Do Not Buy A Tivo HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Chimpware, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Aug 2, 2007 #61 of 197

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004


    1. Most providers aren't yet offering M-cards.

    2. Most CSRs, techs, etc, don't know anything about M-cards or how to get them installed into the system.
  2. Aug 2, 2007 #62 of 197

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Just to add something 'new' to this thread. I just observed that my Tivo HD is manufactured in Mexico.

    I have some really bad experiences with Mexico produced electronics. Does anyone know if the Series 3 was also manufactured there?
  3. Aug 2, 2007 #63 of 197

    lament New Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    San Diego, CA
    I'm sure it depends on what part of the country you live in. I live in San Diego, so a lot of what I buy was made there. :)
  4. Aug 2, 2007 #64 of 197

    mike_camden New Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    The Comcast CSR I spoke with when arranging for the cable card install had no idea what an M-card was. After about 30 minutes of her checking around and discussing with her supervisor, she still didn't know what an M-card was. She finally found something in the system that listed something like 4Q2008 for M-card availability in our area.
  5. Aug 2, 2007 #65 of 197

    Chimpware New Member

    Jan 30, 2002


    Hate to add to this, but I noticed the SA cable cards are also manufactured there, thank you NAFTA.
  6. Aug 2, 2007 #66 of 197

    A-1 New Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    Tivo Hd Es No Bueno!
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #67 of 197

    Tallguy001 Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    My problems on card 2 seem to be solved with the updated software (TWC - Scientifc Atlanta cablecards). I'll keep my fingers crossed!

    In response to the m-card question, my provider did not know what they were (no shock).
  8. Aug 2, 2007 #68 of 197

    vstone Active Member

    May 11, 2002
  9. Aug 2, 2007 #69 of 197

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    I contacted TiVo and they issued this statement:
    So it sounds like there may still be issues for some, but they've fixed at least some of the causes.
  10. Aug 3, 2007 #70 of 197

    GoldenTiger Tivo Pony =)!

    Apr 10, 2002

    I am having the issue still with BOTH card slots on my TivoHD with Scientific Atlanta cablecards on Comcast in southwestern Connecticut. Before the cablecards were installed, I had no issues at all... once they were installed, there has been huge macro-blocking very often (once every minute or more at times on some channels such as my locals and especially HD premiums like TNT-HD). I really hope today's patch isn't the end of the fixes, because for me, it did not do anything (I am on the newest version as of this posting according to the system information screen).

    I really don't want to have to return my TiVoHD's to the store due to this, as I enjoy TiVo's boxes much more than the cableco. ones and have for several years.

    Anyone have the contact info page for TiVo so I can try to email them regarding my issues?
  11. Aug 3, 2007 #71 of 197

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Did you do anything to verify it was an issue with the TiVo and not the CableCards? What did you do? The cable company went through 4 cable cards with my TV when I first bought it, and then blamed the brand new TV. I had the Video store replace the TV, and it still had the same problems. After going through six, they finally found one which worked. When I got my first Series III TiVo, I moved the card over to the TiVo and it worked just fine, but the card the CATV company brought out would not work. A second card came up just fine. When I got my second TiVo, they went through four more cards which would not work, and the installer wanted to blame the TiVo, so I forced him to move the old cards to the new TiVo. They worked fine. The new cards would not work in the old TiVo, though, so he tried to blame it on an incompatibility between TiVos in general and the newer cable cards. I forced him to try the new cards in the Television directly, and guess what? They didn't work ther, either. Having finally convinced him (or at least eliminating his allegations), he then spent several more hours on the phone having the same argument with a series of people who knew nothing mroe of the matter than he did. Every one of them wanted to get rid of the problem in front of them by blaming the consumer's equipment. Note this young man spoke very eloquently and was very poilite, and I suspect the average layman might have thought he knew very much of what he was speaking, but the fact is he hadn't a clue, and neither did anyone in the chain of support people on the line. Believe me, polite or not, I know extremely well how few cable technicians and how very many fewer installers have more than a vague idea how even basic cable TV works. I know because I was a CATV engineer for several years.

    Think about it. Which is more attractive for a support person faced with a difficult problem and under pressure to complete as many calls as possible: dig deep into a complex and mystifying technical issue which may in the end be very difficult and time consuming to fix, or convince the customer the issue is with his equipment or even better some other vendor's product line? Five minutes of hot air or five hours of troubleshooting in unfamiliar territory with the boss breathing down one's neck to move on to thenext call?

    The end of my saga was he was not able to find another Cable Card that evening (after eight hours!) which worked, but he showed up the next day with an older card which did work. He promised to return, but didn't so I called back and scheduled yet another visit two days later, at which point the installer went through 3 more Cable Cards before finding one which worked. The end total? One new TV replaced, 14 bad Cable Cards, and 2 TiVos, neither of which was replaced. TEN days spent waiting for CATV or video store techs. So now why do you think it's the TiVos and not the CATV system or the Cable Cards?

    I have read there was a slot 2 issue with the TiVo HD, but I also read there was a fix pushed out to them. I cannot personally confirm, as I have Series IIIs, not TiVo HDs.

    Are you certain they were truly helpful, or just polite?

    Why? What evidence do you have it is a systemic problem with the TiVo and not the CATV system or the CableCards?

    How can the probablity of an event be a problem? (Answer: it can't) If you are trying to say it seems unlikely 2 different units from different stores would have the same problem unless there is a systemic problem with the hardware, then I would say your sample size is too small to make any real judgements concerning how widespread a problem may be. First, however, I would say you haven't presented us with any evidence which suggests the problem is with the TiVos and not the Cable Cards or the CATV system.

    I've seen a number of posts complaining of problems. I have seen very few who have given strong objective evidence the TiVos are at fault.

    How do you know? Did you ask him what type of modulation is employed by the digital streams? Did you ask him how susceptible the digital streams are to intermodulation distortion? Did you ask him what the relationship between 3rd order distortion and signal levels are? Asking highly specific questions such as this is the only way to tell if a tech is truly as knowledgeable as he would like you to believe he is. I've had plenty of glib tech support people try to snow me with slick sounding hogwash.

    In slot 1 but not slot 2, you mean? You're being a little vague, I'm afraid.

    I don't know where your service is, but it's been over 20 years since I was able to get through to tech support with my local CATV company without spending at least 30 minutes on hold. Even when I worked for them, I would usually spend several minutes getting through to dispatch, and I had the direct dial in numbers. I sometimes had to wait ten minutes or more on the radio, fer chrissake. I must admit my experience has been the same with TiVo, but then just this evening I also spent 40 minutes on hold with Sprint tech support before their ARU dumped me. I've also had the same experience with Hewlett Packard, Nortel, Microsoft, Vonage...

    I had an SA 8300 before the Series III came out, and I had quite a few problems with it, including fairly regular pixelization. I suspect in most cases this is an artifact of the CATV transmission system, however. The few problems I have had with the TiVo, on the other hand, don't even come close to the constant, blistering aggravation of dealing with the 8300. The TiVo's only were a problem - highly aggravating though it may have been - during the first few days of their respective installation periods, which is nothing. After all, I am not going to install them ever again. At that, the issues were not being caused by the TiVos themselves. Being put off by installation problems is a childish - albeit all too widespread - response to a new technology. I hear people complaining all the time about who difficult something was to install. WHO CARES!!! Something's being difficult to install is not worthy of consideration in evaluating a product. With the SA 8300, however, I cursed fluently and nearly continuously every single time I had to mess with the damned thing.
  12. Aug 3, 2007 #72 of 197

    Chimpware New Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    Dude, I would get in the habit of reading the entire thread before I posted long winded diatribes with multiple questions that are actually answered in the thread...

    Long story short, it WAS a Tivo issue predominantly as I originally asserted, but Tivo blamed Cablevision and the cards and I wasted an entire day on this and then they pushed a new version of the software and Slot 2 issue was resolved. So I guess my sample size was fine to reach the conclusions I reached huh? Why was this a systematic issue, better read some other threads dude, it was, and again I was correct.

    Did I quiz the cable tech. to ensure he had an up to date PhD in electrical engineering? No. Did he understand the basics regarding EMM, ECM, etc? Yeah. Had he done Tivo 3 installs before? Yeah. Did he spent 5 hours at my house helping me troubleshoot the issue after it only took about 1 hour to get the cards installed and bound? Yeah. Was it a waste of his time, and was Tivo eventually found to be at fault for Slot 2 issue, Yeah.

    Still have random pixelation issue and video cuts out when watching TivoCast programs randomly over non-digital connection to TV. I also still have an 8300HD sitting right next to the Tivo HD and no pixelation issues, although I have returned 2 8300 HD units over the past year when they became buggy. Difference is it take only about 1 hour total to replace 8300, drive to cable store, hand them old one, they hand me a new one, when I get home I conenct it and it is ready to go.

    Being put off by installtion probelms is childish? Huh, well this is not installation problems and if I had spent all day on this and in the end had a working unit with no pixelation or other issues I would not have posted. This was a software issue when I originally posted, not an installation issue. They needed to push a patch to repair it, not have Cablevision spend more time working on the supposed cable card issue. There is still a software issue (or potentially hardware, but I hope not), not a signal, or cable card issue that needs to be fixed to repair the pixelation issue that many of us are experiencing.

    So in the end WHO CARES? I do and so do many of the people on this board and the potential purchaser who I was trying to warn about a terrible initial experience. If you don't care about these things, and your time does not have any value to you, great, skip the post and move on.
  13. Aug 3, 2007 #73 of 197

    Saturn Lord of the Rings

    Apr 10, 2001
    It absolutely IS worthy of consideration in evaluating a product. Examples:

    Linux can be a bear to install, there's no way I'd ever recommend it to anybody but my most savvy friends.

    Windows XP can be a bear to install, that's why the manufacturer does it for you.

    Sometimes things are SO difficult to install that they just never work. Example:
    Long story short, two cable card PCs were shipped to a magazine to review. The top techs at the cable company AND MICROSOFT DEVELOPERS couldn't get either working. So do you think it deserves a glowing review anyway? Do you think the average consumer is going to have access to Microsoft Developers to get their problem fixed?

    People buy and recommend TiVo because It Just Works. When it doesn't, even just for the install, the entire product is marred.
  14. Aug 3, 2007 #74 of 197

    ChrisPA New Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    I agree installation (and correct operation) is a serious consideration. As I mentioned in my very first post, I just picked up a TivoHD after hearing about the brand for years.

    I'm using a direct cable connection into the Tivo to tune broadcast HD stations, exactly as I've been doing for the last 6 months with my plasma doing the tuning. I honestly can't recall seeing any problems in that time. I'm moved to Tivo so that I could get all the encrypted stations by using a cablecard (plasma does not have cablecard slot), but I haven't had a card setup yet and am just using the cable line directly into the Tivo.

    Both before and after the software update, I'm experiencing video artifacts as well as the occasional audio hiccup on network HD stations.

    Putting aside the disappointment with the speed of the GUI (which is surprising since the SD units didn't exhibit this problem), I am worried that this problem will not get fixed in the next 26 days and I will have to return the unit. If no progress has been made (and on my unit - that does not use a cablecard - nothing changed with the software update), I will have to return it rather than take the chance that these issues will never get fixed. Ugh... its very dissapointing to me because the only reason I've waited to get a Tivo was because I was waiting on an affordable HD version...
    Now that its finally here, could it be the first one that doesn't truly provide the "Tivo experience"
  15. Aug 3, 2007 #75 of 197

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    We've already seen a report that Tivo is going to be setting up their own support for Cable Card installations on Tivo units because the cable co's are falling flat on their faces with it.

    The new Tivo HD does seem to have some issues though with the quality of the tuning/decoding and Tivo better work fast to fix it.

    If someone is having trouble the best thing they can do is return the unit. I can assure everyone that nothing motivates a manufacturer faster to get their stuff fixed than a pile of units showing up returned at retail.
  16. Aug 3, 2007 #76 of 197

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    The GUI responsiveness issues will almost certainly be addressed with the THD/S3 code bases are merged. Early S3 users (myself included) saw this as well.

    No disrespect, but the "if Tivo doesn't fix [insert problem]" complaints happen with every hardware and software release. Despite what some seem to think, Tivo has been very responsive fixing critical bugs.

    This box is Tivo's future for the stand-alone market - you can bet anything you want that Tivo wlil use the necessary engineering resources to make this box as solid as can be.

    Be patient. Tivo is worth it.
  17. Aug 3, 2007 #77 of 197

    Ripcord2 New Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    I don't blame them. Those are fairly ridiculous options.
  18. Aug 4, 2007 #78 of 197
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    I wouldn't mind being patient IF

    1) I was sure the problems would be fixed. E.g. many people have been waiting for close to 1 year for things like MRV, but nothing yet.

    2) I was sure that everything could be fixed in software. What if there are hardware bugs that can't be worked around?

    TiVo's got about 3 weeks before I need to make a decision before my 30 day return period runs out.
  19. Aug 4, 2007 #79 of 197

    GoldenTiger Tivo Pony =)!

    Apr 10, 2002

    Same here, problems persisting with me as well on pixelization/artifacting on both CableCARDs. This needs to be fixed or I will unfortunately be utilizing my return policy on these 2 units. They've got about 3 weeks with me as well.
  20. Aug 4, 2007 #80 of 197

    vman41 Omega Consumer

    Jun 18, 2002
    Which report is this, and how would that work? The keycard and pairig info has to be entered into the headend of the local cable system, which TiVo certainly can't access.

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