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Old 11-24-2008, 10:47 AM   #391
sinanju
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Get a trouble ticket from Verizon. Keep pestering them about it. Eventually, it will be escalated to Chronic Resolutions. My contact there hasn't been very chatty, though.

As for the FCC, if I recall correctly, Verizon isn't regulated like the other MSOs. I may be mistaken, but I don't think they are actually required to provide CableCARDs.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #392
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As for the FCC, if I recall correctly, Verizon isn't regulated like the other MSOs. I may be mistaken, but I don't think they are actually required to provide CableCARDs.
I concur.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #393
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As for the FCC, if I recall correctly, Verizon isn't regulated like the other MSOs. I may be mistaken, but I don't think they are actually required to provide CableCARDs.
I don't believe this is the case. I believe they did receive an extension to the deadline by which they were supposed to support CableCARDs due to their recent entry into the market, but that date had passed some time back.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:00 PM   #394
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I don't believe this is the case. I believe they did receive an extension to the deadline by which they were supposed to support CableCARDs due to their recent entry into the market, but that date had passed some time back.
You are correct... http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6561883.html
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:46 PM   #395
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Verizon's complaint line of last resort (for New England and perhaps elsewhere) is:

+1 800 483 7988

If I don't hear back from the chronic issue resolution guys -- at least some indication that my issue hasn't been stuck in a circular file -- I'll be giving them a call. I'd encourage anyone who's fed up to do the same.

Last edited by sinanju : 11-24-2008 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:59 PM   #396
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The VZ tech here clearly knew (and volunteered before I asked) that some frequencies needed attenuation for TiVo.
Does that quote imply that you're wired for FiOS now, Rich?
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:38 PM   #397
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Does that quote imply that you're wired for FiOS now, Rich?
Actually no...I'm still on the proverbial fence. While walking our dog the other day I noticed a VZ truck and tech on my street and ended up chatting with him for about 10 minutes or so. He was very knowledgeable about all things FIOS and when he found out I knew something about FIOS and TiVo (thanks to the good folks here) we began to pick each other's brains. He said he had done some TiVo installs and had to add an attenuator for a certain frequency range (can't recall which as my wife was about to strain her eyes from rolling them too much ).

So it's here and available but I keep reading the downside postings and am still hesitant to pull the trigger. Comcast is getting worse here I think because the HD PQ seems to be degrading and I'm starting to see some macroblocking too. I've read that they're squeezing more and more HD channels in by continually compressing signals so I may just jump ship anyway. Decisions, decisions.

How's your experience going?
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:35 PM   #398
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I'm 98% happy with the service. I am using maybe 6db of attenuation (and no MOCA) and only experience pixellation occasionally. Usually it's just a few random blips in Judge Judy (on FoxHD, though seems less since it moved to 6pm?). Maybe once every month or two, some random show will be painful to watch... most recently it was some random tivo suggestion on History International. Honestly, for me, the pixellation issue has become so minuscule that I don't really feel motivated to try to fix it further. This is the first time I've ever had HD, and find that with the exception of Comedy Central and BBC America, pretty much everything I watch is in the HD tier because I'm VERY happy with how it looks (and I wish I could compare it to Comcast HD for you).

It's been a while since I've had comcast (and never their HD), but knowing what they have to do to fit more content through their soda straw of a bandwidth, I'd really recommend the fire hose that is FiOS. The two services are "roughly" the same now, but in the years to come, I don't see how cable companies can compete. In Hillsboro, I think Comcast is getting desperate already... I get mail ads about three times a week, and just this weekend, it was a 16 page magazine-style pamphlet that must have cost them a pretty penny to produce. Maybe they know their business plan isn't future-proof like Verizon's.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:25 AM   #399
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Well another visit by a Verizon Fios tech, and another bridge to nowhere. Nice guy though and reasonably knowledgeable. He gave me his cell and told me to call him Sat and that he'd try to get some M-Cards for me and come back.

That said, I had him punch in different channels on his meter and asked him if the signal should be consistent for each channel/freq - he said in theory it should be but he has rarely seen them consistent across the band. Since it is clear to me that there is fluctuation on certain freqs that manifest themselves into visible crap on certain channels, then to me I have to think the ONT may be part of the problem. In other words, the ONT is what multiplexes the RF channels so it is the ONT that doesn't seem to do so consistently across ALL of the freqs/channels.

But the Tivo may also be to blame as well since it clearly is more intolerant of these fluctuations than the standard Fios DVR equipment (which do not suffer from these issues). Which one is more to blame? Which one is compliant with CableLabs specs and which one is not? Dunno. But I do not think this is a matter of Verizon outputting too hot of a signal so much as it is that the ONT is outputting an inconsistent signal across the entire 5-860Mhz band.

The tech said he may install a new ONT. I guess it is worth a try but I really are wondering if Verizon needs to escalate this to Motorola and get their techs involved to investigate their part of this.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:13 PM   #400
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I'm 98% happy with the service.
Glad to hear things are going well. We may just make the move here pretty soon. I talked to the VZ folks about their higher-end 20/5(?) broadband as well and it's only $10 more a month than their standard 10/2(?) so that's a real plus. We're looking for one more plus and that's the international sports channel Setanta. We're huge rugby fans from our New Zealand days and have been downloading All Blacks' and other matches via broadband. The PQ is painful to say the least but DirectTV is the only other way to get it and that's a big NO! Verizon claims to be offering it now so I have a little more due diligence to do.

Thanks for the great feedback! I'll post when we make the transition...hopefully now that VZ has more TV and hopefully TiVo experience things will go a little more smoothly at this point.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:51 PM   #401
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The tech said he may install a new ONT. I guess it is worth a try but I really are wondering if Verizon needs to escalate this to Motorola and get their techs involved to investigate their part of this.
They tried two ONTs in my place. Both produced the same behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exdishguy View Post
But the Tivo may also be to blame as well since it clearly is more intolerant of these fluctuations than the standard Fios DVR equipment (which do not suffer from these issues). Which one is more to blame? Which one is compliant with CableLabs specs and which one is not? Dunno. But I do not think this is a matter of Verizon outputting too hot of a signal so much as it is that the ONT is outputting an inconsistent signal across the entire 5-860Mhz band.
The TiVos are CableLabs-approved devices, too. One can presume that they were subjected to the same testing the Moto equipment was. Perhaps TiVo needs to fix something, but if Verizon isn't actively engaging TiVo to figure out what's going on, Verizon is only getting part of the picture.

My call to the customer advocate line resulted in a call back from the Chronic Resolution folks. They insist that the issue is "being worked" (gosh, how I hate that phrase) and that they have TiVos in house for testing. They don't know who "they" are, don't know what the state of the investigation is, nor do they know who they're working with at TiVo. I'm guessing the answers are "nobody", "nowhere", and "no one". I'm told I will be contacted with actual answers. I plan to be a squeaky wheel until then.

One very annoying part of the conversation was when one of them tried to argue that their own equipment worked and the TiVos were not their equipment. I countered that this problem, by all accounts, does not exist on other cable systems and that they were required to work with CableLabs-approved CableCARD devices.

My advice would be:
  • Work with the field techs to attenuate to the best possible result, though it won't be perfect.
  • Call the support number and make sure you have a trouble ticket number.
  • Press support until you are forwarded to Chronic Resolutions in your region's Fiber Solutions Center.
  • If you aren't getting regular status updates, call the customer advocates.
  • Make sure you get names and phone numbers from everyone past 1st line support.
In the end, the problem will probably only be resolved when fixing it becomes less trouble than not fixing it. When the Chronic Resolution folks have to spend time every week fielding calls from people with unhappy TiVos, maybe that will happen.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:11 PM   #402
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In the end, the problem will probably only be resolved when fixing it becomes less trouble than not fixing it. When the Chronic Resolution folks have to spend time every week fielding calls from people with unhappy TiVos, maybe that will happen.
Well put...and this is the sort of thing that keeps me on the fence. Sigh.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:37 PM   #403
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Comcast to FIOS-Howard County, MD

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Well put...and this is the sort of thing that keeps me on the fence. Sigh.
I've been sitting on the fence for a few months now as well. I've been sticking it out due to 3 TVs w/o STBs that I'll need with FIOS. Comcast's poor channel choices here (IMHO) - dropping the DC locals from analog, FOXNEWS HD and Speed HD over Bravo HD and Weather Channel HD, the lack of any version of the Travel Channel and frequent outages were pushing me, but the bill that arrived today may have tipped me. A "promotion" of about $60 a month that I've had for a few years expired. A call to the retention people (and supervisor) wouldn't get me more than $10 a month unless I took their phone service. I keep telling them when I have IP service w/o an outage for 30 days I'll consider it (hasn't happened in 3 years

I've read this and the main FIOS thread. Anyone local have more specific advice or points to consider before I jump? The CSR I got prices from even knew what M cards were and said they had them.

Thanks for your help
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:45 PM   #404
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Still fence sitting, but leaning into FIOS territory myself more every day. It seems like the folks out here (left coast) are having less issues than our cousins to the east, so maybe we're a little more fortunate, I don't know. That big broadband pipe, excellent (read: uncompressed) SD and more importantly HD PQ and all are really calling me though.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:00 PM   #405
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Quality and bandwith are nice-but so are dollars!

Rich,

In addition to all the quality issues, the prices here push even harder. If I were to take the Comcast phone, they would be about equal, but after the year promotion, would rise to about $40 a month more. With the VZ phone and Comcast services I have now FIOS comes out at an $80 a month saving even with 3 more STBs. After the promotion is still is about $50 cheaper. For $600 a year and at least the potential of better picture quality and more bandwidth, it is hard to resist.

I don't know how prices for Comcast and VZ compare in your area, but it sure is a wide gap here.

Mark
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #406
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We're right around $150/mo. for Comcast phone/broadband/tv (including HBO and Showtime). VZ would be about $50/mo. less for the first year...or they'll let you lock into 2 years at that price with a two year contract (but stiff penalties for withdrawal). They'll throw in a free VZ DVR for the first year...no thanks. I don't think it'll be long before we switch over.

The other concern is VZ's billing and accounting support which most everyone agrees is atrocious. We've had VZ cell phones for a couple of years and it's been very, very painful making any changes whatsoever. Guess we'll need to be sure everything is perfect going in so we won't have to make any changes later.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:01 PM   #407
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I've been sitting on the fence for a few months now as well. I've been sticking it out due to 3 TVs w/o STBs that I'll need with FIOS. ...
Had you been in FIOS before the switch to all-digital you could have gotten free STBs (basically a DCT-700) for any analog TVs you had in the house that would lose reception due to the switch. At the time of the switch I requested three DCT-700s (two S2 TiVos and a media center PC) which are costing me nothing per month. The magic was that you had to make the request at the time of the A->D switch. I don't mean to gloat, but it was a sweet deal.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:51 AM   #408
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Please keep us posted as to what they tell you. Thanks for keeping on them

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinanju View Post
They tried two ONTs in my place. Both produced the same behavior.



The TiVos are CableLabs-approved devices, too. One can presume that they were subjected to the same testing the Moto equipment was. Perhaps TiVo needs to fix something, but if Verizon isn't actively engaging TiVo to figure out what's going on, Verizon is only getting part of the picture.

My call to the customer advocate line resulted in a call back from the Chronic Resolution folks. They insist that the issue is "being worked" (gosh, how I hate that phrase) and that they have TiVos in house for testing. They don't know who "they" are, don't know what the state of the investigation is, nor do they know who they're working with at TiVo. I'm guessing the answers are "nobody", "nowhere", and "no one". I'm told I will be contacted with actual answers. I plan to be a squeaky wheel until then.

One very annoying part of the conversation was when one of them tried to argue that their own equipment worked and the TiVos were not their equipment. I countered that this problem, by all accounts, does not exist on other cable systems and that they were required to work with CableLabs-approved CableCARD devices.

My advice would be:
  • Work with the field techs to attenuate to the best possible result, though it won't be perfect.
  • Call the support number and make sure you have a trouble ticket number.
  • Press support until you are forwarded to Chronic Resolutions in your region's Fiber Solutions Center.
  • If you aren't getting regular status updates, call the customer advocates.
  • Make sure you get names and phone numbers from everyone past 1st line support.
In the end, the problem will probably only be resolved when fixing it becomes less trouble than not fixing it. When the Chronic Resolution folks have to spend time every week fielding calls from people with unhappy TiVos, maybe that will happen.

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:53 AM   #409
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Iíve been reading through this thread to get some tips on dealing with my pixellation problems. First off hereís my setup: My cable provider is Charter, I have the 180 GB Tivo HD, Iím using a Motorola M-card, and the cable from the wall is going straight to the Tivo( no splitters).
I receive about 40 HD channels and have noticed pixellation on 6 channels. All 6 have tons of RS Uncorrected. This is what their diagnostics looked like:
- 707 ABC HD, 710 CBS, 712 PBS HD
o Frequency = 759,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 44-56, sometimes drops to 0
o SNR = 29-30 dB

- 730 DISC HD, 740 HDNET, 741 HDNETMV
o Frequency = 753,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 44-56, sometimes drops to 0
o SNR = 29-30 dB

Here is a sample of channels that work perfectly:
- 703 CW HD
o Frequency = 777,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 81-87
o SNR = 34 dB
- 706 NBC HD
o Frequency = 627,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 93-100
o SNR = 36-37 dB
- 708 FOX HD
o Frequency = 777,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 81-87
o SNR = 34-35 dB
- 720 ESPN HD
o Frequency = 825,000 KHz
o Signal strength = 81-93
o SNR = 34-35 dB
- 731 TNT HD
o Frequency = 807,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 81-87
o SNR = 34 dB
- 750 HBO HD
o Frequency = 741,000 KHz
o Signal Strength = 62-68
o SNR = 32 dB

Now it seems to me that those of you with FIOS needed to knock down their SNR a bit, and maybe, in contrast, I need to boost my signal to get those pixellating channels above the 32 dB SNR level. Does that seem right? Could a signal booster from radio shack do the trick?
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:09 PM   #410
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This is just a shot in the dark, but does everyone here have Motorolla cards? Anyone experiencing the same pixelation issues using Scientific Atlanta cards?

Thos
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #411
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no succcess with diplexer

well my diplexer finally came in from partsexpress and no luck for me. pixelation was as bad as ever. currently my solution is using 8+8+6 db attenuators. it's not a great solution but it's the only thing that makes NGC, Disc HD watchable.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #412
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Had you been in FIOS before the switch to all-digital you could have gotten free STBs (basically a DCT-700) for any analog TVs you had in the house that would lose reception due to the switch. At the time of the switch I requested three DCT-700s (two S2 TiVos and a media center PC) which are costing me nothing per month. The magic was that you had to make the request at the time of the A->D switch. I don't mean to gloat, but it was a sweet deal.
I got a DCT-700 and found it to be pretty close to worthless. The only channels it tunes are the local channels. I can't get ESPN or CNN or anything worth watching.

Do you have the same experience? I wonder if mine is just misconfigured or something.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:42 PM   #413
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Yes, yours is misconfigured. They can tune all SD channels.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:01 PM   #414
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This is just a shot in the dark, but does everyone here have Motorolla cards? Anyone experiencing the same pixelation issues using Scientific Atlanta cards?

Thos
I just had another tech to my house today and he told me they are looking at SA to replace the Motorola ONTs as well. I asked him about SA cards and he didn't know about them. Do you know if Fios has them deployed anywhere?
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:47 AM   #415
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I've escalated to chronic resolutions and supposedly my case will be assigned to a dedicated "executive" as a single point of contact. That said, I wonder if we should be collecting up our names and trouble tickets to get better organized to take on Verizon? As much talk as there is on this forum, the Fios forums, etc. Verizon will tends to act as though no problem exist. They've sent techs out to my place at least 6 times now and each time they do I have to repeat myself and let them see the issue only to have them offer little to no help. This issue needs to be recognized at the upper levels of Verizon and I think we need to push them to involve Motorola, SA, CableLabs, Tivo...whatever it takes to get this matter resolved.

BTW - it is clear to me this issue is not limited to Tivos as we all might think up here. The Moto STB/DVRs lock up and have other issues that are all probably related to the same issue IMO. But in their case, I don't think they can see a screen with RS errors like we can and most Moto DVR owners aren't typically as techincally savvy as folks up here.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:00 AM   #416
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I've escalated to chronic resolutions and supposedly my case will be assigned to a dedicated "executive" as a single point of contact. That said, I wonder if we should be collecting up our names and trouble tickets to get better organized to take on Verizon?
That's a great idea. I've just sent you a PM. If you want to send me your ticket # in a PM, I'll start piling them up on the desk of the guy in the Providence resolution center.

EDIT:

Let me extend the offer to everyone having the problem. I'm happy to collect ticket numbers and pile them on a single desk. The chronic resolution center generally closes tickets when they receive an issue, so give me your location and the ticket number that was sent to them and then closed... they can see the closed tickets.

Last edited by sinanju : 12-02-2008 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Offer to be the point guy
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:03 PM   #417
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I got a DCT-700 and found it to be pretty close to worthless. The only channels it tunes are the local channels. I can't get ESPN or CNN or anything worth watching.

Do you have the same experience? I wonder if mine is just misconfigured or something.
yes, yours is misconfigured. I get all authorized SD digital channels.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:04 PM   #418
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This is just a shot in the dark, but does everyone here have Motorolla cards? Anyone experiencing the same pixelation issues using Scientific Atlanta cards?

Thos
Verizon does not use SA. Yet.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:06 PM   #419
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Originally Posted by exdishguy View Post
I just had another tech to my house today and he told me they are looking at SA to replace the Motorola ONTs as well. I asked him about SA cards and he didn't know about them. Do you know if Fios has them deployed anywhere?
My post just above this was that Verizon is not using SA but I was referring to their QAM/IP signalling and other traditional equipment such as CableCARDs where you usually see Mot or SA in any one footprint. After seeing your post, I suppose they could use an SA ONT though.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:04 PM   #420
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The problem below is almost exactly what I have. 628 and 639 are worst for me. 585 and 625 are watchable but have a little pixellation now and then. Other two seem fine.

I haven't tried attenuation myself yet. Verizon is coming Friday.

My signal strength on these channels is low (45 or 50, sometimes dropping to 0 them popping back up to 45 or 50) and my SNR tends to be 30db or 29db. Sometimes it is actually the magic "31", but I still have pixellation even at 31.

Is attentuation likely to help me, or do I need something else?

As others have reported, I had no issues until the recent channel lineup change.

And tips / suggestions / sharing of experience greatly appreciated.

Thanks



Quote:
Originally Posted by sinanju View Post
My report has gone to the Chronic Resolutions Team in Providence. The original trouble ticket is closed, but presumably "Tony" has the issue as one of his to-dos.

If anyone else is still experiencing pixelation after applying the attenuation fix, I'd suggest you keep on them -- perhaps we can achieve some sort of critical mass to get them focused.

I'd especially look at lower QAM frequencies... in my case, I have consistent pixelation on 123, 117, and 111MHz. It appears that the attenuation fix might have worked for them, but the signal is not stable enough -- signal strength is highly variable, as is the SNR, with occasional crashes to 0. You'll only be able to find out what channels are on what frequencies by going to the TiVo's diagnostics screen, hitting the Live TV button, finding the channel, left arrow back to the diagnostics screen, hit Live TV, channel up, left arrow, repeat ad nauseum.

If you are in New England, the lower frequencies I mentioned map as follows:
  • 111MHz 622 (Science HD), 630 (Animal Planet HD)
  • 117MHz 585 (Big 10 HD), 625 (Smithsonian HD)
  • 123MHz 628 (History HD), 639 (TLC HD)

If I reduce the attenuation, that seems to fix those lower frequencies by making the bottom end of the range of instability still high enough to avoid uncorrectable errors, but at the expense of blowing out all of the other channels.

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