Question: anybody in Spectrum SoCal using ETH and DTA successfully?

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DSperber

Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:35 am
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA

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Question: anybody in Spectrum SoCal using ETH and DTA successfully?

#1

Post by DSperber » Sun Aug 15, 2021 4:08 am

I don't know what happened, but I simply cannot get my Ceton ETH tuner (on my Z170 HTPC) successfully download the Spectrum SoCal SDV channel map through the connected digital tuning adapter. I'm positive this used to work, but for the past month I've been struggling because the Ceton web browser GUI for "Tuning Adapter" TR Status shows "waiting for channel map" instead of the "ready" it's supposed to show.

As I've explained in my earlier thread asking about "waiting for channel map", it's not really waiting as such. It's just never successfully completed the process of retrieving the channel map and digesting it. As such, in the current state I cannot tune to any SDV-delivered channel. I CAN tune to all other non-SDV channels, but no SDV channel.

In complete contrast, my production HTPC (M910t) which has an internal PCIe 6-tuner Ceton card in it along with a second cablecard and second digital tuning adapter works perfectly!! TR Status in the web browser GUI shows "READY", not "waiting for channel map". Same home, same primary coax from Spectrum, same account, same Win7 and WMC. Only difference is internal PCIe card in the working machine and ETH tuner in the problem machine.

I have now swapped or replaced or tried a "spare" for every piece of hardware involved, all with absolutely zero change:

(a) new ETH tuner (yes, I bought a brand new one still in its sealed carton, built in 2013). Upgraded firmware from original out-of-carton 13.5.6.132 to latest 15.1.13.152 IMAGE using the web browser GUI feature.

(b) new M-1 cablecard from Spectrum

(c) new MTR-700 digital tuning adapter from Spectrum

(d) new USB cable

(e) moved ETH onto alternative ethernet cable paths to my main router and back to the Z170, elimnating switches, etc.

(f) even tried adding the ETH (as 6 additional tuners) on my other production HTPC (M910t) which has its own internal Ceton 6-tuner PCIe card, for a total now of 12 cablecard tuners. I re-did the full WMC TV Signal setup on the M910t to discover all 12 tuners, and all went well. But once again after re-booting the internal PCIe card showed "ready" for its tuning adapter, and the external ETH tuner still showed "waiting for channel map".

(g) added and removed splitters and amplifiers, to increase and decrease signal strength going into the ETH

(h) changed my original "serial" coax connection (Spectrum coax -> DTA -> ETH) to a "parallel" coax connection (Spectrum coax -> splitter, output-A -> DTA, output-B -> ETH)

NOTE: the "hardware version" of the new ETH that I bought was 6590, which actually is not the most current. The true current latest hardware version is 7359 (which is what is in my original ETH), but there is no way any longer to upgrade hardware version IMAGE since the Ceton web site is down. Only the diagnostic utility can upgrade "hardware" using some HW IMAGE file retrieved from Ceton's site, but this is no longer possible. However I believe what was upgraded in between 6590 and 7359 related to network tuner sharing and pooling, neither of which I do. I don't think this should explain why both my current and new ETH tuners still get hung up during handshake with Spectrum and "stall" showing "waiting for channel map".


===> My question for anyone else: do you use ETH tuner successfully in a Spectrum SoCal SDV environment involving a digital tuning adapter?

Also, does anybody have both the HW IMAGE file to upgrade my new ETH from hardware version 6590 to version 7359? And if so, how am I supposed to apply it? Doesn't look like the Ceton diagnostic utility works from just a local IMAGE file, but rather requires the Ceton site for download but it doesn't exist any longer. And it looks like the web GUI only supports upgrading "firmware" via local IMAGE file. I don't think it can upgrade "hardware", if I even had the correct 7590 IMAGE file to begin with which I don't.


I still have a second internal 6-tuner PCIe card which I removed two years ago in order to install the ETH that I bought which was so that I could prove WMC could run in Win7-VM guest under VMWare Workstation Player running on Win10 host. I was successful in that venture, but never actually went "live" in that environment, preferring to remain with my native physical Win7 machine to run WMC. So it's not really critical or important for any reason, to stick with trying to get this ETH to work. I believe it used to work properly (with TWC, before Spectrum) when I first installed it back in mid-2019. I'm sure I had no problems whatsoever with getting the channel map for SDV (which even TWC was using back then), and being able to tune to SDV channels like HBO, Tennis, etc. So this "waiting for channel map" is something relatively recent.

In other words, I'm seriously ready to get rid of the non-critical ETH and just reinstall the original PCIe card inside the Z170, which I'm absolutely sure worked going back to 2017 when the machine was originally built.


So, can anybody using an ETH and DTA with Spectrum SoCal confirm that everything works perfectly for them?? I just cannot figure out what it is, that I haven't already tried to swap or replace. And how is it possible for my production HTPC with the internal PCIe Ceton working perfectly, in the same house, while the "backup" HTPC now with ETH Ceton fails as it does?

DSperber

Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:35 am
Location: Marina Del Rey, CA

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#2

Post by DSperber » Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:36 am

Well, nobody's replied. Could be several different reasons and explanations.

No matter. I've decided this must never have ever worked. I bought the ETH back in May or June 2019, to proceed with my project to see if I could get WMC to work in Win7-VM guest (using VMWare Workstation Player) in a Win10 host. The internal PCIe card I had in the machine at the time (ever since the Z170 machine was built in early 2017) was not supported by VMWare. But since the ETH was a "network device" which was supported by VMWare that was how I proceeded. And the project was successful.

While I absolutely know that when the Z170 was being used in "production mode" (between early 2017 and early 2018) when the PCIe was still in the machine that SDV via tuning adapter 100% absolutely worked (and the "Tuning Adapter" tab obviously must have shown "Ready" and not "Waiting for channel map"), I'm actually now not certain that I still had usable tuning adapter to support SDV channels ever since mid-2019 when the ETH replaced the PCIe.

I do know that for more than a year I've noticed a "burst" of about 300kb/s data going out to the ETH from the PC every 15 seconds, and simply thought this was how it worked. I now am of the opinion that this was actually "error recovery" of the Ceton driver, trying over and over every 15 seconds to get the channel map successfully from Spectrum. In other words, I now believe it NEVER ACTUALLY WORKED. Since I never needed to use this machine in "production" I never paid any real attention to this... until last month when I wanted to use the machine to record USA (101) 24/7 (in 8 3-hour blocks) during the Olympics.

As I have reported previously, I've now UNSUCCESSFULLY tried 3 different tuning adapters, 2 different M-1 cablecards, 2 different ETH boxes, 3 different USB cables, attempted use on my "production" M910t machine by adding the 6-tuner ETH to the already working 6-tuner PCIe. And nothing I could do was able to change the tuning adapter status from "Waiting for channel map" to "Ready" as it should be. I've even brought down my entire home network, connecting just the Z170 and ETH directly to my router as the only two active devices (instead of going through switches and with 30 other devices active), with no change.

Well, finally today I decided it simply was something incompatible between the ETH and Spectrum. I have no other way to explain it at this point, having spent 2 months swapping 100% of the hardware involved, trying two different WMC machines, and reverting my network to just Z170 and ETH... all to no avail. Still cannot eliminate "waiting for channel map".

So, today I brought the PCIe card out of storage and reinstalled it in the Z170. The ETH was disconnected and packaged up (relegated to non-use in the closet, along with the brand new second ETH I bought last month under the theory that my original ETH had somehow broken). It took a while to rid the Z170 of all remnants of the network tuners for WMC, and reinstalling Ceton driver and software to support the PCIe again. And also had to call Spectrum to pair the cablecard now in the PCIe.

But in the end, I can report that I HAVE EMERGED VICTORIOUS (or should i say just gotten back to where I obviously was 2 years ago when originally using the PCIe). By this I mean tuning adapter status now once again shows "READY". The "waiting for channel map" condition, whatever that really represented about failure to properly absorb the SDV channel map from Spectrum) has now disappeared!! So I'm back to PCIe, a correctly absorbed channel map, and once again the ability to successfully tune both SDV and non-SDV channels.

I'm exhausted. I just cannot figure out what is the failing component, or combination of components. How could the PCIe hardware and driver behave any differently than ETH and driver?? All I know is I'm back to 100% operational condition on the Z170. I obviously have now lost the ability to use WMC inside of Win7-VM under VMWare and Win10, but I don't care. I will simply continue to use these two native physical Win7 machines (M910t as "production" and Z170 as "backup"), both of which are 100% functional and operational and reliable. The Z170 is dual-boot to Win10, and I have three other Win10 laptops. So it's not critical that these two WMC-enabled Ceton PCIe-enabled desktop Win7 machines be anything other than Win7.

I repeat my question if anybody in Spectrum SoCal who uses WMC is reading this: are you using ETH or PCIe? If you are using ETH does it work for SDV channels through tuning adapter??

I'm done.

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