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Official TiVo HD thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by MickeS, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Unix_Beard

    Unix_Beard New Member

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    Dec 22, 2003
    I just hooked up my new box. I popped the CableCard I had in my TV into the Tivo. I was surprised that it worked! I didn't even have to call the cable company. I thought it was paired with the TV.

    Oh well, I'll have to pick up a 2nd CableCard tomorrow. For now, it works great!

    One bummer. Once you install the CableCard, it tells you to run Guided Setup again or it won't work right. When I try to run Guided Setup, it says its unavailable because the Tivo is currently connecting to the Tivo Service - Try Again Later.
     
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Your area likely hasn't turned on the copy protection system yet. If that is turned on (something you may not get warning of), the pairing information becomes relevant and channels with non-zero CCI will have problems. Channels with non-zero CCI tend to be premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. but the cable companies aren't always consistent and sometimes those channels have CCI=0. If it hasn't been turned on the behavior will be as you noticed and you can move CableCARDs around to different units with no immediate ill effects.
     
  3. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    After tuning to one of these problem channels what do you see when you go to Diagnostics and look at PID entries? i.e.
    TiVo Central->Messages&Settings->Accnt and System Info->Diagnostics
    Look for PID entries. The PCR and Video numbers need to match up for the channel to properly display on the Tivo. If these numbers don't match there is your problem. Check the numbers when the screen is black and again after your workaround fix of using signal meter to see if they then match up. In an older thread someone had this issue and managed to get hold of someone technical at his headend to get the problem resolved (by a headend fix).
     
  4. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
  5. megory

    megory Advanced TiVoOligan

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    Jan 22, 2003
    BH, South...
    I see. There are some condo complexes here that do that.

    Us? We deal with Bright House. I figure there will be lots of input from others.

    Thanks for all your info mega!
     
  6. megory

    megory Advanced TiVoOligan

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    Jan 22, 2003
    BH, South...
    I'm still on the fence wondering if it's best to cancel my present contract before the end of my month or to keep it and transfer it. I have been told to buy elsewhere and transfer. But I don't understand why keeping the present (new) 3-year contract is better than canceling and then getting new service on the new tivo?
     
  7. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    It's not, other than having to call TiVo to cancel.
     
  8. clark_kent

    clark_kent Member

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    May 6, 2007
    moyejk: thanks for that post.

    when I have a “black” screen on a QAM channel, the PCR, aPID and vPID are all showing a “-“ mark. After the “signal strength” test, the PCR and vPID are the same but the aPID is different. In one case the PCR/vPID was 69 and aPID was 72 while in another case the PCR/vPID was 74 and the aPID was 75. So, what light does that shed on what may be going on? Thanks.
     
  9. megory

    megory Advanced TiVoOligan

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    Jan 22, 2003
    BH, South...
    Thanks! I've been wondering if there was something I had missed in the contract.
     
  10. msgreenf

    msgreenf New Member

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    Sep 5, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    Wow...the Tivo HD is great. I had a DirecTV tivo for a year, went to cable tv dvr and now back to Tivo and I couldn't be happier!
     
  11. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Try getting rid of any splitters and see if that makes a difference.
     
  12. sampai

    sampai New Member

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    Mar 18, 2007
    I ordered my TiVo HD from Bes tBuy's web site on Wednesday, and UPS delivered it on Friday (yesterday.) I had it up and running in a couple of hours.

    Details

    Cablecards
    Before my TiVo arrived, I went down to my local Comcast office in Redmond, WA, and picked up two cards. The rep didn't bat an eyelid. Redmond is home to Microsoft; so there must be lots of geeks like me asking for cablecards.

    After my TiVo arrived, I followed the instructions and called Comcast when it was time to activate the cards. The rep had it done within 5 minutes.

    I'm currently splitting my coax cable outlet between my TiVo and my cable DVR. Once I'm happy that the TiVo is working correctly, I'll return the DVR to Comcast and ask them to take off the $11 monthly DVR fee.

    Network
    I got network error 24 when trying to hook up my TiVo to my home LAN. Easily fixed by assigning TiVo an IP address, rather than asking it to get one automatically.

    Summary
    It took a few hours to get TiVo set up just right. The longest steps were updating the software and guide ("connect to the TiVo service") and setting up my 40 season passes exactly right.

    TiVo now works great. My only complaint is that there's some screen lag when acting on commands, but that's still a vast improvement over my Comcast DVR.
     
  13. vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    The discussion of model S3a was purely theoretical. I was just saying that it MIGHT have been possible to do a production line fix, not that it was possible or that it had been done. The fact that a newly purchased, and therefore theoretically a recently manufactured, S3 has this problem indicate that it probably has not been addressed as you indicate.

    As a programmer, I agree that this is probably reasonably easy to fix, but the code may or may not take a short amount of time to design and write. There may be some related code that has to be overhauled to support this. This code may require a set of code for units using cablecard, a set of code for those with this problem, and maybe even a set of code for those without a cablecard, but the cable company populates the virtual channel table with the same channel numbers that their STB's use. This assumes no goose egg number. Different channel numbers from different tuners is problematic, but if one assumes that the only two possible channels numbers available to a clear QAM tuner are freq/subchannel (ie actual channel data) and virtual channel number, should be easily solvable. Tivo making it a priority is a different matter.

    add/edit: As sfhub has indicated, changing numbers can cause problems and then we're into writing code to rescan every day (presumably when nothing is scheduled to record) and do some additional logic with the infomation discovered. The problem comes down to the spec, which is adopted by reference and has the force of law, says populate the table with channel numbers. Perhaps they thought that cable companies would just put in the same numbers as they use for their cable boxes. Now you understand loopholes.
    End add/edit.

    This assumes that the FCC, the White House, and the Congress understand the issue and give a rat's patootie. I think the FCC, if they paid attention, would understand the issue, but nobody cares. Tivo's lobbying dollars can't come close to matching the cable industry. One would hope that Tivo's congressman would care. Don't know if he does and don't know if he has any clout. If you want this fixed, you'll probabaly have to have the big box stores start hooking their hardware up to the local cable system. Good luck with that!

    Depending on the chip set and software involved, the channel might be an encrypted channel or might be an unencrypted music channel, which in my very limited experience, your tuner may or may not be able to pick up. This is all a guess on my part. I've never seen a unit automatically go to the signal strength screen.
     
  14. vstone

    vstone New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Martinsville...
    I would classify that statement as preventive medicine.
     
  15. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    I think TiVo should send out free evaluation TiVo HDs to influential people in Congress, including everyone on the FCC. Let them get personally vested in the problem.
     
  16. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Aug 2, 2003
    I never thought I'd look back nostalgically on the reign of Michael Powell. :rolleyes:
     
  17. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Well, the fact that "-" mark is being shown when it's black seems to indicate no signal lock so perhaps you have very marginal signal strength as sfhub indicated. If you haven't already try removing any splitters/amps on your cable coax and feed the Tivo the line drop directly to see if that improves things.

    Ultimately though, even if you can get these clear QAM channels to tune properly the Tivo has limited functionality (dumb VCR) without guide listings so I'm not sure how useful it is in that mode. I eventually gave up on Tivo supporting clear QAM properly and just forked out the money to Cox for cablecards + digital cable.
     
  18. clark_kent

    clark_kent Member

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    May 6, 2007
    Hello all… and thank you for your reply’s.

    Whish I know how to selectively show quotes ? …

    sfhub/moyekj: I have no splitter on the S3 input; signal strength always 94+.

    vstone:

    RE S3a: OK, but is there a way to tell anything at from the serial #, like manufacture date?

    RE programming a channel “mapping” feature: if I had any influence on getting this implemented, my suggestion would be to start with the old KISS approach. The “universal” fix would be wonderful, but as you suggest, cumbersome and complicated to implement. But limited functionality should be relatively simple to implement and solve most of the issues. S3’s (or TiVoHD’s with cableCard(s) installed probably don’t need this “mapping” function since the cableCard does this for you. When the S3 does a channel scan, I pretty sure that it can’t tell one QAM channel from another (ie encrypted, in-the-clear, music, premium, PPV, etc) it just list all channels # it finds and if the PSIP is “malformed” beyond some point, the S3 gives up and assigns that “channel” a “0” designation. I’m assuming (we all know what that really means) that inside the S3 is a channel table as well the local EPG table (and if the local EPG table is NOT in the S3, that is something that IS trivial and easy for the S3 to obtain). Once you have the channel table and the EPG table, it would be fairly strait forward to be able correlate (“map”) a given QAM channel # to the EPG. My TiVo S1 periodically displays a “there been a lineup change” so the S3 could “see” that the “mapping” function has been “activated” and put out a message to the user if the EPG table changes. But that won’t solve the problem of “re-mapping” if the cableco simply changes the frequency of a QAM channel. Cableco’s can change QAM channel numbers (frequencies) all day long, but channel name “designation” (if that’s what it’s called) like ABC-HD, NBC-HD, PBS-HD, CSPAN, etc within the EPG table probably do not change. If there was a way to detect such change, the S3 could perhaps keep-up with frequency changes, otherwise for those of us that would use this “limited” functionality would need to periodically “check” our “mapping” and live with having to make changes. I, for one, would gladly live with this, as it would be better then what I’ve got now. (A side note: I’d be happy to rent a cableCard if I could get it for just the basic/local tier; but I can’t add a cableCard unless I move up 3 or 4 tier levels, and subscribe to a gazillion channels that I will never watch.) In one of my former lives I was a programmer and I would have been happy to volunteer for this undertaking, but alas, there are too many cobwebs and those memory cells seam to be no longer function. If only I’d have done a core dump and backed up my brain…


    RE the White House and Congress: I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath. But, if there is/are FCC regulation(s) that “require” cableco’s to provide “proper” PSIP (or what ever else) so that any “local” channels that “must” be delivered “in-the-clear” and not only deliver a “picture” but what ever goes with (it in the PSIP) to get proper program guide info as well, and the cableco’s are not doing that as a result of some “technical” difficulties (deliberate, or otherwise), if I was TiVo, I’d be on the phone and sending nasty grams everyday (on behalf of TiVo customers) as well as sending a nasty grams in some “official complaint” to the FCC (every day if need be), until someone fixes the problem. I would think that TiVo would have the technical equipment and know-how to “look” at the PSIP and “see” if all is well or not. And if not, at least TiVo has “clear evidence” to support the “violation” where as us consumers have no “evidence” to stand on.

    RE black screen: when I tune a QAM channel (via number pad selection or selecting from the guide) and I get a black screen, then, if I navigate to the signal meter (which has always shown 94 or better) and select “give me a reading” then for some reason the picture comes in. I did notice that when signal strength is selected, both tuners are “forced” to the same QAM channel. I didn’t use to get a black screen when the S3 first arrived. So I don’t know if component aging has set in or if the cableco is doing something different or why the picture comes in when both tuners are forced to the same channel by exercising the meter.

    Looking forward feedback… thank you all.
     
  19. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    You are preaching to the choir on the channel mapping. Everything under the sun has been discussed and suggested. No word from TiVo, so that is where the bottleneck is.

    BTW there are some cable companies that send 3 digit PSIP for their channels. Folks in these areas have said they are able to have guide data associated with channels w/o needing CableCARDs.

    Regarding your blank screen problem, can you bring up the TiVo status display
    S-P-S-InstantReplay-S

    This will tell you the active tuner. I'm wondering if you have a problem with one of the tuners, and when you bring up the signal meter, it goes to the other tuner after forcing it to be the same channel.
     
  20. clark_kent

    clark_kent Member

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    May 6, 2007
    I'm still green around the edges...

    could you please elaborate on: S-P-S-InstantReplay-S

    Thank you.
     

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