Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

I have pixilation only on one tv with a dvr box and this is very weird so read all the way through. All troubleshooting steps have been repeated numerous times. Finally they sent tech out, I was unable to attend the appt myself so I had my daughter show them the problem, the most recent dvr recording was completely unviewable and this was my daily experience. The tech checked, said all was well and replaced the box. Things seemed a little better (briefly for 24 hours) but the next morning in order to watch channel 4 I had to move the box slightly, then it would come on. This happens for three days straight with slight pixilation, better than before so I was okay. Spectrum came out to bury the cable line from the house to the pole on Tuesday and I described the problem to them - not their area of expertise they say- come back a few minutes later saying they found a couple of cuts in the line, spliced the cut lines, buried and went on their way. Pixilation got worse after they buried the line. I complained to tech support that pixilation only happens on live tv or recording live tv. On demand is fine. What makes this situation very weird is that when the pixilation occurs I can touch the metal part of the cable connection to the wall jack and feel a light electrical current coming from it. Not enough current to make you pull your hand away, just a light tingling like using a TENS unit on low. It is not constant, just coincides with the pixilation which seems to be in the afternoon. I have three other tv’s, not a single problem with them at all but they are not dvr’s. This is very frustrating and odd. Any suggestions on why I would have a light electrical current coming through the cable connection? Anything I can do to fix this problem myself? ( I am a girl with minimal repair skills) Thanks for any comments or recommendations.
6 REPLIES
Proven Sharer

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

This is definitely a coax cable issue somewhere. The problem is it could be anywhere from the connection on the DVR, the wall plate, coax running through the walls, back to the splitter or ground block where the main line connects to your house, or even further back. Outside of any loose connections or damaged, rodent-chewed, or water-logged coax, the electrical current you feel is most notable. Sounds like it's not grounded properly.

Lead Moderator

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

Good morning!

 

We would be happy to look into this. It sounds like we need to send a technician 

back out for further investigation. 

 

Forums_help

 

 

@karlbeckman , @agentx5 does this sound like a ground issue? Can anyone else

here chime in? What do you think? 

 

Regards,
Julia R.
Spectrum-Social Media Customer Care
Lead Moderator-Community Forums

 

Established Sharer

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

I agree that it's probably the grounding block (or lack of!).  Per the National Electric code, the block MUST be connected to the power line ground at the breaker panel.  The grounding conductor is usually a #6 (or larger) wire from the box to one or more driven ground rods located near the meter and service entrance.  It takes a #12 minimum wire from the CGB to the grounding conductor, larger size if the length is more than 6 feet.  

If the block isn't properly grounded, a serious shock risk exists to the user and to cableco personnel working on the outdoor cable plant. 

Trusted Helper

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem


@Julia_Rwrote:

Good morning!

 

We would be happy to look into this. It sounds like we need to send a technician 

back out for further investigation. 

 

Forums_help

 

 

@karlbeckman , @agentx5 does this sound like a ground issue? Can anyone else

here chime in? What do you think? 

 

Regards,
Julia R.
Spectrum-Social Media Customer Care
Lead Moderator-Community Forums

 


Julia,

 

I agree with the others above, this is an improper grounding issue with wiring or connections.  Maybe the wall outlet where the box is plugged in or surge protector.  When the OP calls Spectrum to set up the service call,  the verbiage below would be the main critical thing that needs to be said to go in the work order.  She must say the following:

 

 "On my DVR connected box/ TV What makes this situation very weird is that when  pixilation occurs I can touch the metal part of the cable connection to the wall jack and feel a light electrical current coming from it. Not enough current to make you pull your hand away, just a light tingling like using a TENS unit on low. It is not constant, just coincides with the pixilation which seems to be in the afternoon. I have three other tv’s, not a single problem with them at all but they are not dvr’s. This is very frustrating and odd.  I have a light electrical current coming through the cable connection.  This needs inspection."

 

Satch

Spectrum Employee

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

 

 

What makes this situation very weird is that when the pixilation occurs I can touch the metal part of the cable connection to the wall jack and feel a light electrical current coming from it. Not enough current to make you pull your hand away, just a light tingling like using a TENS unit on low. It is not constant, just coincides with the pixilation which seems to be in the afternoon. I have three other tv’s, not a single problem with them at all but they are not dvr’s. This is very frustrating and odd. Any suggestions on why I would have a light electrical current coming through the cable connection? Anything I can do to fix this problem myself? ( I am a girl with minimal repair skills) Thanks for any comments or recommendations.

 

Could be voltage from the TV itself actually, which is rare but I actually had one of those this week.  (I verified the TV was sending out 5V AC @ 60 Hz, to the shielding on the HDMI, which was causing the the DVR's video feed to act up -- was a bad TV, cx-owned appliance issue)  But the symptoms in that case are more of the TV's video feed cutting to black, or the box displays a warning blue-box message "compromised HDMI" with the blank black video feed.

 

But in this case it sounds (based on what you wrote) more like coax is compromised with an electrical short in the home's power wiring, which may actually also require an electrician to resolve depending on what it is, and is substantially more urgent if the electrical voltage is high enough for you to feel it through your skin.  You can't feel 5V AC through skin, if you're touching it and you say you feel electricity, then:

A) don't do that again for your safety 

B) it means it's probably closer to 25-100Volts, which is getting more dangerous.

 

I have directly encountered on the job only a couple times like this, where the coax's shielding had been compromised inside the home and the home had a live power line also compromised in contact with a conductor that backfed to the coax.

 

I recommend both a scheduled TC and an ETD ticket to check the following:

  1. Grounding for coax system. 
    We are required by NEC to fix & maintain issues for the coax wiring shielding to tie into a valid ground.  In layman's terms, electricity being where it's not supposed to be needs to have a safe means of exiting they system.
  2. Ground rod condition in general (or cold water pipe). 
    (and please be aware, our techs are not allowed to replace the house's main grounding, or lack of due to, insurance reasons. that would have to be a low-voltage (house/business) certified electrician.)
  3. Check that specific line for voltage (using multimeter: test AC & DC from shielding to ground, and then test AC & DC from center conductor to ground)
  4. Check PSU (the transformer "brick" from AC-->DC) for TV box (or just swap it)
  5. Check TV for HDMI port(s) compromised, which is a failed appliance issue and can be worked-around using HD Component instead of HDMI until the TV appliance can be replaced.

 

I am leaning towards it being #3 first, and #5 second. 

 

We need to be scheduled to come out and investigate carefully

 

I do not wish to alarm you @Lisa_Marie_71  , but speaking as a professional with experience here if you can FEEL the electric current, that is alarming to me to read.  Thus I feel this is urgent you get this scheduled at a time that works for you and investigated ASAP.  It's be awhile, but last time I found this it was approx 100V AC at 13 Amps;

Spoiler
and when that customer's electrician investigated the construction contractor(s) had driven a nail-staple through the hot on the kitchen power wire and down into the coax wire smashed underneath.  Complete breach of electrical code and a definite fire hazard.

 

Also, Dispatch needs to be notified about the possible hazard (both so they can rank the urgency correctly in Logistics and so they can make sure the tech isn't walking unaware into an unknown electrical hazard), thus the need for an ETD (escalate-to-dispatch) ticket after it's scheduled.    To repeat, the CSR who sets up the appointment needs to schedule troublecall first on the call form available quota, then CSR needs to put in must-do possible hazard ETD (not other way around). 

 @Julia_R  you aren't able to create those are you?

My postings on this site are my own, off-the-clock, and don’t necessarily represent TWC’s/Charter's strategies or opinions.
Lead Moderator

Re: Pixilation Problems- Not Your Normal Problem

@agentx5  Im sorry for the delay. Our Social Media Customer care team absoloutley 

can escalate this issue. 

 

If this situation has not been resolved i encourage the OP to contact us. 

 

Twitter: @Ask_Spectrum
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Spectrum


Regards,
Julia R.
Spectrum-Social Media Customer Care
Lead Moderator-Community Forums