Series 4: Use 'cable' mode for OTA scan

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by OCSean, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    Rural AZ
    On my TV, when I scan for OTA channels, I have the option of saying "antenna" mode or "cable" mode. The TV will scan different frequencies based on which mode you choose. When I setup my Series 4 for antenna mode, I do not have the choice of selecting "antenna" mode or "cable" mode. It only scans for "antenna" mode. If I set the Series 4 up for "Cable" it requires a cable card. My TV gets quite a few channels without any cable card.

    My question is, can I somehow tell my series 4 to scan OTA channels in "cable" mode?
    The model I have is TCD746320.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    You don't mention the model, but I configure my basic Premiere for OTA, then perform a scan for additional channels which finds my vsb and clear QAM channels. They don't have guide data. It doesn't have a cable card. I use a splitter to feed both rf connectors.
     
  3. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    Rural AZ
    I updated my post with the Model: TCD746320; thanks for pointing that out.

    When I configure my Tivo for OTA, then perform the scan for channels, it does not get a single channel, but I can see it scanning only for OTA type channels, not the ones the TV is seeing on cable mode.

    I am connected to my cable from the CableTV company that has several channels seen by my TV with no cable box or cable card. I am also using a splitter to feed both rf connectors.

    I wouldn't mind not having guide data; I just want to configure it to record shows, (manually by time & channel if I have to).
     
  4. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    I should note that the Tivo has a large list of channels in the channel list, (based on my zip code I assume), but I don't have a signal for any of them, i.e. "not found". They are channels like 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, etc. which are not being broadcast on the cable I have connected to my Tivo. The channels my TV is getting are 12-1271, 12-1273, 61-268, 62-300, etc. which are not being scanned for by my Tivo. I've done the scan several times.

    Is there a way to tell my Tivo TCD746320 to look for those channels?
     
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Those TV channels are cable QAM channel numers. You are correct, the initial channel list is via zip code. Added channels are marked with an asterisk in the channel list. Are you feeding both coax inputs? It's been a really long time since I configured (via guided setup) the Premiere, but I seem to remember it having the option for cable and OTA. The single number sub-channels are OTA.
     
  6. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    Rural AZ
    I just researched what QAM channels are. Now I understand; yes, my TV is properly scanning for QAM channels. My Tivo is not scanning for QAM channels.

    Both coax inputs are being fed by the same cable company cable via a splitter. The TV is being fed off the same 3-way splitter. (I have absolutely no actual OTA antenna reception in my rural area.)

    I don't see an option to "add" any channels other than redoing the "scan", which just scans for more non-QAM OTA channels again. The scan for channels has no option, that I can see, to switch from an antenna scan to a QAM scan.

    During guided setup I have 2 options, "Antenna", which only scans for non-QAM OTA channels, and "Cable" which only works if you have a Cable Card from the Cable company. Since I only have an internet connection with my Cable company, they won't give me a card unless I signup for their way overpriced TV options. But since my TV can see the QAM channels, I was hoping my Tivo TCD746320 could too.
     
  7. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I guess things have changed. I don't understand why your TV can see the QAM channels but not the TiVo. Because of the virus, my cable company has removed the encryption from 68 channels (which I never watch anyhow).

    One last thing. During Guided Setup for cable, can you select "Install Later"? Like I posted, my Premiere doesn't have a cable card either, but I can still select cable when doing a channel scan. That's how it picks up the clear QAM channels.
     
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  8. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Are you referring to both TV and Tivo connectors? Or, are you feeding the OTA and cable through the same coax? Your Tivo has 2 coax inputs, one is OTA and other is cable.
     
  9. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    Rural AZ
    JoeKustra, Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately this did not work either. It brought up all the Cable channels, but not a single one came thru. Most had a message saying I had to get a cable card. Some were just blank with no error message, but none of them came thru even the ones that I knew were clear QAM channels, (like Travel channel.) I even checked them on my TV to make sure they were still broadcasting. I cancelled my Tivo activation since it's not working. :(
     
  10. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    I have a 3-way splitter that splits my cable from the cable company. It connects to my TV, the Tivo antenna, and the Tivo cable inputs. I do not have any antenna because there is almost nothing broadcast in this rural area of AZ.
     
  11. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    You have done the best I can think of. I keep my Premiere connected (but only powered on Saturday) just to check the cable if my Roamio goes out I can get a second opinion. Also, I have 4 analog channels used for AGC levels which only displays color bars. Before the virus only two channels were clear: the SD and HD message channels. But they had DD 2.0 music too.
     
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  12. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I would disconnect the leg going to the Tivo antenna input.

    On some systems you can use an un-activiated cable card from ebay to at least get the channel map. But I'm not sure that's necessary with clear QAM.
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    When the card is paired, a full channel map is loaded, even for those not authorized. When we get the "free" HBO weekends, all they do is drop the encryption. But I don't endorse getting a cable card from eBay. I've done it twice. Once I plug it into my Premiere then removed it, I had to repeat guided setup since it was mad there was a cable card missing.
     
  14. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    But the OP still gets the nag message no matter what (which I've never heard of before. I guess it's a Premiere thing). Since repeating guided setup and skipping the cable card install doesn't fix it, the only way to get rid of the message is to plug in a card. They're only a couple of bucks.

    For the OP, if you give up on Tivo, a $30 IView DVR box from Amazon will tune and record clear QAM channels. It's pretty clunky, like an old VCR, but it's better than nothing.
     
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  15. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    This IView looks like it might be a good option. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll research and figure out if my wife will be okay with it. We've been a Tivo household since we met ten years ago, but are attempting to cut the cableTV financial cord. We started with a TivoMedia which seems to be working okay so far, but there are a few channels it doesn't get without spending too much cash. I know a few of them are open QAM on our cable, but we are so used to Tivo that it's just annoying to watch real live TV. LOL.
     
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I've never seen the nag message on my Premiere. Things may have changed since the OP posted there wasn't a choice for cable and OTA. I may run GS again just to check. The only time I've received nag messages is after inserting a cable card and then pulling it since it didn't work. Then it really nags.
     
  17. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    I was getting messages when I would tune into a channel. Usually the message said I was not authorized for that channel and might need a cablecard. Sometimes the message just said it could not get a signal for the channel. I would assume the cablecard message was for encrypted channels and the no signal message was for clear channels. According to Tivo Support, they do not scan for QAM channels in antenna mode; these message were in cable mode without a cablecard of any kind.

    My series 4 had the option of antenna mode only, cable mode only which requires a cable card, or antenna and cable mode together. I tried all 3 options.

    I have already stopped the Tivo activation and have given up on this Tivo for QAM channels. My Roamio still has a months worth of shows recorded that I can still watch and I am experimenting with online services.
     
  18. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Did that for a while for my son's HD when he was back home from college, but that stopped working when Comcast started encrypting all channels, but it should work for this user's case (would need to get the correct CableCARD for his systems - Motorola or Scientific Atlanta(aka Cisco/Technocolor).

    Scott
     
  19. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    If youre just looking for clear qam channels...your provider may have some kind of "starter" package for 8-10 dollars a month. Locals, shopping, cspan. Maybe Comet and all those other "free" stations
     
  20. OCSean

    OCSean New Member

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    Rural AZ
    $40/mo plus fees is the least expensive option Sparklight has for TV. It comes with a whopping 20 channels, which don't include the clear QAM channels I see on my TV tuner. I can pay $20/mo with no added fees and get 58 channels at Philo which includes DVR ability; just no skipping ads.

    I'll be selling my Tivo Model: TCD746320, series 4 once I figure out how to package it up for shipping and put it on eBay. I'll be sure to post it in the right forum for it here.
     

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