Analog Channels Gone

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TexinFla, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. TexinFla

    TexinFla New Member

    2
    0
    Sep 16, 2007
    FL

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    Up to yesterday, my TiVo HD was working fine. Yesterday morning, all of the analog channels (except for three of them) could not be tuned ("channel not available"). All of my HD channels are fine. I just had the Cox Cable folks out to my home, and they're not able to find a problem. They changed out the multistream cable card with no change. The EMMs are at 30, and all the other TVs (non-TiVo) are working fine. So, it seems that the cable signal is fine and that the cablecard is working fine. As I'm typing this, I'm also noticing that the TiVo box is hanging up when trying to access internet-based information. This is sounding like my TiVo box might be giving up the ghost, but I wanted to see if y'all agreed with that or had any other ideas.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,955
    749
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    If these are really analog channels (rather than digital versions of the analog channels, the most common case) it would make no sense to address the problem by replacing a CableCARD, which is involved only for digital channels.

    It's common for systems to provide both analog and digital copies of the SD channels. When you use a CableCARD you actually receive the digital versions, usually at the same channel number as the analog version.

    How old is your TiVo? How old is the HDD in it? HDD failure is the most common cause of general problems in TiVo's.

    Check out your internet connection too.
     
  3. TexinFla

    TexinFla New Member

    2
    0
    Sep 16, 2007
    FL
    You're probably right that these are digital versions of analog channels, although the Cox guy referred to them simply as "analog" channels. In essence, none of the non-HD channels can be tuned to. It just seems odd that the HD channels would come in but not the non-HD channels. I looked back at my account and see that this box was put into service in the Fall of 2007, so it's pretty old. Maybe it's time for a new one.

    Jeff
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,955
    749
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I think it's common for people to call them the analog channels since originally that's all they were.

    It is an odd case and your TiVo is old enough to suspect the HDD, and even the power supply (but less likely).

    All I can think of is to ask Cox to try "balancing" your account (again?) and call TiVo to see if they have any ideas.

    Otherwise you probably have to fix or replace something. There are things you can do to test the PS and the HDD but they require removing the cover. Are you into DIY?

    If you can isolate the problem to the HDD and you don't want to do major DIY, there is an option of replacing the HDD with a pre-imaged, plug-in, for as little as $110 for 1 TB. If you're up for more DIY you can do it for just the cost of the drive, maybe as little as $60.

    Do you have a lifetime sub and are you using an expander drive?
     
  5. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...

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    Slow down! There are other possibilities. On my Comcast system, they broadcast digital versions of the old SD analog channels. And I think they still broadcast 21 actual analog channels. However, once the cablecard is installed, it maps all the analog channels to the digital versions. The Tivo no longer can tune to any actual analog cable channels because they are no longer in the channel map. Dlfl was correct in that the new digital channels are usually mapped to the old analog numbers.

    So, if the channel map has been updated by the cable company and it no longer includes the digital versions of the analog channels, you won't receive them.

    You can quickly determine if the "analog channels" you still receive are actually analog or digital. Tune to one of the remaining analog channels and press the Tivo record button. If you are presented with a "quality" choice for the recording (Best, High, Medium, Basic), then that is an analog channel. If there is no choice, it is digital.

    You can also tell by wading deep into the menus to find DVR diagnostics. Look for the modulation field. I believe QAM indicates digital and the analog channels are listed as analog.

    So it is possible that the problem is with the cable company and the channel map downloaded to your cablecard.

    Another possibility involves encryption and cablecard pairing. Are the HD channels that you still receive all local Off the Air broadcast stations? Or do they include "expanded basic" cable channels like Discovery, ESPN, CNN, etc.? Local channels are broadcast unencrypted (in the clear) which you should be able to receive without the cablecard decrypting them. If the missing channels are "expanded basic", then the problem could be decrypting them or also possibly "copy protection". Some cable companies copy protect nearly everything except local broadcast and others only copy protect premium/movie channels. If your cablecard was not "paired" then it won't tune copy protected channels.

    The fact that you get a Channel Not Available message indicates, at least to me, a cablecard problem.

    Please consider other possibilities before jumping on the HDD.

    Also, my Sony S1 from 2000 is still working fine as well as my S3 and HD from 2007. While some people start to have problems after a few years, my experience has been better than some of my friends and relatives.
     

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