TWC, Roamio Basic... tuning adapter needed?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by wkearney99, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    MIL had a Tivo HD and basic cable from Time Warner in Buffalo. I got her a lifetime Roamio basic (the 4-tuner model). I got a cablecard from TWC and it appears to be tuning all of the channels in the tier she subscribes (no pay TV).

    I got tuning adapter from them but it was DOA. I set it all up anyway (without the Cisco TA) and all of her channels appear to be watchable. Is this correct?

    What voodoo would the tuning adapter be providing that would require it being present?

    If it's not needed for the non-premium channels then I'm not going to bother going through the trouble of getting another one (and just return the DOA unit).
     
  2. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Highly unlikely the TA was DOA, just not authorized properly on TWC's end.

    SDV channels can come and go based on what the neighbors are watching. But if you consistently get all the channels you want, you're fine without a TA.
     
  3. SomeRandomIdiot

    SomeRandomIdiot New Member

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    The "Voodoo" as you call it is that the Tuning Adapter is a 2 way STB, where the TiVo is not.

    NO voodoo. Pure Science.
     
  4. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    No lights from the TA. Power adapter was providing 12vdc. Left it plugged in for a half-hour and it didn't warm up. Pressing the power button on the front didn't change anything else. Tivo didn't appear to 'see' it, at least not by saying anything in any of the menus in which I looked. I may not know many things, but unless it was pining for the fjords... it was dead.

    Good point regarding SDV and neighbor use. I'm not there and my MIL isn't exactly an expert. But she has commented regarding CBS channels not getting recorded, but are watchable. Which doesn't make much sense, but then I've never had a TWC or needed a SDV TA.

    I'll have her take it back and get a replacement. I'll likely be up there again in a month and I'll revisit the TA when I get there.
     
  5. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    Yes, well, namesakes and all that. Err, thanks?
     
  6. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    The tuning adapter talks to the head-end and establishes a frequency for an SDV channel to be sent to you. The idea is that if nobody is watching an SDV channel in the area serviced by a head-end, it doesn't need to take up bandwidth and they can fit more channels into the lineup. So it only makes sense to make a channel SDV if it is one of the lesser used channels; TWC at least, follows this rule. If you yourself don't watch any of the SDV channels then the tuning adapter is completely superfluous and you can put it in your closet and forget about it until either you discover something you want to watch on an SDV channel or you move out of the TWC service area.

    Note that SDV channels can not be received at all without a tuning adapter. When we first got SDV and tuning adapters here, TWC told us we wouldn't get any channels without a tuning adapter; this is not the case, only the SDV channels require a TA, but as I said, you can't receive an SDV channel without a tuning adapter. (The tuning adapter function is integral to the cable company supplied boxes, so in that case it's not a separate piece of hardware.)
     
  7. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    If she is getting all the channels she subscribes to (or wants to watch) then just throw the tuning adapter in a closet somewhere and forget about it. Getting one that works correctly on the off chance she may one day up her TV package to include premium channels that may require a tuning adapter would be way more trouble than it's worth.
     
  8. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    I hear ya. TWC and "more trouble than it's worth" kind of goes hand-in-hand.

    The one comment that struck me as odd was her statement that CBS programs weren't being recorded. I haven't had the time/inclination to dig into this further, but I'd wonder about that and the SDV situation.

    I can't realistically say "throw it in the closet" because it'd end up being and endless nagging point. I'd at least like to have it exchanged for one that works and have it "set aside" until I get back up there again.

    Can anyone confirm that a Cisco TA will light up at least one or two LEDs when powered up? Or does it really stay 'lights out' all the time, regardless of state when plugged into power?
     
  9. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    Ok, so if she's already seeing a channel then it won't get switched out? Or, as I'm assuming, it might and it was just happenstance that the channel was viewable at that particular moment? I'm guessing neither, as your "no TA, no SDV" note would apply.

    Is there a list anywhere that breaks down what does or doesn't get put on the SDV tier?

    TWC did indeed say you can't get any without the TA. This was a back-and-forth process where I went to the office, got a CableCard and watched the clerk "use the computer to activate it". Back at the house it wasn't working, so I called the 800 number. They took down the HostID and "activated the card" but still no video. At this point informing me I needed the TA to get anything at all. So, back I went and got one, meanwhile they noted the account showed no CableCard (that I'd just gotten an hour before). Right, "cue the circus music"... Back to the house, where I happen to notice it's actually getting channels... okaaaayyy.... whatever, I go to plug-in the TA, only to discover it was dead. Taking me to where we are now.

    So she's got working cable, but might have recording issues (or she just might be 82 and confused, so... whatever).
     
  10. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    When you plug in the power cord, the tuning adapter LED blinks while the TA is booting up and then goes solid once it is finished. If the LED isn't coming on at all, then it is nothing more than a doorstop at this point.

    The lack of a TA shouldn't have any negative effects on her recordings on the channels she can view without the TA. In fact, my leading cause of tuning/recording failures is due to the crappy Cisco TA that TWC has me using. If she gets all the channels she wants without connecting the TA, then I strongly suggest you don't connect it at all, as it is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

    TWC does not regularly change which channels are SDV and which are not. The last time they did for me was almost a year ago when they did a massive realignment of all their channel numbers. In general, the most popular/most watched channels won't be SDV, which includes all of the broadcast networks and basic cable channels. The channels that tend to be SDV are highly specialized/low viewership channels, premium channels, and foreign language channels.

    If you can view the channel with just a CableCard and no TA, then it is not a SDV channel. If it requires a properly working TA to view, then it is a SDV channel. So any channel she has been able to view up until this point without a TA is not a SDV channel.

    They are just wrong if they told you you have to have a TA to view any channels at all. With a CableCard only, you can view all linear channels that are not SDV, which is probably well over 100 channels.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  11. SomeRandomIdiot

    SomeRandomIdiot New Member

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    CBS would not be on an SDV channel.

    Watchable but not recordable is not a TA error.

    If the information she (and you have relayed) is correct, the TA is not the CBS issue.
     
  12. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    TWC gives out all kinds of "interesting" information. I also had one support genius tell me that the mapping of HD signals into SD channels won't work without the tuning adapter; which is the purest of baloney. When anyone in anybody's support organization goes off script all bets are off as far as accurate information goes.
     
  13. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    Ok, that really covers it, thanks!

    The TA is dead. I'll have it returned and will not get a replacement.

    Next step will be to set up a MOCA network and add a v2 Tivo Mini. Which I'm discussing in another thread.
     

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