Signal Strength Too Hot ???

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by JANNINO, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. JANNINO

    JANNINO Member

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    Oct 27, 2004
    I'm still having pixelation issues with local HD channels with my THD (Verizon Fios-northern NJ, 2 Moto S-CableCards). I've read that perhaps my signal strength is too hot which could cause pixelation issues. My question is what is considered "too hot"? I'm running now at around 36-37 dB. My channel signal strength on the local HD channels varies all over the place, from 100% to 93% down to 81%, sometimes dropping to 75%.

    Oddly enough, I do not have pixelation issues on some other HD channels (like ESPN HD or YES HD).

    I have a Verizon tech coming out this Saturday to test the signal strength but I want to be able better determine and understand the stats on the Tivo diagnostic screen
     
  2. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    I've never seen above 35 dB on my S3.

    A quick and easy check is to put a splitter in line with your Tivo, effectively feeding it half the signal and see if you get an improvement.
     
  3. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Several folks have reported FIOS success by reducing signal strength considerabally. The 'magic number' was reported to be in the 60/70's with SNR around 31db. Defies common sense but I dont argue with success.

    EDIT: Had signal strength value wrong.
     
  4. winter

    winter Member

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    Jan 27, 2002
    I have problems with TivoHD and pixelation on certain stations but always on my 2nd tuner, never on the first tuner. I have FIOS as well with Motorola S cable cards.

    I have tried with and without the VZ-supplied splitter and in addition I bought a whole assortment of attentutors from an ebay seller (from 3db to 20db) but did not find any appreciable effect on my problem by trying different combinations of them to reduce the signal.

    Please let us know what is the result of VZ coming out to measure your signal strength.
     
  5. shamu20

    shamu20 New Member

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Try rerunning the guided setup. I did this 3 nights ago and have not had a pixelation problam (knock on wood) yet... It doesn't make sense, but has been working so far for me!

    Verizon FiOs. North New Jersey.
    2 Moto S-Cards

    -D
     
  6. JANNINO

    JANNINO Member

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    Oct 27, 2004
    Shamu20

    Thnaks for the tip but I already reran the guided setup to no avail.

    I also called Tivo and they said it was a pairing issue with Verizon as my host validation value on the cabelcard diagnostic screen was "unknown 00". I called Verizon and they said the pairing occurs when the cards are validated. So we deactivated and reactivated the cards, but this did not work. I found out later on from the Verizon Fios TV forum that Verizon does NOT pair their cards and the "unknown 00" value means nothing.

    What has me confused now is that I have 4 THDs all of which run around 36-38 dB. After deactivating and reactivating all 8 cablecards (that was alot of fun) only one is currently pixelating.
     
  7. litkaj

    litkaj Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Exton, PA
    I'm actually having an interesting issue with my FIOS right now. For the past month or so I've been getting blocking on channels in the 459-477MHz range (in South-Eastern PA that's 2-49 + Music Choice).

    After running a cable directly to the ONT, replacing the 610 ONT with the newer 612, checking signal strength, and having a Verizon tech spend close to 3 hours on the phone with senior techs trying to fix the problem, we weren't any closer to fixing the issue.

    As a last-ditch effort (I suppose we should have tried this first), I had the tech call in and get the cards reauthorized. The cards blanked out almost instantly and the problem was "solved". Unfortunately, as soon as the authorization completed (meaning that the CC's show up as "SUBSCRIBED"), the blocking returned.

    The tech gave me his supervisor's direct number and told me to call him about getting replacement CC's but I'm not actually certain that that will fix the problem since these worked fine until they reauthed the ones I have... I'm actually going to try attenuating the signal when I get home tonight and see if the problem goes away. I've got a -3dB filter and a 2-to-1 splitter so that should get me down to -6 or -7dB.
     
  8. jjd

    jjd Member

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    Nov 2, 2006
    So what happened litkaj?

    I've been fighting this with verizon for months, and they spent a whole day adding attenuators and splitters and removing them and nothing made a difference. I've heard some here on tivocommunity say that filters did make a difference. How did it work out for you?

    --Jim--
     
  9. winter

    winter Member

    57
    10
    Jan 27, 2002
    I've also tried different combinations of splitters, varied attentuators and even an amplifier. I also tried running a new cable directly from the FIOS ONT to the TivoHD and nothing seemed to help with the pixelation problem on the second tuner on certain channels, the first tuner is always rock solid on all channels.

    I never had a pixelation problem with the VZ-supplied Motorola DVR and I recently bought a HDHomeRun and it doesnt have any pixelation issues, of course neither of those devices use a cablecard so draw whatever conclusions you want.
     
  10. Graymalkin

    Graymalkin Grumpy Poster

    56,552
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    Mar 20, 2001
    Northern...
    Sounds to me like the second CableCard slot in the problematic TiVo HD is faulty.

    I am becoming more and more astonished at how complicated digital TV is -- so many things can go wrong along the line that it takes superhuman patience to track down the problem. And of course there are multiple vendors involved, all of whom would much rather blame someone else.
     
  11. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Does anyone with this problem have 9.2 yet?
     
  12. jjd

    jjd Member

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    Nov 2, 2006
  13. JANNINO

    JANNINO Member

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    Oct 27, 2004
    Graymalkin

    I agree. Each party (tivo and the provider) often want to blame the other for the problem. I do have to say at this point, the Verizon folks have tried to correct the problem. I will let you know more next week as Verizon is coming to my home this Saturday. The tivo folks, at least the ones you call on the phone for help, do not really understand the problems with the HD tivos. They are much more adept at solving Series 2 and lower issues. Part of the reason most liekly is that THD just rolled out around 2.5 months ago and they just don't have the experience with these newer units.

    This is why a forum such as this is very important b/c it lets you self diagnose the problem and hoepfully find a solution.
     
  14. Greeble

    Greeble New Member

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    Dec 5, 2006
    I had pixelation problems awhile ago, which was fixed by using a calbe amplifier. This worked for around 4 or 5 months till a couple of weeks ago I started getting pixelation again on at least 2 channels. I tried removing and adding atenuators as well as removing and upping the amplifier. Please tell us what happens with the FIOS visit.
     
  15. litkaj

    litkaj Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Exton, PA
    Sorry, don't visit here every day...

    Rather than cut the signal at the ONT I tested by attenuating right behind the TiVo, where the coax came out of the wall. The -3dB didn't do anything. When I added the splitter for a total of -6.5dB there were still uncorrected errors but they were increasing MUCH more slowly (5-10/second instead of 50-100/second). Encouraged, I went to Radio Shack and bought a 3-to-1 splitter that was -3.5dB, -7dB, and -7dB. By adding the -3dB attenuator to the -7db port on the splitter I got it down to 0 uncorrected errors and 5-10 corrected errors per MINUTE.

    When my tech comes with my new cable cards tomorrow I'm going to have him leave me a bunch of attenuators so I can do some further testing and really dial this in.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that this is with the newer 612 ONT that doesn't run nearly as hot as the older 610.
     
  16. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,335
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    What was your SNR after adding the splitter and attenuator?
     
  17. litkaj

    litkaj Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Exton, PA
    For the channels that were NOT originally having problems it dropped from 36-37 to a solid 35. For the channels that were having problems it went from 34 with drops to the 27-32 range to a solid 34-35.
     
  18. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,335
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Perfect...
     
  19. litkaj

    litkaj Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Exton, PA
    Yup. Like I said though, having a 3-to-1 splitter and a -3dB attenuator between the wall outlet and my TiVo is a bit ghetto. I'm going to get the proper hardware from the installer and do this right.
     

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