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Charter & Series 3 Problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by ckoble, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. hank12345

    hank12345 New Member

    91
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    Sep 27, 2005
    Ugh.

    Charter in my area has switched to SDV... after almost two years of a flawless TiVo, it is now a total disaster.

    I have two S-Cards that worked without issue, until the tuning adapter was hooked up... Now the card in slot one looses all digital channels about every 6 to 12 hours. (gives me just a gray screen) The card in slot 2 seems to always work for some reason.

    The only fix for this problem seems to be a re-boot.

    Starting last night, The TiVo won't show ANYTHING but a black screen.. has to unplug it-- it is back to "normal" now...

    I have also noticed an increase in macro-blocking since the switch to SDV.

    I have a tech scheduled to swap out the tuning adapter and S-Cards for an M-Card on Friday, but I don't have a lot of faith at this point.

    I don't know how widespread Charter's SDV is at this point, but if it is coming to your area, be ready for some fun new issues.
     
  2. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,058
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    I am getting it near the end of the year. I appreciate your area working out the issues before it comes here. :) I'm just glad we weren't chosen first. I have little faith in Charter making it a smooth transition for any TiVo users.
     
  3. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

    276
    0
    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    No sign of it here in St. Louis, though I'd imagine we'd go sometime later this year. I'd call the help desk and ask them about it, though I'm lucky to get a clueful person on the phone when I call.
     
  4. hank12345

    hank12345 New Member

    91
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    Sep 27, 2005
    Hi Rainwater-

    Nice to see you are still on the board-- I remember you from the "Great Pixelation Debate" of a couple of years ago!

    Anyway, I think I have a solution to the problem... It seems that if you tune to a SDV channel, and get a gray screen, changing the channel manually up or down two channels (not using the TiVo guide) then tuning back to the channel you want seems to get things working again...

    This seems weird and wrong to me, but it is the troubleshooting method to use on the TiVo website...

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/148/related/1/c/105/r_id/100041

    I have yet to get a gray screen while recording, but if that starts happening, the TiVo will be pretty useless for me... It's a shame that there is no better solution than the tuning adapter....

    anyway, I hope this helps if anyone has a similar issue...

    EDIT

    I should note that I did have Charter swap the S-cards for an M-Card, and have yet to get a gray screen since te swap...

    H
     
  5. walueg

    walueg New Member

    41
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    Sep 9, 2002
    Fort Worth, TX
    After having a bad experience with Charter in Fort Worth last year where after multiple visits, I was not able to get a successful install, I tried again last week. The guy came out, never having done one of these before, was prepared with four cards. The first card worked flawlessly after a firmware upgrade.
     
  6. GlenH100

    GlenH100 New Member

    22
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    Mar 17, 2008
    Athens, AL...
    This a billing, rather than technical issue, but longtime readers may recall my post last year where I mentioned that Charter was charging me $5/month for "HD Equipment Upgrade" and calls to Customer Service yielded amorphous responses that this was "to get the HD signal to your home", and was a required charge, even though it doesn't appear on the price list.

    Fast forward a year, and the price list was included in this month's bill. The fee still isn't in the price list, but I finally got someone at Charter to own up to the fact that this is the charge applied to Digital Home customers when they upgrade to an HD cable box. (It's the difference in the rental cost between a SD box and an HD box.)

    Since I am not renting a box; only a CableCARD, the fee shouldn't apply, but they previously said that HD provisioning was tied to the fee. This time, the agent assured me that the charge was an error, and that I would still receive my HD channels, including the HD Ultra tier to which I subscribe. She could only give me a six month credit; to get the $55.66 for the first eleven months of my subscription, I'll have to go to the local office.

    --Glen
     
  7. gilg2009

    gilg2009 New Member

    3
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    Jul 24, 2009
    Ok, I skimmed a lot of the messages here, and while I am glad I am not the only one having issues, I am concerned that there are so many other people having the same problem.

    Yesterday I had a cable card installed in my TiVO HD. As my TiVo can support it, I had a M card installed, so I wouldn't need two S cards.

    When the technician showed up, I handed him the sheet that TiVo gives you, but he didn't seem interested in it. He just put the card in and said for me to go to the screen that shows "the cable card stuff." So I did, following the instructions on the sheet I tried to give to him. He called in and had the card activated. I then tried to "Test Channels". I could get all the channels that are considered "basic cable" and the HD versions of those channels (which Charter gives us for free). Any channel that I actually pay extra money for (a tier channel), however was just a black screen.

    At this point the tech started to pack up, I asked about the black screen and I was told that it takes from 45 minutes to an hour for the cable card to download the information it needs to be able to view those channels. I tried to get him to stay, but he wasn't going to do so.

    I tried to call Charter some 3 hours later, letting them know I was experiencing a problem, but the lady on the phone told me that the area I was in was experiencing an "outage" and she could not schedule a technician because of it. I told her I had another cable box and TV in the house that wasn't having any issues, and I wasn't experiencing an outage, and she said all she could do was send me a signal, which would take 10 to 15 minutes to get to me, and she couldn't stay on the phone during that time. That didn't work either.

    My wife found this forum last night and I tried a lot of the suggestions I read, like re-doing the Getting Started wizard while pulling out and reinserting the cable card, I've tried rebooting the TiVo several times, which hasn't fixed it.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction here?
     
  8. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,058
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    Your card was not paired correctly. This is why you do not receive any premium channels. Don't believe the BS about having to wait 45 minutes for the channels to appear. If they don't appear a minute after he calls in the pairing info, then it will not work. Also, sending a signal to the cablecard is instant. A few times I had issues and went through the automated system to send a hit to the card and it happened withing a few seconds.

    I have had a card re-paired over the phone one time but other times was not successful in getting anyone to try it. I would call and request a senior tech/cablecard expert come out and try to fix the issue. Tell them if a regular tech comes you will not let them in your house because it will be a waste of time. If you get someone who knows what they are doing, they will fix this problem in less than 5 minutes. Technically you can do it over the phone but it is hard to get a hold of someone that knows how to do it.
     
  9. gilg2009

    gilg2009 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2009
    Is the pairing process the same thing as them sending a "cold initialization" signal?
     
  10. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,058
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    That would be part of the process. However, if they do not have the correct serial number, then the whole init process will not accomplish anything. AFAIK, Charter doesn't use anything but the serial numbers to initialize a cablecard. So make sure they have this number entered correctly on your account. If the card is setup right, any tiers you have or you add later on are automatically updated on the card. So it is rarely an issue with your account setup regarding what you are subscribed to, but just an issue with initializing the card.
     
  11. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

    276
    0
    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    That's mostly correct, assuming of course they do the right back-end programming to enable the tiers on the cable card that was added.

    I've run into issues with three out of five CableCard installs, and it's all been back-end programming issues that was the cause of the problem. The last time I ran into an issue, they did the standard "wait an hour and the channels will all shows up", which I did give them, though I had some channels for one tier not work. They set up a truck roll to send out a tech with a new card and he figured out the issue was due to the card not having the HD Ultra Tier enabled for that card. The back-end programming they're supposed to do after the CableCard is paired correctly is to enable all of your tiers for that device, so that you can get all of the channels on it. They do this so if you had kids with a TV in their room and you didn't want the movie channels usable on that cable box, they won't be able to see them if the channels aren't enabled on that box.

    gilig2009, I'd have Charter re-pair the card again, and have them make sure that all of the tiers you're supposed to get are on the card. Check all of the channels from 100 up to the last digital channel you're supposed to get and if you don't have them all, call Charter back to fix it. Since the CableCard didn't work correctly after the tech went on-site, call Charter and ask them to credit back the $29.99 install charge because it wasn't done correctly for the install. Make sure you tell the rep that you had no issue with the CableCard install by the tech, which is sounds like you didn't, but the back-end programming was all screwed up, so you didn't have working service when the tech was done with his work. They may complain about not giving you the credit, though if it's not working after the tech leaves, you shouldn't have to pay for the install.
     
  12. gilg2009

    gilg2009 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2009
    Apparently, all I needed to do was have them send the "cold initialization" signal. Now its working great! They did have to taylor the signal so that it was configured for the channels I receive, but those two words was all the CSR needed to hear.
     
  13. ethicalpaul

    ethicalpaul New Member

    7
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    Jan 14, 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Check out this crazy info: I heard today from my charter tier 2 tech support lady that Charter is doing away with cablecards in order to move to some new system where they only send the channel(s) you are currently watching (in order to save bandwidth).

    She explained that with the cablecards they have to send all the channels down the wire to be available for the cards/tivo to receive and that's just "too much bandwidth". The new system would be something like ondemand, but they only send downstream the program that your box says you are currently watching.

    So she claimed they were getting rid of the card system and that I should receive a letter informing me of this.

    I told her the FCC would be interested to hear about this plan.

    Has anyone heard this line yet?
     
  14. pops_porter

    pops_porter New Member

    125
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    Sep 26, 2005
    Minnesota
    Yes, paul. There are some threads about it, but it's called SDV and some companies have left their Tivo users out to dry without the ability for the Tivo to change the channel, but it sounds like Charter is doing a decent job in the places they've started using SDV. They've sent letters and supplied the device to go on the back of the Tivo to allow the Tivo to change channels with the new SDV format.
     
  15. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,058
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    Tech support at Charter has no clue so don't listen to anything they say. SDV is being implemented by Charter. However, tuning adapters are being made available for free to any TiVo Series3 users so that it works in conjunctions with their cablecards in their TiVos. In no way is Charter dropping support for Cablecards as they are required for the tuning adapters.
     
  16. Sep 3, 2009 #1017 of 1052
    ethicalpaul

    ethicalpaul New Member

    7
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Thanks gang, sorry I missed the existing thread about it.
     
  17. Rickvz

    Rickvz TiVoholic

    261
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    Sep 5, 2000
    Greenville,...
    Here in Greenville, SC Charter added some new channels last month and rearranged all of the channels. I have a TivoHD with an M card (Motorola) and the guide data updated with the new channels but I am not receiving any new channels and the old channels are still coming in on the old channel number on the extended channels. Basic channels below 100 are working fine. For example, 773 is supposed to be AETV-HD but I am picking up ESPN-HD.

    I called and they tried hitting the cable card but that didn't work. I've rerun the Guided Setup several times and there is no change. A tech visit was cancelled once and rescheduled for last Saturday. The tech came out and tried repairing the card. He did talk to "Miss Margaret" (who was the backend person able to get the card working when I bought the unit over a year ago.) Still no change. He said that there was a tech who knew how to fix it but he was off that day so he would email him and get him to come out the next day. Didn't happen. I called on Monday and set up another appointment for today with a supervisor tech requested. I called last night to confirm the appointment (since Charter had not called me) and found out it was cancelled. The original tech called me and came out this morning and tried refreshing the Guide Data (which I have done several times) and it doesn't work. He's coming back this afternoon (at least he said he would) and will bring extra cards to try.

    Just wondered if anyone had any ideas? If I didn't prefer TiVo over other DVRs I would have already cancelled Charter and switched to Dish or DirecTV.
     
  18. rsincavage

    rsincavage New Member

    5
    0
    Oct 6, 2006
    Hi Rickvz..

    I am also in Greenville SC and I too stick with Charter just because I'm addicted to TiVo...

    Anyway, sorry to hear about your problems, I have all of the new channels and they are all coming in correctly. I have three separate cables cards... Two in the TiVo and a third one that is plugged directly into a Mitsubishi Television.. All channels are correct on all cards..

    Regards,
    Rob
     
  19. Rickvz

    Rickvz TiVoholic

    261
    0
    Sep 5, 2000
    Greenville,...
    I am glad to hear that someone here in SC has a working system. The tech came by my house a couple of times this afternoon and is determined to help figure it out. He brought out a Moxi box when he came the last time so that I can at least view programs. When we tried running Guided Setup after installing a new cablecard the TiVo didn't seem to make any progress. It remained on the Preparing stage for 30 or more minutes. He installed the Moxi and will plan to call and set up a time to return Tuesday. If I don't have to speak with Charter phone "support" I will be happy to work through it over several days.

    I unplugged the TiVo and will try rerunning Guided setup and see what happens. Since he's tried three cards now and it is doing the same thing I wonder if there could be something in the TiVo itself causing the issue.
     

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