Comcast DTA unboxing

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by rv65, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. yukit

    yukit Member

    211
    1
    Jul 23, 2005

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    I just found one of my DTAs to be stuck in one channel.

    Channel change from the Tivo remote was unresponsive, so I thought that my cat somehow moved the IR blaster/receiver, but they were placed correctly. I used the DTA's remote to try to change channels, but that was not working either. I had to reboot the DTA by unplugging the power to make it work again.

    My Tivo did record Tonight's show on Fri, but a few programs recorded this morning were the wrong channel.

    Not sure how this happened, but it would be a coincidence to blame the DTV switch-over:)

    Anyone experience such weirdness with the DTAs?
     
  2. rdlm

    rdlm Member

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    1
    Apr 6, 2003
    This happens to one of my DTAs about once every other week. Just happened yesterday. The other one seems fine. It's on a TIVO that doesn't get used much, so it hasn't driven me to try to replace it... yet.
     
  3. techmonkey

    techmonkey New Member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    California
    I have wrong channels record would say about 1% of the time or less. It has happened on two different DTA's as well as my cable box all using IR blaster's. BUT I have never actually had one "stick" on one channel where the remote was unresponsive.
     
  4. 2004raptor

    2004raptor time to emancipate

    7,041
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    Dec 30, 2005
    GA
    One of my DTA's did the same thing. Only had it hooked up a little over a week. Does that mean the DTA might be bad or is this just something I have to deal with?
     
  5. yukit

    yukit Member

    211
    1
    Jul 23, 2005

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    Yeah, it was really weird to be stuck in one channel. Unlike a regular STB, you have no idea what channel the DTA is tuned on till you check liveTV. It was a fluke to discover it the following day since I was curious to see if DTA was able to tune to the free HBO channel (no) otherwise I probably have not discovered it for several days since the DTA is connected to a S2 that I rarely watch.

    I have been using this DTA for about 3 weeks. I did a bit of a spot check of several random shows over the last few weeks, they appear to be ok. The DTA & Tivo are on a UPS so it could not have been a power failure. As I reported earlier, it does seem to act random at 3 digit channels, but I don't have any season passes with 3 digit channels. Quality control on these DTAs are probably not that stringent.

    I also have a regular STB with a serial cable connection. It is an old big ugly black box but I don't think it has ever missed a channel change in about a year.
     
  6. techmonkey

    techmonkey New Member

    156
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    Jan 13, 2009
    California
    If it does not happen that often I would not worry about it. Like I said I have had it happen on two different DTA's and even on a full cable box. I know you can "tweak" the was TIVO changes the channels using the IR blasters but with me it seems to happen once of every 100 recordings if that.
     
  7. ekrock

    ekrock New Member

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    Jun 22, 2009
    I was also having the problem where my TiVo Series 2 Single Channel was able to make the Comcast Pace DC50X DTA box change to 2-digit channels OK but *failed* to change the channel to 3-digit channels. For me, the solution was to set the TiVo to "code 10104-B, 3 channel digits, no enter button," and the 3-digit problem went away.

    Background:

    How It Was Set Up When I Was Having the Problem
    -----------------------------------------------
    Based on a tip I had seen somewhere on the web but now can't locate, I set the TiVo to "code 10104-C, 3 channel digits, no enter button" and put all three IR emitters right in front of the DC50X IR receiver port as follows: TiVo IR #1 above the receiver port, TiVo IR #2 below the receiver port, and the DC50X extender to the left.

    This was the best configuration I'd seen yet because I could reliably change to any 2-digit channel. However, anytime I tried to change to a 3-digit channel, the DTA gave up on waiting for the third digit and just ignored the whole command command before the TiVo sent out the 3rd digit.

    So I changed to "code 10104-B, 3 channel digits, no enter button," and the 3-digit problem went away.

    Additional Note 1: Comcast Pace DC50X DTA box randomly hangs: There is a separate problem with my Pace DC50X DTA box. I've discovered that randomly (after 7-10 days of working fine, typically), the Pace DC50X DTA box will fall into a mode where it ignores all channel change input and tunes to public access channel 27. When this happens, I have to power cycle the Pace DC50X DTA box, then the problem instantly disappears. I've now verified this sequence of events twice, so it's clearly a bug with the Pace DC50X DTA box (presumably hanging internally), not the TiVo. I'm debating whether to swap for a 2nd box or just try switching to AT&T Universal. ;-)

    Additional Note 2: After this transition, my access to Science Channel (272) and NatG (273) has mysteriously disappeared. I'm assuming that Comcast has reorganized its offerings and put these in an even higher-priced package. Will take that up with Comcast tomorrow. ;-)

    MANY, MANY thanks to all the people who have painstakingly contributed to this thread and sorted all these issues out!!!
     
  8. yukit

    yukit Member

    211
    1
    Jul 23, 2005
    I just verified that my code is already set to [10104-B]
    I can sometimes manually tune to a 3-digit channel, but I just removed all 3-digit season pass programs. At least I have another Tivo to record these programs.

    As far as the DTA freezing, it is good to get a confirmation from others experiencing the same problem. I don't think it has happened to me in the last week. Again, my solution was to move the season pass to another Tivo in case the DTA starts acting up again, but I am sure we are the isolated incidents so I am just going to stop worrying about the problem.
     
  9. ekrock

    ekrock New Member

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Just discovered last night that I'd been completely misinformed in my discussion a month ago with Comcast support. I'd called for clarification a month ago and been told that I should REPLACE my General Instrument set top box with the Pace DTA. Turns out that's completely incorrect.

    As a better support rep explained last night, if you have a full-function STB, you don't need the DTA at all. DTAs are for freestanding TVs that lack their own full-function STB.

    So I swapped out the DTA, swapped back in the STB, and everything is working fine again.
     
  10. dverespey

    dverespey New Member

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Thanks to all who posted here I just set up my old upstairs S2 with DTA and it went great.
     
  11. arhynas

    arhynas New Member

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    Jun 27, 2009
    The IR receiver included with the DTA is optional, it's mainly only necessary if you need to put the DTA in a location where you would not have line of sight with the remote to the front of the box.

    This is usually a result of a test of the public emergency broadcast system, they switch all digital equipment over to the test broadcast, I've seen several DTAs get stuck on C-Span afterwards. Might need a swap, might just see if it persists.
     
  12. kdeanda

    kdeanda New Member

    23
    3
    Dec 15, 2000
    Berkeley,...
    It may also be worthy of note that attaching the remote receiver disables the internal one. Found this out after I placed the new receiver in a plastic tube with the Tivo transmitter, and then the DTAs stock remote no longer worked unless shined directly into the tube, or I disconnected the remote receiver. Just something to be aware of.

    FWIW, three months now with no DTA stuck-on-channel, nor other tuning issues yet on two S1 installations. If of interest, the DTAs operating information is:
    Hardware version: 2
    Firmware version: 1.466.2.1.2.1
    Immutable firmware: 1_425_2_2/1_425_2_2
    Bank A: GOOD PACEDC50X_0108
    Bank B (active): GOOD PACEDC50X_0115

    The second DTA is the same except for bank A/B, which is:
    Bank A: GOOD PACEDC50X_0117
    Bank B (active): GOOD PACEDC50X_0115

    Maybe there's some faulty firmware out there... :confused:


    I utterly hate these. Happens weekly, usually at prime time here. On my HD these often cause a hard crash of the Tivo forcing pull-the-plug reset if recording, and if not then all playback operations are locked out (no FF/REW/change channel/menu/etc.) Probably has something to do with changing the video encode type mid stream... e.g. a HD format to SD without a real channel change operation having been performed. :thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
     
  13. Jul 2, 2009 #213 of 308
    dverespey

    dverespey New Member

    12
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    Jan 26, 2005
    The last two days I keep finding my DTA series 2 combo stuck on channel 26, the old channel guide channel.

    Changing the channel with the Tivo or DTA remote does nothing. I end up power cycling the DTA and then I resync the two to channel two.

    After that it works as before. Anyone have any info on this?
     
  14. Jul 2, 2009 #214 of 308
    chakk

    chakk New Member

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    Mar 27, 2008
    Two possibilities come to my mind for your problem with the Comcast DTA hanging up on one channel after a few days of normal operation:

    (1) your local TV provider has made changes (again!!!) to their digital channel lineup, and a power-cycle of the DTA is required to resync the DTA with the new lineup. The PBS station in the local SF Bay Area is advising their viewers to "rescan" their channel lineups regularly from now until mid-October, as they are expecting transmission frequency variations while they move their permanent transmitting antenna to a new location.

    (2) The reception signal to your DTA provided over your cable is weak, and the DTA may be periodically losing sync. You can check the signal strength on your DTA by pressing and holding the INFO button on the DTA remote (with the TV turned on) until an information screen appears (this takes about 5 seconds of holding the INFO button down). Then, press the Channel UP button twice to view the third page of information. One of the listed items is named "Power Level". I read somewhere on this or another forum that the number shown here should ideally be between -8.0 and -4.0. If the number shown is less than -8.0, then your signal may be too weak. You could contact your TV signal provider for a fix, or, in my case, I purchased a signal amplifier from Radio Shack, which boosted my signal up from about -11.0 to -6.0. This solved my early problems with weak signal, although I suspect that enough other neighbor subscribers have complained to the provider that they have taken steps on their own to boost their signal strength in our neighborhood. So, I may have to turn down the amplification level on my Radio Shack box to avoid an overly strong signal, which could also create problems.

    Press the INFO button again to clear the information screens and return to normal TV screen display.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2009 #215 of 308
    chakk

    chakk New Member

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    Mar 27, 2008
    Sorry to be so late in responding to this question to me, as I have been offline for several weeks while vacationing.

    I made this change in the Tivo Main Menu -- Messages & Settings -- Settings -- Channels -- Channel Changing -- Advanced Setup.

    At this point, you should see the 10104 on your screen. Just type each of those in again and then press the right arrow key and you should receive an option to select A, B, or C. A is the fastest simulated keypress, C is the slowest simulated keypress.
     
  16. Jul 7, 2009 #216 of 308
    dverespey

    dverespey New Member

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Thanks for the "info", I'll check the settings tonight when I get home.
     
  17. oskarrogg

    oskarrogg New Member

    1
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    Jul 11, 2009
    Some of this has been said before, but a couple of things I found useful after I spent most of the weekend finally getting Tivo to work with the various Comcast digital boxes DC50X et al... (comments in the forum were very useful)

    First - activate the comcast digital boxes before you try to make Tivo work. Otherwise, Tivo will give you some misleading error messages, like specifying that you should connect the DC50X to the Tivo using the composite cables, even though the DC50X doesn't support composite cables.

    Second, as somebody else pointed out, the IR emitters need to be 4-5 inches in front of the DC50X box in order to work correctly. I used tongue depressors duct taped to the comcast DC50X box to support the IR emitters at the proper distance - looks like a kluge, but it works. BTW, the IR receiver is right next to the LED on the DC50X box.

    By comparison, the Comcast Motorola box was much more straightforward - Emitters about 1 inch in front of the receptor - receptor is about 1/2 inch from message light - standard installation.

    Since I had never needed the IR emitters before Comcast imposed the digital boxes, mine had long since disappeared. At least in the Atlanta area, no retail outlet carries the IR emitters; the clerk at Best Buy commented that people had been coming in all week looking for them. Rather than waiting the week to get them online for $12-15, I just bought a used Tivo on Craigslist for $40 bucks, giving me an additional remote as well.

    That said, if I owned Tivo stock, I would short it - with all due respect to TIVOJERRY, when you spend most of the weekend struggling to connect two tivos, and end up with IR emitters duct-taped to tongue depressors, it's kind of laughable to read how Tivo thinks the IR emitters work great. Unless Tivo comes up with a 'game changer', Comcast DVR is going to drive Tivo out.
     
  18. 2004raptor

    2004raptor time to emancipate

    7,041
    70
    Dec 30, 2005
    GA
    I know you said you just got it hooked up but I would like to know if you are expereinceing any issues changing the channles, etc???? Can you possibly post a picture of how you have all of this laid out?
     
  19. Aug 5, 2009 #219 of 308
    GGray

    GGray Member TCF Club

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    Nov 15, 2006
    I built a cable that provides a direct connection. Send me a note and I give you a link to the page describing the cable.


    Gary
     
  20. rdlm

    rdlm Member

    59
    1
    Apr 6, 2003
    Back in June, I reported that one of my two DTA boxes would periodically hang: neither the Tivo nor it's own remote control could get it to change channels. This would happen once every week or two.

    I replaced that DTA box the first week of July, so I've had the replacement a bit over a month now. So far, no issues. And the other DTA box has been flawless since day one.
     

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