Bad pixelation on Bolt and 2 tuner Premiere.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TIVO_GUY_HERE, Sep 21, 2017.


    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas


    For about 5 months now, I have been getting bad pixelation and audio drop outs on both my devices. I have TW/Spectrum and they have been out 2 times working on this, and it's either not happening when they are here, or whatever they do seems to fix problem for maybe a day or two.

    I found a troubleshooting signals on bolt, premiere etc... on tivo support site have have found a few things.

    Suggests to check signal lock.
    I did that on both and on bolt (Right now checking CBS 11 and it's not even watchable)

    Modulation on all tuners is QAM 256
    Signal strength on all tuners is 92-93
    SNR is switching from 37 38 32 * says max should be 35 db

    RS corrected 0
    RS uncorrected 50350641 * was increasing, but right now it isn't, and picture is clear. Not 4 minutes ago, I couldn't make out anything on the screen.
    All tuners are doing it and all have RS corrected 0 and RS uncorrected 2 with numbers as high as this one, and 2 with range of about 500-9000

    So does this sound like a cable feed issue, too strong?

    I do notice it more on shows that are recorded at prime time night, more so than shows recorded late night, or early morning when I am watching news etc.

    I believe they switched out the coax from wall to Tivo's last time they were here.

    Anything else I should check? Try?

  2. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

    Jul 9, 2001
    Central Jersey
    Disclaimer: I have *NO* expertise in this subject matter, just age and 'Life Experience'.

    Do you have a 6db attenuator or 2-way splitter (3.5db loss) in your 'Junkbox'?

    Experiment! Try reducing the signal strength and see what happens. You're right there on site so if it doesn't work you can immediately remove it. You have more vested in the outcome than a TW/Spectrum tech.

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    On my Roamio Plus I typically have both higher signal strengths and higher snrs without any problems. But, go ahead and experiment with attenuation, can’t hurt.
  4. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

    Jul 9, 2001
    Central Jersey
    Back in the old NTSC / Analog days (OTA), signal strength was the *ONLY* quantity that most folks could measure. And the belief was that "More is better...".

    But, as I eventually discovered, signal strength is just a PORTION of what's needed now in the new ATSC / Digital days (and I'm talking from an OTA perspective). This past spring I was trying to tune my CLOSEST TV transmitter (VHF @ 20.2kW, ~5 miles) with a set of rabbit ears. Highest Signal Strength (according to the Roamio Basic) wasn't the key - Signal QUALITY was:

    If you follow this LINK and read the SiliconDust LINK, you'll find that:
    An example that I remember reading in some other thread (probably on some other forum) related all this to a rock concert. Your best friend standing right next to you could be SHOUTING something in your ear but, with the volume coming from the stage, could you understand your friend?

    As I stated in my earlier "Disclaimer", @TIVO_GUY_HERE is talking CABLE and my references are OTA, but, IMO, too much signal strength could STILL be a problem. And, it's easy to troubleshoot as I suggested...
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...


    Basic Roamio and Bolt do not display the RS Corrected errors. A Premiere does, and may have slightly lower Signal numbers. You do have a strong signal. All my channels have a signal of 90 and SNR of 36dB. No errors, which can be caused by your feed or indoor noise.

    It's probably a cable feed problem, but not related to signal strength.

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas
    Thanks for the replies

    I went to FRYS to pick up an 6db attenuator, but all they had was a 3db, it was only 4 bucks so I bought it.
    I put it on my cable ( cable goes from wall straight to TV no splitter), and it didn't change anything, still very pixalated. So I got a 6db from Amazon, but that also didn't help matters. My signal strength dropped from 92 to 90, but it's back up to 92 on all tuners ( bolt).
    I am viewing "The Blacklist" on all 3 tivos, and they are all fine till the same spot at 5 minutes in all 3 turn to pixelation.

    I did notice this when I moved my TV out from against the wall ( this is one of the premieres in another room/with router).
    It's plugged into the outlet, then coax splits to Wall and another splitter that splits one to Tivo and one to router. Tho that TIVO is pixelating just as others. Is this a cable enhancer? year or so ago, they said my signal wasn't very strong, and I guess they put this in to fix it.

  7. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    In my opinion you have some periodic disturbance on your cable line, either from your provider or from equipment in your home that is malfunctioning or not configured properly.

    To determine which (external cable feed or inside home device/wiring) connect your device directly to the outside line with no splitters (or as a substitute you might try taking the cable provided coax, bypassing any splitters, and connecting to the coax running to your TiVo, using female-female coax connector, then removing all other devices in the room except one) The latter is not definitive as some of your wall wiring may have been penetrated affecting the shielding, but it should help you diagnose whether one of the other devices in your house is causing the disturbance. If the disturbance is still there, then it is probably coming from outside your home. If you connect directly to the outside feed, then definitely it is from the cable side.

    I had an issue with RS uncorrected a long time ago and it turned out my neighbor had some malfunctioning equipment that was introducing periodic disturbances. We figured it out by disconnecting my neighbor's feed temporarily.
  8. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    I recently dealt with a similar pixilation issue (Comcast): pixelation and blocking that varied based on time of day, and eventually degraded to the point where most channels were unwatchable all the time. My Bolt+ and Roamio were showing scads of uncorrectable errors during these times. A Comcast tech came out, checked signal levels, checked for noise ingress, temporarily disconnected neighbor's drops (they had no issues on their Comcast X1 STBs), all to no avail. A supervisor came out with a small TV and an older Comcast STB and saw it too was accumulating uncorrectable errors.

    Their plant ops crew came out and eventually tracked the issue down to a bad connector on a cable hardline feeding one of Comcast's taps a few hundred feet upstream of my house. Fixing the connector resolved my issue.

    The suggestion above to disconnect everything and feed a single TiVo directly from the cable drop is spot on. During their troubleshooting the Comcast techs connected a new length of coaxial cable from the tap at the pole and ran it through an open window directly to my TiVo to rule out any issues with the drop or house wiring.
    tim1724 and TIVO_GUY_HERE like this.
  9. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    It's a painful process tracking down a bad coax. I've had corroded connectors / splitters outside and signal strength issues inside for years. It's a new house! Cox visits my house often to fix their issues. Like connect a neighbor and kill my signal strength. Too many horror stories to recount....
    TIVO_GUY_HERE likes this.
  10. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    Regarding picture, the wall wart device appears to be a power supply which is normally used to power a CATV amplifier in a remote location, possibly where the coax enters your home. In general, when you see a cable company use an inhome amp it is a bad sign because they are unable to give you an acceptable signal from their tap.
    I would look for a box on the exterior of your home where the actual amp is likely to be. If it is receiving power correctly, there is usually a small "led" to show that it is being powered. This amp may also be in a garage or closet enclosure somewhere else, take a good look at it's condition including all the coax connectors and insure there is no sign of corrosion and all are tight.
    I am still unclear which Tivo{s} you are using and how they are networked, but since you are getting the same signal loss at the same time on multiple units, this strongly suggests a signal strength or noise/interference issue, not the Tivo hardware.
    sfhub likes this.

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas
    2 premieres 2 tuners each
    1 TiVo 4 tuner bolt

    Also have a series2 running in guest room that I haven't checked.
  12. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Yes, it is possible the amp is the element in the chain malfunctioning and introducing issues, or it could be the wall wart transformer failing, not putting out consistent power or introducing interference, possibly due to failing caps.

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