Continued pixellation and sound loss despite Shaw's OK on our home systems

ponderer
Grasshopper

How can we get Shaw to check its delivery system.  Several of us are having severe pixel and sound drop-outs during peak evening viewing hours.  Two of us have had service calls, had a couple of changes (Shaw splitters, amplifiers and power sources replaced) and been told that there is now nothing wrong with our systems.  Yet there has been little change in picture or sound quality during peak hours - it is still intolerably bad, often with unidentifiable screen images and staccato noise for sound.  Clearly the issue is the extent of the decline in Shaw's cable signal during peak hours, but service calls are only made during the day and Shaw seems to have no idea what is going on.  We are in southeast Vancouver and wondering how widespread this is.  Is it a system wide problem or simply a matter of replacing some distribution cable or signal amplifiers?At this point, I am about ready to switch carriers; cable, internet, phone, the whole bundle.

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-- Several of us How widespread are all of you? Where do...

mdk
Grand Master

@ponderer -- Several of us 

How widespread are all of you? Where do all of you live? In the same single-family home? In different units in the same condominium/apartment? On the same street? In the same neighbourhood? In the same city?

How many days/months/years has this been going on?

Do you have any cable-splitters inside your home? If so, temporarily bypass them, i.e., TV box directly to the wall-outlet.

> service calls are only made during the day 

Really? You can contact Shaw (online chat or telephone) to get 24/7 online support.

I have had a service technician come to my home at 8 AM on a Sunday, as per an appointment.  I did not ask him what his hours-of-work were.

> Shaw seems to have no idea what is going on.  

Really? That is "painting with a very-wide brush".

How old is the coaxial wiring inside your walls?  Maybe, the only solution would be a complete rewiring of those runs of coaxial cable.

 

 

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In response to your questions: We live in single family h...

ponderer
Grasshopper

In response to your questions:

We live in single family houses in a development built in 1980, and are spread out over about 250 m. in at least 2 different cul-de-sacs..

For some, it has been going on since late 2019 - early 2020.  We had minor and infrequent pixellation and sound loss for the early part of that period, but attributed it to the originating station, since in several instances it occurred at the same time of night on the same program.  The virtual total loss of picture on most channels during prime-time began a couple of weeks ago for us.  A couple of channels seem to be unaffected, but I have no desire to watch black-and-white reruns from the 1950s, TSN for minor sports, etc.

No, we do not have splitters within the house.  Each PVR is connected by a single cable run directly to the terminal in the garage, and as I indicated, the serviceman replaced the outdated Shaw devices at the entry (splitter, amplifier and power source) and we have 10 year-old smart cabling from that point to the PVRs.  Also, as I indicated, he tested to compare signal strength at the entry and at the PVRs and said that our system is excellent and that if we had any further problems, then it would be due to the strength of the arriving signal and an issue for Shaw, not within my house.  Another neighbour similarly had his system setup checked and found nothing wrong, but still has the same problem.  Another neighbour was told she needed a new PVR and was sold a complete new BlueCurve system, and still has the same problem.

24 hour support by online chat or telephone can do nothing to determine if our problem is the drop in the Shaw signal during prime time.  After all, none of us are having difficulties outside of prime time, so the issue is where is the signal strength drop occurring - before it gets to us in the Shaw delivery system, or within our home systems.  At least two of us have been told that the problem is not in our systems, so is it in the 40 year old underground cable to the individual units, or in Shaw's broader distribution system of cable and repeater/amplifier facilities?  Someone needs to check the signal strength in the distribution wiring here to see where the drop originates, and you cannot do that by phone or by computer chat.  That is unless you can determine if the problem is due to too many users instead of old systems.

Painting with a wide brush?  So far that seems appropriate according to the reports I am getting from neighbours who are livid about the service, or lack thereof. Service  visits are sometimes helpful, but online and phone support seems to be primarily (as in your response) "well it must be something wrong with the customers system".  If that is broad brush, well there is a lot of surface to cover.

As I have said here and earlier, we installed smart cables about 10 years ago.  Others may have original 40 year old cabling internally (the same age as Shaw's external lines), but we personally have high quality cables with direct runs from the box in the garage to terminals for the entertainment centre and for the office.  Each PVR has its own direct connection to the entrance terminal. We do not need to rewire our house as we already have.

The technician said that if we still had signal problems, then it was occurring in the feed to our house.  Now how do we address that problem?  Stop with the tired "oh, it must be something at your end".  Turn this back into a support forum, not a corporate excuse podium!

 

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checking each PVR, the signal to your equipment looks sol...

shaw-tony
Moderator
Moderator

@ponderer checking each PVR, the signal to your equipment looks solid with no errors showing up. I've checked the area and there are no open tickets on issues. During the time of pixelation, do you notice any degradation is your other services? What are some of the specific channels you are having issues with, does it affect VOD content?

We often do maintenance in areas to ensure service stability. In your situation, it may be best to schedule a service technician to visit and review the connections outside your home along with the street equipment.

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There may not be any open tickets in our area, but two of...

ponderer
Grasshopper

There may not be any open tickets in our area, but two of us who have had service calls have not had the problem resolved.  Yes they found no problem at our end so we should not have a reception problem (so, ticket closed?), but the picture is no better than before.  Neighbours have at least three service visits scheduled, 2 on the morning of the 23rd and the other later that week, and as of last night a fourth person was trying to book an appointment.  Earlier he was told the problem was his PVR and he needed a new one, but the problem was still there even with the new device.
We do not notice degradation in other service during pixellation/sound dropouts. Internet, email access and phones are OK (although all of our Shaw landline phones - 3 phones on 2 numbers - are out right now with no dial tones) and internet download speeds during pixellation are around 16.2 on 15 MBps service, the same as at mid-day.

Which channels do we have trouble with?  Only the ones, and all of the ones, that we watch, 3, 5, 9,17,18, 26, 27, 29, 44,78, 84, 87, and all of them are quite uniformly bad.  Most of the other channels are similar.  Channel 13, Omni, Joy, TSN (at least when there are no major games on) and one of the old re-run channels seem to be less affected or unaffected. Last night, CTV Toronto was very good in prime time while the same program on CTV Maritimes was as bad as non time-shift channels. 

We do not use VOD, so have no idea how it is impacted.  We use our PVRs to time-shift local channels daily, e.g., news, soaps, etc. and to fit weekly programs (FrontLine, etc) and special presentations (e.g.,Opera at the Met) into our schedule.

Drop-outs start around 6:30, get worse until 8:00 8:30 and stay horrible until about 10:00 and then begin to improve.  By midnight the service has returned to normal.

With three service calls scheduled for next week, how do we ensure that local service gets checked?  All of the housing here was built in 1980-81, so many will have issues at the home that could produce problems, and like my case and the other neighbour (a Shaw employee), some minor changes may improve the signal at the PVR relative to infeed.  The problem is that thee does not seem to be any followup to see if the changes at the house have solved the picture problems.  It seems to be a matter of "found a problem with signal drop-off between the street and the PVR, fixed it, so ticket closed" without seeing if the real problem - infeed signal drop-off - was solved.  The problem only occurs in prime time, so it may be hard to detect on a daytime visit.

Would appreciate your advice on how to have the local Shaw system checked, because otherwise you will face a round of technician calls and if service does not soon  improve, lose a half dozen or so customers, some of whom, like us, get the full $200(+/-) a month bundle.  My wife is ready to jump ship, NOW! she says.

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Hi there: I have similar issue; and I am in East Vancouve...

F888
Grasshopper

Hi there: I have similar issue; and I am in East Vancouver, BC.  Pixellation and sound loss despite only around 6pm to 11pm or 1am on most of the channels more than 1 week now.  No one could figure it our from Shaw. I have arranged Shaw Tech on-site in a week; and let's hope Shaw will figure it before then.  I wonder if the Shaw Fibre 1.5 was released a week ago https://www.itbusiness.ca/news/shaw-communications-offers-1-5gbps-fibre-internet-for-west-coast-cana... that cause the prime time TV connection issue.  Sigh!

 

 

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This is an ongoing problem in the Cloverdale area of Surr...

e_b
Grasshopper

This is an ongoing problem in the Cloverdale area of Surrey!  Shaw doesn't seem to want to deal with it.  Time we all look at what Telus has to offer, which seems to better prices, options and 24/7 service lines.   Since Shaw only things that problems are only answerable during daytime hours indicates to me they are hoping we won't complain about our evening service.

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I am in the Vancouver East on 7th Ave and Woodland in a c...

brooks8075
Grasshopper

I am in the Vancouver East on 7th Ave and Woodland in a condo apartment and I know for a fact that one of the suites 2 doors down from me  has the same issue - I have had same problem for weeks now with 3 tech. visits only during the day and I am told my signal is more than adequate. Every single thing that could be done has been done in my suite. My TV is perfect during the day everyday. The issue of sound drop and pixelated starts early evening and gradually gets worse until unwatchable, and it occurs every evening around the same time - HD channels are more affected than lower channels. Everything else has no issues (apps, VOD subscriptions, internet, etc.) Recordings set up to takes place during that time demonstrate the issue. I have done multiple service calls with both Technical and Customer Service and hours and hours of my time describing  the issue in details over and over at nauseum and keep being told I have to update my plan and all my equipment. I am quite convinced that this will not solve anything and I don't understand why going wireless is going to help...might even be worse. I keep suggesting the issue is not with me but needs to be elevated to someone who needs to find and address the actual source of the problem which I strongly believe is the delivery outside the building or in the cable room located in the building, and that service needs to be checked during the evening maybe sometime around 9:00 pm as it is really bad around that time - It all started after a full outage around 4:00 am in many areas during the night a few weeks ago after a full outage during an upgrade or service or something done during the night (I know that because me and my neighbor with same issue were both up and unable to access anything including internet) - No one so far has even hinted at checking somewhere else and the issue remains unresolved - I am not prepared to change all my equipment and services until I feel confident that Shaw has even tried to find and fix what the actual problem and THEN I can consider upgrading my equipment and plan, or not. I'm at at dead end with Shaw and looking to change provider, which I really do not want to do after 30 years with so much as a contract with Shaw. Meantime I keep paying full price for service I don't get -Thanks for the opportunity to repeat my story...I hope for the last time one way or the other only because it seems I have no choice 😞

 

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-- Shaw claims to offer 24/7 service, via online Call Cen...

mdk
Grand Master

@brooks8075 -- Shaw claims to offer 24/7 service, via online Call Centres back East (N. Ontario, and the Maritimes).

(Last summer, during COVID-19, I did have a Shaw Technician come to my house at 8 AM on a Sunday.)

So, contact Shaw at 9 PM (your time), and get the Shaw Agent to remotely logon to the Shaw TV box, to view the "signal-strength" reaching the box. Bad signal-strength can cause the symptoms you are reporting.

 

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Thank you so much for your response MDK, I have also been...

brooks8075
Grasshopper

Thank you so much for your response MDK, I have also been able to schedule an get a Tech. on Sundays at 08:00 am. I have tried your suggestion before to reach technical service in the evenings, I'm in Vancouver and over here these days nobody answers calls in the evenings. Would be nice if they provided an option to check remotely (They used to). When reaching for technical service is selected we are automatically told  some sort of "automatic reset signal" is being automatically sent to the equipment(box) and that it "might restore service"... that it ! No other options choices presented other than (Goodbye) !. - I'm thinking it could be because most times we get transferred to someplace back east or some other countries it might be too late everywhere?...I don't know - (Definitely no 24/7 in Vancouver) But I will try again in case anything has changed in the last couple of days. I have just been going around in circles with Shaw World Without End...my head is spinning lol.

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