Can't receive Local Channels...

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by spicolte, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...

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    I recently purchased a Hughes Direct TV Tivo, model# GXCEBOT off of ebay. I ordered a new access card, and it seems to work fine, but all of my programming shows up except my local channels.

    I spent about an hour on the phone with two different reps from Direct TV and they couldn't ascertain the problem. All I was seeing on the screen was the blue rectangular box reading, "channel not available". When I selected the "info" button, the blue banner box stated, "No information". When I would select "guide", it only listed channels from 100 on up. No locals were displayed.

    We reset the unit (unplugged it), sent signals to it, and then stopped and re-started programming. The technical dept. guy I was speaking with said the inability to see the local channels could be due to my recent dish upgrade for HD. (A 5 LNB dish). I didn't find that plausible as my Sony SAT-T60 (roughly as old as this series 1 GXCEBOT and very similar) was able to process the local channels.

    During my conversation with this advisor, the local channels showed up for a bit, then went away again. This then ruled out the dish theory.

    I also noticed that after the picture went away, that the blue information banner box now had the station logo displayed. (i.e CBS, NBC Peacock, etc.). I still wasn't getting info when I selected "guide" though.

    As of today, I am now getting blue information banner that is accurate, and the guide is now showing the proper information, but I still cannot *see* programming.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    I'm sort of guessing that since the seller who had the box, had it in storage for such a long time, perhaps it will need some time to get going again. I'm only thinking this way as some weird things happened when the TIVO tried to phone in the first few times, each time failing, but getting closer to a success. After numerous attempts, it *finally* succeeded. Given that, and the fact this pattern of "getting closer to success" seems to be happening with the local channels, I'm hoping it will eventually clear itself and work.

    I'd really appreciate some advice.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    What software version is on that TiVo?
     
  3. dtremain

    dtremain New Member

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    I'm sorry to say this, but it certainly sounds like you purchased a defective unit to me.
     
  4. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    The Tivo's will do this for a while after they are first set up. Your call to DirecTV should have resulted in them "hiting" the TiVo with the correct channel map. If by some strange customer service screwup they did not do this you can do this your self by calling DirecTV and saying "Tivo No Local Channels" into the automated voice system. Within a few seconds to a minute your tivo should stop what it is doing and say something like "Acquire sat info" for a minute or so and then the local channels should show up. You can also do this from the DirecTV web site.

    A new access card might have trouble with old software so it is important to answer the software version question asked earlier.
     
  5. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...

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    My software version is: 2.0-002-031

    I also discovered that my receiver was still set for the preferences of the previous owner (dish type, and zip code).

    I reset those, but still no local channels. I will do as you suggest calling into Direct TV and using the voice prompts. I have two other Direct TV DVR's. Will they be affected by the re-setting of the local channels?

    Also, when I completed set up for this TIVO, it had 3 option for dish type; none of which fit my current dish. (I believe anyway). My current dish is oval, with 5 LNB's. Yet the TIVO box only had these 3 options to choose from:

    1. Round Dish
    2. Oval Dish- dual LNB
    3. Oval Dish - 3 LNB

    I choose #3, since it was the closest.

    Lastly, I could not find the menu to activate the second tuner on this TIVO. Is that because the software version is so old that it won't work?

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  6. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    I am not 100% sure but I don't think the Series 1 DirecTivo's got dual tuner ability until version 2.5 which came out in the fall of 2001. But if this software version does support dual tuner you have to run guided setup to get both working.

    Is the DirecTivo connected to a phone line? If it is it should upgrade to version 3.5c at some point.

    Another option might be to upgrade the software yourself. There are a couple of ways to do this.

    1) Buy Instantcake and transfer the correct image to your Tivo drive using your computer.
    2) Buy a pre imaged drive from Weaknes or DVRUpgrade and replace the drive in your TiVo.

    I really think it is a software/access card issue, I am willing to bet you can make this TiVo work again.
     
  7. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    I e-mailed direct tv and queried them about the software version.

    The really good news is I was able to find an inexpensive power source for my Sony SAT T60, so I should be able to have it up and running again soon.

    This Hughes model was purchased for $39 on ebay to replace that SAT-T60 when it appeared that I could only get a new power supply for $99. Made fiscal sense to purchase a similar receiver for $39 as opposed to shelling out $99 for a power supply to fix an existing box.

    I would though, like you stated, like to see this Hughes box get up and running correctly.

    Do you think, given a software upgrade, that I will be able to use both tuners? I recall that when I purchased the SAT-T60, it didn't have dual tuner capability until the software update came from Direct TV. I assume that same update should provide this Hughes box with dual tuner capability?

    Thanks.
     
  8. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Do a Clear and Delete everything and start again. You NEED to run setup on the New Unit and choose the correct options. For the 5 LNB Dish, select 3 LNB as thats the closet.

    All Directv/Tivos are Dual Tuner and come that way out of the Factory. It does not matter about the SW Version. Again, I bet the 2nd Tuner was disabled by the previous owner and you need to do a Clear and Dlete everything, and re-run setup choosing Dual Tuners.

    With the Locals, by chance you do not use a second Dish to get your locals on the 72.5 Sat right? If you do, then the GXCEBOT will not get them at all. The Sat T60 and others (DSR6000R01 etc) do see the 72.5 Sat. If this is the case, then I am sorry but theres no way it will get them.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    I can do as you say, and clear and delete everything. Just FYI, when the receiver arrived, there was a grey plastic cap on tuner #2, which is my "sherlock holmes" way of figuring out the previous owner probably never used the 2nd tuner.

    Now, concerning the dual tuner thing. You may have more knowledge than me, but given my personal experience with my SAT T60, I would have to disagree that both tuners are active when the box arrives.

    My SAT T60 did not have dual tuner functionality when I got it. I was told that software was on the way to allow this, and even received a message from Direct TV when the software had arrived, with instructions on how to activate the 2nd tuner.

    If your receivers were purchased after this time frame (which I think was early 2000), then you may have not known that this was actually the case "back then" :) . I don't know. I just know I experienced the change over myself, and watched my TIVO go from one tuner capability to two all with a software update.
     
  10. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    The first DirecTivo's series 1 units did not have the ability to use both tuners. I know because I had one at the time. For a while it was very frustrating because we had the hardware, but not the software. We had to endure with one tuner while the Ultimate TV receivers were able to use both of their tuners with DirecTV.

    All of the Series 2 DirecTivo's did come from the factory with ability to use both tuners.

    I am not sure what the software version was that enabled both tuners, but I am fairly certain it came in the Fall of 2001.
     
  11. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Duplicate
     
  12. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Most probally the previous owner never used the Second Tuner. Go into System Information and look:

    It should say: Sat 1 Enabled. Sat 2 Enabled.

    If is does not, then either the Second Sat was disabled by the old Owner, or the unit carries the old Software before the 2nd Tuners were ever able to be enabled.

    If it is the first one, then doing a clear and delete resets everything, and you go thru quided setup again. There is a section were it asks if you will be using one or both tuners.

    If it is the second, then this unit has not been used in a very long time. You will have to use the one tuner, and update the software. Once updated, I believe you would still need to redo setup again and this time enable the second Tuner.

    After reading my post, I see where you both misunderstood me a little. I said that all Directv/Tivo units come out of the factory Dual Tuner Ready. They have the physical Hardware in them. This is the truth.

    As for the software version, it is near to impossibleto find an original unit running the No 2nd tuner functionality these Days. If you have one of these, then what a great find!

    Any feedback on the locals problem at all?
     
  13. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    I was having trouble with my phone line, and as such was unable to complete a call from this unit to Direct TV. I rectified the problem this evening, and the new software has been downloaded. As soon as it updates, the box is scheduled to do this at 2am this coming morning, I will be able to activate the second tuner. I guess this is the *find* you were talking about. :)

    Still no local channels. I can see programming information when I select the "guide" button, and I can even see current program information when I select the channel and then hit the "info" button, but no picture. The blue rectangular banner still reads "Channel not available" at the bottom.

    The really weird thing is, I *was* able to see them for that short time period I mentioned. The tech guy at Direct TV said this ruled out that the box was incompatible with my current dish. He said, if my box was not able to see the locals due to the type of dish I have, then I would never see them. The fact that I did see them momentarily, means the box is capable of receiving them.

    I hope the new software triggers something inside the box to correct itself, and allow local channels to be viewed. (to be honest, I rarely watch them anyway, except for weekend football).

    If not, like I said, I located a new power supply for my SAT T60, so...if the Hughes box continues blocking locals, I'll replace it with the fixed SAT T60.

    Thanks for all the help and input.

    I'll let you know what happens.
     
  14. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    Thought I would quickly update you that all is working with this Tivo.

    The software was installed very early this morning, and when I awoke I re-ran the setup to activate the second tuner.

    Once this was done, my local channels were visible.

    Not sure if it was the software update (which seems the most likely answer) or the activation of the 2nd tuner. (perhaps that coax. in had the locals on it. It's a stretch, but probably not likely seeing as any coax coming from my dish has the locals on it)

    Either way, it's now running beautifully. $38 bucks on Ebay for another Direct TV Tivo box.

    I'm happy! :)
     
  15. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    I think it was the old software having problems with the new card. The signal on the two coax cables should be the same unless one of them was having a problem with it's LNB.
    What software version are you up to now?
     
  16. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

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    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    3.5C (along with a few other numbers) is what it said.

    Thanks so much for all of your help. It really would have been next to impossible without all of your input and advice.
     
  17. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Thats good 3.5c is the latest and greatest for the series 1 DirecTivo's
     
  18. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Enjoy your TV viewing and glad everything worked out :D
     

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