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Old 01-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
snerkman
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Searching for signal on series 2

I have several Toshiba SD-H400 series 2 units. In the past, I've occasionally had a message of "Searching for signal on satellite in" after booting up. Usually, rebooting would solve this problem. I just purchased another one of these because it has a lifetime plus subscription. I have gone thru guided setup for both cable and satellite and in each case got the searching for signal on (cable/sat). Both are properly working when connected directly to the tv. Several reboots have failed to get a signal. Obviously, since this has the lifetime sub, I want to get it working. I have a couple other identical units I can use for parts if I need to. I don't want to lose the lifetime sub which I assume is stored in the OS and not the hard drive. (btw, the unit functions just fine playing from the now playing list) Any thoughts on where the problem lies? Can I put the motherboard and hard drive from this unit into a different one? Or put the I/O board from another unit in this one? Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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so you have the Tivo looking for the signal on the RCA cables in from the satellite box or from the channel 3 on the coax cable in?
The TiVo has a separate I/O board?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:25 AM   #3
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"Searching for signal on satellite in" is probably coming from the satellite box, not the TiVo.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:37 AM   #4
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I have several Toshiba SD-H400 series 2 units. In the past, I've occasionally had a message of "Searching for signal on satellite in" after booting up. Usually, rebooting would solve this problem. I just purchased another one of these because it has a lifetime plus subscription. I have gone thru guided setup for both cable and satellite and in each case got the searching for signal on (cable/sat). Both are properly working when connected directly to the tv. Several reboots have failed to get a signal. Obviously, since this has the lifetime sub, I want to get it working. I have a couple other identical units I can use for parts if I need to. I don't want to lose the lifetime sub which I assume is stored in the OS and not the hard drive. (btw, the unit functions just fine playing from the now playing list) Any thoughts on where the problem lies? Can I put the motherboard and hard drive from this unit into a different one? Or put the I/O board from another unit in this one? Any help would be greatly appreciated

On board the motherboard is a "crypto chip".

This chip stores the TiVo Service Number for that motherboard.

TiVo, Inc. have a database of which TSNs have what subscription status.

Whenever the TiVo contacts the TiVo servers for guide data or whatever, the server informs the TiVo of the current subscription status so that it knows what you're allowed to do.

If a motherboard (up through the original Series 3, the one with the OLED display) goes bad, the crypto chip can be transferred to another motherboard of the same model, at least on non-DirecTiVos, by someone who knows what they're doing working with surface mount devices.

Also, Series 2 and Series 3 TiVos, including the satellite receiver models, have started giving power supply trouble due to "capacitor plague", which can cause all sorts of strange symptoms that may appear to be something else, like one tuner out of two in a DirecTiVo not working.

I assume you've made sure that the audio/video cable running from the satellite receiver to the TiVo's RCA jacks is good.

If the TiVo is working fine otherwise, then the motherboard and drive are probably still good, so I'd examine the power supply capacitors for the least little sign of bulging or leakage.

If you find that, or even if you don't, try swapping in an identical power supply from one of those other units.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
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If the TiVo is working fine otherwise, then the motherboard and drive are probably still good, so I'd examine the power supply capacitors for the least little sign of bulging or leakage.

That's why I assume the motherboard is fine and was thinking the easiest route would be to put this motherboard in another unit that I know the inputs work on.

And to answer the other posters, both the cable and satellite signals are fine when plugged directly into my plasma. And I know there isn't an issue between the dish and the tivo, as it is working fine with two identical units. The problem is in this tivo, not elsewhere.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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That's why I assume the motherboard is fine and was thinking the easiest route would be to put this motherboard in another unit that I know the inputs work on.

And to answer the other posters, both the cable and satellite signals are fine when plugged directly into my plasma. And I know there isn't an issue between the dish and the tivo, as it is working fine with two identical units. The problem is in this tivo, not elsewhere.
Assuming you mean the TiVo motherboard is fine and you're thinking of putting it into another TiVo chassis, if I'm not mistaken the inputs are part of the motherboard, so how they work on a different motherboard currently in that other chassis is meaningless.

If you have another TiVo of the same model that works fine except for not having a lifetime sub, then borrow the power supply from it and put it in the problem unit and see if the problem goes away.

Should be easier to remove and install power supply boards than motherboards.

And take care not to bump the ribbon cable from the motherboard to the front panel and make sure it's firmly and properly seated before powering up.

And always know where both ends of the TiVo power cords are.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Assuming you mean the TiVo motherboard is fine and you're thinking of putting it into another TiVo chassis, if I'm not mistaken the inputs are part of the motherboard, so how they work on a different motherboard currently in that other chassis is meaningless.

If you have another TiVo of the same model that works fine except for not having a lifetime sub, then borrow the power supply from it and put it in the problem unit and see if the problem goes away.

Should be easier to remove and install power supply boards than motherboards.

And take care not to bump the ribbon cable from the motherboard to the front panel and make sure it's firmly and properly seated before powering up.

And always know where both ends of the TiVo power cords are.
Isn't the motherboard the small one next to the dvd drive? That's the one with all the chips on it.

I'm no computer expert, but I do have some electronics background. I find it hard to believe that a power supply issue would allow everything to work just fine - except the inputs. That just makes no sense.

Last edited by snerkman : 01-21-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #8
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Isn't the motherboard the small one next to the dvd drive? That's the one with all the chips on it.

I'm no computer expert, but I do have some electronics background. I find it hard to believe that a power supply issue would allow everything to work just fine - except the inputs. That just makes no sense.
There's at least one model of DirecTivo from the same era where a particular capacitor on the power supply board gone bad meant that one of the two satellite channel tuners on board worked but the other didn't, probably because it was electronically farther away from their common supply voltage bus and didn't get quite enough current to function.

Several people with Series 3 models have had units that worked find until they plug in the second cable card, at which point it goes into a reboot loop, probably because the current draw of that second card was just enough to cause just enough of a voltage sag that the CPU kept resetting.

Power supply problems cause weird symptoms.


I can't find a picture online of the insides of an SD-H400 (feel free to post one here), and so don't know if the various motherboard funtions have been split up to more than one board or not, but the power supply is easy to find because it's the one with the AC jack, and you can pull one from one of the other units, pull the one in the problem unit, install the one from the other unit, and have the problem TiVo booted back up inside half an hour, and it'll be much more simple and straightforward than a motherboard swap.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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I'm certainly willing to swap power supplies and see what happens. I should have time to try that tomorrow.

In the interest of discussion and learning new things, I want to throw out something your post brings to mind. Satellite tuners and cable card are both digital signals. Probably more easily affected by power supply variations. The inputs on the SD-H400 are analog. They have to go thru analog to digital conversion before being processed. Then back to analog to drive the S and composite video outs. Since neither the RF, S, or composite input is seeing a signal, I'm wondering if the problem lies in the analog to digital conversion?

Another thing I found curious, is that during guided setup, there was no choice for connecting the sat receiver via S-video. It only said to connect with composite. I'm pretty sure the working units had a choice of connection during setup. Strange...

If the unit wasn't used for a long time, is it possible it is running old software? Is there a way to force software updates, or is that something automatic over time. Could simply leaving it sit with the phone line connected eventually solve the problem? Or is it pretty certain to be a hardware issue?
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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I'm certainly willing to swap power supplies and see what happens. I should have time to try that tomorrow.

In the interest of discussion and learning new things, I want to throw out something your post brings to mind. Satellite tuners and cable card are both digital signals. Probably more easily affected by power supply variations. The inputs on the SD-H400 are analog. They have to go thru analog to digital conversion before being processed. Then back to analog to drive the S and composite video outs. Since neither the RF, S, or composite input is seeing a signal, I'm wondering if the problem lies in the analog to digital conversion?

Another thing I found curious, is that during guided setup, there was no choice for connecting the sat receiver via S-video. It only said to connect with composite. I'm pretty sure the working units had a choice of connection during setup. Strange...

If the unit wasn't used for a long time, is it possible it is running old software? Is there a way to force software updates, or is that something automatic over time. Could simply leaving it sit with the phone line connected eventually solve the problem? Or is it pretty certain to be a hardware issue?
During Guided Setup was the sat unit connected to the S-Video in or the RCA yellow jack composite in?

The TiVo detects which one has an active video signal on it and responds accordingly and won't let you set up either if you don't have a signal going to either at that time.

It doesn't have to be a sat box, it can be a VCR or a cable box or anything that feeds analog video, but it has to be feeding it during GS.

(I've got some boxes I lied to that think they have a sat box connected that let's me tune to Channel 1 to access whatever's feeding the line inputs.)

It's possible that a marginal power supply might not be able to supply quite enough current for the digital to analog and/or analog to digital converters to function just as easily as it could not quite be able to make a tuner work.

If you don't have an adapter that let's you connect wired or wirelessly via one of the TiVo's USB ports then I guess you'll need a working landline and for the internal modem to still be good, although that's another thing a flaky power supply might cripple.

The most recent software/OS update for that model was no doubt some years ago, so I don't know if you took that thing out of service before or after.

You could try the kidkstarts that force it to call in.

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
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Sat is connected to composite as the new directv receivers don't have S anymore. Swapped power supplies today and same problem. "Searching for signal on satellite in"
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Sat is connected to composite as the new directv receivers don't have S anymore. Swapped power supplies today and same problem. "Searching for signal on satellite in"
Did you go into the settings menu and the channels menu under that to tell it you have a new lineup to make it search for that sat box?

Maybe it's still looking for it on S-Video or channel 3 or 4.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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Did you go into the settings menu and the channels menu under that to tell it you have a new lineup to make it search for that sat box?

Maybe it's still looking for it on S-Video or channel 3 or 4.
I did a system reset so it's like first time setup, no? I've also gone thru guided setup at least three times. Everything works perfectly except for no input.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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I did a system reset so it's like first time setup, no? I've also gone thru guided setup at least three times. Everything works perfectly except for no input.
Okay, I'm stumped.

You aren't going to be in coastal NC anytime soon, are you?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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Lol, no trips to NC any time soon.

Here's an interesting new wrinkle. Since the sat receiver doesn't have S-video out, I connected my dvd player to the S input and ran guided setup again. This time I got the screen where you can choose inputs (composite, S or RF) and it said video signal found on the S input. So I plugged the composite from the sat back in and it said video signal found on both S and composite. I selected composite and it goes to the screen asking if you see video in the background. Once again, nothing. So I go back and this time I select S, go to the next screen and there's my dvd player output! It's finishing guided setup now where it downloads the guide info and takes forever on the phone line.

This is a positive step but not optimal since the sat has no S output. However, I have an svhs vcr that I can use composite in from the sat and S out to the tivo. I'm still going to play around and see if I can get signal on the composite input, but at least something is working.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:30 PM   #16
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Plug the satellite receiver directly into the TV. Does it still say "Searching for signal on satellite in" after that?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #17
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Plug the satellite receiver directly into the TV. Does it still say "Searching for signal on satellite in" after that?
Read the entire thread before you post.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:07 PM   #18
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It's finishing guided setup now where it downloads the guide info and takes forever on the phone line.
I let it finish guided setup overnight then went to the video settings to change from S-video to composite input. Damn if it isn't working now! Very likely was the power supply. Thanks for all your help, unitron
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:29 PM   #19
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I let it finish guided setup overnight then went to the video settings to change from S-video to composite input. Damn if it isn't working now! Very likely was the power supply. Thanks for all your help, unitron
Perhaps we annoyed it into submission.

Glad to hear all is well.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:56 PM   #20
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Read the entire thread before you post.
I did. I have never heard of a TiVo displaying an error that refers to "satellite in" unless it was a DirecTiVo.

Why would a standalone Series 2 say anything about a satellite input?
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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I did. I have never heard of a TiVo displaying an error that refers to "satellite in" unless it was a DirecTiVo.

Why would a standalone Series 2 say anything about a satellite input?
If you setup a standalone TiVo to think it has a sat box attached, then a lack of signal where it expects it generates some sort of error message that tells you it's the satellite and not the cable that's got a signal loss.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:13 PM   #22
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I did. I have never heard of a TiVo displaying an error that refers to "satellite in" unless it was a DirecTiVo.

Why would a standalone Series 2 say anything about a satellite input?
When you run guided setup, it asks how you receive your tv. Cable only, sat only, or cable & sat(this choice requires a paid subscription. with the free tivo basic on these units, you can only have one or the other). Then you should get a screen asking you how it's hooked up - rf, s-video or composite. Whichever input you connect then should say "signal found". I wasn't originally getting that screen, only one telling me to connect with composite. Then you get to a screen asking you if you see video in the background. Originally, I didn't. If you finish guided setup after that, it will display searching for signal on sat in - or cable in if you chose cable at the beginning.

If you read it all, I clearly stated that both my cable and sat worked fine when connected directly to my tv, but neither was working with the tivo.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 PM   #23
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If you read it all, I clearly stated that both my cable and sat worked fine when connected directly to my tv, but neither was working with the tivo.
Sorry, I missed that part.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #24
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I think you can get a composite to s video plug, if the s video input is more reliable than the composite input.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #25
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UPDATE! After having success mentioned above, I set the unit aside until I had time to put it in my a/v rack. Well that didn't happen until yesterday and now I've got the same searching for signal on satellite in that I had before. WTF??? This is starting to piss me off
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #26
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Nobody? ****ing thing works perfect except I can't get signal to it!
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:45 PM   #27
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Need some help here folks!! It's back to the point where in guided setup I only get the instruction to connect via composite. Should be getting a choice of how to connect and an indication of which inputs it sees signal on. Gotta get this bitch working before I turn homicidal.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:59 PM   #28
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Need some help here folks!! It's back to the point where in guided setup I only get the instruction to connect via composite. Should be getting a choice of how to connect and an indication of which inputs it sees signal on. Gotta get this bitch working before I turn homicidal.
What signal sources did you tell it that you had?

Air?

Cable? (with or without box)

Satellite?
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:34 PM   #29
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Satellite
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #30
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Satellite
And you have something providing an active video signal into the TiVo's video input jack (yellow RCA jack) or its S-Video input jack?
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