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good.deals said:
I have some new info from the Directivo forum... I have the same problem and another guy thinks its the HDMI port.

He has a panasonic tv and they told him it might be the hr10-250 hdmi port. However, I also have a panasonic. We both have the same problem

It's either the HDMI port on the hr10 or the port on the panasonic.

Let me know what kind of TV's you have and if you have your connection through your hdmi port.

-Nathan
OK, same damn problem - HDMI connected to a Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK (42" Plasma). I have a different take on this. I just activated my HR10-250 about 10 days ago. I purchased it from Newegg and initially hooked it up to my existing dual channel single LNB dish while waiting for my Phase III dish to arrive. I live in the mountains of Colorado and have west coast HD waivers and I was able to receive CBS HD CH 81 with the existing single LNB dish (CH 81 is currently broadcasting from the 101 satellite). For the last week I have recorded and viewed several HD broadcasts from CH81 with absolutely no problems, that is until now. Yesterday my new triple LNB Phase III dish arrived and after installing/aligning it with a resulting signal strength in the mid 90's on all three Sats I'm thinking great, everything is OK fine. So last night as a test I recorded back to back episodes of "Survivor", "CSI", and "Without a Trace" (all on CH81).

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!! Every 10 min like clockwork for a total of 5 times on each one of these shows the picture totally blacked out for approximately 1-2 seconds, and the audio blanked out also. As I already mentioned the video is routed to my Panny Plasma directly from the HR10 via the HDMI cable and the audio is fed to my AV receiver via TOSLink (optical) for surround sound. This to me surely indicates a total interruption of the video & audio feed from the HR10. So the cause is either the HR10 itself , or the broadcast signal source from the networks or D* is for some reason being interrupted.

Maybe this is just coincidental, but I did not have this problem until I installed the Phase III dish. I'm wondering if this is somehow related to the built in multiswitch? I also noticed an immediate slowdown in the program guide and other menu functions on the HR10 after hooking up to the Phase III dish. I called D* tech support and got the usual canned responses (no help at all). What a drag this is going to be watching the Winter Olympics in HiDef with this annoyance occurring every 10 minutes!
 

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Update:

Last night's Olympic's opening ceremonies on CH83 NBCW - While much better than Thursday night's terrible reception, I'm still seeing the periodic "black out" phenomena. I called D* tech support @ 866-678-6664 (direct line, no menu's to navigate through) and was very surprised to hear that they haven't heard any reports on this problem. It would be helpful if other's experiencing this problem would call that # to complain so D* can log this. The D* CSR told me they never investigate a problem until they have a sufficient # of complaints... go figure!

I've also observed that when this "blackout" phenomenon occures my AV receiver (Rotel RSX-965), switches from Dolby Digital to Pro Logic and back again every time the screen blacks out, so it's not just a video problem, and at this point I don't think this is an HDMI problem either.

BTW this is also being discussed at the 'DTV with Tivo' forum:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=286019

"good.deal" who started that thread posted a link to a video clip of this "blackout" problem... check it out:
http://www.camping.arvixe.com/good-deals/hr10-250.MPG
 

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One more update:

OK, I did an experiment last (Sat.) night to resolve once and for all if this problem is related to the HDMI output (it's not!). I connected my HR10 to my old Sony 32" CRT via the S-video cable and left the HDMI cable unplugged. I watched the Olympics on CH83 NBCW for an hour this way (in 480i mode) and yes, the periodic blackouts were still there, it didn't make any difference that I was viewing the picture on my old Sony CRT via the S-video cable. I would think this experiment would eliminate the HDMI output as being the culprit causing this blackout issue once and for all.

On a high note member MvM has posted that he was told by D* that 'they were aware of the issue and, "Just need a couple more days" to resolve it.' If this is true then I guess the issue is with D* and not with the HR10. One can only hope that this is true...
 

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Gambino1time said:
But my new theory is rich and I have some support to back it up.... It's all of our phase III triple LNB dishes. They have built in multiswitches that suck. If you don't have a tripple LNB oval dish I would love to hear from you but if you do, then face it its either the dish or the feed.
I alluded to the multiswitch in the Phase III dish being the culprit in my first post on this thread (post #74, more details there).

I ran my new HR10-250 off of my pre existing SINGLE LNB dish for about 10 days before my Phase III dish arrived. I received HD CH81 CBSW on this single LNB dish with NO PROBLEMS during that time (CH81 is on the 101 Sat.). As soon as I installed the Phase III dish all my blackout problems began. The worst blackouts I've experienced to date were on last Thurs. evening (2/9) recording Survivor, CSI, etc. on CH81 having just installed the new Phase III dish that afternoon. I had not seen the blackouts until then. If it weren't such a PITA I would re-install my single LNB dish as a test (No way! That's not going to happen!). BTW the new Phase III dish is a KTI but the triple LNB it came with is a Channel Master and it says right on it that it's manufactured in China (go figure). Anyone know who manufactured the highest quality triple LNB?

I does seem as though the blackouts have gotten much better. My recording of the Olympics last night had virtually no blackouts. Very pixely during motion however. I'm wondering if they are experimenting with the amount of compression / bitrates to minimize this blackout problem (if it's even related)?
 

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Cudahy said:
Just did a test. We watched 10 minutes of the Olympics on 1080 - 6 blackouts; rewound it, no blackouts in SD. Then the surprise; rewound it and watched it in 720 - no blackouts!
Maybe we'll be able to watch HD in 720 without blackouts!
I find that hard to believe. I still have my HD recording of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics which has numerous blackouts. I played back several of those sections using 480i (on my Sony 32" SD CRT); 480p, 720p, & 1080i (on my Panny 42" HD Plasma). As one would expect, the blackouts were there no matter what output was selected. I mean come on, what's recorded on the hard drive "stays on the hard drive" - playing it back using different rez outputs isn't going to change anything.

Anyone else try this?
 

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swannie said:
I have the same flickering with playback on my H10-250.....it happens both on the OTA and triple lnb dish. Signal strength is over 85 on both. I may try the UPS but I have to plead dumb here as I do not know what that is. I do not get black outs as much as I get picture/audio flickering. Thanks for your help!
swannie,

UPS stands for "Uninterrupted Power Supply." It is a battery powered device which continues to supply power to your Tivo, or entire entertainment system in the event of an intermittent or total power failure. A good UPS will also "condition" and maintain proper voltage (120V) and pure sine wave when there are power surges or voltage variations or "brownouts."

I use an APC1400 UPS which will keep my entire entertainment system running for over an hour in the event of a total power outage. APC (American Power Conversion) is one of the best manufacturers of UPS's.

Large capacity UPS's are not cheap, but bargains are to be had on eBay everyday.

In regards to this "blackout" problem, the addition of a UPS (while desirable) IMHO will not make a bit of difference. I've always used a UPS with my system and I still get the "blackouts." As far as I'm concerned this problem is an interruption of the HD video/audio stream from the satellite and is either originating from D*'s NOC or the Networks themselves. I've seen a noticeable improvement over the last few days however, especially in regards to the Olympics.
 

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miss_my_utv said:
Experienced the exact same thing (unwatchable during ski jump coverage - only) on a recording from the west coast NBC HD feed...
Absolutely!! I just watched my recording of last nights Olympics. Just when I'm thinking the worst may be over, the Ski Jump segment plagued with the worst blackouts I've seen so far (HD NBCW CH83). Anybody with the East coast feed see this also?

And boy, do I ever miss my UTV also!! :(
 

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navymustang said:
I am getting these "blackout's" on many of channels, even SD channels. Because I have been seeing them on the SD channels, I thought that it might be a separate problem, but the symptoms are identical to what everybody else has been talking about. I have seen them on HBO HD, SHO HD, Disney Channel, Comedy Central, and TNT HD (great addition by the way).
Not here. I'm only seeing these blackouts on the west coast network HD channels. I've viewed in real time and recorded as well the HD 70's channels, HBO, Showtime, etc. and other non network HD channels and have not seen the blackouts on those channels... Go figure. Recording the programs (or not) doesn't seem to be a factor in this, at least for me.

navymustang said:
I'm pretty sure that this is a video decoding error within the HR10-250 and DirecTV is simply refusing to acknowledge the problem. Since they are being phased out and they no longer will be using TiVo software (a big mistake on their part), they aren't interested in generating an update.
Agreed: Considering people with receivers other than the HR10-250 don't suffer this problem, I'm sure this is the case. Probably something to do with D* over compressing the MPEG2 stream due to the limited bandwidth.
 

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avdiscolo said:
The DirecTV technician that came out to my house this morning hooked up an S-video cable between my HD10-250 and my TV to determine whether something to do with my TV could be causing the blackouts. When he replayed the very same recordings that had many blackouts at a lower definition, the blackouts went away completely.
This gets stranger & stranger. I did the exact same experiment/test days ago, read my post number 111 on this thread. I neglected to mention in that post that when I played back my recordings containing the blackouts in 480i, I was hooked up to my Sony CRT via S-video. The blackouts were still there . When I'm hooked up to my Panny Plasma via HDMI the recorded blackouts show up in exactly the same places whether the output is 480p, 720p or 1080i.

As I stated before, what's recorded on the hard drive "stays on the hard drive" - playing it back using different rez outputs really shouldn't change what's displayed on the TV.
 

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joetoronto said:
sorry for going off topic, just a quick question for gquiring and Wirelezz.

i see you guys both have Panasonic plasma displays, what do you think about the TH-50PHD8UK i ordered online yesterday?
The short answer: "You will love it!"

I have the TH-42PHD8UK, and the PQ is fantastic. For those who don't know, this series of Panny Plasma's are the commercial models, and are actually broadcast quality studio monitors. No speakers, no tuners. Perfect for a D* setup with surround sound where a built in tuner & speakers are wasted (they do have a built in audio amp & speaker outputs on the back). A very clean look with just the plasma screen surrounded by a thin black bezel.

<<CHECK IT OUT>>

Joe, if you plan on hooking your Panny up via HDMI, you will have to order a TY-FB7HM HDMI Card as these units only ship with component, AV, S-video & PC inputs. Also, if you go component, you will need BNC to RCA adapters (Radio Shack, $5.00 ea.) as the component inputs are BNC connectors.

Enjoy your new toy!!

--
Wirelezz
 

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MoonRaker said:
I put my old standard Dish back on the roof, and hooked this extra reciever to it. I HAVE HAD NO ISSUES AT ALL WITH THIS RECEIVER ON THE OLD DISH. This would point back to that HD dish as possibly being the problem, or the LNB as mentioned in other posts, since I have two SDTV receivers on two CRT televisions, and the one on the HD dish is the one screwing up.
I alluded to the Triple LNB w/ built in multiswitch as maybe contributing to this problem in my first post #74 in this thread.

I received my HR10-250 one month ago and for the first 10 days after receiving my new HR10 I initially hooked it up to my old existing dual channel single LNB dish while waiting for my Phase III dish to arrive. I was able to receive CBSW HD CH 81 with the existing single LNB dish (CH 81 is currently broadcasting from the 101 satellite). For those first 10 days I recorded and viewed several HD broadcasts from CH81 with absolutely no problems, that is until my new triple LNB Phase III dish arrived. Only after installing/aligning it (with a resulting signal strength in the mid 90's on all three Sats.) did the blackouts begin. A little more than coincidental I would say.

I'm thinking the cause is some combination of the HR10 + Phase III dish + marginal quality signal (amount of compression / bitrate) from either the networks or D*'s Sats or NOC which is preventing the HR10 from properly decoding the MPEG2 video/audio stream. Perhaps the Phase III multiswitch is introducing glitches / errors to the signal? If this is the case then the HR10 probably suffers from either an inferior decoder chip or poor or inadequate related circuit design (or both) and is unable to do error correction and recover when the signal is less than excellent.
 

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MoonRaker said:
But if other receivers with strong signal strength, or broadcasts on OTA antennas are having the same issues, why point the finger at the HR10, or even the LNB for that matter? It's not part of the equation when I am watching my HD FOX OTA broadcast on my Samsung 360.
Strong signal strength does not equate to good signal quality. IMHO the problem is caused by an occasional corrupt MPEG2 stream from the source. I'm not necessarily pointing the finger at the HR10, but it just may be that it has a much harder time correcting these errors than other D* receivers. Also HD OTA signals are no different than HD Sat. signals in that they have to be decoded also. So if the problem is with the source (the networks), then of course the blackouts will be seen OTA as well.

Statistically, if you read this thread top to bottom, the HR10 is sited way more often than any other receiver as having this problem. That's the only reason I am as you say "pointing the finger" at the HR10...
 

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laurentmayer said:
... I wonder if the problem is not that Tivo write to disk buffer gets full or something. Tivo is just a computer writing HD signal to disk. It may be that the signal is at times too much for the hard disk to keep up, and the write buffer gets full -- which would maybe explain the 1-2 sec blank while Tivo disk drive is catching up.
Good point, and very likely to be a factor contributing to this problem. Doesn't explain why this is only seen on the network HD channels however (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.).

laurentmayer said:
1) Does this anomaly occurs with non-HD channels? Probably less data to write...
No.

laurentmayer said:
2) Does it happen with ONLY selected HD channels, but not all? (e.g. on NBC but never on HBO).
In my situation, it only happens with the network HD channels. I've not experienced this blackout phenomena on the 70's HD channels (HBO, etc.)

laurentmayer said:
It seems to me that: if the problem is with broadcaster, this should happen whether or not you have Tivo in the loop... And it should happen whether through D* or OTA.
And that's the way it is... blackouts seen in both Sat. & OTA reception.

laurentmayer said:
-- if the problem is with the D* satellite dish, it should happen whether or not you have Tivo in the loop...
I agree...

There has been a noticeable improvement of this problem in the last week, but it has not been entirely eliminated. The Winter Olympics were especially bad, and this was especially disappointing for me as I was motivated to purchase my HR10 and Panny Plasma mainly to watch the Olympics in HiDef. Perhaps the difficulties of broadcasting from Italy was a factor.

--
Wirelezz
 

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joetoronto said:
how can that be, Wireless?

i remember perfect picture and audio coming from the moon in 1969. :rolleyes:

don't tell me the moon landing was a hoax! ;)
HA HA! And the latest still photos from Mars ain't to shabby either!! :cool: :D

Say Joe, has your new Panny arrived yet?
 

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laurentmayer said:
Thank you to Wirelezz for additional details.
These point to broadcast issues by the networks.

The thing that is disconcerting, however, is the report that the Tivo recording is missing the bottom time bar. Shouldn't the bar be there even if there is a loss of signal (blank recording)?...
You've read this thread very thoroughly haven't you! :eek:

You are correct:
Actually, my HR10 was very new to me when I made that statement. At that time to further analyze this blackout problem I ran through those recorded blackouts in slow motion, and what I didn't know then is when you first put the HR10 in slo-mode the time bar shows for about 2 seconds and then disappears. So the dissapearence of the time bar concurred with the black screen making it appear as though it was caused by the blackout itself. Duh!! :confused: The blackouts usually never last more than 5 - 10 seconds and when you fast forward or reverse through the recorded blackouts those black sections go by so fast you don't really even see them. That's why I viewed them in slo-mo.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I just edited that bit of mis-information from that post. :eek:
 
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