Lost QAM channels after switching from standard to digital channel lineup in Settings

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jcbodnar, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007

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    I received a Tivo HD for Christmas. I live in Austin, Tx and have the standard cable plan from Time Warner Cable. With this plan I get the local digital/HD stations on channels 1500+ with (some) programming info from Tivo. I don't have a digital plan from TWC, cable cards or a tuning adapter.

    When I initially set up my Tivo HD at the end of December some of the local/HD stations came in fine. A few of them were missing from my channel lineup. After doing a channel scan, the missing channels were found and I added them to my lineup. I could view these channels just fine but I did not get any programming information. Checking on zap2it.com I noticed these channels were missing there. I contacted Tivo Support through the web site asking that these channels be added to the standard TWC lineup in Austin.

    Tivo Support replied and suggested I redo part of the Guided Setup and switch my channel lineup to Digital:

    After doing so, the missing channels appeared in my channel lineup without a Channel Scan (along with tons of other channels I don't get) BUT when I tune to these channels (or the other local/HD channels I did get programming info for before) I no longer get video or audio and a message appears saying I need a cable card to view these channels.

    I went through the Guided Setup again and reverted back to the standard channel lineup but still no video or audio and I get the same message about cable cards. I've rebooted the Tivo several times. I've completely cleared and deleted the Tivo several times. Nothing.

    I've talked to Tivo Support about this twice. I spent over an hour on Sunday trying things. The rep was very nice but he said he is stumped. He asked me to try and complete clear and delete one more time and to call them back. Still no channels. When I called back this afternoon the rep I spoke to was kind of clueless and has asked me to do a reboot and channel list scan one more time when I get home tonight. I seriously doubt it will work but I'm going to give it a try.

    Has anybody else run into this problem where switching from a standard channel lineup to a digital lineup has caused you to lose local HD signals?

    Thanks,

    Jason
     
  2. BigBearf

    BigBearf New Member

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    Aug 17, 2005
    @jcbodnar

    I have 2 Tivo HD XLs and have found that they work great but only with HD programming, M-Card cable card and Tuning Adapter. Otherwise I think it is an excercise in futility to try and get HD via QAM.
    Sorry but this has been my experience.
    bigbearf
     
  3. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    sunnyvale
    Dumb question, but are you sure they're not just on a different channel number? For example, they may show up as "5-1" without cablecards with QAM (without guide data of course), but after adding cablecards, they will be 705 for example. (I think all of my HD locals are in the 700s..)
     
  4. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    No. They are the same channels. Here is what TV calls the Primary Channel list:

    [I tried to provide links to the different channel lineups but it won't let me post links until I've made 5 posts. You can see the different lineups by going to zap2it.com, entering 78728 for the zip code and selecting Time Warner Cable - Cable (Austin) and then switching to Time Warner Cable - Digital (Austin).]

    Note the primary has some 15xx channels. Those are the local digital/HD channels.

    I was able to get 1501, 1511, 1531 and 1541 just fine with my initial set up. After a channel scan I got 1521, 1525 and 1542 but had no programming info.

    After follwoing Tivo Supports instructions to switch to the Digital lineup (which required selecting "I don't have CableCards but I'm going to get them") I can no longer get any 15xx channel. After reverting back to the original setup (selecting "No I don't have CableCards") I still can't get them.
     
  5. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...

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    Have you tried redoing the full guided setup (not the abbreviated version you used above), possibly doing it twice, once to an incorrect address (other side of country), and then back to your local address?

    That would definitely clear out any remaining TiVo data. If that doesn't work, I would consider the possibility of just very bad timing on your part: you did this while TWC was playing around with their system and has made those QAM channels unavailable (I can't count on my local QAM channels; Comcast moves them around and introduces errors too often).
     
  6. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    I've done a full Guided Setup several times as well as a complete Clear and Delete (wiping out Season Passes, network settings, etc). I have not tried resetting it to an incorrect address. I'll give that a try tonight. Thanks for the suggestion!

    TWC hasn't changed anything because if I bypass the Tivo and connect the coax straight to my TV I get all the QAM channels.
     
  7. Pilot20

    Pilot20 New Member

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    Mar 5, 2005
    I live in South Texas and I have TWC.

    I have had a HD Tivo for nearly 3 years.

    Up until a few months ago, I just had the basic expanded cable package w/o cable card. I could get my locals in HD via OTA, and most of the HD cable channels that I was interested in via QAM, w/o guide data.

    Recently, TWC began to eliminate the QAM channels, until only a couple were left. So, I decided to get a cable card. That was quite an experience since the techs told me that I was the first in the Valley with a cable card in a Tivo.

    After numerous truck rolls, they finally got it working, and so far I am very happy with the upgrade.

    I am assuming that TWC in Austin is doing similar things since we are close. I do think that Austin is requiring a tuning adapter which has not happened yet in the Valley, but probably will soon.

    Based on my experience with TWC here in the Valley, since you do not have a digital plan, you will need to make sure that you run the guided setup with out cable card. If you do the setup indicating cable card, you will get the guide data for all digital channels, but you can't receive them because you do not have a cable card.

    Once you do the guided setup without cable card, run a cable channel scan. Then, go into your channel lists, and you will see hundreds of channels that Tivo found. The problem is figuring out which channels are active and which are not. It is very time consuming. TWC here in Texas changes the active QAM channels, so, once they are moved to a different channel, you have to repeat the search for the channels that you want, and then, they might not be there at all anymore.

    That is why I gave up on QAM and went with the digital package with cable card.

    Here is a valuable resource for you to check out about the Austin area...

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=336964&page=205

    This will keep you informed about the various changes and problems with TWC and other issues in Austin.

    I suggest that you get an antenna for your local HD channels. Depending on your location from the towers, you can probably get by with an inexpensive indoor antenna, and Tivo will integrate the channels and guide info with the cable channels that you receive.

    Here is a good source for determining what antenna is required in your area...

    http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

    I am using this antenna indoors. I live 17 miles from the towers, and I get between 80 - 90 signal strength...

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10901&cs_id=1090102&p_id=4730&seq=1&format=2

    I suggest making a note of the QAM channels that you receive when you bypass the Tivo. Then, go into Tivo channel setup and add those frequencies to your channel line up. If your TV can receive them, then Tivo can.

    Good luck.
     
  8. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    Unfortunately, that's not necessarily true. Some TVs, but not all, can get QAM channels that the TiVo cannot. If the PSIP data is incorrect, the TiVo may not tune the channel, and a TV that doesn't check for that error will tune it. That's been true in the past in my area - Comcast had incorrect PSIP info for lots of their QAM channels - some TVs could get almost all their QAM HD channels, while my TiVo could only get about half.
     
  9. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    Tried doing the complete guided setup again. This time selected a zip code in Dallas and Antenna as my source. No luck. Tivo is still saying I need a cable card to get clear QAM channels.

    I guess I'll be calling Tivo Support again tonight.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  10. caspermtn

    caspermtn New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    I have experienced the exact thing you have described. I was playing with a new Tivo HD unit and programmed it at first with the no cable card option and picked up all the clear QAM HD local channels without programming info of course. Then Tivo did a big upgrade and a played with the channel settings and switched over to "I;ll get cablecards later" or some sort, now It will not find the free local HD at all. Really is pissing me off. I am sorry to hear tivo was less than helpful. I am about ready to send it back as I was not planning on adding cable cards to this unit. I have an old series three and here it requires a 'service call' to get the cable cards installed.

    charlie
     
  11. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    sunnyvale
    If you rerun guided setup but DON'T say cablecards later (i.e. analog only), won't you be able to manually record QAM channels again?
     
  12. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    Unfortunately, no. It seems after you tell Tivo you have cable cards or will be getting cable cards in the future the tuners will only look for encrypted signals.
     
  13. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    You're saying that even if you rerun Guided setup to say you are analog only, it REMEMBERS that in the past you said cablecards?
     
  14. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    Yes, that seems to be what's happening.
     
  15. caspermtn

    caspermtn New Member

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    Jan 14, 2010
    After I went through a bunch a guided setups, I gave up and swapped for a new Tivo HD and it picked up all the missing clear QAM HD channels no problems. I guess if you choose the cable option there is a software bug that it can never be reset. I'm going to send the other one back for a refund.
     
  16. WO312

    WO312 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Finger...
    If you really want your QAM channels back, maybe you could try to reformat the hard drive using winmfs. You would have to get a fresh image, I would guess using Instantcake or something, because I'm guessing your image would be tainted.

    I'm not sure this would work - just a thought.
     
  17. Groo21

    Groo21 New Member

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    Oct 11, 2002
    I'm experiencing this issue right now as well. My Sony HDTV tunes 1501, 1511, 1521, 1525, 1535, 1541, 1542, and 1550 just fine.
    My TivoHD channel scan (only cable input, no cable cards) finds 1501, 1511, 1512, 1531, and 1541 and has guide data for them. However, the channels won't display on the Tivo but display perfectly on the tuner of my Sony TV.

    Something is hosed with the Tivo QAM tuning.:mad:
     
  18. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    I haven't followed up with Tivo after my first couple of calls. I'm contemplating getting Digital Cable. If you know you don't want to switch to digital I'd definitely contact Tivo support. The more people who talk to them about this the more likely it will get fixed.
     
  19. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,653
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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    The problem is that it's often not the TiVo, but the cable company's not quite right PSIP info that's at fault. The TiVo rejects tuning channels with incorrect PSIP info; some TVs (but not others) will accept some erroneous PSIP info. It was happening often in my area when I looked at it a couple of years ago. So you might have better luck getting your cable company to send out legal PSIP info.

    Note that this affects both cable and antenna sources (TiVoJerry addresses the antenna issue here), but with antenna you can get the original station to be correct; the cable company doesn't care since their equipment doesn't use those fields of the PSIP.
     
  20. jcbodnar

    jcbodnar New Member

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    Aug 7, 2007
    In this case the problem is Tivo's. I could get QAM channels when I first setup the Tivo. After Tivo told me to change my channel lineup to digital I lost QAM channels. Switching back to standard doesn't fix the problem. Connecting directly to my HDTV I get the QAM channels.
     

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