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SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to beachintech

Re: CATV issue- box freezing and reboots.

Click for full size
Signal tanking was not a fluke... here's a better pic from a freeze this morning. Still don't know what is causing it.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

You should talk to more of your neighbors...more 'squeaky wheels' will get more action, in addition to giving the techs more data to work with.

Walked up and down the street today, looking to see who is serviced off the same amp as me. Of those that use CATV, one neighbor has seen the issue a bit, and two others have been plagued with freezing issues exactly like mine... and then it got too dark to continue...

Seems that nobody realized that anybody else was having that problem.... and it wasn't so bad that anybody has been regularly calling. Now it's pretty clear... it's not just me, it's at least this neighborhood.


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

You sure you know which way the signal is flowing

You def have a problem outside the house, a big one from the looks of that.
--
Ex-Comcast Tech at the Beach. I speak for myself, not my former employer.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by beachintech:

You sure you know which way the signal is flowing

You def have a problem outside the house, a big one from the looks of that.

Yeah, looking at those negative numbers, you'd think it was an outflow of me broadcasting to everybody else in the node.

No question about it now. I walked around and polled everybody around me that uses Charter for CATV, and all but one are having this freezing issue (and it may just be that he's not using affected channels). The earliest I can trace it back is to 2008, when the first resident in the area subscribed to Charter. It's been going on since at least then! I alerted the higher-ups at the local Charter office over the weekend, and gave the contact info to all of those residents affected. Geographically, I traced it back beyond my amp... it's at least one amp back toward the node and may go all the way back for all we know at this point...

In all fairness, everyone, including me, has just let it go up until now, so this has been a lingering problem, but nobody was calling and complaining. Shame on us for that I suppose. Now that it's out in the open, and there is clear evidence of a real problem, I'm hopeful it can be diagnosed and corrected.

Up to this point, Charter local has really done their best and invested time and effort to try to fix this problem. I have no complaints with their tech team to date. With all the info I have provided, and the number of my affected neighbors who called in, I am optimistic of a resolution. We shall see I suppose.


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

I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope, customers have been affected on that large of a scale for that long and they never did anything about it.
--
Ex-Comcast Tech at the Beach. I speak for myself, not my former employer.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

Click for full size
said by beachintech:

I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope, customers have been affected on that large of a scale for that long and they never did anything about it.

Yeah, I'm starting to wonder myself... not due to lack of effort, as they seem to be really trying to figure this one out, but nothing is popping as the culprit.

I did some research, and of the satellite options on the table, I think a Dish Dual-Hopper/Multi-Joey setup may be the way to go given how many TVs I would want to run. All the RG6 run to my outlets is swept to 3Ghz, so I should be good to go. Put the node in the utility room, mount the dish and run it back to the node, and hook up the Hoppers and Joeys. Dish says that down the road, the Hoppers would be able to communicate with one another, so I could view any program from any Hopper or Joey. It's kinda sweet actually.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

MoCA is the shiznit.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by nunya:

MoCA is the shiznit.

So I take it you approve of my choice?


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3
reply to SwedishRider

I prefer DirecTV. They provide a similar setup, and have been offering whole-home DVR service for quite a while. I started with three 2-tuner DVR's when it first became available. With the HD setup I have, all DVR's have internet access and can download PPV and on-demand content. The HD receivers can access any of the DVR's and watch any recorded content. With their SWM system, there is only one cable from the Dish, and it can be split like cable. Also, DirecTV now offers a 5-tuner DVR.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by billaustin:

I prefer DirecTV. They provide a similar setup, and have been offering whole-home DVR service for quite a while. I started with three 2-tuner DVR's when it first became available. With the HD setup I have, all DVR's have internet access and can download PPV and on-demand content. The HD receivers can access any of the DVR's and watch any recorded content. With their SWM system, there is only one cable from the Dish, and it can be split like cable. Also, DirecTV now offers a 5-tuner DVR.

Bill, so if I were to go the DIRECTV route, I could have one coax from outdoors to indoors, then have it enter a splitter (or use an 8-port amp like I have), and then only one coax run is needed for each DVR?

The problem for me is that I didn't run 2 coax drops to each outlet location... so a DVR that requires 2 coax hookups would need either a splitter immediately before the DVR, or only one hookup, which defeats the purpose of having a DVR (Only one program could be recorded or watched at a time).

The beauty of the Hopper setup is that I could get full functionality from each Hopper and Joey without the need for 2 coax runs to any of the receivers or DVRs.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

Jim you don't need 2 coax for each DVR anymore. I only have one from the dish to the input block and then one coax to each DVR. My second coax from the dish now is spare.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

said by Jack_in_VA:

Jim you don't need 2 coax for each DVR anymore. I only have one from the dish to the input block and then one coax to each DVR. My second coax from the dish now is spare.

So then if that's the case, I could have one DIRECTV dish mounted, and then wire a single coax from dish to amp, and then from there out to each outlet, as I have my cable setup now. The only difference would be that instead of Charter's incoming line, I'd replace the incoming line with the satellite dish's coax.


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
reply to SwedishRider

Amp you have now more than likely would be incompatible. Signal wise you more than likely will not need it, and if you do the installer will have one.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Directv uses what they call SWM

Google this: Directv SWM to get an idea



cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
reply to SwedishRider

If you go DirecTV, check my profile, I have a link to the refer-a-friend program. You can get $10 off your monthly bill for signing up through my link.. or PM me for details.

You still want Internet so also see how much Charter's internet is by itself. Some cable providers have different packages and pricing for Internet and / or Phone if you don't also carry at least a basic level of their TV service.

There is the new Genie DVR that records 5 things at once and has picture in picture. You can hide the channels out of the guide you don't subscribe to, I know that's not a common thing with Cable.

It's worth considering, and if you want Video on Demand you need to opt for the CCK (Cinema Connection Kit) which is a small device with Ethernet on one side and coax on the other. It basically bridges your internet from your router onto the coax network so that the receivers can get out to the world and run TV Apps and VOD. The current software downloads VOD to the DVR's hard drive and then you play it from there. In the near future they are adding a "Watch Now" option that streams the VOD without having to "download" it and then go out to the DVR Playlist. With Multi-Room DVR you can access the DVR playlist anywhere.

Bottom line... compare channel lineups and pricing before making your decision. The sat guys live off of 2 year contracts so as much as an interest I have in you signing up with DirecTV so we both get $10 off (through refer-a-friend), I want you to make the best, most educated decision. Is HD a priority? Compare the HD Channel lineup between Dish, DirecTV and Charter very closely. They can be very different.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Well, after 3 years of freezing issues, and 3+ weeks of heavy diagnostics by me and the local Charter team... it appears the culprit(s) have finally been identified and fixed.

I don't know the specifics... but there were 2 issues in the headend with their SDV system that needed attention, and once they were addressed, the freezing stopped. No freezes all day today... and no freezes this evening. I called a neighbor, and they have been freeze-free as well. In-house work and line work was simply chasing a ghost, but we obviously didn't know that at the time.

Given how this turned out, I'm going to keep my business with Charter. I'm satisfied as to how this turned out. I will admit, I was getting skeptical toward the end that this would be resolved, but they pulled through and finally knocked this nagging problem out. With that only problem now fixed, all three of my services run great.

And truthfully, I do feel vindicated.



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

Call them back to find out what the deal was...I wanna know WHY.

No shame on their part, to be sure. They did the honorable thing and followed through to resolution.



jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Did a Charter (PR) employee stumble across this post?


aroberti
Sarcastic? Me? Never
Premium
join:2000-12-21
Norwalk, CT

said by jrs8084:

Did a Charter (PR) employee stumble across this post?

It really sounds to me like they've been making an honest effort the whole time. Likely figuring out the problem was more wide-spread than initially thought pointed them in the right direction to find the root cause.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

said by aroberti:

It really sounds to me like they've been making an honest effort the whole time. Likely figuring out the problem was more wide-spread than initially thought pointed them in the right direction to find the root cause.

Agreed. The Charter techs are pretty good here also.

Troubleshooting intermittent problems is a real PITA, and when you can get more 'pointers' (in this case affected customers) it makes it easier to isolate the problem and correct it.
--
Don't ask questions -- just do as you're told.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Charter local has been making an honest effort the whole time. They have rolled truck after truck trying to diagnose and fix this, but the intermittent nature of the issue made it really tough to pinpoint. I don't think any one specific data point was the "tell", but a collection of all the facts gathered over time that drifted all of us in a general direction that ended up in the headend. I do think when we all realized how many homes this affected, the focus shifted to a much broader problem search. And at the end of the day, they found the problem(s) and corrected them, and that's what really matters.

In doing so, Charter has earned my continued business, and it's well deserved. They didn't ignore my trouble calls, and yes, I provided far more help and guidance than the average customer (let's be honest... most people would have either bailed to put up a satellite dish, or just lived with it, accepting the glitch as is), but they did take my data and info and used it inevitably to fix this entire service group. I know of at least one neighbor who was ready to bail and get a dish, but now has also changed their opinion of Charter and will stay with them. They have earned a great support rep in this community, regardless of what the rest of the company is doing.

When a company does something dumb, they deserve scorn, and when a company does something well, they deserve praise. For this, they deserve praise. In this case, Charter local deserves heaps of praise.


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1

Good to hear you issue was resolved, now when BBR charter cable forum members stumble into the home improvement forum it may help them as well



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to SwedishRider

Spoke too soon...

After days of flawless use, I rebooted a box today, and now after it booted, it won't play all my subscribed channels. It gives me the "Temporarily Off Air" screen. My other 2 boxes were playing all channels fine while that rebooted box was telling me that those channels were off air. To test if it was a bad box or the cable system, I rebooted both of the boxes that were working.. and now they also display the same off air message. All three boxes now play local channels, VOD, Music Choice... but won't play Sprout, HBO, Showtime, etc.. it's almost as if rebooting made them lose the authorization to play those channels..

Looks like one problem was fixed and another created..



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

I learned long ago... Never ever reboot/update a computer or reboot a cable box, direct tv receiver or other electronic device that does not absolutely need it to function.



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to SwedishRider

Okay... I gotta ask? Why the hell would you reboot something that was working, in your words, "flawlessly"?? Wottsamatta... you can't stand prosperity???
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

It's not like it wouldn't have happened eventually anyway. Better now than later.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to Pacrat

said by Pacrat:

Okay... I gotta ask? Why the hell would you reboot something that was working, in your words, "flawlessly"?? Wottsamatta... you can't stand prosperity???




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

Most likely just a coding issue, and should be able to fixed fairly easily over the phone. Don't let them tell you the boxes need to be replaced. With all the CSR's in and out of your account who knows what they did.
--
Ex-Comcast Tech at the Beach. I speak for myself, not my former employer.



dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA
reply to SwedishRider

said by SwedishRider:

Spoke too soon...
Looks like one problem was fixed and another created..

By now I would have sent all their stuff back and bought an antenna. That's a lotta grief!
--
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Pacrat

said by Pacrat:

Okay... I gotta ask? Why the hell would you reboot something that was working, in your words, "flawlessly"?? Wottsamatta... you can't stand prosperity???

I was moving around some furniture, as I was finally getting around to getting some projects done. I needed to unplug a box and move it and a TV, and when I plugged it back in... not all my channels returned. I then tested the other boxes to see if it was a common problem... and it was.

I called the 888 number, and they wanted to roll a truck to switch out the boxes (which I knew was not needed) after sending a few hits did not reset the boxes. CSR really didn't know what to do about it. I got in touch with my contact at Charter local, and they needed about a day to get things squared away... and now everything is back to normal... and I'm hoping it stays normal! All I really want is the system to work as expected. Internet and phone are great, as are most channels... it's SDV that's been the glitchy problem.

Looking back over this thread, I think nunya hit it on the money, SDV feels very "beta". I think in time it'll be a good alternative to the traditional cable model, but it seems to be a technology that is still a work in progress. In any event, Charter local did fix it promptly again.