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I've lost 70% of my HD channels. Help please.

2452 Views 38 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  302481
Hello everyone,

I currently have a TiVo HD. About two weeks ago I “lost” about 70% of my HD channels. I have one TV with both the TiVo HD and a cable box hooked up into it. All the HD channels are coming thru just fine on the cable box. However, when I try to access some of those same channels on the TiVo HD one of two things happen:

1) I get the video and audio just fine and then after 3-4 seconds it just freezes. I’m able to fast forward to catch up to “live” TV but after 3-4 seconds it will freeze again.

2) I get audio but I get a grey screen so no video. No freezing on the audio. Just no picture.

The same thing is happening to my recordings. For the HD channels I get they work just fine. The recordings for the HD channels I no longer get behave the same as “live” TV.

I initially thought it was a glitch that would work itself out. However, that was not the case. Since I was getting some HD channels just fine (CBS, ABC, etc, etc) and not others (CNN, FOX, etc, etc.) I started to believe that the problem was with the cable card. I’ve had that cable card for about 5 years or so and thought that maybe it was dying. I contacted Comcast and asked them to mail me a new cable card, which they did.

When I called Comcast to have it paired to the TiVo I was able to accomplish that fairly easily. However, when I was done the lady I was dealing with at Comcast asked me to check and see if the HD channels I couldn’t get before were now available. To my surprise they were not. At that point the Comcast lady I was dealing with told me that she wasn’t surprised.

She informed me that this is a common occurrence with older TiVo’s. According to her it has something to do with the format in which the HD channel signal is being broadcast in. I remember reading something about that a while ago on this website but at that point it seemed like it was years away. I tried looking for the forum entry on this but couldn’t find it. Can someone explain the specifics to me of what is happening?

Also, if Comcast decides to broadcast all the HD channels in this new format am I correct to assume that my TiVo HD will only be good for SD channels (SD channels work fine and record fine)? Ultimately, I’ll be fine. I purchased a brand-new Bolt + in October of 2016 (w/lifetime) in case the TiVo HD died which I’ve never opened. I assume this issue won’t occur with the Bolt +.

One last question: I’m not very techy so please excuse the question. My understanding of cable cards is that a single stream card can accommodate one cable channel (HD or SD) and that a multi-stream cable card can accommodate two cable channels (HD or SD). In discussing my situation with the Comcast lady I mentioned to her that it was good that I had two multi-stream cable cards as I believe that the Bolt + could record 4 TV shows at the same time. She stated that I didn’t need two multi-stream cable cards to accomplish that. I only needed one. Is this true? Can one multi-stream cable card accommodate four cable channels (HD or SD)?

Lastly, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I’d be very grateful for any information or insight you can provide.
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Yes one multi stream card can record 4 channels.
Wow. That is amazing. I didn't realize that one cable card could handle 4 channels at the same time. Thank you very much for the information.
If I'm not mistaken, the Bolt+ actually has six tuners that can all be used with a single multi-stream CableCARD.
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Are you sure your TiVo is an "HD" and not an original Series 3? It sounds like you lost your HD channels because of a switch from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4. IIRC, the TiVo HD received an upgrade that allowed it to handle MPEG-4, while the Series 3 did not.
Six. Wow! At the most I think I could use 3 at one time. That is amazing. One cable card can do all that. I'm shocked. Thank you for the information.
My owners manual say "TiVo HD viewer's Guide on the front of it which leads me to think that it's a TiVo HD.
My owners manual say "TiVo HD viewer's Guide on the front of it which leads me to think that it's a TiVo HD.
Is there an OLED display on the front of your TiVo that says the name of the shows that are being recorded?
If I do in fact have a series three and not an HD will I eventually lose all HD channels?
No, the only way i know the title of a show being recorded is by going to the now playing or to do list and see what titles have a the red ball.
No, the only way i know the title of a show being recorded is by going to the now playing or to do list and see what titles have a the red ball.
This would indicate that you do indeed have an HD and not a Series 3. I'm not sure what's going on. The TiVo HD should be fully capable of tuning in MPEG-4 channels, so perhaps there is something else at play. At this point, I'm going to defer to someone with more knowledge on the subject than myself.
Thanks for trying. I appreciate the attempt. Have a good day Gweenpose.
Here is the info from wikipedia on cable cards. M-card can do 6 streams. I couldn't remember the specific limit but knew it was at least 4.

There are two kinds of physical CableCARDs:

  • A "single-stream" CableCARD (S-CARD) can decode a single channel at a time. The S-CARD specification was initially specified in the Host-POD Interface (SCTE 28) and POD Copy Protection System (SCTE 41) standards (often referred to as CableCARD 1.0) set of specifications.
  • A "multi-Stream" CableCARD (M-Card) can decode up to six channels simultaneously. Multi-stream cards were specified in a separate document in 2003.
That's great news. Thank you Krandor. I appreciate you looking that up for me. Have a good day.
Did you try and repeat the guided setup and have it rescan the channels? Worth a shot.

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
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JoeKustra - The TSN prefix is 652. The model number is TCD652160.

Dbpaddler - I'll give that a shot during lunch. Thanks for the Recommendation.
Joe - I don't quite understand what you're trying to convey to me. How does this address my issue of the lost HD channels? Sorry, if I'm not picking up on something. As I said in the original post I'm not tech savvy.
I'll say it because I always do in any Series 3 family discussion.
Capacitors.... they may very well need replacing, this requires someone with electronics repair knowledge who understand how to replace them.
Series 3 Tivo HD Capacitor List

This era of unit was manufactured with capacitors that were improperly made and WILL fail, it's not a manner of IF, but WHEN, and the symptoms of capacitor issues are wide, varied, and not always repeatable.
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