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What to do when COMCAST Cable doesn't work?

Let me state upfront that I do not work for COMCAST and you are not going to learn about what to do when COMCAST Cable doesn't work for whatsoever reason. However, I do want to talk about what I did when today our TV set started showing snow instead of Zee USA. What I have to say may be obvious to you, or you may learn a few (geek?) tricks (Disclaimer: I do consider myself a geek with matters pertaining to software, but certainly not with TV and cable related hardware!).

Well, the first thing I did was something that most of us would do: give a call to the COMCAST tech. support. The guy at the other end was quite friendly. He asked me a few questions, tried a remote "reset" of the Cable box, gave instructions for a couple of trouble-shooting operations, but finally gave up, saying, "your cable box seems to have gone bad. Either schedule an appointment or exchange it at the nearest COMCAST service center". I didn't want to have anon-functional TV fro their next available day and wait during a 4 hour window, so I chose to make a trip to the service center.

But what to do about today's Astitva, which I didn't want to miss, and Kareena Kareena, which Veena didn't want to miss? Now that I had to unplug the Cable box anyway, I decided to try out a couple of experiments.

The first experiment was to connect the RF connector of the cable directly to the TV (this connection was to the Cable box earlier). To my surprise, I got video and audio in the TV and I could watch a non-premium TV channel. Perhaps this was not suprising -- afterall, there was signal in the cable (that is how the COMCAST technician was able to do a remote "reset") and not all channels are scrambled, though this is something I didn't know before. This also confirmed that there was no problem with the TV's RF reception circuitry (I knew that rest of the TV worked fine, for I could get the video and audio signals from both the VCR and the DVD Player).

Though this trick got me a functioning TV, it did little to solve my immediate problem, for Zee is a premium channel and its signals are scrambled.

While inspecting the Cable box, I noticed that it also has output ports for normal Video Audio 3 wire cable. This gave me an idea. Why not connect the cable to the cable box and use a Video Audio connector to connect the cable box with the TV. Afterall, there was some possibility that the problem was with the RF output of the cable box, and not with the de-scrambling circuitry. So I tried that. And, lo ... I was getting Zee programming on my TV!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 9, 2005 8:54 PM.

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