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Old 07-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
Snacko
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Exclamation The new Time Warner Tuning Adapters are defective!

Summary:
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.....
___________________________________________________________

The Problem:
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...

Snack
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
59er
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Thanks for posting this. Very helpful to know about this.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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There are definitely TW TA issues. My Premiere that I posted yesterday I thought the drive had quit on, boots fine with no TA attached.

Between cable cards and tuning adapters, TW is doing a great job of making it too much work to continue to use Tivo.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #4
yoheidiho
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Wow!
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
L David Matheny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuCow View Post
There are definitely TW TA issues. My Premiere that I posted yesterday I thought the drive had quit on, boots fine with no TA attached.

Between cable cards and tuning adapters, TW is doing a great job of making it too much work to continue to use Tivo.
Gee, are you saying that TW may be deliberately sabotaging TiVo use? Would our buddies the cable companies really pull a dirty trick like that?
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
Gee, are you saying that TW may be deliberately sabotaging TiVo use? Would our buddies the cable companies really pull a dirty trick like that?
Let's see. Tuning adapters, as opposed to cable boxes, are only used by equipment not supplied by (and on which no rent is collected by) the cable company? Is that correct?

If so, the kindest interpretation is "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetance".

But my default position for years and years has always been "expect TWC to screw you if it gets them more money".

edit: I should add I mean TWC the corporation, not necessarily any of the individual employees with whom you might come into contact who have no control over setting corporate policy.
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Last edited by unitron : 07-14-2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: to clarify my target is TWC, not their local employees
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:42 PM   #7
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When you make reference to a "NEW" Cisco Tuning adapter, are you referring to an updated Cisco TA that must now comply with the Oct 14, 2010 FCC ruling which mandates that all TAs must support 4 simultaneous steams by Aug 1st 2011?

I have yet to actually see a posting regarding the new 4 Tuner Cisco TA. Prior Cisco TAs were only capable of 2 Tuners.

EDIT:
Looks like the NEW 4 tuner Cisco Firmware has been spotted in TWC markets. Is this the Firmware you have?
The FW Version is STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1402
http://experts.windows.com/frms/wind.../t/101539.aspx

Last edited by CoxInPHX : 07-15-2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
pendletonmike
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I have had a similar problem. I have a tivo premier that i got from woot.com earlier this year. it was working fine for about three months,then I would lose most of my HD channels and maybe half of my SD channels. The local channels were fine in both HD and SD. I would power cycle the tuning adapter and it would fix the problem. It would last about a week and then I would power cycle the TA again. Then it got worse where I had to power cycle every 3-4 days and then daily. I called TWC (western new york) and was bumped up to their advanced tech support. The service rep I talked to (Mike) pushed a software update to the TA but I'm not sure if it took it because the TA was suppose to turn off and on by itself but didn't. He then told me to power cycle the TA and my channels came back on. Te next day and daily after that I had to power cycle the tuning adapter. I called TWC and talked to advanced tech support again(jenny) . She tried looking at my tuning adapter from her side but she could not figure it out. At this time my TA was blinking with two blinks. She said that it meant the TA was searching for channels. long story short ,she ordered a new TA for me. I received it today.I set it up. it was blinking a series of three blinks. After about ten minutes the light stopped. I was thinking what now. I pressed the power button on the front of the tuning adapter and it stayed solid green. So far I have all my channels. The tuning adapter is brand new with a manufacture date of 5/17/2011. Hopefully this will fix it.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoxInPHX View Post
When you make reference to a "NEW" Cisco Tuning adapter, are you referring to an updated Cisco TA that must now comply with the Oct 14, 2010 FCC ruling which mandates that all TAs must support 4 simultaneous steams by Aug 1st 2011?

I have yet to actually see a posting regarding the new 4 Tuner Cisco TA. Prior Cisco TAs were only capable of 2 Tuners.

EDIT:
Looks like the NEW 4 tuner Cisco Firmware has been spotted in TWC markets. Is this the Firmware you have?
The FW Version is STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1402
http://experts.windows.com/frms/wind.../t/101539.aspx
Sorry Cox, All I know is that the Tuning Adapters were Cisco STA1520 that apparently TWC started using in Cincinnati a few months ago. The engineer said they were new versions of the same model. He said they had very different IP address. I'm not sure why that would matter, but he made a point of it. I cannot check my system to lookup firmware info (if it is displayed in the menus) since I no longer have those non-functioning TAs.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
Snacko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pendletonmike View Post
I have had a similar problem. I have a tivo premier that i got from woot.com earlier this year. it was working fine for about three months,then I would lose most of my HD channels and maybe half of my SD channels. The local channels were fine in both HD and SD. I would power cycle the tuning adapter and it would fix the problem. It would last about a week and then I would power cycle the TA again. Then it got worse where I had to power cycle every 3-4 days and then daily. I called TWC (western new york) and was bumped up to their advanced tech support. The service rep I talked to (Mike) pushed a software update to the TA but I'm not sure if it took it because the TA was suppose to turn off and on by itself but didn't. He then told me to power cycle the TA and my channels came back on. Te next day and daily after that I had to power cycle the tuning adapter. I called TWC and talked to advanced tech support again(jenny) . She tried looking at my tuning adapter from her side but she could not figure it out. At this time my TA was blinking with two blinks. She said that it meant the TA was searching for channels. long story short ,she ordered a new TA for me. I received it today.I set it up. it was blinking a series of three blinks. After about ten minutes the light stopped. I was thinking what now. I pressed the power button on the front of the tuning adapter and it stayed solid green. So far I have all my channels. The tuning adapter is brand new with a manufacture date of 5/17/2011. Hopefully this will fix it.
The first indicator for the Engineer that mine had a problem was that he could not 'ping' the TA. My TA was just a few months old and worked fine at first. If you have any problems, ask them if they can get a response when they ping it. Ask if they have 'ever' received a response from a ping... That is how my engineer realized that something was really wrong. It could be wireing, or your power levels, but after they check/fix that, they should be able to ping that. If they cannot ping it, and it is not working correctly it may not be in two way communication and cannot request channels. So, those channels will not come in, unless a few customers in your are are already watching the channel. In this case you will receive it because 'their' boxes have told the system to 'switch' it on.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snacko View Post
The first indicator for the Engineer that mine had a problem was that he could not 'ping' the TA. My TA was just a few months old and worked fine at first. If you have any problems, ask them if they can get a response when they ping it. Ask if they have 'ever' received a response from a ping... That is how my engineer realized that something was really wrong. It could be wireing, or your power levels, but after they check/fix that, they should be able to ping that. If they cannot ping it, and it is not working correctly it may not be in two way communication and cannot request channels. So, those channels will not come in, unless a few customers in your are are already watching the channel. In this case you will receive it because 'their' boxes have told the system to 'switch' it on.
See how much better digital makes everything?

(good, smart explanation, BTW)
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #12
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It has been a month since I received my new tuning adapter form TWC. It has a manufacturing date of 5/17/2011. The only problems I have had is that sometimes a few channels wont tune in. I have to change the channel to the one before or after and then go to the channel I want. This happens only sporadically. The channels I have a problem with is usually the local sports channel and local news channel provided by time warner cable(TWCS and YNN), Other than that everything is working fine. I think I only missed one scheduled recording since I have gotten the new tuning adapter (Cisco 1520).
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:38 AM   #13
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Im in tuning adapter hell. I get "Searching for cable signal" on every channel with the tuning adapter in the loop. Take it out and get all non SDV channels just fine. Ive replaced the adapter, done conference calls with Tivo and TWC and Im still not getting anywhere.

I have a truck roll scheduled for Sunday for TWC to check the signal levels. Im seriously close to calling it a day on this Tivo. It hasnt worked right almost since day 1 and now with this crap going on, its getting to be more trouble than its worth.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:00 AM   #14
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Have you requested a replacement unit from Tivo? I did that when I was having my problems (described above). But it turned out the problem was my TA, not the Tivo.

Since then, I went on vacation for a week, and came back to a locked up Tivo. It would not boot, so Tivo sent me a replacement. So, I'm on my third one. And My first one was probably fine, but the second one I replaced it with crapped out. I've had this third one for about 2 weeks and it's working perfectly. Fingers crossed...

Also, have you asked them if you can Ping your TA? If you read my story above you see that Time Warner and Cisco both admitted the new TAs they were using were defective. Not that many people have Tivos, so the Cable Guys are not very experienced with things like this. And obviously Cisco didn't fully test their TAs. It's such a small market I think they cut corners...

Good Luck
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snacko View Post
Have you requested a replacement unit from Tivo? I did that when I was having my problems (described above). But it turned out the problem was my TA, not the Tivo.

Since then, I went on vacation for a week, and came back to a locked up Tivo. It would not boot, so Tivo sent me a replacement. So, I'm on my third one. And My first one was probably fine, but the second one I replaced it with crapped out. I've had this third one for about 2 weeks and it's working perfectly. Fingers crossed...

Also, have you asked them if you can Ping your TA? If you read my story above you see that Time Warner and Cisco both admitted the new TAs they were using were defective. Not that many people have Tivos, so the Cable Guys are not very experienced with things like this. And obviously Cisco didn't fully test their TAs. It's such a small market I think they cut corners...

Good Luck
The first tuning adapter I had, they could not ping. So I went to TWC and swapped it out myself. Came home, hooked it up and same error. I called Tivo and they three wayed TWC into the call and cable card support reintialized my new TA and everything came on. 24 hours later, Im back to "Searching for signal on this cable channel" again.

They are telling me at this point there is something wrong with my drop and were expediting me an appointment. Even their expedited appointment isnt until Sunday, between 7AM and 9AM. Great.. the one day I get to sleep in.
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