S2 Color Changes to Black and White, need Technical info.

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by ski4404, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. ski4404

    ski4404 New Member

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    Dec 7, 2006

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    Hi,

    I have a series 2 that is having a problem with the video. The color of the tivo output seems to change to a very bright black and white over time. All output is affected, including the menus, live tv, etc.

    This just started happening recently. For a while, the solution was to restart the Tivo and everything would go instantly back to normal. However, since it seems to be happening more often now, this has become really annoying.

    EDIT: Disregard the following, as now the RF output is affected as well -->
    For those others who are having this problem, I found a workaround (at least it works for now). It seems that only the RCA connections and the S-Video connections are affected by the problem. The RF output is still working normally.
    <--

    Now my question is this... since it would seem that the RF output is on a different circuit than the RCA/S-video outputs, does anyone think those other outputs can be repaired? I can solder basic electronics, so if there is a known component failure on the board somewhere it can be fixed. I just wouldn't know how to diagnose what is causing the problem (and I don't want to cause additional problems by poking the board with a multimeter).

    Initially, I though the problem could be related to heat because the colors would change over time as the unit was running... but if this was the case then I don't think a warm reboot would fix it instantly.

    If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

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    Aug 12, 2002
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    Going black-and-white is a symptom of a bad S-Video cable. Try another cable and see if it works.
     
  3. ski4404

    ski4404 New Member

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    Dec 7, 2006
    Thanks for the tip, but as I mentioned the problem occurs on the RCA outputs as well as the S-video output.
     
  4. chip_r

    chip_r Member

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    Apr 27, 2006
    Southeast PA
    Have you plugged the Tivo into another TV? It could be your TV input and not the Tivo output.

    For the TiVo outputs, the composite (yellow) jack is a mixed version of the Y/C signals (S-Video). The RF output is a typically modulated off of the same composite signal. Although it's the same signal, the actual jacks have buffer amplifiers.

    If the problem exists on both the composite and Y/C signals and not the RF, it's possibly a failing output buffer amplifier. From your description, the black level reference of the composite is drifting over time. That can easily mess up your black levels and your colors as you've described.

    Without doing some serious troubleshooting, you might just be better off using the RF output. Regardless, try plugging your Tivo into another TV set if you haven't done so already.
     
  5. ski4404

    ski4404 New Member

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    Dec 7, 2006

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    Thanks for the info chip_r! I tried it on another TV and the problem is still there. Also, now it is happening on RF output as well... so all outputs are affected now.

    If the RF buffer takes it's input from the composite signal, and it too no longer works... maybe there is a problem with the composite signal voltage and it is damaging the output buffer amps?

    I really couldn't believe it when I turned on the TV today and the RF signal was bad too. I thought for sure I had that to rely on. Either a repair is needed or I will have to replace the unit. I would prefer a repair if possible. Any further advice?
     
  6. chip_r

    chip_r Member

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    Apr 27, 2006
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    I'd suspect since you're seeing it on all of the outputs, it's further back into the processing chain. Nowadays, things like video DACs and buffers are usually highly integrated (i.e. all in one big chip) so it sounds like you may want to contact weaknees.com or some other repair outfit and describe the problem. Tivo repair shops I'm sure see enough of the same problems that they could give you a rough repair estimate.
     
  7. archaic0

    archaic0 New Member

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    Jul 27, 2007
    My Philips 7000 series Tivo (DirecTV) is doing a similar thing, but it's not nearly as bad.

    I don't know if all of my outputs are affected, I'm using the S-Vid and haven't done any troubleshooting.

    Mine will go black and white, all menus and video stream, but it won't get worse over time or wash out, it simply flips the color off. Mine usually goes back to color within a few seconds though. One time it didn't, and I was able to just rewind a bit and then it went back to color (that may have been a coincidence though).

    I'm using S-vid from the Tivo to my surround sound reciever, that in turn does a component upscale and sends the video to my projector. So there are a couple steps in the chain, but only this one Tivo input does the black and white thing so I'm sure it's the source.

    It may be my S-vid cable so I'll try replacing that, but I won't know if the problem is fixed for months maybe. My problem is so infrequent that I can't do a proper troubleshooting. That may point to the cable more though since maybe it only messes up when the cable gets bumped (which would be very infrequently).
     
  8. chip_r

    chip_r Member

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    Apr 27, 2006
    Southeast PA
    If you're using S-Video and the color flips on and off in an instant, it's likely a loose S-video cable problem. Try pushing the plugs in. S-video is Y/C (Y=luminance=b&w and C = color). The mini-DIN plugs are notorious for falling out.
     
  9. archaic0

    archaic0 New Member

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Well I just moved, so everything has been removed and reconnected. We'll see if the problem returns.

    Although right now I also have a tuner issue. Only one of my two tuners is getting a signal now after the move. At the same time though, I've changed to the 5 LNB setup so I'm not sure where the problem lies. I have another thread open on that issue, but any input would be appreciated!

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5562007#post5562007
     

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