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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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About to give up on TiVo (Problem with the signal on this cable channel, trying again).
Dec 27, 2011 at 7:58:13 PM  |  #1
[Archived]  

I have now spent I don't know how many hours on the phone troubleshooting this issue with tech support. Every time it's a different excuse as to why it's happening, and it's never right. The unit has been replaced once already, and I've replaced my CableCard *twice* now.

Several times a week, I turn on my TV to find the message "Problem with the signal on this cable channel, trying again." I flip through the channels and it won't get a signal. However, once I reboot the box, somehow everything magically goes back to normal. TiVo points the finger at Comcast, Comcast points the finger at TiVo, and for what will probably be the only time EVER, I'm siding with Comcast. It's obviously not a signal issue since every time, I can restart the box and everything magically starts working again, plus, the other TVs in my house still work fine while this "signal problem" is occuring. It's obviously some sort of "blip" or something that is causing TiVo to freak out, but instead of being able to recover from it and simply regain the signal, it just stays in this state of "Problem with the signal" and I end up having to reboot. The worst part is when this happens, sometimes it's days until I discover it, which means the TiVo has missed recording any shows it was supposed to during that time.

This is quite obviously a software bug -- PLEASE FIX IT ALREADY!

5.05.05.05.05.0 (1 rating)
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(Last Login: Dec 28, 2011 at 1:50:05 AM) rmma
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Dec 28, 2011 at 1:51:30 AM  |  #2
[Archived]  

I am having the same issue with the same results from tech support !!!

 

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Dec 29, 2011 at 9:30:10 PM  |  #3
[Archived]  

They told me, and I quote:  "We definitely apologize for the troubles you've had with these CableCARD issues but replacing the CableCARD once or twice is definitely not enough for TiVo support. I've seen it before where a customer had to replace their CableCARD seven times before they were able to get a good working CableCARD that worked with their TiVo box."

Right.  So, it's just a coincidence that a bunch of your customers have to swap out their CableCARDs up to 7 times to find a working one.  Bulls***.  The one that I have in there now is brand new, right out of the box from Comcast.  It's a software bug, plain and simple.  Make it so the TiVo can recover from these errors without a reboot.

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(Last Login: October 20, 2014 10:45 AM) curiousmark
curiousmark
Dec 30, 2011 at 1:57:47 AM  |  #4
[Archived]  

So what is the signal strength, the corrected and uncorrected error counts on the channel giving you trouble when you get the error message?

Do you use a Tuning Adapter?  If so, is the channel having trouble an SDV channel?

Is it always the same channel?

 

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Dec 30, 2011 at 8:14:56 AM  |  #5
[Archived]  

Tech support confirmed that the signal strength and error counts are all at an acceptable level. 

It's every channel, both HD and standard.  When the problem occurs, every single channel you go to gives you that error message until you reboot.  I'm not using a tuning adapter.

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(Last Login: October 20, 2014 10:45 AM) curiousmark
curiousmark
Dec 30, 2011 at 8:38:49 PM  |  #6
[Archived]  

OK, but I am not willing to blindly trust what tech support told you.  What were the numbers?

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Dec 31, 2011 at 8:07:44 AM  |  #7
[Archived]  

I don't recall what the numbers are.  Next time it fails I'll have to write them down.  It's been a while since I've called tech support about it.

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Dec 31, 2011 at 9:07:07 PM  |  #8
[Archived]  

Well got home tonight and turned on the TV and surprise surprise...

Tuner 0:
Signal Strength Meter:  84
RS Uncorrected:  0
RS Corrected: 0

Tuner 1:
Signal Strength Meter:  84
RS Uncorrected:  420
RS Corrected:  947

I'm not sure what to tell you when you ask "error counts on the channel giving you trouble."  It's not just one channel.  When this happens, I can't access ANY channel.  Only fix is a reboot.  The corrected/uncorrected readings I gave you above just happen to be from the channel it was on when I first turned on the TV and saw that the error message was on the screen.

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(Last Login: October 20, 2014 10:45 AM) curiousmark
curiousmark
Jan 2, 2012 at 10:39:19 AM  |  #9
[Archived]  

Those are the error counts I was asking for, I couldn't remember their names off the top of my head.  Those high uncorrected numbers indicate that the signal is bad and the TiVo is not able to use error correction codes to fix it.  The signal strength is also a bit on the low side which might be responsible.  You should check that all coax connections are tight with the center wire projecting to near the end of the tightening screw on all connections from where the coax enters the house to the TiVo.  If there are any extra splitters or high count splitters with unused ports, try either removing the extra splitter or go to a lower count splitter so that most of the out portsa re used.  This will up the signal strength at the TiVo DVR.  If you can't do that, or doing so does not help, perhaps a good signal amplifier will do the trick.  The cable company should be willing to come out and do this for you.  Aim for a signal strength between 90 and 99.  Once you hit 100 you can't tell if the signal is stronger and a too strong signal can cause all the same problems as a too weak signal can.

The reason to check all the connections is that a poor connection can let electrical noise into the lines and that can cause uncorrectable errors even if the signal strength is adequate.  When everything is working right, your R/S uncorrected should always stay at zero.

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Jan 2, 2012 at 11:27:17 AM  |  #10
[Archived]  

I've actually tried both ways, with and without a booster.  With the booster, I get right at around 90 (-/+ 1), so I'll leave it installed.  However, it's done it before even with the booster.

I actually had Comcast replace a bunch of splitters in my house a while back, to make sure everything was up to date (now using 1000mhz splitters).  I can say for sure that there are no extra splitter ports open. 

I will certainly try all you suggested, and not arguing here, BUT...the thing that bothers me is that I don't see any reason why TiVo shouldn't be able to recover from these issues.  Even if there's a few seconds, few minutes, whatever where the signal is bad.  The thing is, a reboot always fixes it.  I could understand if it were less consistent, but I never have the problem *while* I'm watching TV...only sometimes when I first go to turn it on.  And, despite any signal issues that the TiVo is reporting, I should say, my sound and picture are perfect.  Even WITH these errors, why is it beyond TiVo to program in some kind of functionality so if there is a signal issue, it just resets the signal?  Even if it rebooted the box when this happened, and reported an error to you next time you go into the TiVo menu?  It's just completely stupid that when there's a slight blip in the signal, it renders the TiVo dead.  Surely they could build something in the code that makes the TiVo able to recover from this.

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(Last Login: October 20, 2014 10:45 AM) curiousmark
curiousmark
Jan 2, 2012 at 4:40:39 PM  |  #11
[Archived]  

I certainly won't argue with you.  I am only hoping to help you get the best out of it that you can.  There were long threads here with similar problems with the TiVo HD units a year or so ago.  There was a case where in some locations the local cable company would put something in their signal that would completely lock the DVR up.  TiVo worked with the cable companies for a long time and fixed it in some areas but not others.  The TiVo Premieres came out and were apparently immune to that issue and the messages here dried up.  That does not mean that there is something in the signal to which your DVR is allergic.  If that is the case, TiVo certainly may be able to fix it with a software update.  So I do urge you to call support and report it.  They prioritize what software fixes they put out based on call count.  So if you and others report it to telephone support it certainly can help eventually getting it fixed.

It is also possible your DVR has a bad tuner in it that acts up when the power sags for example.  Swapping DVRs would definitely fix it if that was the case.  Bad software in the cable card from your cable company is another place that problems can creep in.  Replacing the cards can eleiminate a hardware problem in the card, but getting newer card software on the card itself would be needed if that is where the problem lies.  To check that out you need to find other Premiere owners on the same cable head end as yourself and compare notes.  If they are good and have different software on their cable cards, that might be a clue.  If their cards are the same, but they have no problem, then maybe you have a bad Premiere.

In all cases, you need to completely rule out the signal coming down the cable.  Otherwise swapping cards and DVRs would just be a waste of time and effort.

Some cable companies are much more willing to work with you than others.  That may also be an indication.  If they only want to sell you their DVR, then they may have no interest in fixing a problem in their system.  After all that problem helps them sell DVRs.  Keep in mind that doing that can get them in deep trouble with the FCC, so most good cable companies would rather work with you to solve the problem.  This varies greatly from company to company and even from head end to head end.

Finally, keep in mind this is a peer support forum.  We are all customers here.  I wish you the best of luck, please let us know how it is going.

5.05.05.05.05.0 (1 rating)
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(Last Login: Jan 15, 2012 at 2:27:27 PM) smcm939
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Jan 15, 2012 at 2:33:07 PM  |  #12
[Archived]  

I am having the same issue with Charter Cable with my cable card and adapter; also cannot access on-demand services and missing other Charter channels.  I can't listen to that goofy TIVO song during the reboot even one more time, about to give in and go back to charter dvr's.

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(Last Login: Jul 24, 2012 at 10:39:55 AM) pm
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Jul 24, 2012 at 10:47:07 AM  |  #13
[Archived]  

I just experienced this for the first time with my Tivo Premiere.  I don't think it's a problem with your cable card or your tuner.  (To test, unplug the cable line - wait a few seconds - plug it back in; picture comes back, yes?)  Rather, I think it's a power supply issue.  We recently had a major storm - I have UPS and an automatic backup generator, but the power was out so long and the temperature was so hot, the generator turned itself off and the UPS shutdown.  When power came back up, everything started up just fine, but this Tivo wouldn't display a picture.  I shutdown, unplugged for 30 sec, and rebooted - magic, picture was back.

I think the premier doesn't have good power isolation; when you get a brownout (power but not within specs), the channel decoding circuitry (in Tivo - not MCard - I know this because this particular TiVO doesn't have an MCard and my other TiVOs do) gets in a bad state and stays there until a reboot.

Get a UPS with brownout protection and it should stop this problem except in those rare situations where the UPS is completely run down.  I use APC for my computers, but for my media systems I use the Belkin Pure AV.

Good luck!

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(Last Login: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:42:33 PM) mgudites
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Jul 25, 2012 at 6:22:18 AM  |  #14
[Archived]  
Hi pm,
 
Thanks for the tips, but:
 
1.  No, the picture does not come back after unplugging the cable line and plugging it back in; I've tried that.  Only way to fix is a reboot.
 
2.  Due simply to the fact that it takes 10 minutes for TiVo to come back up after a brownout, I've already got both of mine plugged into power-filtering battery backups.  
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pm View the original post

I just experienced this for the first time with my Tivo Premiere.  I don't think it's a problem with your cable card or your tuner.  (To test, unplug the cable line - wait a few seconds - plug it back in; picture comes back, yes?)  Rather, I think it's a power supply issue.  We recently had a major storm - I have UPS and an automatic backup generator, but the power was out so long and the temperature was so hot, the generator turned itself off and the UPS shutdown.  When power came back up, everything started up just fine, but this Tivo wouldn't display a picture.  I shutdown, unplugged for 30 sec, and rebooted - magic, picture was back.

I think the premier doesn't have good power isolation; when you get a brownout (power but not within specs), the channel decoding circuitry (in Tivo - not MCard - I know this because this particular TiVO doesn't have an MCard and my other TiVOs do) gets in a bad state and stays there until a reboot.

Get a UPS with brownout protection and it should stop this problem except in those rare situations where the UPS is completely run down.  I use APC for my computers, but for my media systems I use the Belkin Pure AV.

Good luck!



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(Last Login: Dec 13, 2013 at 1:23:55 PM) dimi
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Sep 8, 2012 at 12:57:27 PM  |  #15
[Archived]  

Switched from Knology to Charter in April. BOth Tivos (HD and Premiere) worked fine with KNology Cable card. For charter they require cable card and tuning adapter. Immediately after setup some channels disappear some of the time. Rebooting does not fix this but channels will come and go. When a channel is out, it is out on both Tivos but NOT on my charter digital cable box (have a tv without a Tivo) so obviously it is not a signal problem. During 10 visits from Charter repair they replaced all tuning adaptors, m-cards, and wiring in my entire house (except what is inside the walls) and added boosters, etc. Cable signal measures perfect and the picture is better than the installers say they get at their house. But still channels will randomly come and go. Did a factory reset (complete wipe and that didnt fix it. Tivo tech support just said my signal is fine but tuning adaptors will always have this problem. The only fix is to switch to charter dvr and dump Tivo. Ugh. After all these years having to leave Tivo is awful. Can't believe there is no fix. 

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