A l'il sum'tin Cablevision...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A l'il sum'tin Cablevision...

...subscribers might find useful... I certainly did!

I was watching television late one evening when, without warning, the sound quit. No flicker, no flash, no clap of thunder over the Riverhead Plains... just silence!

The image on the screen was still there in vibrant color, and the closed caption was displaying, so there was dialogue, I just couldn't hear it.

Fearing the worst, I dropped a pair of scissors on the floor, which impact caused a satisfying clatter.

Whew! It wasn't me!

Checked other channels... silent all.

So I went to bed and, technical Polyanna that I am, hoping against hope that it'd be all better in the morning.

A clue that there would be no joy on the morrow, was that the smaller bedroom set worked 5x5... awwww, jeez!

Reluctantly, I set about poking around the back of the set making sure that the cable fittings were snug, fiddled with every imaginable revelant control on any of the remote devices I have (four, at last count!), played back some previously recorded programs on the DVR... still nothing!

Then I did that thing that few of my gender like to do: I got out the manual... which, validating a life-long aversion to such a tactic, proved worthless.

It did, however, provide a toll-free assistance number for Sharp Electronics, and even though it had been purchased just shy of six years ago, the 'phone representative worked diligently with me to resolve the problem.

He had me crawling around behind the set, flashlight in one hand, 'phone receiver held against my ear by my shoulder, the other hand pulling color-coded wire leads from one bank of plugs into another bank... ultimately to no avail.

What the Sharp service assistant did do, was assign me a case number, and direct me to their closest authorized repair center, Atlantic Electronics, in Center Moriches.

Althought it was nearly 5:30 pm on a Saturday, I took the shot and figured I would leave a distress message on Atlantic's answering machine... but I got lucky and the call went to his cell' 'phone and I was able to speak directly with owner Peter Kromhout.

I fully explained my problem, outlined the steps the Sharp guy had had me perform and we set up a tentative on-site appointment for Tuesday morning.

"O," I added, "one more thing for you to consider. When I switch to DVD mode, the sound works fine."

"You should have led off with that information," Peter said. "Re-boot your cable box."

"But the picture is fine!" I felt compelled to note.

"Try it and get back to me," he said, not unkindly.

After subscribing to L.I. Cablevision cum Optimum for the past however many years, the one thing I knew how to do was re-boot the cable box, but it had always been because of image quality or missing channels.

(Pull out the thin plastic card, disconnect the power source, wait five seconds, reconnect the power supply then reinsert the plastic card.)

Performed the ritual, watered the pups in the yard, came back and switched everything on... and was rewarded with glorious sound!

I called Peter Kromhout back and thanked him for the diagnosis, then called Sharp to close my case number, and suggest that they add the information to their knowledge base for possible future remedial procedures.

For their part, the Cablevision section of Optimum has made it known for more than a year now that they are phasing out their current DVR (i.e., Scientific Atlantic SA8300HD with a hard drive)...

Scientific Atlantic SA8300HD device

...and "upgrading" (not in my view!) to some sort of Multi-Room DVR for an additional $12.95/month.

(Wha-at? We've got a TV in the living room and a smaller set in the bedroom... we neither need nor want any new-fangled "multi-room" capability!)

But for however long my SA8300HD DVR device works, now I know... thanks to Peter Kromhout at Atlantic Elec­tronics... another trick to keep it clunking along.


1. Peeved on Potunk said...

Interesting find, but a little late to be of real help.

Take a closer look at Cablevision's new program guide... it's nothing more than a Judas Goat to lead/force consumers to purchase their DVR service as you can no longer record programs onto a VCR as long as you have Cablevision. While you can still set the date and time for recording on your VCR when you select a program for recording on the new program guide, it gives you a phone number to call to order Cablevision's DVR service (at $10.95/month). Optimum representatives I spoke with earlier this month confirm the only way to record with a VCR now is to turn on the box and tune to the channel when you want it to record.

Well, if you are using a VCR then you are probably not home to watch the program... so how are you suppose to turn on the box at the right time. If Cablevision doesn't correct this and fast I'm leaving their service.

As dour a view I have of Cablevision, I haven't found this to be the case... yet. But then my SA8300HD device is still working.

But yes, I am aware that when I have to "upgrade" my cablebox, I'm going to no longer be able to have some of the conveniences to which I've become accustomed... like pause and back up a program we're watching "live" to confirm something we saw or heard... that will suck!
– Dean

2. Arlene said...

I'm nosey.

You're quite welcome.

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