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Cox Phoenix Channel Loss (Multiple times a day since cablecard firmware upgrade)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BrianAZ, Jul 16, 2008.

Is this problem resolved?

Poll closed Sep 2, 2008.
  1. Yep - no more partials!! :)

    88.2%
  2. Nope - still seeing partial recordings :(

    11.8%
  1. Jul 16, 2008 #1 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

    386
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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    Since the Cox CableCard thread has grown to 53 pages, ~1565 posts and covers everything under the sun Cox-related, I thought I'd start a specific thread for the significant issue being experienced by (what appears to be) the entire Cox-Phoenix/Tucson TivoHD user base.

    While this would be a significant issue at any time, for anyone, it is especially critical given the frequency with which recordings are lost (I lost 7 recordings yesterday alone) and with the Olympics just around the corner.

    My hope is to use this thread to focus on this specific problem and provide a location for us to discuss without being obscured by other topics (i.e. SDV rollout). I also am hopeful that Tivo's reps will provide us periodic updates on the situation as well.


    Description of issue:

    History​

    Prior to the most recent CableCard firmware upgrade, our cablecards/Tivos had two issues related to this problem:
    1. Periodic (~ once a week) loss of encrypted channels (HD locals revert to SD). The Tivo software recognizes this and reset the cards so future recordings are not impacted.
    2. Periodic (~ once a month) situation where the channel loss problem was not resolved automatically by the Tivo or by restarting. I'll refer to this as the SubExpireTime issue.
    Current

    Since the CableCard firmware upgrade to 301, the SubExpireTime issue appears to be resolved (excellent! no more truck rolls or badgering CS to get a supervisor to unpair, repair, refresh to fix). However, the loss of channels problem was not resolved. In fact, it is now exponentially worse.

    What used to happen once a week, now happens numerous times a day (maybe 4-7). Because of this, it is being felt by a far wider userbase. If you're not watching Tivo when the issue happens but were recording, you'll notice that you have partial recordings of varying lengths. If you are watching, you'll see a "161-38" error message pop up on the screen. This is the Tivo workaround resetting the CableCard. After a few moments you'll have your channels back but your recordings are stopped. ​



    Latest update from Tivo on the issue (as of week of 7/7):

    I (and several others) have reported the issue to Tivo and Cox. TivoJerry has confirmed the issue and that Tivo has advised Cox and Cisco. He also mentioned that he has hope that prior work between the three companies on a similar problem in Las Vegas will expidite the diagnosis and remediation here in Phoenix. He also notes that everyone at Tivo is committed to helping figure this out.

    Latest update from Tivo on the issue (as of week of 8/11):
    Tivo, Cox and Cisco are all apparently in Phoenix working on the issue. There are various tests underway and we have been advised that the appropriate level of attention is being paid to this issue. In recent days, some folks have indicated that they are losing less recordings, but the problem is still happening frequently (usually a few times per day). The Olympics are now upon us and we're missing them.

    Latest update - 8/27
    A firmware fix has been deployed and appears to be working as intended. Thanks to everyone on this thread for making your voices heard and finally forcing Tivo, Cox & Cisco to treat this with the urgency required.
    :up::up::up:



    - Brian
     
  2. Jul 16, 2008 #2 of 614
    AZrob

    AZrob Member

    244
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    Mar 31, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    THANK YOU for starting this thread, Brian. The issue deserves a higher profile than being buried in the Cox thread.

    Two observations:

    • The original problem was associated with M-cards. Since S3 units, AFAIK, still cannot use M-cards, they are probably not affected by the current snafu. But if there are any S3 users out there who are being affected by the 161-38 partial recording problem, please speak up.

    • The original problem was also associated only with the encrypted channels. Non-encrypted channels (2-21 and 701-715) were not being dropped. AFAIK, this is still the case, but again if anybody knows something to the contrary, please chime in.
    Rob
     
  3. Jul 16, 2008 #3 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    Excellent points Rob (though I think S3 can use two MCards?).

    One addition to your second item about which channels are impacted: While the local HD stations are not dropped/lost, they revert back to SD content during the issue. I've not experienced this problem while recording one of these channels, so I'm not sure what happens to the recordings. Are they broken or does it continue recording SD and then switches back to HD when the card has reset?
     
  4. Jul 16, 2008 #4 of 614
    jkovach

    jkovach TiVoing since 1999!

    266
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    Feb 17, 2000
    Gilbert, AZ USA
    I live in Gilbert (San Tan Ranch, Pecos & Higley), and was experiencing the same problem. From July 1-10 or so, the Tivo HD was virtually unusuable. Couldn't go more than 10 minutes without losing channels.

    Due to my work schedule, I didn't bother reporting the problem. Wouldn't have been able to be home to let a tech check things out. Since I heard the problem was widespread, I let it ride. I did give my TSN to TivoJerry though.

    It's now been 5 or 6 days since I've had any trouble.

    Jeff
     
  5. Jul 16, 2008 #5 of 614
    djwilso

    djwilso Member

    588
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    Dec 23, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have an S3 and am using two S-cards. Starting July 1 2008, I was experiencing very long channel change times where the picture would go black for up to a minute and then finally come in. The problem seemed much worse for encrypted channels but was present for all channels.

    I did not experience the firmware upgrade loop issue since I don't have M-cards, although I believe that the S3 can use two M-cards.

    During this time, I did not experience dropped recordings (thankfully).

    This lasted for several days and has since completely cleared up, which I'm very grateful for.

    - Dennis
     
  6. Jul 16, 2008 #6 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    I've found that whether you feel impact or not really just depends on what you have scheduled to record on a given day and it's really a roll of the dice if the issue will happen during those timeslots (or while you happen to be watching but not recording). I have a wishlist which basically records all HD Documentarys, so my Tivo is recording frequently. May result in my seeing it more often.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2008 #7 of 614
    Rolow

    Rolow New Member

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    Jun 1, 2004
    Peoria,AZ
    BrianAZ yesterday was bad for me to I lost 3-4 recordings. Today I haven't had any problems yet.
    Does any one know if 9.4 will help us out? I don't think it will but you never know.

    Also the current problem will tune both tuners to the same channel. So if you have not been using your tivo and you had nothing scheduled to record you can tell if there was a error while you where gone by checking to see if both tuners are on the same channel.
     
  8. Jul 16, 2008 #8 of 614
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

    163
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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    I can personally vouch that recordings on channels 705 and 715 have been getting interrupted since the firmware upgrade. My wife has complained several times that her soaps on 705 have been partial recordings. And we missed Wipeout on 715 last week due to a partial recording. And the 161-38 cablecard errors are a multiple time per day occurence.

    So these channels are NOT immune from the problem.

    Also, got 9.4 last night, and we are still getting cablecard errors today, so it didn't address the problem.
     
  9. Jul 16, 2008 #9 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

    386
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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    This will require a cisco cablecard firmware update unless tivo has some magic up their sleeve i'm not aware of.
     
  10. Jul 16, 2008 #10 of 614
    nightdesigns

    nightdesigns New Member

    41
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    Mar 3, 2003
    Surprise, AZ
    I too had the problems from about the 1st through the 10th. Since then I haven't had issues, but I was told that they rolled back the SDV roll-out due to the issues (Also go the letter from cox saying that they were delaying the launch of new HD channels).

    I do worry though that at some point they'll have to roll out SDV once again and the issues may come back.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2008 #11 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    I don't believe SDV is related. The v301 firmware update (which was done in an attempt to fix an existing issue, not support SDV) hit my Tivo 3 days before July 1 and the problems began immediately. Unfortunately it's likely just coincidence that you've not encountered the issue recently.
     
  12. Jul 16, 2008 #12 of 614
    Darlbach

    Darlbach New Member

    2
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    Feb 20, 2005
    I've had the firmware upgrade loop problem, lost channels and dropped recordings since the first of the month - thankfully I was on vacation for the 1st week so I didn't notice it.......until I returned home and half my scheduled recordings never showed up.

    My frustration is with Cox Technical Support(?) Calls to the support desk are met with either non-responsiveness or a total lack of any understanding as to what a cablecard even is. Wouldn't it be nice if they just sent out a notice to all their telephone techs that said, "Hey, we really don't know what the problem is, but there IS a problem, sit tight 'cause we're working on it."? I wonder how many TIVO HD users out there don't check forums like these to find out that they are not alone.

    Sad truth is, what is Cox's incentive to find a solution to the problem? Eventually TIVO users will get so frustrated with the issue that they'll turn back to the inferior interface and overall quality of those stupid Scientific Atlanta units.

    We're all Charlie Browns and Cox is the Lucy pulling the football just as we're ready to kick........AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!
     
  13. Jul 17, 2008 #13 of 614
    nightdesigns

    nightdesigns New Member

    41
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    Mar 3, 2003
    Surprise, AZ
    The firmware update was done in anticipation of the SDV release. The cablecards needed to be updated to work properly with SDV.
     
  14. Jul 17, 2008 #14 of 614
    nicemann

    nicemann New Member

    18
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    May 4, 2006
    Well can't speak for anyone but myself, but their tech support has ticked me off so much, I have DirecTV coming out on Saturday to install two HD DVRs. I know it won't be my TiVo HD....but at least it will hopefully record what I tell it to do. Also will get many more HD channels and won't have to worry about SDV. Sucks because I have been using TiVo boxes for the last 11 years.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2008 #15 of 614
    jkovach

    jkovach TiVoing since 1999!

    266
    6
    Feb 17, 2000
    Gilbert, AZ USA
    Trust me, if the problem was still occuring where I live, I would know. I have many wishlists and record lots of content. For me, the problem has been resolved.

    Jeff
     
  16. Jul 17, 2008 #16 of 614
    BrianAZ

    BrianAZ Back on the wagon

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Chandler, Az
    I wonder if it has something to do with how the cablecards are programmed to work with various pieces of Cable Co. equipment. Possibly your area's setup is different in some way than others.
     
  17. Jul 17, 2008 #17 of 614
    YazooWho

    YazooWho New Member

    323
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    Sep 30, 2004
    Gilbert, AZ
    All,

    I can tell you this.. Tivo is working actively with both SA and Cox to get this mess resolved asap.

    The cc upgrade that was rolled out was to fix the missing channels issue. It was in development long before the sdv rollout. The missing channels was partialy solved but other issues had surfaced.

    The partials recordings are likely from the Tivo rebooting the cc internally. When this problem first came about, the only way to reboot the cc was the actually restart the Tivo unit. They have since fixed it, that if a cc error is detected, the cc will reboot intenally without a restart of the Tivo. This a temporary fix until the actual cc issue has been fixed.

    Hope this clears some things up.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2008 #18 of 614
    yroca

    yroca New Member

    48
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    Dec 6, 2004
    Add me to the list. Have been seeing various 161-xx errors. Some days are definitely worse than others. Has been better lately, but still have 2 partial recordings from the last week.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2008 #19 of 614
    craigo

    craigo Broncos Fan

    431
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    Apr 6, 2004
    Mesa, AZ
    I'll go ahead and chime in.

    I live in Mesa and have a S3 with 2 S-cards. I have absolutely no issues other than an audio/video skip once I tune into a channel. Not really a big problem for me. I think this has more to do with the HDMI connection. I used to have 2 M-cards and would lose channels just like everybody else.

    My father lives in Scottsdale and has a TivoHD with 2 S-cards. From July 1st - 7th, most of his channels would freeze. No losing channels, but would just take about 2 minutes to load. Cox (3rd party) came out and really didn't do anything except increase his signal. The tech only had M-cards with him and advised him not to switch. Last week he called back and a Cox (actual employee) came out and changed out his cards, again with 2 S-cards. Yes, they are now in stock again (at least with technicians employed by Cox). He is having no issues.

    Given this, I absolutely believe that it is a M-Card issue. Probably wouldn't hurt to swap your cards out with S-cards until this issue is over. YMMV
     
  20. Jul 17, 2008 #20 of 614
    carl67lp

    carl67lp New Member

    4
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    Jul 6, 2001
    Mesa, Arizona
    Thought I'd jump in here with a question. With the flurry of difficulties I've been seeing, is it wise to even purchase a TiVo HD right now? I was considering taking advantage of their refurbished models (and my wife seems to be excited to do so), but if we can't use them properly then I don't want to pull the trigger.

    Should I wait, and hope the refurbs remain in stock? Or is the problem not as severe as most seem to make it out to be?

    I'm also concerned about the SDV issue (although perhaps that's best left to its own thread). When SDV rolls out, will the TiVo HD be completely unusable until the Tuner Adapter arrives?
     

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