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Are tuning adapters still needed...

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by jollygrunt777, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. jasonfox

    jasonfox New Member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    I'm on Cox in Santa Barbara,CA still get the occasion tuning/recording failure although I would agree with the post above that actual recording failures are more rare now. It's still not uncommon to turn on the TV and have Tivo say it can't tune the channel, but simply hitting 'select' and waiting a few seconds usually brings it in.
     
  2. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Did you get that "1901" software update that people are talking about?

    I'm on Cox in Nevada, and no sign of the update here.

    Lots of SDV headaches here on .1601 firmware here. I have to go around pulling/reconnecting power on the three TAs (Cisco STA1520), on an almost weekly basis, when nothing is recording, or they will "lock up" (disconnecting & reconnecting the USB cable does nothing, TiVo TA diags won't see them, and even the button on the from of the TA does nothing) and nothing gets recorded and no Live TV.

    Nothing out-of-spec with my signals, SNR, or "tilt" (technically "reverse-tilt" is a problem, while "tilt" just means the expected change in signal strength and SNR going from one end of the frequency range to the other end of the spectrum). I had to have an under-road lateral cable replaced because of reverse-tilt being detected on my side of the road, several years back.
     
  3. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    What does the TA diagnostics show when it locks up? Do you get "Tuning Adapter diagnostics not available. Press CLEAR to exit."

    I'm on the "1901" and got this message for the first time on both my Roamio and TivoHD last week when my TA locked up and lost all channels on my Tivos. Unplugging the USB didn't fix it, so I had to pull the power. For us, though, it might be related to the CableCARD firmware update (1101) Bright House pushed out last week. There were several folks in their forums that also reported the issue over the last week. Otherwise I've ran "1901" fine since December.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Yeah, at least Tivo finally implemented (on Roamio's) the automatic re-tuning to deal with SDV tuning failures. Those of us with Series 3 boxes have been asking for that for years and apparently will never get it. It's a sad commentary on the SDV/TA "solution" that such kluge measures have to be used to overcome a problem that's been known for at least four years now.

    And just review the posts starting with #20 in this thread, up through this post, to see what a bad idea TA's in general are, (not to mention thousands of other posts on this forum).

    Note: What I (at least) call "SDV Tuning Failure" involves a blank (black) screen and no message and (usually) can be resolved by a channel up/down. And if you compare the channel frequencies in DVR Diagnostics and TA Diagnostics you find they differ. The other kind of failures, with the message to hit select to retry, arise from different problems, presumably that (1) your setup has lost the channel map or authorization for the channel or (2) the SDV system actually is unable to give you a frequency slot for the desired channel. If the cause is #2 hitting the button may work. If it's #1 you're going to have to power-cycle the TA and probably also restart the TiVo.

    I occasionally get #2 messages and **never** has hitting the select button worked. It's reboot time then for me.

    If I could believe these problems have actually been beaten down to insignificance with the Roamio's it would make me want to upgrade, although their inability to simultaneously tune OTA and cable is problematic for me. I would probably opt for the basic model so I would at least have an OTA box if I decided to cut the cord.
     
  5. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    34,908
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    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    The Roamios have indeed greatly improved the experience with tuning adapters. I upgraded from a TiVo HD, and the experience difference is night and day, particularly after one of the updates that changes the way the Roamio talks to the tuning adapter and requests channels.
     
  6. SugarBowl

    SugarBowl Member

    790
    0
    Jan 4, 2007
    Cary, NC
    Following the Time Warner lineup change, the tuning adapter is used more than ever. I unplugged it from the roamio as an experiment, thinking maybe it wasn't needed anymore.

    All of the channels below 100 reverted to SD, and a lot of the channels above 100 were not available at all.
     
  7. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

    3,646
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    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    Yes, that's one of the functions of the tuning adapter, to pull in the HD channel when you tune to an SD channel. All of the pre-100 channels are SD channels by default.
     
  8. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    That is the message I get. Rebooting the TiVo alone does not fix it, while just pulling power from the TA, waiting 30 seconds, then reconnecting power to the TA, and waiting for about 2 minutes, gives the "tuning adapter connected" message, and all channels work, without doing more with the TiVo, no TiVo rebooting required. What shows up on the TV screen when this happens to me is something like "The TiVo could not tune to the channel", with no V.__ error, or any options to re-attempt, and changing to any channel displays the same error, which is exclusive to this TA lock-up state, AFAIK.

    What's missing (and makes me wonder if there might be some tiny issue with how the TiVo interacts with the TA) is the "tuning adapter disconnected" message, which you will see if you pull power to a working TA, or disconnect the USB cable, while everything is working.

    For those who haven't explored enough to find this out: Rebooting the TiVo does not reboot the TA. The only reason the TA light flashes, while a TiVo is rebooting, is due to loss of USB communication, until the TiVo has booted far enough to restore it. So, if your are about to reboot your TiVo for any reason, it might be a good idea (and perfect time) to pull power to the TA as soon as the reboot starts, and wait at least 10 seconds to plug the power back in.

    I pull power at the back of the TA, because the power brick stores enough residual power to make the amount of time it takes to get a full and proper reboot much longer. It's a PITA, but if you want the cleanest and quickest way, at the back of TA is the way to go.
     
  9. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,446
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    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    SDV is here to stay and is actually likely to get more popular going forward. Especially as cable systems transition to all digital. The only way cable systems are going to be able to continue offering hundreds of HD channels, increased internet speeds and OTT solutions like cloud DVRs is to free up bandwidth. There are really only three options for doing that...

    1) Upgrade to a 1000MHz system
    2) Switch over to H.264
    3) Deploy SDV

    #1 and #2 cost a lot of money in both headend equipment and replacement of equipment in the field. However since SDV uses basically the same technology as VOD it's relatively cheap and easy to deploy.

    All in all SDV isn't a bad technology. For most people it works seamlessly. For us TiVo users it's a bit more front and center because we're forced to use TAs to access it and TAs have not been well supported or well tested by the providers. They're basically like CableCARDs in that sense. People still have tons of trouble activating CableCARDs even though they've been available for nearly a decade and cable operators use them in their own devices. Why? Because they don't care about CableCARD users. Same applies to TA users.
     
  10. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Looks like a Roamio may be in my future. Does anyone know if there is any difference in TA interaction among the three Roamio models?
     
  11. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

    3,646
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    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    Don't know the specific answer to your question, but the Plus and Pro models are identical except for the size of the hard drive, so those 2 would almost certainly interact the exact same way.
     
  12. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

    3,646
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    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    Not entirely. Looking back on the time when I had a Time Warner DVR and cable boxes, I would from time to time get messages that went something like "channel not available, try again later". At the time I did not understand what caused this, but in retrospect they were almost certainly SDV tuning failures.
     
  13. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
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    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Yep, sounds very very similar. The only diff is that I just had black screens (no on-screen error messages) and all my tuner statuses were "Response Pending". I was very shocked because it also happened on the TivoHD too. I've had the HD since 2008 and never had a TA lock up like this. I'm wondering if the cable companies are doing stuff behind the scenes that cause these types of errors to occur.

    I've not read anyone complain about this in the forums until this week. How long as this been going on for you? I'm curious if its somehow recently started across cable providers... I'm still not sure to blame Tivo, since my TivoHD just had the issue and hasn't had a major s/w upgrade in years.
     
  14. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    For the most part, and for quite some time, this forum has been eerily like a ghost town, when it comes to on-topic threads. The off-topic areas are still going strong, but I don't subscribe to those...

    I have a few things going on that I keep neglecting to start threads on. To answer your question, this started around the same time as the "random reboots" that brought some life back to the the forum.

    What was a bit scary, was how many people went straight to the upgrade threads, asking what replacement drive to buy, convinced theirs had gone bad. I was thinking the same thing when it was one out of three. When it was three out of three randomly rebooting, it was clear the drive was not to blame.

    I've had other varieties of TA issues where I lose SDV channels only, and a TA power-cycle is required.

    I've also had (continue to have) an issue with all three Roamio base models acting like I have a faulty HDMI cable, or a bad HDMI cable connection, with some phantom force wiggling the cable around for me. It used to be if I backed-up in the recording, or buffer, I'd get the same loss of picture and sound with a loud pop at the loss, and another loud pop upon restored A/V, in the same place, fully repeatable. No A/V receiver is in use, direct to TV. I've done all the proper diags and due-diligence measures. It's isolated to the TiVos, and nothing else. I've tried changing my fixed output to 1080i, instead of 1080p, with no luck. What is odd, is that since TiVo changed whatever the TiVo service was doing to cause the random reboots, now I can go back in the recording or buffer, or live buffer, and the dropout will be gone. So, a completely repeatable behavior in one way, now becomes completely random as soon as TiVoMargret says they have fixed what the TiVo service was doing to incite random reboots, cross-platform. What am I supposed to think, given that the behavior changed in such a formidable way? Since base Roamios don't come with component ports, or even a breakout cable, I can try as a test.

    I'd ask for log monitoring, except I'm running on upgraded drives, and don't want to invite TiVo to spot and document it. I'm always waiting for somebody with stock drives to report the same problem, or problems, so I can ask them to volunteer for log monitoring.

    Sorry for going OT on so much. I'm reaching the threshold, where you may see me actually start several threads on each individual matter, and I'll have reached the breaking point, where I am no longer a happy camper with my Roamios, and start venting my frustration in every way I can... :(
     

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