Thread to discuss 8.3 causing pixelation/audio drop

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

  1. Aug 9, 2007 #241 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003

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    Maybe you missed this post and subsequent discussions?

     
  2. Aug 9, 2007 #242 of 287
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I remember that post but I didnt look back far enough to tie it in with the post I responded to (same poster). My bad.

    I must say that I really dont believe much that I hear from CSR's. Ive been working directly with Tivo for quite some time on S3 pixelation and to date have received no acknowldegement from them that an issue even exists let alone that a fix is in progress. I will be very very very happy to be wrong. :)
     
  3. Aug 9, 2007 #243 of 287
    mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    FWIW: I got rid of 95% of my S3 pixelation issues by removing one cable splitter and no longer running the cable through my Panamax surge protector. I did not test if just one of these steps would also have helped. Now that I think of it, I will run the cable back through the surge and see if it will reintroduce pixelation & audio drops.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2007 #244 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Agreed...the CSR revolving door at most companies leaves little to be relied on. At least TiVo CSR's are trained to be fairly nice by comparison.

    I put a little more stock into the post about the S3 issue being a known one since the OP was able to talk to a supervisor/engineer. I think I read another post elsewhere that said something to the same effect. We can only wait and watch now. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Aug 9, 2007 #245 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Good move...both recommended improvements on this thread a while back. Surge protectors and cheap splitters are notorious for lowering signal quality and strength. Glad to hear things are better. :up:
     
  6. bsather

    bsather Member

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    Sep 8, 2006
    WI
    I was on the phone quite awhile with the CSR. I was on hold while she talked to an "S3 engineer". I have two with exactly the same problem, in different rooms on different outlets. We spoke at length about the S3's, and she had pulled up my information, so I believe she knew I wasn't referring to a TivoHD.
     
  7. mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Another FWIW: It never altered Tivo's signal strength rating (before and after the steps it was 97-100 for all channels). Perhaps it was some kind of electrical interference. :confused: I certainly am glad it worked for me. It has not disappeared completely but I can live with the few times it does happen.
     
  8. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    I did a search but couldn't find the post, however there was one that did a good job of explaining the difference between TiVo's signal strength meter and that of the actual incoming cableco signals.

    In a nutshell it detailed how TiVo’s signal strength meter is a bit misleading as it doesn't actually measure signal strength but instead signal to noise (S/N) ratio. A weak signal can still display a high reading on TiVo (when it is good) and not be good enough to process when it drops off which are the moments when you’d see audio and/or video disruption.

    A true coax signal strength meter such as those used by the cableco techs is the only real way to properly test the incoming signal. (I’m told they are very expensive BTW – the meters, not the cableco techs. :p )

    The bottom line was that just because TiVo’s signal strength meter shows an acceptable level it doesn’t necessarily mean that the channel’s signal is good. This also addresses why adding a signal amplifier often doesn’t help. “Garbage in, garbage out”. I’m sure someone can (and hopefully will) explain it in much better terms, but once I read it, it made perfect sense. I think SCSIRAID has a good handle on these things, perhaps he can chime in. :)

    We see some minor macroblocking now and again, but I’ve also used an OTA antenna and noted about the same amount of disruption coming straight from the broadcast towers, so it’s to be expected I think…nothing’s prefect. ;)
     
  9. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    I'm just glad TiVo finally "gets it" and those that have been complaining about it since the 8.3 upgrade aren’t crazy!

    As the problem seems to be a good deal worse on the new TiVo HD I'm betting they're putting a majority of their resources into rectifing that right now. After reading umpteen threads scattered about it looks like it’s boiling down to a cable card/software processing issue (particularly with SA cable cards). Hopefully what they learn there will translate to a fix for the people w/S3's that are having trouble as well.

    C'mon update! :rolleyes:
     
  10. mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Call me crazy, but after messing around with my entertainment center (meaning: unplugging, moving around, and reinstalling the components) it seems that in particular audio drop outs has gotten worse. I start to suspect the Toslink cables -and possibly the receiver- might actually have something to do with it... Any thoughts?
     
  11. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    If you’re only experiencing audio drop outs and not pixelization or macroblocking it sounds like a simple audio connection problem and nothing to do with the 8.3 software issue.

    Cables of all sorts; Toslink/optical cables in particular are very sensitive to connections. The fiber optic cables are somewhat fragile and generally can't be "bent" like copper wire; one serious kink can destroy the signal. Some Toslink cables are better than others as well. Some use a single plastic fiber and others use a multi-strand combination or even quartz glass fibers.

    I’d try a regular analog (RCA L/R) audio connection to see if the audio drop-outs clear up. If so, it might be time to look at replacing the Toslink cable(s).
     
  12. nmurphy

    nmurphy New Member

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Boston
    Has anyone experienced total audio loss (except for tivo beeps) since the upgrade? Or is the problem limited to drop-out?

    A week ago, i started to get no audio at all from recorded or live programs, although the audio is there once I do a re-boot. It is now happening everyday.

    Just wondering if the upgrade could also have caused this problem.
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    It's unlikely that the firmware upgrade - completed back in June - caused your problem. This sounds more like a hard drive issue...particularly if it's happening every day.

    You could try running TiVo's version of "check disk", Kickstart 57, to see if it will clear things up.

    Kickstart 57:

    1. Unplug TiVo and wait 15 seconds.
    2. Plug TiVo in, get the TiVo remote and aim it at TiVo.
    3. Press and hold the pause button until the orange light comes back on by itself.
    4. Release the pause button and immediately type in the numbers 5 and 7 on the remote (you have about 10 seconds to do this step).
    5. TiVo will reboot and the GSOD screen will come on saying TiVo has encountered a serious error. It will then run the disk management tool which can take from 10 minutes to 3 hours to complete. During this time it will look for and correct configuration problems as well as isolating any bad sectors on the hard drive so they can no longer be used.
    6. TiVo will automatically reboot again and hopefully things will return to normal. (Programs that used any bad sectors may be lost.)

    Otherwise a call to TiVo to see about a replacement may be in order.
     
  14. justinmm2

    justinmm2 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2002
    I am a new FIOS customer in the DC area (had Cox before with a single CableCard before, no problems) like rww, but when I got hooked up this weekend, I noticed immediate problems with what I thought at first were all HD channels. Turns out it is just the 801-809 channels he mentioned, which are basically the local networks, PBS, and an extra or three. It's basically constant blocking - the channels are all unwatchable. Other HD channels are fine. SD channels are fine. I know it's not a "signal meter", but I get >80 on those channels, with the exception that every few seconds t he signal gets "dropped" and then re"acquired".

    Has there been any news? I'm on an S3 with 8.3. Very frustrating.

    Should I even bother calling Tivo?

    Justin
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    IMO I'd be calling Verizon. There are a number of posts here and elsewhere saying basically the same thing about Verizon FIOS service and eventually Verizon resolved it. If it were a TiVo problem you probably would have seen it before and it wouldn't be limited to one set of channels in a limited frequency.

    We can't get FIOS (yet)...still suffering w/Comcast. :mad: According to others on FIOS you'll be quite happy with it (once they get things ironed out of course). :up:
     
  16. F4Boy

    F4Boy New Member

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    Dec 10, 2002
    Southern...
    I moved to Fios almost two weeks ago with an S3 that was working fine on every station with 8.1.x. This Saturday, I noticed terrible audio dropouts on the music stations. (I leave it on for the dog. He likes classic rock. 612) When I got back from riding, the sound was all screwed up and was happening on all the music channels. I tivo'd Big Bro 8 on my SD local channel (2) last night and it was all pixelated/blocking/audio drops. 802 is fine. I checked out all the channels and my problem is isolted to my music channels and SD locals. All the HD channels are perfect as are the movie channels 340-4xx, 50-99, 150-2xx, etc. I'm bummed. My Verizon DVR and other set top box are fine. I restared with no improvement. Next step will be a guided setup, but it seems that 8.3.x is the problem for me as I see many are having a problem with the newer software. 8.3 was fine for about a week, then all of a sudden, problems.

    Seems more of a Tivo issue than V* issue for their equipment is working fine.
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Did you just purchase your S3? They are shipping with v8.1x and upgrade to v8.3.1 within a few days. If not you would have had v8.3.1 for several months now.

    STB's supplied by cablecos aren't a good measurement against TiVo as their processors are not the same. Most cableco STB's are designed with proprietary cableco specs whereas TiVo's have to work with numerous offerings.

    Still...not a good situation. Keep us posted!
     
  18. F4Boy

    F4Boy New Member

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    Dec 10, 2002
    Southern...
    Yes, I just got it. Was installed a week and a half ago, 8/29. As you said, it came with 8.1 and within three days, I got the update to 8.3. Was fine for about a week, perfect. It seems when I tune to one of my problem stations, it's fine for a few seconds, maybe 2-4 seconds, then unwatchable.
     
  19. jbrennan

    jbrennan New Member

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    Jan 20, 2005
    Exact same problems here. 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 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 that one 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.
     
  20. Gerhard

    Gerhard Member

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    2
    Sep 29, 2002
    I bought my S3 when it first came out... literally within days... so I've got an original.

    I've had both Comcast and Verizon FIOS, and FIOS has been pretty decent on the whole.

    I've noticed, in general terms, when I first got FIOS there was pixelization. (Pixelization in this case is defined as the MPEG encoding not updating itself fast enough that the user visably see blocking on the screen as the picture shifts.)

    After awhile I didn't notice the HD content doing this anymore... and then I got the 8.3 series firmware.

    Ever since I've had blocking / pixelization, but recently, I've started to have Audio dropouts. Which we've never had before...

    FIOS comes with an ONT that generates good dB level output at the house... so that's not the issue. Also, we are not seeing signal dropout, so that's not the issue. ...and the few time the Tivo was indicating a 80dB > 0 db flux, the set top boxes were perfectly fine.

    There is an issue with the S3...
     

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