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Unread 08-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
trekkindave
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Cable Television Problems

Ive got a problem with my cable box that I was hoping someone could help me with..

I am using optimum online here on the island and to get all the channels it requires the use of a digital cable box. Everything was working fine for about two months and then all of a sudden the signal through the box started to cut out the channels and the picture would go "digital" and choppy.

In the troubleshooting process, i disconnected the cable input to the box, hooked it straight into the tv cable in, and got perfect picture and sound but limited channels.

I checked the cable, and it is connected properly, the cable has one small "chew" through it where the bunny rabbit we have got behind the tv and went to town, but its just through the plastic sheathing and not the other layers (i think)..

I replaced the box at the cable company and took it home, it worked great for one night but the sound was low.. this morning the sound didn't work at all.. I plugged back into the TV straight, and had sound, and great picture.

I replaced the connector on the coax and that didn't help.

Do you all think that I have another faulty box, or is that little "chew" in the cable causing me more trouble then i think.. I don't want to re-run the whole line, but will if i need to.

Any suggestions will be greatly accepted.

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Unread 08-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #2
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Post pictures of where the cable has been chewed.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #3
thantos858
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It dosen't take much to damage coax cable to make a digital signal have probelms. If the cable is crushed or the dielectric is shaped incorrectly it can cause problems as well. I would replace that section of cable with a piece of RG6 cable. It should run you about 10-20 for a 20 foot section. Another solution if the cable is long enough would be splice that cut and use a quality connector and barrel. A quality connector is not the twist or push on type but a good crimp or compression one. If that dosen't work have them send a tech out to check your lines.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 05:03 PM   #4
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if you replaced the connector make sure its high quality (NOT radio shack...) such as a good compression fitting. and you left no gouges or braids wrapped around the center conductor.

as far as the sound, it isnt really controlled by the condition of the cable, more of a fuction of the box/tv.

Two bad boxes can be very likely. It happens to me all the time. The repair centers dont really throughly inspect he equiment.

The thing that seems to me is to have your provider come out to check the signal to the box... it could be low. Cable direct TV's dont need the same signal that your box does. You can run a cable direct TV with as low as -25db. A digital box will cut out at around -10, -15db.

whos your provider? Also, with the "new" box, do you have any of the old symptoms, or just the new sound issue?
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Unread 08-18-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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The "digital" and "choppy" you mention is called macroblocking. The box is receiving packets of information from the cable head-end and when some packets aren't received there's nothing to display and no audio is decoded and macroblocking results. Your signal strength has likely dropped as mentioned previously. If you have a Motorola box you can do a quick check of signal strength from the diagnostic screen and whether or not the box is losing lock.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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why the hell do you keep your bunny behind the tv lol
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Unread 08-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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lol the bunny has a habit of being a little bastard and trying to get anywhere he is blocked off of going to...

Im going to try the suggestions listed..
the connector is a high quality compression type as used by verizon technicians (courtesy of the father in law)

maybe I will try replacing the box again.

Somone mentioned the diagnostic screen... its a scientific atlanta box... does that have one?
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Unread 08-18-2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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I don't really belive it will be your box. If you have a CHEW in the line, you are not only degrading the signal to your TV, but you are also allowing noise to enter the line which will (or can) effect customers around you. If there are cable modems in your area they are probably affected as well. Fix the chew. Like the others have said, use good ends, not the screw on or crimp on. Use a good compresion end. Thomas Betts or PCT.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Its kinda funny most major companies use compresion at the home and most of the field while a lot of the video host places its all crimp fittings never understood that when I worked at AT&T. My dad works in a VHO and 95% of their fittings are crimped on but they are very expensive crimps.
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Unread 08-19-2009, 06:42 AM   #10
jeepduo
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The idea in simple terms is to keep the coax perfectly
round all the way to the connection. The crimp end
does not do that. It will degrade the signal. Use
compression fittings.
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