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Old 06-23-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
muskie
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Suddenly no video or audio

I have a TiVo Series 2 box. I woke up this morning to find clocks in my house were flashing. Apparently we lost power around 2am, based on the time showing on the flashing clocks. I don't know how long it was out.
When I checked this afternoon to watch a program I had set to record this morning it was just static. I checked my cable box and found that it was off. After turning it on I was able to watch tv normally.
This evening I was watching a ballgame, and realized that the TiVo record light was on. Checking the settings, it was supposed to have changed the channel and recorded a different show. Instead it recorded the ballgame I was watching.
I checked to make sure the blasters were still attached to my cable box, and they were.
I did a restart of the TiVo, and that didn't help, so I did a Repeat Guided Setup. When it got to the part which says something like "Do you see a picture?", I had no picture (or sound). I checked my cable box, which seemed fine, but to be sure I unplugged and replugged it again.
I am able to watch tv normally with my cable box. When I go to Watch Live TV from TiVo Central I get a blank picture and no sound.
I am able to watch the tv shows I've already recorded, so there's no problem with the TiVo to tv hookup.
I tried setting the TiVo timer to record a show. At the specified time the TiVo began recording, but it did not change the channel on my cable box to the requested channel. I physically changed the channel on my cable box but I get no picture or sound regardless of the channel.
All cables are secure. Nothing was changed in the setup. It worked fine yesterday, and now doesn't.
Can someone tell me what to check next?
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskie View Post
I have a TiVo Series 2 box. I woke up this morning to find clocks in my house were flashing. Apparently we lost power around 2am, based on the time showing on the flashing clocks. I don't know how long it was out.
When I checked this afternoon to watch a program I had set to record this morning it was just static. I checked my cable box and found that it was off. After turning it on I was able to watch tv normally.
This evening I was watching a ballgame, and realized that the TiVo record light was on. Checking the settings, it was supposed to have changed the channel and recorded a different show. Instead it recorded the ballgame I was watching.
I checked to make sure the blasters were still attached to my cable box, and they were.
I did a restart of the TiVo, and that didn't help, so I did a Repeat Guided Setup. When it got to the part which says something like "Do you see a picture?", I had no picture (or sound). I checked my cable box, which seemed fine, but to be sure I unplugged and replugged it again.
I am able to watch tv normally with my cable box. When I go to Watch Live TV from TiVo Central I get a blank picture and no sound.
I am able to watch the tv shows I've already recorded, so there's no problem with the TiVo to tv hookup.
I tried setting the TiVo timer to record a show. At the specified time the TiVo began recording, but it did not change the channel on my cable box to the requested channel. I physically changed the channel on my cable box but I get no picture or sound regardless of the channel.
All cables are secure. Nothing was changed in the setup. It worked fine yesterday, and now doesn't.
Can someone tell me what to check next?
I don't know what caused your problem, but you may need to go through Guided Setup again, and tell it you have a cable box and make sure it's feeding video to the TiVo at the time you do so.

What's the exact model number of your TiVo and have you opened it up and had a look at the power supply capacitors lately?

Oh, those clocks flashing? That was "You Know Who"'s way of saying you should have your TiVo and cable box on a UPS.

That's why He invented them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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Model # is TCD540080, Series 2 TiVo
Has never been opened. What do bad capacitors look like? Would the box still power up and play already recorded shows if they were bad?
I actually have 2 UPSs. I quit using them because they kept beeping, even though they were plugged in.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by muskie View Post
Model # is TCD540080, Series 2 TiVo
Has never been opened. What do bad capacitors look like? Would the box still power up and play already recorded shows if they were bad?
I actually have 2 UPSs. I quit using them because they kept beeping, even though they were plugged in.
Go here

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=479176

to see how subtle the visual differences can be in good and bad caps.

On the 240 and 540 models, first suspect the cap under the overhang part of the heat sink.

You know, where it's harder to get to if it has to be replaced.

If those UPS'es are 2 or more years old, get new batteries for them, or watch for a sale where you can get a whole new UPS as cheap as a replacement battery.

"Capacitor plague" can degrade a power supply's performance, which can cause strange symptoms without shutting down entirely.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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Based on the picture you pointed to the capacitors look fine. Took the opportunity since it was open to delicately vacuum the dust out. Lots of spare room in there!

While I had it disconnected I used the connections from my cable box and ran it to a spare tv. I was able to watch the tv, so it seems the problem isn't with the cable box (damn! I could get that replaced for free!). I also tried hooking up my TiVo using a regular coax from my cable box. Still no go. When I try to watch live tv from TiVo I get a black screen with a message on the bottom: Searching for signal on: Cable Box In.

I kind of wouldn't mind getting a new TiVo, since my current one doesn't do HD, except that a few years ago I called to cancel, (bluffing), and they gave me a rate of 9.99/mo forever. I assume if I get a new box I'll lose that.

I found a new TiVo Premiere on Amazon for $111.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by muskie View Post
Based on the picture you pointed to the capacitors look fine. Took the opportunity since it was open to delicately vacuum the dust out. Lots of spare room in there!

While I had it disconnected I used the connections from my cable box and ran it to a spare tv. I was able to watch the tv, so it seems the problem isn't with the cable box (damn! I could get that replaced for free!). I also tried hooking up my TiVo using a regular coax from my cable box. Still no go. When I try to watch live tv from TiVo I get a black screen with a message on the bottom: Searching for signal on: Cable Box In.

I kind of wouldn't mind getting a new TiVo, since my current one doesn't do HD, except that a few years ago I called to cancel, (bluffing), and they gave me a rate of 9.99/mo forever. I assume if I get a new box I'll lose that.

I found a new TiVo Premiere on Amazon for $111.

Any suggestions?
Do you have analog cable? At all, any channels?
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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When I hook up the cable box directly to a different tv I get all the channels. When I use the same cables to hook up to the TiVo I get no channels, just a black screen.

Follow up - I gave up trying to get it to work. Nothing I did is giving me a picture of live tv through my tivo, and the tivo is recording a black screen. I looked around on craigslist, and found someone nearby selling a new premiere (the older, 45 hour one) for $40. I picked it up today. The box was open, but the tivo is still sealed in plastic, and the box of accessories was still taped shut. I've got to copy a bunch of saved shows from my old tivo to my computer, then I'll go ahead and make the swap. Although I'll have to pay $14.99 instead of my current $9.99, by returning my cable box and getting a cablecard from the cable company I'll save $7, so I get a new HD tivo with dual tuners and save a couple bucks every month. Not bad, I'd say.

Last edited by muskie : 06-24-2012 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskie View Post
When I hook up the cable box directly to a different tv I get all the channels. When I use the same cables to hook up to the TiVo I get no channels, just a black screen.

Follow up - I gave up trying to get it to work. Nothing I did is giving me a picture of live tv through my tivo, and the tivo is recording a black screen. I looked around on craigslist, and found someone nearby selling a new premiere (the older, 45 hour one) for $40. I picked it up today. The box was open, but the tivo is still sealed in plastic, and the box of accessories was still taped shut. I've got to copy a bunch of saved shows from my old tivo to my computer, then I'll go ahead and make the swap. Although I'll have to pay $14.99 instead of my current $9.99, by returning my cable box and getting a cablecard from the cable company I'll save $7, so I get a new HD tivo with dual tuners and save a couple bucks every month. Not bad, I'd say.

If you're activating a Premiere, you can probably get the $99 lifetime deal on the S2, and I'm not convinced it's beyond repair.

Does that cable box have an RF output? Can you hook that to the antenna input of a pre-digital TV and tune it to channel 3 or 4 and get what the cable box is tuned to?
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:14 PM   #9
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If you're activating a Premiere, you can probably get the $99 lifetime deal on the S2, and I'm not convinced it's beyond repair.

Does that cable box have an RF output? Can you hook that to the antenna input of a pre-digital TV and tune it to channel 3 or 4 and get what the cable box is tuned to?
Tried that. Hooked the RF output to the antenna input of an old tv. Worked fine. Hooked the output to the tivo and that to the tv, no picture. Tried S-Video output to a converter box, then hooked that to the RF on the tv. No picture. Same with the composite video. No inputs on the tivo seem to be getting a signal. The outputs are fine - I can still watch what I recorded. But regardless of what I use to input a signal the tivo says it's searching for a signal.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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Tried that. Hooked the RF output to the antenna input of an old tv. Worked fine. Hooked the output to the tivo and that to the tv, no picture. Tried S-Video output to a converter box, then hooked that to the RF on the tv. No picture. Same with the composite video. No inputs on the tivo seem to be getting a signal. The outputs are fine - I can still watch what I recorded. But regardless of what I use to input a signal the tivo says it's searching for a signal.
What I had in mind was using the cable box as a channel 3 or a channel 4, whichever might be part of an analog cable lineup in your area, and then running Guided Setup and telling it you only had analog cable and weren't using an external box of any description, and seeing what that did for you.

If it can't find video on either the demodulated tuner output or the line level input, then the problem is whatever component which is downstream of both that deals with both, or it's with that component not getting enough power to work properly, which is quite possible if the power supply is suffering from the capacitor problems to which S2s and S3s are know to be vulnerable.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskie View Post
Based on the picture you pointed to the capacitors look fine. Took the opportunity since it was open to delicately vacuum the dust out. Lots of spare room in there!

While I had it disconnected I used the connections from my cable box and ran it to a spare tv. I was able to watch the tv, so it seems the problem isn't with the cable box (damn! I could get that replaced for free!). I also tried hooking up my TiVo using a regular coax from my cable box. Still no go. When I try to watch live tv from TiVo I get a black screen with a message on the bottom: Searching for signal on: Cable Box In.

I kind of wouldn't mind getting a new TiVo, since my current one doesn't do HD, except that a few years ago I called to cancel, (bluffing), and they gave me a rate of 9.99/mo forever. I assume if I get a new box I'll lose that.

I found a new TiVo Premiere on Amazon for $111.

Any suggestions?
It would be my guess that subscription/rate will continue for any Series 2 or Series 3 models that you change onto the sub. The Premiere and all subsequent Series 4 models have a different(higher) rate structure so would not be eligible on your "forever" rate.

So if you could find a decent S2 or TivoHD unit, that may be an option for you(if you want to continue paying monthly as opposed to buying the lifetime option). You can check with Tivo for details, or just go to your Tivo.com account and use the "Change Service Number" option to switch the sub over. I have done this more than once with my grandfathered $6.95/mo msd sub. Not recently though.

Last I checked on my local craigslist, there was a brand new(supposedly, unopened) HD unit, with new G adapter for $50. Wish I could have spared the $ at the time.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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So I ended up buying the Premiere TCD746320 brand new off of Craigslist for $40. Hooked it up yesterday. My cable company has a local office, so I went there and swapped out the cable box for a cablecard. I save $7/mo on the box, and I got the cablecard for no charge because I'm providing my own cablecard-enabled device. When I called Tivo to cancel my old box and activate the new, the csr asked if I wanted to go with the regular $14.99/mo service, or would I prefer to keep my current $10.99/mo service. "I'd recommend you keep the $10.99 service", said he. "I think I'll go with your recommendation", said I. I thought the service packages were tied to the box? When I was trying to decide what to do I had called Tivo and the csr then told me I had to go with the $14.99 package. This guy said I was grandfathered in at $10.99 and could keep it. I wasn't about to argue with him.

I had a bit of trouble getting the cablecard to work. The guy at the cable company kept putting me on hold, then coming back and asking for more information. All in all I spent an hour on the phone with him, and it still wasn't working. He offered to schedule a service call, but I told him I'd play around with it. I rebooted the Tivo, went through the guided setup again, waited awhile, and it was working.

I'm pretty convinced my old Series 2 box is shot. I couldn't get a picture, even though I was able to get a picture when plugging the same cable into the tv. I tried the coax input, as well as an S-Video cable from my cable box. The Tivo also wouldn't change the channels on the cable box with the ir blasters.

I plan on buying the Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB USB 2.0/eSATA External Hard Drive this week from Amazon ($99.99) to complete my setup.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by muskie View Post
So I ended up buying the Premiere TCD746320 brand new off of Craigslist for $40. Hooked it up yesterday. My cable company has a local office, so I went there and swapped out the cable box for a cablecard. I save $7/mo on the box, and I got the cablecard for no charge because I'm providing my own cablecard-enabled device. When I called Tivo to cancel my old box and activate the new, the csr asked if I wanted to go with the regular $14.99/mo service, or would I prefer to keep my current $10.99/mo service. "I'd recommend you keep the $10.99 service", said he. "I think I'll go with your recommendation", said I. I thought the service packages were tied to the box? When I was trying to decide what to do I had called Tivo and the csr then told me I had to go with the $14.99 package. This guy said I was grandfathered in at $10.99 and could keep it. I wasn't about to argue with him.

I had a bit of trouble getting the cablecard to work. The guy at the cable company kept putting me on hold, then coming back and asking for more information. All in all I spent an hour on the phone with him, and it still wasn't working. He offered to schedule a service call, but I told him I'd play around with it. I rebooted the Tivo, went through the guided setup again, waited awhile, and it was working.

I'm pretty convinced my old Series 2 box is shot. I couldn't get a picture, even though I was able to get a picture when plugging the same cable into the tv. I tried the coax input, as well as an S-Video cable from my cable box. The Tivo also wouldn't change the channels on the cable box with the ir blasters.

I plan on buying the Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB USB 2.0/eSATA External Hard Drive this week from Amazon ($99.99) to complete my setup.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!
Think long and hard before going with an external drive instead of just putting in a 2TB internal.

Lots of posts here from people who've run into problems with the approved external, and of course that means you lose all the recordings made since adding that drive.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:11 AM   #14
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Think long and hard before going with an external drive instead of just putting in a 2TB internal.

Lots of posts here from people who've run into problems with the approved external, and of course that means you lose all the recordings made since adding that drive.

How would I do that? I know how to install a hd in a computer, but what would I do for the software? Is any hd compatible, or are there certain requirements or recommendations? What's to say an internal hd is going to be any more reliable then an external?
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:15 AM   #15
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How would I do that? I know how to install a hd in a computer, but what would I do for the software? Is any hd compatible, or are there certain requirements or recommendations? What's to say an internal hd is going to be any more reliable then an external?
More tomorrow, when I'm awake.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:51 PM   #16
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How would I do that? I know how to install a hd in a computer, but what would I do for the software? Is any hd compatible, or are there certain requirements or recommendations? What's to say an internal hd is going to be any more reliable then an external?
Start reading about the jmfs cd here

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=455968


the version 1.04 is the most recent one.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #17
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Start reading about the jmfs cd here

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=455968


the version 1.04 is the most recent one.

WOW! 56 Pages! That should keep me busy for awhile! Thanks!
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