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Has TIVO fixed the gray screen issue?

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  • Has TIVO fixed the gray screen issue?

    So I am thinking of upgrading to a Tivo HD model but been reading of the gray screen problem. Has Tivo fixed this problem yet? I would hate to have to reboot just to get my new $400 dvr to work. My series 2 is old but works fine for now. tia

  • #2
    This is not a problem that we have encountered in any way that would cause us to recommend not to get is simply not something that our customers experience. Remember that people who do not have problems do not post online.


    • #3
      I have a Gray Screen problem with analog cable on TIVO HD S3

      I have a gray screen problem on a TIVO HD. It started about 3 months ago ?? near as I can tell and I get it about 1x week or so. But it happens when I want to record something making my TIVO useless! After being many hrs on the phone with TIVO tech support going through lots of trouble shooting they finally wanted me to get a cable card even thought I only have analog cable. My tivo is just a few weeks over 1 yr old and I refused to have to get a cable card for this problem and requested my money back for my next year subscription. They agreed to send me a new unit but from the looks of gray screen issues on this forum it looks like that won't fix my problem - BTW they didn't think a new TIVO would fix the problem either but I have no other options since the TIVO is now close to a useless boat anchor.


      • #4
        Did they think that others were having this problem with analog cable? I really hadn't heard that, either.
        Been here a long time . . .


        • #5
          I have had the same problem going on a year now. My series 3 (HD) unit has had the black/grey screen problem since December 2008 when they did that software update. At first it was only every week that I got the black screen, now I get it every day. I can fix it only by changing the channels on both tuners or restarting the TIVO. Of course, this messes up all my recordings if I don't fix it every day.
          According to TIVO support, this is supposed to be a widely known software problem that they are still working on. Supposedly there is no problem with the hardware and it is all software. I just wish I could get my TIVO back in shape...


          • #6
            The TIVO HD model has this issue across the board (for those who are looking to upgrade or purchase). You can go to the TIVO support forums and see that there is a 2 year 7 page thread about the freezing/grayscreen issue. I have the same issue, having to reset the damn thing every other day since the day we got it. Either wait for the new HD model coming out later this year, or go with the MUCH more reliable series 2 model (had that model for over a year with no issues).


            • #7
              Series2 models are very, very different from Series3 models in that Series2s have only analog tuners. They also can't do HD, of course.
              Been here a long time . . .


              • #8
                Tivo HD shuts off

                I am having the same "gray screen" problems. The problem started about a month ago. At first, it only happened over the weekend and sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening. Then, it happened twice on a Friday night. I restarted, then it shut off again while I was on the phone with Tivo's Tech support. I also have an approved 500 gb external hard drive (Western Digital DVR Extender) and I performed the Hard Drive tests indicated that both drives were OK. One Tivo support person suggestion putting the unit on standby whenever I wasn't watching it. That actually worked for about 2 weeks, and I didn't miss any of my scheduled programs. Then, yeserday (Wednesday, 5/19/10), it happened again. I restarted and it worked OK. When I came home late tonight (Thursday, 5/20/10), it was off again. I restarted, it worked for about 45 minutes, then it shut off again. I restarted and it's worked for about an hour so far. The last time I talked to Tech support, I was offered the option of purchasing a refurbished TivoHD for $49 because they don't make that model anymore. I'm not sure I want to try the Tivo Premier since it's so new.

                Does anyone know whether they fixed the software problem in the TivoHD yet, or if the problem also existed with Tivo HDXL?
                Last edited by geezer38; 05-21-2010, 12:52 AM. Reason: forgot to mention drive tests, plus i remvd a few words.


                • #9
                  We still hear reports of the problem; not sure if it affected the TiVo HD XL also, but I can't remember hearing that it did.
                  Been here a long time . . .


                  • #10
                    Tivo's recommended solution to Tivo HD gray screen issue

                    I talked to a Tivo rep who made a suggestion. I will try it today and come back to the forum. Here's the recommendation:

                    First go into the Tivo Diagnostics: Tivo Central/Messages and Settings/Account and System Information/DVR Diagnostics

                    Then, look at your "modulation" (4th item from the top on my menu) and hte "SNR" (third item from the bottom on my menu). I gave him those two pieces of information. He said the "SNR" figure was too high (Mine goes back and forth between 36dB and 37dB but it needs to be a max. of 29).

                    He recommended that I go to an electronics supplier (I'll go to Radio Shack) and purchase a
                    -6 dB ANTENUATOR. (that's a MINUS SIX dB)

                    Apparently the "noise" is too high from my RCA signal. I'm not quite sure what that means, but he says cable/satellite/telephone service providers are increasing the signal (or something like that) so people could enjoy faster download speeds for their high-speed internet, on-demand, etc. It's a good thing in general, but it causes the Tivo HD to overheat and shut down.

                    Once you purchase the antenuater, install it between the wall cable and your Tivo box. It should screw right into the cable and Tivo box.

                    I will try this and get back to the forum once I've enjoyed a couple of weeks of uninterrupted Tivo service. I also have a Tivo Series 2 that doesn't ever shut down, so this problem seems to be isolated to Tivo HD. I haven't heard of the same with Tivo Premier yet.

                    Well...I'll be back to post when I've tested this new suggestion.
                    Last edited by geezer38; 05-22-2010, 02:55 PM. Reason: Clarification of -6


                    • #11
                      One more thing regarding the Tivo suggestion for gray screen prob

                      I forgot to mention that the "Modulation": mine is QAM 256 in case that makes any difference.


                      • #12
                        Tivo has DEFINITELY not fixed the problem. In fact, they've strung me along with "please be patient" since I purchased my unit in December of 2009 (reporting the problem every 30 days) that they now will no longer allow me to return the unit. I replaced a perfectly good Series 2 unit because there was no "this unit will not work with analog cable - take your chances" listed on the Tivo webpage, and depending on who you get in Customer Support, they won't even admit there is a problem until you ask to speak to a manager. I WOULD RECOMMEND THAT NOBODY UPGRADE THEIR UNITS UNTIL THIS PROBLEM IS FIXED AND TIVO ACTUALLY ADMITS THEY FIXED A KNOWN PROBLEM. Or, buy one...and get used to rebooting the unit every week and missing recordings.


                        • #13
                          Did you try my suggestion of installing that antenuator?


                          • #14

                            So Geezer, I'm thinking I might have the same issue you have. I'm curious if your attenuator worked?


                            • #15
                              Attenuator may or may NOT be the problem

                              I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I forgot my login credentials and haven't had time to go back and obtain them until now. Here are my latest experiences with the Tivo HD:

                              I could not find an attenuator in a local store (no, not ever Radio Shack!), so I purchased online. Before they arrived (I bought 3, justin case...), I experienced THREE successive shutdowns within a 30 minute window. After the third shutdown I disconnected my TivoHD from the broadband switch that I have in that room. I don't like to use the Tivo wireless adapters because the signal fluctuates when I transfer recordings and, since my router is in another room, I added an ethernet switch.
                              Anyway, I disconnected the Tivo box from the switch and it stayed on for nearly a week without any sudden shutdown. I didn't install the attenuator during that time because I began to suspect that either the internet connection or the broadband switch might be causing the problem. I left it that way for a few days, then I plugged the ethernet cable back in. It worked without shutting down through the entire weekend for the first time in several weeks. I checked the signal and found it was still stronger than the Tivo technician said it should be, but that didn't seem to matter until...

                              Well, my Tivo shut down last night (6/15/10) and I finally installed the attenuator. The strong signal may still be the problem and the attenuator may help. However, the sudden shutdowns may also be affected by the internet connection or something else so I'll watch carefully. I'll be back to post again in a week or so to log my progress.
                              Last edited by geezer38; 06-16-2010, 09:51 PM. Reason: I omitted some info that I thought would be relevant