Tivo Premier - Charter Cable - Two Issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by RussF92767, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009

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    I've been searching the internet and on and off the phone with both Tivo and Charter for hours and not getting any answers or making any progress. I was hoping someone here might have some answers...

    We decided to upgrade to a Tivo Premier from our Series 2. We did a lot of research. We did two live chats and one telephone call to TiVo before we finally decided to upgrade because we believed we would be getting more capacity on our TiVo, we could dump some old tech, streamline, etc.

    Charter sent out a tech to install the cable M card. (Actually, he handed it to me and >I< installed it!) He called Charter and I heard him say, plainly "They are getting all the channels. Do they really need the Tuning Adapter?" The tech on the other end asked them which Series Tivo we had and he said "Its a Premier, a Series 4". The tech on the other end said "No. They do not need the adapter."

    Turns out that we DON'T have all the channels. We are missing most of them over Channel 100. Called Charter. New tech says "Yes, you need the adapter to get channels over 100." Charter is coming back Wednesday with the adapter. :(

    In the meantime I start setting up the Tivo Season Pass Manager and I noticed that all shows are recording "digital", I can't select the picture quality. *sigh* I record one half hour show in HD and transfer down a half hour show from my Series 2 and notice in my Tivo Desktop that the new show is FOUR TIMES THE SIZE of the one taped by my Series 2. :(

    I called Tivo and discussed the problem. Tivo had no solution. :( I found a suggestion on a board that I call Charter and tell them them to shut off the digital simulcast of analog stations, as stations are being broadcast through cable in both analog and digital, but the Tivo is selecting the digital over the analog. If they shut off the digital simulcast, the TiVo will then only find the analog stations in analog and the digital in digital and this will give me greater recording capability. I called Charter back and the guy on the other end just kept saying "I am sorry you are having problems taping in digital..." He couldn't follow what I wanted him to do. He told me to just wait for the tech on Wednesday and discuss the problem with him. :(

    So, Wednesday the tech comes with my adapter box, but I'm wondering if this is going to solve my problems. I like the Premier, but I watch very little in HD and like the smaller files of the analog (I transfer a lot to my laptop to watch...I travel quite a bit). The huge files of "digital" or "HD" will take longer to transfer and eat up more space. *sigh* It also means that I have spent $300 ($200 for the box, $100 for the proprietary adapter) to be little better off before I spent it.

    So, maybe those of you with Charter, a Tivo Premier and a Tuner Adapter can help me out, especially if you live in the Central Massachusetts or Eastern Connecticut area...

    1) The Tuner Adapter should give me access to digital channels (Channel 100+) correct?

    2) Will the Tuner Adapter give me access to On-Demand? I have heard that it WILL and that it WILL NOT...that with Tivo, you don't get Charter On-Demand Services.

    3) Will the Tuner Adapter give me access to the ANALOG channels so that I can tape shows and adjust the quality, thereby adjusting the file size and the number of hours I can record?

    4) If the answer to number three is "no", CAN Charter turn off the digital simulcast so that my Tivo will only access certain channels in analog?

    Thanks for any help anyone can give in advance.

    Russ F.
     
  2. drewdog

    drewdog Member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    1 - The cable card is what's supposed to give you access to ch. over 100.

    2 - on demand is only avail through charter equipment.

    3 - All the tuning adapter does is make the tivo compatible with Switched Digital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched_video)

    4 - Charter cannot turn it off.
     
  3. drewdog

    drewdog Member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    I can also say [(as a Charter technician myself) *shhh dont tell* ;) ] that even though a lot of techs are not the most intelligent people in the world, the most important thing in the process is actually who they end up talking to on the phone. In our dispatch, there are only 3 people that I trust to do cable cards right. If any of the rest of them answer the phone, I ask to be transferred. The tech is there to read the host and data numbers off your box and make a phone call. I can say that the system here takes a long time to validate the cards. Once the dispatcher does their thing, I wait about 15-30 min and boom... CHANNELS! If at first the test screen is grey, just give it time.
     
  4. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Thanks for your reply.

    When I put in anything over Channel 100, with a few exceptions, I get the following:

    "Channel not available. Contact your cable provider for more information." So, if the Cable Card is supposed to give me access to these channels, why do I need the Tuner Adapter? I have everything under 100, a couple over, but most over 100 give me that message.

    Is there no way to force the Tivo to pick the analog channels over the digital channels? My guess, probably not...
     
  5. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Member

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    Nov 28, 2002

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    It sounds to me like they don't have the cablecard activated correctly. We have Charter in northern california and they don't use SDV or tuning adapters. On our Charter, everything less than 100 is the analog stuff, 100 and over is cablecard/digital.

    I'd have them make another run at activating and pairing the card. What does the cablecard network pairing screen on your TiVo say?
     
  6. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    The tech on the phone this morning confirmed that we have SDV here in Connecticut. There have also been discussions about Eastern Connecticut and Central Massachusetts making the jump to SDV.

    The tech also said that channels 2-68 are ALL analog, but when I try to set up the season pass manager the Record Quality says "Digital" and is grayed out. I have no option to change it.

    According to the Tivo Support article ( http://support.tivo.com/euf/assets/files/SA_MCards_binding_cp.pdf ) My CableCard is properly paired.
     
  7. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    You may have SDV, but I don't think ALL of your digital channels (i.e. the ones 100 and over) are delivered via SDV. I agree with curiousgeorge. They didn't get the CableCard setup correctly. Get that squared away, then add in the tuning adapter and get that working.
     
  8. Kurdit

    Kurdit New Member

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    Aug 15, 2010
    On top of having bad customer service and horrible tech support it seems that a lot of the techs they send out have very little clue. I dont even understand what adapter you would need to view channels over 100. Pretty sure all you need is a Multi Stream CableCARD that has all your channels turned on but I could be wrong and the setup could vary from market to market.

    I've been a charter customer going on 7 years now, so this isnt just a flash in the pan criticism. Same thing happened when I purchased a new Premiere. Between calling and going to the office to pick up a cable card then being told I didn't need one, THEN being told since its a Tivo they have to charge a one time 30 dollar install fee for a tech to come "install" the cable card, PURE RIP OFF.

    If you have a (I had a newer Motorola box) Charter HD cable box that is already activated they already have MCards in them. Clearly labeled on the back of the unit, take it out put it in your Tivo Premiere and be done with with it. A child could do this and its insulting Charter charges 30 bucks for a guy to hand you an MCard and then call the same customer service activation number that we do to activate it. I'm sure this violates all types of charter policy and voids contracts but really all it does is keep the 30 dollars out of Charters' pockets. When its time for your Cable box to go back to Charter just pull the MCard out of the Tivo and "install" it back in your cable box. It takes absolutely no technical knowledge to do this and it keeps charter from prying another cent from you. If you can make toast, you can do this.


    P.S Still no Charter On Demand through TiVo though even with a properly working MCard :( Oh and sorry this was kind of a rant, but I hope it keeps someone from forking over MORE money to Charter.

    P.P.S *IF* Charter finds out I imagine they *COULD* cancel your service.
     
  9. caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

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    I would not be taking cable cards out of Charter equipment. They could say was tampering with charter equipment and cancel your cable and internet service if you have have internet service with them.
     
  10. Kurdit

    Kurdit New Member

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    Aug 15, 2010
    You can select the channel the season pass records from and then only pick HD/Digital channels.
     
  11. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    I checked with Charter and they said they have two tiers "Basic Digital" and "Expanded Digital". Basic Digital is Channels 70 to 99 (Which I get) and a couple of one offs after that (like Bravo, which I believe it 198), but the BULK of the 100s is not there (100-120, specifically).

    Still, even with this fixed this doesn't solve one of my other issues. I'd like to be able to access the analog feed instead of the auto select to the digital so I can have more than 45 hours of recording time and have smaller files to transfer to my laptop for travelling. Any one have any ideas about this? Otherwise I've invested $300 in a new Tivo to have half the capacity of my two 40 hour Series 2s, and I might as well just send it back to TiVo and pocket the $300 for something else (like a Home Brew-Windows 7 DVR) with an ATSC and an NTSC card in it so I can record small files for traveling and larger ones for when I am kicking around at home.

    And when I called Tivo to complain about their Customer Service Reps not warning me about the "Digital Override", they were less than sympathetic. I told them I was unhappy about investing $300 in equipment to be WORSE off for recording time that I was under my old scheme and their response was "We will transfer to you the cancellation department, they will give you instructions for boxing up the Premiere and sending it back." So much for five years of customer loyalty...
     
  12. Kurdit

    Kurdit New Member

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    Aug 15, 2010
    Probably the prudent advice. breaking cable service contracts is not for the faint of heart.
     
  13. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    How were you getting your digital cable channels before you got the Premiere?
     
  14. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Nope, you have it backwards. In order to EXPAND my Premiere's ability, I want to tape from the ANALOG, NOT from the digital. Everyone (the Tivo people, the Charter people, etc) think I am getting the analog and want the digital when it is, in fact, the other way around. I want the analog so I can control record quality and thus, file size and the number of hours I can record on the Tivo. When the Tivo defaults to "digital" on an otherwise analog channel, how can I reverse this so that the Tivo defaults to the analog signal instead of the digital.
     
  15. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    We had the Charter Issued DVR for about thirty days. We figured we would give it a shot. We had the Scientific Atlanta box. It was downright awful compared to the Tivo, and from what I have read and been told, the Moxie box was worse.
     
  16. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    That makes no sense. What more is there to record on the ANALOG stations that you can't record with the series 2?
     
  17. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Russ, you aren't going to be able to do what you want while using a cable card. If you want just the analogs, yank the cable card. I'm not sure why you decided to get the Premiere if you were happy with less than top quality viewing. The Premiere, as its name implies, is intended to get the best possible viewing experience using digital and HD signals. If you are still within the 30 day return limit, I'd advise you to send it back.
     
  18. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    We have TWO series two Tivos. We are looking to streamline down to one box and pay a smaller monthly fee, add some features (like Netflix on Demand, etc.), etc.

    According to Tivo, the Premiere has "Up to 400 hours of Standard Definition" (SD=Basic Quality on the Series 2, right?) If this is my misunderstanding and we are getting Up to 400 hours of Standard Definition Digital, this is a game changer. I will freely admit this could be my error.

    On the Series 2, I could tape a half hour show and it would take up about 371 MB of space. That same show in digital takes up 1.2 GB of space when transferred from my Tivo to my laptop (Ran a test today). Its far less efficient!

    We figured that we would jump to the Premiere because it had a lot of features we liked and we would have more space, but if recording in "digital" means only 45 hours, forget it. If the "digital" is going to be dependent upon the input and we could have a "range" depending upon the input source, we would probably reconsider. If SD=Standard Definition Digital on some channels and "Enhanced" on others (720p) but never HD unless we select HD, so we would end up with 200-300 hours (conservatively) of recording space plus the new features (plus all our digital channels once we get the Tuner Adapter) we will have to seriously reconsider...
     
  19. drewdog

    drewdog Member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    wow... there is a lot of different stuff to reply to here. I'm going to try to make it short.

    You cannot take a cable card out of a moto box and put it in your tivo. They have to be paired and validated. If it were that way, you'd be able to plug any cable card in and viola, all your channels would work.

    If your still getting channel not avail. on screen, the card is simply not setup properly in the billing system. I really don't know why this is so hard for Charter, or ANY cable provider. It's a simple process, assuming you have good signal at your set.

    I'll have to double check, but I thought you could designate which channel the Tivo records from (the SD versus the HD) I do know that you can change the recording quality in the menu.

    The part I am not following is the HD/SD - Digital/Analog discussion. I thought the main distinction between recording time on this box was HD/SD.

    If you are using a properly setup cable card and live in an area with SDV, then you are only viewing digital anyway. They simulcast Dig/Ana and all dig capable devices (set top boxes, cable cards, etc.) default to Dig.

    Hope this helps
     
  20. RussF92767

    RussF92767 Member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Signal strength is always in the lower to mid 40s. If I should get the digital channels (like Nick Jr., Military, Science, etc.) if the card is property configured, then why would I need a tuner adapter?

    I guess this may be the confusion on my part which I am trying to clear up now. Does SD mean Standard Definition Digital (Digital signal, but 480i/p or 720p resolution) or does SD mean Analog? If SD means Analog signal and HD=all digital input, then I guess my Premiere only have 45 hours of taping space? If SD means Standard Definition Digital, I would assume that this means my Premiere has a variable amount of recording space depending upon the quality of the Standard input?
     

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