TiVo HD picture freezes

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by andyw715, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. May 13, 2008 #141 of 1091

    billyjoebob99 Member

    Jan 13, 2007


    The TiVo most likely is trying to write to completely free space (trying to save deleted items). By freeing up more completely free space you would be less likely to write to areas on the disk that are having issues.
  2. May 13, 2008 #142 of 1091

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003
    That would only really "fix" the problem if writing to the drive was the problem. If it was a "write" problem, then some recordings would be corrupted, but since recordings appear to be fine this isn't the case (*). If it was a "read" problem then rebooting wouldn't fix the problem so that's most likely not the case either. I'm just speculating, but the problem appears to be an issue with decoding/displaying video. Since, from what I've read it appears to mainly (solely?) affect TiVo HD models, it would appear to point to some kind of driver issue (or at least some kind of incompatibility between the HD and the 9.3a software).

    (*) Note, it is likely that a number of people are experiencing drive problems (which normally manifest as macroblocking, freezing and/or rebooting), but drive issues occur any time a new software rolls out.
  3. May 13, 2008 #143 of 1091

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    There is a high correlation between new software releases and hard drive problems (not only this latest update which seems worses than normal, but previous updates as well). Anyone have any clue what software updates are doing to exacerbate hard drive problems? Could it be somehow related to low level driver (maybe even kernel level) software for the hard drive that may be getting updated as part of the software update?
  4. May 13, 2008 #144 of 1091

    chewy2314 Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    I posted this in another thread on 05-07-2008:

    Well, add me to the list. It has been about 2 months since I got the refurbed TivoHD (new 750Gb Samsung F1 drive installed) and about 1 1/2 weeks since Multistream card installed. First time experienced the locked video issue in SD recorded programs. HD recorded programs played fine. I had to reboot the box. Now I did have ANT as a source, but no antennae was installed, so I reran the guided setup for only cable source. I'll post if we get the problem again. Video setting: 1080i Hybrid. OS: 9.3a.

    PS. I didn't have any issues running without CC's. (okay, issue with GSOD when I messed with output resolution)
    Now yesterday (05/12/08), our THD box experienced the same issue. Freezing picture during SD playback and live TV. No issues with HD content (recorded or live).

    Wished I'd seen this post before I rebooted it... so next time I'll do so (i'm guessing in around 6 days) and oh.. i've set my output to Native to see what happens.

    One more thing... I also removed any video downloads to see if that helps. (DL.TV caused the endless blue light problem).
  5. May 13, 2008 #145 of 1091

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007


    I got the impression the issue was actually on the LiveTV side and just appeared to manifest itself on playback because that was the foreground task.

    The reason I got this impression is because someone said the problem went away if you removed the coax cable, which disables LiveTV recording, However people have talked about different freezing problems and I might have gotten confused.
  6. May 13, 2008 #146 of 1091

    CallieBrady New Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    I tried clearing deleted items, made no difference. the problem re-occurs consistently, whether we record more or not, always withing 24 hours or so.
  7. May 13, 2008 #147 of 1091

    JDNick New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    This just started for me a few days ago as well. I noticed that when I turned on my TV the current channel was completely buffered. It was almost like it hit pause on its own and then just kept buffering the whole time. Hitting FF gets me back to live TV after running through the whole buffer.
  8. May 13, 2008 #148 of 1091

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    Mar 14, 2003
    Barring any software problems, normally when people have problems with software updates, their hard drive is already going bad. The update just pushes it over the edge.

    Drives can fail in a number of ways. It can totally fail (usually the result of physical damage or a damaged boot sector - drive crash) or it can fail slowly. If it fails slowly, it usually doesn't do so uniformly so certain areas of the drive will fail before others.

    If the data portion of the TiVo's drive (the area where the video is stored) starts to fail, it will manifest itself as macroblocking or other video/audio artifacts. If the area of the drive containing the software (or swap file space) starts to fail, all manner of problems can occur (usually the TiVo starts spontaneously rebooting).

    The TiVo has two software partitions, but only one is active at a time. When a software release is pushed out, the new software is written to the inactive partition and then that partition is made active. If the drive has no problems reading/writing the current software partition, but has problems reading/writing the new software partition then then when the new software is written it could become corrupted, resulting in problems.

    That's why software upgrades appear to "break" many TiVos, but in reality they were already broken before the software was released (they just didn't know it). The same thing can happen to an PC. That's one of the reasons why Microsoft recommends backing up all your data before installing the latest service packs for XP and Vista.

    For the 9.3a software version, TiVoStephen (in another thread) has acknowledged that there is an issue, but since hardware problems and software problems can result in the same symptoms (in this case freezing) one can't really be sure which problem one is experiencing short of having the TiVo replaced and seeing if the problem still occurs. Since a number of people have reported having their TiVo replaced and having no problems with the new unit until it upgraded to 9.3a, that strongly suggests a software issue.

    It obviously isn't affecting everyone (my S3 runs fine) so just because someone is having a problem, doesn't automatically mean it's a problem with the 9.3a software. It could be or the person simply might be having a drive failure. The main problem that I can see is that TiVo's phone support should have the user run tests (or look at logs) before either telling that person it's a problem with the software (telling them to wait) or a problem with the hardware (initiating a RMA).

    On a somewhat related note, I have infrequently seen cases on my S3 where the liveTV buffer isn't where it should be. Once or twice playback was at the beginning of the buffer when it should have been at the end (I've seen this in older software as well) and one time it was paused midway through a suggestion recorded a few hours early. In the later case the ff and rewind buttons didn't work, but the skip to end did work so I wouldn't call that a "freeze".
    it appears to have paused on it's own, but I can correct this by pressing the skip to end button
  9. May 13, 2008 #149 of 1091
    Go Bears

    Go Bears New Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Add me to the list. My HD TiVo is little less than 3 months old and I bought an WD external drive. I thought it was the drive, but I guess not. Also thought it was the HDMI connection to my Onkyo 705, but tried it without the receiver and still experienced the problem.
  10. May 14, 2008 #150 of 1091

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    While people are using the same word "freeze" to describe the problems I think it's fairly easy to tell the difference between the hardware issues and the software issue.

    For the hardware issue, the box as a whole becomes unresponsive (freeze), and will frequently reboot. If you can see video, it will be choppy, or macroblocking. Some people report that removing the cable will bring the box back to regular speed (probably because without a video signal, it doesn't have to write as much to disk). I think most people are reporting this on the Series3 boxes.

    For the software issue (the one I thought this thread was about, and what TiVoStephen was asking for feedback), TV video isn't playing properly (video freeze), but the box otherwise seems to be running just fine.. I don't think connecting/disconnecting the cable has any impact on this problem. I think most people are reporting this on the TiVoHD boxes.
  11. May 14, 2008 #151 of 1091

    Dssturbo1 New Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    my Tivo HD got the freezes too. stock Tivo HD, no cc, no ota, keep the deleted folders empty. Been using it to receive programs MRV from my S3 since the tv in that room went out. Both S3 and Tivo HD are 9.3a. Started the freezes last week on several recorded programs I was watching, constant freezing up easily every 2-3 minutes. could hit rewind or ff and it would play again for a short time, if using the rewind it would freeze again in the same spots. Since they were tranferred from the S3 I could check it and had no freezing. Then I was in the menu and the Tivo HD completely froze up no response at all and had to unplug/reboot. Since then no freezes for the past week thank goodness. hopefully tivo can use the forum members bug reports and get it fixed for good.
  12. May 14, 2008 #152 of 1091

    diskus Member

    Sep 22, 2004
    An update, since I have emptied my deleted programs folder and restarted I have not had any further freeze issues (about a week). I see that some have tried this and have not seen the same effect. It is an interesting problem, Im sure it will be identified and corrected by engineers.

    for a further detail the freeze in picture i experienced could be resolved by simply pressing the 30 second advance, though when it was at its worst it would quickly return. I never required a restart though i did try it several times to alleviate the issue which didn't help. Only when I emptied my deleted programs which only had less than 20 programs did I see improvement which was total.

    Interestingly I could also initiate a freeze by changing the input on my television (direct cable, second tivo, dvd etc back to tivo hd) or at least it seemed so. This made no sense initially to me. Though I now see it could have to do with hdmi, though Im no expert there fer sure. This only ocurred prior to emptying deleted programs, now this has no effect
  13. May 14, 2008 #153 of 1091

    hmm52 Member

    Feb 25, 2008

    Perhaps it's worth doing a poll to gauge what symptoms people are seeing with what setups. The issues are still not clear to me. What I've seen on S3 is closer to your description in 3rd paragraph, frozen video. I noticed it up to several times a week when the Tv was first turned on in evening; except that unit seemed to be in lockup - any command caused reboot, then all was well. Never tried disconnecting any cable. My wife and I have seen this happen just once or twice since 9.3 update. I have never seen the symptoms you described in 2nd paragraph.
  14. May 14, 2008 #154 of 1091

    griff55 New Member

    May 12, 2008
    I also am having problems. (live tv pausing (picture, not unit freezing, and not being able to hit the play button to respond) :( They started when I was using the live tv button to hop between the 2 cablecards. Restarting did temporarily fix the problem. I have nothing in my deleted its folder and only a couple of recordings.

    I will try to recreate it tonight and send over the info to Tivo.

    I still have my Cable DVR on the sidelines waiting to jump back in. I will give it a week or so, then the unit goes back.
  15. May 14, 2008 #155 of 1091

    ilh New Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    When my video freezes, 30-second skip or any forward/backward/pause does NOT fix it. Only a reboot fixes it.
  16. May 14, 2008 #156 of 1091

    MOINME New Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Have a 1 month old TiVo HD, using COMCAST in Northern New England and 2 single stream Cable Cards. Having the same picture freeze problem ever since about three days after hookup. Updated SW to V9.3 and now a soft reset seems to be the only fix. COMCAST has sent at least 2 "refresh" signals to no avail. After the last reset, I noticed an error message for Cable Card 2 and error code 161-10. So when the COMCAST tech showed up and started attaching his signal meter to every connection, the end result was an "upgrade" (i.e. replacement) of the 10+ yr old delivery cable. Guess I was having some major signal loss between the line outside and where it entered the home to the tune of about 7dB. We will be watching to see if "The Freeze" happens again. If so, they WILL be coming back and replacing one if not both Cable Cards with 2 new single stream or 1 new multistream. Figure I'm paying enough for it, I ought to be able to have it configured the way I want. :confused:
    Update: found the "freeze" to happen mostly during channel changes on live TV, also have noticed in previous threads that some folks asked about possible problems with connections...my TiVo HD is connected via HDMI direct to a 50" Panasonic Plasma on HDMI1, this has worked like a dream up until "The Freeze" started happening.
  17. May 14, 2008 #157 of 1091

    BobB Devout Tivonian

    Aug 26, 2002
    Brookline, MA
    Ditto here, 9.3a with the MyDVR Expander and it's been doing this for about two weeks - which from reading this and related strings probably means since it upgraded to 9.3. It seems pretty clear that the presence or absence of the expansion drive is irrelevant.

    I guess there's nothing we can do but sit tight and wait for a fix. At least they acknowledge the problem and are working on it.
  18. May 14, 2008 #158 of 1091

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Same here.
    I've been affected only 3 times (so far) and it was after I had been doing a bunch of MRV transfers from an S2 and PC.

    My TivoHD is stock, OTA only, using composite output with digital audio to a reciever.
  19. May 14, 2008 #159 of 1091

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    The last 2 times it happened to me, I just turned it on. One time It was 6AM and today after I got back from dinner, so it's not just from prolonged use.

    Nevermind, I read your post wrong...
  20. May 14, 2008 #160 of 1091

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    One other thing to point out. While I was updating, it kicked out back to the LIVETV and it was playing live TV, then I changed the channel and it froze up again.

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