Several low channels V52 Searching for Signal (cablecard)

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by MustHaveTivo, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. MustHaveTivo

    MustHaveTivo Member

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    6
    Mar 14, 2005
    Sierra Madre CA
    Hi, I've been around off and on for a long time since DirecTivo days, now with a 1.5 year old Bolt Vox 3TB and 2 minis. Everything comes through the cablecard with Spectrum in the San Gabriel Valley (former TWC). All had been working fine until a couple weeks ago when I looked out the window and saw a Spectrum tech working in the box at the curb. Didn't think much of it until we turned on the TV the next day and noticed the low channels 2-3 were very pixelated. Spectrum sent us through some phone troubleshooting and it didn't change so they scheduled a truck roll.

    The tech came and said our signal was too strong at the box and too weak in the house. He reterminated a bunch of things and swapped a 4-way splitter for a 3-way because we had decommissioned the 4th drop anyway. Also swapped out the TA. After he was done, now we got channels 2 & 3 again but 5, 8, 14 were completely out with V52 Searching for a signal on this channel. We were getting uninspiring signal levels on the Tivo, like mid-70%s. The tech told us to try TiVo troubleshooting and if they said their unit was good, then next step would be a cablecard replacement.

    We did some phone troubleshooting with TiVo and although that rep did not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer, they couldn't identify any TiVo problem, so we scheduled the cablecard swap. This Spectrum tech started measuring signals and said the cable run in the wall was causing ingress/interference, so we pulled a new one. The cablecard also got swapped and although now we get excellent signal levels, we still have V52 on 5, 8, 14.

    Spectrum is saying their signals are fine and they've swapped everything so it must be a TiVo failure. Is this a known failure mode? I'm looking around and not seeing anything like it.

    I can do the $49 continual care swap but I have to say I am also just wondering about taking the exit door. The cablecard paradigm feels like abandonware and I hate this finger-pointing between the cable co and TiVo. Is there any further troubleshooting you'd do if this was your Bolt?
     
    arglebargle2 likes this.
  2. KevTech

    KevTech Active Member

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    199
    Apr 15, 2014
    Could be a TA issue and not the cablecard.

    Already rebooted the TA?
     
  3. MustHaveTivo

    MustHaveTivo Member

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    6
    Mar 14, 2005
    Sierra Madre CA
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, we've rebooted the TA, and Spectrum swapped out the TA, and we've rebooted that TA.

    p.s. The cablecard has been swapped out too, so it's probably not a cablecard problem, unless there's something I'm missing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
  4. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    627
    139
    Sep 29, 2013
    I'd recommend using the TiVo's Diagnostic's screen to check the signal values it is seeing. (Help/Account & System Info/Diagnostics)

    Put each tuner on a different channel, I use the six channels we most often watch. Then bring up the Diagnostics screen and scroll down and check the Signal Strength and SNR for each tuner (0 thru 5).

    TiVo recommends a SNR of 35 dB. In my experience the sweet spot for signal strength is 90 to 95%. You don't want to see a signal strength of 100% since that can mean 100, 105, 110...who knows. You don't want to see a signal strength below 80% or so. (Signal strength and SNR will rise and fall together.)

    If the signal strength is too low you'll need to check your cables and connections, maybe even getting your cable company out to check the feed from the street. If the signal strength is too high you'll need to add attenuation. My Xfinity feed here is too hot, I've had to add attenuation to hit my sweet spot of 90 to 95%.

    I don't have any TA experience, I can't help with that. Perhaps you can take the TA out of the picture until the other channels are working normally and then add it back in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  5. MustHaveTivo

    MustHaveTivo Member

    68
    6
    Mar 14, 2005
    Sierra Madre CA
    Yeah, that's the thing, some of them are poor. But Spectrum is saying their diagnostic box says the signal is excellent coming out of the wall. ("I guarantee if you put one of our boxes on this, it'll work."). So is it possible that some component has gone bad in the signal chain inside the TiVo?

    Some sample signals:
    channel signal
    46 74%
    5 - (nothing coming in on this channel)
    511 100%
    405 71%
    2 70%
     
  6. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    627
    139
    Sep 29, 2013
    Low 70's is much too low in my experience. (Not to be confused with OTA TiVo's that seem to report nothing higher than 72% I think.)

    You're getting a 100% reading on channel 511? The last time I had an Xfinity tech here, to check my levels, he said the "low band" was a little low while the other bands were good. I know nothing of these "bands" but did notice the levels on my 800 to 809 channels were lower than channels from 830 to 899. Even though he described the low band as "a little low" all my channels worked fine.

    While one of their boxes might work, you don't have one of their boxes.

    My advice is to get them to send another tech, hoping you'll get one that wants to help. I had one guy that said his next call wasn't for two hours and we checked each and every connection from the street to my TiVo. Helped immensely.

    I've even called in and said I no picture on anything (even though I did) to get them to send a tech. You just need to hope you get a tech that wants to help.

    Worst case...file a FCC complaint. When they call to discuss the FCC complaint ask them to send a higher level tech or even one of their tech managers.
     
  7. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,425
    3,511
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    May I suggest you ignore those channel numbers? You're reporting (I assume) the virtual channel numbers. To get the frequency of those channels you need to look at Diagnostics and note the frequencies and program number. This is my CBS channel, 502:
    ch502-1.JPG
    The frequency is 123MHz and subchannel is .1, and I could give you the physical QAM channel but it's not important. The signal levels on a Bolt+ are not the same as a basic Roamio, which is usually 90% using the same logic that causes OTA to be 72%. Is it possible there is a TiVo issue? Yes, and knowing the tuner and its numbers may help you narrow it down.

    If you want to test the tuners, set one to your channel 2. Now do a restart. This will cause all tuners to be on channel 2 and you can look at your tuners in Diagnostics. They should all be identical.
     
  8. MustHaveTivo

    MustHaveTivo Member

    68
    6
    Mar 14, 2005
    Sierra Madre CA
    That is an interesting test. I get 70% for 2 on all tuners.
     
  9. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,425
    3,511
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    That would give me confidence in the TiVo's tuners. Signal variations would seem to be from the incoming signals.
     
  10. MustHaveTivo

    MustHaveTivo Member

    68
    6
    Mar 14, 2005
    Sierra Madre CA
    Thanks. 3rd truck roll? They're not selling it. :(
     
  11. chrisbarnes715

    chrisbarnes715 New Member

    10
    0
    Dec 10, 2017
    Hi, I too am having a similar problem with my Roamio and Spectrum cable. The tech tells me the signals were good.
    While watching a program, about any on the HD channels it will intermittently give the searching for signal V52 message and then lockup. If I change the channel and go back it will return.
    Thank you for this thread for the info I now have to do further diagnoses but Specreum still says it is a TIVO problem. The problem is on two different roamios.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

    1,610
    396
    Nov 27, 2014
    Southern CT
    I would have told the cable guy to put his money where his mouth is. Stick a cable box in there-hook it up to your tv and see what happens. In the words of Lt Ripley "It's the only way to be sure."
     

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