Got My S3 and CableCard is Driving Me Crazy!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by insomniac99, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. insomniac99

    insomniac99 Member

    38
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    Jul 24, 2007
    NYC

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    I'm sure there are a ton of threads and posts about this. I got a Series3 recently and the installation, surprisingly, went very smoothly. The first two cards the cable guy tried worked.

    Since then, however, it hasn't been all smooth sailing. The CableCard inexplicably loses channels randomly. The channel will just show a blank gray. Sometimes the channel comes back. Sometimes it doesn't. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to which channels go out, when and why.

    Also, once a day at least, all the channels go gray and I have to toggle between the cards to get the output back. It all feels very buggy and unstable. And while I haven't had a recording messed up yet because of this, I feel like it's only a matter of time.

    The cable guy is coming back to take a look but my appointment is over a week away.

    All in all, I'm not sure the benefits of Tivo (I'm a first time owner) is worth this CableCard instability and lack of peace of mind. My Time Warner (NYC) DVR - Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD running Echo Passport - was much more stable and reliable. It's far from perfect but did pretty much everything reliably.

    Seriously considering returning the S3 and going back to the TWC DVR.
     
  2. wierdo

    wierdo New Member

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    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    Either there's something wrong with your TiVo or something wrong with your CableCARDs. I'm betting it's a bad card. If the outages last long enough, you should go into the CableCARD menu and test channels on each card to see if it is only one that is having the problem or if both are having it, and whether it's on all channels.

    It could also just be a signal strength problem. You might see what you're getting when there's a problem.

    I recently had my first CableCARD problem (aside from signal strength related pixelization). One of the CableCARDs lost its authorization and needed to be rehit. It took more time to get a rep than it did to get the signal sent and the problem fixed.
     
  3. insomniac99

    insomniac99 Member

    38
    0
    Jul 24, 2007
    NYC
    At this very moment, there is one channel (that I know of) that is gray. I tested it and it is gray on both CableCards. However, the channel came up as 100% on the digital signal strenght meter. So it seems it isn't a signal strength issue.
     
  4. legendarybc

    legendarybc SDV is FUBAR'ed

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    Dec 17, 2006
    North Canton OH
    Which channel is it?
     
  5. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh

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    The Signal Strength indicator by Tivo, in my opinion, is a very unreliable indicator of signal strength. It seems to me that you still have a signal strength issue. Have you checked your splitters (if any)? Are they good quality? Can you eliminate any? Is Tivo using the strongest port (-3.5 dB) on all of them? Is the cable good quality RG6? Is the cable length appropriate for the connection (no excess loops laying on the floor)?
     
  6. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

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    Dec 11, 2006
    Not sure if this is what you're seeing or not, but this is what I'm seeing with a Tivo HD. When I first reboot, I seem to get all of my channels. I can change up or down through my channel list and be good to go. Shortly thereafter, when I switch channels (to and channel, even one I had just confirmed minutes before) I get the gray screen and the channel not available/searching for signal. Now that would make one think I have lost signal lock or have a bad signal; however, when I go into the cable card decoder menu and select Test Channels, I will see that I only have about 20 channels that I can test, and lo and behold, those are the only channels that are working on my system until I reboot again.

    I spent some time on the phone with Tivo last night troubleshooting; the Tivo tech was confident that the cable company does not have my channels mapped to my cable cards. Based on all of the diagnostics, he was pretty confident that there wasn't a problem with either my Tivo or cards. I'm still trying to find someone at Comcast that can actually remap my cable cards. The Tivo tech and I did a conference call with CCast last night trying to explain what they needed to do; unfortunately, the lady at Comcast had no idea how to do this. She tried a couple of things that didn't work. She promised to have her supervisor call me back shortly (it's now 13 hours later, I guess we're still in Comcast's window for shortly).

    So in short, if you're experiencing something similar to what I am (channels are there but then dissapear wihtout rhyme or reason), you may have a channel mapping issue (especially if they're not showing up in your cable card test channel screen).
     
  7. insomniac99

    insomniac99 Member

    38
    0
    Jul 24, 2007
    NYC
    mike_camden, my issue is somewhat similar to what you describe, but far less extensive. For the past couple days, it's been pretty stable with one channel (I know of) being gray. I lost another one for about half a day and it came back. All other channels seem to be fine for now.

    There are no channel splitters inside my apartment, but since I have two cable jacks, there is probably a splitter somewhere. I should note that my other TV has a standard digital cable box and I get all channels just fine.

    For the person who asked, the current missing channel is 16 or A&E. The channel that went out for half a day recently was 729 or ESPN2HD.
     
  8. DocNo

    DocNo Member

    671
    21
    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    If the send a tech out, make sure he tests your cable strength with his own equipment. Digital Cable and Cable Cards use higher frequencies that lots of older equipment (and the wrong splitter) can interfere with the signal on. My cable company ended up sending out a maintenance crew to even adjust things at the street. I would get some random drop outs on my second cable card - every since they were out, it's been solid.

    Another plus, my Internet speed up as well!
     
  9. insomniac99

    insomniac99 Member

    38
    0
    Jul 24, 2007
    NYC
    Ok, so the cable guy finally made it to my place. It turns out it's an IT issue on Time Warner's end that they've known about (at least some people there). Apparently all Time Warner customers in NYC that have a cable card are currently not receiving channel 16 (A&E). At least this is what the cable guy told me.

    Anyone else in NYC with Time Warner that can verify this?
     

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