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Several SDV TWC digital channels not tuning with "not available now" message

DRB

Member
I noticed several TWC San Diego digital channels are not working today with my HD DVR - just get the "not available now" message.
Including 757 - SciFi Channel HD, 211 - HUB, the History channels, some of the Encore 500-511 channels, and some others.
Noticed this late this afternoon and early evening.
Any one else not able to tune into some of these channels today on time-warner digital cable?
Other channels work fine.
 

DRB

Member
RE: Several TWC digital channels not working today

It appears still today several TWC digital channels get the "not available now" message and I can't tune them in.
Which group of channels affected varies at times.
Earlier this morning 757 SyFy Channel wasn't available and later it was, but other channels that were available earlier are now not available such as some of the 200 series channels.
I can't easily test all the channels to get an exact number, but of the channels I've tried maybe 5% or a little higher are getting the "not available now" message since at least yesterday (Sunday) - but which channels have the issue varies.
Rebooting the HD-DVR box doesn't help either.
I first noticed this issue yesterday when I noticed a scheduled recording wasn't recording correctly and discovered that channel was getting the "not available now" message at the time. A couple hours later that particular channel did tune, but I found other channels were getting the problem.

I'd like confirmation its a TWC system problem with other customers, but you may need to try a lot of different digital channels to see if any are not tuning.
 

DRB

Member
I'm still getting several SDV digital channels not tuning this evening as well.
Some like the SyFy Channel 757 is working at the moment, but others still get the "not available now" message.

Could TWC San Diego's SDV system be getting overloaded a lot lately?
When a SDV channel can't be tuned by the HD-DVR when a scheduled recording time comes up it fails.
This is happening a lot since yesterday for me.
 

DRB

Member
I've only noticed it happening often the past few days and its happening often enough on some SDV channels that it can cause a scheduled recording to fail.
Its not predictable and at times most channels are working but at other times lots of the SDV channels are hard to tune.
Sometimes the channel will come up if you use the "A" key to try again, but most of the time if it won't tune even with mulitiple tries it won't come up until maybe if I try it again an hour or more late on. But at that time some other channel(s) won't tune instead. Seems random.

Today I varied the signal level to the HD-DVR and it had no real noticeable improvement, even connected direct to the main cable line with no splitters.
I even got a second HD-DVR today from the local TWC office and it also shows a similar problem tuning some SDV channels.
My HD-DVR is a newer Cisco 8642HDC model, and the extra one I got for testing today is an older SA8300HDC model.
So it doesn't seem to be the cable box either.

It doesn't seem to be the TWC system is overloaded and a frequency is not available for the particular SDV channel, since in one case with both the HD-DVRs running I got one to tune to for example channel 211 and while it was playing that channel on one TV, the other HD-DVR on a second TV still couldn't tune to 211 at that time - yet clearly the frequency for the channel was already allocated!
Very strange - could it be a bug in the newest firmware downloaded to both of these boxes?
 

DRB

Member
I've been getting more cases this week of a lot of SDV channels with scheduled recordings failing with this message in the recording log:
"Not recorded because the channel was not available (5)"

My 8642HDC HD-DVR has been getting that a lot with failed scheduled recordings on SDV channels recently.
The signal levels look ok with FDC at -2dBMV and RDC at +47dB

I also rented a second HD-DVR (an older SA8300HDC model) for testing and it had the same issues, so doesn't appear to be a problem with the box hardware.

From searching online the only possible issue I've seen raised for problems tuning SDV channels with the newer HD-DVR models is they may have issues outputting a high enough return signal level (RDC) when trying to tune to a SDV channel. Some have reported a tech had to fix something outside the house, perhaps a corroded connection point. However my RDC level at the HD-DVR box doesn't seem too high.

Could this be a bug in the new Navigator software version?
Nothing else has changed recently that I can tell - before the past week or so the HD-DVR recorded extremely reliably for months, no missed recordings on any SDV channels.
 

Rick Shaw

Member
DRB said:
I've been getting more cases this week of a lot of SDV channels with scheduled recordings failing with this message in the recording log:
"Not recorded because the channel was not available (5)"

My 8642HDC HD-DVR has been getting that a lot with failed scheduled recordings on SDV channels recently.
The signal levels look ok with FDC at -2dBMV and RDC at +47dB

I also rented a second HD-DVR (an older SA8300HDC model) for testing and it had the same issues, so doesn't appear to be a problem with the box hardware.

From searching online the only possible issue I've seen raised for problems tuning SDV channels with the newer HD-DVR models is they may have issues outputting a high enough return signal level (RDC) when trying to tune to a SDV channel. Some have reported a tech had to fix something outside the house, perhaps a corroded connection point. However my RDC level at the HD-DVR box doesn't seem too high.

Could this be a bug in the new Navigator software version?
Nothing else has changed recently that I can tell - before the past week or so the HD-DVR recorded extremely reliably for months, no missed recordings on any SDV channels.
The 8642 requires an extra filter to keep all of its WH DVR data from traveling back up the cable line. I think Cox/TWC uses cheap filters that seriously attenuate the SDV requests as well. If you substitute an older 8300, this filter SHOULD BE REMOVED as it is no longer needed.
 

DRB

Member
Rick Shaw said:
The 8642 requires an extra filter to keep all of its WH DVR data from traveling back up the cable line. I think Cox/TWC uses cheap filters that seriously attenuate the SDV requests as well. If you substitute an older 8300, this filter SHOULD BE REMOVED as it is no longer needed.
Where is this extra filter?
To my knowledge no extra filter was installed at my house, since I merely swapped an old SA8300HD for the 8642HDC myself at a local TWC office a few months back. No service tech was involved.

I don't have the whole home DVR feature, the brand new 8642HDC was given to me only because I wanted a 3D capable DVR and they had that one in the office at the time. They don't get the newer Cisco models there very often, so there is little choice like the 8640HDC model might have been better but not there. Getting one with a larger 500GB hard drive was just a bonus compared to the older 160GB SA8300HDC models (not MPG4 3D capable) that they have a lot of in stock and are several years old units.

I just temporarily tested with an SA8300HDC from the office a couple days ago, but I took it back yesterday when I found it didn't help any.

The 8642HDC has been working fine with no problems with SDV channels or recordings for the past several months too.
This problem tuning SDV channels just started one week ago all of a sudden, no changes were involved as far as I know.

I'm thinking it might be tied into the new Navigator software, since that update happened recently and would effect both model boxes too.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
I have a 8642HDC and Samsung 3272 with no MoCA filter, and I do not subscribe to Multi Room DVR.
 

Rick Shaw

Member
Admin65 said:
I have a 8642HDC and Samsung 3272 with no MoCA filter, and I do not subscribe to Multi Room DVR.
I, too, have a 8642 without WH DVR service. The filter is required, regardless. It can be placed inline with a splitter if only the host is being used, but can also be installed outside at the cable drop. It is a in-line filter, about 1.5" in length. Who installed your 8642?
 

DRB

Member
Admin65 said:
I have a 8642HDC and Samsung 3272 with no MoCA filter, and I do not subscribe to Multi Room DVR.
Yes thats the case for me as well. I did a self-install, swap of a SA8300HD for the 8642HDC box.
At the local TWC office a few months ago I traded in a years old SA8300HD that had been having HDMI connection problems for a newer HD-DVR box and I requested one that supported MPG4 3D capability required for the 3D olympics channel coverage.
They happened to have one Cisco 8642HDC in stock and gave me that one.
Its worked fine for months without any special filters to my knowledge.

Only in the past week I noted problems tuning and recording of some SDV channels.
Separately , I also noted last night one SDV channel (Encore channel 511) when selected would cause the box to reboot - that problem was repeatable last night. No other channels would cause a reboot that I could find.

But today so far for the past 12 hours I am now able to tune and record all the SDV channels I've tried for the first time since before a week ago.
Encore channel 511 also works normally now.
Some overnight SDV recordings I set up for early this morning all worked fine, unlike the past few days, and in the past hour I checked tuning of a bunch of SDV channels - all still good.
When it works correctly as it is today, the 8642HDC takes about 3 seconds to tune a SDV channel and gets no "not available" messages.

Perhaps something was fixed in TWC's system or something in the local neighborhood in the past day. I'll keep monitoring over the next several days. I have a TWC tech visit appointment scheduled for Monday afternoon, but if the SDV channels stay reliable completely until early Monday I can cancel it until or if the problem comes back.
 

DRB

Member
I reported the problem I was having tuning many SDV channels to TWC Thursday night and they scheduled a service tech to come out Monday.
However I noticed the problem had gone away early Friday and its been solid for over 24 hours now.
I got a phone message from TWC yesterday that they had found and fixed some problem in the neighborhood, and they had cancelled the Monday tech visit appointment. So as I expected it wasn't a problem with my 8642HDC HD-DVR or internal house issue.
Maybe they fixed a neighborhood amplifier or switch or connection somewhere.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
Your problem must have resided in the node as I have no problem with sdv my 8642hdc.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

DRB

Member
Yeah I didn't have sdv tuning problems for months either.
The problem started a week ago and lasted for five days until TWC worked on and fixed something in the neighborhood apparently.
Separately, the 8642hdc does appear to need a cold boot if it locks up, that happens after a week or so sometimes.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
Apparently I am getting picture breakups in my part of Rancho Bernardo (near HP)
 

DRB

Member
Might be due to the extremely hot weather (over 100F) today and yesterday in RB.
Hotter temperature causes higher loss in coax cables, so a marginal signal level could get worse and cause dropouts.
I'd suggest, check the signal level and SNR levels in the box diagnostic menu screens for the channels with the issues.
 
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