OTA problem

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by guyincog, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Apr 2, 2010 #1 of 260
    guyincog

    guyincog New Member

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    Feb 25, 2005

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    My new Premiere arrived today and I'm having serious problems with my OTA reception. With my TiVo HD I get signal strengths of 60-85 across all of my local channels (10 channels + various sub-channels) with every channel being perfectly watchable. Minor artifacts were occasional on a couple of the weaker stations. With my new Premiere in the same spot connected to the same antenna via the same piece of coax I'm getting signal strengths of 20-35 and not a single watchable channel.

    I swapped the boxes back and forth about 3 time to verify this behavior, and it was the same every time. I even tried a different piece of coax, just in case, and still got the same behavior.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for things I should try? I'm OTA only, so my spiffy new TiVo is absolutely useless to me at the moment.
     
  2. Apr 2, 2010 #2 of 260
    kylemax

    kylemax New Member

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    Mar 11, 2010
    I can tell you that I didn't get the greatest impression on the strength of tuning in channels either. I could view most of my channels though. Not sure what kind of antenna you have but you might want to try a pre-amplifier if you have an outdoor antenna or if you have an indoor-try an amplified antenna.
     
  3. Apr 2, 2010 #3 of 260
    bjm951

    bjm951 New Member

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    Nov 27, 2007
    I'm having a similar problem and have spent all afternoon debugging it. It seems like the Premiere is a serious step down from the HD in OTA tuner strength. I checked my HD against my Panasonic plasma and it was somewhat weaker - maybe 10%. Now the Premiere is significantly weaker than the HD - at least 20%. I already have an amplified antenna that works perfectly when going straight to the Panasonic TV but is borderline to the Premiere. Today's a perfectly clear day and I know the signal will go down on a stormy day. I'm only 5 miles from the major antennas in Boston (I'm not *too* close) so there's plenty of signal there.

    The Premiere ATSC tuner is clearly defective. This behavior has been reported by multiple people now. I've already told Tivo support about it through online chat. I assume it's a hardware problem. I'll hold on to my box for a couple of days on the outside chance that Tivo responds and says it's a fixable software problem. Otherwise the Premiere is going back.
     
  4. Apr 2, 2010 #4 of 260
    Dreamin

    Dreamin New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006
    +1 Same problem here... though not as severe.
    I posted my data in the Bug thread: http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7859316#post7859316

    What's strange is that the HD and S4 use the same tuner (Microtune MT2131).

    I seem to recall problems with the HD not being able to handle too hot a signal? I wonder if the S4 has an attenuator added inline?

    Maybe you could try an amplifer.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2010 #5 of 260
    bjm951

    bjm951 New Member

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    Nov 27, 2007

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    Good to hear that the Premiere has the same tuner chip. So I wonder if they changed the circuit at all, or these are just manufacturing defects.

    My problem has been elevated to "Level 2" support by Tivo. It could take up to a week for them to get back to me.

    In the meantime it would be interesting to hear from other Premiere users about their OTA reception. The most useful would be direct comparisons to the HD, next most useful would be comparisons to other QAM tuners like a TV. Saying "it works fine for me" is better than nothing but hard draw any conclusions from.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2010 #6 of 260
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I set up OTA on some of my boxes and noticed that the signal level shows lower. But it's also possible that the signal level is calculated differently. Since even when I had a signal level of 30 on the Premier the picture was as rock solid as on the TiVoHD with the signal level showing higher.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2010 #7 of 260
    Dreamin

    Dreamin New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006
    Do you mean Signal Strength? or SNR?

    I am getting 'RS Uncorrected' errors and seeing pixelation on channels with a Signal Strength of ~65 or lower. I NEVER got pixelation on my S3.

    A few of my channel Signal Strengths...
    Channel: S3 / S4
    5-1: 97 / 81
    7-1: 86 / 70
    11-1: 84 / 64
    28-1: 99 / 95
    50-1: 89 / 65

    Channel 11-1 RS Errors: S3 / S4 (after 6000 seconds; back to back testing)
    RS Corrected: ~1400 / ~1100
    RS Uncorrected: 0 / ~1000 (I see pixelation with RS uncorrected errors)

    To check error counts:
    Messages & settings -> Account & System Info -> DVR Diagnostics -> Scroll down to RS Uncorrected / RS Corrected counts for each of the tuners

    RS Corrected errors: No big deal.
    RS Uncorrected errors: Pixelation / Picture problems
     
  8. Apr 3, 2010 #8 of 260
    TVCricket

    TVCricket HDUI

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    Mar 7, 2010
    I was going to get mine specifically to cancel my Directv and use OTA. So glad I didn't. Way too many problems for a so called top notch product.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2010 #9 of 260
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Even with a signal meter of 30 I get no pixelation from the channel. When it's in the low 20's I noticed issues but nothing when it's above that.

    I'll have to check that menu for errors.
     
  10. Apr 4, 2010 #10 of 260
    bleeman

    bleeman Member

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    Sep 5, 2004
    Arizona
    We purchased the Premium XL last Sunday and have been using it all week without issue on an OTA setup. I just looked at our settings and our channels average signal strength ranges from 58 to 88. All of our channels are coming in nice and clear and the transmission towers average about 40 miles away.

    Our antenna is in our attic and has a single level of "arms" that point in the direction of the towers

    On the diagnostics we have around 350 uncorrected, but I haven't seen any issues as a result.

    Granted it has only been a week, but the picture has been great.
     
  11. Apr 4, 2010 #11 of 260
    _Ryan_

    _Ryan_ New Member

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    Apr 4, 2010
    My signal strength took a sharp dive when I switched from the Tivo HD to the Premiere... several channels became unwatchable that were coming in crystal clear on the Tivo HD... very strange... (I started a thread about this too)
     
  12. Apr 4, 2010 #12 of 260
    guyincog

    guyincog New Member

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    Feb 25, 2005
    Got back home from vacation today, so I finally had a bit more time to experiment. I decided to install a splitter on my antenna, so that I could compare the Tivo HD and the Premiere at the same time with the same signal from the antenna.

    My experimentation today was far more encouraging than on Friday. All of my channels were now viewable on the Premiere (in spite of the reduced strength from using the splitter). Signal strengths ranged from 45-60 on the Premiere and 60-80 on the Tivo HD. The picture quality seemed to be roughly the same on each box in spite of the major difference in signal strength.

    I suspect that there was some kind of unusual interference on Friday that the TiVo HD was able to filter out, and the Premiere was not. I will do a bit more poking around and compare the SNR on a few of the channels when I get some time.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2010 #13 of 260
    Dreamin

    Dreamin New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006
    My problem appears to be very random... sometimes I can go a full day with only a ~1000 RS Uncorrected Errors. Then last night the channel was unwatchable with over 800,000 RS Uncorrected Errors over 9 hours:(

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Apr 5, 2010 #14 of 260
    S3-2501

    S3-2501 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2007
    Wow, this thread is an unpleasant surprise. I'm OTA-only and have been very happy with the tuners in my S3 and HD. I sincerely hope this is a temporary issue for Premiere users, since there is precious little reason for OTA-only users to upgrade to the Premiere as it is, and if these reports of reception problems continue then I would never be able to upgrade even if I wanted to or if my current Tivos were to break down (heaven forbid!.:eek:)

    I'm surprised they used the same tuner chip in the Premiere. As good as the HD/S3 tuner is, the latest chips as used in the subsidized analog converter boxes and newer TVs outperform it slightly and would have been a logical choice for the newest iteration of Tivo. Here's hoping they can fix this in software!
     
  15. Apr 5, 2010 #15 of 260
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    The "demodulator" -- the part primarily responsible for reception -- changed in the Premiere.
     
  16. Apr 5, 2010 #16 of 260
    _Ryan_

    _Ryan_ New Member

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    Apr 4, 2010
    I'm assuming that's hardware... If there is a hardware problem here, that's really unfortunate for us OTA folks who upgraded...

    (as for me, I'm still having trouble. Adjusted antenna twice now to get ABC, FOX and MyTV to come in w/out artifacts, but still getting way less signal strength than with my TivoHD)
     
  17. Apr 5, 2010 #17 of 260
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Both the TiVo HD and Series3 used the same ATI Theater 314 demodulator so TiVo had plenty of time to "perfect" that firmware. The Premiere is the first TiVo product with a Micronas DRX demodulator, so the implementation (i.e. internal system settings) may not be as mature.
     
  18. Apr 5, 2010 #18 of 260
    spongeweed

    spongeweed New Member

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    Mar 4, 2010
    Is it even possible to adjust the OTA chip sensitivity via firm/software? Or is this another example of fixing something that's not broken? Either way, this is a big blunder. Just when people were beginning to really consider the idea of going OTA only, you reduce it's OTA sensitivity? C'mon guys.
     
  19. Apr 5, 2010 #19 of 260
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    There should be a number of different parameters adjustable in firmware. Based on reports so far (almost universally negative) regarding OTA reception, TiVo doesn't appear to have done much in the way of off-air testing.
     
  20. Apr 6, 2010 #20 of 260
    theoryzero

    theoryzero New Member

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    Jan 7, 2010
    I'll chime in. The Premier is my first Tivo so I can't do comparisons to S3 models but the signal values I'm getting match those that I get on my 2005 Panasonic plasma. My weakest signal was mid 30s on my TV's tuner and unwatchable but the Premier hasn't failed to display it properly. So in my case, the unit is receiving OTA broadcasts to my expectations.
     

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