Television service fraught with problems, outages

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    Weather and poor signals from satellites are to blame for recent on-campus cable problems ranging from missing to duplicate channels, university officials said.

    The most “infamous” incident was Feb. 22, when a poor signal from the DISH network, TCU’s cable provider, prevented students from watching the series finale of Sex and the City, said Travis Cook, director of business services for TCU Connect. The poor signal blocked reception of HBO.

    Students such as Libby Archer, a freshman music education major, had to go off campus to watch the much-anticipated final episode.

    “My friends and I got together to watch the finale and were disappointed when we could not watch it. It was an inconvenience but we know that satellites can sometimes be unreliable,” said Archer, who went to her sister’s house on Stadium Drive.

    In the spring, digital reception is prone to more weather related problems from seasonal storms, Cook said. Problems have also resulted from the cable channel line up increasing from 49 channels to 85 channels when the university switched to DISH network last year. Because students have more program choices, more receivers are packed together tightly, which has caused some of the problems, Cook said.

    Twelve channels were recently lost for four days because of a power pack failure.

    “In response to the failures, we have brought in spare receivers so the response time would be faster,” Cook said.

    TCU Connect has also had problems with channels “bleeding” into other channels, Cook said. On one occasion students were getting two ESPNs.

    “When a technician goes to repair a receiver, there is risk of the receiver bleeding over into another receiver,” Cook said. “This causes channels to be replaced by other channels.”

    Every morning, the university tests channels see if they’re all working, Cook said. He urged students to report problems to TCU Connect.