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Intermittant weak HD signal - Comcast Detroit

Last response: in Home Theatre
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September 28, 2004 12:10:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I am really frustrated by an intermittantly weak HD signal. Seems to
happen only on Nights and Weekends. Problem only shows up on HD and
only sometimes. It is an intermittant pixelization and sound
interruption about every 15 seconds to a minute.

Cable box is a Motorola 6200 with DVR (should have recorded my problem,
but I didn't!). Line comes in the house, has one split for my cable
modem, one split for an analog TV and Cable box and one split for the VCR.

Comcast was out last Wednesday, said I showed a good signal... replaced
one length of coax with a higher grade one and tightened a few coax
connections. Said everything looked fine.

Thursday night I could not watch Survivor in HD because of the problem.
Everything was fine on Saturday and Sunday (except for a general
Comcast outage on Sunday that caused me to miss most of the Lion's
game). All Sunday night football was great in HD.

Monday night I went to watch football and it's back again. I quickly
took the VCR splitter out and ran the cable to the Cable Box with
absolutely no change. Pixellation and sound freeze every 10 seconds.
So frustrated me that I gave up trying to watch and went to bed.

Comcast is sending someone out on Wednesday, but I suspect he will say
"Nothing I can do... your signal is fine".

Questions are:
1) Am I correct that my problem is caused by a weak signal? Is the term
"pixelization" the correct name for the problem?
2) Any suggestions why my signal would be fine some times and weak at
others? There are no major electrical appliances operating when I have
the problem. Normal suburban residential neighborhood.
3) Would a signal amplifier help? Terk? Any out there with 5 outputs
so each appliance gets a full signal (although I have no problems with
my cable modem nor the analog TV/VCR's)
4) Any other suggested Causes?

Rich in Northville
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 2:54:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 08:10:18 -0400, Rich <nospam@saddam.net> wrote:

>I am really frustrated by an intermittantly weak HD signal. Seems to
>happen only on Nights and Weekends. Problem only shows up on HD and
>only sometimes. It is an intermittant pixelization and sound
>interruption about every 15 seconds to a minute.
>
>Cable box is a Motorola 6200 with DVR (should have recorded my problem,
>but I didn't!). Line comes in the house, has one split for my cable
>modem, one split for an analog TV and Cable box and one split for the VCR.
>
>Comcast was out last Wednesday, said I showed a good signal... replaced
>one length of coax with a higher grade one and tightened a few coax
>connections. Said everything looked fine.
>
>Thursday night I could not watch Survivor in HD because of the problem.
> Everything was fine on Saturday and Sunday (except for a general
>Comcast outage on Sunday that caused me to miss most of the Lion's
>game). All Sunday night football was great in HD.
>
>Monday night I went to watch football and it's back again. I quickly
>took the VCR splitter out and ran the cable to the Cable Box with
>absolutely no change. Pixellation and sound freeze every 10 seconds.
>So frustrated me that I gave up trying to watch and went to bed.
>
>Comcast is sending someone out on Wednesday, but I suspect he will say
>"Nothing I can do... your signal is fine".
>
>Questions are:
>1) Am I correct that my problem is caused by a weak signal? Is the term
>"pixelization" the correct name for the problem?
>2) Any suggestions why my signal would be fine some times and weak at
>others? There are no major electrical appliances operating when I have
>the problem. Normal suburban residential neighborhood.
>3) Would a signal amplifier help? Terk? Any out there with 5 outputs
>so each appliance gets a full signal (although I have no problems with
>my cable modem nor the analog TV/VCR's)
>4) Any other suggested Causes?
>
>Rich in Northville
>


I used to do HSD ( cable modems ) for what was then AT&T. What
you're describing is almost certainly low signal. How old is your
home, or more specifically, how old is the inside cable wiring?

The type and quality of the cable is important when it's digital,
whether it be internet or tv. Some of the old cheap RG6 had alloy
center conductors that are just awful for data. Also the shielding
which keeps outside RF from corrupting the data stream, was not up to
standards for data.

Give me more details and I'll see if I can think of anything else.

BTW The reason it probably happens at certain times is related to how
much bandwith is required for a particular program. The ones you
describe are probably the ones that are of the highest quality. If
this is so, it should happen nearly every time that particular program
is on.
Anonymous
October 1, 2004 9:56:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Seen a fair number of the Comcast supplied HDTV boxes exhibit some very
strange symptoms, however what you are describing is probably due to the
signal level being marginal. May want them to check the signal level at the
drop connection from their main feed and then at the box location(s). I bet
they will find a substantial difference in levels from where the "Home Drop"
is connected to their mains as to the destination. If this indeed is the
results then they may need to repair/replace items between their mains
connection and your initial residence feed point. Normally anything within
your residence is your problem unless the cable company installed all
including any splitters, etc.
"Male Order Menopause" <MaleOrderMenopause@MOP.org> wrote in message
news:v73pl01s7roh6ovh8v0ufva7pf54f06du4@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 08:10:18 -0400, Rich <nospam@saddam.net> wrote:
>
>>I am really frustrated by an intermittantly weak HD signal. Seems to
>>happen only on Nights and Weekends. Problem only shows up on HD and
>>only sometimes. It is an intermittant pixelization and sound
>>interruption about every 15 seconds to a minute.
>>
>>Cable box is a Motorola 6200 with DVR (should have recorded my problem,
>>but I didn't!). Line comes in the house, has one split for my cable
>>modem, one split for an analog TV and Cable box and one split for the VCR.
>>
>>Comcast was out last Wednesday, said I showed a good signal... replaced
>>one length of coax with a higher grade one and tightened a few coax
>>connections. Said everything looked fine.
>>
>>Thursday night I could not watch Survivor in HD because of the problem.
>> Everything was fine on Saturday and Sunday (except for a general
>>Comcast outage on Sunday that caused me to miss most of the Lion's
>>game). All Sunday night football was great in HD.
>>
>>Monday night I went to watch football and it's back again. I quickly
>>took the VCR splitter out and ran the cable to the Cable Box with
>>absolutely no change. Pixellation and sound freeze every 10 seconds.
>>So frustrated me that I gave up trying to watch and went to bed.
>>
>>Comcast is sending someone out on Wednesday, but I suspect he will say
>>"Nothing I can do... your signal is fine".
>>
>>Questions are:
>>1) Am I correct that my problem is caused by a weak signal? Is the term
>>"pixelization" the correct name for the problem?
>>2) Any suggestions why my signal would be fine some times and weak at
>>others? There are no major electrical appliances operating when I have
>>the problem. Normal suburban residential neighborhood.
>>3) Would a signal amplifier help? Terk? Any out there with 5 outputs
>>so each appliance gets a full signal (although I have no problems with
>>my cable modem nor the analog TV/VCR's)
>>4) Any other suggested Causes?
>>
>>Rich in Northville
>>
>
>
> I used to do HSD ( cable modems ) for what was then AT&T. What
> you're describing is almost certainly low signal. How old is your
> home, or more specifically, how old is the inside cable wiring?
>
> The type and quality of the cable is important when it's digital,
> whether it be internet or tv. Some of the old cheap RG6 had alloy
> center conductors that are just awful for data. Also the shielding
> which keeps outside RF from corrupting the data stream, was not up to
> standards for data.
>
> Give me more details and I'll see if I can think of anything else.
>
> BTW The reason it probably happens at certain times is related to how
> much bandwith is required for a particular program. The ones you
> describe are probably the ones that are of the highest quality. If
> this is so, it should happen nearly every time that particular program
> is on.
October 3, 2004 1:56:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

Male Order Menopause wrote:
> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 08:10:18 -0400, Rich <nospam@saddam.net> wrote:
>
>
>>I am really frustrated by an intermittantly weak HD signal. Seems to
>>happen only on Nights and Weekends. Problem only shows up on HD and
>>only sometimes. It is an intermittant pixelization and sound
>>interruption about every 15 seconds to a minute.
>>

>>
>>Rich in Northville
>>
> I used to do HSD ( cable modems ) for what was then AT&T. What
> you're describing is almost certainly low signal. How old is your
> home, or more specifically, how old is the inside cable wiring?

Home is 25 years. Cable wiring about 5 years, with much of it replaced
in the last couple of weeks by Comcast. I should probably record the
type of each connector.
> >
> Give me more details and I'll see if I can think of anything else.
Typical suburban house. Cable box (small tower outside)... run of about
25 foot where it enters house. Comcast techs have gone over every inch
and put new connectors on some, replaced some splitters, some cable
runs. One guy checking the signal at the tuner box said the signal
strength looked "good to him" at that point.
>
> BTW The reason it probably happens at certain times is related to how
> much bandwith is required for a particular program. The ones you
> describe are probably the ones that are of the highest quality. If
> this is so, it should happen nearly every time that particular program
> is on.

Perhaps so... but one station (INHD) which has particularly "rich"
programming is "sometimes good"/"sometimes bad" pixelization. Evenings
and weekends seem the worst, but I've begun to track it, testing
occasionally through the day, and it comes and goes.

Let me clarify exactly what I'm talking about. The video signal
"freezes" with blotches of large pixtels and the sound freezes too.
Holds for a fraction of a second and then resumes. Might happen several
times a minute and sometimes once every few minutes. Actually, the
sound interruption is probably the most annoying.

Last service call (last Wednesday) the tech replaced the tuner box (Moto
6200) with no change. He said he was going to call someone to "look at
the tap" (signal at the outside box???) but no one has yet shown up.

Heck, I'll just go and buy a R/S amp, if that's the problem... but I
really am not sure.

Thanks for your help!
Rich, in Northville
!