Tivo Roamio Plus can be great, but check it out carefully before keeping it longer than 30 days - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-31-2014, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got a Roamio Plus (with lifetime service) and I'm frequently getting Channel Not Authorized (V53) errors. I've spent countless hours talking to Tivo and Comcast, spent many afternoons waiting to Comcast Techs to arrive, exchanged the Roamio, tried several cable cards, replaced my coaxial cables, and the problem continues. After all this, I believe the errors occur because I'm getting occasional bursts of bad data from Comcast on certain channels. For three months I was sure this was a Comcast issue, so I was working with them and Tivo to try to resolve it. Now I believe it is actually a Tivo issue. Either their new tuners or their error correction software cannot deal with the bad signals.

Interesting to note that I've had a Premiere for over three years and it continues to work fine. The signal from Comcast never seemed to phase the Premiere - I never missed a single recording once over the seven years I had Premiere or my TivoHD. With the Roamio I am in danger of missing a recording every day. I usually reboot the Tivo in the afternoon to clear the V53 errors.

I am not suggesting anyyone not buy a Roamio. Lots of people are enjoying the Roamios with good reason; it is a feature rich DVR that I want to love. I believe only a small percentage of Roamio owners will encounter the problems I'm having. But, based on my experience, I recommend instantly canceling your service and returning the Roamio if you see anything wrong during the first 30 days. Don't assume it is a Comcast problem that they can fix. Don't assume that Tivo will have a solution to the problem. That is how I got stuck holding mine past its point of no return.

I'm still working with Comcast to clean up my signal and I have some hope that I will be back to the rock solid dependability I once had. This may take time, but what choice do I have (except eBay).
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-31-2014, 03:10 PM
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What type of cable card are you using? Are you using a tuning adapter?
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-31-2014, 03:51 PM
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Could it possibly be that your cable signal is too hot for the Roamio?

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-31-2014, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your questions and help. I've got a cable card from Cisco, and no TA. My Comcast techs say they don't need tuner adapters.

As for the signal being too hot, that is definitely a possibility. I suspect that some frequencies may be too hot, but others are not. This causes a real problem, because when I add attenuators, most of my channels start getting signal dropouts. I tried 6 db and 10 db attenuators and with both of them the V53 errors continued and seemed more frequent.

Comcast has been here six times in 12 weeks and tells me my signal is not too hot. Since I had them replace my wires they tell me my signal is excellent. That does not mean it is consistently excellent. So my current theory is that there are occasional glitches that get sent through the neighborhood, and these are what is causing my problem.

I'm not done trying to get this resolved. I'm going to try to get Comcast to flash my cablecard with the latest firmware. This idea gives me hope, even though my firmware reportedly supports 6 tuners and is relatively recent. Tonight I tuned to FXHD and got a V53 error. I pressed the info button and noticed another tuner was also tuned to FXHD, so I switched to that tuner. It worked fine. I went to the DVR Diagnostics screen and I saw that Tuner 0 and Tuner 5 were both tuned to that station. So I'm hoping that this is a problem where a new firmware solves the problem. I'm also going to try turning off two of the tuners for a week or so and see if that fixes anything.

The purpose of this thread is two fold. First of all I wish to warn people who see the V53 error to not assume either Tivo or their cable company will be able to fix it. My beliefs that I could get the problem fixed, and that my Tivo problems would be easily resolved were misguided. I suspect I'm in for a long, tedious struggle before all is well. I probably have spent upwards of 40 hours trying to resolve the problem and counting. I am envious of all those Tivo owners who can just enjoy their Roamio without a worry of missing any recordings.

My second purpose is to publicly document the problem and see if others have had any luck beating it. Working with Tivo and Comcast has not fixed anything, so I'm hoping discussing it here will give me a few ideas.

In spite of it all I am still somewhat fond of my Roamio. When it works it is wonderful. If only it were as solid as my Premiere
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-03-2014, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I finally found something that helps with my 'Channel Not Authorized' problem. I set my Roamio to support just 4 tuners and the problem seems to have disappeared.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-05-2014, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrax View Post

I think I finally found something that helps with my 'Channel Not Authorized' problem. I set my Roamio to support just 4 tuners and the problem seems to have disappeared.

How do you do this? I don't see that in any settings menu anywhere...
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-05-2014, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I followed these instructions:
Quote:
Your Tuner Not Authorized issue is most likely a CableCard Firmware out of date problem, there is a very long thread on this subject at http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=507973, bottom line is you will need to reduce the number of active tuners on your Roamio to only 4 or 5 until your Cable provider updates the Firmware on your Cable Card. Please take the time to read through the thread, it is quite long but worth it to understand the problem as it varies a little with each provider and brand of CableCard being used.

To Change the number of active tuners on your Roamio:
Go to Settings > Channels > Channel List
Enter one of the following number sequences using the number buttons on the remote. This will tell Roamio the how many tuners it can use.
- 88633 = use 3 tuners
- 88634 = use 4 tuners
- 88635 = use 5 tuners
- 88636 = use 6 tuners
then force a reboot of the tivo:
tivo >> settings >> help >> restart

From the thread in TivoCommunity:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=512139
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-19-2014, 04:37 PM
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What if I am getting V53 message and I don't have cable? I have regular tv with an HD antenna. The reason I bought Roamio is because I wanted a DVR to use since we got rid of cable.

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-19-2014, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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veen,
Check the tivocommunity forums. I suspect you've got a signal strength issue, but people at tivocommunity may have other ideas. I live 50 miles from the TV towers and my 2-tuner premiere works great for OTA reception (except for FOX which has a weaker signal). People seem to think too strong a signal is even worse than a marginal signal, so you might need to lower your signal strength if it is too high. Set each tuner to record a different channel and then check the signal strength to your suspect channels via the DVR Diagnostics screen, if the signal strength is 100% and the SNR is over 35-36 dB, an attenuator may help. Tivo support told me that my Roamio wants the signal to be about 90% and a SNR of < 35%. [Note: SNR is signal to noise ratio and one would think the lower the noise the better. I've asked them over a dozen times the technical reason for a lower SNR being a better SNR, and they have never explained it to me in a way I actually understand].

Also, I've read that you need to have good (accurate) guide data. For example, you may get that error if you are set to record something for a channel that no longer has guide data. I've head that a bad internet connection can cause these sorts of problems. In the 8 years I've owned my Tivo, I have never seen such a thing, so I don't know if this can actually happen or not - I suspect the internet connection has to be terrible for this to actually be the case.

Keep me posted in your cable cutting efforts. I live in an area where I can get Aereo (https://www.aereo.com/), and that seems like a much better fit for me than Comcast (if the Supreme Court allows it).
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