As I previously reported the new TiVo HD has suffered from some video issues, primarily macroblocking on digital channels. TiVo released an update, 8.1.7b1-01-2-652, on August 1st to correct some of the video issues. However, as you can see from the images below, there are still some issues in this release. TiVo is aware of the issues, and they continue to work on updates to correct them.
Based on user discussion on TiVoCommunity.com (see my previous post for direct links to some of the threads), it seems that the problems occur primarily with Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs, especially S-Cards. Users with Motorola cards and M-Cards don’t seem to suffer the issues with the same frequency, though it seems that they may not be immune.
These images illustrate some of the macroblocking on digital channels with CableCARD. All six of these were captured tonight from my local digital Fox channel, which was being received as a 720p signal, within a single 10 minute window. These were captured under software revision 8.1.7b1-01-2-652, the current software. I have Charter Digital Cable using Scientific Atlanta S-Cards. There were a few other, minor, glitches during this time that I didn’t bother to photograph. Note that these glitches happened as bursts – just a second, less than a second really. Most of the time the image is OK, then there will be burst of macroblocking, and back to normal.
If you’re experiencing these issues, do note that TiVo is aware of them and is working on additional updates to correct them. You should still contact customer support as more data points may help find a solution. Keep in mind that you have a 30-day window to return the unit, so try to be patient. If the problem isn’t fixed near the end of your return window, you can still return it before the 30-days is up.
If you haven’t picked up the TiVo HD yet, you should consider these issues first – especially if you live in an area that uses Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs. If you don’t want to risk experiencing the issue and you can’t live with it until TiVo issues a patch, you may want to hold off on picking up a TiVo HD until the final fix has been issued.
I do think this is a great product and it will be a success, once these teething issues are resolved.