New S3 / Verizon FiOS HD pixelation problem

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by matty87, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. PieThief

    PieThief New Member

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    Apr 1, 2007

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    Is there a range for SNR and Signal Strength that corresponds with a good signal (for those who have resolved the pixelation issue)?
     
  2. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    For FIOS, it seems to be all about SNR, and pixelation stabilizes at 31/32. Signal strength doesn't matter (as long as it's above 45-50).
     
  3. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Did you have back to back recordings scheduled?

    There is a bug in Tivo's logic that will make it take control of the active tuner when back to back recordings are scheduled. For example, if you have one recording scheduled for 3-4pm and another recording scheduled for 4-5pm, the Tivo will ask you to change the channel at 4pm. At 4:00:01 you can switch to the other tuner to continue watching your program. A number of members have complained about this on TCF. Hopefully, TiVo will fix it in their next 'bug fix' release.

    Another possibility is that you have TiVo Suggestions enabled. If you are watching live TV and have not used a trickplay function (such as pause or instant replay) in the last 15-30 minutes, the TiVo will assume that nobody is watching liveTV and it may use the tuner to record a suggestion. Disabling Suggestions would of course prevent that.
     
  4. bugged1

    bugged1 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2007
    I have had Verizon FIOS TV since August. About 3-4 weeks ago, I noticed the pixelation problem reported in this forum. I do not own a Tivo, but I do have a Sony LCD tv with a cablecard. I am in Virginia.

    My experience has been similar to that of other posts. Multiple visits from Verizon techs, multiple replacements of cablecards, coax, and the ONT without results. Multiple attempts at different levels of attenuation with no results. I was told that no one else in my area had reported this problem---pixelation on local HD channels only (801-808). All other channels are fine.

    In my system, the local HD channels are in the 500,000 khz range.

    Like others, I tried various levels of attenuation myself and was able to resolve the pixelation on 801-808. However, I then noticed that other HD channels were starting to pixelate. So this solution did not work for me.

    I finally gave in and got the HD STB from Verizon, and that cured the problem.
    However, I prefer the quality of the picture I get without the STB, so I am not willing to give up quite yet. Like everyone else, I am anxiously waiting for a solution.
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...

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    I have no pixelation problem here in Northern VA on my 4 HDTiVos that are on FIOS. FIOS has an 8 way splitter on my coax and I have everything connected to it without any pixelation problems. I have 4 HDTiVos, 1 FIOS HD STB, and 3 HDTVs connected to the 8 outputs.
     
  6. esmtexas

    esmtexas New Member

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    Mar 8, 2007
    I actually am now on 9.2 and still have the random PIX on many channels that was not there prior to 9.1 or 9.2. I also swapped out the S3 this past weekend and no change. So now I have the ATeenuator pack on order.
     
  7. doconeill

    doconeill Unix Guru

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    Dec 13, 2002
    West of Boston
    I've had FiOS for about a week and a half now. I've got two TivoHD units, although only one is hooked up to an HD screen.

    On the HD screen, I get pixellation on just a few of the "cable" HD channels - I've definitely seen it on AEHD and FOODHD. I have NOT seen it on any of the locals, or HDNET - haven't watched much of the others yet.

    When I went to the diagnostics screen, one tuner showed a SNR of 31-32dB with no corrections (didn't notice the signal strength), and I believe it was tuned to a low channel. The other was up to 36-37dB, with a signal strength of 99-100 and corrections going up rapidly. I'm pretty sure this was tuned to AEHD. The problem was when I went back to live TV to check the channels, it appeared both tuners were "dead" - I got a black screen, I couldn't call up the guide, and if I went back in to the TiVo menus, there was no background. I got the same thing when the cablecards were first installed and I went to the "Test Channels" screen. I had to restart to restore function.

    I'd look again, but its recording programs now...

    I'm recording some HD from FOODHD on the other unit which I'll transfer to this one and see if the pixellation is there. The other unit is at the end of a long RG59 run (old cable) where the installer actually had a problem getting the signal up to spec - he originally used a 5- or 6-way splitter that attenuated too much, so now I have a 3-way (I have a third outlet to a regular STB). This TiVo is on a shorter run with RG6.

    I'm thinking that I could use some attenuation, as others have stated here. Does that sound right? Would attenuating not harm the signal that was on the other tuner that seemed to be in the good (31-32dB) range?
     
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Adding attenuators will not get rid of pixelization in the original picture signal.

    If you aren't seeing RS Uncorrected errors (which cause pixelization and dropouts) on your Diagnostics screen, then an attenuator can't do anything for you.
     
  9. doconeill

    doconeill Unix Guru

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    Dec 13, 2002
    West of Boston
    Sorry, I guess I left something out...both corrections and uncorrected errors were growing for that particular tuner at the time.

    I'll try and get some more testing done this evening before its time to record things again.
     
  10. doconeill

    doconeill Unix Guru

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    Dec 13, 2002
    West of Boston
    OK, I've tuned both tuners to the HD channels - one to 840 (FOODHD), the other 842 (AEHD).

    Issues seem to come in bursts. Both tuners show SNR between 34-37dB and the signal strength bounces between 87-100.

    Tuner 1 seems more sensitive. Within a couple minutes, I got 3k uncorrected and 78k corrected errors on it, but now its stayed absolutely still for about 5 minutes.

    Tuner 0 only had 9k corrected and 0 uncorrected.

    I flipped the tuners around. on at about 80 seconds, there were 10k corrected and 0 uncorrected on tuner 1, and then suddenly the uncorrected errors shot up, and the corrected errors accelerated. At 150 seconds, I was at 7k/148k, and I noticed that the signal strength was moving between 60-87.

    Tuner 0 has been slowly getting corrected errors now, but only a couple hundred. Signal strength seems to be around 93-100 pretty consistently.

    And now that the signal strength is up again on Tuner 1, the uncorrected errors have stopped and the corrected errors have slowed down.

    I checked my other TivoHD (the one not hooked up to an HD screen), repeated the same thing. The exact same thing happens - Tuner 1 tends to get a drop in signal strength, at which point corrected/uncorrected go up.

    It seems unlikely that this is strictly a signal strength problem, but also seems unlikely that two tuner cards would be bad, and both end up in the Tuner 1 slot on both units. I'm assuming I can't just swap the cards between tuners and have them authorize properly...

    Any other ideas? Fortunately it seems limited to a few channels - haven't had time to run the channel list though.
     
  11. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
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    This is exactly what I (and many others) saw before I added the attenuators.
     
  12. doconeill

    doconeill Unix Guru

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    Dec 13, 2002
    West of Boston
    OK, I'll order the attenuator set and hope for the best...thanks...
     
  13. jgupton

    jgupton New Member

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    Aug 27, 2005
    FWIW, I had a similar problem on 840 (Food Network) and the SD DIY channel 147 was virtually unwatchable. I've had two attenuators (one 3db and one 6db) inline for almost two weeks now and have had almost no uncorrected errors (and the corrected errors are considerably lower - a few thousand as opposed to many hundreds of thousands).

    Haven't had any watchability issues since (on any channels) - crossing my fingers that nothing changes. Hopefully you'll see similar improvements.
     
  14. FiosUser

    FiosUser Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Hello, everyone. This is my first post to tivo community.

    I had this pixelation problem with my new S3 (still in un-rebated state).

    Problem summary:
    I had Verizon's DVR. Buggy so I bought a Tivo S3. Verizon installed cable cards and splitter so I had the DVR and Tivo atop one another until I finished watching all my shows on the DVR. Picture quality was excellent with both units. Upon Verizon removing the DVR and splitter, pixelation started on the Tivo on 2 channels (TNT and TBS--channels 51 and 52).

    Solution Summary:
    Verizon troubleshooted for 5 hours and didn't get anywhere. (same type of troubleshooting others have posted). By my reading the posts here and on dslreports, I found 3 options to try:
    1. Attenuate the signal on the cable going into the Tivo box.
    2. Amplify the signal (recommended after calling Tivo) and on the boards.
    3. Ask Verizon to check their "cards" in their "head office"

    I went with #1 and it worked. I had to add a "-8" attenuator and all is now well.
     
  15. winter

    winter Member

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    Jan 27, 2002
    Its amazing with that problem description that Tivo would be suggesting to *amplify* the signal although I guess that is conventional wisdom for the problem (pre-FIOS).

    Clearly the signal got stronger when the VZ DVR and splitter was removed from the equation and that's when the problem started - seems obvious to me that attenuating the signal back to the same level as when the splitter was present would be the first thing to try.

    I don't fault FIOS for not knowing how to troubleshoot Tivo's because its not their hardware, but if Tivo hasnt gotten the message yet that when a FIOS customer calls in with pixelation problems that attenuation should be at the top of the list of fixes to try then shame on them. Has Tivo even put this issue in their troubleshooting guide on their site yet?

    IMO at this point Tivo should have a supply of attenuators and offer to mail them to FIOS customers free of charge. No other device that I've heard of has problem handling FIOS's hot signal (and I'm not just talking about the VZ-provided hardware) that leads me to believe that Tivo's design is overly sensitive so they need to step up to the plate to handle it.
     
  16. jjd

    jjd Member

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    Nov 2, 2006
    An update:

    Things have been working pretty well with my 10+3=13db attenuation at the ONT. (After that attenuation, the output goes to a 4-1 splitter which sends a signal to a Series 3 in the living room and to the bedroom where there is another 4-1 splitter connecting an (on loan) verizon DVR and Sony LCD XBR (with cablecard)).

    But this weekend, I noticed some pixellation on the Series 3. I checked the diagnostics and the SNR was around 34. I added an additional 10db attenuator to the back of the Tivo and that brought the SNR down to about 31. I haven't seen any additional pixellation, but will keep my eye out.

    --Jim--
     
  17. Joe Q

    Joe Q New Member

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    Apr 21, 2004
    Annapolis,MD

    I am battling the same problem with my dual ATI digital Cable Card tuner on my Cable Card PC. This is with Verizon FIOS.

    In my case, it is random in that it will be fine for a few days and then really get bad pixelation for a few days. It IS channel dependent.
    EG. When it acts up, my local FOX station is the worse so much so as to be unwtachable and HBOHD,for instance, will only have a few picture breakups

    I had Verizon out last week and the tech said that the signal test shows that I have an in spec signal strength.
    When i showed him the Fox station breaking up really bad , he spent a lot of time on the phone talking to his resident expert.

    He changed to a different make of splitter and the problem went away.
    He told me that they have found a lot of variablilty in the performabce of the splitters which is why his exptert told him to change the splitter.

    I was happy that everything was working fine until the next night when I started getting that same random pixelation.
    It is like they are doing something on the other end of the fiber to cuase this to act so randomly.

    I am looking for a forum like the TIVO forum to discuss these ATI issues but at least I can confirm the question that was asked.
     
  18. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    JoeQ,

    Have you tried attenuators? That has fixed the problem for 95+% of TiVo users with FiOS.

    AbMagFab posted a good summary here.
     
  19. jjd

    jjd Member

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    Nov 2, 2006
    I agree. JoeQ -- try the attenuators. They solved the problem not only for my S3 TiVo, but also for my CableCard equipped Sony XBR LCD TV.

    --Jim--
     
  20. bugged1

    bugged1 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2007

    I am having a similar problem with my Sony LCD TV and Motorola cablecard. I also have Verizon FIOS. My pixelation is confined to the local HD channels. Up until about 3 weeks ago I never had any problems. After 6 tech visits, I tried the attenuators, and was able to eliminate the problem on the local HD channels, but then noticed that other channels started to pixelate. I agree that it seems that something changed on the Verizon end of the fiber to cause this. However, tests show that my signal is perfectly within specs.
     

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