TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Roamio DVRs
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 08-08-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
namwoljr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
My Time Warner / Cablecard / Tuning Adapter Headache

So I recently decided to transition from OTA to Time Warner last week in order to get their "Starter TV with HBO" package, and I've been having some issues with my service that neither Time Warner or Tivo can figure out.

The main problem I have is that my HBO channels will sometimes get video but no audio, or audio but no video, and even occasionally fail to "tune" to the channel. Unplugging the tuning adapter solves the problem, but unfortunately that downgrades the signal from HD to SD, which is obviously not a real solution. I am assuming this pinpoints the tuning adapter as the problem, but after talking to technicians with Time Warner's dedicated Cablecard hotline, they say it could be any one of the devices in the chain (Tivo, Cablecard, or tuning adapter). I've gone to my local office and swapped out the Cablecard and tuning adapter, but the problem persists. Here are the facts:

1. I'm in the Raleigh/Durham, NC market.

2. I re-ran guided setup to update the channel map for the Cablecard according to the Tivo instructions.

3. The Cablecard hotline techs spent a considerable amount of time with me on the phone and ran all sorts of signal strength tests on my equipment (before and after the swap) and said that everything checks out okay.

4. My firmware on the Cablecard and tuning adapter are both up to date.

5. I've ruled out my sound bar (no audio directly from TV speakers either).

6. I've swapped out my HDMI cable for another one, and the problem still persisted.

7. I've hooked the coax out from the tuning adapter directly to my Tivo as well as splitting the signal beforehand, and sending one cable to the tuning adapter, and the other to the Tivo, and the problem still persisted.

8. All my coax cables are Quad Sheild RG6 cut to length and capped by myself, and I do know what I am doing.

My conclusion is that Switched Digital Video and the tuning adapter is the root of the problem and never should have been implemented as it adds one more layer to cause problems on top of the Cablecard, which can have it's own problems. The fact that other markets get along just fine without SDV makes me wonder why my region decided to implement it in the first place.

So basically, if I can't reliably tune to a channel for live TV or recording, then I might as well just stick with my antenna for the local channels and use HBO Go on my Apple TV for my HBO fix.

If anyone has any suggestions or tips, feel free to chime in, but I'm going to swap out the tuning adapter one more time before I give up.
namwoljr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #2
tarheelblue32
Registered User
 
tarheelblue32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,405
It sounds like you have covered most of the basics. It does sound like it could be a SDV/Tuning Adapter problem, but possibly could be related to TWC's equipment outside your home. It could also be some kind of pairing problem with the CableCard, since basic cable channels don't require the CableCard to be properly paired, but HBO does.

You said your CableCard and Tuning Adapter firmware is up-to-date. Just out of curiosity, what versions of the firmware are they running? You should try swapping out the Tuning Adapter again, and I would also recommend picking up a Time Warner cable box while you're at the store (just temporarily) so you can hook it up and at least see if the SDV channels will come through correctly on TWC's cable box. If they don't, then you would at least know it is a problem with the TWC equipment outside your house rather than some kind of internal wiring/TiVo/CableCard/Tuning Adapter problem.

Last edited by tarheelblue32 : 08-08-2014 at 12:13 PM.
tarheelblue32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
Gene S
Registered User
 
Gene S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belleville, IL
Posts: 506
It sounds more like a signal problem.

The Tuning adapter doesn't do anything to a signal, it's more or less just a communication device between the Tivo and the cable companies equipment.

But putting it in between the wall and your Tivo will have an effect on your signal. I wouldn't trust any techs doing signal strength tests over the phone. That should be done in the house with a piece of dedicated equipment.

I don't understand how removing the TA will cause your HBO to go from HD to SD. You tell the Tivo to tune to channel 792, (for example), it's going to tune to 792 or give you an error. It's not going to tune to channel 92 by itself.

Sorry I couldn't be more help. I just don't think the TA is the main culprit.
Gene S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 12:08 PM   #4
tarheelblue32
Registered User
 
tarheelblue32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene S View Post
I don't understand how removing the TA will cause your HBO to go from HD to SD. You tell the Tivo to tune to channel 792, (for example), it's going to tune to 792 or give you an error. It's not going to tune to channel 92 by itself.
It's because on TWC, the HD and SD channels are now mapped to the same channel number. If the HD channel is available, then it will tune. If the HD channel is unavailable, then the SD channel will tune. With the TA attached, the TA maps the HD channel (which is SDV) to the channel number. Without the TA, the CableCard maps the SD channel (which is non-SDV) to the same channel number.

Last edited by tarheelblue32 : 08-08-2014 at 03:06 PM.
tarheelblue32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
namwoljr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelblue32 View Post
It sounds like you have covered most of the basics. It does sound like it could be a SDV/Tuning Adapter problem, but possibly could be related to TWC's equipment outside your home. It could also be some kind of pairing problem with the CableCard, since basic cable channels don't require the CableCard to be properly paired, but HBO does.

You said your CableCard and Tuning Adapter firmware is up-to-date. Just out of curiosity, what versions of the firmware are they running? You should try swapping out the Tuning Adapter again, and I would also recommend picking up a Time Warner cable box while you're at the store (just temporarily) so you can hook it up and at least see if the SDV channels will come through correctly on TWC's cable box. If they don't, then you would at least know it is a problem with the TWC equipment outside your house rather than some kind of internal wiring/TiVo/CableCard/Tuning Adapter problem.
I'll look up the firmware versions for both after I swap out for yet another TA and hook it up. I'm also going to rerun guided setup to see if that makes a difference. I do have a tech coming out tomorrow morning to look at it, but I'm not very optimistic about he/she fixing the problem. I've never had any signal issues with my cable modem, and I've traced the coax from my Tivo all the way back to the telephone poll outside my house, and everything looks fine unless the guy who took the filter off last week screwed something up. I just don't see how it could be anything else other than crappy tuning adapters.
namwoljr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
tarheelblue32
Registered User
 
tarheelblue32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,405
On reflection, I don't think it is likely to be a pairing problem with the CableCard at all, since the SD HBO channel comes in fine, and that requires the CableCard to be properly paired. The Tuning Adapter is the most likely target.

You may already know this, but the CableCard and Tuning Adapter have to be the same brand, either Motorola (Arris) or Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) as the TWC headend equipment to work properly. It seems unlikely that the TWC office would have given you a CableCard that is one brand and a Tuning Adapter that is another brand, but you should probably double check that just to make sure.
tarheelblue32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
dlfl
Cranky old novice
 
dlfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 6,009
See if you can find the signal parameters for the FDC and RDC signals used by your TA to communicate control and channel map data with the cable plant, in TA Diagnostics. The RDC signal strength should be between 40 and 50 dBm. The FDC should be between -5 and +5 dBm, although specs claim -10 to +10 is OK. If these are out of spec TWC should fix. There are Cisco (and I assume Arris) documents for these specs and I think they are also covered in Tivo's support web pages -- not sure about that.
__________________

"It must be swell to be so perfect and odor-free" -- Del Griffith


VideoReDo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

pyTivo users: Try
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dlfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
namwoljr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelblue32 View Post
On reflection, I don't think it is likely to be a pairing problem with the CableCard at all, since the SD HBO channel comes in fine, and that requires the CableCard to be properly paired. The Tuning Adapter is the most likely target.

You may already know this, but the CableCard and Tuning Adapter have to be the same brand, either Motorola (Arris) or Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) as the TWC headend equipment to work properly. It seems unlikely that the TWC office would have given you a CableCard that is one brand and a Tuning Adapter that is another brand, but you should probably double check that just to make sure.
They are both Cisco (Scientific Atlanta), so we can go ahead and rule that out. I still haven't swapped out the tuning adapter because I didn't have a chance yesterday, so maybe that'll resolve the issue. Will post the firmware versions later today.
namwoljr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
namwoljr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
See if you can find the signal parameters for the FDC and RDC signals used by your TA to communicate control and channel map data with the cable plant, in TA Diagnostics. The RDC signal strength should be between 40 and 50 dBm. The FDC should be between -5 and +5 dBm, although specs claim -10 to +10 is OK. If these are out of spec TWC should fix. There are Cisco (and I assume Arris) documents for these specs and I think they are also covered in Tivo's support web pages -- not sure about that.
The FDC is +1 and the RDC is 46 with the coax going through the TA to the Tivo. Both numbers drop a couple points if a splitter is put into the chain beforehand to separate the TA from the Tivo, so all of those are within spec. In fact, when I was on the phone with the Cablecard tech, we checked those, and he said those numbers were about perfect.

I did watch some more HBO last night and was getting pixelation and audio dropouts even on the main HBO channels (HBO & HBO2), which aren't SDV, so now I'm thinking it has something to do with the filter up on the utility pole. Maybe the truck roll to take the filter off screwed something up? My problems seemed to have been isolated to the lesser HBO channels which are SDV (HBO Family, etc.), but that seems to have changed. It really shouldn't be this hard to get cable working properly. No wonder people hate cable companies.
namwoljr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 11:59 AM   #10
tarheelblue32
Registered User
 
tarheelblue32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by namwoljr View Post
The FDC is +1 and the RDC is 46 with the coax going through the TA to the Tivo. Both numbers drop a couple points if a splitter is put into the chain beforehand to separate the TA from the Tivo, so all of those are within spec. In fact, when I was on the phone with the Cablecard tech, we checked those, and he said those numbers were about perfect.

I did watch some more HBO last night and was getting pixelation and audio dropouts even on the main HBO channels (HBO & HBO2), which aren't SDV, so now I'm thinking it has something to do with the filter up on the utility pole. Maybe the truck roll to take the filter off screwed something up? My problems seemed to have been isolated to the lesser HBO channels which are SDV (HBO Family, etc.), but that seems to have changed. It really shouldn't be this hard to get cable working properly. No wonder people hate cable companies.
If you are having problems with the non-SDV HBO channels, that makes me suspicious about some kind of CableCard pairing problem. You might want to try swapping out the CableCard.
tarheelblue32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 03:21 PM   #11
namwoljr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelblue32 View Post
If you are having problems with the non-SDV HBO channels, that makes me suspicious about some kind of CableCard pairing problem. You might want to try swapping out the CableCard.
Got the firmware versions for my equipment:

TA: STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1901
CC: PKEY1.5.3_F.p.1101
namwoljr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:44 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |