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Why do some channels suddenly show "This channel is currently unavailable. Try again later."

deedleann824deedleann824 Posts: 31 Participant
in Channels & Programming May 26, 2022

This usually happens in the "wee" hours and especially on the FXX channel. It is available, because if I go to another channel and come back, that temporarily fixes it, but it's annoying to have to do this almost every night.

Replies

  • William_MWilliam_M Posts: 256 Moderator
    May 27, 2022

    Hi @deedleann824! That error is normally caused by a signal or equipment problem. In most cases it can be resolved by rebooting the cable receiver, have you tried that?

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    May 27, 2022

    Hello @deedleann824 ,

    This issue can be caused by signal or equipment issues as well as maintenance. Spectrum usually does maintenance between midnight to 6am during the hours of least viewership, usually on Tuesday mornings. Although, any night during this service window is fair game. Do what @William_M suggested first, a cold reboot of the cable box. Power off everything for at least one minute, unplug the cable box for at least one minute, plug it back in, and allow the system to reboot..

    Any other services from Spectrum which you have disconnects? Such as Spectrum Voice (landline phone) or Internet? You may also try rebooting your modem/router following the same procedure above for the cable box if this is the case. Remember to wait for at least one minute before plugging anything back in to the wall or surge protector. Do the modem first, wait for it to reboot, than do the router. if you have wireless Internet.

    If this does not resolve the issue, you will need to contact Spectrum for a signal and drop line test.. You would than need to tune to the FXX channel when the tech is there, so that he can take a signal reading.

    Satch

  • deedleann824deedleann824 Posts: 31 Participant
    May 27, 2022

    Yes, I've tried cold rebooting. Doesn't help. None of my other cable services are affected, to my knowledge.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    May 27, 2022

    Thanks for the reply @deedleann824,

    Call Spectrum for a signal and drop line test and tune to that channel (FXX) when the tech is there to take a signal reading. Three years ago we had this issue with "Channel not avaliable" errors. Turned out that our wiring was about 30 years old. Tech had to do some re-wiring and the problem went away.

    Your drop line might have weathering or corrosion affecting signal strenth that can affect only a small number of channels from time to time. Box/equipment swaps won't solve bad signals or line issues. You also have at your option the ability to set up free signal monitoring from Spectrum. I would recommend that for 30 days after your tech visit.

    If your signals are good and your lines are good and you are still having problems with this channel after say, about mid June 2022, than you have a box issue. But all of the other things should be ruled out first. Box swaps should always be last resorts. For reference, any other channels that are also doing this? What time during the night does this happen? Or is it random? When did the problem start? Any bad storms or power surges in your area within the past month? Answer these questions for your tech visit as well.

    Satch

  • deedleann824deedleann824 Posts: 31 Participant
    May 27, 2022

    It usually happens between 1 and 2 am and has been doing this since I moved here. I fall asleep with the TV on and when the channel goes off, the silence actually wakes me up. Sometimes when I change the channel, I get a "Please wait" message, but the TV comes back on in about 20 seconds. I moved late December last year and got a new cable box then, so it isn't that old. I don't know how old the cable wiring is, but the house is about 30 years old and the cable is buried.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    May 27, 2022

    Thanks for this update @deedleann824

    Call Spectrum for a signal and drop line test in addition to a wiring check for your home. There is definitely something going on in relation to signals and or lines. This is only going to be resolved with a tech visit. Let us know how this goes.

    Satch

  • deedleann824deedleann824 Posts: 31 Participant
    May 27, 2022

    I had occasion to call Spectrum last week when half my channels disappeared. The technician I spoke with then said I had a good signal strength.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    May 27, 2022

    Hi @deedleann824

    The reps on the phone are not techs. They are customer service reps. They can check general signal levels. But over the phone, they can't do more than check basics. They can't check for the quality of the wiring or your line drop, nor specific problems that can only be seen by observing the conditions of your lines and signals in your home. You will get a much more extensive signal and line check with a tech visit.

    You will need this because of the following:

    Reboots have not solved this

    It's happening almost every night

    It's been that way since you moved in to your place and has not cleared up on its own.

    Your main cable drop, I suspect has not been physically checked for several years

    You mentioned FXX and some other channels being affected.

    You could live with this as it is, but because of the above issues, I don't think it's going to get better. You could be having signal issues or spikes between 1-2am. If users can pin down time like that, and every night with a lost unavaliable channel the first thing that says is you have a problem with your signal or your drop line, or something wiring and signal related that is going wonky between 1-2am on most days. A phone person will never be able to resolve this. You need a truck roll to check your drop line and main cable wiring.

    Satch

  • deedleann824deedleann824 Posts: 31 Participant
    May 28, 2022

    I had Comedy Central on at at 2:30 am and a message popped up that to continue watching, press any button. It's a different message that I get watching FXX and the picture and sound didn't stop - just that pop up message on ten screen.

  • Douglas035Douglas035 Posts: 1 Newcomer
    Jun 22, 2022

    Im going through the same issue 3 weeks now on demand hasn’t been working at all paying for services that haven’t been working. Error 101.


  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    Jun 22, 2022

    Hello, @deedleann824,

    Your "Comedy Central" message is different. You might be able to avoid seeing that message by turning off Power Times/Sleep times on your cable box. Look for "Power Save Mode in Settings" and switch that to "Off." . If these are on, you might have your box turn off after four hours of inactivity.

    The other possability is that Comedy Central is a Switched Digital Video Channel. or SDV These are digital sub-channels that have a limited amount of bandwidth slots. When a ton of people choose to watch an SDV channel all at once in the same time slot, you might get a condition where the show won't record, or you will get the "To cintinue watching this channel, press any key." Not all Spectrum cable divisions use SDV technology.

    Satch

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,574 Contributor
    Jun 22, 2022

    Hello @Douglas035,

    Welcome to the forum! If rebooting does not fix this, you should call Spectrum for a signal and drop line test. (Same if the issue is only fixed temporarily.) On Demand is very sensititve to signals and line issues. Tune to On Demand, and tell the tech about The "Error 101" message when he arrives to do the signal reading.

    Swapped boxes will never solve bad signals. These issues are corrected by replacing bad inside or outside wiring, or the drop line itself.

    Satch

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