Ok, this is a long post, but that is because TWC has defective Tuning Adapter boxes and we just didn't know it until they got a Engineer involved at the highest level. When he realized he could not even ping my TA, he though he could just come out and tweak my levels, but when he saw that didn't work, he new something was up. So, the short of this story is that my Tivo started losing most of it's SD Channels and the fault seems to be defective Cisco STA1520 Tuning Adapters
. The one that we finally got working was an older version of the same model. So, it seems that newer versions of these TAs have some kind of problem. If the Cable company cannot ping them at all, that may be an indicator. All of the TWC techs blew this off and didn't even mention it until the Engineer noticed that he couldn't ping it, so he ask them when the last time they could ping it and they said NEVER! They called Cisco and could not figure it out, so Cisco asked to have my TA boxes shipped to them.. I had that TA installed with my first CC Ready Tivo just last May 1st. So, that is the short of the story. If you want the details, they follow.....
I had just got my Tivo about May 20, 2011, and it worked fine for the first 3 weeks. The only real problem was once in a while I would have to press Select to try to Tune the channel again, and it would normally tune in fine. Then, one day it stopped working. If it said to press Select, I could press it all day long, and it would never tune the channel in.. And this started happening on about 70% of my SD channels.
So, my major problems began....
The beginning of this problem was posted in a previous thread here
. Which has gotten kind of long and off topic, so I'm starting a new post, with some important new information.
Time Warner tried very hard to fix this:
Like I said, I could not tune in most of the SD channels. Time Warner was pretty good. The first cable guy was here for over 2.5 hours. He came again the next day for 3 hours. And again the following Saturday for 5 hours with another cable guy to help. He went though 3 different tuning adapters and two cable cards. He checked all the wiring in my house, replacing it in some spots with new cables. He was on the line with the TW National Cable Card Hotline about 5 different times. He totally bypassed the wiring in my condo and ran an line straight from the 'tap' (box outside), over my 2nd floor balcony, in my sliding glass deck doors and straight into the Tuning Adapter, and also bypassed the Tivo wireless adapter (which always works fine by the way) and hard wired it to my router. Nothing worked.
So, I tried a new Tivo box:
So, after all that, he said we need to try a new Tivo box. So, I had Tivo send me a new Premier 45hr Tivo and had the same exact problem... Another new cable guy had to come and try to set it up because they could not get it to work, or pair up, over the phone when I called. And he had the same problems with this new Tivo, as I described above.
So, Time Warner called in the Engineers:
So, that 'normal' cable guy could not get it working either, so he said they need to bump this up to the top level. They called a guy named Mike Cook, who was supposed to call me in a few days. Two days later he called and told me they were very busy at the moment because of other problems and one of their main Engineers was on vacation till next week. But he had me try a few things over the phone. He tried to ping my Tuning Adapter, but it would not respond. He said the notes on my account said they have never been able to ping any of the 3 tuning adapters that I have had
. He said he has other Tivo customers with other versions of Tivo and could ping their boxes fine. He tested more pinging that night to make sure..
All Failed SD Channels are on the same Frequency?
One thing the last cable guy and I had noticed was that every time we could not tune in a SD channel, we would look at the Tuning Adapter menu and it said that channel was always on frequency 651! Every time! Mike said that he had seen those notes on my account, but that can be misleading depending on how you switch the channels. But he wanted to look at that as well. So he made an appointment to come over. He said it did look correct, that every time a channel was missing, it was on that same frequency 651!!
As we were looking around on some of the TA's menues for the SD setup, I noticed that there was an entry that said something about the default freq: 651! So, that must be why they are all on that frequency. Not that all those channels were using that freq, but that it tried, and failed, and went to the default!??
My Tivo goes to the Lab:
So, Mike asked if he could take my Tivo to their office to do some tests. That was yesterday. He called me late yesterday and said he has been on conference calls with Cisco (the Tuning Adapter company) all afternoon, and they identified the problem was with this 'new' Tuning Adapter
. He said he could ping the other Tuning Adapters of his other customers because they were the old TAs. Time Warner had recently started using these 'new' TAs and apparently I was the first customer with a Premier using these new TAs. He said my Tivo would show the same problems in his lab with those same TAs, and that this now looks like a national issue, which is why it was bumped up to the top guys at TW and Cisco. When he tested an older TA, my Tivo worked fine. He said at one point the Tivo with the old working TA stopped working with SD again, and they noticed that the Tivo had a message popup that said it received a Channel Lineup Change. They Unplugged/Rebooted both the Tivo and TA with the USB 'unplugged' until the TA green light stays solid, then plug the TA USB back in. After a while all the channels work again.. Mike also said that Cisco said they had taken away his ability to ping these new TAs for some reason.. He is still not sure why they did this and what all is going on yet. But Cisco asked them to overnight the Boxes that would not work in my house to them from Cincinnati, Ohio to Houston so they could look at them.
My Tivo get's fixed:
Anyhow, the next day Mike brought back my Tivo and an 'older' Tuning Adapter that they did get working in their lab. He said the TA was the same model that I had before, but had a different IP. I'm not sure why he called it an older TA, except that it was maybe an older version of the same model. We hooked it up and it did the same thing. It was getting late and so we rebooted both with the usb plugged in, and still it didn't work, so Mike left to come back tomorrow. This would have been about the 9th time a Time Warner Cable guy came out.. But I noticed about an hour later that my Tivo was getting all the channels great! I never once got the 'Select' to tune the channel message, and I went through every single channel!! That's about 250 channels!! Fantastic.. This morning it was still working, so I called and told him it seemed like it was fixed. Then about noon, it started loosing SD channels again. So, I went to the Tivo Main Menu and up popped a big message about a Channel Lineup Change. So, I rebooted both Tivo and TA with the usb unplugged till I got the solid green light on the TA, and about 30 minutes later all the channels came back and are still working now. I called Mike and told him about the message, loosing channels again, rebooting and them coming back again just so he would know.. This seems like a difficult bug to fix, and I wanted to share it so it might help someone else, or even me if I forget exactly what the symptoms and solutions were 6 months from now. I told Mike I'm not sure it's fixed yet. That will take a few weeks of it working constantly after my last 3 weeks of problems. He said he would follow up with me and let me know what happens with Cisco and those other TAs.. We will see..
If not for Mike Cook, TWC would have started ignoring my calls. He said when he called them on the National Cable Card hotline they guy told him they 'were done' with this and it was my problem. He straightened that guy out and told him what his level was and that he only works on the toughest problems, and the guy called his manager to help us. Mike said that guy was a noob and just looked at my account, and was ready to blow us off. Thanks Mike!
I will follow up on this post if new information develops...