Bolt Vox Freezing and Remote issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Jimbo435, Mar 19, 2021.

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  1. Jimbo435

    Jimbo435 New Member

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    May 1, 2010

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    We got our Bolt Vox back in 2018.
    For at least the last year, the unit will just stop working randomly.
    My TV says no input.
    Most of the time it works fine.
    I can use the Tivo button to turn on the TV via HDMI.
    But randomly, it will just not work.
    It can happen 3 times a day, or 3 times a month.
    Just when I think it has stopped doing it, it happens again.
    Power cycling fixes it every time.
    Now, this week, it has started losing radio connection to the remote.
    Remote light shows red, not yellow.
    Power cycling fixed this the first time, but it then happened again.
    Any easy fix to these 2 issues?
     
  2. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    I'm having a little trouble following your post -- "the unit will just stop working randomly". Does that mean in the middle of watching something it just goes to a blank screen and the TV says no signal, or is it when you go to turn it on with the TiVo button that the TV doesn't turn on? Can you clarify what is happening and when, and what you are trying to do at that time?

    As for the remote -- unless the Vox remote is different (since Bluetooth) the yellow vs. red light is solely determined by the remote settings (RF vs. IR). I don't believe anything on the Bolt itself communicates back to the remote, so either something is amiss with the remote, or maybe the batteries are weak (which could cause random remote issues).
     
  3. Jimbo435

    Jimbo435 New Member

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    May 1, 2010
    Most of the time, it is in the morning, when we use the Tivo button to turn on the TV. The TV comes on, but says there is no signal. Looking at the Tivo, the green and red light are on, but it apparently is not outputting any video. A quck power cycle fixes the issue. It also happens occasionally when we are scrolling our shows, or watching a show, and then push another button. Could be the Tivo button, could be the channel up/down, or the directional buttons around the select button. Pushing one of these will then cause the TV to say "No signal" meaning the Tivo just stopped outputting video. Power cycle also fixes these. Most of the time these are a few days apart, but it can happen several days in a row, and on at least one occasion, 2-3 times in say an hour or two. In our memory, it has never done this without a button press of some kind. This has been happening for at least a year, and potentially, much longer. We don't remember when it started.

    The remote issue is newer. Luckily, it has not happened after the initial few times. We were using the Tivo as normal, and then it stopped responding to the remote. On looking at the remote, the light was flashing red (and my IR repeater for other components was also flashing) indicating that the remote was putting out IR signals for Tivo buttons. I power cycled the Tivo, and the remote started working again... For maybe a half hour. Then it did it a second time. It has not done it again after a second power cycle.
     
  4. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    The video seems to be some sort of sync issue, rather than a hardware issue (such as a failed HDMI output) since it happens with a button press (and a reboot fixes it). So to troubleshoot, let's try the following:

    The first thing I would do is disable the HDMI CEC feature (Remote Control Setup > Wake with TiVo Button = No). Then use another remote (like the TV remote to control the TV -- or the TV power and volume buttons on the Tivo Remote, if you've programmed that). As I said above, the HDMI CEC has caused issues for many people so let's just try without it for a while...

    The second thing I would do is set the TiVo to always output the native resolution of your TV (likely either 4k or 1080p/60fps) and DO NOT use AUTO. Auto has no benefit for flat panel (fixed pixel displays). In addition, for now, turn off HDR (just as a precaution). This combination of a fixed resolution and not enabling HDR will prevent the TiVo from switching resolutions and/or color spaces, which could be causing the TV to lose sync.

    If doing both of these things solves the problem, then after a few weeks of usage (so you are really sure it's fixed), you can then try to figure out if one of the above can be re-enabled. I'd probably leave the fixed resolution, and unless you have a 4k HDR display, leaving HDR off probably won't matter. Even if you have a 4K HDR display, the only sources that can use that are 4K streaming services, and most content isn't HDR (and you'd probably not notice the difference). Always outputting only the native display resolution is highly recommended as your TiVo probably has a better video processor than your TV does.

    Personally, I don't use the HDMI CEC on any of my setups (we have 4 setups in my house), but, you can try to re-enable it, if you leave the fixed resolution and HDR set to off.

    If you still have the issue after making both changes, I would try another TV with the TiVo. You don't know for sure if the TiVO really isn't outputting something or the TV is the issue. One of my Panasonic plasmas periodically shows no signal when the system is turned on (via a universal remote that outputs a script of power and input setting commands to my TiVo, TV and AV receiver), and it's always fixable by turning off the AV receiver and TV -- I've never had to reboot the TiVo to fix it.


    The remote issue seems to be something independent. All I can suggest there is take the batteries out, press a few random buttons on the remote with no batteries in it, and leave them out for another hour (or overnight). Then insert a FRESH set of NEW batteries. While the Vox remote is BlueTooth (and possibly two-way), I don't know that the TiVo can do anything to change the remote behavior from BT to IR. So I REALLY DOUBT that the TiVo is causing the remote issue -- rather I think the remote may have its own issues (that hopefully a discharge of any stored energy and a fresh set of batteries will fix). If that doesn't fix the problem, the only other option may be to try another remote...
     
  5. Jimbo435

    Jimbo435 New Member

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    May 1, 2010

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    Thanks for your help. I will switch these off, and then run for a while to see if that fixes it.
    Then I'll switch them on one at a time, each for a while to see what triggers it again.
    I don't like losing the HDMI-CEC functionality.
    Our TV, an LG OLED takes so many button presses to change inputs.
    Push Input, then push again scrolling down through inputs until the one is highlighted, then wait 5 seconds for selection to be applied. All we do now is pickup the Apple TV remote, hit a button, input switches, or Tivo button, wham, input switches. So much easier. Occasionally it is a hassle if you brush up against a remote, and it switches on you.

    I haven't tried running the Tivo without HDR, but already, the difference between the Tivo and the Apple TV is night and day, so this will make the Tivo just that much worse. And I have played with the HDR settings on the Apple TV, and can tell the difference. The remote issue is almost guaranteed to be the remote's problem. My wife drops that about once a week on average, and sometimes several times a day. Then we are down on our knees looking for batteries. Also, our Tivo is in the closet behind the TV, so this extra distance/wall could be straining the bluetooth connection too. But it has worked fine for many years, even with our old romio with the wireless dongle.
     
  6. High Technology

    High Technology Member

    95
    26
    Apr 16, 2006
    Well if none of the settings changes the behavior, I would suggest replacing the HDMI cable. Are you just TiVo to TV, or is there an AV receiver in the mix too? I assume not, since you refer to the input changing (which would be handled by the AV receiver if you had one).

    I know it's a longshot, but some odd HDMI random issue stuff has been solved by other people with a switch of the cable. I am not a true-believer in there being 4K HDMI (ultra HD) cables vs 2K (HD) cables, but I'd try another HDMI cable and one that claims to be 4k compliant.

    Let's solve this issue sync first, then we'll move on to the remote... trying to solve two problems at once is really hard to do and gets your mind heading in all sorts of opposite directions... call that learning from my experience :)
     

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