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Old 08-27-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
ckelly33
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Trouble with TiVo, CableCARD and Charter...any ideas?

I've had a TON of issues trying to pair may CableCARD with Charter. I've tried 5-6 CableCARDs, a dozen or so calls, and a Charter tech service call. Nothing helps. I have two other TiVo's (both Premieres), and I compared the CableCARD screens to one another. I found quite a bit of difference between the 'Conditional Access' screens of the activated Premieres and the struggling to activate Roamio - but I have no idea how to interpret what the issues is.

On that screen (Conditional Access), my Premieres show a fully populated screen where my Roamio only shows the first few lines (it ends with auth and con).

Like I said before I have tried multiple CableCARDs and it is always the same. CableCARD installs have always been painful for me with Charter. This time seems worse!

A couple of other 'finds' are that testing channels via the cable card menu shows "No Channels Available" and a black screen. Testing channels via the tuning adapter menu shows channel info (and has the ability to scroll channels) but still has the black screen. Interestingly, when I remove the tuning adapter, the ability to scroll channel information via the cable card menu returns but there is still a black screen.

Going into the tuning adaptor menu shows OOB errors, PSOC(?) failures and Init fail - but the amber light on front is solid and does not flash.

Any idea from all of this information what the issue is? Is it the TiVo box? CableCARD (x5)? Could a bad tuning adaptor be the issue?

Thanks.

Chris
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ckelly33 View Post
I've had a TON of issues trying to pair may CableCARD with Charter. I've tried 5-6 CableCARDs, a dozen or so calls, and a Charter tech service call. Nothing helps. I have two other TiVo's (both Premieres), and I compared the CableCARD screens to one another. I found quite a bit of difference between the 'Conditional Access' screens of the activated Premieres and the struggling to activate Roamio - but I have no idea how to interpret what the issues is.

On that screen (Conditional Access), my Premieres show a fully populated screen where my Roamio only shows the first few lines (it ends with auth and con).

Like I said before I have tried multiple CableCARDs and it is always the same. CableCARD installs have always been painful for me with Charter. This time seems worse!

A couple of other 'finds' are that testing channels via the cable card menu shows "No Channels Available" and a black screen. Testing channels via the tuning adapter menu shows channel info (and has the ability to scroll channels) but still has the black screen. Interestingly, when I remove the tuning adapter, the ability to scroll channel information via the cable card menu returns but there is still a black screen.

Going into the tuning adaptor menu shows OOB errors, PSOC(?) failures and Init fail - but the amber light on front is solid and does not flash.

Any idea from all of this information what the issue is? Is it the TiVo box? CableCARD (x5)? Could a bad tuning adaptor be the issue?

Thanks.

Chris
What sort of signal level are you getting on the Premiere and/or Roamio screens? With so many boxes not working I would guess signal integrity problems. Have you tried a generic cable operator box on the same coax to make sure it works? Personally I've had very few CableCARDs go bad. The CableCARD(s) should work without the Tuning Adapter for non-SDV channels. Also I suggest not using the Tuning Adpater as the pass-through to the TiVo box(es). Use a 2-way splitter with one output going to the TA and the other output to the TiVo.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ckelly33 View Post
I've had a TON of issues trying to pair may CableCARD with Charter. I've tried 5-6 CableCARDs, a dozen or so calls, and a Charter tech service call. Nothing helps. I have two other TiVo's (both Premieres), and I compared the CableCARD screens to one another. I found quite a bit of difference between the 'Conditional Access' screens of the activated Premieres and the struggling to activate Roamio - but I have no idea how to interpret what the issues is.

On that screen (Conditional Access), my Premieres show a fully populated screen where my Roamio only shows the first few lines (it ends with auth and con).

Like I said before I have tried multiple CableCARDs and it is always the same. CableCARD installs have always been painful for me with Charter. This time seems worse!

A couple of other 'finds' are that testing channels via the cable card menu shows "No Channels Available" and a black screen. Testing channels via the tuning adapter menu shows channel info (and has the ability to scroll channels) but still has the black screen. Interestingly, when I remove the tuning adapter, the ability to scroll channel information via the cable card menu returns but there is still a black screen.

Going into the tuning adaptor menu shows OOB errors, PSOC(?) failures and Init fail - but the amber light on front is solid and does not flash.

Any idea from all of this information what the issue is? Is it the TiVo box? CableCARD (x5)? Could a bad tuning adaptor be the issue?

Thanks.

Chris
This is the only thing I'm dreading about getting a Roamio. It took literally months and a dozen cable cards to get my two Premieres to work with Charter a couple of years ago. It was brutal to the point that I refused to pay my bill until they got it working. They finally brought a whole handful of cable cards at one time and managed to get two to sync up. Once it all got sorted its been fine ever since - seems like they can not understand cable card activations. Many cards do not work and they just put them back in the pile for the next installer to try - at least that is what I was told. Please let us know how your issue pans out even though I'm of no help. Maybe some sort of tuning adapter issue in your case - been there too - they replaced multiple times but I do not think they were ever part of the problem.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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What sort of signal level are you getting on the Premiere and/or Roamio screens?
Would that be the SNR? looks like 16
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Originally Posted by sbiller View Post
With so many boxes not working I would guess signal integrity problems.
I had a Premiere in the same spot prior to the Roamio and it worked fine. Maybe you misuderstood and thought I had tried multiple DVRs (or maybe I am misunderstanding and you are saying that multiple boxes on these threads are having issues (?)
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Have you tried a generic cable operator box on the same coax to make sure it works?
Don't have one to try (though my Premiere worked there last week). I am reluctant to move ANY of my TiVo's once they get working. It is always such a pain to get them paired.
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The CableCARD(s) should work without the Tuning Adapter for non-SDV channels. Also I suggest not using the Tuning Adpater as the pass-through to the TiVo box(es). Use a 2-way splitter with one output going to the TA and the other output to the TiVo.
All of my TiVo's have worked for years hooked up 'wrong' but I did see Charter's diagram last night involving the splitter and I tried that too. No dice.

Is my SNR bad at 16?
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
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This is the only thing I'm dreading about getting a Roamio. It took literally months and a dozen cable cards to get my two Premieres to work with Charter a couple of years ago. It was brutal to the point that I refused to pay my bill until they got it working. They finally brought a whole handful of cable cards at one time and managed to get two to sync up. Once it all got sorted its been fine ever since - seems like they can not understand cable card activations. Many cards do not work and they just put them back in the pile for the next installer to try - at least that is what I was told. Please let us know how your issue pans out even though I'm of no help. Maybe some sort of tuning adapter issue in your case - been there too - they replaced multiple times but I do not think they were ever part of the problem.
Will do. I am sure that it is on Charter's end. I actually bought a Premiere 4 3 weeks ago and 2 minis. CableCARD was a pain then too. The only reason I got a Roamio was because I had 30 days to cancel my Premiere and return it. I don't usually do stuff like that but I figured with Lifetime service I would kick myself later for not swapping out when i could.

Going to Charter today to pick up a CableCARD, and a tuning adapter. If that doesn't work, TiVo has already agreed to ship a replacement, SURELY between two TiVos, multiple CableCARDs and two tuning adapters SOMETHING will work!!!
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Will do. I am sure that it is on Charter's end. I actually bought a Premiere 4 3 weeks ago and 2 minis. CableCARD was a pain then too. The only reason I got a Roamio was because I had 30 days to cancel my Premiere and return it. I don't usually do stuff like that but I figured with Lifetime service I would kick myself later for not swapping out when i could.

Going to Charter today to pick up a CableCARD, and a tuning adapter. If that doesn't work, TiVo has already agreed to ship a replacement, SURELY between two TiVos, multiple CableCARDs and two tuning adapters SOMETHING will work!!!
What model Roamio do you have?

SNR is Signal to Noise Ratio. I believe that sbiller was asking about "Signal Strength".
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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Signal strength doesn't give a value (maybe because the card isn't fully activated?).

Could it be the tuning adapter since there are so many errors reported? I looked at one of my other TAs on a working TiVo and they haven't had an error since February.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
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What model Roamio?
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #9
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SNR level of 16 sounds really bad... that is likely the source of your problem. I think it needs to be in the 30's. I'm looking for the reference levels on TCF or over on the TiVo Support docs now...
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Plus.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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SNR level of 16 sounds really bad... that is likely the source of your problem. I think it needs to be in the 30's. I'm looking for the reference levels on TCF or over on the TiVo Support docs now...
Thanks. I would love to know if that is the issue!

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #12
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Your SNR is too low...

See this support article for details.

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...Signal%20Level

At this point I would point to a Charter problem. A technician should be able to measure the signal levels at the coax going into the TiVo and/or TA.

Note: I did have an internal front-end tuner go bad on one of my Premiere XL4s. Since you've tried multiple boxes I would think that rules out the TiVo box.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:45 PM   #13
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Cable card snr is 39. The snr I quoted initially was to tuner 1.

Learn something new everyday!

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Old 08-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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I have been communicating with ckelly33 by PM and it looks like the problem is a good old fashioned signal issue. He has a long underground cable run to the man cave and this maybe the issue. His OOB frequency is good but has no signal on the higher frequencies where the digital channels are carried.
The picture posted before shows RF channel 77 which is virtual channel 4.
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...2&d=1377619542
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:40 PM   #15
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I am having an issue with my cable card. A charter tech is coming out tomorrow.

Should I tell him to check the signal out of the wall?
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:08 PM   #16
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I am having an issue with my cable card. A charter tech is coming out tomorrow.

Should I tell him to check the signal out of the wall?
Yes! He should check it the demark box and at the outlet feeding the TiVo. This should always be done as it will prevent a truck roll for a signal issue. It would be lazy not to.
If the signal is poor at the demark box then he should check the levels at the tap and make any necessary repairs before messing with the cablecard.

If you are not familiar with CableCard screens and where to get the information that is needed here is some links to help.
Accessing the CableCard MMI screens:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2567
Motorola Troubleshooting screens:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2569
Cisco/SA Troubleshooting screens:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2571
Use the CableCard diagnostics and the DVR diagnostics screen on the TiVo to troubleshoot

If there is no box that pops up and states a cablecard error code then there is no need to replace the card. The box will cover at least two thirds of your screen and have error code with a number after it. You will either have a signal issue or the card is not authorized for the headend, the numbers are incorrect in the customers account, or channels are not authorized in the customers account.
Get TiVo on the phone while the tech is there if necessary.

Last edited by Jed1 : 08-27-2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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Thanks to Jed1, I DID notice a VAST difference in signal quality between the two locations. I assumed I would get my new Roamio running by moving it to the area with the much improved signal level, so I did.

What I discovered was that the new Roamio, when placed in an area with a signal of around 90 with my Premiere XL, showed no signal at all. Must have a bum TiVo I guess(unless the cablecard can do that)
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:59 PM   #18
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Thanks to Jed1, I DID notice a VAST difference in signal quality between the two locations. I assumed I would get my new Roamio running by moving it to the area with the much improved signal level, so I did.

What I discovered was that the new Roamio, when placed in an area with a signal of around 90 with my Premiere XL, showed no signal at all. Must have a bum TiVo I guess(unless the cablecard can do that)
Try my suggestions in my last PM first. If no change I would have to agree about an issue with the TiVo. If a charter tech shows up I think it would be a good idea to get TiVo on the phone if the levels on the tuners do not improve. They might agree to an exchange at that time. Do not be afraid to email Margret and see if she can help.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:49 AM   #19
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This may not be your problem, but there is a known issue with some CableCARDs and some TAs supporting only 4 tuners.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:33 AM   #20
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Try my suggestions in my last PM first. If no change I would have to agree about an issue with the TiVo. If a charter tech shows up I think it would be a good idea to get TiVo on the phone if the levels on the tuners do not improve. They might agree to an exchange at that time. Do not be afraid to email Margret and see if she can help.
Yesterday I moved my TiVo/CableCARD which was getting no signal over to an area with another TiVo which had a signal of 90 and put the new (signal-less) TiVo in at that spot, but it had no signal still.

Today, I went back to the original (signal-less) spot. I took the CableCARD out of the Roamio and put it into my old TiVo which I bought the Roamio to replace. I put it back in the 'signal-less' spot and plugged it in. Once it booted up, I had TV again and the signal was 90.

So...since the CableCARD works and the signal is strong in that area the only suspect left is the Roamio. I guess I have a bad Roamio unit.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:52 PM   #21
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ok. My new box came. I also got a new TA delivered but the tech did not bring a CC. After a few minutes, the local office had channels showing on the 'Test Channels' menu of my CC. I flipped through a few, then BAM they were gone!

Next I went into the CC menu and none of the tuners had a signal and they were not associated with a CC. The CC itself had a 90 signal (which was an improvement over NO signal). I decided to continue my guided setup and next up was the tuning adaptor. I went into its "Test Channel' menu and all of the channels were there. I went back and forth between the two menus and it was the same: 'No Channels Available' in the C menu, All channels in the TA menu.

I decided to proceed with the guided setup since things had improved a little....

In the end, all of my channels are here. I can record six things at once (I tried it). The only thing is....when I go into the cablecard menu, and test channels, it says "No channels available" still. But when I go into DVR diagnostics, all the tuners are lit up.

I wonder why "test channels" under the CableCard Menu shows no channels available?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:33 PM   #22
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ok. My new box came. I also got a new TA delivered but the tech did not bring a CC. After a few minutes, the local office had channels showing on the 'Test Channels' menu of my CC. I flipped through a few, then BAM they were gone!

Next I went into the CC menu and none of the tuners had a signal and they were not associated with a CC. The CC itself had a 90 signal (which was an improvement over NO signal). I decided to continue my guided setup and next up was the tuning adaptor. I went into its "Test Channel' menu and all of the channels were there. I went back and forth between the two menus and it was the same: 'No Channels Available' in the C menu, All channels in the TA menu.

I decided to proceed with the guided setup since things had improved a little....

In the end, all of my channels are here. I can record six things at once (I tried it). The only thing is....when I go into the cablecard menu, and test channels, it says "No channels available" still. But when I go into DVR diagnostics, all the tuners are lit up.

I wonder why "test channels" under the CableCard Menu shows no channels available?
I am glad that the new box worked out for you. It was basically the only thing left that could be wrong. Did you get your money back for the first one?
My system doesn't use tuning adaptors as it was easier to take down the analog channels for more bandwidth. The tuning adaptors was a technology that wasn't really needed as MPEG 4 was already being used in the source material coming from the content owners.
Comcast was going to try TAs but decided they didn't need it after they upgraded all their headends. I feel bad for all of you TiVo owners who are stuck with this.
I know that the Motorola DCX 3400 that came out around 2008-2009 already has MPEG 4 decoding and 1 GHz tuning capabilities so it was only a matter of time cable companies would equip the headends to encode their feeds using MPEG 4.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:04 PM   #23
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When I had my 2 Premieres installed a year ago, I had a Pro install (I think $20). Best money I spent. The first tech didn't have a clue and left a rats nest of cable behind the TV. When the supervisor came the next day, first thing he did was check signal strength at the jack. He ended up putting in a new drop and replaced an 8 way splitter with an amplified one. Once he did that it was all down hill ...
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:01 PM   #24
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ok.
I wonder why "test channels" under the CableCard Menu shows no channels available?
I believe that if you have a TA then the test channels only works on the TA diag. menu. That is the way my P-XL4 works. As you change channels you can see the lights flash on my Motorola TA.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #25
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Now that I have my Roamio running, I can see how fantastic it is and I hate that it is relegated to my 'man cave'. I was thinging of moving it to my main TV but, after all the trouble I have had getting it going, I am reluctant to move it.

I know the CableCARD and the box need to stay together but is the Tuning Adapter paired up with these as well? Does it make the move along with the TiVo and CC?
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:59 PM   #26
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When using Cox in OKC, we found out that there was a good chance that the cable cards were not properly provisioned. This essentially made the cable cards worthless. We had to wait until a tech came with some cards that he had that were properly provisioned in the system. Essentially any card we got from the local Cox store was not provisioned and would not work no matter what we tried.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:05 PM   #27
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Now that I have my Roamio running, I can see how fantastic it is and I hate that it is relegated to my 'man cave'. I was thinging of moving it to my main TV but, after all the trouble I have had getting it going, I am reluctant to move it.

I know the CableCARD and the box need to stay together but is the Tuning Adapter paired up with these as well? Does it make the move along with the TiVo and CC?
If you are going to move it, just move the TA along with it. I am not using a TA since it seems I don't need one, but I don't think the TA is paired to it. However, if you need a TA, just keep it together. If you move everything, you should be fine; it's the same as losing power, all should still work together after the power is back.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:22 PM   #28
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If you are going to move it, just move the TA along with it. I am not using a TA since it seems I don't need one, but I don't think the TA is paired to it. However, if you need a TA, just keep it together. If you move everything, you should be fine; it's the same as losing power, all should still work together after the power is back.
The tuning adapter is not paired. You can move it around to different TiVos as you see fit.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #29
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This may not be your problem, but there is a known issue with some CableCARDs and some TAs supporting only 4 tuners.
It shouldn't be an issue with Charter. They use updated firmware on their cablecards and tuning adapters.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:27 AM   #30
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It shouldn't be an issue with Charter. They use updated firmware on their cablecards and tuning adapters.
Charter was built by buying up a lot of different small cable companies and has quite a variety of different head end systems that makes this difficult. Over time I am sure they will standardize but I don't think they are there yet. My son in Birmingham has a different Charter system than we have here in NE Georgia.
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