Cable channels periodically disappearing

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Jpsd1
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 am

Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby Jpsd1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:17 pm

Every couple of months I lose up to 1/2 of my cable channels from Charter Spectrum So Cal. Sometimes I don't even notice for a while since the channels that disappear are not ones that I watch or record on a regular basis. When this occurs the cable card diagnostic menu indicates the channel list is being driven by the "cable card." My best guess is this an issue related to "switched digital video" and the channels that remain are available on my node without the tuning-resolvers having to send a request back to the Spectrum head-end.

To correct the problem I reboot both of my Cisco 1520 tuning-resolvers and re-scan the channels on both of my HDHR Prime boxes. Once the tuning-resolvers reboot the cable card diagnostic menu indicates the channel list is being driven by the "tuning-resolvers." This would indicate the tuning-resolvers are once again communicating with the Spectrum head-end to request channels that are not included on my node.

My best guess is the issue is related to Spectrum running some type of update on their system that impacts the connection between my tuning-resolvers and the head-end. That is only a guess and I am curious if any of the experts on this forum have any other ideas as to why this periodically occurs?

Missing channels I rarely watch is no big deal. Unfortunately, when a channel scan runs in the background while the tuning-resolvers are not communicating with the head-end, all of the channels I have previously deleted from the channel list have to be re-deleted when they reappear after the tuning-resolvers are rebooted. Sometimes this means I have to re-delete up to 300 channels.

rpcameron
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby rpcameron » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:43 pm

The problem is with the background channel scans that the Prime runs. A CableCARD tuner really shouldn't need to be scanned, as the CableCARD (or tuning adapter) will provide the channel list.

You are not alone. I have this problem across my 3 Primes (each with the same TA you have). Perhaps the nature of disappearing channels is more pronounced with Charter in SoCal, where I am as well. Myself and others have requested a firmware for the Prime without the background scans. SD hasn't responded.

LAdams
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:40 pm
Device ID: 10721169 107327F5 1326207B

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby LAdams » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:48 pm

I am having this same problem with my Charter Spectrum Cisco TA in northwest Alabama.

I have had some luck calling their automated support system and letting it reset my TA.

Larry

Jpsd1
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby Jpsd1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:50 pm

I am having this same problem with my Charter Spectrum Cisco TA in northwest Alabama.

I have had some luck calling their automated support system and letting it reset my TA.

Larry
Haven't ever tried calling Charter Spectrum for this problem since I can manually reboot the TA's and rescan to get the channels to reappear. Curious if you had to re delete the channels you don't use when they reappeared after your TA was reset by Charter?

rpcameron
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby rpcameron » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:11 pm

I am having this same problem with my Charter Spectrum Cisco TA in northwest Alabama.

I have had some luck calling their automated support system and letting it reset my TA.

Larry
Haven't ever tried calling Charter Spectrum for this problem since I can manually reboot the TA's and rescan to get the channels to reappear. Curious if you had to re delete the channels you don't use when they reappeared after your TA was reset by Charter?
Yes you do. To facilitate this, I made a copy of the lineup, so I can remember which ones change. Then, after setting one, I used Gary's HDHRUtils to copy the channel lineups from one Prime to the other 2.

Jpsd1
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby Jpsd1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:38 pm

The problem is with the background channel scans that the Prime runs. A CableCARD tuner really shouldn't need to be scanned, as the CableCARD (or tuning adapter) will provide the channel list.
I agree that the channels go away when the automatic channel scans run, but the underlying problem is that when the scan occurs the TA is failing to call home to get the channels that are not active on my switched digital video node. A clear indication of this is that a reboot of the TA and a channel scan causes the channels to reappear. A channel scan without the TA reboot does not make the channels reappear. Another indication that this is a TA communication issue is the channels that disappear are the channels that would seem to be the least popular. Still looking for an explanation as to why the TA is losing touch with the head end.

Jpsd1
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby Jpsd1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:45 pm

Yes you do. To facilitate this, I made a copy of the lineup, so I can remember which ones change. Then, after setting one, I used Gary's HDHRUtils to copy the channel lineups from one Prime to the other 2.
Unfortunately I have done it so many times I have memorized which channels to delete. Thanks for the tip on Gary's HDHRUtils. I will try that since I have two primes.

thedoomster
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:14 pm
Device ID: 131CC070
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby thedoomster » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:47 am

I've had the same problems with my Prime & Cisco TA on Charter/Spectrum in the Northeast. I'm glad someone finally articulated the problem better than I could and have some technical answers as to why. If the Prime is the main culprit here, that might explain why Spectrum has been been unable to fix this permanently, after multiple house calls and one escalated issue that took 2 weeks. This has been happening since April of this year, shortly after they converted to all-digital. This was when I also discovered that my TA (and 2 replacements) have been unable to communicate upstream to Spectrum's NOC.

I also use the TA/Prime reboots to (usually) fix the issue, although this doesn't always work. Tired of all the useless house calls by Spectrum techs with zero experience with cablecards, I'm just hoping for some hardware or system fix at some point.

I frequently just lose access to some channels. Sometimes access comes back and sometimes not unless I reboot. I had the disappearing channels happen twice last year, the second time I just waited a couple of days then did a rescan when I saw I could access on my WMC machine, which never lost the channel listings.

gtb
Expert
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:00 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA USA

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby gtb » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:14 pm

I'm just hoping for some hardware or system fix at some point.
Some of the Cisco TA's with certain firmware are known to just fall over(*). That is true with both the SD hardware, and the T-vendor hardware (making the "fix" likely to be in the TA). There have been various firmware updates that have in their release notes various "stability" fixes, and they might have changed the situation, but I don't know if it really does (and I doubt Charter has validated and rolled the latest greatest out in any case).


(*) The occurrence rate seem to vary, from often for some, to rarely for others. And, of course, when it happens people eventually just reboot the TA, or the tech reboots the TA, where the problem goes away until the next time(**).

(**) There are some people who have stated that they have put their TA on one of those light timers to reboot their TA in the middle of the night. It seems to be overkill, but they claim it works for them, and one cannot argue with success.

signcarver
Expert
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Device ID: 131B34B7 13231F92 1070A18E 1073ED6F

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby signcarver » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:05 pm

My general rule of thumb is with 3 tuners, one can usually get by for 2-3 months without rebooting the TA, with 4 tuners reboot monthly and with 6 tuners reboot the TA every 2-3 weeks... this has been true for me with t*, ceton, and less frequently prime (but it had fewest tuners I have had to support unless one goes back many years to an old t*).

However I recently moved into an RFoG location (at one time my provider insisted on not having TAs at RFoG locations as there is a known potential issue) and if the outside temp is over 85°F (frequent for phoenix), I find I have to reboot the TA at least weekly regardless of number of tuners (I haven't had to reboot since temps pretty much have stayed below 85 and have gone quite awhile now without issue until the temp was in the very low 30s °F overnight the other day- which made me think of the temperature because I had never heard temps bought up before about that potential RFoG issue).

gtb
Expert
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:00 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA USA

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby gtb » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:58 pm

However I recently moved into an RFoG location (at one time my provider insisted on not having TAs at RFoG locations as there is a known potential issue)
My (really old, vague) recollection was that Legacy DAVIC (for Cisco) or OOB (for Moto) does not (did not?) work (well, or at all) with the Aurora's (at least as initially deployed) due to OBI. Moving to DSG was one solution. I don't know what Cox eventually did.

emg60060
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:54 pm

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby emg60060 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:57 pm

I had a similar problem with Spectrum (TW). I called into tech support and they said everything on their end checked out. I changed out an older splitter and have had no problems since.

wileecoyote
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:47 am
Device ID: 1321A78E

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby wileecoyote » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:19 am

I too have this same issue every month or so. I never knew what was causing it, I presumed it was Spectrum pushing down updates to the TA.

Oddly enough, it usually happens on the day my wife gets home from work first and tries to watch a channel that has been removed. We use Live Channels so the channels still show in the guide (they do not refresh automatically like in the HDHR DVR app).

thedoomster
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:14 pm
Device ID: 131CC070
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby thedoomster » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:47 am

I haven't "lost" channels since mid-December, and it's only happened twice in 6 months. But I lose access to channels (error is "Unable to play channel. No video data") at least once a week, usually on the weekend or on Monday or both. A reboot of both devices usually fixes it.

I haven't been using the DVR because all my channels (except locals) are DRM and I have a Spectrum DVR. But I worry that once DRM recording is available I'll still have this issue messing with my recording schedule.

Jpsd1
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:51 am

Re: Cable channels periodically disappearing

Postby Jpsd1 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:54 pm

I had a similar problem with Spectrum (TW). I called into tech support and they said everything on their end checked out. I changed out an older splitter and have had no problems since.
Always open to possible fixes. Since I only have one 3 way splitter no reason to not give this a try.


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