Some British shows will not Netflix stream on Tivo S3 but do on other devices.

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by waynet_az, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    I have a Tivo Series 3 and use it to stream Netflix, but I have found that some British shows will not stream properly, though they WILL stream properly on any other Netflix appliance (Roku, Wii, Xbox, Blu-Ray) using the same connection. I contacted Tivo since the issue seems to be with their app, but their response was that it was not their problem. Yeah right. Pretty disappointing since I bought my first Tivo in 1999.

    The shows with issues keep re-retrieving about every 3 to 5 seconds and never really get the video and audio in sync. I called customer support on this some time ago when I first saw it; nothing seems to have been done so I thought I would do some troubleshooting and see where the problems lie. These issues are 100 percent repeatable every time for each show; if a show works, it always works and if a show doesn’t work, it never does. Here are some I have checked:

    British shows where problem this occurs:

    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
    The Worst Week Of My Life
    That Mitchell and Webb Look
    Pulling
    Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis
    The Peep Show
    Skins
    Men Behaving Badly (U.K.)
    A Bit of Fry and Laurie
    Hotel Babylon
    Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean
    Fortysomething
    Shameless
    Top Gear

    British shows that DO view properly:

    Luther
    Gavin and Stacey
    The IT Crowd
    Doc Martin
    Sherlock
    Being Human

    I have never seen this on a non-British show.

    Has anyone seen anything remotely similar, or could they check it and see if they have a similar issue? Tivo support was steadfast that they will do nothing about it, though if it were more widespread maybe they would fix their app as least to the level of a $50 Roku box?

    ANY thoughts appreciated. I ditched cable in favor of more Netflix and so many shows I want to watch are unwatchable, and I have no interest in having to buy another piece of hardware to fix something that Tivo should fix in software.

    Thanks,

    Wayne:confused:


    Problem found: After being able to talk to someone at Netflix who has seen this problem, it appears the issue is with the firmware in the Broadcom chip in the Tivo Series 3 (which is not in the other units). It has some trouble handling data at 25p, but there was little such content when the chip was certified and so it slipped through. There is no sense in Netflix decertifying the chip, as it is not used in any new designs and Broadcom has no incentive to fix the firmware on an older device such as this.

    So I broke down and bought a Roku box, which basically puts the Tivo interface to shame. The input switching is unfortunate as it was nice to have my Netflix queue as a "Now Playing" option but the improved interface, video quality and features of the Roku is worth it.

    Thanks for all of the input everyone.

    Wayne
     
  2. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure if this is related to your problem but I was unable to watch a downloaded episode of Dr. Who from Amazon on my S3. The download completes, but when I try to play it I only get sound and no picture. However, I don’t have any problems downloading and viewing the same episode on my TiVo HD, just the S3. The S3 may have decoding problems with some foreign programs.
     
  3. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    Odd. I should try an Amazon download of one of the failing shows on Netflix; I suspect that Amazon and Netflix are encoded quite differently (one being download and one streaming) but it might give me more ammunition. If you have Netflix, can you check any of the shows listed to verify my situation? I only have one Tivo and so can't really get another data point easily :)

    Thanks,

    Wayne
     
  4. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

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    Do you think maybe it's the format? I don't think there is a regional setting???

    Too bad, Netflix really doesn't have much content on the instant download side. Not much I want to see that is...
     
  5. lstorey

    lstorey want a GS fix!

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    DFW
    We have had issues streaming it on our S3 too. We tried Men Behaving Badly and also one that has Hotel in it.
     
  6. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Have you reported this issue to Netflix?

    Go to Netflix and click on 'your account & help' in the upper right corner.
    Under Watch Instantly, click on 'Problem Watching Instantly' and follow the prompts.
     
  7. AMc

    AMc Active Member

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    At a guess it may be to do with UK TV generally being 25fps (based on the PAL system) vs. US TV which is generally 30fps (from NTSC).

    Puzzled that any UK TV shows work if that's the case - Luther might be "filmed" at 24fps like a movie but the IT crowd won't be as it's studio recorded.
    My only other suggestion is that the ones that work have been remastered for NTSC DVD at 30fps and the Netflix sources are using those as the basis of the streams.

    As I'm in the UK where we can't get Netflix or S3 Tivo it's hard to be more help :)
     
  8. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    May 17, 2002
    It's odd in that not ALL the British shows have this problem, but then NO non-British shows have this problem. Auughhh!
     
  9. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    Oh, in great detail. Their first response was "Well, since SOME movies play it must be the fault of Netflix", to which I responded "Did you not see the part of my message where I explained EVERY Netflix app I could find (Wii, Blu-Ray, Roku, Xbox) can play these with no problem and the only one who can't is the Tivo app?" They basically just ended up saying there is nothing they will do about it and when I specifically asked, they specifically REFUSED to forward the issue to engineering for a look.

    Considering I bought my first Tivo the FIRST they were ever available at (now closed) Circuit City in 1999, the service response on this has been quite disappointing. I mean, if they don't want to support streaming, no problem, but don't do it halfway :(
     
  10. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    It certainly MUST be something related to what you say, but then one step further down the line that causes the subsequent Netflix encoding to baffle the Tivo Netflix app. Thanks for the detail; I'm sure it is quite close to what you are saying but unless Tivo wants to fix their Netflix app I am a bit stuck. :(
     
  11. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    May 17, 2002
    Does it have the same behavior? Is there any chance you could try a couple of the shows in the list (both the ones that work for me and the ones that don't) and see if it is same for you? It would be much appreciated!

    I just added them, tossed them to the top of my queue, then went to my Tivo and tried each one. If they fail, they fail within 10 seconds of attempting to play them so it is a quick test.

    Added: I went back and checked the show I think you were talking about; was it "Hotel Babylon"? That one also does NOT play. At least there is some consistency to the results; any help appreciated if you wanted to check a few!
     
  12. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    This sounds like your complaint to TiVo.

    I was talking about reporting the problem to NETFLIX.
     
  13. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    Apologies; I misunderstood. I have indeed; from their end they can see that I have adequate bandwidth but they had little insight into the what the problem might be and they have no idea why the Tivo app thinks it needs to keep re-retrieving the stream.

    I am sure like most technical partnerships, they provide the spec to the partners who write applications to handle the function, and in this case the same stream has no problem on any other device I have tried so the other apps handle this same data stream fine. I'm not sure how motivated Netflix would be to work on it since all other Netflix-enabled appliances I have tried seem to handle it fine.

    I was hoping Tivo would at least verify the error which would take all of one minute in an engineering lab, but they flat out REFUSED to even forward the issue to engineering. I have had one person on this thread with an S3 who reports the same problem on one of the same shows, and even pointed out another British show with the problem that I had not tried; I did check it and verified their result so it is also not just with my particular box.

    I would love if someone else with an S3 and Netflix would check the shows in the list and see if they see the same results.
     
  14. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    I experimented with Men Behaving Badly (UK) earlier (only one episode), and it worked fine for me. This was on a TivoHD (652).

    If I get time, I will try some of the other shows...

    Edit: I'm assuming you have a S3 (648)?
    [​IMG]

    I might not experience any problems.
     
  15. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    May 17, 2002
    I do indeed have an S3. One other person who responded had an S3 and had problems with two of the same shows, but those are my only data points. Thanks for taking the time either way...:up:
     
  16. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember that the Original S3 when to market WITHOUT one new codec because it was NOT finalized by the S3 ship date. All subsequent TiVo's (HD, HDXL, all Premieres) are all able play back the codec. Was it VC-1? I believe this was also the case for Dish Networks very first ViP box, the 622 (certain it was VC-1 for them), but all subsequent Dish ViP's can playback the codec.

    It does NOT sound like a "PAL vs. NTSC" issue. These programs have been converted for 30 fps (NTSC), however, not very well as stuttering video may occur if a display has dejudder features enabled. The stuttering video effect is a sign of a very POOR conversion. It can be converted done properly by a production house that results in dejudder feature doing its job well.
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    Any chance this is a BBC versus non-BBC but still British thing?
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Just because NetFlix is getting it right for all of those other apps is no guarantee that they're getting it right fot the TiVo app.

    I do agree that TiVo ought to take more of an interest in getting to the bottom of this problem, however.

    They should be your champion, wearing your colors as they ride onto the field to do battle with NetFlix on your behalf.

    Unless they'd like to change their advertising to "Get a TiVo for cable and over the air, and enjoy all of these other program sources as well, if they actually work as advertised, but if not, you're on your own".
     
  19. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I have the same issue on season 2, episodes 2-14 of Dr. Who and seasons 2-8 of Top Gear (UK) with my original S3. I reported the Dr. Who issue to NetFlix several times over a period of several months back in 2009 with no results. I also reported it here with a PM to TivoStephen to see if he could perhaps assist with letting NetFlix know it was just an issue with the S3 and not the HD.

    Scott
     
  20. waynet_az

    waynet_az Guest

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    May 17, 2002
    Thanks for the data point; I'll check those as well.

    Wouldn't it point to a Tivo issue, since the HD and S3 are certainly getting the same stream and one can handle it and the other can't?

    Do you still have the S3 and Netflix?
     

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