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Cable TV Troubleshooting


From time to time we all have problems with Cable TV. You call your Cable Company, sit on hold for anywhere from 3 minutes to 45 minutes (and longer in some cases) only to be told to unplug the box.

If you’re not told to unplug the box the technical representative will send an electronic signal to your box. You have no way of knowing if this helps or not. The signal will help if there was a power outage, or you have a new setup, and it will work in a few other instances as well.

There are various ways to fix your own cable issues. You might say, “why should I do that when that’s what I pay the cable company for.” And you would be correct so go ahead and wait the 3 to 10 days for a technician to come out, and don’t forget to check your bill for the additional charge for the service call. Try some of the fixes here and more than likely you’ll not need that technician and you will save yourself a lot of grief and aggravation.

Almost 90% of cable issues can be solved by the subscriber. First check your coaxial cables. Make sure your TV is set to channel 03. If you’ve recently installed splitters or moved equipment you’ll want to double check the connections. Also make sure your TV is set to the correct INPUT by using your TV remote (not the cable remote) to toggle through AV1..AV2..VIDEO 1, VIDEO 2, until you get a picture or at least a message from your Cable provider. If you get no display as you go through each “mode” then more than likely you have the cable in the wrong input jack.

Activate Caller ID on DVR

Caller ID on Dish DVR:

  1. Press MENU on the remote control
  2. Select SYSTEM SETUP
  4. Select CALLER ID
  6. Select DONE

Caller ID on Comcast DVR:

  1. Press MENU on the remote control
  3. Select CALLER ID
  4. Set CALLER ID to ON

Black, Blue, or Snowy Screen

When you have a Snow, Blue, or Black screen it often means there is a physical connection that is loose or broken. Another reason for the blue or black screen is if your TV is not set to channel 3.

The easiest way to tell what channel the TV is on is to turn it off and back on, when it comes on you will briefly see the channel it’s on and the mode your television is in. If your TV is not in the correct mode this will also produce a blue, black, or snow screen. The mode or source can be changed from your TV’s remote or your Universal remote. Put the TV on channel 3 and toggle through the modes and when you find the right mode your picture will appear.

Double-check to make sure your receiver is powered on? Make sure the satellite receiver (aka set-top box), TV, and any home theater equipment are plugged in and powered on. Are your cable connections secured? Check to make sure all cables to the receiver and TV are connected securely. Check your channel/input:

Try changing the TV channel to 3 or 4 using your TV remote. If problem is fixed, press the “SAT” button on your DISH remote or the “CABLE” button on your Comcast remote. This button needs to be pressed to change your Cable channels and not your TV channels.

If that does not work, try changing your input/source on your TV. Using your TV or your TV remote, press the button that changes the input or source on the TV (this is the button that allows you to switch from Cable programming to your DVD player, for example). Cycle through the inputs/sources until you see Cable programming.

If you still have the snow screen you’re going to want to check the cable coming into your home. A blue or black screen, nine out of ten times, means you have a cable out of place or something else that is awry with your set.

In the days of LCD, DVR, Flat screens, and more, it’s fairly easy to end up with a black, blue, or snowy screen.

CL – 7 Error

Unplug power cord from wall for 2 Minutes, during 2 Minutes, un-twist coax cable from cable box If possible remove co ax cable from splitters in the home.

You will see “Your Order Can Not Be Processed Call Customer Service” or you will see “We’re sorry An Error has Occurred please Call Customer Service and report that CL-7 error has occurred.”

DLP TV : LED Lights Blinking – Samsung Flat Screen

The LED lights indicate whether a DLP TV is working properly. For example, if all three LEDs are blinking, whatever the configuration, the most common cause is that the DLP lamp or LED light engine is failing.


In some areas of the country you will be required to have a Digital Transport Adapter for any TV in the home that just has a cable connected to it. If Comcast is planning to launch this in your area than you will be required to have this box or you will begin to lose channels. In some areas, the first 2 boxes are free.

Connect your DTA to the cable wall outlet and your TV. Each television will need to be connected to either a DTA or another Digital Cable Box.

If you have a Set Top Box that allows you to receive premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc.) then do not hook a DTA to that set because it is not needed.

Here’s what you will get with your install kit: 3-foot Coax Cable, Power Cord, Remote Control, 2 AA Batteries, Remote Control Signal Receiver
Adhesive Fasteners.

Once your DTA is connected turn your TV to channel 3. If you receive more than one unit it’s best to activate them at the same time.

Error 7

Error 7 indicates a weak or degraded signal going into the Set Top Box. This error message is generated when there is a loose or bad connection going from the wall jack to the back of the cable box.

Power-cycle the cable box. This is done by unplugging the cable box. Once unplugged take the coaxial from the back of the STB as well as the wall jack, inspect the coax cable and make sure there is no physical damage. Check the center conductor, the middle pin at each end of the cable to make sure it’s not bent and that nothing is touching the pin. Once inspected push center pin in wall jack as far as it will go then screw to tighten. Make sure you reconnect the cable to the Cable In/RF on the back of your STB.

If this fails to resolve the “Error 7” message your degraded signal is more than likely coming from the outside.

Error Retrieving Data Reference (Err-4)

“There has been a problem processing your request, please call your cable operator and report that error 4 has occurred.” The Error 4 message is a communication problem that you will see when your cable box is not receiving a strong signal.

If you are using a VCR or DVD or any other device and you are connected to the equipment first and then to your STB the signal is not strong enough. This is what creates the Err-4 message. The signal to your converter box is weak. The best way to resolve this issue is to use a splitter and connect your VCR/DVD to one end of splitter and your STB to the other end.

Err 65535 accessing On Demand

“If you’re getting Err 65535 message, go to the diagnostics screen (hold Select until the mail light lights up, then press Info), then navigate to the “VOD Information” screen via Page ±. Your Service Group will probably be “Unavailable”. If so, keep hitting the yellow “A” button until a number pops up there. Reboot your box (unplug) and you should be fixed.”

HDMI Issues

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) – uncompressed all-digital audio/video interface that gives you an interface between audio/video sources and audio or video monitors. The HDMI connector replaces DVI. It’s backward compatible with DVI, and an adapter will connect it to a DVI unit. It has 19 pins and carries DVI plus digital audio. If your HDMI cable is longer than 15 meters you will need a repeater box.

Set-top boxes that are compatible with HDMI are:

Motorola HD

  • DCT-6412 P3 (says DCT-6412 III on the lower right of box)
  • DCT-3412

Scientific Atlanta HD

  • Exp 8300 HD

Other manufacturers are: Hitachi, Panasonic Corporation, Philips, Sony, Thomson (RCA), Toshiba

How to Check Diagnostics

Checking diagnostics will help you to determine where a problem originates or if you have a bad cable box. Your “Upstream Power Levels” should be between 30-60 dB’s and not fluctuating. Check your diagnostics according to the type of STB you have by following the instructions below:

  • Motorola – Hit power button on remote to turn cable box off (leave TV on) as soon as you hit the power button immediately hit the OK/Select button on your remote and this will bring up the diagnostics screen. If you don’t hit OK/Select quick enough the diagnostic screen will not appear. Scroll right or left to toggle through menu and find Upstream Status and scroll down to select.
  • Scientific Atlanta – press and hold select on the box until mail icon flashes, then press info and guide at the same time. This brings up diagnostic page.

The Only LCD HDTV Guide you need


Super crisp, yet energy efficient: LCD televisions provide an amazing picture with a wonderfully thin screen, perfect for anyone looking to conserve room space! But, are there alternatives to LCD? Here, we’ll review the current top sellers in terms of customer satisfaction and product excellence, and a comparison of HDTV technologies. Buy an HDTV in confidence, after you’ve educated yourself about all alternatives and upcoming technologies that may replace LCD HDTV!

No Audio on some Channels

The cable from the wall to the your splitter may need to be reseated or it might need to be replaced. Try using a higher quality cable.

Another possibility, go to the menu, navigate to the missing channel in question. Go to settings, language, audio language, then select English. Try going to Menu on your TV then go to the Audio section and try switching around your audio settings.

One Moment Please this channel should be available soon

Check the RF Cable and make sure it’s not plugged into the wrong RF Connections on your cable box. Also check the time and make sure you have the correct time.

Unplug your STB for 2-4 minutes. Plug it back in and in 5 minutes or less you should no longer see “One moment please…” if you do call your Cable Company and have them send an electronic signal to your box.

Channel is currently unavailable. Please try again later.
Reference error code s0a00

Error code s0a00 can refer to an outage in your area.

Program Comcast Remote

  • Press AUX, TV, or Cable once to select and control a device.
  • Press Power once to turn on or off the selected home entertainment device.
  • Use Setup for all programming sequences.
  • Press All On once to turn on or off all programmed devices in this order:
    Cable, TV, and AUX. Afer all devices are on, Cable is the active mode.

Remote Not Responding

Make sure you have fresh batteries. If batteries are good you will need to reset the cable box to get your remote to work.

  • Unplug the cable box.
  • Un-screw both coaxial cables from the back of the box.
  • Wait 2 minutes.
  • Screw coaxial cables back on and plug the box back in.

It will take one to two minutes for the STB to reset after you plug it back in. Once it’s reset your remote will work. If your remote still does not work you will need to have it replaced.

S0A00 Comcast Error

ERR 4/CL-7/S0A00 – Most of the time the S0A00 error code is either RF (Signal) related or there is a temporary outage in your area. Try to power-cycle by unplugging all cables, unplugging the STB (Set top box) for two minutes.

Show Time on Comcast Cable Box

  • Turn on your Comcast cable box and your television.
  • Push the “Menu” button on your Comcast box.
  • Select “Main Menu” with your Comcast cable box remote by hitting the “OK” button in the center.
  • Scroll over to “Setup” using the arrow keys on your Comcast remote and hit “OK.”
  • Scroll down to “Cable Box Setup” and press “OK” on the remote.
  • Switch the “Front LED Display” category to “Current Time” using the left and right arrow keys on the remote. Hit “OK” to complete the changes and return to the main menu.

Troubleshoot DVD Player


DVD player manufacturers are increasingly recommending to customers that they update their DVD player’s firmware so as to end or prevent problems like players grinding to a halt in mid-movie, video pausing periodically, and mysterious hardware shutdowns.

DVD manufacturers such as Philips and Toshiba say firmware updates address DVD player bugs, add advanced DVD features, and improve a player’s ability to handle the latest copy-protection features on DVDs. Updates are available for older-model DVD players, but firmware for HD DVD and Blu-ray DVD players are more common, says Mark Knox, independent consultant and advisor to the Toshiba HD DVD division.

Newer, more-technically sophisticated DVD players have more bugs to be worked out than legacy DVD players, Knox says. Other DVD manufacturers say that new copy-protection schemes being introduced by movie studios are causing headaches for both new and old DVD players.

Service Pack Update for Your DVD

DVD player freezes or shuts off in the menu section when a user attempts to play recent DVD releases.

GoVideo now provides a firmware update fix for customers to install, saying in a statement on its Web site: “GoVideo is offering an upgrade to the VR3840/VR5940 that allows certain Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, or Revolution Studios Movies to play without delay.”

According to DVD player manufacturers contacted for this story, these three studios all have introduced copy protection that goes beyond the industry’s default Content Scrambling System (CSS) antipiracy protection.

Firmware Updates

A look at top-selling DVD players from Panasonic, Philips, and Samsung shows that each of these manufacturers offers firmware updates for its top-selling models.

Sony says it issues firmware updates for its players that help DVD players to fix player bugs, add features, and support its own stronger copy protection called ARccOS. Sony also provides an explanation in PDF format.

How to Check and Update a Player’s Software

Most, if not all, HD DVD and Blu-ray DVD players have built-in ethernet connectors, which greatly eases updating the player’s firmware on the fly. If customers want, they can request (at no charge) a firmware disc that will be sent to them to perform an update.

To date, stand-alone DVD players – along with other consumer electronics gear – have largely been impossible to upgrade because the software used to control the player (called firmware) was embedded into the device. But as DVD players have evolved and grown more sophisticated, firmware is now stored on flash memory in the device. This functionality allows owners to upgrade the players, fix problems, and accommodate new technology without having to visit a service center.

Tools to Update Your DVD Player

Many DVD player manufacturers such as Philips and Sony give users the ability to download the firmware onto their PCs and give instruction on how to burn the firmware onto a DVD and update their player themselves.

One snag you might encounter if your DVD manufacturer does offer a firmware download: These firmware updates are all offered as an ISO image file. ISO image files are exact disc images stored as one file that allow for easy CD or DVD duplication. You cannot use Windows XP alone to burn an ISO image. You must also have a third-party CD-burning software package.

Some popular programs for burning an ISO image are Roxio Easy Media Creator, Nero 7 Ultra Edition, MagicISO, and NTI CD Maker 2000 Professional.

A free ISO creation option is ISO Recorder. There are also software programs like Padus DiscJuggler and Alcohol Software available in trial versions that work well enough to burn a limited number of ISO images.

After you’ve created a DVD with the ISO image, simply put the DVD in your player. Manufacturer instructions differ, but, generally speaking, you’ll be presented with menu choices directing you to trigger the firmware update.

After the DVD player is updated, power it down, then power it back up – and you’re done. The entire process – from downloading to updating your player – will vary based on how long it takes to download the ISO. But the entire process, according to DVD manufacturers, shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Troubleshoot HDTV poor picture or no picture

If you have cable then you will need a High Definition Cable Box; a regular cable box will not allow you to benefit from your HDTV. To go along with your HD Cable Box you will need a HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) Cable, and you may as well get a HDMI splitter. No sense in short changing yourself because you’re shooting for a crystal clear picture.

Video on Demand

If you are having intermittent problems with VOD try to power-cycle your set top box by unplugging the power cord for two minutes. While your box is unplugged un-twist coaxial cable from cable box and also remove it from the other end, either from the splitter or from the wall.

Check the cable, make sure it’s not damaged or worn, After two minutes plug cable back in, plug power back in, give the box a minute or two to reset and this will often correct your Video On Demand problems.

Video on Demand – SRM-8001

Re-enter On Demand. Select ANY SD movie from the selection of free SD movies. Play that movie only until you get past the promo stuff and the actual movie begins.

Immediately hit Stop to exit that movie. You will end up in the On Demand Saved Shows screen showing partially viewed movies still available for viewing. Your SD movie will be there AND YOUR HD MOVIE AS WELL. Select the HD movie and Resume playback. It will work!

When the HD movie finishes you will find the HD movie and the SD movie still on the On Demand Saved Shows screen. To delete the HD movie from this list you must FIRST delete the SD movie you used above to get around the SRM-8001 error.

Weak Signal that affects only one TV and only one channel

Change the splitter and connecting cables going to the affected TV. This should resolve the problem. Take cables and/or splitters and either swap them out or replace them altogether. Some older cables, connectors and splitters can impede certain parts of the bandwidth.

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