How to Troubleshoot a TiVo That's Searching for a Signal

By Andrew McClain

If your TiVo cannot find a signal, you can take several troubleshooting steps.
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Occasionally, your TiVo might give you a "Searching for signal" message if it cannot receive a signal from your cable or satellite receiver. There are many reasons for this, ranging from problems with your receiver to problems with the setup on your TiVo itself. You can try several strategies to improve the signal before you contact your cable provider or TiVo support.

Step 1

Verify that the cables plugged into the TiVo are secure.

Step 2

Click "Messages & Settings," then "Account & System Information," then "System Information" to view the Program Source information. For example, it should say "cable box" when you have the TiVo plugged into a cable box. If it is incorrect, click "Settings & Messages | Help | Restart or Reset System | Repeat Guided Setup" and follow the steps.

Step 3

Make sure your receiver or cable box is powered on, and if it has an auto-off feature, disable it. This will keep your cable box from cutting off the TiVo signal.

Step 4

Change the settings on your HDTV receiver to non-HDTV signals.

Step 5

Remove any signal splitters you have, so the cable goes only into your cable box.

Step 6

Select "Messages & Settings | Settings | Video | Video Hookup" to see if your TiVo can find a source signal. If it cannot, reconnect your cable box to your TiVo.

Step 7

Unplug your receiver box, and remove its power cord. Wait a minute and plug the box back in on both ends.

Step 8

Disconnect your cable system from your television, and plug the cable directly into your television. If you cannot see any channels, call your cable or satellite company.

Step 9

Replace the cables between your TiVo and receiver.