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wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA

[COMCAST] HDTV Picture keeps breaking up

I have COMCAST HDTV service in North Atlanta (Marietta) and I have a long time problem that comes and goes but has never gone away completely.

The picture for most of the HDTV channels breaks up about once every 5 seconds... many times with the sound breaking up also. A few (two) of the channels come in with no problem and at least 1 is very bad. It also seems that the channels which come in well change from week to week.

I also notice that sometimes the ON-DEMAND (which is not HDTV) breaks up also.

I have had COMCAST service folks come out several times and they keep saying I have a good signal (measured on some meter).. They replace the box and go-away. The last time the tech said they were having network problems that would clear up and fix the picture. It did not. Each time they have been out, the picture has NOT been real bad...

I have another tech coming out on Monday and I want to be smarter this time...

What do you "experts" thing the problem is and what should I push for?

Thanks,

George



kcharg
Kcharg
Premium
join:2000-10-28
Forney, TX

Well in my experience running service for Comcast, you probably have a situation called too much ingress. Ingress is when signal or trash gets in on main lines meaning Network Cable. Give you an example: Lets say one of your neighbors is stealing cable and went to their pedestal hooked them self up and just stuck the stinger in the port (Stinger is the copper part of the cable), well lets add to the equation that they have a Television that is putting electricity back on the lines (what we call back-feeding electrical on the lines). This could be causing some interference on the main lines causing some lost information on the downstream to your box. The HD signal runs at QAM256 which in my opinion is much pickier than QAM64 which regular Digital runs at and most HSI does as well. I live in a part of Dallas that most consider in my company to be a well run system with clean lines (Nothing is perfect) and even I get occasional HD breakups. Im not saying deal with them but just to keep digging into this problem. It could be as simple as a bad connector somewhere along the line allowing too much ingress. Keep at it, it will get fixed.

kcharg
--
kcharghttp://home.attbi.com/~kcharg/


wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA

Thanks for the reply.

I will show this to the tech..

Is Ingress something that he/she can test for?

Thanks,

George


wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA

Not that this is needed...

If you want to see what I am seeing.. go to

»www.pcwp.com/special/comcast.mov

I created this from my digital camera.

I think you need Quicktime to view it however.

Thx,

George



jarib7
End User

join:2003-04-06
Lake Cowichan, BC

Your signals borderline. Some new connectors and splitters might fix it. You might also have water in your outside line and/or the connection at the road. Might be something simple or might require some new cable. Lotsa mights eh?



toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Seattle, WA
reply to wxperson

My HD DVR box does the same thing sometimes when watching HD channels. BUT if I rewind a few seconds, and play again, it doesn't break up at all. It only does it with live pictures, so mine isn't a signal issue. Its a shame really.


wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA
reply to jarib7

Thanks for the replies.

The test equipment shows the signal strength is "good".. according to COMCAST. I would think a marginal signal would show up as such.

Signal quality is another issue.. I don't know how they test for that.

George


MrBeetle9

join:2004-02-01
Madison, WI

Motorola or SA box?


wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA

UPDATE:
Comcast tech came out yesterday and said he needed to get "the big boys" to take a look. The "big boys" I guess were the higher level techs who came out today and left me a message saying that the problem was "at the head where the signal was originating from". He passed this onto the folks who are responsible for this and they would be working on it. He did not say how long this would take.

Does this make sense to you "techies" out there and how long should I give them before calling back?

Thanks,

George



58483323
Gurt me

join:2003-06-23
Normal, IL
reply to wxperson

The HD service you're receiving now is completely unacceptable. If it is a headend problem I'm surprised if others didn't report it.


tlesk

join:2004-04-22

I was having the exact same problems. All of my HD channels were tiling up every 5 to 10 seconds along with the sound cutting out and sometimes the picture just freezing for a few minutes at a time. I had 6 different techs out to my house and each tech did something different. They replaced the connectors, splitters, ground block, main line from tap to house and even exchanged my HD box. I was still having problems. Finnaly a tech came out and ran a temporary drop from the tap at the pole directly to my HD box. Still screwed up. He said that it is a problem at the headend and "THE BIG GUYS" will have to come out and figure it out. Well within a day or two my HD picture was looking good. Just keep calling and complaining. Also make sure your compensated for this. My problem was ongoing for about four to five weeks so they gave me a free month of digital cable.



58483323
Gurt me

join:2003-06-23
Normal, IL
reply to wxperson

Glad to hear it's fixed and hope for yours to be fixed also wxperson.


MrBeetle9

join:2004-02-01
Madison, WI
reply to wxperson

Makes perfect sense - I see it pretty often as well.

I'd give it a week and a half... Try calling next thursday or so if you are still having issues.


wxperson

join:2002-03-31
Marietta, GA

FYI..

I noticed my HSI went out yesterday for about 5 minutes and when it came back, I checked the HDTV and the picture was coming in great. No problems for 24 hours.

Whatever they did, they did not do near my house (no truck) but so far the results are good.

So, if this is the permanent fix, it took them about 2 days to get it working.

Keeping fingers crossed in Atlanta.



58483323
Gurt me

join:2003-06-23
Normal, IL
reply to wxperson

Great! That was fast... Looks like Comcast did something good and right for a change.


MrBeetle9

join:2004-02-01
Madison, WI

If that was the case, I'm guessing a line extender died or something. Swap out something far away, and everyone down the line benefits.


cokyq

join:2002-04-12
Euless, TX
reply to wxperson

Though my tiling/pixelation is not as bad as the mov file posted, I also have problems with my HD signal. It has gotten much worse after exchanging my HD motorola box for a 6208. In my case sometimes the picture and sound freeze, and in some cases I have had to change channels for the freeze to go away. I called Comcast and a tech came in. Said they were having problems in my area (Grapevine, TX) due to their recent channel changes. Give it a week or so it would go away.

It has not. Called Comcast again and they agreed to swap my 6208 to see if that is the problem. I will be back home Wednesday so I will go to the local office to exchange.



grmrpr

@nrockv01.md.comcast.

I had a problem similar to the same as the original poster starting right around mid-June also (but I'm located in Montgomery County Marylanc). My biggest problem was the breakup on OnDemand with some additional problems with HDTV. The funny thing was the OnDemand on my normal cable box (with less splitters in that line) couldn't even be used. After a similar lengthy problem, they determined late last week that it was also a head end problem and they replaced some equipment. My neigbhor also had similar problems that were also fixed. However, it is interesting that they presumably had no other complaints despite the fact that my node is the end of the line.


bob000001

join:2004-02-20
Bellingham, WA

Couldn't the HD data stream along with all digital cable, cable modem and VOIP data suffer from network congestion just like any other data on the network?
--
Build a man a fire and he will be warm for one night. Light a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.