Thread to discuss 8.3 causing pixelation/audio drop

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by hddude55, May 21, 2007.

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003

    Advertisements

    If it's showing up on both S3's it's a very good bet that it's an incoming signal issue. I'd chase up Comcast and have them take a look at the signal coming into your house.
     
  2. chipvideo

    chipvideo New Member

    43
    0
    Sep 24, 2006
    Seattle

    If I think about it. Seems as though the problems might be related to the way comcast is billing now. I did have them rehit my cards as I complained about my billing and then my premium hd programming and a few others wouldn't show up on my screen and they had to rehit them for the tivo billing. I really think it is not a signal issue comming to the house. I do have a electroline 8 port amp. It is the best out there. These problems definitely havent happened until July.

    The signal on my moto box is more than fine. No problems on the moto box whatsoever. On the one screen it shows 21 for snr and 15 agc. Both labeld good. Been like that for ever. No noise,pixleation or audio dropouts on that. Only on the tivo3 units.
     
  3. El-Cid

    El-Cid New Member

    3
    0
    Jul 5, 2007
    Houston TX
    Hey folks, just updating, though the problem is not solved yet.

    Comcast has come out, and here is what they did:

    First the service person checked the signal, noting that we had a "-4" after the split, "-1" before the split, and that the cable box should have at least a "+1" all this seems to be measured in 'db's and I mention this not because I know what I am talking about, but I imagine someone might. We are in a suburb, and our line runs a good ways from the central line before splitting up to our cable modem and some different tvs along with the main, hd tv, where I have the cable box and the HD Tivo (cable box for watching On Demand)

    As of Monday, we have also been having problems with our internet.

    Our service person installed an amplifier behind the hdtv, pre splitter, comcast stock issue, which did not solve the pixelization. He also told us that we would have to replace the cable cards, (just take them into comcast office and switch out) and that we would pretty much be off-internet until the end of the week. (I set up my notebook and its verizon wireless card to share its slooow internet access at the moment)

    This stems from his assertion that Comcast is still in the process of switching equipment over from our old provider, Time Warner - that cablecards will not work with the new system, and that there are drop-outs due to 'quorum' issues.

    So, our plan of action is now:
    We are getting the cheapest DSL as an internet backup - time warner and comcast have both caused periodic outages, and since we rely on the internet to telecommute, we gotta have some connection at all times.
    I wait until Monday and go change out the cable cards at the Comcast store and spend an hour or two setting those up again.
    Pray

    Two things about the amplifier - Do folks think there is a big advantage to having a more 'quality' amplifier, as opposed to the Comcast stock issue?
    Also, I know nothing about electronics, signaling, etc., but if you put the amplifier right behind the tv, where the signal was already -1, I would imagine that the signal would be degraded and you are just amplifying that degraded information?
     
  4. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance

    26,180
    68
    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    El Cid. If you really need a +1dB signal then putting am amp on a -1 dB signal is only going to amplify an already substandard signal. The Amp would theoretically need to be placed somewhere there is at least a +1 signal as a baseline.
     
  5. rtmoore4

    rtmoore4 New Member

    47
    0
    May 11, 2005

    Advertisements

    +1

    In addition, to answer your question about the quality of amps. In my experience, the quality of the amps (and splitters, for that matter) that your cableco installs are usually much better than you will get on your own. Certainly no retail shop (Radio Shack, for example) is going to have anything close to that quality. If you think about it, it's in their best interests to have the best equipment available, because if they don't, then they have to roll another truck and deal with troubleshooting crappy signals due to bad amps and splitters, which becomes expensive for them. ...not to mention, ticking off customers. In any case, I always use what they provide and it works out pretty well for me. I've tried using my own amps and splitters by the way, and the signal is never as good.
     
  6. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS Active Member

    2,119
    0
    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    Are there any "reasonably priced" meters out there to measure the CATV signal? By reasonably priced, I mean anything under a couple of hundred dollars. If there are none in that price range, where does an entry level meter start on the price scale?

    Thanks :)
     
  7. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,335
    2
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    If you have one of the cableco's cable boxes then you already have a reasonable facimile. Just go into diag mode and you can read signal strength and SNR as well as BER.
     
  8. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance

    26,180
    68
    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    I have the cheapest Sadelco Minimax meter and unfortunately it cost over a thousand bucks. And that was over ten years ago... :(

    Your best bet is to have the cable guys over (again) and have them take several readings. I'd also ask them to replace any fittings that might be in question and remove anything extra that might be in the signal path. In my case the simple removal of a ground loop breaker transformed my S3. I haven't had a major problem with it in over a month.
     
  9. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS Active Member

    2,119
    0
    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    I turned them all back in when I got the S3...
     
  10. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS Active Member

    2,119
    0
    Jan 6, 2000
    New York

    Everything is working fine for me - I'm was just hoping I could afford a meter :)
     
  11. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance

    26,180
    68
    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    If you find a cheap one let us know. :)
     
  12. pfibiger

    pfibiger New Member

    11
    0
    Apr 24, 2007
    i've been having this problem for a couple of months. pixelation and audio dropouts every 5-10 minutes, exacerbated by my AVR, which would lose dolby digital and reaquire, so the audio would drop for 2+ seconds. I had the cable co out 6 times, they replaced every single string of cable from the pole to my house, even when the signal was already "very good." I called tivo, they said "replace the cable cards. if that doesn't work we'll replace the box" cable co came out again, swapped cards, still had the same problem.

    I called tivo today, the woman was about to send me a new box and decided to check with a supervisor. i spoke with him, he checked with a series 3 engineering contact, turns out it is now a known issue, it's an issue of macroblocking, a miscommunication between the tivo OS and the cablecard's firmware. It only happens with some cablecards. He said that they hope to have the fix included in the next software update, which he said was happening "soon." When pressed, he couldn't say whether soon meant 3 weeks or 3 months.

    I'm glad I didn't have to swap out my box for an equally non-working box, and I'm glad that Tivo has said "it will be fixed." I just hope it's soon.
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003
    That's very interesting and good information. It confirms that many people who have posted problems are NOT crazy! :up:

    Can you tell us what cableco you have and if by chance you know, what cable cards are being used?

    This confirmation of a "known issue" with cable cards can also explain why some people see the problem and others don't...and more importantly that it will require a software update to correct. This leads me to the conclusion that there was indeed a problem that materialized with the 8.3 update if they are going to "fix" it with the next software update.

    This is certainly an "ah-ha!" for a lot of us. The only question now is when the next update will appear. TiVo has been busy beta testing MRV/TiVoToGo as well as activating/supporting the eSATA drive. Today’s comments from TiVo indicate that those features will be active "soon" and I'd wager that will be when we'll see the next software update. Any guess as to what "soon" means? :rolleyes:
     
  14. pfibiger

    pfibiger New Member

    11
    0
    Apr 24, 2007
    Brighthouse Cable in Orlando, FL. I don't know what brand of cablecard I have, but I know when they replaced my cards, they replaced them with the same model (and year of manufacture, 2007). Now that I think about it, I'm not positive but I think they might have been Scientific Atlanta cards.
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for that. The photos of the equipment on their website look to be of an SA box, so it's probably true that they have SA cable cards.

    Thanks again...this will help some very frustrated people. I just hope they continue to have patience! ;)
     
  16. cassy

    cassy New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 24, 2007
    Same S3 problem seen out here in SF Bay area with comcast cablecards OR OTA HD and 8.3.

    On either channel 5-1 (OTA) or 703 (Comcast HD) it will pixellate then hang and reboot after a while. Non HD is ok. Twas working for many months before this.

    It'll be stuck in a reboot loop as it is still tuned to that hd channel, gotta remove both coax connections, change channel, to settle it down.

    Funny thing is, on my S2, I've seen it rebooting more too.
     
  17. rcr2

    rcr2 It's you, not me.

    108
    0
    Feb 3, 2007
    Monmouth...
    I just got my replacement box and last night it was upgraded to the 8.3 latest firmware. Let's see what happens once I get the cards re-authorized.

    But if it's a known issue with the firmware, then roll back to the last known working firmware, people!
     
  18. bsather

    bsather Member

    51
    0
    Sep 8, 2006
    WI
    I had Charter cable out this week 3 times and four brand new cable cards have been installed in both my S3's. The lines from the street to the house have been checked, as have the interior cables. The pixelization and dropouts are still ocurring on channels 790 - StarzHD and 799 - MHD. Also, I am experiencing problems today on 770 - HDNET. Problems also randomly occur on SD channels 26 - ESPN2 and 43 - HGTV. These problems all seem to have started after the 8.3 update.
     
  19. chipvideo

    chipvideo New Member

    43
    0
    Sep 24, 2006
    Seattle
    Is there anyway for us to rollback. I think it should be required. I had comcast come out today and signal was perfect. Its the tivos. My other moto box is working fine, but not the tivos. I get a line from left to right on my tv for a milisecond every so often. Very irritating.
     
  20. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance

    26,180
    68
    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    Many times the cable company forgets to put a ground block where the cables first enter the house. There should be one there and nowhere else. Often times this can eliminate the lines you are seeing and it may also solve your problems with the TiVo. Whatever you do, don't install a ground breaker.

    As far as being able to roll back? I don't think I've ever heard of that, but hey you never know. I have also read various rumors that a fix is coming that should help with some of the problems people are having, but of course nobody knows when. I wonder if the new HD boxes have any of the same problems? I guess we'll be seeing in a few more days once installs begin.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements