Thursday, June 13, 2013

My CableCARD stopped working again

So, as I've said before, I'm a TV addict.  I often have several shows on at the same time.  So, a few years ago, I got a TV tuner card that can record 4 channels at the same time.  There are only 2 problems with it.  One, it requires me to use Windows Media Center to watch live TV and record anything.  Windows Media Center SUCKS.  It sucks so much that pretty much no one uses it that doesn't have a CableCARD tuner.  So few people use it, Microsoft decided you have to pay $100 for it in Windows 8, when it's been free with Windows since it was created.  Second, it uses a CableCARD, so it relies on a component that you have to get from your cable provider (so you can't steal cable with it, not that I would).  It's not really a problem except once a year when it stops working; like it did this week.

It started a few days ago.  My tuner would stop working over night so I'd have to reboot to get it to work again.  I had this problem happen before that was unrelated to the CableCARD so I just scheduled a daily 4AM reboot and called it solved.  Today, I got off the treadmill after one episode of True Blood (rewatching last season cause of how odd it ended) to turn on Windows Media Center.  See, when I schedule back to back recordings on the same channel, there's a hiccup of a few seconds while WMC switches from one file to the next.  Usually I just watch the channel live in those cases and there's no hiccup then (there still is in the files though), so I turned it on so I could watch another ep of True Blood and not miss the beginning of the second ep of Save Me (I scheduled the first ep even though it was listed as a rerun in case it wasn't; the guide has a tendency of not updating when channels change their scheduling).

Anyway, long story short (too late) I turned on WMC and it said it had no signal.  Figuring it was just the tuners again (it's happened) I rebooted.  Still nothing.  So I had to call Verizon.  They're sending a new one.  Fortunately it's only going to take a couple days so it'll be here for the 10 hours of TV on Monday.  In the mean time I'll just use the TV top box.

1 comment:

  1. So, yea, there was nothing wrong with my cablecard. There were two things that went wrong back to back. First off, my card was overheating. Usually this doesn't matter but apparently it did this time. This was fixed by my blowing the dust off the vents in the tower. My old PC had better ventilation.

    The second issue was the interface cable (the thingy that goes between the coax and the card) was loose. This probably happened when I was fiddling back there to get the speaker plug so I could plug it into my HDMI monitor so I could watch Game of Thrones (legally, yay HBO free trial) in 1080p instead of 1080i (my usual TV's max resolution). See, the interface cable is just a slip on for the card side. It's always annoyed me but I never think about this when issues arise.