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Old 11-14-2009, 07:21 PM   #421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCSIRAID View Post
TWC has seen the issue here in Raleigh with their own eyes and have concluded that they are generating something that is tripping up TiVo resulting in macroblocking/pixelation which their Cisco STB's are handling with no issue. The key experiment is doing a simultaneous recording of a show on multiple TiVo's plus an 8300. The 8300 recording is clean. The TiVo recordings all exhibit breakups at exactly the same spot in the recordings and look basically identical. Just prior to the end of the recordings, the RS Stats for the TiVo's all indicate Uncorrected = 0 and the 'tune time' is correct indicating no 'retunes' have occured. This issue is only seen on SDV channels. The current TWC theory is that the rate shaper is generating something that TiVo doesnt like. However, TWC further indicates that all the Edge QAM's (Cisco GQAMs) for the different service groups should be receving the same rate shaped MPEG. This would mean that the same issue should be seen on all service groups if the rate shaper theory was correct. We did an experiment last night which showed that not to be true... My friend (on a different service group) and I recorded the same show and mine exhibited breakups on multiple TiVo's with 8300 clean while his TiVo recordings did not exhibit breakups at the time spots that mine did. That would seem to suggest that the problem is in the Edge QAM... I wouldnt expect the GQAM to be messing with the 'video' mpeg but perhaps he is fouling up the muxing information or not handing the merging of new streams properly (from TiVo's perspective anyway).. just a guess on my part though... Ill be passing the results of this experiment on to TWC next week.

Any input / thoughts / theories would be appreciated....
Thanks for the update SCSIRAID. It is so satisfying to see logical analysis and experimentation being applied to these problems instead of the guessing games we usually have to settle for! I just hope the Raleigh solution can lead to solutions in other TWC service areas. Do you have any tips on how to establish a contact with the right TWC technical people, as you apparently have done?
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #422
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Thanks for the update SCSIRAID. It is so satisfying to see logical analysis and experimentation being applied to these problems instead of the guessing games we usually have to settle for! I just hope the Raleigh solution can lead to solutions in other TWC service areas. Do you have any tips on how to establish a contact with the right TWC technical people, as you apparently have done?
I started with a calm email to the Customer Care manager whose name and address were on the local executives page of the local website to grease the skids on my cablecard install (2006). I asked some questions and asked for some help. I got a email from a manager in technical operations and the rest is history. My tip is talk nicely and respectfully and form your statements carefully so you dont come off as mad or as a 'know it all'. I always let the tech ops folks know that I appreciate their efforts and the level of access that they are allowing above and beyond the normal situation. The rest is history. I also dont post their email addresses or cell phone numbers and try not to abuse the 'privledge' ive been granted.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #423
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I thought I'd post a followup now that my rig has been running awhile with the attenuation in place. The TA lockups seem to have been completely eliminated. The SDV channel-changing issues have been reduced in frequency, but they still happen. So, it does look like (at least in my house) a good portion of the issues were caused by, or at least aggravated by, excessive signal strength into the Tivo.

YMMV, IANAL, etc.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:11 PM   #424
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So -- your experience -- there's no harm in having the TA because at the moment, I get none of those SDV channels. At least with the TA I would have some >0 probability of a successful recording on SDV channels.

But then I read Max's comment ...

that describes the TA possibly locking up the TiVo and preventing recordings even on NON-SDV channels. This is exactly the problem I want to avoid, and the reason why I have so far decided to forgo the TA even though I am missing many channels.
Yeah - that would definitely be a deal killer for me. The TA would have to go. But - We just don't experience that. I don't think we've had a non-SDV recording fail in... months, at the least. I can't even remember the last time it happened.

It's also possible that the SDV stuff has stabilized a bit, but we've been avoiding recording SDV anyway (e.g., recording off of SD versions of SDV HD channels).
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:14 PM   #425
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Here's my update (Austin). 8 problems since 10/29, mostly on TV (Time-Warner). Mostly black screen on TiVo. Saturday lost all Switched DIgital channels until I rebooted TA which then went into "Acquiring Channels" after which all was right - except I had a recording of nothing for an hour of the UT football game. Today I have lost the ISP at least 4 times. Rebooting the router seems to cure it - but not always for any length of time. This is the 3rd router, the second in weeks. TW also replaced my modem about 4 weeks ago. A head tech will come out on Wednesday to see what he can do. This is very very frustrating. Without reason, I suspect the TA is crashing TiVo. Or I have a bad router, a bad modem, a bad TA, a bad TiVo... which I doubt.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #426
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TiVo blameless?

I had TiVo with Directv for years and loved it. When I moved a little over a year ago, I signed up with Time Warner here in Central NY (Syracuse) and got their Scientific Atlanta DVR. I didn't like it and my wife hated it. I bought an HD TiVO about 3 weeks ago. I like TiVo every bit as much as before but I have the SDV "missing channel" problem that many others are reporting.

After a TA reset, things works fine for a while. SDV channels get tuned in as they should. The problem eventually shows up. Tuning to an SDV channel will show the channel for a few seconds before losing it. This gradually spreads to more and more SDV channels.

First - some miscellaneous info:

1 - I had pixellation problems on HD channels with the Time Warner DVR. They were bad enough on some channels to make me not watch or record them at all. It seemed that every HD channel would have some pixellation sometime. Time Warner told me it was an issue with the signal(s) they received and were working on it. Since I got the TiVo, I have not seen a single instance of pixellation on any channel - with or without the Tuning adapter.

2 - My tuning adapter has never "locked up." I always get the non-switched digital channels even when I have the problem with switched channels.

3 - Time Warner has, so far, been very cooperative regarding the "missing channels". They have done the usual stuff remotely as I've talked to them on the phone and they have sent technicians to my house twice. After the last visit, they said they were getting a new tuning adapter to try. After reading this forum, I doubt that a new TA will fix it - but at least they are trying. It seems clear though that this is a national problem and the local techs, who have never seen a TA before, come into it without any support. It must be costing Time Warner quite a lot for local tech time for all of us who complain.

4 - My tuning adapter came with an undated sheet telling me about the missing channel problem. It said that a firmware fix would be downloaded in early January. The Time Warner techs had their own corresponding info. Theirs said the fix would be downloaded in January 2009. That's right - 2009 not 2010.


Now, my question. Why are we letting TiVo get by without criticism or complaint? We heap it all on Time Warner and / or Cisco.

- It's the TiVO that tunes the SDV channel correctly and then loses it. I can't believe that the TA somehow filters the channel out of the RF that the Tivo receives. I also find it hard to believe that the TA changes its mind and gives TiVO a wrong frequency after first providing the correct one.

- When I disconnect my tuning adapter to reset it, Tivo notices it's gone and presumably clears all of its internal data. When the TA is reset, the TiVo is also starting fresh. From my experience with real time software, it seems just as likely to be a TiVo software / firmware problem as a TA firmware problem.

- Can it be that TiVo has decided to commit all of their resources to the new Directv box while paying lip service to us?

Last edited by walt oswego : 11-16-2009 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:44 AM   #427
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Now, my question. Why are we letting TiVo get by without criticism or complaint? We heap it all on Time Warner and / or Cisco.
I think one of the major reasons is that TWC rolled out SDV before fully engineering a solution for CableCard customers. I.e., these types of problems should have been ironed out ahead of time instead of trying to fix it later.

My guess is that TiVo is not blameless (for at least some of the reasons you suggest). However, TiVo has a significant vested interest in keeping and enlarging its customer base. They don't want their customers telling others how much of a hassle it is to own a TiVo.

Ergo, it would certainly seems like TiVo should want this issue resolved ASAP.

Quote:
- It's the TiVO that tunes the SDV channel correctly and then loses it. I can't believe that the TA somehow filters the channel out of the RF that the Tivo receives. I also find it hard to believe that the TA changes its mind and gives TiVO a wrong frequency after first providing the correct one.
I don't have this particular problem. Assuming you're not alone in this (as in, it's not just your setup or something)... While it's entirely possible (probable?) that the TiVo is screwing up here, it could just as easily be that the TA is sending erroneous data (wrong frequency or otherwise). Or, it could be that the back-end data stream is corrupted and the TiVo barfs (rightfully) after a couple bad key frames? After all - there are apparently some issues with the encoding/rate-shaper that causes the pixelation on SDV channels.

In other words - who knows. We can't assume it's TiVo's fault, and we can't assume it's the TA's. Either is possible.

I don't mean to sound like a TiVo apologist/fanboi - I'm definitely not. I'm just willing to give them the benefit of the doubt given their need for TiVo owners to be happy (versus TWC's lack of need for that), and because TWC has a reputation/history for putting a very lackluster effort into their CableCard support (meaning corporate policy - not individuals, some of whom are excellent engineers/technicians).

Two recent cases come to mind - 1) TWC being fined and forced to provide Tuning Adapters by the government because of their premature SDV rollout, and 2) TWC being forced to use CableCards in their own set top boxes because of poor CableCard support.

TWC would like nothing more than for us to give up on TiVo and use their boxes. While that mentality may change once they get tru2way, for now, we're a hassle for them. Personally, if I have to dump the TiVo, I'm going to give U-Verse a try.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:47 AM   #428
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............
In other words - who knows. We can't assume it's TiVo's fault, and we can't assume it's the TA's. Either is possible.
That's the simple statement of fact and it's amazing, actually ridiculous, how many words have been wasted speculating or trying to prove who's fault it is on these forums without facts available.
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Originally Posted by Shmooh View Post
............
Two recent cases come to mind - 1) TWC being fined and forced to provide Tuning Adapters by the government because of their premature SDV rollout, and 2) TWC being forced to use CableCards in their own set top boxes because of poor CableCard support.
.......
References? Links? Please?
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:04 AM   #429
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That's the simple statement of fact and it's amazing, actually ridiculous, how many words have been wasted speculating or trying to prove who's fault it is on these forums without facts available.
That's because the facts are not available and no one is making them available - not technical facts anyway. The problem is frustrating, we'd like it fixed and there's no way to do that except to continue to make noise. This particular thread is useful because there's an attempt to deal with the technical issues while complaining. There are other threads in this forum that are nothing but rants that have degenerated into attacks on other contributors.

Personally, I do not know what to do except complain. I think that's true for everyone. My post was simply an attempt to get people complaining to TiVo too. Maybe it is their problem and they have not looked at it carefully enough. If it not their problem and they are sure of that, than maybe thinking we hold them responsible anyway will get them to act. They certainly have more clout and better technical contacts than any of us do.

I have 6 days left to return my TiVo to Best Buy and to cancel the Tivo service before I'm stuck paying for both. I guess I like TiVo better than the Time Warner DVR but I intend to spend the next 6 days looking for an alternative while complaining. If I stick with TiVo, I'll be complaining until the issue is resolved.

Thanks, Shmooh, for your thoughtful reply.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:39 AM   #430
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FWIW, my problems continue, though there were a few days trouble free... most recently (yesterday) I lost the internet repeatedly and each time it could be brought back by unplugging/replugging my router. Each time it came back for maybe 15 minutes or so. Later, in the evening, when I went to the HD TV (and TiVo), (and the internet was still out) TiVo was dead (again - this is becoming almost a daily event.) I rebooted it. But the SDV channels were still lost, so I had to reboot the TA twice.

Here's the interesting thing... when I went to the TV the internet was down again. BUT after what I reported above, the internet was back.

Could the TA be taking everything on the network out?

I have a head tech coming tomorrow but honestly, I will be surprised if he can shed any light on this.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:46 AM   #431
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........ My post was simply an attempt to get people complaining to TiVo too. .........
The problems are due to the combined system of cable co and TiVo and we have no facts to definitely analyze how to distribute the blame. Thus we should be complaining **to** both of them and letting them work out between them how they will respond.

That would mean calling or sending mail to both entities. Complaining **about**either one of them (e.g., on these forums) is fine but it is, at best, an indirect way to complain to them. For TWC I seriously doubt if complaints here have any impact at all. For TiVo, we can hope they may be reading here, but we can't assume that. Even if they do read here, they may miss a lot of the "complaints".

TiVo should already know that whether or not we hold them responsible, the marketplace soon will. If they don't realize that, they are such poor business people they are doomed to go out of business anyway.

Bottom line: if this is important enough to continually complain on this forum, by all logic one should also be contacting TiVo and TWC directly with the same complaints.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:34 PM   #432
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Woodburger: The lead tech and supervisor just left my place. They have another TA call tomorrow which I'm assuming is you. I pretty much just explained the locked up TA issue and showed some recordings with pixelation but they weren't really able to do anything.

Just to add another variable to the mix, does anyone in the TWC Austin area know when the problems started with pixelation? I couldn't remember when the tech asked me, but apparently TWC finished converting the nodes from a "synchronous feed to RGB" (fully digital of some sort, just repeating what they said) about 3 months ago.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #433
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Still having problems on my end here in Austin. Pretty much every day now one or both of my TiVos will be unable to record or is locked up solid and needs to be rebooted. If I want to make sure shows are recording, I have to turn the television on and make sure the TiVo can tune to the proper channel. Half the time I turn the TV on it's tuned to black. If that's the case and the TiVo isn't locked up, a channel up/down will usually result in the channel tuning in.

I haven't yet called TWC, but I've been very busy and don't want to dive into that pool yet. Will try to do so tomorrow. I agree that calling TWC and TiVo is better than complaining in this forum, however, it is still useful to do so here so people can corroborate their experiences with this issue. I do keep getting offers from DIRECTV in the mail, amusingly enough.

TiVo and Time Warner are going to start losing customers over this, if they haven't already. Time Warner won't care, but I'm guessing TiVo can't afford to lose customers as well as the poor word-of-mouth this will bring by those affected.

..Al
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:58 PM   #434
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TiVo and Time Warner are going to start losing customers over this, if they haven't already. Time Warner won't care, but I'm guessing TiVo can't afford to lose customers as well as the poor word-of-mouth this will bring by those affected.

..Al
I live in Austin, and I've wanted to upgrade to an HD Tivo (I hate the TW box). I'm going to wait until I get word that this problem is solved. The second I get an alternative that works with Tivo (U-verse, FIOS, or Satellite), I'm switching.

--Mark
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:00 PM   #435
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SDV should be launched in the Ex Adelphia part of the San Diego system. They'll deploy Moto tuning adapters.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:14 PM   #436
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I live in Austin, and I've wanted to upgrade to an HD Tivo (I hate the TW box). I'm going to wait until I get word that this problem is solved. The second I get an alternative that works with Tivo (U-verse, FIOS, or Satellite), I'm switching.

--Mark
I absolutely would not get an HD TiVo here in Austin until this issue is resolved.

..Al
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:18 AM   #437
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Originally Posted by Shmooh
............
Two recent cases come to mind - 1) TWC being fined and forced to provide Tuning Adapters by the government because of their premature SDV rollout, and 2) TWC being forced to use CableCards in their own set top boxes because of poor CableCard support.
.......

References? Links? Please?
My bad - I thought this was common knowledge (seriously - no sarcasm, I should've provided links).

Here's one on the cable co's being forced to use Cable Cards in their boxes:
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...et-top-box.ars

Here's one on the SDV rollout / TA / fining thing:
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/T...FCC-Fine-97222


They're both a bit old, but they explain the situations pretty well.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:47 AM   #438
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My bad - I thought this was common knowledge (seriously - no sarcasm, I should've provided links).

Here's one on the cable co's being forced to use Cable Cards in their boxes:
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...et-top-box.ars

Here's one on the SDV rollout / TA / fining thing:
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/T...FCC-Fine-97222


They're both a bit old, but they explain the situations pretty well.
Thanks, I just went digital this summer and had not been following these events.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:06 AM   #439
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..........
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl
What does TWC mean by a "sync issue" I wonder?

It means the OP spoke to a moron who has no idea of what they speak, and then the OP bought the ridiculous load of crap.
Here is a post in the GSAS thread discussing losing sync as a problem. Sounds plausible to me. Still think it's a "load of crap" ?
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:07 PM   #440
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My bad - I thought this was common knowledge (seriously - no sarcasm, I should've provided links).

Here's one on the cable co's being forced to use Cable Cards in their boxes:
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...et-top-box.ars

Here's one on the SDV rollout / TA / fining thing:
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/T...FCC-Fine-97222


They're both a bit old, but they explain the situations pretty well.
Forfeiture rulings regarding SDV and TA's were reversed in June -- see **this post**. It now appears there is no FCC ruling or law requiring tuning adapters. The only requirement is 30 day advance notice before service is reduced by moving channels to SDV without furnishing a tuning adapter.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:23 AM   #441
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Smile Missing Channels OK Now

This is a follow up on my post of 11/16/09.

My "missing channels" problem has been taken care of. Time Warner (Syracuse) sent an incredibly determined and dedicated technician and he worked away at it until it was OK. He was here for a day and a half. He even called me the following day to be sure that it was still OK.

On the first afternoon two Time Warner techs came. Neither had ever seen a tuning adapter before and they both said that they had limited experience with cable cards. One of them told me there were only about 100 tuning adapters in their entire service area, all of Central NY. But they were both determined to learn and to get it right. One of them got called away after a couple of hours to do other work, the other worked on it the rest of the afternoon, called me the next day to tell me he was researching the issue, came back the following day and after several hours and many phone calls to various Time Warner people, fixed it.

I do not know which of the things they did were part of the solution and which were dead ends but here's some stuff that seems relevant.

1 - I have a new tuning adapter. After it was replaced the problem changed complexion. Instead of tuning to a new SDV channel for a few seconds and then losing it, there were some SDV channels that were simply never there at all.

2 - The tech figured out that the missing channels were always on the same QAM frequency. Leaving out all of his troubleshooting work and phone calls, the problem was finally fixed remotely. As we watched, the tuning adapter missing screen came up, the tuning adapter went through its blinks, the tuning adapter connected screen came up and it has worked right since then.

3 - As far as I can tell, no changes were made to the TiVo. It was reset a few times during the troubleshooting but I do not know if that was a necessary part of the solution.

I learned that TW has a national service desk for tuning adapters. Only TW techs can talk to them and they wait on hold to get their turn. You'll be happy to know that TW techs listen to the same TW ads while they hold that we do.

I've had a working TiVo for 2 days now. I get all my channels. It's great!!
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #442
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sounds like the channels weren't in the T/A's map. When the T/A rebooted did the acquiring channel info screen come up?
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #443
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..........
I learned that TW has a national service desk for tuning adapters. Only TW techs can talk to them and they wait on hold to get their turn. ........
You can also get connected with the TWC National Cable Card Support group by a TiVo support rep -- they did that for me. This was after my local TWC telephone support gave up, not having a clue (and scheduled a truck roll -- of course!).
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:31 PM   #444
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My bad - I thought this was common knowledge (seriously - no sarcasm, I should've provided links).

Here's one on the cable co's being forced to use Cable Cards in their boxes:
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2...et-top-box.ars

Here's one on the SDV rollout / TA / fining thing:
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/T...FCC-Fine-97222


They're both a bit old, but they explain the situations pretty well.
IIRC part of the cable card regulation would require Cable Providers to use the same mechanism to connect that third party devices use. However I think what happened was that cable companies rushed SDV out ahead of the implementation date in the hopes of getting a stay on the cable card requirement.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:41 PM   #445
walt oswego
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sounds like the channels weren't in the T/A's map. When the T/A rebooted did the acquiring channel info screen come up?
Not that I recall. I suspect it was not the channel map. The problem was that I could not get whichever channels were on that particular QAM frequency. For example, USA is a channel that I watch a lot. I could get it at some times and not others. Turned out that I could not get it whenever it was on that frequency.

Rereading my post, I see that I never said that even though I thought it was important.

Last edited by walt oswego : 11-23-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #446
Shmooh
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IIRC part of the cable card regulation would require Cable Providers to use the same mechanism to connect that third party devices use. However I think what happened was that cable companies rushed SDV out ahead of the implementation date in the hopes of getting a stay on the cable card requirement.
That's my guess as to what happened as well (hoping for a stay). I vaguely remember that they stalled that CableCard requirement for a long time, but that after several years the FCC just said, "No, you've had long enough. Do it."

I was asking over on the SDV FAQ thread about CableCard legality, and a poster there clearly stated that there is no requirement for cable co's to provide tuning adapters. I.e., that they could just roll out SDV and all they had to do was tell CableCard users that channels would be going away.

While that seems wrong to me (given the local monopolies cable companies have), it would be an interesting twist if they are indeed required to use the same mechanisms for third party devices.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #447
KungFuCow
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Is there anywhere I can find a list of what the led sequences mean, assuming they mean SOMETHING.. my TA is blinking 8 times, pausing and repeating. Before I call TW, I wanted to see if I could figure out whats going on with it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #448
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Is there anywhere I can find a list of what the led sequences mean, assuming they mean SOMETHING.. my TA is blinking 8 times, pausing and repeating. Before I call TW, I wanted to see if I could figure out whats going on with it.
when & if you call them tell them to just send a balancing hit to the account. You could try before calling them to unplug USB cord & reboot TA if you have not already done that, but I think you will need the "Balancing hit" sent. If i am not mistaken after that the light may go off entirely & then just hit the power button & all should come back in.

That is also IF the TA is still assigned to an occurrence, which from what i have heard, has happened to some who have seen this behavior in your area.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:44 AM   #449
Max Camber
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Just posting to let the TWC Austin people know that I'm still on the case. I've been exchanging email with a local tech supervisor and thanks to SCSIRAID he is now in touch with the group working on the tuning adapter issues. I'm still trying to create a streamlined process for reporting the TA issues but I'm not expecting to hear back until after Thanksgiving at this point.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #450
KungFuCow
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when & if you call them tell them to just send a balancing hit to the account. You could try before calling them to unplug USB cord & reboot TA if you have not already done that, but I think you will need the "Balancing hit" sent. If i am not mistaken after that the light may go off entirely & then just hit the power button & all should come back in.

That is also IF the TA is still assigned to an occurrence, which from what i have heard, has happened to some who have seen this behavior in your area.
Sweet.. it was working fine and I had to unplug my Moxi and move it and I guess that caused the TA to freak out. I kept noticing some things werent recording and when I looked, the channels werent even listed.
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