Spectator

Tell me why this happened ...

At 2:25 PM today (Jun 11), two channels I was watching all of a sudden went to black.  I was flipping between them and keeping up with the episodes.  I checked several other channels ...

Food - black screen

USA - black screen - I was watching

WETV - black screen - I was watching

Velocity - picture and sound fine

Science - black screen

Cooking - picture and sound fine

E! - black screen

HLN - black screen

ESPN - black screen

ESPN2 - black screen

 

If I had checked more I'm sure a mixed bag of results would have continued.  I called Customer Service.  I was asked to reset the set-top box, which I did.  It started initializing and halted with an error code IA01 and a message that the box had detected and error during initialization.

 

So we tried a second reset but this time kept power off for 20 seconds.  Was going fine and then the same error and message appears - IA01.  I am then told the box needs to be exchanged for a new one.  Mindyou this is the THIRD box in 2 years.

 

I go to the local Spectrum office and they are packed.  Talking with some of the waiting people I find that 4 others are there because of the same error AND symptoms - spotty black screens.  Then I look at the office TV and the SAME error and message was displayed there?  Are they going to swap out to a new box too?

 

I got a new box but do not have an HDMI cable spare and refuse to spend additional money on this service.  So tomorrow I will see if they have a box with the RG-59 (RG-58?) type of screw connectors for both cable in and out connectors. 

 

I find it exceedingly fishy that so many people AND the local Spectrum office all have the same error.  Different boxes, too!  Could someone kindly explain how this happens? To say I am unhappy is an understatement.

 

Thank you!

 

10 REPLIES
Browser

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

Last night the Tony's on Channel 2 went black for about 10 mins. No explanation given by Spectrum.
JJK
Established Sharer

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

1.  With that kind of error, and the fact that it's being seen by others, makes me think the problem is with infrastructure, and not your box.  It's unlikely that everyone else would have the same problem.  It could be noise in the head-end.

 

2.  Spectrum gives out HDMI cables with their boxes (they do in my market).

 

3.  If you are also a Spectrum internet customer, share your modem signal levels (192.168.100.1).  If there are large quantities of uncorrectables, it's probably noise in the trunk lines outside your home.

Highlighted
Spectator

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

No HDMI cable ... power, box and remote.  That's all.

 

I spent 40+ years in IT and can tell when it's my end or not.  This was seemingly not my end but CS did not wish to even consider it.  When it was T-W they at least listened and offered up suggestions and stuff.  Not any more ... read the script and if your issues is off-script, return <insert equipment here> or "we'll send a tech out - tomorrow."

 

Silly ... silly .... silly.

Trusted Helper

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

Hello,

 

If the local office is having the same issues, it is definitely a problem with their head-end and not your box.  Yes, it is tue that more often than not calling Customer Service will say "Reboot the box/modem/router" for all the world's problems.  However, a lot of times pixilated picture, lo involving a loss  of channels described by the customer, are the result of a head-end issue.  They can also be poor signals inside or outside the home.

 

What a lot of customers don't know, and what some level 1 CSR phone agents don't know, is that resetting the box or modem puts the error codes back to zero.  This means that if it is a signal or drop-line issue involving a pixilated picture, signal or issue, the problem WILL COME BACK, and can be fixed only by a check of the following:

 

  • Drop line/outside wiring
  • Inside wiring in basement if applicable, wiring to TV, computer, check of phone, Internet signals.  (Remember the signals and these services are getting more and more cloud-based and  inter-connected with each other.)
  • A problem with the main tap.
  • A problem further along in the node requiring a maintenance tech, not a field tech to fix.
  • A software or firmware update to equipment that went bad.

 

IT IS CRITICAL WHEN REPORTING A PROBLEM ON THE FORUM TO GIVE YOUR CITY, STATE, AND ZIP CODE, as well as services affected by your problem.  That is the only way that our mods can check of there is an issue in your area, and if there is a troubleshooting ticket open for the issue.  Just saying that "I have an issue with my cable services, phone service, or Internet service" does not tell us if it is a widespread problem, or a localized problem.  But providing your city, state, and zip code will help us investigate.

 

In the event that six or more people report the same issue in an area, Spectrum auto-dispatch is sent to investigate the problem

 

What is the current situation involving the original posters services at this time?

 

Satch

 

 

Established Sharer

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

Oh, and you'll only get HD if you use HDMI.  The box might output NTSC 480i on FR3 or RF4 via coax, but those types of boxes are becoming extinct.  I also believe the analog loophole has been closed, and HD boxes also no longer support 5-RCA component connections.

Spectator

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

I went back to the local office to get a cable I needd (Oswego, NY) and the young lady was advising us that there had been a 6-hour service outage in a widespread area around here.  Customer Service (phone support) had been notified as far as she knew ... but the first-line person there did not know a thing apparently.  There was also no message on the automated service when you initially call.

 

In short, I really did NOT need to swap the box ... just wait out the blackout period!  However, I now do have a new cable box and connectivity with the TV again.

 

CAll this one case closed and should it happen again, I will simply wait it out.

Trusted Helper

Re: Tell me why this happened ...


@Cobra348 wrote:

I went back to the local office to get a cable I needd (Oswego, NY) and the young lady was advising us that there had been a 6-hour service outage in a widespread area around here.  Customer Service (phone support) had been notified as far as she knew ... but the first-line person there did not know a thing apparently.  There was also no message on the automated service when you initially call.

 

In short, I really did NOT need to swap the box ... just wait out the blackout period!  However, I now do have a new cable box and connectivity with the TV again.

 

CAll this one case closed and should it happen again, I will simply wait it out.


Yes,

 

Service downtimes can be frustrating.  I personally recommend a one-two hour wait on average before calling.  When you call the auto dispatch message should activate if there is a problem.  If that happens, than you know it's not your equipment.

 

Satch

Established Sharer

Re: Tell me why this happened ...

The folks who 'staff' the peer-to-peer forums are customers like you, and we get exactly the same treatment when our screens go dark, so we understand your position.  Unfortunately nowadays we have to deal with Spectrum call centers that are regional or nationwide in scope, and therefore isolated from the local service teams.  So here's the big question: When cable service is out, do you think it is more important for the field repair crew to spend time informing the call center of the outage details, or to be 100% focused on getting the service restored but without making information available for the curious consumer?  Spectrum's bet is that once the video program reappears on your display, your interest in what failed will drop off dramatically.  

Trusted Helper

Re: Tell me why this happened ...


@karlbeckman wrote:

The folks who 'staff' the peer-to-peer forums are customers like you, and we get exactly the same treatment when our screens go dark, so we understand your position.  Unfortunately nowadays we have to deal with Spectrum call centers that are regional or nationwide in scope, and therefore isolated from the local service teams.  So here's the big question: When cable service is out, do you think it is more important for the field repair crew to spend time informing the call center of the outage details, or to be 100% focused on getting the service restored but without making information available for the curious consumer?  Spectrum's bet is that once the video program reappears on your display, your interest in what failed will drop off dramatically.  


 

Exactly,

 

That's why the level 1 call center CSR's think that a box/modem reboot is a panacea for all problems.  Yet another question is, how many people know the technology where they need to go beyond level 1 support?   I would suspect far more than in the past.  I remember a TWC Management recommendation from the old regime.  The powers that be want to get customers off the phone in under eleven minutes.

 

Satch