Random Channel / Tuner Loss

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BGreenstone, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,653
    2
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Update on my problem: I'm running analog cable only (no cable-cards and I disconnected the OTA input for now). Tuner 0 was not able to get channels 43-53 all of yesterday (tuner 1 was fine with them). Last night, tuner 0 suddenly stopped getting 25-41 as well. That's a much more serious problem for me: it includes most of the networks!

    This morning I noticed in addition to not getting 25-42,43-53, tuner 0 was having problems with channel 16. It would get 16 for a split second every 2-15 seconds or so, quite randomly. The quality was excellent for that split second. The rest of the time the picture was a grey screen, with the "searching for signal" message popping up if it was a big gap between signal. Tuner 1 has no problems with channel 16.

    Since a marginal situation like this is an excellent opportunity for debugging, I spent some time trying things. Basically I got no differences in behavior for anything I tried: rebooting, turning off for a while, disconnecting the OTA antenna.

    Perhaps most importantly, I got no differences when I inserted a 6db attenuator on the cable input. The marginal situation of channel 16 didn't change, the channels tuner 0 and tuner 1 got didn't change. To my mind, that just about eliminates signal strength as the cause of the problem. The fact that tuner 1 had no problems after attenutation means my basic signal is strong enough. If I'm correctly interpreting channel 16 as a marginal signal for tuner 0, then a 6db difference in strength should have some effect if the root cause is signal strength!

    I'll call up TiVo later today and see if they want engineering to run any tests on it in situ. Otherwise, I'll just have to exchange it.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    7,308
    1
    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    very telling- thanks for sharing your experience
     
  3. ejennis

    ejennis New Member

    18
    0
    Mar 5, 2002
    AZ

    Last week I started having this problem as well, same set of channels too. Up until then my S3 was working just fine with 2 CC, it just stopped getting that block of channels on tuner 0. Called support and they escalated it up to Engineering level, I was supposed to get a call back on Friday with an update, but have not heard anything yet.

    The strangest part was during the level 2 tech call, the guy had me try running guided setup again. During the repeat of guided setup, I went in and checked the channels on the CC config menu, the missing channels were now tuning. However, after I went to the other tuner to verify the problem was not over there, it was not, and came back, the missing block of channels was missing again.

    -Eric
     
  4. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

    462
    0
    Sep 20, 2003
    New Jersey
    I experienced this problem for the first time yesterday. I was able to get channels below 13 and the HD channels of the local stations. All other channels were grey screens. Except, on one tuner it was recording something on Starz Action (channel 351 on my cable system), and that one was fine. Any other channel was out. Both tuners had the same channel problems, and I got 351 on both tuners. I was all set to call Cablevision but checked here first. A reboot fixed the problem, but that is not going to be acceptable if this persists.
     
  5. r11roadster

    r11roadster High templar

    126
    1
    Oct 23, 2006
    I am on my 2nd unit with this issue and am awaiting a call from them. Will call again tomorrow to see if there is an update. mine started in the 25-30 and 69-75 range it has settled down to one or two channels around 56. thing is when I tune to a digital channel on tuner 0 the problem channel moves up the dial. The longer it is tuned to digital the further up it goes. I'm just worried that it will move on down to a channel that I record on before this is resolved.

    PS I tried that pause trick and the buffer does indeed fill up and display the channel, but there are thin white lines popping on the picture. If I FFWD to live it returns to the black screen.
     
  6. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

    462
    0
    Sep 20, 2003
    New Jersey
    I had the problem again last night, but I am fairly certain it is a CableCard issue in my case and not the TiVo. I went to the CableCard diagnostics page, and both cards listed the Authorization Status as CP Failure. I called Cablevision, and a reboot fixed it. They said they would replace the cards if the problem persists.
     
  7. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

    462
    0
    Sep 20, 2003
    New Jersey
    Happened again last night. This time Cablevision is coming out to replace my CableCards. I'll let you know if this fixes the problem. Has anyone had luck with a cablecard replacement?
     
  8. old64mb

    old64mb New Member

    76
    0
    Apr 11, 2005
    Just an update...my non-CC OTA analog issue has now moved from the 4-7 range to the 30ish range on Tuner 1.

    I wanted to see what others had come up with here before calling them, but will do so now and let you folks know what they say.

    Update: CSR was nice, but also mentioned they hadn't had a call on this particular issue (no CCs, just analog with tuner drop out) - so if anyone else who is having this particular bug can confirm this and call them would be much appreciated.
     
  9. hunterd42

    hunterd42 New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 29, 2006
    Installed the new S3 a few days ago, and happened upon the Tuner 0 problem described by folks here. I'm currently using Comcast (San Jose, CA) analog cable. Tuner 0 won't reliably tune channels 30, 33, 35-41, and 43-53. Tuner 1 is much more reliable, but not perfect; it did once drop signal briefly. Symptoms are as described throughout this thread: gray screen, "Searching for signal on: Cable In", no signal lock on Diagnostics screen. If the tuner fails during recording live TV (data lock was previously acquired), then going back ~10 seconds from realtime shows the channel is in fact tuned, but with periodic interference in the form of thin white vertical bars and pops / clicks in the audio. If I change Tuner 0 to channel 79-1, which gets me NBC HD (703 for Comcast digital HD subscribers), stay there for about 20 seconds, and then tune back to a problem channel, then it will usually come in fine for about 20 seconds, but then flicker out.

    There is also a temperature dependency. With the TiVo sitting in the TV stand (glass shelves, open back), it runs around 45C. If I remove it and stand it on its side on the floor ($800 tottering precariously!), then Tuner 0 often gets the lower problem channels. If I lie it flat on the carpet, then those channels drop out again. These changes in tuner behavior occur within only a few seconds.

    It's interesting that channel 42 is fine on either tuner. Take a look at the standard Cable TV Channel frequencies -- or look at the Diagnostics screen -- and you'll note that its visual carrier is 12.5 KHz above 41 and 43. The same is true of 25-41 and 43-53, which are 12.5 KHz above the majority of other channels. These facts hint that the tuner problem is also frequency-dependent.

    Update: By the time I talked with TiVo Customer Service on Tuesday, Tuner 0 had become worse, and was no longer tuning any channels 25-41 and 43-53. The CSR wasn't familiar with this issue (or that Tuner 0 exists), and went off to do some research. The tentative conclusion: there could be "something wrong with the internal splitter". Resolution: Return to retailer for exchange. Hooray for the 30-day return policy!

    Hooked up the new S3 tonight, and so far no problems. Both tuners get all channels. We'll see how this holds up over time / temperature, and what happens when Comcast (eventually) installs CableCards.
     
  10. Nov 8, 2006 #150 of 163
    rtmoore4

    rtmoore4 New Member

    47
    0
    May 11, 2005
    I have had the exact same problem since I purchased my unit. The funny thing, the same thing happened when I first bought my Mitsu TV two years ago. It took Mitsu about four months to finally release a firmware update to fix the problem. Fortunately, you can still use the TV without cablcard, but with the S3, that is the whole reason I bought it.

    TiVo support has been less than helpful on this issue, despite someone posting that they have an internal "unit" to look into he problem. Nobody I've spoken to over at the tech support group seems to know anything about a special group to look into this issue.

    Sadly, this unit is going back. My wife won't even use it anymore, instead prefering to go back to our S1, which work just fine, of course, but isn't in HD. :(

    Randle
    S1, 300 hours, formerly lifetimed
    S2, lifetimed

    Update: TiVo is refusing to accept a return on my unit, because they say it has been 34 days since I activated it. Four days after the official policy and they won't budge an inch! They sell a defective unit, won't support it, and now won't take it back? Well, congratulations TiVo, you've just lost a satisfied customer. I used to be the huge TiVo supporter, but you have just turned me off. Never again will I recommend TiVo to a friend. Not only that, but I'm also not going to be buying any more units for friends. I've given away three TiVo units, the last one with one year of service, in addition to the three units I own, over my TiVo buying history. No more. Oh yeah, and I'm selling my stock. I'm starting to think the naysayers are right about this little company I used to believe in.

    As far as where to go from here, they say they will only process an exchange for me. Well, I guess we'll see how many exchanges they go through (and shipping charges they have to eat) before they finally decide to either fix this problem or refund my money. I'm so disgusted with TiVo right now I could just spit.
     
  11. Nov 8, 2006 #151 of 163
    rtmoore4

    rtmoore4 New Member

    47
    0
    May 11, 2005
    In my case, the Mitsu TV does keep the card on all the time. That was the problem. There was something in the cablecard guide stream that was causing the TV to choke. Once Mitsu updated their firmware to reject whatever the malformed "packets" (for lack of a better term), the problem disappeared. Apparently, TiVo engineers need to take the Mitsu engineers out for a beer or something and figure this out.
     
  12. Nov 8, 2006 #152 of 163
    rtmoore4

    rtmoore4 New Member

    47
    0
    May 11, 2005
    Please do, Big Frank. The more of us that call in and complain about this issue, the faster they will address it.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2006 #153 of 163
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,933
    10
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I had the same problem from time to time with the CableCard when it was installed in my TV, before the S3 came out, and I have experienced one loss of authorization on one card since I have gotten my S3. There have been several cases, however, where I experienced the problem and it did not appear to be an authorization problem.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2006 #154 of 163
    colincd

    colincd New Member

    33
    0
    Apr 25, 2006

    This mirrors my issue.
    I had these tuner issues, missing audio on some of the digital channels.
    My wife and I are TiVo lovers, yet I knew I had to send the TiVo back to stay married to her. She was so upset that such an expensive item did not work.
    I was over my 30 days by about four days as well, and they took it back.
    I argued that they should start my 30 days from the first day I called TiVo support with issues and they agreed and took the boat anchor back.
    Call back and try that.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2006 #155 of 163
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
    90
    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    I deliberately cut-off the back-and-forth stuff that TiVo wanted to try, and returned my S3, because I knew I had a hard limit for returning it. I'm not sure why they set the time limit so short.
     
  16. Nov 9, 2006 #156 of 163
    donnlewis

    donnlewis New Member

    12
    1
    Oct 26, 2006
    Comcast in Maryland. S3 dropping SD channels 2, 3, 4X, etc approx every day. Two SA cablecards. Reboot always temporarily fixed the problem (until the next time). Support had me repeat Guided Setup (!) and call back. When I called back, they asked a few more questions, then offered to replace unit. Will post when new unit arrives, to see if replacement solves problem of Random Channel / Tuner Loss.
     
  17. Tapioca Dextrin

    Tapioca Dextrin New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    I'm getting sort of the same problem with my S3. Last week it was fine. Then channels 31 and 32 went dead. But that wasn't the strangest thing. Channel 20 should be PBS. My S2 has PBS on channel 20. Cable pluuged straight into the TV has PBS on 20.

    And S3, I hear you ask - it's decided to give me MSNBC World (on both cable cards) :confused:

    Of course Tivo tech support claim it's a cable card issue :rolleyes:
     
  18. r11roadster

    r11roadster High templar

    126
    1
    Oct 23, 2006
    But it may be a CC issue. if you have digital simulcast the S3 is tuning the digital channels mapped to the analog channel #. the tv and S2 are tuning the actual analog signal. your cable co may have them mapped wrong.
     
  19. Tapioca Dextrin

    Tapioca Dextrin New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    I just got off thephone with Time Warner. Amazingly, the tech knew about both Tivo and cable cards. After an hour, he said that Time Warner was sending me the wrong signal through the cable, but it would take a few days to get sorted out. At least I have most of my channels working.
     
  20. Alfred vonCampe

    Alfred vonCampe New Member

    20
    0
    Mar 29, 2002
    Groton, MA
    I haven't read all the replies in this thread yet, but I think I also have the problems described here. Everything appears to work fine on my S3 with two CableCARDs. But every so often (sometimes while I watch live TV, sometimes when my TiVo is recording something while I am not there), I get a completely black screen (no audio, no video). If this happens while I am watching live TV, usually changing the channel to a different channel and then back again fixes the problem. Of course, this is not very useful when I am not around. It happens on both HD and non-HD channels.

    I think it is one of my CableCARDs, but I haven't figured out a way to determine whether the channel I am watching is using the CableCARD in slot 1 or slot 2. Is there a way to find this out? And are these symptoms the same ones that everyone else is experiencing? In case it matters, my cable provider is Charter. I have not called them yet as I am trying to get more information on this problem and determine whether it's a software problem (TiVo) or a hardware problem (CableCARD, Charter).

    Thanks,
    Alfred
     

Share This Page