Series 3 won’t show one digital OTA station and terrible support from TIVO

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Bschneider, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Bschneider

    Bschneider New Member

    16
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    Sep 2, 2005

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    Series 3 won’t show one digital OTA station and terrible support from TIVO

    There is one digital OTA station in Tampa (zip 336xx) that my Series3 doesn’t want to do anything with. Our local PBS station broadcasts on digital channel 34 with four sub channels. (Yes I know, no HD but that is beside the point.) The four channels are mapped virtual to 16.1 through 16.4 in the guide. About 4 months ago, the mapping was incorrect, the main channel was mapped to 16.3 and the second sub was mapped to 16.4. I was going to call TIVO support about it but just haven’t had the chance to do it until recently.

    And recently, the station is not coming in at all on the Series3. I know the station is broadcasting just fine, as my other 4 HD turners are pulling in the station without any issues. I get a 95% signal strength on the Series3 when I test the station.

    I called TIVO support on Monday, and they were on the phone with me for 90 minutes. 75 minutes of that time was on hold. The other times, the tech told me to use a different antenna. I told him that this is a roof top antenna and that there is nothing wrong with the other HD turners in the house. Then he stated to remove the splitter that is installed just before the Series3. His comment was that the Series3 doesn’t like splitters. To appease him, I removed the splitter and still nothing. He then asked me to unplug the Series3 and wait a few moments and plug it back it. Still nothing.

    Then after being on hold for 10 minutes the phone got disconnected. I attempted to setup the TIVO again from the start and when that was completed, I still couldn’t get anything on the channels.

    So now my question for the TIVO Community, What is my next step? Call TIVO Support again? What would you do? Hopefully someone from TIVO is reading that knows what they are doing and can PM me so we resolve this issue. I think I know what the issue is but it can’t be resolved without TIVO. I believe it has to do with the virtual mappings of the station.

    TIA
     
  2. minckster

    minckster New Member

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    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    I have two ideas. 1. Try entering 34- and 16- (no sub-channel number) and see if you get the station. 2. Do a scan for all channels and see if it comes in somewhere.

    I had a problem getting my local PBS station too - but only on one of the S3's tuners. :confused: Removing the splitter solved it, but I see you've already tried that.

    Good luck!
     
  3. TydalForce

    TydalForce Active Member

    1,035
    1
    Feb 8, 2006
    Philadelphia...
    A few months back, WHYY in Philadelphia changed the frequency they broadcast on. They still tune as 12-1 12-2 12-3 but instead of broadcasting on UHF55 they now broadcast on 50.

    It showed up when I did a channel scan, but got no guide info because the TiVo didn't realize it was the same channel (Technically speaking, I suppose not).

    Knowing this was the reason, I submitted a lineup correction to TiVo. About a week later, I ran Guided Setup again and the problem was fixed.

    So in your case here's how I'd start:
    Do a Channel Scan. Does the station show up?
    Go into your Channel List (Where you select / deselect channels). When you select your station, it'll tell you the 'real channel'. Compare that with either:
    - what it found in the Channel Scan
    or
    - what the station is really broadcasting on (you can find this value on their webpage, or another resource like antennaweb or wikipedia)

    If it's wrong, submit a lineup correction to TiVo and run Guided Setup.

    You might also want to visit avsforum.com, go to the "Local HDTV reception" area and check your local thread to see if anyone else is having issues with this station.
     
  4. bdraw

    bdraw Member

    466
    9
    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    Hmm, I never watch that channel, in fact I don't even have it in my channel list.

    I will check it when I get home on both my Series3.
     
  5. bdraw

    bdraw Member

    466
    9
    Aug 1, 2004
    Tampa, FL

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    I tried both my Series3 TiVos and neither of them are able to tune PBS 16 (digital 34).
    I have them both connected to the output of a 3 way splitter that is also feeding my HDHomeRun, which has no problem tunning in that channel and with very good signal strength.

    Thankfully they don't have any HD so not a big deal to me.
     
  6. Bschneider

    Bschneider New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    So its not just me and my setup. I'll call support once again.

    Thanks!
     
  7. astronomer

    astronomer New Member

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    Mar 28, 2007
    Charlottesvi...
    In Charlottesville, VA one of the PBS stations operates a physical channel 11 repeater for a distant channel 11 transmitter. It is tuned perfectly by my Sony TV and JVC digital VCR. When I got my Series 3 it found 11-1, 11-2 HD, and 11-3 and tuned them correctly. However, the guide information was shown for the mapped channel numbers 51-1, 51-2, and 51-3. I contacted TiVo and they changed the mapping information so that I no longer see 11-x numbers in the guide. However, the tuner will no longer tune this signal (Diagnostics reports signal lock but no data lock). It won't tune them if I force it manually to 11-1 etc. I called TiVo and they gave me the typical runaround about antenna, etc. and finally told me that it was MY problem, not theirs--that there is nothing they can do. The station says they haven't changed anything. I've even told the Series 3 it is in Corpus Christi, Texas where there is no channel 11 and done a scan, and it fails to recognize the channels. I wonder if there something about the PBS signals which is incompatible with the tuner firmware.
     
  8. May 9, 2007 #8 of 36
    SingerDoc

    SingerDoc New Member

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    May 9, 2007
    I also live in Charlottesville Virginia and have the same problem as described by Astronomer. I can tune the PBS stations perfectly with my two VIZIO HDTVs and a Pinnacle USB tuner, but not with my TIVO Series 3. All other digital stations in the area are received perfectly by the Series 3. It really does sound like a firmware problem on the TIVO tuners. I hope someone from TIVO is reading this forum. Sounds like the evidence is mounting for an in-depth review of this problem.
     
  9. May 9, 2007 #9 of 36
    jhowell

    jhowell Member

    38
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    Sep 19, 2006
    FL
    I am across the bay in Saint Petersburg and have two Series 3 TiVos attached to an attic antenna. Both TiVos give a blank screen when tuned to the 16.x channels even though the signal strength shows 98. All other Tampa stations come in fine.

    I also have a Media Center Edition PC with a Vbox DTA-150 ATSC tuner. That shows full signal strength (6 green bars), but shows a "No TV Signal" message when I tune to the WUSF-DT channels.

    However, those channels come in fine when tuned directly using the ATSC tuner on my Sony Bravia TV.

    So it seems to me that station has something in its signal that is incompatible with both TiVo and Media Center.
     
  10. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    1,565
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    Oct 19, 2004
    This is a fact, it's occurring nationwide on a variety of channels. It's some incompatibility between what some stations are doing (that effects only or primarily Tivo 3s and Windows Media Center) and some incompatibility of the s3 and WMC to adapt as countless other systems are doing fine. Meanwhile Tivo tells you to change antennas, remove splitters or get a booster (amp).

    There are many problems which these steps will address. This specific problem (with the characteristics of a digital channel that used to be good disappearing, with good signal quality on the meter but blank screen) with Tivo 3s and Windows media Center, is not such a problem.
     
  11. eclarkso

    eclarkso New Member

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    Apr 11, 2007
    The stuff described sounds remarkably similar to a thread I started a while back about a local Atlanta PBS station:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=347850

    The good news is that TivoPony responded to me and had me do some logging for him. Hopefully that ends up in a Tivo work item sometime soon.
     
  12. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    12,321
    241
    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    I'm in South Pinellas as well. I guess I never noticed this, but based on this thread I checked out the 16-x stations OTA on my S3. I peak only at 52 signal strength, but no lock. Weird.
     
  13. SingerDoc

    SingerDoc New Member

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    May 9, 2007
    I removed the splitter and antenna amplifier and connected my Series 3 directly to my attic antenna. I got a signal strength of 90+ on channels 51-1, 51-2, 51-3 from WVPT's repeater in Charlottesville. However, despite these maneuvers, none of these channels were able to achieve a signal lock on the Series 3. They still locked fine on all my other HDTV digital receivers.

    Interestingly, I was able to successfully receive these channels the first 12 hours that I had my TIVO Series 3. After the download of the 8.1 software update, I have not been able to tune the channels since. All other digital channels in my area can be successfully tuned (including Richmond stations that are 60 miles away).

    Could this problem be related to the 8.1 software? Wonder if it will go away once my system gets its 8.3 update?
     
  14. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    1,565
    1
    Oct 19, 2004
    I got 8.3 and the problem continued unchanged. My problem dates from late March/early April at which point a Tivo case# was established but I heard nothing.

    I made a follow-up call in early May (to what I had been told was a direct Technical Support number). They looked up the case # and said it had been categorized as a "signal strength" issue, but agreed to communicate my disagreement with that diagnosis (and the reasons) to engineering. I then got a return call (on voice mail). Remember this is an OTA problem.

    "I did discuss this with engineering. There is an engineer discussing this with the cable company. Your calling customer service will complicate matters in terms of getting this resolved, so if we could just let the engineer continue work on that he would contact either you or the cable company for that resolution so he will work with the cable company and they will notify you when there's more information on that."

    So we're in good hands.
     
  15. Bschneider

    Bschneider New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    This morning I also received 8.3 and the problem didn't go away. So I did a little experiment this afternoon. In fact I just got done with it. I put the original hard drive back into the Series3 with the software verison being 8.0.1c-01-2.648. I had upgraded the hard drive when I first got the Series3.

    So after putting the original hard drive back in, wouldn't you know it the channels appeared! So now I have undeniable proof that the problem is not splitters, antennas, or cables, it IS the SOFTWARE!

    Now I am going have fun and call support.. I suggest you guys do the same!
     
  16. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    1,565
    1
    Oct 19, 2004
    The only thing that will result from such a call is that they will note on your account that you have voided your warranty.

    Maybe they'll tell you to stop calling and confusing the issue.
     
  17. Bschneider

    Bschneider New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    Nope. I have a case # 6684719. They stated that it could possible be a bug in the software but they need more people (in the Tampa area) to call regarding the same issue to confirm that it is a bug.

    So I ask those that are in the Tampa area to please call them and reference my case number. You should also get your own case number. And if you could please let me know what yours is too.
     
  18. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    1,565
    1
    Oct 19, 2004
    The problem you describe is not limited to the Tampa area.
     
  19. wtkflhn

    wtkflhn Member

    232
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    May 12, 2006
    Metairie, La
    I am having a simliar problem in New Orleans. One of our 2 PBS stations just got on the air, since they lost both of their transmitters in huricaine Katrina. Their real digital transmitter is chanel 31. The analog is on 32. For several weeks, their digital signal was showing up on my Tv as 31-1. Nothing on my S3 Tivo but a gray screen. My thinking on this is that ALL of these problems are related to transmitter settings in the DRM. (digital rights management). This could have been upgraded, or "enhanced" when Ver 8-1 came down the pipe. I have talked to the chief engineer at the TV staition, and hope to get him to change these settings and see if this corrects the problem. Perhaps TIVOPONY can tell us if there is a hidden screen somewhere in TIVO, that can tell us how the station is set up.
    If anyone else the the New Orleans Market is, or is not, having trouble with WLAE, ch 32, I would like to hear from them, whether they are working, or not. This is an OTA problem, not cable related.
    Anyway, getting back to what I have tried. The Chief Engineer has corrected his PSIP problems, so the station now shows up as 32-1. That didn't fix the Tivo issue. I have checked the signal strength. It's around 90, which is typical for all the UHF digital stations I get. I ran the guided setup, after he fixed the PSIP info.
    I happened to do it late at night, when the station was off the air. I got a message from TIVO that is was "searching input on the antenna". This proves I'm getting a good signal from the station. I hadn't seen this before, because I hadn't tried it, when they were off the air. But the next morning, it was the same old thing, just a gray screen.
    I haven't heard from the engineer in over a week, so I'll try to get him on the horn this week, to see if he's forgotten about me.
    If I find out anything, I'll post. By the way, the DRM is the ability of a program provider to prevent digital copying of a program without permission of the copyright owner. It can be set one of 3 ways. Unlimited copying, only 1 copy, or no copying at all. I think that this is the problem, which is why our TV's all work, but not our TIVO's. But, we shall see.

    Don H
     
  20. SingerDoc

    SingerDoc New Member

    5
    0
    May 9, 2007
    [I have talked to the chief engineer at the TV staition, and hope to get him to change these settings and see if this corrects the problem. By the way, the DRM is the ability of a program provider to prevent digital copying of a program without permission of the copyright owner. It can be set one of 3 ways. Unlimited copying, only 1 copy, or no copying at all. I think that this is the problem, which is why our TV's all work, but not our TIVO's. But, we shall see.]


    Your hypothesis on DRM sounds very plausible. Now that there appears to be definitive proof that the problem is software related, it will be very interesting to hear the results of your interactions with the chief engineer.

    Based upon my experiences here in the Charlottesville area, there does not seem to be a consistent policy on DRM among PBS stations. I can receive PBS stations emanating from Richmond (WCVE on 23-1) and Charlottesville (WHTJ on 41-1) on the Series 3, but not Harrisonburg (WVPT on 51-1, 51-2, 51-3). Since the WVPT signals are the only ones locally in high definition, I would definitely like to be able to view and record them.
     

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