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DVR

WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
edited July 10 in TV Equipment Jul 10, 2021

I’m very disappointed with Spectrum’s quality control. We purchased a new channel lineup and found that several of the channels were not pulling up full screen. I went through quite a bit of troubleshooting with a tech and nothing worked. Even the zoom feature was not working. Spectrum decided to send another DVR which was not only the oldest model with lower resolution but had a defective LED display. This time we scheduled someone to come out. He also left us with an older model. My husband didn’t mind because of the home networking which gives you the ability to record on one DVR and be able to view on another. However, I was skeptical of the performance due to age which the tech had already mentioned. He talked to us about the newest model and mentioned it would be more reliable and with much better resolution and a more user friendly menu. The older models have all been refurbished repeatedly giving continual problems.

My skepticism wasn’t unfounded. After the tech left, the DVR shut down and reset twice. I immediately called Spectrum with the problem and said that they could send another but couldn’t guarantee model!!! The manager also told us that the DVR did a restart because it had just been installed which I understand it could do once but not twice while at the same time losing functions. I pleaded with a manager to please try to get us the more reliable model and she gave us a location where we could pick one up. After making the trip, well not so!! They had no inventory whether there or in any other location in town. So we returned home with the old DVR willing to give it another chance. It has shut down again 3 times since we installed it each time losing recordings and functions. What’s more the home networking is not working.

I notified a Spectrum Manager and he said he was going to try to arrange to send me the better model and someone would call back in 2 hours but certainly the same day with an update. I waited 2 hours and called for a possible update and no update! It’s been already 9 hours and not a peep from anyone. Never have I had such terrible service!

I won’t mention here all the trouble we’ve had with their internet equipment over quite a bit of time but suffice it to say that I ended up purchasing my own router.

Comments

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 10 Jul 10, 2021

    @WBB,

    Oh Wow! Those are some frustrating experiences. I will try to help one step at a time. To begin, since you have had issues with multiple DVR's, you don't have a box problem. And since you also have Internet problems, you have a signal/line problem or a wiring problem inside or outside your home.

    Personal story, about three years ago, we had our box missing recordings, poor Internet signals, and sometimes calls would drop on Spectrum Voice. A tech came out, and did a signal and drop line test, finding out that our main line was over 30 years old and almost completely dead. He did a complete re-wire of our home and put in a brand new drop line, and also replaced some dated connections on the outside of house. Everything has worked great since those lines and wiring got upgraded.

    If you have never had your signals and drop line tested, no equipment boxes, modems, or router exchanges will ever solve your problem, storms, aging wiring, animal chews, old cables need to be updated. I would contact Spectrum for a compete signal and drop line test of your home and wiring. You can also contact Spectrum to set up signal monitoring on your account. I would recommend this for 30 days. Than they can trace the issues and determine what needs to be replaced. You should be able to go for YEARS without equipment replacements many times. But that won't make a difference unless your signals are good to great, your drop lines are good, and your inside wiring is good. I would also have your tech check On Demand services. These can be a main cause of signal/ line problems. Equipment swaps won't solve bad signals. Replacing the lines and wiring do that. Call Spectrum for a signal and drop line test.

    Also have the tech check your wall outlet wiring connection as well.

    Satch

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    edited July 12 Jul 12, 2021

    Thanks so much for your input! We’ve actually had multiple techs come out to the house including Quality Control and the wiring issue has been resolved. We did have a bent wire in the outside box replaced as well as an outside wire that was deteriorated and crackling. All other wires have been tested including the drop line. The equipment also has something to do with good reception and several of the techs have indicated that Spectrum routers are not the best quality but the modems are fine. It is very important to me to have good equipment because I work from home and is very frustrating to lose connection while working. I decided to use their modem but purchased a good router. I’ve had no problems since.

    As for the cable box, the one I had before getting a new channel lineup was working fine but with the new channels, I wasn’t able to bring up full screen on several. I tried all options with the help of a tech and nothing worked. The zoom and other options were not working. Second box sent was defective (their oldest model). third box brought in by a tech (also oldest model) kept shutting down while losing recordings and functions, fourth model (a later model) back to the same, works but can’t zoom and other functions unavailable. So back to speaking to a Manager this time who requested that a Spectrum Guide 2.0 be sent to me. He was very honest and told me that the current model that I am using is NOT COMPATIBLE with the guide which is why I can’t zoom or make other changes. He said I would need model 201 or 210. I received the box today only it wasn’t the 2.0 or models 201 or 210 but their OLDEST model. I didn’t waste time installing it. It wasn’t what we were expecting and the current one we’re using has a better resolution than their oldest models and not shutting down. I picked up the phone again with rep who discussed the situation with his Manager and to make a long story short, they’re again sending a tech tomorrow with the 2.0 in their vehicle. Do I believe them? Well beginning with the fact that the 2.0 isn’t available in any of the stores locally, I don’t know how I can get it delivered tomorrow so quite frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 12 Jul 12, 2021

    Very important element here. Assuming you have an HD TV with either HDMI or Component Cable.

    The Normal, Zoom, and Stretch functions only work with Standard Definition channels and will not work with HD channels. You have to accept the HD channels, if they are showing an SD program with the bars on the side, you can not change that. I am referring to all boxes and guides. On the ODN Guide with Normal, Stretch, and Zoom, you can only do those options on SD channels. Since 90% of Spectrum's line up is HD regardless of the channel entered, these functions will not work. If an old SD series shows on an HD channel, there is no way around it, regardless of program guide, you will get sidebars. ODN guide is on former TWC/Brighthouse Networks box with clocks.

    Furthermore, Spectrum Guide on World Box (no clock) I am about 80% sure does not have the SD channel for Stretch and Zoom. You also can't get SD boxes anymore. Very shocked that this was never mentioned by a tech.

    Satch

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    Jul 12, 2021

    We have an HD TV with HDMI. I don’t know what to say. The zoom and stretch worked with the oldest box on these channels but the resolution was not as good whether zoomed or not and as mentioned, the 2 that we received were faulty. I will not accept another because of age and resolution. What I can tell you is that I have friends/relatives in different parts of the country who receive these same channels and they have not experienced this problem. The full screen pulled up on their HD TVs without having to zoom.

    I’m at this time no longer concerned about the clock. As it is, the clock doesn’t display on our current box, only the channel and there is no way to change it. We ended up placing a small alarm clock with digital display in the area to check the time. I guess we’ll see what happens when and if we receive the World box. At the very least, if the channel that I am most interested in doesn’t pull up full screen, I understand that the resolution is improved and the guide more user friendly.

    Thanks so much for sharing this information.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    Jul 12, 2021

    OK!

    So considering that signals and line drop have been checked out, all you need now is a working box. Glad to help with understanding of how the zoom works. Boxes and guides will vary in different parts of the country. If you are in a legacy TWC/Brighthouse Networks market, you will most likely get an ODN guide clock box or a Spectrum World Box. If you are in a legacy Charter market you will either get World Box with Spectrum Guide or an older box running one of several older guides.

    A picture will always have some distortion when stretched for zoomed. When stretched, horizontal areas are extended to fill the screen. When zoomed, the top and bottom vertical areas are cut off. Standard definition sets are in a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is how older TV shows and series from the 50's-90's were filmed, hence the horizontal bars. Sometimes the station will take a 4:3 SD program and stretch it at the source. You won't see the side bars, but you will see a slightly distorted image that fills your screen Family Entertainment TV, (FETV) is noctorios for doing this. Other stations take SD content and broadcast it in it's intended 4:3 aspect ratio. High definition channels and programs are in 16:9 aspect ration, to fill the screen with a full image that is not slightly distorted. You will find on most Spectrum Boxes and Guides, as well as other vendor providers around the country that about 90% of their content is now in true HD. Additionally, Spectrum has aligned it's channel line up in most area to auto tune to the HD version of a channel, if you select what used to be an old SD channel, if you had cable years ago. Spectrum Guide is designed to accept the naitive pass through resolution as intended by the show's broadcaster.

    You have no control over what box a tech is going to bring or what boxes are going to be at a Spectrum Store. You should be able to go for several years with a good working box. Most of the clock boxes are 2-tuners. No clock World Boxes are 4 tuners. In legacy TWC/Brighthouse Markets there were 6 tuner clock boxes out there, but they are becoming very very rare

    To check the guides in your area, Google Search "What Guide do I have?", Spectrum. One of the first results will be a page that comes up and you will be asked to enter your street address and zip code. You will than get a list of guides with a tutorial on how to use them. Pick the guide that matches up to the one you have.

    Tips- Picture pixilation, loss of picture, picture freezing sound problems, On Demand working intermittently? These are often the results of signals or line problems. Box swaps won't fix this.

    Excessive rebooting, a clicking sound from the DVR? This is most often a bad box. Expect one reboot from new equipment, two at most. Otherwise a bad box is likely.

    Satch

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    edited July 12 Jul 12, 2021

    You’re obviously very knowledgeable. Are you a Spectrum tech or employee? Seriously, if channels are available for purchase then you should be able to view them appropriately or be advised otherwise. I understand how the zoom works and the distortion. I also understand about older programs/movies in SD. I’ve been watching MeTV for quite some time. However, the channel that I’m most interested in, in our new channel package has current HD programming which does not come up full screen. What’s more the black bars are much wider than in the old black & white MeTV programs.

    There’s no question that the box that was shutting down was defective. It shut down initially twice. When the store couldn’t provide the 2.0, we gave it another chance and after installing it again, it shut down 3 times in a relatively short period of time and again while losing recordings as well as functions.

    ”A good working box” are the operative words and that hasn’t happen. We’ve been customers of TWC/Spectrum for many years and it’s been since Spectrum took over that Customer Service and quality control of equipment has not been up to par. It took way too long for techs to figure out the signal problems and identify the bad wires. However, purchasing a good router also helped.

    The only problem that we’ve been having with the cable boxes is what I’ve already mentioned. No On Demand problems, etc., etc.

    Whatever box is provided, I’m hoping that the problem can be resolved.

    I’ll definitely check the Guides on Google. Great tip! Thanks for your help.

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    Jul 13, 2021

    Update:

    A supervisor and tech dropped by with 2 of their latest model DVRs. Per the supervisor the World boxes are no longer in circulation. Instead they’ve used the same casings and installed new software. This is their most updated DVR but, per the tech, updates have not been made in the last 3-4 years. The first box had a defective on/off light. Again, bad quality control. The second one was in good shape. Resolution is very good on most channels - certainly better but not great on the one channel of interest. The box was not able to zoom. I can use the TV’s remote to widen but not ideal. I’ll live with the smaller picture in order to enjoy the better resolution. Unfortunate that this channel doesn’t come up full-screen automatically as in other areas/parts of the country.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 13 Jul 13, 2021

    No, I don't work for Spectrum,

    But I have had cable since 1985 and have researched about it literally since that time!

    Out of curiosity, what's the HD channel that you have that is not showing in HD? I have seen isolated cases with the guides marking channels in HD that are not showing HD. I would estimate that there is over 95% accuracy in this regard, but some listings slip through the cracks. Gracenote is the company that does cable listing data for Spectrum and other providers as well.

    Can you also check with a Google Search on the Guide you have information and tell us what guide you have? Oh yea, and what TV package do you have as well? I am a fan of METV as well! Because all of their shows are from the 50's-80's they are all side-barred because they are SD shows.

    Satch

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    Jul 13, 2021

    I can use the TV’s remote to widen but not ideal.

    Correct. Only the cable box remote should be used. for SD channel zoom. Aspect Ratio should be set by the TV and box at 16x9 for HD sets. Output Resolution should be set at the highest resolution supported by the TV channel,

    Satch

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    Jul 13, 2021

    Looks like we have the Spectrum Guide based on the pics. The channel is TVE, number 878 in our area and is from Spain. It’s also curious that there is another one from Spain in the lineup which is Antena 3 channel 877 and that one comes up full screen without modifications.

    We have the Silver package. We dropped HBO and Showtime because we weren’t watching those channels and instead added Latino View for the channels from Spain.

  • SatchSatch Posts: 4,264 ✭✭✭✭
    Jul 13, 2021

    @WBB,

    Thanks for this information. So it's a modified Silver Package Plan with the Latino plan, instead of HBO/Showtime. As HBO/Showtime are automatically included in the Silver Plan.

    The foriegn language channels could be tough to determine why some are not showing HD. The demand for those channels is smaller than the mainstream packages, well except in Latino communities. And the average sub, doesn't really care about watching HD or SD or box settings. They just want their equipment to work and watch their shows. Best guess is why TVE is not in HD, despite saying it's HD is because the channel is transmitting it that way, and not enough people care about it to report the error.

    Spectrum needs at least three people in the same division with the same problem to escalate an issue. Six people or more triggers an automatic dispatch.

    Satch

  • WBBWBB Posts: 7 ✭✭✭
    edited July 13 Jul 13, 2021

    Yes it’s a modified package. We get all the channels on the Silver package except for those 2 but with Latino View added. There is a large Hispanic community here but not Spaniards and you’re probably right by saying that not too many people would be interested.

    As for not escalating a problem because, say only 1 person reports it, then they should realize that we are paying customers as well and deserve the same attention. It’s unfortunate. However, I’m loving the improved resolution on all channels!

This discussion has been closed.