I recently switched to Comcast from from DirecTV. I have three televisions, so I bought three TiVo Premiere XL boxes, upgraded my Basic cable package to Digital Starter and picked up 3 cablecards. I've had a variety problems, the first being that I could get a signal on two of the boxes but not a third. I was also not getting all of the HD channels (FX HD, for example). The issue with not receiving all of the channels was resolved with a home visit and the technician found that there was a filter on the outside of the house, probably there because I had been getting only the Basic package. Once the filter was removed, the channels appeared, no problems.
However, the real problem is the third box. I had set it up in my office. Without the cablecard installed, it will show the Standard Definition stations, but with the cablecard I only get a blank screen screen on every channel and a TiVo window saying that the channel is unavailable and call the cable company. When this first happened, I repeated the guided setup several times as well as called Comcast for assistance. They sent signals several times, but the box never connected. I swapped the cablecard and repeated setup again - still no picture. I then moved the box from my office to the bedroom and vice versa. The box from my bedroom worked fine in the office - the one formerly in the office, now in the bedroom, would not display a picture. I swapped the cablecards - the TiVo now in the office displayed a picture, the one in the bedroom would not. I took this to mean that the TiVo had a bad tuner and arranged to return it to Amazon, who sent me a new one.
Unfortunately, the new box has exhibited exactly the same behavior:
- W/O cablecard, tunes SD channels fine
- W/Cablecard, no picture on any channel
- Comcast technician changed cablecard again, still no picture
- Put TiVo Support on with Comcast technician, they confirmed that the Cablecard is getting a signal and cannot explain why there is no picture.
- Signal strength in all three locations is strong
At TiVo's recommendation, I'm having yet another Premiere XL sent from Amazon in exchange for the last one. The thinking is that this one has a bad tuner as well, but I find it hard to believe that two out of four boxes sent to me have bad tuners. I'll get the fifth box tomorrow and test again.
My reson for posting is to find out if I've run into a pervasive issue or if it's likely that the tuners are bad. Any insight that anyone can share is appreciated.
First, I have to ask if the tech hooked his SLM up to each outlet to check every channel band for signal level, BER and S/N ratio's.
I'll just throw out a few things for you to go over.
When you say the signal is strong, are you getting that from the Tivo's built in signal meter?
Always make sure the Tivo has all it's updates before attempting to install a cable card. Run updates over and over until there are no more.
Too much signal is just as bad as too little signal on digital TV. If your signal strength on the Tivo is hitting 100, you might want to try and pad down the input, you can first insert a 2 or 4 way splitter inline with the coax, and that will knock it down 3.5 or 7db.
Also make sure you are not routing your coax through any AC surge protector strip coax ports. That is a sure way to knock off some of the signal on parts of the band.
Make sure your splitters are all rated for 5-1000mhz.
You might want to go pickup a 50' or 100' of RG6 with the F connectors on and connect it directly to the ground block on the house directly to the Tivo's input and give it a try.
Explain how your splitters are arranged in the home, is there one central location, or are the splitters daisy chained through the house?
The tech hooked up the SLM to each outlet, the signal's strong but not too strong. We discussed exactly what you are talking about, but he said that's not the case. Each TV has a splitter on it, but he confirmed that the signal remains good even with the splitters. In fact, he replaced the splitters and the cables at each location just to ensure that everything was good.
I have a similar problem. I have been viewing Basic Comcast cable from an analog Tivo series 2. Due to the digital conversion and the inability of the "digital conversion box" to reliably switch channels as directed by the TIVO, we bought a new Tivo Premiere.
After the setup, it worked fine on the analog signal. Then I got a cablecard and did the setup, called Comcast for activation, but never got anything except blank channels. Got a new cablecard, still no luck. Comcast tech was not able to get it to work, blamed the Tivo. New Tivo will arrive shortly. Hopefully, it will work.
Isadoradoug: Did you get a cablecard self install kit? Was the card scanned onto your account? Did your follow the Tivo instructions exactly, they are a little fussy. Did you call the cablecard number?
I don't know if the cablecard was scanned into my account, but I did call Comcast several times and gave them the card serial number.
I followed an abrevieated sheet that came with the Tivo. I went through everything a second time with the Tivo rep on the phone giving me each step. The Tivo rep called Comcast and 3 of us were on the line.
Before your new Tivo arrives, pick up a new card and have them scan it on to your account.
Start from scratch, remove the card. Restart the Tivo, make sure you are connected to the internet and all the Tivo updates have run. Make sure the cable connection is good, no crappy coax or extra splitters. Double check the numbers on the card, and the host id.
Call 877-405-2298 and go through the steps. I hear it sometimes is better to call during regular business hours. Don't let them tell you it takes hours to load, mine was up and running with all channels in minutes. Good luck and post back.