Service not running or scrambled

The difference between networks, channels and services is discussed here.

Live TV

This message can appear in several situations.

While watching live TV - cycling through service (LCNs - logical channel numbers)

If this message occurs while cycling through service then in most cases it is a phantom message. The Toppy is in fact receiving the signal but for some reason has become confused. If a timer is recording on a service on the same network, it will record without issue.

This is a firmware issue; the extent that you experience it, if you experience it at all, depends on the firmware the Toppy is running.

While watching live TV - not cycling through services

The Toppy has lost the signal - it is a reception issue. (In Australia no free to air broadcasts are scrambled). For TMS Toppys (7100+, 7160, 7170, 2400, 2460, 2470) the Toppy can have difficulty if the signal strength is outside the range 50% to 90%.

If the signal is too weak, then the Toppy rightly indicates that the service is not running. In this case, any timers recording on the same network will display this message.
If the signal is too strong pixilation develops, and in extreme cases the Toppy treats it as if there is no signal. Pixilation can also develop when the signal strength is too low.
These are both reception issues. The signal strength and quality can deteriorate when there's bad weather.

If you have a TMS Toppy you can test your current signal quality and signal strength per tuner with the jdaSignalMonitor TAP.

Possible solutions

If the cause is high signal strength, the solution is to use an attenuator (you can get them from Jaycar). You can test this by placing an old VCR (turned off and not plugged into the power) between the aerial outlet and the Toppy. If this corrects the picture, then you need an attenuator. It is possible for the Toppy to report no signal when the signal is too strong, so it is always best to test for excessive signal strength.

If the signal is not strong enough, you will need to get a signal booster (you can get them at Jaycar and Dick Smith)

Adapted from the FAQ, written by IanL-S on Topfield Australia Forum

During playback

There are several possible explanations:

  1. That during the recording there was a problem with the signal quality, hence the error message. This may explain why you cannot go beyond that point. The only way to check it this is indeed the problem is to transfer the file to USB stick and try playing it on a PC.1
  2. It is a phantom message - this has been known to happen with TMS Toppys, but I have not seen it with the TRF-2100. We are not sure what causes the problem; possible solution that may or may not work include those that are used when playback skips.
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