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Old 09-15-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
bensonr2
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Help! New CCard - Now stuck "Firmware upgrade"

So I have been desperate to get my Tivo Premiere back up and running for 2 days now. But problems are only getting worse and neither Cablevision nor Tivo (though Tivo was at least more friendly) support feel like they are helping just yet.

Problems started a few days ago though not positive as I haven't watched much TV this week.

I noticed a couple recordings had a lot of digital artifacting.

Then I noticed a couple channels could not tune in at all.

And some of the channels that could not tune in were basic broadcast channels such as NBC and Fox.

It seemed like I was slowly losing more channels. Though most of my basic cable channels still were coming in fine (though maybe some digital artifacting on a few.

I called cablevision. They gave up pretty easy and want to send a tech out. I don't think its an issue of the quality of the line. Only a few weeks ago they tested my line quality at their request for some still unexplained reason. (Tech simply replaced the one radio shack splitter I had with one he brought).

Anyway they cannot send a tech for almost a full week. I asked if I could try exchanging the cablecard myself at one of their stores to see if that fixed anything.

I installed the new card, powered back on the Tivo.

Tivo said it was "updating the cablecard decoder firmware".

I never got guided setup so I could call cablevision to bind the cablecard. It remained stuck on an endless cycle of screens for the firmware upgrade for over an hour.

During that time I caught a few errors that briefly flashed -

failed to load //app/cvtupdate

I caught a similar error for slightly different file/directory name.

I called cablevision. They said the card must be bad, get another one.

Ran back to the store. New card has the same problem.

Called cablevision again. According to them the Tivo must be "bad" but I'm not buying it.

I called Tivo. They had me try reseating the card while it was powered on. I feel like I can almost get into the cablecard installer menu to get the binding information for the CC; but it always goes back to the decoder firmware update screen.

Anyone have anything to add? If its at all useful this week I believe the cable system in my area is migrating to all digital. Might that have affected anything?

I've brought it up to both cablevision and tivo but they just brushed it aside.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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First thought is check the cable and connections at the new splitter it is possible that one of the shield strands got caught inside the connector attenuating the signal or the connection is just loose.

Have you checked the signal strength and quality? Poor signal would keep the Cable Card / Tuning adapter from getting the update

Checking signal lock and signal strength
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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At this point you can't check signal strength, SNR and RS Errors, unfortunately, which would indicate whether signal quality is a problem. Hopefully at some point you'll be able to run KickStart 54 to check out the Hard Drive (HDD). The most likely failure points in TiVo's are the power supply (PS) and the HDD. I assume on a Premiere the PS failure is much less likely than it would be on a Series 3.

Suggestions:
1. Pull power plug, wait 30 secs. Remove CC. Insert power plug. How far do you get this way?
2. Pull power plug, wait 30 secs. Insert CC. Insert power plug. Any change?

See if you can run KS54 either with or without the CC inserted.
Instructions here:
http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
If KS54 shows a problem it's most likely the HDD is failing -- but there are HDD failures that the KS tests won't detect.

If stuck with nothing else to do, open the TiVo box. (Warning this theoretically invalidates your warranty so if you may want to use the warranty don't do it). Look for bulging or leaking capacitor cans on the PS board. Even slight bulges mean a failure. The cap or the PS needs replaced.

Finally to rule out HDD failure (assuming KS54 found no problems) remove the HDD, connect it to a PC and run the Western Digital extended diagnostics tests on it.

Of course if signal problems are the issue, all the TiVo diagnostics tests are a waste of time. However, KS54 is relatively easy to run -- if you can get it started.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Failing hard drive maybe. bensonr2 did you replace your hard drive in your XL earlier this year?


Unless it is an XL4 you still should be able to get the signal strength with the Cable Card removed. from Settings -- Channels -- Signal Strength Cable.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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Hard drive does not seem to be failing as I can watch previously recorded programs.

But you guys appear to be right. It does seem like it may have been a signal issue. Removing the splitter Cablevission installed a few weeks ago got me past the firmware upgrade screen.

I got as far as the screen with the host id info this time.

However when I called to activate the rep I spoke with claimed my card's "serial number" is not in their database.

I pressed her whether I could pull any info from the Tivo diagnostic screens in order to have them "register" the card in their system. They claim no. Her solution is for me to wait for my appointment four days from now.

I'm making progress but still frustrated.

But thanks guys for the info. I appreciate it. I feel silly I dismissed signal quality issues so easily.

Last edited by bensonr2 : 09-16-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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Looks like you have it under control.

My 2 Cents worth anyway.

I don't know how far the cable office is.. you could take the card back Monday and have them "register" the card they gave you.

Did you replace the "Cablevision" splitter with the Radio Shack one? If you did the signal may be too strong. Radio Shack splitters tend to have more loss then the cable company supplied ones when passing the signal through especially on the upper frequencies.

Are you able to access the Signal Strength, what are the values?

Before the cable guy gets there follow TiVo support steps Troubleshooting digital cable signals on TiVo Series3 and Premiere series boxes especially the SNR and RSS values. At least you would have some more information to give the Cable guy to diagnose the problem. Not sure how Cablevision works. Comcast here the contractor is paid by the call and just wants to close and get to the next call ASAP it took 2 calls before I got the Tech to get his meter out of the van and actually measure the signal coming into the house. He did not seem to be happy that he now had to get the ladder off the truck and climb the pole and re-do the 20 year old connection. (the 3rd guy replaced the cable)
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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No splitter at all anymore. I only have the one line now going direct to the Tivo.

I picked up another card this morning.

Again this one needed to "update firmware" but again with the Tivo connected direct to the line no split it successfully downloaded then flashed the firmware update on the card.

Again I got the host id and cable card id screen. Called to bind.

This time they claim it "won't bind" must be something on my end.

I demanded, pretty forcefully to speak to someone directly involved in the setup and deployment of cable cards. They wouldn't budge claimed there was no one.

I started demanding an appointment this afternoon, full refund for this month even threatened cancelling. Wouldn't budge.

As far as the signal strength. Depending on the channel I'm getting around 68. SNR was 32 db last time I checked.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #8
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Those signal strengths and SNRs are low enough to be a concern, and they would have been lower with the splitter still in line. What RS error counts do you see? (Same place as the strengths and SNR , in DVR Diagnostics) Are they non zero and, more important, are they increasing as you watch? If so you definitely have signal problems.

What phone number are you calling to iinstall your CC? Does Cablevision have a separate national number for CC self-installs? Or for CableCARD problems in general? TWC has both of these. If Cablevision has such numbers you should try them.

I wonder if the binding failure is a signaling problem or just means they haven't put your CC's ID number into their computer system?
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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There is no dedicated number for CC installs listed on their website.

The 800 number provided on the cable card screen is simply the main support number. I still have to go through all the menu options and when they finally connect me to someone they have to re route me to someone who is capable of handing cable card installs.

The RS corrected and uncorrected value for most channels is both 0. However.... I did find one channel, Velocity HD on 727 that has a high number of both corrected and uncorrected (the uncorrected number though is much lower then corrected). This is the same channel I had a recording with noticeable artifacting on last week. Though right now despite the numbers the pic quality on the channel seems fine.

Just an update though.

After letting the cable card sit for 2 hours while I was out I came back and again all channels seem to be tuning save the premium ones.

I have been cycling through all the basic cable channels and they all seem to come in fine.

But when I tune into HBO I get the not authorized message from Tivo then the cable card text screen comes up telling me to call to bind the host id.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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I had a visit from a tech today. He said the problem right away was low signal. He didn't attempt to activate the cable card, though I didn't give him a hard time since he was very friendly and really seemed to want to be helpful.

He said the source of the signal loss was at the tap.

He told me he could install an amp at the point of entry. That my signal was low but the quality of the signal was high.

He explained the other option was to have a couple more guys come out to change the line. And it would involve getting into other people's apartments. Obviously he was trying to steer me away from that.

Unfortunately he did not have an amp in the truck. He was very apologetic and explained they have been running out of them all week.

He scheduled an appointment to come back the next morning (assuming he is able get an amp tomorrow).

I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:03 PM   #11
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What the tech said makes sense in light of the "tilt" effect involved in setting up a node (taps along the line serving a neighborhood). Tilt is the variation of signal strength from low to high frequencies. Highs are attenuated much more than lows as you go along the line from tap to tap. Tuners can accomodate just so much tilt. They set the node up so the taps at the beginning of the line have tilt with strong highs and the tilt gradually reverses as you go down the line from tap to tap. The amp he's suggesting is the alternative to rebalancing the entire node, which will affect all taps. The need for this suggests a combination of two things:
1. The TiVo tuners can't handle as much tilt as cable co tuners.
2. They didn't set up the node tilt very well to begin with, or some line degradation has changed it.
For details from a more authoritative source (forum member lrhorer) see this post: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...78#post7604378

Tuners need a certain range of signal strength AND a minimum SNR (signal-to-noise ratio). Amplifiers can increase strength but can never improve SNR. That's what he's getting at by saying your signal quality is good (SNR above minimum). If it wasn't, an amp wouldn't help.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:08 PM   #12
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As far as the Tivo tuners being more sensitive then cable co STB I'm not sure my incident speaks to that.

Right now my Tivo seems to be tuning channels fine. I can pretty much get everything and the pic quality seems good.

It is only the premium channels I can't get at this point since they haven't been able to bind my cable cable card.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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Quick update, issues still aren't resolved.

Tech said he didn't have an amp available Thursday. Rescheduled for Sunday (today). Received a call this morning that my tech wasn't available and they would like to reschedule for Monday morning.

I'm getting most of my channels and they seem fine. Just when Tivo tries to tune a premium channel or one that is part of the extended lineup it kicks me to the activation screen.

I tried calling again to see if they could now bind the cable card. But I got the response again "that cable card is not registered in our system".

I'm starting to worry this band aid solution of installing an amp on my line won't solve anything. And that if it was this much pain to get a tech to come out here with an amp that if they have to change out the line from tap that could take even longer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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Latest update:

Just had my visit from the tech.

Installed the amp but still can't get the cable card binded.

The signal was definitely boosted. I checked the diagnostic menu and there is a noticeable increase.

But the main problem of not being able to get the cable card properly activated persists.

The tech mentioned that there is a problem with all the "302" cards. Unfortunately at his office they only have "302" cards. But before he left he had them do something with the card (I forgot what exactly he said) and had them verify it was working.

But this new card was even more problem. After he plugged it in and opened the cable card installer menu in Tivo, Tivo simply gave the message "your cable provider has not provided any information about this card".

We then put back in my last card since at least that gave the host id and was tuning the non premium channels.

The tech spent a half an hour on the phone with a service rep trying to activate one of the cards. The tech he spoke with kept telling him the same thing I was told that card was "not registered" in there system"

The tech set up an appointment to come back again Thursday. He told me that they are aware of a problem with cable cards right now. That their "might" be some sort of update that goes out and the cards suddenly start working for hundreds of customers.

I like the tech that they have been sending. He is very friendly and seems knowledgeable enough about certain subjects. But I get the impression he knows next to nothing about how the cable cards actually work. And the service reps on the phone you get when you call to activate literally know nothing.

The one he spoke to simply said she talked to her supverisor who said its not registered.

I feel like at this point they should know I've been calling to resolve issues for almost two weeks, and have had two service points. My issues should have been escalated to some sort of network engineer who has a clear technical knowledge of cable cards.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:28 AM   #15
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Is there anyway to get both your cable provider and TiVo support on the phone at the same time?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #16
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Yeah, I received a private message from one of the support personnel to try a three way call with Tivo and my cable company.

But they just told me to call the main Tivo support number.

I'm not opposed to calling. It's an issue of time. I have to wait on hold for Tivo, then explain the whole story. Then I imagine the Tivo rep will have to wait on hold for a cablevision rep. It does not seem like there is an direct number or shortcut to get a cablevision service rep. Even the tech that came to my apt had to wait on hold to get a hold of one. The only thing he was able to bypass was having to wait on hold and talk to a customer service rep first.

Plus the issues seem like they are only with my cable company and cable card. It's not a Tivo issue.

And in addition, latest update, my signal strength issues have returned. I can no longer tune in many channels or they are plagued with artifacts. Channels such as CBS HD, NBC HD, Fox HD etc. Strange things is many basic cable channels still come in fine and according to the diagnostic menu the signal strength for those is fine, in the high 70s.

I have a service appointment for tomorrow morning. My last conversation with the rep when he was here on Monday was that there was a known issue with the 302 cards that would hopefully be resolved in a few days.

He is hoping it is just a cable card issue at this point. But I think when he sees the signal quality is down again (and seems worse then ever) he is going to have to change out the line from the tap.
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