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It's their fault. No, it's their fault. No, it's YOUR fault.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by GTBill, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    In Nov 2008 I bought a 32" Sharp Aquos HDTV and got Comcast to install an HD DVR. From the very beginning we have had 2 to 5 second blackouts with no sound, pixellation and other broadcast problems. Had Comcast out numerous times. Once they replaced the Motorola STB. Same problems. They said it had to be the TV. I didn't believe them because sometimes the blackouts were on the DVR (if you went back the blackout appeared at the precise location and duration every time). Other times you can go back on the DVR and the blackout is not reproducible.

    At the beginning of July I gave up on Comcast because the FIOS salesman guaranteed me I would have no problem with FIOS because it was 100% fiber optic. So I signed up. Turns out it isn't 100% fiber optic because they use Comcasts old wiring in the house (somehow I thought because of the 6 hour installation they would be wiring the house with fiber optics). Same old problems. I've called Verizon 4 or 5 times in a little over a month. They also replaced the STB (so now we are on Motorola #4). They can't find the problem and say it's my TV. Sharp is coming out to replace some "parts."

    Can someone explain to me why it would be the TV when the blackout is on the DVR (at times)? I don't know much about this stuff. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

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    It's sometimes hard to pinpoint the culprit definitively. You could have multiple problems. Does this happen on any channel, or just some of them? If it happens on local HDTV channels (ABC/NBC etc.), perhaps try watching live using your TV's tuner (split a cable directly into the TV, do a digital channel scan, find the clear QAM (unencrypted) HD chanels) while also recording it on the DVR. Dropouts in the same place could indicate it's a problem with the broadcast. You might check on avsforum which has a local HDTV thread, see if people in your area have issues with the same channels.

    You could also look at the DVRs diagnostic menu, power off then hit OK/select right away, look at "inband status", see if you are getting a lot of errors when these dropouts are happening.

    If you aren't seeing reception problems, then it might be the HDMI interface (either side). Have you tried hooking up with component video instead?
     
  3. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    It happens on any channel. Even an on-demand movie had 5 long blackouts in it. I'll try your DVR diagnostics on Friday (no time now). Everything is hooked up with component cables except the DVD (HDMI). However, the DVD never has blackout or had interruptions of any kind. The tech guy said it was completely different and was probably still my TV.

    BTW, could it be my receiver? It's at least 9 or 10 years old. It's a Technics SA-DX940. Been thinking about replacing it with a Yamaha RX-V465.

    DVD is Panasonic DMR-ES46V (vcr dvd recorder). The TV is a Sharp Aquos LC-32GP2U. Thanks.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    If it happens to the DVR, it's happening before the signal reaches the tv, A/V receiver, or anything else. Isn't the cable from outside, going straight into the DVR, since it also acts as your cable box? If so, I'd say it's definitely the cable company's fault, whether it's the DVR, or somewhere in the cable lines. The only reason I can see why he says the dvd is different, is because it's using a different input on the A/V receiver. But, again, if it's happening in the DVR, it's happening before it reaches anything else. But, as usual, this is just my opinion..............
    Good luck!
     
  5. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Have you ever tried HDMI for the cable box instead of component?

    Are your component cables going through your receiver first? Could it be a bandwidth problem?

    Also, FIOS is 100% Fiber. They have to use coax once inside your house. How else could they connect to your tuner? They can't assume everyone will be using a convert box....
     
  6. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

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    It's not the receiver if you aren't running video through it, I peeked at the manual & it doesn't look like it has component so I assume you just have the audio hooked up. Is the sound routed straight from the DVR to the receiver, connected digital or analog? Or are you routing through the TV? If picture drops out, sound always drops out?

    Are these interruptions only during commercial breaks or during the programs also? What's your output resolution setting (power off, hit menu), e.g. 1080i, 4:3 override on or off?

    You said "blackouts with no sound, pixellation". Do you mean in the same instance, or do you mean sometimes you get blackouts, other times you get pixellation? Try not to lump problems together that may not be the same thing.

    The best way to confirm whether it's the TV or not would be to get another TV/computer monitor in there with a component input. Know anyone with a small easily movable TV you could borrow for a few hours?
     
  7. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Like I said before I don't know too much about this stuff. The cable goes into the fios stb first. I believe (I did not hook this stuff up) that the sound to the receiver is coming from the TV but I'm not positive. It's tight quarters and hard to follow the wires (well, I haven't had time to look at them). Ed is saying what makes sense to me. Some blackouts are in the DVR (and repeatable when you rewind) so how could it be the TV? BTW, it's always in the shows not commercials. We skip most commercials. The pixellation is a separate issue. It doesn't happen at the same time.

    I know that fios is 100% fiber to my house. I did not know they would be using Comcasts cables inside. Otherwise how could the salesman guarantee that fios would be problem free. Oh yeah, he was a salesman and I didn't get it in writing.

    The sound always drops out when the picture is black.The output resolution is 1081i (don't about about the 4:3 but believe it's off). In fact, that dialog box (1080i, component) always comes on after a blackout. It's like the TV lost connection altogether for a few seconds.

    I haven't tried HDMI because I read somewhere that there are sometimes more problems with that than component. In fact, the verizon tech told me to hook it with components cables. He assumed that his company had used HDMI when the used component.

    Don't have access to another TV (maybe I'll buy one). I think it is the wiring since my regular def TV in another room pixellates for a brief 1/4 second every time you change the channel. No problem but I asked some neighbors and it doesn't seem to happen to any of them.

    I asked verizon to run a separate cable from their outside box to the dvr just to check it (it's only about 15 feet) but they wouldn't do it. They just say it's the TV. They want me to do stupid things like hook up my dvr in another room to a regular def tv. What's that going to do? Reg def always plays well with no probs. It's only Hi Def that gives us problems. I'm getting frustrated.
     
  8. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    One other thing: I doubt if it is the stb as this is the fourth one we've had between Comcast and Verizon (2 each, all Motorola DVR's). I think it is Comcasts wiring. My internet connection isn't visibly faster with fios. I measured it at about 11% faster (SurfSpeed2). Had 12mbps went up to 20 mbps. Doesn't bother me really, just throwing it out there (internet connection was changed at same time as TV).
     
  9. richiewrt

    richiewrt Member

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    Are there any coax splitters on the line coming from outside to your stb? That would be my first guess, and they are fairly cheap to replace. Splitters on the line can defiantly cause this issue as I have seen similar problems many times. I would track this down and replace it just to see if it helps and you can get a good one for < $10. Also check to make sure all the connections that are made between the outside fios connection and your stb and make sure they are screwed in tightly and that the connectors look good. Just something easy to check that you may want to look at. Hope this helps.
     
  10. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Thanks Richie, there are no splitters. I actually wanted the installer to split the cable so we could hook up our tivo s2 and he wouldn't do it. As for the cable itself, verizon had me unplug it, turn it around a hook it back up to make sure it was tight. I can tell it was very tight at both ends when I had to unscrew them.
     
  11. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Just in case anyone is interested, a Sharp rep is coming out to replace a bunch of parts in my TV on Monday (8/17). If that fixes the problem I'll be very surprised. I'll let you know. Still don't see how a blackout caused by a TV would be recorded by the dvr. But then, I know very little about electronics.
     
  12. Adam Gregorich

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  13. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    The Sharp tech came out yesterday and ran a bunch of tests on my Aquos. All the findings were negative, as in no problems with the tv. Evidently, the tv keeps a list of internal errors and there were none. He said what I thought: the tv is occasionally losing its signal.

    He also said there are some known problems with the motorola dvr not working well with the Aquos. That reminded of Verizon's tech who asked me if I had a Sony, Samsung or Panasonic. He said there were problems with all those tv's. When I said I had a sharp he said "oh" went off the phone for a minute, came back and said "yep, there are issues with the sharps, too." He was saying that all these TVs had blackout problems.

    Now the plan is to replace the motorola dvr with a Tivo and replace my old receiver with a new yamaha. If there are still blackouts it can only be the wiring from the box on my house into the house. That's all that's left.
     
  14. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with it.
    I didn't think it was the tv, since it happened with the DVR, before the signal ever reached the tv.
    I know it's aggravating..............
     
  15. chuckg

    chuckg Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like Verizon needs to fix their set top boxes....
     
  16. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Hooked up the Tivo HD XL today. Easiest thing I've ever done regarding home theater. HDMI into the tv and away we went. So far no blackouts or pixellation but it is too early to tell.

    Question: Being an old guy with an old (not too old though) wife who HATES change, how much changer would there be if I changed my ten year old receiver and got a Yamaha RX-435? I guess we would run the tivo and the dvr through the receiver with hdmi cables and run another hdmi to the tv, right? Would the wife still run her tivo with the tivo remote? Would there be that much difference in the way things are operated? Thanks much. You've all been very helpful.
     
  17. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Oops! Think I posted the wrong Yamaha info. Should be Yamaha RX-V465
     
  18. GTBill

    GTBill Member

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    Watched a lot of TV yesterday and still no blackouts. It seems to me that there is a compatibility issue between the Motorla STB and the Sharp Aquos as well as a number of Samsung and Sony HDTV's. Fortunately for me there doesn't seem to be the same problem between the Sharp and Tivo HD.
     
  19. AshlyRayan

    AshlyRayan New Member

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    To deal with people who hate change, I guess you can convince her by any of these ways:
    -Let the idea be her idea.
    -Make it as a gift for her because of any near occasion.
    -Make her buy it for you in your birthday occasion All subs
     

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