TIVO BOLT+ not compatible with my cable provider - I'd be willing to beta test

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by DVRanger, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017

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    Hi all,
    So here is my story. I posted back here a few months ago about pixelation on my Tivo Bolt+.

    Let's just say things did not end well. I had been using a Tivo Premier Elite for 4-5 years, rock solid. And I am back to using it. The Bolt+ simply was not compatible with my provider and eventually the incompatibility got bad enough that I was losing ability to see channels every other day - No program lock despite good signal, good SNR, and good cablecard authorization. Basically everything looked fine except was losing program lock, v53 errors, v58 errors, pixilation, etc.

    I tried the following:
    * Calling out the cable tech to test the lines, no problem found
    * All sorts of different splitter configurations and brands
    * Multiple cable cards
    * Multiple POE filters
    * Multiple combinations of attenuators
    * Two TiVo Bolt+ Devices

    In the end the only solution was returning the Bolt+ and going back to the Premier Elite which 100% worked fine when the Tivo Bolt+ couldn't tune a single channel. The thing that is most odd is that I know someone else on the same system (though not same town, about 4 miles away) who has the same provider, same cablecard brand, same system - yet Tivo Bolt Vox works about 95% fine (still gets some pixilation but very minor).

    If TiVo is reading this and ever comes out with a new piece of hardware with different tuners I'd be willing to beta test it. Apparently I am in a "worst case scenario" for the Tivo Bolt tuners where I am. I really, really, really liked the bolt but in the end it just wasn't compatible and nothing I nor tech support could do would fix it.
     
    hankuro likes this.
  2. tlogue

    tlogue New Member

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    Sep 29, 2010
    I am in the same boat. My Premiere works great. I had upgraded my other Tivo to a Bolt, so I've got 2 running. I've switched cards, runs, cables, floors, rooms and the issue stays with the Bolt. Losing program lock, v53 errors, v58 errors, pixilation - exactly the same issues described above. I was getting ready to toss the Bolt in a closet and swap with an Atlantic Broadband system (they use Tivo!!)

    I was one of the early adopters and have had Tivo since the inception. I'm sad....
     
    hankuro likes this.
  3. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    Wouldn't happen to be NDS cablecard would it?
     
  4. tlogue

    tlogue New Member

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Motorola.
     
  5. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017

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    Odd. I figured it was the older nds cablecard but you have nearly identical symptoms with a different card. I bet if tivo did some line diagnostics on both our signals they could figure out what is causing the issue with bolt.

    Do you use actiontec moca 2.0 adapters?
     
  6. tlogue

    tlogue New Member

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    Sep 29, 2010
    No. It would be nice if Tivo could figure this out. It looks like the Bolt is the problem...
     
  7. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    The bolt tuners sound like the problem but question is what makes our signals different than most others that can use bolt without major issue?
     
  8. shamilian

    shamilian Member

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    Mar 26, 2003
    NJ
    Bolt tuners just aren't as good as the previous tivo tuners.
    I have FIOS and after I got bolts they all seem to have problems on certain channels.

    tivo was not interested in the fact the roamios and premieres were fine and
    3 bolts were bad....tivos reported weak signals on certain channels., the other
    reported good signal levels.

    finally got fios to come out and check the signal, found the bad channels
    had more noise at those frequencies, changed out the fiber connection at
    the back-end and the noise was gone on all channels.

    tivo just isn't willing to improve their product, it will likely
    take a cable company that uses bolt to push them to fix their product.
     
  9. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    I wonder if they would give me a deal on a Roamio Pro? That's almost as fast as the bolt plus the tuners of the premier right?
     
  10. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    5,871
    1,610
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    They don’t make pros anymore. They may have a refurb, but I doubt it. You can probably pick up a used one on eBay with lifetime for a decent price.
     
    DVRanger likes this.
  11. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    Yeh and come to think of it it's not 4k either. I think I'm just going to keep my premiere elite and hope tivo releases a better model in a couple years.
     
  12. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    It's too bad I was never able to discuss this with a high level tivo tech. I could guarantee the source of the problem is my cable company providing me with a noisy out of spec signal, but it's hard to argue with them when my tivo premiere and their box works fine. They can just blame the issue on the Bolt as a result.


    If tivo wants to use less robust tuners, fine, but then they need to also be more proactive in ensuring cable companies provide a usable signal as tivo has much more pull than n a regular user.
     
  13. Skanter123

    Skanter123 Member

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    Feb 27, 2015
    I only have one bad channel - ch 13 PBS here in NYC - pixelization, dropouts - unwatchable. I had same problem on previous Premier. Spectrum Cable box does not have this problem so I doubt cable company would help. Experimenting with attenuators (6 and 10 db) so far no luck.
     
  14. hankuro

    hankuro Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    Glen Cove...
    I’m starting same process here on Long Island. Bolt+ and Bolt both pixelate randomly on upper channels. Premiere and other previous TiVos did not. I rented Optimum STB and picture is perfect with 0 pixelation. Ran diagnostics with TIVO support and they claim my SNR (signal to noise ratio) is too high on some channels. It varied from 34-39. They said I have to get Optimum to come to install 6 or 8DB attenuators and that will fix the problem. I just have to go through this process but I’ve already tried multiple cable cards and service says signal is perfect. Give up or keep trying?
     
  15. Skanter123

    Skanter123 Member

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    Feb 27, 2015
    I have same problem in Manhattan with Spectrum. I tries 6dB and 10dB attenuators (had from years ago with old Tivo) - did not help. Ch2 also has same problem, maybe others I have not watched. Tivo tech said 4-tuner machine is “more sensitive” than 2-tuner Premier, also suggested attenuators, which has not worked.
     
  16. hankuro

    hankuro Member

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    5
    Nov 7, 2009
    Glen Cove...
    So have you gone back to TIVO support and said “your proposed solution to fix the problem by attenuating the signal did not help so now what should I do?” Did your attempts at attenuating signal bring you into the so called 34DB SNR sweet spot? Some claim that this helps. https://www.amazon.com/TiVo-Authori...01EKCL1U6/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8.
     
  17. Skanter123

    Skanter123 Member

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    Feb 27, 2015
    No, I have not had time to continually call Tivo tech support. I just spent countless hours on the phone with them diagnosing a defective Bolt and getting a replacement, then more hours with Spectrum getting the cable card to work. I do have other things to do.

    OK, I will order and give PEF filter a try - thanks.
     
  18. DVRanger

    DVRanger New Member

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    Nov 28, 2017
    I tried literally everything and there was no getting it to work with my cable signal. My main advice is dont let it go past 30 days if you cant get it to work if you bought the device from tivo as they will not be flexible, give up before the window expires.

    Also it is true if you are going up in tuners, like 2 > 4 , it may become a problem with your signal. The optimum dvr only has 1 tuner since its cloud DVR and the signal gets additionally split inside the tivo for each tuner it has - these addtional splits can push a borderline signal into unusable territory..

    If you dont have the POE filter linked above it can help but only if you are using MOCA, if not using MOCA it wont do anything.

    Again be sure to return the tivo within return period if not successful.
     
  19. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    720
    177
    Sep 29, 2013
    Comcast here, I had been seeing some pixelation. Comcast tech came out, said my signal levels were fine. I noticed that the TiVo reported my signal levels were all 100% (which means they can be 100, 110, 120...who knows.) SNR was low to mid 40's.

    I bought a package of various attenuators and installed a 12 dB model. Now my TiVo reports signal levels of 88% to 98%, SNR of 34 to 38 dB. The picture quality is unchanged, the pixelation problem "seems" to be better...though I still see a bit...maybe two or three times in an evening of viewing? All in all, it seems better...so I'm still running the 12 dB attenuator.

    Attenuators on Amazon mostly run about $5 or $6 each. I found a source that sells the same units for about $1.25 each...though shipping took 7 to 8 days. That's a long time when you're used to Amazon Prime shipping.

    You may not have any attenuators laying around, but you may have a few splitters. I tested my signal level using 3 or 4 splitters in a row. Each splitter dropped the signal 3.5 or 7 dB...depending on which "out" port I used. Quick and easy way to test your system with a lower signal level.
     
    hankuro likes this.
  20. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    720
    177
    Sep 29, 2013
    I had a Comcast tech out recently to check my signal levels. He replaced a few cable ends and installed a new splitter. As he finished, he installed a POE filter. I told him I don't use MOCA, my system was all ethernet. He said I did use MOCA, on the Comcast side. And their current policy is to install a POE filter on any property they visit that does not have one.
     

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