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X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

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Frequent Visitor

X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

My X1 TV service freezes at approximately the same times almost every day. Often it is a complete freeze and sometimes the X1 box is no longer able to communicate upstream (XRE or RDK on-screen messages). A hard restart of the main X1 box is always required.

 

I have had multiple Comcast technicians perform onsite visits who have:

 

  • verified signal strength and noise levels at the tap
  • replaced main cable drop from tap to house
  • replaced grounding block and MoCA filter at house entry point
  • replaced PPC unity-gain amp at home structured cabling box
  • verified no splitters or splices anywhere in home (all are home runs to PPC amp)
  • verified signal strength and noise levels at all devices (2 X1 boxes, 1 internet modem)
  • verified internet modem is MoCA compliant (no VoIP in home)
  • replaced both X1 boxes

 

I see no detailed event log for the X1 boxes but every X1 freeze occurs at precisely the same time that my internet modem logs the following events:

 

  • SYNC Timing Synchronization failure - Failed to acquire QAM/QPSK symbol timing
  • MDD message timeout

 

My internet modem is never affected during those events but my X1 boxes freeze. They often do not recover until a hard restart is performed.

 

I have manually logged the timing of each X1 freeze over the last month. The freezes occur at approximately the same times every day while I am watching (and likely occur at those same times when I am not watching). Here is a summary of my observations since December 13:

 

  • occurred 14 times over the month between 12:15 and 12:35 PM CST
  • occurred 14 times over the month between 08:20 and 08:40 PM CST

 

As noted, we have addressed and likely eliminated local line, signal, noise and equipment as the cause. Because the freezes occur with such predictable timing, it seems to suggest that something is occurring upstream on a scheduled basis within the Comcast/Xfinity/X1 server or equipment infrastructure.

 

How can we get this information to someone knowledgeable who can take it thru proper next steps? I really like the X1 platform but reliability and stability are currently lacking!

Expert

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

I have escalated your issue to the Comcast Team available to these forums. Check back often for a reply in this thread or via Private Message from a Comcast Official Employee.


I am not a Comcast employee; I am just a customer, volunteering my time to help other customers here in the Forums.

If you'd like information about the Expert program, you can find it here(updated).
Official Employee

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

Hi HoustonJr,  reviewing your account I am showing poor upstream signal issues going to your equipment. What I would recommend is scheduling a technician to find the underlying issue and correct or submit to our network team.  Can you please send me a private message with your account information (name on account, address and account number).

 

Thank you

Tags (1)
Frequent Visitor

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

A private message with the requested and additional information was sent to ComcastPhill on 01-17-2018 at 11:30 AM.

Official Employee

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

Thank you HoustonJr, I have responded to your private message.

 

Thank you

Frequent Visitor

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

I have experienced X1 TV freezes at the same times almost daily for months. Incoming TV streaming sometimes continues but becomes unresponsive to remote control commands and sometimes it's a total freeze. The message is usually RDK-03033 (i.e. X1 DVR cannot reach up to the X1 servers). A hard restart of the main X1 DVR is usually required.

 

Over several months, 5 different Comcast technicians have: 

  • measured signal strength and noise levels at the tap
  • replaced my main cable drop from tap to house (twice)
  • replaced grounding block and MoCA filter at house entry point (twice)
  • replaced the PPC unity-gain amp in my home structured cabling box
  • verified no splitters or splices (all are RG6 coax home runs to PPC amp)
  • measured signal strength and noise levels at each device
  • verified internet modem is MoCA compliant (no VoIP in home)
  • replaced both X1 boxes (DVR and slave)

Comcast indicated upstream power levels were borderline high at the tap. A next-tier maintenance team (bucket truck guys) actually did come out and performed tasks where signals enter our neighborhood, at the LE (line extender) serving my home and at the tap in my yard. Unfortunately the routine RDK-03033 freezes continue.

 

The X1 DVR doesn't seem to keep a running log of DOCSIS events, but my Internet modem does. Although my Internet modem is never affected by these freezes, each X1 freeze coincides exactly with specific DOCSIS events as noted here: 

  • SYNC Timing Synchronization failure - Failed to acquire QAM/QPSK symbol timing
  • MDD message timeout

Since November, I have manually logged the timing of each X1 freeze that I personally witnessed (see attached). Based on what I've seen on my DOCSIS event log, I suspect the freezes also occur at other routine times when I'm not watching TV. I usually see the freezes around:

  • 12:15 and 12:35 PM CST
  • 08:20 and 08:40 PM CST

Due to the predictable regularity of these freezes, they almost certainly have nothing to do with poor connections or intermittent equipment. The only logical or reasonable explanation seems to be something that Comcast schedules within its server or network infrastructure. I currently have a 6th Comcast technician visit scheduled but really don't like wasting their time or mine.

 

How can these symptoms and details be shared with the Comcast Software Engineers and Infrastructure Technicians? These routinely recurring freezes are obviously affecting multiple customers!

Comcast 2018-01-29 X1 TV Service Freezes Same Times Every Day.jpgLog of Comcast X1 TV Freezes Since November

Official Employee

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

I have responded to your private message. 

 

Thank you

Frequent Visitor

Re: X1 TV Service Freezes at Same Times Almost Every Day

After 5 months and:

  • 6 Comcast first-tier technician visits
  • 2 Comcast business-class technician visits
  • 2 unnecessary new drops, new tap, new LE parts
  • significant persistence and logging on my part
  • ---
  • WE HAVE A SOLUTION

Comcast finally heeded what my documentation was showing, that something was happening on a timed and recurring basis upstream on the network. I had been providing evidence that Internet modems were logging the same issue that was causing the X1 freeze events. Comcast remotely checked other account modem logs upstream from my house until the critical failure messages were no longer seen. Bingo, the source of the X1 freeze events was pinpointed. Comcast found a defect well upstream of my neighborhood and repaired it.

 

Since February 12, my X1 has not had a single freeze. My next door neighbor also states his X1 freezes have stopped. It's likely that many other X1 customers on my leg of the network are enjoying X1 without the routine freezes.

 

Lessons learned:

  • it's not always the wiring at the drop or customer's house ... so stop trying to fix wire after a couple of trys
  • look at the facts and escalate to maintenance or network teams sooner when the data seems to warrant
  • consider automating detection of problematic areas experiencing degradation even if not totally interrupted
  • since X1 uses DOCSIS just like Internet modems consider using modem logs to detect and troubleshoot

This issue is closed from my perspective. Thanks.