Is it possible for the tuner to die?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by treaty, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    Mar 1, 2006

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    3 year old Premier 4. Xfinity cable card. Suddenly today, I can't get a signal on any channel. Not the standard network channels (which should be unencrypted) or the encrypted premium channels.

    I get a "searching for signal on this channel. (V52)" error, on all channels, and all 4 tuners.

    An older HD TiVo I have in the house is still getting all channels just fine so I know I've got a good cable signal into the house. All the other functions of the Premier TiVo work just fine (menus, watching old recordings, Netflix, Guide etc.). Just can't tune any cable channel. Using the diagnostic tool on the TiVo says signal strength for all channels is 0.

    TiVo support told me the problem was my cable card was not paired. Called Comcast who re-paired it and it still didn't work. They say I need to get a new cablecard. I'm skeptical it's a cablecard issue because I can't even get a signal on the unencrypted network channels.

    Is it possible that the tuner in the TiVo died?
     
  2. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the CableCard pairing or CableCard itself. Are you sure you have any unencrypted channels? Comcast encrypted all channels last December in our area (they got approval to do the local broadcast channels as well).

    Scott
     
  3. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    If you had a digital TV you could plug the coax into the TV and see if a channel scan picks up those clear channels.
     
  4. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    Thanks for the response. That's a good point I guess. I don't know for a fact that I do get any encrypted channels. I know I USED to. I thought it was an FCC mandate that they broadcast the OTA channels in the clear? A quick Google search shows that apparently you're right, the FCC changed their stance on that. Oh well, I guess I can rule that troubleshooting info out...
     
  5. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    I'm going to try that - but I suspect that because of the info above, that's not a valid test either (since at his point i'm willing to bet that i'm actually not getting any clear channels.)
     
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    You're probably right. On my TV, a scan gets me one clear QAM channel and five analog AGC test patterns. It's a basic Premiere without a cable card. It does find all the encrypted channels, and then I have to uncheck them. But it's a good storage device.
     
  7. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    Mar 1, 2006
    So... got a new cable card from Comcast - spent 30 minutes on the phone with them trying to get it paired - still no luck. It seems clear by looking at the cable card setup screens that the card is not pairing correctly, even though they keep telling me they have "re-paired" it (conditional access menu shows "Val: ?")

    They say I need ANOTHER new cable card and have sent me back to the customer service store (luckily for me it's only 5 minutes away). I'm not optimistic though that another new card will help.... more later.
     
  8. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    I don't have cable and have never used a cable card, but I think I've read here that sometimes the cable card must first be specifically unpaired from whatever it's already paired with in the cable company's servers before it can be re-paired (manually?) with a new device. Good luck. Once again I thank God that I'm OTA only.
     
  9. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    Mar 1, 2006
    So the guy at the Comcast customer service center says "if one out of every 2 cable cards works, then you got lucky" and he sends me home with 3 new cable cards.

    - First of the 3 cards pairs just fine - but still no TV channels.
    - We try the second card, it won't pair - Comcast support says it paired but the TiVo shows "Val: ?" on the conditional access menu still (the first card we paired actually showed a value of "V" after pairing).
    - We try the 3rd card, same thing: "Val: ?" and no channel signal.
    - We go back to the first card and try to pair that one again, now that card wont pair either, shows "Val: ?".

    So whats next? Truck roll. Comcast sending someone to the house apparently. Ask me how confident I am that they will be able to sort this out... go ahead, ask.
     
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I feel for you. But I do wonder how many items in the cable card section have data? I have a "virgin" card and almost everything is blank. Perhaps that posting about having a card cleared has some validity. Just a guess. I'm lucky: my cable feed knows about cable cards. I've never had any problems with a Premiere or Roamio. But they are 20 miles away. I do remember when my headend changed. It took a supervisor to clear my card to accept the new VCT ID. The channels worked, but it said Channel List Received: NO.
     
  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Try a reboot first?
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Since the Premieres with 4 tuners don't do OTA, you can't test it with an antenna.

    Is it possible for the tuner sub-assembly to go bad? It's possible for anything electronic to go bad.

    I'd be suspicious of the power supply, though.

    Even though the capacitor problem that plagues the Series 2 and Series 3 models supposedly had been discovered before the Premiere first came out and, one would assume, steps were taken to avoid it, loss of tuner function is/was one of many symptoms seen as a result of power supply problems--in fact one of the earliest reports of power supply problems was in a Series 2 DirecTiVo receiver which would lose the use of one of its tuners but not the other one, and replacing a particular capacitor in the power supply fixed that.

    Do you know anything about using a voltmeter?
     
  13. treaty

    treaty New Member

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    Mar 1, 2006
    Unfortunately I don't have a voltmeter and have never used one. After the cable guy spent 3 hours here troubleshooting, replacing all the connectors between the pole and the living room to get a clean signal, and ultimately getting a new cable card to pair correctly - the Tivo still said no signal on all its tuners.

    TiVo support finally accepted that it was a dead tuner (though I guess I wouldn't rule out the cause of that being a power supply issue unitron)

    The RMA deal I was able to strike with them was a new Roamio for $99 and a service transfer to that box when it arrives. (So a bit of an upgrade)

    Let's hope I don't have additional cable card drama getting that new Roamio paired next week when it arrives! ;)
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Do you have to send the old TiVo back to them?

    If not, want to sell it? Cheap? Really cheap?

    Was it lifetimed or month to month?
     
  15. mnb

    mnb Member

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    I have a Premiere that has problems with CableCards. I've literally got 6 cards from the Service Center and had most of them fail. My problem is different. They've always been able to pair it, although lately, the tech on the phone seems to always need to chat with more experienced personnel to pair it.

    The problem I have is that certain HD channels get dropped. I don't watch non-HD, but I do seem to have better luck with the SD version of a dropped channel.

    First to go are most of the premium HD channels. HBO guaranteed will be first to go. But I usually can still get STARZ.

    Some extended basic channels drop, too. Like Palladium. So I lose two of my favorite channels right off.

    I've always gotten the low HD channels (local TV stations), but a week ago, the HD channels for NBC and CBS dropped out. So I pulled another card off the stack (I always keep some extras on hand) and support paired it (after asking some internal guy for help), but it works no better than the card it replaced.

    Fir the first two years, the unit worked great. Comcast send me a kit and a brand new cable card. Everything since has been a used card. It's been nothing but trouble since. Every three months or so, the first set of channels drop. In the last 3 months, I haven't been able to get ANY cards to restore ALL channels. It's a no win situation.

    Frankly, I'm about to take the hit and ditch my TiVO for good and go with the crappy Comcast unit. I can't justify spending another grand on a unit just on the hopes that it will suddenly work. Besides, they jacked up the LTS fee big time.
     
  16. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You might want to make sure that all of the cable cards you have used but are no longer using have been completely removed from and disassociated with your account, just to be sure there aren't any unsuspected bookkeeping gremlins involved, since your problems seem to have a certain regularity about them.
     
  17. mnb

    mnb Member

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    Comcast seems to never deactivate a card. So they can't tell what card I currently have installed unless I give them the serial number. My account probably has a good 18 cards showing active on it. I told the last guy that my unit only uses one card and that any other cards should be deactivated, but I'm fairly certain he didn't do that.

    TiVo has a 30 day return for any reason thing going on, so I took advantage of the ability to do an A/B comparison and had them send me a Roamio Pro. It is arriving in a few hours.

    This will point to the root cause. If it has the same problems, Comcast has no basis for continuing to blame TiVo. If it works, TiVo's support is not able to accurate diagnose system issues. I'll be out $600 + service fees, but I'll have a newer unit that works. My premiere is 5 years old. It's had these problems for a good 2-3 years, though.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If it's the expensive channels that disappear first, I can't help but suspect that there's a problem with your payments not getting promptly and properly credited and/or maybe the card being given a date on which to cut you off from the premium stuff unless it hears different and the card not getting the message in time.

    So it may not be the card at all.

    You know how paranoid cable companies are that you might see 5 minutes of HBO for free.
     

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