Older dual tuner Tivo & new digital signals...

Jan 7, 2014
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10,510
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I have an older dual tuner Tivo that doesn't have a place for a cable card. Now that WOW cable is switching to the digital signal I can only use the one tuner that is hooked up to the digital cable box. I read online about hooking up a digital adapter to get the second turner to work...and confirmed w/the WOW tech who had come to my house over the phone (he gave me his #), but after spending over an hour on the phone w/WOW customer service, it wouldn't work because according to him "maybe the signal isn't strong enough since the digital adapter isn't connected directly to the TV". At first the CSR couldn't understand what I was trying to do, but finally "got" it after talking to supervisors and told me how he thinks it should be hooked up, which made sense. I can't decide if they are lying to me or not! The tech who transfered here from up North after working w/WOW for 2 years also told me that if I had a digital TV, I didn't need the adapter & actually moved the one I had hooked up to a non-digital TV! CSR said I must have an adapter on every TV for when WOW "flips the switch". Does the tech just not know what he is talking about or does the CSR team not know??
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
I think I understand what's going on, but I'm not sure what it is you're trying to accomplish.

Your digital cable box is only going to output a digital signal via either DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort and there are no guarantees all of these even exist as outputs on your set top box. All other outputs from your digital cable box (Composite, Component, S-Video, and RF Coaxial) are analog outputs. If you are using any of these outputs to your TIVO, the signal is analog and the digital tuner of your TIVO device is not being used. Unless your TIVO has either an HDMI or DVI input, it's incapable of accepting a digital signal from your digital cable box.

Now here's the part I do not understand. Your digital cable box only has one tuner and will only ever output a single channel at a time; regardless of what outputs (analog or digital) you use. The signal comes into your home as an encrypted, digital signal. The digital cable box decrypts the signal, tunes the channel it's tuned to and if the output is digital, sends the signal out to the digitally connected device. If the output is analog, it first converts the signal from digital to analog and then sends the signal out to the analog connected device. Regardless, it's still the one same channel.

So why are you trying to hook up both analog and digital signals to your TIVO, when both would be recording the same channel? Then only way I could see this as possibly working is if your TIVO is capable of recording two channels simultaneously (one analog and one digital) and if you connected your TIVO analog input to your digital cable box RF Coaxial (analog) output and your TIVO digital input directly to a line from the wall outlet (a splitter would be required). Unfortunately, there is no decryption device (digital cable box) on this line so your TIVO digital tuner would only be able to tune/record unencrypted channels from your cable provider (usually just the local channels).

-Wolf sends
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
I think I understand what's going on, but I'm not sure what it is you're trying to accomplish.

Your digital cable box is only going to output a digital signal via either DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort and there are no guarantees all of these even exist as outputs on your set top box. All other outputs from your digital cable box (Composite, Component, S-Video, and RF Coaxial) are analog outputs. If you are using any of these outputs to your TIVO, the signal is analog and the digital tuner of your TIVO device is not being used. Unless your TIVO has either an HDMI or DVI input, it's incapable of accepting a digital signal from your digital cable box.

Now here's the part I do not understand. Your digital cable box only has one tuner and will only ever output a single channel at a time; regardless of what outputs (analog or digital) you use. The signal comes into your home as an encrypted, digital signal. The digital cable box decrypts the signal, tunes the channel it's tuned to and if the output is digital, sends the signal out to the digitally connected device. If the output is analog, it first converts the signal from digital to analog and then sends the signal out to the analog connected device. Regardless, it's still the one same channel.

So why are you trying to hook up both analog and digital signals to your TIVO, when both would be recording the same channel? Then only way I could see this as possibly working is if your TIVO is capable of recording two channels simultaneously (one analog and one digital) and if you connected your TIVO analog input to your digital cable box RF Coaxial (analog) output and your TIVO digital input directly to a line from the wall outlet (a splitter would be required). Unfortunately, there is no decryption device (digital cable box) on this line so your TIVO digital tuner would only be able to tune/record unencrypted channels from your cable provider (usually just the local channels).

-Wolf sends
 
Jan 7, 2014
2
0
10,510
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Let me start by saying thank you for replying and that I know very little about electronics….just enough to be dangerous (aka stupid).

What I was trying to accomplish was going back to how things were before this new digital signal "upgrade" through the cable co. I have a digital TV, an older dual tuner Tivo, and could record two different programs at the same time….or record one & watch the another channel "live". Now I can only record one channel, and have to either watch the program too or find something already recorded on Tivo to watch. I was thinking….& it seemed to be confirmed to me from what I read online & by the WOW tech that if I added a digital adapter then the digital box would control one channel (tuner) & the digital adapter would control the other so that they both would be converted to digital signals & I could go back to the "old days". Apparently new & old aren't going to mix so it is a win for the cable companies cause now my Tivo with lifetime service can't work the way it is supposed to and I will half to shell out more money to rent one or two of their DVRs that will work correctly. I also have two other single tuner Tivo's…..one hooked to a digital TV right now and it is working & recording fine without the digital adapter, but they haven't "flipped the switch" to where I will have to also have the adapter (though the WOW tech also told me if I had digital TVs I wouldn't need the adapters, but after 2 years with WOW in Michigan I guess he doesn't know about this WOW switch that gets turned on in Florida to make you need a digital adapter or digital cable box (which of course you have to pay for monthly).

Funny thing about technology. Before I got this brand new digital TV last month, I had the dual tuner Tivo and a single tuner Tivo both hooked up to the same analog TV so that I could record 3 shows at the same time to watch on the living room TV without having to transfer them. The brand new TV could only support one Tivo….but at least the dual tuner still worked. Then I hooked two single tuner Tivo's to the "old" TV and life was grand and I could transfer shows from room to room. Now I can only record one show in one room & one show in another…..I lost the capablility of recording 4 shows at the same time. Didn't need that often, but it happens……yes, I'm a TV junkie! lol
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
I have a digital TV, an older dual tuner Tivo, and could record two different programs at the same time….or record one & watch the another channel "live". Now I can only record one channel, and have to either watch the program too or find something already recorded on Tivo to watch.
What happened to cause this change of behavior? Did WOW flip the switch? Did you have to add a new piece of hardware? What changed here?

I also have two other single tuner Tivo's…..one hooked to a digital TV right now and it is working & recording fine without the digital adapter, but they haven't "flipped the switch" to where I will have to also have the adapter
If they haven't "flipped the switch", then the signal going into and out of your TIVO is still analog and will continue to work until the switch to digital is made. While your Digital TV would not require a digital adapter, your old TIVO device may not have a digital tuner and therefore the TIVO would require the digital adapter. If they have flipped the switch, then that old TIVO has a digital tuner and it should continue to work.

There's too many variables that I'm unaware of to determine the best course of action. Here's your homework assignment:

1) Has WOW, in your subscription zone, made the switch to digital?
2) What are the model numbers of every TIVO device you have connected or describe what tuners each device has (analog, digital, QAM, Hybrid, etc...)
3) Describe, in detail, how each device is connected: e.g. wall outlet to set top box via coaxial cable --> set top box to TIVO via coaxial cable --> TIVO to analog TV via S-Video cable.

-Wolf sends
 
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