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Why does TiVo lose signal from Cable / Satellite?

1567 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jjberger2134
Last night, while we were sitting quietly watching as Tivo recorded -- it started blanking out and saying "low signal" and then it cut to black. So I rebooted (turned everything off for a while, then turning it all back on). Same thing. I switched to watching on cable, then went to bed.

This morning it gave me the ...TiVo isn't getting a signal from cable / satellite ... message, and I'm going through all the steps now.

(I rebooted again, and now it seems to be okay.

But, what causes this sorta "signal loss?"

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The cable signal going into the TiVo may not be strong enough. Ask your cable company for a cable amplifier. They should give you one for free, but if they give you a hard time search for one to buy. An Electroline amplifier with a Return Path should do the trick. A 4 port unit usually goes for about $50.
jjberger is absolutely correct. I kept getting the "searching for channel" messages from Tivo, particularly on HD channels and certain digital channels. My cable co installed the amplifier (for free) and now I get every channel, on both my Series 3 and my Tivo HD, perfectly and crystal clear. fwiw, I have a low-end LCD (Panasonic, $700) as my "second" TV, and the HD channels via the Tivo HD are absolutely stunning.
Very interesting!!! I'll check out the amplifiers. I never had a clue that there was such a thing, let alone that there would be /could be any need for one.

Could it also mean I need to buy different internal wiring? I think that's what the links were alluding to, but I need to check out your thread links more thoroughly as well as read up on the electroline site


Why would TiVo require a stronger signal than the cable DVR?
Cable signals loses their strength as they travel through splits in the line. A similar analogy would be a water hose analogy. If you have a splitter on your outdoor spigot, and have 2 or 3 hoses on that particular faucet, then the water pressure is less when all of the splits are open since only a certain amount of water can go through the spigot.

As far as your home, depending on the number of cable splits in your home, you may have a severely degraded signal at your TiVo box. You seem to have 2 splits at the TiVo (one to the TV and one to the TiVo). An amplifier is basically a electrically powered splitter. Therefore, the signal does not lose any power at the split.

For more information on the electroline amps, there is an ebay seller that has a great information page. The ebay seller id is: cabletvamps. The information can be found on his lisitings on ebay under the "Need Help" link.

As for your concern regarding the wiring in your home - you may have a bad connection somewhere that is causing your signal loss. Since you have a signal on the TV, double check all the connections to the TiVo. I doubt you need new wiring, but maybe a connector is loose.

I do not know why (in some cases, such as yours) that a TiVo needs a more powerful signal. It may be because the tuner built into the TiVo is of lesser quality, or the TiVo needs a stronger signal to digitize the broadcast to store on the hard drive. I really do not know.

It sounds like from your statement at the beginning of this thread, that you have had your TiVo for an undetermined amount of time and this is not a new setup. It may help if you post the Make/Model of the TiVo as well as the age.
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