Time Warner Cable Tuning Adapter - The Carolinas

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jmaditto, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #801 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL

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    You are correct. All the tuning and decoding is done in the TiVo just like all the other channels. TA just provides a channel map to TiVo and handles the SDV protocol to the head end.

    It could very well be coming down the pipe hosed up. Natgeo was like that for a while... Discovery HD too... TWC fixed those here. Discovery HD is still wonky sometimes. One thing you can do is tune the offending SDV channel and then go into TA Diags. There you can also find signal strength and SNR. TA will actually give you dBmV measurement of signal strength. I found that in Raleigh... the SDV carriers are HOT HOT HOT by about 3-4 dB compared to the non-SDV's.
     
  2. Apr 8, 2009 #802 of 1342
    jmaditto

    jmaditto New Member

    143
    0
    Jul 29, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    I'm in Columbia too and had my second TA installed a week or so ago. No problems. I will say when I scheduled it the person on the phone had no clue what a TA was and the installers (3 of them) didn't have a clue I already had one. They may be trying to limit initial installs due to high demand and low supply of TAs. Can’t imagine they will try and have a “permanent” 1 TA per account limit.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #803 of 1342
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    I skimmed the last few pages so hopefully this hasn't been brought up already, but anyone seeing this odd thing with the TA in the Raleigh/Cary area:

    Tuning to Hallmark HD (246) gets the "tuning adapter cannot provide this channel" message.

    Tuning to Outdoor Channel HD (247) gets just a blank screen.

    If I manually add AMC HD (244) to the Channels I Recieve list, then it shows up in the guide with no data ("To Be Announced") and if I tune to it, it comes in but gets immediately removed from the Channels I Receive list.

    This happens on 2 different S3's and an TivoHD. All with their own seperate TA. Very strange. Any ideas?
     
  4. Apr 8, 2009 #804 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Hallmark HD was not added to our lineup by TWC. It was pulled and changed to AMC HD. However, Tribune added Hallmark but did not add AMC. AMC shows up in the channel list because the TA has it in the channel map. Hallmark shows up because Tribune has it in the guide data. AMC has no guide data because Tribune doesnt have it in our lineup. I didnt notice that it gets removed from the channel list if you tune it... but that may be because it isnt in the Tribune list.

    Outdoor channel requires a subscription to Sports and Games. A 'you need to subscribe' screen would be a good thing but.... a black screen is all you get.

    A couple days ago I opened a lineup problem with TiVo on AMC and Hallmark. Hopefully it will get fixed by the end of the week... Im not holding my breath mind you...
     
  5. Apr 8, 2009 #805 of 1342
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC

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    Thanks, maybe it's just me but I verified the "removed when tuned" on all three boxes. Baffled me. I'll remove Outdoor. I thought it was coming in when I first added it, so I assumed it was part of my lineup, but maybe I didn't check it or it was a quirk. Not a channel I'd care for anyway.

    Is there any word on what they'll be rolling out HD-wise the next few months?
     
  6. Apr 8, 2009 #806 of 1342
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    Well AMC-HD showed up as a line-up change on one of my TiVos... one of the S2DTs... :p

    So force a connect and it may show up for you. Just started that on the TivoHD. Not going to bother going down to try it on the S3 in the basement and the S3 in the family room is busy transfering shows from the PC that were lost when I just divorced the expander and replaced the drive. So I'm not 100% it's really there yet... :D
     
  7. Apr 8, 2009 #807 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL

    Yup... I tried it too and it removed it from my channel list after it is tuned.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2009 #808 of 1342
    RTPGiants

    RTPGiants Member

    125
    0
    Mar 12, 2007
    Durham, NC
    So, mostly the TA has been working ok for me. Tivo's taped some suggestions, we've taped some real stuff, etc. But I've had two issues:

    1) Last week we lost power for long enough to run down the UPS, and hence everything powered off. Upon coming back up, the TA had a solid green light, but I could not tune switched video (I could tune non-switched HD fine). I once again had to unplug the USB conneciton and reconnect it. This made Tivo "refind" the TA and then all worked fine. While I hope our power is typically stable enough to not encounter this regularly, it's still annoying. Why can't everything get along when they all sort of get powered on at the same time?

    2) Yesterday we tried to record Mythbusters on DiscoveryHD. I didn't see the message, but my wife reported this morning that Tivo said it couldn't detect the signal and thus didn't record. Tuning DiscoveryHD this morning worked fine. So I'm a little at a loss as to what happened. I've not seen any signal-quality problems. The TA either works or it doesn't (see #1 above), nothing half-way.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2009 #809 of 1342
    kevinivey

    kevinivey New Member

    77
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    Nov 7, 2002
    Columbia, SC
    where does the tape go? (-:
     
  10. Apr 9, 2009 #810 of 1342
    KeithB

    KeithB New Member

    156
    0
    Dec 12, 2008
    Charlotte
    Tightly around the neck of some TWC executives -- I recommend duct tape. ;)
     
  11. Apr 10, 2009 #811 of 1342
    KeithB

    KeithB New Member

    156
    0
    Dec 12, 2008
    Charlotte
    I was unable to tune a few HD channels Friday afternoon - 266 Science HD, 264 Versus HD, and 212 Biography HD. Every one of them said "temporarily unavailable". 264 Versus HD later came in haltingly, macro-blocking, and finally freezing. Tuning it again later was successful. I called TWC tech support, they passed me to the CC/TA team, they had me pull and re-insert power on the TA. After it rebooted and reloaded, I pulled and re-inserted the USB. Still no 266 or 212. Strangely enough I *was* able to tune 170, BBC America.

    Finally, the CC/TA agent said they'd have to roll a truck Saturday morning, check the signal/frequency/etc at my outlet, and possibly replace the TA. Ask me how excited I'm not. :(
     
  12. Apr 11, 2009 #812 of 1342
    KeithB

    KeithB New Member

    156
    0
    Dec 12, 2008
    Charlotte
    The good:
    1. It was a TWC employee, not a contractor
    2. He was a capable and professional cable television tech
    3. He temporarily swapped my distribution amp to insure it wasn't the source of the problem (it wasn't)

    The bad:
    1. He didn't recognize the Tuning Adapter. I had to tell him it was a TWC-supplied box. I suspect it's the first one he's encountered.
    2. The signals coming into my house are badly unbalanced, good on the lower analog end, down to borderline through the middle, and back up on the higher end.
    3. He checked the signals at the pole and reported everything to TWC engineering

    Poorly balanced TWC line amps (presumably due to repeated unnecessary tweaking by unskilled contractors) were the reason RoadRunner cable internet was never stable in my neighborhood, and why I dropped TWC RR in favor of slower but rock-solid DSL three years ago. I guess some things never change in the land of cable television. :(

    It was really disappointing Friday evening to be forwarded to the CC/TA team and they wanted to schedule a truck roll. It seems more like a channel mapping / SDV issue, but they ignored that concern when I mentioned it. The TiVo DVR diagnostics screen seems to think it should tune the missing channels in analog when they're definitely HD signals. The TA diagnostics screen says it's successfully loaded the channel map and the TiVo knows it's received the channel map from the TA. So it seems only logical it's a data configuration problem. Or am I missing something?
     
  13. Apr 13, 2009 #813 of 1342
    Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

    66
    0
    Feb 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    An update for anybody with a TA whose diagnostics say the server is unavailable (also with no Rf IP Address)...

    As speculated a couple weeks ago in this forum, this could very well be caused by a weak return path. My personal setup was such that I had a very high return path loss due to a 3-way split followed by an amplified splitter without an active return path. While standard cable worked without issue, this setup prevented my TA (and my cable modem when connected through the amplified splitter) from syncing with the back-end server.

    I replaced the amplified splitter with one that has an active return path (new splitter is the Electroline EDA FT8100). It has 3db of forward gain, and 0db return path "gain" (versus a more typical 4db forward gain and 10-11db return path loss for 8-way amplified splitters).

    After the swap, my cable modem worked through the splitter (it didn't before), and the TA was able to communicate with the server (all diagnostics look good, including finding the server and getting an Rf IP Address). I was able to tune all non-SDV channels without issue, which I wasn't able to do before when the TA was connected (e.g., HBOHD wouldn't come in and a local HD channel didn't connect sometimes).

    The TA, while still warm to the touch, did not seem nearly as hot as it was before. As suggested here, the heat may have been caused by the TA constantly trying to sync with the server.

    However, I am still unable to get any SDV channels. The Tivo tells me that it has a channel lock, and considers the tuning a success. However - I just get a black screen for all SDV channels. Again, non-SDV channels seem unaffected.

    I tried rebooting the Tivo and the TA numerous times, as well as disconnecting and reconnecting the USB connection several times. I did these reboots/reconnects in various combinations, including the ones recommended here. Nothing seemed to work, and I'm basically out of ideas.

    Unless somebody here has a suggestion of something to try, I'm going to call TWC tomorrow to get a tech to come out (joy). With my internal wiring issues resolved and the cable modem working through the splitter, I'm guessing I just have a bad TA.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2009 #814 of 1342
    bxojr

    bxojr New Member

    51
    0
    Mar 4, 2005
    Pittsboro, NC
    After several weeks of using the TA, I can report that we've continued to see occasional glitches that appear to be signal dropouts. Most common are transient freezes or pixelation, but it's still not unusual for us to have a TiVo recording ruined by a five- or ten-minute dropout. (The symptom we see is frozen playback, which you can only get past by fast-forwarding.)

    What I don't understand is what could be causing this. It is clearly TA-related, because a) I never saw this problem before the TA, and b) it only happens on SDV channels. But that doesn't make any sense to me, because (as has been discussed here) once the channel is tuned, there shouldn't be any difference in the signal path.

    It happens just frequently enough that I'm nervous every time I schedule a recording from an SDV channel (e.g. Disney HD, Science Channel HD), because there's a decent chance the recording will be bad. My daughter wants me to add the SD Disney Channel back to the channel list because of this problem.

    Since it sounds like some others are seeing similar glitches, I'm inclined to suspect that the problem is at TWC's end, and not in our reception. But that's not very reassuring. Anyway, I just thought I'd add my experiences to the discussion.
     
  15. Apr 13, 2009 #815 of 1342
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    I'm getting the same thing on my SDV channels. I've seen some reports that it could be too STRONG a signal (does the TA amp at all?). I need to check the signal levels and see if they're in the upper 90's on those channels and if so, I'm going to get a few attenuators and try to drop the signal to see if it improves things.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2009 #816 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Before jumping to attenuation just yet... the most important thing to look for is the RS Uncorrected number in DVR Diags. If you see pixelations and RS Uncorrected is 0.. then the problem is coming from the network provider. Ive been talking to TWC engineering on exactly this on Animal Planet HD and Discovery Channel HD. If your signal level is in the 90's and SNR is 34-35 then your signal is likely fine and the problem is coming from TWC or their suppliers of content.

    If RS Corrected is non-zero... then there are errors in the digital stream that are being detected by TiVo. This could be signal level, ingress, reflections etc etc...
     
  17. Apr 13, 2009 #817 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I suggest you watch a couple shows live and when you see pixelation... go into DVR Diags and check RS Uncorrected. If it remains zero... the problem is with the cableco or upstream and not your TiVo or TA.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2009 #818 of 1342
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    Is the SNR in the TA diagnostics or in the CC diagnostics? It seems to be mostly Animal Planet HD, Discovery-HD, and TLC-HD. I've noticed (and it may just be luck or coincidence) that when it gets really bad and keeps freezing/pixelating/dropping audio non-stop, most of the time manually tuning one channel up and one channel down causes it to clear up for a while. No idea if that really works or not but I also have noticed a lot of times when I tune directly to an SDV channel from the guide, it will be black with no audio and if I just tune up and down manually it will then come in... :confused:
     
  19. Apr 13, 2009 #819 of 1342
    SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,344
    3
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    SNR and RS Uncorrected/Corrected is in DVR Diagnostics.
     
  20. Apr 14, 2009 #820 of 1342
    RTPGiants

    RTPGiants Member

    125
    0
    Mar 12, 2007
    Durham, NC
    I have seen pixelation and other artifacts in recordings from FxHD. I'll have to try to watch it live and see if they occur and then look at the various error readings.
     

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