Crash/reboot on NBC HD -- ARGH!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by sharding, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. sharding

    sharding Member

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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...

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    Grr. I've just had my first Series 3 crash/reboot since I got it a little over a week ago. If I recall correctly, this may be my first TiVo crash since I got my series 1 over 6 years ago. This is especially frustrating because the spontaneous reboots were one of the most annoying things about the Comcast DVR, and one of the biggest reasons I was willing to put up the $800 for the Series 3. Since I've had TiVos for so long, and never had a crash, I was confident that the Series 3 would be completely stable. Unfortunately, that appears to not be completely true.

    The TiVo was tuned to the HD golf coverage on NBC. It wasn't recording anything (besides the live buffer, of course). I wasn't actively watching it (and it was muted), so I don't know the exact course of events. I looked at the TV, and I noticed the picture was frozen and very broken up. Then about 20 seconds later, the picture changed a bit, but it was still broken up, then it played for a couple of seconds and froze again. At that point, I picked up the remote and hit rewind, to see if it would play back that portion correctly. It rebooted instantly.

    This is extremely frustrating. I'm thankful that it's only happened once so far (the Comcast box had been crashing multiple times a day), but it's still hard to swallow. And difficult to explain to my wife who was all for getting the Series 3 to rid our lives of the Comcast bugginess...
     
  2. sharding

    sharding Member

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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    Bump.

    Has anyone else seen this? I'm not sure if the picture breaking up was a symptom of what caused the box to reboot, or if it is what caused the reboot (i.e. some problem with the signal caused the reboot). I'm kind of hoping it's the former, because it would be really lame if a bad signal can cause a reboot. It should be robust enough to take even the most malformed input without a complete crash...
     
  3. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    It's part of the price you pay for any new hardware/software introduction... you get to iron out the bugs. My cable co HD DVR was pretty bad when first released but over the past 2 years has become very reliable after numerous firmware/software updates and headend changes.

    It worries me that some fixes were only accomplished by headend software changes by Cox to fix problems with the DVR had with certain channels. Tivo will not have the luxury of help from cable companies on these kinds of issues so may be a lot harder to fix the problems.
     
  4. Kurthi

    Kurthi Member "Lucky 200"

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    Sep 13, 2006
    SE PA
    Same thing happened to me tonight (9/23). Was TiVoing "Wedding Crashers" on HBO HD and watching it about 5 minutes behind live when the screen froze about 1 hour 22 minutes into the movie. After about 45 seconds and mutiple button pushes on the remote, the TiVo rebooted.

    Just for Shoots and giggles, I tried to run the movie past the point of the freeze and it locked up again. After about 45 seconds the TiVo rebooted.

    I can't say for sure whether or not it was the TiVo or a problem from HBO. We watch almost everything with Close Caption on and at the Time of the freeze, I noticed the CC bar dropped and it looked like the bar went vertical up the entire left hand side of the screen.

    I'm just gonna chalk it up to the angry Comcast gods for now. It was a real downer though since we spent so much time watching the movie and had to bail out with less than 30 minutes to go :mad: :(
     
  5. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Yes this sounds familiar... certain digital transmissions sometimes introduce missing bits or other defects in the mpeg2 transport stream. Most of the time they don't cause fatal problems but sometimes decoders cannot deal with them properly. I have certain recordings on my Motorola DCT6416 that play fine on the Motorola, but when capturing the stream via firewire and playing back or editing on my PC cause all kinds of havoc.

    As part of debugging 2 years ago with cable company I actually sent some firewire captured recordings to them for debugging which eventually helped fix problems. With Tivo S3 we have no such luxury of capturing and sending samples to Tivo for examination.
     
  6. nandopr

    nandopr Member

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Interesting...

    It happened to me too when I was watching the very same program. The screen froze. Only that it did not reboot by itself. I needed to unplug the S3. Then, when I started to watch again (from the same scene) the S3 froze for the second time. This time I fast forward a couple of minutes and things were ok. Close Caption was on too
     
  7. sharding

    sharding Member

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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    Hmm. So it does sound like it's some kind of error or corruption in the signal or the mpeg stream that's causing this. I sure hope TiVo can make a fix soon. Even to have it completely bail out of the program and show an error message is better than crashing and rebooting (thus screwing up anything recording on either tuner, and making us wait several minutes while the system comes back up). But really, it seems like it should be able to handle this kind of thing without any serious problems. That's one of the most important tenets of secure and reliable software engineering: don't trust external input to be correct...
     
  8. vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    It's a shame TiVo has no easy way to get a copy of that stream to help diagnose the problem :(
     
  9. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. With these and other "toxic channel" reports in other threads Tivo is going to have a hard time obtaining sample captures to fix the problems with. One way to do it for unencrypted channels is if you have a PC based capture card. Not sure how to do it for encrypted channels though...
     
  10. sharding

    sharding Member

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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    I know other people would be up in arms about this, but I'd happily give TiVo full access to my box if they wanted to log data or grab streams for debugging this. It seems like it wouldn't be that hard to have it temporarily keep around copies of the buffer from each tuner after a crash (like many systems keep crash dumps around). I'd have no problem giving up some privacy to let them have access to that and debug this problem. I'm really not ok with having my DVR crash with any frequency...
     
  11. bap

    bap pab

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    North o'...
    Agreed. I'd let them get into my S3 if it'd help.

    Good point. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the software actually reports crashes/exceptions back to TiVo automatically. If the software is well designed it should be able to trap an exception like this and log all the details (tuned channel, last 30 seconds of buffered data, etc) and then report it back to TiVo during the next scheduled call.
     
  12. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

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    TiVo does have a way to get a toxic recording - they have one. I had this happen during my review and they already have that unit in their hands to analyze the toxic recording. :)
     
  13. jdeignan

    jdeignan New Member

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    Oct 2, 2006
    What you have described is exactly what happened to my Series 2 Tivo. Started about a week ago. Was running just fine up until then. Perhaps your problem is not specific to Series 3??
     
  14. eziemann

    eziemann Member

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    Jun 8, 2005
    WI
    Got the spontaneous reboot last night 2 times while trying to watch "Making of Batman Begins" on HBO HD. It was recorded a few days ago and didn't crash then but it brought Tivo down 2 times while trying to see if it was the program or just the Tivo having problems.
    I deleted the show but am guessing it will happen again sometime in the future.
     
  15. wyletype

    wyletype New Member

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    May 8, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I'm also having this strange problem when tuning to NBC HD content from OTA here in Los Angeles - During ER and Also during The Tonight Show. The reboot doesn't happen if I tune to the QAM equivalent so it seems to be related to the channel guide data?

    Anyone know if TiVo is aware of this and maybe working on an improved error handler?

    --------------------------------
    S3 - Factory
    S2 - Sony (110) SVR 3000
    S2 - Pioneer (275) DVR-810HA
    S2 - Humax (540) 7.3.1
    S1 - Sony (110) SVR 2000
     

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