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· Registered
2,013 Posts
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.

· Registered
2,013 Posts
Yes, I understand about: "safety issues" with a special cable run ... and with making "other tenents jealous".

From the Cable Co's and the Building's point of view / point of reference ... these are real concerns.

If one tenent gets something better ... it will soon precipitate to everyone wanting it.

... and of course that may require a possible resolution of the whole problem for the whole building. An expensive and lengthy exercise everyone wants to avoid.

Maybe they'll find a "work around" solution. An alternate solution.

· Registered
2,013 Posts
JamesK ... you know what ... what a coincidence ... I thought more about it today ... and had the same thoughts ...

I imagined a similar solution to this problem and it went something like this.

Each floor must have a connection closet - with coax to each unit.

Run a conduit up the outside of the building and feed each floor's connection closet with a fibre. Demux unit/ fibre to coax on each floor ... and reconnect each user on each floor.

Something like that.

They must have solutions like this.

But there's always the issue of how to re-connect the lobby camera to this new system. There's some extra work there ...

Just imagining a solution ...

Rogers and Building... are you monitoring our posts / ideas ???

· Registered
2,013 Posts

thanks... now we know a little bit more about structure of how the units in the building are fed.

really ... first they gotta figure out where the real problem is.

Is the problem in (one of) the feeds to (one of) the hub's on the 6th or 17th floors?


Is the problem in the feeds from (one of) the hubs (6th or 17th) to the units?


Is the problem something else ?

What we are talking about is re-running part(s) of the feeds to the units in the building. But you've gotta know what NEEDS to be re-run.

If they can pin point where the trouble(s) actually lie(s) ... then an entire re-wireing of the whole building may NOT be necessary.

Sometimes there is just one thing ... or a just a couple or just a few things causing all the problems.

Find those few troubles ... fix those few troubles ... and there's no need to re-wire the whole building.

It's all in the testing and analysis ... and determining where the real "troubles" lie.

Does that help in the understanding of what we're talking about?

· Registered
2,013 Posts
Just some suggestions ... ideas for testing.

1. Disconnect everything in your unit, except the PVR/digital box and the TV it runs - and monitor for some time - and see if the problem continues.

i.e. just disconnect the cable going to the input of 3 way splitter and run it straight to the PVR/digital box and run only that TV in your unit. (Use a straight coupler and a separate length of (known good) coax extension / good piece of coax to extend the cable to your PVR/digital box if necessary)

(that will remove everything else in your unit from the setup... It'll remove the other 2nd TV, and remove the internet/cable modem/and computer from the unit set up. it will also remove the 3 way splitter, it's "losses" and all those other cables and connectors in your unit. will also remove the existing piece of cable from the splitter to your PVR from the testing setup.)

[ the splitter, all cables, connectors, equipment etc. in your unit - are all suspect - for leakage, intermittent shorts, interference etc.(coax braid/connectors/foil,staples,bends/center conductor), bad connections/connectors, crappy leaky cables - we're trying to remove as many of these things from the testing setup as possible to try and isolate if any of them are "bad" or causing any trouble or interference. The cable modem and internet setup are also suspect. Signals are fed back through the splitter from the computer and modem - back to the Cable co. ... and even those signals might affect your PVR/digital box operation and reception - turn off the computer and the cable modem - and TV#2 - power them down.]

2. Glad to hear they "may" let you run a cable direct (for testing) to your unit from the distribution room.

Again ... for testing ... first run it direct to your PVR/digital box with nothing else attached. No splitter, no internet, no other TV.

If tech comes, take comparison measurements with tech's test set - and note down those measurements.

Current setup - measurement? (in your unit. before and after splitter. At PVR/Digital box. At internet/cable modem. At second TV.

Test cable direct to distribution room - measurement(s)? At your end. At distribution room. Note down measruments.

See if there's any major signal losses anywhere.

[ You may have done some of these things already ... but humour me ... try it the way I describe. ]

3. Power (?).

Not likely ... but never know ...sometimes the power feeding the equipment causes trouble.
If the power to your PVR/Digital box has lots of noise, spikes, or has a loose connection ... power variations or noise in the power feed to your digital devices can cause trouble. Is power clean and good? Are you using a surge and noise protector? Is ground good?

4. EMI - Electromagnetic Interference. Need more Sheilding?
EM radio waves in the area causing trouble with your digital equipment? Cell phones being used nearby? Nearby Cell phone towers or other transmitters? Wireless routers or computer networks in the area? Anything that transmits.

(solution might be better sheilding of your equipment. PVR/digital box / TV. Is ground good on your AC power? )

· Registered
2,013 Posts
test ideas continued ...

5. BER test - Bit Error Rate test.

In Telecommunications we used to do a BER test. Bit Error Rate test.

A soft or hard "signal loop-back" is created at one end of the facility (coax cable) being tested... and at the other end a piece of test equipment (digital test-set) generates a signal that sends a digital test pattern down the line.

The digital "test-set" receives back the signal it sends out (the loop-back at the other end sends it back)... and the test set compares what it receives back with what it sends out - digitally - bit by bit (byte by byte comparison).

The digital tester/test-set counts the differences - the errors - and keeps a running count on the display.

Usually the BER test would be run for 24 hours straight (if not more ... like days). Digital tester/ test-set remains in place.

The test should be almost perfect. No digital errors. Maybe only one or two errors acceptable over 24 hours.

If it's counting more errors ... there's a problem.

We'd set it up ... and let it run...

We'd even go around all the suspect cables and connectors and equipment... wiggle all those connections in the path and see if they were solid ... or if wiggling any cables, connections etc. generated errors.

We found all kinds of troubles and weaknesses that way.

One guy would watch the tester display ... another guy would go around and wiggle and shake stuff - they'd be in communcation with each other via a cell phone or 2 way radio.

Hard loop back = a physical loop-back connection - probably near your PVR.
(something at the end of your PVR's coax-cable that will feed back the signal)

Soft loop back = a software initiated command to your equipment - probably to your PVR - to set up a loop-back internally. This tests deeper into your equipment - into some of your PVR's internal circuitry as well.

I do not know if PVR's can do this sort of thing ... or not ... but I've seen that some PVR's can count digital errors.

Ask your service providor / tech if they can do a BER test. Bit rate error test with a digital test-set and a digital loop back.

This is the real way to track down digital errors.

At least that was what we used to do in Telecommunications.

Go for it ... ask em' to do that ... see what they say ...

now you're pulling out the Big Guns ...

I'd be interested to hear what they say about that request.

CorpFan - rock'n roll Bud ... all the best/best of luck with this ...


· Registered
2,013 Posts
Yes. What Snorlax wrote makes sense.

One possibility is that the signals from the cable modem interfere with the function of the digital box / PVR.

I wrote earlier in my long post:

mrvanwinkles said:
The cable modem and internet setup are also suspect.
The cable splitter is designed to split signal and feed it to all devices.

But the splitter is also designed to provide signal isolation between the various devices connected to it - so their signals don't interfere with each other.

So - if the cable modem for your internet is not isolated quite enough from your other devices (ie digital box / pvr) - via the splitter ... that may cause interference.

Anyway ... my testing advice in my long post earlier - was to disconnect everything else from the setup. Turn everything else off / power it down / shut all the rest off and even un-plug it from the AC power to make sure it's actually dead ... and then try ONLY the Digital box and TV connected straight to the cable coming in to your place.

Probably this test has already been done - you've done it already... but humour me ... try this test - and see if the intermittent pixellation stops.

(consider all the other things I've mentioned also)

(would be surprized if your service providor actually agreed to try and do a BER test with an expert tech and a digital test set ... but you never know... you can always hope ... or ask)

· Registered
2,013 Posts
I wrote:

mrvanwinkles said:
One possibility is that the signals from the cable modem interfere with the function of the digital box / PVR
... or that signals from other people's equipment in the building, connected to the cable wiring in the building ... is causing issues.

In which case the service providor / cable company will have to monitor very carefully (probably digitally) what's coming down your line ... or the "lines" near to yours, in your distribution room ... to figure out if there's interference coming from the other customers.

Ya .. it could be long and complex ... finding the real source of the trouble.

Then again it could be simple. Like the line to your place is just crap ... and needs to be changed.

But it needs to be proved by testing - before they go and rip anything out or start changing things - trial and error replacing stuff not a good way to solve these sorts of intemittent troubles.

· Registered
2,013 Posts
It's a long shot ... but what about your TV receiver Corpfan?

Corpfan said:
I bought a $6000 Pioneer Kuro and new set of speakers.
... remember everything is suspect.

That seems like a very special and unique high end TV receiver!

For fun ... try a different TV with the Digital Box.

Try your 2nd TV from the other room - hooked up to the digital box - instead of your high end Pioneer Kuro.

( I'm just trying to give as many ideas / possibilities as I can think of ... )
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