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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I have had my HLP 4663 for 27 days (trial runs out this weekend).


All was fine 'til this AM when had black screen when viewing Comcast HD Box through the DVI connector. Also black (with some video noise) via the component connectors. DVI cable is a Monster (I think) - supposed to be good one.


Picture is normal via the CATV connector via coax cable and is normal from DVD player via component cables.


Comcast will not let me just go to their office a get and trade for new box and just send the signal. They insist on sending a tech to check the box or change it. Called back and got them to make it tomorrow (at first they said not 'til Sunday), but no HD cardinals game tonight and unlike the Division Series Fox has these in 720p


So now I am thinking that if I do not get a tuner I am at Comcast's mercy. I do live close to a major city so I am thinking that I can get HD channels with a set top antenna (running coax to the attic will be a time consuming project).


Anyone know of a way to tweak the cable box to fix this? It is a Comcast Motorola HD digital cable box (don't have the model #with me at work - sorry)
 

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Sounds like the box. You can try unplugging for 1 minute to see if it resets. Also, Comcast can try resetting it from their central office. I bet, however, that they will need to come and change the box for you (should be for free).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BillP. I will do the usual drill with the getting them to flash the box and then unplug it if need be. I have them coming tomorrow. But no Cards/Astros in HD tonight for me.
 

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Do you have black screen on all types of channels from HD box(analog, dig. & hd channels) or just certain ones?

When you say you have pics using coax is that using coax from hd box to tv or just straight in bypassing box?

Also on your black screen do you see any output from the hd box.. namely do you see the 'browse bar' at the bottom that tells channel info or any menu/guide info screens?
 

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I recently had Comcast service to check my box because of a vertical white line with dark bands That my Panasonic 56wx33 displays on HD stations. Of course, the service people who had come for Circuit City previously could not see it, but said if it existed it had to be the tv. Long story short, the line appeared with a new box and with the outside cable line disconnected from the box.

The cable guy dug a DVI cable from his truck - no line. He gave it to me and I thought that I was all set. After watching for awhile, it became apparent that the picture on SD through DVi is worse than the component input and even the antenna input. Someone on this forum made the reasonable suggestion that it might be the cable. So I bought a monster dvi with the same results. The difference is not as dramatic, but HD through the digital input doesn't seem quite as good as component.

Am I correct in assuming that the Comcast DVI output is the culprit? What would account for the while line displaying on the component input, but not DVI?
 

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I recently had Comcast service to check my box because of a vertical white line with dark bands That my Panasonic 56wx33 displays on HD stations. Of course, the service people who had come for Circuit City previously could not see it, but said if it existed it had to be the cable. Long story short, the line appeared with a new box and with the outside cable line disconnected from the box.

The cable guy dug a DVI cable from his truck - no line. He gave it to me and I thought that I was all set. After watching for awhile, it became apparent that the picture on SD through DVi is worse than the component input and even the antenna input. Someone on this forum made the reasonable suggestion that it might be the cable. So I bought a monster dvi with the same results. The difference is not as dramatic, but HD through the digital input doesn't seem quite as good as component.

Am I correct in assuming that the Comcast DVI output is the culprit? What would account for the while line displaying on the component input, but not DVI?
 

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Sounds like the cablebox and tv aren't doing the HDCP handshake. I've read some other threads lately with similar problems. It always seems to trace back to the STB. Good luck.
 

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Not sure why you're seeing the line with comp. cables but not dvi, however if you're using the moto. hd box your analog channels will probably never really look good. It's a little bit of a hassle switching inputs but do yourself a favor & split the incoming coax before it gets to the cable box, one half continuing to the cable box & the other half going directly to the ant. input on the tv(good quality 2way splitter, 5-1000mhz). Analog pics will look better(not to mention you should be able to adjust the ant. input a little more to make the pics look better (lower sharpness way down & play with other picture settings).

If you do have the Moto. hd box please answer this for me, where in the picture is this vertical white line, does it just stay in one place on the screen or does it move around? How wide is it? Did the Comcast tech try changing box or just cables?
 

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My box is the Motorola 5100(?). The line is a thin white line that is vertical and a little left of the center of the screen. On either side of the line is a gray band that is much wider. The line does not move. It is most visible on a dark screen. It can also be seen with a relatively solid color such as a sky background. It is also visible if the tv is left on and the cable is turned off - when the last station was HD.

The Comcast man changed both the component cables and boxes. The line and bands were only eliminated with the DVI connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my HLP 4663 the DVI signal from the Comcast HD Box by Moto. went to black. When I turned the box off and back on, the picture would display for a few seconds then go black.


That's the handshake bug, right?


While waiting for the Comcast reinitialization to download, I tried component cables. Was able to watch the Cards/Astros game on Fox HD via the component cables but with an awful green hue. In component mode, the tint control is greyed out. Warm and cold settings did not help. Using the color weakness mode got the faces to be somewhat human-like, but at the cost of seeing orange/brown grass.


After the flash from Comcast and a pretty long wait, the DVI was back. The picture is great in DVI and the colors need very little adjustment.


Just wish I didn't have to get thing flashed every couple of weeks.


Thought of buying an HD tuner with a DVI connector but wouldn't that have the same problem with the copy protection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reply to jonwww re the no picture via DVI connector from Comcast HD Box in my HLP4663 Samsung TV set: This affects all channels. When I turn off the cable box, the picture displays for a few seconds then goes to black.


Some have suggested it is this handshake bug that is caused by copy protection. From the symptoms, that makes perfect sense.


The box righted itself after Comcast flashed it. I have had to get the box flashed two or three times since I got it. Had it only a month.


Thinking of spending the money to get an HD tuner with a DVI or HDMI connector, if I can make sure that the same problem won't occur.
 

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moe

From the sounds of it when you had comp. cables hooked up you had either two backwards(green to blue or something like that), one of the wires was totally disconnected or you got a bum input/output on tv/cable box,,, from what I've seen in the field I would guess (and hope) one of the cable mixups. As for the dvi problem we had problems a few months back when they did a firmware upgrade to these boxes, must haved turned on a copy protection that for some reason a lot of tvs didn't get along with (only when using dvi obviously). Not sure why your box keeps going out though. Could be that the office is refreshing the box good & for some reason later on the box downloads & runs bad firmware again. I would say to double/triple check that component wires are hooked up (and correct) and if they are then have service call to try another box(on occaision one or more of the output jacks go bad). As for trading box out at local office, most offices (around here at least) don''t stock the hd or dvr boxes, yet. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, Jonww. I will check those leads. Maybe I have trouble distinguishing blue and green and don't know it.


I have an appointment for a Comcast tech to come out, and I am not sure whether to keep the appointment. The reinitialization worked, after I unplugged the box a litte while after the Comcast sent the flash.


Do you know whether Comcast (I am in Chester County, PA) supports the A/B RF Bypass switch. That would allow me to have the VCR record stuff off the regularCATV channels, without using a splitter.


It seems like when they flash the box, the flash does not go through unless I remove. I thought I bought a good splitter. With the bypass, I wouldn't need that, if what that does is to allow the regular CATV signal to bypass the box.


Pushed the A/B switch. Nothing happened.


Thanks again.
 

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Moe,

I can't really say what the practices of the company are down there but I can tell you that the feature is not used up here in southern MA. For that bypass to work there is another adapter needed on the back of the cable box where the coax goes in/out. I'm guessing that the box you have just has line in & line out on the back for coax. They make a few different adapters & that is the standard one, I believe the bypass adapter has a total of four connections on it as opposed to just two. Not something that is even special ordered, we just don't even have them. The splitter method really is about the best setup though for several reasons: as I said run one half to hd box & the other half would go to vcr & then tv(so you can watch whatever you want on the hd box & tape anything on regular cable w/ the vcr, other reason to split line is so you can do PIP, not sure if it's something you would use but you need line split if you do.

Also I talked to some people at work today & they're not even sure if the dvi problem was completely fixed around here, they hadn't really heard of many complaints about it but for the most part the standard practice is to just tell people to use the Comp. cables if they have any problems while trying the dvi. As I believe I said yesterday also for some reason some tv brands had problems with the dvi while others never did. If you had tech out today let us know how you made out(and how you did with your comp. cables on your set).

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Reply to jonwww re No picture via DVI from Comcast HD Moto box. Jonww ended his latest post by saying "...If you had tech out today let us know how you made out(and how you did with your comp. cables on your set).


Jonww. thanks again. You are correct, the A/B bypass in the cable box is not enabled here, either. The Comcast rep with whom I spoke on the phone was incorrect.


I have used the splitter method that you suggest for many years with my old pre-HD Comcast dig. cable box, with one side of the split supply basic cable to the VCR and then out of there to the TV, and I had the new HD box hooked up that way, and probably will try it again. I asked the tech to leave me a good splitter and he did.


I was concerned and the tech agreed that it is possible that with the split between the wall and Comcast HD box, the box was not receiving the signal from Comcast when it had to be flashed by Comcast to fix the black screen. Until I removed the spitter and hooked up directly, the box would not go into that mode with the weird lines and characters appearing on the box's display, although I can't be sure that I just didn't wait long enough. After it did that, I had back my nice DVI picture.


I considered canceling the appt (the guys are real busy now - I guess because of HD) since the flash to the box brought back the DVI picture, but Comcast advised to let a tech have a look. He came over and turned the TV to channel 3 and showed me that the picture was snowy and scrambled. I never noticed it because channel 3 where I live is CBS and whenever I watch CBS I use CBS-D. He said that turning to channel 3 can tell you if you have an old fashioned bad signal due to an old fashioned bad cable connection inside or outside your house. He replaced the lead from the wall to the comcast box and channel 3 cleared up. I don't think that the bad cable caused the picture to go black but it may have prevented communication between the box and Comcast and it may be necessary for that link to be ongoing for these boxes to behave.


On the other side of the wall against which our HDTV set sits is another cable lead, that I have split, with one line going to our Comcast cable modem and the other into our computer monitor, which has a TV tuner. I might put an A/B switch on the line going to the computer monitor and fish through the wall and pass a line from that A/B box, to serve as the basic cable lead to the HDTV and my VCR. That way I would have just one split line instead of two in the cable system in our house and also I would avoid putting any splitters on the line that feeds the HD box.


Might not be necessary though with the newly replaced cable lead. On the other hand the tech said that two splits in one house may be one too many and with an A/B it's still only one split.


Thanks again for the help. Comcast has come a long way since the 1980's. In that era. you weren't supposed to use a spitter unless you paid extra for the extra connection. Now they give you free splitters.
 
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