Pixelation & Lagging

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
pegasus9
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:15 am

Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:21 pm

In the last 2 or 3 days my HomeRun Prime has started pixelating channels and after a bit, the picture freezes and the sound goes on for a bit before it all locks up. I get the same result regardless of the viewing software used.

The device shows 99% signal and 100% quality.

I have isolated everything back to the device, but I have no idea what to look at or adjust there to fix the issue. I have also turned on Send diagnostic information… and rescanned the channels.

Ideas?

NedS
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by NedS » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:30 pm

One thing that jumps out at me in the logs is that the signal strength is a little high. Not super high, but above 100%, and sometimes the PRIME doesn't like it when the signal is too hot. It can have the same symptoms as a lack of signal, oddly enough. I'll dive deeper into the log just to see if there's anything else obvious that I missed, but you might try seeing if a longer coaxial cable does anything for you, or even a splitter if you have one handy. Basically, knock a little of that signal strength down, just to see what affect it has.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:25 am

I have cable-based internet service. As it is set up now, the signal comes in via Coax and goes upstairs to my computer room. From there it hits a splitter with one cable going to the HDHomeRun and the other to my ASUS Router. I can add another splitter before the HDHomeRun to knock down the signal and see what happens. The provider is Comcast. This setup has been operating for over a year with no issues.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:44 am

Added a splitter and it took signal down to 93%, still with 100% quality. Tested again, within 2 minutes the picture froze with the sound continuing same as before. Is there a target signal strength I should be going for?

signcarver
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by signcarver » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:33 am

When reported at 99%, (assuming you are reading such from the tuner not oob) over powering would not have bren the issue as it could easily handle 115% and unlike their ota devices, the prime actually reports dBmV so one can see how much above 100% one is so you should also report that level not just the percentage.

So first question, are you looking at the levels of the (specific) tuner pages under tuner status (you will have to tune something) and not the oob levels on the cablecard page?

What type of cablecard as there are a few comcast areas that use cisco though most use motorola and on cisco I have seen a card actually have an issue similar to yours.

You may wish to use config_gui to check signal levels going up and down by physical channel, and check various tuners and using more than one tuner. If a signal issue is present on a specific tuner or when using multiple, it is a good indication the power supply has gone bad (the scan might also show this to SD)

How is everything connected. My suggestion is to use a wired connection preferably with the prime an viewing device on the same switch and not using router or wireless.

What are you using to view the stream? If using SD's app do you have a DVR engine running anywhere on the network and is the issue only with SD's apps?

You did right in turning on sending of diagnostic data to SD (and if using their app, turn it on for both the app and tuner) but for them to look at such they will need you DeviceID. You should also attempt to watch a channel for 5 minutes and state the time and channel.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:08 am

Thanks for the response. This behavior has started in the last few days after over a year of problem-free viewing.


> When reported at 99%, (assuming you are reading such from the tuner not oob) overpowering would not
>have

I am getting that data from the CableCARD option using http://my.hdhomerun.com/. With the splitter in place, it is 93% (-4.5 dBmV)


>So first question, are you looking at the levels of the (specific) tuner pages under tuner status (you will have >to tune something) and not the oob levels on the cablecard page?


On Tuner Status these are the stats:

Signal Strength 100% (2.5 dBmV)
Signal Quality 100% (37.1 dB)
Symbol Quality 100%



>What type of cablecard as there are a few comcast areas that use cisco though most use motorola and on
>cisco I have seen a card actually have an issue similar to yours.


This is a Arris/Motorola Media Cipher M-Card cablecard.


>You may wish to use config_gui to check signal levels going up and down by physical channel, and check
>various tuners and using more than one tuner. If a signal issue is present on a specific tuner or when using
>multiple, it is a good indication the power supply has gone bad (the scan might also show this to SD)


Tried using 2 and 3 tuners at once on the same channel -- there was a slight delay between them which allowed me to see the same pixelaton occured on all three tuners at the same spot.
Not seeing a change in Signal strength and data rate is pretty much constant.


>How is everything connected. My suggestion is to use a wired connection preferably with the prime an
>viewing device on the same switch and not using router or wireless.

Cable to HDHomeRun. HomeRun to 1 Gig sitch, Switch to PC and router.

Even using the most direct connection with no router -- same problem.

>What are you using to view the stream? If using SD's app do you have a DVR engine running anywhere on
>the network and is the issue only with SD's apps?


SD app, Plex, Channels (on Fire4K and direct from server) Same problem.


>You did right in turning on sending of diagnostic data to SD (and if using their app, turn it on for both the app >and tuner) but for them to look at such they will need you DeviceID. You >should also attempt to watch a
>channel for 5 minutes and state the time and channel.

I have been monitoring it looking for a repeatable instance or timing. It is all random.

Model: HDHR3-CC
Device ID: 1327D699
Firmware: 20190621

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:11 pm

Now at random times, the screen goes black with no sound and I have to exit to the Guide and reenter to get the channel back up. Just happened at 1608 Local (EDT)

signcarver
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by signcarver » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:01 pm

The signal strength/quality on the cablecard menu is pretty much worthless for what you are trying to diagnose... that is the OOB signal that is essentially for configuring the cablecard and provide the list of channels. It could mean something if OOB was not locked as OOB can be very low. When I first started installing cablecards, it wasn't unusual for such to always measure in the 70-80% range but then my provider removed a channel next to it and cranked it up a bit.

From what you described when using multiple tuners, it does seem like a signal/source issue rather than a power supply issue and it doesn't seem like a network issue. What frequency was it tuned to (frequency or physical channel, not a virtual channel number which could be anywhere in the spectrum) as sometimes that gives clues to what can be the source of such interference and such can be further upstream than you.

Hopefully jasonl can look at some scans/logs of what SD can see from the scan and trying to watch a channel.

NedS
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by NedS » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:47 pm

The signal did only hit about 110% in the logs at the highest, so I was skeptical if knocking it down a bit would help.

Can I get you to enable some app-side diagnostics to see if we can gleam some further information?

https://info.hdhomerun.com/info/trouble ... stics#apps

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:22 pm

Done. I left the app on tuned to a channel where I had the problem -- although pretty much everything has had the issue.

As the day went on the occurrences went down but the severity went up. Total blackout screen/no sound. Had to exit the channel and come back in to recover.

Also, I spoke with Xfinity and they sent some reset commands, but not seeing any change due to that. Even though he never found it to be the root of the problem he offered to send a new CableCard and it is on the way as well.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:33 am

@0918 EDT the screen went black but the sound continued forcing a reentry into the program.
@1513 EDT aborted out saying channel was unavailable, this was on SD App. Changed channel back and forth and it came back. Tuner0
@1520 EDT pixelation, this was on SD App. Tuner0
@1852 EDT pixelation then lock up. Tuner0

jasonl
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by jasonl » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:00 pm

Are the problems you're seeing primarily on 194/214/224/1110/1409/1411? Those are carried on the lowest-frequency channel on the cable line. Lower frequencies are subject to interference from impulse noise, which is generated by things like fluorescent lights (especially cheap CFLs), dimmer switches, and anything that converts electricity to motion, including fans, pumps, compressors, and motors. If the HDHomeRun or any coax cables, splitters, and so on are in close proximity to such things, they may get interference from them. If you remember the analog TV days and having the screen go fuzzy when someone was vacuuming nearby, that was due to impulse noise from the motor, and you're seeing the digital equivalent of that. Getting everything as far away from those devices as possible can help. If you're using low-quality cable, replacing it with better cable can help as well. Anything given to you by a cable provider is normally OK, but if you are using other cable, compare it to provider-supplied cable. If it's thinner or more flexible, then odds are it has less shielding and will be more prone to picking up undesirable signals.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:17 am

Jason,

I appreciate your response and some of the channels I have experienced this behavior on are on the list. However, this is a new behavior (last week) and after a year of flawless service. I have moved no cables, added nothing new to the network, and added/moved no motion devices. Between 0600 and 0700 this AM I turned off the AC and all other fans, etc. It pixelated over 8 times during the hour and blacked out twice. Yesterday it only occurred 3 or 4 times all day.

I just started the SD app to see if this behavior is duplicated while providing additional log data. tuner1

jasonl
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by jasonl » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:45 pm

Same issue, reception issues, and it's all on that same frequency.

It's important to remember that just because you didn't change anything doesn't mean nothing changed. Cable providers do rearrange their channel lineups from time to time, so it's entirely possible those channels were on a different frequency previously and that's why you weren't seeing issues with them.

Next thing to check, unplug the coax cable from your cable modem and see if the issues persist. The upstream frequencies used for cable modems are below the problem frequency, so it's possible for a very strong transmission from your modem to cause issues, especially if the splitters you're using don't isolate well between ports. We obviously won't get any diagnostic data while your internet is disconnected, but if that is the issue it should go away with the modem unplugged.

pegasus9
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Re: Pixelation & Lagging

Post by pegasus9 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:19 am

I will try it this morning.

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