Charter / Spectrum With Tivo Bolt

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Johnny Dancing, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    ahem.

    ;)
     
  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The HDMI is a tell that you do NOT have a SDV Tuning Adapter. TAs have no video output since they're just headless boxes acting as middlemen between a CableCARD-enabled device and the SDV servers. All their action happens via the USB port (TA<->CC device) and the lone coax port (TA<->SDV servers).

    A lookup on the model number would also be a good indicator.
     
  3. Tshirts

    Tshirts New Member

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    Oct 25, 2018
     
  4. Tshirts

    Tshirts New Member

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    Spectrum switched to SDV 2 weeks ago... Tivo Bolt, Motorola cable card.
    A yellow blinking light on the MTR700, I am getting a Val: V 0x1B
    Have spoken to many at Cable Card Support... I did get a tech who left instructions in my account notes - (I was not at home during that call) when home another rep read me the "notes" - not sure about all, but said nothing about "clearing"? Tivo diagnostics says paired: no.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  5. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Card is paired. TA is probably still disabled on Spectrum’s end.
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It may be premature, your call, but filing an FCC complaint is an option if you find Spectrum seemingly blocking your ability to get your CableCARD'd TiVo box working on their system.

    A recent case...
     
  7. Wilzer

    Wilzer Member

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    Yep, now having SDV issues I think
     
  8. Tshirts

    Tshirts New Member

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    Well, I did try the 2nd TA they sent. V53 - no channels still... Tonight they unpaired & repaired. V changed to D. No Auth... No channels. He suggested going back to no TA - V53 no channels... that got him thinking that it might be their signal all along? Tuners are showing 92 to 95%. He wants to try a new CC. That was suggested the other night too, but the local office had about 10, but all were "out of inventory" yesterday!!! They were trying to find one, and the guy said he would order me one. TA is not disabled.
     
  9. Wilzer

    Wilzer Member

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    As the church lady would say, "HOW CONVENIENT"

     
  10. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    A little old, but in case anyone searches and finds this:

    I just added a TA after having my new bolt for three weeks and noticing I wasn't getting all my spectrum (silver/middle package) channels. I was getting FX, but not FXX. I would get HBO and SHOWTIME, but not any of the secondary channels that were included in my package. These are the SDV channels that the Tivo is not picking up.

    I have a 6 tuner bolt +, and I am using a Cisco STA1520 TA. What I learned about this: The TA is supposedly capable of a lot, but spectrum has dumbed them WAY down. ALL they are doing is decrypting your channel list, and telling the TiVo which SDV channels you should have access to.

    Spectrum's self install guide (currently) tells you to connect a coax from the wall, to the TA IN. Then a coax from TA OUT to the Tivo. Then connect a USB cable after its paired.
    Tivo tells you to use a splitter from the wall, then connect a coax to the TA in, and the other coax from the splitter to the TiVo. After the TA has been hit/recognized/synced with spectrum you connect the USB cable. The tech who did mine said he was told by "Spetrum's TiVo department" that the TiVo way is the correct way. That is how mine is setup, and that's how it is working now. I have not changed it, and have no need to. If you are self installing it: I was told depending on your signal strength you may need an amplifier for three coax connections off one wall outlet, or you may not. I did not need one. The tech should definitely know your levels, and I am near positive that you can find those signal strength levels in your tv's diagnostics or settings.

    I also had my CC working in my tivo for a few weeks prior, so because of this it was slightly different for me as opposed to hooking up the TA with the new cablecard at the same time. What difference it makes I don't know.....

    The other thing I am not seeing mentioned here is that what the tech dept told us, we did, and I saw the lights change on the TA to convince me is that; after its connected through spectrum (hit), then you connect the USB cable as the directions said. ONCE YOU CONNECT THE USB CABLE, YOU NEED TO RUN THE GUIDED SETUP.. TWICE. The first time the guided setup is run, the TiVo is "finding" the tuning adapter. The second time the guided setup is run, the TiVo is starting its setup now that it has recognized and paired with the TA.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  11. Qbert81

    Qbert81 New Member

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    Do you experience any pixilated issues? Such as, when something moves quickly across the screen in a movie (worse so on TBS or USA) there is heavy pixilation?
     
  12. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I find that some channels are worse than others on Spectrum. But this is independent of your equipment (Tivo or Spectrum hardware). The source of the pixilation is Spectrum. There's really nothing you can do about it besides switch to a different provider.
     
  13. Qbert81

    Qbert81 New Member

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    That's what I've been starting to realize after scouring Spectrum threads and on the ones on here. Unfortunately I can't switch as Spectrum is our only choice in Milwaukee, aside from DirecTV.
     
  14. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty certain that Youtube TV, Hulu Live TV, Fubo, Philo, Sling TV, AT&T TV NOW and others are available there, many of which have video quality superior to Spectrum. All have free trials, so you can pick whichever one has the best picture.
     
  15. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    What channels or shows have you noticed come in pixelated?
    What is your signal strength? (Which could be low even if you aren't using any splitters and only one coax cable).
    That doesn't seem to be a fair statement to make unless:
    * You know your signal strength. - (Settings and messages : Help : Diagnostics : Signal Strength - Mine have always been between 93-96% on all channels I have looked at, before and after the TA. )
    * You know if your setup is capable. (If you are having trouble you might also want to make sure your coax cables are up to it. If they are old, you might want to upgrade to rg6 just to be certain).

    That doesn't make sense (to me), that a single channel or show would be pixelated, and that would be because of the provider. If its a single channel, then wouldn't that have to be the signal that is being sent to the provider before they send their service out in mass?

    (A little off topic; What my tech recently told me was that Spectrum has 700 or so frequencies that they use. To send a 720p signal takes one frequency. A 1080 signal takes two frequencies. A 4k60fps signal takes TEN frequencies. That if they were to go all 4k60fps signals, they would only be able to provide 70 channels).
     
  16. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I'm digging way back in my memory banks. I haven't had Spectrum cable for 4 years, and quit Tivo over a year ago.

    As I recall, my local FOX was highly compressed, much more so than others and far worse than the OTA version. So I could confirm that the provider's original signal was fine since I could do a direct comparison. Similar story for many of the Turner networks. This extremely high compression resulted in excessive macro blocking (pixellation) during scene changes. My signal strength was in the mid-90's. My coax was/is fine as many techs have confirmed in various installations over the years. Dish, DirecTV and OTA have all worked fine on the same cables in the past.

    I appreciate the help, but I can't fix or troubleshoot what I no longer have. I was just letting the OP know that I've had the same experience and that the Tivo and related tuning adapters or cable cards are not to blame.
     
  17. Qbert81

    Qbert81 New Member

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    I get almost the same signal strength as you. The attached picture is off of Comedy Central with diagnostics at 92% signal strength and SNR of 36db, and this is after using 2 attenuators (20 & 3). Without the attenuators the signal caps off at 100 and SNR caps at 42 with similar picture quality. I've also updated the coax and splitter.

    I've also tried to go the other direction and bring the signal/SNR to the suggested value provided by TiVo at 85% and 33-35 SNR (give or take) and that was almost unbearable on TBS, USA, TNT, and a few others. Oh yeah, this is my 2nd Bolt as I thought the 1st one was faulty due to these exact issues.

    This is how it comes into the TiVo, starting at the amplifier.

    -Amplifier to coax (new cable).
    -Coax to splitter (new splitter)
    -Splitter to Router, TA, TiVo separately (TiVo has a new coax from the splitter)
    -The coax from the splitter to the TiVo box has the 2 attenuators before connecting the the box.
    -also have a duel fan to cool the box to 49-52 degrees.

    I've also disconnected and reconnected every coax inside and outside. Played with every possible television setting I can think of... So, I am wondering if running the Guided Setup twice sharpens the quality, as that's the one thing I haven't done... Willing to try anything at this point.

    On a side note, the picture quality and resolution when the camera or picture doesn't move quickly across the screen is outstanding.
     

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  18. Philtho

    Philtho Member

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    I have Spectrum in WI. I have owned a Tivo HD since 2006 and just got the Bolt two days ago. I moved my Cablecard and Tuning Adapter over and was only getting two streams and on pay channels the Cablecard help # popped up. I called them up and they said they needed the SN and I gave it to them. No luck.

    Guy came out today and said they need more than just the SN, there are several IDs they need to put into the system that are listed on that Cablecard help screen. So he called up and gave them the numbers. They had me cycle everything and all the channels now worked, however I was still only able to use two tuners at once. The guy had no idea and said there wasn't much they could do as the cablecards have been the same since they came out. He said the only thing I could do is call Tivo.

    I called Tivo and the lady had me do what seemed like routine basic troubleshooting. She had me go into settings and network and do TWO service connections in a row. Power it off. Then power it back on. I had NO IDEA what the significance of doing two service connections in a row and then a reboot is, but when it came back up I could use all 4 tuners. I just kind of stared at the TV and blinked a few times.

    Long story short, it's working now.

    However, to the point of the post: Picture quality.

    The Bolt is way more soft than my Tivo HD was. Almost so much that channels look like 480P at times. I've seen a few posts looking to fix this and Romeaeo users were seeing this also moving from a Tivo HD. It doesn't seem the Bolt has the same picture quality settings as the Tivo HD has. Maybe it does more compression or it's scaling internally and smoothing the picture quality. The Interface is all rock solid and SHARP. Just not the tuned video.

    Local channels like FOX Wisconsin Sports look like complete sht, but they looked pretty bad on the Tivo HD as well - they just look worse on the Bolt.

    I do have Spectrum cable boxes but they're all hooked up to tiny TVs so at that size even crap looks good. Maybe one day I'll bring one down to the 65" and see how it compares to the Bolt.
     
  19. JCMAN

    JCMAN New Member

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    I realize this thread was active a few months ago, but my experience.

    Get Bolt. Try to get Spectrum to ship the CableCARD. They agree but due to COVID-19, substantial delays. Finally get tired of waiting and drive 30 minutes to the nearest Spectrum Store. Get CableCARD 10 minutes after the shipped cable card gets a tracking number (but is still several days out from delivery). Ask if I need a tuning adapter. Told no, you don't.

    Call to activate. V58 all channels. Talk to several reps, no dice. Arrange a tech visit two weeks out (time when someone was available at the home where they had availability). Ask if swapping the CableCARD will help, no sir, it will not. They have CableCARD specific reps. Some consulted with colleagues/managers to reach this conclusion. Asked about tuning adapter - expressed uncertainty. Told Spectrum has no utility for a phone rep to check if a service area has switched digital video/requires tuning adapter.

    Go the next day to Spectrum saying, all I have to lose is an hour and a little gas to put the "CableCARD is broken" theory to test. Swap the CableCARD at retail Spectrum store. Call to activate. Instant gratification. But a handful of channels like FXX and Disney XD throw "Channel temporarily unavailable". Most work.

    Tech visits. Checks the drop (strong). Checks the outlet where Tivo is located (strong but imperfect - he re-terminated the jack). Signal improved. Still no dice - those channels don't work. Told to call and ask for a tuning adapter, tech shrugged and said he hadn't seen a CableCARD in over a year but that's what the supervisor suggested.

    Call again, explain history, tech visit, please order a tuning adapter. Transferred to CableCARD specialized tech. Rep is super agreeable, apologizes for delay due to "Slow computer" (VPN due to COVID). Takes about 40 minutes to get the order submitted on his end, during which time he apologized profusely and we chatted amicably about a lot of tech topics.

    Tuning adapter takes about two weeks to arrive (shipped via FedEx, but delays in shipping it). Plug it in, SA/Cisco model, light blinks for about 10 minutes, goes solid (online/not updating). Hookup coax and USB to tivo, and I'm golden.

    Short version/tips:
    1) In the current COVID timeline, unless it's extremely burdensome/expensive/dangerous [maybe you're immunocompromised], you're better off getting the equipment at retail unless you're OK with a 2+ week on order delivery.
    2) The phone bot can work for activation (as it did fine on my second cable card, gratification within two seconds of the bot saying it activated). If it doesn't or for any other issue, mention it's a Tivo and CableCARD and please transfer me to a CableCARD specialized rep.
    3) If all channels are V58 and the CableCARD reps can't get it working, swap the card first. If you can't do it at retail and they want to send a tech, insist that the tech be sent WITH a CableCARD on their truck.
    4) If most channels come in but you get a channel temporarily unavailable message on a handful of regular channels or many subchannels for a premium package (HBO, Showtime) or international packages, push for the tuning adapter to be supplied/shipped (retail/via phone respectively).

    Bit of an odyssey but working very well now.
     
    Rose4uKY, kpeters59 and UCLABB like this.
  20. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    What is this “phone bot” you speak of? Is there some automated system for cable card pairing now? I’ve done pairing many times, but always with a live person. Tell us how the procedure worked.
     

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