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Contributor
sdabba
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-21-2011

DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

I've been reading other people's issues with the DTA boxes and wanted to confirm that I will need to have a technician come out and check the signal.

 

I live in a brand new apartment complex in Woodbridge, Virginia and cable service was fine until recently when I had to get this DTA box.  I've lost channels and get that "We've detected an interruption in your service" message also.  I have grown tired of calling and signals being sent and unplugging and re-plugging into outlets, etc. 

 

Here's the info for A&E (channel 42) that is gone due to the DTA box:

 

Tuner Frequency          513.000

Power Level (dBmv)      -50.0

Signal-to-noise               0

 

This channel is part of the Digital Preferred package I am paying for.

 

Do I need a tech to stop by?

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

if your getting error messages and calling in did not help you should call.  You could try going to your local office and getting a new one, you are entitled to two for free.  If that does not work your going to have to have a tech come to check the signal strength.  If its comcasts problem they wont charge you .

Contributor
sdabba
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-21-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

Okay, I will take those corrective actions.  Thank you for your help.

Recognized Contributor
halfband
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎06-20-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

A signal level of -50 is pretty much telling you there is no signal at all.  Are you getting any channels.  DTAs can be a bit touchy about signal level, there may be an issue with the distribution system amps or splitters in your building.  You can try swapping the box but I suspect this is going to end up as a service call.

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

Try changing to the non digital preferred channels and see if you get other channels.   If you get them the reason is ( B ) .

 

Somebody correct me if I am wrong.   I don't think the digital transport adapter works correctly with digital preferred.   

 

I read two different things on DTAs

 

( A ) One thing I read is the DTAs will only work on limited service or the digital starter package.

 

( B ) Another thing I read is if you have the digital economy package,  the dtas will only get the limited service package.    If you have the Digital preferred or higher package,  the dtas will only  get the limited service package, the digital economy package & the digital starter package.   

 

You might need to swap a dta(S) for a box.   Make sure to tell them you don't want the HD service,  so you won't be charged an hd service fee.   Some office give out HD boxes if they don't have the SD boxes.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

grday

I had Digital Preferred before I needed to downgrade for economic reasons.

With the DTA I received all Digital Starter channels.

 

The original poster had mentioned on another thread how they had trouble with a box not powering up. I wonder if the system is just down for them.

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

commanguy I said that in reason B,  The OP said he/she gets the Digital Preferred package.   From my understanding he/she won't get the Digital Preferred channels on the DTA(s) but should get everything below the digital preferred package.

 

The packages may been named different in other service areas.

 

Here are my choices from the lowest to the highest cost.

Limited Service    Box or DTA 

Digital Economy  Box

Digital Starter   Box or DTA

Digital Preferred  Box

 

 

There are other packages but I don't know the order.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

grday

 I saw reason B. Just wanted to confirm that a DTA worked with Digital Preferred for me to get the Digital Starter channels. None of the Preferred channels showed up on the DTA

 

Your list of service tiers is very similar to mine but with Limited Basic a box is only required for a few extra channels and the Music Choice. Channels 2-23 and 99 show up without a box. Does your Comcast office list the requirements for either a box or DTA? That would be a heads up on my office.

 

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

commanguy

I read DTAs do & don't work with the Digital Preferred & The Digital Economy package depending on your area.  If your package is the Digital Preferred, the DTAs will not get the Digital preferred channels but should get everything below that package(Digital Starter, Digital Economy, Limited Service).  If your package is the Digital Economy,  the DTA will only get the limited service channels not the Digital Economy channels .

 

 

A box is required for limited service to get the program guide or audio music channels.   A DTA or a Box will be required for limited service.  The start date for the cable analog shutoff is in August 2011.  I already got the DTAs. I get 3 dtas for free.   I could use a fourth but I don't want to trigger the digital additional outlet fee.  It is a pain to record.

 

commanguy,  if you know anyone in your area that is on limited service.  Ask them if the got a letter.  If they didn't get a letter, they are not requiring for that area yet.    Some areas may never be required to get a DTA or box for limited service and others areas will.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

I am on Limited Basic now. Boxes are not required to view channels 2-23 and 99 in our area. We got the letter long time ago stating DTAs or boxes would be needed for service levels above Limited Basic. No clarification was made if the DTA would or would not work with Digital Economy or Family tier.

 

A box is only needed in my area to view channels 104, 202, 213,216, 242 initially and they just added two shopping channels to Limited Basic at channels 80 and 81 which also need a box. DTA should also work but when I downgraded they asked for those back. Boxes for Limited Basic run .60 cents per month for that level of service. On the tv that I don't have a box I do not get those extra channels. But with a DVD Recorder that has a digital tuner I can pick them up until they swap frequencies around and need to do a re-scan. Last rescan lost channel 104(CSPAN2). The others are sub-feeds of local network stations and one channel is a religious channel beyond the extra shopping additions.

 

The DTAs seem to be touchy like you say about the ability to work with Digital Economy in some areas and not in others. I have never seen a answer to that yet on why from Comcast. Have you? I wonder if it has something to do with whether or not a person was in a area that Comcast picked up. I used to be with Time Warner until the swap years ago.

 

Contributor
sdabba
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-21-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

I am getting other channels.  I will be asking for a tech to come out and look at it all.  Thanks.

Contributor
sdabba
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-21-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

From what I am reading from all the posts for this issue and my other one, it would seem that it is more of a signal issue that a tech may have to look at. 

 

Thanks everyone for the posts.

Contributor
sdabba
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-21-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

As grday stated in option B, with my Digital Preferred package and a DTA, I am only getting the channels that coincide with limited service, digital economy, and digital starter. 

 

 

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

sdabba.  

Are you getting all your other channels except for the Digital preferred channels.   I can tell you now,  they will swap your dta for a box and you may be charged for a service call because you are not really getting all your channels you that are paying for.   The problem is the digital preferred channels are blocked or scrambled.   If you do have HDTV or don't want HD service,  make sure you tell Comcast not to activate the HD service.   There is an additional fee for HD service,  in addition to the box rental.  Some areas you may get one free box for your primary tv.  Carefully on how many boxes you have or you will get the additional digital outlet fee as well.

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

 The DTAs seem to be touchy like you say about the ability to work with Digital Economy in some areas and not in others. I have never seen a answer to that yet on why from Comcast. Have you? I wonder if it has something to do with whether or not a person was in a area that Comcast picked up. I used to be with Time Warner until the swap years ago.


Commanguy

As far as the above.  I have no idea.  Just what I have read.   I just wish they would provison for all service levels.   

 

 

I got a letter but mine said I need a dta or a box for limited service  by August 2011.  I can tell you I am not happy about this.   Recording is going to pain.  I even considered switching to another cable service in my area.  I got the DTAs.   Had to be manually activated by customer service.   They have been working fine except for one mysterious outage that no one knew about.

 

I think I know the reason why Comcast is forcing Limited Service in my city.   My area was a former insight cable area.  The way cable was hooked, if you had your service disconnected.   You would still receive limited service for a year at no charge.  They would have to send someone to disconnect you.   There service office is now far away.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,198
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

grday

 In another thread Jay responded that DTAs were required for Expanded Basic(Digital Starter now) for people losing channels in the Digital Migration. Only available to Limited Basic users whose areas converted all channels to digital like yours.

 

In my area chs. 2-23 and 99 are available without any type of box. I downgraded to Limited Basic from Digital Preferred and had to turn in my DTAs at that time. I kept one STB for 6 extra channels that are not available over the coax.

I never tried Digital Economy to see if the DTA would work with that since I was looking at saving some money and there were channels I wanted that were on Family Tier but that package could not be used with other tiers like Digital Economy so went to Lim. Basic. They may go all digital in our area but have not heard any plans yet. No what you mean about recording.

 

I have never gotten a definite answer from the local office on whether DTAs could be used with the other tiers. 

Bronze Star Contributor
grday
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎05-01-2011

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

commanguy.  

From what I understand about the digital economy package,  the dtas would only receive the limited service channels and in other areas they may even ask for them back.    Dslreports has post with people having problems using DTAs with the Digital Economy package.  

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

[ Edited ]

We've had plenty of chat on this forum since late 2009 for subscribers wanting to use DTA's on Digital Economy without success, since they technically don't qualify.  The DTA's were intended for expanded basic and digital starter or higher subscribers that lost channels in the digital transition using a cable ready TV.  They were not intended as a cheap box replacement for all digital channel packages including economy or family tier. 

 

Of course since things are not all the same across the Comcast footprint where different markets have different policies.  What happens in one market might not apply in another.

Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-04-2009

Re: DTA box causing lost channels and "choppy" screen images

I had the same problem....local channels not coming in at all, some others choppy.  Tech came out, tested lines, said the signal strength in the cable was bad and said it must be a bad cable in the wall.  Suggested having the cable replaced (a nightmare in this two stage built house)....he also suggested, on the way out the door, that I might, just might try a signal booster.  So I went to Radio Shack and got a $35 Bi-directional Cable TV Amplifier and hooked it up in the basement before the second splitter. It took about 10 minutes.   VOILA!  All channels now coming in on the box with the missing channels. 

I'd traded out the box;  had a splitter removed by the cable guy;  he also took out a line....no improvement.  But the DTA box worked once the signal was amplified.

Worth a try.  It saved us from paying someone to replace wires in the wall. 

The signals in our neighborhood have deteriorated significantly, and we had constant outages last year.  Comcast hasn't made any improvements to the infrastructure around here.

BTW, I'm a 73 year old woman who is tech savvy, Hooray for me for getting this done by myself.