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Felim_Doyle
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Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

In recent months I've been experiencing pixelation and digital artefacts on a number of channels which is also affecting recordings. This week it has become more severe with the interference being more pronounced and more frequent.

I mostly watch the UKTV Alibi and Dave channels live but also record a lot of programming from other channels. Some of my recorded content is also affected including programmes from the Channel 4 and Channel 5 suites of channels and various documentary channels such as Quest and Yesterday. I cannot say for sure if all channels are affected but it seems to be having an impact on the majority of my viewing.

There is no obvious pattern to the interference as, for example, my viewing of Alibi this morning started with a lot of intermittent break-up from 07:00 onwards but has now stabilised since 08:30.

Oops! I spoke too soon. There was a brief flicker just now at 08:50ish.

Area reference 22, Aylesbury.

Félim
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
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japitts
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

First off the copy & paste answer - pixellation & picture breakup is simply how digital TV systems indicate a poor signal. So this is indicative of a fault somewhere that's causing that poor signal. That could be anything from a failing tuner in your box, to a poor connection somewhere, to a corroded cable - and anything in-between. The nature of VM's cable network is that faults occuring upstream of the streetcab affect a large number of customers and tend to get noticed quickly, downstream of the cabinet tends to only affect single users.

You've not mentioned whether these are HD or SD channels, this can help narrow down the potential cause by identifying clusters of channels that are carried on the same digital multiplex - and therefore on the same frequency.

In your case it's potentially possible that intermittent breakup is indicative of a "borderline" fault that will progressively get worse as time goes on, until it's reported to VM and the underlying issue is rectified.

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Felim_Doyle
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

OK, thanks jappits. I suppose I'm hoping that it's an upstream fault and that others will see this post and add to it. There are similar posts on here dating back to 2018 and 2019 but they are closed to additional comments now.

The primary channels that I record are all SD to conserve space on my 500MB TiVo. I generally watch the SD channels too in case I need to press record because of an interruption such as a phone call. I rarely notice much difference between HD and SD which is probably due to the excellent upscaling of the TiVo.

Félim
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

If this problem has been going on as long as your original post suggests, I would assume it's only affecting you.

Faults affecting whole cabinets tend to be resolved in a matter of hours or days for major issues, or perhaps a few weeks for minor ones. (Broadband utilisation issues are another ball game).

Not months. Call faults and report your problem.

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Felim_Doyle
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

Looking at the diagnostics screens, I have the following:-

  • Return Power: 44dBmV
  • AGC signal level: 78%
  • SNR: 39dB
  • RS Uncorrected: 0
  • RS Corrected: 0

It's a very long time since I have looked at signal levels but, although I am a little concerned about the low 'AGC signal level', the fact that the TiVo box is experiencing no Reed–Solomon errors would suggest that there is no fault with the tuners and perhaps that the digital signal is arriving already corrupted.

The problem could be after the tuners and after the point at which the diagnostics analyse the signal but, as it affects sound and vision on live and recorded programming, it seems unlikely. There would be a limited number of places in the circuitry where this could happen.

Félim
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japitts
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

If your box is faulty, VM will replace it. If they diagnose a problem with your incoming signal, they can investigate the internal & external cabling and replace any faulty or corroded components.

I suspect you're overthinking this - call 150, follow the options for "I have a fault with my TV service", and then VM can arrange whatever action is necessary - hopefully an engineer visit or replacement box.

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Felim_Doyle
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

A replacement box isn't an option at the moment unless VM can transfer all of my recordings, bookmarks, searches and series links to the new box.

I'm watching and clearing down a lot of recorded material at the moment but my wife and I have been separated during the COVID-19 crisis as she is isolating with her elderly mother so there is a lot of recorded programming that I'd like to keep until she's home again.

The same applied when VM offered me a V6 box but required me to return the TiVo. I've seen TiVo boxes advertised for sale on eBay and Facebook Markets and, when I've queried it, I was told that VM didn't want the old box back. However, my experience last year was that VM did want the TiVo back and expected me to take it to one of their collection points! 🙄

Félim
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

There's two points during the faults process where a replacement box could be offered.

1: You call Faults, and they diagnose an issue with your box and decide a replacement is the resolution.

2: Faults arrange an engineer visit to investigate your box & the cabling to it - they decide the box has a problem.

In either case, you can mention at that point, that you would prefer to keep your existing equipment but must therefore accept your fault could continue unresolved. If the problem is in your (internal or external) cabling, then only an engineer visit will allow that to be identified and rectified.

Faults engineers will not be opening up the box to the degree that one of your previous posts implied. It's your choice how you want to proceed

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Paul_DN
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

Hi Felim_Doyle,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us in our community and welcome , I am sorry to hear you are having issues with set top box pixelating on certain channels,

 

So I can help further I will send you an invite into a private chat, please click on the purple envelope to accept, if there is a fault then the box would be exchanged and you wouldn't be able to watch the content on the old box as this will be unassigned.


Regards

 

Paul.
 

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Felim_Doyle
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Re: Pixelation, digital artefacts, interference on various channels

Here is a link to the Virgin Media help page which explains how to copy various settings including Series Links, Searches etc. from one box to another ...

Copy TV Settings to Another Box 

It takes you to the very useful management page for Virgin Media TiVo, V6, 360 boxes ...

Virgin TV Go -> Manage My TiVo 

Félim
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
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