Frequent channel drop

GA
GA Posts: 13 Participant
edited September 2023 in Watch TV 2023 Archive

Long time TWC/Charter/Spectrum user with a Motorola DCX340M box and i-Guide.

Starting about 6 months ago, I have to reset the box almost weekly after what appears to be updates pushed to our region.

I'm just trying to understand why this happens, what exactly is going on (are these actually updates pushed?), or what could cause this periodical channel loss? It's always the same channels, and only a box reset solves the problem.

On top of this, and the most annoying part, is that I have to also update my "favorites" channels lists (since this box/guide allows multiple fav lists).

Anybody has any insights and maybe a solution to bypass this situation?

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Best Answer

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor
    Answer ✓

    Hi @GA

    I think your box is dying. These are your options:

    1.) Another tech call to try to get an Arris DCX 3500 series box with the hope it runs I-Guide

    2.) A trip to a Spectrum Store to try to get another Arris 3500 series box in the hope it runs I-Guide

    3.) You have to bite the bullet and get a World Box with Spectrum Guide, because clock boxes are no longer in your division. This could happen on a tech visit or a store visit.

    4.) Unfortunately, since you had signals and lines checked out, and that was OK. It's a more than decades old box causing the drops, and the box has to be upgraded.

    #3 might come down to your only choice. I wish we could do more for you.

    Satch

Answers

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    If you're not seeing anything like "unable to tune" or "will be available shortly" on any of the lost channels and being as how the flash storage is getting wiped out every time this happens, i would have to guess that the box is starting to crap out.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    Hello GA,

    Welcome to our Community!

    The first thing that you would need to do is call Spectrum to arrange for a signal and drop line test. (Especially if you are having problems with the same channels, and need to reboot weekly.) A new box will not solve signal or line problems. Your lines/wiring need to be checked and updated if the lines and wiring are poor. Tune to those problematic channels so that your tech can take a signal reading. Bad weather, animal chews, aging lines/wiring cause these problems.

    If your signals and lines check out well. Than it is time to replace the cable box. However, a tech visit and signal/drop line test will be mandatory to fix this.

    Satch

  • Jaleesa_F
    Jaleesa_F Posts: 271 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator

    Good morning GA,

    Welcome to the Community! I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing issues with the cable box, I m happy to look into this for you. You mentioned that you constantly have to reboot, what is happening specifically that prompts the reboot? Are you missing channels? Is there picture quality issues? Do you have more than one cable box in the home? If so, does this happen on all boxes?

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I had a tech visit some time ago, no issues found with the cabling to the outside box, or inside wiring. The way I think our neighborhood is networked is that there's a distribution hub down the street (since I occasionally see comp. personnel working there), and individual cable boxes outside our homes (this is a condo development).

    So if anything is wrong with my local connection, I'd suspect the issue is most likely down the street, rather than my personal connection. But, since this loss of channels happens more often and at random times during the day, my suspicion is more related to software updates that are pushed to consumers. I can see changes in the cable box tech menu related to software versions).

    Re the HDR being outdated, I understand that point. True, this DCX is prolly +10y old and tech and soft advanced since then. Obviously, from a comp. perspective, would be ideal that all consumers use the latest and same cable boxes. However, I've not seen favorable reviews for the latest generation of boxes available, so that holds me from "upgrading".

    Being used to having multiple favorite lists (for ex movies, sports, news, etc.) is hard for me to switch to a single list of more than 60-70 channels I normally watch. And from a user experience perspective, I'm still not convinced that the newer guides are better than this 20y old i-Guide (which is not great, but at least is workable).

    And for @Jaleesa, I have 1 HDR box, "constantly reboot" happens randomly, far more frequently than lets say 6-8 months ago, the same channels are always dropped ("channel will be available shortly"), and the only remedy is to reboot the box. With the annoying side effect of needing to update my favorite lists.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    Thanks for the updates GA,

    Are there other people in your Condo that are having these same issues? If they are, they should call Spectrum to report these issues, as it is something inside or outside your condo dwelling.

    If no one else is having issues and since you had your signals and lines tested recently, and they are OK and your box is now about 10 years old, the box may be dying, or it's hardware limitations because of its age can't handle the updates, so Spectrum is pushing out "Best they can do" with your older model.

    A lot of places that don't give out the World Boxes, (4 tuner boxes with no clock on the panel) still give out older boxes. If you get a box with a clock, it will be older than than the new World Box, but it should have what you want in terms of features to which you are accustomed and it should work. I would swap out the box.

    Satch

  • Jaleesa_F
    Jaleesa_F Posts: 271 ✅ Verified Employee Moderator
    edited February 2023

    GA-

    Thank you for responding, I certainly understand how that can be annoying. In this instance, there are a couple of things that we can try to resolve the issue. You can try swapping your cable box for a new one at the local office or we can send out a technician to further investigate. Please let us know how you'd like to proceed.

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    Thanks for all your replies and suggestions. For now, I'm going to stick to my current box until the day a newer, better one, comes out. It looks like there's no way to bypass whatever is going on with these service updates, but the lack of features on new boxes is a deal breaker for me.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor

    Sup GA?

    Thank you for the updated information. I understand. I was reviewing your thread, and from what I gather, I-Guide has the ability to create multiple favorites lists. A feature that the newer guides don't have, and you don't want to lose that functionality.

    A question that I have, what happens if you don't reboot your box in these once a week intervals?

    Contact us anytime for help, or if anything changes.

    Satch

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    @Satch, not sure what happens if I don't reboot?! These are channels that I watch daily, so never had the patience to wait days to see what happens.

    Meanwhile, I've chatted with a rep and he confirmed that it's not possible to set multiple fav lists with the new guide. You can set your fav list, but even if there are preset categories such as sports, news, broadcast, movies, etc. you can't associate the favs to these preset categories. When you select one of these categories you'll get the full set of channels as assigned by Spectrum, instead of getting only the fav channels in that category as set by user.

    Wonder why, since if this guide is database driven, that shouldn't be such an impossible task! Anyway, the missing clock/channel display on these newer boxes is another drawback.

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    Hi GA,

    That does sound like a cool I-Guide feature with the multiple favorites list! (I don't have I-Guide in my market, but I know that I-Guide can take a long time to re-populate with channel data.) You raise some great points! Newer is not always better.

    What I mean by, if you don't reboot. does the box freeze up. or does I-Guide just show a blank channel space in the Time Grid Cells or "To be Announced" instead of actual programing in the Time Grid Cells? And therefore the only way to get that programing back is to reboot and go through the tedious task of reprogramming your favorites list?

    Are you in a legacy Charter Market, or a legacy Time Warner Cable/Brighthouse Networks market? I am guessing Legacy Charter, because those are I-Guide markets in a lot of those areas.

    To end this weekly reboot and channel reset frustration, I wish there was some way for there to be a guarantee that if you got a new box that it ran I-Guide, so you would not lose any of the features you love. Unfortunately, don't count on any new boxes anytime soon. World Box is the latest and is newest and there are no plans for Spectrum to develop any new box models at this time.

    It's not easy to let go of features and technology for many people if they have been using them for many years.

    Regards,

    Satch

    PS. I don't know if this is a consolation, but with the new Spectrum Guide, and with ODN, which I run, you can create a list of Favorite Channels, and than you have the option to filter the guide to show only Favorite Channels in the Time Grid. But it is correct that you can't set multiple favorite channels lists on the new guides.

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    Yes, after each reboot, the guide will take some time to repopulate. That's another annoyance with this reboot process, but in general I can live with it.

    My market is a legacy TWC/Brighthouse, and these boxes and guides are at least 10y old. The fav feature though, pretty sure is not a hardware enabled feature, but a software/i-Guide option. If this multiple fav list was possible to implement more then 10y ago, on a guide that looks like a '90s application, I'm positive it could be implemented today in the latest Spectrum guide. Since this latest guide is Web based, or can be run on the newer boxes, there's no reasonable explanation why it's not available today.

    Even this option you mention to select only the fav list of channels in the menu seems to be missing from the Spectrum app (I use it on my laptop and phone). You have to go all the way to Settings to select Favorites, but when switching to live tv, is not available in the dropdown list of categories!

    Hopefully somebody on the Spectrum's Product team in charge with the app development will realize these are useful options and implement them.

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor

    Are you sure you wouldn't be able to upgrade to an Arris/Motorola DCX3500, or better, running i-Guide?

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    In order to upgrade to a "newer" old box like Moto 3500, I'd have to take a trip to the local store. From what I remember last time I've went to one, they were giving out only the latest boxes and retire the old ones.

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor

    The Worldboxes may be HDMI-only (mine is) so maybe they have some shadow-stock DCX’s available for people who need component or composite video or even for existing subscribers who just want an in-kind replacement.

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    What baffles me the most is this Fav feature missing on this latest Spectrum guide!

    They already have a fav list, but the implementation is rather useless from a user perspective. At the same time, they have all sorts of categories under the LiveTV menu. All they have to do, from a programatic perspective, is to add the fav channels to each category, per user.

    Logically they need to simply check if the user has favs set, and select from the list only the channels specific to each category. And display them in LiveTV menu under each category. User would select let's say Sports, and see only the fav channels in that category. Instead of scrolling through 72 channels of sports, you'd have to choose from 10-15 you normally watch. And if you really want to make it nice, add another extension to the LiveTV menu to also display the programming for each channel. Instead of getting out of the LiveTV screen, and go to Guide for programming. Just like this old i-Guide works!

  • Satch
    Satch Posts: 5,225 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    @GA and @HT_Greenfield,

    Sup Guys?

    To avoid the hassle of going to a Spectrum store, I wonder would it hurt to just have a tech come out and simply say to him, "I don't want a World Box as a replacement." Food for thought, do you guys think that if you get another box in GA's market that he could get a DCX 3500 or higher that does not run Spectrum Guide, and runs I-Guide?

    You would have to set up the appointment with Customer Care, as a troubleshoot call by saying something, "My channels don't come in on the guide." It would be a free call as a troubleshoot and at least because of that it couldn't hurt. Just say,to your tech, "I don't want a World Box, nor do I want Spectrum Guide on a swapped box."

    I would hope that your tech could boot up a replacement DCX 3500 (or higher) to see what kind of guide is on it before taking the DCX 3400 off the account. That would be critical, If he can't, you could be stuck with the new guide regardless of box model.

    However, we can probably all agree that that 10+ year old box is on borrowed time. So by sticking with it, you could simply be delaying the inevitable. At the same time, I can understand why you want to hold onto that box and I-Guide.

    Satch

  • HT_Greenfield
    HT_Greenfield Posts: 603 Contributor
    edited February 2023

    Right, @GA . You should request that under Suggestions & Feedback. My Library in Spectrum Guide also has Recently Watched (channels) and Watchlist (shows) as well as Favorites (channels.) You can get a feel for the heuristics of all of that via watch.spectrum.net for whatever it’s worth, although i gather that you already have.

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    As I type, I'm dealing with another of these channel drops!

  • GA
    GA Posts: 13 Participant

    @Satch and everybody else, thanks for looking into this issue and your recommendations.

    I'm going to keep the current box for now while I'm exploring other options.

This discussion has been closed.