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jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


#29132 24-Dec-2008 21:59
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Hi everyone,

I hope I'm not going to sound too much like a novice Embarassed

I've had Sky installed for a few months now (since July) and for the past couple of weeks, a few channels haven't been working properly. It only happens for CI, Documentary, Fox News and Fashion TV when, at about 9pm, those channels go dead (black screen) and I get a rain fade screen error after about 5-10 seconds. Then they resume at around 10am the next morning. If I don't get the black screen straight away, the channels pixelates for a while, then get the rain fade thing. The weird thing is that all the other channels work fine, which is really confusing and everything was fine and dandy until a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't as bad at first though, because the channels would start pixelating for a few minutes, then the screen would go black and then th picture would resume after a few minutes.

Now here's the hard part...I called Sky (and got a few really vague answers like "those channels stream all together so if one has a problem the others will be affected"), and failing the usual troubleshooting over the phone, they sent techs to my place twice. The first time the STB was replaced but that didn't fix anything. The second guy said it might be due to a weak signal because the cabling was fine and so was everything else. What he noticed was that the "Quality" little scroll bar on the Signal Set Up page keeps fluctuating then decreases bit by bit. Today, on CI, the quality scroll bar was on 100 all day, and started to go down at around 8pm. After that the screen went black just before 9. 

Of course, the couple of times when the techs came the channels were fine, then stopped working after 9ish Frown The second tech said the quality of the signal might be due to the fact I live in an apartment building with one dish that services the whole complex (a multi dwelling facility) but then again, we had no problems until recently, so I'm not sure. I don't really care about Fox News or Fashion TV but I do watch quite a bit of CI and Documentary channel so it's becoming a bit of a problem.

If anyone had a bit of advice on what might be causing the problem I'd really appreciate it Smile Failing that I may need to speak to my building manager and have someone from Sky Commercial come check things out (this was the second tech's advice).

Thanks!

Jen

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hazza87
348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #186048 25-Dec-2008 09:40
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You don't happen to be using a cordless phone near your sky box at these times do you. I had reception problems on only a few channels then when the tech came out he immediately said move your cordless phone to another location and voila perfect reception again. Then if i take the cordless phone near the tv it pixelates immediately.

jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186050 25-Dec-2008 09:55
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Hi Hazza87,

Thanks for the tip.

Unfortunately I don't use a cordless phone, I have a VOIP phone line with Woosh (wireless internet with a booster antenna) so I don't suppose this will have anything to do with it.

Jen

 
 
 
 


hazza87
348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #186072 25-Dec-2008 14:46
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Could do, worth testing it with the woosh wireless turned off when you get the problem to see if it makes any difference

jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186128 26-Dec-2008 10:24
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Hi Hazza,

I switched the wireless internet off before leaving yesterday afternoon and the channel went down at round 9pm last night anyway.

This morning, I didn't turn the internet on and moved the booster antenna to another room and CI switched on earlier than usual...and also noticed that when I moved the antenna back into the room and went online, the BER signal on Sky kept on fluctuating instead of being fixed. So maybe the booster antenna is interfering, although it never did before so maybe Woosh did something to their wireless signal?

I'll keep on testing the problem for a couple of days and see what happens. Thanks very much for the input, I wouldn't have thought of that myself Smile I'll let you know what happens though.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Jen

dingbat
6 posts

Wannabe Geek


#186359 28-Dec-2008 12:27
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Hi jen1001,

                Happy and safe holidays to you. I have had the same pixelating problem on my standard sky decoder as well.

The problem lies at their end by all accounts. I got upgraded to myskyhdi and no more pixelating, but at my own cost. If sky asks to upgrade your services is only covering the problem they cannot fix or don't know how, but thats if you want to. I have been told by a tech that some reasons for problems are the bandwidth they have is getting watered down to allow for more channels, thereby weaker signals. By all accounts you should not be liable for any costs that sky incur, they need to fix it. This to me is the bottom line, Their service....they fix.

This forum is great for knowledge on many things, as it has helped me alot. Apologies if this is no help but I have been through what you are going through, and many more people on this site.



Think positive and maybe your opposite will be more attractive  +++   ~~~   ---









jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186365 28-Dec-2008 13:47
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Hi Dingbat,

Happy Holidays to you as well. Thanks a lot for your post, it was really helpful.

For the past couple of days, I've not been experiencing the same problems as I had before, which is a good sign, and hopefully it will last.

I stopped using my booster antenna for the internet, but I'm not quite sure yet whether it was the culprit or not, I guess it will take a few more days to find out . Sky started playing up last night a tiny bit for a few minutes (pixelating) but I was still able to watch it. It also froze in the middle of the night (when I turned the TV on this morning, the pic was just still - not black or with the rain fade message) but my DVD recorded something I'd set during that time before it played up. When I turned the TV on this morning, I changed the channel and switched it back to CI it was all fine from there. So it's much better than it was before.

I'm not surprised it would be a problem on their end, thankfully the techs have not charged me at all the two times they came out to my place. When I rang them, I did also tell them there was an ongoing issue where when a program would be booked, the channel would switch to Preview, they asked if I wanted to change to MySky and I said no Tongue out I did manage to get a $10 from them though because everytime I rang, they gave me a different answer Wink I'd love to upgrade but I already have a HDD DVD recorder so I can't really justify the extra money, with xmas and all Laughing

I agree this forum is really great, there's heaps of knowledgeable people around!

Jen

Spyware
2598 posts

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  #186396 28-Dec-2008 17:45
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dingbat:

Hi jen1001,

                 I have been told by a tech that some reasons for problems are the bandwidth they have is getting watered down to allow for more channels, thereby weaker signals.




There is no relationship like this between the encoded bitrate on a transport stream and signal strength ("weaker signals").




Spark FibreMAX using Mikrotik CCR1009-8G-1S-1S+. UAP, UAP AC Pro, UAP AC Pro Mesh, Apple TV 4, Apple TV 4K, iPad Air 1, iPhone XR, VodaTV Gen 2. If it doesn't move then it's data cabled.


 
 
 
 


Spyware
2598 posts

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  #186400 28-Dec-2008 18:49
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jen1001: Hi Dingbat,

 Sky started playing up last night a tiny bit for a few minutes (pixelating) but I was still able to watch it. It also froze in the middle of the night (when I turned the TV on this morning, the pic was just still - not black or with the rain fade message) but my DVD recorded something I'd set during that time before it played up. When I turned the TV on this morning, I changed the channel and switched it back to CI it was all fine from there. So it's much better than it was before.

I'm not surprised it would be a problem on their end, thankfully the techs have not charged me at all the two times they came out to my place. When I rang them, I did also tell them there was an ongoing issue where when a program would be booked, the channel would switch to Preview, they asked if I wanted to change to MySky and I said no Tongue out
Jen


Pixelation and freezing indicates a high bit error rate caused by interference. It is likely that if you experience interference then others in your building do also. Sky need to trace the source of the interference as it could come from another apartment.

While Sky do transmit very low bitrates this in no way has any relationship to the signal strength or explains in any way why only a single mux is affected at a specific time of day. These low bites correspond to visible macroblocks and thus loss of picture detail on moving objects but will not cause a decoder to freeze and stop decoding.




Spark FibreMAX using Mikrotik CCR1009-8G-1S-1S+. UAP, UAP AC Pro, UAP AC Pro Mesh, Apple TV 4, Apple TV 4K, iPad Air 1, iPhone XR, VodaTV Gen 2. If it doesn't move then it's data cabled.


jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186417 28-Dec-2008 20:43
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Hi Spyware,

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

Could a Sky tech find out what could be causing the interference and if so, is there a way they could source it themselves, or would this be impossible for them to do?

The first guy who changed the STB didn't mention any interference problem, but then again he came at a time when the channels weren't playing up. The second guy did mention something about a weak signal of some sort that might be related to the dish but didn't want to check it because I live in a multi dwelling place and it would be Sky Commercial who would deal with it. I don't know whether that explanation was a valid one or not, or just cos he couldn't be bothered. Of course, the channels were working fine when he came, although I managed to show him a bit of a recorded show when the image was pixelating for him to see what was happening.


If they are able to source it by coming over and check things out, I might as well ring them in the new year.

Cheers for all the answers so far, it does definitely make things clearer Laughing

Jen

cyril7
7848 posts

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  #186456 29-Dec-2008 09:05
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I have to admit that when I first saw this thread a few days ago I did not note the detail of MDU (Multi Dwelling Unit), I suggest we should make a note that reception issues for either DVB-S (Sky or FreeView) or DTT that relate to MDUs should clearly state that before starting the thread.

As you are in a MDU the potential of interference coming back from other users in the complex is quite common. One issue that I often find is that the systems are nomally diplexed with V/UHF and most users in the MDU dont have diplexers at thier termination. Most/many TVs' and VCRs dont provide a very good return loss in the LBand causing all manner of reflections backinto the cabling system that can cause some transponders to fade and then return when the problem causing tuner changes band.  Use of a diplexer at each outlet will prevent this and is now a system requirement for all new MDUs for Sky compliance. Even though taps are used to isolate such issues, this is not always the case especially if you are at the end of a cable run with maybe only a 3-6dB tap.

Obviously there is also the issue of other devices in the building injecting intereference into the network that you have no control over, and this will be more apparent if the system levels are sub par.

All these issues are beyond a users control and even a basic Sky installer cannot rectifiy them it requires the Sky Commercial team to investigate.

As an aside (and I suspect not related to this issue) there are interference issues between DECT phone systems and the LBand used in DVB-S systems if a 10750 LO is used, ie with 10750 you end up with the LBand IF passing through the DECT band and issues arise, however in MDUs 11300 LOs are normally used so such issues normally dont arise.

Cyril

jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186482 29-Dec-2008 11:12
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Hi Cyril,

Thanks for the reply.

I guess I'll need to contact my building manager so he can contact Sky Commercial, as I'm not sure whether I can call them myself.

Would you have any idea on why it happened so suddenly (ie. before I never had such an issue with those channels) and why it's those particular channels and not any other?

Cheers,

Jen Smile

cyril7
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  #186524 29-Dec-2008 15:48
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Hi, all those channels are on one transponder (TP11 12421MHz) therefore whatever is causing the interference either via a rouge signal leaking back into the system from another appartment (or yours) or a signal null due to bad cable terminations (ie lack of diplexers) is occuring around 1120MHz assuming a 11300 LNB LO.

My bet is someone has a TV or VCR or other AV applicance that is connected to the cabling that is radiating rubbish that ends up around the above frequency, but all is speculation without looking at it with a spectrum anaylser.

Cyril

jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186647 30-Dec-2008 10:59
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A brief update on this:

I emailed Sky Commercial's MDU department yesterday and got a follow up call 15 minutes later from a really nice lady who told me there had been a couple of issues in our building last year or so.

She will contact our building manager to make an appointment for a Sky Commercial tech to come and check things out in regards to interferences or possible dish problems. As a side note, my partner and I went to see our upstairs neighbours last night for a few drinks, who just happened to get Sky installed last week...and their problems are worse than what we've experienced, they get heaps of pixelating and rain fade screens on the same channels as us, plus on a couple of others. 

Hopefully Sky Commercial can find out what's causing it but so far, I'm very impressed with Sky's MDU dept, as opposed to the normal call centre's number Smile

I'll post again to let you know, thanks once again everyone for the helpful comments!

Jen

dingbat
6 posts

Wannabe Geek


#186654 30-Dec-2008 11:56
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To Spyware and cyril7,
                               Greatness to you guys as I apologise for my null informative feedback on this issue, but have come out of it with more knowledge than I had or have ever recieved on this pixelating issue, or any issue dealing with this matter. SkyTV is by no means an enemy, but more info on particular problems may be helpful to users as myself. Meaning, after a phone call I hang up and feel more confused and frustrated than when I dialled their free phone number. Thanks to you guys I am learning how to ask the correct questions to upcoming queries, and maybe there could be a workable solution for the SkyTV personnel to link their repeated problems to this forum as maybe the sky tech I spoke could look into this forum as well.
Be Merry amd a Safe New Year

jen1001

196 posts

Master Geek


  #186791 31-Dec-2008 09:49
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Hi everyone,


Well, a contractor for Sky Commercial has just left my apartment and told the problem is now solved (fingers crossed!). He said the issue was caused by the amplifier in the building, but he's increased the signal from there and came back to check the quality from my apartment and he was satisfied with it. The signal level is now fixed to 77 on all the channels and the BER is stuck on 100 Smile Perhaps some knowledgeable forumites would be able to confirm whether an amplifier could have been probable cause.

I hope it's the last dealings I have with Sky....it's been a pain but the Commercial unit have been very efficient, especially the admin from the MDU department.

Hope you all have a great New Year Laughing

Jen

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