TIVO and TWC - Review of what to expect (1 Viewer)

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,682
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Sheboygan, WI
During the brief period that I had an actual working connection from my TIVO Premiere to TWC, I was able to make a number of observations.

First, the TIVO works wonderfully and exactly as you would expect. I have no beef with TIVO.

The TWC tuning adapter however, is no ready for prime time yet. There were a number of issues.

First, the TWC tuning adapter/cablecard is a one way solution, so be prepared to lose all PPV and VOD features. I expected this, so it was not a surprise. Just needs mentioning.

Second, the tuning adapter has a high signal threshold and when it is reached it turns the signal off entirely. You will not see macroblocking through a TWC tuning adapter. You will see a "searching for signal" dialog box.

Third, tuning is extremely slow. Tivo tunes quickly, but it takes awhile to let the box decide if it needs to switch. I'd say it is about 50% slower than it was for the old HD-DVR.

Fourth, the tuning adapter has a very LOUD mechanical relay. It clicks every time you change a channel. Worse, it clicks ever time the video changes resolution and every time that the audio changes encoding. I could see this happening on my Onkyo receiver. If a commercial went to SD from a HD program source, it clicked. When it went back, it clicked. When audio went from DD to analog, it clicked. When it went back it clicked. The clicking is loud and often during commercials. If I am going to live with this, I am going to need to hide and isolate the tuning adapter. The good news is that it doesn't need an ir signal to operate properly, so it can probably be tamed.

Finally the tuning adapter firmware is not well integrated into the TWC system and seems to require a series of reboots and hits from high level techs to get it working at all. I don't know whether it will support cable outages, or if I am going to be forced to go through all this each time something gets disconnected. Time will only tell.

Overall, TWC is not really ready to support a TIVO with their new switched video channels. I also believe they see this as a hassle and will probably be slow in providing proper equipment and training. I still believe it will eventually be worth the hassle, but if you do this, be prepared to overcome resistance and technical issues.
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
23,550
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Norman, OK
Hopefully it is just a firmware issue with the tuning adapter that they will be able to fix. Other cable companies use tuning adapters and manage to get them to work without major issues. I would investigate over at TiVo Forums ( TiVo Community ) to see if others have had the same problem and/or solutions.
 

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,682
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Sheboygan, WI
Now that everything is finally up and running (seventh time's a charm!), I thought I'd post an update.

First, I apparently had a bad tuning adapter the first time. The new one is much faster and there are no clicking noises occuring. The tuning adapter is totally transparent. I don't know if it was because we had already gone through the pain, but setup was also a breeze. The installer read the serial numbers, we rebooted and everthing was working.

One thing that surprised me was that the TIVO is providing noticably better picture quality. The TWC box was outputting component, and I guess it was 720p. New box is 1080i HDMI and it shows. Material is back to that crisp look we all saw back in the early days before everyone started compressing everyything.

I won't go into TIVO features, as I am still learning them, but it sure is nice to get back all the stuff that TWC had removed from their DVRs, such as favorite lists and 30 second skip. It is also nice to have a single box that is providing access to both media and TV. It makes things like Netflix as easy as watching a program you recorded off the cable.

This is what I was trying for, and I'm glad I hung in there through all the TWC roadblocks.
 

GigEm

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 14, 2010
39
2
Texas
Great to hear it all worked out; thanks for the update.

If I wind up going the Tivo route, I wonder if they'll fly that installer down to Texas for me! :)
 

iceturkee

DINFOS Trained Killer
Supporting Founder
Sep 13, 2005
7,390
144
daytona beach
i love my tivos. but i have had similar problems as you with bright house techs who didn't know crap about what to do. it appears only a few technicians in the company know what they are doing. if you can et it to work, its great. and much better than any cable box.
 

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,682
3,270
Sheboygan, WI
Great to hear it all worked out; thanks for the update.

If I wind up going the Tivo route, I wonder if they'll fly that installer down to Texas for me! :)

I know he'd love to go. He was cursing up a storm about Wisconsin winter last night and how Mississippi was so much warmer :)
 

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
23,550
2,211
Norman, OK
Cable cards are still an exotic thing for many installers. Not many people have a TiVo or other cable card device. Tuning adapters add another wrinkle to the equation. My first cable card install took 2 hours. My second one took 30 minutes. The second one would have taken 10 if the tech had brought out the correct cable card to start with (he brought an S card instead of an M card, lucky small town able to go to cable office and back in less than 20 minutes).
 

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,682
3,270
Sheboygan, WI
Cable cards are still an exotic thing for many installers. Not many people have a TiVo or other cable card device. Tuning adapters add another wrinkle to the equation.

Yep, the last installer told me he had been installing for TWC for 4 years and that this was his fourth Cablecard install and first tuning adapter in all that time.
 

GigEm

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 14, 2010
39
2
Texas
Will a Tivo Series 2 get all the digital channels I get from my Time Warner box, like the channels above 100? I ask because I have a Magnavox DVR, and it only gets the digital channels up to channel 100.
 

jayn_j

Thread Starter
Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,682
3,270
Sheboygan, WI
Yes. Everything except PPV and VoD stuff. I don't think go back and start over work either.

Stuff below 100 is analog by convention. Digitals start at 100.
 

GigEm

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 14, 2010
39
2
Texas
Yes. Everything except PPV and VoD stuff. I don't think go back and start over work either.

Stuff below 100 is analog by convention. Digitals start at 100.
Thanks for the very quick answer. I don't have go back and start over in this area anyway, so that'll be fine.
 

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