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Question about Intermittent Cable Card problems

 

New member
Username: John439

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-06
I've had a Sony HDTV for about 1 year now. I have Comcast Cable and a cable card for my connection.

The problem I'm having is that about 30% of the time I turn on my TV, I get the message that says "No Signal", and none of my cable channels will work. I can't even turn my TV off and on to get it working again, I actually have to physically unplug my TV from the wall and plug it back in to get the cable back and working. This has been going on since we got the TV and it has not slowed down. What makes the problem weird to me is that there really doesn't seem to be a pattern on when it happens. Sometimes it will not work 5 times in a row, other times it'll go a few days without happening. But on average it's probably about 30%.

We brought Comcast in recently, and they claim that it's Sony's problem, and that their cable card is fine. They said we either need to talk to Sony or get a cable box if we want the issue fixed. Has anybody seen anything like this before? thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: 1movibuff

Post Number: 34
Registered: Jul-06
John- I am a dispatcher for a cable company and I have heard of what you are describing, at least the part of intermittant "No Signal" on Sony TV's. If your tv is a Wega or Bravia, I have had great success restoring missing channels with a specific process I use. It is alot easier for me to work with a tech over the phone, but if you give me more specific info such as if you have a Wega or Bravia, is the cablecard a Motorola, which cable package do you have and what are some of the channels you are missing etc., then I can tell you the process I use and you can pass it on. I also need to know if you have cable service on any other tv's and if so, what is the reception like? Has anyone checked for a weak signal at the TV? On one service call that I worked with a tech on, the customer also had "weak signal" on various channels. The problem was not the cablecard or the Sony, but a weak downstream signal, on another service call the cablecard needed to be removed and reinstalled with the installation process I use.

We use Motorola cablecards & have a pretty high success rate getting cablecards to work. I put together a CC troubleshooting guide for our Tech Ops Dept. so I hope I will be able to help you out.
 

New member
Username: Say_what

Post Number: 4
Registered: Mar-06
1-800-222-SONY; http://www.updatemytv.com/
Sony reported issues with 2 models end of '05;
KDF-E42A10
KDF-E50A10
These lose digital channels.

They have also reported issues with the above models plus
Bravia KDL-
V26XBR1
V32XBR1
V40XBR1
not turning off or on when using cablecard.

Contact Sony, make sure your set is up to date on all available fixes, then see how it works.
 

New member
Username: John439

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-06
Thanks for the help, he's some more info:

My model is a Wega KDF-E50A10, I got it in Aug '05.

My cable card is a Motorola

We have had part of the house rewired, and Comast says the signal strength is fine.

I'm not exactly sure the package we have, but it the pertty standard one that Comcast has. SOmething like Digital Silver maybe?

Unfortunately we can't troubleshoot this anywhere else because we don't have any digital cable boxes in the house, just the cable card on the HD set. Because of that our other TV's only receive the standard cable channels (the non-digital ones) and we have never had a problem with the other TV's.

The only TV we've had the problem with is the Sony HD. I don't have a problem actually getting it to turn on or off, the problem is that when we do turn it on none of the cable channels come through (it's not just select cable channels we're missing, it's all of them). We have to unplug it probably 3 to 4 times a week, so any problem whose long term solution is to unplug & re-plug in the TV set probably does not apply to us. And again, this is a random problem. Sometimes it will work fine when we turn it on, sometimes it won't. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. Oh, and I have tried to pull out the cable card but that has no affect whatsoever.
 

Bronze Member
Username: 1movibuff

Post Number: 36
Registered: Jul-06
John- There are several things I suggest you try. Sony Wega has a hide/show feature in the menu in 'settings'. If any channels are set to 'hide' they will appear to be missing, and can only be accessed with the 0-9 buttons. If you select to hide or show a major digital channel, all the sub-channels are automatically hidden or shown. I don't know if this is the problem and you may already know about it, but it is worth a try.

One thing I always do is try to verify where the problem is and that is by process of elimination. You already have isolated the problem to only the HDTV. You mentioned when you pull the cablecard out it has no affect. Do you mean there are still no channels? Have you tried running Auto Program and also verifed the input is on cable and not antenna? There is a diagnostics feature in the menu for the cablecard, go into that and see what the screen shows.

One thing we try if we have trouble with a cablecard is we take the cablecard out and hook up an hd receiver. We do that because we want to make sure the tv can pick up all the channels in the package that it is supposed to. If all the channels come in with the HD box, then we know the problem is getting the cablecard to work. If an error code of 161-4 or 161-6 has been displayed, then you will need a Sony certified technician.

This is what I do with my techs when they are working on a Sony Wega or Bravia:

1- Instruct the tech to verify all channels on the analog tier are working.

2- Power down the TV and insert the cablecard. (if the card is in the TV I have the tech take the card out, wait a while & then reinsert it)

3- Power up the TV and wait for the set to display pairing info.

4- Add the card to the customer's account. (if it is already on the account, remove the serial # cycle it & put it back on the acct-done by dispatcher)

5 Send an "INT" hit to the card. (dispatcher must do this)

6- Go into the TV menu and find the cablecard.

7- Select reset in the cablecard menu.

Check the channels, it may take a minute or two for the channels to come in, but if nothing is mechanically wrong with the TV this will work. If you schedule another service call tell the tech about this procedure and it should make sense to him. You may also want to ask the tech to check the downstream level at the outlet where the TV is connected.

Believe me, the technicians really want to get the service working for you. I wish I lived in your area so I could assist you over the phone, but I'm sure it will get fixed. I hope some of this may be of help to you. Let me know what happens.
 

New member
Username: Say_what

Post Number: 5
Registered: Mar-06
OK, I will try to make this more clear.

Sony KDF-E50A10 manufactured before Oct 2005.
Digital channels cannot be tuned, whereas they could be when TV was last turned on. Analog channels remain tuneable. Resetting restores the channels.

Contact Sony 1-800-222-SONY, and report you are losing digtal channels. The Sony customer representative will arrange a service call for the customer.

This is almost word for word from the Sony issue report.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ricksribs

Post Number: 13
Registered: Jan-05
Hey 1movibuff....How about a Philips Plasma(50PF7220A/37)Adelphia/TW-Motorola CC...
CC will not hold any channels above 100 with TVGOS enabled. I had everything working flawlessly from April -July....


When I disable TVGOS I get all my channels.
I have had numberous CC replacements..
And Philips wont address the ploblem..
Actually they took out TVGOS with their new firmware upgrades.
Any suggestions??
Thanks,
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 817
Registered: Mar-05
Rick~ has your cable company changed their channel line-up recently?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ricksribs

Post Number: 14
Registered: Jan-05
Cableguy...No...All my favorites are still listed no matter how many new cable cards they have switched out
TW says this fall they will make changes for all of us... ex-Adelphians....

This has me REALLY stumped...

TVGOS works flawlessly with my OTA...
I have tried to hook up one of my HD boxes(motorola) to get TVGOS to work...But nobody can tell me what code to use...In TVGOS configuring window....My box is not listed...I have sat there & tried every code that TVGOS ask me to search for... nothing came up...Called Adelphia/TW and ask them...no help!!!

I have had cablecard & TVGOS work perfectly for 4 months...
I really like using the cablecard w/TVGOS....
But I might have to settle for disabling TVGOS & be satisfied that my cablecard works..
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 819
Registered: Mar-05
Rick~ I wish I could be more of more help on this issue, but when it comes to TVGOS data that is all on the manufacturing end of things. It would be beneficial for you to keep on Philips about this issue. I can't recall anybody in our system having problems with a Philips TV and TVGOS. The best thing you can do is ask to see if Philips can forward this problem to an engineer and see if they can figure out what is causing the conflict. I can assure you the cable company isn't going to be much help with TVGOS conflicts. The fact that it works with TVGOS disabled would indicate that there is a conflict when it is enabled and the cable card has nothing to do with the TVGOS feature. All the data for the guide comes in on a GEMSTAR feed (usually on PBS). The software for the TVGOS is part of a feature that Philips opted for, which is why I recommend you keep on them about this issue.
As for your HD box not being listed in the TVGOS feature, again this has to deal with your TV manufacturer software not identifying a Motorola STB. I am curious though, does it list any motorola equipment or none? Instead of spending so much time calling TW, make a few phone calls to Philips and see what they have to say. I work for a cable company, and I can tell you first hand you're not going to get a lot of help when it comes to TVGOS features not working right. The manufacturer is going to be your best bet.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ricksribs

Post Number: 15
Registered: Jan-05
cableguy...thanks for the info...You say that Philips opted for the TVGOS software...then why do you think that they have ommitted it from their last 3 firmware upgrades??

No..TVGOS does not list any motorola equipment..
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 823
Registered: Mar-05
Rick~ why do I think they have omitted it from their last 3 firmware upgrades?"
It would be foolish for me to try and guess why they do what they do, that would be a better question to ask them. You could assume that since they have opted to omit it, it would indicate to me that they've been having problems with it and the easier solution was to remove it. Let them tell you why they removed it, as a consumer you purchased the TV based on the features and they have taken away a feature.
Since the TVGOS doesn't list any options for motorola equipment, it might help if you can find a support number for TVGOS and see if they can tell you why they have left a major equipment manufacturer out of their options.
 

New member
Username: Natg

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-06
I want to share a similar problem. I have a Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 that was purchased in January 2006. I began using the cable card, which worked and got great reception on the Hi-Def channels and almost all regular channels EXCEPT these four: Comedy Central, Sci-fi, WTBS, and one other I don't remember. These four have terrible pixelation and digital noise - constantly breaking up and unwatchable.

I live in New York City and TimeWarner is my cable provider. They have checked all the cable equipment and tested the signal strength, and deemed it all to be working fine. The problem is only with the cable card -- When they connect a cablebox, all channels look fine. The have replaced the cable card several times. They've connected the same cable card to another customer's TV and it works fine. So the problem would seem to be the TV or specifically the cable card tuner. Sony sent a repairman to replace the cable card tuner. This did not solve the problem. Then they replaced the motherboard of the TV. This did not solve the problem. THEN they sent me a completely new TV, and THIS did not solve the problem. So I turn back to TimeWarner thinking it's the cable somehow. TimeWarner sends a foreman with a test TV -- a Sharp Aqueous, hooks it up with my cable card in my apartment to my cable, and it works fine -- all channels look great. So now, the issue seems to be with Sony and perhaps the software. This is where we currently stand. Sony is sending a representative out (again) to confirm that the problem is still occurring, at which point the customer svc rep says they will consider possibly exchanging again or buying back the TV.

I have heard that Sony Bravias have a lot of problems. The new Bravias don't even have cablecards, so clearly that was not a big success for Sony.

Just thought I'd share this information for anyone else who may be dealing with similar issues.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 834
Registered: Mar-05
Thanks for sharing...hopefully they'll resolve it soon. Just curious though, if you can tune to one of the channels you're having a problem with, then go into your Sony menu (I believe under applications). Right above your cable card option there is a TV diagnostic option. Go into that option and relay the information displayed please. The information on that screen will indicate the status of the channel, SNR and any errors. It also indicates the FDC information as well.
 

New member
Username: Natg

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-06
Cableguy,

Thanks for your interest. I am going out of town for the weekend but I will do it when I get back. I'm interested to hear your thoughts about this.
 

New member
Username: Xmascheer

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-06
Here's my fix and hope this works for you. I've been having this cable card problem with no signal decoded for the past year. After 3 new cable cards from comcast, a Sony tech upgrading my firmware, trying some of the suggestions on this post, nothing worked. So I started looking at the settings to see if there's anything that looked amiss.

I noticed that my clock on the TV wasn't set. Now I didn't even think this would have anything to do with the cable card problem but I went ahead and set the clock. It's been a week since I set the clock and the problem has seemed have to gone away.

If your clock isn't set, give it a try and see if it helps.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Pixelswim

Post Number: 12
Registered: Feb-07
And since I bet there will be others searching old cablecard threads for answers like I have been doing, let me add that a Samsung tier2 support guy told me always include resetting the clock in conjunction with any significant cablecard events like setup or channel changes. He said even if the date/time are right, you should still perform a manual clock reset.
 

New member
Username: Gdi

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-07
I too have a 1 yr old 40" LCD Sony XBR Bravia with the cablecard. After ~9mos it too started pixelating on several channels. The 'bad' channels would change sometimes, but always some kind of pixelating/breaking up would take place.Cox came out, and after some tapdancing, began to troubleshoot the hookup/card settings. After long checks on the signal/cable run, changing the card, etc.,they finally hooked THEIR cable up directly from the TV to the pole. No improvement. They then tried a cable box...end of problem. Two days, no problem. Since I didn't want a set-top box, they came I gave it back.

I then talked to Sony and they too said it wasn't their prob...it MUST be the Cox guys. After relating (with some persistance) the Cox tests to them, as well as noting other users having trouble with the Sony guts, they sent out a tech (Sears). After a lot of back/forth with them and Sony, Sony (Texas) admitted that there MIGHT be an issue with these sets. Sears and Sony first tried the CC tuner change-out, no help. Then they sent in and changed two more small boards...voila!! fixed. Even the OTA/rabbit ears reception is MUCH better. It took a while, but I like the result. Bill
 

New member
Username: Lazylyn

Racine, WI United States

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-07
my digital phone is not working people call me and it rings but nothing on my end the only thing is that i can see who is calling on my tv because of caller id. did my phone get shut off or is there something going on with cable.
 

New member
Username: Rosyhf

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-07
Hi, I'm new to the board. Hello everyone.

I have a Sony 60 inch hdtv, LCD Projection, Wega engine, dolby digital. I can't see a number on the tv but the book says: Grand Wega, Lcd Projection Tv, KDF-E55A20, this is one number and KDF-E60A20 is the other number under it. The tv is hooked up to a HD cable box and a bose surround sound. this tv is 2 1/2 years old. The other two tv's: one has a regular box and one has no box and they work fine all the time.

The HD tv has been hooked up to cable about a month ago with no problems. (it was on dish befor with no problems). Now all of a sudden the screen will black out in the middle of a program and on any channel. The black outs can occure after two hours of operation or whenever. Three cable guys have come out so far and each did something else. The last one did something to the signal in the attic, who knows. They have never changed the box. I have a strong feeling it's the hd cable box. What do you think. I mean, everything worked fine until the cable a month or so ago.......
 

New member
Username: Rosyhf

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-07
Hi, the problem with the tv was it needed a new lamp. I got estimates of 385.00 to come install it....an earlier estimate of 95.00 to check to see what was wrong with the tv. After doing a bunch of research I remembered the lamp or light had to be change in two or three years. I order it from http://www.amatteroffax.com..for 145.00 and installe it myself in 5 minutes.
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