, apart from minor variations in digital -> analog conversion. When using analog output, you might have to modify your display settings to achieve the same picture with two different boxes.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #7 of 40
    rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
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    Sep 21, 2004
    That is not true if it is a true analog channel. It will record LiveTV at best unless it is a set recording. Then it will use your preference.
     
  8. Aug 2, 2007 #8 of 40
    nsk

    nsk New Member

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    0
    Jul 29, 2007
    Thanks once again... My recording is set at Best quality and the pixelation (lags in rendering of portions of video) is still there. And, this is after the latest patch. Yesterday, I simply was not able to watch anything on the second tuner (above channel 22).

    Once again sorry about the bad description; I relaize that everything goes to the hard-disk but I remember reading somewhere that recording quality simply down-converts the buffer info a la Live TV.

    When I press the record button, I do not any options about recording quality. However, when I set season passes I have the option to set the recording quality at different level (best, high etc). Thanks once again for your help.
     
  9. Aug 2, 2007 #9 of 40
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Thanks for the correction. For some reason, I thought differently.

    If you get the quality level option, then you are on an analog channel. You don't get that when creating season passes for digital channels.

    If you got the digital version of that channel with your SA DVR, it sounds like Charter isn't mapping the digital simulcast over the analog broadcast with CableCards. That would explain the quality differences.
     
  10. thepcdoc

    thepcdoc New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007
    Im considering bringing my unit back as well. The image quality on my SA 8300HD is far better than the TivoHD. The constant pixelation here and there is driving me up the wall. I get it on all channels even in the fraking menus...
     
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,960
    1,007
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    No pixelation here. But I'm also not using any cable cards with my TiVoHD.
     
  12. Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

    334
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    Jan 30, 2002
    Wow I have not gotten it on the menus yet, just every digital station on both tuners on both Tivo HDs I have. I am probably boxing it up tomorrow or Saturday, can't imagine this all gets fixed in 2 days, but if it does, great.

    What is even more annoying is that even once all this is corrected the response of the menus and controls for this Tivo are noticably slower than the DirectTivos I had 2 years ago, and also compared to the 8300 HDs I more recently had.

    I am depressed that there does not appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel and no hope of basking in Tivo nirvana :(
     
  13. Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

    334
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    Jan 30, 2002
    Great, its just keeps getting better... Now my wife is p*ssed at me. "You had to buy those things..., Hope you are happy now... This picture looks like crap... What are all the boxes that keep popping up..."

    WAF=-100, Thank you Tivo
     
  14. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    As noted in other threads, the TivoHD is still using the 8.1.x branch. The Tivo Series3 saw a significant improvement in performance with the upgrade from 8.1.x to 8.3.x.

    I expect TivoHD responsiveness to improve significantly in the next three months, but it's clearly not going to happen overnight.
     
  15. knownzero

    knownzero Seeker

    4,963
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    Feb 26, 2001
    Columbus OH
    For those that haven't been around here for a long time, the Tivo has always kind of been a beta product. It's constantly under development and for some of us, it's a more endearing quality than for others. Sometimes it bugs me a bit that some of the products after release are half baked so to speak but most of the problems are usually fixed after a short while. They do read these forums and they do have people working it, it's up to you if you can live with some of the little annoyances that pop up. For me, I find it challenging, others, not so much.
     
  16. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    1,579
    5
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    You haven't been paying much attention to what is happening in the industry. Here are a bunch of examples of troublesome products, and this is just off the top of my head:

    1) Canon EOS-1D Mark III, a $5000 DSLR. Too bad it can't focus for s***. Firmware fixes coming, reportedly not fixing problems.

    2) The usual litany of Macbook Pro problems. A while ago it was overheating. Now it's "yellow" displays. Macbooks have had lots of problems with discoloration of their plastic cases.

    3) cnnmoney.com: Microsoft Corp. said Thursday said it would take a more than $1 billion charge to fix "an unacceptable number of repairs" to its Xbox 360 video game consoles and had missed shipment targets for the end of June.

    There are countless other examples, those are just some big ones that come to mind.

    I bought a TiVo HD knowing it could have problems. That's the price of being an early adopter. Fortunately my hardware is working OK, but I won't hesitate to take it back to CC if I'm not satisfied.
     
  17. Vespa

    Vespa Curious

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    Jan 4, 2002
    37.1400(N)...
    I am on Comcast here in Seattle...and I noticed a LITTLE macro blocking today. I called Tivo support, and they had me restart the machine etc...and I saw it again...but VERY briefly.
    The tech guy said this was his first call on this, and he suggested that I exchange it at my retailer.

    Being to lazy to look....what IS the Tivo warrenty on their hardware?
     
  18. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger Tivo Pony =)!

    90
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    Apr 10, 2002
    I am having the issue still with BOTH card slots on my TivoHD with Scientific Atlanta cablecards on Comcast in southwestern Connecticut as well. Before the cablecards were installed, I had no issues at all... once they were installed, there has been huge macro-blocking very often (once every minute or more at times on some channels such as my locals and especially HD premiums like TNT-HD). I really hope today's patch isn't the end of the fixes, because for me, it did not do anything (I am on the newest version as of this posting according to the system information screen). Large portions of the video often lag behind, as well, then block up and "catch up" with the rest of the picture.

    I've seen some pixelation on MENU SCREENS even, somehow!

    I really don't want to have to return my TiVoHD's to the store due to this, as I enjoy TiVo's boxes much more than the cableco. ones and have for several years.

    Anyone have the contact info page for TiVo so I can try to email them regarding my issues?
     
  19. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Two things

    1. make sure you have the new software level (b)
    2. Tivo doesn't take email bug reports - you have to call in
     
  20. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Tiger,

    Are you sure you have 8.1.7b?
     

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