Can't even tune into QAM channels

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Koda36, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006


    Hi Everyone!
    Ok, I've done a preliminary search and can't seem to find the answer and I'm a bit stumped. I realized recently that my cable company (Cox in Fairfax, VA) offered HD locals via basic cable (which is what I recently downgraded to). I plugged my cable line into my television's receiver and *poof* got all the local HDs perfectly.

    On my Tivo HD, though, I do a channel scan, it sees a whole slew of digital channels, but I can't see any of them! I tune to the channel and all I get is a blank grey screen!

    Is this typical, or is there something wrong with the tuner? It's my understanding that cable cards are needed for encrypted content, but that un-encrypted content can be displayed, just not mapped on the guide (which I can live with for now). So, I'm just trying to troubleshoot why I'm unable to see these channels at all?

    Just for the heck of it, I even plugged the cable line into the antenna line, and re-ran the guided setup as cable/antenna. Suprisingly, the Tivo saw all the digital channels, call letters and all. But again, no picture.

    Last night, I was able to see the fox and cbs channel after switching back and forth to the channel a half dozen times, but nothing since.

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    The channels you are trying may be encrypted? AFAIK, the Tivo lists both encrypted and non-encrypted QAM channels in the guide.

    You won't be able to tune any channels with the cable feed plugged into the antenna input. That's not the right type of tuner.
  3. AlphaDelta

    AlphaDelta Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Ann Arbor, MI
    If your TV tuner can tune them, the TiVo should be able to also. Before I got cablecards I could receive the local HD channels after doing a channel scan on the TiVo. You need to tune to 4-1, 7-1, and so forth.
  4. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    I am only getting the analog channels. How do I find the QAM? My HD Home Run see dozens of digital and HD channels.

    Sorry for the simple question, I'm new to Tivo, and I bought an open box that had no manual.

  5. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006


    Well, see that's what I thought, too. So, am I correct to assume that there might be something wrong with the digital tuner, then?

    Also, don't know if this matters, but I see several channels (such as 3 different 5-1 channels) when I do a channel scan. Could this be causing the problem?
  6. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006
    I realize that plugging into the antenna isn't the right setup, I just did that today as a test of sorts to see what would happen since I had no luck plugged into the cable input.

    The channels I'm talking about, though, are the local HD channels that are included in my basic cable subscription unencrypted...and the TV sees/displays them without a problem.
  7. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    What specific channel numbers are you trying to tune? If you ran guided setup and selected both OTA and cable, channels like 4-1, 5-1, 7-1, 11-1, etc may point to the OTA tuner. Or you may have two different versions of 5-1, one for OTA and another for cable.

    The Settings -> Channels -> Channel Lineup screen will differentiate between the OTA and cable channels. You can uncheck the OTA channels from the guide.
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Under Settings -> Channels, you can run a channel scan.

    The channels won't have guide information without a CableCard, however.
  9. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006
    I already tried that. Actually, I removed the OTA antenna completely, re-ran guided setup (told it cable only) then did a channel scan. It showed that it "found" over 300 channels. Interestingly, Tivo didn't see 4-1 in the scan (but TV picks it up perfectly as the NBC HD station). At this point, I can't get a picture on a single local HD channel (5-1, 9-1, 7-1). Yesterday, I did manage to get a picture on 5-1 (Fox HD) and WDCW HD (50-1), but today nothing.

    In the channel list, it shows (for instance) three 5-1 channels listed as cable. I physically tune to 5-1, and see nothing. Channel up, nothing, repeat, nothing.

    Oh, and one other interesting thing (don't know if it matters) but when I tried the signal strength check, it shows digital signal acquired and 100 strength.
  10. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 1999
    Buffalo, NY
    Go thru ALL those 300+ channels. I bet your locals are in there somewhere.

    Have fun.

    (this is what I have to do too)
  11. jmoak

    jmoak Beware of Conky!

    Jun 20, 2000

    I hope this helps

    Fairfax VA.

    3-11 UNKNOWN
    3-15 NBAPC
    28-3 UNKNOWN
    36-20 UNKNOWN
    42-1 UNKNOWN
    42-9 BARK
    44-10 UNKNOWN
    47-101 UNKNOWN
    47-102 UNKNOWN
    48-101 UNKNOWN
    48-102 UNKNOWN
    108-3 WDCWDT
    108-4 WDCWDT2
    108-5 WETADT
    108-6 WETADT2
    108-7 WETADT3
    108-8 WETADT4
    110-2 UNKNOWN
    118-101 UNKNOWN
    118-102 UNKNOWN
    118-103 UNKNOWN
    119-101 UNKNOWN
    119-102 UNKNOWN
    122-1 WUSADT
    122-2 WTTGDT
    122-13 WUSADT2
    124-1 WUSAHD
    124-2 WTTGDT
    124-13 WUSADT2
    127-36 SHWCSE1
    132-2 WRCDT2
    132-3 WRCDT
    132-4 WJLADT
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    That should save you a bit of time. :D
  13. minckster

    minckster New Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    Navigating among those three QAM 5-1 channels won't be easy. Assuming that you've checked all three as channels you receive, if you go to the channel before the group (e.g., 4) and press channel up, you'll get the first 5-1. Further presses of channel up will not, however, go through the other two. Starting with the channel before the group (e.g., ch 6) and pressing channel down, gets the highest of the three 5-1s. Using the Guide to get that middle 5-1 is a bit hit-and-miss for me, but it's the only way I know of.

    Complicating matters is that the order among the three qam 5-1s will change if you repeat Scan For Channels. I have qam 1-4 for ota 4-1 AND a second qam 1-4 for ota 4-2. After some Scans, the first qam 1-4 is ota 4-1 and after others, it's the second one.

    If you're lucky, only one of the three 5-1s will have programming that you're interested in. Then you can not check the other two as channels you receive, and be left with only one useful 5-1.

    If you want to find out what's available on each qam channel, I think the best way is to go through the cable signal strength meter and just channel up through all 300 channels, where Channel Up will go through each of the three 5-1s in turn. Unfortunately, TiVo put the signal strength meter on the bottom of the screen, covering the network's logos.

    [ETA: My experience is with a TiVo Series3.]
  14. phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

    Feb 23, 2006
    Salt Lake...
    I'm going to take a stab at this.

    It sounds like your cable company is passing along the original PSIP information provided by the OTA station.
    This has the remap info to make the ATSC tuner in a TV or TiVo or other ATSC tuner display 5-1 (as an example) when it's really on channel 46 (an example), along with 5-2, 5-3, etc, when receiving the channel over the air from an antenna.

    The cable company has put these on some other channel and uses on the Cable Box or Cable Card to remap it to 5-1. They are often up in the higher channel range, well away from any other channels they have, to avoid interference.
    Cable companys often move channels around to make room for new ones, or when old ones are removed.
    Viewer at home doesn't ever notice, as the cable box or cable card takes care of channel mapping.

    This is why the TiVo says it is getting 5-1, 5-2 and 5-3 but there isn't anything there, because in the cable world, there isn't.
    5-1, 5-2, and 5-3 are really 467-1, 467-2 and 467-3. (Examples, as I have no idea where your cable company has actually stuck channel 5)

    edit: after rereading your first post and seeing this
    That's the clincher.
    Cable company is passing the original PSIP along.

  15. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Worked like a charm! :)
  16. Koda36

    Koda36 New Member

    May 9, 2006
    Thanks you for the reply Phox...that was exactly it. I was mistakenly assuming that because the television was letting me tune to 5-1, that was the proper channel. When I used the numbers jmoak provided, I was able to tune to the networks with the Tivo.

    Thanks everyone for all the help! I appreciate it! :)
  17. Leon WIlkinson

    Leon WIlkinson TiVo Gone Wild

    Feb 13, 2000
    TiVo Town
    Trust me, not that much fun. ;)
  18. junior15

    junior15 New Member

    Nov 23, 2001

    Has Cox changed the location of any of the HD channels on you yet? I've seen posts by other people that cable companies often rearrange the HD channels so it screws things up. Have you run into this yet?

    Also, would I be correct in guessing that since the channels are different than OTA would be, you can't tell the Tivo that it is an OTA source (vs cable) to get the guide data?

    I don't have my TivoHD yet (should be arriving via UPS this evening), but I was thinking that I might be able to plug my cable (Fairfax COX) into the Tivo and tell it I have an OTA antenna so I could get the guide data without the need for the cable cards. To get the cable cards, it will cost me an extra $16 per month and I don't really care too much about the HD channels other than the network channels. Especially since I can't get all the HD channels until the SDV adapter comes out.
  19. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    No can do. Even if cable channel numbers exactly match OTA channel numbers it's not possible to get guide listings for them as Tivo distinguishes between cable and antenna channels. TivoPony has stated in no uncertain terms that this is extremely low priority for them to add capability to do what you want so it will likely never happen. Search for QAM and you will find lots of threads and polls on this.

    I'm still holding out hope that the SDV Adapter may be the solution to this problem assuming that: 1) It's very affordable 2) You are able to get hold of one without having CableCards and digital cable subscription
    The reason is that the SDV Adapter will have it's own channel map (mapping QAM to guide channel numbers) and hopefully the Tivo then doesn't need CableCards to map to the proper channel numbers and get guide data.

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