This is a long and complicated question, mostly because it has been going on for 2.5 years without a solution in sight. It also is only one-third computer related, the other two-thirds are cable TV and cable-phone related.
I have COX Communications for a cable provider, and we get Internet, digital cable TV, and digital phone service through them. The Internet is a SB5101 right now, and has been a DPC2100 and SB5120 in the past. Same results. The phone service is provided through a telephone interface mounted on the outside of the house (not classic VoIP) and the CATV is through a Scientific Atlanta receiver without DVR. I do have a TiVo connected to the CATV box.
- The CATV shows "blocking" -- sometimes very very short duration where a few blocks appear on the screen. Sometimes it lasts long enough that the video "pauses" for 2-5 seconds, and rarely but not unseen the audio also fails.
- The CATV decoder box shows no correctable (FEC) or uncorrectable errors. That is, all BER counters are zero for the video stream.
- The Internet shows "micro-outages" where it appears that sent packets are not making it out, but I continue to receive packets from local modems. That is, pings stop coming back, but I continue to see modems broadcast for DHCP, and sometimes they ask more than once.
- The cable modem shows no errors during this time, but cable modems lie like you would not believe. It is actually possible to unplug the coax from the modem for 20 seconds and it reports NO ERRORS to the provider's tools.
- The phone service cuts out for 1-3 seconds, infrequently. When this happens, I hear NOTHING (not even comfort noise) and the remote side hears a "click" as if I were getting a call waiting message. However, there is no call incoming, other than the one I'm currently on of course.
- Things SEEM to happen more frequently when the temperature outside swings from cold to warm, so fall/spring seems worse than summer/winter.
- All micro-outages occur between once or twice a day (which I could ignore) to 10 times per hour.
- All SNR, signal levels, noise levels, etc. show very close to optimal when measured.
This is a continual pain for me. Over the last 2.5 years, they have opened, "fixed" something, and closed the tickets. They close it without confirming that it is indeed better, and when I reopen they cannot do that, but instead they open a new ticket and send yet another low-level tech out to do the same signal tests and report that all is OK.
I've finally gotten a line tech who has a clue and is motivated enough to pursue this with me. We have tried things like switching the local nodes over to UPS and generator power, but this does not trigger the noise. We have tried replacing all cabling, the tap outside my house, the modem, the CATV decoder -- all without resolution.
Recently they have decided it is both my computer or switch, my TiVo, and my phone that are all broken and causing this issue.
My debugging steps
I spent the worse day of my TV-watching life yesterday and part of today. I watched live TV without the TiVo. I witnessed blocking, but it did "feel different." and was actually more severe. Some days it is better, some days it is worse, so perhaps this was just a very bad day.
Today, I connected the TiVo to my DVD player, and ran two very long movies through it. I saw no blocking at all during nearly 6 hours of video.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do next?
I understand perhaps only the IP side can be addressed here, but it is one of the more limiting debugging options.