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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tunnelengineer, Sep 14, 2006.
Hi _ I have a duel cable card in my series 3 dvr- how is this change going to affect me? tia-
NYC users got letters yesterday saying we can pick up tuning adapters starting on June 7 with SDV set to go on June 15. For those in other areas who have already gone through this, did you have to wait until the day of the switchover to install the adapter or were you able to install it prior to D Day without disrupting service? And is there any lag in tuning to a new channel with SDV? I hate to have recordings miss even a few seconds at the beginning so I'm just wondering if I need to add a minute to start times from now on.
Any answers as well as other hints and tips on what to expect is appreciated. Verizon FIOS is supposed to wire my building this summer and although they don't carry some HD channels I do watch, I suspect this SDV will be aggravating enough that I will switch as soon as I can. Until then, persevere.
There is an old and well known (including to TiVo) problem that TA's sometimes fail to tune a channel on the first try. TiVo even published a work-around for this on **one of their support pages** (tune away and then back, once or twice). Obviously this doesn't work for scheduled recordings since it requires operator intervention. I lose several recordings a week (TWC SW Ohio).
When I went searching for the TiVo link given above, I found the tuning failure work-around had been removed and it now states:
That's not true! -- I know this from my own experience and other posters on this forum.
Note this is not the expected occasional SDV "channel temporarily not available" situation. For these tuning failures that message doesn't appear, and unless you do something it will just sit there forever with blank video and no audio. DVR Diagnostics for the channel sometimes will indicate no program lock or no signal lock, and the Recording History in the To Do List will state the program wasn't recorded because the video signal was not available.
Perhaps just an interesting coincidence but the referenced TiVo support page was changed after I recently sent a PM to a certain TiVo employee who reads this forum in which I referenced the page and asked if there was a possibility of a software fix to implement tuning retries automatically.
Yes, I agree. Even with 11.0g and the Cisco TA, my TivoHD still gets the SDV "blank" channel until I use that manual workaround.
Thanks for your responses. What percentage of your total recording would you say is "several times a week"? And can you shed sone light on my other questions about installing the adapter prior to SDV being launched and whether there is lag when the adapter does tune into a channel without any problems. I may be away on launch day so I'd like to know if I can preinstall the adapter do I don't miss recording.
Not looking forward to this at all.
My system had SDV long before I got my HD, CableCARDs and TA so I don't know about installing the TA prior to SDV. My impression is tuning with the TA does have a second or two additional lag time, and it seems to vary from time to time. I think a long range plan to switch to FIOS is a good idea -- wish I had that choice.
Just realized I didn't respond to this. I would say about 10%, however it seems to occur mainly on two specific channels. What I can imagine happening is:
There is some delay between the TiVo requesting a channel frequency from the Cable Co's SDV system and getting the response. In some cases that delay is too long for the TiVo to handle so it mis-tunes the channel. Thus the TiVo software needs to be modified to handle longer delays, or to retry the tuning.
This may be way out in left field. Wouldn't it be nice if someone from TiVo would comment on the correct description of the problem?
I wonder if the Premiere TiVo's have this problem?
Are you able to catch one of these failed recordings 'red handed'... i.e. while the recording (of nothing) is going on? Does the recording log show 'not recorded because video signal not available'? There are a couple things that can be checked while the recording is going on. I would love to see if what you are seeing is the same thing I am seeing. Im building my 'evidence' file
Oh... and relative to Premiere... my friends Premiere does the same thing my S3 does. The SDV Session info (frequency) doesnt match what TiVo tuner is tuned to. That yields Program Lock = NO because the Transport Stream on that frequency doesnt contain the program we are trying to tune.
If you catch one... I would love to see pics of the DVR Diags screens and the TA Diags - SDV SESSION INFO (2 pages). I bet you will see the same thing I do. Unfortunately, I dont see a way to determine whose 'fault' it is... TA or TiVo. However, TiVo could easily fix it... Just detect 10 sec of Program Lock = NO and do a simple retune... it should be that simple.
I caught one just recently. The recording log stated what you said. The program lock and tuning lock were "No". However, I've had other cases where it recorded the full scheduled program length with blank video and audio. In those cases I didn't catch it in the act, so don't know what DVR Diagnostics said.
Let me know what specific DVR Diagnostic info you want for the next time I catch one.
EDIT: I will try to get screen photos as you request.
Just to follow up, the TWC Supervisor and Tech showed up and basically worked from the street to the house checking and cleaning up the wiring connections. Then they replaced their old splitter with a new 9-way balancing splitter. That pretty much has cleared things up. I haven't seen a single glitch in over a week. Interesting the every other tech had said the signal levels were fine when they'd run checks (and even the diags on the TiVo's had looked in line with ranges posted here). I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I still have issues with the POS Panasonic STBs just plain missing an IR command now and then (I think even when they don't go to the "Press Any Key To Continue" screen, they still "go to sleep" a little and can't respond to the first digit sent in a channel change - too bad they won't take 4-digit channel numbers since that would fix that as loosing the leading zero wouldn't matter).
Glad to hear they got you straigtened up.
Is this the amp they used?
Yep. I couldn't remember the name of it until you posted or I would have mentioned it. The tech was surprised when the supervisor said to install one AND had several on his truck. I guess that's another perk of being a supervisor along with actually being able to get cable cards.
And come to think of it, there was ONE glitch. One night I was watching SciHD and then headed up to bed. When I turned the TV on in the bedroom, I couldn't get anything on that channel - it was black. I tried the various TA mis-tune fixes (switching tuners, tuning up and down, etc.) and no luck. It wasn't a SDV issue since I never got the channel unavailable banner. But it was during the first batch of t-storms we got and our power had just flickered (this TiVo/SA are on a UPS) so I had to wonder if something upstream might have had a hickup with a storm. Every other SDV channel I could think of in the 200's came in so I put on Discovery HD for background noise and went to sleep. Everything was fine in the morning.
Can any other TWC subscribers from other parts of the country who have already been through this dreaded SDV/TA process comment on whether it was a simple process or a huge pain in the @%&? um I mean neck...
Do you need any additional cables other than whatever TWC gives you when you pick up the TA? thanks.
Here, all the needed cables were provided by TWC. The coax that went between the TA and the TiVo was poor quality and many of us didnt use it. However, I heard that TWC improved this cable to eliminate this problem. TA's have been relatively painless for me. Some areas of the country are having some issues though... reboots, losing authorization etc.
They gave me one of the 4 port versions to play with back when I was fighting the SDV pixelation issue. I never used it. The 9 port is sweet.. unity gain upstream and downstream.
Sounds like the channel you were trying to tune may have dropped offline...
It may be different for you, but shortly after deploying TA's in our area TWC started copy protecting everything but locals. I'm all SD now as a result since I value MRV more than HD.
Didn't see this when I did my last post. Sorry - check out my issue:
Time Warner Cable apparently doesn't let you pay advertised rates if you DON'T take and pay for their standard cable box equipment (ie, if you are a Tivo user). And it took 8 grueling hours of technician and customer service and my own time to figure this out.
I am ready to pull my hair out. Help me out, fellow Tivo lovers!
I can't link to my full story on my blog because I'm a bit of a new user in the forum - but it's pooptalk dot wordpress dot com.
Please don't hold it against me, mods, this is a serious issue!
Well TWC Austin has finally joined the rest of their evil brethren and they have officially killed the QAM OTA channels in the Tivo programming data. All three of my Tivo have a message today telling me that 9 channels in the 1500 range have been deleted. All were QAM versions of the local OTA channels. This is not as big a deal as it could have been, because the channels have not worked for over a year. Back then TWC did something at their headend that killed the signal on these channels. All of our season passes were built on the QAMs because I did not have a good antenna at the time and they were reliable. We came home one night to find all of our HD shows were not recorded. The PGD was still there, but only a black screen instead of picture was displayed. I contacted Tivo and they did nothing. I contacted TWC and they said it was Tivo.
I guess TWC finally got around to notifying Tivo that the channels were dead. It's too bad really, it was very convenient and the picture quality was really good.
Oh well, little guy loses again.
While I'm neither in NYC, nor on the exact same sort of plan you are... I have one of their advertised rates, without the need for a cable box. Of course, given that each of their various regional operations run differently, this may not be able to help you much.
I just had a tuning failure on an SDV channel -- not a recording failure, just failure to tune manually. All tuner diags were good except no Signal or Program locks. The frequency assigned in Tuning Adapter Diagnostics, Session Info matched the frequency in DVR diagnositics. It took two manual re-tunes to bring it in. I forgot to check PID's. Are there PID's in the TA diagnostics that can be compared to those in DVR Diagnostics?