Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

Teacher

Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I have had an intermittent problem with the TV freezing which has been going on 3 months now.  I have had numerous techs out (inside and outside) and even got a network manager involved.  Still - almost daily between 6 pm and 7 pm (about the time of the evening news), the picture freezes, or goes into a mosaic and stutters or I get the LOST TV SIGNAL message onscreen that lists remedies like checking cables, rebooting the boxes, etc.  I have had inside techs, outside techs, replaced equipment like STB/RG, etc.  The problem seems to clear up later in the evening.  They have told me repeatedly there is no problem inside the house - they have checked everything.  But ATT has also said multiple times they found a problem and fixed it (presumably outside somewhere) - but the problem continues.  I recall one guy with a laptop saying "you have no backend" - he was looking at a graph.  He acted like that was bad. But I have no idea what he meant.   I have had others say they see lot of errors - but also had them say they were seeing no errors right at the same time that I am viewing my TV screen and it's freezing up!  This occured during the test they run while they have you on the phone.  I have probably spent 30-40 hours of my time alone on this problem (on the phone, meeting techs, etc).  I am not exaggerating!

 

I just loaded the UV Realtime utility and attached the screen shots mentioned in other posts in the hopes someone can help me.  Note - there was no COAX/HPNA data to include.  Thanks.

 

 

 

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Message 1 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

This afternoon - the picture is still messed up.  Watching golf again (if you can call it watching when the picture is frozen 95 percent of the time).  Anyway, I called U-VERSE and spoke to advanced support and explained how long this has been going on and what it was doing.  They ran some tests and said they really didn't see anything - all the while the picture is frozen!  At this point they emphathized with my situation and then asked if I wanted to speak to retention!  They are ready to call it quits.  I said no because I had to line up something with Comcast to install new service before I cut the cord with ATT.

 

So I got to thinking about the box outside on the wall where the cable splitters are (due to Joe's earlier post).  I opened the box and noted the 2 Holland splitters and a mess of coax cable.  Everything seemed tight however.  So I carefully tucked it all back into the box and closed it up again.  I went back into the house and now I have the solid blue screen stating NO TV SIGNAL.  This screen is what I was seeing intermittently before - but now it is constant.  So after an hour of that screen being steady - I called ATT back.  This time they ran a test and were seeing three red X's - whatever that means, I assume errors.  They said they will send someone out tomorrow between 4 to 9 pm.  I am hoping that I found the "weak" link here and that with new splitters and new connectors - I will be good as new.  But I am cautiously optimistic after all the false positives before.   I truly feel like this is my last ditch effort - and then it's off to Comcast (which is not what I want).

 

Incidentally, I also spoke to my neighbor this afternoon who just got U-verse in the last week or so.  He is not having any problems whatsoever - and he's about 50 feet from me...

Message 16 of 31
ACE - Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I think it is not a good idea to have sharp bends in the coax. From your description of "splitter box" it sounds like you may have sharp bends. Can you ask the installer to feed a single wire to a place where the splitters can be fed without bending the coax.

 

Also, where the existing cables are bent they may now be defective & should not be used.

*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.
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Message 17 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

 If having sharps bends is not good - than I have a disaster.  The original U-Verse installer used the old Comcast box and it's probably around 7 by 12 inches (or so).  However, there are so many cables in that box it looks like sphaghetti - loops and loops and loops.  I could barely get the box to close again.  I only have 3 TVs but to look at it you'd think I had 12 TVs. 

 

I sure wish they had configured it differently when the house was built - with the cables on the inside of the garage - that way space would not have been an issue. Harder for the tech I suppose but the homeowner is almost always home when you make an appt anyway.  Incidentally - I had asked the U-Verse techs about replacing the Comcast cable box (now 18 years old and falling apart) on several occasions when they were out at the house - and everyone of them said - "we don't have anything like that".   I asked if they could get "something like that" and come back.  They all told me that ATT doesn't have that sort of thing and one told me to try Home Depot ... truly amazing!  I find it hard to believe the ATT doesn't have something like this and always relies on the old cable installation for the box that they use - could that be correct? 

 

Thanks for the tip.

Message 18 of 31
ACE - Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I started on this because you said you saw a change when you stirred it up. Just throwing things out -

Loops and loopsof cable - can they be pulled out & cut to a decent length? Or, for now pulled out straight to see if it makes U-verse work

Did the original installer get in there and change the cable ends?

Can you have them run a single wire from the NID to inside the garage to mount the splitters or diplexer on the wall?

Mine are on a beam in the basement.
*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.
Message 19 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I think you are absolutely right - I seem to have found a weak link by just moving the wires around a bit.  And it's still out many hours later.  I'd like to mess with it more - like you said - straighten out the loops and see if it comes back.  But 1.  it's been storming here and 2. I'd like to leave it in the current state until the tech arrives in the hopes the outage will assist with the troubleshooting.

 

I love the idea you proposed - a single wire (or two) from the NID through the wall into the garage where the splitters can be mounted.  I'd gladly cut a hole in the garage interior wall to facilitate that.  Already did this once for a plumping problem - what's another one ...

 

I can ask them - but something tells me it's going to be too big a job and they aren't going to want to do this. 

Message 20 of 31
Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

Yes, you definitely have a coax problem. No doubt the coax cables are bent well beyond the recommended bend radius.

They need to remove the old box that's too small and give you a new larger box that has more room. The coax cables should never bend sharper than about a 4"-5" diameter circle.

It also sounds like there are cascaded splitters in that box, which should also be changed out. There should be one splitter with multiple outputs instead.
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Message 21 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I am concerned they:

 

1.  won't have a larger splitter on the truck so they can replace out the two with one and

2.  they most definitely aren't going to have a larger box (they don't seem to carry boxes on their trucks) - I have asked multiple times in the past because the box was in such bad shape

 

I wish I could call and talk to someone about this before they come out - but calling the numbers they have left in the past seem to be useless.  The network manager's number ALWAYS goes to voicemail and he NEVER calls me back.  I'd say I have left him 6 voice mails over the last couple of months.  Why do they leave you their phone number on a card if they don't want you to be able to contact them?  This is probably my biggest frustration - even more so than having the service problem.

 

I am tempted to go buy a box myself today just to ensure we can have that on hand.  The splliter I can't do anything about because I know it has to have certain specs and you can't just pick those up at Radio Shack!

Message 22 of 31
Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

If the techs can't fix this problem properly, it's time to involve David:

 

Click the tab in my signature below that says AT&T Links, and on that signature panel there is a link that says AT&T Social Media Support Team. This will take you to a page with contact information for David, who is a tier 2 specialist. Follow the directions there to e-mail him, he will get to the bottom of the problem.

Message 23 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

OK - the tech came out.  Got a good one!  He rewired it all and put it all in the attic.  Eliminated the need for the box completely and put a new splitter on it with new ends on all the coax. My error - the other item was a multiplexer and he said I needed that.

 

So far - good.  But it's only been an hour or so.  Time will tell.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Message 24 of 31
Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

Awesome, keep us posted.
Message 25 of 31
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I will do that. 

 

Also, I found out that the network manager I had been leaving multiple voicemails with has left ATT - about a month ago.  That explains no call back from him.  I should have suspected this when he never answered directly and it went straight to voicemail  ...

Message 26 of 31
Highlighted
Teacher

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

I watched about an hour of the news this evening.  No problems whatsoever!  Truly amazing that a bad splitter/coax can cause so much trouble with the service.  This forum rocks.  I would most likely be back on Comcast now without it.

 

I don't feel totally out of the water yet.  Maybe in a day or two if the service stays good I'll totally believe it - but this is definitely a good sign.

 

Kudos to SomeJoe7777 and aviewer for your help and suggestions.  Here's what UVRT says now - now sure how to read it but I was wondering if this paints a different picture than before:

 

 

 

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Message 27 of 31
Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

Very cool. The error table certainly looks way better, for sure.

The profile is still a little borderline, but it's so close to being OK that I doubt you'll have problems. Keep us posted, let us know if everything stays running right.
Message 28 of 31
Professor

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

It is the same way with providential style catv carriers such as comcast, when you have a digital tv service. That is one reason I stayed away from a coax network, when I wired my boxes into my LAN.
________________________________________________________________

"Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool!

Stimpy: So what'll happen?

Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?"
________________________________________________________________
Message 29 of 31
Expert

Re: Intermittent Problem with U-verse TV - going on 3 mos now!

We had 25 YO coax from way back, and this is what I pulled up from outside!

 

After LOTS of issues, they ended up using Ethernet from the NID (outside box on home) instead of coax.

 

 

 

 

Message 30 of 31
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