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Posted Jul 22, 2013
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DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

Saturday afternoon we switched out our second wired receiver for a wireless one, and the wireless one works brilliantly (very very happy with it).

 

However the total home DVR in our main viewing room is now acting up badly and essentially isn't working. At first, the picture would be fine for 2 or 3 hours, or 5 or 10 minutes, then it will pixelate to the point you can't tell what you are watching. Now this morning, system reboots aren't even working. Over the weekend I did multiple complete system restarts (both by unplugging the modem and the receiver; and by reseting the modem on the back panel), and I have done many DVR restarts via the options menu. My most recent restart this morning via the options menu froze on the ATT U-verse screen with the little "timer circle" spinning away in the bottom right corner. I watched it for at least 10 minutes before I gave up, turned it off, and went and watched the news on the wireless box (again, it's working fine).

 

I have also tried switching out HDMI cables and eventually unhooking the HDMI connections and replacing it with component hook ups (a temporary "band aid" because it means I can't run the signal through my AVR), and it's just not working.

 

I'm at the end of the line with this DVR and have troubleshot the crap out of it - any solutions/help? I left Directv because of reliability issues during rain and storms, but this is worse Smiley Frustrated

 

As a side note . . . does anyone have any experience with whether the DVR boxes prefer being hooked to a cable outlet or an ethernet outlet? Does it make a difference? We don't have an ethernet outlet in the main viewing room (where the DVR is), but due to space demand my office is being converted to a bedroom and I need to move my modem out of the room it's in . . . second problem, the only ethernet jack in the entire house is in the room it's currently in, can I still move my modem?

Saturday afternoon we switched out our second wired receiver for a wireless one, and the wireless one works brilliantly (very very happy with it).

 

However the total home DVR in our main viewing room is now acting up badly and essentially isn't working. At first, the picture would be fine for 2 or 3 hours, or 5 or 10 minutes, then it will pixelate to the point you can't tell what you are watching. Now this morning, system reboots aren't even working. Over the weekend I did multiple complete system restarts (both by unplugging the modem and the receiver; and by reseting the modem on the back panel), and I have done many DVR restarts via the options menu. My most recent restart this morning via the options menu froze on the ATT U-verse screen with the little "timer circle" spinning away in the bottom right corner. I watched it for at least 10 minutes before I gave up, turned it off, and went and watched the news on the wireless box (again, it's working fine).

 

I have also tried switching out HDMI cables and eventually unhooking the HDMI connections and replacing it with component hook ups (a temporary "band aid" because it means I can't run the signal through my AVR), and it's just not working.

 

I'm at the end of the line with this DVR and have troubleshot the crap out of it - any solutions/help? I left Directv because of reliability issues during rain and storms, but this is worse Smiley Frustrated

 

As a side note . . . does anyone have any experience with whether the DVR boxes prefer being hooked to a cable outlet or an ethernet outlet? Does it make a difference? We don't have an ethernet outlet in the main viewing room (where the DVR is), but due to space demand my office is being converted to a bedroom and I need to move my modem out of the room it's in . . . second problem, the only ethernet jack in the entire house is in the room it's currently in, can I still move my modem?

DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 8:15:59 AM
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ACE - Expert
txgtr - I believe your problems are not on the TV side - they are on the input side - DVR or bad connection or RG.

Also, I favor the DVR be connected to the RG by cat5 on the least used TV. Because the DVR has to work closely with the RG to provide the whole house DVR

You do not need an ethernet jack to connect the RG. You are saying that is how it is fed now?? Just run a new cable to the new location.

Hope you can get this straightened out, because U_verse can work beautifully for long stretches. It is frustrating when something goes bad. I think I have averaged less than one problem a year for six years.
txgtr - I believe your problems are not on the TV side - they are on the input side - DVR or bad connection or RG.

Also, I favor the DVR be connected to the RG by cat5 on the least used TV. Because the DVR has to work closely with the RG to provide the whole house DVR

You do not need an ethernet jack to connect the RG. You are saying that is how it is fed now?? Just run a new cable to the new location.

Hope you can get this straightened out, because U_verse can work beautifully for long stretches. It is frustrating when something goes bad. I think I have averaged less than one problem a year for six years.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 8:37:44 AM
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Thanks - sounds like I need to get a tech who knows what they're doing out, huh?

And I completely agree, when it's working it's awesome, but when it's not, it drives me nuts . . . I'm about the same as you, one problem every year, but it seems to be the same problem, so resolving it instead of patching it is my goal this time round (even if I need to get a tech out to fix or re-run wiring).

The RG used to be in the same room as the second wired receiver, but now it's not hooked up to a receiver or a computer (I use wireless for my computers). Honestly I had done the unthinkable and just assumed the RG was connected via ethernet (we don't have a home phone anymore) so I'll need to verify that tonight when I get home. I do know the RG is connected by a coax line and an ethernet (or phone) line, do I have to have it like that now the second TV isn't in the same room? That's just the way the tech set it up many years ago . . . I know the port stuff can be picky, so I've been hesitant to mess with the actual connections to the wall. If it doesn't need to be connected to the coax line, only a phone line, then I could move it closer to the DVR.

HDMI or Component connections really shouldn't matter, should it? It's bizarre that the compenent seems to result in less pixelation and temporary freezing, especially when I want to use HDMI so I can feed it through my Denon.

Sorry for so many questions!!
Thanks - sounds like I need to get a tech who knows what they're doing out, huh?

And I completely agree, when it's working it's awesome, but when it's not, it drives me nuts . . . I'm about the same as you, one problem every year, but it seems to be the same problem, so resolving it instead of patching it is my goal this time round (even if I need to get a tech out to fix or re-run wiring).

The RG used to be in the same room as the second wired receiver, but now it's not hooked up to a receiver or a computer (I use wireless for my computers). Honestly I had done the unthinkable and just assumed the RG was connected via ethernet (we don't have a home phone anymore) so I'll need to verify that tonight when I get home. I do know the RG is connected by a coax line and an ethernet (or phone) line, do I have to have it like that now the second TV isn't in the same room? That's just the way the tech set it up many years ago . . . I know the port stuff can be picky, so I've been hesitant to mess with the actual connections to the wall. If it doesn't need to be connected to the coax line, only a phone line, then I could move it closer to the DVR.

HDMI or Component connections really shouldn't matter, should it? It's bizarre that the compenent seems to result in less pixelation and temporary freezing, especially when I want to use HDMI so I can feed it through my Denon.

Sorry for so many questions!!

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 8:45:00 AM
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I had this same problem with an STB.  It would play perfectly for about half hour but then things would go bad.  HDMI audio would drop out, the picture would go completely nuts, etc.  I finally figured out what it was, it was one of the chips on the STB's motherboard that was overheating and causing the device to malfunction.

I had this same problem with an STB.  It would play perfectly for about half hour but then things would go bad.  HDMI audio would drop out, the picture would go completely nuts, etc.  I finally figured out what it was, it was one of the chips on the STB's motherboard that was overheating and causing the device to malfunction.

The uversecare@att.com team, otherwise known as the uVerse Technical Support Miracle Workers.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 8:47:41 AM
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You can test to see if the device is overheating by either propping it up with something to allow for better airflow or finding a small fan to blow some air into the device.  If that solves the issue then you have a bad box and it needs to be replaced for eventually that device to going to fail completely from the overheating issue.

You can test to see if the device is overheating by either propping it up with something to allow for better airflow or finding a small fan to blow some air into the device.  If that solves the issue then you have a bad box and it needs to be replaced for eventually that device to going to fail completely from the overheating issue.

The uversecare@att.com team, otherwise known as the uVerse Technical Support Miracle Workers.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 8:56:39 AM
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txgtr _ There are many possibilities for all connections to the RG. Choices are generally made based on what is already available.
There is only one COAX connection. It can just feed the RG or just feed the TVs or it can do both, If it does both, you have a diplexer somewhere directing traffic.
You can disconnect the COAX to see if you lose signal to the RG to find out how yours work. Do you lose broadband or just the TV??
Same with the cat5 - see what jack it is connected to on the RG or pull it out & see what goes away.

As far as component vs HDMI, my opinion is the picture quality are both in the same range, but HDMI changes more based on the quality of the input. So, if you have component you are lees likely to say that picture is fantastic or terrible - they are all good. If connected HDMI the extremes are noticeable.
txgtr _ There are many possibilities for all connections to the RG. Choices are generally made based on what is already available.
There is only one COAX connection. It can just feed the RG or just feed the TVs or it can do both, If it does both, you have a diplexer somewhere directing traffic.
You can disconnect the COAX to see if you lose signal to the RG to find out how yours work. Do you lose broadband or just the TV??
Same with the cat5 - see what jack it is connected to on the RG or pull it out & see what goes away.

As far as component vs HDMI, my opinion is the picture quality are both in the same range, but HDMI changes more based on the quality of the input. So, if you have component you are lees likely to say that picture is fantastic or terrible - they are all good. If connected HDMI the extremes are noticeable.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 9:49:14 AM
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Thanks, so if I'm understanding right, it's possible the coax is handling TV and Internet?

 

If so, I'll move the Gateway to the main room with the DVR and hook it up to the wall (via Coax only) tonight. But just so I'm clear, if I feed the coax out from the wall in to the RG, I'd just need to feed the ethernet out from the RG in to the DVR, right?

 

And then if the coax is indeed handling both the TV and the internet, all functionality should be intact and it could potentially fix the issues I'm having with the DVR based on the new location of the RG (if the coax in from the other room was the source of the problem)?

 

As a side note, I hear you on component v HDMI. I will say (to me at least), having my plasma connected by HDMI on the wireless box seems to have made the picture deeper than it was via component, but viewing conditions changing to one that is perfect for a plasma (darker room) could be playing a part in that.

 

I need the HDMI on the DVR connected TV to retain full functionality and ease of use when connecting through the AVR.

 

Thanks, so if I'm understanding right, it's possible the coax is handling TV and Internet?

 

If so, I'll move the Gateway to the main room with the DVR and hook it up to the wall (via Coax only) tonight. But just so I'm clear, if I feed the coax out from the wall in to the RG, I'd just need to feed the ethernet out from the RG in to the DVR, right?

 

And then if the coax is indeed handling both the TV and the internet, all functionality should be intact and it could potentially fix the issues I'm having with the DVR based on the new location of the RG (if the coax in from the other room was the source of the problem)?

 

As a side note, I hear you on component v HDMI. I will say (to me at least), having my plasma connected by HDMI on the wireless box seems to have made the picture deeper than it was via component, but viewing conditions changing to one that is perfect for a plasma (darker room) could be playing a part in that.

 

I need the HDMI on the DVR connected TV to retain full functionality and ease of use when connecting through the AVR.

 

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 10:30:37 AM
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ACE - Expert
txgtr - I would like to know more about your wiring before making any suggestions on what you can do. If the RG is being fed by COAX that is the only COAX jack that yo can use. To use another one you need to find the other end of each COAX and swap those connections to move the signal.

If the RG is being fed cat5, then you cannot move it to a COAX jack.

The COAX connection on the RG can always carry TV and internet. But, to do so the boot process of the RG must recognize that it needs to. Based on the connections it sees.

COAX carries a signal defined as an HPNA standard. COAX is the physical layer and HPNA is the virtual or electronic layer. This means that any physical imperfection anywhere in the COAX network can have a negative impact on any portion anywhere in the HPNA network.
txgtr - I would like to know more about your wiring before making any suggestions on what you can do. If the RG is being fed by COAX that is the only COAX jack that yo can use. To use another one you need to find the other end of each COAX and swap those connections to move the signal.

If the RG is being fed cat5, then you cannot move it to a COAX jack.

The COAX connection on the RG can always carry TV and internet. But, to do so the boot process of the RG must recognize that it needs to. Based on the connections it sees.

COAX carries a signal defined as an HPNA standard. COAX is the physical layer and HPNA is the virtual or electronic layer. This means that any physical imperfection anywhere in the COAX network can have a negative impact on any portion anywhere in the HPNA network.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 10:38:30 AM
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Ah, ok, got it. When I get home tonight I'll try what you suggested and unplug the coax and the phone line, one at a time, then report back on what sort of functionaility I lose/retain with each connection by itself.

 

If it makes any difference (don't think it will), I know that even although there are two coax jacks on the plate the DVR is hooked to (at the wall), I can only use the top one. The bottom one gives me no signal.

Ah, ok, got it. When I get home tonight I'll try what you suggested and unplug the coax and the phone line, one at a time, then report back on what sort of functionaility I lose/retain with each connection by itself.

 

If it makes any difference (don't think it will), I know that even although there are two coax jacks on the plate the DVR is hooked to (at the wall), I can only use the top one. The bottom one gives me no signal.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 11:20:46 AM
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txgtr - Re: I can only use the top on - No you cannot. Am I staying focused? - You want to move the RG from location 1 to location 2, where location 2 works for TV. It does NOT work for RG. To make it work for RG you have to find the other end of the two cables and swap them.

The signal for the STB and RG are different. The signal for the RG comes from the NID. The signal for the STB comes from the RG. If you just moved the RG there would be no signal from the NID.
txgtr - Re: I can only use the top on - No you cannot. Am I staying focused? - You want to move the RG from location 1 to location 2, where location 2 works for TV. It does NOT work for RG. To make it work for RG you have to find the other end of the two cables and swap them.

The signal for the STB and RG are different. The signal for the RG comes from the NID. The signal for the STB comes from the RG. If you just moved the RG there would be no signal from the NID.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 12:07:35 PM
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I think I'm with you, but just to reset:

 

Yes, I want to move the RG from loc 1 to Loc 2 (loc 2 being the loc with the DVR) and hope that might take care of the DVR issues I'm having. But to do that I have to know what's "feeding" the RG.

 

From what I've figured from this thread my guess is more likely than not the RJ11/45 line (will validate whether is an 11 or a 45 tonight) connected to the RG isn't serving any purpose at the moment (I'll test that tonight - without moving the RG) which means the coax in to the RG is doing all the work, and if that is the case then I need to find and switch the other end of the coax cables if I want to move the RG to loc 2. How to find and switch the other end of the cables is completely beyond me though, sounds like an attic access type thing.

 

My last note was really just a side note to say right now in loc 2 where the DVR is my DVR is connected directly to the house wiring via coax. There are two coax jacks on the same wall panel, but the TV signal only works if the DVR is plugged in to the top coax jack. If I plug it into the second coax jack I get absolutely nothing. Why, I don't know, the second coax jack may just be a dud so this entire thing is irrelevant to my issue, but I didn't know if maybe you could decipher something from that so I figured I'd throw it out there. My bad, it just complicated things.

I think I'm with you, but just to reset:

 

Yes, I want to move the RG from loc 1 to Loc 2 (loc 2 being the loc with the DVR) and hope that might take care of the DVR issues I'm having. But to do that I have to know what's "feeding" the RG.

 

From what I've figured from this thread my guess is more likely than not the RJ11/45 line (will validate whether is an 11 or a 45 tonight) connected to the RG isn't serving any purpose at the moment (I'll test that tonight - without moving the RG) which means the coax in to the RG is doing all the work, and if that is the case then I need to find and switch the other end of the coax cables if I want to move the RG to loc 2. How to find and switch the other end of the cables is completely beyond me though, sounds like an attic access type thing.

 

My last note was really just a side note to say right now in loc 2 where the DVR is my DVR is connected directly to the house wiring via coax. There are two coax jacks on the same wall panel, but the TV signal only works if the DVR is plugged in to the top coax jack. If I plug it into the second coax jack I get absolutely nothing. Why, I don't know, the second coax jack may just be a dud so this entire thing is irrelevant to my issue, but I didn't know if maybe you could decipher something from that so I figured I'd throw it out there. My bad, it just complicated things.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 12:27:55 PM
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ACE - Expert
txgtr -

Yes, I want to move the RG from loc 1 to Loc 2 (loc 2 being the loc with the DVR) and hope that might take care of the DVR issues I'm having. But to do that I have to know what's "feeding" the RG.

Yes



From what I've figured from this thread my guess is more likely than not the RJ11/45 line (will validate whether is an 11 or a 45 tonight) connected to the RG isn't serving any purpose at the moment (I'll test that tonight - without moving the RG) which means the coax in to the RG is doing all the work, and if that is the case then I need to find and switch the other end of the coax cables if I want to move the RG to loc 2. How to find and switch the other end of the cables is completely beyond me though, sounds like an attic access type thing.

If it is the RJ-11/45 you need to extend that to the new location. & if you have any other TVs you want to feed COAX you will need to connect RG- wall via COAX & find the other end of the COAX to switch from receive to send. If it is CAOX the swap undo both connections change hands, redo the connections the opposite of what they were.

My last note was really just a side note to say right now in loc 2 where the DVR is my DVR is connected directly to the house wiring via coax. There are two coax jacks on the same wall panel, but the TV signal only works if the DVR is plugged in to the top coax jack. If I plug it into the second coax jack I get absolutely nothing. Why, I don't know, the second coax jack may just be a dud so this entire thing is irrelevant to my issue, but I didn't know if maybe you could decipher something from that so I figured I'd throw it out there. My bad, it just complicated things.

Just ignorethe second jack. As you say it is not an issue & it does not bother me. Of course, if it were mine I would like to know where it goes.
txgtr -

Yes, I want to move the RG from loc 1 to Loc 2 (loc 2 being the loc with the DVR) and hope that might take care of the DVR issues I'm having. But to do that I have to know what's "feeding" the RG.

Yes



From what I've figured from this thread my guess is more likely than not the RJ11/45 line (will validate whether is an 11 or a 45 tonight) connected to the RG isn't serving any purpose at the moment (I'll test that tonight - without moving the RG) which means the coax in to the RG is doing all the work, and if that is the case then I need to find and switch the other end of the coax cables if I want to move the RG to loc 2. How to find and switch the other end of the cables is completely beyond me though, sounds like an attic access type thing.

If it is the RJ-11/45 you need to extend that to the new location. & if you have any other TVs you want to feed COAX you will need to connect RG- wall via COAX & find the other end of the COAX to switch from receive to send. If it is CAOX the swap undo both connections change hands, redo the connections the opposite of what they were.

My last note was really just a side note to say right now in loc 2 where the DVR is my DVR is connected directly to the house wiring via coax. There are two coax jacks on the same wall panel, but the TV signal only works if the DVR is plugged in to the top coax jack. If I plug it into the second coax jack I get absolutely nothing. Why, I don't know, the second coax jack may just be a dud so this entire thing is irrelevant to my issue, but I didn't know if maybe you could decipher something from that so I figured I'd throw it out there. My bad, it just complicated things.

Just ignorethe second jack. As you say it is not an issue & it does not bother me. Of course, if it were mine I would like to know where it goes.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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Jul 22, 2013 5:36:49 PM
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Edited by txgtr on Jul 22, 2013 at 5:47:17 PM

Well I think it's a worst case scenario for me.

 

I pulled the phone jack (it is phone, not ethernet) and it killed my internet, and therefore my wireless receiver. I can't tell what it did to my DVR because that's frozen and getting client errors from this morning still. Based on additional internet research on my set-up, my assumption is that the signal for internet and TV is coming in on the phone line and the coax in the RG is taking the signal from the RG to the DVR (hooked in by coax).

 

I have a phone line by the kitchen, which isn't far from the DVR, but the coax jacks and DVR sit across a hall way that sees a lot of traffic. Because of wood floors (and an inability to run a new phone jack or fish wires through walls) I can't run a phone line (or coax if I moved the RG to the kitchen).

 

EDIT: I did go into the attic and found a dead ended coax (which would explain the second dud coax jack) and a splitter. Some of the coax attaches on the splitter were a little loose, so I tightened them down. I also unscrewed and reattached the coax in and out of the RG (it was a little loose at the wall), and did another AC power unplug on the RG.

 

The DVR is back on HDMI and working again. Who knows for how long, fingers crossed though. 

Well I think it's a worst case scenario for me.

 

I pulled the phone jack (it is phone, not ethernet) and it killed my internet, and therefore my wireless receiver. I can't tell what it did to my DVR because that's frozen and getting client errors from this morning still. Based on additional internet research on my set-up, my assumption is that the signal for internet and TV is coming in on the phone line and the coax in the RG is taking the signal from the RG to the DVR (hooked in by coax).

 

I have a phone line by the kitchen, which isn't far from the DVR, but the coax jacks and DVR sit across a hall way that sees a lot of traffic. Because of wood floors (and an inability to run a new phone jack or fish wires through walls) I can't run a phone line (or coax if I moved the RG to the kitchen).

 

EDIT: I did go into the attic and found a dead ended coax (which would explain the second dud coax jack) and a splitter. Some of the coax attaches on the splitter were a little loose, so I tightened them down. I also unscrewed and reattached the coax in and out of the RG (it was a little loose at the wall), and did another AC power unplug on the RG.

 

The DVR is back on HDMI and working again. Who knows for how long, fingers crossed though. 

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

[ Edited ]
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Jul 22, 2013 7:18:46 PM
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ACE - Expert
txgtr - Thanks for the update. Working now is a good thing. The loose COAX connection could have been the problem. Or, it could be the wires use to feed the RG.

Can you pull the COAX connection on the RG & see if it kills your internet connection as well as the TV? It could even be that dead ended COAX if it is not connected to the dead wall jack. Can you do a continuity check on it?

Reusing the kitchen wire might be possible if you can find where all the wires go. Or, you can route wires under or around molding where it is hardly seen.

Hope it keeps working for you.Please let me know in a couple of days. Maybe Saturday. Saturdays are usually very quiet.
txgtr - Thanks for the update. Working now is a good thing. The loose COAX connection could have been the problem. Or, it could be the wires use to feed the RG.

Can you pull the COAX connection on the RG & see if it kills your internet connection as well as the TV? It could even be that dead ended COAX if it is not connected to the dead wall jack. Can you do a continuity check on it?

Reusing the kitchen wire might be possible if you can find where all the wires go. Or, you can route wires under or around molding where it is hardly seen.

Hope it keeps working for you.Please let me know in a couple of days. Maybe Saturday. Saturdays are usually very quiet.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: DVR Pixelates and Freezes, unwatchable. Reboots freeze and don't complete.

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