S3 Pixelization /Macroblocking?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by thepcdoc, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Terial-DeVo

    Terial-DeVo New Member

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    Nov 1, 2004

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    it's strange, turns out all of my showtime channels on my S3 are pixelized, while my S2 is just fine :/

    grrrrrr need to find a way to fix this.
     
  2. crazywater

    crazywater USS TiVo NCC-1780

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    Mar 7, 2001
    USA
    I have the macroblocking on my S3 but its tolerable. Very small bursts usually about 3-4 in an hour show. I am confident that TiVo will have this fixed soon. Since the TiVoHD is experiencing bigger problems I am hoping that the fix for that will also be incorporated into the S3...
     
  3. macsamurai

    macsamurai TiVoSamurai Too!

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    Dec 30, 2001
    Brooklyn...
    We have exactly the same problem with Showtime and our S3 (which we bought on day one). Short audio dropouts and pixelation happens on a few other channels regularly as well, but it's the worst and ever-present and on all of the SHO channels. 2 cable cards - the problem is the same for Sho HD and non-HD and is problematic on both tuners.

    Showtime on our S2 (via cable box) is fine, just like yours. Weeds is pretty much unwatchable on our S3 now. I'm not happy about watching Standard def premium channels on a 42-inch plasma.

    Are you with Time Warner in NYC, by chance?


     
  4. Terial-DeVo

    Terial-DeVo New Member

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    Nov 1, 2004
    I am/was with time warner which became comcast in Houston TX actually... interesting that we both are having the identical issue though. I'm from NY lol maybe i brought the issue with me ;)

    Either way, not enjoying watching Weeds in non HD. I hope the fixes for the TivoHD fix the S3 issues.
     
  5. SAH2

    SAH2 New Member

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    Apr 1, 2007

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    I have had my S3 since April, and am using it with basic cable ( clear QAM) and OTA - no cablecards.

    Tonight, for the first time, I started getting macroblocking/pixelation on clear QAM ABC HD. The problem was only on the TIVO and not with the feed from the cable.

    To verify this, I switched input on the TV from Input 5 ( HDMI-1 the Tivo) to TV (cable). This uses the same basic cable feed that goes into the Tivo. No pixelation on the same channel. (I also verified this by turning on an older TV in the same room that is used as a monitor for the DVD recorder. I set that to monitor the picture from the Tivo out of the S-video out. So, at the same time I could watch both the Tivo and the TV (using cable). I could see the macroblocking occuring on the Tivo feed, but not on the TV)

    Since nothing has changed in my setup, and I have not had any pixelation issues with the cable feed in the past, and the TV has no problems with the same feed, what can I do to troubleshoot this. The pixelation was so bad I could not watch.

    Could I have somehow received an update from Tivo. My sw is 8.3.1-01-2-648

    Thanks
     
  6. jazmaan

    jazmaan New Member

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    Aug 30, 2002
    Dang! I've never seen ANYTHING like that on my TivoHD. It looks like you threw a pie at your screen!
     
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    A discussion of macroblocking and audio drop outs started back in May on this thread (and others) when many of us thought and TiVo now acknowledges the v8.3 upgrade caused some users audio/video problems.

    Although the circumstances are different (likely a bad S3) the OP on this thread says that TiVo told him that a new software upgrade is due out by the end of this month (August).

    AFAIK this is the first time that TiVo has given an ETA on a new software push. Hopefully a lot of these issues will be resolved once it’s released.
     
  8. jtreid

    jtreid Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    LMFAO :D
     
  9. TiVolunteer

    TiVolunteer lotta lurk rare post

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    Jul 10, 2001
    Cary, NC
    Had my 3 Series 3's since December and I've had pixelation issues since day one.

    • problem occurs on encrypted QAM -- OTA is fine, QAM in the clear is fine (most of the time)
    • SA cards on Time Warner Raleigh
    • problem occurs on ALL 3 Series 3's but not at the same time or in the same location within a given show (so the pixelation is NOT in source)
    • signal levels and quality has been checked multiple times by Time Warner at the ingress to my house, at my distribution point and at each box.
    • Worst channel is HDNET followed closely by UHD but I also see it on encrypted SD channels (e.g. Showtime)

    Calls to TiVo have yielded answers ranging from "it is a known problem and will be fixed in the next release" (already come and gone) to "you are the only one reporting such a problem". To date they have not even logged a ticket against this and said they won't unless I want to replace the hardware. I haven't agreed to that because it doesn't make sense to me that all 3 are having the problem and they haven't made any fixes to address it.
     
  10. crazywater

    crazywater USS TiVo NCC-1780

    706
    28
    Mar 7, 2001
    USA
    I am also on TWC Raleigh and am experiencing exactly the same problems with my one S3. I have had Techs out numerous times for all of the above mentioned work and more, the last time was to replace the SA CCs with two new ones with mfg dates of 5/2007. Still no change. I see the problem on ALL premium channels also I see it on MLB EI channels. Interestingly I do not see it hardly ever on the network HD channels and never on OTA. It occurs 5-6 times an hour, sometimes worse.
     
  11. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,341
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    EXACTLY the same problem that I am seeing (since October) with two S3's.

    I can also add that OTA 8VSB is fine...

    Don
     
  12. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    That's a BS response - call and ask for a case number to be opened and sent to engineering. You have some good detail to report.

    If the CSR refuses, ask for a supervisor.
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
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    Jan 4, 2003
    +1 :up:
     
  14. TiVolunteer

    TiVolunteer lotta lurk rare post

    282
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    Jul 10, 2001
    Cary, NC
    Agreed. However that detail (and more) was provided them in every previous conversation and didn't seem to have any impact.

    I'll give it another try as soon as I have a couple of free hours to sit on hold. :)
     
  15. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area

    It's not always easy, as I'm sure the average CSR is under pressure to keep call times short.

    I make the rep read back what they supposedly write in the case report after a few minutes. Pretty easy to tell who has actually created a ticket and who is just trying to end the call. I learned that the hard way when I called in to check in on the status of an old ticket and realized that the original rep hadn't bothered to actually write down the detail I provided.

    Unfortunately, it does take time to get it done, so it's easy to see why so many don't bother.
     
  16. jbrennan

    jbrennan New Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    I had this problem with Cablevision (NJ), but it was infrequent. I've since switched to Fios, and it's recently become much, much worse. Some SD channels (Spike, Food Network mostly, but also Nick, Sci Fi and others) are unwatchable. Spike is the worst. Usually no problems on HD channels. Two cablecards in the S3, signal strength generally around 100.Exact same problems here.

    ***UPDATE on 9/11/07***

    Today Verizon (NJ) was out and replaced every last bit of their equipment, including the network interface, cables, splitters and cable cards. Didn't help. They tested the signal and it is clean, even hot. They put an attenuator on the line. No difference. BBCA is now the worst channel; it is unwatchable. Clear for 30-60 seconds, and then extreme macroblocking and audio dropouts. Minor issues on TVLand, Spike, Food Network, WE and a few others. The tech did a test of individual channel signals and BBCA came through just as clean as the rest. I had him put a card in my tv and split off a third line bypassing the S3. No macroblocking on any channel.
     
  17. jakslh

    jakslh John King

    2
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    Jun 26, 2007
    Houston
    I have had two S3's since Nov/Dec of last year and have noticed rare instances of pixelation -- I always attributed it to the cable co.

    In the last 3-4 weeks this has suddenly gotten much worse to the point where programs are unwatchable. It's not every channel or every program, but the problem has occurred on HD premium (scrambled) channels as well as SD channels. The killer is that audio dropouts are making dialogue impossible to follow --- never had this much of an issue before, and I don't remember the audio dropouts. I would say this is happening every day or two, perhaps really problematic on 5% of the programs we try to watch.

    I haven't done much in the way of troubleshooting but it's gotten annoying enough that I'm going to have to start side-by-side observations of my two Series 3 and/or get a DVR from Comcast and see if the problem occurs on their equipment so I can rule out the source.

    My gut feel after reading through these forums is that Tivo has done something software-wise that has screwed my units up.

    I'm using Motorola cablecards, Houston area Comcast cable, and the wiring was recently redone by the Cable Co when I got cable installed in a new house.

    I'm interested to hear if other Series 3 owners are a) having no problem, or, b) seeing things worsen.
     
  18. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003
    Sounds very frustrating! :mad: Your description has all of the hallmarks of a poor cable signal.

    TiVo's last S3 software update to v8.3.1 completed back in June so it's not likely the cause of your recent problems. (According to TiVo a new S3 software upgrade is due to commence at the end of this month to address the macroblocking issue that some have been experiencing.)

    Comparisons to a Comcast DVR will probably not help too much either as TiVo and Moto box hardware are different as is signal processing to some extent...the S3 being much more sensitive to signal problems.

    As you mentioned, infrequent macroblocking and/or audio issues are to be expected. However since you're having major problems and it's happening to both of your S3's the likely cause is a signal issue. Another red flag is that your cable wiring was recently "redone" by Comcast.

    I’d assume you’ve done a hard reboot (unplug for 10 to 15 seconds and plug back in) on both of your boxes?

    If that doesn’t settle them down your best bet is contact Comcast, have them roll a truck to your location and do inside and exterior testing to determine what happened to your incoming signal and possibly re-hit your cable cards.

    In the meantime you may be able to cure some of the audio problems by switching the source from whatever you're using now to/from HDMI, optical or analog. If you're using HDMI connections switching to component video may help the video situation as well.

    Hang in there and keep us posted! :up:
     

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