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Suddenlink Digital Cable Box-Intermittent Reception Problem

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have had cable and then digital cable service since 1996 in the home that I am in. The service originally was provided by USA Media, purchased by Cebridge, and now purchased by Suddenlink. I also have a cable modem for my computer through this service.

Starting around 08/07 I started to have intermittent signal issues that did NOT appear to affect my computer cable modem (at least I wasn't doing anything that would notice a drop in speed). I did have one tech state that they had done something to increase their bandwidth at this time.

In the early AM hours (5am) and late evening hours (11pm) I started noticing that channels would start to drop out. It would attempt to deliver a picture, throw it on the TV for a few seconds, but then disappear to a blank screen. I could get sound. I could turn off the digital box, and just let the channel come through the coax cable, and I could get a picture, though grainy. This continued to get worse. Also, certain local channels would be crystal clear. However, all premium channels would not have a picture.

After having Suddenlink out here for 3-4 months, the down times have lessoned and pictures have improved, but I'm still seeing this early morning, late evening phenomenon. They have swapped out boxes, checked cable, signals when they are here.

Their last attempt was to put their own box and TV in. Well, this morning, like clockwork, at 5:30am, I had no picture on premium channels and non-local channels, just like our other two TVs hooked up to digital boxes.

I have been telling them for months that it is not my house or my equipment. It is a signal issue.

My question is this: What type of interference, power issue, bandwidth issue would cause the service to be interrupted in the early AM and late PM? Frequently, the middle of the night is fine. It is almost like some maintenance program is kicking on/off that is competing with the service. Is there something external to the cable service that would be causing this - like some other broadcasting service, phone, alien beings tapping into our cable system, whatever? I would say that it was everyone turning on their TVs at the same time, but it seems unlikely that 5:00AM is the time of day that everyone is up watching their TV?

Ideas?

Laurie
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, we were without power for 6 days last winter, and the problem that I posted was fixed when they replaced a lot of the power poles/lines.

It is now 10/08, and I'm having the exact same problem. A tech came out and asked if it was failing in the morning/evening, and he said - yep, that's a failing transformer which is sensitive to temperature - or something to that effect.

Now of course, he left, and I have yet to have the problem fixed.

Can someone explain to me what this problem is, and how it can be so complicated/time consuming to fix?

Laurie
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsweeney View Post

Well, we were without power for 6 days last winter, and the problem that I posted was fixed when they replaced a lot of the power poles/lines.

It is now 10/08, and I'm having the exact same problem. A tech came out and asked if it was failing in the morning/evening, and he said - yep, that's a failing transformer which is sensitive to temperature - or something to that effect.

Now of course, he left, and I have yet to have the problem fixed.

Can someone explain to me what this problem is, and how it can be so complicated/time consuming to fix?

Laurie

I'm with Suddenlink, at Corp. HQ. Perhaps I can help escalate this issue to management in your area.

If you're willing, please email me at pete-DOT-abel-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com, with the name on the account, plus either address on the account and/or account number -- and we can go from there. If you're not comfortable emailing me all of that information, I understand -- in which case, just name on the account and number at which we can reach you. Thanks.
post #4 of 7
At least it comes back... I have 9 channels with intermittent or no sound at all. When we first moved in I had sound on all channels but they have been slowly dropping off. I have had them check and double check and they swear it is not them, but nothing has changed on my end so what could it be??
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camillef View Post

At least it comes back... I have 9 channels with intermittent or no sound at all. When we first moved in I had sound on all channels but they have been slowly dropping off. I have had them check and double check and they swear it is not them, but nothing has changed on my end so what could it be??

I'm assuming you're a Suddenlink customer? If so, perhaps I can help. I work for Suddenlink at Corp. HQ. More on me here. Please email me directly at pete.abel@suddenlink.com to get the process started. Thanks.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Pabel - I'm sorry for the lack of response.

I eventually threw a tantrum. Their mo is to keep sending out techs who can't do anything to fix something that the "line" person can. I told them it is out on the street. Eventually, they had someone do something on the street that significantly corrected my situation. However, about 2 weeks ago, in the AM, I had the premium channels blinking on and off again, but so far it has been better.

This has been an ongoing problem for me ever since Suddenlink took over from Cebridge/Cox. Same house, same setup. None of my neighbors use Suddenlink for their TV because of this reason.

I think the bigger issue is that the company/management/service just seem to be either overwhelmed, untrained, or absent.

The last e-mail I sent them a week ago took them over 1 week to respond to. My last chat session was better in terms of getting the information I needed, but then the information they gave me pretty much proves to me that Dish or Direct TV is a much better option. I was asking why I didn't have outputs on my cable box for HD. They said I need an HD DVR box. It will cost me $20 for each box. I need at least 2. This will give me the HD Basic channels on their line up. He tells me to check my zip code for what is available. There are 2 HD Basic channels on my line up for zip code 95722. For $7.95 I get the premium HD channels.

Here they are:

112 KXTV-HD-ABC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
113 KTXL-HD-FOX Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
114 KCRA-HD-NBC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
115 KOVR-HD-CBS Stockton, CA HD Broadcast
120 HBO HD West HD Premium
121 Showtime HD West HD Premium
130 HD Theater HD Plus Tier
131 ESPN HD HD Basic
132 HDNet HD Plus Tier
133 HDNet Movies HD Plus Tier
134 National Geographic HD HD Plus Tier *
135 Home & Garden Television HD HD Plus Tier
136 Food Network HD HD Plus Tier
150 TNT HD HD Basic


Now go compare this to a Direct TV or Dish line up. Pretty big difference. Especially for the $$$.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsweeney View Post

Pabel - I'm sorry for the lack of response.

I eventually threw a tantrum. Their mo is to keep sending out techs who can't do anything to fix something that the "line" person can. I told them it is out on the street. Eventually, they had someone do something on the street that significantly corrected my situation. However, about 2 weeks ago, in the AM, I had the premium channels blinking on and off again, but so far it has been better.

This has been an ongoing problem for me ever since Suddenlink took over from Cebridge/Cox. Same house, same setup. None of my neighbors use Suddenlink for their TV because of this reason.

I think the bigger issue is that the company/management/service just seem to be either overwhelmed, untrained, or absent.

The last e-mail I sent them a week ago took them over 1 week to respond to. My last chat session was better in terms of getting the information I needed, but then the information they gave me pretty much proves to me that Dish or Direct TV is a much better option. I was asking why I didn't have outputs on my cable box for HD. They said I need an HD DVR box. It will cost me $20 for each box. I need at least 2. This will give me the HD Basic channels on their line up. He tells me to check my zip code for what is available. There are 2 HD Basic channels on my line up for zip code 95722. For $7.95 I get the premium HD channels.

Here they are:

112 KXTV-HD-ABC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
113 KTXL-HD-FOX Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
114 KCRA-HD-NBC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
115 KOVR-HD-CBS Stockton, CA HD Broadcast
120 HBO HD West HD Premium
121 Showtime HD West HD Premium
130 HD Theater HD Plus Tier
131 ESPN HD HD Basic
132 HDNet HD Plus Tier
133 HDNet Movies HD Plus Tier
134 National Geographic HD HD Plus Tier *
135 Home & Garden Television HD HD Plus Tier
136 Food Network HD HD Plus Tier
150 TNT HD HD Basic


Now go compare this to a Direct TV or Dish line up. Pretty big difference. Especially for the $$$.

Thanks for the additional information. If I read this correctly, the signal issues seem to have been worked out -- if I'm wrong about that, let me know by email: pete.abel@suddenlink.com.

In terms of the HD offerings, keep in mind that the "HD Broadcast" channels also come free with the box (in addition to HD Basic). In fact, if you have a newer HD TV set with what's known as a QAM tuner, the HD Broadcast channels would be viewable even without a box, i.e., no equipment fee for those channels.

One key difference between us and satellite in certain parts of the country is that satellite often does not offer the local broadcasters in HD, especially in many of our service areas, whereas we do. And customers tell us they still spend more time watching the major broadcast channels than any others. On your HD line up, that would be these channels:

112 KXTV-HD-ABC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
113 KTXL-HD-FOX Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
114 KCRA-HD-NBC Sacramento, CA HD Broadcast
115 KOVR-HD-CBS Stockton, CA HD Broadcast

So that's one potential competitive difference you may want to double-check before switching; do the satellite co's offer local major broadcast channels in HD in your area?

There is also evidence that HD via digital cable is sharper than HD via satellite. Plus, we continue to look for ways to expand our HD line ups.

I hope that helps.
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