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Time Warner Cable Tuning Adapter (ALL LOCATIONS) / Bugs & Issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dolfer, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Nov 6, 2009 #361 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,328
    1
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The Edge QAM could be doing something wierd to the Transport Stream it is creating based on what mix of streams is on the QAM. That will be different between service groups and could lead to different behavior across service groups. Ive had my suspicious about this all along. TWC believes otherwise so we are trying to confirm/deny MPEG encoder first.
     
  2. Nov 7, 2009 #362 of 1485
    texaslabrat

    texaslabrat New Member

    61
    0
    Oct 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    What was the signal strength on the OTHER tuner at the time? Reason I ask is that I noticed something very interesting the other night. I was trying to replicate "on demand" the SDV "black screen until tune up and back down" issue. I didnt' have much luck (of course...watched pot never boils and all that) until I had inadvertently left a tuner on ESPN-HD after tuning to it to compare signal metrics with SDV channels. Turns out that ESPN-HD is a VERY high-strength channel in my house (dunno if it's universal...), and after leaving that tuner on ESPN-HD, I was able to cause the SDV failure about every 3rd channel change. Even after a 6dB pad was installed between the TA and the Tivo, the ESPN-HD signal strength was still reading 100%. And still, the SDV channel changing issues remained (but reduced a bit in frequency to maybe one in 10 channel change attempts). Swapped the 6dB pad for a 12dB pad...ESPN-HD finally dropped below 100% (runs about 93% or so), and I haven't seen a single SDV channel change issue since (though a few other channels now drop out due to low signal strength but luckily I never watch them..and I can always play around with the attenuation amount to find the optimal spot later if this pans out). So, it seems to be an issue of signal strength overall that the tuners are dealing with, and not necessarily just the one that you are trying to watch at that moment.

    It's only been 2 days, so it's a bit short on the sample size (I've given my wife marching orders to record the time and channels tuned to if she runs into the issue during the day)...but I have to say that I'm encouraged. I'm hoping that this will also help the TA-locking-up thing as well. It may very well be that the overly-hot signal is causing the Tivo to do all sorts of weird things...possibly even crashing the TA via spurious USB commands. Just a theory, but I thought I'd pass along my prelimary findings in case someone might find them useful. I'll post a followup in a few days.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2009 #363 of 1485
    Effinay

    Effinay New Member

    26
    0
    Aug 17, 2006
    Centerville,...
    Tuning adapter started blinking again today. Tried to do everything I could without calling TW. After about 20 minutes of rebooting/unplugging stuff, I gave up and called. They had to reinit the box again. Why does this keep happenning? Are they just trying to annoy those of us who use the TAs in an effort to get us to switch from TiVo? This is starting to become a PITA.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2009 #364 of 1485
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,112
    54
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    If the blink sequence is 8-blinks-then-pause, I believe you can assume you need to be "hit" again -- try one TA reboot and usb unplug/plug -- don't waste any more time rebooting your TiVo, etc.

    This started happening in SW Ohio a month ago -- TWC is really screwed up some way or another.

    I also talked to Mike when it happened to me. Nice guy but by now I would think he would be yelling pretty loud at TWC, SW OH.
     
  5. Nov 10, 2009 #365 of 1485
    AtariAge

    AtariAge New Member

    21
    0
    Apr 28, 2008
    Well guys, this issue went away for a few days, but it's back in full force again. Tonight I discovered one of my TiVos was "recording" two shows, only to see that they were actually recording nothing at all. One channel was SD MSNBC, the other a local ABC HD station. So much for watching the second episode of V tonight.

    I cannot get into Tuning Adapter diagnostics, so I'm rebooting the TA now. I'm pretty pissed off at this point--after a long day I just wanted to relax for a few hours and catch up on some shows. I checked my other TiVo and it also has several scheduled recordings from the past two days that were not recorded due to no signal available.

    I am going to likely waste my time by calling Time Warner tomorrow. I don't want them to send a truck out as I know that's a huge waste of time. If new information on this issue does not come to light soon, I will have DIRECTV or AT&T here ASAP, even if PQ will suffer. Having worse picture quality is better than not being able to watch TV at all.

    ..Al
     
  6. Nov 11, 2009 #366 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    670
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, my TA crapped out sometime today. The RDC power is sky-high and it's not getting through, although a SA HD settop on the same splitter is working fine. Signal strength in TiVo is 100%. I guess I'll check the RDC power on the settop while I wait for the truck tomorrow. For that matter, maybe I'll just swap the box in the morning instead of waiting for the truck to show, since they never seem to carry a spare. :mad:
     
  7. Nov 11, 2009 #367 of 1485
    ferror

    ferror New Member

    66
    0
    May 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Yep, me too. My two TiVo units were showing gray screens on both tuners when I sat down to use them tonight, and they were not recording anything. The tuners were unable to tune any other channels until I rebooted each one. Everything was fine after that.

    We have a definite correlation here with several people. Clearly, they just did something earlier today that triggered the problem area wide. At least it appears very likely it was area wide. My guess is whatever they did caused every TiVo/TA setup in the Austin area to quit working.

    What a pain. I will call Time Warner tomorrow too. It is such a hassle and the last thing I want to think about spending time on, but persistence is probably the only way this will ever get fixed. They are probably completely oblivious to it.
     
  8. Nov 11, 2009 #368 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    670
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Hmm...My cablebox is is broadcast-only with RDC power way up at 51dBmV, yet it's still getting a SDV channel, presumably by just using the last-known carrier firequency...or maybe the handshake is actually working and it just can't tell.
    Weird. TA is still wedged but by power cycling it, TiVo can now record non-SDV channels again.
     
  9. Nov 11, 2009 #369 of 1485
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,112
    54
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Keep in mind your ultimate weapon: dropping cable service and using ***antenna OTA***, plus NetFlix, Amazon and YouTube. You can pay for NetFlix and a lot of Amazon downloads for what you're paying for digital cable.

    And you will be free, free at last, from TWC, CableCARDs and TA's! :D

    The fundamental flaw of the CableCARD/Tuning Adapter system is the Cable cos. have nothing at stake in making it work well -- plus it's a kludge design.
     
  10. Nov 11, 2009 #370 of 1485
    woodburger

    woodburger New Member

    18
    0
    May 17, 2008
    I am in Austin and also in TW/TiVo hell. Sporadic issues for weeks now but last 3 nights when I go to the TV, I get black screen from TiVo which can be restored to life by unplugging, waiting 30 secs, replugging. TiVo then goes through it's "Almost There" dance which is annoying as all get out. Anyway, after that, TiVo works fine until next death.

    Dead: green light on front of TiVo is lit, no command on remote flashes yellow light. Rear of TiVo shows no lit leds until rebooted; I think the fan is also not running when this happens.

    Have a multi-stream cable card, the TA adaptor from TW. Through this ordeal, while TiVo is dead, green light is steady on TA.

    Someone suggested trying to reboot the TA instead of TiVo and I will try that... does anyone KNOW if the TA can cause the TiVo box to die as completely as I describe?

    Thanks,

    Bob Wood
     
  11. Nov 11, 2009 #371 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    670
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    I'm not sure that you're seeing the same thing other people are...or maybe I'm not. If you leave the USB cable to the TA disconnected (which won't get you any SDV channels, but should let you keep getting everything else), does TiVo still hang?
     
  12. Nov 11, 2009 #372 of 1485
    texaslabrat

    texaslabrat New Member

    61
    0
    Oct 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    SDV working fine in Austin for me...though as I've previously discussed I've got a fair amount of attenuation installed on the line now. I've got 2dB of pad on the input to the TA, and then 9dB on the output of the TA (which leads to the Tivo). Not a single issue. Just a data point to consider.
     
  13. Nov 11, 2009 #373 of 1485
    MrPlastic

    MrPlastic Member

    36
    0
    Apr 27, 2008
    Austin, Tx
    I live in central Austin and I have had some troubles with my TA at the same times that you guys have had but they don't seem to be as bad to fix. Yesterday morning I was unable to get alot of the SDV channels but was able to fix it by just removing the usb cable from the TA to the Tivo and this fixed it except for the sports pack. When I returned from work I was able to get the sports pack back by once again just removing the usb cable and waitng a few seconds to connect it. So I think you guys are right that it is something TW is doing system wide. So far I haven't missed any programs. Thanks for your posts. I also have a SA box for a different set and I notice that it won't have any problems, though for a while there both box and TA would give me grief.
     
  14. Nov 11, 2009 #374 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    670
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    You know, I dismissed that as a fix for my problem last night, thinking that my problem is the transmit power is sky-high, meaning the TA isn't getting feedback...but maybe the received power is so high that the TA is getting feedback and just not recognizing it... I'll have to dig out my attenuators if I have time before the tech arrives.
     
  15. Nov 11, 2009 #375 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda Member

    670
    1
    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    OK, so before the truck got here somebody back at the office got DMCS to send hits to the TA and I rebooted my SA settop and now everything's working perfectly again. The guys that arrived thought there was nothing wrong with 51dBmV RDC because "it's not red". Hard to tell who's right but I guess I'll start keeping an eye on the RDC power until the next time it craps out and maybe I'll know more.
     
  16. Nov 11, 2009 #376 of 1485
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    1
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    The flat loss going back to the headeand can vary a huge amount from one customer to the next (not from one moment to the next), especially at frequencies near or below 50 MHz. For downstream communications, the big issue tends to be cable losses, because the greater the distance, the higher the loss, and the loss factor is higher at higher frequencies.

    To be a bit more clear and specific, the output from a distribution amplifier may be something like +39 dBmV (analog) for 50 MHz and +48 dBmV at 750 MHz (analog), the "tilt" allowing for the fact the losses as the signal goes down the cable are higher at the higher frequencies. Thus, a customer serviced right at the output of an amplifier would see the highest frequency channels being +9 dB higher than the lowest. Now, at the amp, the levels are way, way too high to be practically delivered in their entirety to a customer, but then again the CATV company wants to deliver to more than one customer, anyway. Thus, rather than take the signal directly to the customer, it is passed through a subscriber tap which only "peels off" a small amount of the total signal for the houses (typically 2, 4, or 8) being fed at that point. The tap loss at the subscriber outputs may be perhaps 29 dB, dropping the signals to the customer into the +10 dBmV to +19 dBmV range, or therabouts, allowing for 70 meters or so of drop cable (usually RG-6) and a 4 way splitter for each house. Meanwhile, the main signal has been depleted by perhaps 0.2 or 0.3 dB headed towards the next subscriber tap. Along the way, the signal suffers not only the 0.3 dB passive loss from the tap, but also an attenuation from passing through perhaps 100 meters of exterior plant cable (usually 1/2" aluminum coax or better). This attenuates the high end much more than the low end, so that at the next tap, the tilt may only be +8 dB or so. In order to make up for the lower input levels at the next tap, it will also typically be of a lower value than the first tap. This trend continues all the way to the end of the CATV distribution, at which point the highest frequencies may be as low as +17 dBmV, while the low frequencies may be as high as +27 dBmV or so. The last tap, then, may be just a four way splitter, which drops the signal to each leg by about 8 dB.

    Look what has happened, though. At the output of the amplifier, the loss at 750 MHz getting from the amp to the TA may be perhaps 42 dB, while the loss at 50 MHz is almost the same - perhaps 37 dB. At the far end of the main distribution cable, however, the loss at 750 MHz by design is perhaps 45 dB, while the loss at 50 MHz is only 26 dB or so! Thus, if you happen to be very close to an amplifier, and maybe have 4 or 8 outlets in your house, then the loss between you and the amplifier on the return channel may be 50 dB, or perhaps even a bit more. Meanwhile, a subscriber at the very end of the distribution who only has 1 outlet in his house may see as little as 26 dB of loss on the return channel. So no, an upstream output of +51 dBmV from the modulator in the TA is not necessarily excessive, depending on just where you are in the distribution path and how many outlets you have. If the levels of the highest frequency channels are significantly higher than those of the lowest frequency channels, then it is to be expected. OTOH, if the high frequency channels are "in the mud", while the low frequency channels are enjoying much higher levels, then the carrier from the TA should also be low, comparatively speaking. If not, then there is something wrong, somewhere.
     
  17. Nov 11, 2009 #377 of 1485
    dolfer

    dolfer Miles Standish Proud

    710
    0
    Nov 3, 2000
    Milford,...
    I'm getting the blinking TA today in SW Ohio ;( In the middle of the unplug / reboot process but still blinking.

    Anyone else????
     
  18. Nov 11, 2009 #378 of 1485
    bobrt6676

    bobrt6676 Member

    197
    3
    Dec 31, 2007
    Huber...
  19. Nov 11, 2009 #379 of 1485
    BrentlyL

    BrentlyL Brently AV

    30
    1
    Jul 29, 2008
    Palm...
    I used to love my TiVo S3 and then came the tuning adapter. Now I'm starting to dislike TiVo. Isn't that sick? I never thought I'd be mad at my TiVo but I do realize that this is all Time Warner's fault. I absolutely HATE Time Warner. HATE HATE HATE them!!! I'm a custom installer and I sell and install TiVo so all these problems that we're having I get to hear about from all my clients. I sold my clients a box that I love and stand behind and now my reputation is being soiled. Thanks Time Warner you dirty disgusting company. Thanks a lot!

    I'm in Palm Springs, CA and I have been staring at the 8 blink led TA light since yesterday. I have no TA channels and TW doesn't know when they'll fix it. Also, TiVo just sent me a brand new HDXL to replace my original Series 3 that was rebooting all the time. The other night the brand new XL box froze while changing channels and then rebooted. After reading the forums it sounds like people are blaming the Tuning adapters for this and I think they're right. I seriously doubt my new TiVo HDXL is bad and my old box was probably fine too. Another mysterious problem I'm having is the lack of Suggestions recordings. The old S3 box stopped recording them and now my new box isn't recording them and it's practically empty. I don't know how this could be related to the TA but I have a feeling it is.

    The TiVo box itself can't be this bad. Hey TiVo, are you listening??? Are you doing all you can to pressure Time Warner into getting their act together?? I think many of us switched to TW because DirecTV abandoned us and I think a lot of us are going to switch back ASAP especially if these problems aren't solved fast. I know I'm leaving the day that new box drops.

    Please God, let the new DirecTV TiVo be the perfect box I've always dreamed of. I want so badly to say FU to Time Warner and never give them another penny. This current situation is an expensive nightmare.
     
  20. Nov 11, 2009 #380 of 1485
    FrancesTheMute

    FrancesTheMute Resident Nihilist

    91
    0
    Sep 16, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    For anyone else in San Diego that's having issues, I just got off the phone with the CS rep and he said they have a known issue with SDV and the TA's that's currently being investigated but they don't have any solutions yet. We'll see what happens, but at least we know that they are aware of the issue, he said a lot of people had called in.
     

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