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Old 01-15-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
Thess
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Old TiVo user considering a return... (TWC / NC)

I've been a TiVo user since series 1 (I found this old account just now, saw the creation date, and felt old). I go through phases of cable use and then cord cutting, depending on how much Time Warner is annoying me.

I've been 'cut' for about three years now, relying on streaming services, but I'm starting to get that cable urge again. (Which means, in a year when I decide I want to turn everything off, I have to tell TiVo retention I'm leaving the country again, haha. Or are they not as aggressive as they used to be?)

The Roamio seems intriguing. I sort of can't believe TiVo still charges $15/mo for guide data, but my main blocker is that my last tango with Time Warner involved a TiVo series 3 and the dreaded cablecard/TA dance. I expect I posted a lot here during that one.

Can anyone in the NC area tell me if this process is still as painful as it was about four years ago? And does the Roamio require the separate TA for TWCNC?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Thess : 01-15-2014 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
bradleys
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I am not in North Carolina and I do not have Time Warner.

But from my perspective the CableCard pairing process has improved dramatically since the early S3 days. You can even do self installs now...

One point though - you are not paying $15 a month for guide data, you are paying $15 a month as a service fee for using the TiVo software and services.

That now includes not only the software and services directly supporting your TiVo but also 2nd screen tools like the IOS TiVo App and now the introduction of streaming services. Just making a point.

You will LOVE the Roamio and it works really well paired with one or more Mini's to serve multiple TV's (and yes the Mini requires a service fee as well.)

As always, I recommend getting lifetime service - it is just a better deal and you never have to call TiVo to cancel your service. Just sell the TiVo for a profit when you are done using it!
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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I am not in North Carolina and I do not have Time Warner.

But from my perspective the CableCard pairing process has improved dramatically since the early S3 days. You can even do self installs now...

One point though - you are not paying $15 a month for guide data, you are paying $15 a month as a service fee for using the TiVo software and services.

That now includes not only the software and services directly supporting your TiVo but also 2nd screen tools like the IOS TiVo App and now the introduction of streaming services. Just making a point.


You will LOVE the Roamio and it works really well paired with one or more Mini's to server multiple TV's (and yes the Mini requires a service fee as well.)

As always, I recommend getting lifetime service - it is just a better deal and you never have to call TiVo to cancel your service. Just sell the TiVo for a profit when you are done using it!
I can't believe I'm about to type this, but "back in my day" the TiVo fee was strictly for those listings...via landline phone connection. So with the increasing availability of that kind of data online (thetvdb.org etc) I'd expected to see the price go down. But what you say makes sense and I wasn't aware of iOS apps. (Have that open in another tab now.)

I am, unfortunately, at what is possibly my lifetime cap of patience for dealing with TWC. (I also have to deal with them at work as they provide my company's bandwidth too.) If I could actually get the equipment and install/provision myself, that would be ideal. Some additional googling suggests to me that I probably do still need a TA, which is kind of a downer (other settop hardware is getting so sleek and non-cluttery now), but I guess it's still better than IR blasters.

In any case: thanks!

(Still hoping someone in the area may be able to tell me how painful TWCNC is with this at the moment.)
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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in Cary, you can pick up the cards yourself now at the cable office, then get home and call an 800 number. There is a person on the other end that knows what they are doing and it takes less than 10 minutes.

EDIT: 866-532-2598

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Old 01-15-2014, 02:39 PM   #5
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I am with Time Warner in the Raleigh, NC area. I just purchased my very first TiVo (a Roamio Plus and 2 Minis) this past November. It has taken me 2 trips (and an hour waiting in line each time) down to the local Time Warner office and several phone calls to TW support, but I have finally gotten everything working (mostly) and am loving my TiVo Roamio and Minis.

The first trip down I picked up a CableCard and a Tuning Adapter, both of which were manufactured 3 or 4 years ago, which concerned me. The main reason I wanted to switch to a TiVo was that I was sick and tired of TW's crappy old equipment.

Anyways, I get home and pop the CableCard into the back of the Roamio and surprise, surprise it has to update the firmware on the CableCard which takes about 90 minutes to accomplish. However, once that is done I start getting the basic channels to come through. I then call Time Warner's main line to pair my CableCard to the Roamio and surprise, surprise nobody seems to know what the hell a CableCard is. I get transferred around to some other people who say they need to transfer me to other people and eventually someone hits the wrong button and hangs up on me.

So I do some google searching and find the direct number to the TW CableCard activation line and finally talk to someone who knows what he's doing. After about 5 minutes the CableCard is paired and I can get all of the channels I should that don't use switched digital video. I then plug in the tuning adapter and surprise, surprise it doesn't work.

After spending some time on the phone with the TW CableCard support guy looking at the diagnostic screen, he determines that the tuning adapter is probably ****ed up and says he can either send out a tech or I can go back down to the TW office to pick up another one. I opt to go back down and pick up another one because I figure the average TW tech won't know a damn thing about CableCards and Tuning Adapters.

So I get the second Tuning Adapter home, plug it in, and it works!...sort of. Sometimes when I switch channels to a SDV channel, the channel doesn't tune and I just get a blank screen. It's kind of annoying, but doing a channel up then channel down usually gets the channel to tune properly. Strangely, I never get a tuning error on either of the 2 Minis I have connected to my Roamio, it only happens with the Roamio unit.

Anyways, I decide to go back down and get another Tuning Adapter to see if that will fix the problem, but before I do a TiVo software update comes through and seems to allow the Roamio to deal more gracefully with a tuning failure. Instead of just getting stuck on a black screen when the channel doesn't tune, the Roamio now seems to ether re-tune the channel automatically or it gives me a popup message to hit the "select" button to re-tune, which pretty much always works.

After doing some experimentation, I have found that if I set all of the tuners on the Roamio that I am not currently using to the local broadcast channels, which I know are non-SDV channels, the tuner I am using for live TV almost never gets an error when trying to tune a SDV channel. This makes me suspect that the real problem is Time Warner's crappy old tuning adapter not being able to properly tune multiple SDV channels at once.

Eventually, I may go back to the TW office to pick up another TA to see if I can get a better one, but I am reasonably happy with my work-around solution, particularly since I am saving about $45/month on my cable bill not having to pay rental fees for a crappy Time Warner DVR and 2 cable boxes.

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Old 01-15-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
bradleys
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Quote:
I can't believe I'm about to type this, but "back in my day" the TiVo fee was strictly for those listings...via landline phone connection. So with the increasing availability of that kind of data online (thetvdb.org etc) I'd expected to see the price go down. But what you say makes sense and I wasn't aware of iOS apps. (Have that open in another tab now.)
If that were true then all the TiVo functionality would continue to operate normally albeit without guide data.

TiVo has been "bricking" non subbed TiVo's since I purchased my first Series 2 unit. As an example, network functionality - moving content via TiVo desktop has always been a component of the subscribed service. Today, you can't even use the buffer and simple trick play with the most modern units.

The guide data is the most obvious service you receive and people have been attributing the fee to it for years, but it is only a portion of the "service" you get from the tivo systems.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
JC Fedorczyk
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TWC here in Charlotte. The process is MUCH better. Dedicated cable card hotline with people that know their stuff.

I upgraded from a premier to a roamio plus about 3 months ago and the longest part of the upgrade was being on hold waiting for a person to synch my cable card with the new device. Now granted I was just swapping the cable card into a new device so I don't know if obtaining a card has improved but I would imagine it has.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses!
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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Another question, it seems like for out-of-home streaming, I would have to buy the $400 Roamio model (ouch). Is it true to say that the same thing could be accomplished via the $150 model + TiVo Stream?
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Another question, it seems like for out-of-home streaming, I would have to buy the $400 Roamio model (ouch). Is it true to say that the same thing could be accomplished via the $150 model + TiVo Stream?
Yes, you can pair the TiVo Stream with either the Premiere or Roamio Basic models.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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Another question, it seems like for out-of-home streaming, I would have to buy the $400 Roamio model (ouch). Is it true to say that the same thing could be accomplished via the $150 model + TiVo Stream?
Yes, you can.

Also, check out the thread on hard drive upgrades from the Roamio. Much easier than the old method of upgrading, with the caveat that you want to swap drives before firing up, as there is no way to carry over the old programs to the new drive.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
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Another question, it seems like for out-of-home streaming, I would have to buy the $400 Roamio model (ouch). Is it true to say that the same thing could be accomplished via the $150 model + TiVo Stream?
And if you decide to cut-the-cord again in a year, the $150 model will work with OTA. The $400 model will not.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:24 AM   #13
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Thanks again for the answers. I hadn't gotten around to thinking about harddrive upgrades but I would have. And the OTA stuff is good to know, although like at most points in my life it seems, I am ~25 miles from the nearest antenna farm (with that one PBS affiliate 5 miles in the opposite direction). I'm sure that's a metaphor for something.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:53 AM   #14
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Update: I pulled the trigger last night, placed the order on TWC's website for service (we're not supposed to need a truck roll; I'll believe it when I see it) and overnighted a Roamio from Amazon. Roamio should be here today, and I'll be picking up the SIK today as well.

So far it's been about the typical TWC experience: At the same time we upgraded our internet speed, and it took many contacts with TWC until we found the one person who could tell us our current modem cannot handle the higher speed. Meanwhile, even though my account reflects the new TV package, I can't access any of TWC's web-based tv services on my account, it just errors out or says I don't have a qualifying package. I'm sort of hopeful that'll resolve itself when I provision the cablecard. Haha. I crack myself up.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:01 AM   #15
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Update: I pulled the trigger last night, placed the order on TWC's website for service (we're not supposed to need a truck roll; I'll believe it when I see it) and overnighted a Roamio from Amazon. Roamio should be here today, and I'll be picking up the SIK today as well.

So far it's been about the typical TWC experience: At the same time we upgraded our internet speed, and it took many contacts with TWC until we found the one person who could tell us our current modem cannot handle the higher speed. Meanwhile, even though my account reflects the new TV package, I can't access any of TWC's web-based tv services on my account, it just errors out or says I don't have a qualifying package. I'm sort of hopeful that'll resolve itself when I provision the cablecard. Haha. I crack myself up.
Just be aware that TWC may have a trap on your line preventing tv service. So you may need a truck roll for them to remove it. If you can't get the cablecard paired or working correctly, I would make sure they have checked before you pull all your hair out trying to figure out why.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #16
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At the same time we upgraded our internet speed, and it took many contacts with TWC until we found the one person who could tell us our current modem cannot handle the higher speed.
If you want to avoid paying the $6/month TWC modem fee (and you should), I recommend buying the Motorola SB6141. I've been using it with TWC in NC for about 6 months now and it has been rock solid. You can buy it on Amazon for around $80 and it'll pay for itself in about a year. If you do buy it, just make sure you buy the white model not the black model.

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola...eywords=sb6141

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Old 01-22-2014, 03:58 PM   #17
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If you want to avoid paying the $6/month TWC modem fee (and you should), I recommend buying the Motorola SB6141. I've been using it with TWC in NC for about 6 months now and it has been rock solid. You can buy it on Amazon for around $80 and it'll pay for itself in about a year. If you do buy it, just make sure you buy the white model not the black model.

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola...eywords=sb6141
What's the difference between the white model and the black model?
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #18
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What's the difference between the white model and the black model?
From what I've read (see the reviews on Amazon), the white model is the retail model and the black model is the wholesale model sold only to the cable companies. If you'll notice, Amazon sells the white model directly, but does not sell the black model directly. You can only buy it on Amazon through third-party sellers.

Since Motorola will only sell the black model directly to cable companies, the ones you can buy online are either stolen or possibly were surplus units that have been sitting in some cable company's warehouse collecting dust that they decided to sell off. If you buy a black model, it's highly likely to be used (even if advertised as "new") and possibly stolen, which could make it impossible to activate and use on your internet account.

Another problem is that TWC refuses to push firmware updates to user-owned modems. And since end-users can't update the firmware on a cable modem themselves (only the cable company can do it) you definitely want to buy a new modem manufactured recently so that it will have the newest firmware already installed.

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Old 01-22-2014, 06:18 PM   #19
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If you want to avoid paying the $6/month TWC modem fee (and you should), I recommend buying the Motorola SB6141. I've been using it with TWC in NC for about 6 months now and it has been rock solid. You can buy it on Amazon for around $80 and it'll pay for itself in about a year. If you do buy it, just make sure you buy the white model not the black model.

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola...eywords=sb6141
Interesting you should say that--I have the UBEE modem now and a friend of mine said darkly "yeah, you don't want that", and offered me his spare...SB6141. The Ubee is already sort of provisioned (I'm still at my old speed, though)...but apparently I do need a truck roll, which I wasn't told until I went to the (second) TWC office to get my new equipment. Then, due to the usual TWC...shenanigans?...even though the lady at the office said my new modem would work right away, it wouldn't. And the first few times I called, they said it would work when my 'order was completed'...meaning some vague time after the truck roll tomorrow.

Eventually I talked someone into turning it on (I don't know what they did, this isn't a provisioning issue, I think), but they said it might turn back off after they do (whatever) tomorrow. And then I will need to call back.

So at some point in the future after all of that is fixed, I will get my friend's modem and start the whole process over again. GOD I LOVE TWC.

So I have my TiVo Roamio set up now, mcard and TA set up, and while it is tempting to call and provision the card, I assume there is almost no point in trying that until tomorrow.

Meanwhile: TWC's page said the kiosk at the Southpoint mall is a pickup spot for the cablecard SIK. The guy at the kiosk, when I asked for one, gave me such a deadpan blank stare that I thought he was joking around at first.

"You want a what now?"

When I figured out he wasn't joking, I tried describing it another way: "I need a cablecard kit for a Tivo."

"A Devo?"

I can't make this stuff up, folks.

So eventually when I was able to get him to understand what I meant, he said "Yeah, we don't do that kind of thing here," while managing to convey the impression that I was asking to buy crack. He also wouldn't give me the upgraded modem, I guess because it was all part of one order and he didn't want to figure out how to do it. Then he sent me off 15 minutes down the road. Note for locals: The lady at the Glen Lennox/Chapel Hill office said I got the last TA today. Be advised.

Unfortunately I have to answer my own original question at this point: Yes, TWC is still every bit as painful. And I'm only halfway done.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:40 PM   #20
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Unfortunately I have to answer my own original question at this point: Yes, TWC is still every bit as painful. And I'm only halfway done.
Hang in there. Eventually you'll be able to get it worked out despite TWC's incompetence. And look at the bright side, you'll get the satisfaction of depriving TWC of some revenue every month by no longer renting their crappy equipment.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:44 PM   #21
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Don't forget that TWC prevents you from downloading or streaming 95% of all shows onto an iPad. I have the Roamio, but I can only download a few shows (major networks like CBS) onto my iPad. Everything else is blocked. You can't transfer non-network shows from your old TiVo onto the Roamio, either. I had hoped for more, but I know it's not TiVo's fault, but TWC's.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:25 PM   #22
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Don't forget that TWC prevents you from downloading or streaming 95% of all shows onto an iPad.
Streaming can't be blocked except for outside your home network.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #23
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Correct. I meant, I can't download a "protected" show or movie onto my iPad for viewing later. That stinks.

I CAN stream any show inside my home, but outside my home, I am out of luck streaming 95% of my shows.

Quote:
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Streaming can't be blocked except for outside your home network.

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:02 AM   #24
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Ok, everything is working now (except G4, which I seem to remember being an issue years ago). In no particular order:

--The main thing I want to point out in this thread, for posterity's sake, is that even though TWC's checkout process gave the impression that I could fully self-install, it just wasn't true. They still scheduled a truck roll for $25 without telling me. The only reason I knew this is the woman at the local office told me when I picked up my equipment. However, she also told me they would just be working outside and I would not need to be home. This was also not true, even though on the website it showed our appointment window as being 24 HOURS LONG. It was sheer dumb luck that the significant other happened to be working from home that day, because they did indeed want to come inside and try to provision the cablecard and whatever.

Short version: If you are 100% sure you don't need a truck roll, watch your account carefully, because they will most likely schedule you one and charge you for it no matter what.

--The install team had never dealt with a TiVo. I came home from work and got on the phone with the cablecard line on while the installers were there.

--Card wouldn't fully pair. This particular cable outlet did get some clear QAM channels, so everyone wanted to believe it was the TiVo. I told them several times that in my experiments the night before I'd noticed that TV didn't get as many unencrypted channels as the one that was split off the cable modem outlet in another room. We went through the troubleshooting with the cablecard line for a while before they finally went out and checked the line (they'd been procrastinating because apparently my building's box is completely unlabelled, so they had to do process of elimination). Sure enough, the line was filtered. They fixed that, the cablecard started working (well, not fully working--nothing would fully work till the work order was closed). But it locked.

--Meanwhile the internet got turned off again, as predicted (see earlier post). Balancing was mentioned again. Eventually that was repaired.

--Eventually work order is closed. I get back on phone with cablecard line (to their credit, I never did get a person who didn't know what they were talking about), we go through the whole provision process again and this time the EMMs start flowing.

--Eventually our internet speed jumps to 30mb.

So far I've only had to reboot the TA once, so things are reasonably solid.

Thoughts:

-It's strangely comforting that the TiVo UI is basically the same as it was 10 years ago. Weird, but comforting.

-Sometimes channels don't tune the first time.

-TiVo's suggestion criteria obviously works differently than it used to. For example, it's recording a bunch of children's programming for me. I don't have kids and I've never watched or thumbs'd any kids shows. What I HAVE done is add SP's for shows such as:

RuPaul's Drag Race
Justified
Being Human

I'm sort of amused that the above resulted in a bunch of cartoons (and we're not talking Adult Swim) being recorded. Needs some tweaking, I think. Or else it just starts guessing when it has no data at the beginning, which...meh.

-Watching live tv has more commercials than ever, heh. (Obviously not the TiVo's fault. (or is it?) It's just very glaring when one has been a cord-cutter for a few years.)

Anyway...it IS possible to get a functional TiVo on TWC in the Carolinas...eventually. Probably want to start off with accepting a truck roll from the get-go.

Last edited by Thess : 01-28-2014 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:06 AM   #25
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Thess -

Glad you are up & running. My experience in Southern Pines, NC was pretty dreadful. You can look at the thread on Tuning Adapter (TA) reboots if you like:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ght=rcoates777

Do you know if you are getting TA reboots? The diagnostics can tell you the time/date of your last reboot.

I gave up on the TA and have it set up so that I can plug it in when I want to watch the 2 or 3 channels that currently use SDV.

You say that sometimes you have a problem tuning an SDV channel but if you channel up/down it'll come in. Has that ever affected your ability to record shows?

I notice that TWC is doing a major channel # shuffle in the Carolinas. I hope that more channels don't end up on SDV. Of course, no one could tell me. I wonder if TiVo is going to give me a message for each channel that changes its # as that will be MOST of them.

Good luck!

Bob
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:05 AM   #26
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Hi all,

I just recently (3 months) switched back to a Tivo Roamio Plus and TWC from Dish Network. I am in southern Cary.

I have found that every time the Roamio loses power or has to reboot, the Cablecard's "EMMs Processed" is reset to 0. This requires me to call in to the cablecard phone support and have them send EMM's again.

According to them this is expected behavior and there is no way to automate it. I'm having trouble believing this, especially because the phone line to fix it is not staffed 24 hours a day, and the hold times in the evening have been 30-35 minutes.

Does anyone else see this behavior, or is there something wrong with my line? If this is not normal, how to I get someone on the phone faster, who actually understands the problem?

Thanks for any advice or tips.

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Old 02-18-2014, 10:07 AM   #27
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I have found that every time the Roamio loses power or has to reboot, the Cablecard's "EMMs Processed" is reset to 0. This requires me to call in to the cablecard phone support and have them send EMM's again.

Thanks for any advice or tips.

flamtap

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Old 02-18-2014, 10:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by flamtap View Post
Hi all,

I just recently (3 months) switched back to a Tivo Roamio Plus and TWC from Dish Network. I am in southern Cary.

I have found that every time the Roamio loses power or has to reboot, the Cablecard's "EMMs Processed" is reset to 0. This requires me to call in to the cablecard phone support and have them send EMM's again.

According to them this is expected behavior and there is no way to automate it. I'm having trouble believing this, especially because the phone line to fix it is not staffed 24 hours a day, and the hold times in the evening have been 30-35 minutes.

Does anyone else see this behavior, or is there something wrong with my line? If this is not normal, how to I get someone on the phone faster, who actually understands the problem?

Thanks for any advice or tips.

flamtap
A properly paired CableCard should not lose authorization or pairing with a power loss, as long as the card remains in the Tivo. By saying that your EMM's go to zero, does that also mean you've lost ability to view your channels?
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:21 AM   #29
flamtap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatergator1 View Post
A properly paired CableCard should not lose authorization or pairing with a power loss, as long as the card remains in the Tivo. By saying that your EMM's go to zero, does that also mean you've lost ability to view your channels?
Correct, when the EMMs go to zero I am unable to view any channels except for a few, the local networks it seems.

flamtap
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:56 AM   #30
HarperVision
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamtap View Post
Hi all,

I just recently (3 months) switched back to a Tivo Roamio Plus and TWC from Dish Network. I am in southern Cary.

I have found that every time the Roamio loses power or has to reboot, the Cablecard's "EMMs Processed" is reset to 0. This requires me to call in to the cablecard phone support and have them send EMM's again.

According to them this is expected behavior and there is no way to automate it. I'm having trouble believing this, especially because the phone line to fix it is not staffed 24 hours a day, and the hold times in the evening have been 30-35 minutes.

Does anyone else see this behavior, or is there something wrong with my line? If this is not normal, how to I get someone on the phone faster, who actually understands the problem?

Thanks for any advice or tips.

flamtap
I have the exact same issue with my cablecard when my TiVo loses power. I seem to still get my channels except I did notice a few tuning issues and a missed recording for my wife. I usually just call the automated line to have it send a signal. When it asks me to describe my issue I say "missing channels" which prompts the system to ask me if I want them to send a reauthorization signal, which of course I do. You shouldn't have to wait on hold for an agent.

The only thing I can think of is it may be a bad cablecard. I remember TiVo telling me back in Sep that they looked at my logs and suspected that, but I also could tell it wasn't provisioned properly. After I finally got it provisioned it seemed to tune all channels and work well, with the exception of always seeing EMMs go to zero with a power loss or reboot.

Maybe it also has something to do with the dreaded V53/58 error(s)?
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