Signals Weak on Bolt, not on Other DVRs

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Tagno, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Tagno

    Tagno New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    I currently have DISH and am leaving it because I'm tired of dealing with them. I have an antenna and, for almost 2 years, have had no trouble receiving most of my local channels through that antenna. My DISH Hopper has a USB plug-in tuner that connects to the coax from the antenna so I can watch and record OTA channels on my DISH DVR.

    In preparation of dumping DISH, I originally ordered a Tablo Quad DVR and hooked it up. It had no problem receiving my local stations and they were all watchable on it. Signal strength didn't seem to be any issue at all.

    Then I disconnected the Tablo and connected my new Bolt to set it up. It can't read 12-1, 12-2, and 12-3. It can read 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 and the same for all the feeds from 8-1 to 8-4. What's odd is my antenna is pointed directly at the tower for 12, so it should get 12-1 through 12-3 with ease.

    The DISH DVR and the Tablo have no problem with the signal from that station (12), but the Bolt does.

    Why would the Bolt have trouble with these channels when two other DVRs (and my test TV I've hooked up in the past) don't have a problem.
     
  2. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    2,812
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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Bolt tuners seem to be sensitive to Multi-Path or something.

    Can you get any of those channels to tune if you tweak the Antenna alignment?

    Also, I've seen individual tuners not operate properly. A reboot can clear that up, typically.

    -KP
     
  3. Tagno

    Tagno New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    What is Multi-Path? Any idea? Does it have to do with the Bolt having 4 tuners? (I've wondered if that's part of it - that the signal comes in and is immediately split 4 ways.)

    Not easily. When I set it up, I had a TV connected to it, outside, where I was working. 12-2 (MeTV) is one of the channels I watch the most. So I first tried pointing the antenna at that station, which is 10° off from most of the channels in Richmond (nearest big city). I was planning on adjusting the direction to get the best of both the "cluster" of transmitters that are due north of me and the one station I prefer that's 10° to the east of that. I found I didn't have to. Everything came in best when I lined it up to get 12-x (as in 12-1 through 12-3). I don't remember the numbers, but the signal strengths were pretty high.

    Once I got that set up and made sure I got the best signal strength I could (which, as I remember, was pretty high), I marked things off and fastened it to the deck railing, so it wouldn't get turned to a less-than-optimal position. And, once I was done, I even added a signal booster I had and saw, on the DISH DVR, all signals were rated at 100%

    I do have 50' of RG11. Currently the antenna is connected with RG6. I think, tomorrow, I'm going to just temporarily run the RG11 from the antenna to the TiVo and see what I get from that. If I get higher signal strength and it works with the RG11, then I'll take a few hours and replace the RG6 with the RG11. The thing is - that's not exactly a fun task and means a fair amount of time running wire in the crawlspace.

    By "tuner," do you mean that 1 of the 4 tuners in the box might have an issue with these stations? If so, wouldn't that be a problem, long run, if that tuner were trying to record something on that channel because the other 3 tuners were tied up?
     
  4. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    2,812
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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    Multi-path is the signal being received twice (or more), with some amount of time delay between the signals due to the longer path the late signals took to arrive at the tuner. Presumably caused by reflections and the like.

    I wouldn't expect that additional signal strength provided by the RG11 would clear things up much.

    What I meant by bad tuner was, that I've seen an individual tuner, of the 4, not be able to tune properly until the system was rebooted.

    I have found, here in Houston, that if I'm working on setting up a TiVo and having reception trouble like your describing, I can mostly solve it by adding a 2nd antenna, optimized for a different tower or set of towers.

    If you've got another antenna, possibly even a smallish indoor unit, you might try running the 2 together, through a splitter, and see if that might help.

    -KP
     
  5. Tagno

    Tagno New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    Okay, got it. Thank you!

    I figure it's not hard to try it and see. I'll reboot first and see how that works. I was recently having nasty problems with Viasat internet and replacing about 90' of RG6 with the same of RG11 made a major difference in those issues. (With the RG6, the signal was so bad the modem would drop the connection at the bottom of every hour and try to reacquire.) IT may or may not help, but after I reboot, it's probably the easiest thing to try next.

    Okay, that makes sense. Do you find that these things may happen during setup and not much or not at all later?

    I had an indoor one, I'll have to see if I still do. What concerns me is that the one signal I want, that TiVo is not getting, is the one that the antenna is optimized for. I may need to check and see if I can get a better antenna.

    The frustrating part is that the DISH DVR, which I am eager to dump, gets it okay and the Tablo (which I'm going to return) does, too. There are something like 3 signals that aren't coming through. (2 are the local PBS station, which has 2 channels and, of course, with digital, that means about 6 channels now - and they have some good programming on there, like Nova and other science stuff.)
     
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  6. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    2,812
    573
    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I suppose if you're far enough out that you're using Satellite Internet, maybe the TV Signal is also fairly weak. Give it a shot!

    -KP
     
  7. Tagno

    Tagno New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    I didn't have time today to try much. I powered it down last night and put the Roku back in place, since so much of the TiVo wasn't working. I powered it up this evening, but it still can't get the same channels.

    What concerns me is:

    1. Two other DVRs have no problem with these channels
    2. The antenna position is optimized for at least one of these particular channels and, with it in this position, the other channels are not as strong.
    So it's a bit like The Twilight Zone. The one channel it should be reading it can't read and yet two other DVRs have no problem with it at all.
     
  8. Tagno

    Tagno New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    I called TiVo about this today and the rep was quite willing to help troubleshoot it. I had the ethernet and HDMI cables going to my Roku and the coax going to my Tablo, so I had to unplug the Roku, plug in the TiVo, and connect everything. (A 30 second job, really.) I didn't know what to expect, since so many places have such abysmal tech support these days. I figured he might give me a few things to check and didn't expect him to walk me through anything.

    So I get the TiVo hooked up and I see things on the screen are mostly green! I told the rep and said, "Let me change the HDMI cable." So he was right there with me, and knew what I was doing as I swapped out cables and tried several combinations, including through the HDMI switch and directly to the TV. No matter what, the TiVo display was mostly green. Other things? Normal. So there's an issue with the TiVo.

    They're sending me a new one. I'm hoping that it's a flakey motherboard or something like that.
     

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