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    Break-up and freezing

    This is a discussion on Break-up and freezing within the Sky & Sky+ TV forums, part of the Other Sky help and support category; I have a Panasonic SkyDigibox which is approx. 7-8 years old. I am having problems with picture break-up and freezing ...

    1. #1
      BoyElectric's Avatar
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      Break-up and freezing

      I have a Panasonic SkyDigibox which is approx. 7-8 years old. I am having problems with picture break-up and freezing - mostly on the following channels:

      History Channel; EuroNews; Paramount Comedy 2; National Geographic & +1; Discovery Science & +1; Sky Sports News;

      The picture breaks-up and temporarily freezes then both picture and sound remain jerky/distorted for approx. 5-30 seconds. The sound then cuts out entirely before the picture returns to normal and the sound level gradually increases back to its original level. The fault usually repeats within 5-30 seconds.

      The problem has been gradually worsening for a while, to the point where some of these channels are, at times, unwatchable. However, it is sometimes possible to watch an entire programme on these channels without even a flicker. Other channels are sometimes affected to a lesser degree (regardless of weather conditions) but the list of affected channels seems to be increasing.

      Signal strength and quality are usually 80-90% in good weather, so there is no problem with the dish alignment and extreme weather cannot be the cause as the problem is present on even the calmest, clearest days. I have reconnected the dish input feed and have turned off and unplugged the cordless phone and all other wireless devices.

      I substituted a friend's (PACE) Digibox for about 20 minutes and there was no sign of the fault, which suggests to me that there is no problem with the LNB. However, as the problem is intermittent, this does not prove that my Digibox is faulty or that the LNB is not.

      I am reluctant to replace either the Digibox or the LNB until I can be certain which (if either) is faulty. It's possible that some external factor (i.e. a nearby transmitter) is the cause but I have no way of testing this and, if that was the cause, I would expect my neighbours' systems to be similarly affected, which they are not. Maybe it's an external factor that only affects my combination of equipment?

      Is there any commonality (i.e. vertical/horizontal/high/low band) between the channels listed that might help to identify the cause of the fault? Does anyone know where I can find a list of vertical/horizontal/high/low band channels?

      Lots of questions, any suggestions?
      Thanks!


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    3. #2
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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Just noticed the sticky on "How to cure channel pixelation problems" from the_Sky_Man.

      Please disregard my message until I have tried this. Will let you know if I still need help afterwards.

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      OK . . . I've reset the LNB - picture still breaks-up. However, changing the video output from RGB to PAL has cured the break-up so the problem is a faulty tuner module - thanks to Sam Radford for some solid advice there. The picture quality is poorer (particulary the TV guide and menus) but the channels aren't that bad.

      So basically is is worth getting it fixed (approx. cost?), or is it going to be easier and cheaper to get another box?

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      The standard Sky callout is 65. You will almost certainly get another box. If it seems that the tuner or voltage switcher is faulty, it will cost a lot more to have it fixed yourself.

      Trying out someone else's digibox for 20 minutes is not sufficiently long enough to be sure where the fault lies, a good few hours is better.

      See Linowsat for Eurobird and Astra 2 channel polarizations.
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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Agreed, call Sky pay the 65 get a new receiver and also ask the engineer to change the LNB just to be sure, two birds and all that.

      Well worth the cost.

      You couyld also have a look on e-bay, some cheap receivers and even some Sky+ boxes if you want an upgrade.

      Here is someone who sells 100's for 27 inc postage.

      REPLACEMENT SKY DIGIBOX SATELLITE RECEIVER DIGI BOX on eBay, also Digital Receivers, Satellite Boxes Receivers, Satellite Cable Freeview, Consumer Electronics (end time 03-Mar-09 13:05:08 GMT)

      Or a Sky+ receiver for 85 inc. postage

      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SKY-PLUS-SATEL...1%7C240%3A1318

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Quote Originally Posted by BoyElectric View Post
      However, changing the video output from RGB to PAL has cured the break-up so the problem is a faulty tuner module - thanks to Sam Radford for some solid advice there.
      You are welcome (but I don't even remember answering).
      This is a common fault. You could ask Michael for a price:
      TV, VCR and Digibox (Satellite receiver) repairs, spares, sales - UK service
      It will certainly be less than a Sky callout (which will get you a "refurbished" box with only a 90 day warranty!) Actually, Michael may have a properly refurbished Panasonic for sale.

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Quote Originally Posted by Sam Radford View Post
      .........You are welcome (but I don't even remember answering).......
      It's your post on the sticky 'How To Cure Pixellation Problems'. How remiss of you!
      Panasonic TX-P50G10B, Onkyo HTS 3305, Sky+HD Thomson 4E3007 (with upgraded PSU & WD5000AVDS HDD),

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Oh, but that was ages ago. These days I'm lucky if I know what day it is!

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      Thanks all.

      No chance of me paying Sky 65 though - I could replace the box, LNB and dish myself for less. The degradation on PAL output is so minor, I can live with it until the time is right for me to go HD.

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      Re: Break-up and freezing

      I have a Panasonic Sky Digibox too, which until our recent purchase of a new Bravia LCD TV (KDL 40W4500) was giving (largely) break-up-free viewing on our old CRT TV. However, when linking the new TV to the "TV output scart on the digibox we noticed that we were getting much more picture break-up than ever before! The major channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc were ok but lots of others incl History Channel, Bloomberg (the worst), France 24, some of the Discovery channels etc were not. Having checked that signal strength and quality were good and all feeds were ok, and resetting the LNB, we found that the problem was resolved simply merely by connecting the new TV to the VCR output scart on the digibox. We noticed the picture quality was very slightly reduced, but was worth it to resolve the break-up problem! So - major problem solved - yay! Hope this might be of relevance.
      An interesting side issue however: Having resolved this problem we noticed that our new TV wouldn't automatically change picture format any more to suit the incoming program - but - we thought we would just live with this inconvenience and change format manually from the TV remote. Then, as a means of maximising image quality for those channels that weren't breaking up in the first place, we decided to take both outputs, TV out and VCR out, from the Panasonic digibox to a multi scart block/switcher, and switch to the digibox "TV scart socket for those channels that weren't breaking up in the first place. This however had the miraculous effect of returning the auto-format feature of the Bravia TV back to normal when viewing from the VCR scart. So we decided not to bother to switch output scarts just keep the connection on the VCR output and to keep the switcher interposed between the digibox and TV to enable the Picture Format Detect to work. Very strange!
      Has anyone else noticed these effects? Does anyone understand what is going on: both in terms of the difference between the digibox TV and VCR outputs? and the beneficial effect of the scart switcher on Picture Format Detect?

     

     
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