New Bolt recordings have unwatchable pixelation. Live\Stream TV 100% OK

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by nrnoble, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    Friday I received and installed a Bolt and Tivo mini. It is replacing a perfectly running Premiere.

    Looking for insight and suggestions.

    Short version:

    • Recorded TV or delayed TV unwatchable
    • Live TV and streaming Apps are OK.
    • This unit is not refurbished or modified. New directly from Tivo.
    • Signal strength on Bolt at 95% or above.

    Details:
    The Bolt is experiencing unwatchable pixalation when watching recorded TV or delayed lived TV. However live TV and streaming are working. Example, I can stream HBO, HULU, and Netflix on the Bolt without seeing any problems. I can watch TV live without pixelation, but if I pause the TV for 30 seconds and then watch delayed live TV, the video images are unrecognizable. All Bolt recordings are unwatchable\unrecognizable\freezing\etc.

    The Bolt is running in parallel with my 5 year old Premier that never had any problems. Signal strength on both Bolt and Premiere are at 95% or above. I can't ever remember seeing a single pixelation problem with Premier.

    I have high speed internet (xfinity) at 100mbs download (90mbps typical). No problems with internet.

    TiVo Mini has the same problems as Bolt, except that Live TV has far more pixalation problems. Since the Bolt is doing all the work, I am assuming the Bolt is the source of problem. No problems using streaming application such HBO, Hulu, youtube, Netflix, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  2. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Sounds like a bad Bolt...sorry to hear that.

    Call TiVo tomorrow?

    -KP
     
  3. JCN

    JCN Member

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    Feb 4, 2016
    I have the same problem with some recordings. I thought it might have something to do with my external HD. Now I think maybe not.
     
  4. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Active Member

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    What do you mean "running in parallel" with the Premiere? Are you splitting a signal to the two boxes? If so , how are you splitting? Has the Premiere been affected?
     
  5. jfpga

    jfpga New Member

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    Sep 28, 2003
    i had this problem for a couple of months, simple fix for me was just making sure the coaxial cable going into the Bolt was properly seated all the way in.
     
  6. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    It just means they are both running next to each other.

    It was split using a split installed and tested by a xfinity tech a couple of years ago. I had two Tivo running without any problems with steady signal strength of 95 on the Tivos with snr of 37.
     
  7. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    I called tivo and they are claiming that the snr of 37 is too high and that anything over 35 is bad. Can anyone verify that snr of 37 will cause serious recording problems?
     
  8. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Active Member

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  9. T-Shee

    T-Shee Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    No problem with an SNR of 37 here.

    It's very likely that your coax is flakey or the splitter (if you have one in the line) is bad, and yes, splitters do go bad, esp. the cheap ones provided by your cable company. So buy a high quality splitter if you use one (typical for Tuning Adapter setups). It might be good idea to replace the coax cables behind/after the splitter with RG6 (or even RG11's) if you can. (RG11's are fairly stiff, somewhat inflexible, and may not be suitable for in-cabinet installations.)

    I improved my signal dramatically (cleaner, not stronger) with a new splitter and RG11's after it. Error rates dropped to ZERO on the BOLT+ and the cable modem. It's possible to have a good signal (95%) and SNR (37) and still have interference introduced by bad cables and/or bad splitter, which could result in the extreme pixelation your seeing.
     
  10. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    SNR is a measure of the quality of your signal (higher is better) I don't see how a high SNR can be a bad thing unless you are also having a lot of noise so you jacked up the signal to compensate, but then your signal strength would be high.
     
  11. nrnoble

    nrnoble Member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    This has been resolved, and it was nothing wrong the bolt. I can't explain the cause of the problem other than I simply moved the Bolt about two feet. Same connection, not changing anything else, and there was no more pixelation.

    Tivo support has a tough job and really only can resolve basic issues or when people overlook something basic. What bothered me was they were looking find "Anything" to get me off the phone. They weren't looking point me in the right direction, just get to move on to the next caller ASAP. Well, that is what this forum is for, help from people with experience and skills. :)
     
  12. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    New Mexico...
    You have a bad cable or loose connection, and unless you find it, it could come back at any time. The physical location of the TiVo made no difference, but by moving it, you simply tugged on the cables in a different way, and that TEMPORARILY made a bad connection slightly better.

    Many of us (me included) have a tendency to just use our fingers to tighten coax connectors, thus making is easy to make any changes in the future without needing to dig out a wrench. But frankly, this is a very bad practice, and it leads to about 90% of all these types of problems. If you are not going to use a wrench to snug up the connectors, you are better off with the push-on types, since they are designed to provide some spring pressure to secure the connection.
     
  13. Nak

    Nak Active Member

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    Not only that, but you need to check the cable ends and make sure that some of the center conductor is sticking out past the end of the connector. I've seen a lot of cables that the center conductor is recessed. That will work, sometimes. But you can get random pixelation. The shorter it is, the worse the pixelation.
     
  14. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Twice in the last five years I've solved pixilation problems by disconnecting and reconnecting each and every cable connection in my house. Never would have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes.
     
  15. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    I had this problem on just one comcast channel on my 6 month old Bolt. Five days of recordings on that channel were all pixelated but all other recordings were ok. Live tv on that channel looked fine, then I hit the replay button and it was pixelated until I ff'd to live again. I did a soft reboot and the problem was gone.
     
  16. aspexil

    aspexil Member

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    Oct 16, 2015
    We are OTA and this happens to us on only one channel (the local Fox broadcast) and only during Hells Kitchen or Master Chef shows. Do not know why. We have reverted to watching VOD on Sling TV for those two. But we tune into that channel any other time of day/night and it is pixelation free. Weirdest thing.
     
  17. Nak

    Nak Active Member

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    Aug 18, 2010
    I'd still check your cables. I've had one channel pixelated while all the others are fine, and it turned out to be the cable. Check that all your cable connectors wave some of the center electrode sticking out past the end of the connecter. If they don't, you can get weird random pixelation like you describe. Also, tighten all your connectors with a wrench if you have some experience and knowledge on how to use a wrench. Just enough pressure to turn the connector till it stops; don't try and "torque" it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  18. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    Thanks , but no.
     
  19. tivowiz

    tivowiz Member

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    I have a hard time wrapping my head around why recording & buffered watching would be pixelated, but live would be clear with no issues?
     
  20. alexb

    alexb Active Member

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    Kirkland, WA
    I had bad pixelation on and off for years with both media center and TiVo. Wouk did come and go. Sometimes it wouldn’t happen for weeks or months and sometimes every day, was worse in summer. Now is fixed.

    It was traced to two issues. First was the drop from pole to house had a singke strand of shielding wrapped around the core (I.e mis cabled years ago).

    Second was ingress of other signals. I live a mile from a lake, seems it is common in summer for marine radio interference to ingress through ANY part of the cable infrastructure. Comcast replaced my pole level interconnects to remove the snap connectors plus the replaced old cable in various parts of the neighbourhood.

    I had the supervisor around my house figuring this all out. He had also seen equipment in houses do something similar - put RF noise in the house that affects cable (motors on fridges etc.)

    FWIW
     
    nrnoble likes this.

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