New TivoHD - questions re: set up

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by scottkathi, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. scottkathi

    scottkathi Member

    44
    0
    Sep 14, 2001
    Sammamish,...
    I just bought a new TivoHD. I just got it all set up; ran guided set up but have not yet installed my M-Card (wanted to see how it was working before installing the card).

    I've got Enhanced Cable (analog) service from Comcast. Here are my questions.

    1) I have a pretty long delay (5-15 seconds) when changing channels while watching Live TV. It seems weird b/c immediately after changing channels, the channel banner displays the new channel info, then screen goes black, then "Searching for signal on: Basic cable in" msg, then eventually tunes in the new channel. Is this a symptom of a weak signal? Or something else? Should I 'Restart' to see if that clears it up?

    Update: I just discovered what looks to be one digital channel that I get - 74 TV Guide. I can't actually tune it in, but I went to the Signal Strength and found it was 81. Then I bypassed the cable splitter that I'm using and went straight from the wall to the Tivo HD and signal strength jumped to 93... but the problem above is still there - maybe marginally a little better.

    (BTW, I recorded 3 shows successfully, so no problem there).

    2) I've been reading a lot of posts about analog vs. digital. Will I get a better picture on my non-HD channels if I subscribe to the next tier up... Digital Classic? Is the digital signal just naturally better?

    If I do get the Digital Classic, do I need to do something to make sure Comcast sends me the digital and not the analog (I've read some posts where people are discussing 'ADS' - what is that?)

    3) Should I clear up any questions before installing the M-card, so that I don't muddy the waters?

    Thanks for all your help,
    Scott
     
  2. andyf

    andyf Well-Known Member

    1,207
    32
    Feb 23, 2000
    Houston,...
    The first time you tune to a channel TiVo has to learn where it is. That's why it says it's searching, it's looking for the optimum frequency for that channel. Once it finds the right spot it won't do it again. When you change to that channel the next time it should be much quicker.
     
  3. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    488
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    Subscribing to Digital Cable will not improve the quality of the analog channels, they are still analog. That is unless they're doing ADS analog/digital simulcasting -> simulcast the analog channels digitally (at least the ones that other STB's in the neighborhood have tuned into) - then you tune into the digital simulcasted channel which is superior in video quality as you do not have the analog noise of the channel. Depending on your provide they may or may not send the digital simulcast channel information to your CableCARD to tell it to look at the digital channel (which will change from time to time and may not even be simulcasted if it's not a highly popular channel or if nobody on your cable node is watching that station using one of their STB's {their STB tells their equipment that someone wants to watch it and it will assign a digital channel if the channel isn't already being simulcasted and one is available, it then send an update remapping the cable channel to the digital channel instead of the analog channel})

    Given that, you generally have some HD versions of the SD channels, as long as they're Clear QAM you should be able to tune into them. But you shouldn't be able to tune into other digital channels w/o ordering digital cable service.

    CCourtney
     
  4. scottkathi

    scottkathi Member

    44
    0
    Sep 14, 2001
    Sammamish,...
    OK, I'm still a little (a lot?) confused. I've been thinking that 'digital cable' meant the signal will be sent digitally. But that doesn't jibe with what you're saying... 'Digital Cable will not improve the quality of the analog channels, they are still analog'. Are HD signals the only 'real' digital signals? (What exactly is the meaning of 'digital cable?).


    Also, I just called Comcast and apparently I was wrong... the service that I'm signed up for 100% digital; they told me I need to get my M-card installed before I can 'see' the digital signal. Does that make sense?

    Thanks again (and sorry for being dense...._

    Scott
     
  5. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Digital cable means some number of channels in your package are digital. Not necessarily all.

    You won't see the digital versions of channels until you get the CableCard. Without the CableCard / MCard, you are getting the analog versions of those channels.

    Comcast has two versions of those "enhanced service" channels on their system. They've got them in analog for those with older TVs and VCRs. And they've got them in digital for those with the cable company STB, cable company DVR, and CableCard boxes like the TivoHD. But you won't get the digital versions of those channels until the CableCard is installed and activated. With a CableCard, the digital versions are mapped over the analog versions so the channel numbers do not change.

    The TivoHD / Series3 tune digital channels much faster than analog channels, so in addition to improving picture quality, a CableCard will eliminate much of the delay you see now with analog channels.
     
  6. scottkathi

    scottkathi Member

    44
    0
    Sep 14, 2001
    Sammamish,...
    bkdtv- thanks a bunch! I'm off to install my M-card (myself...). Hope it goes OK.
    Scott
     
  7. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

    916
    0
    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest
    good luck with the pairing of your cable card, bty what version of software has your Tivo upgraded to ?
     
  8. scottkathi

    scottkathi Member

    44
    0
    Sep 14, 2001
    Sammamish,...
    I'm runnning version 8.1.7.c2-01-2-652.

    Just completed the M card install... seems to have gone pretty well... the only issue is that I'm not getting all of my HD channels... missing 3 or 4 of 'em.

    Will re-running guided set up help? Is there some way to troubleshoot just these channels? I'm using a M-card (Motorola).

    Thanks, Scott

    Update:
    The statement above is true when you go through 'channel scan'...I'm not getting 4 channels I'm supposed to.
    However, when I watch live tv, I don't get any above 99.... Should I re-run guided setup?
    Thanks.
     
  9. stream

    stream New Member

    107
    0
    Jul 25, 2007
    San...
    Yes--you need to run guided setup again after the CC install, since you now can receive more channels (which weren't captured in the pre-CC guided setup).

    Initially it will have the current day's guide data, and after a day or so, will have the full 14 days.
     
  10. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

    3,004
    147
    May 7, 2006
    Omaha,NE

    Most cable companies simulcast the full analog lineup in digital.
     
  11. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    488
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    At any given point in time, they are not simulcasting 100% of the analog lineup in digital (i.e. if you had 78 STB's and you set them all to a different analog station, they would not all get the digital simulcast feed it's limited to how much bandwidth they've allocated to simulcasting.)

    I believe you're confusing the fact that all of the analog lineup can be digital simulcasted with the fact that the vast majority of cable companies have allocated a bandwidth to be able to cover the digital simulcasting of the vast majority of analog channels being watched at any given time at a particular cable node (i.e. neighborhood cable head end.)

    The reality is that the vast majority of the time, not all of the analog channels are being watched, so the fill up the digital simulcast bandwidth space with the most popular stations. This is true for ADS and is the premise for making SDV feasible.

    CCourtney
     
  12. scottkathi

    scottkathi Member

    44
    0
    Sep 14, 2001
    Sammamish,...
    I just removed my splitter and got my 4 channels back... called Comcast and they suggested I come and get one of their splitters - they say it might work better than the one I'm using. Any thoughts about whether Comcast's splitters are any better than one I can get at Radio Shack?
    Thanks, Scott
     
  13. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    2,493
    156
    Jan 8, 2006
    I believe they ARE simulcasting all of their analog lineup on digital all of the time for one simple reason. If they didn't they could not issue cheap DCT-700 digital receivers to customers. The DCT-700 only works on digital channels. This is one reason they could drive the cost down so much. If what you say is true then DCT-700 users could not tune the analog channels.
     
  14. spiraleyes

    spiraleyes Tivo noob

    35
    0
    Sep 17, 2007
    Salt Lake City
    There's no question that the Comcast splitters are better. If you can get one of theirs, do it :)
     
  15. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    According to Comcast, more than 95% of its systems had digital simulcast as of 2Q 2007, and they've said 100% will have it by year's end.

    I think you are confusing SDV with digital simulcast. Some Time Warner cable systems use SDV to deliver their digital simulcast. Comcast does not do that.

    You could have 1000 STBs tuned to a thousand different channels and all would come in just fine on Comcast because the channels are delivered with linear QAM. All channels are simultaneously available at all times for every customer.
     
  16. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    699
    0
    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    Check your splitter. Is it 900Mhz, 1Ghz, ect? There are differences...I think you want the 1Ghz splitter.

    I think bkdtv is right. When I hooked up my HDTV directly to RCN's cable, the built in QAM tuner found/displayed all the simulcasted analog stations with no problems.
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,980
    1,026
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Rat Shack! That says it all!
     
  18. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    488
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    No, I do know the difference. Most people do not know the implementation scheme of digital simulcasting. The analog is available 100% of the time, and the majority of these stations are digital simulcasted for STB's (i.e. they tell the STB to tune to the digital channel instead of the analog channel when you tell it to tune to channel 13) THIS ALSO WORKS on DVRs w/ CableCARDs. I was getting it on my Sony DHG-HDD500 until I moved to my new neighborhood.

    Yes all analog channels are available 100% of the time, but any one of them can be made available as digitally simulcasted 100% of the time, but not all of them simulatenously as they do NOT allocate the 7 or so 6MHz bands necessary to show all of them simultaneously and that's because it's rare if ever that 100% percent of them are being watched at any given node at any given time. Note that is NOT the concept of SDV which is to ONLY broadcast channels that are currently being watched (and not have an Analog feed to go.)

    Not sure what linear QAM has to do with it since all the real cable operators use linear QAM (Providers like ATT Uverse isn't a real cable operator, they're a data service that ports video.)

    BTW, when Comcast claims that 95% of it's system has digital simulcasting, it's not referring to 95% of it's digital cable customer base, but 95% of the regions it servers has some amount of digital simulcasting rolled out to it.
     
  19. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    488
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    I actually tried one out at my old house back in May '07 before I moved which did have digital simulcasting (and I was picking up digital feeds on channels like SciFi which is an analog cable channel.) I couldn't get all of the channels to come in on the DCT-700 (about 20 or so channels would not come in on the DCT0700), my area had maxed out the number of channels.

    I moved to my new neighborhood and started up new service and the cable guy tried to install one, not one analog channel came in. I tried my DHG-HDD500, it was tuning only to the analog feeds. I called Comcast and they said they hadn't rolled it out to that area yet and they also claimed that they wouldn't finish the rollout in Houston until end of 2008. So who knows when I'll get it in my new neighborhood.

    CCourtney
     
  20. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    My Comcast does allocate 8+ 6MHz slots for digital simulcast, each of which has 12-14 SD subchannels.
     

Share This Page