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Old 05-28-2014, 01:44 AM   #1
CinciDVR
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Smile Roamio Setup in Cincinnati

I've been reading copious quantities of forum posts over the last five days. Mostly to prepare myself for setting up my first Tivo, but also as a last chance for someone to talk me out of not getting a cable DVR and buying a Tivo. I have to admit, though the forum reading didn't convince me not to buy a Tivo, it did fill me with much trepidation concerning the cable card / tuning adapter setup.

The day started with me going to the TWC office to pickup my "easy setup kit". In and out in 20 minutes, despite the fact there were five people in line ahead of me. The TWC clerk gave me a cable card and tuning adapter that both appeared to be used, so my trepidation level only increased.

Next stop was Best Buy to purchase a Roamio Basic. They matched the Amazon.com price. In and out in 10 minutes.

Next stop was Microcenter Mall to pick a cable modem. I purchased it online for store pickup, so I was in and out in 5 minutes.

At home, my first task was to setup the TWC internet connection. This was way easier than I thought it would be. After connecting the cable modem to the coax and connecting a computer to the cable modem, I hit the TWC website on another computer which was using the internet connection through CB Fioptics. Found the page for activating cable modems and started a chat with TWC. They asked identifying questions and then asked for the MAC address of the cable modem. The whole chat probably took 20 minutes, but most of that time I was just waiting for the tech to do stuff on his end. At the end of the chat, my cable modem was connected to the internet, sort of. It was actually connected to a proxy that sent me to the TWC account setup page no matter what URL I typed in. After setting up an email address and accepting TWC terms & conditions, my internet connection was complete.

Next came the Roamio setup. I connected the tuning adapter to the coax. Connected it to the Roamio via USB and coax. Put the cable card into the Roamio and connected the Roamio to the TV. And then powered both up. The Roamio powered up and gave me the option of "cable card setup" or "guided setup". I chose the cable card setup option and then called the national TWC cable card setup phone number. The nice lady on the other end of the phone had me look at several of the Roamio cable card information screens. On the "CP" screen the "renew" value was something like 800000 seconds. Since that was clearly way too long to wait for the Roamio to look for a CP auth, she had me pull out the cable card and reinsert it. After that the renew value was 360 seconds. Once she confirmed that the CP status was "waiting for CP auth" she said I should be good to go in about five minutes and that I could go ahead with the "guided setup" and by the time I completed that the cable card should be active. I have to say that I was more than a bit dubious and fully expected to be calling her again.

The guided setup probably took 10 minutes to complete. When it was done, I started checking out channels and they were all there. The cable card / tuning adapter setup had literally only taken five minutes on the phone.

The next step was to activate the Roamio guide service, but before I did that, I played around with the Roamio a little bit and noticed a couple things that you don't appear to be able to do without the guide service activated that wouldn't seem to be at all related to the guide services:
  • Pressing "Live TV" multiple times does not switch between the tuners.
  • After pressing "Info" the channels to which the tuners are tuned do not appear
  • You cannot set a manual recording since the "Manage my recordings" option does not appear on the Tivo screen.

Activating the Tivo was relatively painless. I did it via the website. The final screen of the activation process said that it might take up to 24 hours for my Tivo to recognize the activation. Being the impatient person that I am, I went to the Tivo and forced a connection. Interestingly enough, some things seemed to become active on the Tivo quicker than others. Even after the "Manage recordings" option appeared on the Tivo screen, pressing the "Guide" button still said that the service wasn't activated. Even after information appeared on the "Info" screen for the channel I was watching, pressing the "Guide" screen still said the service wasn't activated. Finally the Guide appeared. The time between me noticing the first items, and the Guide actually appearing was probably 3-4 minutes. Strange.

So in less than six hours, I bought a Roamio and cable modem, installed them and had working internet and DVR. I post this just so others that might be in my position, wondering whether mixing a Tivo with TWC cable service is a good idea, can see a really positive experience. It CAN be as simple as plug-and-play. No guarantees though. Read as much of this forum as you can and you'll be prepared even if it doesn't go as smoothly as it did for me.

One other tidbit. While I was talking to the TWC clerk, he said, completely unsolicited by me, that he was hoping that TWC in Cincinnati would have IP tuning capability ready by the end of the year so that the tuning adapters can be retired. He didn't give any source for his "hopes" but if the TWC employees are talking about it maybe it will happen.

Last edited by CinciDVR : 05-28-2014 at 01:50 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #2
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......One other tidbit. While I was talking to the TWC clerk, he said, completely unsolicited by me, that he was hoping that TWC in Cincinnati would have IP tuning capability ready by the end of the year so that the tuning adapters can be retired. He didn't give any source for his "hopes" but if the TWC employees are talking about it maybe it will happen.
That would be great. I think they did a good job with their TWC app on my Rokus. The picture quality on the same channels on the app are better than almost all of my tuning adapter channels. That should be an improvement for me and getting rid of the TA is always a good thing! Let's hope it's sooner rather than later. Happy it all worked out for you!
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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I have had no trouble installing cable cards and pairing them up with TWC in Cincinnati over the past 5 or 6 years, ever since TW has allowed us to call directly into the cable card world headquarters. This goes for my Premiere and my Roamio Pro. By the way, the last time I talked to them for a TA problem, the much more knowledgeable than usual tech said that the correct way to reboot the TA is to disconnect the power, then pull the USB - wait about 10 seconds or so, then plug the power cord back in and wait until the green light stops flashing. This can take 2 to 10 minutes, but it's OK if you walk away and come back an hour later. Then plug in the USB cable.
You guys are lucky - these are tips I just don't pass along to anybody.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
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......... By the way, the last time I talked to them for a TA problem, the much more knowledgeable than usual tech said that the correct way to reboot the TA is to disconnect the power, then pull the USB - wait about 10 seconds or so, then plug the power cord back in and wait until the green light stops flashing. This can take 2 to 10 minutes, but it's OK if you walk away and come back an hour later. Then plug in the USB cable.
I agree with that, although I think it's been known for quite a while. In general you might as well initiate a TiVo restart too. Otherwise the correct channel map resulting from your TA reboot may not be transferred.
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You guys are lucky - these are tips I just don't pass along to anybody.
We'll keep it just between us girls then.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
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.......We'll keep it just between us girls then.
ROTFL
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by squiddohio View Post
I have had no trouble installing cable cards and pairing them up with TWC in Cincinnati over the past 5 or 6 years, ever since TW has allowed us to call directly into the cable card world headquarters. This goes for my Premiere and my Roamio Pro. By the way, the last time I talked to them for a TA problem, the much more knowledgeable than usual tech said that the correct way to reboot the TA is to disconnect the power, then pull the USB - wait about 10 seconds or so, then plug the power cord back in and wait until the green light stops flashing. This can take 2 to 10 minutes, but it's OK if you walk away and come back an hour later. Then plug in the USB cable.
You guys are lucky - these are tips I just don't pass along to anybody.
My setup on my Roamio was absolutely painless. So now that TWC has it figured out we will be getting Charter. I sure hope they have their act together.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:22 AM   #7
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TWC SW Ohio being selected as part of the piece of the Comcast/TWC merger to be lopped off just so the deal doesn't look too big may be an indication of the extreme esteem with which TWC has regarded us. (I can say the esteem is mutual. )
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:04 PM   #8
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the wonderful thing that is google lead me to this thread... I'm also in the Cincinnati area (Batavia to be exact) and a current TWC subscriber. I have a few months left on my "good" new customer promo bundle pricing, so i'm looking at options to cut down to just TW internet.

i currently lease the cisco 8742HDC HD DVR from them for my living room TV as well as 2x DTA 170HD digital tuners for the bedroom TV's

from what i see, the roamio HD will be very similar to the cisco that i have now (both have 500GB HDD), but the roamio will have 4 tuners vs. just 2 on the cisco. i might add 2x tivo mini's down the road, but for now, the basic digital tuners are fine in the bedrooms.

now just correct me if i'm wrong, the only cost to switch to this tivo roamio HD would be:
-initial cost of the roamio HD (currently $169.99 on amazon)
-monthly cost of cableCARD and tuning adapter (OP care to tell me what you pay for those?)
-monthly cost to tivo for guide service ($14.99)

... and this tivo unit is going to have a similar type (i understand different colors and fonts, etc.) of guide and recorded show list as my current TWC provided cisco unit does? is there any reason why i shouldn't switch to a tivo unit? will i be losing any channels by switching to it?

thanks
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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CableCARD's are $2.50/mo. and TA's are "free".

There's also the option to purchase a lifetime TiVo subscription for $300 or $400. This is tied to the lifetime of the box.

My personal experience is the TA has been a constant PITA over the 5 years I have had it, requiring hours of rebooting and phone calls. Unfortunately, with TiVo and TWC there is no one who takes ultimate responsibility for proper functioning. Both parties can point the finger at the other one. I understand there are other Tivo users in the TWC SW Ohio region who have had much better experiences, so YMMV. I suspect TA problems are localized to specific neighborhoods depending on quality of cabling and equipment.

Promotion packages are always available (not just to new subscribers) and you should always ask about them. It's like bargaining with car salesmen -- you're asking to be taken if you don't do it.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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CableCARD's are $2.50/mo. and TA's are "free".

There's also the option to purchase a lifetime TiVo subscription for $300 or $400. This is tied to the lifetime of the box.

My personal experience is the TA has been a constant PITA over the 5 years I have had it, requiring hours of rebooting and phone calls. Unfortunately, with TiVo and TWC there is no one who takes ultimate responsibility for proper functioning. Both parties can point the finger at the other one. I understand there are other Tivo users in the TWC SW Ohio region who have had much better experiences, so YMMV. I suspect TA problems are localized to specific neighborhoods depending on quality of cabling and equipment.

Promotion packages are always available (not just to new subscribers) and you should always ask about them. It's like bargaining with car salesmen -- you're asking to be taken if you don't do it.
thanks for the info, i guess this site doesn't have any kind of "rep" to give you?

i saw the lifetime subscription cost. i think i will just try it out for a couple months to make sure i like it. i'm guessing that the lifetime sub can be added on later down the line if i like it?

i live in a fairly new neighborhood (about 9 years old), but my personal condo building is only about 2 years old, so all of the cabling in the immediate vicinity is pretty new. hopefully that will lead to few problems with the TA.

i agree on the promo packages with TWC too. i am actually in the 2nd year of service here and still in the "new subscriber" pricing. they bumped me up in price when my first year ended, but i guess i complained enough to get it cut back down for another year. i was told that online chat, email, and telephone all have different packages that they are allowed to offer.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #11
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If any of you here have Fioptics availability, switch now! No TA's needed, and it works like a charm. I had TWC in the past, and I was always rebooting the TA.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:49 AM   #12
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If any of you here have Fioptics availability, switch now! No TA's needed, and it works like a charm. I had TWC in the past, and I was always rebooting the TA.
I think only certain Fioptics neighborhoods are compatible with TiVo. I don't know the details but for people considering switching over you'll probably want to research this (perhaps beyond just asking a CSR if TiVo will work). I know someone who moved between Fioptics neighborhoods and he had to give up TiVo at the new place.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:47 PM   #13
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If any of you here have Fioptics availability, switch now! No TA's needed, and it works like a charm. I had TWC in the past, and I was always rebooting the TA.
I switched from Cincinnati Bell Fioptics to TWC and based on the Fioptics equipment that I had I don't think there was any way that a Tivo would have worked. Channel reception was all IP based. There wasn't even a coax jack on the back of the Fioptics equipment. So I'm curious how your system is setup gamo62.

I switched because after my first year of service, Cincinnati Bell hiked my bill for Internet + TV by 81%. When I called then on it, they begrudgingly said they would only increase it by 55%. I told them that wasn't good enough and that I was going to go check my options with TWC. They said "Fine, have a nice day."

When I called them back a week later and said I was cancelling my service, they asked what they could do to keep me. I said it was too late. They said what if we give you two free months. I said it was too late. They said what if we give you the first year rate for another year. I said too late. If they had offered me the first year rate for another year when I originally called, I'd have gladly accepted it. I don't know why they would think any customer would accept a year over year increase of 81% or even 55%.

In reality, the TV part of CB Fioptics is not as good as TWC. The DVR is slightly worse. The lag between pressing a remote button and having something happen is worse than TWC. Trying to page through the guide is more painful because there's more of a lag. The actually TV reception is slightly worse - the video slowly gets out of synch with the audio and every 5-10 minutes there's a noticeable video jump as it catches up.

My CB Fioptics experience is based on the Fiber to the Node (FTTN) model where fiber is brought to the neighborhood, and copper is used to get from the node to the home. CB Fioptics also supports the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) model as well where the fiber goes all the way to the home.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
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I just switched to Fioptics with Fiber to the Home. Not all of Cincinnati Bell Fioptics customers can use a cable card. In fact, most of the new installations are only IPTV based and because of that are not required to use cable cards. I dearly miss my TiVo. No online access to schedule Shows, no Out of home viewing of content and it is really difficult to "find" a show and schedule it for recording. I had heard that some CB customers who were in systems with cable cards were not limited to only local channels having the CCI bit flipped that disabled out of home streaming, I'm just not in a CinBell service area that supports cable cards. I think we will be switching back to TWC (sadly) unless CinBell can come up with a way to get my TiVo to work with their system.
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