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SDV FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bdraw, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    There should be no issue at all with that. Though I also would not expect a splitter to be involved anyway, so it probably would have no effect on signal levels for cable tuning on the TiVo. And of course even if there were a slightly lower signal level, it wouldn't likely matter unless there were analog signals you had to tune and they were weak to begin with.
     
  2. cableguy763

    cableguy763 New Member

    525
    0
    Oct 29, 2006
    Austin
    That works fine. The usb is obviously the important part. There is a +3dbmv gain from the output of the ta.
     
  3. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    One thing I dont need any more of is signal level.... Im already at 0dbm in the 700Mhz area. I was also concerned about reverse channel filtering (or potential lack thereof). Didnt want any of the high transmit levels of the reverse channel applied to the tivo (as lrhorer said in some other thread... trying to have a conversation while standing next to the concert speakers.. a IM challenge for the tuner). Im pushing back thru an amp with an 8 way splitter so my return channel transmit levels are kinda high.
     
  4. PumiceT

    PumiceT Mentally Drunk

    134
    0
    Apr 16, 2002
    Buffalo, NY
    I was on the phone with a Time Warner rep, regarding some issues with my CableCARDs, and got the following list of SDV channels for Time Warner WNY Suburban (not the city of Buffalo):

    SDV Channels
    123
    127
    158
    168

    190 ???
    191
    192
    193
    195
    196
    197 ???

    300
    510-519
    531-544
    715-716
    719-721
    723-724
    728-739
    741-745
    747-751
    753
    757
    760
    769-770
    773-774
    789
    793

    Mind you, this list is a little odd, considering some channels don't exist for the numbers she gave me, but to her credit, I was trying to type numbers on a laptop without a number pad, so I wasn't as quick as I needed to be!

    I think the following list is pretty accurate: (at the time of this post, anyway)
    123 - FIT TV (Digital Cable)
    127 - New York State Legislative Channel (Digital Cable)
    158 - Boomerang (Digital Cable)
    168 - Trinity Broadcasting Network (Digital Cable)
    715 - HGTV HD (Free High Definition)
    716 - Food Network HD (Free High Definition)
    719 - Fox Business Network (Free High Definition)
    720 - Fox News HD (Free High Definition)
    721 - CNN HD (Free High Definition)
    723 - TBS in HD (Free High Definition)
    724 - TNT HD (Free High Definition)
    728 - ESPN News HD (Free High Definition)
    730 - MSG HD (Free High Definition)
    731 - SportsNet NY HD (Free High Definition)
    734 - National Geographic HD - Digital Variety
    735 - Travel Channel HD (Free High Definition)
    736 - TLC HD (Free High Definition)
    737 - Science Channel HD (Free High Definition)
    738 - Discovery Channel HD (Free High Definition)
    739 - Animal Planet HD (Free High Definition)
    741 - Planet Green HD (Free High Definition)
    742 - A&E HD (Free High Definition)
    743 - BIO HD (No Channel Group)
    744 - History in HD (Free High Definition)
    745 - Crime & Investigation HD (Free High Definition)
    747 - Cartoon Network HD (Free High Definition)
    748 - Toon Disney HD (Digital Variety)
    749 - ABC Family HD (Free High Definition)
    750 - Disney HD (Free High Definition)
    751 - Lifetime Movie Network HD (Digital Variety)
    753 - MGM HD (Digital HD Tier)
    757 - FX HD (Free High Definition)
    760 - Palladia (Free High Definition)
    769 - SPEED HD (Digital Variety)
    770 - YES HD (Free High Definition)
    789 - Hallmark Movie Channel HD (Free High Definition)
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

    6,922
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Uh, guys, I'd take it as a personal favor if you would be a little more careful with your units. A gain or attenuation is measured in dB, not dBmV. One dBmV is a very specific unit of power; 16.79 nanowatts, to be exact. A gain or attenuation is said to change a level by a specific FACTOR, not by a specifc amount pf power. Thus, a 3 dB gain or attenuation doubles or halves the original amount of power, respectively. Zero dBmV is equal to a 1 millivolt signal across a 75 ohm impedance, or 13.33 nanowatts. Zero dBm is equal to one milliwatt, or 48.75 dBmV. I know this may seem like an incredibly picky nit, but it's rather a pet peeve of mine. Besides, sometimes units can be really important. After all, NASA lost a $125 million Martian Orbiter spacecraft because one set of engineers working on the Climate Orbiter used metric calculations and another engineering team used English units. :rolleyes:

    'Shouldn't be an issue. First of all, as long as all the ports on whatever splitters, combiners, and couplers are employed are properly terminated, the port to port isolation on any quality splitter / combiner is usually at least 20 or 30 dB. Secondly, although there can be some issues with a high level signal at TVIF (the region near 38.9 MHz), broadband superheterodyne receivers generally handle OOB signals below their active band pretty well (that's one reason why 38.9 MHz was chosen for TVIF, and also partially why TV channel 1 was eliminated from the television spectrum). Thus, even though the return signal is very high in signal level - possibly over 50 dBmV - It probably won't cause problems with your setup. If it does, you could replace that 8-way with a pair of 4-way splitters and a high quality 2-way splitter, with the Tivo and the TA on different 4-way splitters. That will increase your isolation by at least 14 dB.

    Note since the TA has a built-in diplexer and an amplifier, it is highly unlikely it will pass any significant amount of signal below 50 MHz from its input to its output, so interference from a DOCSIS modem or a digital phone setup won't cause issues on that venue. If you have problems seemingly related to the return carrier or other OOB signals below 50 MHz, you could always pad down the output of the TA and move the TiVo back to the TA port to see if it alleviates the problem. I don't really expect that you will have problems, however. Do be absolutely certain all the ports on that 8-way are properly terminated, though. An improperly terminated port on a combiner can completely trash the return loss and port isolation, causing the very problem you fear. What's worse, it can be intermittent. A small change in temperature can radically change the port isolation and return loss if the combiner has unterminated ports. It also has been known to cause the most bizarre signal quality issues.
     
  6. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The 8 way is actually integrated into the amp and you can be assured that the unused output IS terminated with a proper shorting plug.

    I also have some return path filters which would also help with my 'fear' or the high return level... :D

    Thanks!!
     
  7. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

    6,922
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    OK, good, but one must also be sure the drops attached to the 8-way are also properly terminated. If they are plugged in to active devices, then it should be OK (although occasionally I have come across an active device with a bad terminating resistor which raised all manner of havoc until the bad - but still functional - device was removed), but if the drops go to unused wall plates, they really should be terminated. Few people bother - including me, truth be told, but then a situation like you describe is just the sort of thing that can sometimes jump up and bite you if one or more legs is not properly terminated.

    Note an 8-way with an integrated amp is only really "integrated" in that the component are all in the same case. Functionally, the setup is little different than an 8-way with an external amp. There may be one difference, however. It is possible the device in question utilizes multiple 2 and / or 4-way splitters rather than a single integrated 8-way array, in which case the port to port isolation may be much better than a monolithic 8-way. The down side (pretty much irrelevant in this case) is the flat loss may be a bit higher.

    'Sounds like you have it covered. I seriously doubt you'll have any issues.
     
  8. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Yup... Ive only have one unused wall plate and it is terminated.

    The amp is a Viewsonics (Emerson) VSMA-608. Specs show 32db isolation 15-40Mhz and 25db from 5-15Mhz and 53-860Mhz... 22db above 860Mhz. Flatness is +/- .75db forward and +/- .5 db reverse. Ive also got an 8 output PCT amp in the box that I havent used.

    Thanks
     
  9. madoverlord

    madoverlord New Member

    38
    0
    Jun 29, 2004
    Wilmington NC
    Has anyone in the Wilmington NC area gotten a tuning adapter yet. I filled out the preorder form months ago but haven't heard boo from TWC.
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

    6,922
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Here in San Antonio, ronfl started a thread specifically dedicated to delivery of the TA in the San Antonio market. The thread helped keep us all abreast of developments on virtually an hourly basis, and when we pointed TWC personnel to the website, it was instrumental in helping to resolve a number of small issues. I would recommend someone in each area slated to receive a TA in the near future do the same.
     
  11. tguerrette

    tguerrette New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 28, 2008
    Maine
    I received a call from Time Warner Cable in Portland Maine telling me the SDV Tuning Adapter was available and they would be shipping me one via UPS with 3-5 day delivery. I signed up for this a while back on the general Time Warner Tuning Adapter notification page.

    I'll post more info when I receive and install it.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2009 #2092 of 2401
    ajergo

    ajergo A.J.

    44
    0
    Feb 19, 2002
    Webster, NY...
    Please reply to this post if you are using Time Warner Cable in Rochester, NY and have successfully used a Tuning Adapter for SDV channels with a TiVo HD box. Also let me know if you have had problems with this. I am about to purchase a TiVo HD box and want to make sure that there are no problems with getting Time Warner (specifically in Rochester, NY) to come out and install the Cable Cards along with hooking up the Tuning Adapter.

    I understand you have to order the Tuning Adapter by mail first before the TWC installer comes to install a 'M' cable card.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    A.J.
     
  13. Feb 3, 2009 #2093 of 2401
    berkshires

    berkshires New Member

    463
    0
    Feb 22, 2007

    This thread is TWC specific, and there are alot of Albany/upstate NY posters in there.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=408060

    Also this is a great thread about it from another place...

    http://albanyhdtv.proboards18.com/in...ad=2876&page=4
     
  14. Feb 4, 2009 #2094 of 2401
    mgerenser

    mgerenser New TiVo Fanatic

    13
    0
    Jan 28, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    I'm in Rochester, NY and I just got 2 TiVo HD units a couple weeks ago. I was sick and tired of the awful SA 8300 from Time Warner and finally decided to spend the money on the TiVos. Best investment I ever made, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner! Of course, what finally pushed me over the edge was the availability of the Tuning Adapters in this market.

    Here's my story:

    I had the CableCards installed on Monday, January 26. Took the tech about 20-30 minutes per TiVo. Most of the time was actually spent with him waiting on hold for the office to pair CableCards. This tech wasn't 100% knowledgeable about CableCards, but he knew enough to get them working. One bit of advice: read the install instructions that comes with your TiVo before the tech arrives, and watch everything he does. As long as you're there to coach him, I don't see any issues.

    My only issue was that Time Warner Rochester wouldn't send out the tuning adapters with the tech. They said they had to make sure the CableCards were installed properly first, and then asked me to call in and order the adapters separately. Whatever. I called in immediately after the tech left and they sent me my 2 tuning adapters via UPS. One arrived January 27, the other on January 29. Both installed in in a matter of minutes and both work perfectly with all the HD channels. In fact, Time Warner in Rochester just added a few new SDV HD channels to the 1070 tier, and they all showed up on my TiVo within 48 hours.

    I should also note that I spoke to one of Time Warner's network admins who actually deploys the HD channels here in Rochester. He was very knowledgeable and helpful, and is genuinely interested in making sure everything works with the TiVos. My experience with level 1 CSRs at Time Warner has been pretty dismal in the past, but let it be known from experience that the smart guys higher up on the food chain are good at what they do and very willing to help.

    Just a note on the Cisco Tuning Adapter: this thing is freakin' huge! I have mine hidden behind my TV stand because its so big and ugly. I imagine there's a lot of empty space inside this thing.

    I've been using my 2 new TiVos a lot over the past week, and I am very happy with them. 10,000 times better than the junk HD box from Time Warner!

    Anyone that's in the Rochester area that is thinking about getting a TiVo HD with Time Warner Cable is free to ask me any questions. I'll be happy to help.

    Mike



     
  15. Feb 4, 2009 #2095 of 2401
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL

    Im not sure Id hide it behind the TV. Id like to be able to see the light on the front. If its flashing... then something is wrong and recordings may not be working.

    One thing Im a bit concerned about is the TA's behavior when (if) it gets a firmware update. SA STB's always seem to turn off after a FW update. It will be ugly if the TA has to be manually turned on after a FW update.
     
  16. Feb 4, 2009 #2096 of 2401
    ajergo

    ajergo A.J.

    44
    0
    Feb 19, 2002
    Webster, NY...
    Mike - thanks so much for all the detailed info on installing a TiVo HD with TWC in Rochester. This helps a lot. I was told on the phone that they have the 'M' cards instead of two single cable cards per TiVo. Is that what you got? I am in the process of ordering a TiVo HD from Amazon, so I have not received it yet. BUT, on the TWC web site there was a link to request a free Tuning Adapter to be mailed to me and I submitted that request ... will see if they send it to me before even scheduling an appointment for the Tech to come and install the cable card(s).

    I have a Series 2 TiVo and a SA 8300 now and could not agree more about what a piece of junk the SA 8300 is from TWC. TiVo has a way of spoiling you though. If a stop a playback of a recorded show in the middle on the SA 8300 and then continue watching it the next day, it can not even remember where I left off and I have to search for the position that I stopped at. And then of course there is the automatic slight rewind that TiVo does when you hit play after fast forwarding at triple speed; the SA 8300 (and probably most other DVR's) do not do that, which is a great TiVo feature.

    BUT, the downsides of giving up my SA 8300 once I get the TiVo HD are:
    - No more Caller ID on the TV for my Digital Phone calls.
    - No more "Start Over" feature on some shows; although I can usually find another time to record the same show at a later time.
    - No more free On Demand movies or channels.
    Will have to keep a plain HD cable box for above features.

    Mike - some more questions for you:
    1) Do you know which channels are in SDV format. Is it only the ones in the 1070's? How can I find this out?
    2) I have one annoying problem with my SA 8300 now that I am hoping is the SA 8300 and not the cable signal. The picture on HD channels sometimes pauses for about 2 or 3 seconds, but the sound continues; after 2 or 3 seconds the picture catches up. Have you ever had this problem and if yes, has it stopped with your new TiVo HD box?
    3) Can you give me the approximate dimensions of the huge Cisco Tuning Adapter box?

    Again for thanks so much for this detailed reply.
    A.J. (in Webster)


     
  17. Feb 4, 2009 #2097 of 2401
    skaggs

    skaggs AlbanyHDTV

    233
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    Feb 13, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Here are some instructions to tell what Time Warner Cable channels are using Switched Digital Video:

    1. Get into the cable box's diagnostic menu by holding the "+" or "SELECT" button ON THE BOX in for a few seconds until the mail light begins flashing. (The "+" button in the center of the up, down, left, right arrow buttons.) Press the INFO button.

    You can page through the informational screens by using the left & right arrow buttons. You can see the TV picture by pressing the "+" button...once will make the diagnostic info about 50% opaque and twice will make it about 20%. A third time will bring you back to 100%.

    2. Go to the last page in the diagnostic menu (page 39)

    3. Look at the SamSvcid/Type. It will show a number and "/Switched" if the channel you are tuned to is SDV (if it is not switched it will show "Broadcast")

    4. The SDV Freq: will show a number depending on the SDV pool that gets assigned.

    5. Change the channels and look to see what appears in the SamSvcid/Type location.
     
  18. Feb 4, 2009 #2098 of 2401
    mgerenser

    mgerenser New TiVo Fanatic

    13
    0
    Jan 28, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Yes, they delivered m cards. In fact, the tech said he always brings along twice as many m cards, just in case one of them is not working. So he came armed with 4 of them, but the first 2 he installed worked just fine.

    This was one of the most irritating things with the SA 8300. This would happen to my fiance and I several times a week. We'd start a show late at night and end up getting too sleepy to continue. Unfortunately, the dumb SA box wouldn't remember where we left off when morning came!

    For me, these were non-issues because: I don't have a landline (cell phone only) and I never once used Time Warner's On Demand channels. I have Netflix, so between the discs in the mail and the instant streaming of Netflix videos on my TiVo, I'm all set with VOD. As for the start over feature, its nice, but I rarely used it. Besides, I updated one of my TiVos to a 1TB hard drive, so it is literally ALWAYS recording something. Everything I could ever want is being recorded, and I have no shortage of good content to watch. It lessens the need to "start over" if nearly everything I want to record is already being saved for me.

    I'm at work right now so I can't confirm with 100% certainty which channels are SDV, but the vast majority of them are (including the Food Network). The Time Warner Rochester network admin I spoke to said going forward, ALL new HD channels they add will be SDV.

    I had this problem a couple times with my SA 8300, but it was random. I'm not a cable tech, so I'm just guessing here, but it could be a signal issue. Or it could be a glitch with the 8300. If it happens often, and on a certain channel, I'd report it to Time Warner. They'll send a tech out to your place for free to diagnose and (hopefully) fix it.

    The Cisco TA is about 12 inches wide x 8 inches deep x 1.75 inches tall.

    Hope some of this helps.

    Mike
     
  19. Feb 4, 2009 #2099 of 2401
    mgerenser

    mgerenser New TiVo Fanatic

    13
    0
    Jan 28, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    It is my understanding that in our market, the Tuning Adapters are readily available. I'd ignore the web form and just call Time Warner Rochester directly once the CableCard is installed. They should be able to send you the Tuning Adapter immediately for delivery in 1-2 days. At least that was my experience.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2009 #2100 of 2401
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

    6,922
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I know! Can you believe that piece of turdware? Some spastic engineer must have been whacked out on quaaludes and cheap rum, and decided he would design the worst possible DVR, no doubt as a joke. Some moron of a marketing guy must have walked by, seen it, and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    I suffered through 9 months with an 8300HD, until the S3 was released. I didn't care it cost $1000 with lifetime service. I whipped out my credit card just as fast as I could.

    You understate the case. I'd rather have a tooth drilled with a dull bit and no anesthesia than go back to the 8300HD.
     

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