Comcrash Unstable TV

Hoping that someday we get a better cable option in Alameda, because someone at Comcast keeps tripping on the wires.

Anyone else in Alameda experiencing incessant cable TV problems with Comcast? Sorry, Xfinity? Xfinitity: As in eXponentially infinite technical difficulties.

For months now we've had constant pixelation of varying degrees on just a few channels or sometimes on most of them. Sometimes it's minor, sometimes it's a total meltdown. Sometimes it seems worse when the wind kicks up, other times like this morning when it was clear blue calm skies, our channel 707 looked like the above photo. 

Granted, this picture is probably much more interesting than the program it's scrambling, but still... we're paying for this? And it's not cheap.

I think the tech support folks at Comcast recognize our phone number because I call them more often than I call my mother. Today it was a 5-minute wait on hold, so I called back later and they'd updated the robot greeting to tell me that they knew about problems in my service area. My question is, why does this keep happening and why is it that they can't seem to fix it?

We've tried The Dish - that service was even worse - and we need fast Internet for our jobs, which does seem to work OK most of the time... So we'd rather stick with cable, but why is Comcast our only cable option in Alameda? 

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Anthony Bologna, Jr. June 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I feel your pain, Jennifer! Not sure where you live but we had it too, but didn't seem as bad out here on Bay Farm. Whatever you do, DO NOT consider switching to U-verse unless they give it to you "in blood" that service IS available; wasted half a day last year when they scheduled an appointment, sent out their "inside tech guy", then their "outside tech guy", only to tell me after 4 hours that we live "too far away from their area control box"; "Mr. inside", who gets paid regardless, even told me that the marketing people will "TELL YOU ANYTHING" to get you to sign up, but as we all should know better, they're "all talk, no action".......!!! Can't speak for Direct TV/Dish Network customers, but for now, I'd have to say "X-cast" is the lessor of all evils......."good luck", let us know how this goes, I'll do the same.......!!! PS: did you get the "unplug" the TV/cable box solution.....that's like #1 or #2 on their tech support "list" to read off that will FIX ANYTHING.......???
bette page June 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM
We had a great option: APT cable. Which Alameda gave away to ComCrap. Their service was outstanding. I have dropped all but TV from ComCrap. I pay less than half that for ATT internet which works superbly on the west side. The Comcrap phone wouldn't work with our phone, said they. Then we bought a new one - model recommended by them - it didn't work either. We cancelled and went to cells only. Can't speak for the TV portion.
Michelle Rowe June 12, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I am also with XFinitity and seem to have issues with OnDemand at least 2x per month. I recently learned that AT&T has installed an "LTE Network" in Alameda and surrounding cities. It might be a more reliable option and who knows, maybe stronger streaming from Netflix and others....
Jeff Mark June 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Y'know, I was a big supporter of APT Cable, but I gotta admit, they did something I would've thought was impossible, they lost money operating a Cable TV/ISP system. (The underlying reasons are too complex and manifold to discuss here.) I have DISH. Not complaint-free, to be sure, but I seem to complain less than most of my friends.
Jeff Mark June 12, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I may be wrong or otherwise misunderstanding you, Michelle, but "LTE" is cell-phone terminology. You may be referring to the recent fiber-optic upgrade to support "U-Verse". I know a couple of people with U-Verse, they seem satisfied, but I'm not crazy about the interface.
warren vegas June 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Jennifer - Not sure why you are having all the issues, have you checked the wiring in your house? I am over on the east end and subscribed to Comcast since we moved here 5 years ago. The service has never had issues or freeze-up except when the city had a power outage a year ago. I only use Comcast for internet and cable TV - no phone or cable box (I use TiVo). Note that Comcast pulled a new line from the utility pole to my house and I ran all new wiring and junction boxes in the house when we moved here. Hope you can get it resolved.
virgo June 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM
i haven't had any problems but i only watch a few channels. we live in an apartment building where cable is included in the rent (yay gallagher & lindsey property management!) so we only pay phone and internet. i would be pissed if i were having the issues you're having and having to pay up the a** for it. i liked APT cable. it's too bad they sold out to comcast.
Evelyn Kennedy June 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Jennifer: They all seem to have their problems. Sorry that comcast is so bad. No question that the stuff your are experiencing is not good. We have tried them all. We now have direct TV which I am happy with.
barry w. June 12, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I had so much trouble with APT, I dumped them for Comcast and have had almost NO problems these few years. We do internet and phone to. DO NOT sign up with AT&T for anything. They are Satan personified, and huge liars, esp. cellular service. The original poster may have a loose line in the area or a defective cable box. You can switch it at their office. Also, they can send a pulse to your box to reset it, prob. the first thing to try. I know it's popular to hate comcast, but as impatient and demanding as I am, believe me, I wouldn't have stuck with them this long if they'd been as crappy as APT. they only leased their cable service and so-called 'customer service' was in the midwest somewhere with REALLY long waits! I'm glad they went under, they deserved it. The worst thing about comcast is that they are a monopoly here, almost. dish is cutting back channels I see, good bye AMC, one of THE best networks!
Bernice June 12, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Jennifer, I was a former APT Cable Customer. I switched to Comcast when APT went under. I initially had the same problem that you described. After three technicians and several phone calls, Comcast ran a new line from the utility pole to the house. The problem was solved. It appears that my neighbors had "spliced" into the previous homeowner's cable line and "split" the signal. The Comcast technician said that you can only slit the signal so many times before your reception suffers. I had three cable lines in the home and I guess my neighbor illegally tapped into my house for a few more lines. Have comcast come out and run a new cable from the pole to your house and you will see a big difference. Comcast gave me three months of free service to compensate me for the year of headache with the pixelation and frozen channels.
Debra June 12, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I recognize the above mentioned problem. Bad wiring to the house or a spit in the line will and has caused just what that picture shows. Basically OK now. Ask for a new line.
Jennifer Loring June 13, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Thanks for all the helpful comments - really appreciate it. I think it must be the outside wire coming to the house, 'cause we ran all new cable inside the house and never had any issues with APT service (loved them). Maybe there's been some sloppy splicing outside - something - but I think it's time to press them to come out & replace the wire. There was a spell when every time there was even a slight breeze we'd get pixelization. They said they would replace it three service calls ago, then they said it was a system-wide issue in our neck of the woods and would be resolved, so they weaseled out of replacing our line. Weasels! I've heard nothing but good things about Astound in San Francisco but when I contacted them a few months ago they said they had no plans to expand into our area. Boo.
Alameda Cleaner June 14, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Webpass is even better than Astound (in my humble opinion) when I did a provider comparison for a business in SF; but they are not available here yet either. I had a problem with the outside cable and finally got Comcast to replace it - it took more than 15 service calls (where the tech is here) to make it happen. I wish more folks with u-verse would chime in and list their experiences as my dad has had nothing but joy with u-verse but he is out of state.
Jennifer Loring September 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM
We finally got Comcrash to come out and replace the line to the house and that absolutely helped - we rarely have programs look like the photo above - BUT, the service keeps crashing altogether in our area - we lose TV, phone and internet for a few hours at a pop. We call to find out what's up and get the robot greeting that they're aware of an outage in our area and are "working to fix the problem." Why it's happening so often, we'll probably never know and I'm sure unless I badger them (when the phone *is* working) we'll never see a credit for all the downtime. Worst. Cable. Service. EVER.
Jennifer McGaffey September 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Actually, they lost money _setting_up_ a TV/Internet system. Most of their expenses were laying new cables and fiber - and they were almost done when some people decided the debt was too much and they had to be sold. I keep thinking about the beginning of AMP, back when electricity was a new thing - the city took on the expense of laying wires and putting up lamps all over the city, at no doubt a huge cost then. Now? I love AMP, and am so glad I'm not tied to PG&E. I wish people now had been as foresightful as the ones back then.


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