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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Adventures In Cable TV

Comcast cable went all digital in October which means cable-ready TV sets are no longer cable-ready. Now they require a small box about the size of an external DVD drive in order to pick up the digital cable signal. My parents have two televisions with these boxes, and when I was over Sunday night for dinner, my mom was complaining that the box in the family room wasn't working. I went to investigate.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to find a problem. The more advanced the technology gets, the harder it is for my parents to adjust. I turned the TV on and then used the remote for the digital cable box to try to change stations. My mom was right. It didn't work.

I immediately slipped into troubleshooting mode. Nothing seemed wrong with the remote. Now I needed to check out the digital box.

I couldn't find it.

From the family room, I call to the kitchen, "Where's the box?" No helpful answer, so I start looking around the television. Not on top. That's where I put my digital box. Not below on the shelf of the entertainment center. I look to either side, but I don't see anything.

Since the TV wouldn't have a picture at all if the box wasn't attached, I know it's there. Somewhere. I get up to take a closer look. My search finally locates the digital box. It's got clutter on top of it. It's got clutter in front of it. It's behind the wooden strip on the front of the entertainment center.

After clearing out all the stuff around the box and propping it up on the wood strip, the remote worked just fine.

Another crisis averted. Just add cable repair technician to my resume.