Thread to discuss 8.3 causing pixelation/audio drop

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

  1. bifsiff94

    bifsiff94 Cliff Hanger

    50
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    Port...

    Advertisements

    How do I know that I'm not experiencing a power failure? How do I know that my cablecards are suddenly not working properly? What about some component on the S3 that has failed? Maybe it's my TV? My HDMI cable?

    There are a lot of variables that could cause the issue. There's nothing wrong with using intuition and observation to start a discussion. There are a lot of savvy Tivo owners that are posting based on their experience and that shouldn't be so quickly discounted.

    I probably wouldn't even have posted in this thread if it weren't for the condescending tone of some of these posts. There are a lot of people who started experiencing this problem right after 8.3. That is a fact. Is is possible it's conincidence? Sure. That's why a thread like this is useful for the entire community. The original poster wanted to know if he was the only person experiencing this issue, and clearly, he is not.

    On the flip side, there are some who have claimed that 8.3 fixed their pixellation problems. Are they wrong to reach that conclusion, or should they be calling their cable company to thank them for suddenly improving their signal strength? If Tivo's 8.3 update included software corrections to fix the issues for these owners, it is perfectly reasonable to imagine that the 8.3 software change may have caused problems for others.


    EDIT: I've noticed a few more pixellations with audio dropout and they appear only on analog channels. For me, I believe that rules out a signal problem, and I've never had this issue before 8.3. Can anyone else confirm if you are just experiencing this on analog channels? My analog default quality setting is high, but not best. Still, I would not expect that to cause pixellation and audio dropouts.

    In a way, this pixellation is similar to the type I've experienced on the Pioneer DVR-810H. The pioneer has a hardware problem that causes the pixellation, especially on lower quality settings.
     
  2. resanders

    resanders New Member

    35
    0
    Oct 17, 2006
    Rockaway, NJ
    I live in Morris County, NJ and I have FiOS TV. The problem channels for me are 80 - CNN, 120 - Lifetime, 150 - Travel, 160 - SCIFI, 161 - A&E and HD - 845. There are probably more but that should suffice for now. I had two Verizon techs out to the house on Sat. and all they did was install an attenuator to reduce the signal coming into the splitter which didn't do anything. If these are only analog channels for now then maybe that is the reason and my hope is that the signal of those channels would be upgraded over time. Also, I've seen a Motorola signal booseter splitter being sold on Amazon.com but I'm not sure if it works in all cases.
     
  3. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    3,638
    0
    Feb 5, 2001
    If you have FIOS, you don't have any analog channels with CC. Even without CC, the only analog channels are basically locals.

    All your channels are digital.
     
  4. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    3,638
    0
    Feb 5, 2001
    Come on, think clearly. If this were a hardware problem, we'd see much closer to 100% of people reporting problems.

    We don't. It's a fraction of the users.

    We see a frequency that closely matches those of signal problems. Random people, no specific pattern. (With a couple of exceptions, of course.)

    Human beings seek out patterns, even when there aren't any. Correlating the bulk of these issues to 8.3 is just seeing a pattern that isn't there.

    Much more likely - more people have a S3 now, and so as 8.3 rolled out, more people were exploring their S3. The few who had issues eventually found this forum, and got mob-thinked into associating any problem they had with 8.3.

    For the vast amjority of folks - it's a signal problem. If you can spend money on a S3 and HDTV, go get a reasonably inexpensive, quality, signal amp/cleaner. At worst, you can rule that out as an issue and actually focus on other things, instead of all the mental theorizing going on now. Actually try and solve your problems folks.

    Coax cable with splitters, etc., is an inherently faulty way to transmit television signals like this (that's why Verizon abandoned it until you get to your house). And for many people out there, your coax wiring is likely pretty bad. But it's also easily fixed with a little work.
     
  5. PPC1

    PPC1 Member

    209
    0
    Sep 15, 2006

    Advertisements

    I don't know if this related to what everyone else is observing, but recently, I have been getting some slight pixelation/blocking that is causing my S3 to simply freeze. It will remain locked like that for several minutes. Fast forwarding (or skip or rewind, for that matter) will cause the TiVo to make the audio signal that it registered the command, but the image will remain locked. After about a minute or two, the image will re-draw, and it will remain locked. It will do that for a while until it gets past a certain point of the program, and then it will resume "normal" playback. Pushing the TiVo button will similarly trigger the audio signal, but the TiVo will hang for a long period before it gets to the home screen. Telling it to resume drops the program back into the same spot, where it freezes again. This happens on both live and recorded shows, and on multiple channels.

    I can certainly accept that Brighthouse may be sending a low quality signal, but the TiVo should not be freezing up this way. There are no visable hick-ups on my other TV connected to a PACE digital set top box.

    Anyone else experiencing this?
     
  6. bifsiff94

    bifsiff94 Cliff Hanger

    50
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    Port...
    but I've only experienced my issue on analog channels. Is that a signal issue or not? Is it possible to have signal-related pixellation and audio dropouts on an analog channel?

    I can't speak for anyone else and I'm not a cable tech, so I think that's a fair question.
     
  7. Digibean

    Digibean New Member

    8
    0
    Mar 12, 2007
    Manassas, VA
    I had a COMCAST box for awhile and had no problems with any channels, analog or HD. Now with an S3 I'm getting pixelation on both analog and HD channels, but mainly on recorded shows. In fact I'm watching Standoff in HD that I recorded and it pixelated with audio drop about 8 to 10 times during the 1 hour show. But, I watched a live HD channel before that on a PBS HD for a full hour without one episode of pixelation/audio drop. However, I do remember watching a live HD channel over the weekend and it pixelated w/ audio drop off a few times during day.

    As for this not being an S3 issue, I won't say it is or it isn't. It's a possibility that the signal coming in from COMCAST is borderline when watching live shows but causes a problem within the S3 on one or the other tuner. If that's the case then there are quite a few people experiencing this problem without a way to prove what is causing it.

    I live in a fairly new apartment complex and only have one split on the coax (one to S3 and one to cable modem). When I check the signal strength on my favorite channels, they're all 90% or above.

    I will gladly buy a an attenuator/booster if it's proven that that is the issue. However, there are people who have posted on this thread that said that they have done that without success. I probably will buy and then try one to see if that will fix it since they are fairly cheap. But in the meantime I hope people continue to post in this thread about their issues, attempts to fix, and any other insights to what could be causing this.
     
  8. matt8268

    matt8268 New Member

    29
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    Well, I installed the amp and am now waiting to see if my glitching is helped at all by it. It will take a while before I can tell if it helps on newly recorded programs.
     
  9. HaloBox

    HaloBox New Member

    42
    0
    Oct 1, 2006
    Reach
    How the hell do you know that? Now who's presuming too much?

    I've had my S3 for a week and have seen slight pixelation and audio droppage in the first two HD recordings I made earlier today. Now granted I'm recording directly from the unencrypted FIOS TV QAM channels, but the issue is certainly visible.

    Since I've only had my box a week, I have no history or experience with previous TiVOS versions.

    My CableCard install is next week. If there is a serious issue after I start recording, I'll have to decide if I even keep my TiVo. If it doesn't work well, it will likely be returned.

    Since I know the TiVo folks read and post here, it would be good to know if any of this is a "known issue."
     
  10. astrodonkey

    astrodonkey New Member

    11
    0
    Dec 18, 2004
    Interesting thread. I've just recently started having these audio/pixelation problems. I've had my S3 about two months. Not sure what software version it came with but I know I've been through two upgrades.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with my cable signal. The reason I say this is my daughter watches "Dora the Explorer" over and over. Well, last night I noticed this problem on one of her recorded shows. It never happened before, and she's watched the thing 25 times. Now it's there in the exact same spot every time we watch it.

    Looks to me like hard drive corruption or something along those lines. Since I'm under warranty I think I may send it back.
     
  11. westport

    westport New Member

    3
    0
    Jun 26, 2007
    Help,.. I just upgraded to Tivo S3 with 8.3 from the crappy Cable 8300HD DVR. I now have pixel issues and audio dropouts galore. I never had these issues with my cable DVR. I also have a Series 2 box upstairs that never has these issues. The strange thing is that the problem seems to occur at the beginning of the show and seems to get better after about 10 minutes in. Probably a coincidence. Is there any way to tell which cable card/tuner made the recording? It would be interesting if it only one tuner had the issue.
     
  12. gwsat

    gwsat Member

    456
    0
    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    I, too, have had significant audio dropout and video pixelization problems with my S3 running 8.3. Until yesterday, the problem had been limited to one OTA digital channel, which a lot of viewers in the OKC area have had a hard time with – KOCO HD, Channel 5-1, the local ABC affiliate. But yesterday, I watched a two hour special in HD on the National Geographic’s HD cable channel via Cox OKC and had a lot of both dropouts and pixelization.

    That was the first and only time I had ever experienced the problem on any cable channel with enough frequency to become annoying. It never quite got so bad that I had to quit watching but it was often pretty bad. Whenever I have checked the signal strength of NGC HD or Channel 5-1 they are both at or near 100 on the S3’s signal strength meter.

    My old SA 8300HD, which my S3 replaced, could not record OTA programming, of course, but its cable recordings were always consistently good.
     
  13. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

    346
    93
    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA

    Tivo's signal strength meter is not actually a measure of signal strength at all, but of your error rate. You should have a technician come and measure your signal where it enters your Tivo. Likely it is weak enough to cause problems with frequencies (channels) that exist on the edge of what your signal contains.

    This thread just needs to die. Few people are actually doing any basic investigation themselves and just posting here and blaming it on the Tivo. If people really want help they should gather more information and make a new thread for their problem without preconceieved notions about what is causing it. Also, the term "pixelation" drives me crazy. It is so vague that people call dozens of different symptoms "pixelation". Anything that causes someone to lose audio/video for a segment of time is by default a signal issue. Whether that is caused by the Tivo, the cableco, or something in between is up in the air, but it is a signal issue not some mystical "pixelation".
     
  14. gwsat

    gwsat Member

    456
    0
    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    The S3's Channel Settings menu has two choices for "Signal Strength," one for antenna and the other for cable. Did those silly fellows at TiVo just not know what they were talking about when the said that the meter measured “Signal Strength?”

    This is a serious problem that deserves the sort of serious discussion it has received in this thread. Those of us who have had frequent, often severe, audio dropouts and video pixelization with our S3s but didn’t have them with the cable company DVRs their S3s replaced would like to know why. In short, the thread certainly does not deserve to die, which I would have thought 133 posts and counting would have made clear. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . well, you get it.

    I love my S3, as I loved my S1 before it. Nevertheless, the S3 is not perfect, as the problem discussed in this thread has demonstrated. I, for one, am not attacking TiVo but I would like to find a solution to the problem being addressed here. In fact, there has been little, if any, TiVo bashing in this thread, and certainly none from me.

    Relax, smell the roses, leave us to our own discussion here or, better yet, help us find a solution instead of getting all S3 “Coolaidy.” :)

    EDIT: Typo corrected
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003
    Agreed...whatever the issue is it's still manifesting itself for some people and deserves continued discussion. The cause (or causes), how widespread it is or was is completely unknown to anyone but TiVo employees.

    My first advice would be to contact the cable provider and have them come out and test the cable signal and the cable cards. Those are the two things that cause a majority of audio and video issues particularly with HD.

    That said, it doesn’t mean there might not be a problem with TiVo. We had immediate audio/video troubles on the day of the 8.3 FW upgrade with zero problems prior. We had Comcast check our signal and cards and everything was good. The problems began to lessen after about two weeks and now about six weeks later we rarely see them...no more than would be expected for "normal" digital signal glitches. How or why things improved is anyone's guess, but the initial issue (in our case) could clearly be traced to the FW upgrade. It appears that things have cleared up for a number of others around the country as well as most of the new posts are from people just running into problems and finding this thread.

    To me this whole thing screams "weak signal". My gut feeling still tells me that v8.3 caused TiVo's digital signal processing to be more sensitive somehow. If the signal was borderline to begin with and TiVo's processing became more sensitive it seems likely a perfect storm. I doubt if cableco signals have improved en mass so if I were to hazard a guess I'd say that TiVo has addressed the problem with some minor changes to the FW...but again that's just speculation.

    Hopefully things have improved for most people and the remnants of this are from those that are either still experiencing what a majority of us ran into at the FW upgrade, or actual poor signals.

    Time resolved these issues for us; hopefully it has or will for others but this is still a valid discussion and should be helpful if for nothing else to let others know that they aren't alone...and more importantly that it isn’t hopeless. Thanks to everyone for the feedback. :up:
     
  16. bifsiff94

    bifsiff94 Cliff Hanger

    50
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    Port...
    I will say that my issue has been very minor and not bothersome enough to call the cable company or Tivo. But I do think that it's valuable to discuss in this thread. The only pixellation I've had is on SD analog and digital channels, not on HD. I find that pretty odd, especially the analog channels where I would expect to never have a "signal" issue that causes pixellation and audio dropouts. In my case, the pixellation is that a portion of the screen goes "blocky" for a second or two.

    I'm the proud owner of a pioneer tivo/dvd burner unit, and that thing has terrible pixellation on lower quality settings, and it's not a signal issue. So a blanket statement that all pixellation is caused by poor signal is flat out wrong.

    That said, I do think that your assessment of borderline signal strength may be the culprit is probably correct. But if it was working before with borderline signals and now it doesn't, I would think this would be valuable feedback for Tivo.

    I hadn't heard before that the problem seemed to be diminishing for others. Without an update, doesn't that seem like a curious trend if true?
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

    9,078
    69
    Jan 4, 2003
    Curious? Yes! This whole thing is fairly curious isn't it? :confused:

    That things might be getting better is just conjecture. Less people are complaining (particularly the OP's) on this and other threads so that may or may not equate to a resolution. If so, how or why that's happened is anyone's guess. If things are still problematic I suspect they've been taken to a "higher authority" (read: cableco's or TiVo).

    Good feedback either way is usually helpful though. :up:
     
  18. GregComeLately

    GregComeLately Member

    119
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    western...
    I rarely visit this forum, but skimming through this whole thread, I just spotted your weeks old post.

    I've had similar issues with ABC OTA HD, BUT mine seem limited to audio dropouts only. No accompanying video drops outs or pixelation occurences, per se. It seemed to roughly coincide with the 8.3 update, but I really can't say with any reasonable degree of confidence, other than it started about 3 months ago. I started noticing an uptick of audio dropouts on a few of the ABC programs I had been recording; Lost, Desperate Housewifes, for example, both falling within the 8-10pm CDT range. I don't record much else on ABC, at least consistently.

    As these programs are now in reruns, I've recorded very little ABC programming since then, so its difficult for me to assess whether or not the problem is still occurring.

    With the exception of a 1 to 2 minute-long audio dropout on Desperate Housewives during it's series finale, or the episode the week before (I forget which), the dropouts have typically run a few seconds in length, and only occurring 2-4 times throughout the program.

    All the other stations have been exempt from these audio-only dropout occurences. It's just been an ABC OTA thing.

    Just thought I'd mention my somewhat similar situation, for whatever it's worth (perhaps just another non-categorizable issue which helps to clarify nothing :eek:).


    so just what do their "error rate" measurements tell us? anything useful?

    Like you, I am in an apartment. I've had fairly solid reception for all my HD/digital OTA stations apart from the (what used to be a much more) finicky CBS station. The signal strength #'s have never provided me with ANY clues. All stations have been in the 89 to 95 range, with most of them typically hovering around 90-93. Since back in the time when CBS HD/digital was being super-finicky, up to the present, where it's been behaving just like all the rest (NBC, PBS, CW, FOX), the signal numbers have never varied significantly. Is this typical? Should I have been seeing more wildly fluctuating "error measurements"?


    Have you tried a signal amp yet?? Whenever I do have reception problems, the bulk have been very brief audio and/or video pixelation effects, though never longer than 5-10 seconds during any single occurance. With my consistently strong Tivo signal #'s and my apartment-dwelling circumstance (not having much control over possible antenna issues and adjacent building interferences), I had assumed that nothing I could do would help. If a signal amp works for you, then I should probably attempt it as well.
     
  19. gwsat

    gwsat Member

    456
    0
    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    I reported yesterday morning that my S3 had started to experience audio dropouts and video pixelization on some cable channels as well as on the OTA channel, where it has happened frequently. Late yesterday afternoon things got worse, a lot worse. My TiVo made a sharp left turn and headed south.

    My S3 became glacially slow, so slow that it sometimes took several minutes before it would carry out an operation I had called for with the remote. Then, it started demonstrating severe pixelization and video freeze on some channels and others would simply give me a black screen. It would also reboot as frequently as once every 5 minutes.

    I called TiVo and after some discussion they called Cox OKC for me, and in a three-way conversation, we arranged for Cox to come today and check the cards. A Cox tech did, and could find nothing wrong with the cards. Then, the Cox tech and I called TiVo back, told them that there was nothing apparently wrong with the cards and TiVo agreed to ship a replacement S3.

    The TiVo tech did not tell me why they decided to ship me a replacement, but I think it was my explanation of the audio and video problems I had experienced frequently on an OTA channel.

    I hope the replacement S3 will operate without problems but seeing will be believing. I’ll report further when I know more.
     
  20. Mystic1

    Mystic1 New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 25, 2006
    So I just stumbled across this thread - and I am 99% certain that 8.3 is the cause of my audio and video drop-outs and heavy pixelation - for the following reasons:

    1) My TWO s3's were both working very well prior to the 8.3 update.
    2) I have already had my cable signals checked, and verified the integrity of the signals.
    3) The exact same program recorded on two Tivo S3's and a Motorola HD STB show constant audio/video drop-outs on the Tivo's but not the Motorola or the live feeds.
    4) The drop-outs on the two Tivo's, while both constant, are not in the same places as they should be if it was signal related.
    5) I have had the cards checked and re-checked by COX and replaced twice with exactly the same results.
    6) One of my s3's has had the internal HD upgraded, the other has not - it's still original.

    Since I have TWO s3's and they both exhibited the exact same symptoms at exactly the same time - the 8.3 update - and both were fine on 8.1 - I can conclude that it's extremely unlikely to be a coincidence that both had hardware problems at the same time. And since the signal is verified fine it must be related to the 8.3 upgrade. There is no doubt in my mind.

    If TIvo doesn't acknowledge that, then they're not only going to continue to irritate customers, but they're also going to waste a lot of money replacing units that aren't really bad...
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements