SA Explorer 4250HDC VOD questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-05-2009, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I am new to VOD, and cable boxes in general. I have had only expanded basic in the past, and decided today(1/5/09) to go get a HD converter box from TWC in order to receive the HD channels I could not get(for free), and to check out VOD, and the basic digital channel lineup.

I connected the box as required by TWC. I have the incoming cable line going into a surge protector, then out to a 2-way splitter(rated 5-2300Mhz) to run cable to both my cable box and my Phillips 160GB HD/DVD Recorder(can record the SDTV versions of my local channels this way).

It took about 10-15 minutes this morning for the 4250HDC to get all the info, and the time to appear on the front panel to begin use of the unit. I thought this was a little long, but whatever.

Everything appears fine(it is connected to my HDTV via component cables). All my channels come in. I set the resolution to 1080i(my tv is a Samsung 32A450 LCD which has a native res of 768p. I tried 720p, but just felt 1080i looked better for some reason) for all channels so as not to get a delay on going from a HD channel to an analog/digital one.

But I have tried to access the FREE VOD from TWC(NorthEast Ohio TWC to be exact for those out there), and everytime I try to VOD something, I get a message saying, "The program you have requested is not available, try again later." It has happened all day, and I was wondering if this normal for VOD, especially FREE VOD?

I don't think changing my set-up would matter, but is this a normal thing ith FREE VOD? They just don't have it available? Kinda of a come-on? They want you to use the regular pay VOD?

Also, if I have to remove the splitter(there is a splitter outside the house as well, but it is also rated at 5-2300Mhz passthrough. Can't do anything about that one, since it sends the analog, and the CLEAR QAM HD/digital signals too two other tv's in the house), how do I reeboot?

Do I unplug the 4250HDC first, then remove the splitter(not the surge protector though?), and then plug it back in, wait 10-15 minutes for it to download the info again?

Or is this normal in VOD land? I am new to this, and like VOD(late comer, I know). Like I said everything else is working well.

Also, I notice that for now I get HBO/Showtime/Cinemax/Starz and other channels which I do not subscribe too om the 4250HDC. Again is this normal, and will it switch to the DIGITAL BASIC, which I signed up for only? I am not a thief, and don't want to be getting channels that I am not paying for. I got the 4250HDC MAINLY for VOD, and the other HD channels(not in CLEAR QAM) I was not receiving.

Thanx in advance for any info.
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-05-2009, 11:56 PM
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The message you are receiving while trying to access the free VOD indicates something is wrong. I believe when you call TWC support there is an automated option to reset your box. If not talk to one of their support agents. I have had good luck with them here in L.A. Good luck!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 02:11 AM
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First thing I would try after rebooting the box (unplug the power cord, count to 30, plug back in) is bypassing the surge protector. They're usually nothing but trouble for digital signals, especially when you need reliable two-way communication such as with VOD. If it still doesn't work after that, bypass the splitter and give support a call. They'll ask you to bypass both anyway, so save time and do it beforehand.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I will give those two things a try. Thanx.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I unplugged the box, removed the inside surge protector and splitter(I can't currently do anything abou the outside one), and the replugged in the unit.

I will wait about another 20 minutes, and go see if everything is OK before trying any VOD stuff. Like I said, everything else worked great. HD, and everything else was coming in fine. Even the VOD channels, I just could not order anything(also got alot of other channels for free that I should not, but I think that will end soon).

If this does not work, I will call TWC and get a signal to reset the box. Do I need the numbers on the back of the receiver to do this, or just my account # with them and address info?
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Once again, everything else is working fine. HD, digital channels, analog channels, and even channels I should not be getting(all the HBO/Cinemax/Starz/Showtime channels) all coming in just fine. I should be getting the Big Ten Network in HD(plus ESPN Classic on regular digital lineup) since I live in Pennsylvania, but I don't for some reason. I get the analog version of BTN just fine like always, but no HD version. Told to call customer service. Weird.

Menu's work just fine. But the VOD(FREE VOD in particular) I still get the same thing. I tired to order something simple and small for free. I tried getting the "Star Trek" movie trailer, but got the same thing again, "The Star Trek Movie trailer is not available. Please try again Later". Then, under that, was the Yellow A symbol for OK.

Guess the next move is to call them to try a reset, then after that go to the office where I got it.

I can't see how the outside splitter, put in by them years ago(and rated at 5-2300Mhz) could cause a problem with the VOD since everything else is working great. I removed the insode splitter, and the surege protector so the cable wire goes directly into the box.

Granted, I just installed it yesterday in the morning(1/5/09) by myself. Maybe it needs time to get the right info in their system for me to get the correct channel lineup, and VOD options.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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And, I should add, this is the ONLY HD Box from the cable company in the house. All my other TV's receive the analog channels, plus the CLEAR QAM local channels which is ample for what I use those for.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 12:35 PM
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Call support. It wasn't guaranteed that the splitter/sure protector would cause the problem, but just something to rule out before they start messing with your box. At this point they probably just need to send another hit to the box to have it authorized for the correct channels.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-06-2009, 01:42 PM
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I may have an answer for you. I, too, had a similar problem in my condo. I have a 4250HDC and an 8300HDC. The cable coming into my condo was run through a splitter, one going to the cable box, the other going to my Roadrunner cable modem. The other connection to the bedroom TV has no splitter. With the split signal, no matter what box I used, I would get the VOD problem you are describing as well as some pixelation or break-ups on some of the HD channels. Turns out, the splitter weakened the signal just enough so that the box could not receive certain frequencies, such as the VOD. Keep in mind that none of these problems occurred on my bedroom TV without a splitter with the same boxes.

I purchased a Motorola Signal Booster, placed it inline before the splitter to my cable box and modem, and lo and behold I have not had a single problem since. No more VOD 'unavailabilities', no more break-ups on some HD channels.

I also discovered that it's not just splitters that can cause this. Your infrastructure just may be old or not up to snuff, therefore you may just have a weak signal coming into your house before or after any splitters. The Motorola booster will also help in this situation.

If it doesn't work, you can always return it for a refund. Can't hurt to give it a shot! Good luck!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-08-2009, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prodwel1 View Post

I may have an answer for you. I, too, had a similar problem in my condo. I have a 4250HDC and an 8300HDC. The cable coming into my condo was run through a splitter, one going to the cable box, the other going to my Roadrunner cable modem. The other connection to the bedroom TV has no splitter. With the split signal, no matter what box I used, I would get the VOD problem you are describing as well as some pixelation or break-ups on some of the HD channels. Turns out, the splitter weakened the signal just enough so that the box could not receive certain frequencies, such as the VOD. Keep in mind that none of these problems occurred on my bedroom TV without a splitter with the same boxes.

I purchased a Motorola Signal Booster, placed it inline before the splitter to my cable box and modem, and lo and behold I have not had a single problem since. No more VOD 'unavailabilities', no more break-ups on some HD channels.

I also discovered that it's not just splitters that can cause this. Your infrastructure just may be old or not up to snuff, therefore you may just have a weak signal coming into your house before or after any splitters. The Motorola booster will also help in this situation.

If it doesn't work, you can always return it for a refund. Can't hurt to give it a shot! Good luck!

You have a good point. I live in a fairly new house, but in one of the rooms a cheap coax cable was run under the carpet to move the TV to the other side of the room. Digital cable worked fine in every other room except for this one. The TWC had to come out and run a new line to this room. To the OP, I'd call support first, it may just be an error on their end. Good luck!
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-10-2009, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dummptyhummpty View Post

You have a good point. I live in a fairly new house, but in one of the rooms a cheap coax cable was run under the carpet to move the TV to the other side of the room. Digital cable worked fine in every other room except for this one. The TWC had to come out and run a new line to this room. To the OP, I'd call support first, it may just be an error on their end. Good luck!

I actually had a scheduled appoitment for a guy to come out and ook at my setup on Thursday 1/8/09, but he called and said that the problem appears to located at the Akron, OH HUB, which supplies the channels and VOD service for alot of Northeast, OH and NW Pennsylvania customers. he said that they were working on it, and actually had alot of people calling and complaining that their VOD was not working.

I told him I would give it a week, and if it still did not work, I would schedule another apppoitment.

On Friday, I was able to VOD two very small Video trailers with no problem late in the morning/early afternoon. I thought the problem was solved on their end. But alas, no.

I tried to VOD a movie later on in the day, and got another ATTENTION sign saying it was not available. And I also got the Error 101 once, and also got an Error 026 once as well. I don't know what either mean, so if anyone can offer insight into them, i would greatly appreciate it.

As of Saturday, 1/10/09 3:30pm, I still cannot get any VOD programming. I get the Attention message, but with no corresponding error message within that Yellow attention message on it's right side. Both the Error 101 and Error 026 popped up once while trying to download a VOD program.

I will keep you updated, and anyone with any info, please post.

Thanks.
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