Serial port channel changing stopped working

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tab97, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Aug 1, 2007 #1 of 15
    tab97

    tab97 New Member

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    Jul 19, 2002
    Huntsvile, AL
    Something weird happened to my tivos last night. Sometime after 12 am the serial port quit working for changing channels on BOTH of my series 2 tivos. I had to switch them both to IR again. I have Motorola cable boxes which have both been working fine on serial for over a year.

    Anybody else have this happen?
     
  2. Aug 1, 2007 #2 of 15
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    7,112
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    Jul 14, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Comcast?
     
  3. Aug 1, 2007 #3 of 15
    mike3775

    mike3775 Active Member

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    Jan 3, 2003
    Indiana
    If it was, its a localized thing as my serial port still works fine with Comcast
     
  4. Aug 1, 2007 #4 of 15
    phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

    5,943
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    Feb 23, 2006
    Salt Lake...
    Call your cable company and request the re-enable the serial ports.

    They updated the software in your boxes overnight, and part of that update is turning off the serial ports.


    phox
     
  5. Aug 1, 2007 #5 of 15
    tab97

    tab97 New Member

    38
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    Jul 19, 2002
    Huntsvile, AL
    I have Mediacom. I called their support line and was told that they were unaware of any software upgrades to their boxes. The guy I talked to doesn't know anything about the serial ports or Tivo. He also said that there is no way to check the port from his end and the soonest I can get a service call to my house is Aug 8th. I'd rather use the serial port but at least the IR blasters work so I'm not stuck till then.

    I still wonder if this is a Tivo issue. Did they (accidentally) drop support for the Motorola boxes? It wouldn't surprise me if Mediacom screwed up the boxes though. This wasn't my first call to their tech support.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2007 #6 of 15
    ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    The cable company tech support is likely not going to help much since serial port control has never really been a published feature. There are settings in the headend that control the usage of the serial port (diagnostic mode vs. serial control mode) but I'll bet getting in touch with anyone who knows what they are talking about is unlikely.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #7 of 15
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    no update to TiVo software i am aware of. Did you notice a reboot of your TiVo at the time that would mean an update?
     
  8. Aug 2, 2007 #8 of 15
    tab97

    tab97 New Member

    38
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    Jul 19, 2002
    Huntsvile, AL

    I don't know if there was a reboot. Is there a way you can find out the date of the last software install/reboot? I looked around in setup but could only find version numbers. I have two different series 2 models, one is a Humax w/DVD and the other is a Tivo brand. Both are series 2 units but each one has a different software version, so I doubt that there was a simultaneous software upgrade. The more I think about it the more I suspect that the cable company screwed up the cable boxes.
     
  9. Aug 2, 2007 #9 of 15
    tab97

    tab97 New Member

    38
    0
    Jul 19, 2002
    Huntsvile, AL
    Thanks for the info Lurker-d. I think the chances of getting Mediacom to fix this are basically nil. I might try to find the info on how to enable it using some kind of service code. A cable tech once showed me how to get into the service menu, but I can't remember the procedure anymore. Even if I did get it enabled they will probably break it again and I may not notice it so soon. I'll probably just stick with the IR for now.
     
  10. tab97

    tab97 New Member

    38
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    Jul 19, 2002
    Huntsvile, AL
    Update:

    An actual technician finally contacted me today. I explained what happened with the ports. He confirmed that an update disabled the serial ports and that it was intentional. He said that the serial port can be used to hack their service/network and that the serial ports will be disabled from now on. He said that some boxes (apparently mine) left the factory with the port enabled and that they were all getting disabled during updates. Apparently this is the new policy and there is nothing that can be done about it.

    Beware, if Mediacom is doing this I wouldn't be surprised if other cable companies will too.

    Needless to say I am irritated. The IR control is SO unreliable. I have been back on IR for about a week and have already had two or three shows missed due to channel changing glitches.

    That new HD Tivo with cablecard is starting to look pretty good right now. Too bad there is no lifetime option. I currently have lifetime on two series 2 and a series 1 (unfortunately bought in Nov. 2000 and not eligible for any grandfather clause) and it pains me to think about having to pay monthly. It would be nice to have hi def though.


    TAB
     
  11. Impugn

    Impugn New Member

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    Mar 18, 2006
    FYI...

    This just happened to me the other day. I use a Series II w/ a Comcast Motorola box in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

    Up until then, it worked for years just fine.

    I have two digital cable boxes in the house. Swapped them for troubleshooting purposes and it still does not work.

    When I run the Serial Cable Test from TiVo it reports a failure.

    I am calling Comcast now. I'll let you know how it goes. On third try now. Finally got a native English speaking rep. :mad:
     
  12. Impugn

    Impugn New Member

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    Mar 18, 2006
    Well, Comcast was predictably useless over the telephone. They admitted doing a digital cable box upgrade last week, but I couldn't find anybody willing to own up to disabling my serial port. I'm going to have a technician come out just for sh*ts and giggles.

    In the meantime, my goddess of a wife was able to find my IR cables which had been put away somewhere for years, now.

    Just for good measure, I fired off a consumer complaint to my state's AG office - conveniently enough, perhaps, that the AG, Comcast, and I are all in the state of Pennsylvania. I indicated that this action on the part of Comcast was clearly an anti-competitive measure designed to cripple third party devices and lure less-technical-savvy consumers into having no choice but to resort to purchasing and subscribing to Comcast's [clearly inferior] DVR device/service. I equated it to Comcast potentially doing something like blocking Vonage traffic in an effort to sell their own VOIP solution.

    The Borg Bundle (Comcast cable, internet, VOIP, and DVR) hasn't got me yet - still have Vonage and TiVo, at least.
     
  13. timstack8969

    timstack8969 Member

    544
    3
    May 14, 2004
    The serial port works fine for me in NE/Philly. I'm using a single tuner series 2 TIVO with a Motorola DCT2000 w/S-Video. They did upgrade the comcast guide but the firmware is still 7.96
     
  14. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    2,493
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    Jan 8, 2006
    The cable company owns the box and is under no obligation to provide serial control to it. Why do you think the authorities have any say in this matter? Don't get me wrong, I wish they all enabled serial control. I just fail to see any legal basis to your claim.
     
  15. terryb99

    terryb99 New Member

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    0
    Dec 8, 2007
    Sorry to bump an old thread, but just got off the phone with Comcast and my serial port is working again.
    I made some changes to my cable package a few days ago, and my serial port quit working. After reading this thread, I called Comcast. The tech on the phone responded right away, "I just read something about that" after a few minutes, he said try it now.

    All is back to normal.

    So Comcast will help sometimes. :)
     

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