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Discussion Starter #1
I will try to outline my story as best I can...it is complicated and very frustrating. I am looking for advice or ideas on how to move forward and what I should be asking when speaking to the Office of the President and customer service.

- This issue has been ongoing for about 2 years now...there have been 14 techs out to visit my apartment including 2 senior techs. I live in a 21-story building in Brampton.


About 2 years ago, I started experiencing intermittent pixelation on several channels (mostly HD). It has "seemed" to progessively worsen with time.

I had 7 techs (1 senior) out last year and all "saw" the problem. Most of them replaced all my cabling, splitter, inserted a booster, removed a booster, replaced my PVR 3 times, told me to replace my HDMI cables, etc...

Nothing was solved.

Over that time, I was credited 2 months free...

I got used to the issue and kind of just gave up because I was frustrated and extremely tired of having to move furniture, be home, replace cables, make calls to technical support, etc...

The pixellation seemed to worsen this summer and I decided that I have had enough of it, especially since I bought a $6000 Pioneer Kuro and new set of speakers.

So, I started calling in again to see if the problem could get resolved...

Again, more techs, more redundancy. I got another 1 month credit. Still pixelation...this time the techs finally came to the conclusion that the issue isn't INSIDE MY APARTMENT UNIT.

Another tech came out (claiming to be a senior tech - I was told later he was not) and didn't do anything except tell me that he sees this problem all the time and that nothing could be done as it is a "building issue" and that I should "move" or "switch to Bell". He then told me that what he said is "off the record" and that I shouldn't tell anyone what he said as he was "just being honest with me".

I complained again that I was still having issues...So, they sent a senior tech to come monitor the feed from the main cable box in the building. He came twice and sat in the hallway to monitor the feed on a small monitor. He stayed for 2 hours each time...1st time with a digital box (4250?)...and then with a PVR (8300). He had me on the cell phone watching my tv and told me to tell him when I see pixelation and he would turn to the channel to see if he could see the same. Of course, he saw no issues at all...but then again, I wasn't seeing many occurrences as it was during the late afternoon - when the issue seems to be least prevalent. I explained to him that my issue seemed to be most prevalent during evening hours and weekends and he said that was "nonsense" and "impossible" as time of day can not affect the signal...yet I am 100% sure that it worsens at night and on the weekends.

After asking me if I was "really seeing the issue?", he concluded that the feed is fine and that the issue must be between my apartment and the cable room (cables within the concrete walls). He sent that as his report and said he doubted that anything could be done as they wouldn't be able to replace the 40 year old cables in the concrete walls. He gave me his cell phone number and told me he would contact me over the next week to 10 days with any solutions, etc...

I did not hear back from him. I waited 10 days and called him leaving a message indicating that the problems had continued and that the picture quality seemed to get worse and that also some of my Super Sports Pack channels were no longer working. I was also experiencing blurring/pixelation during fast moving scenes in movies and sports. He did not return my call.

I tried again, 7 days later - no answer, no return call.

I put another call into Rogers tech support, and again they sent a tech to investigate the issues, especially the Sports Pack channels not working (just showing black). I am currently dealing with that as channels 378, 379, 380, 381, 495, 496, 497 (all at 435mHz) have been black during events (and all the time). This tech's boss is now trying to solve the issue. The phone techs said they show them working at their office and that they see a "really weak" signal coming to my digital box. Yet the tech that was here says the signal is fine.

I sent a letter to the office of the president, and they called me back 3 times - all early in the morning when I was sleeping. They left a message each time, but no return number to call. They then sent me a letter indicating that they tried calling, but was unable to reach me and that I should call 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX to get ahold of someone. I tried calling, but it keeps going to a automated message and directory that requires a password. #, 0, * didn't work to get to an operator or anything - it just would hang up.

I have sent another letter to the office of the president and have not heard back at all for 10 days now.

So, to recap...

- I have intermittent pixelation that can get really bad at times (sometimes breaking up the pic and sound every 30 seconds for about 1 second continuously for an hour or more).

- 7 of the Super Sports Pack channels don't work. They are just showing black at all times, even during scheduled football and hockey games.

- I am now getting breakup / pixelation during fast moving scenes in movies and sports (this just started in the last 3 weeks since the last senior tech was monitoring things in the main cable room).


Any suggestions? Unfortunately, I can't get any other service in my building as they are Rogers exclusive and don't allow satellite dishes.

Please help.
 

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He sent that as his report and said he doubted that anything could be done as they wouldn't be able to replace the 40 year old cables in the concrete walls
Didn't read it all but I think you answered your own question.

An apartment building really isn't much different from a house, in the sense that, a cable company can't do much about the wiring inside the building. That is the homeowners or apartment building owners issue.

Don't think you can really blame Rogers for this one. (if the tech is accurate)
 

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Sounds like a signal strength issue. Have you measured the signal strength and S/N ratio on the affected channels when it happens?

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=17719

I would have thought that by now they would have found the poor connection, or added an amp or both. Yes, signals can get worse at certain times of the day - often due to the (main) connection coming to the apartment perhaps being affect by temperature - poor connection/contraction.

As mentioned by Hugh above, if the cables are bad in the building and they're not willing to replace, then there's not much that you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This tech said that temperature, etc... is all nonsense and myths and he said he has over 20 years experience, etc...

Anyways, he told me that the building doesn't really have a say in whether they could replace cables in the walls, etc... he says it is up to Rogers but that they wouldn't bother with it. Again - not sure exactly what the real facts are - just what I am being told.

He also told me that it may be possible to run a cable up from the cable room to my apartment, but that it would "make the neighbours jealous and cause them more headaches" but that he would discuss the issues with maintenance and get back to me within a week...of course it has been 3 weeks and nothing...and he won't return my calls.

Should I contact the owners of the building?

This is just one headache after another....it is costing me a lot of "time". You would think that 14 techs over 2 years could get to the root of the issue and just correct it. That is all that I want.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As for the S/N ratio, it used to jump around a lot during the issue...32 to 38 or so....also there were corrected blocks or something like that.

Now it is stable around 34-35....but the issue still happens.

And of course there are the other issues...
 

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Should I contact the owners of the building?
My guess is it won't do any good but who knows, maybe if you cause a ruckus, they will consider a separate cable run
 

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If other people in the building are having issues, then something may get done - talk to your neighbours. If no-one else is having issues, then nothing may get done, but if you get a separate cable and it solves the problem... What about signal strength?
 

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Is it possible that the cable is split multiple times between different apartments. You told us your S/N ratio, but not the signal strength. If it is outside the optimal levels, it could be because of the "sharing"/splitting going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The signal strength is pretty close to 0db i believe...told that there is no problem seen with that except when I call in, they show my signal as low.

The neighbours that I talk to say they see pixelation occasionally (2 of them have seen it) but that they don't really care as they don't watch tv that much.

There are no ORANGE numbers or issues except on the channels that the Super Sports Pack are not working...they are showing UNLOCKED and 0 as the S/N ratio....but again, that is not really the main issue - the ongoing pixelation is.
 

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The 0 S/N ratio on the SSP is somewhat worrisome. I suspect a poor connection/splitter/cable inside your apartment (they should have checked all those, but perhaps they didn't find the bad one). Also, sometimes certain phones/devices (2.4 GHz I believe) can cause issues if the connections are not all "good" - usually a poor connection, or a bad splitter that allows this ingress. (If I recall, Hugh had this at his home a while back)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't have a phone...just use my cell phone - BlackBerry Bold 9700.

The 0 S/N is only on the sports channels that are showing black...only a select few (all at 435mHz QAM frequency). I have 1 splitter that goes to my digital box and to my computer for internet. It has been checked and changed twice. All inside cables have been changed multiple times as the keep thinking it would solve the issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, a Rogers tech just called me (the same Senior Tech) that I have been waiting on for weeks now...and informed me that...

As for the 6 channels that are black of the Super Sports Pack (435mHZ QAM Frequency)...I will never get them...because the lobby camera downstairs is on the same frequency and as he quoted..."Rogers will do nothing about this for people in buildings".

I guess my big issue is when these channels were on other channels (others high 400s...) I was getting them. Since they moved the channels around several weeks ago, now they are on this frequency and I am not getting them...and they won't do anything about it.

I guess another issue I have to discuss with the Office of the President...

He also told me that they should have never sent a tech out for this issue not told me on the phone that I have a weak signal...that this issue is a well-known issue that should be common knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, now I am really upset.

The senior tech who was the last to look into my issue just called and left a voice mail stating that:

- there is nothing more Rogers technical support can do for me

- this is the digital world and nothing is perfect - everyone is going to experience signal issues "from time to time" is how he put it, yet I am experiencing it every evening and all weekends especially

- that I should take this up with the office of the president further


You have got to be kidding me?

I have been told to move, switch to bell, and now that the digital world isn't perfect all by Rogers senior techs.
 

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so no offence, and not trying to be smart but...

why DON'T you switch to Bell or just get all your content online?

Seems like it's time to move on...
 

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bbtfastback, read the OP's post

Unfortunately, I can't get any other service in my building as they are Rogers exclusive and don't allow satellite dishes.
 

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I have a friend with similar problems to yours. He put up a Bell dish beside his washer/dryer combo facing south-west INSIDE his small apartment laundry/powder room. He still pulls in 75+ signal strength even with the dish being on the wrong side of the glass. It solved his problem, maybe it could be something for you to consider?? Also, Bell gave him a pretty sweet 2 year deal for switching over to them..
 

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You have got to be kidding me?
Do your neighbours experience similar problems? With digital STBs, Rogers can check logs to see when failures occurred. That might point them to some common cause.

However, based on what you've said, I suspect the problem may be in the building cabling, which might not be under Rogers' control. If it's 40 years old, you can count on some cable deterioration or connector failures. That building may be well past due for re-cabling.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Talked to the office of the president today.

I have been credited 1 month of my cable bill and 35% off for 1 year going forward.

He suggested some other things to try to narrow down the cause of the issue and I will be pursuing them in the meantime.

He also asked me to keep in touch so that I can inform him of the progress and possibly help me to diagnose the issue going forward.

I guess it is reasonable. Still wished I could just get the issues fixed.
 

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Entire issue sounds frustrating. Trouble should be found and fixed for all in the building. Intermittent troubles are the worst to try and solve and resolve.

You mentioned that the building is running something of their own on the internal cabling? (lobby camera? on certain frequencies? and that is killing some channels for you - not a great situation - difficult issue to resolve).

There is always the possibility those devices the building is running on the internal cabling are causing other interference ... in addition to the lost channels. (it seems digital services from cable companies require the entire bandwidth of the cable now ... and so add on's by the Building may cause issues - as you are experiencing).

You mention you're in a 21 storey bldg. If you are relatively close to the entry point of the Rogers services to the building ... they (Bldg, or Rogers or both together w/permission) could try to run you a separate temp cable direct - to try and prove if the fault lies in the internal bldg cabling to your unit (or possibly if fault lies with interference by Bldg attached devices).

Usually it's old deteriorating cabling or connections. Or old spec cabling not quite living up to todays requirements for digital services.

You need to get them to reveal some measurements and numbers to you.

ex. "What is the range of signal level (power) I should receive at my Digital Box and what was actually measured?" "May I know please?"

Re-wiring the building is something probably quite expensive, and maybe a little disruptive - something that all will try to avoid (anyway they can!). Shameful. If it needs to be done ... they'd better plan for it.

That's the problem these days ... not willing to step up and really find and fix the issue... and who will pay ???

We had trouble at a townhouse in Ottawa. When I figured out it was the cabling to the house from outside (by my own barebones testing) ... I just called them and TOLD them ... "outside cabling from your outside BOX to the townhouse is bad... and we will now be making an appointment with you to have it replaced. Thank you. and also ... I will be there in person to help your technician(s) in any way that they may need me."

Brand new cable installed, one clean run to the house - all old cable and junctions and splices removed... (all the old junk out) ... and all problems solved - and much better picture quality on many channels now. All at townhouse much happier now.

It's good they're sending the techs and giving you a discount. They recognize there is a problem.

Keep working with them and be as co-operative as you can.

Sometimes those troubles are really hard to fix. Technically... and politically (re the BDU and "the Building" - all the various players involved.

When I worked in Telecommunications ... they gave me a problem once ... and it took me literally a whole week, on and off with various tests and trials, but I finally got the bugger ... and got it fixed ... (by moving services away from some bad hardware ... to some alternate hardware... and that solved it).

Hope all this helps. Let us know how it goes. All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for the reply mrvanwinkles.

They told me that due to "safety issues" they could not run a cable direct to my apartment, that it would be "in the way" of other people in the building and that it would also make "other tenants jealous" that I am getting special treatment. I have suggested this to test it many times.

Interesting idea that the lobby cam might be causing other issues...I guess that is possible.

I am communicating with the "AREA REPRESENTATIVE" who handles all the apartments in the area in terms of "selling the product"...and he has indicated that he will do all he can to help...so we will see where that goes.

The superintendent also suggested I put up fliers on the bulletin board of the laundry room for people to "TELL THE SUPER" if they have any cable issues, as there may be strength in numbers here in terms of getting some things changed.

Anyways, I won't give up with this, because it has already come too far....who knows maybe it will even be solved by the time I move out into a house of my own?!
 
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