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TV program interruptions

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Frequent Visitor

TV program interruptions

My cable TV box keeps interrupting TV programs (on all channels, at all times of the day) with a message which begins  "Please wait while a required update is sent to your device" and blanks audio and video for 4 to 5 seconds each time.   This happens, seemingly randomly, from 10 to 30 times per hour, and is extremely annoying.   This has been going on for about 10 weeks now.   I have talked to a Comcast customer service representative on two different occasions and a Comcast serviceman has been to my home, made measurements, and replaced the cable box, all to no avail.   The situation persists.   Does anybody out there know what might be going on?

Problem Solver

Re: TV program interruptions

Do you have a Smart TV and is it hooked up to the Internet?
Frequent Visitor

Re: TV program interruptions

My TV is a Smart TV (Vizio) but it is not connected to the Internet and I am not using it as a Smart TV.

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: TV program interruptions

Please post the brand & model of the cable box.

Frequent Visitor

Re: TV program interruptions

The cable box was manufactured by Pace, it is model DC50Xu.

Problem Solver

Re: TV program interruptions

My thinking is it is your TV wanting to update it's software I would try to get the TV hooked up to the Internet by wifi or wired and see if there is an update to download.
Frequent Visitor

Re: TV program interruptions

I disagree;   it has nothing to do with my TV set.   I had the same problem with the old (dumb) CRT TV set that I was using before I got the new TV.   And one of the Comcast service reps that I spoke to, as well as the Comcast serviceman who came to my house to diagnose the problem, alluded vaguely to problems that Comcast has been having with at least some of their cable boxes related to unspecified changes that Comcast has recently made to their system.   Besides, these interruptions are initiated by Comcast's system, and I can't believe that Comcast is sitting out there trying to send updates to my TV's firmware.   Four questions have occurred to me:

1.  Are these interruptions due to supposed updates of the audio/video signal stream itself representing the actual TV program that is being transmitted?

2.  Is there a data rate incompatibility between the Comcast "plant" and my cable TV box?

3.  Are these attempted updates actually to the cable box's operating firmware and have nothing to do with the specific TV signal data stream being transmitted?

4.  Is this problem related to the high noise level that the Comcast serviceman said that he saw on the incoming cable from the Comcast "plant"?   (He "looked" back into my house cabling with the external cable disconnected and said that it was very quiet.)

Comcast people (at least the ones to whom I have talked) seem to be just as much in the dark as I am.

 

Official Employee

Re: TV program interruptions


@cableTVboxbustr wrote:

I disagree;   it has nothing to do with my TV set.   I had the same problem with the old (dumb) CRT TV set that I was using before I got the new TV.   And one of the Comcast service reps that I spoke to, as well as the Comcast serviceman who came to my house to diagnose the problem, alluded vaguely to problems that Comcast has been having with at least some of their cable boxes related to unspecified changes that Comcast has recently made to their system.   Besides, these interruptions are initiated by Comcast's system, and I can't believe that Comcast is sitting out there trying to send updates to my TV's firmware.   Four questions have occurred to me:

1.  Are these interruptions due to supposed updates of the audio/video signal stream itself representing the actual TV program that is being transmitted?

2.  Is there a data rate incompatibility between the Comcast "plant" and my cable TV box?

3.  Are these attempted updates actually to the cable box's operating firmware and have nothing to do with the specific TV signal data stream being transmitted?

4.  Is this problem related to the high noise level that the Comcast serviceman said that he saw on the incoming cable from the Comcast "plant"?   (He "looked" back into my house cabling with the external cable disconnected and said that it was very quiet.)

Comcast people (at least the ones to whom I have talked) seem to be just as much in the dark as I am.

 


Apologies for the issue and the experience that you described above. It sounds like the Pace DTA device that you have is looking for a required update and is having trouble getting that.

 

This is likely due to a communication issue, bad cabling or some other interference issue along the signal path. 

 

I have asked that someone on our Pennsylvania team review your account and contact you directly so that we can get this resolved.

 

Thanks for your patiemce.   


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Frequent Visitor

Re: TV program interruptions

Thanks for your interest, your comments, and your help.   Anything you could do to help find an answer to this problem would be greatly appreciated.   The random instances of program interruptions to my TV set continue to occur.   I have in fact this morning had an initial contact from the Comcast Executive Care Team, and perhaps they may be able to help bring the right resources to bear on this problem.   Thanks again.

Frequent Visitor

Re: TV program interruptions

It appears that my problem with TV program interruptions has finally been solved   (fingers crossed, knock on wood).   After the Comcast Executive Customer Relations Team became involved and several conversations with one or another team member, another service technician was dispatched to my home (last Friday) and did a number of things in the course of making electrical measurements on the cable and observing the nature of the installation:

1.  cut the connectors off both the drop cable outside my house and the cable into the house at the ground block and installed new connectors.

2.  removed an inline filter on the outside of my house at the ground block which was stated to be obsolete and not supposed to be there.

3.  installed a new exterior ground block.

4.  at the cable splitter inside the house, attached a ground wire from the splitter case to the electrical service panel's earth ground wire  (the coax shield had previously not been grounded at its entrance to the house).

5.  snugged up the cable connection to my Internet modem, which was only finger tight and not tightened up all the way.

 

During the roughly 45 minutes that I intermittently watched the TV set while the technician was working and after he left, out of about 90 minutes of on time, the program interruption problem did not appear.   I finally sat down to watch a couple of hours of TV programs last night (Sunday), and the problem did not appear during that time.   This is in contrast to the 8 to 10 times per hour that program interruptions had been appearing in the days just prior to the serviceman's arrival, and a marked contrast to the 20 to 30 times per hour that had been occurring during February and the first days of March.

 

It appears that some one or more things (perhaps all of them) that the service technician did fixed the problem.   I have no way of knowing whether there was also anything done from the cable head end or to the cable plant during this period.   But I am happy to finally be able to watch TV without the frequent occurrence of those annoying interruptions.   I extend my thanks to the Comcast Executive Customer Relations Team and especially to the service technician who came to my house to work on the problem.   I was disappointed that it took so long to resolve the problem, but am happy that it appears to have finally been resolved.   I also think that some modification to training or to the approach they take with customers for the normal first line customer service reps who answer the phone might be in order.   During those several conversations I had with some of them they seemed to believe that all problems are caused by the customer and the answer to every problem is either to push a reset out to the cable box or to have the customer unplug everything and "hardware reset" everything, and I had a very hard time getting past them to someone who could bring additional resources to the problem to get it fixed.

I certainly hope that the problem is truly gone for the long term.

 

Official Employee

Re: TV program interruptions


@cableTVboxbustr wrote:

It appears that my problem with TV program interruptions has finally been solved   (fingers crossed, knock on wood).   After the Comcast Executive Customer Relations Team became involved and several conversations with one or another team member, another service technician was dispatched to my home (last Friday) and did a number of things in the course of making electrical measurements on the cable and observing the nature of the installation:

1.  cut the connectors off both the drop cable outside my house and the cable into the house at the ground block and installed new connectors.

2.  removed an inline filter on the outside of my house at the ground block which was stated to be obsolete and not supposed to be there.

3.  installed a new exterior ground block.

4.  at the cable splitter inside the house, attached a ground wire from the splitter case to the electrical service panel's earth ground wire  (the coax shield had previously not been grounded at its entrance to the house).

5.  snugged up the cable connection to my Internet modem, which was only finger tight and not tightened up all the way.

 

During the roughly 45 minutes that I intermittently watched the TV set while the technician was working and after he left, out of about 90 minutes of on time, the program interruption problem did not appear.   I finally sat down to watch a couple of hours of TV programs last night (Sunday), and the problem did not appear during that time.   This is in contrast to the 8 to 10 times per hour that program interruptions had been appearing in the days just prior to the serviceman's arrival, and a marked contrast to the 20 to 30 times per hour that had been occurring during February and the first days of March.

 

It appears that some one or more things (perhaps all of them) that the service technician did fixed the problem.   I have no way of knowing whether there was also anything done from the cable head end or to the cable plant during this period.   But I am happy to finally be able to watch TV without the frequent occurrence of those annoying interruptions.   I extend my thanks to the Comcast Executive Customer Relations Team and especially to the service technician who came to my house to work on the problem.   I was disappointed that it took so long to resolve the problem, but am happy that it appears to have finally been resolved.   I also think that some modification to training or to the approach they take with customers for the normal first line customer service reps who answer the phone might be in order.   During those several conversations I had with some of them they seemed to believe that all problems are caused by the customer and the answer to every problem is either to push a reset out to the cable box or to have the customer unplug everything and "hardware reset" everything, and I had a very hard time getting past them to someone who could bring additional resources to the problem to get it fixed.

I certainly hope that the problem is truly gone for the long term.

 


Glad to hear that this is now resolved. I have passed along your kind words to our local team and to the service technician that was at your home. 

 

 


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Official Employees are from multiple teams within Comcast: CARE, Product, Leadership. We ask that you post publicly so people with similar questions may benefit from the conversation.
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