Cable TV has become something we all pretty much take for granted, but it’s not without its issues. Anyone who has cable knows that a variety of issues can come up that disrupt service. Some are easy to fix, some not so much. Here’s a look at some of the most common issues and how to fix them.
The most common by far is “No signal”. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to fix. This error usually means there’s no power going to your cable box, so the first thing to do is make sure it is on and plugged in properly. If it’s plugged into a power strip, make sure it wasn’t accidentally switched off. If everything checks out there, take a look at your video cable. Make sure it hasn’t come loose or gotten damaged. Finally, make sure you’re on the right input channel!
If you’re getting a message that the channel will be available shortly or a “Not authorized” error, that could be one of a number of things. Worst case scenario is that your service has been disconnected by your cable provider for some reason. Other possibilities are that the box is not recognizing your service or has a build up of static electricity causing interference. To resolve, check your coaxial cables and make sure they are connected properly. If they are connected improperly-for example cable out is connected to cable in and vice versa-this will cause the error message.
Problems with picture quality are usually caused by a damaged or improperly connected HDMI cable, but in some cases the problem is on your cable company’s end. Signals are very sensitive to things like solar flares and if there is a current sun storm, it can degrade your HD quality or cause freezing. Lack of bandwidth can also do this, especially if your connection is using a splitter or directional coupler to direct your signal to multiple sources. In that case, the solution may be to remove or upgrade them.
If your cable box won’t turn on despite being plugged in and properly connected, it could be the result of a power surge. If so, the electronics inside the box are likely toast and you’ll have to replace it. If your box does turn on but you keep getting messages that certain channels aren’t available and to try again later, refresh your signal by unplugging your box, waiting at least 30 seconds, and plugging it back in. This almost always fixes the issue!