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DocL

@comcast.net

EAS freezes my ability to change channels (Comcast)

I have a problem that started in early November (I can date it precisely, as it started during Obama's acceptance speech). When an EAS signal happens, it is no longer possible to change channels. I have a Motorola digital cable box, and a series 2 Tivo. What happens exactly is that the cable box displays the letters "EAS" on the display panel, rather than time or channel. When EAS is displayed, I am unable to change the channel using either the Tivo remote or the Comcast remote; additionally, the Tivo (connect to the cable box with serial cable) also cannot change the channel, so that if it attempts to record a program, it records on the channel that cable box was tuned to when the EAS signal happened. It is not possible for me to change the channel, or not see EAS on the front panel display, until I have turned off the cable box and turned it back on. When I look at the TV, the Tivo menus displayed indicate that the Tivo is attempting to change the channel (i.e., displayed program information is what it ought be), but the original channel continues to be what I see.


I have called Comcast several times. A technician has remotely reset the cable box back to factory settings. The problem recurred with the very next EAS signal. Comcast sent a technician to my house last week to replace the cable box. He tested for signal strength (excellent), and then replaced the cable box. All was happy until this morning...an EAS signal had come through during the night, and the NEW cable box was displaying the letters "EAS" on the front panel.


I am now completely at sea, as both I and Comcast had believed that the problem was due to the cable box itself. There were no equipment changes before the problem started happening.


Has anyone else seen anything like this? Is this a widespread problem? Is there something I can do to make it stop, as replacing the cable box failed?


Admittedly, I can make it work by power-cycling the cable box, but I'd like to have the option of having my Tivo record programs without my having to either remember to leave the cable box on the channel I want to record, or being in the room to power-cycle the cable box.


Thanks,

DocL


miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL

1 recommendation

A motorola plant handles EAS alerts by force-tuning the box to the designated "EAS Channel" where the alert information is supposed to be sent. During this force-tune event, by design you are not able to change the channel on the box. It is then supposed to tune you back to your last channel once the alert message has completed.

I don't have any experience with a TiVO on a motorola plant, so I don't really know how it's designed to handle those force tune messages with the cablecard.

If even your regular cable-box isn't tuning back to it's original channel, then I would say it's something to do more with the EAS end-of-message being received at your location. This could either be something system related (although I'd think they'd get more complaints), or maybe even a levels issue on that EAS channel which is causing a problem with that release message from being received clearly.

I would say it could be just a problem with the box, but since I don't know how the TiVO handles those messages, and it's also acting weird, I'm tempted to say it would qualify as a 2nd box exibiting the same issue to point us away from a local hardware issue.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL

1 edit

said by miscDude:

I don't have any experience with a TiVO on a motorola plant, so I don't really know how it's designed to handle those force tune messages with the cablecard.
He's not using a cablecard HD Tivo - he's using an analog Tivo & feeding the analog output of the digital cable box into the Tivo w/IR blasters to change channels thru the box...

miscDude

join:2005-03-24
Kissimmee, FL

said by dishrich:

said by miscDude:

I don't have any experience with a TiVO on a motorola plant, so I don't really know how it's designed to handle those force tune messages with the cablecard.
He's not using a cablecard HD Tivo - he's using an analog Tivo & feeding the analog output of the digital cable box into the Tivo w/IR blasters to change channels thru the box...
DoH! Teach me to pay attention to the details.

In that case... Check the box in case it's just dealing with a broken EAS processor.... and there is still the levels thing in case something weird is going on there.


DocL

@comcast.net

Thanks for the reply. dishrich is right in that I'm not using a cablecard; I'm also not using the IR cables to change channels, but rather the serial cable (the Motorola cable box allows for that). Also, the problem is not that the box doesn't tune back to original channel (as far as I can tell, it does, as it stays stuck on the channel it was tuned to when the EAS signal happened), but rather that it can't be moved away from that channel after the EAS signal.

miscDude has exceeded my technical knowledge; I don't know how to check the box for a broken EAS processor. Also, is there any way for me to adjust the levels (or the box's perception of the levels)?

DocL



Quaoar

join:2004-08-11
Fort Collins, CO

In my area of northern Colorado, the EAS is managed by the city of Fort Collins (or at least I think it is). For several intermittent periods, EAS would activate, and when deactivated, my cable boxen would remain on a green screen with the original channel audio. The only solution was to *reset* the cable boxen since user interaction with the boxen was ineffective.

My view is that the problem resides with those who activate the EAS signal. If you complain to Comcast, they will likely review the entire system to see where the problem resides.


dishrich

join:2006-05-12
Springfield, IL
reply to DocL

said by DocL :

I'm also not using the IR cables to change channels, but rather the serial cable (the Motorola cable box allows for that). Also, the problem is not that the box doesn't tune back to original channel (as far as I can tell, it does, as it stays stuck on the channel it was tuned to when the EAS signal happened), but rather that it can't be moved away from that channel after the EAS signal.
Since you mentioned the serial cable, just for the hell of it, why don't you try running your setup with IR & see what happens next time you guys get an EAS. I'm wondering if cc did something with a recent software update & maybe, it doesn't like the serial cable anymore. (you KNOW cc has really never "officially" supported serial connections, so maybe they "broke" it on a recent software update - it HAS been known to happen...)

At least this might pinpoint part of your problem...


DocL

@comcast.net

I'd like to avoid using the IR cables. I did use them for several months last year, and found their performance disappointing at best in terms of changing the channel to the expected channel; they had a strong preference for tuning to the low single digits (I had a long talk with a Tivo tech about this during the summer; they sent me a replacement serial cable, and I was suddenly in channel tuning heaven).

I hadn't known that Comcast doesn't support the serial Tivo connector; that's dismaying, since the IR connector functions so poorly.



DocL

@comcast.net
reply to Quaoar

Quaoar,

That does sound similar to what I'm experiencing, except I continue to get picture as well as sound. Do you also have a Tivo or other DVR in your setup?



beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
reply to DocL

said by DocL :

I'd like to avoid using the IR cables. I did use them for several months last year, and found their performance disappointing at best in terms of changing the channel to the expected channel; they had a strong preference for tuning to the low single digits (I had a long talk with a Tivo tech about this during the summer; they sent me a replacement serial cable, and I was suddenly in channel tuning heaven).

I hadn't known that Comcast doesn't support the serial Tivo connector; that's dismaying, since the IR connector functions so poorly.
Get a DVR box. Problem solved.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to Quaoar

It could be worse.. I have a friend up in northern MN where Charter rules the day. When the EAS goes off, not only do the normal box capture events happen, it knocks out the cable modem .. oh, and get this.. the phone service.

I have NO problem with the EAS grabbing the attention of people and disrupting the programming - AT ALL.. that's what the EAS is supposed to do.. that's why there is an annoying ass tone. (In MN, this is touchy, being in tornado alley. People complain about all the tests and sirens that go off, and do everything possible to tone them out when they happen. Then, with a town is destroyed and they don't know that the sirens and warnings went off, or are used to tuning them out, they cry foul. but, I digress)

The Phones and cable modem service going out (in the case of charter) IS a ridiculous error.. but, what I'm reading here.. eh. .. nothing to see in my opinion.



DocL

@comcast.net

Likewise, I have no problem with EAS _sending_ the signal. I think that's an important feature.

I just really want it to give my tuner back when it's finished. I pay rather too much for Comcast and Tivo service to come home, looking forward to watching the new episode of "House" and finding that I've instead recorded an hour of some random movie on Comedy Central, because that was the channel I'd watched the night before, and there had been an EAS signal in the middle of the night that has locked the cable box to that channel. I'm not paying for an "all EAS, all the time" service.


fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

said by DocL :

I'm not paying for an "all EAS, all the time" service.
Sure you are bud! The whole world is falling to hell right now so the 24/7 EAS alert is pretty valid.


momdmd

@comcast.net
reply to DocL

I don't know anything about IR, EAS, CC (comcast cable?) or some of the other stuff you mentioned. Are serial cables the cables on the back? All I know is that when I looked over at my bedroom cable box (the tv was off but box on) it said EAS and I couldn't see the time

My cable remote being in the living room, I left it alone for like 3 days till it got on my nerves then I pushed the channel up button. Nothing, turned the box off and on and it's fine, but since the tv was off, I don't know if there was a picture or not. Out of 4 cable boxes in our home (1 HD, 3 regular digital cable boxes - this one is also a regular digital box), only one had that message.

BTW, it knocks out the cable modem and they have cable telephone, it would knock both out because the phone service goes through the modem. When I got phone service they switched me to a different cable modem that does both.

I don't have TIVO but I suspect that if it goes through the cable box then the tv, if the cable box is not working right, then it would affect the tivo just like if it went out completely.



imwhite

@comcast.net
reply to DocL

Its possible the EAS equipments trigger is at fault, this can happen but it would affect all your neighbors too.


gpatrick900

join:2008-08-30
New Castle, IN
reply to DocL

I think you should be able to turn if off. The reason.

Ch 49 does at 1:01, the 13 does it at 1:03, the 15 does it at 1:04 and so on. You get the idea. So, the box would turn to each channel. Then hopefully go back to your previous channel. That could cause problems with recording. I would hate the watching a program and the EAS test changes the station you watching especially if it is the end.

Some Digital tvs can disable the EAS signal or set it for the warnings you want to here. This only works if you do not have a box and are connected to an antenna. I just hope some of these over the air boxes do not do the same thing.

They do way too many test. A weekly and a monthly test.



Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

said by gpatrick900:

Some Digital tvs can disable the EAS signal

They do way too many test. A weekly and a monthly test.
yes but many of the shitty tests are set to high priority
it overwrites the disableing thing

gpatrick900

join:2008-08-30
New Castle, IN

said by Anonymous_:

said by gpatrick900:

Some Digital tvs can disable the EAS signal

They do way too many test. A weekly and a monthly test.
yes but many of the shitty tests are set to high priority
it overwrites the disableing thing
Your kidding. I thought the point, is so you the consumer can choose the warning you want to see, not what they make you see. At least for cable, it makes it pointless to have dvr.

Just out of curiosity dose satellite boxes do the same thing?

There should be some type of hidden code, that you could disable the EAS totally using the remote. If there is, we can not talk about it here.

This makes me wonder if those using the over the air converter boxes would have the same problem.