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Thread: New Series3 Production Hardware, Rev. K5

  1. #1
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    New Series3 Production Hardware, Rev. K5

    So, the word on the grapevine is that TiVo has recently produced a limited number of new Series3 units with a reworked tuner that allegedly resolves some pixelation issues and whatnot.

    Since I knew the Series3 was a discontinued SKU, I had spent the past few weeks attempting to find remaining inventory at Best Buy available for purchase. Twice I had a unit shipped from stores in different states and twice the units were not able to communicate with my cable company's CableCARDs. Finally after a call to TiVo they sent me a new unit, which appears to have a production date of May 13th, 2008. The hardware revision on the motherboard appears to be Rev. K5.

    PROM code revision remains at 3.16, but I haven't had a chance to compare the rest of the components on the board. I'll post any differences I find in this thread.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  2. #2
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    For reference I am comparing a Series3 unit with a build date of 04.24.07 (Motherboard Rev K2) and a new "reworked" Series3 unit with a build date of 05.13.08 (Motherboard Rev K5).

    So far I don't see any major changes.

    What minor changes I have been able to visually find have amounted to the following:

    • The PSU revision hasn't changed, but the vendor for the SATA data/power cable has been changed from COMAX to AsLink. The newer cable assembly is a bit shorter and feels flimsier. The manufacturing quality of the connectors themselves seem less precise and appear to be made from an inferior plastic.
    • The power connector for the case fan uses a shorter cable and no longer needs a small plastic "hook" to keep excess cable out of the way.
    • The main CPU heatsink appears to be from a different vendor. The newer fins appear to be softer and bend more easily. I don't know what effect this would have on its ability to dissipate heat.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  3. #3
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    Upon further review I can only find small differences between the batch numbers of the encoder chips and CableCARD controller.

    The surprising part? The numbers indicate that the chips being used are actually OLDER than the last one I purchased. I believe that whatever "reworking" TiVo has done involved taking old stock of components and/or old mainboards and simply updating them in some way.

    I should emphasize that this was a unit that TiVo sold as NEW and it came in a factory-sealed box.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  4. #4
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    odd, if they redid them, they didn't incorperate multi cards.

  5. #5
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    Omikron: are there any substantial differences that you can see in the tuner cans?

  6. #6
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    so far for the 2 units I have .. do you remember what mine looked like ... anyway I have not had any major pixelation issues.. the few times I can mostly attribute to signal problems.. from the cable company or over compression.. what exactly are the issues i should look for and can you point to a discussion of them thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgkahn View Post
    so far for the 2 units I have .. do you remember what mine looked like ... anyway I have not had any major pixelation issues.. the few times I can mostly attribute to signal problems.. from the cable company or over compression.. what exactly are the issues i should look for and can you point to a discussion of them thanks
    You know, I'm not even really quite sure. I know there are *several* people on TCF that were told by high level TiVo techs to wait until May to exchange their Series3 because they were producing a limited run of them with reworked tuners. That's the only reason I even decided to look.

    So far, I haven't found any other major differences. Part numbers on the cans appear to be the same.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  8. #8
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    even if they find something cant really xchange them anyway.. think they might notice the changed prom and socket when they open them up

    thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgkahn View Post
    even if they find something cant really xchange them anyway.. think they might notice the changed prom and socket when they open them up

    thanks
    Well, I'd really like to know exactly WHAT TiVo changed to resolve this issue. So far, I can't find any major changes in components used. That means that if it exists, the change is on a smaller more intricate scale.

    If we can figure out what was revised it may give us hardware hackers some insight into what we can do to "update" our own boxes.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  10. #10
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    what about cooling.. many times issues can be related to heat.. is the fan the same.. I know on my dtivos I upgraded the fan to a more cfm fan which is also more silent

  11. #11
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    This thread has caught my interest. It's the first I've noticed of anyone talking about pixellation issues on the S3. I've been noticing this a lot lately, and it looks a lot like signal dropout. But I've also seen a "strobing" effect (like they used in Gladiator) on some programs (most notably Battlestar Galactica).

    I was beginning to think that perhaps this started when I added my ESATA drive (an unsupported model) -- perhaps it wasn't up to speed? But now I'm wondering if it's the issue you're describing. I got my unit in late November '07... Is there more documentation of this issue somewhere?

    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    bump

    What, I respond to a thread and it dies? Luckily I'm not easily offended.

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