Partial recording -- total head-scratcher

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kmkoch, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Mar 6, 2009 #21 of 167
    jonginear

    jonginear New Member

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    May 30, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

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    I've been having partial recording issues for about a month now and can't say for sure if it is related to any software revisions. The symptoms are that while watching a show that is recording there are frequent (every minute or more than 1 per minute) audio drop outs and then some pixilation as well. It makes watching the show very difficult. This problem escalates to the point that the picture freezes. When not attended, the TiVo can show that it is recording a show (red light is on) and it is in fact recording a black screen which equals no recording. I've caught this in the act and found that stopping the recording and then trying to watch live shows a very stuttery, unwatchable picture.

    Here's the catch. I have 2) S2 Tivo's, 2) S3 TiVo's, and a TiVo HD. Only the S3's have cable cards and they both have 2) S cards each. No cards in the HD. The HD never screws up and it only records basic cable and off air HD.

    My trouble shooting from trolling other threads led me to look at the following:
    Go to-- Messages and settings,settings, cable card devices, configure 1 or 2 (doesn't matter you need to do both anyway), DVR Diagnostics:
    Check the following-- RS corrected, RS uncorrected, and Time since tune start.
    From what I've read the RS corrected is the number of times a special algorithm was engaged to correct a bad data byte or packet of data. The RS uncorrected is the number of times the algorithm failed to make the correction. This is significant in relation to the time since the last tune (or the tuner locked onto that particular channel). A very high uncorrected count in relation to time since tune shows that you are getting a poor signal which in my case is evidenced by the drop outs, pixilation and failed recordings.
    I have 1 S3 that records mostly ABC and CBS. The other S3 records NBC and FOX. This eliminates a lot of supersized and overrun show conflicts, but it also means that the tuners stay locked on a particular channel for a long time.
    I have been able to successfully resolve every partial recording episode and poor quality watching event live by changing the tuner to a different channel and then changing back to the original channel. Basicaly just reseting the tuner, flushing out the crap or whatever fixes the problem. This can't solve your unattended recording failures but it may shed some light on what may be causing the issue.
    I've got a Cox guy coming out tomorrow to check signal levels but I don't think that's the issue. All channels seem to run between 85 and 95 on the level test. I'll post back if there's something of note after the visit.

    Jon
     
  2. Mar 7, 2009 #22 of 167
    RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    An update:

    I removed the DVR Expander and set up the TiVo HD to run without it on Friday and so far it's been recording everything.

    Previously I had partial recordings and sometimes when watching live TV, the screen would go black.

    I'll end up reinstalling the DVR Expander and see if it still works, but I want to give a few days without it to make sure it's going to keep working.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2009 #23 of 167
    kmkoch

    kmkoch New Member

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Last night I deleted the 0:26 partial recording of 24. Then I went into the Recently Deleted Items folder and looked at it -- now it was showing Duration 2:00. (Recovering the program just restored it to the Now Playing List as a 0:26 partial recording.)

    Anyone know if this is "normal" S3 behavior?
     
  4. Mar 7, 2009 #24 of 167
    rickws3

    rickws3 New Member

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    Jun 17, 2007
    Funny, I had a partial recording of 24 also, approx 1:15 (I don't recall exactly). I've never had this happen before. 24 is a popular recording of course, but I wonder if there is something about particular shows triggering this?
     
  5. Mar 8, 2009 #25 of 167
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az

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    I'm also having this issue. I have an expander and TA but otherwise my TivoHD is stock. For those of you who have divorced your expander and reported no problems, can you please comment on if you've continued to have no issues? I don't mind divorcing but I am hoping to get a bit more confidence that it might help first.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Mar 8, 2009 #26 of 167
    RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    I removed my expander and now my TiVo works fine.

    Today I reconnected the DVR expander and I started having the same issues again, partial recordings, TiVO freezing up.

    So I removed it again, and the TiVo is fine again.

    So I guess there is an issue with the expander (still strange it came up only after the 11.b update). I'm not sure how to fix it without buying a new expander or hope that it was a bug in the tivo update and it gets fixed someday.
     
  7. Mar 8, 2009 #27 of 167
    stark

    stark Member

    796
    5
    Dec 31, 2003
    Eden...
    I also had a partial recording of 24 that was about 1:15 in length. It's the only issue I've seen so far.

    I have a S3 with a DVR Expander.
     
  8. Mar 9, 2009 #28 of 167
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    Thanks Rusty! I will go ahead with the expander removal tomorrow and see what happens. Certainly sounds like 11.b broke something related to expanders.
     
  9. Mar 9, 2009 #29 of 167
    EVizzle

    EVizzle ^^MacGvyer^^

    4,020
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    Feb 13, 2005
    St. Paul, MN
    Identical problem for me, 1:15 minutes in! No tuning adapter, no issues ever before. I do have the MyDVR Expander attached.
     
  10. Mar 9, 2009 #30 of 167
    RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    Let me know if that helps.

    I was going to hook my expander up to my computer to see if there were any problems with it, but I don't have an easy way to hook up an esata drive to it. I just want to rule out that the expander is bad.
     
  11. Mar 9, 2009 #31 of 167
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    Tivo support indicated to me that their call volume on this issue indicates it is expander-related. They recommended a divorce to me as well. I prepped my wife last night for the loss of her shows. I should be able to do it this evening. I also asked Tivo Support if there is an investigation into the software as I can't imagine everyone's expanders all decided to up and break at the same time. Will keep you posted on that.
     
  12. Mar 9, 2009 #32 of 167
    Tkilmer

    Tkilmer New Member

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    Dec 25, 2003
    This sounds like my issue too. Ever since the recent updates, my TiVo HD has been having lots of trouble. I only record OTA and I have a WD Expander. Right now I am trying a delete of program information, but it sounds like this won't work. Last week I tried just deleting thumb ratings and suggestions to no avail. My wife is going to be pissed losing all her shows if I need to divorce the Expander.

    Sounds like one person had success bringing the Expander back in after a format. This sounds like the software update screwed up how Expander's are managed. Which explains why my problems seem to be getting worse over time.

    Has anyone tried a clear and delete anything with the Expander attached?
     
  13. Mar 10, 2009 #33 of 167
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az

    Ok, I did the divorce. So far so good but it's only been a couple hours. Will need to give it a few days to be sure.
     
  14. Mar 10, 2009 #34 of 167
    Tkilmer

    Tkilmer New Member

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    Dec 25, 2003
    I did the divorce last night and my problems so far have gone away.
     
  15. Mar 12, 2009 #35 of 167
    BrightestBear

    BrightestBear New Member

    26
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    Mar 3, 2009
    Any updates from those who divorced and remarried their expanders? Is everything still working smoothly? I don't want to lose all my saved programs if the problems start up again afterward, so I'd love to hear how that solution is still working for everyone.
     
  16. Mar 12, 2009 #36 of 167
    RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    I divorced the expander, let it go for a couple of days and everything was fine. I then remarried the expander and it started almost immediately with partial recordings and black screens, so I divorced it again.

    Right now I'm not using my expander at all. I'll probably wait it out until they come up with an update.
     
  17. Mar 12, 2009 #37 of 167
    BrightestBear

    BrightestBear New Member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Well, I'm glad I asked! I would've been pretty pissed if I dumped everything and had the same problems pop back up.

    Have others had the same experience?
     
  18. Mar 13, 2009 #38 of 167
    jagz27

    jagz27 New Member

    13
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    Mar 20, 2007
    I divorced + re-married my expander about 2 weeks ago. I've had no problems since.
    (Though I did not wait to re-marry my expander after divorcing it.)
     
  19. Mar 13, 2009 #39 of 167
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    My divorce has fixed my problems 100%. This is definitely a code issue impacting expander communication. Now, I'm thinking that if I re-attach my expander, my problems will resurface. I think I'll wait to see if some other folks try this. I think I've seen one example where the problems came back and one where they have not.
     
  20. Mar 13, 2009 #40 of 167
    BrightestBear

    BrightestBear New Member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Well, I finally called TiVo about this. The CSR said the update probably pushed a failing hard drive over the edge, so he didn't predict that a software fix would be forthcoming. His only recommendation was to divorce the expander and see if the TiVo works without it. If it does, he said it's the expander hard drive that's failed.
     

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