Tivo HD Macroblocking - a deeper problem?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by JosephMartin, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. JosephMartin

    JosephMartin New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 22, 2007
    Troy, MI
    I purchased my Tivo HD a few days ago and have liked it so far. I am still waiting until this weekend for my cable provider (WOW Detroit) to come out and install the CableCard's.

    In the meantime, I have been using it for the analog channels and the clear digital channels (local HD channels). Though I can not get channel information on the clear digital channels yet (some other threads have been posted about this) most all channels come in perfectly. That is, except for one which is my local Fox channel, which is experiencing some major macroblocking (it shows up on replays as well)

    Here are the details on this channel:
    (analog) Channel 2
    (digital) Channel 2.1 if OTA
    (digital) Channel 202 through my cable provider

    After reading all the issues regarding macroblocking, I have seen the consensus grow in the correlation between macroblocking and CableCars's. Rather, I am proposing that the issue may be a deeper issue, that being the macroblocking could be related the the digital decoder within the Tivo HD box.

    Here is why I post this theory. I am able to receive this channel and other local HD channels without any problems on my HD-DVR provided by my cable company (which this box is to replace). Also, I can receive this channel and other local HD channels by running the cable directly into my television as it is able to decode it (a Vizio LCD unit).

    Do any others with the Tivo HD experience a similar issue in receiving clear HD content via cable, that is people who are not using CableCard's? I just don't want the Tivo engineers scrambling to find a fix to this CableCard issue when it may be related to the decoder, in essense they would be setting out buckets to catch the rainwater instead of repairing the roof!

    So, if anyone else has seen these issues when tuning to local HD channels without CableCards, post a note. Maybe this will help this awesome unit get patched up quick for all of us! :)
     
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Does your TivoHD have the 8.1.7b2 software? And are you only looking at live and recordings made since that update was installed?
     
  3. beady

    beady New Member

    60
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    Oct 30, 2006
    LI, NY
    Why don't you remove the cablecard and manually tune into the channel. If you still see the problem it is not the cablecard. I had a Sony TV that could tune in a channel just fine with the QAM tuner. When I added a cablecard there was a lot of macroblocking. Sony ended up replacing the b-block and the same cable card worked without problems.
     
  4. hank12345

    hank12345 Member

    91
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    Sep 27, 2005

    I can second that-- I had my TiVo HD up and running for almost two weeks before I added cable cards, and I was manually tuning into QAM channels with no macroblocking at all... added cable cards, and lots of macroblocking on those same channels....
     
  5. JosephMartin

    JosephMartin New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 22, 2007
    Troy, MI
    I do have the most recent software on my unit (b2). All of the live TV and recordings have been after the update, as the update was the first thing I did when I got the unit.

    Also, I do not have any CableCards yet, those are to installed this weekend. I have been manually tuning to the clear QAM channels. This is the reason for my speculation that the problem may be in the decoder or in the software involved.

    I am just trying to see if others have noticed this in an attempt to see if this could be what may be causing the macroblocking issue
     
  6. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    12,064
    770
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Well but clearly those with SA cards have many more problems than those with Motorola cards so the CableCards are definitely part of the problem. However there are apparently a small subset of Motorola card owners as well as some people with no CCs at all also having issues. Those could well be signal-related issues or as you speculate something else related to Tivo hardware/software/drivers.
     
  7. mediahound

    mediahound New Member

    1
    0
    Aug 25, 2007
    I don't have any cable card (I don't have cable tV for that matter), I just use an OTA antenna and while watching this past week's re-run of Heroes I got severe Macroblocking all over the screen all the time such that I couldn't even watch the program.

    Other recorded 1080i programs on my TiVo HD look and play fine though.

    Very strange behavior, but it does lead me to think the problem is deeper within the processors in the TiVo HD. It's almost as if the unit cannot decode the 1080i fast enough to play it or something.

    Also the latest software update seems to have made it worse becuase I watched Heroes the week before on the old software and it played fine.
     
  8. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

    916
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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest

    Used my HD box from Brighthouse yesterday for 12 hours... Had no issues whatsoever, that have been ongoing with the Tivo unit, since day one...
     
  9. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    The issues with Scientific Atlanta CableCards are well-known. Tivo has admitted to them. Tivo has also said they have a fix in testing now that should be released to everyone in a few weeks.
     
  10. JosephMartin

    JosephMartin New Member

    3
    0
    Aug 22, 2007
    Troy, MI
    Well... I got my SA cards installed yesterday and have been running a few tests. What I've found is that it seams as if only HD channels seem to have these issues as my digital channels have been really clear.

    On the HD side, most have a macroblocking glitch every minute or so, but I'm still having issues with my local Fox station. Fox is just as screwed up as it was both before and after the CC.

    I decided to double check everything and removed the cards, and the issues were still on Fox (but other HD channels appeared to have less issues).

    Then I decided to check OTA, and it still looked as if the problems cleared up a little.

    So... is it possible that either 1) Fox is using some deviation of the digital/HD codec in my area or 2) Is the cable company altering the signal in any way? (The latter because the signal appeared more clearly on OTA). I'm just throwing this out there as I am not familiar with video transmission methods or pass-through (cable) systems, maybe someone who works in this area could chime in?

    Still love this TivoHD though!
     
  11. cody_dingo

    cody_dingo New Member

    29
    0
    Aug 21, 2007
    I have TWC in Kansas City and have yet to have CableCards installed. I've had the unit for 5 days and just started tuning into some QAM HD channels today and saw intermittent macroblocking. The second day I had the unit, I saw pixelization in the menu.

    Don't know if this info helps, but my box is definitely a CableCard virgin.
     
  12. cody_dingo

    cody_dingo New Member

    29
    0
    Aug 21, 2007
    The TWC contractor just left here. I got a call last weekend that the M-Cards weren't pairing correctly with the TivoHD and was asked if I wanted to try SA S-Cards instead. I agreed, so they rolled a truck today. So far I've seen a little pixelation, but for the most part it seems fine. He left less than an hour ago, so time will tell...
     

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