Comcast WGBX problems in Boston after Repack

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by wcattey, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    On 1 August 2019 another FCC mandated repack of channels happened.
    Since then my Tivo Bolt with cablecard to Comcast has had problems. Interesting problems:

    Tune in channel 801, WGBX DT and I get no sound, just a blocky unwatchable picture.

    But here's where it gets interesting! Leave 801 tuned in for a little while and I get "This channel is not authorized (V58)." When I change channels, ALL channels give that message for about 2 minutes, and then all the other channels come back.

    Here's where it gets REALLY interesting: Go to the Tivo menu "Tivo Central" -> "Settings & Messages" -> "Channel Settings" -> "Cable Channel Strength" and tune in channel 801, although I get a signal strength of 100, the next thing that happens is I get a pop-up saying there is trouble with my Cable card.

    Indeed, the Tivo Bolt has lost contact with the cable card.

    When I power cycle the Bolt, it re-acquires the cable card and all is well.

    Until I try to access channel 801, which is 100% toxic.

    Similar problems occur when I try to access the other Comcast manifestation of WGBX at channel 1044.

    According to Wikipedia at the "WGBX" article, with the repack WGBX is now hosting a bunch of channels packed into its stream:

    In 2019, with WGBH moving to VHF 5, both station's channel maps were adapted, with WGBH handling both the 2.1 and 44.1 HD signals, and WGBX mainly carrying standard definition subchannels in order to provide appropriate bandwidth to WYCN-CD, which itself had its calls changed to WBTS-CD in the same period of time. This is equivalent to the channel distribution plan used by Twin Cities PBS in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, which divides its subchannels among two existing stations (though all channels map to channel 2 rather than the second station's channel 17).

    I get unwatchable video on:

    801 WGBX-DT PBS
    1044 WGBX-DT PBS
    935 WBTS-LD3 COZI
    1171 WBTS-LD3 COZI TV
    956 WGBH-DT2 World
    1146 WGBH-DT2 World

    Is anybody else seeing this?
     
  2. KevTech

    KevTech Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2014
    Seattle
    I thought channel repack only affects OTA as cable TV users the cable company handles the change on their end.
    You could try going through guided setup again if you think it may help.
     
  3. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    At one point I'd asked both Comcast and Tivo of there was a "kind of rescan thing" I could do, but nobody suggested a https://support.tivo.com/articles/Knowledge/Repeating-Guided-Setup

    Alas. I just tried that now, and no change.

    I'm interested to hear from anyone with a Comcast Tivo Bolt, preferably in the Metropolitan Boston Area (my provider is "Burlington Comcast Standard Cable" as shown in the Guided Setup process I just re-ran.): Have you been able to tune in WGBX 44 since 1 August 2019?
     
  4. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    I still get all those channels on Comcast. I'm on the Cape. I have the Bolt Vox.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  5. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks. That's a useful data point. I'm wondering if it's an artifact of the Comcast customers who are served from the Burlington MA head end.

    One other thing: My software is TiVo Experience 3 (software version: 20.X.)
     
  6. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Are you getting the other sub channels, METV (942), Laff TV (949), Start (930), This (936)?
     
  7. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Yes, those channels (METV (942), Laff TV (949), Start (930), This (936)) all come in just fine.

    It is only the ones that I mentioned above (801/1044 WGBX-DT PBS, 935/1171 WBTS-LD3 COZI, 956/1146 WGBH-DT2 World) that don't come in properly. As I said, Wikipedia says my problem stations are all chunks of WGBX 44. See: WGBX-TV - Wikipedia
     
  8. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Try the Roku app and see if they come in. Otherwise I would go to a local office and ask them if you are supposed to get them, if so try a new cable card.
     
  9. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Can you point me to info on how to bring the Roku app into my Tivo Bolt? I'll give it a try.

    We've actually tried a couple different cable cards. They behave in the same way.
    The soft firmware revision on the cable card is 07.17. This matches the rev of the cable card in our Xfinity X1 box that is pulling in the channels just fine.

    Mind you the X1 box communicates differently. It's a 2-way connection whereas the Tivo cablecard is OOB one way.
     
  10. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2007
    The app would be on a Roku device, but since you have Comcast boxes also that's now a mute point.

    Since those channels come in on the Comcast boxes and not the Tivo I have no idea why it does not work.
     
  11. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Thanks for thinking about this.

    My primary purpose in posting to this forum is to see if there are others experiencing the same symptoms.

    It may be something unique to the Burlington MA head end.
     
    Gubbagubba likes this.
  12. Gubbagubba

    Gubbagubba New Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Same here in Arlington. Did you ever find a solution? I'm at my wits end.

    Its a problem with more than one of my TiVos. I had 4 up & running but simplified it down to two and then one at a time in the basement for the sake of debugging & simplified new RG6 setups. One's a Romeo Pro and the other a Premiere XL4. Moca is enabled but I also have them Ethernet connected direct to a router.

    Started in Early Aug I think (possibly late July) with me noticing COZI (935) not recording complete 30 minute programs (I like my classic Adam-12 & Quincy in the mix of content). So when I dug in by watching live programming vs streaming it to a Kindle in house (how I usually watch most content) I could see Cozi (935 or the higher channel echo of it) tiling very severely...occasionally V58 errors. I've been busy and dreading debugging this so in the basement I tore out my 2 way Leviton vid amp of the last 15 years and simplified down to the basic Comcast provided 2GHz splitter that came before it with only one TiVo at a time, Arris SB8200 (mine) cable modem, and their eMTA (I own my own but have not provisioned it or returned theirs yet). Also tried it without the eMTA on a balanced splitter. Sigs & SNL look ok according to them as metered by a field tech and as reported by me using TiVo diag. I noticed just as you did that the local PBS channels were also problematic.....BUT then I also noticed and see other content not recording to completion (MTV, Food Ch, AMC, even HBO)...though nothing still as bad as COZI so I assume that is all from the TiVo's perspective intermittent or high bit error rates to the point that the TiVo gives up.
    If the TiVo on its own tries recording on some of these problem channels it will become non responsive to the remote over time.

    VERY frustrating given what Comcast charges those of us who do not jump to other providers but rather stay loyal...like fools. That they rent cableCARDS that are only worth ~$50 to us for $7.50 a month charging that for a decade, with no buy it ourselves option, is exploitative but that's a different topic. Because its more than one TiVo on my end of different models with same problems made me hope it was the tap or similar on poll problem. But increasingly I suspected its head end or something they are doing different - your postings that I only now found support that. The guys in Arizona seem the most knowledgeable and the linesmen are ok at slinging cable but for the most part there's a huge disconnect where there is no end to end expertise. I end up spending days in the corner of the basement (electrical closet) while on hold with some call center that is so loud they can't here what I say and then have the balls to say "Listen to me!!" as if I'm the problem. Its effing miserableb- I'm not exaggerating that this has been many man days of holding, troubleshooting with them (I'm a system design embedded system EE of consumer through medical products - I KNOW I'm this is not my setup as nothing changed on my end other than possibly TiVo firmware updates), and waiting at home for techs to show (late) or wait in line at the nearly useless Xfinity boutiques they have set up.

    Had 2 techs out - they replaced the lines from the bulkhead FtoF RG6 outside to inside, the line to the tap, and supposedly replaced the tap itself (they did fix mostly the breaking up of content to the other apartment - 2 family house - my elderly parents - so I was right about their lines being old).
    I tried one of the TiVos (I have several models all lifetimed w/cableCARDs) at a friends across town just to buck out the question of the TAP fixture/neighborhood. Same problem - perhaps even worse. The Tivo will tend to get hung up if it encounters V58 errors especially for any length of time. Tuning is slow....admittedly I was counting on MOCA turned on to keep the TiVo happy wrt to a network connection - that relationship is one I will explore with TiVo my next spare moment.

    Also quite possibly my internet drop out is related....I sort of tolerated it as I suspected Wifi but now I'm thinking its less that that the other side of the router & that the WAN connectivity is what is really intermittent. Even my Comcast streaming app will hang from time to time for lack of Internet connectivity.

    Have bought some MOCA filters and attenuators but I've not tried them yet and I'm not hopeful. My lower back problems & other obligations have keep me from experimenting the rare free time I have. Despite a simplified RG6 loading at my end, replacing all the cable cards at their suggestion, and more than one TiVo showing these symptoms and pretty much useless support while paying near $300/month I'm as I said earlier beyond frustrated. Have you figured any of this out on your end? If there's a PM option on this forum I'll try it. Maybe one of us has covered ground the other hasn't.
     
  13. wcattey

    wcattey New Member

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    Dec 8, 2009
    My problem was fixed today by Comcast. I was told it was "a provider problem."

    My partial understanding is that that means those 6 channels, multiplexed onto one WGBX channel feed, are tricky to get right. The Xfinity X1 v3 box was able to handle the problematic feed, but the Tivo was not. Here in Woburn, MA, my Tivo is now able to get all 6 channels fine.

    Gubbagubba: If you're still having the problem, please confirm your city and state. Now that the Comcast people I've been working with have taken this problem end-to-end, they may be able to sort your problem out as well.
     
    Gubbagubba likes this.
  14. Gubbagubba

    Gubbagubba New Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Hi Wcattey,
    Thanks for the support (things have been crazy busy). I am no longer having the problems and I can confirm we are practically neighbors (Arlington). Right at the same time you had been hammering on them to fix this & got results my problems cleared up too. PBS, Food, etc etc and COZI et al now working fine or so it seems - my recordings since then seem to run to completion and I see no tiling (COZI having been the worst as a goto test).

    <phew> I was ready to blow a gasket. Since it started since July and got worse in Aug up to end of Oct they cost me easily a man week of debug time (I'm a EE), me arguing the unlikelihood that my tivos are to blame given the timing, cableCARD swaps, hanging on the phone on hold or talking to a bewildered tech or horrible foreign noisy call centered.....all while standing in the basement stressing my back.

    I knew it was head end or something upstream from the tap. Your post, once I remebered to check back here, was welcomed news. My TiVos are back to normal (at leas the 2 that I had simplified it down to). Next step is to restore my cable amp and hook them all back up.

    That it took from July and people like you and me eliminating causes was shameful. I'm not into conspiracies but that at the same time TiVo & Comcast were having an IP battle and divorce makes me think we were not a priority for supporting or fixing channel repacking screwups. They are idiots if that is so - was a week away from pulling the plug after 26 years and sky high bills (I just cancelled my service appt for Saturday). If it happens again I will take my ~$3600/yr elsewhere.

    Cheers.
     

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