Really Hate IR Setup for Channel Changing

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by rivka, May 15, 2007.

  1. rivka

    rivka New Member

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    Jan 24, 2003

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    We have had our Tivo for several years now, and I know the drill with the Infra-Red setup. If it starts having trouble when changing channels, then you have to mess around with the setup, and try a different channel mode, blah, blah, blah. Even then, though, we still have occasional problems with the channel just not changing and it SUCKS -- especially if you're counting on it recording something and it didn't change the channel.

    We would like to use the serial set up, but our cable box does not have a serial port. I talked to Time Warner, and they say they do not have any cable boxes with serial ports in the back. So are we totally out of luck? Are there no other ways to set up channel changing than these two ways?
     
  2. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    NJ
    That's the nature of IR. It sometimes drops digits and the channel change fails. You can get it close to 99.9% accuracy if you do the following:

    1. Read this thread. It lists codes that work well with different cable boxes. It is a out of date, but it should still be accurate.

    2. Make sure the IR blaster is actually in front of the cable box's sensor. If the IR blaster isn't right in front of the sensor, it can sometimes fail. To find the sensor on your cable box shine a flashlight into the black area along the front. Keep moving it around and you should see a little object behind the plastic (it's usually on the right side). That's the sensor so put the blaster in front of it.

    3. You can build a tent around the cable box to block out all light. This will make the blaster more reliable. It's better if you use a black material since black absorbs all light and makes it less likely that the blaster's signal will bounce around and confuse the cable box.

    4. You can replace the TiVo's IR blaster with a 3rd party one. These are sometimes more reliable.


    When I did all the above (and was using IR) I missed a recording maybe every other month or so. Recordings I wanted to make sure I did not miss I either set up a manual recording on the same channel right before the show or set up my cable box to change the channel on its own.
     
  3. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

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    An aluminum foil lined interior for the tent would be better so that the internal reflections will ensure the channel change, even if the blasters aren't positioned exactly right.
     
  4. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    NJ
    You can try aluminum foil on the interior, but I found it wasn't as reliable as having a black lined interior.

    Reflections can confuse some cable boxes into thinking that 2 digits are coming in when only 1 was sent, which is why I recommend black (I used black duct tape with the black inwards).
     
  5. ZikZak

    ZikZak Neurostim Addict

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    Hrm. Those cable boxes must be unaware of exactly how fast the speed of light really is.
     
  6. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    IME, Time-Warner=Scientific Atlanta=IR only.
     
  7. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    NJ
    Not really. It's the same as taking 2 remotes and aiming them at your box and pressing the same button on both remotes at the same time. The results aren't exactly predictable.

    The signal that most remotes send out is actually a modulated burst pulse of different signals, not just one signal. If you get the signal bouncing around for a microsecond or two it can cause interference.
     
  8. alansh

    alansh Active Member

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    Light travels 1 cm in about 33 nanoseconds (.000000033). Unless you have a fort the size of a stadium, you're unlikely to get multipath interference.
     
  9. SeanC

    SeanC ECT

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    When I had my S1 before I switched to a 3rd party blaster that adhered to the front of the cable box directly over the IR sensor, I would say my channel changes were 95%.

    After the switch I believe it was 99.999%.
     
  10. rivka

    rivka New Member

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    Jan 24, 2003
    What do people recommend as far 3rd party blasters?
     

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