TiVoHD hardware reliability issues?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by heySkippy, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,049
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    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    We bought a pair of refurbished TiVoHD boxes back in August to go with our new FiOS install, one for the living room and one for the bedroom. All was good until a couple weeks ago...

    The bedroom TiVo developed a problem where any operation other than watching live TV would take 100x more time than normal. You could press the Now Showing button and go have a quick snack before the list of shows would form. Same with any operation in TiVo Central - press the button and wait.

    So I called TiVo and got an advance exchange headed our way, all nice and under warranty except for the $50 labor/handling charge and the $320 refundable deposit for the new TiVo. It arrived a few days later, I hooked it up, and it failed after an hour of use. This new unit reboots itself every few minutes.

    So I called TiVo again and got yet another exchange headed our way along with another $320 advance exchange deposit on the credit card. It arrived yesterday, and it's exhibiting the same problem as TiVo #2 except sometimes instead of rebooting itself, it'll just hang on startup and not do anything at all.

    So I called TiVo yet again. We discussed possible environmental issues with the box, I dragged out power conditioning surge protectors and extension cords and plugged it in dozens of times over the whole house trying to find something that would make it work.

    No luck. One last call to TiVo this morning has replacement #3 headed my way with an accompanying (you guessed it) $320 deposit. TiVo numbers 1 and 2 are on their way back to the mothership and we're looking at another few days with no TV in the bedroom. :(

    I did a quick search, but don't see where anyone else has had this kind of hardware trouble. If anyone has any insight, please do share, and in the meantime, thanks for letting me unload my story here. Hopefully we've just had a patch of bad luck and the next TiVo will be fine!
     
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    How long are you keeping these TiVos?

    Every TiVo ships with the relatively slow v8.1.7 software from early 2007. Furthermore, all guide databases must be indexed in the background for the first ~48 hours after you run guided setup. The background indexing noticeably slows responsiveness during that period. Most users receive an update to the latest software (now 11.0) after about a week, and guide data must be re-indexed for another ~48 afters after that update, temporarily slowing responsiveness again. The TivoHD does not reach full responsiveness until 48-72 hours after the v11.0 install.

    You can usually speed the software update process by forcing a few connections via Settings -> Phone & Network -> Connect to TiVo Service. Once your Phone & Network screen says "Pending Reboot," that means a software update is available for install. Normally, the TiVo would just reboot during the early morning hours to install the update, but you make that happen immediately by selecting Settings -> Restart or Reset System -> Restart the TivoHD. Software updates can take up to an hour to install.
     
  3. westside_guy

    westside_guy Annoyingly ephemeral

    468
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    Mar 13, 2005
    The soggy...
    You say "power conditioning surge protectors" - is that explicitly what you bought? Most power strips on sale nowadays don't do any conditioning nor do they offer any significant surge protection - they're basically just convenience strips allowing you to plug more devices in at one location.

    If it's a power issue, though, I'd expect you'd have seen issues with other electrical equipment failing early prior to this.

    That's too bad about the problems. It seems like it must be either something in your environment, or else just a run of bad luck for you. I realize that's not all that helpful though, sorry...
     
  4. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

    30,720
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    Jan 16, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I would suggest that you not use "power conditioning surge protectors" but rather full blown UPS units.
    I have them for mine.
     
  5. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    so how is the other one doing?
    Did you try the failing TiVo there? Did you try the working TiVo where the other one was failing?
     
  6. pilotbob

    pilotbob New Member

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Florida
    Wow...you should play the lottery. To get so many bad units in a row... you are certainly an odd defier.

    BOb
     
  7. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,049
    1,059
    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    The TiVo that had slowed to a crawl had been in place and working perfectly since last August. And when I say it had slowed by 100x, I'm not exaggerating. You know that little video with the puppy and the animated TiVo guy that plays when the TiVo reboots? That would play about 6 frames of video and then pause for 20 or 30 seconds before playing another 6 frames. It was that slow for every single keypress on the remote that involved anything except live TV.

    The two dead replacement TiVos are fast enough, but they either hang on startup or reboot every 5 minutes after they've started.
     
  8. pdxsam

    pdxsam New Member

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    Mar 2, 2002
    have you tried pulling the cable card(s) and run without the card(s)? It could be a cable card issue on the box.
     
  9. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,049
    1,059
    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    Oh yeah. Not just that, but the wireless adaptor as well and in all possible permutations. I didn't mention it before, but replacement TiVo #2 also has a dead #2 cable card slot.
     
  10. pdxsam

    pdxsam New Member

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    Mar 2, 2002
    Way off the wall question here... are you on carpeting while you're moving the tivo around and putting the cards in etc. Could there be a static problem that's hosing these boxes when you're handing them? Might want to try some static spray and see if that makes a difference with the next box you get.
     
  11. OHSam2008

    OHSam2008 New Member

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Just my two cents here...but when I purchased my TiVoHD over a year ago, I had issues with it rebooting spontaneously. It rebooted during the initial run of guided setup and numerous times while watching live TV. The time that ticked me off the most was when it rebooted WHILE RECORDING a program! Missed a good chunk of the show due to the extremely long bootup cycle this thing has too! So upset. LOL When I got around to calling support, they were more than happy to replace the unit, but suggested I put it on a UPS as the slightest glitch in power has been known to reboot them. Rather than spend the money on that, I put it on a different power strip/surge protector and haven't noticed any reboot issues since. (Well...that is until Hurricane IKE blew through Ohio in September and I was without power for a week...LOL) My guess is that the older strip was outside of its life-cycle. On a side note, the UPS that I did have for my computer modem and router went out of it's life-cycle after just a couple years. I guess these things don't last forever...as we'd like them too.

    Best of luck to you. Hope you find a unit to your satisfactory soon...don't know how your credit card handles all the deposit holds! Mine sure wouldn't! ;)
     
  12. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,049
    1,059
    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    Well, replacement #3 is up and running and so far, so good. I set it to record movies all night so I can see if it reboots.
     

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