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Horrible Audio - worse than "kazoo" issue

1672 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jtrelfa
I've been working on this non-stop for 3 days and I'm losing patience. I'm about 80% certain this is a TiVo issue, but I need confirmation. I have a TiVo branded DVR, the code starts with 540. It arrived via FedEx on Saturday. The two TV's I used are regular tube TVs. One is an RCA and the other is a Toshiba. Here's the scenario - (read like a timeline):

First wiring set up:
splitter->VCR/DVD player
TiVo->TV via RCA Jacks/S-Video cable
DVD/VCR->TV via Coax

In this first set up, I am able to use the VCR/DVD player to play DVDs and I switch the TV to the RCA/svideo input to watch TiVo. When I finished the guided setup (after a couple of adjustments for vonage-related issues), I noticed that the audio was awful. The video is crisp and clear, but the audio sounded similar to what you might hear if the audio was being piped through a handheld AM radio with a bad signal. If you listen carefully, you can hear what the person/people are saying, but the static/noise is much louder. There's also a sort of 'squealing' noise to boot. However, the TiVo noises, like when I touch buttons on the remote, sound just fine. Also, as a side note, the little introduction video clip with the dancing mascot has the same horrible audio quality.

Called TiVo, they said that I have a weak cable signal. I went ahead and downloaded the 7.2 update, so the software is current.

Here's setup 2:

cable company->telephone pole->house->tivo (as direct as I could make it)
tivo->tv via RCA jacks

Same issue with audio. Having the strongest signal possible didn't even lessen the effect of the bad audio. The TiVo sounds are just fine, it's live TV that sucks.

I swapped the RCA cable with ones that I *know* work just fine...same audio problem.

I swapped the Coax with the highest-quality stuff I have (cable I used for a satellite receiver)...same audio problem.

I went from TiVO to TV using Coax (RF-out from TiVo to TV)...same audio problem. Even during the introduction movie.
BUT when I put the Tivo in standby and just use the TV (the cable signal is being passed through the TiVo), the audio/video looks fine through the TV.

I tried with several different cables and two different TVs. I get the same horrible audio sound no matter what the combination of wiring/TV.

I suspect that there's a problem with the Tivo. I know both TVs work fine because I have plugged stuff in with the RCA jacks without a hitch (gamecube, etc).

Although I doubt I can do anything other than get a new TiVo, does anyone have a recommendation for me? I can't imagine there are any other setup issues that I've missed.

The only thing I can think of is when I set up the TiVo, I chose "Expanded Basic" cable instead of "Basic Cable". This only expands my channel listing instead of making the TiVo search for a different type of signal. For either selection, I have no cable box...i just pipe the signal into my house right from the pole.


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Nice troubleshooting job! Your Tivo is defective. Replace/exchange it.
litzdog911 said:
Nice troubleshooting job! Your Tivo is defective. Replace/exchange it.
Called TiVo...they agree. They won't "cross-ship" a new TiVo, so I have to:

-wait for the shipping label
-ship it
-wait for them to receive it
-wait for them to send a new tivo
-start all over

It could be a month before I have TivO...this was supposed to be a Christmas present for the wife :(
jtrelfa said:
-wait for them to send a new tivo

It could be a month before I have TivO...this was supposed to be a Christmas present for the wife :(
FYI - You'll be most likey getting a REFURB TiVo sent to you, not a NEW one.

It's a bummer you didn't buy it from a local store, you could have went back and exchanged it for a new one at the store.
The problem with the local store is that they only offered a "mail in" rebate (those take forever) as opposed to buying from the tivo website where it was an "instant" rebate. I figured the 4 day wait for shipping was worth the 8 week wait for a mail-in rebate.

Of course, I didn't think that I would get a DOA unit, either....sigh...
Maybe TiVoPony can expedite things for you.......
jlb said:
Maybe TiVoPony can expedite things for you.......
That would be great if he did that. Of course, there's a ton of stuff going into and out of that warehouse at any given point in time, so I doubt he'll be able to really help much. I can only hope that they send me a new one as soon as the old one arrives rather than dragging their feet. I'm skeptical because it's frustrating that they won't cross-ship...seems like a simple process to pre-charge my CC so that they can ship and reverse the charge when it arrives.

Now if TiVoPony can make sure that the replacement is actually functioning BEFORE it gets mailed out (plus is pre-loaded with the 7.2 software), that would be perfect :)
So...I finally got the shipping label. Postmarked 12/28. Is TiVo normally this slow to respond to customers? I call them on 12/20...they don't even put the label into the mail until 12/28 (must be a slow printer). I received the label 1/3 and sent the box that same day. They received the package yesterday (1/5).

I called customer service and they said 5-7 business days before they'll send anything. Judging by their performance on mailing me a simple shipping label, I don't expect I'll actually have a TiVo until February. This seems so slow to me. I mean, a full week for them to print a label and mail me another TiVo? How busy can a warehouse be? I worked at a warehouse and, quite frankly, even the busiest times didn't take a week to fill an order.

When I asked the guy at customer service if he could rush it, he said, "NO" and that I'll just have to wait.

I wish I had just paid the extra $$ and bought the thing at Best Buy...at least I'd have a functioning box right now.
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