Drop Outs, streaks, stutters only on Bolt

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by klyde, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
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    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...

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    I have had Tivos since the 1st generation and never had this problem. I have the same antenna and distribution amp.
    I now am using a Romeo with lifetime and I bought a bolt in June with lifetime Refurbished from Tivo.
    ONLY the Bolt has Drop Outs, streaks, stutters on all channels. My Signal Strength runs from 72 to 85.The Bolt is connected to a CM8228 antenna with distribution amp. I have a direct TV with OTA box on the same antenna and the Romeo in another room with an indoor antenna. I'm getting 72 SS on the Romeo all channels with that indoor antenna. Recording the same show on all boxes results in perfect recordings except the bolt. I have changed cables and removed the distribution amp. Same problem. It has been getting worse in the last couple of months.

    So today I called Tivo service and got a foreign technician. I explained the problem and was told that unless I have 90 - 100 SS they can't guarantee drop outs. I asked her where on the Tivo site or book does it say that.? no answer I explained that 2 tivos and 1 DTV side by side and only the bolt has problems, I also explained that even with a SS of 55 the Romeo and DTV work fine. This didn't phase her. No SS of 90 to 100, go pound sand. I have ordered and outside amp which I will put up as soon as I get it.

    Am I the only one that can't record a clean signal without drop outs and a SS of 72 -85? SNR 29db.
     
  2. shamilian

    shamilian Member

    475
    14
    Mar 26, 2003
    NJ
    I just had a similar issue with a FIOS connected bolt.
    It is not the signal level, it is errors/noise on the signal.

    The bolt tuner can not handle any errors in the signal,
    previous Tivos and most other boxes can correct errors in the line.
     
  3. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
    9
    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    looking at the errors corrected and uncorrected both show 0.
    So what is one supposed to do about it? Sell the Bolt?
     
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    The Roamio and Bolt would show 72 SS in a perfect world. That's AGC working. Basic Roamio and Bolt do not display RS Corrected errors. They do display the RS Uncorrected.
     
  5. klyde

    klyde Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...

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    There are 2 places to show SS one is in channels and the other diagnostics. In diagnostics it shows Correct and uncorrected errors, but hey are always 0.
    My question is it NORMAL for the bolt to have dropouts with a SS or 72 or not. Is the box bad?
     
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    It is not normal. But I don't have an idea what the acceptable range should be on either box. When you see the number in Diagnostics, it is after AGC has settled the signal, trying to achieve 72. In Channels, you watch the signal as AGC is applied in real time. It should settle at 72. I would consider the box bad, since it doesn't work right. Just do a Search in the box up top for 72. You will see it's a popular number.

    Note: I'm a cable person right now. My "magic" number for SS is 90. Only time I would worry is if it hits 100, since it can't display over 100 and the tuners don't like being overloaded. One more thing: TiVo's CS people are stupid.

    To see the affect of errors, just unscrew the RF connector. Screw it back on. Now check your errors. :eek: Just do it without moving the box.
     
  7. klyde

    klyde Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    tonight Im recording different news on all tuners on both the romeo and the bolt, then I will check errors on both, then tomorrow I call tivo again and demand to talk to someone with a brain.
    thank you. right now each tuner is on a different channel. All show 72 ss and 29 dba s/n and none show errors.
     
  8. shamilian

    shamilian Member

    475
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    Mar 26, 2003
    NJ
    Good luck finding someone with a brain, these days....
    All you get is the same stupid script...
    "you need a better signal...."

    btw, the bolt can have a bad disk...
    try copying stuff you recorded on roamio to bolt
    and see of you still have issues during playback....
     
  9. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
    9
    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    Tonight I recorded the news on all 4 tuners. Only Tuner 1 ABC had drop outs. I checked the SS and noise and corrections and they all showed the same. 72% 29 dba, 0,0 all signal locked.
    Now I am recording prime time shows on 3 tuners one on ABC and it is tuner 0 After I check those shows If only tuner 0 has drop outs than I will know something. Maybe it's only 1 tuner.
     
  10. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
    9
    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    Update:
    The results yesterday showed that I still got drop outs on Tuner 0.
    Today I put an antenna amp on the antenna and it actually made the problem worse. I discovered a few things. By now everyone should know that you will never read higher than 72% signal strength in the diagnostic menu due to the AGC on both the Romeo and Bolt. I get 29 DBA signal to noise on both the Bolt and Romeo on all channels.
    I also found that in the channels menu signal strength it also drops back within 10 seconds to 72%. Today I checked the SS on my TV and also on my DTV that has an external OTA box. All my channels read 100% on all channels I receive, but the Bolt and Romeo read 72%. If I disconnect the antenna I can get a 50% signal and a picture without problems.
    So now really agraviated and armed with all the data I needed I again called Tivo Tech Support and got the familiar most likely Indian woman . I asked what country she was in and was told that they are not allowed to disclose that. Next I asked for someone that is a real technician and not reading from a script, she said she could help. So I asked how can you read the SS on a Bolt or Romeo. The answer was go to the Diagnostic menu and its there. Next I asked what should it be to insure a no drop out signal. The answer 80 - 100% I then proceeded to inform her she was wrong and why. I explained to her everything I did to verify I had a BOLT problem. I also told about the last 3 tech support people, she promised to solve my problem. She then went to a supervisor and he tuned in to the call and checked my account. I have been a Tivo customer since the 90's He agreed to replace the Bolt but there was a $49 replacement fee unless it was in the first 3 months. (I never knew that) It's been about 6 months for me, then they agreed to wave the $49 fee but I had to ship my box in first. I asked if the could just charge my card for the new box and ship it and refund it when they got it back. She said she could. Then I told her with the supervisor listing that they need to get updated scripts and they should have each current Tivo box on site to verify what a customer tells them, She said they do have several boxes, so I told her to tell the supervisor to verify the SS on their boxes at 72% and she giggled and said she knows. That should tell you everything you need to know about Tivo service. Maybe they will use their new lower corporate tax rate to improve it (HAHAHAHA).
    So now I wait to see if I get a replacement or not. Then I have to make sure I can transfer my lifetime to the new box. What a pain to get a Tivo fixed or replaced during warranty. Tivo has jumped the shark concerning customer service.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  11. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
    Wait Klyda, are you getting 72% on ALL your stations?

    JoeKustra, does this mean the BOLT is bad or defective?

    I was getting 80's and 90's on all my stations except for PBS which was getting 70 something (now it's 72). On PBS only I am getting occasional streaks with the BOLT. I never had this issue with the Premiere.

    When I installed the BOLT I had to split the antenna between my Premiere, BOLT, and radio where before it was just the Premiere and radio before. I figured the the extra split reduced the power of the antenna signal enough to cause the problems, and that was why I was getting streaks on PBS. After reading this post I am nervous.

    Today I just checked my signal strength and it is showing 72 on all stations except NBC which is showing 85. This was not the case before...

    Is my box defective as well? I am within 7 miles of all my stations so my signal should be strong. I did just order a large deep fringe antenna and I really don't want to put it on the roof if I don't have to. I did remove the splitter that went to the Premier so the Premier has no signal anymore, but the streaking on PBS on my BOLT has been gone singe removing the splitter...

    I'm also having this problem:
    Loses Season View Option In Guide & Doesn't Show Episode Progress Bar

    Thanks,
    craigr
     
  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    20,279
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    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    An OTA Roamio or Bolt (as OTA) strives (with AGC) to make the signal level 72. Other TiVo boxes do not. That means the signal level on a Roamio Pro or Bolt+, since they are cable, will not be 72. This is a distinction that CS does not seem to realize.

    I have no idea why TiVo chose 72, but they did. They chose 90 for cable.
     
  13. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
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    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    I am OTA only and yes all read 72 with 29DB signal to noise. It appears that the support doesn't know the difference between OTA and Cable.
     
  14. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

    382
    211
    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
    So I do have some stations OTA that stabilize their signal higher than 72. Here is one; it stays on it's peak 85 signal indefinitely. How are you guys seeing the signal to noise ratio?

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, I am only about 6-7 miles from the towers in Chicago where the terrain is flat. Right now I have a medium range RadioShack yagi antenna atop a pole on the roof. It's been up there about ten years and I have not done any maintenance on it (probably could use a new balun, coax terminators, and cleaning of contacts). It's coupled with an FM antenna so there is some loss there. Cable is RG-6 quad shielded.

    But if I split it between the Premiere, BOLT, and FM radio I start to get streaks and pixelationon on PBS with the BOLT. I have not gotten anymore streaks or pixelation since taking the splitter off for the Premier, but that isn't a real fix.

    I just ordered a HDB91X Xtreme Signal yagi and also an LTE filter (there are 107 LTE towers within a 4 mile radius of my home and we have a very high population density).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning to rerun two separate RG-6 quad shielded cables for the radio and TV antennas. If that works well, I may stick with the medium range yagi pointed at Chicago and get the "Winegard 2-Way Dual TV Antenna Coupler (CC-7870)" to keep the medium yagi pointed at Chicago and then point the huge HDB91X yagi at Milwaukee and see what I can pull in. Milwaukee is about 90 miles as the crow flies and the terrain is flat...

    ...sorry if I'm a little off topic, but having a few stations come in at 85 instead of 72 is interesting and the streaking issue is weird on PBS (they may be low power because there are a lot of PBS stations around here?).

    craigr
     
  15. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
    9
    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    even though I get 100% on the TV and DTV all the stations back down to 72. You can see the S/N in the diagnostic menu. Select settings, help, account & system info, diagnostics.
     
    CIR-Engineering likes this.
  16. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

    382
    211
    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
    So it looks like the way the AGC works is that stations with higher SNR are displayed with higher signal strengths. My station 2-1 with signal strength of 85% also has a SNR of 34 dB. Where my station 23-1 has a signal strength of 72% and a SNR of 29 dB (as do most stations I get). I also have a station 24-1 with a signal strength of just 62% and 25 dB SNR. I guess it's just the way they wrote the code for the display feedback? I watched a few stations' signal strength drop as they tuned in and AGC kicked in and their SNR also dropped.

    Pretty interesting.

    craigr
     
  17. klyde

    klyde Member

    414
    9
    Feb 3, 2002
    Alabama,...
    Too bad tech support doesn't know.
    BTW I did buy an antenna amp but it made things worse. It was before I looked at the TV signal strength. I suppose it was overloading because the SS on the Tivo actually was lower except with the amp turned all the way down. I did get one station with a higher s/n and ss up to 85. Im supposed to get my replaced Bolt Wed. but Ill be out of town.
     

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