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· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched, but none of the sound problems I've seen match this in any way.

Okay, so here's the story. I bought this TiVo in 2003 (February) brand new. It's a Series 2 40 hour unit. (Old style front - Not silver like the newer ones. Not sure what revision, where can I find that?)

It's been like a godsend to me. I love it. But sadly, since September, it's been a hell of a burden. Moreso lately. Sound problems. But unlike anything I've seen on this forum or TiVo's support forums or anywhere.

There are two symptoms. Sound input recording and sound output to the TV. Here's what happens.

The first symptom is output. Usually this one occurs when you first turn on the TV. What happens is the sound will be non-existant. Except for a few scattered crackles. As time goes on I can hear words and parts of the audio. But mostly silence. Obviously the TiVo keeps playing even when I'm not home. But strange thing is it eventually goes away, er comes back. The audio that is. It comes back after the TV has been on for a while. Usually. Sometimes within minutes, sometimes a few hours. This isn't the big problem. It only happens sometimes. The real problem is the next one..

The second symptom and real problem and the reason I have almost smashed the thing open with a sledgehammer is recorded sound problems. Video is no problem. Video is never distorted. It's never broken. The audio on the other hand is crap. Basically what happens is one of a few things..

First is no sound at all. I can tell it's recorded sound because of course I still get TiVo sound effects. Just no audio in the recording. Since it's recorded to the video file, there is no way to recover it as the sound was never recorded right. So no waiting it out.

Second is sound will be there, but broken to all get out. With crackling here and there it's like I hear snippets of the program audio interspersed with crackling and silence.

Third is sound is there for the most part, but occasionally throughout the day's recording the problems comes and goes. I could be watching what seems to be a perfect recording when all of a sudden it starts. Crackle...... crackle.... crackle.. crackle. crackle crackle crackle silence............ No audio for minutes. None at all. Then like it went out, it comes back. Crackling and all. But when it's back the audio is horribly crackly. Sometimes loud cracks. Sometimes silent. Like right now, I'm watching a Seinfeld episode. It sounds fine.. but I can hear very silent white noise. Silent crackling. Nothing bad and this is the best I can hope for with this 2 year TiVo. But the episode of The Munsters I recorded yesterday has crackling all through it.

Sometimes it happens on all shows, sometimes only certain channels.

Now, I am not mad. Seeing as I've never seen this problem before, I am thinking it is a fluke. Just my rotten luck. I actually am looking forward to getting a new TiVo. Probably an 80 hour Series 2 Revision 4 (Current). But I hate to think I could have fixed this one myself. I'm not against just replacing this one. Especially since I was hoping to wait until a better TiVo (Series 3) came along.

Now, the problems started in September. When it started, I had just rearranged furniture. The TiVo was moved. BUT, I am so careful with anything with a HD in it, I doubt it was movement. (I've moved it many times before with no problems.)

Second, it's near the heater/AC vent. But I've felt the air behind the TV, there's no warmth. And it's not really that close. In fact, I can feel the fan of the TiVo blowing nice cool air. And the TiVo's internal thermometer says it's a normal 32º. Which sucks as overheating was my only hope. In fact, back in September, I managed to make the problem less by putting the TiVo on TOP of the TV. But of course, that isn't working anymore. Also, the vents are not blocked. Not at all. In fact, for the 1.75 years I had it before this, it was on a shelf with not 2 inches of space above it and lots of wires behind it. It had LESS air flow before the problem started getting really bad. (Could it be um.. underheating??)

What I've done already is I've moved it to get better airflow. I've checked all the cables leading to my TiVo. (My TV has the least amount of splits than any of the other dozen TV's in the house.) All are high quality. I've rebooted many times. It used to solve the problem temporarily, but now it doesn't do a thing except waste time.

I hate to have typed all of this out, but I just had to get this out. Hoping someone else was familiar with this problem.

It's only 2 years old. It would be nice if I could keep it and fix it. Even if I end up giving it to someone else as a "gift".

Any suggestions, ideas?

· TechKnow Guide
4,779 Posts
You can find out your exact Tivo model and software revision under "Messages & Setup" -> "System Information".

We'll need a bit more information to troubleshoot your audio problems ....

* what is your video source (cable, cable box, satellite receiver)?
* how is your cable box or satellite receiver connected to the Tivo (cables, connectors, inputs/outputs)?
* how is the Tivo connected to your TV (cables, connectors, inputs/outputs)?
* have you tried replacing any of your connecting cables, especially the audio cables?
* what brand/model TV do you have?
* does this TV have problems with any other video sources (VCR, DVD, etc)?

My best guesses with the information you've provided are ....

* audio connection cable problem
* a problem with your TV (since one of your audio problems seems to be related to having turned on the TV)

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's Comcast Cable. No box. Just direct feed off the line.
No Cable Box as I said. Just a coaxial cable (New cable. Not an old piece.)
Connected via S-Video. (Problem STILL happens even if it's RF or RCA. It's not the cable. It happens on all outputs.)
Yes, I've replaced everything.
Sylvania 27" Flat. Used to be RCA 24" rounded. (Happened a few times before on that TV. But never lasted nearly this long.)
No. No problems with any ANY other source. Video games. DVD player/recorder. Anything.

It's not the cables.
It's not the TV.
Both have been replaced at least once. It's the TiVo. I'm pretty sure of it. I've done everything short of taking a screwdriver to it myself. It's out of warranty, so a screwdriver would be a last resort. I wish I didn't HAVE to buy a new one so soon, especially with announcements looming in the air, but I fear I just may have to.

Also, I've moved it once again. Now it has even more airflow than before. And it still happens. I'm pretty sure the TiVo's screwed.

Also, System Info:
TiVo Series 2 (First or second revision with the charcoal black front and vertical lights as opposed to the newer silver finish and horizontal lights.)
OS 7.2.1-oth-01-2-140
Variable up to 40 hours
Cable without box
Coax RF in
Internal temp now is: 40ºC (Normal) (Weird as it's now hotter with more airflow than before when it was blocked on the bottom.)

I would open it up right now if I knew there was even anything I could do. But honestly, what can I even do? I wouldn't know what I was looking at.

So, is it even worth it to get it fixed? What does TiVo charge to fix them? Should I just bite the bullet and buy a new one?

If I should buy a new one, should I order one from TiVo.com? They're having a sale where you get $150 off if you pay a year ahead. (I'd much prefer that.) but they're out of 40 hour units so I'd have to pay the $100 extra and get an 80. Or should I buy one in a store from either CC or BB? I'd kinda like to have it as soon as possible. I think CC has a rebate. But I hate rebates. I hear stories that they rarely work. Also, I hate buying stuff from those places because I hate having to put up with the speeches. "You want warranty? You want extra cables? Blah blah blah." BTW, SHOULD I get a warranty? I passed last time as I was broke.

Edit: Also, if ordered from TiVo.com, how long does it take to be delivered?

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, Circuit City didn't have any. I'd rather order online anyway. And I'm this close to ordering, but I am not sure what one to get..

First choice, get a brand new 80-hour with 12 months for $150 off, final price: $305. (They're out of 40 hour models as mentioned before.

Second choice, same price, a Factory Refurbished 140 hour TiVo with 12 months service and $150 off as well for $305.

Now the second choice makes sense to me. It's 60 hours more for the same price. But it's refurbished. Now, the refurbishing part doesn't bother me much, but I wanna know if it will be current. The problem is I don't see any 140's new with the new silver look. And the image shown on the page has the older style shown. Which makes me think A) it'll be a really old model with older components and B) the remote won't be current. I really REALLY need to get a TiVo remote that I can program the Input button to. The one I have doesn't work with my TV. I was hoping newer TiVo remotes had more codes and that my TV could be controlled better.

Third choice, buy a really cheap "waiting room" model that could hold me over until the next big thing. It would be a refurbished 40 hour model with 12 months service for $185. It's basically what I already have but newer (Hopefully) in revision. And wouldn't be much of a big deal to "upgrade" later when the new thing comes out. Whatever that may be. If anything.

I can afford all three options, it's all just a matter of which one to get and to just clock "submit".

Also, again, how long does it take for UPS to deliver in average?

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All right. I just wanted to post an update.

The other day I ordered a new (Factory renewed) 40 hour unit. It's scheduled to arrive Wednesday.

I performed a "Clear and reset all" on the TiVo I have and discovered the following.
It seems the sound problem is only present in recorded shows. The problem does not persist in Live TV or buffered TV (The half hour of playback). I discovered this now because before my TiVo was pretty much recording something all the time so there was really rarely any time I could watch Live TV except if I wanted to watch what was recording.

I'm thinking it is probably the HD dying.

I guess it doesn't matter now unless I wanted to try and save it. But I don't know where to buy TiVo ready HD's. I'd much prefer to just cancel the subscription on this one and maybe pawn it off on eBay as a "fixer-upper".

I mean even if I did have a spare HD to use, I don't have the tools to do the transferring of files to it. I'm on a Mac mini with no ATA cables. No spare HD. Aren't most of the tools Windows only? It's just too much work. I mean, I'm great with computers. I used Windows until 2000. But there's still stuff I just don't get. So a do-it-yourself is pretty much a "No".

So it'll probably just be cancelled and packed up. (BTW, who do I call to cancel a subscription for a dead TiVo?) I want to cancel it before I activate my new one as I took that years worth and get $150 off deal. And I just don't want to cause any problems by canceling it after I activate the new one.

Cést la vie. In the box it goes.

· Registered
1 Posts
This sounds very similar to my issue. Bought my first Tivo two months ago. Whole family got addicted to the system immediately, then within just a coupla weeks, the sound started going crazy like you described, but on recorded programs and live and buffered tv.

The crazy part was the inconsistency of it. The same show, watched different times, would have problems in different parts of the show. Then, after about a week of my poor kids watching their cartoons with closed captions (a pitiful sight), some recordings would stop coming up and I'd get an error that the channel must have lost its signal during the recording. I tested it by watching a show on a different TV just through the cable, then going back to the recording and it still said that the recording had failed.

Then the picture started going all blocky and chunky, both on recorded and live TV. Finally, the thing rebooted itself and got stuck at the powering up screen.

So I called Tivo and they told me to change my cables. WTF?

After a conversation that felt like it lasted a year, they agreed to send me a replacement. Well, the replacement (a refurbished model) has worked for about a week and now the audio problems are back. Before I found this forum today, I thought my house must have some frigged up radiation field around it, to screw up two Tivos in a row.

Anyway, just to make sure, I've tested the thing with the coax input on my TV, both aux inputs (RCA inputs and I bought ridiculously expensive cables just to make sure), and even tried a different TV.

For now, it's coming and going, but I figure within another week or so, the recordings will stop working, etc etc...

Here are the current system specs.

Series 2
OS 7.2.2-oth-01-2-540
38 degrees internal
Cable with no box (coax)

What ticks me off the most is that I paid for the lifetime subscription, so I can't even cut my losses and bail.

Any ideas?

· Registered
477 Posts
i had sound problems with my tivos before. beavis and butthead would record with the sound only coming out of the right channel. also anything on comedy central would sound as if the sound was between the right channel and center channel
turns out it was my cable service, because my non-tivoed tv had the same issue. it happened for a few months about a year ago. a service call to the outside box fixed it

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Even though my sound problem is now dead and gone and sitting in a box in the corner with a new perfectly working replacement sitting to the right of me, my sound problem was the TiVo itself. Not the cables. Not the Cable company. I know this for 100% certain through weeks and months of trial and error. It was definitely the box.

And now the box is definitely boxed up in the corner. Replaced with one much better.

· Registered
45 Posts
this has happened to me a couple of times before. I would be watching a recorded show and the audio would crap out. When played back it was in the same place in the recorded material, it wasnt random. But it hasnt happened for a couple of months. hopefully it will never come back but I am interested in finding out what can be the cause of this in case it does come back.

· Registered
1 Posts
I have the same problem and have narrowed it down to what is causing it. My series 2 would do this from time to time over the summer months when temp in the house was in the 80's. Because of this I suspected it was related to heat. Today it was acting up again. So I put my theory to the test and took a box fan and pointed it at the cubby where my tivo is. After a few minutes of the fan circulating the air in the area the sound cleared up and has been fine since then. One of the decoding chips must be overheating causing the sound to get "chirpy". The system always says the temp is normal. I would guess if you can find out which component is the problem a heat sink might fix the problem.
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