How do you set up a tuning adapter with Spectrum, and WHY?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by My Cape is a Recliner, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Dec 1, 2019 #1 of 23
    My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I ask this, because TiVo and Spectrum, give two different ways to setup a tuning adapter.

    Tivo tells you to connect the coaxial from the wall to a splitter, then have two separate coaxial cables from the splitter. One cable going to the tuning adapter in, and one going to the TiVo. With the only direct connection between the two is a USB cable.
    Tivo Customer Support Community

    Spectrum's self install pamphlet, tells you to connect the coaxial from the wall directly to the tuning adapter in, then a separate coaxial cable from tuning adapter out to TiVo coaxial. You plug in the tuning adapter and wait until the light turns green, which is supposed to take 10 minutes. (Mine hasn't yet after 30 minutes, and spectrum chat is currently not working). Then you add the USB cable (TOP usb port).

    I think my tuning adapter needs to be turned on/paired. I'm going to call tomorrow if I need to, so I'm getting a jump on this thread. I wanted to know which way was correct, but I would REALLY like to know WHY? Thank you.

    (I just noticed I am getting 8 blinks. I searched and found this thread:
    Tuning Adapter Blinking
    That says that the TA is not paired. I am going to sleep, I will call later).
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  2. Dec 1, 2019 #2 of 23
    wtherrell

    wtherrell Active Member

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    Huntersville...
    If you set it up by Spectrum instructions you kill Moca. The Tivo way lets you use Moca.
     
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  3. Dec 1, 2019 #3 of 23
    elorimer

    elorimer Member

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    Spectrum in Tampa: I removed the TA entirely; it only affected one nonsense channel and wasn't worth the power.

    I don't use MOCA, so when I had the TA I did it the Spectrum way. The Spectrum techs wouldn't touch any part of the setup.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2019 #4 of 23
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    The Spectrum way also kills you cable TV signal if you have a Motorola TA. The signal loss is about 90%, nearly double the loss a splitter has. Just use a splitter.
     
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  5. Dec 1, 2019 #5 of 23
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    The one case where the Spectrum way (no splitter) will be better:
    1. Your TA is Cisco STA1520 (Not Motorola).
    2. You don't need MOCA
    3. Your signal strengths are marginal.

    For this case, the Spectrum way will give you double the signal level (+3 dB) into the TiVo vs. the splitter way.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2019 #6 of 23
    My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I wasn't sure how to set it up, and did it the Spectrum way before making this thread.

    If MOCA is the ability to watch my apps through TiVo, such as amazon prime, I am still able to do that.

    I was not getting FXX, I was only getting one of the dozen or so HBO channels included with the silver package, and same with Showtime. I would like to get all those channels I am paying for. There are movies, and a few HBO shows I watch.

    The signal strength prior to the TA was 93-96% across all channels. After the TA connected, when I check the channels, I get a 65-85% signal strength for the first 1-2 seconds of test. Then it jumps right up to the 93-96%.

    I just got up, I just turned on GMA, and I see a resolution increase. I believed I would have noticed this, and it does look better, but GMA is the first show that I see that shows video format 2160ps / 4k60fps. (I have been on hold a while, and still not set up).

    Yes dlfl, my TA is a cisco STA 1520.
     
  7. Dec 1, 2019 #7 of 23
    schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Mocha is only needed for the Tivo mini's using cable. So, do you have Cisco or Motorola?

    Did you do guided set up choosing a tuning adapter?

    Leave the settings the way it is, go to settings, help, look for tuning adapter and follow instructions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  8. Dec 1, 2019 #8 of 23
    My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I checked some more channels, and I am now getting 2160ps on all of the 10 channels I checked (I was getting 720p and 1080i, on every channel before the TA).
    The TA has increased my audio delay slightly.

    When I go through settings, help, troubleshooting, account and system info, tuning adapter, it tells me to go to TiVo.com/switched.
    When I go through setting & messages, remote, cablecard, & devices, It tells me there is no TA.

    I'm convinced based on the call (, and reading that 8 blinks means its not paired), that the spectrum rep didn't pair it correctly. If she needed me to relay any information from my end, she didn't get any info from me. I do have a tech coming out tomorrow to see if that will fix it. At the very least so far I still don't have all my channels, but the ones I do have, come in better.

    My TA is a Cisco STA 1520
     
  9. Dec 1, 2019 #9 of 23
    Qbert81

    Qbert81 New Member

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    I have Spectrum in Milwaukee with the Cisco STA 1520 and every time I go through the steps to pair I would lose out on those same Silver Package channels when I go through the guided set-up. When you call to have the Tuner and Card paired they need BOTH the Card # and the Host ID #. I learned this the hard way as the rep will almost always overlook the need for the Host ID #. Try giving them that information and hopefully it works out.
     
  10. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I had previously already setup the cable card. I have been using my TiVo on spectrum for a few weeks or a little more. That alone was kind of a hassle. They needed both of those to setup the cable card.
     
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    TA has no pairing like a card does. It just needs to be added to your account on their end and enabled. Spectrum has both disabled and removed mine from my account entirely at random times in the 7+ years I had one. There's really nothing else the tech can do in your house, it's all on Spectrum's end. I would try to get it resolved over the phone again. Once you get the right person on the phone, they will be able to fix it immediately.

    If you only have the one Tivo and not "Minis", then you don't need Moca. It's just a way to send ethernet over coax to additional Tivo boxes besides your main one without needed to run network cables.

    Whatever differences you see in picture or sound with or without the TA are entirely coincidental and unrelated to the TA. The TA's one and only job is to take the channel number you're trying to watch and tell Spectrum to put that channel in the stream. It handles no video or audio whatsoever. All it does is pass a number up to Spectrum.

    If some of the channels you watch are missing entirely, then you need the TA. If you aren't missing any channels that you care about, then you don't need it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  12. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I'm hardwired from the TiVo to my router anyways, just because I can. Sounds like moca wouldn't matter at all for me for a couple reasons.

    I did try Spectrum - Activation Home

    Which after loggin in, led me to:

    spectrum activation.PNG

    Once I click CHECK CONNECTIONS

    I get a fail

    spectrum acti non.PNG



    I'm still getting the 8 flashes. I didn't give the rep the serial number, and I can see they already had that information. Its also on a piece of paper they included, and I did verify its the correct number.


    EDIT: Any chance the problem could be they have the TA listed model as a SASTA 1520, when on the front and sticker it is listed as a STA 1520?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  13. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    That's possible, but unlikely I think. More likely the TA is bad according to pg. 36 of this document, assuming the MAC address is correct (not the serial number) on Spectrum's end. Make sure they follow the troubleshooting steps listed.
    https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/video/headend/System_Releases/2-8_3-8_4-3/4025012_B.pdf
     
  14. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I was just reading that one..

    Blinks eight times, pauses, repeats -- The Tuning Adapter is in Service Disconnect (brick) mode.
    (page 16 or 24/52)
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    TA's have to be authorized (call it activated if you want) and it's something that the "head end" (central office using a computer terminal) has to do. The authorization signals have to be pushed (refreshed, sent, whatever) from the head end at least once per month, which normally happens automatically once your account is properly set up (provisioned, whatever). 8-blinks definitely indicates your TA hasn't been authorized.

    Once the TA gets going, you can go into TA Diagnostics, in the PowerKey section, 3rd page I think, and you will see a Sub Exp date, which is a date and time down to the second when your auth. will expire. I've watched it happen.

    Try to reach Spectrum's national CableCARD (and TA) support desk directly at 866.532.2598. They are the experts on this stuff and frequently can reach into your local head end to fix things.
     
  16. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    I tried that number this time, and still same results, nothing changed from earlier. Will have to see what the tech can do tomorrow.
     
  17. Mukwonago

    Mukwonago New Member

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    I'm also in the MKE area. My TIVO hasn't arrived so I'm not even at step #1 but I have a couple questions:
    1) Did you get the TA from Spectrum? I haven't gone to the store on Mayfair RD yet to pick up the cablecard, waiting for the unit to arrive first.
    2) What channels in the lineup use SDV that the TA is even needed?
    Thanks!
     
  18. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    At least here in San Antonio, the stores don't carry cablecards, or at least not the one near me, and not the first one I called. Do yourself a favor, and just call Spectrum, and have them send one to you directly. My first one was mailed to the store, and none of the employees could even find it for me to pick it up. I had to order a second one. It took two days to arrive (at least they 2nd day em by fedex). AFAIK, you would need a cablecard first, then maybe a tuning adapter. Don't expect the stores to carry the TA either. That also took two days to get it sent to me.

    I SWEAR I'm going to find out this an hour training course on cablecards and TAs. It doesn't seem difficult, it seems like there are a couple tricks, and the representatives either KNOW what to do, or they don't and are guessing off a prewritten response. When talking to a rep its either homerun or a 3 pitch strike out, and you mostly strike out. If you think there is a middle ground, then they are just good at BSing you.

    I don't know exactly which channels are SDV, nor do I know how to check. After I went through and deleted the channels I won't watch, I want to say I was down to 70 or so channels. I have the spectrum silver (middle) package, and the only ones I know don't work are FXX, along with HBO and SHOWTIME, that are included with that package. The main HBO/Sho channel comes in, but not the other 8-12 offshoot HBO and SHO time channels. There was another sports channel that didn't show up. If you don't go looking for which channels don't show up, there is no way to tell until you tune in to that channel and see it doesn't show, or record something and see a black screen when you go to watch. As a backup though, all those channels do show up on the Spectrum app. I have not tried the TiVo app.

    FOR ANYONE READING THIS THREAD: I did buy two new HDMI cables to make sure I had 2.0 HDMI for 4k60fps. I'm certain that is why my picture resolution increased, and not because of the TA, (just forgot about that, but don't want to lead astray).
     
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  19. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    So, I have all my channels, and after the tech being here for just under four hours. I am all set. First we had problems connecting the TA. It just wouldn't connect. The tech was told by the dept he called, that he needed to run the coaxials the Tivo way. Still not sure if that's true or not. I went from a 2 way to a 3 way splitter. Supposedly my signal strength is "still good enough" so we will see. Considering he talked to 6 different people, I would still trust the information I receive this website over what he was told. I will leave it as is, unless a problem comes up.

    The big problem we first had was supposedly, most people setup the cable card with the TA at the same time. When you do this, and the problem we had was the TiVo needs to redo the setup, and reprogram itself TWICE.... AFTER it pairs with the TA.

    The second problem we were having was the two people I called yesterday, and the first 3 people today were pairing the TA to the cablecard that I never got. The one that was sent to the store, that I have never seen. It is listed in my account (although I have never been charged for it), and was supposedly at the local store, but no employee could find it. Once the sixth person came on, and went through verifying the cablecard number, realized it was the wrong one. Not sure how their system is setup, but I have been using this cablecard for a few weeks. I know its paired to my account, but they weren't "authorizing the right TA to my cablecard".

    There is a 2-3 second delay in receiving a picture when turning to a channel now, but I get all the channels I am paying for.
     
  20. Qbert81

    Qbert81 New Member

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    1. Yeah I got the Card and TA from them at the Spectrum store, they'll supply you with cables and splitters if you ask, but I ended up getting better ones anyways.

    2. The channels that are required with a TA are basically anything in Silver on up, give or take a few channels.

    In my experience, the techs don't really do much with the set up of the actual TiVo, aside from getting their signal. I've spent months getting the picture right (I needed an amplifier for my home service) with various splitters and antennuators. At then end of the day I ended up with a 4 way splitter, new coaxial cable from the amplifier to the splitter, new coaxial cable from the splitter to the TiVo, and a 3db antennuator... But it is different for everybody, so it will take some time. Hang in there!
     

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