Just about done with TiVo...continued signal issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by RSCHOON, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

    101
    1
    Sep 7, 2013

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    I can no longer take the constant signal issues that I experience on my TiVo Roamio. This all started a year and a half ago with the Winter update (November 2015, I'll post the long thread documenting this tomorrow when I find it) and now every time I get an update, reboot, lost power, etc, the TiVo comes up with v52, v53, pixelated channels. I then have to fully unplug the box multiple times for over 45 mins each until the signal comes back.

    When the issue is occurring, I usually have a signal strength in the low 70's and a great many errors racking up. I've had the cable company out to check because of course TiVo blamed them, but they say the signal strength is perfect to the box. I've also heard the theories about it being too strong (which is ridiculous...handle it), so for grins I split it again (already split once, maybe even twice) and it did nothing to help. Also of note, my cable box in the other room is perfect, no issues at all.

    This is unbelievably annoying and I'm sick of it. Anyone else experiencing anything like this? Anything to do? Thoughts? I'm getting really close to giving up on TiVo and I've been a customer since 1998.

    Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk
     
  2. pshivers

    pshivers Retired

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    Nov 4, 2013
    Lubbock, Texas
    Have you tried adding a signal amplifier at the point of entry?

    A signal strength of low 70's should be OK, but it is at the bottom end of acceptable signal strength. I had this problem with our Roaming basic, added a booster at the POE and fixed it. But that caused the signal for my Roaming Pro to be too high causing all sorts of problems there. Adding a 6db attenuator corrected at the Roaming Pro balanced the signal out there. Basic problem is the haphazard way Charter installed the coax using splitters here and there instead of making full home runs for the coax in each room...

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  3. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    You don't mention which Roamio you have, nor your ISP, but I would suggest you try the amp as close to the beginning of the line, you need to amply a good signal not one that has already degraded. The low 70's is too low in my experience and you should shoot for the low 80's as a target.
    If the amplifier doesn't get the job done, and frankly even if it does, I think you may have a defective Roamio, but until you try the amp there is no way to tell. There are amps which are designed to replace the primary splitter, often in the box on the side of your home, and one of these is what I suggest. If you want recommendations, provide the number of splits on that first splitter.
     
  4. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    I have the Roamio Plus and have Optimum (Cablevision). I never tried an amp because when Optimum came out, they said the signal right there to the box was great. Whose responsibility is it to amplify the signal...mine or the cable company?

    Also seems really odd that this started happening in Nov 2015 after that update and now reliably occurs with each new update since it restarts the box. Odd that I can get the signal back to working after many cold starts too.
     
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003

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    Have you tried connecting the Roamio as near the incoming cable signal as possible, removing everything else from the equation? (Wondering if there's a bad coax run/cable.)
     
  6. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 19, 2015
    If the signal to their unit is right on spec, the issue is either with the cabling, which is unlikely, as you say your box returns to normal viewing after it is allowed to cool down. Frankly, it sounds like there is something mechanically wrong with your Roamio, I would suspect a problem with the AGC, Automatic Gain Control, from what you are describing. The Roamio works "cold" and holds ok, but if rebooted while it is still hot/warm, it shows problem which can only be fixed by powering down the unit and allowing to cool down. The low signal strength being "reported" on what is supposed to "great" connection is a bad sign also. Heat related problems are an issue on most all electronics. Is your Roamio exposed to good ventilation and away from external heat sources/other equipment?
     
  7. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    I would think that cabling is unlikely as the cable guy tested right there and says it's all good. I wouldn't think that it was a heat issue, though never thought of the reboot as cooling it down. It sits on its own shelf with nothing else on or next to it. Front is open, though the back is closed. The other odd thing is that it's not like it cooling down automatically makes it work, which is another reason I don't assume heat. I have to do this multiple times to get it to work, not just let it cool down, start it, and it's good now.
     
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Ashland, PA...
    In System Information there is an item called MBT. That's Mother Board Temperature. Normal is about 40C.
     
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  9. ustavio

    ustavio Member

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    Oct 19, 2013
    I've been having periodic random reboots since the last update. Sometimes while recording and sometimes not. I've experienced one reboot due to a dead battery on the UPS my router was connected to as well. Once replaced the issue seemed to go away. Since then, however, a movie I thought was recorded, did not (although the red light was on). A scan of history shows it was not recorded because there was "no signal". Checking System Information shows that there has not been a successful VCM connection for almost 24 hours. Also a review of Diagnostics shows that one of the 6 tuners has a signal but no cable card association because it is in the "wrong card state". Checking the cable card configuration shows only 5 tuners but all the other stats look good.

    I am uncertain what any of this means. Did I lose a tuner? VCM failures causing a reboot? Latest update borking the system? Cable card gone bad? All this plus the on going guide issues and I'm not the happy camper I once was.
     
  10. ustavio

    ustavio Member

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    Oct 19, 2013
    Replying to myself. Meh, I've done worse. Anyway, after re-reading my post I thought I'd suggest to myself a reboot to see what happens. Result? VCM connected and all six tuners are up and running within specs. All systems and diagnostics appear to be nominal. Go figure. Happier but only if this issue doesn't pop up again AND if the guide (and channel line up) goofiness stop.
     
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  11. BOSTON-HD

    BOSTON-HD New Member

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    Feb 8, 2017
    Gloucester, MA.
    For some strange reason here in Boston I record the show "Snapped" (25.2) & it been breaking up as of late. But I have a Mohu indoor antenna that's getting it fine. Maybe I need to check my Channel Master 4228 outdoor.
     
  12. al_wilson2

    al_wilson2 Member

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    Sep 14, 2016
    Have you tried swapping the roamio and the cable box between rooms? That would be a good starting point to determine if it's line quality or a tuner/DVR issue.
     
  13. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Frackville, PA.
    It is not a signal issue as there is a very long thread here that covers this issue. It appears for some reason the TiVo switches to QAM64 instead of QAM256. QAM64 has a much lower signal parameters and this makes the QAM256 streams to start failing. It takes constant reboots of the box to straighten this out. I doubt this will ever be fixed. TiVo was just swapping out boxes hoping that would solve the issue. This only affects the 6 tuner models.
    Winter 2015 Update Breaks Cablecard
     
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  14. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    The issue with them swapping out boxes is that they give us no really good method for transferring our shows. So they give me a box with a huge HD, I put everything on it and then they just want me to dump it all, very annoying. What they should do is let me keep both while I watch what's left on my old one while starting to record on the new one...or even better to easily allow us to copy from one to the other.
     
  15. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    How does TiVo not have any real competitors? At this point, I would consider giving one of them a try...just FYI, I don't consider my cable company's Windows 3.1 looking interface a competitor.

    I am so annoyed as I have been on with 4 different tech support people today, again getting the run around just like I have over the past year and a half. The first said let's RMA this, but first do you want to see what they can possibly do to upgrade you? I said sure and then got left on hold for over 30 mins, so hung up. Called back later to sales and they had no clue what I was talking about with my case and said not eligible, then sent me back to tech support. They then wanted to go through all the diagnostic BS and blaming my cable company, so we're doing that now. I just recreated it for them...basically it was working ok for the most part, signal strength of 80-90%, SNR 31-35 dB, but some channels with some uncorrected (so pixelation) and many corrected, but all was working ok. I then told him that if I unplugged and came back up, it would probably run into the issue. Sure enough rebooted and now have no signal, 24-25 dB SNR...obviously no picture.

    I will now have to unplug for over 30 mins and reboot again to try get it back, but even that process will take 2-4 times. Fun stuff and not acceptable for a box that is only 3.5 years old (and the issues first started 2 years in).
     
  16. RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

    101
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    Sep 7, 2013
    Ha...these guys are doing their absolute best to lose a customer. I have been a customer for 15 years now and here is their offer.

    They will RMA this box and send a refurb, but I need to pay $200 to transfer the lifetime from my existing Roamio to the "new" one. The reason is that it's now more than 3 years old...even though I started documenting this issue with their support teams when it was only 2 years old. Are they effing kidding me? I am absolutely livid on the phone with them right now.
     
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    You started documenting the problem at two years old? That's pretty old to be expecting very much in the way of warranty support. $200 to get over this problem seems reasonable. What would scare me though is that the new box may NOT eliminate your issues, which are weird and may not be the fault of the TiVo hardware, but rather some strange interaction between the software and your Optimum cable signals.

    I agree with a previous poster that you should try swapping the TiVo to the cable drop now used by your other STB. Cable connectivity issues can be very tricky. I was having signal problems several years ago. The cable guy checked levels, replaced the splitter where it enters the house -- no improvement. Finally he re-did the connector at the wall for the drop used by the TiVo. That did it!
     
  18. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    4,682
    628
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Cablecard and more specifically, CableLabs. Plus Tivo's aggressive use of patent trolling in the courts.
     

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