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several Innovative Cable channels "Temporarily Off Air"?

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popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

OK, so I got cable installed on January 22nd and the guy was at my house FOREVER and seemed to really struggle with the installation. Not only does the box in my daughter's room not function correctly most of the time, but several of the channels in the extended line up that I purchased show "Temporarily Off Air" on the living room TV and have since day one. Unfortunately I didn't realize these things until after the clueless installer left, or I would have asked him to fix them. Has anyone else experienced this or can you tell me what I need to do to fix it? There's nothing listed in the FAQs section of their website, nor do I have any desire to wait an eternity either in their office or for an installer to show up out here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Lisa

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Topic starter Posted : January 31, 2010 11:40 pm
mydream
(@mydream)
Advanced Member

Most of my lower channels from2 all the way up to 102, have been off air for a month.
I have called, there always going to fix it. I have adjusted to watching all the channels that I have, which is about half.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 1:00 am
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Well, that's just not acceptable! I just counted, and 27 of the 91 channels I subscribe to are "Temporarily Off Air". I intend to call them in the morning and see about getting it fixed promptly. I paid A LOT of money to have cable installed in 4 rooms, after all the deposits and remotes. I'm not going to settle for just getting a few channels... especially when several of the ones I can't get are my favorites! I can't watch Desperate Housewives tonight, and I'm pretty sure I'm going into HGTV withdrawal. 😀

I'll keep you posted...

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2010 1:09 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Popflops

Out of curiosity what did they charge for the entire setup?

Let me know when you get fed up and I'll hook you up with Dishnetwork.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 1:47 am
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

SkysTheLimit -

Well, I had to pay an $80 deposit on each of the 4 boxes, $13 for each remote, plus the first month's service, so just over $500 AND we don't have DVR anymore, which we were very spoiled by. I was under the impression that the satellite signals here were "iffy" at best, which is what prompted my decision to get cable. And now I think I'm roped into a contract. So what would the setup and monthly charge(s) be for Dish in 4 rooms?

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2010 2:02 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Not much more and it would work very well. DVR HD PPV VOD..............

For monthly rates check www.dishnetwork.com new subscribers get $15 off the first 12 months and 3 months free HBO and Showtime.

FYI The cable boxes used here are from the late 80s early 90s. Worth about $10 each. If you get one stolen they charge $350 for it.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 2:08 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

You are not going to like hearing this but you should pack up the boxes that are not getting all channels and go into Innovative. Go early in the day (8:30am) and make sure you know what channels each box is receiving. They can check the boxes and correct the programming if they are programmed incorrectly. This will be the fastest way to fix the problem.

If it's not the boxes they will make an appointment to go to your house.

As I said, I know this is not what you want to do, but is what it is. In the long run it will save you hassles.

I've used Innovative for all 6 years I've been here because it is easier than anything else, IMO, and as you will find, opinions do differ!!. We had the same problem with one cable box last year, it was programmed incorrectly. Taking it in was relatively painless - we got to the office at 8:15 and were out by 9:15.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 7:04 am
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Thanks, Linda J! That sounds much less painful than what I went through initally!

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2010 9:32 am
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

The problem is more than likely that your signal levels are low. Since Innovative Techs seldom carry meters that is probably why he had problems with your install. To get four boxes to work particularly if you have lots of splitters you need good signal levels,

To improve the levels Innovative should replace the drop and all the F fittings, the ground block and all splitters. Check the cable inside your home. If it is 59 then you should replace if with 6.

To get four outlets to work in your home you need to have every thing in great shape.

If you want to try and force the channels to work without really fixing the problem try installing a drop amplifier where the cable enters your home. By raising the signal levels you may get most or all of the channels to come in. You can pick up an amplifier at Radio Shack.

Jim

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Posted : February 1, 2010 10:50 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I recently installed a 4 TV system at a home that had recently hooked up cable with 4 boxes. When the Innovative "installer" left they had 1 box working well, 1 with lots of static, and 2 that had no signal. After 2 hrs of discovery work it became apparent that 2 of the TV locations were never hooked up. In other words we found wall plate boxes with cables that had never been terminated. When I left all 4 Tvs had satellite and a fairly acceptable basic cable signal.

Innovative "because it is easier than anything else"??? OK....... If you say so.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 11:05 am
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Well, this is what I know so far:

1. I called the Gallows Bay Dish dealer, and was told that they would have to call me back to discuss monthly and installation prices. I find it odd that the person who answered the phone was unable to do that.

2. Our living room TV has 6 "fuzzy" channels and 27 that are "Temporarliy Off Air". This is out of 91 channels.

3. My son's TV has 10 "fuzzy" channels and 18 that are "Temporarliy Off Air". This is also out of 91 channels.

4. My daughter's TV has 2 "fuzzy" channels and 84 that are completley black. 84 out of 91 channels! Also, her "guide" button doesn't work and her box shows the channel, rather than the time.

5. The box that we got for the master bedroom TV has never even turned on.

6. I just called, and Innovative says that "someone will be out Wednesday to fix the problem".

We shall see...

Lisa

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2010 1:12 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

"Innovative" is crucian for "fuzzy."

I've had two "temporarily off the air" episodes this past week....

The first was due REPAIRS they were doing in the area. The next day I actually saw two trucks stringing new cable.

The second was due to a broken cable on the back of the TV. In moving the furniture/tv to clean, I inadvertently bent the cable, and the connection came loose. Something to look into.

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Posted : February 1, 2010 1:33 pm
pamela
(@pamela)
Trusted Member

Beware, this is what was happening the six - eight months before Choice closed the doors!

Just had Direct TV installed. Installation was free and painless. Box and remote was $19.99. Not a great array of channels but after 6 months without TV I am in heaven!

Funny, I was so excited to see Ace of Cakes of the other night and after six months of no cable IT WAS A RERUN! LOL!

Pamela

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Posted : February 1, 2010 2:17 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Which DVR did you have before? If it was Tivo it should work - I think. My Series 2 boxes work fine. The Series 3 HD Tivo I had in the attic that requires a cable card sprouted legs and walked off along with some other equipment (e.g., Slingbox Pro) so I never got to confirm that Series 3 works as it should.

SkysTheLimit -

Well, I had to pay an $80 deposit on each of the 4 boxes, $13 for each remote, plus the first month's service, so just over $500 AND we don't have DVR anymore, which we were very spoiled by. I was under the impression that the satellite signals here were "iffy" at best, which is what prompted my decision to get cable. And now I think I'm roped into a contract. So what would the setup and monthly charge(s) be for Dish in 4 rooms?

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Posted : February 1, 2010 3:14 pm
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

Our Dish in the states had DVR included. We've already decided that if we keep Innovative (which I'm beginning to doubt), we MUST get a DVR again. I simply can't give up the luxury of being able to pause, back up, etc.. 🙂

Pamela... Same thing happened to me last Sunday. I got cable Friday and was in serious Desperate Housewives withdrawal and looking forward to it Sunday night (for some reason we had that channel that night).. and it was a rerun!!

Grrr...

Lisa

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2010 3:30 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Seriously, the ONLY way to go to get anything resembling stateside TV service circa 2000 or beyond is Dish. It was very expensive to get started a few years ago when you had to have a 6 foot dish installed but now that you can do it with 1 4 foot dish mounted out of site/out of mind on the side of your house it is silly to waste time with Innovative IMO. There is an up front cost, it's a shame there is no way to get Dish to finance that as part of the bill but it is worth every penny, especially if you are used to having a DVR etc.

After dealing with other on island dealers who were all a bit shady Sky's the Limit hooked me up with professional service.

Sean

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Posted : February 1, 2010 4:29 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

"Gallows Bay Dish Dealer" seems to have semi retired. They never did seem too interested in new business.
PM me a phone number Or call me at 340-718-2488 and I'll explain your options.

If you read back on my posts you may see how things have evolved concerning Dishnetwork over the past few years and even months..

Alan

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Posted : February 1, 2010 6:13 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Can you use a Dish DVR with the local Dish service? I thought my neighbor said he had one but someone else told me you can't get Dish DVRs here. Anybody know the real story?

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Posted : February 1, 2010 8:33 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

"Anybody know the real story?"

Yes I do!

I carry 5 models of Dishnetwork DVRs
512 single SD (just released)
625 dual SD
211k single HD requires an external harddrive
612 dual tuner HD with single output
VIP722 dual tuner, HD, second TV output and 2 remotes. The Cadillac!

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Posted : February 1, 2010 8:40 pm
tnemig
(@tnemig)
Advanced Member

The cable system in STX sounds eerily similar to the cable system in Bermuda about the time I took over as the technical operations director. I remember my first day on the job, I met with the lead technician, general manager, and operations manager. I asked them what their escalation procedure was to insure that no customer was left out of service over night. They all laughed. Seriously, they all laughed. They explained to me that some customers were out of service for days, if not weeks. I found that absolutely unacceptable. Further digging into the system specs, I found that they had over 3,000 backlogged trouble calls, out of about 20,000 customers. Complacency was a way of doing business. Workmanship was sloppy at best. The public perception of the company was so bad that employees would not wear their uniform any place outside of work for fear of being "jumped" by a disgruntled customer or former customer, telling them their cable horror story. I knew going into the job that it was going to be an uphill battle, I just had no idea how steep the hill was 🙂 That was the bad news. The good news is by the time I left the company to head back to Kentucky, we were able to turn the company around, with the help and support of the other members of the senior management team. I was able to get all of the technicians trained to the National Cable Television Institute specifications, all of whom earned certifications to their current job level, and most to the highest level of Master Technician. We were also able to reduce the trouble calls down to about 50 backlogged, most of those were due to customers wanting to schedule an appointment out several days. We often found ourselves calling customers and asking them if they would like to move their appointments up. The employees began taking pride in their work. The company started a citizen of the quarter award, where they recognized local individuals who were doing great charity or public service work, with a cash award, as well as press releases to the paper and local TV. Basically, the company's public perception changed to a very positive one over the course of a couple of years. So, I guess there is hope for Innovative locally.

Are the channels on Innovative's line up digital or analog? If they are digital, then they are most likely being carried on the system in groups of channels in a digital QAM carrier. This allows the cable system to carry more channels on the same bandwidth, than the typical analog system. But, if anything happens to the cable on that, or those, frequencies, then you lose the whole bunch of channels. And with poor workmanship, there is a whole slew of things that can go wrong where you would lose those channels.

As for some of the personal experiences:

@Neil - You should be able to just about dangle from a properly terminated F-Connector. The fact that one came off in your hands is not very good workmanship, and would cause all kinds of issues with your cable signal.

@Popflops - If you are seeing a "Temporarily Off the Air" message, it usually means that the signal is not reaching the set top box. If the box wasn't programmed correctly, you should see a message that states something to the effect of "Not Subscribed to this Service". But this all depends on how the DNCS or Headend controller is programmed. This probably means that Jim Dandy's assessment is spot on, especially his recommendation on moving to RG6 cable from RG59.

As for an immediate fix, it doesn't sound like there might no be one with Innovative. IMHO I would recommend, talking with SkysTheLimit. I'm not on the island yet, but I have read pretty much nothing but good comments about him and his service, the short time I've been on this board. Coming from an old cable guy, it is very tough to recommend satellite programming to someone, but it sounds as if Innovative is Alan's best source of advertising 🙂

Anyway, those are my thoughts and observations, for what they are worth. The best of luck to you in however you chose to resolve your entertainment dilemma.

Tim

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Posted : February 2, 2010 3:45 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Tim,

Great post, interesting to read about your experience in Bermuda. The cable system here is part analog part digital. Oddly there are quite a few channels that are being passed in Clear QAM (unencrypted) now, channels that probably shouldn't be (NFL Network for example). At least there was a few months ago the last time I plugged my cable into my TV to see if it was still active despite never having an Innovative sub.

Sean

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Posted : February 2, 2010 4:55 pm
tnemig
(@tnemig)
Advanced Member

Sean,

Thanks! Bermuda was a great experience, all things considered. Having spent 4 years on the island, I discovered that I really love living the island life. You just have to keep things in perspective. No matter how difficult it gets, remember that you are living on an island. I've spent the last few years investigating where I want go for the next phase in my life and STX seems to be at the top of the list. I've been to STT and STX a couple of times over the last few years, and I really feel at home on STX. The next visit will be a PMV with my wife and kids, to make sure she is okay with living on an island. Interestingly enough, before she moved to the US, she was used to dealing with some of the challenges of island living (waiting in line for certain services, grocery shortages, did I mention waiting in line?) :-). Personally, I enjoy exchanging pleasantries with someone before conducting business. As I get older, I find I have more time to ask how someone is doing, and really mean it...

As for the Clear QAM services, it might be one of a coupe of issues. They might be having a set top box problem. A good friend of mine who runs the cable system in the Caymans had this issue last year. I worked with their chief technician to isolate the problem and correct it (faulty QAM modulator). It was generating spurious carriers in the QAM stream that interfered with the encryption. Some boxes could decrypt the signal and some could not, so they sent the signal out in the clear until it could be fixed. This went on for about a month before they called asking for advice. We were able to fix it in about a week or so. Could have been fixed quicker, but I was trouble shooting with him remotely from Kentucky. Another issue is they may just have the service(s) flagged for clear operation accidentally in the Headend controller. All the employees typically have free full service cable at home, so they would never know if a service was accidentally flagged for unencrypted operation. The only people who would know would be the customers, and I don't think many would be calling in to complain that a service was free. And it sounds as if the installers don't do much to check the cable signal before they leave a job. I always made sure there is a basic only, as well as a full service set top box in the headend, and it is the Headend tech or chief techs job to check the operation every day. I got burned early on in my career on a unencrypted Mike Tyson fight. I made sure that never happened again!

I'll bet they are losing a bit of money every month to non-paying customers.

The bottom line is enjoy the free services, that is, if you can get them 🙂

Tim

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Posted : February 2, 2010 5:43 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Very interesting Tim. Thanks for the post.
Innovative could use you.

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Posted : February 2, 2010 6:30 pm
popflops
(@popflops)
Advanced Member

I promised myself that, to be fair, I need to give Innovative the chance to fix the problem tomorrow. They get one chance. If they can't make it right (which I'm beginning to believe will probably be the case), then SkysTheLimit will be getting a PM from me tomorrow afternoon. I hate to be a pain in the butt customer, because I know how annoying it is to have to deal with them. However, I should get what I'm paying for no matter where I live! Right?

Wish me luck 🙂
Lisa

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2010 6:33 pm
tnemig
(@tnemig)
Advanced Member

Lisa,

Don't consider yourself a pain in the butt customer. You are paying for a service that you are not even close to getting. You do have a right to demand that Innovative rectify the situation. After reading some of the posts about Innovative, I have a feeling that they will be hard pressed to correct the issue to a meaningful conclusion by tomorrow. I'll be wiling to bet you'll be contacting SkysTheLimit before the weeks end...

@SkysTheLimit - The challenge of working to correct Innovative would be something that would be quite interesting to get involved with. Not too sure how to even begin that process. The Bermuda job came along because they reached out to me. In fact, I don't even know if they even would have an interest in getting their boat on an even technical keel. And to be honest, you've got a pretty good thing going, steady supply of dissatisfied Innovative customers. 🙂

Good luck Lisa!

Tim

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Posted : February 2, 2010 6:48 pm
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