Posts Tagged ‘tivo’


TiVo cablecard woes

17 August 2008 – 13:47 CST

Ever since shortly after getting cable cards for my S3, it “loses” channels seemingly randomly. It was a pretty rare thing at first, once a month or so a channel would just be black. Not all channels, and usually not more than one. The problem has gotten progressively worse over the last 10 months or so – happening more and more often. I’ve noticed that changing the channel seems to cause the behavior. That is, switch to a channel and it will show the programming for about 1 – 1.5 seconds and then go black. This is happening every day or so now. A couple of days ago I was at home and the TiVo switched both tuners to record shows and both stopped working – just a black screen.

I’ve changed from 2 single-stream cards to 2 multi-stream cards as per TiVo support’s direction, but it didn’t help. Within the last week or so, I’ve had the box itself replaced, but that hasn’t helped either. I can’t get a straight answer from TiVo as to where the problem is. Some say it is an issue with the cablecards not being properly authorized, others say it is a software issue that is my fault because I have 9.x on the box. (Too bad it wasn’t my choice, and the replacement box has 8.0, with the same problems). Still another says it is a problem with Scientific Atlanta cablecards. I’m trying to figure out if Timewarner has Motorola cable cards, but I’m seriously doubting it. One suggestion from TiVo was to just power down and reboot when the channel stops working. That is annoying – there goes 10 minutes of the show I was trying to watch while waiting for the TiVo to reboot. This is also not useful if I’m not home — because this happens both when I change the channel manually and when the TiVo does so to record something.

While on the phone with TiVo the other night, one of the “missing” channels came back on its own. From black screen to clear picture with no prompting. Other times, it will go for the entire length of a show it should be recording and not actually record anything – because the TiVo doesn’t think it has anything to record.

Except – the “signal strength” meter for the channel looks normal – 95-97%. Really, really frustrated that such an expensive piece of equipment has such an incomprehensible problem.

S3 channel changing bug?

9 December 2007 – 16:33 CST

Called TiVo support this morning, been noticing some strange behavior with my S3. I discovered a trick on my S2 a while back, I have it set to manually record 5 minutes of cable news at 0600 every day. That way when I wake up the news is already on, and if I want I can go back and watch the previous 30 minutes. The S3 works the same way most of the time. Except when the night before and I’ve tuned to one of the cable operator’s digital music channels.

In those cases, when I wake up the S3 has recorded the five minute block of news, but then switched both tuners to the music channel. The TiVo support guy figures it is recording a suggestion from the music channel. Except 1) there is nothing in the suggestions (the entire channel is 2-hour blocks of music in the guide) that has been recorded. 2) Why would the TiVo switch both tuners to the channel to record a suggestion 3) A service update from quite a while back makes it so that after recording a suggestion, the TiVo returns to the channel it was on previously. I also mentioned to him that there is something different about the music channels because the music skips for about 10 seconds after tuning – sort of like the content is being buffered or something.

This certainly seems like a bug to me. It might be a minor one, but the behavior seems irrational and un-TiVo-like.

Way #106 TiVo has changed my life

20 March 2006 – 22:04 CST

Okay, really now. How could a piece of home entertainment equipment be so revolutionary? Let me tell you way #106 (the other 105 are stuck in the back of my head somewhere) that TiVo has changed my life. I have a single-tuner series2 TiVo. This means I can only record one thing at a time. No big deal. I wanted to watch something else while the TiVo was recording, but needed to step out for a minute, so I cranked up the old 13″ TV with the built-in VCR. I pushed record. Then I realized that I had already missed a couple of minutes of the program. Then I realized those couple of minutes were gone. If I’d been using the TiVo, and I’d already been on the channel I wanted to record, the TiVo would pick up from the start of the show – and I would get the whole thing.

Not with a VCR. If you want to watch the program you’re recording, you get to wait until it is finished recording. Not so with a TiVo boys and girls. Start watching your program when *you* want to.

TiVo trick

15 February 2006 – 23:49 CST

Sometimes my TiVo gets dumb. Or rather, I think the “TiVo Desktop” software gets dumb. For some reason this time it decided that it was going to keep downloading this week’s ep of 24 to my PC. For hours – but only the first 50 minutes or so of it. I finally told it to stop, but when I tried to restart the download, it knew about every other show, except 24. It just said “Details Unavailable” where 24 should have been. So instead I went around the software to my TiVo’s webserver as per http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/6175?wlg=yes. Unfortunatley the HTTP implementation is a little bit goofed, and it doesn’t send the correct headers when you try to download the file. It doesn’t report the size of the file, so the browser can’t calculate how long it will take. FF is reporting a transfer rate of 285KB/sec, but the switch on my desk isn’t blinking at 285KB/sec.