Winter 2015 Update Breaks Cablecard

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by bwhitney, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Dec 10, 2015 #1 of 214
    bwhitney

    bwhitney Member

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    Kearneysvill...

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    Went to bed last evening around midnight and all was well with my Roamio Plus. My wife is an early riser and the "TV was broken" by 5 am, after running fine for 1 year to the day. A bit of testing found our local PBS and a single local station worked fine, along with HBO, but all other channels were pixeling so bad you can't make out audio or video. I then discovered Tivo had pushed the Winter 2015 update while we were sleeping, and somehow it has broken my Roamio.

    A call to Tivo support says the cablecard is not paired, so we got Comcast on the line and re-paired three times during the day. Tivo insists the cablecard is bad, but I pulled out my old HD unit and put in the cablecard from the Roamio, had it paired, and everything works fine. While on the phone with Comcast, they agreed to re-pair the cablecard to the Roamio once again, since we proved the cablecard was working fine. Again, the Roamio would receive only local and HBO channels. During a three way call with Tivo and Comcast, each were blaming the other. Now I have to have a truck roll. Tivo CS said she had one customer recently that went through 17 cable cards before they could get one to work in the Roamio.

    Given the cablecard works fine on the Tivo HD, After almost 30 years of electronic design, I can assure you there must be a design fault, too tight timing or signal levels, on the Roamio cablecard interface, for this type of nonsense. If a card works fine for a year in one machine, then "breaks" after a software update on said machine, as well as being flawless on another, the design is too sensitive on signal levels or timing.

    Be warned, the Winter 2015 software update may break your cablecard pairing, at least on the Roamio, and then we have to force Comcast to bring a box of cablecards in hopes of finding one that will work with a given Roamio. I am also told it not possible to have a corrupted software update and they can't roll me back or resend the update.

    I'm stuck in the middle between these companies, the cablecard politics, and my wife, and it is no fun.


    Anyone else experience this issue?
     
  2. Dec 10, 2015 #2 of 214
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Not at all. I do have a habit of doing a power cycle after new software is loaded. Two Roamio basic boxes working fine.
     
  3. Dec 10, 2015 #3 of 214
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,015
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    Dayton OH
    Another TiVo/CableCARD horror story -- you have my sympathy.

    I'm on TWC using a Tuning Adapter (TA) which can cause lots of trouble just by itself

    If you had a year of trouble-free TiVo service, I envy you. With 6 years on a TiVo HD and 3.5 months on a Roamio basic, I don't think I've even had one month of trouble-free service. And as you have experienced there is no single entity that is accountable. It's disappointing -- and disgraceful -- that the digital cable TV system (cable co + TiVo + CableCARD + TA) ends up being far less reliable than the analog TV system it replaced.

    Oh well. PC's are less reliable than an Abacus too.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2015 #4 of 214
    gigaguy

    gigaguy Member

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    Hmm, the signal keeps dropping on my newest Roamio Pro I just set up this week. There were so many new variables I wasn't sure if it was a bad new Tivo box, the new update it got as I was setting it up, or the Cablecard or tuning adapter.
    It has had playback problems, jumping around, lags. then the tuning started dropping in and out. TWC is mailing me a new cablecard and adapter.
    Can a bad CC effect playback of recorded programs? Seems improbable but I don't know. Kinda miss my ol' XL4, had no problems. Also TWC told me restarting a Tivo will unpair the card? Is that true?
     
  5. Dec 10, 2015 #5 of 214
    bwhitney

    bwhitney Member

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    Kearneysvill...

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    Powering off a Tivo will not effect the cablecard or paring. Removing a cablecard from a powered Tivo will break the pairing.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2015 #6 of 214
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Not necessarily, I've done this before on Comcast (removed and reinserted a card without losing pair). Motorola card if that makes a diff.

    It's not a universal thing. And the winter update didn't affect pairing on my Roamio.
     
  7. Dec 10, 2015 #7 of 214
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    That sounds horrible and not quite sure how you put up with it. We've had 2 S3 OLED's for just shy of 9 years (January and February activations) and except for the 1 CableCard that failed during a firmware update out service has been trouble-free. Given all the griping you hear about Comcast, I haven't really had any reason to complain and the CableCards have worked fine (and I just transferred 1 of the S3 CableCards to a new Roamio Pro which went smoothly).

    Scott
     
  8. Dec 11, 2015 #8 of 214
    gigaguy

    gigaguy Member

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    I have a lot more issues with the tuning adapter than cablecards. I used to have to reset the adapters 1-2x a month, now maybe once every 2 months.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2015 #9 of 214
    dennis12

    dennis12 New Member

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    Dec 11, 2015
    I have two Tivos - one is a Roamio and that one is having two issues since the latest update - also overnight... woke up in the AM with pixelated TV and networking issues...:

    1. Jittery cablecard performance - Tivo says it's a signal strength problem as the box says "80-81" and they say they must have 85. My other Tivo has 90+. Comcast measured the inputs to both as IDENTICAL as "+2" at the cable going into each Tivo - with ZERO bit errors.

    2. My other Tivo can PLAY anything off the ROAMIO without transferring programs. The ROAMIO says my network s too slow (1GB backbone!), can't PLAY off the other TIVO and can never finish a transfer (download error).

    I've asked Tivo to roll back their update - they say they can't but I frankly do not believe them,

    Ideas are welcome!

    Dennis
     
  10. Dec 11, 2015 #10 of 214
    RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    I'm having the same issue, posted it here.

    I have had both TiVo and cable company on it and both are pointing fingers. Cable company came out and says line to the box looks good (and now are charging me $60 for "not their problem") and TiVo said, that based on my low SNR (23dB-ish) that it's a signal problem to the box. I told them that others are having this issue after the update, but they don't care/believe.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2015 #11 of 214
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you power down the TiVo before removing the cable card and re-insert the card before starting it back up it should still be paired.

    Unless, perhaps, you've used the card in a different TiVo in the meantime--not sure if the card "remembers" pairings or if it's just the TiVo that does.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2015 #12 of 214
    gigaguy

    gigaguy Member

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    Thanks, that's helpful, but my stupid question, how do you power down Tivo? just unplug?
     
  13. Dec 11, 2015 #13 of 214
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yep, there is no "shutdown" -- though, personally, I prefer to put the TiVo (DVR or Mini) into Standby before pulling the plug. Nothing authoritative to back-up that extra step; just makes me feel better.
     
  14. Dec 11, 2015 #14 of 214
    RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    I just unplugged, pulled the card, and booted back up...still nothing. No signal showing, bad SNR.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2015 #15 of 214
    schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Try calling Comcast regular line, choose tv, then re-send signal. This usually works. You don't even talk to anyone. Worth a try before all the other stuff.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2015 #16 of 214
    RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    For me, Cablevision did that last night...didn't work. The tech is here now and his reading on the signal is 37dB, yet the TiVo is reporting 23dB. They are going to have a hard time convincing me that this is not something to do with this update that they did.
     
  17. Dec 11, 2015 #17 of 214
    Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    This is flat out a TiVo issue as it started up after the firmware update. 37dB is above the 36dB threshold for the MER reading on a QAM256 modulated cable signal. The higher the MER reading the better.
    Start hammering away at TiVo. If support does not do anything then go to corporate and then let them handle it.

    Also CableCards have nothing to do with signal issues as their only function is to decrypt encrypted programming and mapping channels to their virtual channel numbers.
     
  18. Dec 11, 2015 #18 of 214
    RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    I have spoken to TiVo 3 times now...about to be a 4th because the last guy "accidentally" hung up on me. They are saying that they know of no issues like this and that there are no reports of issues.

    They continue to tell me to boost the signal...despite me telling them that the Cablevision guy is right here and sees the signal strength as 37dB, but it's showing in TiVo as 25dB. So annoying.

    Edit: Two additional funny points.
    1) I just called back in an now they are experiencing heavy call volumes and the wait is 20 mins...oh yeah, sure, no issues that they are aware of...riiiiight!
    2) I told them that others on the forums were having the same issue when they told me that nobody was having these problems. They told me that doesn't count because anyone can post anything on a forum, so it's unreliable. HAHAH
     
  19. Dec 11, 2015 #19 of 214
    bwhitney

    bwhitney Member

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Kearneysvill...
    Problem Identified

    After spending 3 hours today with Comcast, a local tech, the area supervisor, and their Tivo Expert, the problem is with the Roamio's RF Gain Control. After changing cablecards, running a cable from the street bypassing all household wiring, checking signal levels on every cable band, it turns out adding attenuators (2) and one cable splitter to the cable corrected the problem. Three attenuators lowered the signal too low, so we stuck in a 2 way splitter, but two attenuators wasn't enough.

    The Roamio is EXTREMELY sensitive to signal levels, too high or too low, with a very narrow working range. Our collective belief today is there was some code changed in the RF gain area in the Winter 2015 update. The working level is way below Comcast's specifications, all tuners are running 74-75% Signal Strength, with a S/N ratio either 29 or 30 on the "Tivo box Diagnostic" screen under "Account & System Information". The actual RF signal level the Tivo is seeing after the attenuation, is way below Comcast specifications.


    Good luck to all, but the fix is getting the signal exactly right for your Roamio until Tivo fesses up to their problem and corrects the issue. Comcast will start spreading the word this is a Tivo issue, not a cablecard issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  20. Dec 11, 2015 #20 of 214
    RSCHOON

    RSCHOON Member

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    Sep 7, 2013
    Ok...latest update after my 4th call and waiting on hold to talk to someone for 40 mins and then talking with them for another 40.

    They have no other indications that anyone besides me is having this issue...so please call them if you are seeing the same thing and report it. For what it's worth, chat support was useless, just telling me that I needed to boost my signal, even though I told them that the cable guy was here and the signal to the box is fine (37dB).

    They took a bunch of documentation on my tuners from all different channels...all show roughly the same thing.
    1) Most are switching between QAM 64 and 256
    2) No signal, it's a '-'
    3) Most have no signal lock or program lock
    4) SNR is fluctuating, by generally is about 22dB - 26dB
    5) For most channels, corrected and uncorrected is 0...but some higher channels were exhibiting strange fluctuations there and flashing all kinds of crazy numbers (not just counting up, but jumping around, sometimes back to 0).

    That's about all that I am seeing...everything else works fine (Netflix, pre-recorded shows, etc). They said that they would start investigating, but that I should just keep checking back for updates and periodically restart to see if it clears up.

    Sweet day off with no TV, a $60 Cablevision charge for not their problem, and a weekend with no TV too...guess I'll have to read something.
     

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