Observer

cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

i have had the ceton infinitv 4 tuner for a little over a year and 2 weeks ago it just stopped working. I can get like 3 unencrypted channels and thats it. I did a diagnostics scan and opened a support ticket with ceton. they said it was probably a bad cable card and to replace it. I had two TWC techs here for over three hours, they replaced everything! new cable card,( actually they tried two different cards)  new TA  and a lot of things outside. I don't know what all, but they said everything is brand new.

 

the thing is everything checks out perfect. the tech says the signal is perfect and the ceton diagnostic tool reports the TA is installed, all drivers installed and service running. the cable card has received cp autorization and receiving messages. I get all green check marks in the devices and cablecard tabs  but when I try to tune an encrypted channel it says unable to aquire signal. pcr lock. I did another diagnostics scan and sent it to ceton they said the tuner appears to be working fine, but it is the only thing that has not been replaced and is about the only only thing that I can think to do. I am hoping somebody has some idea what the problem could be before I shell out the bucks for a new tuner that may  not even solve the problem.

10 REPLIES
Expert

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

[ Edited ]

What are the signal levels? Is the cetons rf input connected to the TA's output and the TA's input connected to the cable?

 Do you have a TWC internet modem on the other side of a 2 way splitter?

If so , what are the levels at it's signal page?

 

I don't care who said signals are "perfect", they've been caught lying so they don't have to fix it....

 

Next, you need to call twc and verify they have the right mac addresses for both your cable card and the CM mac on the TA

 

They should be able to see the TA

 

 

 

Observer

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

[ Edited ]

well I have been less than happy with TWC techs in the past and suspected I was just getting the brush off but this guy really seems genuine. he spent over 3 hours here thursday night and was back again friday. I have his number and can call him directly rather going through TWC to set up an appointment. I have nothing but kudos for him at this point. but I do agree something seems fishy.

 

I have a splitter with one cable going to the TA and another going to the ceton tuner with the two connected by usb.

the signal level on an unencrypted channel that I can receive is -26.3 dBmV

the signal level on an encrypted channel that I cannot receive -29.0 dBmV

this is from the ceton diagnostic tool with each channel on a different tuner.  this may not be relevent but  it strikes me funny that "tuning resolution was successful" is displayed for both channels even the one that won't play.

 

as for the internet modem it is installed in another room and there is no splitter going to it. I brought up the modem ip address and the tabs for signal,status and log are not enabled so I cannot access them.

 

I will call TWC and verify the mac addresses. but I won't be able to call untill tonight or tommorrow so hopefully they are there 24/7 or it might have to wait till monday

Expert

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

those signal levels are too low...

 Can you find the TA's OOB- upstream level?

 

You need to get rid of the splitter and use the one that's in the TA... The empty output connector upsets the impedance in it as well unless there's a term resistor screwed on.

that will give the TA 3 db more signal, the ceton will be the same or possible a couple db more signal....

 There is a splitter somewhere else, otherwise the cable modem won't work. And probably dead ports or cables off to unused outlets

 

 What are the cable modem signal levels?

 

Observer

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

well I don't know what an acceptable signal level should be or what those numbers really mean but assuming the higher the number the stronger the signal then the encrypted channel should tune in as it is a higher number than the unencrypted one which comes in clear as a bell. regardless there has to be more than just signal levels going on here, low or weak signals should give me something on some channels even if it's a pixelated mess. as for the TA configuration I have had set up both ways and it has worked fine the way it is set up now untill 2 weeks ago.

 

I don't know where I would find the OOB upstream level but I'll look for it.

when I click on the signal tab on my cable modem I get a page that say's "this feature has not been enabled"

however I do get some basic info on the system tab it reports the levels as

 

receive power level - 13.1 dBmV

transmit power level - 39.4 dBmV

Expert

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

[ Edited ]

those are all negative numbers, all your downstream levels are too low to be reliable

the -13 on the cable modem included. They become unreliable at -10

 

You have another splitter somewhere, is it on the outside of the house?  I'll bet there's a 4 or 8 way with empty ports, Replace it ith the one between the TA and ceton and recheck the modems levels, should be closer to 0 dB and your cetons levels should be a lot better as well

 

 

Are you in a house or apartment?  Apartments are a disaster

 

 

Observer

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

my mistake, those are positive numbers on the cable modem not negative. I don't know what I was thinking but -29 is a lower signal than -26 and after checking the signals on more channels it seems that anything less than -26 will not play. I did find a splitter behind another tv that I didn't even know  he installed or why he put it there but it is an amplified splitter and after removing it my signals levels dropped to -54 so I put it back.

 

I called TWC cable card support and he confirmed that those levels are too low. he said they should be between -7 and +7 with 0 being perfect. in fairness to to the tech that was here I don't believe he lied to me he just doesn't have a lot of experience with cable cards. he probably just checked the levels for the TA which are

 

tuner 7

FDC  -1

RDC  37

these numbers are not perfect but pretty good. he saw those and thought all was good and didn't check individual channels. somewhere the signals are getting seriously degraded.  I'll call him back tomorrow and explain to him that these signals are way too low hopefully he can figure out a way to get them up.

 

 I know an educated consumer is always a good thing and I try to be but my plate is full and when I have a tech here for three hours and tells me the signal levels are good I shouldn't have to spend hours googleing signal levels and searching around the house for splitters to find out what he should already know. this whole thing has really got me a little pissed off! I was this close to spending $150 for a HDHomeRun prime which would have been money down the drain.

Expert

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

[ Edited ]

you really need to explain better what you have and where it is.

 Anything downstream in the -10 to +10 range should work, the Upstream or OOB tx needs to be below 50Dbmv or else it's maxed out indicating a poor upstream path

 On a compiuter modem with multiple bonded channels, -7 to +10 should work the best, at -15 it won't work at all.

 Downstream above 50 dBmv is bad, no range left somewhere between 52 and 57 Dbmv

 

 

The TA levels sem to be good, connect the ceton to the out port on it and remove the 2 way splitter that fed the ceton.

 The TA has a 2 way splitter in it.

 

If you see a big difference in per channel signal levels, it could be bad cables, excessive splitters/ unterminated ports and cables to unused outlets or TWC has filter traps out on your line at the street like what screwed up Austin in June.

 

 

 

Describe the thing behind the TV, need the model # and where it feeds

 

Observer

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels


MsRaye wrote:

you really need to explain better what you have and where it is.

 

Just what exactly is it that I need to explain better?

 

 Anything downstream in the -10 to +10 range should work, the Upstream or OOB tx needs to be below 50Dbmv or else it's maxed out indicating a poor upstream path

 

see I don't know if we are even speaking the same language here. if by downstream you mean the signal levels I have been posting here then yeah those numbers should work however I was told they should be -7 to +7. I haven't had time to look for the OOB signals but if that would be the RDC level the tech I talked to on the phone had me find on the TA then that is at 37. he said the range should be between 35 and 55 with 45 being perfect

 

 On a compiuter modem with multiple bonded channels, -7 to +10 should work the best, at -15 it won't work at all.

 

I don't understand what the cable modem has to do with all this but I have no problems with my internet connection. I can watch netflix and download large files with no problems

 

 Downstream above 50 dBmv is bad, no range left somewhere between 52 and 57 Dbmv

 

 

The TA levels sem to be good, connect the ceton to the out port on it and remove the 2 way splitter that fed the ceton.

 The TA has a 2 way splitter in it.

 

yeah I did that already with no change

 

 

If you see a big difference in per channel signal levels, it could be bad cables, excessive splitters/ unterminated ports and cables to unused outlets or TWC has filter traps out on your line at the street like what screwed up Austin in June.

 

 

 

Describe the thing behind the TV, need the model # and where it feeds

 

 

don't know the model number or why that matters, it's just a splitter that plugs into a power outlet and feeds into the tv. 104 views and no one else has offered any ideas or suggestions. maybe I'm not explaining myself good enough but I think the signal levels are the problem and it's TWC problem to fix it I work two jobs and don't have anymore time to mess with this, thanks for your help

 

Expert

Re: cable card not receiving any encrypted channels

your cable modem levels are more representative of real world bandwidth, I don't trust the reasoning for needing an amplifier for the tv only, especially if it feeds the ceton

 I assume you have a 2 way splitter somewhere that one side feeds your cable modem and the other side feeds the tv via the TA and ceton

 

The cable modem levels should be roughly the same as what the amp sees then is boosted by the amps gain...

 Need numbers to determine what's working.

 I really don't care what twc claims is good, or what they claim is normal, often they don't want to fix it...

 

 Copy and paste the modem signal pages and verify it's on a 2 way splitter marked 5-1000 or higher mhz and that there's no extra splitters on the other port feeding the TV