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recording blank screen

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by rem, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. rem

    rem New Member

    56
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    southern ca
    hi,

    ever since charter switched over to using the sdv tuning adapter, i've been having a problem where if i don't view a cable channel (ie, hbo hd) for a few days, i would lose the signal when i do finally switch over to it. i watch hbo once a week for game of thrones. so most of the time, my tivo s3 is tuning on ota hd channels for both tuners. this past monday, when it recorded game of thrones, i noticed that it was recording a blank screen. i remedied by stopping the recording, and pressing channel up, channel down (which re-acquired a signal from the channel), and re-scheduled a recording from a later showing.

    sometimes the channel up, channel down trick doesn't re-acquire the signal. in that situation, i have to reboot both the tuning adapter and the tivo to get back all my cable channels.

    while this fixes it, it is very frustrating to not know why it's losing the signal to begin with. i can't always be there to check if there is a signal or not. i shouldn't have to do that.

    so my question is: does anyone know if this is a tuning adapter problem, a cable card problem, or a tivo problem? i want to direct by question to the appropriate party.

    thanks.
     
  2. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,664
    4
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    You will not get an admission from cable co or TiVo with regard to this problem. As, the Premier (s4) TiVos suffer from the same problem.
    If you are seeing nothing but a blank screen, no messages, etc. then contact TiVo and rattle their cage.
    If you see messages saying the channel is not available; call the cable co.

    Best advice I have for you is make sure all coax cabling is new. Especially the cable that connects your house to the cable system.
    Last time I saw this problem it was caused by a rodent chewed cable out on the utility pole.
     
  3. rem

    rem New Member

    56
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    southern ca
    so the s4 has the same problem. the s4 also uses the tuning adapter? i thought that tivo would have added sdv functionality right into the s4, no?
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Sounds like the well known "SDV Tuning Failure". Usually if the video is blank and you let the recording "finish" you will see an entry in the Recording History under the To Do List that says it wasn't recorded because the video signal wasn't present. If you look in DVR Diagnostics while the blank video is "recording" you will see there is no signal or tuning lock for that channel. The real tell-tale is to compare the channel frequencies shown in DVR Diagnostics and TA Diagnostics and they are different. I posted photos showing this 3 years ago, see post #4785 in this thread:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7963092
    TiVo has definitely known about this for years. I had personal messages with one TiVo employee on this forum discussing this, with no followup by TiVo. A number of us think that TiVo could solve this by software mods to do channel retunes (equivalent to channel up/down done manually) until the channel shows program lock. Note that sometimes it takes more than one up/down tunes to get a channel tuned.

    When you catch this and note the two different frequencies, then do a manual retune, you will find the (now identical) freqs in the two diagnostic pages now match the one that was shown in TA diagnositics before -- i.e., the TA had the correct SDV freq but it didn't get through the USB cable to the TiVo.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    No. There is more than one type of TA (Motorola and Cisco) depending on your cable system. TiVo would have to integrate both kinds or produce two different versions of each TiVo model.
     
  6. rem

    rem New Member

    56
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    southern ca
    thanks. i'll take some time to check it out. in the mean time, i thought about a way that might "refresh" the tuning lock. would a daily 5-minute recording on that channel, say about 4am, keep it from losing the signal lock? just a thought.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    I doubt it. Signal and tuning lock occur right at the moment of tuning. For unknown reasons most of my missed recordings due to tuning failures occur on just two specific channels. I've been trying a defensive strategy for the last week or two. I created two-minute "record by time and channel" season passes that start just 4 minutes before the programs I want to record. This causes two additional tuning attempts just prior to the start of the recording I want. So far it seems to work, but it's too early to be sure.
     
  8. rem

    rem New Member

    56
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    southern ca
    dlfl,

    checked the frequencies and indeed the tivo was not matching up with the tuning adapter. trying out the 5-minute daily recording on hbohd to see if it works in keeping the frequencies synched here.

    thanks.
     
  9. jlowe420

    jlowe420 New Member

    1
    0
    Apr 24, 2013
    This happens to me on a daily basis. It's annoying.
     
  10. George Cifranci

    George Cifranci Viva La Tivo!

    680
    0
    Jan 30, 2003
    Columbus,...
    This also happens to me from time to time with Time Warner Cable in Columbus Ohio. Especially annoying in that I can stop the recording when I see it is blank and then the channel appears or it appears when I switch to a different channel then back again.
     
  11. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    The channel is re-tuned at both the start and ending of a recording, even if you end it manually. I suspect a lot of people are just living with this problem. I also suspect it's mostly TWC subscribers -- just because of their general TiVo unfriendliness.
     
  12. rem

    rem New Member

    56
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    southern ca
    i'm afraid it's not working. i guess i'll resort to power cycling BOTH the tuning adapter and the tivo on a weekly basis.
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Sorry about that. So far it's working almost perfectly for me. But hey I usually have to power cycle my TA and restart my TiVo every few weeks because I lose a bunch of channels, so you're not doing much worse than me. ;)
     
  14. sdsvtdriver

    sdsvtdriver Member

    63
    0
    Mar 5, 2008
    I came here to post the same question. As of a month or so ago, this started happening to me (or at least I began recording channels that were problematic). I called my cable provider (Cox) and a gentleman on the phone said this was a known issue (first time I ever had a problem acknowledged) and he asked if I had a TA with a USB on it. I said yes and he stated and I needed to upgrade my cablecards and TA. I went to the store to get the equipment and received..... the same type of cable cards and TA. The agent stated that's all they had.

    I came home, hooked it all up and called in to have the cards activated. Inquired with the current tech and he stated they only have one type of TA and they knew nothing about the issue. This morning I turned on TV and got a gray screen.

    So after some effort, I ended up wasting time. Now I have to return the old equipment. :mad:
     

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