Problem: Series2 DirecTivo Dials Out when Phone is in Use

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by Ripton520, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Ripton520

    Ripton520 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004

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    My Mom's DirecTivo (Series 2) units seem to dial out for updates at random times throughout the day or night. However, her problem is the Tivo units dial out even if she is on the phone and she hears the "beep-beep-beep...". This is driving her crazy and it is difficult for me to troubleshoot the problem being 700 miles away. It happens at all times of the day so there are no consistent patterns. It may not do it for a week or so and then several times a week.

    I made sure the phone settings on both of her Tivo units "check for phone in use" before dailing out.

    Honestly, I have not been able to determine if the problem is on both units or just one. I have not been able to stay onsite long enough to know one way or another.

    Any suggestions on long-distance troubleshooting techniques and/or easy enough instructions that I could talk her through something to make it stop (and make my life easier).

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. Dkerr24

    Dkerr24 Lost in Big Bend

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    Oct 28, 2004
    Okla, USA
    Simplest solution would be to pull the phone plug from the DTivo unit. It doesn't need it anyway.

    You might also have her do a reboot of the unit. Before I hacked mine, sometimes mine would call at strange times until I reset it.
     
  3. Ripton520

    Ripton520 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    You offer a good suggestion. As I read on through out the forum, I did not realize that phone line was of little use after you have activated the system and as long as you do not use pay-per view.

    This is a strange problem as I have used several Tivo units and this is the first one that can not detect that the phone is in use. I thought it might be the wiring in the house but that all checked out fine. We have rebooted several times (thanks to the electrical company) and we still see the symptoms.

    I just figured that maybe someone else may have run into this problem before. I know it is a strange one but I was hoping someone may have come up with a solution.

    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  4. goony

    goony New Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    A wild hunch: Try connecting your DTivo (somehow) to a different phone jack and try to force a test call while the line is in use... you might have to take it to a bedroom and hook it up to a different TV for a test session.

    Maybe a DTivo would act that way if the two conductors that make up a phone "pair" (they are called "tip" and "ring") are reversed inside the wall jack.
     
  5. wscannell

    wscannell Member

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    Dec 6, 2003

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    The correct thing that must be on is called "Phone Availability Detection". Also, the current version of the Directivo (6.2) calls out once every eight days or so. If it is calling out more often than that, something is wrong. You should reboot. Also, you should verify that the record light is amber during the time it is using the phone. This will verify whether the problem is the TiVo trying to dial out or something else that is connected to the phone line.

    If it is the TiVo dialing, you should hear the touch-tone sounds of it dialing out. The sound is described as "beep-beep-beep". This could be something else (call waiting perhaps?).
     
  6. extension 721

    extension 721 Minor Deity of TV

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    Sep 29, 2005
    yep. either dialtone detection or phone avail. detection on.

    but if your phone sytem sucks, tivo may not dial out.
     
  7. Ripton520

    Ripton520 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    goony: Good suggestion. I can try to force a test call while the phone is in use to see if it will trigger the call. I checked the Tip & Ring polarity with a phone line tester from Home Depot. It showed it was working correctly.

    wscannell: I will have her double check the settings but I am almost positive those settings have been set for phone line detection. I will also have her check on the software version. I did not know about the amber light and she should be able to glance over at the Tivo unit to see if the amber light is on the next time it happens while she is on the phone. In my earlier message... the beep-beep-beep I referenced was the 10-digit touch tone dialing.

    Follow up question: Are there any real ramifications if I just disconnect the phone lines from both units? (pay-per-view is not used)

    Thanks for all the advice.

    John
     
  8. wscannell

    wscannell Member

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    Dec 6, 2003
    You can disconnect the phone lines. However, after a month or so, you will get a daily nag message saying the phone line is not connected. You can ignore the message. However, every thirty days or so, you should go to messages and delete the nag messages. If you don't keep deleting the messages, at some point the TiVo will lock up if you try to go to messages. Of course, that really does not matter too much because there are generally no messages that are important.

    Alternatively, the phone lines could be plugged in every once in a while to stop the nag messages. Just plug the phone line in, go to the settings menu and locate the Make daily call now selection. It will then make its daily call. It should take about 5 minutes for the call process, although the phone is not in use the whole time.

    Another thought - Is a computer connected to the phone line for dial-up service. Depending on how the dial connection is configured, it may be set to auto-dial. If software like virus checkers or other software needs to get to the Internet, the phone may be auto-dialed. This could be what is causing the problem.
     
  9. Ripton520

    Ripton520 New Member

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    Aug 5, 2004
    wscannell: Checking for a computer-device with a modem was the first thing I checked. The only things that I have found on the house phone system is a cordless phone/answering machine, two analog phones and the two Tivo boxes.

    After all the good suggestions coming in, I think I will build a phone on/off switch for each Tivo so all my Mom has to do is hit a toggle switch on for a couple days a month and then turn it back off. That may be the easiest way around this issue. I am trying to keep it super-simple for her. She loves her Tivos... but she complains to me when I call her about the "someone is using my phone" type of discussion... :) Depending on her mood of the day, she thinks the neighbors are "tapping into her phone". Oh well, that is off topic.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions. It is appreciated.
     

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