Leave cable box turned on ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-04-2008, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally upgraded and got a Comcast digital cable box. I've never had any cable box before. When the installer hooked it up, he said to leave it on all the time.
Any reason for this? Or should I turn it off when not in use?
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-04-2008, 04:40 PM
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I'd like to find out the answer to this too. I always turn my cable box off at night, unless I'm recording something with the DVD recorder...the box gets powered on in the morning and stays on all day, though. I've just always done it this way (no one at the cable company ever told us to do it differently).

Wonder why they'd tell you to not shut it off? (Ours is a DVR box so its hard drive powers down automatically at 1am unless you hit a button on the remote to "wake" it up...maybe that's why? It shuts itself off overnight?)

DGK
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-05-2008, 12:17 AM
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Just don't unplug it.
If its off from the remote or front panel, its really just in standby mode and can still record automatically.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-05-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Screen TV View Post

I finally upgraded and got a Comcast digital cable box. I've never had any cable box before. When the installer hooked it up, he said to leave it on all the time.
Any reason for this? Or should I turn it off when not in use?

If it is a regular box, go ahead and turn it off. Nothing gained at all be leaving it on. If it is a DVR, it is best to leave it on. If it is off and it comes on for a scheduled recording, it will come on with the audio muted. Nothing you can do about that. If a scheduled recording begins at, say, 5PM and it is a 3 hour program you are recording, there will be no audio coming out of that box until you can turn it off and back on at 8PM.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-05-2008, 07:38 AM
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If you remove power, it will have to reacquire channel authorizations. This can take anywhere fron a few minutes to a half hour, depending on the polling frequency the cableco uses. (since each box is individually addressed)

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post #6 of 16 Old 04-05-2008, 01:19 PM
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[quote=egnlsn;13565303]If it is a regular box, go ahead and turn it off. Nothing gained at all be leaving it on. If it is a DVR, it is best to leave it on. QUOTE]

Just curious -- why leave it on? (We do have a DVR.)

Thanks in advance.

DGK
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-05-2008, 03:11 PM
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[quote=DeeKaye07;13567387]
Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

If it is a regular box, go ahead and turn it off. Nothing gained at all be leaving it on. If it is a DVR, it is best to leave it on. QUOTE]

Just curious -- why leave it on? (We do have a DVR.)

Thanks in advance.

DGK

If it is off and it comes on for a scheduled recording, it will come on with the audio muted. Nothing you can do about that. For example; the DVR is off and a scheduled recording begins at 5PM. The program that is being recorded is a 3 hour program. You go in and turn on the TV at 6:00 to watch something. No sound. You turn up the volume in the TV and hit the mute button on the remote to no avail. Regardless of what you try, still no audio. The only thing you can do is turn the DVR off (which, of course, disrupts your recording) and back on.

After the scheduled recording is complete the DVR doesn't turn back off, which means that if you were away from home until after 8PM, at which time you turned the on the TV, there would be no audio. As in the above scenario, you would turn up the volume in the TV and hit the mute button on the remote to no avail. Regardless of what you try, still no audio. The only thing you can do is turn the DVR off (which, of course, disrupts your recording) and back on.

After a few times of all that headache (oh, and more likely than not, you would turn the DVR off and back on with the volume on the TV turned all the way up), you would decide to leave the box on.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-06-2008, 09:25 AM
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Thanks, Ed...I'd never noticed the DVR would do that. (I usually only do scheduled recording with it overnight, when the DVR's already been on during the day and early evening.) For some reason I've never had that happen yet, but I'll remember now to leave it on...

DGK
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-11-2008, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the answers to my initial question. My box is just a digital box, no DVR. I really can't see a reason to leave it on all the time, even though probably doesn't use much power when left on all the time.
Maybe the cable guy said "leave it on" so they don't get calls asking "why doesn't my cable box work?"
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-11-2008, 02:27 PM
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If it is a DVR...Turn It Off. The hard drive defrags when it's turned off.

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post #11 of 16 Old 04-12-2008, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomixer View Post

If it is a DVR...Turn It Off. The hard drive defrags when it's turned off.

What? Where did you hear this? DVRs are never truly "off", since they need to be able to record at any time; also, truly modern filesystems never need defragmentation (just because NTFS does...), so that would be silly.

Most DVRs aren't recommended to be shut off simply because they (at least the main cableco DVRs) tend to get squirrelly if you do; the Motos in particular are known to have some rather... odd behaviors if they're turned off (well, put into "standby"; again, they're never truly "off", as with pretty much every modern electronic device).
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-12-2008, 04:51 PM
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I was told that it need to be turned off so it can receive updates

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post #13 of 16 Old 04-12-2008, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ7 View Post

I was told that it need to be turned off so it can receive updates

Both my regular HD box and my HD DVR receive updates whether they are ON or OFF (stand-by mode).

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post #14 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 03:58 PM
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DVR will receive updates whether on or off, it comes thru your cable line. DVR will turn on to record scheduled recordings, if your tv is plugged into the dvr your tv will come on also. DVRs do NOT defrag. They do not have defrag software loaded, the only thing even remotely close to this is a total wipe process.

Unplugging a dvr from the power will resolve the known issues like dvr reading 100% full when it is not, recordings playing back black screen, missing recordings. It will resolve losing all recordings only if it is a software issue, if your recordings are erased spontaniously that is a known issue and nothing can retrieve them.



Comcast agents may recommend always on because too many customers call in to say their cable is out when it is the box is powered off. (or wrong tv channel, wrong tv input, tv not even on, power is out, on and on and on...and omg what is that message light and why do I have messages?)

Why not leave it on? So many people cannot get the hit tv button and then power button to turn on tv, then cable power to turn on box. The ALL ON button on remote has its own issues, if you do not hold it down long enough you get all out of sync and goofy....


DVR...on or off your choice. My 3 are always on.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-21-2008, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coaxchick View Post

DVR will receive updates whether on or off, it comes thru your cable line. DVR will turn on to record scheduled recordings, if your tv is plugged into the dvr your tv will come on also. DVRs do NOT defrag. They do not have defrag software loaded, the only thing even remotely close to this is a total wipe process.

Unplugging a dvr from the power will resolve the known issues like dvr reading 100% full when it is not, recordings playing back black screen, missing recordings. It will resolve losing all recordings only if it is a software issue, if your recordings are erased spontaniously that is a known issue and nothing can retrieve them.



Comcast agents may recommend always on because too many customers call in to say their cable is out when it is the box is powered off. (or wrong tv channel, wrong tv input, tv not even on, power is out, on and on and on...and omg what is that message light and why do I have messages?)

Why not leave it on? So many people cannot get the hit tv button and then power button to turn on tv, then cable power to turn on box. The ALL ON button on remote has its own issues, if you do not hold it down long enough you get all out of sync and goofy....


DVR...on or off your choice. My 3 are always on.

I can personally vouche for the fact that a DVR (SA-8300HDC) can receive updates when ON and when you are watching a show.

Last Monday I was all set to watch Antique Roadshow in HD when my TWC SA-8300HDC rebooted all by itself with some sort of new update.

I guess that is called a 'feature' in some realms.

For me its called poor customer service to plan an upgrade at 8pm prime time.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-22-2008, 11:28 AM
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Comcast updates and maintenance downtimes are always scheduled for between 3 and 5 am. When a csmr gets a new dct or dvr and plugs it in for first time it may auto update if it wasn't done at warehouse. If there were extenuating circumstances in your area, headend, node.....etc....that would account for the update at the inconvenient time.
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