Time Warner Cable Tuning Adapter - The Carolinas

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

  1. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH

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    At least two different issues prominent in this thread, I believe:
    1. Failure to tune SDV channels, missing SDV channels.
    2. Pixelation seen primarily on SDV channels.

    As SCSIRAID said, apparently the TWC boxes can have tuning failures, although whether it happens as often as it does with TiVo/TA I don't know. The original purpose of the "Channel Temporarily Not Available" message, I believe, was to handle a valid situation that can occur with SDV systems in which the SDV channel capacity is exceeded by the number of different channels selected on the node (hub, whatever). My impression is this happens almost never (which would be a design goal of the SDV configuration) but ???

    The pixelation issues have been carefully observed by SCSIRAID in cooperation with TWC technical people, and have been shown to be present on TiVo's when the identical signals do not cause them on TWC boxes.

    One user in Garner NC has described the pixelation in **this post** as follows:

    I'm wondering if this description matches what others are seeing? Actually I'm in the TWC Southwest Ohio region and this matches what I see on SDV channels pretty well, which I find interesting.

    Also note KungFuCow has a Moxi now (with CableCARD and TA) and reports it much better than TiVo in the pixelation issue -- also very interesting I think. The Moxi may offer a way out if these problems aren't resolved. However, a big disadvantage of Moxi, for me at least, is it doesn't have OTA tuners, i.e., you can't use an antenna signal.
     
  2. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    I'm not even talking about pixelation now- I'm just talking about having to constantly restart boxes (both TiVo+TA and cable STBs) just to GET the SDV channels.
     
  3. Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

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    Hartsville, SC
    So, what happens if the SDV channel capacity is exceeded while a channel is being recorded? Will the channel drop since it doesn't know that it is being used, or does the TiVo/TA somehow reserve that channel for a period of time?
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    I don't know. The TA interaction with SDV and the TiVo is complicated. For example it creates an interaction with suggestions which has been discussed somewhere on these forums. I've seen discussion of your question somewhere here but don't remember where.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Yeah, my two categories should have been pixelation and "other TA problems", which would include having to reset, losing channels, failure to tune, etc. Your type problems occur here in SW Ohio too, including for me.
     
  6. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    Caraleigh, NC
    This is how I understand it:

    When an SDV channel is requested there is a concept of the "lease time"* for which that channel is granted. It also includes information about whether it is a manual tune (i.e. user changing channels), recording (i.e. a TiVo starting to record), or an automatic tune (i.e. a TiVo suggestion) (these names may not be the whole set of types and probably aren't the right names).

    So the TiVo starts a recording on an SDV channel for two hours. It sends a tuning request to the TA along with that time lease time of 120 minutes. The TA requests the channel from the head end. If there is no bandwidth free, the tune fails and the TiVo (I presume) will cancel the recording. If it succeeds, the TiVo now can record the show and that bandwidth will be guaranteed for the rest of the lease time unless something higher priority requests it. My understanding is there is nothing that is normally higher priority than a user scheduled recording (it's the same priority as a manual tune) but a suggestion would be preempted just about by anything.

    At least this matches my understanding as to how SDV was going to be implemented from discussions many moons ago. It may not be done quite this way in practice but in general, if you're recording a user requested show on an SDV channel, I don't think you're going to get preempted.


    *Not sure the exact term.
     
  7. Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

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    Feb 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    This was my basic understanding of it as well.

    Anybody know if TWC's boxes work the same way? I guess they don't have a concept of an 'automatic tune' (i.e., Tivo Suggestion), though. I imagine that they'd never want to include that type of feature for SDV to help keep the number of SDV "pipes" to a minimum.

    I guess it makes sense to make suggestion recordings a lower priority, although it's a bit irksome.
     
  8. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Vero Beach, FL
    There is no evidence that from the cableco perspective TiVo via TA works any differently than TWC's boxes... The TA could be viewed as a cablebox with a USB interface to tell TiVo what QAM and PIDs to tune. To make it work differently would be a royal pain for little gain.

    Its true that the TA spec does include capabilities to ask 'are you still there' and to treat suggestions differently... but Ive seen no evidence that they are using those capabilities.

    http://www.cablelabs.com/specifications/OC-SP-TRIF-I03-090206.pdf
     
  9. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    Caraleigh, NC
    Maybe it's a TiVo-side feature but I don't recall seeing a suggestion recorded on an SDV channel almost ever. Or maybe it's a coincidence..
     
  10. Shmooh

    Shmooh New Member

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    Feb 20, 2009
    Cary, NC
    Thanks for the insight, SCSIRAID.

    Along these lines - My suggestion list seemed to go to almost nothing after I got the tuning adapter. That is, what it would record if I had it enabled went from dozens of shows a week to just a couple.

    Maybe it's just coincidence. Anybody else notice this happening?
     
  11. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
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    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    Just to be clear, this was pretty much my experience I was trying to describe above.
     
  12. clemsonpablo

    clemsonpablo New Member

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    Dec 19, 2009
    I'm on my phone and having trouble searching these massive threads effectively. I know this will probably be an annoying question, but we are looking at getting a HD series 3 with an sdv adapter(we can get it where we live). Can anyone tell
    me what if any delay/lag/latency there is when changing channels with the sdv adapter installed? We tried a separate digital cable box before and it was like a 5-10 second lag to change every chanel.
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    5 or more seconds sounds about right for the TiVo HD with a TA.
     
  14. eaayoung

    eaayoung Member

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Mine switches fairly fast. 5 seconds is usually the longest time I experience. You get use to the delay and seems to be only slightly longer than with just the TIVO alone.
     
  15. wjlyerly

    wjlyerly New Member

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    Sep 21, 2003
    Apex, NC
    I also don't get near the quantity of suggestions I used to. The change seems to coincide with the installation of the TA. I went from dozens of suggestions recorded per day to a few over a couple of days. It also seems to focus on a a couple of stations -- maybe these are non-SDV?

    Its a shame really. It's sort of killed the usefulness of the Suggestions feature.
     
  16. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Same for me. My THD and S3 have both pretty much stopped recording suggestions. I also believe it happened about the time the TA was installed.
     
  17. eaayoung

    eaayoung Member

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    That's odd. I've no problems with my TA and suggestions. I installed a new drive in my S3 on 11/13. As of today, I'm up to 142 suggestions. It was a little slow for the first couple of weeks before it took off.
     
  18. wizzle

    wizzle HD Happiness

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Raleigh/Durh...
    My rig is a THD w/ the mighty Cisco TA.

    I've experienced the following from most frequently occurring to least:

    • mild to heavy pixelation (no apparent pattern)
    • occasionally get a freeze in the middle of a recording where play will not continue. you can only FF or 30-sec skip to get over it.
    • SDV channels goes black in middle of recording. No recovery aside from stopping the record, switching channels, and starting it again when channel tunes again. (seems to happen most frequently when I power on the TV in the middle of a show recording ???)
    • all SDV channels go bye bye (TA reboot fixes this)
    • once had no SDV channels where TWC had to send a hit to the TA from their end to get it going again. Symptom was 8 blinking lights on the TA

    I can't exactly recall my TA firmware, but I think it's something like 1001. Just thought I'd add. I've love to hear that there comes a solution for this. Maybe Santa will deliver a solution this week.
     
  19. LockRob

    LockRob New Member

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    Aug 24, 2003
    I (also) am experiencing pixelation problems. (I am in Charlotte, NC) I have a signal strength of 81 and a SNR of 34db. Could this be a factor? I am also in an older part of town, and wonder if it may be an infrastructure problem...
    No real help from the cable company. To hear them tell it, this is a Tivo problem.
     
  20. Grumock

    Grumock New Member

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Nowhere...
    Instead of using the TIVO diag screen try going into the Tuning adapters Diagnostic menu. Go into the status summary screen on the Diagnostic Navigational menu. Once you get into that hit the select button & that will take you to the next page. On that next page you will see 3 sets of Tuner/FDC/RDC, it's the middle set that have DBMV next to them I am interested in.
     

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