Forum Discussion

DavidZ's avatar
New Contributor
7 years ago

Temporarily off air

At least 50 of my channels show "Temporarily off air" for the last four months. They didn't go off at the same time, but a few at a time over a period of a few weeks. Some went off for a couple days and then came back, only to go off air permanently later. I have the Starter service plan. Only channel 8, 17, 42, and 1008, a few local government stations, all pay per view channels, and a few shopping channels have clear video programming. All major network channels and music choice channels 1914-1950 are off the air. I have no splitters. My box is connected with a single new cable to the Cox cable on the outside of the house with a new coupler. The box has been restarted by me several times, by two technicians over the phone, and by the Cox automated troubleshooting system on the phone. the last technician today couldn't solve the problem. he also couldn't answer my question "What is the origin of the message 'Temporarily off air'?" I suspect that this message is generated by the box because if there is no signal coming through the cable, there would be no message either, unless it's generated by the box. ColleenD seems to have answered this question in her comments on 19 Feb 2013 11:54 PM, but she didn't exactly say that. She just compared it to the check engine light on a car - "When a box gives the message "Temporarily off air" or "unavailable" the box isn't receiving signal for that particular channel(s). It's a generic message similar to the "Check engine" light coming on in your car. The car can't tell you why the light is on without the help of a mechanic having hands on access to your vehicle and taking computer readings. " So, Colleen, does the message originate in the box, such as in read only memory? What about the message on channels that I need to subscribe to, or are in a higher level plan than I have "Call customer service to subscribe to this service"? If it originates in the box, it makes sense that the digital TV signal is below the threshold in the cable, or the input amplifier in the box is malfunctioning. There isn't anything wrong with my cable connections. I don't have analog TV, I have all digital. The signals come from the Cox servers and multiplexors. Why would some digital signals be strong and others weak on the same cable? As an electronic engineer, that doesn't make sense to me, but maybe it's correct. Anyway, it seems more like the input amplifier or some demultiplexer inside the box. So, I will try replacing that before calling a technician.

4 Replies

  • CarolLM's avatar
    Former Moderator

    Hi David, we're here to help.  Should you need further assistance with troubleshooting this matter, please do so by sending an email to us at, or a Facebook private message or a Twitter DM. Include a link to this conversation including your complete address and account name.    We look forward to getting this resolved for you!  Thanks,

  • Utaheel's avatar
    New Contributor

    I am having the same problem. Brand new box and service. Was told solar flares  both hd and sd. Most channels perfect. NCAA tourney and can’t watch games. Most channels are perfect all the time. Kinda disappointed considering how much I pay. You’d think after 40 years they would be able to provide decent signal. I have the complete pkg.

  • DavidZ's avatar
    New Contributor
    Solar flares? Who told you that? What nonsense!!! I agree that after 40 years, they should be able to keep their signals working. All the pay per view channels apparently have a strong signal. tells you something about their priorities, doesn't it? Shopping channels also work. I like to watch MeTV, Hogan's Heroes, Rifleman, Outer Limits and a couple others, but their signals are apparently weak because all the 900 series channels, including MeTV - 904 are off the air. Anyway, I have a brand new box (was still in shrink wrap from the Cox store in Fairfax), remote and placed the box on a step ladder and connected it directly to the cable coming from the telephone pole. I ran a brand new cable from the UHF/VHF output from the box and connected to the UHF/VHF on my tv. No change was observed in the available channels. So, that proves the signal coming from the street is fucked up. I haven't called the technician yet because I have more time to practice piano and other things, since I'm not watching old reruns and stupid commercials. it's better for my health. I get one channel that has local and national news - 1008, and TBS - 17, if I want to watch some comedy. I don't need the Music Choice channels because I have plenty of CDs and other recordings. The main reason I have any TV is that I need internet and have to submit to Cox consumer oppression policy of buying tv to get internet.
  • Utaheel,

    Solar flares typically only affect a handful of channels for a brief period of time. If you're still having trouble with channels we would want to take a closer look at things. What troubleshooting steps have you already taken? Please provide more information on the symptoms you're seeing, the channel numbers affected and any error messages which are displayed.