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SDV FAQ

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

  1. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I was surprised to find talk of RS counts in the support documents on the TiVo web site. There was no indication that they only applied to non-SDV channels so I am assuming they are meaningful for all channels.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Well TiVo says my cable provider should tell me which channels are SDV so I gave them a call today and (after some difficulty) got them to read me the list of SDV channels, which I had to write down. The agent said she was pulling them from a "manual" and there is no separate list that she could send me -- the channel numbers were in jumbled order.

    I only got the ones in the 1-200 and 700-799 range as I don't subscribe to anything outside those ranges except the music channels. She read me 69 numbers. Of course if she accidentally missed some, there is no way I could know.

    If the info is correct, the channel where I see the most video and audio glitches (788 CNBC HD) is NOT SDV. I suspect it actually is SDV. My theory is that the SDV channels have more video glitches -- but maybe not. None of my channels show any uncorrected RS errors and zero or very few corrected RS errors.
     
  3. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The easiest way to tell if a channel is SDV is to unplug the USB cable between TiVo and TA and then see if you can tune the channel (after you acknowledge the screen telling you the TA has gone). If it is still tuneable... its a linear channel.

    The error counters work fine for SDV channels. The tuner doesnt care if the channel is SDV or linear. The magic is knowing what frequency and program id the desired stream is on. From there the cablecard takes care of everything.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Thanks SCSIRAID. I'll grant that is much easier than trying to get TWC to tell me! (I spent at least an hour of "chat" and phone time trying to get the info from TWC and I still don't trust what they told me.)
     
  5. skaggs

    skaggs AlbanyHDTV

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    Albany, NY
    If you have a TWC issued Sci-Atl set-set-top box using SARA software, you can determine which channels are SDV by following these steps:

    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 cahnnel 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.
     
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Thanks skaggs,

    I don't have a STB. My configuration is a the typical TiVo HD, cable cards and tuning adapter. It is a Scientific Atlanta TA, and I am on TWC.

    However, your post provided the clue that allowed me to discover the same information via the TiVo menus as follows:

    Account & System Information ==> Tuning Adapter ==> Tuning Adapter Diagnostics==>SDV SESSION INFO

    There will be info for two sessions and the third item in each set is SamSvcid/Type: which will be #####/Broadcast (or) #####/Switched

    (##### represents a five digit number).

    All you have to do is determine which session corresponds to which of the two tuners. The easy way to tell this is by the channel frequency, given in DVR Diagnostics. Note the freq is given in kHz in one place and MHz in the other, so there is a factor of 1,000 difference in the numbers.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I was surfing to find info on the Tuning Adapter Diagnostics Screens and found this interesting link announcing that some tech writers at Cisco had received an award for a document entitled: Understanding the Cisco STA1520 Tuning Adapter Diagnostic Screen Application Guide.

    I believe it's an internal document only available in print -- I couldn't find it on the Cisco web pages. I sent an email to their support asking about getting a copy.

    My immediate goal was to find out what FDC and RDC stand for. My wild guesses are "Forward Data Carrier" and "Return Data Carrier".
     
  8. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Anyone else find it a bit strange that apparently awards are being given out to companies who write documentation that help users interpret what the company's GUI actually is trying to convey? :p
     
  9. ontherebound

    ontherebound New Member

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    I'm also in Dayton, OH as well with TWC (using a TiVo HD and a Cisco TA). Their switched channels are all over the place. The only place I haven't found any switched channels is between 2 and 59. Everything else is fair game. The TA said that as of a few days ago there were 139 SDV channels, but who knows if this really means anything since I can't get an interpretation of what all the screens mean (since we don't have this critically acclaimed document about the STA1520!). But don't assume that all of the 700 series channels are in SDV, either. A number of those channels are non-switched. You'll have to ask your tuning adapter to tell if they are switched or not.

    I noticed that the Dayton area had their sub-100 analog channels recently switched to digital if you have a STB or a CableCard. You can still view any of the non-switched channels without them (so they are being broadcast both ways), but they wanted to prepare for the switch to all digital at some point I assume.

    I have been dealing with a supervisor out of Hamilton who had resolved some recent issues. As of yesterday, I now have about 20+ channels that are not coming in and I believe they are all SDV (since I am getting the "Channel Temporarily not availble message"). Two of them did tune at one time and they were on the same frequency, which makes me think they've made some changes at the Dayton head-end and they've got some fixing to do. They added channel 185 on Saturday, which is one of the channels I'm not getting, but that is on a different frequency. I'm going to have to call that supervisor to get him working on this issue.

    To keep things in perspective, I had heard from either TWC or TiVo that in the Cincy Region (including Cincy and Dayton) when they were fixing some initial TA problems, that there are only just over 400 CableCard users. So, we're not a priority to them at all.

    I just wanted to get you some info from another Dayton user who has been having some issues as well. I'm learning their darn network better than they are, especially since I am dealing with a supervisor from Hamilton (since I almost live in Warren county) and he is on the Cincy head-end himself. It makes for a lot of confusion since he doesn't know my channels and what changes the Dayton head-end team have made. It also means he doesn't get a lot of answers to e-mails about problems from the same Dayton head-end team since they really don't know him. He actually blamed it on the fact that I was able to give him so much information that their normal covering the blatantly obvious bases with the customer don't work. By the time they get an e-mail from him, they're getting signal levels, SNR, etc. He said they normally never give them any of this info, so it leaves them actually having to think about problems with their system. That's what happens when you have a user who can actually note when problems happen and document the details.

    Sorry for being windy...I'll try to be around a little more because I do have my share of problems and info that I can help others with.
     
  10. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Interesting comments, ontherebound,

    How did you get to talk to a supervisor? And here's the big question: how could one get to talk to an engineer who actually knows what is going on technically?

    I don't know if you noticed it but there is a definite way to tell which channels are SDV (once you can receive them that is) given in my post #2206 just above. There is also the brute force way of just disconnecting the Tuning Adapter USB cable and the non-SDV channels are the ones that are left.

    Trying to get the listing of SDV channels from Time Warner was a losing cause for me. I finally got a list (read to me over the phone - no actual list) but I know it was partially incorrect.

    On my system roughly one third of the 700-799 channels are SDV and there are some HD channels that are not SDV. And some of the channels below 100 are SDV, specifically 57 and 72 that I have checked. However 36 is not.

    I'm northwest of Dayton, quite a ways from you actually. At least I do seem to get all the channels I'm supposed to.

    BTW the lineup is being completely reshuffled in August -- so don't get too comfortable with the current version. :eek:
     
  11. ontherebound

    ontherebound New Member

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    Glad to be here. I was blessed with a supervisor when a Dayton call center CSR made a note to send a supervisor out to me when I had 2 truck rolls in under two weeks. I didn't get a supervisor (but he had been around a while), but he had a friend who was one. He called him for me and I got a call the next afternoon. It was a miracle. I have his office and mobile numbers, too!!! I'm the luckiest customer -- to actually be able to get UDCP issues looked into instead of just getting the confused look. :confused:

    He's not the absolutely most knowledgeable, but he does know how to get people who are and finally was taking an approach of testing every item that fell under his realm, FieldOps (from the TV to the tap), and eliminating those and then dumping it on SysOps (from the tap to the head-end) by telling them I've done EVERYTHING I can do. It worked the last go around (which I just told him it was corrected successfully a week ago Friday -- oh well, he's getting a call today). He isn't the best, either, because he runs off of the Cincy head-end, so he doesn't know when Dayton is making changes. But, he is a supervisor and he will get things done. He even showed up at my house one day just to find out what was going on at the beginning. I've been impressed with him (and the three other techs he's gotten involved, along with the pole man, who seemed to fix my last issues).

    I knew about the looking in the TA diagnostic screen for finding out if a channel was switched or not. I typically go into DVR Diagnostics to get the frequency of the channel I'm trying to figure out and then go looking. Later on the same TA diags page, it gives the frequency. It seems to work well.

    Getting a list of what is switched is a joke. I got a tier 3 CSR e-mail an initial spreadsheet with the switched channels and their frequencies. That was back in early February or so, right before the TA roll-out (or crash, depending on your view of things :rolleyes:). They are now taking channels that were once switched and making them non-switched. So, the wonderful letters listing which channels were going to be moved to SDV and when, that the FCC made the MSOs (like TWC) send out after fining them for not doing it, are useless as guides.

    There was a document that someone mentioned in this thread (or another) that Cisco had written an award winning technical document about understanding the STA1520's Diagnostic Screens. I couldn't find it in the public anywhere, but do have an e-mail into Cisco to see if I can get it. If it's award-winning, they should want to share it. It might make figuring out these things easier and giving information to TWC easier as well.

    Sorry for the ramble, again. Good luck. I'm getting daily updates of posts on this thread, so let me know if you have questions.

    And what's changing in August?!?! :eek:
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Yeah, I was the OP who mentioned that Cisco document. I emailed their support and got an acknowledgement, but so far no other response.

    Here is a link to a Cisco paper that describes the overall SDV architecture. Doesn't help much for consumer diagnostic purposes but it illustrates the complexity of the system -- many distributed elements and a lot of communication links -- a debugging nightmare. At least it gave me an idea of what the "Carousel" is that you see in the TA diagnostics pages.

    Check out this post and the following post about the August lineup changes. I clipped the notice from the DDN. They also put a legal notice in the same issue (magnifying glass required). It looks so complicated I haven't even tried to make sense of it. If this doesn't cause major pain for TiVo users I will be amazed.
     
  13. ontherebound

    ontherebound New Member

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    dlfl,

    Right now, I am experiencing an outage of about 35 switched channels from numbers 4 to 788, so in other words, for a UDCP user, the entire channel spectrum. I've reported it and am about to call my "friend" to see if he's heard ANYTHING yet. I'm guessing not.

    About those channel changes, do you have the date of the posting in the DDN? Or could you possibly scan and post the listing (if it's not a pain)? I would assume it wouldn't be on the DDN's website because it was essentially an ad (required by the whatever they call the State of Ohio franchising authority -- you know, what SB185 created, and took away from the local governments). It looks like they may be moving to a channel structure more commonly found around the country. Ours in a little antiquated, but we love it and are used to it.

    Thanks for the info. I'm getting pissed about this SDV outage, because everyday I check for channels, more and more are affected.
     
  14. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Actually, they gave a URL in the notice:

    www.twcinfo.com

    which redirects to:

    http://twcinci.com/printyourlineup/

    The web page has everything the paper notice had plus more.
     
  15. gamo62

    gamo62 Member

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    Just got a mailer from TWC. They are going SDV on Aug. 24th.
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    They went SDV long ago. They are just doing more channels.
     
  17. wublet

    wublet total newb

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    [Note: This issue is SOLVED a few posts later, it is NOT an SDV issue and also does NOT affect Series 3 owners. Sorry for posting under the wrong category; I misinterpreted the situation.]

    I'm on Comcast in Oakland CA with a Series3, running just fine with 2 CableCARDs.

    Just received a "network enhancement" mailer saying to go to comcast.com/digitalnow with the Unique Digital ID in the letter, to get the appropriate box delivered for self-install. I presume, though it does not say, that this is an SDV conversion issue.

    Before I go and do anything foolish... which box option should I be getting for my situation? What would the wrong options be, so I can be on guard for them?

    Thanks in advance to any and all who may reply!

    - - - - - - - - -

    Further info from the mailer, in case it's helpful to anyone:
    - Contact them by Sept. 1 2009 to order equipment
    - Change effective Sept. 1 2009
    - Network enhancement to affect channels in the 35-82 range except 76 & 77
    - First 2 adapters free, add'l ones billed @ $1.00/mo
     
  18. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I assume the "box" is a Tuning Adapter (TA). AFAIK, there have never been options in selecting a TA. Each cable system has just one model. Did the documentation mention options?

    Read the first post in this thread to get an idea of what SDV is and what TA's do.
     
  19. wublet

    wublet total newb

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    Thanks for replying.

    The reason I ask about different options is that the flyer says "We'll help determine what equipment is best for you." I do understand about SDV and TA, and only avoided using those terms because (a) the mailer doesn't use them, and (b) I haven't found any posts here on tivocommunity about Comcast Oakland going SDV, so SDV is only a guess on my part.
     
  20. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Yeah, I went to the ComCast web site you gave and poked around. The "Digital Transport Adapter" they mention sure doesn't appear to be a Tuning Adapter for use with TiVo's. TA's have a USB connection used to communicate with the TiVo. And they do NOT have a remote control!

    There is no hint they are talking about SDV, which would be the only reason a TiVo would need a TA. Maybe you will luck out and not have to add anything!
     

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