Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuning Adapter

So a while back I think I mentioned that we switched to digital cable. It was actually cheaper than the package we had before and had more channels. The only downside was that because we have a TiVo as our DVR it was unable to get the SDV channels. Well, last month Ginger found some posting on the interwebs where they explained that due to the use of SDV Cox was required to provide it's users with a method of getting those SDV channels for those that weren't using making use of the Cox DVR. Here's the interesting thing though, the cable company isn't advertising this. You have to specifically ask for one of the tuning adapters. It's free, but you have to ask and they won't mention that it's available unless you ask. And I'll tell you right now, there are a lot of bugs that still need to be worked out. The adapter works, but I wouldn't call it reliable by any stretch of the imagination. What I've noticed is that it works better the longer it's on. We had the Cox techs come out multiple times and none of them were able to get it to work completely correctly after installation. Eventually we just gave up and decided the few SDV channels it did provide were good enough.

One of the whole reasons I wanted the adapter was the new cartoon Wolverine and the X-Men is playing on Nicktoons. And wouldn't you know it, but Nicktoons is one of the SDV channels. Now when you first boot the TiVo after plugging in the tuning adapter (or powering off and on the tuning adapter) it doesn't seem to find the channel as all the Cox technicians have found out. I've since decided this is probably because one of our cable cards is faulty (and of course I think it's the primary one, not the secondary card). Now, I have no proof of this, but like I said, initially it won't get the channel at all. But after a day or two of trying to record on the channel it will suddenly start to work. I think it's because eventually something is already recording on the primary cable card and it is forced to use the second cable card to access the channel. This works and then the channel is available from that point on (and it seems like TiVo knows this when scheduling as it allocates resources in such a way to insure that the requested shows will get recorded subsequently). So if you have your own cable card, you may be able to ask your cable company for a tuning adapter.

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