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Pro black-screen tuner failure, but Mini works!

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by lew-wolfgang, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Oct 11, 2013 #41 of 159
    peekb

    peekb Member

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    Feb 11, 2005
    +1 to all of this. I'm on Time Warner Cable in upstate NY using Cisco cards and a Cisco STA1520 TA.

    I had this issue with my 4 tuner Premiere XL4 which was just replaced with a 6 tuner Roamio Pro. Often times tuning a channel will just display a black screen without the "Press SELECT to tune again" message. And, of course, many failed recordings.

    With the XL4 I found a "fix" which was to go up one channel, back down 3, then back up 2 to the original channel that wouldn't tune, and 9 times out of 10 it would properly tune. With the Pro, that doesn't seem to work (more tuners to "clear out"?), but backing down one channel, pressing Live TV to switch tuners, then typing the original channel number in will tune it 9 times out of 10.

    My 2 tuner Premiere and 2 tuner Premiere XL both have never had an issue tuning a channel like this. It's only the 4 and 6 tuner setups that do here. This issue (for me at least) isn't tied to the Roamio only.

    If there's any other info I can provide, I'm happy to help.
     
  2. Oct 11, 2013 #42 of 159
    lew-wolfgang

    lew-wolfgang New Member

    26
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    Sep 23, 2013
    San Diego
    It would be great if you could try a Mini and confirm that it works perfectly with the DVR that fails by itself.

    I've reported this issue to TiVo and am having a bit of difficulty making them see the light. I've received two separate emails from "Advanced Escalations" where they ask me to call in to the regular service line. The folks I've spoken with have all been very pleasant and knowledgeable but I've had to explain the issue each time completely from scratch. On the first callback they said that Escalations wanted some numbers from the DVR-Tuner diagnostic screens. I gave them the data, including one tuner that had Modulation=analog. The second call yesterday was a request to set up a three-way phone call with Cox. I wasn't at the unit and didn't want to waste everyone's time, so I started a chat and asked in essence, "WTFO"? The chat representative, when told yet again that the Mini worked, finally agreed that a call with Cox would probably be unneeded. He came to the conclusion that it's probably a defective Roamio and asked me to request a swap. I personally don't think it's a hardware issue, but what the heck, at least it will be another data point. Either it works (unlikely) or it doesn't, which will further prove it's a software issue.

    Customer support was also interested in the fact that others have seen the issue as reported here. One thing that might help is if everyone who's experiencing the black channel issue report it to TiVo customer support and reference my ticket number.

    Black Screen Ticket Number: 130928-007875

    I'll report here how the new Roamio works, or doesn't.
     
  3. Oct 11, 2013 #43 of 159
    peekb

    peekb Member

    31
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    Feb 11, 2005
    Unfortunately I don't have a Mini to test with here... :(
     
  4. Oct 11, 2013 #44 of 159
    mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Active Member

    1,281
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    Apr 16, 2012
    I've been having this issue since January with my Elite (and now Roamio). I opened about 6 tickets with TiVo over several months that basically went nowhere. Always thought it was a software issue and not hardware. I bought a Roamio and it worked perfect for the first 10 or so days. I began to think my Elite issues might be hardware-related. But then the Roamio started exhibiting the exact same behavior.

    The "record from guide" workaround is hit or miss for me, as are the other various workarounds I've used all year. I don't have a Mini to test that workaround.

    Due to the number of tickets I've opened this year (all of them are marked "solved" somehow) I emailed Margret directly about this on Sunday. Haven't heard much since then. I'll probably email her this thread link since there is some useful info in here.
     
  5. Oct 11, 2013 #45 of 159
    thyname

    thyname Member

    966
    13
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    That is exactly right! I could not have written this better myself.

    I have been dealing with this for a while. I started a thread a month ago which became very popular.

    The short answer for this is: there is no solutions. Either live with it or drop TiVo. Unfortunately.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2013 #46 of 159
    thyname

    thyname Member

    966
    13
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    It drives me crazy that when you call TiVo they always tell you that I am the first one to report this issue to them. Nuts!
     
  7. Oct 16, 2013 #47 of 159
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I called TiVo 10/14 to "officially" open up an incident on my SDV tuning failure described in this thread and consistent with the Analog tune description. Incident number 131014012082 was opened however the CSR wouldn't escalate until I could duplicate on all 4-tuners. I've been trying to do that but I'm unable to duplicate on 4-tuners due to the intermittent nature of the problem. Under DVR Diagnostics, the CSR was recording:

    Tuner #, Modulation, Signal Strength, SNR, RS Uncorrected, RS Corrected, Resolution Time, and Resolution Status.

    FWIW, I don't think this problem is limited to the Roamio platform as my mom experiences similar issues on her Premiere XL4. The next time I'm over there I will verify its a similar "analog" tune attempt.

    I will probably call back TiVo later today when they are reopened to discuss the problem and hopefully get my incident escalated to the engineers. I'm not very optimistic at this point that a fix is in the works since this one is difficult for TiVo to duplicate in their Alviso labs.

    M cable operator, BHN, is heavily using SDV. I was shocked at the number of channels that weren't available after I disconnected the Cisco TA USB cord from the Roamio.
     
  8. Oct 16, 2013 #48 of 159
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,349
    6
    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Is anyone seeing a pattern in the tuner# that most often fails to tune?

    For me it is almost always Tuner 3 (or the 4th tuner (0 1 2 3 4 5) )
     
  9. Oct 16, 2013 #49 of 159
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    3
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    I was told by the engineers that it actually isn't trying to tune to the analog channel, it just says that by default after it fails to tune. To me and from my experiences, it seems like it "IS" trying to tune to analog and that's why it's failing.....who knows. :-/
     
  10. Oct 16, 2013 #50 of 159
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    TiVo told me via email that my logs showed that "the Cisco TA occasionally fail to respond to our tuning requests. We are working with Cisco to resolve the problem." That doesn't explain why the Mini works every time. From a Cisco TA perspective, I think the failed SDV tuning issue is resident on both the Premiere and Roamio boxes.
     
  11. Oct 16, 2013 #51 of 159
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
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    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    Yep, that's the excuse they used on me too. You're correct though and it was mentioned elsewhere about mini working with same channel that Roamio fails on, proving without a doubt that it isn't the TA.

    I also had a similar issue with the Ceton InfiniTV6 PCie tuner and they initially said the same thing, blaming the TA, but I read elsewhere on a forum that someone else saw the same thing on their ITV6 and Ceton provided them with a custom FW that fixed it immediately. I asked the ceton engineers to provide me the same FW too, which they did in less than ONE DAY and it rectified my issue! They said it was an issue with the tuning messages being sent from the cablecard/tuner to the TA, NOT the TA itself. They wrote in the message corrections into their fw so the TA would tune properly, and indeed now it does just that! Amazing Ceton can fix in one day yet its been so long and TiVo is still clueless.

    I mentioned this in another thread as well as to TiVo and I guess they're just ignoring this fact. If they didn't then it'd be fixed by now. Come on TiVo, get in the game!
     
  12. Oct 16, 2013 #52 of 159
    TiVoMargret

    TiVoMargret VP Product Dev, TiVo

    354
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    Feb 2, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Hi everyone,

    If you are experiencing black screens and have a Cisco Tuning Adapter, we'd like your help. We have worked with Cisco and identified a bug in the firmware of the Tuning Adapter that causes it to occasionally fail to respond when we ask it to tune. In order to escalate the priority within Cisco, they need to receive (one or more) requests from Cable Companies to fix it. (Cable Companies are customers of Cisco, TiVo is not.) Once Cisco has updated firmware available, then it will be up to the cable companies to deploy the fix.

    So, reporting this issue to your Cable Company will help. After you have called your Cable Company, I would appreciate an email (margret@tivo.com) with the subject: "Cisco Tuning Adapter report" that includes the following information:
    - your TiVo Service Number(s)
    - your Cable Company
    - your city/state/zip code
    - the case/incident number you were given when you reported the issue to your cable company
    - the name on your cable account
    - the phone number associated with your cable account
    - for bonus points (optional, not required): If you enter 777-CLEAR and 911-CLEAR when you have black screens, and then connect to the TiVo Service TWICE that will get us additional information about the issue and verify you are seeing the known problem. (Please also let me know the date/time and affected channel.)

    This will allow us to track the incidents that have be reported, and encourage the cable companies to request priority attention from Cisco. This will also help us encourage the cable companies to rollout the firmware update when it becomes available.

    Thanks!
    --Margret
     
  13. Oct 16, 2013 #53 of 159
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    3
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    Thanks Margret, that's great that TiVo is being proactive with this issue. I'm sure it'll take awhile for this all to come to fruition, so aren't your engineers able to come up with a workaround in firmware the same way Ceton did for its InfiniTV6, at least in the interim? (As mentioned in my post above)
     
  14. Oct 16, 2013 #54 of 159
    Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,664
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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    Great to hear that a problem has been identified and a fix is in the pipe.

    Can someone explain why my Series 3 648250 rarely has the problem, when my XL4 has the problem continually?
     
  15. Oct 16, 2013 #55 of 159
    mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Active Member

    1,281
    14
    Apr 16, 2012
    It is great that TiVo is aware of this issue.

    As others have suggested, it would be great if TiVo engineers can implement a fix for this without us being dependent upon the cable companies and Cisco.

    We have a report in this thread of Ceton coding around the Cisco issue (in about an hour) to resolve this. We also have 2 reports from TiVo users that the Mini is immune to this issue even when connected to a Roamio that has the issue.

    I'm a programmer between the hours of 8am and 5pm (though not with anything close to TiVo). Seems like this bug can be taken care of (or at least an attempt be made) by TiVo.
     
  16. Oct 16, 2013 #56 of 159
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,349
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    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have never seen this issue on my Elite/XL4, so I don't think it is directly related to SDV and Cisco Tuning Adapters.

    Once a tuner starts failing to tune the failure can also happen on local channels, which are not SDV.

    I have a bad feeling that once DTA is released to the Premieres, this issue/bug will be passed along also.
     
  17. Oct 16, 2013 #57 of 159
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,128
    27
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    But plenty of people did have the issue with Elite/XL4 units and continue to have them, and that's before DTA implementation. For me it's the opposite, I'd have the problem once in a while with my Elite, but have never seen the issue with Roamio Pro, and never had the issue with my 2 tuner Premiere either. It's probably some kind of software timing issue such that the bug could show up in either or neither.
     
  18. Oct 17, 2013 #58 of 159
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

    1,915
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    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Completely agree. We don't know how many patches TiVo put in the Elite/XL4 to compensate for the "missed" TA responses. I was unable to duplicate the problem yesterday's on my XL4 while the problem is very repeatable on my 4-tuner Roamio.

    I also reached out to my contact at BHN with Margret's message. He responded that BHN is aware of the Cisco TA issue and they are working with TiVo on a resolution. He didn't mention Cisco which was troubling and probably an oversight in his quick email response. I will follow-up with him today to see if I can get more info.

    This morning ALL SDV channels were not working and I had to reboot the TA and my Roamio to get them working again.
     
  19. Oct 17, 2013 #59 of 159
    lew-wolfgang

    lew-wolfgang New Member

    26
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    Sep 23, 2013
    San Diego
    I haven't had to resort to reboots yet. I found that tuning to what otherwise would be an analog channel without simulcasting, then back to the SDV channel will work. For example, if 1039 is black, tuning to 39 (or any channel below 100), then back to 1039, works most of the time.

    BTW, the replacement Pro from TiVo arrived yesterday afternoon. I'll find the time to swap it out this weekend. I have very little confidence that a swap will fix the problem, but if that's what they want to try, fine with me.
     
  20. Oct 17, 2013 #60 of 159
    jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
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    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Are you talking with Gary (BHNtechXpert)? I've reported the issue to him back in September, but it was dismissed as changing between SDV channels to quickly. Let me know if there a new thread that I can pile on to. I'd love to have an updated TA firmware.

    Thanks,
    James
     

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