Monday, December 11, 2006

Tivo Channel Changing Problem

I know I'm not the only one who has a broken Tivo.  Over the last few months there's been a problem where Tivo will fail to properly change the channel by a digit (for instance heading for 218 and ending up on 21) and basically making it useless as a recording device since to make sure you don't miss your show you have to stand and watch it.

Tivo has not acknowledged it as a problem yet, though there are plenty of people in the forums who would beg to differ.  Some are suggesting fixes, like using the Advanced Setup to switch from fast channel changing speed (A) to medium or slow (B or C).  I tried switching to B, but still had the problem.

I'm currently trying a new idea.  No matter what channel we're heading for, Tivo can be configured to send 2 digits, or 3, or even 1.  Should Tivo send just the channel number, or should it pad with zeroes?  I switched my configuration over to "send 1 digit", in other words don't send any leading zeroes.  It's important to couple this approach with the "press enter to change channel" mode, so that nothing tries to parse a single digit while you're typing it.

I just tried this tonight, and the first season pass I had went through fine . I'm curious to see tomorrow night, after a few more have kicked in, if I'll still be as pleased.

Update:  Well, it didn't completely work.  Twice last night it failed - once when changing to channel 61 it went to "6-enter" and I got channel 6.  A second time when changing to channel 12 it did "1-2" but then did not do the enter, so it stayed on the channel it was.  so I think I've improved my odds, at least, since Tivo does not have to execute 4 keystrokes every time (3 digits plus enter), so there's less opportunity for it to fail.  But unfortunately I think we've reached the point where Tivo is just unable to faithfully execute even a 3-key sequence to change the channel every time.  That's sad.  I wish they'd at least acknowledge it as a problem and tell us that a fix is in the works, because it's pretty obviously on their end at this point.  I wonder if it will fail to change to a single digit channel properly?  Can you imagine that?  Go to channel 7, please.  Nope, can't do it.  Not even gonna try.

Maybe somebody with more time on their hands can start up the class action paperwork and get all of us subscribers some money back, since really, what are we paying for if we can't sign up for shows in advance?  That is the major difference between the device and the subscription, right?  The device can do all the smart digital recording we want, but we subscribe so that we can get the guide, so that we can do season passes and wishlists.  Well, that part's failing ,so Tivo is not providing me the service that I'm paying for.

 

 



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8 comments:

Rick said...

Same problem; Motorola cable box, IR, Tivo2. The cable box does not always catch all 3 digits, in which case it does not change channel. Usually it is the last digit missed, but occasionally it's the middle digit. I have tried using fast, medium, and slow (by lying to the machine in the "channel changing" setup). The same thing is now happening on my wife's TiVo upstairs. I have done the other "fixes", building IR tents, etc. but nothing works.
This could be fixed easily, at least for me, if I could tell the TiVo to send the channel change code TWICE (1-2-3 pause pause 1-2-3) because the Motorola box doesn't care if it gets the same info repeated. (Happens when a scheduled program is on the channel the Motobox is already on.)
I thought it might be a new cordless phone introduced a few months back, but I disconnected that and it's still happening.
This is quite distressing. For the first several years the TiVo was bulletproof. Now it fails about 10% of the time on BOTH our machines (purchased 3 years apart.) Bummer.

Rick said...

Same problem; Motorola cable box, IR, Tivo2. The cable box does not always catch all 3 digits, in which case it does not change channel. Usually it is the last digit missed, but occasionally it's the middle digit. I have tried using fast, medium, and slow (by lying to the machine in the "channel changing" setup). The same thing is now happening on my wife's TiVo upstairs. I have done the other "fixes", building IR tents, etc. but nothing works.
This could be fixed easily, at least for me, if I could tell the TiVo to send the channel change code TWICE (1-2-3 pause pause 1-2-3) because the Motorola box doesn't care if it gets the same info repeated. (Happens when a scheduled program is on the channel the Motobox is already on.)
I thought it might be a new cordless phone introduced a few months back, but I disconnected that and it's still happening.
This is quite distressing. For the first several years the TiVo was bulletproof. Now it fails about 10% of the time on BOTH our machines (purchased 3 years apart.) Bummer.

Duane said...

Rick, I had good luck with changing the channel speed to "C", the slowest. I haven't had a problem since. Sounds like you tried that and it didn't work, though. Good luck in the hunt for answers! Maybe Tivo will address it as a legitimate problem, since it's pretty obviously something they introduced recently.

Anonymous said...

I had this problem after we lost power. I think my Tivo reset the number of digits to use for a channel change to 3. When I set it to 4 digits, it seemed to work.
How To:
Channel Settings->Channel Changing->Advanced Setup->Cable Channel Digits=>4

FRedStates said...

I had this same problem... I don't know how I figured it out but what was happening is TiVo seemed to be starting the record function before the cable box had actually changed channels... so it was recording channel 27 instead of 270... I was tipped off by the fact that it only screwed up when changing to 3 digit channels...

I fixed it this way...

I told TiVo to hit Enter after changing channels... even though my cable box doesn't require this... it does cause the channel to change faster because the box no longer has to wait to see if you are going to enter any more digits...

By the way this problem started right after my cable company did a firmware upgrade on the box...

Good luck and hope this helps you.

Lauren Dellara said...

i dont know if this is going to work but it seems no one's suggested it, i had the same problem and i just went to "recommended setup" and did the channel changing test and in the text it seems like it worked out what the problem was. i'm not sure yet if it worked but hey its worth a shot.

Judy said...

Same TIVO problem, but now instead of one or two digits, I am not getting ANY! It's a Pioneer with a DVD recorder. I don't know what to think, I thot it was a software problem, but now I don't know. i am going to change the led cable and try again....

Anonymous said...

I have two Tivos and they both have the channel changing problem. I give up. I'm going to rip both of them out and go with the Comcast DVR. It's not as easy to navigate, but if my Tivo doesn't change channels then its purpose has failed. I've called Tivo and they act as if they have never heard of this problem. If they don't care, neither do I.