U-verse problems are few and far in between, but they do happen. Who do people turn to when they experience U-verse problems? Strangely enough, sometimes they e-mail us! While we certainly have a lot of love for U-verse here at High Speed Experts, we also understand that U-verse problems do exist in certain situations. We certainly do not mind helping out, even if AT&T won’t give us a salary for doing the occasional good deed! They say that kindness is its own reward, and to that end we have decided that instead of helping people solve their U-verse problems on a one-on-one basis that our time would be better spent addressing some common problems. Yes, believe it or not, U-verse does have a few little hiccups, but not all of them are necessarily the fault of U-verse. Sometimes a simple reset can cure U-verse problems, but sometimes a little more investigative work is in order if you want to be permanently free of U-verse problems.
Freezing Set Top Boxes (STBs)
While we do not really get that many e-mails from U-verse customers regarding their U-verse problems, the most frequent e-mail that we do get is regarding set top boxes that freeze. One second you are happily watching your show and then the next thing you know, your screen locks up quicker than Windows Vista. The bottom line is that in a perfect world, and in the homes of many U-verse customers, the U-verse STBs work fine. So what gives? In most cases it is a heat problem, and you should start your troubleshooting by:
- Ensuring that the U-verse STB/DVR is in an open space where it can vent its excess heat. The U-verse system is certainly powerful, and all of that power generates heat. If that heat cannot go anywhere, then it slowly heats up the U-verse STB and a lock-up is not uncommon.
- Make sure that nothing is on top of or immediately next to your U-verse STB/DVR.
- Make sure that the U-verse STB/DVR has plenty of ventilation, and check to see if its own vents are clogged.
There are just the basic steps that you should make on your own before getting frustrated, but there is more. Sometimes the wiring in a property, or even those done by U-verse installers in a hurry, is not exactly what we would call top-notch. I’m sure that 99% of the U-verse installers are great at what they do, and do it very well, but somebody has to get the rookie installer and/or the installer who had too many appointments and too little time. The result tends to be U-verse problems that were probably avoidable with more care and/or training. We are all human, and while it is easy to point the finger we are not going to take that route. Rather we are going to take the high route here and simply say that some installations end up being sup-bar, but that does not necessarily mean that all U-verse problems that fall into this category are permanent.
Before covering solutions and methods to tell if you have U-verse problems related to wiring/installation issues, you need to understand that a botched installation or sub-standard wiring can also cause a DVR/STB to overheat. Why? Because the STBs and DVR boxes used by AT&T were designed to operate under very specific conditions, and those conditions do not include constantly reacquiring network addresses and/or requesting data to be re-transmitted. Basically, a bad install and/or bad wiring is the equivalent of your boss dumping a whole pile of work on your desk at the last minute and telling you that he or she needs it done by the time you go home; you get a little hot under the collar with all the extra work, right? Well, a DVR or STB may not have feelings, but it generates more heat when more compute cycles are being used.
If this seems to be what is happening with your U-verse setup, then here is what you do:
- Go to your menu and look for the Broadband Link/Detailed DSL Stats menu
- Look for high amounts of corrected blocks, uncorrected blocks, the number of seconds where the DSL was unavailable for, the number of link retrains, DSL training errors and timeouts, and the number of signal failures. In an ideal world, all of these figures would be zero. If any of these numbers other than corrected blocks has reached 10 or more in the last 24 hours, then you probably have a bad connection. Corrected blocks can sometimes be as high as 10,000 per day, but that number should ideally be zero.
- If this happens, contact AT&T’s U-verse tech support crew and explain the situation. They will probably transfer you to a second-tier tech support representative.
- If you get a particularly intelligent, friendly, and helpful rep (Which most 2nd tier reps at AT&T call centers are), ask them to explain what is happening, and it may be worth suggesting that they ‘bounce your port’ and then wait for it to ‘zero out’ before they unlock your port again. Sometimes this process will allow a ‘noisy’ line the time it needs to allow a signal to propagate itself into heat.
We hope that this guide has proved useful, and if you have any requests, ideas, feedback, or just want to comment, then use our comments section. U-verse problems, FiOS troubleshooting, whatever it takes. If you have a question and we happen to have an answer, we would love to share it with you. Please know that we take all comments and e-mails seriously, so be sure to stay in touch if you honestly have problems and/or questions. If you have a guide or troubleshooting tip you want us to cover, then by all means let us know!