Audio cutting out with crackling...

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by PaloAltoUser, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. PaloAltoUser

    PaloAltoUser New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005

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    I've been having an audio "static/cut-out" problem on and off ever since I got Tivo in February of this year. When I first found the problem (2 weeks into owning the DVR), I went thru all the troubleshooting issues many in this forum have gone through. I ended up calling Tivo techsupport. The techsupport person said I'll need another DVR box. It took over 1 month (entire month of March) to return the defective DVR. However when I finally received the new DVR, the problem once again crept up. I believe it to be a result of RF proximity interference with other entertainment components in my entertainment center. The temporary solution for a couple of months was to pull the Tivo out of the entertainment center and away from the other components. This was a temporary solution; the Tivo basically sat in the middle of the floor for 4 months.

    Now that I've moved to a new apartment, this problem once again has cropped up. This time, I can't isolate the problem to any RF proximity issue with other components. Is there any solution regarding this problem?? Tivo really needs to get on top their product issues... Can anyone help me...?!
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Need more information ...

    * brand/model Tivo?
    * brand/model TV?
    * brand/model AV Receiver?
    * how is the Tivo connected to the rest of your system (inputs/outputs, cables, connectors)? Especially focused on your audio connections.
    * what is your video source (cable, cable box, satellite receiver)?
     
  3. PaloAltoUser

    PaloAltoUser New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
    Thanks for your response! Here's the situation...

    The set up is as basic as a setup can get. The DVR is a Tivo 2.0. The T.V. a JVC 36". No AV Receiver hooked up. The cable is Comcast Basic Cable (the $14/mo. version) with no cable box.

    The cable comes directly from the wall and into the Tivo unit. An S-cable and Left/Right audio cables go to the T.V.'s video 1 jacks. That's it.

    Take note. Although i don't have Tivo hooked through an A/V receiver, there is one within my entertainment center. Thinking that the magnets in the speakers may have an effect on the unit, I did move the speakers to the floor and away from the DVR (a good 6 feet away). This seemed to have no effect. Then after two hours of frustration, I saw that the speakers were near the power cord strip Tivo was plugged into. I moved them away from the power strip and restarted Tivo. And miraculously, Tivo's sound came back to normal. Could the speakers near the power strip cord (while being 6' away from the DVR) have an effect like this on Tivo? I hope Tivo's audio correction is more than just temporary. Any comments?
     
  4. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    When the audio "cut-out" occurs, what happens if you rewind the Tivo slightly? Does the cut-out occur in the same spot on the recording? I'm wondering if it's recorded onto the Tivo because this would tell us if it's a cable/source or internal Tivo problem, rather than something interfering between your Tivo and TV.
     
  5. PaloAltoUser

    PaloAltoUser New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005

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    The crackling and "cut-outs" occur on both live TV and on a recorded show. when I rewind a recording, the problem resurfaces at the same played spots. The cuts and crackles are definitely recorded. When I take the cable and by-pass the DVR and directly connect the cable to the TV the crackling/cut-outs disappear. This leads me to believe the cuts and crackles originate at the box level.

    Your thoughts?
     
  6. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    OK, so we know it's being recorded on the Tivo, which means it's present at the source or being introduced inside the Tivo before the signal is recorded.

    Do you have any signal splitters in your coax cable? If so, try removing them to see if the problem goes away. Tivo tuners don't handle weak signals well, and perhaps that's introducing the audio crackling you're hearing. Or maybe there's just something about your Cable TV system that your Tivo doesn't like :) You've pretty much ruled out a Tivo defect since this second Tivo is having the same problem. And, needless to say, this is not a common problem reported here.
     
  7. PaloAltoUser

    PaloAltoUser New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
    Last night the problem cropped up again. Ugh...!

    There are no signal splitters on the coax cable. I continue to experience this issue even though I've moved my residence. So I'm not so sure there would be a problem in the Comcast cable system. I know of a lot of Tivo users located here in the Palo Alto area.

    Also, the problem isn't just crackling. The sound actually cuts in and out as well. The sound is most similar to a dirty CD skipping, or a cell phone conversation where one caller starts to drop from a bad signal.
     
  8. fziegler

    fziegler New Member

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    Jan 26, 2004
    I've been having this problem also. Check out this thread about it:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=235781

    I haven't found a good fix yet, but it seems to be heat related. If you can get the tivo cooler, it seems to happen less often (I removed the cover of the tivo). Also, I think you will find that the audio problems are not in the actual recording. If you come back later and play the same show again, the audio will be fine. It seems to come and go based on heat and the recorded show is not the source of the audio problems.

    Good luck and let me know if you find a fix!!!!!!!!
     
  9. PaloAltoUser

    PaloAltoUser New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
    thanks for your reply, Fred. I spoke with Tivo tech support yesterday. They're saying to send back the unit once again. Ugh..!

    Interesting you suggest that the audio problems are temperature related. The box is fairly cool; however, I don't know what the temp is like inside. In general, the temperature doesn't fluctuate much where I live. I would say my apartment is a constant 65-70F in the summer and winter. It's so temperate here I don't even have airconditioning and maybe use the furnace 4 times (at most) during the winter.

    Also, I've found that during the periods when the audio is working, the recordings will have the bad audio from the bad periods when the program was recorded. This problem is so sporadic, I can't pin it down. There'll be bad audio for a few hours, then good audio for a few hours, then bad again. It's just bizarre.

    The bottom line, I think I'll to send back the unit for an exchange. I'll post again if the new unit also has the problem. When I receive my new one, it'll be my 2nd exchange and 3rd DVR.
     
  10. lajohn27

    lajohn27 Fanboi.. So what?

    938
    9
    Dec 29, 2003
    Canada
    I have an older S2 / 240 series that exhibits this problem in reverse where heat is concerned.

    If the temperature inside the case falls below 39 degrees C - then the static comes in.. I noticed this a bit in the spring.. and then it was gone of course all summer and now its fall.. its back.

    I'm wondering if yours isn't actually this way since it's now fall and the temperature is falling again.. Next time you have the problem, try covering the TIVO a bit.. to see if you get the temperature about 41 degrees C and see if the crackling goes away.

    Don't laugh - even tho I recently replaced this TIVO - I was able to keep it working the final few weeks by putting a winter jacket around it.

    True story.
     
  11. kayakertim

    kayakertim New Member

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    Jan 4, 2005
    I just had the same problem. I disconnected all non essential audio and video equipment, rebooted twice to no avail. The third time I unplugged the power cable for a while, rebooted and now the crackling has gone away. I have noticed that the temperature is only 59 in Boca Raton, Florida which is one of the coldest nights of the year for us. I realise that this is positively balmy by nationwide standards but unusually cold for us. Could a sharp drop in standard ambient temperature be causing this? I always thought that heat was the enemy and this is just very confusing.
     
  12. dsalien

    dsalien New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    It's true, at least in my case. My tivo is definitely an older Series 2 and the crackling had appeared, would subside & it was definitely recording the crackle. I read this thread and my box was still cool, actually cold. I did a test with my space heater, and within about 60 seconds of concentrated heat, with my box actuallty warm on the underside, the crackling went completely away. Go figure... Apparantly it doesn't want to be cold.

     
  13. skeenyhead

    skeenyhead New Member

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    Nov 20, 2006
    I've experienced this problem as well. It started last fall and after reading this forum, I began powering on my DVD player that's situated directly beneath my series 2 tivo unit. It brings the temp up and the crackling to a halt.

    Has anyone determined what exactly the problematic piece of hw is? Is this an indication that my tivo unit is going bad, or do I just need to keep the thing warm over the winter?
     
  14. xanadros

    xanadros New Member

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    Dec 10, 2006
    I just started having this problem on my unit at home. It's my second refurbished TiVo and I was testing it out in my bedroom. It worked fine (after I turned off trillian and the resets stopped) so I thought I would put it back in the living room.

    It worked fine, no reboots, but all of a sudden the audio crackles... tivo menu, live tv, recorded programs, the whole thing. I take the tivo out of the tv stand to look at the connections and it works, so I stick it back in, rewind and the audio is back. A few minutes later, it goes out again, I bring it out, yada yada yada, same thing happens for 4 times in a row. So I take it out and put it in the middle of the room and leave it there and no audio problems occur.

    At this point the only thing I can think of is heat, so I put my hand over the exhaust fan of the unit... about 10 seconds into that, the audio starts acting up... take my hand off the fan, starts working again. Seems to me like a heat problem.

    I think I'm gonna try the spacing idea tonight... if that doesn't work... guess I'm getting another refurb!
     
  15. sgtstadanko

    sgtstadanko New Member

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    i just started having this issue as well. I do not think it has much to do with the temperature so much as a possible software bug. I have 2 series 2 units. Both hooked up to cable boxes, both in different rooms. Tivo1 started exhibiting this behavior...particularly during commercials. The sound would go from a normal level to ear busting crackly static and last until the main show came back on (dont know if this is related). The recording of the show sounds fine though. Tivo2 in a different room started exhibiting the exact same behavior 3-4 days later. Do you think it possibly may have something to do with the last service update? I have tried rebooting, checked the audio cable and have tried bypassing the tivo (no audio problems when you do this). My ambient room temp hasn't changed that much and I have had these units for over a year so if it was temp related I would have seen it. Not to mention that System Information reports temp as normal when this is happening.
     
  16. xanadros

    xanadros New Member

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    Dec 10, 2006
    It's been a while since I've had this problem. When I was troubleshooting, I found that the system was not overheating (I can't remember the exact temp right now, but it was within normal operating temps). I ended up putting bottle caps underneath all of the feet and the problem went away. I really have no idea why that helped, but it did. It seemed like clockwork, I put the caps underneath, everything was fine, I take them out and the sounds cuts out. Since it was within 90 days of another refurb unit coming in I went ahead and returned that one (because honestly... why would I keep a bad unit if I didn't have to pay any extra). So now I'm on my fourth Tivo and it's alive and kickin in the exact same place the other one was having trouble. Good luck to you, I hope that it might be the software update, but I haven't experienced any problems since my new one came in.

    --Xan
     
  17. sgtstadanko

    sgtstadanko New Member

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    Jan 9, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    I will try the bottlecaps. The weird part is that it only happens during the local commercials that are inserted by our cable provider. You'll have your Ford truck, Capri Sun, Network show Promo, then <BAM....SCREECCHH> commercial for cable provider and local car dealer.....<Back to Normal> Main Program back on. Is weird.
     
  18. easlifer

    easlifer New Member

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    Aug 23, 2005
    I was suffering from the audio cutting in and out, as well as the "crackling" with my Series 2 box. I did a LOT of reading on the various forums and thought I'd share my week's events. I read about RF cables, bottlecaps, and about everything in between.

    Although the box never feels "hot" I've finally narrowed it down to (from a series of experiments) to heat. the box is several years old now and if I put this unit in a cabinet or open-fronted cubbyhole, the sound will act up after 10 mins or so. Sometimes (really most of the time), just opening the door on the entertainment center will stop the noise with a little "cool off" time. the longer the unit was "unvented" the longer it takes to cool too!

    Last night I popped the cover off and sprayed canned air on the components thinking this might be the real culprit. Although mildly dusty inside, it didn't make any difference to the performance that allowed me to keep the unit in a cabinet afterall.

    We've succumbed to the fact that the unit will sit on top of the entertainment center while the rest of my stereo and video components will be nicely tucked away in the ent. center.

    Hope this commentary is helpful to someone as there never seemed to be a real fix for this from anyone, other than mailing the unit back for a replacement or 2, which wasn't always the cure-all anyway. :up:
     
  19. basman

    basman New Member

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Thanks for all the posts above, heat was definitely my problem. I have a Series 2 that I have owned for several years. I recently upgraded and got a digital cable box. Of course I stacked it on top of my Tivo and I've been living with Snap, Crackle and Pop along with disjointed sound for a couple of months. The problems started over time and were intermittent. After reading the posts, I unplugged the Tivo, placed it by itself away from other heat sources, plugged it back in, rebooted and WOW...problem gone!
     

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