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Updated: 33 min 22 sec ago
I wanted to share something I learned in my experience in a separate thread so it is easy to find if someone has a similar trouble.
I picked up a cable card at the Verizon store the morning I got my Roamio Pro (shipped site to store) at Walmart (we get a discount, so it was a good deal).
I hooked it up the night before, went through guided setup. I called the number Verizon gave me to automatically pair and supposedly activate the card and things seemed well from the automated system.
I noticed that it was stuck at 50% on the Acquiring Channel Information screen in the Live TV view, but I figured it would just take a while, so I left it there overnight. I noticed it was still at the same point the next day, so I called into Fios tech support and worked with a very helpful CSR for an hour total trying reboots, inits, etc. Nothing seemed to help.
He noted that everything for the card looked "green" from his side, so we were going to schedule a truck roll for a few days later (the earliest time he had).
He asked me if this was a new install or on an existing outlet and it hit me to check the cable to the unit. I found it was just hanging out the back of the shelf I use as my media cabinet as I had forgotten to hook that up. I told him I would try a few things on my own, not wanting to stand by the screen for any longer as I had to get back to doing real work from home that day.
Doing this quickly resolved part of my trouble. Going through their automated system now properly got me channels, even some versions of the OTA ones came right through. I was told "you are not authorized to view this channel" on ever higher level one I tried, so I called tech support again.
I worked with another CSR who noted that my card was somehow marked as deactivated in the system and it took her some fiddling, but she finally got it to setup correctly and I believe everything is working now.
This brings up several points:
- Recheck that the video feed is hooked up if you have setup troubles. I was falsely looking at all the pairing challenges noted in another thread when the fact was that the video was never hooked up.
- Their system can say the card "looks great" without ever contacting the card. I don't know how that works, but don't rely on "everything is working on our end" as an indicator of connectivity. They could not have ever had connectivity since the coax was not connected. The Tivo was hooked into the network with an ethernet cable, but I don't believe that gave them any details on the cable card.
- The Tivo should have noted it had absolutely no video coming in, but it did not catch that. Make sure you check this several times yourself.
- Things work very quickly once you have a proper feed.
I may or may not have had any troubles without this huge user error, but I am a bit surprised that neither I nor Verizon noticed the lack of a video connection. The only notes I found on the Tivo site where about cable card pairing problems, which were the wrong direction to look here. It wasn't correctly paired, but that was only because it wasn't connected!
Though I do recall seeing network traffic on one of the cable card screens during the first debugging session, so perhaps it does do some communication over the network connection. That was correctly (hardwired) hooked up early in the process.
BONUS: Make sure your UPS can handle the extra load of another unit. I think I burned out my existing one (a fair bit old) by adding the Tivo to that as well, ending up with it waking us up very early in the morning with its beeping and now refusing to take a charge. I needed to replace it anyway, but I would have done something differently if I had thought of this obvious fact.
I work with computers and security all day, build my own systems, etc. and I still got caught with these stupid mistakes. Hopefully I can save someone else some setup time.
I may repost this to my blog later so Google will archive it forever. :)
Got a letter today saying that on or about 10/8 TWC here is going all digital except for the local PBS station(s). While I will lose 1 channel from my old S2DT, overall I don't really care - I have plenty of other digital tuners available. What I would like to see is for them to get rid of the cursed tuning adapter. Anybody else have that happen when your TWC switched over?? Nothing is mentioned in the letter. Just "better picture and sound, more HD channels, and more robust internet speeds".
Just mounted my Minis to the back of my TV's. I love the look of not having any boxes on the dressers!
I want to move my Elite from wireless (currently using a TiVo wi-fi adapter) to hard-wired ethernet. I already have a jack in place, I've just never used it. The other end of the wiring run is connected to a std router.
Is it as simple as connecting the TiVo to the jack? Will the TiVo automatically switch over to ethernet from wi-fi? Anything I need to do?
[Aside: I'm trying to get ready for a new Roamio. My current TiVos are all wi-fi. But I want to start using MRS and Minis, so I want to take advantage of the ethernet I had wired a couple years ago, but never used.]
Well i watched each and every single Futurama episode. Loved the series in whole. It had its up and downs. Last nights episode, The Finale, was a decent close to it. Little sentimental, little corny and still funny.
Sad to see it go but it was time, maybe time a season back but a good wrap up.
Apparently the TIVO 'MAY" keep a recorded program paused until you return to unpause it. Often we watch tennis matches where after a couple hours, we pause it, go elsewhere on TIVO to either watch a different recording or live TV and then when we go back to the paused recording, half the time it will only restart at the beginning of the show and other times it will start exactly where it was paused. I'm told that TIVO documents state that the device "MAY" stay paused which implies it may not. Wish they would fix it.
Since everyone is busy upgrading their Roamios, and this question came up in the previous thread, I'd like to address it in a separate thread. That way if this thread gets closed, at least the other thread can remain open.
I have actually worked at a company that makes hard drives, as an engineer. I can't publish the proprietary designs because I don't work there anymore. I could also get sued for divulging too much information. So I'm walking a tightrope here. If I'm too vague in some areas, it's because I'm in CYA mode.
In the very beginning (10 years ago), there was a difference between them. It had to do with thermal calibration. Normal drives would have to go offline for a few 100 ms to recalibrate themselves based on the temperature change in the hard drive. That obviously would be bad for a streaming application. But modern techniques make type of thermal calibration unnecessary. Modern drives can recalibrate for temperature on the fly.
Then there was a period where there was no difference between AV drives and green drives except profit margin and a longer warranty.
Before I left, they were actually developing different production lines for the two models of drives. Though mainly because they needed to add another green/AV line to keep up with demand for AV drives, and they just decided to make it a dedicated AV line to shift the AV demand off the other lines. So now there COULD be some differences between them mechanically, but I'm thinking the differences in hardware are trivial. All hard drives are designed more or less the same (except for the RPM and case height), and they all are designed (as best as possible) to run 24/7/365. No hard drive mfr. recommends powering down their hard drives a few hours a day to give them a rest. Even modern OSs are constantly doing some housecleaning, so a green hard drive will constantly be accessed whenever the PC is on.
The firmware differences were also subtle:
Acoustic mgmt: green set to normal, AV set to quiet.
ATAPI 7 streaming support: both had it, technical support provided and advertised only on AV drives. The AV drives had the latest bug fixes, while the green drives were a build or two behind but more stable. It seemed silly to intentionally disable that support in green drives -- it would have created more problems than benefits.
That's it for the differences. It turns out that most consumer PCs also want most of the AV drive features, including fancy read/write techniques to speed things up even more. Intel's RST is an example of this.
Regarding the streaming support (including the "don't report an error" feature), the commands for those are different than the typical hard drive commands. They are "extensions" in ATAPI 7 (and ver. 8). Download the spec. for free yourselves and try to stay awake reading them. You need substantial changes to the OS kernel and one or two levels up in the OS and the apps to support them. I left just before the MRDVRs became popular, but at the time I'm pretty sure no DVR was using those streaming extensions. We weren't getting any calls about those extensions, which was odd because we were pretty sure they didn't work that well and if anyone DID try to use them, they would have had problems and called us. But that might have changed since I left.
Besides, the Tivo kernel and its apps are available for download as well. You should be able to see if they are using those streaming extensions or not. I'll see if I can do that in my spare time, though I can't promise anything.
Regarding the whole "don't report errors" feature, we considered it very dangerous and totally useless. It gave too much control over our customers, who didn't know how hard drives worked. If an OS were truly tailored to an embedded DVR app, then it shouldn't freak out when an error is reported. What it should do is warn the user the hard drive is about to die. Errors occur all the time and are almost always corrected, but if the HD has trouble correcting the error that sector is normally moved from the bad spot to a good spot and not reported as bad to the OS. The hard drive only reports an error when it CAN"T correct the error or move the sector, which means the hard drive is circling the drain. I always thought DVR mfrs would use this feature to cover up defective hard drives and lower the amount of returns they would have.
Finally, I pulled the critical performance specs. from a WD Green drive and a WD AV-GP drive. This doesn't mean I used to work *there*, I chose these because they are used by a lot of people. I could also be comparing two generations of hard drives.
WD20EURS (AV) vs. WD20EZRX (Green)
Max. sustained transfer rate: 130 Mb/s vs. 147 Mb/s. The Green is FASTER. Note that one MPEG4 1080p stream only needs 22 Mbps, and one MPEG4 720p stream needs just 12 Mbps.
Both have 64 MB cache.
Neither published their RPM speeds. Dead giveaway they are lower than 6000 RPM.
Max. power: 4.4 Watts vs. 4.1 Watts. The Green is actually a little cooler. It may be spinning a little slower.
Noise: 24 dBa vs. 27 dBa. The AV drive is a little quieter, though at those levels you won't hear anything more than 3 feet away.
Warranty: 3 years vs. 2 years.
Price: $99 vs. $96.
For the extra $3 and an additional one year warranty, I'd currently recommend the WD20EURS drive over the WD20EZRX for DVR and PC use. But I'd base my decision solely on those two factors. I also think the Green drive is a newer design than the AV drive -- it consumes less power AND it's faster.
New show airing on The History Channel Tuesday nights. Fans of Duck Dynasty and the like should get a kick out of this show. It's about a real motorcycle club (not a gang) located in New York state. Most of them have day jobs as contractors with a few other occupations thrown into the mix. They're all middle-aged, overweight, and generally a hoot to watch. The mother of the club leader is a real pistol and one of the show's highlights.
Two 1/2-hour episodes air back-to-back on Tuesdays around 10PM.
With my XL4 in SD menus, I get a notice that there is a temporary problem when trying to access the guru guides. It has been happening for a week. Is there really a problem with the TiVo servers, or could it be my XL4?
Nine episodes down, four to go. And every time the end credits roll, I find myself saying, "I didn't see that coming." A testament to the writers that they keep us on the edge of our seats, yet stay grounded in reality, while taking us in directions we don't expect.
"I know what it means"
Im using a a $199 tivo roamio with my wowway digital cable service without any issues and without installing a cable card. Since I have digital basic i get all 99 SD channels and the 10 local HD national network channels. Although initially it complains that a cable card is necessary to tune in most of the channels, a channel scan pretty much fixes that. I use the same setup with a Tivo Premiere XL-again no cable card and all works well as it does with three other Series 3 HD Tivos.
Im thinking about going to the plus for six tuners and streaming and wonder if anyone else has been successful in doing a similar setup with a Roamio and if it will work since it differs by the fact that it doesn't have a OTA tuner (even though my cable is in fact plugged into the cable input).
I remember once trying series 4 that no matter what i did, without a cable card, i couldn't get it to work without a cable card installed. I gambled and tried the Roamio and it worked, I'm hoping a plus will work just the same.
Let me start by saying I despise Comcast and the exorbitant fees they charge for a cable box or cablecard ($9.95). I have 2 cable boxes in the house and 3 cablecards. The way they are allocated means I pay $9.95 x 3 for 2 boxes and 1 cc, plus $1.15 for a Cc installed in a 2-card Tivo S3 (to get them to acknowledge that price, which is on their website, required a complaint to the Illinois Attorney General's office, but it worked, and they even refunded 18 months worth of overbillings). But enough of my rant. Here is my question:
If I get a Roamio Plus and 3 TiVo Mini's (total of 4 TV's in the house), will I pay:
a) $0 for the boxes/CC since the first is free and there is only 1 CC in the house
b) $9.95 for a "digital outlet fee"
c) $29.85 because I have 3 devices getting signal, even though only one actually has a CC in it (assuming first one is free)
d) $39.80 because CC wants to charge for every TV in the house
e) something else, because Comcast has no idea what to charge and will make it up as they go along
Any thoughts? (and yes, I know to set this up is expensive initially, but I'd rather pay it to TiVo than Comcast).
I am having a problem with my Roamio and 3tb HD, both ordered from Amazon.
Instead of troubleshooting, I am thinking to return both and reorder again with next day shipping, its only $7.95 as I am a Prime member.
Will TiVo know anything, if I cancel the one and add another????
South Park will have new episodes on Comedy Central starting Sept. 25th at 10pm eastern time.
A decent kickoff to the season.
Do you like cream pies in your man cave? :p
I have 1 stock Premiere XL and 3 TivoHDs for sale. All have lifetime service and the 3 TivoHDs have been running fine as far as I know. One has had intermittent networking issues which restarting the box always seemed to solve (could be a network switch issue outside the box). No known issues otherwise, though they would all be sold "as-is". I would be happy to validate anything you want me to check ahead of time.
They will soon have their cable cards removed soon, in case that matters. (I want to stop paying the monthly fee for them to Verizon.)
So back on the forum after 6 years of Dish and Direct. Now am moving back to Seattle area and going with Frontier for Phone, Internet, Cable (FiOS). I am wondering if anyone else with a Roamio and Frontier has had any issues.
I was told that although it's the original Verizon FIOS, you can not use Roamio on Frontier for VOD. Is there anything else I should be concerned with using Frontier? Should I just use Frontier for the phone and go with Crap (whoops) Comcast so I don't have to go the "Two Box" route for Tivo and VOD.
Thanks all, great to be back on the forum!!
I just got a new tivo roamio with the hopes of being able to record more than two channels at a time. I went down to my local Southern California time warner cable store to get a cable card and they told me they don't offer cable cards that have more than two tuners. Does this make the 6 channel recording ability useless? Is there any solution to record more than two channels?
So I bought the Roamio today, my first new TiVo since the original model (14 years ago?). Totally thrilled to be back in Tivoland!
Except now it is frozen in restart with the "Welcome! Starting up..." screen. Holy cow, that is the same screen that froze 6 years ago on my old Tivo when I finally gave up. Do you mean to tell me that they have not been able to get a robust startup in place over 5 years!
Would love any advice. It is frozen. I installed it today, connected to Comcast with a CableCard, and it would not recognize the service. Called Comcast to activate the card, which they claim to have done. Rebooted the machine and I am now in frozen-land.
Any help appreciated.