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· Annoyingly ephemeral
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Wow, I have been weighing numerous options w/ regards to my Series 2 TiVos, including staying put, upgrading to one of these new Tivo HD boxes or stopping TiVo completely. I am extremely glad I found this thread, so I can drop that upgrade option from consideration!

Any possibility they (TiVo) just cheaped out on the video output hardware; e.g. used an underpowered video chipset for what they're asking it to do?
 

· Seeker
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2,860 Posts
TiVotion said:
Well, all I know is, when I check the signal strength on the cards, it doesn't waiver from 100%. It's 100% solid.

And for the record, I had a S3 the week they were released.

I obtained my HD box the day after it came out.

Prior to having FIOS with the S3 box, I had Brighthouse Cable. No issues with the S3 then, no issues with either box now.

So, I have 2 HD boxes, FIOS, and 4 Moto cable cards. And I have no problems.

If it is a hardware or software issue - and I have the same hardware and software as everyone else does - why am I not seeing the issue?

If it's not the FIOS/signal installation at the premesis, then what is it?
Possible variables:

Cable Cards firmware/software
Cable Card spec
Bad batch of IC's/passives/hard drives/connectors
and about a million other little things unfortunately. :(
 

· Tivonation Citizen
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westside_guy said:
Wow, I have been weighing numerous options w/ regards to my Series 2 TiVos, including staying put, upgrading to one of these new Tivo HD boxes or stopping TiVo completely. I am extremely glad I found this thread, so I can drop that upgrade option from consideration!

Any possibility they (TiVo) just cheaped out on the video output hardware; e.g. used an underpowered video chipset for what they're asking it to do?
Not like a video output HW since it should not be related to specific cable card slot, it's probably related to the tuner: ATI Theater 314 demodulator chips for digital cable or ATSC signals, which may be impacted by bad signal on cable cards. Some people also reports that OTA without cable cards is also impacted. Don't know why that happens, it could be that the ATI chip is not as reliable or mature. According to Megazone's review, this choice of ATI chip is a cost choice:

http://www.tivolovers.com/a-review-of-the-tivo-hd-digital-media-recorder/
 

· Registered
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S3 with FIOS in Plano, TX here.

We are seeing pixelation on our digital channels. I believe it just started in the past couple weeks. Prior to that, we had no issues. Signal strength is way high, like 98% or more. Even on my old DTivo, pixelation did not occur until signal strength dropped under 70%.

I rebooted the S3 and initially thought the problem cleared up, but it started again after about 20 minutes. It is most noticeable on some HD channels, but other SD channels exhibit the problem. For example, it sometimes shows up on SpikeTV.

It would be bearable if it was just pixelation, but it is also audio stuttering, forcing us to switch over to the SD channels.

I was about to call Verizon about the issue, but seeing this thread makes me think I should wait it out.
 

· O2->CO2 Converter
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2,702 Posts
jmpage2 said:
Numerous people have indicated that improving signal strength has had no effect on pixelation with these boxes.

And btw, I am a telecom engineer with extensive experience with signal levels, DS3s, etc and I am probably as qualified as anyone to say "doesn't sound like signal strength has anything to do with this".
Just because there is a problem unrelated to signal strength with some units doesn't mean that the problem with EVERY unit is unrelated to signal strength. I'm certain that some people experiencing pixelation problems can fix the problem by fixing their signal strength problems. Why am I certain of that? Because I'm one of them, so go stuff your "extensive experience" in your piehole. :down:

It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a "telecom engineer with extensive experience with signal levels, DS3s, etc") to figure that out. :rolleyes:

megory said:
:up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :D
Real mature. Thank you for your valuable contributions to this thread.
 

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GoHokies! said:
Just because there is a problem unrelated to signal strength with some units doesn't mean that the problem with EVERY unit is unrelated to signal strength. I'm certain that some people experiencing pixelation problems can fix the problem by fixing their signal strength problems. Why am I certain of that? Because I'm one of them, so go stuff your "extensive experience" in your piehole. :down:
Interesting, I looked back on your past posts and I could not find where you said you were experienceing this issue on a Tivo HD, nor a post that said you remedied it either on your own, or through support of the cable company to improve your signal strength. Can you share what the signal strength was when you experienced pixelation on your Tivo HD, and what level was required to remedy the problem? Also how was the improved strength acheived?
 

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Oftentimes on Discovery HD the audio drop outs on recorded shows is about 2 seconds for every 3 minutes of programming. At this stage, I can live with it. I know it's not any signal issue, it's purely software. Please fix it Tivo.
 

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GoHokies! said:
Real mature. Thank you for your valuable contributions to this thread.
And what is your contribution other than slamming others? Do you even own a Tivo HD? :confused:

S3 and Tivo HD don't even use the same hardware but you're qualified to make recommendations on what worked for you with your S3.

Have you read the numerous reports of people adding amplifiers, boosters, etc, to bump up their signal strength and it having no effect on this problem?

I'll tell you what, find someone who has fixed this problem with the Tivo HD by doing as you say and you'll be on better ground to tell someone to shove things in their piehole! :D
 

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yunlin12 said:
Not like a video output HW since it should not be related to specific cable card slot, it's probably related to the tuner: ATI Theater 314 demodulator chips for digital cable or ATSC signals, which may be impacted by bad signal on cable cards. Some people also reports that OTA without cable cards is also impacted. Don't know why that happens, it could be that the ATI chip is not as reliable or mature. According to Megazone's review, this choice of ATI chip is a cost choice:

http://www.tivolovers.com/a-review-of-the-tivo-hd-digital-media-recorder/
Wow...that's a really interesting review, and breakdown of the internal hardware. Thanks for the link! Regarding the OTA pixelation issues, I took the cablecards out of my Tivo HD today, and my OTA performance on the Tivo is way better. Now, instead of getting multiple pixelation events per minute, I just get a handful of them over a half-hour period. It's not nearly as distracting. Also, as has probably been reported by others, I'm not having any problems with the Analog cable channels.

I really hope they can do something with the software, and this isn't a hardware issue with that ATI 314 chip, or some kind of interference between that chip and something else on the board.
 

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Chimpware said:
Interesting, I looked back on your past posts and I could not find where you said you were experienceing this issue on a Tivo HD, nor a post that said you remedied it either on your own, or through support of the cable company to improve your signal strength. Can you share what the signal strength was when you experienced pixelation on your Tivo HD, and what level was required to remedy the problem? Also how was the improved strength acheived?
Good Point!
 

· O2->CO2 Converter
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jmpage2 said:
And what is your contribution other than slamming others? Do you even own a Tivo HD? :confused:

S3 and Tivo HD don't even use the same hardware but you're qualified to make recommendations on what worked for you with your S3.

Have you read the numerous reports of people adding amplifiers, boosters, etc, to bump up their signal strength and it having no effect on this problem?
For the record I do own a THD (which I clearly stated in my last reply, so it looks like your reading comprehension skills are right up there with your engineering skills) - I've bowed out of the discussions up to this point because my pixelation problems were actually signal strength related and easily corrected. I had a crappy old 3 way splitter in the signal path feeding two other cable outlets that were not being used in the house. Once I removed this, everything started working fine. I get momentary (fraction of a second) dropouts very rarely, which is why I'm following these threads.

What finally drew me to jump in is your wildly incorrect statement that there is now way that anyone is having a problem with signal strength and if anyone is seeing pixelation is HAS to be a manifestation of this bug. Discouraging people from at least considering signal strength when troubleshooting this problem could very well stop people from fixing the problem (to a large degree) on their own (and that's the only way some will get the problem solved - no amount of software updates will magically fix a signal strength problem).

I'll tell you what, find someone who has fixed this problem with the Tivo HD by doing as you say and you'll be on better ground to tell someone to shove things in their piehole! :D
Again, like I clearly stated in my last reply I don't need to look that far because I fixed the vast majority of my pixalation problems by increasing my signal strength. Who's on the shaky ground now?

The "real mature" comment was directed at folks like Megory and unction who basically posted to cheer you on while contributing nothing of value to this thread. :down:
 

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I'm positive it's an THD problem and not signal strength, at least in my case. Previous to the THD I had a Comcast provided 8300HD that would experience pixelization once every 4-5 recorded or live hours of HD content. And then it would be for 1-2 seconds at most.

After installing the THD on the same drop (removing the 8300HD), pixelization on analog, SD, and HD content every 3-4 minutes. Swap back out for the 8300, clear signal.

This, along with the growing complaints leads me to believe these is a root problem NOT related to signal strength (90-93 BTW).
 

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bastion999 said:
I'm positive it's an THD problem and not signal strength, at least in my case. Previous to the THD I had a Comcast provided 8300HD that would experience pixelization once every 4-5 recorded or live hours of HD content. And then it would be for 1-2 seconds at most.

After installing the THD on the same drop (removing the 8300HD), pixelization on analog, SD, and HD content every 3-4 minutes. Swap back out for the 8300, clear signal.

This, along with the growing complaints leads me to believe these is a root problem NOT related to signal strength (90-93 BTW).
Not disagreeing, you are probably right, but the Tech. at Tivo told me the Tivo with CC might require a stronger signal than the 8300, as I told them exactly the same thing as I did exactly the same test.

I have Cablevision coming to the house today to check my signal to ensure this is not the issue in my case, I will post results later today.
 

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GoHokies! said:
The "real mature" comment was directed at folks like Megory and unction who basically posted to cheer you on while contributing nothing of value to this thread. :down:
I must have treked into bizaroo world - this is so reminiscent of the hookbill/hornblowercat, GoHokies, et. al. days, except in reverse.
 

· Advanced TiVoOligan
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GoHokies! said:
The "real mature" comment was directed at folks like Megory and unction who basically posted to cheer you on while contributing nothing of value to this thread. :down:
Huh? I just posted a positive reinforcement.
 

· O2->CO2 Converter
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megory said:
Huh? I just posted a positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement of a post that basically slammed me without reaing or understanding my post.

That's not the kind of behaviour that I would want to be known for encouraging.

psyton said:
I must have treked into bizaroo world - this is so reminiscent of the hookbill/hornblowercat, GoHokies, et. al. days, except in reverse.
I'd like to think that I've "turned things around" so to speak and contribute more than I detract these days. I probably could have been a little bit more polite, but seriously - read my post where I said I had a signal strength fixed my pixelation problem before you say I'm full of crap.
 

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GoHokies! said:
For the record I do own a THD (which I clearly stated in my last reply, so it looks like your reading comprehension skills are right up there with your engineering skills) - I've bowed out of the discussions up to this point because my pixelation problems were actually signal strength related and easily corrected. I had a crappy old 3 way splitter in the signal path feeding two other cable outlets that were not being used in the house. Once I removed this, everything started working fine. I get momentary (fraction of a second) dropouts very rarely, which is why I'm following these threads.

What finally drew me to jump in is your wildly incorrect statement that there is now way that anyone is having a problem with signal strength and if anyone is seeing pixelation is HAS to be a manifestation of this bug. Discouraging people from at least considering signal strength when troubleshooting this problem could very well stop people from fixing the problem (to a large degree) on their own (and that's the only way some will get the problem solved - no amount of software updates will magically fix a signal strength problem).

Again, like I clearly stated in my last reply I don't need to look that far because I fixed the vast majority of my pixalation problems by increasing my signal strength. Who's on the shaky ground now?

The "real mature" comment was directed at folks like Megory and unction who basically posted to cheer you on while contributing nothing of value to this thread. :down:
Tivo has already acknowledged that something is going on and I expect a software update that fixes software or drivers is going to be coming fairly quickly as they have probably been debugging this with people who experience the problem with some frequency.

Things like the "signal strength screen" that show up in the Tivo menus would also clearly show up in the CLI when doing diagnostics and I'm sure if Tivo felt that it was responsible for even a sizeable fraction of the problems that they would have stated so already to people contacting them about the issue.

I really don't know what your beef is with me, I have years of experience working with systems similar to the Tivo (large IP based PBX systems that run on Linux and interact with circuit hardware/firmware) but it seems you'd much rather "shout down" people who don't agree with you or belittle them.

Like I said, noone other than yourself has reported fixing this issue by boosting their signal. It's great that this worked for you, but apparently there is more to this problem than weak signal level.
 

· Early Adoptersaurus
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1,041 Posts
An update to the information I posted yesterday. Again, Verizon FIOS in Tampa, new TiVo HD box, 2 Moto cablecards.

CC's were installed early in the morning. I watched TV most all day looking for the macroblocking issue. This included several movie channels for 20, 30, even 60 minutes at a time or more, and even a few analog channels in the lower set (2 through 49).

The entire time I watched yesterday until about 7pm, I had absolutely no macroblocking issues, unless they occured every time I blinked. Then suddenly, after 7-8pm, I was watching Return of the Jedi (think it was on Starz!) that I'd decided to record while I watched something else. Went back later and watched the recorded program, and sure as hell, there was an instance of macroblocking in the recorded program. Just for a split second. I reversed the movie to before the spot where it occured and played it again, but then it was gone. Continued watching the movie, and several more instances of macroblocking cropped up, but at random intervals - sometimes two within 1 minute, then sometimes not another one for 20 minutes later. Just like the pics I've seen of the issue, the blocking is sometimes on most of the screen, and sometimes only on the lower 1/3 of the screen.

I went back and forth between recorded programs and live TV the rest of the night and continued to notice the problem on both, at odd random intervals. Then, I finally saw the macroblocking occur on the TIVO MENU as well. This didn't happen constantly, but it did happen. Apparently the blocking isn't being recorded into the stream, because I can't make it reproduce itself at the same spot on recorded content.

Why the heck the problem waited all day to start I have NO idea. As I said, I didn't see it all day until the evening. And, my signal on all channels doesn't dip below 100%.

But now I can also confirm I have it too. Even though I know TiVo can't fix it (yet), is it going to do any good to call them and open a ticket on it?

Maybe we're actually dealing with more than one issue with the boxes. My Series 3 absolutely doesn't exhibit this behavior at all.
 
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