Greg Cohoon (drmellow) wrote,
Greg Cohoon

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Digital Cable Woes

What is it called when your digital cable gets freaky? When the picture freezes or gets "blocky" and the audio skips? Well, whatever that's called, it's happening to my cable right now.

Here I am, trying to watch "The Truth About Cats And Dogs" (and not afraid to admit it, by the way), and the picture keeps skipping, making it almost unwatchable. I just called Time Warner Cable to report the problem and the lady said that she was "sending a signal to reset my box" and that I should give it "20 or 30 minutes to fix itself" and if there's still I problem, I should call back and they'll send a technician. I really don't know anything about how digital cable works, but is it really possible that this is a problem that takes 30 minutes to fix remotely? Or is it more likely that this is simply something that randomly happens and they hope it goes away in 30 minutes and I won't call back? This sounds suspiciously like the software developer's answer of "bounce the machine" and it'll work fine for the annoying bugs that we don't know how to reproduce or fix. That, coupled with the fact that they can never explain why this sort of thing happens or why "reprogramming the box" is supposed to fix it, leads me to believe that the people at Time Warner don't know what they are talking about. Is there some higher body I should be lodging my complaints with as well -- should I report this to the FCC or something?

This is very annoying. It happens occasionally, and I usually just ignore it. But I've been getting sick of all the Time Warner commercials I see on TV boasting about how digital cable is superior to satellite because the picture and sound quality is as good or better and you don't have to worry about losing service during inclement weather. OK, maybe I don't have to worry about losing service during inclement weather. Instead, I have to worry about losing service at random! The last time this happened was during the last 20 minutes of a movie I was watching on FX and it was extra-annoying because the picture and sound were terrible during the show and most of the commercials, but whenever a Time Warner commercial came on telling me how great Time Warner service is, everything cleared up.

It's already been 20 minutes since I called and there are still problems. I just might end up making them send a technician out here.

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