How to troubleshoot poor picture quality / pixelation

Document created by alyssap on Jun 5, 2012Last modified by shaw-alex on Jun 14, 2017
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Learn how to fix poor picture quality issues including pixelation with these troubleshooting tips. Pixelation (squares) observed on the screen represent packets of data which have not been received or were lost in transmission due to a poor connection. This is an indicator of a poor signal which can be caused by a variety of issues including damaged coaxial cables, loose connections, faulty splitters and more.

 

Video Example of Pixelation

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This article provides insight into the following solutions:

Resetting the digital box

Re-seating the coaxial connections

Replacing the coaxial connection

Bypassing the splitter

Additional troubleshooting tips

 

Resetting the digital box

Follow these steps to powercycle your cable box

 

  1. Unplug the power cable from the back of the Digital Box
  2. Wait 30 seconds
  3. Reconnect the power cable
  4. After a few moments you can power the Digital Box back on and test it again
    Note: Your Interactive Guide will display “To Be Announced” for about an hour after this type of reset, but your picture should return immediately.

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Re-seating the coaxial connections

To fix poor picture quality on your TV you can try re-seating the coaxial connections to your digital box.

  1. Unplug the power to your Digital Box
  2. Unscrew the coaxial cable connection from the back of the Digital Box as well as at the wall outlet
  3. Reconnect both cables

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Replacing the coaxial connections

Follow these steps to replace your coaxial cable going into your digital box.

 

  1. Unplug the power to your Digital Box
  2. Unscrew both ends of the coaxial cable
  3. Connect the new cable to the rear of the Digital Box labelled: RF IN or CABLE IN, with the other end of the coaxial cable connected to the cable outlet at the wall
  4. Plug in the power for the digital box

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Bypassing the splitter

Another option that you can try to fix poor picture quality or pixelation issues is to bypass the splitter on your digital box.

 

  1. Unplug the power to your Digital Box.
  2. Locate any cable splitters or extensions that are on the line by following the coaxial cable from the back of your Digital Box  to the cable outlet on the wall. Splitter
  3. Bypass the splitter by connecting a coaxial cable from the rear of the Digital Box (at the RF IN or CABLE IN port) directly to the cable outlet at the wall.
  4. Reconnect the coaxial connection on both ends.
  5. You may be required to replace the splitter if your picture quality improves after bypassing the cable splitter. (You can obtain a splitter from one of our Shaw retail locations).

Note

 

Please be advised that if a phone modem is connected to the same splitter, sharing the same cable outlet, you may lose your dial tone if you remove the main cable connection at the wall. You will want to avoid disconnecting the cable connection at the wall if this is the case. Only attempt to remove the cable running from the back of the Digital Box and where it just enters the splitter to prevent your phone modem from going offline. This is also the case with an internet modem at the same outlet; your internet connection will be offline if you disconnect the shared cable connection at that particular outlet.

       

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Additional troubleshooting tips

Signal Pixelation

 

If the above solutions did not work, consider trying the following:

 

  • Connections with extended coaxial cable lengths can experience poor signal issues. This is because the longer the cable is, the more attenuation of the signal there will be. This means that the signal becomes weaker the longer the coaxial cable connection is. Attempt to replace the coaxial connection with a shorter line if you feel yours may currently be longer than required.
  • Check any additional TVs connected to a Digital Box in the home; if you observe the pixelation issue on all of your TVs in the home, there may be damage to your main cable connection or may indicate an area issue

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