Author Topic: Television Set Crashing the DVR?  (Read 105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online stethacantus

  • Not Hurt By Pain
  • ******
  • Posts: 1357
  • Liked: 210
Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« on: September 13, 2020, 06:04:35 PM »
Lately the DVR/cable box kept crashing. Basically shutting off and rebooting.  It kept getting worse. Starting on Saturday the box would reboot a few minutes after turning it on.  This kept up all weekend, rebooting within a few minutes of turning on the cable box. The problem first started a month ago, but every time we called Spectrum they would say they cant send repairmen over due to the pandemic. Also, they did a remote analysis of the box and said they found nothing wrong with it, so even if a repairman came over it would cost me an extra $50 or more on my cable bill for him to troubleshoot and fix the problem. So, I decided to take my very limited understanding of electronics and fix the box myself.

So, here is what I did know.
#1, the box does reboot and return to working condition. If it was something broken then this would not happen. For example, if the internal disc was broken or a chip was fried, it would remain broke. Technology 101, machines can not heal. So it cant be the hardware in the box.
#2 With the television shut off, the box succeeded in recording a 1 hour episode of a television show without crashing. So basically the electronics work. It is just that something is crashing the box when the television set is on.


This had me suspecting outside sources.

Possibility #1 Spectrum Cable is sending corrupt code in their latest updates of their box interface programs, which the newer boxes are able to compensate but causes older boxes to crash. And my boxes are about a decade old at least. I don't want to trade in the crashing box because it allows me to record shows that are suppose to be record protected. Newer DVRs won't allow for DVD recorders to record off off many of the cable channels, such as any Viacom owned channels like MTV. I asked Spectrum if there was a possibility of corruption in their latest updates and they swore there wasn't any.

Possibility #2; The surge bar that section of the living room has all it's electronics attached to has a dim light blinking instead of a bright unblinking green light. I initially suspected the surge bar and had removed the cable box from it and plugged it into it's own outlet a month ago. But the rebooting continued to be a problem.

Possibility #3. The owner of the house I am currently living in had the entire house rewired by someone who later turned out not to be a licensed electrician.  This could account for the dim blinking light on the surge bar, but the rewiring was done last October, and the rebooting problem didn't start until around July.

Possibility #4: The reboot only seems to happen when the television is on. So is the television set somehow doing this? It is a very cheap large screen television given to us as a gift two years ago. One of those smart televisions from a brand I never heard of which was bought at one of those Black Friday door buster sales. You can hook it up to the internet and get Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ and all the other streaming services on it. And it occasionally crashes. Every now and then the start screen freezes and you need to pull out the power plug and plug it back in so it can reboot. But this happens about once a month.

So, here is what I did. I removed the HDMI cable and instead hooked up the composite cables between the television and the cable box, and so far it has been six hours with no crash.

So basically it has something to do with the HDMI cable, which can either be the television sending bad code to the cable box during their interface, or perhaps the electricity or surge bar having a problem, and the television pulls electricity from the cable box through the HDMI cable causing the crash.

Still don't know what the F&%k is going on. Will try a brand new surge bar once one is available ( pandemic closing the store we previously got our electronic components from prevented us from doing that a few weeks ago. )  But I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem or has heard of someone else with this problem?




Offline wihogfan

  • Not Hurt By Pain
  • ******
  • Posts: 1755
  • Liked: 370
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 06:33:10 AM »
Does where you live have a spectrum store and if so, are they open? Had a Spectrum DVR/cable box that would reboot at keast every other day and take 15 minutes to do it. Replaced it at the Spectrum store about a year ago and no problems with new one. New one a newer model as well- not a huge change as far as functionality other than no frequent rebooting.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Disembaudio's Squadio
  • *
  • Posts: 12481
  • Liked: 3036
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 10:40:21 AM »
Does the TV have a different HDMI port you can try?

My guess would be noise feeding back into the cable box from the TV.

If the house wiring is bad you should have all the components plugged into one power strip, plugging into different outlets can cause ground loops and/or polarity differences that can cause issues.

Outlet testers are not that expensive, check yours for bad grounds or reverse polarity:

https://smile.amazon.com/Sperry-Instruments-GFI6302-Receptacle-Professional/dp/B000RUL2UU


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Disembaudio's Squadio
  • *
  • Posts: 12481
  • Liked: 3036
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 10:46:01 AM »
 Also if a surge protector encountered a large enough spike it should be replaced, the varistors inside stop working after enough hits, worst case they start "working" at normal voltages instead of only on spikes and end up adding more noise to the line.  Also they do kind of wear out with time so you should replace your surge protectors every 5 years or so.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Disembaudio's Squadio
  • *
  • Posts: 12481
  • Liked: 3036
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 10:53:02 AM »
One more thing to try, if the TV or cable box don't have polarized plugs, try reversing one.  If the TV is very cheaply made and has a poorly designed power supply you can get different noise levels by changing the polarity of the power coming in.


Offline Darth Geek

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 28856
  • Liked: 6408
  • I am boring and destined to die alone!
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 07:47:33 AM »
One more thing to try, if the TV or cable box don't have polarized plugs, try reversing one.  If the TV is very cheaply made and has a poorly designed power supply you can get different noise levels by changing the polarity of the power coming in.
"Reverse the polarity." - Every Doctor Who episode ever.



Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Disembaudio's Squadio
  • *
  • Posts: 12481
  • Liked: 3036
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Television Set Crashing the DVR?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 07:57:30 AM »
One more thing to try, if the TV or cable box don't have polarized plugs, try reversing one.  If the TV is very cheaply made and has a poorly designed power supply you can get different noise levels by changing the polarity of the power coming in.
"Reverse the polarity." - Every Doctor Who episode ever.

Where do you think all the sci fi writers got the idea from?  Star Trek used it a lot also.

Many old tube radio designs had the neutral bound to the metal chassis, but the plugs were not polarized and most homes were not carefully wired, so figuring out what way to plug in the radio to avoid getting electrocuted was a thing.

Still happens today, the bigclive youtube channel often does tear downs of dangerous electrical stuff, way more dangerous in countries that use 220V.