Time Warner Albany Tuning Adapter Issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by afs12065, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

    15
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    May 19, 2008

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    I have been tracking the development and deployment of the SDV tuning adapter for a number of months now as TW Albany has moved a lot of their channels to SDV and as that happened, the number of channels I could tune with my TiVo steadily decreased. I "registered" to be notified of availability via the TW website when they started taking requests and you can imagine my excitement when I received the letter in the mail this past weekend stating that they were now available.
    I picked the adapter up on Sunday. The unit itself is a self-install - and very easy at that. Unfortunately, it is not working for me and at this point I can actually tune approximately 5 channels out of the hundreds available in my package after the installation. I have spent a total of about 3 hrs. on the phone with TW tech support and I do have to give them credit - they have been escalating the problem up through the ranks and the folks I have talked to have been much more helpful than the standard "unplug it and plug it back in" types but the problem remains... two techs. have actually given me their direct phone numbers because they are eager to understand what the final solution is to the problem.
    Prior to the installation of the tuning adapter and the subsequent troubleshooting with Time Warner which included removing and re-pairing my CableCards, I was able to tune all of the analog channels on the low end (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, etc.), some of the digital channels that haven't been moved to SDV and a few of the HD channels... now, after installing the adapter and trying to get it to work on the TW network, I can get to about 5 of the broadcast HD channels (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, etc.) and that's it. UGH. No progress there.
    Through troubleshooting today we determined that the CableCards are not receiving hits from the head-end (EMMs) and in addition the channel map on the CableCards is different than the channel map in the tuning adapter. The tech. stated that since the CableCards aren't receiving updates, there is a mis-match between the adapter and the cards that needs to be resolved.
    At this point I'm looking at a visit from a tech. on Fri. morning (yep, a truck roll) and he is going to try to figure out why the CableCards aren't receiving updates. I'm bracing for the worst as the tech. who came to install the CableCards didn't know a thing about them - so I can only imagine how trying to resolve a problem with them is going to go. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I'll post an update here when the thing finally works.
    I was curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience with the tuning adapter in Albany or elsewhere, if you have ever experienced a problem with your CableCards not receiving hits/updates from the head-end and if so, what the resolution to that was?
    I should mention that this is a Series 3 HD TiVo running software v11.0, both CableCards are Scientific Atlanta M-Cards.
    Thanks!
     
  2. zablock

    zablock tv connoisseur

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    Nov 3, 2008
    Albany, NY
    This isn't really any help to you, but can I ask why you have 2 mcards?

    I'm a TWC Albany subscriber as well and when I got my tuning adapter, I brought it home and plugged it in and it worked right off the bat, didn't even have to restart anything.. good luck with your issue though.
     
  3. GPK5050

    GPK5050 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2004
    Hi...

    I too am in Albany and just picked up the tuning adapter and it worked perfectly for me, and I only have one cable card.. Why do you need 2? I thought they were multi-stream to begin with?

    Greg
     
  4. jotsbox

    jotsbox New Member

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    Jan 7, 2009
  5. BruceShultes

    BruceShultes Member

    406
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    Oct 2, 2006
    Albany, NY

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    Even though the S3 manual says that one m-card should it allow it to use both tuners, this is not true.

    The only way the S3 can use both tuners is with two cablecards. They can be either single stream or multi-stream cards, but you still need two.
     
  6. jotsbox

    jotsbox New Member

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    Jan 7, 2009
    http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/technicalsupport/hdandcablecards/M-Card_support_differences.html

    * Series3 HD DVRs support M-Cards in single-stream mode only, which means that you must install two (2) CableCARDs for the DVR to run in dual-tuner mode.
    * TiVo HD DVRs support M-Cards in multi-stream mode, which means that you need to install only one (1) M-Card to receive two digital cable channels at once. The M-Card must be installed in slot 1 (the slot on the right).

    ...it's a little confusing, but cleared up if you refer to the model numbers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo_DVRs

    I have the TCD652160 (aka TiVo HD), and so 1 m-Card will work.
     
  7. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    On the Series 3 the M-cards run in single stream mode only so if you want dual tuner (ability to record two shows at once) you need to populate both slots with a card.
    I was told by the tech that installed them that TW only uses M-cards now. I had asked for two S-cards when he showed up but he said they phased them out... don't know if that's true or not.
    It does seem that I'm only getting QAM channels but I think the bigger issue is that the tuning adapter and the CableCards aren't able to receive EMMs from the head-end. I hope that is something that is easily resolved by removing a trap or something like that on my line.
    I do have Road Runner too so I'm looking forward to getting everything working the way it is supposed to.
    Interestingly enough my second television with the TW HD set top box works beautifully and is able to tune everything just fine. I believe the STB has a single M-card built in so this will be an interesting ride when they show up on Friday!
     
  8. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Thanks for the link. I'll take a look.
    No, I have the full digital cable package with the HD tier. I don't have premium channels but I do have the standard full digital package.
    Right now I'm living in sub-basic land with the TiVo though! :eek:
     
  9. GPK5050

    GPK5050 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2004
    Hey all...

    The green LED light on my tuning adapter is always flashing... is this normal?

    Thanks...

    Greg
     
  10. jotsbox

    jotsbox New Member

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    Jan 7, 2009
    A solid green means that communications are working.
     
  11. GPK5050

    GPK5050 New Member

    26
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    Jan 18, 2004
    then what does the flashing mean? My TA seems to be working fine. I seem to get all the channels. Should I try to fix the blinking light?

    Thanks...

    Greg
     
  12. BruceShultes

    BruceShultes Member

    406
    0
    Oct 2, 2006
    Albany, NY
    It probably means that you didn't follow the instructions, but could mean that TW didn't add the TA to your account.

    It is easy to connect the cables incorrectly.

    Remember that you need to remove the cable-in one from your Tivo, connect it to the cable-in one on the TA and connect the cable-out from the TA to the cable-in one your Tivo.

    I have already seen a few people on our local forum who swapped their OTA cables to the TA, which doesn't work.

    There are also a few who did have the light continue to flash and had to call TW before it worked.

    I just installed mine and got everything working. The light on the TA was solid green as soon as I powered it on.

    After I went into settings and had the TA acquire channels for cablecard one, I was missing a few channels during the test that cablecard two was able to find. I gave it a few minutes and then ran the cablecard one test again. Then it was able to find all the channels that cablecard two did.

    At this point, the only ones I appear to be missing are 1815 and 1839, but they don't come in on my SA8300HD either so TW is probable just having problems with them at this time.
     
  13. GPK5050

    GPK5050 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2004
    Obviously I hooked it up correctly because I'm getting all the channels that I never got before. Should I be concerned about the blinking green LED?

    Thanks...

    Greg
     
  14. TaterBoss

    TaterBoss New Member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    I have a Series 3 Tivo (love it!) and the Cisco tuning adapter. My Tivo has 2 cards in it.
    It seems that most of my favorite channels are blocky, stuttering, sometimes locking up completely. I've rebooted multiple times over many days.

    Now, I've got "block creep," as the blocks are starting to appear on the locals, NBC, CBS, ABC, and forget about the CW - that went long ago.

    Signal strength? 90+ on all the channels.

    My viewing? It's like this:

    SciFi - Battlestar. Skips, blocks, stutters. Sigh.
    CW - Smallville. Skips, blocks, sometimes the channel locks up and the Tivo seems to save only half a file over the hour.
    Bravo - Top Chef. What happened this week? Not sure, as the blocks and stutters took over.
    Fox - House. Thank goodness. A channel that works!
    Fox - Hells Kitchen. What's that?! Blocks???
    MSNBC - Countdown. I've given up on MSNBC, it just locks up.
    FOX News. Again, locks up.

    All over the digi-dial, channels won't tune in, lock up, skip, everything.

    And, maybe this isn't limited to the Tivo and it's cards. I have another monitor connected directly to the cable, and blocks appear there too - on the analog.

    At the end of my rope, and ready to pull the plug on Time Warner, and stick some rabbit ears on the end of my Tivo for "real" HD off the airwaves.

    Anybody got any solutions for me? Thanks.
     
  15. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Yeah, I hear ya... Actually, in a way I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one! :) I've been having what I'll call "moderate" blocking and skipping since I installed the Tuning Adapter. Granted, I'm able to tune all of the channels now whereas before the selections were fairly limited without the Tuning Adapter... and I have no way of telling if this "issue" has been there all along and now I can "see" it or if this was something that was introduced with the Tuning Adapter.
    TW has been out three times to look at my setup. We have tried three different sets of CableCARDs, run new lines, etc. and I have spent several hours on the phone with both the TW head end and TiVO support... but nothing has helped. I do have to give TW credit... they have been trying hard to figure it out and to get it resolved. My signal strength is 95-100 on all channels, signal quality/signal to noise ratio is perfect and my TVs with the Scientific Atlanta set top box work beautifully... but the TiVO w/ tuning adapter is still unhappy at times. However, neither the TiVO nor the Tuning Adapter are picking up correctable or uncorrectable errors. There are certainly some times that it is worse than others... I can go for a couple of days at a time and things will be great and then for unexplained reasons, some channels will be unusable for an evening. The non-HD channels are much worse by far than the HD tier.
    Now, I've been watching things (software and firmware revisions, diagnostic menu layout, etc.) closely since I installed the Tuning Adapter and over the past month or so I've noticed that TiVO has pushed a software update for the DVR that required a reboot and Time Warner has pushed both software and firmware updates to the Tuning Adapter and to my CableCARDS. This leads me to believe that they are aware that it isn't perfect and they are working on fine tuning things (no pun intended) now that the Tuning Adapters have been deployed widely to the field and these issues are turning up.
    I'm hopeful that over time it will get better as they continue to work it out but in the meantime it is a bit frustrating... I agree.
    For the record, I have a Series 3 HD with two Scientific Atlanta multi-stream CableCARDS, the Cisco tuning adapter, and I'm in the Time Warner Albany service area...
     
  16. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Yes, the green light needs to be on solid in order for it to work properly. A blinking green light on the Tuning Adapter is akin to a blinking green light on your cable modem for broadband... It means it hasn't sync'd up/authorized with the network properly. It is normal for it to flash while it is booting up and acquiring its signal but after that the light should be on solid.
     
  17. skaggs

    skaggs AlbanyHDTV

    278
    30
    Feb 13, 2003
    Albany, NY
    TWC in Albany NY got 12 new HD channels on Thursday, September 2, 2010. These are all premium movie channels (HBO & Cinemax).

    However, those of us with Tuning Adapter's cannot view the channels.

    On Tuesday, September 7, 2010, Albany TWC is sey to add the Viacom HD channels:

    National Geographic Wild HD
    MTV HD
    Comedy Central HD
    Nickelodeon HD
    Spike HD

    How long is the process for people with TiVo HD's and Tuning Adapters to be able to view these channels ponce they are available to all TWC customers in the division?
     
  18. rd0125

    rd0125 New Member

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    Feb 19, 2002
    Have you, or any of the techs the have been sent to "help" contacted the TWC National Cable Card Support desk? Their toll free number has been previously posted in this forum, and can be easily found using search.

    I have found that they are available in the evening, as late as 10:00 pm eastern. They are very knowledgeable concerning tivo setup, operation, and tivo - cable card/tuning adapter issues, and have been able to fix, real time, every problem that I have had with the cable card and/or tuning adapter installed on my hdxl not receiving sdv channels to which I subscribe. In one case where it appeared to them the the signal to the tuning adapter was a bit too strong, they set up a tech visit for the next morning.

    Try giving them a call to see if they can resolve your problems.

    Hope this information helps.
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,159
    836
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Indeed,

    If TWC support seems clueless, ask them to connect you to the TWC National Cable Card Support (NCCS) desk. If they claim they never heard of that, tell them you know it exists and give them the telephone number: 866-532-2598. Note: you should not call this number directly -- you're supposed to get referred to them either by TWC local support or TiVo support. If they still refuse to connect you, hang up and either call TiVo support or wait a while and call TWC support again, hopefully getting a better rep. The NCCS hours of operation are 10am to 11pm Eastern time, including Saturdays. Note that not all TiVo support reps know about NCCS either so you may have to insist and give them the number also.

    You can always let local support schedule a truck roll, then cancel it after the NCCS desk fixes the problem.
     
  20. rd0125

    rd0125 New Member

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    Feb 19, 2002
    While I agree that the TWC NCCS desk is set up as a resource for twc techs, most "customer service" people you get on the phone are limited to their script, and transferring a customer to the nccs desk is not part of the script. Over the past year or so I have called directly 8 to 10 times, and have always been helped.

    As a hint, when you call be specific as to what channels you are not receiving. Also, be familiar with the cable card and tuning adapter diagnostic pages on TiVo so you know how to get to them quickly. Also, know how to get to the signal strength screen. Before you call, disconnect the USB cable from the tuning adapter. TiVo should display a tuning adapter missing screen. Then reboot the tuning adapter by removing power from it, reapplying power, and waiting until the light stops blinking. Then reconnect the USB cable. TiVo should display a tuning adapter found screen and ask if you want to test the cable card. Test the cable card to determine if you are able to receive the missing channels. If not, let NCCS know that you have already attempted a tuning adapter reboot when you talk to them.

    IMHO, the tuning adapter is the weak link in the whole mess and will remain so until the next generation cable card comes out, or until TiVo becomes an Internet appliance rather than a cable tv appliance.
     

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