FIOS TV and TivoHD - suggest you hold off for now

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by AbMagFab, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Aug 4, 2007 #1 of 25
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    I've gone through hours and hours to try and fix this and/or narrow down the issues.

    I've now:
    - Replaced the TivoHD box (exchanged it at BB)
    - Used two working CC's from one of my S3's
    - Tried before the 8.1.7b patch
    - Tried after the patch
    - Tried tuning both tuners to analog channels (to see if it's processor related)
    - Tried tuning both to the same digital channel (using manual recording)
    - Tried tuning both tuners to the same HD channel
    - Tried using one CC

    All while using the exact same cables as my 1-year working S3 (same coax in, same HDMI, same power, same ethernet).

    And all get the same results - light to severe pixelation, ultimately on all channels (I've testing local SD's, digital only SD's, and premium HD's). Some are worse than others, but they all are pixelated. And it's all unwatchable.

    I'm guessing this is FIOS related, as I recall the S3 having FIOS problems early on like this. And I've ruled out the CC's, signal issues, and the TivoHD hardware. Otherwise everyone would be seeing these same problems.

    This is really lame, and really disappointing. I love Tivo (I have 7 now, and had 8 previously with DirecTV). I want them to succeed. But this is an unacceptable level of quality for even a new product. It's useless to me in it's current form.

    Shame.

    EDIT: Please read to my last post in this thread. It looks like a combination of things, including a bad CC, not following Tivo direction to repeat guided set up each time, not rebooting after each CC install/change, and a source signal issue.

    In any case - Now I love my TivoHD!
     
  2. Aug 4, 2007 #2 of 25
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    Many people are experiencing teh same issues. I do not belive it is FIOS related, as I have teh same issues and I have Cablevision. The common denominator seems to be the Scientific Atlanta Cable cards in teh new Tivo HD. I am going to bet you have Sciaentific Atlanta cards don't you?
     
  3. Aug 4, 2007 #3 of 25
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    Sadly no, I have Moto cards. I say Sadly, since then I would at least be in the same boat as others.

    Since I've removed all other variables (CC's, cables, hardware), it seems to be either a Tivo OS issue (which means it could be fixed), or a systemic hardware issue (which means it can't be fixed).

    The only other variable I couldn't change is my provider, so it could be a compatibility thing with FIOS (which I think the S3 had, but no one here has jumped in to point to an old thread about this, so maybe I'm wrong).
     
  4. Aug 5, 2007 #4 of 25
    bdraw

    bdraw Member

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    Tampa, FL
    Both my S3s work great with FIOS and Moto cards. Have you tried OTA HD? Does it pixelate too? One option would be to use OTA till TiVo gets the problem resolved.

    As for an independent test, I have a TiVo HD coming this week, I'll try it with FIOS to see if I have the same results.

    It may also be an incompatibility with something else that the S3 was not affected by, such as coax, a splitter, the ONT or the HDMI cable. Or maybe you could get FIOS to give you an M-Card.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2007 #5 of 25
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    My S3's are great, no problems at all. It's just the TivoHD that doesn't work.

    FIOS doesn't have MCARDS yet, at least their tech support says they don't. And I get pixelation even with one card, so I don't think an MCARD would make a difference.

    If they don't fix this soon, like this week, the box is going back and I've got a sour taste in my mouth (for a company who I've loved for years).
     
  6. Aug 5, 2007 #6 of 25
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    I just got the CableCards installed in my TivoHD. I don't see any pixelization yet here in DC/VA.

    Update

    I do see random pixelization. Sometimes it effects the full screen, sometimes it only effects one corner of the screen. It occurs anywhere from once to 10 times per hour. Sometimes I will go a full hour without seeing it. It lasts no more than a half-second. If I rewind back to where the pixelization occurred, I do not see it again. I have also seen the pixelization occasionally (not frequently) in the menus with the TivoHD, typically when it was doing a lot of background processing.

    Note I do not see this pixelization when doing instant replay or rewind on live and recorded programming -- it appears to be a random event unrelated to the recording.

    I never saw this type of pixelization with the Tivo Series3 (when I had it) or the Verizon FiOS DVR. It is annoying especially if you are accustomed to a relatively pristine picture. I intend to stick with the TivoHD, but will no longer recommend it if Tivo can't resolve this issue in a timely manner.

    I have tried the TivoHD with and without a power conditioner; it makes no difference. I have tried the TivoHD with the stock hard drive and a 750Gb Seagate DB35; it makes no difference. I have tried the TivoHD with the ambient room temperature set to 76 degrees and 68 degrees; it makes no difference. I have tried the TivoHD at native, 720p fixed, and 1080i fixed; it makes no difference. I have tried the TivoHD with and without the OTA feed connected; it makes no difference.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2007 #7 of 25
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    Okay, some interesting updates.

    I decided to remove the one cable card that was giving me a 161-4 error when in slot 1, and go back through the setup. This actually cleaned up most of the pixelation on most of the channels, except bad pixelation on HBOHD and random minor pixelation on everything (including menus). The latter I could live with, especially since it doesn't seem to be in the recording, but instead some video driver issue.

    Last night, my wife and I sat down to watch Entourage on my S3 (on HBOHD). The last three weeks had unwatchable pixelation. This means that HBOHD issue isn't TivoHD specific.

    So, I figured I had a signal issue, likely too strong a signal (I have FIOS TV, so more likely it's too strong than too weak). So I put a -7db in line from the source, before my splitter/cleanup amp. This seems to to have fixed the HBOHD issue on the TivoHD and S3 (although I won't know for sure for a week or so, after a few recordings).

    So now I have:
    1) A working, single-tuner TivoHD, with minor pixelation (video driver related)
    2) Working HBOHD on all S3's and TivoHD

    So it appears I have multiple issues I'm dealing with:
    a) HBOHD too hot signal issue
    b) Bad CC in slot 2 with 161-4 errors when in slot 1, possibly causing additional issues
    c) TivoHD video driver pixelation issues
    d) TivoHD slot 2 software issue

    When I get a replacement Moto CC, I'll test it and redo guided setup (which apparently really does make a difference, as opposed to just putting the CC in and testing). If Slot 2 behaves like Slot 1 (and there aren't additional TivoHD Slot 2 issues), then I think I might be a happy camper after all.

    I hope this is just a combination of issues appearing like a single issue, and not a bad product. I starting to calm down...
     
  8. Aug 6, 2007 #8 of 25
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    AbMag,

    I'm just curious...do you still see the pixelization when you rewind / instant replay?

    As I noted above, I see random pixelization on both live and recorded content...but if I rewind / instant replay, I don't see it again. So it appears to be a random event associated with one of the TivoHD's drivers.

    In contrast, in the SA CableCard threads, the pixelization issue remains even with instant replay / rewind. So it looks like there are two different issues here -- 1) random pixelization unrelated to source signal, and 2) pixelization related to the signal or decryption of the signal, typically on sources that use Scientific Atlanta CableCards. I bet some users -- especially those with SA CableCards -- are experiencing both.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2007 #9 of 25
    AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    I've had numerous problems, so here's my response:
    1) The HBOHD pixelation was visible in the recording, and appears to be signal strength related.

    2) What I'm currently attributing to the bad CC #2 had bad pixelation in the recordings.

    3) What I'm currently left with appears to be driver related, in that it's not in the recording (and is also on menus). It's minor enough that I don't mind it (assuming it will get fixed).

    Once I get a good CC2, I'll update this thread again. I'm hoping there isn't a Moto CC issue or some other slot2 issue. But at this point, the TivoHD is working well with one CC and just minor driver-related pixelation.
     
  10. TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

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    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    FIOS in Tampa here, I'm getting cablecards installed in my new HD box early in the morning (if Verizon doesn't stand me up again). This doesn't sound encouraging though. My S3 box works fine with 2 Moto S-cards, I was hoping the HD box will too.

    I'll update here once I know anything so we can compare notes.
     
  11. TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

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    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well, here's my Tampa FIOS update with Moto cards and the TiVO HD.

    Verizon sent a contractor. Turns out he only had 2 cards with him. He told me the cablecards are very hard to come by in Tampa, he has a hard time getting them. He didn't know the difference between "S-Cards" and "M-Cards". I looked at the cards as he was writing down the numbers, and they were both "S-Cards" (no indication anywhere on them otherwise).

    Anyway, I told him basically how it should go. Slot 1, activate, check channels, rinse, repeat.

    He put the first card in Slot # 1 of the TiVo HD. We fairly immediately got the dreaded "161-4" error. That error kept popping up. Couldn't even navigate the TiVo menus because the error popped up every 7-10 seconds. I feared we had 1 bad card.

    We took the card out of Slot # 1 and put the other card into Slot # 1. This time, it came up like it should. He ran outside, activated the card on his laptop, and within a couple minutes, I had channels.

    We then took the original "bad" card, and stuck it in Slot # 2. This time, it came up. He activated it, and again I had channels.

    My theory on why the first card wouldn't work in Slot # 1 is that maybe he just didn't have the card pushed in all the way. If it wasn't seated, that might have done it. With both cards working, that's my only conclusion.

    As for pixelation. Thus far, haven't seen any. Granted, I've only flipped channels, and I've only watched about 10 minutes of HBOHD, but (knock on wood), haven't seen any problems yet. Box is set on 1080i fixed.
     
  12. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    Jan 18, 2005
    Malvern, PA
    Just for a data point, what region do you live in (Northern CA)?
     
  13. captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    IIRC he's in Maryland somewhere around College Park.
     
  14. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    I'm in MD, near Gaithersburg.
     
  15. kira13

    kira13 New Member

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    Jan 23, 2007
    Having spent most of yesterday reading the old thread (which is apparently still almost current), I can point to it for you, although as a person with almost no posts, I doubt I can post an actual link.

    (I pasted a link, but sure enough, I don't have 5 posts yet, so I had to remove it--the thread is 315826 and is currently 16 pages long. The thread subject is "Series 3 Verizon FIOS HD compat?")

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    Update:

    - I took out the CC that gave me repeated 161-4 errors in slot 1, but seemed to at least install in slot 2. It's been fine as a single-tuner TivoHD for a few days now.

    - Verizon screwed up, and I still don't have a new CC

    - So, since it's been fine, and I did some signal cleanup (which appears to have truly fixed the HBOHD problem), I decided to try the 161-4 CC again.

    - Result? It installed fine, but now I get severe pixelation on both cards, in the recording.

    So, it's possible the CC is bad, and if I don't get a new CC soon I'll test with a known working CC from one of my S3's, but it appears the Tivo HD simply doesn't work well with 2 CC's installed. I say this because in my previous testing, I saw the exact same results when I used a known working CC before, as with the 161-4 CC.

    When I left this morning, I redid guided setup with the one CC to see if the pixelation goes away again. If so, it seems to follow putting a second card in the box. I'm not totally dismissing the 161-4 errors, but in my previous hours of testing, they didn't seem to make a difference.

    These are Moto cards.
     
  17. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Aug 29, 2002
    Sacramento...
    161-4 is a normal intermediate state while the system is busy initializing the card. 161-4 = GOOD (unless it never goes away); 161-1 = BAD (from the TiVo CableCard support page )
     
  18. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    Except repeated 161-4 is also bad. There's a condition where the second you put the card in, you get 161-4 errors over and over, and can't even navigate the menus. It never stops.

    This type of 161-4 = BAD.
     
  19. TiVotion

    TiVotion Early Adoptersaurus

    1,220
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    Dec 6, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well here's something else I just noticed. Maybe it's already been pointed out, but...

    Remember the other problem people had early on with FIOS and the Series 3? The problem where fast forwarding or rewinding would cause the program to skip ahead or behind at crazy intervals? That problem is back on my HD box. I never had that problem with the S3, because I didn't have FIOS back then. By the time I got FIOS, that problem was fixed on the S3.

    Apparently this offshoot of software on the HD boxes is very similar to the older original software on the S3, pre-fixes.

    So I guess the pixelation shouldn't be a surprise, since we are essentially using some original S3 software clone.

    On the upside, they fixed those things with the S3, so they should be able to fix the HD.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,974
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    Northern...
    So when is FIOS going to get the multistream cards? AT $2.99 I have no desire to pay $24 for 8 cards. Even $12 will be too much. I'll be getting the FIOS TV installed in September and will just start off with my TiVo HD on the FioS Tv and continue using my Series 3 boxes on Comcsat until December. That way I should be able to try FIOS out with the TiVoHD and hopefully by December any kinks will be worked out.
     

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