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Help with Cisco STA 1520

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by willard, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    I am having problems with Brighthouse Indianapolis and the Cisco STA 1520 Tuning Adapter. I have tried seaarching but havent been able to find anything that sheds light on my problems. I have tried all the usual Tivo and adapter reboots. The Brighthouse Tech insists it should be working. If anyone can shed any light on what could be wrong I would appreciate it. Here are the symptoms/ things I have noticed:

    -When I reboot the Tuning Adapter, it starts off solid, blinks (apparently) randomnly about six times and then switches itself off. Every time without fail.

    - When I switch the TA back on after it has switched itself off, it starts off blinking steadily and eventually falls into an 8 blink pause pattern. Strangely enough when it is blinking in either of these ways the power switch on the front doesnt function and the only way to reboot it is to pull the power plug.

    -Although the TA status summary screen says that it is READY (rather than READY-Bcast Only) indicating it is functioning in two way mode, when I go to the Tuning Resolver section on page 2 of the diagnostics menu it says Authorized:No and either status:Initializing when blinking steadily or Status:disabled when it is doing the eight blink pause pattern.

    Brighthouse and the Tech I am dealing with tell me it is correctly provisioned etc.

    Does anyone know what Brighthouse needs to do to 'authorize' the tuning adapter?

    Thanks in adance for any help.
     
  2. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Authorized should be 'Yes'

    Its not set up right in their system or it cant talk back to the node. What is the 'RDC' signal strength on the second page of status summary. Should be in the 40's dBmV (or thereabouts)
     
  3. BigBearf

    BigBearf New Member

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    Aug 17, 2005
    @Willard

    This is what my TA was doing and what I had to do was make sure that the TA was turned on by pushing the button on the front of the tuning adapter. It is not clearly marked. When you do this you should see the accessing channels screen and then things should be OK.

    Hope this helps.
    bigbearf
     
  4. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    RDC Signal Strength is 45 dbmv. So even though I have no idea what that means... I am guessing it is not the problem :(

    The tech swears that in their system: the TA serial number is correct. The TA mac address is correct (The RF one right?) and the rate code for my digital cable package is correct.

    They also loaded the TAR file which is substantiated by the fact the TA is READY and operating in two way mode.

    So why the heck isnt it authorizing!!! :mad::mad::mad:

    He doesnt know what else to do. I think Im going to have to ditch Tivo. I feel like I am watching brain surgery being performed with a chainsaw :(:(
     
  5. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    At this point, the problem has nothing to do with TiVo and everything to do with the cableco. It may be ready and operating in 2-way but it isnt authorized so it hasnt received the EMM's needed to turn it on. Sounds like they need to call another BH (like Orlando) which has TA's running successfully and get some help. If its in 2-way then they can completely debug this remotely since they can see and talk to the TA. Dont give up :D (I know... easy for me to say...)

    Oh... and the RDC is telling how much power the TA is having to use to talk back to the node. If that number was very high (mid 50's) then the issue may have been that 2way could not be established... however, you have just said that they are confirming 2way is working and they can see and talk to the TA.
     
  6. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    :(
    Thanks for the information and encouragement.

    I dont know if this has any significance but... when the tech hooked up the TA for the very fist time the 'acquiring channels' screen came up and the light on the front of the TA DID eventually turn solid green. However, he could not get the TA to operate in Two way mode (READY instead of READY-Bcast Only in the Diagnostics Summary Screen) and dispatch could not see or communicate with the TA. The Tech went to the head end and determined that the TAR file had never been loaded into the system for my TA or any of the most recent batch of TA's they had received. He called me back when the headend had loaded the TAR file and told me I should be good to go. When I get home the light on the TA is solid green and when I check the diagnostics summary screen the status is READY (i.e. two way mode). Everything looked good except that I WASNT getting half of the SDV channels. So I rebooted the TIVO. No change, still not getting half the channels. So I reboot the TIVO and the TA (pull power cord) and after that the TA has never 'locked on' again :( And the acquiring channels screen has never shown up again, even when the Tivo displays the 'tuning adapter' recognition screen. Isnt the TA supposed to 'acquire channels' every time it is booted???

    Diagnostics Boot and Post screen shows everything ready and tuned except PowerKEY: Waiting EMM. Tuning Resolver diagnostics screen shows Authorized: No Status: Disabled.

    Back on Wednesday when the Tech fdetermined the TAR file wasnt loaded he told me his 'plan B' was that if he couldnt get my TA from the recent bactch to work he had one TA left from the previous batch which should work as he had installed the entire batch and got them working (one way or the other). However when he came out yesterday I asked about the replacement and he had 'used it' that day on another TA install because he couldnt get any of the TA's from the new batch to work. Just my freaking luck

    Incidentally the Tech was out again yesterday (briefly) and he called dispatch and requested a 'factory reset' hit. Except the TA never received it... or the one sent after that... what the heck is that about!?!
     
  7. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Unfortunately I never get the 'acquiring channels' screen when I press the power button following a reboot. The 'found tuning adapter' screen pops up from the TIVO when I press the power button on the TA but never 'acquiring channels'

    This is probably significant somehow.... but at this point it looks like Its going to take someone with more know how than me or the tech or brighthouse Indianapolis for that matter to figure it out.
     
  8. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The screen isnt that important... look at the bottom of DVR Diags in the TA section and see if TiVo says it has received a channel list. The last three items tell the tale.
     
  9. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    UPDATE:

    I just got a call from the tech to tell me the head end had sent a staging/provisioning hit. So I went home at lunch and found the green light on the front of the TA was off instead of blinking. Once I pressed the power button it came on solid green. I checked the TA diagnostics and powerkey was ready, status was authorized and opstatus was ready. I had to disconnect the usb cable and power cycle the tivo to get the tivo to redetect the TA and download a channel map. But I am finally up and running (for now).

    Interestingly enough, the TA installation and troubleshooting progressed almost exactly the same way as my cablecard installation and trouble shooting 2 years ago: Cableco screws up provisioning and installation, waste 2+ days of my time rebooting disconnecting sending balancing hits etc. I email or Pm cableguy who tells me the device needs a staging/provisioning hit from the head end. Once I finally convince a tech this is what is needed then the hit is sent and the device works.

    Oh well. At least I am up and running... finally :)
     
  10. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Congrats Willard!! Welcome to SDV!! :D
     
  11. BigBearf

    BigBearf New Member

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    Aug 17, 2005
    @Willard

    Glad you got it. I had the same problem over Thanksgiving and emailed L3 support person in Wilmington NC and he sent a hit while we went out to eat and then I had to cut on the power button just as you did.
    Try not to give up on the Tivo HD, it is way better than the TWC DVR. I have only had the one problems in over a year but I have found that only the Cablecard techies really know how to troubleshoot any problems.

    bigbearf
     
  12. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Thanks for everyones help. Especially Cableguy763. He saved the cableco and Tivo from losing me as customer once again.

    I do have one more question if anyone can answer it... is it normal that when I go to the TA diagnostics and select to test the channels with the cablecard that the test cycles through all the SDV channels, including those that I do not subscribe to (which are blanks screens) such as Showtime?

    The Tivo guide does not show these premium channels that I do not subscribe to so why does the test cycle through them and show them as blank screens?

    Also, does anyone know if it is ok to run the coax cable feed through a rf surge protector prior to the input on the TA? The cable tech told me it was not required because the cable feed is grounded outside. However, I would rather be safe than sorry. Especially as the Tivo is my hardware vs a rented cable co DVR? But then again, I do not want to risk screwing up the TA and whatever black magic vodo that is keeping the green light lit solid.
     
  13. willard

    willard New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Figured I would post an update in case it can help others in the future...

    Feeding the TA through the RF surge protector did not work reliably; occasionally the TA would fail to tune an SDV channel.

    What did work however was splitting the coax cable feed at the outlet with a high quality (2ghz monster) splitter and feeding the Tivo through the surge protector and the TA directly. Strangely enough, the picture comes in quicker when tuning to an SDV channel with this arrangement than it did when the tivo was fed through the TA. I feel a lot happier knowing that the only unprotected surge path to the Tivo is via the coax into the TA and from the TA to the USB of the TIvo. Hopefully this will protect it from all but a surge so strong it arcs internally inside the TA (if that is even possible)

    Obviously there is some signal strength loss due to the splitter but so far that does not appear to be causing any issues. Then again when the tech checked my signal strength at the outlet he said it was 'as good as it gets' so I guess I have a strong signal that can take being split. So there is no guarantee this will definitely work for weaker or marginal signals.

    Touch wood, so far I am enjoying watching all the SDV HD channels, fingers crossed it stays that way. The only down side is I may have to upgrade my Tivos HD or purchase a DVR expander to have enough room to record all this new HD goodness :)
     
  14. RichO

    RichO New Member

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    Dec 29, 2004
    Well, to resurrect an old thread, I am having the exact same problem as described in this thread.

    The only difference is that my TA was working prior to this. I received it a week ago and it worked fine right off the bat. Exactly one week later I am suddenly having this problem.

    I don't follow how this problem got fixed. What is a staging/provisioning hit?
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Can you get into Tuning Adapter Diagnostics? If so go into PowerKEY Information and to the third page in that section. What is the "Sub Expires" date? Ideally it should be several weeks into the future. If the date is past or it says "Expired" or some other suspicious thing, your TA is not autrhoirzed. (I don't know whether that is the same as "staging/provisioning") But I do know the head end has to send a signal to authorize it or it won't work. On my TWC system, and others, all the customer rep has to do is go to the "Customer Balancing" screen and hit the Enter key to accomplish this (unless they don't have your account set up properly -- which is not that unusual). Several times I have actually instructed the rep to do this (!!!) thus avoiding the truck roll they are so eager to give you since it shifts responsibility from them.
     
  16. RichO

    RichO New Member

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    Dec 29, 2004
    dlfl, you are the man!

    It showed as expired so I called cable card support and explained everything to them that you outlined in your post and they got it working.

    Thanks a million!
     
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Your welcome! I give that advice frequently and on rare occasions it helps someone. ;) Isn't it bizarre when customers have to tell customer support how to fix a problem? They just don't love us, I think -- probably because we're less than 1% of their customers and they only make money on VOD and PPV (so they claim, anyway).
     
  18. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    I had Time Warner Cable but got rid of the cable and phone service in September 2014 and had to turn in all of my equipment including my cable cards and the STA1520.

    I know this is an old thread but I just happened to come across a brand new Cisco STA1520 from off of eBay a few weeks ago. I had a few issues with connecting the cables to the right areas since I wasn't expecting to get a TA. When I finally got it right I accidentally hit the power button while trying to reposition my Tivo and ever since I did that I started getting 8 blinking lights.
    I've unplugged and replugged this thing and it keeps blinking 8 times and then it will stop.

    I called Time Warner because it's their equipment but in order for me to get the update I would have to get TV service with them. These little cheapskates won't even update my Tivo because I cut them off.

    I tried to find a firmware update over the net but had no success.

    I have no cable service just free TV and no cable cards.

    When I had the TA from TWC I was able to get a lot of channels before I sucked it up and got cable cards.

    Is there a way that I can get this fixed w/o needing to resign up for TV service through TWC? I don't mean to post this here but I haven't been able to find any help anywhere else.
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
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    Jul 6, 2006
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    I can't imagine how you would expect to get any digital cable channels without a CableCARD (and without a cable TV subscription).
     
  20. D_vadout

    D_vadout New Member

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    Apr 14, 2014
    As a matter of fact my apartment complex uses Time Warner Cable so I'm able to get basic channels. With my Tivo I get more. With my tuning adapter I'm able to get more than the basic channels so yeah I can get TV without a cable card and cable subscription.

    There is a such thing called basic TV. It's been around way before cable entered the picture.
     

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