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At Wit's End, Tiling, Comcast

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by mrsf, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    Hi, in summary, I have one TIVO bolt, one tivo mini on a moca network. My cable provider is comcast. Over the last year or two, I get tiling on certain stations, GOLF, HGTV and perhaps a few others. It is not constant but annoying enough that I have tried to fix several times. Lately some stations are unwatchable. Comcast says signal strength is fine, tivo says all settings and signals are fine as well. TIVO sent a replacement box but it was worse with that so will send another to see if that works. Over many months we have replaced all cables, went from a powered splitter to a standard splitter to one with 5-2500 MHz. Golf channel comes in without tiling via their box but when I use the tivo with cable card, the problem returns. I've read forums all over comcast and tivo, spoken with multiple people at each company, restarted my modem, cable box, tivo box a ridiculous amount of time. Does anyone know what I should do? I am almost to the point of getting a refund on my tivo membership and dropping cable completely, I am so frustrated. Thank you for any suggestions.
     
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    12,299
    1,691
    Nov 25, 2003
    Is the BOLT doing MoCA? If so, does the problem persist if MoCA is disabled on the BOLT and the BOLT is networked strictly via Ethernet or Wi-Fi?

    Also, just to confirm, you see the tiling when viewing on the BOLT?
     
  3. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    I see the tiling on the BOLT, sometimes on the mini. Unfortunately I am unable to connect the tivo because they deactivated it until the new one arrives. I'll let you know, thank you.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  4. scole250

    scole250 Member

    866
    18
    Nov 8, 2005
    Goldsboro, NC
    By tiling, do you mean pixelation? And is it also occurring on the Bolt or just the mini? If it's occurring on the Bolt, it's likely a bad signal. Not necessarily weak. If the CC has their diagnostic equipment connected at the time when it's occurring they can verify the problem and track it down. Could be in your home or somewhere down the line. They should start in your home, then when they can see it back out to the street to confirm whether they see the issue out there too. I had a similar issue and it took a while to get resolved. Not for lack of TWC's effort. Just had to have the stars line up right so when the problem occurred they had a tech nearby to run over and check. Luckily it seemed to occur at nearly the same time each day, 5pm'ish. TWC tracked it down to issue with amp somewhere in the neighborhood.
     
    mrsf likes this.
  5. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    432
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    Sep 29, 2013
    In my experience your problem could be a weak or strong signal.

    A few months ago I began seeing pixelation here and there. Then it got worse and worse. I had a Comcast tech out, he replaced and/or changed a few things...said my signal strength was fine. I was seeing 100% signal strength on every tuner. And...100% can mean 100%, 110%, 120%...you get the idea. My SNR dB levels were in the mid-40's, while TiVo recommends 35.

    Long story short, after some experimentation, I added a -12 dB attenuator (cost was just a few dollars). My signal strength now varies from high-80's to high-90's. dB levels are 35 to 40. Picture quality has been excellent.

    So...put your tuners on different channels...the ones you watch the most. Then check your diagnostics screen, looking for signal strength and SNR levels. Let us know what you find.
     
    mrsf likes this.
  6. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    98
    5
    Apr 20, 2009
    Check for uncorrectable errors in the diagnostics section of the menu (there will be a listing for each tuner). We had a bad Comcast hardline connector about 200 feet away from the house that was causing noise in the line, and while all of my TiVos (Bolt+, Roamio) were reporting uncorrectable errors and showing pixelation on nearly all channels, my neighbors with Comcast X1 boxes were not having any issues. I finally managed to speak with a Comcast supervisor who took pity, and brought out a pre-X1 Comcast box as a test; it too started having similar symptoms, and was also recording uncorrectable errors. The supervisor brought out a line crew and they eventually found their bad connection.
     
    mrsf likes this.
  7. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    Did you have to pay for a service call in your home? If the signal is not tiling/pixelating at the moment they are in the house, they will keep charging me, I believe. They insist it's comcast. I am hoping to settle this after the next tivo comes and it doesn't work right either. Today we had to hook up the Comcast X1 box and have not seen the tiling yet so they said in the past, because I didn't see it with the tivo not hooked up, that it was Tivo's issue. Do you think they're right or could there be some sort of conflict between the TIVO and cable card?
     
  8. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    That's what I did with the TIVO tech...we recorded a station with tiling and two without and compared and contrasted the signals. He said they were all fine. I believe the decibel levels were 32 or 35, somewhere in there. If I try what you suggest, should I put the tuners on stations that have the tiling issue or others?
     
  9. scole250

    scole250 Member

    866
    18
    Nov 8, 2005
    Goldsboro, NC
    I don't recall that I had to pay for a service call. Maybe because I have phone, TV and internet with them and pay them a wad every month. The way we worked it out was an area supervisor gave me their card and I called them directly when the problem was occurring and he got there in time to observe it. All I can suggest is be polite to them and understand an intermittent problem can be difficult to diagnose. And when you do have a good experience with them, take the time to do the customer satisfaction surveys and rate them well. I think it really makes a difference.
     
    mrsf likes this.
  10. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    I used six stations we often watch...some were exhibiting problems, some were not. I found it best to record signal strength and SNR on paper, then check again as I made changes. (I was trying different levels of attenuation.)

    Someone suggested checking correctable and uncorrectable errors. This comes up occasionally here on the forum. I know that I get errors on tuners even when the picture quality is fine. I guess it depends on now many errors...and I don't know what an acceptable level of errors is.

    I've never had to pay for a service call. When I call in the problem I say the picture quality is so bad I can't use any channels. Then when the tech arrives I explain the real problem.

    The Comcast tech, when he was here, replaced a few coax ends with newer, better stuff. Also replaced my two 2-way splitters with one 3-way splitter...explaining I didn't have to have to split out the coax run to my cable modem by itself. He also installed a POE filter. I explained I didn't use MOCA, everything was ethernet. He said I did use MOCA, on the incoming line from Comcast and that their new policy was to install a POE filter on any house they visited that did not have one.

    So...check your coax ends...check your splitter(s).

    You posted that an X1 box gives acceptable picture quality. That suggests your TiVo is at fault or your signal is too strong, since it's often said that TiVo's have internal amps that increase the signal strength and can make an already strong signal be too strong. I think the give-away here will be that all your tuners report 100%. If they all report 100% then you don't know what the real signal strength is.

    When I began testing I didn't have any attenuators, so I used spare splitters. Depending on how you connect each splitter, you can drop the signal by -3.5 dB or -7 dB. I simply kept adding splitters until my TiVo had all six tuners at less than 100% signal strength. Then I knew which attenuator I needed. I purchased an assortment anyway...just so I had lots of options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  11. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    I'll have to hook it all up today and recheck the values. I went through each one with the TIVO tech last week, there were millions of uncorrected errors and the SNS and Db levels were fine. I believe the signal strength was lower than 100%, I remember reading about that before, maybe it was 80% or so but I can't remember. The one other thing I am going to try is a different cable card to see if that makes any change in picture. I love TIVO and I hate to give it up but jeepers, it is taking up a lot of my precious time to get an acceptable picture. After the next one arrives, if things are still awful, I'll call comcast. Thanks for your advice.
     
  12. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    I doubt a different cable card will change anything. Let us know if it does.

    If you remember signal strength less than 100%...then perhaps the TiVo is at fault.

    I wonder if the X1 is more tolerant of correctable and uncorrectable errors than TiVo hardware?
     
  13. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    I'm going to do the diagnostics on the tivo again and I'll report here. So frustrating!!!
     
  14. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    I was able to hook up my original Bolt. My results are:

    Golf Channel (frequently pixelates/tiles)
    Freq 57000 KHz
    Signal Strength 87-90%
    SNR 35-36 dB
    RS Uncorr 201326580 and rising as recording continues
    RS Corr 0

    HGTV (also pixelates)
    Freq 63000 KHz
    Signal Strength 87-90%
    SNR 35-36 dB
    RS Uncorr 0
    RS Corr 0

    NBC (does not have the problem)
    Freq 363000 KHz
    Signal Strength 87-90
    SNR 35-36 dB
    RS Uncorr 6
    RS Corr 0

    Had the video on for a while this morning from Golf Channel and never saw any pixelation with the X1 box connected. I've seen occasional pixelation now that the BOLT is connected and the X1 disconnected.
     
  15. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    Didn't finish answering your question. The Bolt is doing MoCA and via ethernet. Mini connects via WIFI, there is also a comcast phone line plugged into the comcast modem if that makes any difference.
     
  16. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    It occurs on the BOLT, use the mini mostly for taped or streamed shows so have not noticed tiling except thru a taped show from the BOLT. I can't imagine comcast coming on the fly, hard enough to get them with an appt--You were certainly lucky!
     
  17. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    Did not have any errors noticed via the X1 box. Is there a way to check uncorrectable errors myself on the X1? I'm sure, over the years, we have had this issue and I've called Comcast, pre Bolt. I know we've had the line from the street to the house replaced and later on the cable on the street so they are less than 10 years old. We had a TiVo years ago as well but I can't remember any problems then. I'm waiting for one more TiVo box to arrive, then I'll try Comcast yet again. Or cancel TiVo, not sure what to do. I feel as if it's a conspiracy by Comcast to make us soley use them. I didn't want the X1 box to begin with but the newest cheaper package they tempted me with required me to install it just to activate.
     
  18. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    14,847
    2,221
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    BTW, a Bolt and basic/OTA Roamio do not display RS Corrected errors. A channel so low (57MHz) would be really be a problem with external interference. If you can watch the errors move, try turning stuff off. I had a Visio TV that killed my cable modem.
     
  19. mrsf

    mrsf New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    What stuff would I turn off? It's the tivo, tv, and comcast equipment involved...if I turn any of it off, there would be no picture to watch. Maybe I misunderstand what you mean?
     
  20. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    14,847
    2,221
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    As a test you could turn off everything but the TV and TiVo. Those are the only devices needed to watch Diagnostics. Also, there is whole cable infrastructure. There are probably places where bad shielding could allow interference to enter. Since it's not every channel/frequency, I would expect it to be very local. My biggest source of interference is from cell phones giving me errors on my cable modem.

    Here's a test: Tune your TiVo to the Golf Channel. Check diagnostics and try to estimate the number of errors you get per minute. After that, restart the TiVo and when it starts the restart, turn off the TV for an hour. After an hour check Diagnostics. Are the errors what you expected? If yes, it's not the TV. Also, check all tuners since they should be identical. Simple test.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018

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