Dreadful experience thus far... any reassuring thoughts?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tbonecopper, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...

    Advertisements

    Well, it's been just a few days over a month since I drove about 2.5 hours to get a Roamio Pro. Since then, I've had 2 really bad experiences with support, 1 semi-ok encounter with TiVos executive relations team, a litany of issues with online.tivo.com and the iOS phone app, and I'm in the process of having an advance replacement performed.

    Short but sweet version:

    TiVo Online (on same network) often doesn't work when streaming already recorded shows to my computer. Will say it can't find my dvr. Or, it will begin to let me watch but then time out and say it can't find the DVR. After a short period of time, it will begin to work again magically.

    One call to customer service to inquire about the thanksgiving all in plan went really bad and a supervisor gave me all in as a consolation prize (for $99, of course, which is fine, no complaints)

    Another call went bad with a mouthy rep who had zero empathy for my issue at hand, and when transferred to her supervisor, got even worse after telling me I didn't need to know the previous reps name, wouldn't give me any other contact information or let me speak to someone else, etc.

    I'm a nice guy, it may not seem like it due to 2 supervisor calls, but I don't like rude customer service people. No, I didn't scream at the reps or curse, etc... wasn't a total ass to them. I work in IT and QA, so customer service really hits home for me. It's something TiVo has totally missed. Executive relations seemed all to happy to just "send me" a slide remote (great, something I didn't want to begin with!) but didn't chase me to follow up on my issues/problems, etc. Was a very slam bam thank you mam experience with their exec relations team, something I truly didn't expect.

    With the iOS app, if anyone is familiar with the "loading wheel" that iOS does when loading information, when I'd load the TiVo app and tap My Shows, it would just load and load and load, endlessly, whether I was on my own network or LTE or at Starbucks (for example).... A reboot of the TiVo would fix it, but the issue would reappear after a few days.

    TiVo support has blamed all of this on my network, which I admit, isn't your average Linksys router, but after going to Walmart last night and buying a Netgear something or other, the issues persist, so they are advance replacing me with a TiVo, at a cost (temporarily at least) of $641 dollars, roughly. We will see if that fixes the issue, but faith is not inspired just yet.

    We bought a Roamo Plus for my Dad for Christmas and a Mini and I'm thinking of returning it and selling the Roamio Pro I have. Working with TiVo is like working with a cable company, but worse. I've had some poor experiences with Comcast, but never like this....it's maddening, sad, and frustrating at the same time.

    Does anyone have any suggestions, thoughts?
     
  2. connie_w

    connie_w Well-Known Member TCF Club

    3,795
    1,851
    Jan 9, 2015
    Arizona
    Sorry to hear you drew the short straw as far as your customer support experience. I've called them twice and each time, they were a pleasure to work with.

    For me, I'm a cable tv cord cutter and I wanted a good DVR and in my research Tivo is the only DVR I would consider, but if I had terrible experiences, I guess I'd think twice, as well.
     
  3. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    3,189
    335
    Jun 22, 2008
    Does your Tivo have a wired network connection?
    Are you able to stream from built in streaming service like youtube locally on the Tivo?
    Are you able to stream from the Tivo to a mini, which also needs a wired network connection?
     
  4. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    TiVo is wired, computer in this example is also wired.

    We haven't connected the TiVo Mini yet as it's a gift that goes along with the tivo roamio plus we bought.

    Yes, youtube, amazon, pandora etc work.
     
  5. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...

    Advertisements

    The roamio is wired... no moca... never ever! :p
     
  6. lgnad

    lgnad Pantless Mofo

    697
    2
    Feb 14, 2013
    Massachusetts
    i deleted my question cuase i was slow to post and saw you had already replied.... ive got the flu and am pretty wrecked on medications lol

    Does the Roamio's ethernet hop through any ethernet switches? there used to be a few models (older generation "green" rated units) that sometimes gave tivo's problems.
     
  7. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Ugh... The flu is just awful.. I hope you feel better!

    Yes and no.... initially the roamio was connected to a switch which is connected to a switch, which is connected to another switch which goes to the router. We have a very unique home network in that our internet is fiber. The fiber comes in after the ONT (optical network terminal) on the side of the house as straight ethernet, no modem, no bridge.. So that goes to a router which has 2 ports - each is on their own VLAN segment. We only use the one though. Then it goes to a PoE switch which powers 3 wireless access points mounted on my ceiling, and a 4th port connects to the main switch.

    So, visually:

    Internet > Router > Switch > cable to another switch > TiVo. I have a blog post with a nifty diagram here: http://www.disobeyers.com/blog/2015/8/4/overhauling-my-home-with-ubiquity-gear should you be curious about it.

    That said, the the last day or so we have had the TiVo and My computer connected directly to the "replacement/test" netgear router, no switches, and the issue persisted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  8. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    3,189
    335
    Jun 22, 2008
    You can always do a clear and delete everything on the mini and the plus after you test them. It would be highly unlikely that you bought two new tivos with the same network issue.
     
  9. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Well, we haven't hooked up the second tivo yet... so it's just this one that has the issue so far.

    Edit: I see what you meant, sorry :) It'll be after Christmas when that happens.. in the interim 15 days, I'd like to have my own tivo working, lol
     
  10. andyw715

    andyw715 Well-Known Member

    8,378
    798
    Jul 31, 2007
    Just for the heck of it, how does the TiVo operate on wifi?
     
  11. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Couldn't tell you, I've never tried to be honest. We don't have fancy wifi, it's limited to 300 Mb/s due to the way the access points are configured. I wouldn't trust much more than a tablet over it, to be honest.
     
  12. andyw715

    andyw715 Well-Known Member

    8,378
    798
    Jul 31, 2007

    Well if it "worked" (TiVo online access/app access/TiVo service call) over wifi then you could chalk up issues as
    1) Ethernet port issues on TiVo
    2) some network access issue. Ports/firewall/internal routing issues.
     
  13. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    That is a fair point, but on two routers with the issue persisting? Not opposed to trying it.... won't be tonight, but I will try it tomorrow.
     
  14. aspexil

    aspexil Active Member

    231
    28
    Oct 16, 2015
    Wow, that is some network! And for one house? Impressive.

    Preamble: I think you need to get whoever put your network in to help you troubleshoot this problem. See why below.

    As someone who dabbles in TCP/IP networking issues (just solved a problem in Almhult where the AIX box needed to disable Nagle in order to eliminate a 200ms lag bringing the response time down from ~220ms down to 5ms) I'll say you may have your work cut out for you. You do not by any chance have a hardware network sniffer that you can span the switch ports with? Because I'll say I've seen my fair share of switch issues that without the right gear will be impossible to figure out. Especially as video streaming tends to ferret out switch issues especially over time as you have noted it works but then dies. When you reboot the Tivo it resets the switch port at the same time which brings you back to a nominal working initial state.

    First things first make sure all the switches have the latest firmware applied. Note that doesn't necessarily mean you have the best firmware. Back in 2007 one of the telcos I worked with in St Louis had to physically replace their Cisco switches in Dallas due to a hardware bug that no firmware was going to fix.

    So what are some of the problems the sniffer might ferret out for you? The most common one I've seen and again it is while the switch is under load and over time where the switch begins to fail (typically firmware bug) and send retransmission packets, typically on the return response but I've seen it on the request side too though not as often. Without the sniffer you will never know this is happening as it happens at the switch and TCP/IP driver layer and will have the same result as it will appear that the Tivo just falls off the network when it is really a network issue as the retransmission rate skyrockets making it look like the Tivo is nonresponsive. Sometimes this can be fixed by updating switch firmware (as was the case in Turku but unfortunately for them the test network was on the same switch as production so they needed to take a production outage to upgrade it! Betcha they took test off the production switch at the same time too). Sometimes just cabling into another switch port can fix the problem if it is a bad port.

    Bad cable/port connection can also mimic this as retransmissions will occur. It could also be inter-switch in your layout with so many switches. So you'll need to span each switch port in the route to see if this is happening.

    I assume all the switches/routers are Gigabit? Most are these days. However, make sure anywhere you can fix the TCP/IP negotiation to not be auto-negotiate. I've seen some places where the host and the switch port auto-negotiate themselves down to 10Mbps, half duplex which will cause all sorts of performance issues. You want them to be set to 1Gbps full duplex and auto-negotiate goes out the window.

    Can you test your network with traceroute? Make sure the forward and return paths from the entry point router all follow the same path. Though rare I've seen return paths be one or two hops longer due to misconfiguration at one of the switches. I'm not familiar with EdgeMax but most high end routers have some capability either at command line or from an admin page to do traceroutes. Then do a traceroute from the computer to the router. Probably want to also plug the computer into the Tivo's switch and run traceroute from there.

    One final problem I've seen in Nashville was one of the switches in the path fails with flow control enabled (caused retransmissions) but worked when it was disabled. That one was a bear to find because we had 8 switches from the external facing production to the server that was having issues.

    There is one problem I've seen where people have moved from 1G to 10G interfaces but you'd have to have real high end commercial switches to have that problem.

    Is there any way you can hang the Roamio off the EdgeMax router and recreate? I would also want the computer wired into the same EdgeMax too. This way you'll eliminate many of the above possible scenarios. If that still fails then Tivo support should help you figure out what is wrong. If it doesn't recreate you need the folks that installed that network infrastructure to help you troubleshoot this.

    I guess it would behoove Tivo to add retransmission detection to their TCP/IP layer drivers and send alerts when it sees them. This would at the very least help people understand they have a network problem. But, in your case, if the retransmissions are happening inter-switch Tivo won't see that.
     
  15. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Yep, just for one house, We just have a lot of gadgets and prefer to keep as many wired as we can. As far as contacting the person who did it, you're "talking" to him, lol

    No, but I can obtain one.

    All but one of the switches are unmanaged. There is no need or ability to update the firmware on them. I have replaced 2 of them already just to see if something was wrong, and in one instance by passed them all together, connecting a "consumer grade" router to my internet connection, then the tivo and my computer directly to it and the issue persisted.

    Could be cables, but I doubt. I tried a few sets when my network was disconnected and it was just that netgear router to my PC and tivo. Can trace with traceroute directly from the managed switch and the router, and it was fine, no packetloss. Also, packet capture didn't show any issues when performed at router and switch level. All but one switch is gigabit, and the non gigabit switch is at the very end of a link that the tvio isn't connected to.

    I can plug the tivo into the edgemax, but nothing else. It only has eth0 (for WAN) and eth1 and eth2, which are each separated by a vlan, and the tivo won't work with that. I can create a software bridge and bridge eth1 and eth2 as a switch, but it's in software and it's very much not recommended because of performance and possible reliability issues.
     
  16. duncan7

    duncan7 Member

    100
    5
    Sep 17, 2004
    Not to ignore aspexil's thorough post, above, but I've experienced significant networking fubaredness for a while with my Roamio Plus, including:

    Inability to connect to Netflix, despite passing the connection tests internal to the netflix app. This occurs even when the TiVo is directly connected to my cable modem. Other devices on the same switch (once returned to the normal wiring layout), can stream Netflix without issue. This has been investigated by folks at Netflix and someone Margaret assigned, but no resolution has been forthcoming.

    Occasional inability of iOS devices to stay connected long enough to stream a whole show without dropping and needing to reset the stream device. This is over an AC-1900 network to a 5S, 6S, and an iPad Air located within 15 feet of the AP. Drops are usually, but not always, triggered by the 30-second skip button.

    Inability of an iOS device (the 6S) to schedule recordings- the app hangs, loses connection to the TiVo, then throws an error when I confirm the scheduled recording. Two of the three recordings did subsequently appear in the ToDo list. (This one has not recurred since I deleted and reinstalled the TiVo app over the weekend.)

    None of this sheds much light on OP's problem and I don't intend this as a thread jack. Just wanted to note that I've jumped through a lot of the same networking hoops, down to physically swapping cat6 cables, and the problems persist. At some point, we need to invoke lex parsimoniae.
     
  17. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Which is why I have a 24 port switch on order to eliminate switch issues :) Well, at least between the tivo and the rotuer that is.
     
  18. aspexil

    aspexil Active Member

    231
    28
    Oct 16, 2015
    LOL well impressed with your networking skills. I only have one switch in our house although at this point we've only been here 2 months. I'm waiting on cable mapping tool to arrive today so I can figure out why I have 10 ethernet cables in the utility room but only 3 jacks in the house! I may end up with more switches myself.

    Will be interesting to see the iptrace/tcpdump data from the network sniffer. I use Wireshark for reading those. Be aware there is a CRC thing that trips people up which is because of CRC offboarding.

    Odd the problem persisted with just a router.
     
  19. tbonecopper

    tbonecopper Member

    53
    0
    Jul 19, 2010
    Jacksonville...
    Not sure when your house was built, but when they built ours they used cat5e when they ran for phone, which is why we had so many extra wires left over... ended up doing new runs with cat6 in the end, giving us a world of opportunity in terms of plugs :) You may have a central cabinet box in a closet somewhere where it terminates
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,595
    62
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    DHCP or fixed IP address assigned at the device itself (as opposed to giving the router any say in the matter, like telling it the MAC and telling it what IP address to give it)?
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements