While the overall response to the TiVo HD has been positive, there have been some issues. As users have been getting their CableCARDs installed, macroblocking, or pixelation, issues have popped up. These issues have been the subject of a number of threads at TiVoCommunity.com. It seems as if the issue appears primarily, if not solely, with Scientific Atlanta cards. Users with Motorola cards don’t seem to see the problem, at least not with the same frequency. (NDS is the third CableCARD provider, but they’re so rare I don’t think anyone has received those.) The issue seems to hit the second card in a two S-Card setup, with the first card generally working correctly and users with a single M-Card not normally experiencing the issue. Information is still being compiled, but these are the threads in which the issue is discussed: one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.
As I was compiling this list earlier tonight, a user posted that his TiVo HD had just received a new software update. I had my review unit call in and sure enough, it downloaded an update and is now running 8.1.7b1-01-2-652. Already one poster is reporting the update seems to have resolved the pixelation issue.
It remains to be seen if this update fixes the issue for everyone, but it is a good sign to see TiVo pushing an update out just a week after the launch. It isn’t unexpected that some issues would appear with a new product in the field, and what really matters is how quickly those issues are addressed.
Before discovering the update I’d started an email to TiVo to ask if they had an official statement about the issues. I noticed the update before sending it, so I modified the email to ask if they had a statement and if they can say what the 8.1.7b1 update fixes compared to 8.1.7a1. I’ll update the post with TiVo’s reply if I receive one. TiVo issued this official statement:
We are aware that a small subset of TiVo HD users have reported experiencing some macroblocking on certain channels. We are gathering appropriate information about the issue to understand possible causes and hope to be able to resolve any known issues as soon as possible. We released a software update on August 1st that should fix this issue for many users.