Tuning Adapter Stops TiVo Premiere Suggestions

Back in late October, we decided to finally take the plunge with a TiVo Premiere. While we have had a TiVo for a while – and in fact have had two for some time now – the writing is now on the wall that we’ll need to upgrade at some point to be able to pull in HD channels, so we figured now was a good time.

The Premiere made the choice a bit easier to swallow, as we could use just about any combination to get our channels: The existing analog cable, a cable card and/or an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Life was good as long as we kept the analog cable, and even with the OTA antenna or a cable card. Unfortunately, when we added the tuning adapter (required by Time Warner Cable), suggestions stopped cold and though both TWC and TiVo were polite, neither could help get them going again.

Though I really love TiVo – so much so that I miss it whenever I’m not at home, such as on vacation or even at someone else’s house – I was about ready to throw the dang thing through the wall since no one’s ideas on how to get the suggestions back were working.

Over the last six months or so, I’ve tried a long list of fixes, both on my own and at the suggestion of others:

  • Clearing thumb ratings & suggestions (multiple times)
  • Clearing program information & to do list (multiple times)
  • Clearing & deleting everything (multiple times)
  • Disconnecting the tuning adapter (multiple times)
  • Forcing a connection to the TiVo service
  • Manually removing every item from the deleted items folder (more than 200 of them)
  • Switching the sort of the items in the list
  • Turning suggestions on and off
  • Removing and then rebuilding all season passes on the unit
  • Replacing both the cable card and the tuning adapter (together and individually)
  • Repeating guided setup
  • Restarting the TiVo (so, so many times)

None of these items – in any combination – worked.

There is a thread over on the Community Forum where some people are hopeful that the problem will be fixed soon. They even mention a new release that should address the problem (you can request to get on that list here).

So i tried that release (current version is 20.3.1). It didn’t help.

However, I have been able to fix the problem, albeit after receiving the update. I am not sure if the update and my solution fixed it. You may want to get the update and then try these steps, because I’m pretty sure they didn’t work prior to the update.

What is the secret?

First, find a time that is convenient to do this. You’ll likely need a couple of hours. You may not want to watch it because it takes a while. Check your To Do List and see what is coming up. If you have programs that are going to record, you may want to see if there are alternate times in the future, because you’re about to make them not happen.

Second, I did this with SD menus. It may or may not work with HD menus, I can’t say. I don’t like the HD menus because they are too slow. Your mileage may vary. Just something to know.

Ready? Then disconnect your tuning adapter. That’s right, get rid of it entirely. Both the USB and the cable connections. Make the TiVo think it’s not there at all. You will get a message about there not being an adapter present. No worries, just click on through.

Next, clear the program information & to do list. That’s right (again). You will not lose your season passes or anything else (except you may miss that episode of Duke Dynasty that’s about to start – see the first item above). Your TiVo will restart, and when it does it will clear out your program information and everything in the To Do List.

After it comes back up, you will be prompted to download some new data because the program information has run out. Do so. This will also take a while – perhaps as long as an hour. It’s similar to the guided setup. When this finishes, the next day or so will have some data. You may even have some suggestions if you go look (not recording, but in the list).

You can connect again manually if you like, or you can wait until the next scheduled connection to get a full download. I did the initial clear at about 10pm, and by 4am, the data was full again. By 5pm the next night, I was getting suggested recordings again. By the next afternoon, I had 6 – more than three times as many as I had received in the prior six months.

No guarantees, but this seems to be working.

I waited until the full download had completed before reconnecting the tuning adapter again, and now everything is working just fine, suggestions and all.

The only downside I have had at this point is that the Time Warner “Digital Tier” was somehow reset. I called their Cable Card help desk and they fixed it right up. I did have to restart the Tuning Adapter, but that did not interrupt the suggestions process.

Also, by going through this process, you’ll lose your recording history. That means that any channels that re-broadcast shows within the recording window for “new” items will show up again and you may need to delete them. Small price to pay.

What the problem was, I do not know – it could have been the upgrade, but I doubt it, because I’ve had it for more than a week without suggestions. It could have been the clear process, but I doubt it, because I’ve done that multiple times. It could have been disconnecting the tuning adapter, but I doubt it because I’ve done that and even replaced it many times.

I suspect it’s a combination of all of the above.

Update: Getting suggestions back and keeping suggestions are different, To keep them running may require the use of a timer on the tuning adapter.