How often does your Optik TV freeze or pixelate?

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RonAKA
Rockstar

Switched about 3 weeks ago from Bell Satellite TV to Telus Optik TV. While at times it is more often and other times infrequent, I would estimate that the picture freezes and/or pixelates about once per hour of viewing time. How does that compare to your service? This is quite disappointing compared to the essentially clean trouble free Bell service. 

 

When it was first installed I did a bit of a test and it could record 4 HD channels at the same time and I could still get my 50 Mbps internet speed. I thought everything was fine. 

 

The PVR is a Cisco ISB7150 which is hard wired to the Telus router and our main TV. The router was changed out to a Actiontec T2200H when the OptiK TV was installed. The phone line in was also bonded. We had 50 Mbps internet prior to the Optik TV which delivered 5-6 ms ping and 52 Mbps down and 11 Mbps up performace. With the new router ping has slowed to 12-15 ms while the down and upload speeds are similar. See current Ookla test results below.

 

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/5200234161

NFtoBC
Community Power User
Community Power User

Rarely.

 

Make sure you have quality Ethernet cables (Cat 5e or Cat 6) properly terminated between the PVR and T2200H for best signal.

NFtoBC
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RonAKA
Rockstar

The cables I have are the ones that Telus brought and installed. It has been much worse than ever before today. Freezing and pixelation is as often as every 5 minutes. Since it is a long weekend and probably most people are home instead of at work, I'm wondering if there is a bandwidth issue to our local neighbourhood due to high demand. One of the reasons I switched was because Telus came to the door and made the claim that our neighbourhood had just been upgraded to full fiber optic service. 

Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

Call Telus. They can see if there are errors on the connection that are causing the pixelation. Will be the main solution to the problem. It won't be bandwidth related.


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RonAKA
Rockstar

Called Telus and they rebooted the router from their end. Didn't solve the problem. They wanted to reboot the PVR but I was recording and didn't want it messed up. I rebooted it late last night. I guess today will tell if there has been any improvement. If it stays like yesterday, something has to change or I will have to go back to Bell Satellite.

RonAKA
Rockstar

I checked the cable used by Telus to connect the T2200H to the ISB7150, and it is a new CAT5e cable about 25 feet long. I take it that CAT6 is not required? I also checked the firmware of the T2200H and it is at revision .06, which I gather from some other posts is the most recent. 

RonAKA
Rockstar

Rebooting the router and the PVR last night did not solve the problem. Waiting for a call back from the service tech. 

Nighthawk
Community Power User
Community Power User

Last time I had bad pixelation, it took 4 support reps before one finally confirmed there were errors with the connection and sent out a tech. Tech swapped out one bad piece of hardware and no problems since.


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RonAKA
Rockstar

The tech that was supposed to call yesterday, did not. I will have to call them again. I have one essentially hard wired TV running off the PVR and one remote TV running off the wireless box and access point. Both are doing the pixilation, but I haven't really confirmed that it is at exactly the same time, but the same general time. I'm not really having trouble with the internet, or at least nothing that I notice. As I understand it, the signal goes from the router to the PVR via Ethernet, and then to the main TV with HDMI. This TV has a problem. The remote TV I think takes a signal from the PVR and brings it back through the same Ethernet cable to the router, from there to the wireless access box and from there to the remote TV 7005 box. If that routing is correct, then what it common to the two TV's is the one Ethernet cable, the router, and the PVR, and of course the service wiring into the house. The problem (if my thinking on the signal route is correct) must be in the service wiring or neighbourhood service, the router, the one cable, or the PVR. The fact that the internet works would seem to cast some doubt on the service or the router being the problem though I can't be sure of that.

 

I'm thinking I should push them to replace the PVR and Ethernet first?? Oh, and they did install a ZyXEL 5 port switch, but they set it up so the PVR and Wireless Access point both come off the T2200H router. Only Ethernet printers, NAS drives, sub home networks come off the switch, so I think I can eliminate it as a problem. The first switch they put in would not work at all.

RonAKA
Rockstar

The problem disappeared on Monday after acting very badly on Saturday and Sunday. It has left me totally puzzled about what is wrong with this system.  

RonAKA
Rockstar

Another bad day yesterday of frequent pixelization and freezing. Called customer support and they sent out a tech today. He said there was a bridge tap on one of my lines that is part of the bonded service. It was causing interference with one of the lines into the house. Said it was fixed. Time will tell for sure, but for now it is working OK. The only advice I can give for sure to anyone having a similar problem is too keep calling support and request a tech. There ability to do testing and find the issues are quite sophisticated, and the overall system is far more complex than what meets the eye. Optik TV seems to bring out the weaknesses in the system, more than just internet. 

vishwa
Ambassador

Thanks for the update.  It looks like they finally identified the problem.  That sounds like a reasonable explanation.  You are right that the Telus backend is quite complicated.  On the customer side, you get an idea only when you are affected by bad picture or something that needs their tech support frequently.  Otherwise, we take it for granted.  

When I got the bonded service, initially there was a lot of problems.  The installer was very nice and on his own, came back and realized the original line would never work properly and from the box in front, got a different line and ever since both TV and internet have worked reliably.  Good luck going on forwards.

RonAKA
Rockstar

The way that the tech explained it is that a bridge tap, which I believe is like a "T" in the wire, takes the same signal as the main line. The signal goes down to the end of the T and then bounces back. If by the time the signal bounces back it weakens then there is not much interference. However the shorter the T connection, the stronger the signal that is reflected back. I presume resistance in the wire kills the reflection, and the longer the wire, the more reflection is killed. The bridge tap on my line was apparently short and that was apparently the problem.

 

He also indicated that the wiring in the field was different than what was on the drawings they have. It sounded like it had been "jerry rigged" at some point in time.

vishwa
Ambassador

Good to know this explanation, just in case for the future.  You never know.  Thanks for the additional details.  Hope it is all good from hereon.

cafekief
Ambassador

hey, this is my other telus forums account, trying to fix me account. so i see there. i think i have the same problem, i have had about half a dozen techs out last year and three this year, my optik tv and internet stop and disconnect freeze, the support tech thought it was due to the weather but has come down to this... so just the passed two weeks we had a tech out to fix a jelled coded wire, thats what your taking about, he replaced the yellow cube that was degraded and in the water/dirt. Just two days ago the tvs went out again, so weird i think the dsl lights went out too. i get good speeds like 26 to 27mbps down too. so should i get the tech out or wait and till the end of the month when the door to door reps come for fiber to the home?Capture fiber optics.JPG

RonAKA
Rockstar

Oh yeah, about the full fiber optic service, I asked the tech that was to the house on Friday and he basically said it was all sales hooey. We are located about 2 km from a major Telus wire center in Edmonton. There is a large Telus wire vault about 0.5 km away. I had assumed they brought fiber to the street, or to that vault. The tech (who had just come back from tracing the wire) said that there is fiber to neither the street light standards, or to the vault. It is plain old copper wire from my house to that wire center 2 km away, just as it always has been. The tech said that new housing areas are getting fiber, but very few areas have actually been retrofitted with fiber. 

 

It is unfortunate but the door to door sales people used by electric power companies, as well as the gas company typically work on contract, and essentially on pure commission. They tend to say what it takes to sign people up. If you want to call their bluff on the fiber optic story, ask them to show you the fiber optic cable. 

 

The technicians have a test they can run from your PVR to do a test on the two data lines (if you have bonded service) to check for errors. You may be able to run it yourself too, but off hand I don't know how, other than he used the setup menu and the standard remote. On my Bell Express Vu it was part of the installation set up, and anyone could run it. On the Bell satellite system it gave a qualitative result out of 100. I believe the Telus Optik system is simply a pass or fail. One way or another get them out to run the test.

 

On my system it is two days now and it has been running essentially perfectly. I saw one pixel block appear a split second once in two days. It may have been a network issue rather than a Telus problem.

RonAKA
Rockstar

Still battling the pixelation issue with this Telus service. I'm starting to think it is normal with Telus. Too bad, as my Bell ExpressVu satellite service which I switched from was nearly flawless. I say nearly, because the signal was perfect. However, when recording occasionally a recording would mess up.

 

The unfortunate part with Telus is that every time you call, you start from scratch again. You never get to talk to the same technical rep. And they often promise to investigate and call back, but never do. Not at all impressed with Telus service.

 

I think I will replace the HDMI cable to the TV and upgrade the ethernet cable to the PVR from CAT 5 to CAT 6, but I don't hold out much hope for either to solve the problem. I believe the root cause is with the external to the house wiring, or the Telus server that provides the service.

vishwa
Ambassador

You can change those cables for your satisfaction but that is not going to help the pixellation.  It is either the technology or the delivery of the signal they provide. Cat5 has more than enough bandwidth(6Mbps/stream, 4 or 5 at most).  If the hdmi cable is bad, you either lose picture or see stars on the tv.  The trouble is somewhere else.  I gave up calling for the same reason you mentioned.  You go through the whole story and then nothing much happens.  

I must say, however, that after the .06 firmware update on my T2200H modem, the pixellation issues have gone down.  Sometimes it still happens and I just ignore it. 

RonAKA
Rockstar

Yes, I think the cable change is a long shot. The last technical rep suggested changing the HDMI cable. I just used the old one that was in service with the Bell System, and it was working fine. However, Telus left me a new high speed HDMI so it isn't a big deal or cost to change it.

 

I did the research on CAT5e vs CAT6, and agree it should not be necessary for the 25' length of cable I have. Perhaps for 100' or longer. They are cheap so I will give it a try anyway.

 

I've checked the router firmware and I have the latest update.

J20
Organizer
Any of ur neighbors have big radio antennas on there houses or do u know if any of ur neighbors are Ham radio operators ? This is a known issue with option tv as they do not use shielded coax everything comes in on the twisted pair
J20
Organizer
I can pixel my tv with very little tx power on my hf ham radio
RonAKA
Rockstar

Good thought. I am not aware of any ham radio operators in the area, but I will have to look around to see if I can see anything.

J20
Organizer
And remember it's Telus issue not the ham operator this is a known issue Telus needs to address
Doug1Ames1
Ambassador

My Optik TV went through a spell of sudden pixelation for a while last year. Not enough to be really bothersome, but definitely a recurring problem. Then the problem just went away. My hardware configuration is unchanged. Optik TV PVR connected to Actiontec V1000H via coax.

RonAKA
Rockstar

I checked around the neighbourhood for Ham operator antennas and did not see any. Also the power, telephone, and cable wiring in our neighbourhood is all underground. So I am thinking, radio interference should not be a big issue? There is one temporary overhead wire strung between two light standards near our house, but I believe it is Shaw cable, and not telephone. Don't know for sure. But still no radio antennas in the areas. The main Telus wire centre is right next to a fire hall, so I'm sure there may be some powerful radio communication systems there.

RonAKA
Rockstar

I have not noticed any pixilation since the last tech rebooted the router, and the ISB7150. That would seem like a temporary fix at best though. One lesson I learned though is that when you use a Voip phone on a DSL internet service, and they reboot your router, it drops your phone call. Not much way around it other than to use a cell phone to call, or tell the tech to call you back, after he kills the phone.

Pantera
Connector

RonAKA,

 

I also switched from Bell ExpressVu to Optik TV. I regretted making the switch for a long time. I had constant problems including pixilation. It seemed to me, Telus techs don't have a very good understanding of how Optik TV works. I have three hardwired STB's and one PVR. Rather than use a network switch, the first Telus tech connected the PVR with coax cable, since the router only had three CAT5/6 ports available. Since my house is wired with CAT6, I asked them to use a switch instead of connecting the PVR with coax. I was assured it would work fine with coax, in spite of the fact coax has a fraction of the bandwidth CAT5/6 does. After numerous pixilation related service calls, I read on an AT&T U-Verse internet forum that you can't mix CAT5/6 and coax connections. AT&T U-Verse uses the same STB's and PVR's as Optik TV. I immediately called tech support and told them what I had read. They said they were not aware of any problems caused by mixing CAT5/6 and coax connections. By this point I was fed-up, so I told them to send a tech to my house with a network switch or send a tech to my house to remove the Optik TV! Naturally, they sent the switch although the tech said it wouldn't solve the pixilation problem. It did! The tech was more surprised than I was. I haven't had a single second of pixilation since then.

 

My biggest frustration with Optik TV has been, every problem, I've had to solve on my own. Telus has been no help.

 

Now, if Telus would only add the "much loved by satellite users" auto-tune feature to Optik TV's firmware, I'd no longer miss Bell ExpressVu. Perhaps if Shaw TV adds it to their firmware, we'll finally get it too.