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Odd Issue with Cable Box/TV (1 Viewer)

Malcolm R

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Not sure if anyone has any ideas about this, but thought I'd give it a try.

For Christmas, we purchased a new LG HDTV for my mother's bedroom. It's mounted on the wall, and connected to Spectrum cable through their receiver box. Coaxial from the wall to the box, then HDMI from the box to the TV. Everything has worked fine for nearly 7 months.

Suddenly, she emailed me that her TV wasn't working one Sunday morning when she likes to watch a weekly news show. I went over and messed around with the input selection on the remote and pushed a few buttons, and it seemed to come back on though I didn't think I really did anything that "fixed" anything or identified any cause. I thought she just had pushed a wrong button on the remote or something. When the screen came back on, it was set to the "on demand" programming section. I just pushed "exit" a couple times, and the regular TV programming was back and it seemed fine.

But the same thing has happened twice again, always seemingly overnight on Saturday so that when she tries to watch her Sunday morning program, there is no cable reception. It's almost like there is some kind of timer or scheduler set to switch something off every 7 days. The current fix has been to unplug and reboot the cable box. After a reboot, everything seems fine again until next week when the same thing happens overnight Saturday. This has now happened three weeks in a row, always overnight on Saturday.

Has anyone ever encountered anything like this? I suppose the next thing is to swap the cable boxes (there are 3 in the house, the other 2 seem to be unaffected), or swap it for a new one at Spectrum.

It doesn't seem like an issue with the TV or the cables, as everything seems to work fine again when the cable receiver box is rebooted. And the exactly 7 day timing of the issue recurring seems weird.

She's going to be away this weekend, so I'll probably take a closer look at things, but I don't really know what it could be. Thanks for any insight. :)
 

Josh Steinberg

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That’s definitely odd! It sounds like something is forcing the cable box to reboot and it’s getting stuck somewhere in the process. It may be that the cable company is pushing out an update that isn’t working what the box for whatever reason and that could be crashing it. I used to have Spectrum and since I worked nights at the time I’d be up at 2am and notice that that was when they’d usually send updates through. The box would usually shut off, do the update and then restart upon completion. My best guess is that something like that is trying to happen and failing.
 

Malcolm R

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Yeah, I'm thinking some fault in that box as the other two boxes in the house don't seem to be affected.

I wondered the first time if it was possibly a Spectrum maintenance thing that somehow tripped this box, but since it keeps happening over and over exactly every 7 days, it seems like more than that. Plus the box always seems to operate fine after the reboot . . . for 7 days.
 

Josh Steinberg

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That it happens so consistently and exactly the same really makes me think there’s something from Spectrum’s end that’s tripping it up.
 

John Dirk

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It sounds like there may be some sort of auto-programmed timer that switches to an on-demand channel every week. I would check the DVR settings.
 

Malcolm R

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Well, just a general update. I went through all the menus on the cable box and the TV and made a couple of changes over the past weekend, but nothing really jumped out and screamed "this is the problem". However, the issue did not occur this past Sunday when I turned the system on, so I'm not sure if I actually stumbled across something, if this is a cable provider update glitch and there was no update this week, or if it's still some kind of operator error. Ordinarily I'd suspect option number three, but since she has seemed to have no problem except on Sunday mornings it would seem like an odd coincidence.

She's home again, so we'll have to see what happens this next weekend.
 

ChrisOC

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I have Spectrum cable, and there are some default settings on the boxes that are annoying. I try to reset them when a new box comes in, but with enough time, it's easy to forget about them until they rear their heads.

On the other hand, there may be a problem with the box. Even if you only suspect that, it might be worth getting a replacement.

Just FYI, my service came with a Cisco 4742HDC plain box. I only mention this because Spectrum supplies different equipment for different areas. Our local store stocks boxes and DVRs from Cisco, Arris, and Motorola. We've had their service since the old Time Warner Cable days, and I've never been given Motorola equipment.
 

Malcolm R

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Well, this issue started occuring at other times, and with more frequency. I think we've decided that there may be something wrong with the HDMI cable. Will replace that in the near future and see if that's a fix.

The TV is mounted on the wall, and the current cable is quite heavy duty, so I'm not sure if it's flexing too much from the weight of the cable. If I flex the cable, the picture on the TV comes and goes. I tried plugging the HDMI cable into a different HDMI input on the TV, and seemed to get the same result. So it seems like that would point to the cable.
 

David Norman

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I think the original thought to switch the Bedroom box with one of the others would my next step -- leave the cable in place,

See if the reboot activity remains in the Bedroom or follows the box (or goes away).

Bad Cable is an easy fix, bad HDMI port of box is a pretty easy fix. I'm not sure why a bad cable would improve with a reboot though I guess if the box senses it's not connected to an active TV it might shut itself down.
Sound like you ruled out a bad HDMI port on TV which would be lot worse.
 

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