Adventures in Coaxland

So.... the last 3 days here have been fun. A whole lot of fun and games... wait. Actually no, they haven't :P

Our story begins with a decision to switch TV packages, which of course as anyone knows never has any sort of problems whatsoever that would last 3 days and be incredibly annoying. :troll:

Apparently Verizon's TV portion of the FiOS service we have was "too expensive" and needed to be cut off and replaced with the offerings from Dish Network. Eh, ok, I guess I could see why considering Dish won't charge for the extra boxes that Verizon was soaking us for. So we had the Dish guys sign us up for their Satellite package, and then got Verizon to downgrade our TV service with them to "local only" so that we wouldn't run into those evil "early termination" fees associated with canceling service. It all sounds great and wonderful, doesn't it?

So they were out here on Thursday doing their thing. The tech crew was a couple of Mickey Mousers from a subcontractor. They got everything up and running, but apparently not correctly. TV service in one of the rooms died on Friday, along with our internet. It was definitely a surprise since both were working as of Thursday night.

We tried to track down WTF happened, but it was a mess. Cables everywhere. Splitters dangling free in the air, stuff not hooked up, Verizon's ONT with a red blinking light saying the coax link was down. A mess. We did some line testing and the cable that should have gone from the ONT to the router in my room had no signal. Which was a bit surprising given I was JUST using it the night before, although I have been having some other problems with the connection quality so who knows.

So we called Verizon and Dish and they were both scheduled to arrive yesterday between 8am and 12pm. The Verizon guy showed up around 9:30 after having called to say 10:15 so he caught me off guard trying to eat breakfast :P He took one look at the mass of cables, and didn't want to touch it. I convinced him to at least try signal testing with proper equipment. He got nothing, so instead of climbing around in our attic and trying to find the problem he just said fuck it and strung us a new cable. All well and good. Internet was back up by the afternoon.

Dish guy was late, shame on them, 1pm != 8-12. Anyway. He took one look at what the subcontractors did and basically said something to the effect of "are you SURE this shit works at all?" :P Basically what the problem was there was that the idiot kids who did the install left one cable off the satellite dish dangling free in the air - connected to nothing, and the rest they splice-hacked into the old coax cabling from when the house had DirecTV 10+ years ago. Those cables are so old the plastic has cracked and they're not capable of carrying the 3GHz signal. Plus the kids didn't even mount the dish to a stud on the roof. To sum things up - the Dish guy (who wore an actual Dish uniform and had a license from them) had to scrap ALL of the work and redo the entire install. Joy.

Anyway, about 90 minutes later he had some new cabling strung from the dish over to the TV in the living room which is where the master DVR unit is. He had crawled around in our hot, dusty, and fiberglass infested attic and found some further mysteries which answered a lot of questions. Apparently SOMEONE did some work up there at some point and had splitters on splitters and TV aerial cabling strung from them to places unknown and all of that shit was in turn hooked up to the exterior connections in the back yard. God damn, from the sound of it it's a wonder any of our shit has worked at all.

All should be well in the world now though. TV is up in all 3 rooms, internet service is back up again, and life is back to relative normalcy. Though I'm still getting corrupted files on large downloads so I guess I'll need to cajole Verizon into upgrading our router like they were SUPPOSED to when the internet was upgraded to 75Mbit last year.

Let us never repeat this mess again!
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Dec 22, 2013 2:44 pm by Samson in: | 2 comment(s) [Closed]
This is exactly why I haven't called our cable company yet to cancel our service and switch to something else. I'll have to do it soon though. At least our wiring is in good shape and we can do that ourselves. :P But it was a nightmare getting it set up in the first place and I just know it's going to be a nightmare getting rid of them.

We have the same kinds of issues with our phone company too. We recently downgraded our service since I wasn't interested in paying $75/mth for it anymore. Well I might as well have downgraded to their basic service because the damned call display hasn't worked since the switch. I am 100% certain that the bastards are going to claim that ALL the calls we get are from networks that don't broadcast the number. I know that's not true of course, but when it comes to getting fucked up the ass, there is no one better at it than Bell Canada. It's so bad, you have to go to the CCTS to make a complaint.

At least between the two actual company techs they got things straightened out and working. Which is a great thing considering how close we are to Christmas.

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