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TWC and Roamio: Black screen on popular shows?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by BrianMundt, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Sep 1, 2013 #1 of 50
    BrianMundt

    BrianMundt New Member

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    Sep 1, 2013
    Hey everyone. I've been a TiVo user for many years, and I've run into a recurring problem that I can't seem to solve.

    Right now, I'm on TWC, using a CableCard and Cisco TA. I've had (and still do) many, many issues with the stupid tuning adapter. Black screens, "channel not available" errors, V52, etc.

    For the last few weeks, a few minutes before Breaking Bad, my screen will go black with no error messages. AMC will be working perfectly fine in the minutes before the show starts, but like clockwork, the screen will go black about 5-10 minutes before the show airs.

    After the show, sometimes AMC will return, sometimes it won't. When it does return, it will record a subsequent rerun of the show.

    I've found that unplugging the TA a few minutes before the show starts will fix the issue occasionally, but not all the time.

    It's almost like I'm dealing with a TWC capacity issue or something. I've had the exact same thing happen with Walking Dead last season-- both shows with a very large viewership.

    Anyone know what's going on? This is happening on both an XL4 and Roamio PLus.
     
  2. Sep 1, 2013 #2 of 50
    mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    I am wondering if the current tuning adapters can handle the workload of 4-6 tuners. My Premier xl ( 2 tuners) never had an issue but currently with the Roamio i get frequently the same problems as you reported. My TA is from the first delivery TWC supplied so i guess its already pretty old.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2013 #3 of 50
    AdamNJ

    AdamNJ New Member

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    Aug 22, 2013
    Dunellen, NJ
    i think you guys might have an issue whith how many tuners the ta can handle. i'm not on twc, but i believe some ta's can only handle 2 or 4 tuners. i would call up twc and see if they say how many tuners your model ta will support, and if there is a better one that u can use or an update they can push.
     
  4. Sep 1, 2013 #4 of 50
    thyname

    thyname Member

    991
    19
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Exact same thing hapenned to me tonight with Breaking Bad. It was great (I was watching previous episode on AMCHD) then the channel went black when the new episode started. I tried several times with channel up and down, never able to get the channel. Ended up watching in standard definition. I tested again when the show ended, and it was working
     
  5. Sep 1, 2013 #5 of 50
    thyname

    thyname Member

    991
    19
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Same thing with the Walking Dead a few months ago
     
  6. Sep 1, 2013 #6 of 50
    jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
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    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Same here, been having the issue all week. I'm going to try the 4 tuner setting on a Pro to see if it helps by limiting the streams on the TA. My TivoHD w/ 2 streams perfect.
     
  7. Sep 2, 2013 #7 of 50
    mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

    215
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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Do i understand there is a setting that limits the Roamio Pro to 4 tuners? I like to try that as well if it exists. Where do i find it?
     
  8. Sep 2, 2013 #8 of 50
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    3
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    It could be, because they are both very popular shows, and since you need a tuning adapter to tune, that AMC is of course an SDV channel. That being said, my theory on what's happening is there are too many people tuning in for the show in your area and the head end can only support so many concurrent connections being streamed onto their network at the same time, and you lose out. That's the whole point of SDV. It's so they don't have to have that channel, and all their SDV channels, broadcasting full time in order to save bandwidth. They're banking on not everyone tuning in at the same time.

    It wouldn't surprise me if their STBs take precedence over cable cards when tuning into these channels as well. Just another reason to piss off the customer trying to use their own cable device enough to return it and go back to the crappy cable co's equipment and make them more $$$.

    .....just a thought.
     
  9. Sep 2, 2013 #9 of 50
    HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    3
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    Look up member "TiVoMargret" and you'll find a post by her describing the remote codes to use. It's in a thread about missing tuners 5-6 if you want to search.
     
  10. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    3
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    Found it:

     
  11. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Member

    579
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    Mar 5, 2004
    Over time I've seen reports that SDV gives fits to people with only cable company equipment also. Those people were not happy. It would worth it to get tech help cable from your cable provider.
     
  12. mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

    215
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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Thanks!!!
     
  13. i_luke

    i_luke New Member

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    Sep 1, 2013
    I am having a similar problem with TWC too. None of my basic or expanded basic channels are working now that I've switched to the Roamio. I have a Premier and it works fine.

    TWC has no clue and they are sending someone out. They are telling my that all of their signals are digital and the channels aren't analog. I've read in the earlier posts that you guys are using a "tuning adapter." Any suggestions on how I find out if I need one. I have TWC in Western Kentucky.
     
  14. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I've been having some better results at 4 and even 5 tuners. Soon as I bump up to 6 tuning starts to fail. In the DVR diagnostics you'll find which tuner failed. It will say the tuner #, channel, and status. For me the status of failed tuner is waiting for response.
     
  15. jwbelcher

    jwbelcher New Member

    489
    0
    Nov 13, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I had a similar problem with Brighthouse. While TWC is big on SDV, given your Premier is working, its doubtful you need a Tuning Adapter. My issue at Brighthouse was the CableCard was added to the account wrong and wasn't receiving *many* of channels. I asked asked for their "PRT" group (Priority Response Team) to help with the issue - this got past their front-line reps and onto someone that can help. They found I was missing a code on the new cable card. He said, in their jargon, it "was missing a code from the occurrence". He said the occurrence is the cablecard and the missing code related to channels. As soon as he added the code, bingo, back in business. I wasted about 3-4 hours this week getting the reps to add the cablecard and then fix it so it would work.

    Good luck with yours. Just hang in there with TWC until you find a rep that knows what a cablecard is :rolleyes:
     
  16. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
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    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...
    I think what he was saying was "OCURs", meaning:

    OpenCable Unidrectional Receiver, here: http://www.cablelabs.com/opencable/specifications/ocur.html
     
  17. BrianMundt

    BrianMundt New Member

    11
    0
    Sep 1, 2013
    So, here's an update on my situation.

    I had a tech out to my house yesterday. When I had called the CableCard hotline, they told me that my FDC levels were too low, and needed to be raised. They claimed that the levels were to blame for my issues.

    As many of you probably know, getting a knowledgeable tech is a lottery at best. The guy that came to my house spoke like he knew what he was talking about, so I trusted him. He examined the levels and claimed it was "physically impossible" to boost the FDC numbers past their current level (-12). He claimed that low FDC numbers wouldn't impact anything important. I told him that the CableCard hotline had said, on multiple occasions, that the levels needed to be between -7 and +7. He claimed that those levels would "cause more problems than they fix" and that I really didn't want levels that high.

    He told me that a "network" issue on their end was probably the cause, but wouldn't provide any additional information, let alone a "fix" for such issues. Okay.

    Then, he asked me how many tuners were in my Tivo Premiere XL4 (I'm running this and a new Roamio), and I told him that it had four tuners. He looked at me for a moment like I was stupid and said, "well there's your problem! Our tuning adapters can only tune to two SDV channels at a time!"

    First, I told him that I didn't believe that was true (I was under the assumption that they handled four simultaneously) and that it couldn't be the source of my problems, as I was only attempting to record Breaking Bad with no other simultaneous recordings. He wasn't taking any of it. He told me he was 100% certain that was the issue.

    So, he proceeds to, over the course of 4 hours, completely mangle my enclosed component rack. He split the coaxial coming off the wall and ran that to two separate tuning adapters, each connected to same TiVo via USB. Now, having had such immense problems with one tuning adapter, the idea of having two to worry about was not appealing.

    During the course of this "fix," he had to call a minimum of ten people to get clarification on a myriad of things. Listening in on his conversation, it seems as though his manager told him that the tuning adapters were not limited to two SDV channels, but four, which he dismissed as being incorrect. He kept insisting, to everyone he talked to, that they were limited to two.

    When I asked him how running the coaxial cable through two tuning adapters would impact my MoCA network, he claimed it wouldn't. He also installed a signal booster.

    He left, and almost immediately, one of the tuning adapters started blinking, which knocked out every SDV channel. Not only that, but the TiVo was getting no MoCA connection, despite countless resets.

    Completely unsatisfied, I called the CableCard hotline, where the woman proceeded to tell me that the tech obviously had no idea what he was doing. Great!

    She told me to disconnect one of the tuning adapters, which I did. She also told me that now my RDC numbers were below target, even though they were perfectly fine before the tech arrived. Surprisingly, the FDC numbers that were "physically impossible" to raise were now almost perfect.

    The CableCard hotline also confirmed my suspicion that the tuning adapters can handle four simultaneous SDV channels, not two, and that daisy chaining two of them was a recipe for instability.

    She scheduled someone to come out on Monday and try to raise my RDC levels now, which I'm doubtful will do anything.

    So, long story short, I lost four hours of my life so that a tech, who smelled terribly of BO (I had to spray my house afterwards… no joke), could mangle my meticulously maintained component rack and cause more issues than before he arrived.
     
  18. scole250

    scole250 Member

    805
    5
    Nov 8, 2005
    Goldsboro, NC
    I'd ask to speak to the tech supervisor and tell him to take that jack leg out of the rotation.

    And call the (NC) RDU TWC techs for advice before hacking up your setup.
     
  19. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,350
    6
    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    The Tuning Adapters can actually support 6 tuners.
     
  20. FACTAgent

    FACTAgent New Member

    11
    0
    Aug 27, 2013
    NJ
    About two years ago when I got one of the first Ceton 4-tuner PCI cards, I remember reading somewhere that you could be limited to two streams if the tuning adaptor did not have updated firmware. I never checked this out because I was not trying to tune any SDV channels on that setup (just on my Tivo HD XL, which only had two tuners anyway).
     

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