Who has had pixelation/drop out issues since 7.1 released

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by ukaussi, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. gbrandt

    gbrandt New Member

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    Apr 23, 2005

    7.1b did nothing to relieve my problems. I have digital cable with Motorola cable boxes....series 2 Tivo models...
     
  2. markmarz

    markmarz Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Hi,

    TIVO model 140, until today running the latest software (7.2?). Comcast 'digital' cable box. TIVO upgraded w/additional 120gb drive on top of original 60gb drive back in Feb 2002.

    No problems till past few months. Pixellation, seems especially bad on non-digital channels, though it's my understanding that it's all analog by the time it gets to TIVO, anyway. Also very slow menus.

    Thought it might be failing hard drives (suppose now that it could relate to latest software, but not clear .. read on), so just now replaced both drives with a single new Hinsdale 160gb drive.

    During setup noticed intense pixellation (arrghh!) while setting up IR blaster.

    I'm running software version 2.03 (!) right now because that's what my Hinsdale supplied 160gb drive is initialized with. So if it's tied to 7+ software, why am I having problems in 2.03?

    Also of interest: in the past few days I've been removing/saving off programming, in preparation for new drive. Noticed *no* pixellation in past couple days as saved programs took up less and less space .. it's my assumption there's a link there. But again, right now there's no programming at all on my new 160gb drive, so why still have incredibly slow menus and pixellation?

    Could it be the 'indexing' or whatever lengthy 4-8hr initialization process is contending for cycles? But then why not a problem 3 yrs ago when first got the box?

    Lots of questions. But interesting, isn't it?

    - Mark M.
     
  3. pan2

    pan2 New Member

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    Feb 28, 2003
    I'm late to the party here but my pixelation problems have also been present since the 7.1 upgrade. I have analog cable straight through the wall which comes in fine when not passing through the TiVo. My problems aren't as severe as some of the minute-long delays others have reported, but the remote sometimes takes 5 seconds to respond and pixelation occurs about every 30 minutes and lasts for a second or two. It's bearable but very irritating, especially since the box was flawless before the update.

    For reference I have an 80 hour Series 2 (240-XXX) with SW v7.1b
     
  4. ptenthus

    ptenthus New Member

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    Feb 20, 2005
    I had throught that the 7.1b update had fixed this issue for me (40hr 240 series unit)...but last night, we had it again for about 2-3 minutes during a recorded show.

    The picture would pixelate and/or freeze for 3-4 seconds at a time.

    Note, this is on standard cable (no digital, no cable box).

    This _never_ happend before the 7.1 update (though I must say that 7.1a was almost unwatchable with freezes/pixelation/ultra-slow menus/ffw button delays/etc. and 7.1b has fixed almost all of that)
     
  5. piratemc74

    piratemc74 New Member

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    Jan 15, 2005
    Cary, NC
    OK, me too, but has just started really getting annoying. Series 2, 240, 80hr, Software version 7.2.1-oth-01-2-140

    I've read most of the postings. My issue is slow menus, and pixelation. I"m going to try the powerdown (unplug) tonight - and everynight for a while, and see what happens.

    BTW - this new software I got is supposed to allow you to "overlap" recordings...haven't tried it yet....
     
  6. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,583
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    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Well, I have just checked in here for the first time in about 6 months. You can find my original rather long post about my pixelations and freeze-ups back around 5/28/05. I reported then that I suspected the problem was really due to massive HDD fragmentation, and I stumbled upon a "fix" by deleting most "Now Playing" shows from the machine, then doing a cold boot. I speculated that the TiVo box does some defragmentation during a cold start. I still have no way of verifying this, but it is the best answer I have.

    Since that time, I had the pixelations and freeze-ups start one more time (maybe 6 weeks ago). I only saw it briefly on one or two shows, but this time I did not wait for it to get continually worse. I worked through the majority of the recordings on my unit and did the cold boot thing again. Just like last time, it is all fixed.

    My process is quite simple. Delete as many of the recordings as you are willing to get rid of - if you are really fighting this problem, I'd strongly suggest deleting them all! No need to reload the software/restore the drives, etc; just delete them from the Now Playing list. Then unplug your machine for a while. 5 minutes should be way more than enough. Plug it back in and use it like normal.

    Before I accidentally discovered this "fix" the first time, my box was completely unusable. Every single program had so many audio pauses, frame freezes and block pixelations that you couldn't even follow all of the story line. The screen would freeze or break up every minute or two! It may not have anything to do with fragmentation, but I can assure you that it has been a complete fix for me. Good luck,
    Goose
     
  7. FLPilot

    FLPilot New Member

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Ft....
    I too originally posted that unplugging the unit and waiting a while before plugging back in had helped. But I found that process stopped helping even when all my recordings were deleted. I went ahead and just bought a new drive from weaknees.com. I had to buy one from them, although more expensive, because my computer has SATA and not IDE. If you are one who has an older computer and can do it yourself, I recommend buying a hard drive (really cheap these days). The other thing you can do, and I didn't think about this before hand, check ebay for "tivo upgrade" and you will find plenty of people selling the same upgraded drives a lot cheaper than what I paid. Make sure to check the ratings of those sellers though. As for me, I still have no problems, but then again I now have a "like new" Tivo. So I hope not to have any problems for at least a couple of years.
     
  8. vcrisp

    vcrisp New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    I just spent an hour and a half on the phone with Tivo tech support. We have a Tivo DVR Series 2 running 7.2.1 software. We have had the audio drop-out problems for months and finally took some time to try and find a solution.

    First they tried to tell me it was the hard drive with some lame excuse that it couldn't be the software since it only sends ones and zeros (shouldn't tech support know something technical?). After we assured them that it COULD be the software, they went for the trade-in offer.

    We asked to speak to a supervisor who also only offerred the trade-in offer an assured us that it was NOT a software issue. When I asked him to verify that there had not been ANY complaints about the same problem on the 7.2.1 software, he said, "we consider complaints on the internet to be from a vocal minority only". In other words, if you're expecting Tivo engineers to read about your problems and fix their software, don't hold your breath. Since the complaints have not come pouring in via their phone support (and no wonder since it takes at least 30 minutes for someone to answer and another hour for someone to offer you a trade-in), the official Tivo line is to ignore them.

    I will be trying some of the clearing suggestions offered here and then I'll be looking to purchase a DVR from another company.

    Good luck to others.
     
  9. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,583
    493
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Hello all,

    I have a few new observations about this problem on my machine that I want to share with you. Just as a reminder, I have a Series 2 with a second HDD installed (160GB), and my machine is often (usually) near max full.

    While on vacation in December I had a pipe in my attic freeze and totally flood my house. When I got home, I had to immediately move to a hotel, then to an apartment a few weeks later. Of course I took my TiVo with me to catch up on the stuff I recorded while I was gone.

    Of course each time I had to move the machine it was powered off, so over the last month it has been through MANY restarts - if this process does anything to improve the situation (such as defragging the drive as I have suggested), then my box should be as fixed as it could possibly be! Oddly enough, my observations through this process have only added to the questions, not the answers. When I first took the box to the hotel, it powered right up and worked perfectly. Because I had to re-arrange the stuff in the room a couple of times, I guess it was booted 3 or 4 times over two days or so. If I remember correctly, each restart went fine, but after one of them I had pretty bad pauses and pixelation. I rebooted it again and the machine worked flawlessly.

    Then I moved into an apartment. Here I wanted to drag over my plasma TV, DVD recorder, etc., and the setup and reconfiguration of the equipment had me unplugging and moving stuff a bunch of times again. After one of these restarts, I had more pauses/pixelations that ever before - just watching live TV it wouldn't go more than 5 seconds without a burp. After another restart, it worked perfectly again. To top it all off, I had two different restarts "hang" (at different points), I had to eventually unplug the machine to get it to do anything. I have never had the TiVo hang in the boot process before, and it only happened those two times out of maybe 12 or 15 restarts over the past month.

    All this tells me that the problem probably has nothing to do with fragmentation of the drive as I have suggested in the past. But I don't have any other guesses either. The only new idea I have is to advise all of you that have tried the cold boot solution and not have it fix the problem is to try it several more times. My machine has been working perfectly for the past couple of weeks after I finally got my system put back together. I'll let you know if anything changes. Good luck!
    Goose
     
  10. Impulses

    Impulses New Member

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Hrm, is there a more recent version of this thread anywhere? Half the info is outdated or doesn't apply to my situation specifically... I can't seem to find a more recent thread on the problem though. I've taken note of some of the 'solutions' on this thread and elsewhere and I'll report back soon (after I've tried a few things).

    For now though, here's what ails me... I have a brand spanking new Series 2 540, I set it up less than a month ago. During the first 2-3 weeks it worked just fine, after the 2nd week I finally found a wireless adapter that worked with it and I've been transfering shows with TiVo Desktop just fine as well. It's current software version is 7.2.1 (90% of the info here seems to be regarding 7.1).

    Now, flash forward to this week and I've started having intermitten problems... I get slight pixelation (horizontal usually) in recordings -and- live TV; I ALSO get stutters or pauses where the video freezes for a couple of seconds (it varies) and then resumes (having skipped a few seconds of programming which I've now missed).

    Previous to this I had noticed it spontaneously restart a few times while carrying out TTG transfers, I assumed it was just random problems with the TTG software and restarting interrupted downloads, TTG has been flaky for me since I first started using it but I've managed to work around it's quirks.

    My recent problems happen even without TTG running on my computer though... Yesterday night I noticed it had downloaded a new TV Guide showcase (or whatever it's called, shows up with a star at the bottom of the main menu)...

    Recently my internet connection has been having issues and I figured the whole deal might've been attributed to the TiVo downloading new content while my connection wasn't up to snuff, but I'm not so sure that's the case as I've already spotted a couple freezes while watching the news.

    When my internet connection was having more serious issues a couple days ago it made it a pain to try out any of the new services (Fandango, Yahoo stuff, etc) and it caused freezes on what I was recording at the time as well as the application I was using, after a few minutes of that I ceased using it and left it alone, not sure if this is at all related.


    P.S. I want to emphasize that for the first 2-3 weeks of use the device exhibited no problems whatsoever, I believe it had software 7.2.1 from day one but I'm not positive, my first week or two of use was with a phone line and later with a wireless adapter.


    Edit: My sister was just watching some recordings that were made within the last week as well (the problem has been exhibited most within the last few days) and she said she hadn't observed any of the freezes, I will have to verify this with some of the older recordings I have but if that's the case it could very well be a signal issue, hrm. Or the fact that it actually -is- to full and is affecting all new recordings as well as live TV and it's buffer.

    Oh and the freezes don't happen when I'm watching live tv thru regular RF hooked up straight to the TV (I've got a splitter), I should've made that clear from the start. I think the pixelation might occur on ocasion but it's nowhere near as noticeable as it is on the TiVo. I'm also NOT using a cable box with the TiVo.
     
  11. Impulses

    Impulses New Member

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    My plan:

    Now the first thing I'll do is check whether these freezes and pixelation problems are always on the same spot or not... I'm not quite sure if them being on the same spot within a program would mean a signal problem or not but I figure I should check anyway. My provider -has- been going thru a buyout process recently (was Adelphia, being sold to someone else entirely) and may be having some teething issues.

    Second thing I'll be doing is deleting a few shows and performing a cold reboot, it's quite full right now and a couple of the shows have been on the TiVo for nearly 3 weeks, from what I read on this thread that could be causing issues (I imagine the buffer gets split in between all the recorded shows which isn't a good thing).

    Would re-doing the guided setup help if it's a signal/provider issue? And should I take note of my Season Passes beforehand or would they remain intact (got quite a few of 'em, nearing 25 or 30 now I believe).
     
  12. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,583
    493
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Hi Impulses, sorry to hear you are having problems so soon with a new box! The pixelation and pause problems you describe sound exactly like the ones that I have experienced from time to time, but I have never had a spontaneous restart. I also have never used TTG.

    Guided setup won't cause any problems with you season passes, but I doubt if it will make any change to your problems either. So far, the only thing that I have found to improve the situation is to unplug the box and restart it that way. And I have come to the conclusion that removing recordings doesn't really make any difference either.

    Finally, from my recent experience (as noted in my last post), I have found that this power-off restart does not always do the same thing! Remember, my machine was working fine at one point, but after having to unplug it, the problems were suddenly there immediately after the reboot completed - unplugging it again solved the problem. In general, my machine does NOT seem to be flaky - since the last reconfiguration and cold boot a month ago, it has worked perfectly. Good luck
    Goose
     
  13. Feb 1, 2006 #133 of 137
    Impulses

    Impulses New Member

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I've only had one or two expontaneous restarts out of the blue, just one I think actually... All others have been prompted by TTG transfers (I think the 'pausing a program so another transfers faster' trick might've played a part in it, can't tell).

    I've noticed that these umprompted restarts HAVE improved the situation for spans of time though... I have a strong feeling that if it's not a physical drive issue per se then it's something to do with the swap file and the way the files have been stored and organized. Something threw the process out of whack and the TiVo has been having flaky lapses since. I've been meaning to just clear it out (all programs, old and new) and restart it, possibly even resetting everything to see if it normalizes.

    I'll probably try that this week once I finish transfering some stuff to my PC that my sister wants to see over the weekend... Alas it's too late for me to resort exchanging it at CompUSA (21 days) so if that doesn't pan out I'll have to call TiVo tech support and see what they've got to say.

    I definitely determined that the pauses and pixelations are constant though, once they happen in a recording they stay there in the same spot (only difference being they can be 3-4s if Live and when played back it's like it just skips 3-4s of programming instead of freezing for 3-4s).

    It's operated fine thru certain spans of time the last few days after having deleted *some* shows along with a restart, and then it relapses as it starts recording anew even though it hasn't gotten quite as full as it was about a week ago. I think some of the downloaded content (the TV Guide w/e crap) might've had something to do with it too but that's just speculation, we'll see how it goes after I clear it out and restart it with plenty of space on the drive.
     
  14. Feb 1, 2006 #134 of 137
    gvenditto

    gvenditto Member

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    Mar 10, 2003
    My problems disappeared after a few days ( I did a restart and didn't lose anything).
     
  15. Impulses

    Impulses New Member

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Well, about a week ago I wiped all the shows off the TiVo, rebooted it... and it was still freezing/pixelating immediately after the reboot. I left it alone for about a day (it recorded two shows in that timespan, they still had pauses/pixelations) and all of a sudden it started behaving correctly again after about a day. Live TV started working properly, shows recorded properly.

    I let it fill up about mid-way thru the week just to check if it was specific areas of the hard drive that had issues, it filled up and still had no issues. It automatically deleted the first two shows it had recorded (with the symptons) and recorded more, still no issues. Been using it normally for a week now without any recurrent issues.

    I might call tech support still just to have it on record that I had problems with the unit initially but it seems the issue was just a fragmentation of sorts in the buffer or swap file used... I'm not sure how else to explain it, or what could've caused it, the only possible thing I can link to it is that I had several 1-2 hour shows in High qual that had been left in the unit for like 2 weeks.

    I had also been making a ton of Season Pass changes and whatnot (which I noticed had been taking longer and longer to process), so I'm not sure what particulary set of events caused the problem. In any case, just wanted to post up to date details on my particular scenario. Hopefully it was a freak ocurrence.
     
  16. mec1991

    mec1991 Cranky old coot

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Back home...
    In other words, they consider people who whine on internet bulletin boards to be making up their complaints?
     
  17. Impulses

    Impulses New Member

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    No, but many are mis-informed and it's hard to lend proper credibility to many internet complaints, this is not a policy that's remotely confined to TiVo. it's not a secret that when it comes to many a product's satisfaction rates that the user base on the net IS usually a vocal minority, even for technology products.
     

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