How does a Cox CableCard and Tuning Adapter work?

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Paul Anderegg

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How does a Cox CableCard and Tuning Adapter work?

#1

Post by Paul Anderegg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:49 am

Having absolute horrible problems the last month with my Ceton InfiniTV 6 with Cox CableCard and Tuning Adapter. First started out with CableCard reading on my Ceton diagnostic as not valid, then valid, then not again, woth accompanying channel not entitled for non local channels. My nderstanding was that the CableCard pairs your account with the service and passes along the "OK" entitling the channel to be viewed by the system.

Next issue was channels simply not working, either a specific set, or all of them going "no signal" or "not in list". My understanding is that the tuning adapter is responsible for routing, say channel "1010", to the correct frequency using a channel list that the Tuning Adapter downloads and stores. As channel maps change over time, the channel map is refreshed by Cox and the tuning stays correct for whatever 1010 would be.

I am havng the "no signal or not in list" issue currently. Resting TA, unplugging replugging TA USB, all sorts of things, half the time it works, half the time no chahge. Getting tired of working 30 minutes aday unplugging rebooting Windows over and over to attempt to get a temporary fix. Called Cox tonight, and the guy gave me an attitude when I told him I think my TA is not working right. He said the TA has nothing to do with the tuning, that the CableCard handles all the tuning stuff. When I told him that when I have CableCard issues I get entitlement problems, he gave me this sneer saying "well if thats what you think", then went on down the path of maybe my USB ports are worn out from overuse. I explained my ports are barelty used, and I've tried USB 2, USB 3, even my USB 3.1 ports which use a different set of aftermarket drivers....no solution.

Banging my head on the wall here...can anyone corectly explain what the CableCard does,a nd what the Tuning Adapter does, and what problems and issues are specifically indicative of one or the other not doing it's job correctly. I've got a Ceton diagnostic screen that shows "disabled" for Tuning Resolver status when I don't get channel signal, but want to make sure I know what I am taliing about when the tech that doesn't know what a CableCard arrivess tomorrow.

Paul

jachin99

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#2

Post by jachin99 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:11 pm

Thats kind of funny because I'm having issues with my TA as well, only I use HD Homerun gear. I also called the other day, and got some guy that sounded like he wanted nothing to do with me. I posted a help question on the silicondust forums, and they have basically narrowed it down to a bad TA. I'm lucky enough to have an extra but I still want to replace the broken one because at some point I want to add more tuners. When I call and try to setup the extra TA I'll let you know how it goes.

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#3

Post by jachin99 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:24 pm

The cable tech might have actually been right about not NEEDING the TA to tune directly to a channel, depending on the PVR software you use. I know WMC, and VLC don't need a TA to tune the channel. You should be able to tune directly to the channel number, and be fine. Here is a thread on the SD forums about my issues but I'm not sure how a Ceton tuner would differ from a SD tuner. I called cox, and swapped out my extra TA, and it looks like that solved a problem. They did try to send a tech out but I told them I don't need that, and I don't want to deal with a tech. I got a younger guy this time, and he was a little easier to work with, or at least more talkative.

Paul Anderegg

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#4

Post by Paul Anderegg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:25 pm

Cox is an SDV system, so if I hook up the cable directly to the Ceton (I did this a few minutes ago for kicks), its the same as just unplugging power from the TA, no signal on anything. I am currently looking at a physical LED on the TA indicating steady green ready to resolve fully operational, and a disabled status on the Ceton diagnostic utility, and unable to view or tune any channels. I am reading the TiVo forums and people experience the exact same issues. Not wanting a Cox box because I don't want to loose every single series recording for a year every time their box goes belly up and I have to get a replacement. With WMC, I can save stuff to backup HDD's so no chance of loosing aything short of being attacked by a magnetic monster.

Paul

Space

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#5

Post by Space » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:52 pm

I am not familiar with Cox, but in most cable systems, only some of the channels are SDV, which means you should be able to tune some of the channels without the TA.

When I used to have Optimum, only channels in the higher tier were SDV and since I only had the lower tier, I didn't need a TA.

SDV channels are those that do not have an assigned frequency (unlike non-SDV channels). Instead, they are only assigned a frequency (from a pool of frequencies that are allocated for use by all SDV channels) in your local area when the TA request that they be assigned a frequency, once it is successfully assigned, then the cablecard device tunes to that frequency and you can watch the channel.

Note that if all SDV frequencies in your area are currently in use by other customers in the area, the request to assign the channel to a frequency will fail. So if there are 10 frequencies in the pool, and 10 customers are watching 10 different SDV channels, and you want to watch an 11th SDV channel, you will be unable to do so. However if multiple people in the area are watching the same SDV channel, then they can all just tune to the same frequency that was assigned. So the limitation is that you can only watch 10 different SDV channels in a local area, but multiple customers can be watching the same SDV channel (100 customer watching the first SDV channel, 50 watching the second SDV, etc.).

Non-SDV channels are assigned a static frequency, and a channel map is downloaded periodically that is just a mapping from channel number to frequency. There is no need to assign a frequency to each channel in real time, they are already assigned.

Paul Anderegg

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#6

Post by Paul Anderegg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:51 pm

This would be less of a problem if cable companies didn't try to force 1000 channels down our thoats...

unclebun

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#7

Post by unclebun » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:28 am

Is this a setup that was previously working?

It might be worthwhile to have a tech come. I've found that when things go haywire and all the things that should work to set things up don't, it's usually something wrong with the cable signal itself. The tech comes, replaces the cable run from the post outside, replaces cable ends and splitters, and then everything just works again. Seems to be necessary every 4-5 years.

Paul Anderegg

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#8

Post by Paul Anderegg » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:17 am

The knowledgable tech showed up, swapped out my Tuning Adapter, sent the CC a bunch of EMM's, and now everything seems happy. In the past, Cox has always sent out completely clueless contractor companies, but this time they sent out a real Cox employee who knew WTH he was doing.

Paul

Paul Anderegg

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#9

Post by Paul Anderegg » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:20 am

Almost a month of completely troublefree Cablecard service....the damn tuning adapter was the root of sooo many issues. Appears that the instability of the USB connection from the TA was causing my Windiows to lock uyp, recordings to stop with "manualy stopped for use by another service", inability to sleep, always waking from sleep almost instantly, locking up when coming out of sleep etc. All of those issues can be replicated by simply unjacking the USB from the PC which Wiondows 7 can't seem to handle.

Paul

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