Selectmen address cable TV problems
By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations (SELCO) General Manager Michael Hale met with the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen during the board’s Sept. 10 meeting to address a problem that customers of the cable provider have been experiencing since May.
As Hale summarized, there continues to be an as-yet unresolved problem of TV programs being interrupted by five-second to eight-minute blank periods on channels 2 through 80. These blackouts occur every six to eight minutes for some customers and as of the selectmen’s meeting, had not yet been eliminated. This problem is affecting users of both digital transport adapters and users of digital-ready sets using standard cable boxes.
In general, digital channels are carried on higher frequencies than analog signals on the system. The higher the frequency the more signal loss on the cable runs. In homes that are wired with older RG59 cable, they have more signal loss than newer wiring with RG6. Homes that were all analog also could have older splitters that only were rated to lower frequency signals and will not pass the higher digital channels that are carried up to higher digital signals.
To address points specific to the SELCO problem, Hale reported to the selectmen that the problem may have been located and a “work-around fix” is being tried. While SELCO is limited to solving such technical issues during regular working hours, Hale reported that utilizing the fix would be attempted at once and that customers would be kept informed both to attempted fixes and to service outages that might result.
Selectman James Kane asked for a timetable in resolving this issue, to which Hale replied that since Cisco engineers rather than SELCO personnel were involved in working the issue, no timetable could be established.
Selectman Maurice DePalo then asked whether the type of TV boxes was a factor. Hale replied that it appeared that the problem was linked in part to the signal being sent to the boxes rather than to the boxes themselves.
Hale apologized, stating that “SELCO owns this problem and is working hard to resolve it.”
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