The MPEG-4 letter from Comcast

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kupe, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...

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    Also remember that they don't usually transition all of the channels at once.
     
  2. Jul 4, 2016 #142 of 339
    casstk

    casstk New Member

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    I'd like to post a question about Comcast MPEG4's impact on my old Series 1 TIVO. Is there a forum for older equipment in the USA?
     
  3. Jul 4, 2016 #143 of 339
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Since your Series 1 needs a cable box, it has zero impact.
     
  4. Jul 4, 2016 #144 of 339
    casstk

    casstk New Member

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    Thank you. By this logic, my S2 TIVO (the one without a card) which also uses their basic channels digital cable box should work. :up:
     
  5. Jul 4, 2016 #145 of 339
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...

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    That ia correct, especially since they are only converting non-local HD channels.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2016 #146 of 339
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    I was wondering exactly that. Since the cut off date, nothing for me has changed. I continue to receive all channels.

    Speculating: Unless they are short on bandwidth, they'll leave current MPEG3 feeds as MPEG3 rather than re-encode to MPEG4. They can now add MPEG4 channels directly in the lineup, and switch over existing channels when the source switches to MPEG4.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2016 #147 of 339
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    They are short on bandwidth. Eventually, most of the non-local HD channels will be converted to H.264 (MPEG4). At least, that's what has happened everywhere else Comcast has done this.

    What models are your two S3 TiVos?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  8. Jul 8, 2016 #148 of 339
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    They have the LED display on the front (TCD648250B) Tivo-S3 Image
     
  9. Jul 8, 2016 #149 of 339
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Ah. Well, you'll still be able to use them for locals and and a few other HD channels and of course for SD channels. Have to use the Premiere for everything else.
     
  10. Jul 9, 2016 #150 of 339
    nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    At least for the moment I can continue to use it and deal with the lose of channels when the time comes.

    Are there any usefully reuse of the device once the channels go dark?

    It would be a good media server. Love to install PLEX server on it if possible.

    Thanks
     
  11. Jul 9, 2016 #151 of 339
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    I don't know if PLEX will work or not. Streambaby should work and pyTivo will definitely work.

    And as I said, they will still work for local channels, SD channels, or you could go OTA.
     
  12. bilj65

    bilj65 New Member

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    I got the same offer in SF Bay Area as Chico (Roamio $25 and Lifetime $350) and went for it. I'll upgrade it to 4TB with WD40EURX (for $190). That's a total of $565 for a Roamio (basic) with 4TB and lifetime service and 4 tuners. Certainly a step up from my S3 OLED with 2 TB and only 2 tuners.

    Compare that to the best Bolt deal which would be 1 TB refurb for $225 + $550 lifetime = $775. I like that the Bolt has faster and more modern hardware, but functionally it's not much different than the Roamio and I am really not liking their decision to go with 2.5" HDD -it really limits your options on HDD upgrades.

    I'm biding my time for the next TiVo model, the rumored "Pro". If I'm going to pay full price, I want something better then the current Bolt. I don't want to pay full price for a Bolt + lifetime and then deal with added complexity and cost of adding large external drive and then have buyer's remorse in a few months. I figure with the good price I got on the Roamio I can resell it on eBay and get most of my costs back and get something better with larger internal storage capabilities.
    If the "Pro" never materializes, I think I'll still be satisfied enough with the Roamio. If I really want streaming I can get a used external streamer for about $60 on eBay.
     
  13. nrnoble

    nrnoble Active Member

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    I hope the TiVo line continues because I have been long time fan since I bought the first model in 1999. Its my understanding that TiVo was recently bought out, so a lot depends on what the new parent company wants to do with TiVo. If they bought TiVo for the software, and not the hardware, then it's likely we'll not see a new TiVo.

    Others are going to know much more about what is really going on than my speculation. :)
     
  14. sbourgeo

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

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    I just got the "Check your equipment" letter from Comcast and the "no action is necessary" email from TiVo for a 9/6/16 MPEG-4 cutover, but my TiVo HD is still running 11.0m. Do you still have to pm Margret to get it, or is the update being deployed automatically now?
     
  15. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    If you had an HD in a Comcast area, you should have already gotten 11.0n if it was online earlier this year. Our HD got it and who knows when our small town will make the MPEG4 transition.

    You should be able to open a case with tech support to get it pushed to your HD if you mention your area is moving to MPEG4 and yours is still 11.0m.

    Scott
     
  16. tivoyahoo

    tivoyahoo New Member

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    A reasonable upgrade offer on the surface with tivo claiming that with the upgrade you'll continue to receive all your hd channels. but here's what Tivo isn't fully disclosing regarding the Roamio series and what you you can read about all over this board and other places (keep reading for links) and has been documented as going on since at least latter June...

    Also, below is a recap on the TivoHD and S3 and where they stand if you are heeding the "hold off on Roamio upgrade" and want to wait and see standing pat for the time being with the older hardware.

    First, bilj65, and others - have you checked your channels with the Roamio? Try mpeg4 / h.264 channels 775, 820, and 823 for example. You won't like what you see if you look at the buffer play bar and/or try to record. The roamio has confirmed problems on 6 of the 7 mpeg4 / h.264 channels in SF Bay Area at the moment - won't record / won't buffer. and more mpeg4 is expected on the announced Aug 2 transition date for SF per the recent comcast letters. And if you pair a mini to roamio, the mini will fail as well on the problem channels with no picture and will lock up freeze on an endless spinning blue circle requiring a power cycle reboot that takes about 3 minutes to pull out of with reboot. but don't make the mistake of tuning to another problem channel again or even the same one again, or you'll be rebooting all over again.

    So ironically roamio owners are turning to and reviving older models in order to downgrade to get older Premieres and THD's on their networks to be able to record the h.264 roamio problem channels - see the bay area thread:
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10946733#post10946733

    You'll also note in the bay area thread link above there is an issue with tivo deploying the 11.0n update for TivoHD (652 & 658) - multiple reports of forced connections not pulling the download from tivo and being stuck at 11.0m which is not mpeg4 compatible.

    Additionally 11.0n is not problem free either with issues unresolved - posted quote from:
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10812041#post10812041

    But back to Roamio series: 18 mpeg4 / h.264 channels are failing in Sacramento and on the Central Coast (Santa Maria) of CA on comcast on Roamio where the mpeg4 deployment preceded SF Bay Area:
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=542127

    and there is a nationwide thread as well detailing the similarly failing channels in other comcast cities: Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago (19 failing channels and growing), and other cities in Illinois - Springfield, Peoria, Champaign. there is a link to that national thread in the thread above.

    Other comcast markets / areas are believed to be affected as well per the tivo support article naming 16 markets across 10 states:
    https://support.tivo.com/articles/Features_Use/Comcast-Transitioning-to-MPEG4-in-Select-Markets

    but waiting to hear reports from Roamio users on TCF in these comcast markets:

    Arizona - Tucson
    California - Fresno, Stockton, Modesto and surrounding Central Valley
    Georgia - Augusta
    Indiana - South Bend
    Michigan - Detroit
    Oregon - Portland
    Utah - Salt Lake City
    Washington - Seattle

    There are numerous posts on TCF confirming that the providers are leaving the broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, etc.) as mpeg2, not migrating them to mpeg4. If there are any cases where this is not true, please share and post. So the S3 OLED 648 remains viable not just for ota, but for lots of mpeg 2 channels as well. So you won't experience all channels going dark. Not even all HD channels will go dark.

    Sacramento, for example, has migrated to mpeg4 and here are the channels that remain mpeg2 which is relevant if you are a S3 owner. SF Bay Area shares a similar channel map, not that mpeg4 will follow the same model in SF as Sacramento - that remains to be seen. but mpeg2 channels have no problems on Roamio, or any S3 or newer.

    MPEG2 HD - Tivo Series3 Compatible
    (Sacramento list as of July 22, 2016 and subject to change)
    703-714 channel range = broadcast networks
    720 CSNBD 721 CSNCD 723 NBCSNHD 724 ESPNHD 725 ESPN2HD
    727 NBATVHD 729 MLBHD 730 NFLHD 776 WEATHHD 780 CSNCA
    788 ESPNUHD 819 CMHTHD

    above list of channels is found at the bottom of this post:
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10945574#post10945574

    Want even more links on the Roamio issue?


    xfinity forums:
    http://forums.xfinity.com/t5/Xfinit...-FF-or-REW-a-specific-channel-BBC/m-p/2774044

    "The Tivo engineering team looked at the issue and discovered that this behavior was introduced in the Q3.9 (20.6.1) TiVo release as a result of some changes that support certain features on MPEG4 channels. A fix for this has been checked into the TiVo Engineering Build system last week.
    At this point Tivo does not yet have a targeted release date, but they will be working with their engineering team to identify when a build with this fix will be available and deployed to TiVo devices."

    Sacramento post with failing channels reported to comcast:
    http://forums.xfinity.com/t5/Xfinit...to-lower-resolution-720p/m-p/2778182#U2778182

    "Roamio will not record some channels" on tivo support forums:
    https://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/forums/displaypost?postID=11288426

    from...
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10945110#post10945110

     
    enthalpy likes this.
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Best current option is a Premiere.
     
  18. karpodiem

    karpodiem Member

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    My parents live in the suburbs - have two Series3 652160s in the basement, with Slingboxes, for my sister (who is in Chicago) and I (I'm in downtown Detroit).

    Been following this MPEG-4 'transition' since it was first announced in the beginning of the year - haven't heard a word about it since it was announced. I doubt it gets done this year.
     
  19. kupe

    kupe Viva 'la Tivolution!

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    I was the OP in this thread- one of the early MPEG4 letter recipients. We got the MPEG-4 letter over a year ago here in Atlanta. How I wish they had been offering a Roamio Pro for those of us in the early days of this mess.

    We retired our Tivo HD based on the information at the time and bought a Roamio Pro outright since at the time Tivo was not including the Pro in any loyalty or upgrade offers. This despite our having 4 active Tivos and having been Tivo customers since 2003.

    Even worse, it now appears that our Tivo HD could be used with the new software, but there was no hint of a fix back then. Now Tivo says they cannot reactivate our 652 series Tivo HD. And our Roamio Pro is losing more and more MPEG4 channels.

    Gawd I feel like a chump...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  20. tivoyahoo

    tivoyahoo New Member

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    And you've been seeing 6 channels not working for over a month on your Roamio Pro in Atlanta, with a 7th added to the list this past weekend with FS1 now failing. And you want to put the TivoHD back in service as fix, but Tivo says no and won't make an exception even given the circumstance in your case where they sold you a box that was supposed to be fully mpeg4 compatible. Which raises the question: Did they offer you any solution?

    I second that. with this addition: a 4 tuner Premiere if you have mini(s). But kupe, I suppose Tivo didn't offer you a Premiere did they? It's the only proven known model where mpeg4 questions don't exist (hence the recommendation), but it's not even offered on tivo outlet.

    And as a reader you're probably asking: Why are two posters recommending an old model? And why does tivoyahoo's long post have no mention of the 4 letter word: Bolt. Answer: It's because Tivo has been noticeably silent on whether the Bolt is affected by the same documented issue as the Roamio. and without something definitive from Tivo at this point you can read this board and very well could be thinking:

    "same skip mode software as roamio that comcast is saying is at fault , unproven, sounds risky to plunk down the $$ at this point, especially after I just plunked down $$ on the roamio pro and look where that got me. is it more of the same with Bolt?"

    But I think in your case kupe, you should pose these questions to Tivo as I'd like to know their answer: "Tivo, so you've sold me this hardware, it's proving not fully mpeg4 compatible as promised - I'm not getting all my hd channels. The model that the Roamio replaced, the Tivo Premiere is fully working. And you've known about this Roamio issue for at least a month but still no support article has been released to address it.

    Can you at least tell me the Bolt will work? and guarantee it and stand behind it? Tivo has ongoing upgrade offers for S3 owners, if they upgrade to Bolt are you going to stand behind those upgrades? Or should I take the silence as an admission that Bolt does not or may not fully work as fully mpeg4 compatible with comcast? And if that's the case are you going to stand by the product you already sold me? Because there is a clear issue - where do you stand on warranting my Roamio Pro? and I didn't even need to "upgrade" and buy it since you released software for my TivoHD and I should be able to "downgrade" to fix this issue and add that on my account. Are you really going to deny me and leave me in this situation leaving me little choice but to start looking at X1 dvr as a solution?"

    Pretty disappointing case kupe. Since you are poster #1, you might want to add an edit / update or something directing readers to page 6 to see the current sad state of affairs so they can make an informed decision based on what is and is not known at this point. The current tivo emails in response to the comcast mpeg4 letter states no action is necessary on the part of Roamio owners to continue to receive all HD channels after the mpeg4 transition. That's simply not the reality.

    The latest post from the suburbs (Oak Grove / Homewood head end) of Chicago as to Roamio problem channels is at this link where poster checked the Chicago known channels (19 as of this writing) and didn't find as many, but listed 11:
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=10940980#post10940980
    but notes he doesn't subscribe to many of the rest. So without a subscription obviously you can't record and check a channel. And channels affected have been found across all tiers - economy, starter, preferred, premium, sports add on packages, with the big exception being mpeg2 and network broadcast channels as noted in post #156.

    And the roamio channels appear to work fine on TivoHD in the case of your parents two 652's, so TivoHD appears to have or had a different mpeg4 issue noted in post #156 but that status is fuzzy so don't assume the all clear on all channels on the TivoHD's in the Chicago suburbs. Thanks for the update on Detroit - that explains why no Roamio problems have popped up on TCF from Roamio users in Detroit - hopefully the kinks get worked out before the rollout there.

    Reports from Portland are starting to creep in to TCF with some problem channels (and they are ones that are problems in other cities and fit the pattern) and channel map migration going on there. So the bigger picture is filling in on those 16 comcast markets across 10 states with this latest info from Detroit and Portland. Thanks.

    But if you're finding this thread because you got a letter or however you landed here, if you have info on mpeg4 in any of these comcast cities please post and share, even if it's similar to the post from Detroit saying mpeg4 rollout hasn't happened yet:

    California - Fresno, Stockton, Modesto and surrounding Central Valley
    Georgia - Augusta
    Indiana - South Bend
    Utah - Salt Lake City
    Washington - Seattle

    If you're not in one of the cities above and you got a letter or are having problem channels with not recording or not buffering, it's likely already documented on TCF and just a matter of finding it / getting pointed in the right direction with the right links to get up to speed with what's going on in your area.

    I've taken Detroit, Portland, and Tucson off the unknown list above (whereas they were previously on it in post #156) thanks to the latest reports. And if there are existing posts (or new ones) on TCF that have mpeg4 info on any of those cities I'm calling unknown, please post and correct that and point to a link, even if it's not on TCF but on xfinity forums, dslreports, tivo support forums or where ever it might be. And even if the post says mpeg4 working fine here in ______, as long as its a Comcast system - thanks.

    And there may be other Comcast mpeg4 cities as well that aren't named on the Tivo mpge4 list
    , such as some have been mentioned in rural areas of Pennsyvlania outside of Comcast HQ in Philadelphia toward both NJ as well as MD, but again like Tucson don't have much info as to how well mpeg4 is working on Tivos in those areas. And the Tivo support article (linked in post #156) doesn't name any cities in PA or in bordering states. In fact the article doesn't list any states in the northeast, and the closest named are IN and TN, so that's another mystery.

    Tucson has mpeg4 but it's unreported on TCF as to any roamio problems or not, so that status is untested. The other cities are more of a mystery as to whether they are same status as Detroit with no mpeg4 channels at this point in time. But those letters will probably come at some point and posters from those cities hopefully find this thread down the line.
     

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