Help with Spectrum (formerly Oceanic/Time Warner), missing channels, guide data and more

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by lairdo, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. lairdo

    lairdo New Member

    15
    0
    Jan 7, 2002

    Advertisements

    Hi all - thanks in advance for any help - things to try or posts to read.

    I have a Bolt+ in our condo in Hawaii (adding a VOX remote and running the new UI). After much wrangling, we are in a partial state of working. For about 2/3rds of the channels, we get them in HD and they all record and play fine. Images are good.

    For the remaining 1/3rd (everything from ESPN 2 to Fox News to AMC to Sportsnet LA), we mostly get V52 errors. We have some V53 errors, a handful of D256 (which no one has been able to figure out what that means) and about 30 channels that tune but have no guide data (which Tivo says is also a signal issue, but I am suspicious of that answer). Many channels are listed in the guide as SD but are actually HD.

    Tivo CS says it is a signal problem. Spectrum has been out multiple times, changed most of the cables and has shown me the signal tests. It all looks fine. A Spectrum tuner (non-DVR) that we also have in the same location works fine. I have tried all manner of direct connecting to see if there is a difference. Nothing changes. The TA is wired after a splitter, so we are not passing through that Cisco box. To Tivo's credit, all the channels that don't come in seem to have low SNRs (~23 dB) in the diagnostics screen, but I am still not sure what is causing that since the Spectrum tech did not find that. There is no signal strength at all for those channels which seems to tell me they are never getting to the box or the box is not accepting them.

    Tivo has agreed to send me a new Bolt+ to try. (Probably a refurb.) I also have yet another TA and cable card being sent. I have successful Tivos + TA/CC in other places, so I know it's not me! But it could still be hardware.

    I filed the missing channel form with Tivo, but they kept saying it was a signal issue.

    I could use some guidance of where to look in the various diagnostic screens for clues. I have EMMs for the TA. The CC is one way (is that right?). The TA seems to see the server. I know everything is paired. How do I even determine a SDV channel from a non-one? My tech told me we are still getting analog signals too. The Spectrum reps in Hawaii are all very nice - they are the old Oceanic people. So, they will basically do anything I ask them to try.

    Could this be just the mess of Spectrum taking over the local (Oceanic) company and leaving things a mess on the backend? My visit to the Spectrum local office today yielded a frustrated agent who says people keep coming in and asking about the set ups for Tivos, and they have no one there who can help. (Nor do they even have spare equipment).

    Sorry for the ramble. I've searched various threads, but I have not found enough to guide me to the next step.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,076
    809
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    For a Cisco/Scientific Atlanta TA, go to:
    Help ... Account & System Info ... Tuning Adapter ... Tuning Adapter Diagnostics ... SDV SESSION INFO A

    In each SESSION # section there is a item labeled SamSvcId/Type
    If the value ends with "/Broadcast", it is not an SDV channel.
    If the value ends with "/Switched" it is an SDV channel
    Note the item "SDV Freq:". To tell what channel it is you need to go to DVR Diagnostics and find the channel that is using that frequency. (Help .... Account & System Info ... Diagnostics)
    And just to add a little more tedious-ness, the frequencies are given in MHz in one place and KHz in the other!

    I've never heard of an instance where one could get a list of SDV channels from a cable co. either by phone or on a web page. Only their engineers or a customer using a TA (a small group) would ever care.
     
  3. lairdo

    lairdo New Member

    15
    0
    Jan 7, 2002
    dlfl -

    Thank you so much for the reply. That information was super helpful. So far, in the dozen missing channels I have spot checked, they are all "broadcast" ones. Everything I looked at that seems to be working are SDV channels. I would have thought the opposite, but at least that tells me that the Tuning Adapter is working and is paired right.

    It's not all one way though. I do have some broadcast channels that are being tuned and received as well. So, not really sure what that means.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,076
    809
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    It would be interesting to see if your weak signal issues are for just the high frequency (500 MHz and up) or low frequency (below 300 MHz) channels. I'm not sure if their signal measurements are that refined. As the cable goes through a node (i.e., a neighborhood) the highs are attenuated more relative to the lows the further you get from the start of the cable. Adjusting this to keep the ratio of high to low strengths acceptable at all taps (i.e., homes) in the node is something the cable co has to do correctly. Taps closest to the source have a high high/low ratio while those furthest away have the opposite. If you find your problem channels are mostly high or low frequencies there would be an argument they haven't adjusted the node correctly.​
     
  5. lairdo

    lairdo New Member

    15
    0
    Jan 7, 2002

    Advertisements

    Thanks again for the help.

    Because I am nuts, I went through every channel and wrote down any issues. Tivo has responded to my latest missive about the missing guide data (they now asked for an official channel list), and I can now give them that and all the channels without guide data (69 channels not including duplicate ones).

    With regards to the V52 errors, the channels (13 not including dupes), are in the frequencies of 225, 231, 381, 387 (just different program numbers). They are all broadcast channels. However, in a quick spot check, I found I am getting broadcast channels to tune with frequencies of 369 and 375 - so frequencies in between the range of other channels that are missing.

    Does that data help in any way or lead to other questions?

    (Overall, our packages are supposed to provide about 260 channels (again, not including dupes).)

    Added follow up:
    I figured out how to get diagnostics on the Spectrum issued tuner (which is also running with a Cable Card). I confirmed for all the channels the Tivo is not getting that those are tuning on the Spectrum box with good (>35 db) SNR. The frequencies and program numbers match what the Tivo is trying to capture but unable to tune for whatever reason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,076
    809
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I would only trust comparisons of the Spectrum and TiVo tuners if the data is taken with exactly the identical input cable connected. Unfortunately cable and connector problems can cause major issues, which I have experienced directly. If you plug the cable currently connected to your Spectrum box into the TiVo and still see problems, that would rule that factor out. The splitter used in connection with your TiVo/TA could also be defective though. You could try the other configuration (without the splitter). That's the way I run.

    I'm not sure you've given enough data of signal strength and SNR vs. frequency to draw any conclusions.
     
  7. lairdo

    lairdo New Member

    15
    0
    Jan 7, 2002
    Yes, makes total sense, and I had done a number of switching things around, but not a direct one-for-one swap. Before I had to head out of town today, I was able to do one of the swap comparisons. I plugged the Spectrum box into where the Tivo goes at our main TV - including plugging it in post-splitter between the line in and the TA. Thus, the TA was still there although of course not hooked up to the Spectrum box. In any case, the Spectrum box was able to tune all the missing channels that the Tivo could not when connected in the exact same location with everything else still the same on the lines.

    When I get back, I should be able to try the replacement Tivo, a new CableCard and also the Tivo in the room where the Spectrum box usually is. (That room is actually fed from a splitter at the Tivo location, so it is downstream.)

    Thanks again for the help and guidance.
     
  8. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,076
    809
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Seems you've eliminated all possible problem sources other than the TiVo.
     
  9. lairdo

    lairdo New Member

    15
    0
    Jan 7, 2002
    Closing out the thread - thanks again for the help. I returned to Hawaii yesterday, and I was able to install the replacement Tivo. Lo and behold, the missing channels all worked as expected. So, it appears that the issue ultimately was something to do with the original Bolt (which Tivo said was impossible and had to be a signal issue). Glad it was not me or something really impossible to fix.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements