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

Re: CATV issue- box freezing and reboots.

said by nunya:

SDV, IMO, is still very Beta. Yes, it's being implemented - like it or not.
Being that one of your boxes "timed out", and all three boxes shit the bed at the same time, I'm more apt to believe that it's a carrier or return path issue. E.G., the STB can't let the node "know" that you are still watching that program. The channel times out, and all you see is the last image.

The STB return is on 19 MHz, and I checked the power levels on all three boxes. They are showing about 34-35 dBmV at each box. Tech thought that was pretty good... maybe a hair low, but he then went in the truck and looked at the noise on the node... and there was nothing that could have interrupted communication... it was pretty clean overall.

I will say that I have had some difficulty in the past with On Demand... when I select a program, it will search and search and come up empty handed... like it's looking for something it can't find. not sure if that is directly related to my issue, but he did think that may be a piece of this issue.

The only portion you have control over is the amplifier in your house. Some amps that claim to be "digital ready" only pass the upstream return, they don't actually boost the upstream return signal. As far as return path is concerned it's just a passive device.
Check the specs on your particular amp. Make sure it's truly bi-directional.

It has 0.0 forward gain, and 0.0 reverse gain, so it simply repeats in and out what it's sent with no loss.

Tech said they set up a sling box in the headend, hoping to catch a freeze event, and then take it from there. he said that ironically, the head end was watching a SDV channel last night, and they shut off the TV but forgot to shut off the cable box. They came in this mornning... box was frozen on a picture with no audio... just like my problem. They investigated and learned that 360 minutes is the timeout... but are not sure how often the STB needs to communicate with the headend to keep the stream going.

And if that is the reason... why is my return not able to communicate with the headend to keep the stream, but a quick channel change instantly fixes the problem?!?


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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Reviews:
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You might consider one of these: »www.cabletvamps.com/Products/ERA-4100.htm to use in conjunction with your existing amp.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
said by nunya:

You might consider one of these: »www.cabletvamps.com/Products/ERA-4100.htm to use in conjunction with your existing amp.

Do not install this. Reverse amps should only be installed by the MSO, not a homeowner without a meter. They are very rarely needed. From the sounds of it the issue is most likely outside of your house.

Have you tested a single box bypassing the amp yet?
--
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:

said by nunya:

You might consider one of these: »www.cabletvamps.com/Products/ERA-4100.htm to use in conjunction with your existing amp.

Do not install this. Reverse amps should only be installed by the MSO, not a homeowner without a meter. They are very rarely needed. From the sounds of it the issue is most likely outside of your house.

Have you tested a single box bypassing the amp yet?

I offered to do that for the tech, but he is convinced that it's not the amp nor the house wiring, and declined my offer to do that. He is suspecting it's something in the headend or a return signal issue. They're hoping to catch a freeze-up on the sling box and take it from there.

When he and I checked his laptop displaying the noise on the return frequency, it looked pretty clean (at least that moment). Is my typical return signal strength of 34-35 dBmV high enough to overcome most noise? I know a cable modem can go upwards of 55 if needed to overcome noise... what should I be pushing to get a quality return signal?