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Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV


  08:32:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2306 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Time Warner/Cox Cable, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Cox HSI

Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV

Sometime around mid-May, I think, I had gotten a plain business size envelope with just the Cox logo in the top left corner and my address on it. No other indication as to what the content was, so basically resembling similar letters pitching new services or such. Though those will probably start appearing again when the students return....

Not sure why, I opened it for some reason...and eventually found it to be a letter informing me that Cox is about to go SDV and that I would need to obtain some 'free' tuning adapters (where the only 'free' part is no new monthly charge to my cable card service -- where I only needed 4 tuning adapters to go with the 6 cablecards I'm renting.....the two older TiVo HDs having 2 S-Cards each...had thought about switching both to single M-Cards, but given my experience with previous 'self-install M-Card, turning into a full-service install charge because the M-Card was defective....so a tech had to come out to make that determination and give me a non-defective one.)

The letter said that I could visit a Cox Home Solutions store or call to have them delivered. After some thought, I decide that I will call and have them deliver 4 tuning adapters versus no idea how big or when I would make it out that way. Memorial day weekend was out, as was the first weekend of June for sure. And, the switch over was to be like June 25th.

So, I call and delivery is offered to me, which I confirm that is what I want. Where the agent checks to make sure they do shipments to Manhattan, but then later on its apparently not possible to deliver. But, after some further investigation by the agent, it seems like it might be possible and eventually I get a call back saying that they have been shipped and I should get them around Friday (June 7th).

From past experience, items are shipped FedEx Home Delivery, so I had expected to find them sitting there waiting for me when I got home from work...but there wasn't anything. Perhaps Saturday instead....while I didn't intend to wait all the way to when they did show up.... cacti consumed more time than I had intended that Saturday...

The delivery was kind of annoying...in that the delivery person dropped the boxes loudly on my door step with a big whomp...and then it was like he tried to kick in my door before running off.... mainly because it set off my burglar alarm.... :##

Anyways what I found were 4 huge boxes....big enough to contain DVRs or like components. Perhaps its the only size package they have for deliveries. But, after a quick unpack....the still packaged 4 tuning adapters would fit into one of the boxes, minus the ineffective foam insert...because the insert was sized to protect something bigger than the small boxes that had come instead.

At first it looked like I wasn't getting the complete self-install kit...but later I found that the self-install box contained one coax, splitter and filter...while the tuning adapter box contained the other coax along with usb cable and power wart.

Though I had decided before getting this that I was going to go with a splitter closer to wall and run new longer run to tuning adapter by each TiVo.... And, it was my intent for June 8th to be a Target run. It didn't pan out, and its not something that is sold by the union computer store or the union bookstore...so I ended up ordering cables from Amazon.com.

And, then it was a matter of figuring out when I would get around to setting them up. A number of times where I could've done it went by, but it didn't occur to me that I should do it then. Since the operation would be disruptive to my cable hookup, needed to avoid primetime. And, needed to be sufficiently awake and steady too.

And, then I notice there's a $10 self-install charge on my Cox bill.

Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV
Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV
Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV
Cox in Manhattan, KS has gone SDV

Meanwhile...on June 10th, my cable signal went down for some reason....as documented by these cacti graphs &#59;D Upstream power being lower though is probably a good thing....

This was making my cable Internet service quite unusable.... Though the way I was planning to change my wiring, it would improve once I get around to hooking up the tuning adapters.

Before Tuning Adapter hook up....I had a 6-way splitter...so 9db loss to each output (though think that should be 8.5db, but guess they round up to 9) From the 6-way splitter one is for my cable modem, one if for my TV and the other 4 for each of my 4 TiVo's.

The after Tuning adapter plan was to use the old 3-way PCB balanced splitter (5.5db loss per tap)....with one for cable modem and one for TV (which is connected for no reason except for completeness?) And, the last tap to the 8-way splitter that I used to use when I had ReplayTV's instead of TiVo's....I used to have 7 ReplayTV's....

Well, yesterday I got home from work early...so I decided that I would make a start at making the change. I got all the existing devices reconnected with the new arrangement. checked that cable modem info page to see if it was closer to before June 10th...it looked like it was, but now that cacti has had some time to plot things...its....odd, but might be okay... guess time will tell.

Basically downstream power is about up (about 3db), but its still lower than it was before June 10th.... no change to downstream SNR...which makes sense, of course. But, upstream power is lower still....which, is a good thing since it means there even less return loss than before.

I also do a quick check to see that my TiVo's are still seeing channels. I go through what I though were the channels affected by the switch to SDV and I'm seeing channels....so not sure where the SDV channels actually are. I've misplaced the second page of the letter, so I wonder if its on the website somewhere....nope. In fact, searching to "tuning adapter" on the Cox website, results in no hits. Yet, I was sure I had found information before I had ordered....though now that I think of it....I had done the search using Bing, and it and pulled up information from Cox San Diego.... Guess the Kansas site isn't up to date. I later try to get the channel line up document, but its the line up as of April....but there have been lots of changes to the lineup since then....in fact there messages on my TiVo's about some more changes....though nothing that I had received or can receive....though one of these days I should explore the 3D aspect of my 3DTV... maybe the next time I'm able to see clearly again.

Anyways...things are hooked up, time to activate. The sheet offers two choices, go to a website or call. I try website. The only option it gives me is changing my cable modem. Interesting, but not what I'm after. Wish I had know about that when I had switched my cable modem last summer....that would've saved the trip across town to get someone at the Cox Home store to make the switch....and avoid the try to selling me a new modem before just switching my account to use the new modem I had picked up in a previous visit a couple months ealier, but only finally swapped in that morning. I probably could've called the regular number (having lost the sheet with special number to call) to get it done, but I guess I wasn't all that awake yet that morning.

So, no option to activate the Tuning Adapter on the the page....it says use online chat or call. So, I try the online chat....where after a back and forth, for the agent to look up my account. And, I keep correcting the agent that I'm in chat about activating a tuning adapter. I'm informed that the signal has been sent, and it should be working now...and to give it a try.

But, the tuning adapter is still flashing yellow and no other indication of anything having changed. Plus the agent never asked for which of the 4 tuning adapters I was activating or which TiVo (cablecard) that its paired with. Also not seeing any change in channel availability. Eventually, get a line that the adapters were activated shortly after they were delivered...nothing to do with having waited to now to hook it up or waiting to after the start of SDV.

Well, eventually...I find a channel that isn't working...but its just one channel, at first. But, then I found a chunk of channels that aren't working. I guess I just needed to find channels that nobody in my area had recently tuned to....could make it challenging with verifying the activation of the other adapters.

Agent says that a cable card problem....call service to get a tech. I don't want that...and it was working fine before....plus pretty sure its still a TA problem.

So, I call the Tuning Adapter activation number instead. Where after identity check and account lookup, they ask me for the serial number of the Tuning Adapter that I'm activating and the the ID of the CableCard in the TiVo that I've connected it to. Then I'm told its being sent a signal...eventually I see a red light flash now and then...but yellow light continues to flash. Then I get "tuning adapter connected" screen on TiVo, though then it says "no tuning adapter connected", and then "tuning adapter connected" again. I suppose the adapter might get some kind of code update or something while its being inited. Especially since these are brand new units....and almost sequentially numbered (I got *14, *15, *19, *20...and as it worked out...it was also the order that I set them up :)

Then I'm asked if I know how to restart the TA....is there something special to that? But, then he corrects to say restart my TiVo and starts to explain that process...oh, I know how to do that. So, I restart it. Which takes forever and ever to complete....but while the TiVo is starting back up, the amber light switches to solid....which I'm informed is a good sign...and after waiting for TiVo to acquired channel information post reboot.... Everything is working, I can tune to the channels that were missing without the Tuning Adapter. I also see that the red light comes on with each change and before I get picture (sound is muted so that it won't distract while I'm on the phone....)

And, all is good.

Though it was extremely risk doing the TA's in order to TiVo's...since my TiVo HD has been some what unreliable lately, or rather it has been unreliable since before the acquisition of my Premiere Elite (which was before the recent summer Olympics...) With the idea that I might someday retire it, should I ever get around to watching the backlog on it....where some shows a whole new season is accumulating on a Premiere or about to...) There was a fear that this TiVo HD would fail to complete its boot, but it did complete this time. Though it does still go away from time to time, sometimes requiring intervention to come back. While I can't think of when the last TiVo HD has ever gone away for a moment.

According to new nagios...the first TiVo HD has be down about 28.5 hours out of the 56 days that new nagios has been up, lots of short outages and one extended outage of 25.5 hours. While my last TiVo HD, new nagios shows no outages at all....digging further it only missed two service checks (so no hard outage) when I rebooted the other 3 TiVo's to make sure nothing was missed by not rebooting them during their TA setup. The Premieres have rebooted a time or two during the 56 day window, which I associate with the platform still receiving updates from TiVo (since there were two long reboots versus the short reboot following TA setup logged.)....which while going through the setup menus I spotted new things I didn't recall being there before...so I might want to find some time to explore them. (but I'm so behind on my shows and have so little time, it pretty much limits what I do with my TiVo's currently....which is more than can be said about other things.... like will I ever get around to replacing my DVD player [can't find its special remote, so I can't reconfigure it to work with new display] and get back to utilizing the disc by mail portion of my NetFlix subscription.... :lalala: I probably should've seen about suspending that, or I should make it a bigger priority to get it done.

I then complete the connection of the other 3 tuning adapters....but now its primetime, so I defer to Saturday to call to activate the rest.

This goes a bit differently....I provide info for the first tuning adapter, then I'm told that it takes 15-20 minutes for the initing to finish, so lets move on to the next one, and then the next one. Come back to the first one, its still blinking....well, it does take a while....though I see the second one has gone solid... before I mention it, agent says to just keep waiting and to call back if things are still flashing in half an hour. Asked if I had anything else, and we end the call. Eventually, they're all solid. But, I didn't check before hand which channels are 'missing'...so don't know how to tell if the last 3 TAs are working....other than they appear to do stuff.

So, I just hope that its all good.... And, this should keep until I decide to retire the TiVo HD's.... Wonder what the next gen TiVo will do.... 6-tuners? location free? Hmmm.... :hmm:

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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