High Def Forum
Thank you for visiting. This is our website archive. Please visit our main website by clicking the logo above.

Ready to Give Up On Time Warner HD / DVR

tkmclaughlin
11-05-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm brand new to this forum and a definite tchno newbie/moron. I apologize if the info in this post is ill-informed or incomplete.

I have spent several hours combing through prior posts to see if the issues I am raising in this post have been the subject of prior posts. While I did see a lot of posts noting problems with Time Warner's HD / DVR boxes I did not any posts specifically addressing my question: whether people find that they get more reliable HD service from Time Warner if they opt for the non-DVR box. If I missed a post discussing that, please forgive the repetition.

I am a Time Warner subscriber living in Manhattan (east 65th Street if the precise location is relevant). I have subscribed to their digital (NON high-def) package for several years and have used their non-HD DVR boxes for years as well. Other than the occasional glitch, the service has been fine.

We recently bought a new high def. television (Samsung 1080p 52 inch LCD, I think it's model number LN-T5281F) and decided to "upgrade" to Time Warner's HD sevice. Since that time (about 2 months ago), we have had literally 5 HD / DVR cable boxes swapped in and out of our apartment and not one of them has worked properly. Each new box was installed by a new Time Warner service techician. None of them has been able to resolve our problems. We have a tech appointment scheduled for this week-end, during which we wll surely get our 6th swapped out box. I doubt that one will work any better than its predecessors.

Here are the issues we encounter:

1. the picture freezes regularly on HD channels (usually the sound continues on in real-time, but the picture remains frozen). Sometimes it freezes on non-HD channels as well, though this is less frequent;

2. Frequent "pixelizing" on both regular and HD chanels alike. (I'm not talking about a minor flurry of pixelization. I'm talking pixelization that is so bad that it's literally impossible to see or hear the program.)

3. Scheduled recordings just never get recorded. There's no rhyme or reason to when the box will or won't honor a pre-programmed scheduled recording.

4. Sometimes, we canot access our list of pre-recorded programs at all (even though they have been recorded properly)

5. Frequent need to "reboot" the box, together with the 10-15 minute reboot time.

We have had all varieties of cable boxes. Some were from Scientific Atlanta. Some from another manufacturer. The most recent box (installed this past week-end) is from Scientific Atlanta and was touted by the Time Warner service technician as the "very top of the line" boxes. This dosn't work any better than any of the others.

The service technician has tested and retested the signal strength throughout our apartment. The signal is very strong. The technician swore up and down that the problem is not signal strength.

My wife and I are exasperated and are literally prepared to give up on HD television all together (what a waste - all that money on a new HD television!!!) and just revert back to non-HD digital cable with the DVR box which worked fine (not great, but fine).

Before we do that, we have one question for this forum - if we were to give up on the DVR option and just go with a straight HD box with no built-in DVR, has it been the experience of others on this forum who have had similar problems with Time Warner's HD service that the problems are rectified? In other words, we're trying to figure out if the problem is endemic of all of Time Warner's HD service offerings or if it is just something that impacts those HD subscribers who choose to go with a DVR box.

We have a high def. DVD Recorder which we could use to record the shows we typically record on our DVR box. It won't be nearly as convenient (no more ability to pause and rewind live TV), but if it will allow us to actually watch HD television with a modicum of enjoyment and without pulling our hair out every 15 minutes when the picture freezes or pixelizes, we might live with it.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

(Unfortunately, we cannot switch to a satellite provider because we cannot receive the satellite signal from our apartment - no unobstructed view of the southern sky - thus Time Warner is the only option for us.)

NINJA191
11-05-2007, 06:24 PM
I'm brand new to this forum and a definite tchno newbie/moron. I apologize if the info in this post is ill-informed or incomplete.

I have spent several hours combing through prior posts to see if the issues I am raising in this post have been the subject of prior posts. While I did see a lot of posts noting problems with Time Warner's HD / DVR boxes I did not any posts specifically addressing my question: whether people find that they get more reliable HD service from Time Warner if they opt for the non-DVR box. If I missed a post discussing that, please forgive the repetition.

I am a Time Warner subscriber living in Manhattan (east 65th Street if the precise location is relevant). I have subscribed to their digital (NON high-def) package for several years and have used their non-HD DVR boxes for years as well. Other than the occasional glitch, the service has been fine.

We recently bought a new high def. television (Samsung 1080p 52 inch LCD, I think it's model number LN-T5281F) and decided to "upgrade" to Time Warner's HD sevice. Since that time (about 2 months ago), we have had literally 5 HD / DVR cable boxes swapped in and out of our apartment and not one of them has worked properly. Each new box was installed by a new Time Warner service techician. None of them has been able to resolve our problems. We have a tech appointment scheduled for this week-end, during which we wll surely get our 6th swapped out box. I doubt that one will work any better than its predecessors.

Here are the issues we encounter:

1. the picture freezes regularly on HD channels (usually the sound continues on in real-time, but the picture remains frozen). Sometimes it freezes on non-HD channels as well, though this is less frequent;

2. Frequent "pixelizing" on both regular and HD chanels alike. (I'm not talking about a minor flurry of pixelization. I'm talking pixelization that is so bad that it's literally impossible to see or hear the program.)

3. Scheduled recordings just never get recorded. There's no rhyme or reason to when the box will or won't honor a pre-programmed scheduled recording.

4. Sometimes, we canot access our list of pre-recorded programs at all (even though they have been recorded properly)

5. Frequent need to "reboot" the box, together with the 10-15 minute reboot time.

We have had all varieties of cable boxes. Some were from Scientific Atlanta. Some from another manufacturer. The most recent box (installed this past week-end) is from Scientific Atlanta and was touted by the Time Warner service technician as the "very top of the line" boxes. This dosn't work any better than any of the others.

The service technician has tested and retested the signal strength throughout our apartment. The signal is very strong. The technician swore up and down that the problem is not signal strength.

My wife and I are exasperated and are literally prepared to give up on HD television all together (what a waste - all that money on a new HD television!!!) and just revert back to non-HD digital cable with the DVR box which worked fine (not great, but fine).

Before we do that, we have one question for this forum - if we were to give up on the DVR option and just go with a straight HD box with no built-in DVR, has it been the experience of others on this forum who have had similar problems with Time Warner's HD service that the problems are rectified? In other words, we're trying to figure out if the problem is endemic of all of Time Warner's HD service offerings or if it is just something that impacts those HD subscribers who choose to go with a DVR box.

We have a high def. DVD Recorder which we could use to record the shows we typically record on our DVR box. It won't be nearly as convenient (no more ability to pause and rewind live TV), but if it will allow us to actually watch HD television with a modicum of enjoyment and without pulling our hair out every 15 minutes when the picture freezes or pixelizes, we might live with it.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

(Unfortunately, we cannot switch to a satellite provider because we cannot receive the satellite signal from our apartment - no unobstructed view of the southern sky - thus Time Warner is the only option for us.)

I am in upper Manhattan. I have the NON DVR HD box. (Scientific 4250 HDC) I find that if I leave the box on all the time my service is fine. But if I shut the box off when I turn my TV off, after about 2-3 days I have to reboot the box when I turn it on. So I just leave it on. I also have a non HD digital box which I use with my own Sony DVD recorder to record shows. I don't trust the DVR to capture all my shows because I have been burned in the past. It is not the easiest option, but I get to watch all my shows and I get to have watch my Sony HDTV as it was meant to be watched. :)

zisazisa
11-24-2007, 12:43 PM
I just hooked up my SA HDDVR 5300HDC to my Sammy 3253H. I am also having random frozen picture issues. Twice while watching football today the picture just froze, no sound, no nothing. When I change the channel and return, it goes back to the live view. Is there anything to be done to fix this?

cards
12-14-2007, 11:03 AM
If it makes you feel better - all of those issues have happened to me as well. TWC is garbage.

heyman421
12-14-2007, 11:04 AM
~deleted~

Loves2Watch
12-14-2007, 11:27 AM
Not only is that a box problem but a signal problem as well. Try telling that to the technician!

oblioman
12-15-2007, 03:05 AM
Not only is that a box problem but a signal problem as well. Try telling that to the technician!

me agrees,,a signal problem will cause a majority of the symptons described. Is the OP in an apartment building?

AP71407
12-20-2007, 02:07 AM
Before we do that, we have one question for this forum - if we were to give up on the DVR option and just go with a straight HD box with no built-in DVR, has it been the experience of others on this forum who have had similar problems with Time Warner's HD service that the problems are rectified? In other words, we're trying to figure out if the problem is endemic of all of Time Warner's HD service offerings or if it is just something that impacts those HD subscribers who choose to go with a DVR box.

it is the HD-DVR box. We have same problem over here on the west coast. Don't know how TW going to fix this issue yet.

Mcstick62406
06-14-2008, 11:26 PM
Me and my wife both work for Time Warner (Southwest Ohio) and going with experience on this the best box to have for HD service with Time Warner is the SA8300 HDDVR. They do drawl a higher signal then most boxes and also the HD service itself drawls a higher signal and if you have Roadrunner and Digital Phone with them then you would most likely need an amplifier of some sort. The signal level may have tested fine when the tech was out there but it can flucuate form time to time. The bad thing is that if laws are the same up there as they are here then if you live in an apartment with more than 5 units in it then they will not rerun any lines, they will have to do what is called "MDU Maintence." Also perhaps a "postwire" might help if they havent already do that. But idk hopefully the problem gets resolved for you. I do know that they are upgrading the Navigator (aka guide) so if you have any questions about it send me an email

jgilbert
06-21-2008, 05:57 PM
Another thing that will really screw up HD DVR's is that they run very hot. If you have stuff (magazines, DVD player, remote controls, etc.) on top of or on the sides of the box, it will block the heat from getting out and will make your box perform very poorly.

HDTV Watcher
06-21-2008, 07:48 PM
What's interesting is the comment:

"The service technician has tested and retested the signal strength throughout our apartment. The signal is very strong. The technician swore up and down that the problem is not signal strength."

The techs are taught to go for the max signal strength, without considering that they may be overdriving the television (or in this case, the cable box.) I had breakup and other picture problems until a senior tech, after maximizing the signal strength, put in an attenuator....then things worked well. There's a paradigm problem, a logic problem, and the senior tech could see the problem that the younger techs missed. To be sure, I don't know if this is the problem here, but it is a problem to be aware of.

Sheils
06-24-2008, 01:21 PM
I live in an apartment building in Brooklyn. I've been having problems on and off for a month with the (non-DVR) HD box. Starts with audio loss, then freezing, then black screen on the HD channels. I also get some crazy pixelation - green slashes on non-HD channels every once in a while. New box, new splitter, 2 tech visits and 2 no-shows (GRRRRRR!) later, still problems. I finally got a supervisor to admit that TWC is having a massive signal "bottleneck". I'm supposed to receive a 'fresh signal' when the queue is smaller sometime today, and the sv is supposed to call me tonite.

We'll see...:haha:

GoldenShadow
06-30-2008, 09:19 AM
I have been working as a technician for TWC Austin for over a year and it sounds like the problem is the signal. Signal strength means nothing if its full of noise. Any ingress into the system will destroy the digital signal integrity which shows up as symptoms you describe. The ingress enters through loose fitting, bad splitters, incorrectly installed F connecters, and damaged cable, and running sub standard cable without proper shielding(foil and braid)

Let me ask you, did the tech go outside to the MDU(cable box) on the side of the building and replace fitting, or do any work out there?

Did he go into the master closet and take the blank wallplate off and replace the fitting from the feeder line splitter all of the outlets.(some apartments run each outlet to the MDU on the outside, so this step is not nessesary sometimes)
And replace the fitting behind all of the wall plates.

Make sure you are using new interconnects between the wallplate and the HDDVR. TWC is responsible for all of those things.

I guarantee the problem is fixable if they replace all of the old fittinging between the Tap in the MDU to the outlet you have the HDDVR hooked up to.

If all of that is done. There could be a damaged cable, cut, kinked sliced, nail through it, etc. Or the guy installing the F connecters is new and isn't doing them right.

I've completely rewired my house, including burying a new drop from the tap by the street. I am 100% confident that my CATV system is sealed from noise, but I still get occassional glitches in digital programming, Those are broadcast glitches though. So please, don't everyone take this advice and think your cables are all messed up when you see an occasional digital glitch in your HD show.

These steps are taken so solve serious problems. If the tech doesn't witness any problem while hes there, and he won't wait around too long, because we are extremely busy, I doubt he will do anything.

And if they sent a contracter, you can bet he won't give a s**t about your signal problem anyway, his work order says swap out a box, and thats all he is getting paid to do, which isn't much. Don't count on him doing anything extra without some tip or something.

hope this helped.

Sykotic
07-11-2008, 12:02 AM
Any idea what channel freq. the tech is checking. Analog & digital signal are assigned different channels. Analog may be coming in strong but you may be losing on your digital. In addition to the other things mentioned above a weak digital signal causes pixelation. Heat also plays a part in over system weakness. Analog is less likely to be affect by crappy fittings or weak signal strength.

As far as contractor vs. hourly paid employee, a contractor only gets paid if he gets the job complete. If your dissatisfied or having problems they will send out the same contractor if he wants to get paid for the job. An employee still gets paid and has the time to spend 6 hours on ajob that a contractor would only get paid $18 for. If it wasnt benficial for both the MSO (TWC) and the contractor there would be no contractors.

Good Luck, and remember the sqeeky wheel gets the grease. So keep calling until they get it correct.

zebb
09-10-2008, 01:27 AM
Here is my experience with Time Warner Cable HD so far, as I have only had it since last Thursday.

I am using a 26" Sanyo 720P HDTV and trying different a/v input options.

1. With direct Coaxial Cable hookup to the TV (bypassing the TWC DVR-I can get about 10 HD channels this way including all the major networks). No pixelation issues. The picture is great.
2. Going through the DVR with Composite Video Cables connected to the TV. Little to no pixelation issues when viewing live. Minor pixelation when rewinding live tv. Major pixelation when hitting the Record button. Not as bad on A&E HD, TNT HD. Very bad on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox.
3. Going through the DVR with a HDMI cable connected to the TV. Same as 2.

So the issue seems to be with the DVR that Time Warner furnishes, the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300. The DVR does not have any problems on the non-HD channels, just the HD channels. I have the DVR set for 720p resolution output.

zebb
09-17-2008, 07:40 AM
I've also noticed that the problem gets worse as you record more and more and use up more of the hard drive. There is a 160 GB hard drive in the DVR. The DVR hard drive is no doubt much like any computer hard drive, which gets fragmented and more inefficient over time, which causes even more HD reception problems.

Rick-F
09-17-2008, 08:22 AM
What do you experience when you just connect the cable diretly to the TV-- without using the DVR/STB at all? Do you get all the applicable digital channels?

bomania
09-17-2008, 01:19 PM
Cable straight into the TV looks great, and I got over 80 digital channels, as well as 35 soon-to-be-dead analog channels.

All major networks come thru in great-looking HD, as well as NY1 HD (all hail NY1! love that channel), CNN HD, ESPN HD (and sister networks), WNYC NBC local, TBS-HD, TNT-HD, 11 HD, 9 HD and many, many more. Also there was a channel with local traffic cams, which was pretty cool. Lots of SD channels, including Spike.

I'm in Brooklyn, TWC, SA8300HD, 1080p capable HDTV.

The picture with the cable into the hdtv is brighter and sharper than when it's cable->8300hd->hdmi cable->hdtv

Thru the sa box via hdmi, the picture is soft and grainy.

If only the hdtv had a built-in dvr.

zebb
09-18-2008, 04:13 PM
I swapped out my DVR and so far, so good: I can record in HD! The other DVR must have been defective.

I also notice that with my new DVR my HDTV automatically adjusts the aspect ration for non-HD channels, which the other one didn't do.

:yippee:

Ed_Roch
09-26-2008, 08:51 PM
We went from DTV with a TIVO DVR to TWC's DVR and hated it. It was apiece of junk, missed recordings, very awkward to use, we hated it. Then we moved to a new city still had TWC though, get a new HD DVR, this one works great, and we noticed screens etc, were all different. So make me wonder do different cities run different software versions for same DVR?

I actually want to go back to DTV now, but my wife won't let as she says we finally have something that works well again.