Spectrum could not get my tuning adapters to work

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tivoknucklehead, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Sep 3, 2018 #81 of 102
    LYKUNO

    LYKUNO Member

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    Thanks for the reply, and here's what happened today: The Spectrum tech showed up at the appointed time, and checked the signal at the 2-way splitter (a Monster Cable 2Ghz that I have been using for years). His meter (a very sophisticated device indeed) indicated that there were receive errors coming from the coax going to the outside of the house.

    Before going to the outside to check the signal there, he replaced my 2-way splitter with a Spectrum one. There is another 1-in, 2-out splitter on the rear of my home, with one output leg going to the splitter inside the home (the one the tech just changed out), and the 2nd output leg going to my internet service cable modem. He was still seeing errors coming from the pole, and got the ladder off the truck to access the tap at the aerial cable.

    At the tap, he saw a clean signal from the network, which implicated the 50-60' drop cable to my home as the source of the errors. Once he installed the new drop cable, the signal into the house was error free. We rechecked both TiVos and were able to tune SHO 1642 with no problem. Here's what I am now seeing when I run the diagnostics test on channel SHO 1642 on the 4-tuner TiVo:
    SHO 1642: Freq 93000Khz, Signal Strength 95%, SNR 38db.
    Here are the results for this channel on the 6-tuner TiVo:
    SHO 1642: Freq 93000Khz, Signal Strength 90%, SNR 35db.

    After the tech wrapped up his work and left for his next job, my wife noticed that that she was seeing some pixelation on the Hallmark channel she tuned in on a TiVo mini working off the 6-tuner TiVo. I could also see the pixelation on the the TV associated with the 6-tuner TiVo, but there was no pixelation on the TV associated with the 4-tuner unit. I also saw counting RC uncorrected errors at the 6-tuner unit. I rechecked all the coax connections and discovered that the 6-tuner's Tuning Adaptor "Coax In" connection was only finger tight. Snugged it down with a wrench and the pixelation disappeared and no more RC uncorrected errors were occurring.

    I replaced the 2009-vintage TA that I had been sent with the original 2013 TA, and had the Cable Card/Tuning Adaptor helpline activate the TA. I'll return the 2009 vintage replacement to a Fedex drop-off location tomorrow.

    Hoping for stability with my TiVo configuration, but will be keeping a close eye on it for now. Everything is working and I'm confident it will stay that way.

    BTW, I can see how the wiring config @mdavej mentioned above would be viable, but I'll stick with the way I have things wired now. Besides, the wife is going to be on my case if I don't get the lawn mowed before dark (in less than 2 hours from now).

    Thanks again to all for the comments and suggestions. Great forum!
     
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  2. Sep 3, 2018 #82 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    That doesn't sound right to me. My recollection was that Cisco TA's actually provide slight gain.
    Per this TiVo support page:
    https://support.tivo.com/articles/FAQ/How-Switched-Digital-Video-Impacts-Me-FAQ
    There are two reasons to question the validity of this:
    1. It's on a TiVo support page. :p
    2. They don't specify which TA (Motorola or Cisco).
    I tried to find independent info on this but even the Cisco support documents don't mention it.

    I've always run my signal thru my TA but I know a lot of people here prefer the other way. Just remember a 2-way splitter introduces at least 3 dB (half the power) loss.
     
  3. Sep 4, 2018 #83 of 102
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I should have specified the huge loss is through Moto. I understand Cisco is probably a wash.

    Glad the new run fixed the issue.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2019 #84 of 102
    mark5047

    mark5047 New Member

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    100% convinced Spectrum is making this painful so we get their boxes instead of TiVo/Tuning Adapters. All of my boxes need to be reset periodically
     
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  5. Jan 28, 2019 #85 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    More likely not a deliberate effort but just lack of due diligence since they have no significant incentive to make something they don't like work for a tiny percentage of their customers. Complaints to the FCC apparently have helped in specific cases, but obviously don't comprise enough of a threat to yield the required general diligence.

    Of course, whether deliberate or due to negligence, the effect is the same for customers. If all of their customers were having this much trouble there would be enough political clout to get congressional attention, but not with only 1% or less of their subscriber base affected.
     
    Bigg likes this.
  6. Jan 7, 2020 #86 of 102
    Mukwonago

    Mukwonago New Member

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    I am new to Spectrum and TIVO but I have had some intermittant D256 issues and Tuning Adapter issues. In my house, I have a Spectrum DVR which I'm migrating off of and the Tivo with the TA. I've been on the phone for hours with Spectrum to figure out intermittant issues and this morning I discovered that the presence of my Spectrum DVR appears to be the issue. I'll give a synopsis:

    Symptoms: Channels in the low 290's, like 292, 293, 294 don't work. I'm sure more if not all TA accessed channels aren't but I don't have a clear list of what are and aren't. But these are for me. On these channels, I get D256. They have worked on and off in the past.

    At one point, just to make sure I'm not crazy, I went to the other TV with the Spectrum DVR and tuned to 294 to make sure it worked. It came up fine. While tuned to that channel, the Tivo started to work on 294 but NOT on 293 or 292. Magically, 294 started to work. I couldn't reproduce this with 293 or 292 but tuning on the Spectrum DVR.

    My next step, I disconnected the coax cable from the Spectrum DVR and within a couple minutes, all the channels that I'm aware of using the TA work fine. 291, 292, 293, 294 ....
     
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  7. Jan 7, 2020 #87 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Finding out which channels are switched (i.e., require the TA) can be difficult since almost no one cares, either among customers or at Spectrum. However you can determine if any channel you can tune (when using the TA) is switched or “broadcast” in TA diagnostics. At least I know you can with the Cisco STA1520 TA. I gave the procedure for doing this in this post:
    Problems with Cisco STA1520, possibly, 6 flashing lights
     
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  8. Jan 7, 2020 #88 of 102
    CopRock

    CopRock Member

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    I've been in the same boat as you and have spent whole days with techs [Spectrum NYC only has half a dozen ones that are knowledgeable with cablecards and adapters ] trying to fix issues with missing channels or channels that come in SD instead of HD. Had spent whole days trying to fix the issue and never really got fixed
    When TWC sloughed their cable division to Charter/Spectrum many things didn't mesh very well and cablecards/tuning adapters was one especially with TIVO roamios
    But once I saw the image quality of the tivo to the Cisco DVR [with streaming being best], it got relegated to the bedroom and a smaller 32" so having HBO511 come in SD instead of HD wasn't that much of an issue since we usually just watch news type shows in the bedroom

    Wish you luck but its gonna be a bumpy ride




     
  9. Jan 7, 2020 #89 of 102
    Mukwonago

    Mukwonago New Member

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    Thank you, I may need it. I had Spectrum with TWO Spectrum DVR's. I bought the Tivo Bolt and added that as the 3rd device. I previously had one of the Spectrum DVR's coax disconnected which is where the Bolt/TA were connected. But the bedroom Spectrum DVR appears to have caused the issue. I can recreate it by connecting it and without it, all my problems appear to be gone. So far. I have VOX's for my other TV's and no issues with HD. But crossing my fingers.
     
  10. Jan 8, 2020 #90 of 102
    Chuck_IV

    Chuck_IV Active Member

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    The only true way I found to get Spectrum to actually get someone competent to fix issues like this was to file a BBB complaint.

    I went through MONTHS of missing channels after they added a bunch of them to SDV list. I had 3 different techs and countless calls to their tech support and nothing changed.

    I finally filed a complaint and within a week, I had a competent person from the headend contact me, confirm that they needed to retune their frequencies for the TA’s and within two days, I had my channels back.

    I just had to do it again with 3 calls in and an online chat about random emails not being forwarded. Nobody would put in a ticket because there was not visible error message and nobody could figure out what was going on. Been going on for a month. Filed a complaint on Monday, got a call yesterday and a competent person finally figured out that their spam filter was suddenly rejecting the forwarding of legit sites like Amazon and Bank of America(and even their OWN customer email notification email). So they are fixing it.

    I HATE (and it’s pathetic on Spectrum’s part) that I have to go the BBB route but it does work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. Jan 8, 2020 #91 of 102
    cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    Myself and two friends had MANY problems with Time Warner/Spectrum to get our TA’s to work reliably.

    My father had trouble too and things got worse about a year and a half ago when he replaced a Premiere with a Bolt and had to make some changes to his setup.

    Someone at Spectrum changed some settings and things have gone haywire ever since and multiple truck rolls and calls have not been able to sort it out.

    My father loses some key channels for days at a time and then they magically return.

    He FINALLY has decided to switch to Fios since he’s lucky to have that option (I ask switched to the same awhile ago and it’s MUCH better).

    It’s sad that Spectrum could have kept him as a customer for years but because they couldn’t fix a simple issue - nor show any empathy at all - he’s gone. Finally.

    They deserve to lose every piece of business they have.
     
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  12. Jan 8, 2020 #92 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    What’s really sad is Spectrum raking in money for years that they didn’t deserve. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. And it will continue even after you cut the cord unless you live in an area where Spectrum has competition for high speed internet. It’s not that Spectrum has evil intent. They are just a business, not a charity.
     
  13. Jan 8, 2020 #93 of 102
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Actually they do. Like all cable companies, they actively try to sabotage cable card device support through lies, incompetence and neglect. How many techs and store managers have told us cable cards no longer work or they can't get any cable cards? How long (on average) does it take to get a cable card or tuning adapter working? How many systems get broken at the head end and only fixed months later, if ever (i.e., NYC area very recently)? Yes, purposely lying and sabotaging cable cards is evil intent.

    I can't stand it when people justify a company's unethical and illegal activity by saying, "it's a business, not a charity". In exchange for allowing them to become an even bigger monopoly, the government actually did make them agree to be a charity to an extent (expand discounted service to low income customers). So I disagree that a monopoly like Spectrum has the right to do whatever they want for the sake of profit.
     
  14. Jan 8, 2020 #94 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Not justifying, just explaining what actually happens. You shouldn’t assume that everyone you deal with has high ethical standards. Feel free to expect it — and be prepared to be disappointed, unless you have some way to enforce it. Spectrum doesn’t do “whatever they want”, just what they can get away with. If they did what they really want, they would never have even furnished CableCARD’s or Tuning Adapters to begin with.

    Spectrum isn’t a monopoly is all service areas. In fact the largest service areas tend to be the ones where there is competition. However even competition isn’t enough incentive to properly support CableCARD and TA’s. The effort (read cost) to do so isn’t justified by the tiny number of customers who use them. Expecting Cable Cos to diligently support these items is about as practical as expecting all drivers to diligently never exceed speed limits or all drug users to stop because “it’s illegal”. Again I’m talking about what’s practical, not what’s right. We pay a big price when we design solutions only on the basis of what’s right, and ignore what’s practical. That’s what was done when the CableCARD/TA solutions were devised.
     
  15. Jan 8, 2020 #95 of 102
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I guess I don't understand, "it's a business, not a charity" then. To me, that means it's ok for them to lie and cheat in the pursuit of profit. I think it's not ok, and that we have lots of rules and laws to prohibit and punish that kind of behavior. I'm well aware of how they actually operate and have no expectation whatsoever that they will ever change. But I will not accept the "it's a business, not a charity" excuse.
     
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  16. Jan 8, 2020 #96 of 102
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Don’t expect you or anyone to “accept” that as an excuse — it isn’t an excuse. But when you make rules and laws that some people don’t find it in their self interest to obey, and you (through your government) are unwilling or unable to enforce them ........ all you’re left with as consolation is feeling morally superior. Please don’t cast me as a defender of Spectrum. We let them get away with what they do. I don’t think the majority of the American public are willing to support the government resources that would be required to enforce compliance.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2020 #97 of 102
    Mukwonago

    Mukwonago New Member

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    I haven't encountered any poor business practices from Spectrum. I've over the years seen them roll out products that didn't work well, but eventually they sorted it out. I remember when they were just a cable TV company. Then they rolled out residential VOIP and that was a complete nightmare for 2 years and now it's the defacto standard home phone service for those that still have a 'land-line'. I miss the reliability of POTS lines. But my point is they worked out the bugs. As for cable-card issues, so far so good. I had a glitch with compatibility and that sucked but now I understand it better. The reality is that had I known that I needed the TA, my bad for not doing research, I would have skipped this altogether and gone back to DirecTV. Spectrum for me is cheaper. I don't really care for Spectrum, but I actually like Tivo less. Their inability and lack of foresight to have included a TA capability in their core product is a mistake. To put me, us, anyone threw the headache of having to have a front end device 'ahead' of their device is a joke. Had these problems manifested themselves within the 30 day return period, I wouldn't be posting here. The Tivo has an eSata port on the back that is fairly useless. The ability to move content from one box to another is a joke. The remote has two buttons, the thumbs up and thumbs down that effectively do nothing now, except needed for restarts. I miss, and liked the ability to thumbs up stuff and down, of course.
     
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  18. Jan 8, 2020 #98 of 102
    cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    There was no reasonable way TiVo could incorporate the TA into their hardware.

    It would have to work with every single cable company head-end in the country and adopt to every change those companies may make.

    It was not lack of forethought at all.
     
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  19. Jan 8, 2020 #99 of 102
    Mukwonago

    Mukwonago New Member

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    I admit I don't understand all of the aspects, but the Cisco TA that Spectrum gave me wasn't made for Spectrum and it services other cable providers in addition to Spectrum. If you read the literature for the Cisco STA1520, they sure sell it as the one stop shop for all UDCP devices. I wonder, if they incorporated the technology of the STA1520, what percentage of the market would TiVo be able to support? I will concede not all, but most? A quick search of Charter/Spectrum/TWC shows they push the STA1520. Comcast pushes the same model as well. That would cover more than half of the subscribers that are on non dish providers. And I know the answer to the question; it's all about the money. The TiVo is already horribly overpriced, they can't sell them for anymore than they are 'trying' to sell them for now. IMHO.
     
  20. Jan 8, 2020 #100 of 102
    cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    It has different software.

    You can’t take your Spectrum TA and use it with Comcast, for example.

    Heck, you may not even be able to use your Spectrum TA in another Spectrum market.

    The STA1520 is not just some off the shelf device they give you. It’s configured to work with your particular local cable company, and only that one.
     

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