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Hey,


I got digital cable 2 days ago and it was working "fine" when it was installed, although it was really slow to switch channels and display the TV Guide. So I decided to bypass the signal booster installed in my basement, which helped speed things up a bit. Then I rerouted all the cables from the digital box to my "entertainment center". Everything was fine that night and I watched tv till 2:00 in the morning. I woke up the next morning to a black screen :S but the menu would show up with all the TV Guide info. When I reset the digital box, I lost the TV Guide info, but the menus still come up. The picture comes on every once in a while, then it would freeze or go to black. Sometimes the TV Guide shows the listings, sometimes it doesn't. I called tech support and he said they'll have a tech come in on wednesday. That's a bit far from today, what do u think might be wrong? BTW, regular cable works fine :). Thx for all your help!
 

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The problems you are having sound like a weak signal. When you unplug the box, it 'loses' it's memory for up to an hour for tv guide and such. Take your cable box to the first splitter in your house and try it on another tv, if it works there, it's crappy wiring in your house. If not, it may be low signal coming in
 

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Is there such a device, available to the technically inclined, that can troubleshoot various troubles related to television signals (compressed, or non) via RG-6 coax? I know of an Comcast employee, but he lives too far away and it's too much to trouble him. I would make a call to the service department, but I have a few channels I modulate into the incoming cable signal. I'm sure a service call would just lead to me removing those "injected" channels. I want to accomplish all my troubleshooting tasks without the hassle of a service call.

Here is my current situation. I have 4 cable fed television sets. They are all split out of the master bedroom closet in the distribution panel. As of right now, they all are fed the signal directly (No cable boxes.) In a room, between the distribution closet and the cable tv demarcration point, I placed my "headend" where signals are taken from various satellite receivers then combined with cable tv. I use a Channel Master 5445 modulated to channels 112, 116, 120, and 124. All my upper and hyperband channels are fine, including the modulated one. But my lowers all have a fuzzy picture. I believe my lower channels (2-6) are fuzzy right out of my demarc because I've placed a set at that point and noticed small amounts of grainyness right out of the tap. Since I'm at the end of my block on the very last cable tv tap, I've changed my service drop from rg-6 filled BSW to an rg-11BSW. Doing so has made my hyper-band channels come in perfectly, but now I have this lower band trouble.
 

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well the RG11 is definitely an improvement. There are two ways to figure out why you have poor reception. The first, involves either calling your Comcast buddy or making a service appt to have someone out to check the signal level coming into the house and at the tap. There's a better than 50/50 chance if you have a tech out, he'll remove the sat channels inserted in.

It is possible that you have a low signal coming right from the street. Being near the end of the street doesnt help, if the cable trunk is terminated at the end of street. You inherently have lower signal than someone at the beginning of the street.

If you test your set at the demarc on the side of the house, or wherever it is, and you're having a grainy picture, the problem is either your drop or the tap(or signal from the tap).

One major problem that affect these low channels is if the center conductor on the cable is scratched or nicked. That can definitely cause the problem you're having. The RG11 fittings are not as simple to put on correctly as a regular RG6 so it's possible that one of those is bad.

The easiest solution is to call up Comcast and schedule a T/C for your problem. Let the technician know what you've troubleshot, and ask him to take signal levels at the demarc and then the tap if they are low at demarc. If they are low, he should be able to set up a maintenance ticket to get it resolved, or change the tap and/or drop if that's the case.

Last resort.....Have the tech install an amplifier
 

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Yeah thanks. I took your advise and called up my tech friend. He knows the headend equiptment used to sweep the freqs to specific levels. Everytime he and other techs have been called out, the signals were fine at the demarc..but then a large loss was created by the coax between the floors. I guess I'll be investigating that run when the time comes. Since my cable tv needs will be changing, like they've changed since I first posted, I'll be looking into bearing down and get to the bottom of all my concerns. Thank you guys for your time and replies. If I have troubles again, I'll ask here and about. You guys really know your stuff.


Paul
 
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