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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. Mar 8, 2010 #701 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    With all due respect, we have proven that the problem lies with TiVo. We monitored the MPEG TS with a Tektronix real time analyzer and found that every time the PAT version number changed indicating a program addition or deletion to the transport stream, TiVo macroblocked. The analyzer did not flag any MPEG protocol violations in the stream. As you pointed out previously... there is only one MPEG spec and everybody, including TiVo, Cisco and Motorola have to follow it.

    The brand of tuning adapter should have no bearing on the situation as its not involved in the mpeg transport stream decoding. I doubt that BigBand does anything different in its SDV server or edge QAM between a motorola plant or a cisco plant relative to TS generation.
     
  2. Mar 8, 2010 #702 of 1485
    Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    5,171
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    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    I've seen macroblocking happen quite a bit, but generally it's only a second or two and it goes away. One or two times the macroblocking has been so bad the show was unwatchable. The issues seemed to be a hit and miss and by the time I was watching the recorded show the issues weren't happening on the effected channels.
     
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #703 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I havent seen anything where it goes on 'constantly' but even one hit a minute can be very annoying. The hits did take about a second to resolve. About the only way to reasonabally 'prove' that its the same issue is to also record the show on an 8300 and check TiVo's RS Uncorrected error count before the show finishes recording. If its this issue, you will find no uncorrected errors on TiVo... A perfect recording on the 8300... and glitches on the TiVo recording. I even did multiple TiVo's and the glitches repeated exactly between the two.
     
  4. Mar 8, 2010 #704 of 1485
    kevin120

    kevin120 New Member

    47
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    Mar 15, 2008
    could the tivo process mediacypher and power key differently it is possible and this could explain the differences.
     
  5. Mar 8, 2010 #705 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The TiVo doesnt process 'CA Encryption' (Conditional Availability aka Mediacypher and Powerkey). That is all done in the cablecard and hidden from us 'outsiders'. The issue is around 'CP Encryption'. TiVo is likely killing the existing CP encryption nexus when the PAT changes. CP (Copy Protection) is the encryption used between the cablecard and the UDCP.
     
  6. Mar 8, 2010 #706 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Whoa... Eureka?.!... One difference could be that Motorola Cable cards may have chosen to not enable CP encryption when CA Encryption is enabled and CCI = 00. The early versions of the Cablecard Copy Protection spec says no CP encryption in that case but later versions made it optional. Cisco Cablecards DO turn on CP encryption in this case. So... if you are on a Motorola plant that uses CCI=00 for SDV channels AND Motorola cablecards do not force CP encryption for CCI=00 then the TiVo issue wont be excited and you wont see any issue..... If CCI= non00 then the spec requires CP encryption which should see the issue.

    This could be an explanation of why many dont see it.
     
  7. Mar 9, 2010 #707 of 1485
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    I think that could be a very reasonable explanation (you know much more about the technical details than I do). Congratulations!

    One quick question: what is being bundled together when we're talking about the PAT version being incremented? Is it all SDV streams being bundled into one stream, or is it only those at one QAM frequency, or a group of QAM frequencies? I've been looking, but since the official ISO docs are off-line, I haven't been able to find anything on the web that describes this process.
     
  8. Mar 9, 2010 #708 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    The PAT is only concerned with the programs on that specific Transport Stream on that specific QAM. There is only one Transport stream per QAM.
     
  9. Mar 9, 2010 #709 of 1485
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Thanks. One of the theories I have about why we aren't seeing more pixelation is that the cable companies that are still ramping up their SDV may be limiting their channels per QAM for the time being. Thus a channel addition will affect fewer other streams in those locations as compared to a fully loaded implementation like you apparently have.
     
  10. Mar 9, 2010 #710 of 1485
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    True. Here, I believe they allow 2 HD and 2 SD per QAM. If a system is 3 HD per QAM you have less chance of being hit (2 other slots which a program could be added or deleted as opposed to 3)
     
  11. Mar 10, 2010 #711 of 1485
    Pilot20

    Pilot20 New Member

    255
    1
    Mar 5, 2005
    I'm on TWC in South Texas.

    I've had my Tivo HD for over two years.

    Until about two months ago, I was just on the expanded basic package, and had a few HD channels from QAM.

    I then decided to upgrade to the Digital Tier with a cable card as most of the QAM channels had disappeared. Installing the cable card was a real pain, as none of the techs here knew anything about them.

    After many truck rolls and phone calls, we finally got the cable card (Scientific Atlanta “M” card in slot 1) working. It had not been configured properly on their end.

    Last week, TWC moved to SDV. Now, I need a tuning adapter to get most of the channels that I want.

    I thought the cable card installation was a pain, but this has been ridiculous.

    I went to the retail center to pick up the tuning adapter (Cisco). I'm pretty knowledgeable about such stuff, so I had no trouble connecting it to my Tivo.

    However, I couldn't get a steady green light no matter what I did.

    Now the fun begins. TWC sent out 4 techs at the same time. They said that it was a training trip as I was the only one here that needed the adapter. They had no idea what they were doing. They checked my signal, called the Nat'l Service Desk, and determined that the tuning adapter was defective. I went back to the Retail Center to get another. Brought it home and again, no steady green light. I called the Nat'l Service Desk and after numerous reboots etc., was told that I had a bad box. So, I went back to the Retail Center and got a third box.

    Got it home...no steady green light.

    Called the local TWC number and was told that a tech was on the way. I said if he didn't have another box with him, that he was wasting his time. A few hours later, the tech called and said that the tuning adapter was not configured properly on their end, and that it should now work. It didn’t'.

    TWC is scheduled again for this PM. I don't have much faith that they will get it working anytime soon. They seem to be out of tuning adapters.

    I have made so many phone calls and have had to go through the same song and dance on each call, and I am really getting discouraged.

    Could I possibly have 3 bad boxes? The Retail Center said that that is all that they have as there is little demand for them.

    It is my understanding from the Service Desk that the box should boot up with a series of green light blinks, and then a steady green, even if the box is not connected to anything but power.

    I am getting power to the box as I can get the non SDV channels with the cable routed through the box.

    Tivo can see the adapter, but doing a channel test indicates "no channels available" and I never get the “acquiring channels” screen.

    I have rebooted the Tivo and tuning adapter numerous times, and tried with and without the USB cable. Nothing I try gets a steady green light.

    Any suggestions would be helpful.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Mar 10, 2010 #712 of 1485
    jmbissell

    jmbissell Member

    73
    0
    Dec 4, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    I had similar problems (though I didn't swap out boxes) when first trying to hook up my TA. The light just kept blinking. TWC wanted to roll a truck but I figured that would be worthless. I asked for the National Cable Card Support Center but the tech had no knowledge of such a group. On a tip from this forum, I contacted TiVo and the tech there had the number and connected me. She even stayed on the line while the NCCC tech looked at the problem. It turned out that my account was not flagged properly for the TA (I'm not sure excatly what they set on your account to enable the TA) so that no amount of effort on my part was going to fix it. He fiddled w/ the account info and almost immediately everything worked.

    Lately I've been having a lot of trouble w/ THD freezing. t did it twice yesterday - no response to the remote, black screen. Rebooting solved the problem but this has now been happening so frequently that it must be similar to the other TA problems reported here. THD never froze when I was just on analog cable.
     
  13. Mar 10, 2010 #713 of 1485
    Pilot20

    Pilot20 New Member

    255
    1
    Mar 5, 2005
    Thanks for the tip on calling TIVO. I considered that, but assumed that they wouldn't be much help. I will give them a call.
     
  14. Mar 10, 2010 #714 of 1485
    Thess

    Thess Drive-By Poster

    57
    0
    Mar 23, 2002
    Durham, NC
    Over in Durham. For what little it's worth, a friend and I (the friend lives about 2 miles away) have identical TiVoHD/TWC/TA setups and we both see major macroblocking issues on our SDV channels, particularly DSC and Syfy. My recording of Caprica from the SyfyHD airing two Fridays ago was all but unwatchable, and I had to re-record another (middle of the night) airing. My husband and the friend both complain about it ruining a lot of Mythbusters episodes. (I realize it's not show-specific, but if I'm following some of the theories correctly, it would make sense that we see it much worse during shows that air at primetime?)

    Anyway--I just wanted to get a small amount of whining in, and also thank the folks who are trying so hard to track this problem down.
     
  15. Mar 13, 2010 #715 of 1485
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    17
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Roughly once a month I get the 8-blinks. A few times it has been fixed quickly by local (Southwest Ohio) support, but usually I end up talking to the National Cable Card Support (NCCS) desk.

    A new wrinkle this time: The local CSR said he was transferring me to "Level 3 Support". When I asked he said that was local. Well he transferred me to the national support desk for internet services. They of course could do nothing and transferred me back to local support -- where I was starting all over again. They sent some signals (which they could not describe in any understandable terms) but after 20 minutes still no joy.

    So I finallly ended up at NCCS and they sent signals that finally fixed it, after some reboots, etc. Another 1:15 hrs wasted.

    The NCCS guy made some interesting comments:
    1. There is a time-out of 30 days on TA's. They are supposed to get a refresh signal automatically ("Balancing" hit I think) before the 30 days expires, but he suspects this isn't working. This would be consistent with my experience.
    2. He has heard there is another TA software update in the works that will address a number of problems -- but no specifics available yet.
     
  16. Mar 13, 2010 #716 of 1485
    cdeckert219

    cdeckert219 technogeek

    170
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    Jan 7, 2006
    San Diego
    I just gotta say it... the tuning adapter solution is the most flaky, frustrating piece of electronics I've ever had. I have to unplug and reinsert the USB adapter 5-6 times a week when it loses connectivity with the TiVo. It reboots at least once a week... and won't reconnect with the TiVo unless I reboot the TiVo, also. I'd love to toss it out!

    TWC in San Diego...
     
  17. Mar 16, 2010 #717 of 1485
    bongoherbert

    bongoherbert not very special

    32
    0
    Dec 20, 2001
    Yep. Me too. Ever since the TA.

    I called in to TiVo (actually did their on-line chat). We did a little dance and rebooted, eventually I started receiving suggestions again. Then, a few days ago, I was getting alerts that my guide data was running out (even though I had two weeks worth). I called in again, they told me to do a reboot, and had me force a connection right after it came back up. Another reboot and that fixed the guide-data issue, but now, you guessed it, no more suggestion recording. I've always been a fan of the suggestions, so I'm sort of sad to not have 'em.

    But- on the plus side, magically, the HD streaming of netflix is working pretty well. Give a little, get a little.
     
  18. Mar 29, 2010 #718 of 1485
    Effinay

    Effinay New Member

    26
    0
    Aug 17, 2006
    Centerville,...
    Anyone know if the new TiVo Premier boxes will need a tuning adapter, as well? Are they just a revamped TiVo HD?
     
  19. Mar 29, 2010 #719 of 1485
    pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

    669
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    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    As far as I can tell, they still need a TA. It's pretty much just a refresh of the TiVo HD with new user interface software on a faster processor. There might be some juicy new hardware hiding inside but nothing has been announced that I know of. I'd expect it can do transfers from the PC faster. I actually don't like what little I've seen of the new UI so I'll be sticking with my S3.
     
  20. Mar 29, 2010 #720 of 1485
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    17
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Yes TA's are still required. Transfer speeds are MUCH improved.

    See bkdtv's excellent FAQ sticky thread, which includes transfer benchmarks.

    He says the new UI is too slow and this is being worked on. The old "classic" interface is selectable and runs faster than previous models.
     

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