Troubleshooting Guide

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by JoeSchueller, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. JoeSchueller

    JoeSchueller New Member

    Jun 16, 2004


    Hello All... I have an aging TiVo HD that has been experiencing some unusual issues and performance, and I could use some assistance in isolating the problem.

    TiVo HD, TWC, Cisco SDV adapter, Multi-Stream CableCard

    I'll have shows going on both tuners, leveraging the buffer. Typically, at least one is an unencrypted HD channel (like NBC, CBS, etc). At some point the picture will stutter and after that, when I flip back to that unencrypted channel, the picture has completely frozen. I can go back in the buffer, but it as though the signal has completely stopped. I can try to go forward and get to live TV, but the arrow is at the end of the buffer and there's no picture/audio. I have to change the channel and change it back to the original station to continue viewing. When I turn it back, it tunes it immediately. There are also times where there is a "hiccup" in the buffer that I just can't play. I try to skip over it, but FF doesn't work, I have to 30s skip it to continue watching.

    Potential Culprits:
    Bad cable signal - Hey, it is TWC after all. However, my phone and high speed have been solid and reliable for nearly a year. I've tried to catch it on the signal meter, but haven't had any luck yet.

    Bad cable card - The first one TWC gave me never worked, this one pairs and works, but looks like the guy ran it over with the truck before he got it to me.

    Bad SDV adapter - It has been pretty good too (knock on wood)

    Bad HDD - This is where I get nervous. My box was purchased in '07, so it is nearly 5 years old. Does anyone have a feel for the HDD lifespans in that device? It was moved once last summer, but it has been dealt with very gently in that time. It isn't rebooting or completely freezing the unit, it is just a stutter and this odd tuning behavior. That doesn't feel like an HDD.

    Any thoughts on where to get started?
  2. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    Cable card> Tuning Adapter> Truck roll to check signal integrity.
  3. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yes, go learn about "capacitor plague"

    I don't guarantee that's the problem, but it's a likely candidate whenever we're talking strange symptoms in S2s and S3s.
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I've been having some timeline "gap" problems similar to what you describe.
    See here:
    My setup is identical to yours except my TiVo HD is only 3 years old and I have two single channel CableCARDs.

    I think every possible cause that's been mentioned here is a candidate except the TA, and I think hard drive failure is not as likely unless you are getting frequent pixelation thorugh most HD programs.

    My gap problems vary widely between channels and my intuition is the problem is the TWC signals. The signal levels, SNR and RS errors all check good on all channels so I doubt making TWC check signals is going to do much good -- they will blame it on your TiVo anyway. I suspect it's something more subtle in the signals themselves that causes the problem, perhaps glitches from their QAM modulators. So far the level of the problems is just a slight annoyance. If it gets worse I will check capacitors, hard drive, and ask for a new m-Card. Beyond that I'm tempted to get a TWC DVR for a while. Then if there are any glitches, TWC can't blame it on customer equipment and will have to fix it. Then after they fix it, back to the TiVo. I also get OTA via antenna and these gap things, and some other minor glitches, do NOT happen on the OTA channels.

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