Just a follow up to my previous comment. After a lot of fail messages and numerous reboots both my 8300's are magically back up and working today.
I mentioned previously that I'd had a FAIL mesage once while rebooting, but after another try (I just unplug the power cord and plug it back in) my 8300HD booted up okay. The first thing you think of is a failing hard drive, but I don't think it's that; rather the system trying to send an inappropriate update or something. You can check the health of your hard drive by going to the diagnostic screens, (With the PVR and TV on, press the Select and hold the button on the PVR until an envelope appears in the display. Then press the Info button. Page through the 39 screens using the VOL buttons. Press Exit to exit.)
I had the exact same problem starting last night, initially with picture freeze, stutter, then a complete shutdown of the pvr. What followed was constant reboots, soft reboots, hard reboots, unplugging the cords, internal clickings, attempts to reauthorize or reset the box via Rogers website (most times unable to do so since I would get a "experiencing technical problems" pop up from Rogers). I thought for sure the hard drive had failed, especially since the FAIL message kept showing up over and over while rebooting, then I would get a clear picture with sound for no more than 15 seconds, unable to select Guide using either the remote or straight from the pvr control panel, then the shutdown/reboot cycle would start over again....
....until early this afternoon when I finally called Rogers tech support. The agent mentioned not being able to detect a signal to/from the pvr, set up an appointment for a technician...so while chatting, I mentioned the display FAIL I kept seeing and right away the pvr was back to normal, first showing the time as it's supposed to even when it's off, then turning it on and no more shutting off and rebooting, like magic! Somehow the tech agent boosted a "signal" and that fixed it all! Out of curiosity, I displayed the pvr diagnostic pages on the tv and even though most of the data and tech numbers are incomprehensible to me, I did notice the numerous pages looked different than when the pvr was not working. For instance, I seem to remember that on page 1 or 2 or 3, there seemed to be a "dbm" signal that was amber in color when the pvr used to crash, and now it shows white, which I assume means Normal status.
Of course, I am not a technician, those are just observations, but do not assume the hard drive as failed...if the reboots don't work, it's best to call Rogers Tech support and do MENTION the FAIL display message if you get one. In my case, it does sound like that was the magic word and a hint to Tech support which fixed things that looked desperate just a few minutes before.
Have a look at the following link which describes the diagnositc pages for Scientific Atlanta receivers.
If you look at page 1, 5 and 10, it lists the power level for the channel that the receiver is tuned to. If you look at page 5, you can see on the right hand list the frequency that the receiver is tuned to, the status (Locked or Unlocked to the incoming signal), the power level and the signal to noise ratio. I would hope that the Rogers receiver display would have kept the same info in a presentation that resembles what is seen in the link. Assuming that it does, you can look at page 5 and determine the power level, locked status and signal to noise ratio. In theory, although the receiver does have a wider range, you should probably be in between -10 to +10 dBmV for a useable signal on a day to day basis. If you are outside that range on a consistent basis, its probably time to call in a tech. The one thing to keep in mind is that cable losses increase with frequency which is countered by ramping up the ouput at the node as the frequency increases. If you are having trouble with a receiver, have a look at a low, med and high channel power level to determine if you have losses across the board or only within a certain frequency range.
Here is a link to a graph showing the losses for RG6 and RG11 cable:
Yes, those are very useful diagnostic screens. I look at them once in a while to keep a check on signal strength. As far as I know, when you approach -+10dbmv, it's very marginal. The signal strength should be close to zero if it's perfect. When the signal strength is poor, the box shows yellow digits in its readings, which is a clue that something's wrong. I had a tech come out recently because I was having weird problems with missing recordings and almost all my readings were in yellow. It turns out recordings were missing because the channel wasn't locking on and just showing a blank screen. I showed him the screens when he arrived to let him know what the problem was and he was impressed that a customer actually knows something about this stuff.
Yep, 0 dBmV is the target. If the receiver is showing somewhere around -+10dbmv, its in a marginal signal range and any further excursions, below -10 or above +10 will probably result in the receiver unlocking and you would probably lose reception. And that is the problem. If the level stayed consistent, even if it was high or low that wouldn't be an issue, but signal levels move, if not on a day to day basis, probably on a week to week or month to month basis. And any short term movement or momentary spikes around the average levels can be enough to knock a modem offlne. In that event I would expect anyone running Rogers internet or home phone to possibly have issues with those devices as well. They don't necessarily run at the same power levels as the splitter can impose different drops depending on how many services you have, but if one modem is at a marginal point, then the others may not be far behind.
With the diagnositic pages on the reciever, it is possible to look at the performance and do basic troubleshooting, to the point of knowing if its time to call Tech Support for further action.
Yes, I understand what you're saying about internet, which is quite different from cable. When I had the cable signal problem, my internet was fine and always has been. I check it once in a while too by logging into my modem/router and it's always good.
Something has to be up.. The box was working fine until 2 days ago when the font for the guides became very fuzzy.. Yes ODD!! anything else on the TV was fine.. everything expect the font on the guide.. It was to the point where I was getting a headache from reading it.. So I'm thinking .. here we go again... Manually reset the box and it rebooted.. yup guide is back to normal with clear font.. however the dreaded rebooting is happening again with the occasional FAIL. I actually put back the original HD it came with and exact same outcome even after a manual format. I'm thinking it has to be something else. Just another SA8300HD saga I guess.
This time however I don't think its the hard disk.
Oh another thing..
The box doesnt reboot right away after it says FAIL.. but rather like a minute or two later so you can still watch TV, use the guide. And to just clear my mind its NOT the hard drive, I could even watch my recorded shows.. Various ones with fast forwarding, skipping to the end with no problems. Then boom.. reboot...
So I'm thinking its either the box which is faulty... I highly doubt.. or something odd going on with Rogers and the box.. Perhaps rogers tried to push something on to the box which is incompatable?
The odds of it being the hard drive are zero to none. I replaced mine a few months ago. When the original 9 year old drive actually failed, I got FAIL messages at the time, so I thought it was caused by the hard drive. The current FAIL message is something different for sure. The last time I rebooted the box, I saw exactly the same things as you. It would boot and stay up for a few minutes, issue the FAIL message, and reboot again. My last reboot took 4 tries before it stopped. I haven't seen the fuzzy guide fonts, though.