dying box or bad signal strength?

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Copper Contributor
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Posts: 22
Registered: ‎07-21-2009

dying box or bad signal strength?

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I have an older model grey HD DVR box that I have had for a few years now. I live in a highrise condo. Over the years there have been issues with a channel here and there going out. When I go through all the troubleshooting, etc the problem does not resolve. The only thing that ever worked was having a tech come out to the building and boosting my signal strength somehow from the utility closet. Or there have been issues where new installs in the building have messed up my service. Last week I started having the same sort of issue so I called Verizon. The guy on the phone believed that signal strength was not the issue, but rather than I needed a new box. I am skeptical this will solve the problem. But the issue continued to get worse over the last couple of days with more and more channels going out to the point where I am down to about 4 watchable chanels. The new box should be here today so I guess I will know tonight. When I do the diagnostics the box says the network signal is either weak or not there. The guy I spoke to on the phone had me enter a special menu which gave a strenght of about 26 but said "poor". He claimed anything above 25 was acceptable. So I don't know why the box deemed that to be poor. Last night I did the regular system check using the "menu" button and the OOB was about 24.

 

Hopefully the new box is a new model. It would be nice to upgrade from the old equipment. But after reading all the problems here maybe that's not what I really want. 🙂

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Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,001
Registered: ‎05-27-2010

Re: dying box or bad signal strength?

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I'd be more inclined to check for bad connections than to suspect the box.   You don't indicate if you have an splitters installed, or if the box is directly connected to the wall outlet.   If you've got splitters, start there -- remove them and work your way back to the shortest possible run with no splitters and see what your signal strength looks like.

 

Also, do you have other outlets in the house which are connected but not in use?   Those can introduce noise into the system which if you have a weaker signal can cause you issues.   Put a terminator on them if you can't have them removed entirely by taking out any splitter which supplies the signal to that outlet.    I have one box which is at the far end of 4 splits (the splitters themselves account for 12 db of signal loss plus the long run takes out several db more) and occasionally I have a block of aout 4 channels (all running near the upper end of the frequency spectrum near 800mhz) that go out (these are the HD signals, the regular SD version of the channel stays operational).   When this happens, I go around and disconnect/connect all the connections at the splitters and wall outlets and that usually does the trick.   My boxes with stronger signals aren't affected by the dropouts -- so the poorer your signal, the more likely to have that kind of problem.    I've had stuff work down into the -30's without issue.

 

However, never hurts to replace the box if Verizon is willing to send you one.  That just eliminates one of the possibilities and if it doesn't work allows you to focus on something else as the cause.

 

 

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎07-21-2009

Re: dying box or bad signal strength?

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unfortunately the new box is the old grey one too. So it is just changing like for like.

 

As I expected the box is not the issue. Verizon has the most annoying phone system int he world. But I finally got that stupid computer to transfer me to a real person. Jumped through a bunch more hoops before they finally believed me that it is a network/signal strength issue. So there's a tech coming out Thursday. Hopefully he will know how to deal with the issue. For some reason no one ever believes me when i tell them this issue has cropped up before and how the previous person fixed it.

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Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎07-21-2009

Re: dying box or bad signal strength?

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Turns out my problem is even more involved than I expected. The tech was pretty stumped at first. Eventually he ran a cable all the way down the hall from the cable tv closet to my TV and we discoverd that the problem appears to be with the Verizon network equipment in the closet. He was surprised that none of the other 7 people connected to the tap has also reported a problem. So he has to escalate the issue to a higher power. Hopefully they'll get some one out relatively quickly to either replace or repair the equipment in question. But is was good to have a tech who was willing to troublshoot to the degree necessary to eliminate the question of it being a problem with the equipment or wiring in my unit or from the TV closet to my unit.

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