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You need to note the signal level. Zero is optimal. <±6 is good. <±9 is OK and anything equal or >±9 should be addressed.

Read this thread. Especially post 4 for more details.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=17719

Formatting will only benefit a drive that has issues with reading/writing to its surface. Bad sectors are remapping to spares on the platter. If your drive is like this then you will have more troubles down the road.
 

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Hi Jake - I have been having cases where my PVR recordings "freeze" during playback. For some shows, especially on CTVHD Toronto, it can happen every minute or two.

I just checked and my signal level is -9 dBmV on QAM and is orange for that channel (and most others, the odd one is -6). Should I be calling Rogers to have them come out and have a look? [Note - on our second TV, the rating shows -12 dBmV in orange]

I figured the issue might be the PVR itself but I am guessing, from this, that something is degrading my signal quality.

The SN number is 35.

For my cable modem, I went to this page:

http://192.168.100.1/signal.html

and found a power level of "0" dBmV.

Thanks
Terry
 

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If the signal level is orange. Complain. It may be -9 but it will fluctuate. It is kinda like talking on your cell phone with 1 bar. Not a fun experience. I complained and they fixed it. The EHDD seem to be more sensitive to drop-outs.

OFF-TOPIC.
Sometimes you will get a tech who really does not want to do what is needed. You may have to gently insist. Just tell him that you are not happy with the number of dropouts and what are the options? -12 is really bad too. Generally the higher the frequency (MHz) the larger the loss will be.

The cable modem will report the signal level for 42MHz (IIRC). Which is near the bottom of the scale. So it will always look better. There are ways of configuring the splitters so that the level is more balanced (internet and TV). The tech should know all this. Sometimes they just need a few pointers.
 

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I called Rogers Support to complain and request someone to come out. The guy on the phone says that all these postings about the levels are wrong and that you cannot rely on that information at all. He says if you are having freezing issues it is purely because of a bad PVR box and it should be replaced.

I asked him how all these people have all this good information posted if it is totally wrong and he just said "don't believe anything on the internet that is not posted by Rogers".

So now I have no choice but to clear out my recordings and exchange the box. :eek:
 

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When you said freeze I think your meant break-up and stutter right?. Now if the box freezes and locks up then that is another matter. But -12 is not acceptable.

Also, can you replicate the break-up? That is, is the break-up in the same spot? Can you rewind and watch it smoothly? If rewinding works then there is also something wrong with the PVR. It means the recording is fine. If the break-up is repeatable then the recording is imperfect. The imperfection could be due to a low signal level or a problem with the box. Since you have noted the low signal levels it makes to fix that first. A box swap (if needed) would be next.

PS:I am going to split this off into its own thread.
 

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If I rewind, the freeze is still present.

When I say freeze I mean we are watching the show and the sound and video stop for about 1-3 seconds and then "skips" just a little of the recording and continues. In some cases, it is just a few times in an hour. In more severe cases, it occurs every few minutes.

I never see any issues on-screen when watching TV that is "live".

I will have to watch all our shows and then bring the box in for a swap. Makes me glad I have a rental unit I guess.
 

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OK. That narrows it down. The original recording is bad. Either low signal level or some defect in the PVR. If the defect only occurs on some channels what does that tell you? Further if the defects are more frequent on the channels with the low signal level then what does that tell you? Before you give in to Rogers I suggest you do some more testing.

Here is what you do. Tune to a channel with a low signal level or one that gives you frequent trouble. While the PVR is recording access the diagnostic page that reports the incoming error stats. Look under the Current QAM heading (page 5ish) for the fields: Uncor Blks and Errs Avg/Inst. Watch these values to see if they increase above 0. There is another page that reports errors but I can't recall what it is right now. Just poke around for another "errs" type field. Also take a look at the DVR HDD Information page. It reports BAD BLOCKS.
 

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CTVHD Toronto has given me the most difficulties so I checked on this about 50% of the way through a program recording last night. The Errs Avg/Inst was 0. Of course, the "Level" was also -7 instead of the -9 I saw earlier in the day. I have not yet tried watching the recording to see it was okay.
 

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I have perfect signal but sometimes see The Errs Avg/Inst is not always 0. How does one fix this? this only happens on the HD box, the SD boxes dont have any errors
 

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You know how it works right? You take your car into the garage and it stops making the sound! The tech that visited my home said that temperature will also effect the signal level. Since it was the dead of winter and in a blizzard I suspect the cold temps must drive the signal level down (connections contracting). Hey I didn't schedule it for that day they did. :) He said that if they boosted the signal on the pole they would have to come back and dial it back in the spring. Since they had to bring a truck like this,

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_VkSVcl0aQAg/SbgyeittsPI/AAAAAAAABQM/qXIyyKKQLng/s1600-h/IMG_1109[5].jpg

you can understand why they are hesitant. But I was happy. No more break-ups.

Keep watching. What I did was tune all the high frequency channels and noted the levels when it was orange. About 20 (HD channels) were marginal. I don't accept a marginal phone line so why should I accept a marginal TV signal.

This is what Cisco says about the HDD.

The need for hard disk replacement is very rare; unless you see, "disk trouble unrecoverable write error," on your screen, your hard drive is probably working properly.
 

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Paolo, Some errors are normal and you may never notice them. "Errs Avg" is the average number of errors since you tuned into that channel. The "Inst" is the number of errors over the last 3 seconds.

If you want to simulate a bad signal slowly un-thread the cable from the wall and watch the values I mentioned.
 

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I took the box in this morning and they replaced it with an 8642. Hopefully it will work well. From reading the threads on the 8642, it sounds like it can have problems of its own!

When I checked the signal level of CTVHD earlier, it was -7.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you get the same problems or similar problems post here and let us know.
 
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