Thread to discuss 8.3 causing pixelation/audio drop

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

  1. Jun 4, 2007 #81 of 287
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL

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    For OTA, the game changes a bit. For what you describe, you are likely experiencing multipath. What kind of antenna are you using? If you station location allows, a more directional antenna but with just enough gain would likely be the best choice so as to attenuate/reject off axis reflections. Im using a yagi with corner reflector. It has a narrower beam width than a bowtie type antenna. As the weather changed, I had to turn my antenna about 10-15 degrees to eliminate some newly appeared dropouts. You might try doing some re-aiming.

    For all its other issues, with analog TV you could usually identify the problems fairly easily since ghosts, snow etc were pretty easy to see. With digital TV, its a whole new ballgame.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2007 #82 of 287
    hddude55

    hddude55 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2007
    Phoenix
    I have explained that I have talked to Cox Cable and TiVo many times about the problem. I also sought out this forum and have tried to learn from it. Ironically, TiVo tech support -- which should be the real technical experts -- immediately shipped a new box to me even after I told them I was skeptical that anything was wrong with the box since the problems not so coincidentally started immediately after 8.3 was installed. I now have a new box and the same thing happened -- no problems until 8.1 was upgraded to 8.3, then immediate problems. Now that it has happened twice on two new machines, I don't think I'm blaming invisible rabbits and I resent your snide personal attack.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2007 #83 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Well put. :up:

    So you're saying that your "new" S3 shipped with FW v8.1 and everything was fine; no audio/video problems correct? Then when the FW was updated to 8.3 problems ensued?

    If that's your experience it's as clear a case of there being an issue with the 8.3 upgrade as anyone could hope for. (And it should cause the nay-sayers and continual doubters to reconsider their stubborn positions.) ;)

    Couple of quick questions...Have you discussed this with TiVo Support again and if so what was their response? Also, can you keep us posted on any additional degradation or improvements?

    As previously mentioned we experienced the very same issues, however after several weeks they have subsided and are now infrequent. Why things improved is anyone's guess. The odd audio/video problems we are experiencing now could be chalked up to "normal" digital signal issues (always with HD) which are to be expected. The same thing may happen with your TiVo in time so hang in there! :)

    Thanks for posting. :up:
     
  4. Jun 5, 2007 #84 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Wow! If only more people would document their experiences like that. Clear, concise and any tech should be able to discern that there is a problem and hopefully diagnose the cause. Well done. :up:

    Sooooo…what does TiVo have to say? :confused:
     
  5. Jun 5, 2007 #85 of 287
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Vero Beach, FL

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    So far....... Zilch.. Zero.... Nada....

    Its in the queue but low priority... nobody else seems to have this issue so its low priority.
     
  6. Jun 5, 2007 #86 of 287
    rww

    rww New Member

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    Apr 26, 2006
    Newport...
    I previously reported (in this thread) pixelation and audio dropouts with FIOS DC cable that coincided with my upgrade to 8.3. My cable signal is strong according to Verizon, and a Motorola box can receive and play those channels without a problem. According to my S3, the channel strength ranges from about 84 to 97; however, the signal is repeatedly lost, forcing the cablecard to retune at least once every few seconds and many times more frequently.

    I purchased the Radio Shack 8db cable amplifier and tried it with no change. I then purchased a 50 foot cable and ran it directly from the FIOS ONT to the S3---again no change. I've ordered a F-type terminator and some 6db attenuators.

    I have not called TiVo, because I do not want my new S3 box swapped with a refurbished one unless there is truly an S3 hardware problem.

    Are there any suggestions for anything else to try?
     
  7. Jun 5, 2007 #87 of 287
    gwsat

    gwsat Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    My house is located less than five miles from the antennas so, even with the simple combined rabbit ears and loop antenna I use, I get a very strong signal, 95 to 100. The local ABC affiliate, KOCO DT, creates another problem, it is a VHF station in a UHF world.

    The other HD transmissions I watch OTA are the Fox and CW affiliates, KOKH DT and KOCB DT, respectively. They are fine, no matter where I have the antenna.

    Because of my KOCO problem, I changed both the location in the room and orientation of my rabbit ears but everything remained nearly the same: ABC stuff is a mess while Fox and CW programs are perfect, or nearly so.

    KOCO DT has created a lot of problems for folks, including some complaints of not being to receive it at all. Because of another station in Lawton, OK, which is southwest of OKC, KOCO must reduce the power of its transmission in that direction. Given my closeness to the tower and apparent strength of my signal, however, I can’t imagine that factor is hurting me.

    Because of the strength and consistency of KOCO’s signal, according to the S3’s signal strength meter anyway, and my trouble free reception of Fox and CW programs, I am not enthusiastic about complicating my life with an external antenna. Further, even with rabbit ears, I have never had the kind of problems with KOCO that I have experienced with my S3 with OTA via the built in HD tuners in either of my HDTVs.

    I suppose I should be grateful that I haven’t had any trouble with CableCARD reception but my constant problem with KOCO is making me crazy.

    EDIT: In rereading the foregoing I realized that I have heretofore failed to say in this thread that KOCO DT was perfect from the time I installed my S3 in early January until I received Version 8.3 of the TiVo software. Now that’s suspicious!
     
  8. Jun 5, 2007 #88 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    :mad:
     
  9. Jun 5, 2007 #89 of 287
    dvdwilly

    dvdwilly New Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Haymarket,...
    Hi. I am new to the forum but have been experiencing problems with pixelation and audio dropouts. However, I do not believe that it is due to our Series 3 recorder. I have to wonder how many people experiencing this problem are incorrectly blaming the Series 3. Let me give you the whole story...

    We live in a new development in Haymarket, VA. It was originally serviced by a company called Advance Broadband--a subsidiary of Toll Brothers, the developer. We moved in on April 19, 2007. At the beginning of March, 2007 Comcast began taking over the community cable services. We subscribed to the Comcast digital cable service including HD and HBO. The first box that we got was a Scientific Atlanta 8300 with HDMI output. I wired it up with HDMI for the Panasonic plasma TV, and used the optical digital audio output from the unit to drive a Yamaha YSP-1000. Is it full surround? No, but the spousal approval factor is way up there compared to the full Klipsch setup that I was running in our previous house. The Klipsch rig will go in the home theater as soon as I get it built.

    I digress--there were issues with the Comcast DVR and recording service--Tivo it ain't. The SA8300 just wasn't getting it AND we were experiencing pixelation and audio dropouts. So, I couldn't stand it any longer and got a new Tivo Series 3 recorder. I got new cable cards from Comcast--their tech had to install them--company policy--and there were several rounds of installation call backs before they worked right. I will provide details to anyone interested or with similar issues with Comcast (Manassas). Once that was squared away, beautiful picture and audio HOWEVER we still experience pixelation and audio drop outs in what would appear to be an identical way that we did before.

    My take--the source is not the Tivo unit, but Comcast itself. I know from some other forums that this has been an issue for Comcast nationwide. For a number of reasons, I intend to go Verizon FIOS (which I have had before but is not yet available here...) as soon as it becomes available in our community.

    To be fair about it, I suspect that some of the digital errors are not actually Comcast's fault, but simply a pass-through of a network's or local subsidiary's glitch. I have not tried to analyze it to the extent of which channels or at what time, but if it becomes enough of a nuisance, I will.

    Bottom line--kick Comcast (or your cable subscription service) before you kick your Tivo unit--or just wait it out--surely it will get better. Yes, I still believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, etc. <s>

    I hope that this helps alleve somebody's frustration.

    Bill C.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2007 #90 of 287
    ehardman

    ehardman Member

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Kansas
    I totally disagree with your analysis. There are many posts with details to show this is not the case with most of us that are having the problem. Perhaps you may wish to read more of these posts.
     
  11. Jun 5, 2007 #91 of 287
    Runch Machine

    Runch Machine New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Minneapolis
    Likewise, I have the problem and use an over the air TV antenna. The same antenna feeds my Tivo Series 3 and my Directv HR10-250 HD Tivo. Both HD Tivos record the same shows. Several times I've had to stop watching on the Series3 and switch over to the Directv HD-Tivo, which records the same shows with no issues at all.
     
  12. Jun 5, 2007 #92 of 287
    pfibiger

    pfibiger New Member

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    Apr 24, 2007
    I've got a brand new S3 (just moved up from an ancient S1 on an old CRT), and I've been experiencing dropouts a fair amount. They're exacerbated by my hdmi switching receiver, when I get the dropouts it loses dolby digital and has to reacquire, so it seems to take about a second.

    I had my cable co (brighthouse in central florida) come out and try to fix the problem..the house had been wired for maybe 8 cable outlets, I had them cut out the splitter and for the time being only wire to the one outlet I'm using. He gave me a higher quality patch cable and I got rid of my little right-angle adapter in an attempt to get rid of any extraneous items that might be degrading signal quality. My signal went up from I think it was like -10 or -7 low and -4 high to +4 to +8 or so (the lower numbers were recorded on the high def channels).

    All of that happened, but I'm still seeing the dropouts, maybe 1 every 5 minutes on high def channels. The cable guy said that they could potentially rewire inside my house, or run a new line from the pole to my house if I still had problems, which I may do, but would an amp help me in this circumstance? It seems like I'm already on the high side of where I should be, and an amp could cause more problems than it solves..but if the tivo is splitting internally, who knows what the signal looks like inside.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  13. Jun 5, 2007 #93 of 287
    Runch Machine

    Runch Machine New Member

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    Minneapolis
    As most people indicate in this thread, the problem appears to be with in the Tivo and not a signal issue. I recommend you stop wasting your time on changing your cable TV signal.
     
  14. Jun 5, 2007 #94 of 287
    TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA

    Where has this been definitively isolated as a Tivo problem for all these people? Trying to exclude other causes is absolutely NOT a waste of time and is what any responsible person with at least some technical inclination should do before throwing around conclusions here or to Tivo. There is absolutely not enough of a sample size nor the additional detailed background information, setup, and troubleshooting steps taken in EACH case which would be necessary to draw any kind of informed conclusion. Based on the lack of this information in most of the complaints, it is almost certain that many of these cases are likely caused by completely different things (in fact I can prove this since I have had these symptoms and it was NOT caused by the Tivo; signal amp fixed me). Causes for audio/video signal dropouts as described can potentially be from cable signal problems, splitters and surge protectors, interference from other electronics, defects or user error in the TV, defects or user error in the A/V receiver (if used), defective cable, CABLECARD hardware defect, CABLECARD configuration problem, Tivo software problem, or a Tivo hardware defect. Just because something started or worsened soon after a software patch, it does not mean that the patch was the cause. I work in IT and have seen this get people into trouble again and again, blaming something on the easy answer when it was just a coincidence and the cause was something completely unrelated. Whining that this is all Tivo's fault without eliminating the other causes is not helpful and is an irresponisible thing to tell people looking for help here.
     
  15. Jun 5, 2007 #95 of 287
    wgw

    wgw Member

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    May 16, 2007
    My dropouts seem to have pratically disappeared since I accidentally erased my hard drive and had to start over with a fresh image copy from the original drive. Running WD diagnostics showed there was no problem with the 500GB RE drive.

    Is it coincidence that this seems to have fixed the problem? I have no idea.

    What's different about my new installation:

    1. I used MFSLive 1.1 instead of dd command and MFSTools 2.0 to upgrade the drive.

    2. New installation was upgraded to version 8.3.1 within one hour of initial setup.

    3. Drive was not full of recordings and season passes when the upgrade to 8.3.1 was made. There was virtually no space left on the old drive.

    4. Previous installation was 4 months old.

    5. Internal hard drive is now 2 WD 500GB RE drives in a Thecus N2050 box in raid 0 striping configuration and connected to the internal drive port using a 6ft shielded sata to esata cable.

    I suppose this poses lots of possibilities for why the problem stopped with my setup. Did networks and cable company fix their problems? Could separating the drive from the Tivo and using a shielded cable have eliminated EM/RF interference? Tivo now has extra power since it is not powering an internal drive. Did MFSTools result in a problem during upgrade to 8.3.1? Did upgrade "take" better since drive was fresh? Were original problems the result of fragmented drive.
     
  16. Jun 5, 2007 #96 of 287
    gwsat

    gwsat Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    Bill C. -- I thought that your post was sensible and would be the last to resort to a meanspirited claim that the only reason you think as you do is that you have not read the posts in this thread. I HAVE read them and still think that you may have a point.
     
  17. Jun 5, 2007 #97 of 287
    hddude55

    hddude55 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2007
    Phoenix
    Yes, for some odd reason the replacement series3 loaded 8.1 initially during guided setup, and remained on it for about 10 ten days. The problems arose -- as far as as I can tell -- immediately after the upgrade to 8.3, certainly the same day of the upgrade. And that's what seemed to be the situation with my first machine, although of course I wasn't monitoring the situation then, so it's hard to recall if problems arose immediately or a day or two after 8.3 installed -- but it definitely wasn't more than a day or two later.

    Yes, I did talk to TiVo tech support about the second machine's problems and they tried to help on the phone, but so far didn't come up with any answers, so I just asked that they please report my experience. I will keep contacting them periodically until it is fixed and will stay with this group until then, as well.
     
  18. Jun 5, 2007 #98 of 287
    fred2

    fred2 Member

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    Jan 20, 2006
    Isn't there a way for folks to revert back to the previous software, say, 8.1.xxxxx.

    I guess it would be possible if folks have imaged the software on a backup disk but they would lose their recordings?

    Or can one use a linux system and replace only the older tivo "operating system" (8.1.xxx) while leaving recordings in place?

    Is there anyway to confirm that Tivo really has this information and is NOT investigating it - but just ignoring it? Maybe they are working with some users on this problem? I presume Tivo could restore firmware on some units just as they UPgrade firmware, they can DOWNgrade it?

    I have pixelation issues but my Tivo is too new and 8.3 came along too soon for me to blame the Tivo and not the OTA reception. But the TV does not show pixelation (antenna is split with amplifier or is that, amplified antenna is split)
     
  19. Jun 5, 2007 #99 of 287
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for that and hopefully some resolution will come of this matter. Thanks again for keeping us posted. :up:
     
  20. Jun 6, 2007 #100 of 287
    SeanTivo

    SeanTivo New Member

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    Sep 13, 2006
    Count me as another post 8.3 pixellation/audio droput problem. I'm noticing it more on the analog channels supplied via comcast cable.
    Last night the last half of The Shield on FX was unwatchable.

    Man, what a pain in the ass this is.
     

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