HD TiVo -- MPEG-4 freezing post-update

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by harwoodjake, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009

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    I have TiVo HD, in Tucson. Lost a bunch of channels in mid-Jan, which I believe was when local Comcast began the MPEG-4 switch. My machine had trouble downloading the software upgrade, but TiVo finally helped install it for me, and everything worked.

    Now, on those same channels sometimes the video freezes, and then a few seconds later the audio cuts out. The show is still "there" -- when I fast forward or rewind I can see the video.

    When I restart the Tivo machine, the same recordings will play just fine. Then later on the freezing will happen again and I have to restart again.

    This mostly happens when I am playing a recording, but I have also seen it on live TV. On live TV, if I change the channel, other channels work but if I go back to the original channel it is still frozen. I can fast forward and rewind, but when I hit "play" it freezes wherever I am.

    It only happens on the channels that were previously lost (presumably because of the MPEG change) -- not on other channels.

    TiVo is saying it might be interference, but they don't seem to have much idea what's going on.

    Here are some numbers: Tuner: 0; Channel: 255; Modulation: QAM 256; Signal strength: 87; SNR: 34dB; RS uncorrected: 0; RS corrected: 35

    If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate it! Anyone experience anything similar after the MPEG-4 switch / update?

    Thanks!

    Jake
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,594
    62
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Have the capacitors on the power supply circuit board ever been replaced?

    Are you still using the original 160GB hard drive?

    Those are the usual suspects when a TCD652160 starts acting up.

    Of course, it's not totally impossible that the problems are due solely to the new software, but I'd want to eliminate the power supply and old hard drive as causes just because there's such a great likelihood.

    Have any experience with a Voltmeter?
     
  3. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Thanks for the response... the box has never been opened up, so everything inside is original -- I also have an external drive which is pretty new (an older expansion drive failed a year or so ago). So... original capacitors, hard drive, etc.

    >>Have any experience with a Voltmeter?

    No... :)

    Thanks for the info!
     
  4. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Mar 12, 2002
    Most of us recommend against the external drive. Replacing the internal drive with a larger drive (up to 2T) is relatively easy, inexpensive and more reliable.

    You're going to want to open up your tivo. See if there is any obvious issue with the power supply (bulging capacitors). Remove the hard drive. Temporarily use a computer to run mfg diagnostics. You can download diagnostic software from the western digital website.

    If the software finds any errors I suggest replacing the drive with a 2T internal drive, forget about the external drive and be done with it.

    edited to add link
    http://support.wdc.com/product.aspx?ID=610&lang=en
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  5. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Mar 12, 2002

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    I don't want to make a second edit.

    Tivo uses both the internal and external drive. There could easily be an issue with the external drive. Loose or bad cable. Just because the drive is relatively new doesn't mean it's not bad. Run diagnostics on that drive as well.
     
  6. gimmesomecoffee

    gimmesomecoffee New Member

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    Feb 27, 2016
    I'm having the EXACT same problem as the original poster. (I have a Tivo HD with TSN prefix of 652). I'm suspicious of the mpeg4 codec that TIVO implemented in response to the Comcast change to mpeg4 for some HD. I believe this because: I didn't have this freezing before the Comcast move to mpeg4; When Comcast switched to mpeg4, I lost some of my HD channels; TIVO then updated their software to support the mpeg4 format, which gave me those HD channels again - but those exact same HD channels now have this problem. Also, I noticed that on the channels that have this freezing problem, the local advertisements run smoothly (then, when the show comes back, or the network ads, it does the freezing thing again). I remember something about the Comcast switch to mpeg4 not being applied to live broadcasts (like sports), perhaps local advertisements are akin to live broadcasts.
     
  7. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Good to hear I'm not crazy...! I've run disk diagnostics and there don't seem to be any problems with the hard drive on the machine. I have experienced this on live sports events (on Fox Sports 1). The fact that it exclusively occurs on channels that were lost with the MPEG switch makes me pretty sure it's related to that and not a more general problem with the machine. I sense a slight improvement with shows recorded in the last few days -- shows recorded around Feb 22-23 are bad, shows recorded on the 25-26 seem OK.
     
  8. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,554
    1,107
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    FYI, the MPEG4 decoder is built into the hardware but it still has to be accessed correctly with the software.

    Broadcom BCM7401 system-on-a-chip, including the MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, and VC-1/WMV9 decoder.

    Scott
     
  9. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Mar 12, 2002
    You need to run the mfg extended diagnostics on both drives. It might take hours to run.
     
  10. TiVoSupport_Sarah

    TiVoSupport_Sarah TiVo Representative

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    Mar 30, 2015
    TiVo Community,
    Thank you for the feedback.
    For the people that are having this issue can you PM me your TSN's please?
    Also,
    1. Does this happen when both tuners are on an MPEG4 channel?

    2. Does this happen when only one tuner is on an MPEG4 channel?

    3. Does this happen as soon as you tune to the channel, or does some time elapse before the problem starts?

    UPDATE** I should have been more specific about what I am requesting. We have a Known Issue for TiVo HD's having an issue with the MPEG4 after SW Update. This should not be impacting other model TiVo's
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  11. gimmesomecoffee

    gimmesomecoffee New Member

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    Feb 27, 2016
    Hello TiVOSupport_Sarah.

    I'm unable to PM you, because I haven't posted the required minimum number of posts (10) before having PM privileges.

    Thanks
     
  12. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    Mar 12, 2002
  13. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    The freezing seems to have improved a little for me, but I'm now experiencing random "grey screens"... again, only on the channels that seem to have made the mpeg transition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  14. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    I also can't PM because of post count, and posting in that other forum doesn't seem to be upping my count...
     
  15. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Over recent days this problem appears to have largely resolved itself. I haven't had the freeze in at least a week... perhaps a fix got quietly distributed, or my machine is randomly behaving well. I'll update if the problem returns.
     
  16. buccobruce

    buccobruce Member

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    Aug 25, 2007
    I also had issues with my TiVo HD freezing, requiring a reboot about every 24 hours. This happened after I received the 11.0n update. I had initially run disk diagnostics and everything was fine. I re ran the diagnostics two weeks later and the drive failed miserably. I replaced the drive and my TiVo HD has been rock solid on Comcast with 11.0n ever since.

    bb
     
  17. meBigGuy

    meBigGuy New Member

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    Feb 23, 2007
    I posted this in a different mpeg4 thread but got no responses. Also, I have since talked to TIVO.

    On 1/13 I noticed my Series 3 had stopped working on some Xfinity channels. Took a while, but I finally figured out it was mpeg4 migration.

    I got the "n" SW upgrade and all seemed OK until I started experiencing freezing on some mpeg4 channels. Not every mpeg4 channel would experience the freeze. For example SYFI played just fine, but previously recorded or live FXXPHD would freeze.

    I determined that rebooting would fix the problem. (it's the only thing that would fix it)

    I determined I could make it freeze by recording 2 mpeg4 channels while playing a stored mpeg4 video. Then, a reboot would fix it. Recording 1 channel does not seem to cause it. Not sure whether I need to play back also. (I didn't try every permutation, for example, play back and record)

    Not just any mpeg4 channel though. Only certain channels had whatever it took to cause the freeze. Some channels must encode mpeg4 with different compression or ref frames, or something. For example FXXPHD, NGWIHD. DXDHDP, FXPHD, DISNHDP, and a handfull of others.

    TIVO says they have duplicated the issue, but I suspect they probably won't be fixing it unless they get enough calls.

    I'll have to say that it hasn't frozen in a few weeks, but that may be because currently there are no shows being recorded on the triggering channels (the seasons ended).
     
  18. harwoodjake

    harwoodjake New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    I had massive problems with this for a while, but none in the past month or so. I was mostly experiencing it taping sports (FS1, FSAZ (Fox Sports Arizona) and also some shows on FX network... the sports continues (the season hasn't ended), but without any freezing problems. I ended up switching to only recording standard definition (SD) FX shows, so I don't know if that solved the problem and maybe FX was the root cause. Anyhow, it seems completely resolved for now. People having this problem might try switching to SD for channels that show repeated problems.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  19. meBigGuy

    meBigGuy New Member

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    Feb 23, 2007
    You decision to record SD on the channels that trigger the freeze (I'll call them trigger channels) is a valid work around, I expect. You can determine the trigger channels by trying all HD channels during a freeze and determining which ones do not work (they freeze).

    My list of channels that would no longer decode is:
    NGCPHD
    NGWIHD
    DXDHDP
    FXXPHD
    SECH
    FXPHD
    FBNHD
    FNCHD
    DISNHDP
    FRFMHDP
    FS1HD
    ESPNWHD

    I don't know what is different about those mp4 channels. All the other ones work fine. (but one time it seemed like the freeze started to "spread" to the other channels, like there is a memory leak that gets progressively worse)

    This list was compiled 2 months ago, so there may be more now if I trigger another mp4 freeze.

    During the freeze you can rewind through the reference frames of a previously recorded trigger channel, but not move forward (something like that, anyway).

    BTW, It took three reboots for the upgrade to "n" to finally work (each one got a little further) . I pretty much thought my box was toast.

    Once a freeze occurs, only a reboot seems to fix the issue.
     

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