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View Poll Results: Is this problem resolved?
Yep - no more partials!! 15 88.24%
Nope - still seeing partial recordings 2 11.76%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
BrianAZ
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Big Grin Cox Phoenix/Tucson Channel Loss (Multiple times a day since CC firmware upgrade)

Since the Cox CableCard thread has grown to 53 pages, ~1565 posts and covers everything under the sun Cox-related, I thought I'd start a specific thread for the significant issue being experienced by (what appears to be) the entire Cox-Phoenix/Tucson TivoHD user base.

While this would be a significant issue at any time, for anyone, it is especially critical given the frequency with which recordings are lost (I lost 7 recordings yesterday alone) and with the Olympics just around the corner.

My hope is to use this thread to focus on this specific problem and provide a location for us to discuss without being obscured by other topics (i.e. SDV rollout). I also am hopeful that Tivo's reps will provide us periodic updates on the situation as well.


Description of issue:

History
Prior to the most recent CableCard firmware upgrade, our cablecards/Tivos had two issues related to this problem:
  1. Periodic (~ once a week) loss of encrypted channels (HD locals revert to SD). The Tivo software recognizes this and reset the cards so future recordings are not impacted.
  2. Periodic (~ once a month) situation where the channel loss problem was not resolved automatically by the Tivo or by restarting. I'll refer to this as the SubExpireTime issue.
Current

Since the CableCard firmware upgrade to 301, the SubExpireTime issue appears to be resolved (excellent! no more truck rolls or badgering CS to get a supervisor to unpair, repair, refresh to fix). However, the loss of channels problem was not resolved. In fact, it is now exponentially worse.

What used to happen once a week, now happens numerous times a day (maybe 4-7). Because of this, it is being felt by a far wider userbase. If you're not watching Tivo when the issue happens but were recording, you'll notice that you have partial recordings of varying lengths. If you are watching, you'll see a "161-38" error message pop up on the screen. This is the Tivo workaround resetting the CableCard. After a few moments you'll have your channels back but your recordings are stopped.


Latest update from Tivo on the issue (as of week of 7/7):

I (and several others) have reported the issue to Tivo and Cox. TivoJerry has confirmed the issue and that Tivo has advised Cox and Cisco. He also mentioned that he has hope that prior work between the three companies on a similar problem in Las Vegas will expidite the diagnosis and remediation here in Phoenix. He also notes that everyone at Tivo is committed to helping figure this out.

Latest update from Tivo on the issue (as of week of 8/11):
Tivo, Cox and Cisco are all apparently in Phoenix working on the issue. There are various tests underway and we have been advised that the appropriate level of attention is being paid to this issue. In recent days, some folks have indicated that they are losing less recordings, but the problem is still happening frequently (usually a few times per day). The Olympics are now upon us and we're missing them.

Latest update - 8/27
A firmware fix has been deployed and appears to be working as intended. Thanks to everyone on this thread for making your voices heard and finally forcing Tivo, Cox & Cisco to treat this with the urgency required.




- Brian

Last edited by BrianAZ : 08-27-2008 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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THANK YOU for starting this thread, Brian. The issue deserves a higher profile than being buried in the Cox thread.

Two observations:
  • The original problem was associated with M-cards. Since S3 units, AFAIK, still cannot use M-cards, they are probably not affected by the current snafu. But if there are any S3 users out there who are being affected by the 161-38 partial recording problem, please speak up.

  • The original problem was also associated only with the encrypted channels. Non-encrypted channels (2-21 and 701-715) were not being dropped. AFAIK, this is still the case, but again if anybody knows something to the contrary, please chime in.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:43 PM   #3
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THANK YOU for starting this thread, Brian. The issue deserves a higher profile than being buried in the Cox thread.

Two observations:
  • The original problem was associated with M-cards. Since S3 units, AFAIK, still cannot use M-cards, they are probably not affected by the current snafu. But if there are any S3 users out there who are being affected by the 161-38 partial recording problem, please speak up.

  • The original problem was also associated only with the encrypted channels. Non-encrypted channels (2-21 and 701-715) were not being dropped. AFAIK, this is still the case, but again if anybody knows something to the contrary, please chime in.
Rob
Excellent points Rob (though I think S3 can use two MCards?).

One addition to your second item about which channels are impacted: While the local HD stations are not dropped/lost, they revert back to SD content during the issue. I've not experienced this problem while recording one of these channels, so I'm not sure what happens to the recordings. Are they broken or does it continue recording SD and then switches back to HD when the card has reset?
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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I live in Gilbert (San Tan Ranch, Pecos & Higley), and was experiencing the same problem. From July 1-10 or so, the Tivo HD was virtually unusuable. Couldn't go more than 10 minutes without losing channels.

Due to my work schedule, I didn't bother reporting the problem. Wouldn't have been able to be home to let a tech check things out. Since I heard the problem was widespread, I let it ride. I did give my TSN to TivoJerry though.

It's now been 5 or 6 days since I've had any trouble.

Jeff
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZrob View Post
  • The original problem was associated with M-cards. Since S3 units, AFAIK, still cannot use M-cards, they are probably not affected by the current snafu. But if there are any S3 users out there who are being affected by the 161-38 partial recording problem, please speak up.
  • The original problem was also associated only with the encrypted channels. Non-encrypted channels (2-21 and 701-715) were not being dropped. AFAIK, this is still the case, but again if anybody knows something to the contrary, please chime in.
Rob
I have an S3 and am using two S-cards. Starting July 1 2008, I was experiencing very long channel change times where the picture would go black for up to a minute and then finally come in. The problem seemed much worse for encrypted channels but was present for all channels.

I did not experience the firmware upgrade loop issue since I don't have M-cards, although I believe that the S3 can use two M-cards.

During this time, I did not experience dropped recordings (thankfully).

This lasted for several days and has since completely cleared up, which I'm very grateful for.

- Dennis
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:51 PM   #6
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I live in Gilbert (San Tan Ranch, Pecos & Higley), and was experiencing the same problem. From July 1-10 or so, the Tivo HD was virtually unusuable. Couldn't go more than 10 minutes without losing channels.

Due to my work schedule, I didn't bother reporting the problem. Wouldn't have been able to be home to let a tech check things out. Since I heard the problem was widespread, I let it ride. I did give my TSN to TivoJerry though.

It's now been 5 or 6 days since I've had any trouble.

Jeff
I've found that whether you feel impact or not really just depends on what you have scheduled to record on a given day and it's really a roll of the dice if the issue will happen during those timeslots (or while you happen to be watching but not recording). I have a wishlist which basically records all HD Documentarys, so my Tivo is recording frequently. May result in my seeing it more often.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:49 PM   #7
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BrianAZ yesterday was bad for me to I lost 3-4 recordings. Today I haven't had any problems yet.
Does any one know if 9.4 will help us out? I don't think it will but you never know.

Also the current problem will tune both tuners to the same channel. So if you have not been using your tivo and you had nothing scheduled to record you can tell if there was a error while you where gone by checking to see if both tuners are on the same channel.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:02 PM   #8
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I can personally vouch that recordings on channels 705 and 715 have been getting interrupted since the firmware upgrade. My wife has complained several times that her soaps on 705 have been partial recordings. And we missed Wipeout on 715 last week due to a partial recording. And the 161-38 cablecard errors are a multiple time per day occurence.

So these channels are NOT immune from the problem.

Also, got 9.4 last night, and we are still getting cablecard errors today, so it didn't address the problem.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:21 PM   #9
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This will require a cisco cablecard firmware update unless tivo has some magic up their sleeve i'm not aware of.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:15 PM   #10
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I too had the problems from about the 1st through the 10th. Since then I haven't had issues, but I was told that they rolled back the SDV roll-out due to the issues (Also go the letter from cox saying that they were delaying the launch of new HD channels).

I do worry though that at some point they'll have to roll out SDV once again and the issues may come back.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #11
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I too had the problems from about the 1st through the 10th. Since then I haven't had issues, but I was told that they rolled back the SDV roll-out due to the issues (Also go the letter from cox saying that they were delaying the launch of new HD channels).

I do worry though that at some point they'll have to roll out SDV once again and the issues may come back.
I don't believe SDV is related. The v301 firmware update (which was done in an attempt to fix an existing issue, not support SDV) hit my Tivo 3 days before July 1 and the problems began immediately. Unfortunately it's likely just coincidence that you've not encountered the issue recently.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #12
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I've had the firmware upgrade loop problem, lost channels and dropped recordings since the first of the month - thankfully I was on vacation for the 1st week so I didn't notice it.......until I returned home and half my scheduled recordings never showed up.

My frustration is with Cox Technical Support(?) Calls to the support desk are met with either non-responsiveness or a total lack of any understanding as to what a cablecard even is. Wouldn't it be nice if they just sent out a notice to all their telephone techs that said, "Hey, we really don't know what the problem is, but there IS a problem, sit tight 'cause we're working on it."? I wonder how many TIVO HD users out there don't check forums like these to find out that they are not alone.

Sad truth is, what is Cox's incentive to find a solution to the problem? Eventually TIVO users will get so frustrated with the issue that they'll turn back to the inferior interface and overall quality of those stupid Scientific Atlanta units.

We're all Charlie Browns and Cox is the Lucy pulling the football just as we're ready to kick........AAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:10 PM   #13
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I don't believe SDV is related. The v301 firmware update (which was done in an attempt to fix an existing issue, not support SDV) hit my Tivo 3 days before July 1 and the problems began immediately. Unfortunately it's likely just coincidence that you've not encountered the issue recently.
The firmware update was done in anticipation of the SDV release. The cablecards needed to be updated to work properly with SDV.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:23 AM   #14
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Sad truth is, what is Cox's incentive to find a solution to the problem? Eventually TIVO users will get so frustrated with the issue that they'll turn back to the inferior interface and overall quality of those stupid Scientific Atlanta units.
Well can't speak for anyone but myself, but their tech support has ticked me off so much, I have DirecTV coming out on Saturday to install two HD DVRs. I know it won't be my TiVo HD....but at least it will hopefully record what I tell it to do. Also will get many more HD channels and won't have to worry about SDV. Sucks because I have been using TiVo boxes for the last 11 years.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:16 AM   #15
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I've found that whether you feel impact or not really just depends on what you have scheduled to record on a given day and it's really a roll of the dice if the issue will happen during those timeslots (or while you happen to be watching but not recording). I have a wishlist which basically records all HD Documentarys, so my Tivo is recording frequently. May result in my seeing it more often.
Trust me, if the problem was still occuring where I live, I would know. I have many wishlists and record lots of content. For me, the problem has been resolved.

Jeff
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:19 AM   #16
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Trust me, if the problem was still occuring where I live, I would know. I have many wishlists and record lots of content. For me, the problem has been resolved.

Jeff
I wonder if it has something to do with how the cablecards are programmed to work with various pieces of Cable Co. equipment. Possibly your area's setup is different in some way than others.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:20 AM   #17
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All,

I can tell you this.. Tivo is working actively with both SA and Cox to get this mess resolved asap.

The cc upgrade that was rolled out was to fix the missing channels issue. It was in development long before the sdv rollout. The missing channels was partialy solved but other issues had surfaced.

The partials recordings are likely from the Tivo rebooting the cc internally. When this problem first came about, the only way to reboot the cc was the actually restart the Tivo unit. They have since fixed it, that if a cc error is detected, the cc will reboot intenally without a restart of the Tivo. This a temporary fix until the actual cc issue has been fixed.

Hope this clears some things up.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:50 PM   #18
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Add me to the list. Have been seeing various 161-xx errors. Some days are definitely worse than others. Has been better lately, but still have 2 partial recordings from the last week.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:15 PM   #19
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I'll go ahead and chime in.

I live in Mesa and have a S3 with 2 S-cards. I have absolutely no issues other than an audio/video skip once I tune into a channel. Not really a big problem for me. I think this has more to do with the HDMI connection. I used to have 2 M-cards and would lose channels just like everybody else.

My father lives in Scottsdale and has a TivoHD with 2 S-cards. From July 1st - 7th, most of his channels would freeze. No losing channels, but would just take about 2 minutes to load. Cox (3rd party) came out and really didn't do anything except increase his signal. The tech only had M-cards with him and advised him not to switch. Last week he called back and a Cox (actual employee) came out and changed out his cards, again with 2 S-cards. Yes, they are now in stock again (at least with technicians employed by Cox). He is having no issues.

Given this, I absolutely believe that it is a M-Card issue. Probably wouldn't hurt to swap your cards out with S-cards until this issue is over. YMMV
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:44 PM   #20
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Thought I'd jump in here with a question. With the flurry of difficulties I've been seeing, is it wise to even purchase a TiVo HD right now? I was considering taking advantage of their refurbished models (and my wife seems to be excited to do so), but if we can't use them properly then I don't want to pull the trigger.

Should I wait, and hope the refurbs remain in stock? Or is the problem not as severe as most seem to make it out to be?

I'm also concerned about the SDV issue (although perhaps that's best left to its own thread). When SDV rolls out, will the TiVo HD be completely unusable until the Tuner Adapter arrives?
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:04 PM   #21
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...

Should I wait, and hope the refurbs remain in stock? Or is the problem not as severe as most seem to make it out to be?

I'm also concerned about the SDV issue (although perhaps that's best left to its own thread). When SDV rolls out, will the TiVo HD be completely unusable until the Tuner Adapter arrives?
Last question first: Cox has announced the list of initial channels they are moving to SDV and for me there were no important ones I won't receive without the tuning adapter. Here is the list posted in the Cox Cable Card forum:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...56#post6480256

The most popular channels are the least likely to go SDV since if someone on your cable node (i.e., in your neighborhood) is almost always watching a particular channel there is no advantage to moving that channel to SDV. It is the less popular channels that are most suited to SDV.

As for the current state of problems you will be taking a chance right now. My problems are rather worse than they were before the cable card firmware upgrade that seems to blame but my TiVo is still very much usable. I am blessed with good digital OTA and have a PC with a couple of digital TV tuners so I set backup recordings for my most important shows but I think I have only needed to use a backup once since July 1. Others have had much more serious problems, though. People who post here are probably not a representative sample of TiVo users in the Phoenix metro area and of this unusual sample those with problems are most likely to post.

If the refurbs are a good deal I'd go for it, based on my experience, but I imagine there will be refurbs available on and off from now on as was the case with S2 TiVos.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:14 PM   #22
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Hi All,

I have loved the standard def box I have had for years. Last week I activated my TIVO HD DVR and have been so disappointed! I have had numerous partial recordings on both HD local channels (710 and 715). Recording only a minute, on a few shows, and partial recordinges of longer duration (40 minutes of a 2 hour movie) on lower digital channels such as 138

I called Tivo twice and spent hours on the phone with level one support to no avail. I finally reached a level 2 guy named Aaron, who is supposed to get back to me when he hears from "engineering". He gave a big sigh when I mentioned I was a Cox customer in Phoenix .

I am still in my 30 day "trial" period and am actually considering returning the unit. I love Tivo's usiblity, but it's worthless if it doesn't record. It's unfortunate, because at this time I agree with most of you, the problem lays with Cox and Scientic Atlantic (Cisco), and their cable cards. There were however, problems with Cox's set top HDDVR boxes too.

Anyone have any thoughts on how much faith to place on these three large corporate organizations (Cox, Cisco, Tivo) ability to collaborate and actually fix these issues?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:38 PM   #23
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Mine too...

I hope no one minds me posting this here in a Phoenix thread, but I am in Tucson with a TivoHD on Cox digital with an M-card and am having the multiple channel-loss problem as well (since January of this year), as well as the partial-recording and 161-38 errors since the firmware update. The Tucson market must have the same technical setup as Phoenix. I called Tivo last week out of frustration and they claimed to be working on a software update that would address this problem, to be rolled between mid to late August. I'm not sure if this is the 9.4 update that is currently being tested or not.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:06 AM   #24
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Anyone have any thoughts on how much faith to place on these three large corporate organizations (Cox, Cisco, Tivo) ability to collaborate and actually fix these issues?
Well.. on the plus side, they did work together to fix a similar issue (which ended up making the channel loss/partial recording issue more frequent). The prior issue was that roughly once a month, you'd lose your channels and they wouldn't come back. You'd call Cox and have to basically demand a supervisor who actually understood what to do to get it fixed (1st level techs always claimed they couldn't do anything and tried to schedule a truck visit).

It took several months to get the other issue fixed, but hopefully since they have worked together and have ample examples of the issue (since it's happening multiple times a day) it won't take forever this time around. I know for a fact that Tivo, Cisco and Cox are all aware of the issue (TivoJerry confirmed this) and are working on it. I'm hopeful that he or another rep will provide us an update on the progress once there's something to report.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:08 AM   #25
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I hope no one minds me posting this here in a Phoenix thread, but I am in Tucson with a TivoHD on Cox digital with an M-card and am having the multiple channel-loss problem as well (since January of this year), as well as the partial-recording and 161-38 errors since the firmware update. The Tucson market must have the same technical setup as Phoenix. I called Tivo last week out of frustration and they claimed to be working on a software update that would address this problem, to be rolled between mid to late August. I'm not sure if this is the 9.4 update that is currently being tested or not.
9.4 won't fix it. This is a CableCard firmware issue and will require a Cisco/Cox update. Perhaps that's what the Tivo rep was referring to (I hope!).

Good bit of info that it's happening in Tucson as well. I've added it to the initial post. Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:49 AM   #26
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9.4 won't fix it. This is a CableCard firmware issue and will require a Cisco/Cox update. Perhaps that's what the Tivo rep was referring to (I hope!).

Good bit of info that it's happening in Tucson as well. I've added it to the initial post. Thanks!
It's only from reading the Cox cable card thread over the last few months that I haven't thrown my Tivo out the window--it's good to know you're not alone even if there's not much you can do about it. I guess the Tivo representative knowingly misinformed me or didn't know what he was talking about. A CC firmware upgrade posthaste would be nice, though I would even settle for rolling back to the previous firmware!
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #27
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Trust me, if the problem was still occuring where I live, I would know. I have many wishlists and record lots of content. For me, the problem has been resolved.

Jeff

I'm in Gilbert as well. I had Cox out to replace the M-card in my HD box 3 times. The 3rd time it lasted about 6 hours before it blew out and lost all of the
diagnostic programs on the card each time and couldn't see any info on the card. Is this something that anyone else has experienced? Also I've contacted Tivo (see previous post #1493) to return the HD tivo and get a refund on my LIFETIME service agreement. Still waiting for a response on this issue. When I called today the rep said it was still in progress and she would up the priority. Woo woo!!! Like that's going to help. I called the 8th and 11 days later, nothing. Although my wife and I both love Tivo (cox dvr really is pathetic) and I have 3, I'm becoming more and more convinced that SA has no vested interest in making their cable cards work with the competition (tivo) hardware.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #28
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I'm in Gilbert as well. I had Cox out to replace the M-card in my HD box 3 times. The 3rd time it lasted about 6 hours before it blew out and lost all of the
diagnostic programs on the card each time and couldn't see any info on the card. Is this something that anyone else has experienced?
Yes. When I was suffering through the lose of channels problem at the beginning of the month, the cablecard menus would not bring up anything. A reboot would restore them, but only temporarily. I don't think it's a matter of the diagnostic menus getting wiped - I think it's a matter of the cablecard becoming unresponsive.

Jeff
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:59 PM   #29
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UG this sucks
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:40 AM   #30
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I spoke too soon. Since last Fri, my Tivo HD is again experiencing channel loss and partial recordings a couple of times per day.

Jeff
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