Stumped: Does anyone know what is causing this signal breakup issue?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by puinsai, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Nov 8, 2011 #1 of 12
    puinsai

    puinsai New Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    All,

    I am trying to troubleshoot an issue I am having with my TV signal and I thought I would reach out to a few forums to see if anyone had seen this before because I can't find any info. Here's what's happening:

    I will be watching my Tivo Series 3 (TCD648250B) which is connected to my Samsung Plasma (PN50B650S1FXZA) and the signal will just start going out and the picture will flash intermittently until the signal just goes out completely. There is a very distinct pink hue once the signal starts breaking up.

    You can watch a 7MB movie file of what I am talking about here:
    puinsai.com/tivo_signal_issues_sm (type in a triple w at the beginning and a .mov at end - I have only posted twice so i cannot post links but it is very helpful to see the issue)

    This first started happening about two months ago and here is what I have tried so far:
    • Hard Drive - I immediately felt that this was the telltale signs of a bad hard drive. My HD was only about a year old from Weaknees and I swapped it out. That did not fix it. Incidentally, I actually bought a new 2TB drive from the DVRStore to replace my 1TB Weaknees drive and everything works fine. But that's off topic.
    • HDMI Cables - Once I realized the HD wasn't the issue I swapped all of the HDMI cables and it's not that and the problem still persists.
    • Ports on TV - I tried putting the Tivo on different HDMI inputs on the Tivo and it happens on all HDMI inputs

    So where am I now?

    I am hoping to get some feedback from the forums but I am thinking it might be one of three things:
    • Bad Output on the Tivo - I haven't tested any other output of the tivo other than HDMI and that is next on my list
    • Signal issues coming from FIOS in to my Tivo - Could be a FIOS signal issue but I have had FIOS for about 3 years with no issues. I don't think it is an attenuation issue.
    • Bad signal Processing on the Samsung Plasma: Maybe the signal processing on the Samsung is fried. Not sure how to test this though.

    If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know and thank you in advance.

    -Christian
    Santa Monica, CA
     
  2. Nov 8, 2011 #2 of 12
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Try component outputs.

    Is this TiVo on a lifetime sub?

    Could also be the power supply. Check the 5 and 12 V in the HDD power cable and look for bulging or leaking caps.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2011 #3 of 12
    puinsai

    puinsai New Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    Just hooked up component and RCA Audio for a while and I will see what happens. I am on lifetime sub. Power Cable looks fine.

    -Christian
     
  4. Nov 8, 2011 #4 of 12
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    You verified 5V and 12V, +/-5% on the HDD power cable? Unfortunately there are one or two other voltages produced by the PS and they could be bad even if the 5 and 12 are OK. Don't know if anyone here can tell you how to check those. Any bulging or leaking capacitor cans?
     
  5. Nov 8, 2011 #5 of 12
    MeInDallas

    MeInDallas Member

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    Jul 31, 2011
    Dallas, Texas
    Have you tried any other source, other then the Tivo, like a blu ray player or antenna and see if its isolated to the Tivo itself? If you do a search on Youtube for "samsung bad panel" the results on Youtube reminds me a lot of what other Samsung owners are having when the panel goes out on the tv itself.
     
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    What signal level is the Tivo reporting? Seems like you could rule out incoming signal by looking at levels and testing with a known good recording. If you don't have this issue with known good recordings then it probably isn't incoming signal to the Tivo. Do you have any other devices you can test on the same input on your TV?
     
  7. puinsai

    puinsai New Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    I am on Verizon FIOS but the Tivo uses two cabelcards. Both are at 100% signal and the SNR reading is at 36-37.

    I am currently running component cables and the intermittent issue hasn't shown up yet. I think it has to do with the Tivo HDMI outputs or the TV HDMI inputs and running component has helped rulle out the power supply (I think).

    I have a mac mini, Apple TV, and Blu Ray player connected to the other HDMI inputs and I don't really have the issue on those but I don't use them nearly as much so it might still be an issue. I think it's an issue with the TIVO HDMI output but I ave never heard anyone with issues in this area so hopefully some people can chime in.
     
  8. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    With signal at 100%, you may may be overloading/swamping the RF input to the TiVo. You won't see any higher than 100%, so it's hard to tell what the real level is. May want to try putting in an RF attenuator in-line with the RF coax input to the TiVo. Radio Shack used to sell an adjustable attenuator for just this purpose, but they don't seem to sell them any more. Here's one on ebay for $10, shipped.

    Alternatively, if you have some splitters to put in-line with the RF input, try a 3-way or 4-way. Even with just one connection, you will attenuate the signal.

    Try to target 90-95% signal level and see if that helps.
     
  9. puinsai

    puinsai New Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    @HomieG - Thanks man. Just ordered one. I didn't think it was the signal attenuation but for $10 I can certainly check it.
     
  10. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    Hope it does the job! Let us know how it works out for you.
     
  11. puinsai

    puinsai New Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    Quick question. I have my Tivo hooked up to both HDMI and Component and have been testing the various inputs. When I was watching the HDMI input I noticed the issue with the signal breakup and loss and I immediately switched over to the component and there were no issues at all.

    If it was a signal attenuation issue, wouldn't the problems exist on both sets of signal output form the Tivo (the HDMI output AND the Component)?

    -Christian
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Yes. BTW, I switched to component output 1.5 years ago because I suspected HDMI interface problems were causing lockups and reboots of the TiVo, which they apparently were.
     

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