Screen jitters, cuts out, and/or freezes
We have two TVs (garage and family room) with both running Cox model AX061AEl Contour boxes. No problems with the garage box. However, family room box is driving me crazy with multiple problems that started about 3 months ago and have been ramping up to include:
- While watching live (source doesn’t matter) or recorded programming, the screen frequently jitters, cuts out, and/or freezes.
- Occasionally, the sound stops mid-program.
- Sometimes when the screen freezes, the sound continues.
- When the screen freezes, it locks down and cannot be backed out. The reverse buttons don’t work when this happens although you can see them on the screen trying to reverse the program. You must shut down completely.
- The problems are intermittent and vary wildly in intensity; sometimes going for 1 or 2 days with no issues and then descending into chaos for a week.
What I have done so far:
- Used the Cox Internet Speed Test on my phone to check signal strength by running the test with the phone sitting on top of the box. 259Mbps download speed and 68Mbps upload is far better than what I should need to get a continuous noise free signal.
- Multiple box resets. Didn’t help.
- Multiple power cord removals and restarts. Didn’t help.
- Multiple cable modem restarts. Didn’t help.
- Swapped boxes with the one in garage. Didn’t help.
- Replaced HDMI cable from box to TV.
- Replaced the box with a new box from the local Cox Store (great customer service by the way). Didn’t help.
- Disconnected the Contour box and tested with straight wifi streaming services from Hulu, Prime, and Apple TV. Absolutely no problems with the Contour box bypassed and it validated that the Cox modem works, the wifi signal is good, and the TV is OK. And yes, accessing these services through the apps on the Contour box did result in problems.
Thanks for your reply. Thought about it hard and decided to redo my diagnostics with the added step of moving the garage TV and Contour box into the family room and watching the same programs on both TVs at the same time.
With this in place, I found that only the main TV experienced lock-up, sound, and controller issues. I checked installation of the two sets and determined that the only significant difference was that when I had installed the garage TV, I used a third-party HDMI 2.1 cable that came with the TV instead of the Cox cable supplied with the Contour box.
I again replaced the HDMI cable to the main TV set, only this time, instead of using the Cox provided cable, I purchased and installed a certified HDMI 2.1 cable from a third-party. In the 14 days since I installed the certified HDMI 2.1 cable there have been no instances of freezing, sound problems, or inability to respond to controller demands. Basicaaly everything was fixed except for a very occasional jitter. A well spent $15.
With the main problem dealt with I attempted to track down the cause of the remaining occasional jitters which still appeared on both TVs. In diagnosing this, I found that during replay of recorded shows where I had had a problem the jitter had embedded itself into the recorded and played back on both TVs and desktop computer. Doing an instant replay of a live program where the jitter appeared also showed the jitter on both TVs.
Since the jitters can be recorded and the DVR and instant playback functions have nothing to do with anything on my side of the demarc line, they are clearly Cox dependent. I’ll forego calling in a Cox Technician to sit around waiting for a jitter manifestation and I’ll just live with the occasional twitch.