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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a S3 model since April with two cable cards and it worked well form the start. However, about a week ago the machine would start to freeze up, have pixelation issues, sound interuptions and slow downs. Everything seems fine as soon as I disconnect the cable. I called Tivo suppport and they immedeatly blamed the cable cards. So I called Comcast and they send a technician. We exchanged the cards but the problems would not go away. They show up immedeatly on HD channels but then "spread" to other channels over time. So, I called Tivo support again. Long waiting time, suddenly a response by Geek Squad "oh, I don't know why you ended up here" and then again long waiting time until I had a Tivo support person. She wanted me to do all the trouble shooting again. I told her I went through this and she admitted then it is a software problem but she does not know when it will be fixed. I pointed out that my Tivo did cost $800 and I cannot use it since a week but she said "that's the way it is". I am sooooo mad with Tivo. They need to inform us about these things. Anybody else having these problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We can watch shows that were recorded before the issue showed up without any problems. Also, if I disconnect the cable Tivo reacts normal again (of course, no live television). No OTA. But standard cable w/o cards works fine.
 

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For people that have had Tivo running for some period of time with no pixelizations issues, the most likely cause is a cable signal problem, not a Tivo or CableCARD issue. This is especially true if the trouble appears to fluctuate with the temperature.

I would have your cable company come out and make sure you have a good signal (measure with a meter at the cable that you put into the Tivo, NOT on the S3 diagnostics screen)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cable signal is great! Comcast measured it outside, inside and at the Tivo. Comcast did their job. I wish I could say this of Tivo Service.
 

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RaGeJac said:
We can watch shows that were recorded before the issue showed up without any problems. Also, if I disconnect the cable Tivo reacts normal again (of course, no live television). No OTA. But standard cable w/o cards works fine.
You're not being clear. What do you mean by, "Also, if I disconnect the cable Tivo reacts normal again"? Normal operation with no cable and no OTA is for the TiVo not to work, at all, except to replay already recorded material, which you state works with the cable connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I referred to the Tivo interface. I also experience a slow down when I try to change the menu, display the guide and so on. As soon as I disconnect the cable all of these functions respond well. Does this make sense?
 

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RaGeJac said:
Cable signal is great! Comcast measured it outside, inside and at the Tivo. Comcast did their job. I wish I could say this of Tivo Service.
Why do you assume they are doing their job? If he finds a low signal, he has a lot of work in front of him.

Comcast is notorious for spending a lot of time saying the signal is good, when it isn't.

Try a quality signal amplifier and see if that resolves your problem.

(Also, not that it really tells you much, but what does the Tivo say the signal strength is for the problem channels?)
 

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I agree with AbMagFab. Whenever Comcast says the "signal strength is fine" be wary. It seems that my Series 3 likes signal strength greater than 90 (whatever that is in Tivo speak). Whenever the value hovers around 86 and below pixelization starts on my unit. Picture goes away at 76 and below!

I installed an amplifier. Be careful of over driving the signal. Something on the order of 15db should work (but this depends on the quality of the path (wiring plus splitters) between the point where the cable enters you home to the Series 3). I've used amps from Channel Vision for a number of years

If I get signal strength readings of at least 94, all images and sound are perfect on my unit. Your situation my be different from mine but it looks awfully similar. Remember neither Comcast nor Tivo ever thinks it's them. It actually may be both companies! Good Luck.
 

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What does the Tivo's cable signal strength screen (under Settings -> Channels) say when Comcast cable is connected?
 

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RaGeJac said:
Cable signal is great! Comcast measured it outside, inside and at the Tivo. Comcast did their job. I wish I could say this of Tivo Service.
What were the numbers?

Or did they just tell you everything was fine? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for your feedback. The Comcast guy was nearly two hours at our house and as far as I can tell he did a good job. We have also Comcast high speed "boost" Internet (9 Mbs) and a Comcast HD DVR (hey, On Demand can be a nice thing). All of them show very good performance. Also, under Tivo Diagnostics the signal strenght is 97.
 

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RaGeJac said:
I referred to the Tivo interface. I also experience a slow down when I try to change the menu, display the guide and so on. As soon as I disconnect the cable all of these functions respond well. Does this make sense?
Is your Tivo networked, or do you use a phone line for guide data?
I seem to vaguely recall a similar issue (with slow Now-Playing List, etc.) coming up in the past, something to do with bad/incorrect Domain Name Service lookup. Apparently the Tivo interface will sometimes sit and wait for network response on a few things.

If you are networked, try unplugging just the network cable and check the result.
OTOH, with CableCards, it could be a similar yet different problem involving the CableCards. You might consider carefully disconnecting the CableCards from the Tivo and checking the result. That would certainly narrow down the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everybody for your advise. I tried to just use basic cable w/o cable cards but this failed too. Now the unit would freeze up by just going to live TV and would only function again after the cable feed was completley removed (I also disconnected it from the network). I called again Tivo Service and they agreed to exchange the unit. Unfortunately, our Tivo is 5 months old and after 3 months shipping of both units is on me ....
 

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Such concerns with electronics are why I always buy in a brick and mortar store. I also always get extended warranties, so I can avoid shipping and other charges. I have a S2 and a S3, and have never had any problems, but when I get another Tivo, I will once again get the 4 year extended warranty.

I would also question Comcast, but if you re-run initial set-up and can't get OTA, it has to be box (software or hardware).
 

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RaGeJac said:
Thank you for your feedback. The Comcast guy was nearly two hours at our house and as far as I can tell he did a good job. We have also Comcast high speed "boost" Internet (9 Mbs) and a Comcast HD DVR (hey, On Demand can be a nice thing). All of them show very good performance. Also, under Tivo Diagnostics the signal strenght is 97.
All of this means nothing.

What was the meter reading for the signal at the Tivo?
 

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There's another thread on this. I'm seeing the same problem - also on comcast (vinings front end in Atlanta). Comcast did a service visit today and measured the signal level:

-1 db @ tivo on ch 117
6 db @ tivo on ch 003
-11 db @ tivo on ch 186

According to comcast technician, comcast considers anything inside +15 and -15 db to be within specification, and they have a preference for a weaker signal on ch 186 since cable modems operate better in that range. He also checked that signal variation "flutter" was less than 1db.

The technician brought a replacement cable card, but that card appeared to be completely defective (i.e. wouldn't even make it to the cable card setup screen. And an error 116 kept poping up).
 

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I had this exact same problem. turns out to be a defective connection which would not allow certain freq from tuning or bad tuning in. have comcast with his/her billion dollar box check the signal and specfic frequencies signals for channels you are having a problem with. a good overall signal means squat.
 
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