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Old 04-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #1
arbywon
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Help for a friend in a Retirement Community

It's been a while since I've been here. I used to have multiple Tivo including 3 DirecTv Tivos that turned into boat anchors a few years ago. Now I have multiple DTV dvrs and I still miss my Tivo.

A friend just asked for my help. He lives in a townhouse which is part of a retirement community. He had Dish for a while because his community didn't offer HD on their private cable distribution network but that has recently changed. He canceled his Dish system and now has HD channels from his cable socket on the wall. Most cable channels are HD. Local networks are SD but the community folks say HD network channels are coming.

He misses the Dish dvr and his community gave him a poorly written 1 page sheet that suggests a Tivo Series 2 box available at Best Buy.. It says the Premier series promoted on the Tivo website "gets bogged down". Now, first observation is that this note is way out of date. Second is that as far as I can tell, the Series 2 boxes do not record HD. Next, the note says to connect the cable wall jack to an analog port on the Tivo. This would suggest to me that the current Roamio is not going to work.

I haven't actually looked at his current setup yet but he tells me he has an HD flat screen tv connected directly to his wall jack. He has no cable box. I am guessing this institution has installed a Directv business system designed for hotels and such. I have a call in to his "contact" to verify this.

So --- anyone here have any experience/knowledge of hospitality distribution networks? What Tivo models should I be looking at. Any help would be most appreciated.

Ron
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbywon View Post
It's been a while since I've been here. I used to have multiple Tivo including 3 DirecTv Tivos that turned into boat anchors a few years ago. Now I have multiple DTV dvrs and I still miss my Tivo.

A friend just asked for my help. He lives in a townhouse which is part of a retirement community. He had Dish for a while because his community didn't offer HD on their private cable distribution network but that has recently changed. He canceled his Dish system and now has HD channels from his cable socket on the wall. Most cable channels are HD. Local networks are SD but the community folks say HD network channels are coming.

He misses the Dish dvr and his community gave him a poorly written 1 page sheet that suggests a Tivo Series 2 box available at Best Buy.. It says the Premier series promoted on the Tivo website "gets bogged down". Now, first observation is that this note is way out of date. Second is that as far as I can tell, the Series 2 boxes do not record HD. Next, the note says to connect the cable wall jack to an analog port on the Tivo. This would suggest to me that the current Roamio is not going to work.

I haven't actually looked at his current setup yet but he tells me he has an HD flat screen tv connected directly to his wall jack. He has no cable box. I am guessing this institution has installed a Directv business system designed for hotels and such. I have a call in to his "contact" to verify this.

So --- anyone here have any experience/knowledge of hospitality distribution networks? What Tivo models should I be looking at. Any help would be most appreciated.

Ron
my suggestion go to https://www.tivo.com/tivo-tco/tvlistings.do change to his zip code to check and see if Tivo already has a channel lineup that matches what his is.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
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A lot of assisted living facilities and retirement communities offer services from a satellite provided service from Senior TV. You should probably ask if that is what your friend has and then search to see if any TiVo boxes are compatible with their system. I know when my MIL first moved in her assisted living place several years ago, they offered to install a Premiere for a fee, of course. The individual units do not have a set-top box so I assume the signal was somehow converted so it was compatible.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:04 PM   #4
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Thanks ajwees41: The zip code shows both Windsor Park (digital) that contains only HD channels as well as Windsor Park (Primary) with SD channels only. So good news, Tivo already knows about this private cable system.

Thanks NashvilleKat: The SeniorTV site recommends the Tivo Premier to "Use with analog, off-air broadcast, digital or HD cable channels from SeniorTV". I still haven't got an answer from the "contact" at the retirement home to verify who's system they use but it could well be SeniorTV.

Besides capacity, what are the advantages of the Premier models vs the Series 3 HD models? I am thinking that a used model with lifetime service from ebay might be a good option.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:59 AM   #5
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Besides capacity, what are the advantages of the Premier models vs the Series 3 HD models? I am thinking that a used model with lifetime service from ebay might be a good option.
The Premieres are still getting updates. Series 3 Tivos are pretty much EOL and are more susceptible to capacitor plague
on the power supplies.
You'll have to ask your friend if he would like a more up to date Tivo that is still getting new features, or would he like a Tivo
that is more stable (no more updates that could possibly screw things up).

OTOH, The Premieres are more dependent on having an internet connection , while the Series 3 models are more independent.
The type of internet service could be a factor. If dial up is the only thing available, you'll have to get a Series 3 as the Premiere doesn't have a modem/phone line connection. I think the Premiere works okay with DSL, but broadband would be better suited.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:41 AM   #6
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Absolutely find out exactly what he has for internet service, including what equipment (cable modem?, wi-fi router?, combo unit?) is involved.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #7
arbywon
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The retirement park's supplier is Senior TV. My friend has AT&T dsl and the wireless router can be moved to the tv area so it's a hard wired internet connection.

Tivo support replied to my email request and suggested the Premier which is $75 from the Tivo outlet. I am sure it's a refurb but comes with a 1 year warranty. Seems perfect for what my friend needs.

Thanks to all!
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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This has not been going well. I have two questions but first, here is the background:

The first unit Tivo sent me was a TiVo Premiere 4 (R75050). It did not have an analog tuner so was not able to receive my friend's SD channels. Tivo tech support said "Oh, you need a different Premier." I believe they sent the Premier XL (not sure as it currently is 6 miles from me).

With the replacement unit, guided setup found the SD channels, downloaded the guide data and that part was working well. No HD channels though. After scratching head, I did a channel scan and the HD channels appeared. We could tune to them in amazingly clear high definition glory. No guide data yet so I decided to wait for an overnight guide update. I could record one of the channels though so I was feeling pretty good. (Recording ended at the next half hour without guide data.)

My next visit to my friend 3 days later showed no progress. The Tivo guide showed "(to be announced)" for all the HD channels. I understand this simply means Tivo can't find info for the channel. After several hours on the phone with 3 or 4 different tech support reps, all trying to be helpful but most taking me down blind alleys I requested Media Services correct the HD guide data. The response was this was not possible as Tivo only gets guide data for digital channels through info provided by a cable card. Cable cards are not available from either Senior TV or the retirement community.

My friend may be out of luck but I am wondering if there might be a way arround the cable card. I believe the situation is the following:

Through the services of Senior TV, the retirement community maps SD (analog) and HD channels (clear QAM) onto their internal cable network. Residents with digital tvs can view both without a cable box.

Windsor Park, the retirement community, provided two guide setups for Tivo's use (I assume through Tribune Media Services): one called "...(Primary)" and another called "... (Digital)". Tivo's guided setup loads the SD channel info via the Primary data feed. Tivo would find the Digital data feed through an installed cable card but that card is not available.

I appreciate your attention if you are still with me. Here are my questions:

1. Is there a way to configure Tivo to access both data feeds? One of the support techs thought this was possible through an advanced menu but we went through guided setup 3 more times looking for a prompt but never got one.

2. If the retirement home could configure all their channels in the "Primary" guide setup, would the Tivo find all of the channels? Perhaps this is not possible, eg the digital data feed has more information or a different format than the primary feed. Perhaps the retirement home would not have the technical ability or authority to modify the primary configuration.

Any advice or additional comments would be appreciated.

Last edited by arbywon : 05-24-2014 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by arbywon View Post
I appreciate your attention if you are still with me. Here are my questions:

1. Is there a way to configure Tivo to access both data feeds? One of the support techs thought this was possible through an advanced menu but we went through guided setup 3 more times looking for a prompt but never got one.

2. If the retirement home could configure all their channels in the "Primary" guide setup, would the Tivo find all of the channels? Perhaps this is not possible, eg the digital data feed has more information or a different format than the primary feed. Perhaps the retirement home would not have the technical ability or authority to modify the primary configuration.

Any advice or additional comments would be appreciated.
I am pretty sure that the answer to question 1 is "no."

The only combination guide data that I am aware of is when you are combining Over the Air guide information with a cable package.

For answer 2...... I will have to give an indirect answer.

Tivo pulls their guide information from a service called zap2it. My understanding is that if the type of service you have matches one of the Zap2it listings, then you are good. But if your channel lineup is not included with zap2it, then you have to finagle something.

I suppose if the retirement community could mirror their channel listings to match something that already exists in zap2it, then you might be in business.

Perhaps it would be easier if you could give us the zip and the cable provider that your friend has.

Also, there is always the option of doing manual recordings by time and channel.

TC
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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The response was this was not possible as Tivo only gets guide data for digital channels through info provided by a cable card. Cable cards are not available from either Senior TV or the retirement community.
The part in bold is not true. I hope that no one from tivo told you that.

TC
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:07 PM   #11
arbywon
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Yes, I was told that by a Tivo rep; if not in those words, indirectly, by saying the only way to get the guide data was via the channel card.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:07 PM   #12
arbywon
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The zip is 60188 and the provider is Windsor Park Manor.
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:01 PM   #13
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When I set my Roamio up the other day it did the same thing with the to be announced info on HD channels. I did a rescan on the channels and the Roamio this time went to certain channels and asked me if I got that channel , that fixed it, so I think I set up the wrong channels the first time .
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
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Okay, I see what they did.

They broke the Windsor Park channel info into 2 completely different sets of listings.

Channels 2 through 59 are one set of listings.

Then channels 60 and up are a completely different set of listings.

Easiest and best fix here...... zap2it needs to report ONE set of listings that includes ALL channels for all of Windsor Park. That would make everything else fall into place with Tivo and your friend's guide listing.

If you cannot get that done, then your next best bet may be for your friend to set up manual recordings for the shows which are not appearing in his guide.

Unless your friend is pretty technically savvy, you are probably going to be limited to those two options.

TC
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
arbywon
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Here is the response that I received from Tivo tech support: It claims that the cablecard provides the information to download a channel map from the cable provider.

Quote:
Thank you for contacting TiVo Customer Support. I would be more than happy to help you with your lineup questions.

The first issue I would like to address is the HD channels available without a cable box. These channels are known as 'Clear QAM Channels', they would be the channels with a dash in the channel number. These channels are unencrypted rebroadcasts of ATSC (antenna) channels. If you perform a channel scan, these unencrypted channels appear in your channel list, and your DVR can tune to them, but you will not receive program guide data for them.

Unlike analog channels, which are mapped to fixed base frequencies to comply with industry-wide broadcast standards, digital channels can be broadcast on any frequency your cable provider chooses, and the frequency can be changed at any time. Tribune Media Services, which provides program guide data to TiVo, does not collect tuning frequency data from cable providers.

The only way to get guide information for these channels would be to obtain a CableCARD from your cable provider. As soon as a CableCARD is installed and activated, the card downloads a channel map from your cable provider that tells the DVR which frequency to tune to in order to display each channel in your lineup. With this information, the DVR can match the program guide data with the tuning frequency.

The lineup selections for Windsor Park Manor include one analog and one digital selection, which is normal. If any of the channels that are not QAM are listed incorrectly, you can submit a lineup report by going to www.tivo.com/lineup

Please contact us again if you have any questions or concerns and we would be happy to help you. Thank you for choosing TiVo and have a great day!
It seems to me that for Tivo to work, it needs to have an id or tag (call it the channel name) with which to access the schedule information and it needs the frequency that the channels is actually on to tune to it. Tivo's response above claims that the cablecard provides the information to download a channel map from the cable provider to provide the mapping between channel name and frequency.

You seem to be suggesting that zap2it essentially provides this mapping. I have been thinking the same thing but with a concern based on the above response. As an example, Fox News is listed in zap2it as channel 70. During one of the many guided setups I went through, I actually did setup the digital guide for Windsor Park. That guide displayed Fox News as channel 70 (consistent with zap2it's listing). However, the channel is actually on digital channel 70.1 (70-1 in Tivo-ese). Does anyone know if it is possible for zap2it to list channels in their complete xx.x format?

Last edited by arbywon : 05-26-2014 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:24 AM   #16
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In order to get guide data for any of the channels that are listed as xx.x, you will need a cable card. The response you got from Tivo is correct. Tribune Media Services, who owns zap2it, has the mapping info, but that info can only be obtained with a cable card. Guide data is not provided for the sub channels with the - or .
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:53 PM   #17
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This seems to be an unusual situation, but you might want to consider ordering a CableCard from eBay. These cards are unactivated (much less paired), and cable providers won't activate them; but on a normal cable system, they still work to provide the channel mapping for clear QAM channels. (They just can't do any decryption -- which it doesn't sound like you need.)

Then again, with no cable boxes in use, I wonder if it's even a QAM system? Maybe 8VSB (broadcast-like)? Anyway, the cards on eBay are cheap enough that you can just try one and see if it helps.

Be aware that there are different brands of CableCard that should (I'm told) correspond to the equipment used by the head-end; but I doubt that you have any way of finding out what that is. So, you might have to try, say, both a Cisco and a Motorola card, to find one that works.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:51 PM   #18
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Interesting! If I got a card, how would I program it with the channel map?
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #19
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You don't program it. It's automatic. It'll either work, or it won't. There's nothing you can do at your end to tweak the process AFAIK.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:28 PM   #20
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In order to get guide data for any of the channels that are listed as xx.x, you will need a cable card.
If this is true then why are the original Premiere Tivos able to get guide data for over the air stations without a cable card?(and probably the base level Roamios as well)?

Aside from all that, I still do not think that a cable card alone is going to solve this person's problem. For their cable provider, there are two completely separate sets of guide data. When this person runs guided setup....... even if there is a cable card...... then he is going to have to pick one or the other. And whichever one he picks, some channels will be left out of his guide info. That seems like a very basic point to me. Am I missing something?

The easiest way to fix this will be for zap2it to include all of the channels in one single guide listing......... e.g., the "digital" listing should include both digital AND non-digital channels. As long as that piece of the puzzle is missing, I do not see how any of this other stuff matters.

TC

Last edited by True Colors : 05-26-2014 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:30 AM   #21
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You don't program it. It's automatic. It'll either work, or it won't. There's nothing you can do at your end to tweak the process AFAIK.
Unless the cablecard happens to be programmed for this particular channel mapping, I don't see how this can help.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:57 AM   #22
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Unless the cablecard happens to be programmed for this particular channel mapping, I don't see how this can help.
Because it doesn't work like that. Think of it this way: The mapping is being "broadcast" by the cable company, all the time. But you need a CableCard to receive it. It will receive any lineup from any cable company, assuming compatible equipment.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:49 AM   #23
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Because it doesn't work like that. Think of it this way: The mapping is being "broadcast" by the cable company, all the time. But you need a CableCard to receive it. It will receive any lineup from any cable company, assuming compatible equipment.
You do not need a Cable Card on a Senior TV system. Traditional Cable Companies must use encryption when broadcasting HD channels to the end user, since companies like RetirementHomeTV and Senior TV use a system where the signal originates at the facility they do not have to use encryption (Clear QAM).
In your case the guide information was submitted by Senior TV, the reason for there being two of them is more than likely because the system use to be analog and was switched to either a comm 1000 or ZeeVee system to allow you to receive HD channels. You need to contact Senior TV of this problem so they can make changes to the guild information.
Again, these types of systems are not encrypted nor do they need to be remapped… you do not need a card.
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