Channels 1-99 not tuning in digitally, even though they are available that way

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dan S, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Hi there everyone, I am hoping someone can help me with an issue I am having with my Tivo HD and cablecards.

    The comcast cable tech came today and installed one multi-stream "M" version cable card in my new TivoHD. The process was fairly quick and painless, and I am now getting all of my subsrcibed channels, on both tuners. So I know I'm lucky there...BUT

    I was disapointed to see that channels 1-99 are still coming in as the analog versions, not the digital versions I have available to me. The channels look just as fuzzy and grainy as before they came and installed the cable cards, and recording a channel gives me all of the various quality options (that would not be available if I was tuning the digital versions).

    I know for a fact that the cable feed into my apartment provides "all digital simulcast". The cable box I was previously using was a Motorola DCT-700 that has no analog tuner, it can only be used in markets where all of the channels, including 0-99, are available digitally. Furthermore, if I switch the input on my TV back to the motorola box, any given channel from 0-99 looks very sharp and clear, whereas on the Tivo its very grainy and blurry, and much darker.

    So, does anyone know how to tell the Tivo box, or the cablecards, or Comcast themselves, that I want the cablecard to use the digital versions of channels 0-99, and not the analog versions?

    I was assuming that if the digital versions were there on the cable, it would just always use them, but this does not seem to be the case. Calls to Tivo and Comcast were not any help, neither of them had any idea what to try to fix this.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
     
  2. AGBulls

    AGBulls New Member

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    Have you re-run guided setup since you got everything working? That may just do it.
     
  3. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    You can
    1) call and ask them to change your account profile to use ADS (somewhere between 1-20 calls you'll get a rep who knows how to do it)
    2) try getting a DCT-700 again added to your account (might work immediately, or might have no effect)
    3) wait for it to naturally occur (could be days to months)

    Your cable company needs to make the change. TiVo doesn't have a way to bypass what the channel guide downloaded via CableCARD tells it the mappings should be.
     
  4. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    I did re-run guided setup once the installer was done, since the instruction sheet told me that was the last step I had to do. The stations are still analog even after doing so.

    I actually still have the DCT-700 on my account, I never took it off since there is no charge for it, and it's very small so it;s not in the way. Maybe I'll use it for the occasional pay per view.

    I will try calling Comcast and see if I can get someone who knows how to change this setting. If anyone knows of a specific cable card specialist office for Comcast in Washington DC, I am all ears. I agree this will take an awful lot of customer service routlette to find someone who will know waht to do.

    I wouldn't even care that much, except that the picture difference between the digital and analog versions is really, really drastic.

    Thanks!
     
  5. dipdewdog

    dipdewdog New Member

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    Dan--I'm in DC just like you. I got my CableCARDs installed in my TiVo HD yesterday, and am having the same problems. I have yet to talk to anyone over at Comcast who will do anything but send someone out to my house.

    I'll keep trying, and update you if I find anything else out.

    John
     
  6. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Oakland,...
    Are you saying that Comcast doesn't provide a digital version of, say, channel 2 (e.g., channel 702 like we have in Oakland)? If so, you'll have to tune to channel 702. If not, you're out of luck.
     
  7. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    No, that is not what he is saying. 702 is the OTA HD channel rebroadcast on Comcast lines.

    What OP is talking about is the ADS version, which is analog 2-99, mpg-encoded and transmitted in digital. The channel #s for the ADS versions are the same as the analog versions 2-99. There is a mapping table downloaded using the CableCARD that says whether 2-99 tunes the analog version or the digital version.
     
  8. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone! I have a quick question, and also a quick (lack of) progress report:

    Question: If I ever do reach someone who manages to change the correct setting, will I see the change appear "like magic" or do I need to go run guided setup again? I am trying to figure out how to check if the setting change has "taken" without going through guided setup each time, which takes way too long for anyone to be willing to stay on the phone with me to see if it worked.

    Progress Report: Now that I knew what I was asking for (setting changed in my account to ADS) I called up to try and have it done, but to no avail. I actually called about 5 times and worked with 5 diferent tech support agents. The experiences ranged from having no idea what I was talking about (at best) to literally not even knowing what cable card was (at worst). During all these calls I was consistently told that:

    -There is no such thing as escalating a call to higher level tech support
    -There is no special cable card-centric support section that could help me
    -There is no such thing as creating a formal trouble ticket, I would simply need to explain from scratch any time I called in
    -There is no such setting, the first 100 channels only exist in analog, and if I thought the DCT-700 was getting them digitally I was mistaken (we know that's not the case)

    After trying a few different folks and getting nowhere, I switched tactics and called Tivo's special "cable card assistance line", where they created a formnal trouble ticket for me and patiently set up a 3 way call, and were very willing to try and help. However, Comcast's computers were then down, so we'll try that 3 way call again on Monday. The Tivo guy was verry nice and understanding.

    As far as the other suggestion to make sure to have a DCT-700 on the account to force it to ADS, I actually have one on the account right now because I was using one before I got the Tivo. But, I need to return it to the field office tomorrow, because apparently my rates only stay the same if the cable card replaces that motorola box I was using.

    I was told that if I keep both, the cable cards become a "2nd" digital box and all of a sudden my bill instantly increases by $30: $15 for the additional outlet and another $15 for the motorola box rental. I won't ever use the box for on demand so I am happy to return it., I was thnking of doing so anyway.

    I am hoping after another crack on Monday I'll have some good news for you guys! I feel a bit silly working so hard to get channels that are already coming in, but on principle it seems wrong to record and view bad, fuzzy looking channels for a huge section of the lineup, when beautiful crisp looking versions of them are sitting right there on the same cable feed, and the Tivo is perfectly capable of grabbing them. I feel like I'm "so near and yet so far" :)

    On the other hand, I am also grateful that this is the only issue I've had. I completely admit that compared to others who have been posting, I'm still doing pretty good!
     
  9. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    Time Warner does something similar. They provide the ADS channels to their own boxes but won't provide them to CableCard users. Note I said "won't" not "can't." TWC is planning on moving a lot of the ADS channels to SDV and they don't want to give CableCard users something that will get taken away later. We're getting screwed by TWC, but at least they are being truthful for once.

    I wonder if Comcast is doing something similar?
     
  10. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Well, I guess a good data point to know would be:

    Are there any comcast customers out there who are using a Tivo HD or Series 3, and are gettng the digital versions of channels 1-99?

    And if so, do any of you happen to be in the Washington DC area?

    I would only want to keep pursuing this if it's a matter of finding the right tech to make it work (which I hope is the case).

    If it's a matter of Comcast policy and it's never going to happen, that's another story......

    Thanks!
     
  11. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    boston'ish
    Yes, but in the Boston area I get a large number of my lower end stations via ADS in my S3, I have a suspicion that you will find the behavior is regional by Comcast division.

    So it clearly is not company-wide that they don't do ADS, but I can't add more to any region other then my own.

    Diane
     
  12. blacknoi

    blacknoi Active Member

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    Not to get off topic too much, but arent the lower channels (1-99 or 2-99) some of the most watched channels in general? ...Thus negating the need to religate them to SDV hell??
     
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Multiple Comcast areas have reported ADS through their CableCARD equipped S3s. However policies vary regionally and the inconsistency can get frustrating. In some cases it also has to do with who the prior company was before Comcast bought them, their equipment, management, policies, billing system, etc.
     
  14. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    Honolulu, HI
    I don't know that that is true. They are certainly the most subscribed too, but when you think about the shopping channels, the religious channels, even the multiple news channels, I bet many of the 1-99 channels really aren't that popular.
     
  15. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    It's interesting to me that people are asking how much stuff we really watch from channels 1-99. I started asking myself as this situation has continued.

    In general hi-def has spoiled me, so a lot of what I watch tends to be certain shows off the hi-def feeds of the 5 major networks, as well as various hi-def movies from the premium channels I subscribe to. So it is true that channels 1-99 are not super crucial.

    But, channels 1-99 do have some various shows that I will be recording, and it would be nice for those to look as good as possible. I'm currently taping "Mad Men" off of AMC and am a faithful follower of "Nip/Tuck" as well (though it sure has gone downhill). The WETA PBS channel also has various specials on that are cool, different stuf than what's on their hi-def sub-channel. So for all these things, it would be nice to have the digital versions, the analog cable on comcast here is really, really bad.

    We'll see if I get any further on Monday morning. I was going to have Tivo try and help me during the phone call, maybe they know a special office to call at Comcast with the right people.

    Thanks!
     
  16. IwantHDTivo

    IwantHDTivo New Member

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    Feb 8, 2004
    Smyrna, TN
    Please keep us posted on your progress. I am having the same issue in the Nashville Comcast market and have had no luck getting Comcast to help.
     
  17. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    So far still no luck, but here's some other stuff I tried:

    1-Called up Tivo's special cable card assistance number, and had a guy named Mike do a 3 way call with me and Comcast to try and sort it out. Mike from Tivo was very knowledgable and patient, but even with his help it was not sufficient to get the folks at Comcast to know what to do. That phone call reinforced the notion that if the Comcast folks don't know the setting to adjust, even a great person from Tivo on the line, is not going to change that.

    2-Called up Comcast's "executive assistance" office and spoke with Jesse Schackman. She was very patient and took a lot of notes on the situation, and then promised to start looking into the situation. I explained to her that one stumbling block I kept running into is that Comcast (at least in my area) has no system of trouble tickets, no tiers of customer service, and no cable card specialists, so every call I did was basically starting fresh often with someone who knew less about cable card than the last person.

    3-I have an appointment this morning with a service tech to come to the house. Although I explained to them many times that it's an authorization matter and nothing that an onsite visit will make a difference for, they are quite insistent. So, I figured it will help them understand better, if they see for themselves, and have in their notes, that the a truck was rolled, and nothing a tech did on site could change an ADS setting in a customer account. I don't want to waste their time like that, but I am hoping it will help them understand better for the next customer.

    One thing no one at Comcast has been able to tell me yet is if I'm not getting ADS because their local D.C. system does not allow mapping ADS to cable cards, or if it's possible to do so, but no one knows the setting in the computer. If at any point we get a post from someone in downtown DC who posts and says they are getting ADS on a Tivo (or that discontinued Sony recorder, or a cable card TV for that matter) that would be a valuable data point to have.

    Thanks!
     
  18. dipdewdog

    dipdewdog New Member

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    May 9, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Hey Dan,

    I'm in Glover Park, and I did notice last night that I am getting one "analog" channel in digital--USA (65). So I would say it's certainly possible for their system to map ADS to cable cards, it's just not done correctly. Plus, I believe they're now handing out DCH3416 boxes with seperable security, and those are all-digital tuners with CableCARDs, so they'd have to be getting the digital versions of the channels under 100 to be able to tune them at all. Just my 2c.

    Let me know how you make out with Comcast executive support!

    Thanks,

    John
     
  19. Dan S

    Dan S Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Another update (but still no success yet)

    1-The comcast tech came this morning, and was very patient while we tried calling in to get it working. He had done a lot of cable card installs and understood what we were trying to achieve. The people he called were in some special cable card office that I never had access to when calling as a customer, the office he calls in to knew all about cable card and all about the "ADS setting", but said that the ADS setting was already on my account. They cleared it out, put it back, and rehit the cable cards, but to no avail.

    Just to be thorough, after they re-hit the cards, I rebooted the Tivo (and when I did so it went through the spinning ball with the mappoing channels message) and after that, we even re-did the whole guided setup, just to be safe.

    Like a previous poster, I am indeed getting the digital version of the USA channel (and boy does it look better than the others surrounding it), and upon further checking notice I am also getting the digital version of channel 7, the "vs." channel. But many other channels I checked were still analog.

    2-I got a phone call/email from a local D.C. manager at comcast, most likely as a result of my conversation with the executive office. He asked me to type up the details of my issue and he would circulate it to the proper tech people in the area. I typed up the details here (including the info that a channel here and there are working digitally) and also gave him links to this thread, and the thread on general comcast cable card issues.

    So from what we can tell so far, maybe what's going on is that ADS is set correctly on my account (and for our friend up in Glover park) but Comcast DC has their head end mappings messed up so that only a couple of channels are showing up with the ADS version instead of all 100. If this is the case, I am curious why this would affect cable cards but not boxes like the Motorola DCT-700.

    I'd be even more confused why an incorrect head-end setup would not be a problem for the new cable card equipped motorola boxes Comcast DC is now handing out. Like the DCT-700, they only tune digitally, so why can the cable cards in those boxes happily get all 100 channels of all digital simulcast, while my cable card only gets 2 channels or so? I don't get it.

    Hopefully the info I sent to the D.C. exec will result in them really looking into and correcting this issue, assuming the problem is at the head end, and affecting everyone. That explanation is starting to seem more logical.

    Thanks!
     
  20. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    It is possible there are multiple ADS maps and they are not in sync.
     

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