Channels Pixelating on Tivo Minis but, fine on Tivo Bolt

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by Ralph P., Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Mar 1, 2021 #1 of 14
    Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

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    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY

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    Greetings,

    I have two Mini's connected to a Tivo Bolt Vox over my home network. All channel reception on the Bolt Vox is fine. However, channels 2 (CBS) and 4 (NBC) as well a Cozy TV when viewed on the Mini's are pixelated and essentially unwatchable. This is the case 75 percent of the time. The other 25 percent of the time they appear fine.

    I have tried everything including rebooting all units, and the Tuning Adapter (Spectrum). I am at a loss. Anyone experience anything like this or have any suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Regards,
     
  2. Mar 1, 2021 #2 of 14
    CinciDVR

    CinciDVR Contentious Member

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    May 24, 2014
    Cincinnati, OH
    You don't say anything about your home network. That's the first place I would troubleshoot, so you'll probably have to provide some detail on your home network for people to help.
     
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  3. Mar 2, 2021 #3 of 14
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    What CinciDVR said. If all playback (live and recorded) looks fine on the DVR, and pixelation is only experienced on the Mini's, then it would seemingly be a network issue ... if one that doesn't cause an outright disconnection.

    Please detail how your DVR and Mini's are networked, but also include how they're connected via coax, especially the tuning adapter, and what components are used to link the various coax lines if using a MoCA setup.
     
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  4. Mar 3, 2021 #4 of 14
    Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

    30
    6
    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY
    Greetings,

    Thanks guys. The tuning adapter is connected via coax/usb to the Tivo Bolt Vox. The Bolt Vox is connected to my home network via ethernet. The two minis are connected to my home network via ethernet. The Tivo Bolt Vox is directly connected to my network router. I don't use MoCA.

    This setup has been working for years. This issue, which only involves 3 channels, is a recent development over the last few months. As I stated in my first post, there are times where it does work fine but, the problems are more the norm.

    I have tried restarting everything network/Tivo related and in fact recently replaced my router. No improvement.

    I was thinking about swapping out the tuning adapter but, frankly, that's a gamble with Spectrum that could result in this issue worsening.

    Thanks in advance for any insights.

    Regards,
     
  5. Mar 3, 2021 #5 of 14
    powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2010

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    You mention channels, but does this extend to viewing recorded programs as well? For example, if you record programs on CBS, NBC, or Cozy TV and can view them with no problem on the Bolt Vox but have problems viewing the same recorded programs on the Mini, then the problem may lie within your network.

    Here's a test: do you see issues on your Mini viewing Spectrum cable channels (Comedy Central, Food Network, etc) or watching programs recorded on those channels?

    Your cable provider may be using a more efficient video compression algorithm (MPEG-4) for non-major network cable channels. This different video compression results in lower bandwidth, which in turns results in a lower bandwidth requirement when streaming from the Bolt Vox to the Mini. Local major network channels are typically kept at a higher bandwidth demanding MPEG-2 compression. There may be some reason your local network can't provide the bandwidth required to stream the major network MPEG-2 channels/programs to the Mini, but could be just fine for MPEG-4 channels/programs.

    If I were you, I'd buy two new Ethernet cables, one for your Tivo and another for your Mini. Then I'd move the Mini to be right next to the TiVo. Plug it in and try to get it to pixelate. If you can't, then you have a cable problem. If there is pixelation, then you need to double-check that your router has negotiated at least 100 Mb/s speed for both the TiVo and Mini connections (and NOT 10 Mb/s "Fast Ethernet"). If your router shows 100 Mb/s for each connection and you still see pixelation, you may have a weird Mini problem.
     
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  6. Mar 3, 2021 #6 of 14
    Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

    30
    6
    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY

    Greetings,

    Recorded programing streamed from the Bolt Vox to the minis looks fine across all channels. Watching programing on channels like Comedy Central, Food Network etc. look fine. Network connection is well above 100 Mbps.

    This is simply a strange situation. First thing in the morning ALL channels look fine. As the day progresses the pixelization problem on CBS, NBC, Cozy TV worsens. Today was a good day, with no issues throughout the day to this point. Tomorrow that could very well change.

    Thanks for your input!

    Regards,
     
  7. Mar 4, 2021 #7 of 14
    CinciDVR

    CinciDVR Contentious Member

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    Cincinnati, OH
    What about the rest of your network? Is there a switch between the minis and the router? If so, I would try power cycling the switch. If there is a switch involved, how old is it? Like all electronic devices, switches can go bad and exhibit weird symptoms. If there is a switch involved, I would suggest bypassing it by using a different switch, or doing as @powrcow suggests and having both the Bolt and a mini directly connected to the router. Do you have any devices on the network that could be sucking up bandwidth at the times your minis are pixelating?

    I don't think the tuning adapter is involved in the actual passing of data between the Bolt and mini. The tuning adapter merely requests a channel from the Spectrum system, and then tells the Bolt what frequency the channel is on. After that, I think it's just the Bolt, network, and mini that are involved, but I could be wrong.
     
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  8. Mar 4, 2021 #8 of 14
    powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Weird, time varying periods of network outages can be due to cables or problematic network equipment. If the channels always look good on the Bolt and the only place you see problems are while viewing on both Minis, I would still recommend new short Ethernet cables between the Bolt, router, and Mini, just for a temporary test.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. Mar 4, 2021 #9 of 14
    Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

    30
    6
    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY

    Greetings,

    It looks like I have found the trouble. Today while viewing the Mini in the living room on NBC (pixelating as usual), I switched on the system in the main viewing room where the Bolt Vox is, and, the image on the Mini instantly cleared up.

    This led me to the idea that the Bolt Vox which is run through a Marantz A/V Processor which has an HDMI pass through option (which passes the signal through the Marantz to a display, when the Marantz is not powered on), might be causing interference for some reason. I went into the settings on the Marantz and disabled the HDMI pass through. I then powered off the system in the main viewing room.

    Since then the image has been solid/stable on the Minis. I will report back with an update tomorrow.

    Regards,
     
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  10. CinciDVR

    CinciDVR Contentious Member

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    May 24, 2014
    Cincinnati, OH
    Interesting. It's really hard to see how the HDMI pass through could be causing interference on an ethernet network, but stranger things have happened. Thanks for keeping us updated. Never know when someone else might benefit from your experience.
     
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  11. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I could see how maybe the Marantz is putting the TiVo in to Standby with CEC and that might cause a performance issue.

    When the 'system' is Off, is the TiVo Green Light still On?

    If you have no need for Wake With TiVo (and you're using TE4), try turning it off.

    -KP
     
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  12. Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

    30
    6
    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY
    Greetings,

    It looks like this was the problem as things have been stable since I made the change. To clarify, the problem wasn't network related. The problem was originating at the Bolt Vox. It only appeared as though the Bolt Vox wasn't having an issue because when I would power on the system in the main viewing room all channels were fine. I tested this by creating a recording on one of the pixelated channels and playing it back.

    Honestly, I am uncertain why this would occur but, at this point I am happy to have tracked it down.

    I have CEC disabled on the Marantz. I generally keep the Tivo Bolt Vox in standby mode (green light off) when not in use.


    Regards,
     
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  13. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    OK.

    It's still possible it's the TiVo being in Standby that was the cause.

    -KP
     
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  14. Ralph P.

    Ralph P. Member

    30
    6
    Dec 17, 2004
    Middletown NY
    Greetings,

    Nope. It would exhibit the problem even when powered (meaning after use and before it went into standby 4hours later).

    Regards,
     
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