Do all Roamio and Mini have defective 1080i HDMI output?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by wizziwig, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014

    Advertisements

    Issue is now fixed. See my 7-30-15 update at the bottom of this post.

    Please see this post if you would like to submit this bug to Tivo support.

    When I upgraded from a Tivo S3 to a Roamio Pro and Mini, I noticed a visible reduction in image quality. Many of my 1080i channels looked soft and blurry compared to the crisp output from the old S3. Doing some investigation with an HDMI video capture card, I figure out what was happening.

    The Roamio and Mini are incorrectly inverting the top/bottom fields of an interlaced 1080i signal or doing some kind of additional image processing. Here are some examples of what I'm seeing. 1080i output captured from Penny Dreadful credits on SHO.

    All Images below were captured from running video. Tivos were NOT paused or slowed down. Based on feedback in this thread, the Tivo Premiere does not have this bug. It is Series 5 only.

    Zoomed Tivo Mini on top. Zoomed Tivo S3 on bottom:
    [​IMG]

    Original Mini frame:
    [​IMG]

    Original Tivo S3 frame:
    [​IMG]

    When you look at thin horizontal edges at the top/bottom of the letters, you see that they are flipped vertically. If you were to swap them, you would end up with the same clean image as the S3.

    I've seen this problem from many of my FIOS 1080i channels. Example is from 870 SHO2PHD. Also seen on 600 CNNHD and others.

    If anyone would like to reproduce this problem or has any engineering contacts at Tivo, I have uploaded a sample recording that you can transfer back to your DVR using Tivo Desktop software:

    http://www.filedropper.com/sho2phdcredits2 (Click "Download This File")
    Mirror:
    https://www.sendspace.com/file/ny3jgy ("Click here to start download from sendspace")

    Be sure to set your Tivo output to 1080i. The issue is harder to see in 1080p or 720p.

    Update 7-11-15:

    I captured some CBS from my rooftop antenna to make sure this was not some issue with my cable TV provider. Same problem. Old Tivo S3 and PC display image correctly. Tivo Roamio Pro and Mini flip the fields:

    [​IMG]

    Clip from the recording that you can transfer to your Tivo using Tivo Desktop software or play on your PC:


    https://www.sendspace.com/file/kub1fs ("Click here to start download from sendspace")

    Update 7-11-15:

    I tested Roamio set to 1080p output. This ends up flickering between 2 images, neither of which looks correct. This flipping between the 2 images happens 60 times per second so you may not notice it. In any case, it's clear that both 1080p images look inferior to the sharp output of the S3.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Update 7-12-15:

    Tested H.264 1080i channels on FIOS and saw the same inverted field problem. The bug is not specific to MPEG2 and seems to affect all 1080i channels. Content encoded in 1080/24p or 720p does not show the bug.

    Update 7-15-15:

    Recorded NBC from Los Angeles station KNBC using over-the-air antenna on S3 Tivo and transferred to Roamio for comparison. Small sample from the disclaimer text at the end of a car commercial:

    [​IMG]

    Clip from the recording that you can transfer to your Tivo using Tivo Desktop software or play on your PC:

    https://www.sendspace.com/file/0cfrv2 ("Click here to start download from sendspace")

    Update 7-15-15:

    Sample of commercial from CNN Channel 600 on FIOS. This commercial was filmed with progressive camera @29.97 fps so both fields of each frame are from the same instant in time. As a result, when you step through the original file you will see that none of the frames are interlaced and show no combing. There are no repeat-first-field flags present so nothing should be re-interlacing these frames. When I step through the frames captured from Tivo S3 HDMI, they look exactly the same as the source file - no combing. When I step through the frames captured on the Roamio or Mini, they are all interlaced. This is clearly incorrect decoding of the source file. Note: These screen shots show what is being sent out of each Tivo. Since your TV will automatically de-interlace the video, you won't see the combing like I've shown here. The point is that this sample should not be interlaced to begin with. Both Tivos should output exactly the same image before it enters your TV.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.filedropper.com/cnnfios (Click "Download This File")
    Mirror:
    https://www.sendspace.com/file/gy2bsk ("Click here to start download from sendspace")


    Update 7-20-15:

    Updated download links for some of the missing sample files. Please send PM if you find any dead links.

    Update 7-30-15:

    My Roamio Pro received an automatic software update to 20.5.2-USA-6-840 last night. Upon reboot I quickly tested all my samples. Bug is definitely fixed!!!

    Also tested my Mini with update to 20.5.2-01-6-A92 and it's also fixed. Results are indistinguishable from the old Tivo S3 when playing 1080i channels over HDMI.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    55,247
    7,939
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    How do you have the resolution options set on both units?
     
  3. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    3,321
    660
    Mar 21, 2004
  4. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    Not in this case. To make sure, I recorded CBS from my rooftop antenna using the S3 and then transferred it to my Roamio. It shows the same inverted fields as the FIOS recording of CBS. It basically affects every single 1080i channel, regardless of source.

    I setup all my devices for pass-through/native mode (only 1080i and 720p are enabled) so that my TV can do the scaling and de-interlacing. If I let the Tivo do the video processing by enabling 1080p output, the letters look better because the double-edges get blurred together. It still does not look as good as my S3.

    I can't believe I'm the only person who sees this problem. Please try downloading the file I posted to your Tivo or carefully look at some fine single pixel thick text. Things like disclaimers at the bottom of commercials are good tests for this. If you tune to a 1080i channel and your Tivo is outputting 1080i, you should see it. I see it easily on both my front projector screen and F8500 Samsung plasma.
     
  5. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    3,321
    660
    Mar 21, 2004

    Advertisements

    Checked it out. I'm not able to repeat it myself. When I channel surf or play your video the aliasing on the letters in 1080i is apparent and softer than 1080p, but I'm not seeing that annoying interlacing problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,413
    3,823
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    My TV is only 40" but I can see the difference. It is most pronounced on the crossing of the lower case t. However, at my viewing distance the difference is not enough to affect my perception of a good picture. I have my TiVo base Roamio set to 1080i, 1080/p24 pass through, and HDMI that runs through an AVR that doesn't alter the video. My AVR indicates a 1080i/p60 picture, same as regular recordings. The picture is "good" when I use my Blu-ray player. So that may be one item in your corner.

    Checking the WMP on my 8.1 PC it also looks good. I once had my Roamio set to just 1080p/60 but ran into too many audio dropouts. I let my TV (Sony 40W600B) to the picture stuff now.
     
  7. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,626
    1,137
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    I seem to recall another post here where someone was complaining about the same thing comparing an older TiVo (S3?) output to the Roamio output although I don't believe they pointed this specific issue out (I recall some screenshots of the CNN logo).

    Scott
     
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,413
    3,823
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Same thing with the big "D" in Discovery's logo. My information indicated it was something at the source however. The curves looked like steps.

    Seems threads like this start every few months, get a few pages of opinions, and die a quiet death. New people equal new problems. Not just with TiVo.
     
  9. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    Added a sample of CBS recorded from my antenna to the first post. This proves it is not an issue with my cable provider (FIOS).

    This is a pretty fundamental decoding error and Tivo needs to get this fixed ASAP. I've worked with countless STBs from many manufacturers and nobody has ever gotten something this basic wrong. As things stand, you're not getting the full resolution of what a 1080i signal should deliver.
     
  10. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    Can someone test this on a Premiere unit? I'm curious when this bug started.
     
  11. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,413
    3,823
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Premiere looks ok. Didn't see any difference with the CBS file.
     
  12. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    12,324
    958
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    So is setting Roamio to always output 1080p only a viable workaround for now?
     
  13. Mneitzel

    Mneitzel New Member

    1
    0
    Jul 4, 2015
    I thought it looked soft as well


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    It's probably the best work-around but it still looks a bit soft compared to 1080i from the S3 and letting my TV de-interlace to 1080p. I will try to get some screen captures from the Roamio set to 1080o output.

    The bug is most noticeable on larger, higher quality sets because they tend to have better de-interlacers that try to preserve full 1080i detail. Some lower end sets just blend together the odd/even fields.

    The images I'm posting are direct captures of the HDMI output of each Tivo so it shows you what your TV has to work with when it received the signal from the Tivo. Garbage in / Garbage out, so there is not much a TV can do to fix it.
     
  15. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    12,324
    958
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    The SHO2PHD_credits2.mpg is glaringly bad with 1080i output on my Roamio, especially the top edges of the credits. With 1080p output it looked MUCH better. I think that sample video is an excellent example for TiVo to take a look at if it ever makes it to an employee who cares enough to look into it.
     
  16. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    Updated first post with results of 1080p output from the Roamio Pro.

    This setting forces the Roamio to de-interlace the signal as it converts the original 1080i recording to 1080p. It appears the bug is still there and really confuses the de-interlacer. The image ends up flickering every other frame between 2 images, both looking pretty bad. Depending on your TV, this may look better than the buggy 1080i.

    Any ideas for how to report this to Tivo? I've had pretty bad experience dealing with their phone and email tech support. The people answering pretty much follow a script and if you find a problem they've never heard before, they are hopeless for help. Can you imagine me trying to explain this issue to them? I need another engineer that I can explain this to.

    PS: Those credits were from Penny Dreadful on SHO. They repeat the episodes frequently in case you want to see for yourself and can't transfer my video sample to your Tivo.
     
  17. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,479
    68
    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    I do see the text stepping/interlacing issue
    But, I do not see any significant difference between my RoamioPro and Premiere XL4. Although I have always thought my Premiere XL4 has a slightly better overall PQ than the RoamioPro

    Playing the videos on my PC they are crystal clear, w/ no interlacing issue.
     
  18. BruinGuy

    BruinGuy Member

    97
    1
    Apr 16, 2015
    SoCal
    I guess the question is whether or not this is a hardware or software bug. If it's hardware it's unlikely they can do any kind of retro fix on existing units and you'd probably get no response from them. In fact, they might already know of the problem and will do nothing.

    If it's software then there's hope that it can be fixed and sent out in a later release. Thus it would be worth pursuing.
     
  19. wizziwig

    wizziwig Member

    34
    10
    Aug 29, 2014
    Did a couple more tests and confirmed that it also affects H.264 1080i channels. 24p and 60p content does not appear to be broken.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to figure out via google if this bug was present when these products launched in 2013 or was introduced by a software update.

    I think the best way to determine if this is a hardware or software issue, is to compare similar hardware from other manufacturers.

    The Dish Hopper with Sling runs the same BCM7425 as the 6 Tuner Roamio. Their Wireless Joey is powered by the BCM7418 - same as the Tivo mini. I would need to find someone with Dish Network who owns that equipment and can check for the bug. If they don't have it, then it's definitely not a hardware issue. If they do have the bug, then in could still be a software issue in the Broadcom SDK supplied for this SoC.
     
  20. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    3,321
    660
    Mar 21, 2004
    All Roamios use BCM7241.

    In any event, Margret says they will look into it. :up:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements