Strange problem with half of my cable TV connections
April 6, 2006 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Some strange problem with my cable TV. I was connecting a new Sylvania DVR/VCR unit in my bedroom. I used to have a Sony DVD/VCR in that same place and the cable reception used to be just fine. First thing I noticed after attaching the new unit is that the signal quality is very poor. But anyway then I come down to living room which has the Comcast's digital set top box connected to the wall outlet. I noticed there was no signal on TV and box was displaying a 'this channel would be available soon' message. Usually that means some kind of bad or no connection. Before I went up to the bedroom everything was running fine. Did plugging in the DVR/VCR unit blow the cable circuit ?

The way my place is set up is I have a splitter in attic which breaks up the incoming line into two circuits - one going down the front part of the house and other going down the back part. The back part also has a Comcast installed signal amplifier right after the splitter. The back line is further split to connect to the above mentioned DVD(R)/VCR setup in the bedroom and the digital settop box in living room.

After this blip last night the small TVs connected to the front side cable circuit seems to work just fine. I went up into the attic to take the amplifier out of the path and the signal was almost zero at that point in the bedroom DVR/VCR unit. I am now wondering if one side of the attic splitter blew up. Can that happen ? and just from plugging in a new VCR unit in the wall? strange.

I was planning on taking my small LCD TV into the attic and connecting it directly to the splitter output to see if the problem was there.

Have you guys seen such things before ?
posted by flyby22 to Technology (4 answers total)
I'm guessing two things:

First, I think you may have unplugged your cable box.

Generally, with the digital boxes, if you unplug them, they have to download the data for the channel guide.

Second, I think you have changed the wires in some way - either a new wire, a differnet wiring pln to your tv.

So, the easiest way to test it, would be to restore as much as possible....and keep the DVR out of the loop.

First, put the amplifier back. Someone from comcast installed it because the signal strength was too low where that box was connected.

I'd then connect the (I'm assuming it's coaxial) cable directly to your TV and see how the picture is. Then add back your DVR. You'll be able to identifiy what's going wrong.

If you blew the amp, you'll know - but I doubt it. I'm guessing that something is interfering from the DVR.
posted by filmgeek at 9:21 AM on April 6, 2006

This is probably a dumb question, but are the cables connected correctly to DVD/R in the bedroom (ie: input to input and output to output)? If they were reversed maybe the DVD/R is sending a signal up into the attic bouncing off the amp and confusing/jamming the STB.

Does the problem go away when you disconnect the bedroom DVD/R?
posted by banshee at 10:54 AM on April 6, 2006

Response by poster: i should have mentioned this before. disconnecting the DVR did not help.

I will check if the set top box got disconnected. But i doubt it because the connections are quite secure and i did not do anything recently to change that situation. But I will check.

Yeah I did check the In/Out connection a few time to make sure I did not connect to the wrong connector unless they are labeled wrong! did not think of that. but still does not solve my settop box problem.

I will go from room to room with my small LCD TV tonight to make sure it is not anything in the line.
posted by flyby22 at 12:03 PM on April 6, 2006

If you haven't already, try power cycling the STB. Unplug from the power outlet, wait a few and plug it back in.

I assume the amp is powered from somewhere? Maybe plugged into a GFCI outlet that has tripped?
posted by banshee at 1:02 PM on April 6, 2006

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