Bolt is dying

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by stevevt, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

    20
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    Mar 17, 2008

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    This just started happening today. Tivo Bolt HDMI going through a receiver to a TV. HDMI link disconnects and reconnects. Normal lights stay on on the face of the unit the whole time.

    I have ruled out the external power adapter. I swapped out another one and the problem stayed on this unit.

    The TV and receiver are fine. It could be the HDMI cable from the Bolt to the receiver, but note that the problem goes away for a few minutes after a reboot (even more when I let the Bolt sit unplugged for a whole) then returns and gets worse and worse.

    I suspect overheating based on the symptoms, but where? Are there any other troubleshooting steps I can take? The problem happens on the home screen (i.e., when the HDD isn't playing anything back), so I think that rules out the HDD. I just tried firing up Youtube, and the screen went blank for quite a while. When it came back (eventually), I was able to watch for around a minute before the HDMI signal dropped again. So, really doesn't feel like the HDD.

    Could it be the HDMI port? Motherboard or equivalent? Where do these things generally have heat-related problems other than an HDD (and now that the power supply is external)?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. I did try looking through the forum, but didn't find anyone experiencing similar symptoms. I doubt this is a unique case, though.

    One other thing to mention is that we had some lightning strikes nearby today, but could that cause a somewhat failing but not 100% failing component like this? I guess so. Either way, I think that's everything I know about the problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    14,517
    790
    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    What are your ODTs? If you've taken no steps to cool the unit (e.g. laptop cooler, fan blowing into unit, etc.), then I wouldn't be surprised it's overheating. The Bolts have terrible cooling.

    With my AC Infinity fans (one blowing into the CableCARD area w/the door removed and another sucking out from the fan outlet), my ODTs don't get over 50 C (122 F) even when the room gets to 85 F.

    How about having a room fan blowing into the bottom?

    But yeah, lightning could've killed it.

    Interesting that you're a "new" member that joined in 2008 and have had an over 10 year hiatus...
     
  3. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

    20
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    Mar 17, 2008
    Thanks!

    I didn't even know I could see a temp on this thing.

    It's 67 right now.

    Yes, no steps to add any cooling. I'll see if having a room fan blowing on it from the bottom has any effect. I have AC in my place, and it doesn't get over 78 F in here for the most part. I'm thinking lightning or just general failure caused a problem.

    As far as me being old/new here, let's just say that I had to recover my password today. :) I went from Tivo HDs to Bolts a few years back.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    14,517
    790
    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    67 C is probably "normal" and thus pretty hot. That's an on-die (Broadcom chip) temp of 152.6 F.

    I went from Tivo HD to Bolt+ at around end of April 2017 via their "once in a lifetime" transfer offer. All my previous TiVos (HD, Series 2, Series 2 DirecTiVo, and Series 1's) never required extra cooling. Their stock fans were sufficient.
     
  5. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

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    Mar 17, 2008

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    I did that transfer offer, too.

    It took a while with the fan on, but I'm down to 61 C ODT. For now, the problem is decreasing but still giving dropouts every few minutes. I'll see how it does after using the fan overnight.

    The Bolts might have bad cooling, but at least they reboot in a couple minutes. The HD was a nightmare for rebooting.
     
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    14,517
    790
    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    The room where my Bolt+ is has a temp of 84 F now. I saw ODT of 51 C but now it's down to 49 C even though nothing's changed. It's possible the CPU was busier when it was 51 C.

    IIRC, if I do transfers like via kmttg to a PC, the ODT will definitely substantially.
     
  7. JandS

    JandS Well-Known Member TCF Club

    2,397
    751
    Oct 1, 2010
    East of Seattle
    If you think the Bolt might be dying, a word to the wise: transfer shows.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  8. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    2,950
    607
    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    And backup your OnePasses and Channels List with KMTTG.

    You'll be glad you've got those files if you abruptly need to set up a 'fresh' unit.

    -KP
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  9. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

    2,021
    53
    Dec 21, 2003
    I don't think it's dying, it's just been really hot everywhere lately. My Bolt stopped sending a signal via HMDI several times until I added extra cooling. First I used a desk fan blowing in front of the Bolt, then I bought an AC Infinity S4 Multifan and have under the Bolt blowing up into it. Its worked fine since.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  10. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

    20
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    Mar 17, 2008
    Update: ODT is down to 59 C this morning, but the problem is the same or worse. Currently has been displaying a blank screen for a while.

    Sounds like I need to get this thing fixed. Other than Weaknees, and assuming I have nothing locally, any suggestions?
     
  11. shamilian

    shamilian Member

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    Mar 26, 2003
    NJ
    I would fix the output resolution to 1080p60 first....
    the try 2kp60 id that is stabe.
    I have had hdmi cables go bad after a long while.
    also try a different port on your TV.
     
  12. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    5,292
    1,412
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    Unless it's the hard drive, I don't think anyone is going to fix it. I would call TiVo and complain and see what kind of deal they'll give you. Some people are getting a free replacement with an Edge. Some people are getting a replacements at a reasonably low cost, certainly at less cost than fixing your unit even if it is fixable.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  13. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

    20
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    Mar 17, 2008
    I will take a look at output resolutions and see if changing it has any effect.

    Good point that I still need to try a different cable. I just don't think that a cable failure would look anything like an overheating problem -- reducing after reboots and time switched off, getting worse as the device is used more.

    I have already swapped to a different HDMI port on the TV with no change. I also confirmed that a different source (Chromecast) plays over the receiver to the TV with no problems.
     
  14. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

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    Mar 17, 2008
    Weaknees successfully replaced a power supply on a TivoHD a while back. They also claim that they can fix other issues that this one could be.

    Interesting. The deal breaker will be whether I keep the lifetime service plan -- the big benefit of repairing rather than replacing.
     
  15. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    231
    Oct 28, 2005
    Unplug your Bolt and let it cool off for awhile (maybe overnight.) Plug back in and test. See if the temperature is the root cause of the issue. Does not seem like a temperature issue as 59 C is not great, but within working parameters.
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  16. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    5,292
    1,412
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    TiVo transfers the lifetime.
     
  17. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    Oct 28, 2005
    TiVo policy says you cannot transfer your lifetime to a new device. That said, I've seen where TiVo has offered customer a transfer option for $100 before. You can call and ask, but I'll bet the answer is no. If they do allow it, you will probably need to buy an Edge for $400.00 + the fee to transfer the lifetime.

    If TiVo would allow a lifetime transfers, people would be buying $25.00 TiVo's off of Ebay with lifetime service and transferring the service. I would be one of them!

    let us know how it goes... and good luck.
     
  18. stevevt

    stevevt New Member

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    1
    Mar 17, 2008
    Update:
    I was all set to box up and ship out the Bolt to Weaknees, but I figured I'd test the "new HDMI cable" thing via hooking it up to a new TV first.

    I've now done that, and I'm 18 minutes into watching a recording with no dropouts. Very unexpected. Note that I had it completely unplugged overnight in its usual spot in the living room, and the picture was dropping out within minutes of plugging the power back in to it original spot. This finding sort of points to the HDMI cable from the Bolt to the receiver, but I'm just not quite buying it yet based on how the problem presents itself.

    So, here's my troubleshooting plan:
    1) Keep using the Bolt on this new TV this afternoon until I'm convinced it doesn't have a problem. So far so good.
    2) Try plugging the Bolt directly into the original TV, to rule out a problem with the receiver. Note that other HDMI sources going through the receiver are fine, but the problem could still be the particular input on the receiver.
    3) If it works in step 2, I'll replace the cable from the Bolt to the receiver.
    4) If step 3 doesn't work, I'll try a different HDMI input.
    5) If none of this works, I'll just swap the location of my living room and office bolts. Actually, I should probably hook up the office bolt in the living room and see if it has a problem there. If it doesn't, and somehow I don't think it will, I really don't know what to make of this problem.

    Thoughts? Exasperated sighs?
     
  19. matonanjin

    matonanjin New Member

    13
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    Aug 26, 2020
    How does one transfer shows? To what?
    And how does one backup up OnePasses and what is KMTTG?
     

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