Trying to get TiVo to change channels on mzrfzn U-Verse

[18:05] <ak> I followed the example of a dude on the net and taped the two IR LEDs from TiVo *directly on* the face of the cable box, right over the place where the receiving LED lives. If the sending LEDs are placed JUST SO, this arrangement works.

[18:06] <ak> …at least until your tape loses its grip a little bit and the sending LEDs slip slightly out of JUST SO.

[18:06] <ak> (I attempted without success to follow the example of other netizens and remove the faceplate of the cable box. I think they must have changed the construction somewhere along the line, or else I just wasn’t understanding what they were saying they did.)

[18:08] <ak> Recently I did about an hour of futzing with transparent packing tape (figuring it might not lose grip as easily as Scotch tape)…the only result was the ruination of several feet of packing tape, and the creation of an unsightly cloud of profanity that threatened to stain the walls.

[18:10] <ak> So I grasped at straws. I noticed in one flailing that the channels started changing on the cable box when TiVo asked it to, even though one of the LEDs was not in position and the other was actually dangling around entirely below the cable box, pointing at the wall.

[18:10] <ak> This arrangement was very capricious and depended completely on my sitting right in front of the TV. Apparently the IR was bouncing off my gut.

[18:11] <ak> Taking this idea and jogging with it, I did lots of random placements of cable box and LEDs, wayyyy inside the cabinet where there are lots of excitingly chunky angles for IR to bounce off of, between the cabinet wall and the TV’s outsides.

[18:12] <ak> Eventually I got an arrangement that (a) worked for more than a minute, (b) didn’t seem to depend on me being in a particular place, (c) was far enough back to probably not entice little fingers.

[18:18] <ak> That left only (d), seeing whether it would still work when the room was not full of ambient light (i.e. at night), and (e), seeing whether the LEDs would not eventually fall down due to wire twistiness, and (f) seeing whether unforeseen gremlins would doom the setup to failure.

[18:18] <ak> (d) passed with flying colors.

[18:19] <ak> (e) hasn’t been a problem yet, and (f) hasn’t either.

[18:19] * ak knocks on wood

[18:19] <ak> Anyway, the TiVo is once again able to record TV, so U-Verse is once again off my sz list, at least the immediate one. 😉

[18:20] <ak> If Everest fulfills their wish to expand into my area, and U-Verse starts buuuuuuull szinnnnnnnnnnng again, I may be enticed to switch.

[18:21] <ak> U-Verse is cool from a geek standpoint in that the video is transferred over ethernet and TCP/IP. Whether it goes strictly over the internet, or over some private AT&T network that has a connection to the internet somewhere, I do not know.

[18:21] <ak> So far the “residential gateway” they gave me has done an OK job of routing http traffic into heft.

[18:22] <ak> The main bugaboo right now is the absence of Fox Soccer Channel from the U200 lineup *AND* the $10/month “sports package”, and the absence of Metro Sports, but I would have to get Comcast to get the latter.

[18:23] <ak> And I just get the creeps every time I think about that. 😉 Plus they ain’t cheap.


Coda added in October 2008:  I recently had cause to put the TiVo through Guided Setup again and it seems like TiVo HQ has upgraded their software to the point that it now natively knows how to talk to U-Verse boxes with a minimum of fuss and physical gyration.  I had to answer the standard questions about who my provider was and who manufactured my cable box, and then it said to put the LEDs on the box in the standard way and it would start running experiments to see if it could change channels.  The standard routine.  But on experiment number four, the channels started changing very reliably, much more so than they had done before when I kluged my way through the process.  Yay!

Also, I hear that SureWest (formerly known as Everest, which was my cable company before we moved) is expanding into our area.  If/when they arrive in our neighborhood, I am dropping U-Verse like a hot rock and switching to SureWest.  If nothing else it will give me a real analog cable feed that I can plug into the TiVo’s second tuner…my Dual Tuner box has been able to record only one thing at a time since we moved, which stinks.

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