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Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-21-2009

Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 1 of 13
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My service was installed on 1/26/09....The tech was great and I really am liking FIOS TV far more than what Comcrap was providing with one exception. the Cable Card.

 

It went out again.  Since installation, I have had 3 techs , all very nice, come to the house to get it to work.  Cards have been swapped out and finally on Tuesday 2/17, when the 3rd tech came out, he must have spoken to the right person, because the Cable Card was working flawlessly...until this afternoon, when the POS went out again. 

 

The lady, Portia, in the Dallas office, re-sent the config and for a moment, the set showed some life, but to no avail.  Monday 2/23/09 we'll have our 4th post visit install to get this cable card working.  

 

Anyway, if any one has any suggestions, other than demanding that Verizon give ma a Set Top Box at the Cable Card rate until they can figure this out, please chime in.

12 REPLIES 12
Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 2 of 13
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What's the make and model of your CableCard device?

Can you describe what you mean by "crapping out?"  Do you just get a black screen on some channels?  Do you lose the locals, or just the cable channels?
If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-21-2009

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 3 of 13
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I',m not sure who makes the cable card, but all of the channels are gone, there is nothing but black where there used to be crystal clear beautiful pictures..  The device is not able to tune into the signal.   This is the 3rd card that they have tried.  The set is a SONY 3LCD from about 3 years ago......
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-22-2009

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 4 of 13
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I had this issue with my single-tuner Sony HD DVR (DHG-HDD500) when I was installed almost a year ago.  The Sony HD DVR sits in the entertainment room which isn't used very often.  Every week or two I would turn on the DVR and notice the FiOS TV channels were blank, but I was still receiving over-the-air channels with my antenna.  Each time I would call Verizon to reauthorize (aka hit) the box.  After the 4th of 5th time, Tech Support agreed this shouldn't be happening and that they would "look into it."  That was back in July/Aug and I haven't had a problem since.  Additionally, I have a Tivo HD with two Cablecards and I have never had a single problem with either Cablecard. 

 

To be honest, the Sony HD DVR is connected to a 50" Sony 3LCD (circa 2003).  For testing purposes, I popped-out the Cablecard from the DVR and slid it into the Sony HDTV and it worked perfecly.  Additionally, I also tested one of the Cablecards from my Tivo HD by sliding it into my Mitsubishi Diamond DLP and it too worked perfectly for the short while I tested them.  I concluded that the Cablecards must be paired to my account and not to a physical device since I can swap these cards out willy-nilly between my two Cablecard ready HD DVRs and two CableCard ready HDTVs.  I am not sure if this is standard operating procedure, but this is how things work in my home.

 

Oh, I just remembed that I had a blank screen on the Sony DVR last weekend (we haven't been in the entertainment room in almost six weeks).  I power cycled the Sony DVR and it worked fine.  Anyway, since you have already been working with Tech Support I don't know what other advice I can offer other than to hope they square-away your problem.  We have three cablecards (S-card) and they work perfectly with our Tivo HD, Sony HD DVR, Sony HDTV and Mits HDTV.

 

 

Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 5 of 13
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@Hian wrote:
I',m not sure who makes the cable card, but all of the channels are gone, there is nothing but black where there used to be crystal clear beautiful pictures..  The device is not able to tune into the signal.   This is the 3rd card that they have tried.  The set is a SONY 3LCD from about 3 years ago......

Unpaired CableCards do not "go out."  The only thing that can go out is your TV.

 
At one point about two years ago, defect rate on Motorola S-CARDs were as high as 10%.  However, now defective rates are down to <1%.  There is no way you got three defective cards in a row.

 

It sounds to me like your TV just has a "buggy" CableCard implementation.  It is also possible that Verizon uses the newer multistream CableCards (M-CARDs) in your area, and your Sony TV has problems with those.  They are supposed to be 100% backward compatible, but maybe that isn't the case.  If you pull out the CableCard on it, does it say "CableCard" or "MCARD?"

 

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-21-2009

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 6 of 13
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Good thoughts all, both S and M cards have been used.....the thing that xrives me crazy is that iit was working perfectly for about 3 days and just went out like a light switch was thrown to the off position.   I ttied powering up the set a little while ago and I got a few seconds of some channel with some break up and then all channels were black again.
Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 7 of 13
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@Hian wrote:
Good thoughts all, both S and M cards have been used.....the thing that xrives me crazy is that iit was working perfectly for about 3 days and just went out like a light switch was thrown to the off position.   I ttied powering up the set a little while ago and I got a few seconds of some channel with some break up and then all channels were black again.

It's possible that you need some attenuation.  The ONT used by Verizon outputs a very strong signal and many/most CableCard TVs, STBs, and DVRs cannot handle this signal without attenuation.  Without attenuation, you get pixelization and audio dropouts with some CableCard products and complete loss of picture on some other products.

 

Verizon installers have attenuations.  Next time the installer comes out, have them install a 6-10dB attenuator on the cable for your Sony TV.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-21-2009

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 8 of 13
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Another good thiought, we have at least an 8 db attenuator and there might also be a 3db attenuator with it.....I still believe the ultimate problem is at the head end.
Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎02-21-2009

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 9 of 13
(7,822 Views)

So another tech came out about 2 weeks ago. He removes the attentuators, says they're only needed for TIVO boxes, not TVs that have cable cards. He is able to get the card to work and suggests that I don't cut all power when I turn the TV off.  I was doing this to save electricity. You still have minor draw when set is off.

 

This worked for almost a week, but then the same thing happened. All stations went dark.  I read on another forum somewhere that some SONY tvs had firmware issues and another forum suggested that the clock in the TV needed to be set to the correct time.

 

Last Saturday. I set the clock and had VZ hit the cable card again with the config and the whole thing worked....until this morning. VZ tried to hit the card again, but no luck. So, Monday, another tech will come and try to fix this.  Maybe I'll get another card. This will be the 5th attempt to fix this in my house and possibly the 4th cable card if they swap it out.  I think VZ should give me a STB at the Cable Card rate until they can figure this crap out. Service was inititiated on 1/26/09.

Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: Cable Card Keeps Crapping Out

Message 10 of 13
(7,819 Views)

@Hian wrote:

Last Saturday. I set the clock and had VZ hit the cable card again with the config and the whole thing worked....until this morning. VZ tried to hit the card again, but no luck. So, Monday, another tech will come and try to fix this.  Maybe I'll get another card. This will be the 5th attempt to fix this in my house and possibly the 4th cable card if they swap it out.  I think VZ should give me a STB at the Cable Card rate until they can figure this crap out. Service was inititiated on 1/26/09.


There's not much Verizon can do about only televisions that are known to have issues with CableCards.

 

Lots of older televisions, including Sonys, had trouble with CableCards.  A quick search shows that Sony models like the KDF-xxXSxxx, KDF-ExxA10, and VxxXBR1 all had serious issues with their CableCard support.  Sony described the problem as:

 

Digital channels cannot be tuned, whereas they could be when TV was last turned on. Analog channels remain tuneable. Resetting restores the channels.

Of course, FiOS does not have any analog channels.

 

Sony released firmware updates to address this issue on different models, but these updates were only available with Sony maintenance call.  The update was performed using a USB flash drive.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
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