View Full Version : Cable TV artifacts...anyone else seeing this?

05-08-2007, 03:18 PM
I've recently starting seeing what I would call "compression artifacts' on my COX cable television. The picture will freeze or blur in spots for a second or so and then correct. Happens consistently night after night and on many different channels, networks, etc. The local CBS channel is almost impossible to watch now. Dark scenes are a mess... frozen, blocky.

I do not have digital cable... only the original analog version but I'm wondering if something has changed at the head end and this is the result. My TV set is an 18 month old HD capable Samsung CRT. Cable direct into the back from the street. DVD's from my progressive Sony player via component in are absolutely clean.

Any theories out there before I call the cable company and have to deal with the customer service reps?


05-11-2007, 09:41 PM
I have been having problems like that for over a year now. I had Cox replace the DVR, replace the line from the house to their box, check signal range, send hits, etc. The problem has gotten better, but I still get some random problems still. I am tired of calling them on this issue. Ready to make my move over to Verizon FIOS soon.

08-12-2007, 06:28 PM
I have been putting up with this problem for almost two years now. It was the Internet access last year that was constantly going down. The TV on digital and analog was sporadic but tolerable.
The past several months, the TV reception has been INSANE. At the worst times, the TV picture and voice will FREEZE every 15 seconds or so. I did two random timing events and it froze 11 times in 7':32" on one check. The next check, it froze 11 times in 2'21". After that, I gave up plotting the performance.
I have had service people here constantly and they tell me the system is FINE.
Last Friday a blew up with the technician, (I am in an area that does not have DLS service so I am at the mercy of COX) and told him to resolve it or else. He checked his test equipment and said everything was fine, and while he was buttoning up, the problem started as bad as ever. He ran a new temporary line to the main service box and came directly to the TV and the problem went away.
There is a maintenance crew scheduled to be here tomorrow at 10:00am to run new lines.
The tech said that the COX infrastructure is 20 years old or so in a lot of areas and I am by far not the only one with these problems. COX does not want to pony up with the money to replace the obsolete connections because it will hurt their quarterly and annual numbers.
Talking to the techs at the 800 number, they say it is their understanding that if you don't continue to call them with problems, they are of the understanding that there are NO PROBLEMS.
You need to pound them continually and firmly until they repair the junk system they are forcing people to live with while they take your $150 a month.
A very frustrated COX prisoner.

10-16-2007, 12:33 PM
Much of what you are watching is captured by a 'dish', is processed, sent down the trunk lines, processed again and finally to you. To assure yourself of that just drive the main offices or the "head end" of your cable company and start counting dishes!

The following is part of a post I replied to on another Site... the points still remain for your Post, especially this part:

It is important to note that many things can impact the original signal and just because it's digital does not make that signal bullet-proof. Sunspot activity, rain, snow, moisture laden clouds, growing trees, aircraft and even transmitter problems within the satellite ~ a whole array of items and events can degrade digital signals. I'm sure you can think of more.

* So much depends on the quality of the ORIGINAL media. How good is that copy? Is it tape, DVD or a 'live' broadcast? The bottom line question is ~ how GOOD is the original source quality before transmissions?

* All satellite MEDIA is processed (think of shaped or modified when you read processed). Pictures and audio are encoded and sent to transmitters that relay pictures and audio UP up to a satellite via space and ether.

Digital, pictures and audio remain fairly accurate ~ but even that depends on how much processing happened between the original media and the hands of engineering controls on the ground! Technical equipment enhancements and limitations are a big factor too.

* So every step along the way ~ players, equalizers, limiters, transmitters, receivers and any path between the original media and your monitor (read TV) changes the original media in some way!

So at this point lets just assume the original quality was "outstanding" when sent and uploaded to the satellite(s).

* Up linked signals and media are DECODED within the satellite, processed and finally sent back to Earth.

* Signals are captured by Dish, sent thru coax, switches and finally to a receiver.

* Signals are DECODED again (we hope) and processed within the satellite receiver. Some receivers are built with performance and quality in mind and others are not. Hence, some provide better picture quality than others and it's all due to design and internal processing.

* Signals are then sent to outputs (SVIDEO, Audio and Video jacks, etc.) and are also sent to a RF MODULATOR ~ another transmitter for even more processing. The satellite receiver MODULATOR re-transmitts the signal again and sends it out to channel 3 or 4 via RF (radio frequencies).

* Your TV Tuner captures that processed RF (a low power TV station) and processes the signal again and then sends it to your TV Video and Audio decoders and what you see is what you get.

... therefore, your last choice should be the RF output of your receiver because so much is lost in translations.

At this point you see after all that processing lot's depends on the quality of your signal, your satellite receiver, TV/Monitor and how the signals are processed between the original media and to your ultimate display!

Wow, with SO much equipment and circuits processing/decoding ~ what is in the way of giving you "The BEST Picture Possible"? And just where was your picture quality lost?

Hope this helps!


10-23-2007, 09:43 AM
Wow, Pirate555, that post is so full if disinformation I wonder why your post count is at 1 when you posted it.


Reigster at SatelliteGuys