TIVO Bolt plus Charter Spectrum HD = pixelation and lines

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Dan Jordan, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Dan Jordan

    Dan Jordan New Member

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    Oct 21, 2017
    I have Charter Spectrum cable TV running through a TIVO Bolt, and I have a situation where most of the network HD channels (CBS, ABC, NBC) plus several other channels turned up last winter with serious pixelation issues (ranging from pixelated lines across screen to most of the screen being a pixelated mess. I've had Charter service people out three different times trying everything they can think of but none of it helped. I've talked to TIVO support and they basically point the finger at Charter.

    I rented a Charter cable box and connected it to my system, completely bypassing the TIVO Bolt. The problem completely went away. This seems to point the finger of guilt at the Tivo and/or at the tuning adapter that is required for use with the Tivo.

    Everything about my setup has been replaced -- except the TIVO. None of these measures has helped. Only bypassing the TIVO and tuning adapter fixed it.

    My wife loves the TIVO. I, having brought TIVO into our house during TIVO's earliest days, am ready to be done with TIVO due to the pixelation problem that affects many of our favorite channels. In other words I'm stuck with the TIVO Bolt until and unless I can change my wife's mind.

    Does anyone know (not guesses, please; I'm worn out from trying peoples' guesses) what will fix the pixelation problem? (I know that's an unreasonable question; due to exhaustion with this problem I'm just throwing a 'Hail Mary".) I'm about to be billed by TIVO for another year's service and -- it pains me.

    Thanks.
    Dan
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    What's the signal strength and SNR on the problem channels?

    Comparing Tivo Bolt to a cable box is very different. A Cable box only has 1 tuner and its own signal strength (say 80%), The very same signal from the cable to a Tivo is very different because of its 4 or 6 tuners, therefore, its lower. The same signal of 80% would be 60% or less due to the internal splitting to 4 or 6 tuners.
     
  3. Dan Jordan

    Dan Jordan New Member

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    Oct 21, 2017
    Signal strength ranges from 68% to 72%. SNR is 28dB.
     
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Its a bit low. Faulty connectors in the cable line, and even splitters could be the cause.

    It can also cause problems if its way too strong as well.
     
  5. Dan Jordan

    Dan Jordan New Member

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    Oct 21, 2017
    Yes, one of the Charter service people discovered that changing out a certain splitter (or some such component) raised the signal strength -- worsening the pixelation problem.
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Not always. Usually removing a splitter can get a better reception. There may be a loose connector or a bad cable, or splitter.
     
  7. awesomejdub

    awesomejdub New Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Did you get this resolved? I seem to have the exact same problem and Charter doesn't seem to be wiling to help. We just moved. Had Bolt hooked up OTA at old house with no issues. Now with Charter/Cable Card/Tuning adapter some channels are pixelated. Fox/NBC/ABC/KDNL/CBS which oddly are the local channels here in St. Louis.
     
  8. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    First thing I would do is split the incoming coax before the TA, take one leg to the Tivo and the other to the TA. Don't use the TA coax output at all. This should increase signal strength to the Tivo by an order of magnitude, especially if you have a Moto TA.

    Also keep in mind that Charter compresses the heck out of some channels so they look much worse than OTA. So if by "pixelated" you mean macro blocking during fast motion, there's not much you can do. But if you mean breakups, then a stronger signal should help.
     
  9. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Or a weaker signal could help if the signal is too strong. OP should check the signal strength and report back.
     
  10. awesomejdub

    awesomejdub New Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Did anyone ever get a resolution to this? I have the same problem with Charter in STL.
    Only the local chanels are pixelated or just dont show anything. Charter has been out 3 times since Aug 1 and blames it on Tivo, last time they said there was too much noise on the Coax line that was put in through the attic. So i finally ran a new coax line yesterday and still have the same problems with no difference. One thing i did notice is that the Cable card does not show paired. It still shows "Val:?" Last night i asked them to unpair and repair the cable card and there was no change. I also noticed that the tivo isnt seeing the Tuning adaper when its plugged in. It is getting a solid yellow light, but the Tivo Bolt isnt recognizing it. They are sending a tech out today. But based on history they wont know anything about Tivo and/or not have a cable card or tuning adapter to swap out. Any suggestions for any of these issues? Anything i should specifically tell the Tech or the person on the phone?
     
  11. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    What is the signal strength? How do you know the the TiVo doesn't see the TA? Have you checked the USB cable? Moved to the other port?
     
  12. awesomejdub

    awesomejdub New Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Signal Strength on those channels that are not coming in currently show "-" with nothing showing. The tivo shows "Tunning adapter not connected". I tried power cycling it, changing the cable, changing the port, setting up with a splitter all with no change. I called charter to make sure that the Tech coming today would have a tuning adapter and a cable card because more often than not they dont have the right equipment. The girl on the phone sounded pretty knowledgeable so i asked her to please look at the equipment on my account and tell me if everything looks normal with the card and TA. She says, well there is no Host ID or Data ID for the Card and usually those are filled out. So i gave her that info and asked her to send another pairing signal. I'm at work so i cant verify that it did anything, but jeez, after 3 months of troubleshooting someone finally notices that? Im pretty sure that is important info to have to pair the device.
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    ccCA.JPG <- When it's paired

    They need this information: ccPair.JPG

    Only you can tell them it's working. They can not "read" your card.

    Pictures are from a Motorola M-Card. The SA/Cisco cards are different.
     
  14. awesomejdub

    awesomejdub New Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    So the Charter/Spectrum guy came out yesterday and was pretty knowledgeable. Was able to get the Card paired correctly. Is now showing "Val:V". He swapped out the tuning adapter and the Bolt now recognizes it and it appears to be doing whatever it needs to do. it is showing a solid yellow light (Is an Arris). After all of that we did the guided setup again, and there was no change. Still not showing the "Local" channels in HD ABC/NBC/FOX/ABC/PBS etc. I CAN pick them up in SD. We got into the diagnostics and the channel signal was still showing "-" and SNR was 26-28db on the HD channels that are NOT working. For channels that ARE working the signal is only 65%-70% and SNR around 26-28 db. Tivo had suggested that i put on a +6 attenuator. Had the charter guy put that on and there was no change to the signal or the SNR. Charter is getting over 90% signal when they test. I only have 1 splitter in the house from the main line to split for internet and the 1 BOLT. The Tivo support guys says he thinks the box is defective and offers to replace it for a $50 exchange fee. I didn't do it at the time because i wanted to investigate it. He noted my account and said to call back in a couple days if i wanted to do the exchange. Do you guys think that is really the issue? I would hate to pay $50 to get a new Bolt, and then end up in the same spot. Thanks for your time and suggestions.
     
  15. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I would go with the exchange since you don't have the tools to get more information. It's just as likely that those channel you are missing are sent in the same "band" and that amplifier (at the headend) is bad. The "-" for signal means no signal. I'll assume there is no frequency displayed either. So either the cable card is mapping the wrong channels or the unit is bad or your feed is bad. Without the tools, you can't find the defect. Usually a Bolt has a 90% signal on all channels, or real close. Plus a 36dB SNR.
     
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  16. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Couple of things to try first.

    I don't see you mention how the Tuning Adapter is connected, but the way to do it with the least signal loss is to take the coax from the wall, run to a 2-way splitter, then connect one leg to the TA input and the other to the Tivo input. There should be no coax from the TA out to the Tivo, only the USB cable. This should give you at least 6dB higher signal. The loss if you go through an Arris TA is gigantic.

    Sounds like you currently have the wrong lineup if there are no HD locals, or perhaps you're just looking in the wrong place. In my Spectrum market the HD versions of the locals are in the 700s, i.e., SD channel 12 would be HD channel 712. If you're still missing channels, I think it's worth running guided setup again using a different, nearby zip code in order to get the right lineup, perhaps the zip for the largest nearby city. If your market recently converted to all digital, there could also be multiple lineups to select from. Try different ones and see if the lineup improves.
     
  17. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    I took it that he simply didn’t get a picture when tuned to the HD channel, not that they weren’t in the lineup. As far as I know, even if one sets up a wrong lineup, you can still manually tune to any channel coming down the coax- only the guide/info is affected. Poster should clarify in any event.
     
  18. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Here's how to (maybe) locate the problem:
    Call the cable company and ask them what QAM channel they use for ABC HD.
    Connect the cable to the TV.
    Enter the QAM channel (including decimal points) on the TV.
    If "no signal" displays, there is no signal - bad feed.
    If "can not decode" displays, the signal is there.

    Simple, right?
     
  19. awesomejdub

    awesomejdub New Member

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    Oct 8, 2011
    I received the exchanged bolt today and it fixed all the problems. I’m getting all channels with 93-95% signal. I guess there really was an issue with my bolt.
    Thank you all for your help and suggestions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Mikeguy and jth tv like this.

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