Sometimes Google can provide a few too many answers. Yesterday’s elation of installing a new HD DVR cable box was quickly replaced by the frustration of a piece of equipment that wouldn’t cooperate, and turning to Google didn’t provide the quick answer I sought.
Even though my new Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD appeared to work at first, problems quickly started to arise. The box started shutting off, and it when I tried to record something, I couldn’t change the channel. When I tried changing the channel on the box as it recorded, it immediately shut off. When the box shut off, it didn’t always come back up.
I called tech support. They tried to reset the modem, which gave me the same results as when I unplugged it. When I described the rebooting problem (see below), the tech support guy suggested that the cable box was attempting to do a software update but was unable to do so.
As soon as I turned it on, I’d see the message “Er.51″ followed by a few other messages, and then it appeared to count down for several minutes. When that was complete, I would see the word “boot” and the box appeared to turn off and back on. After that, the word “fail” would appear, followed by a dash moving across the display from left to right. On the TV, there was just a screen that said “One moment please” – yet that moment never seemed to end.
A couple of times the TV came on, only to crash again.
So I took the box back to Cox Cable and explained the problem to the guy at the counter. He seemed to be familiar with the problem, told me that Error 51 was a problem with the box’s internal hard drive, and gave me a new one.
Since installing the replacement box, I have had no problems.
So it’s not clear if the tech support guy was right about the software update, or the guy at the counter was right about it being the hard drive. But the solution in my case was to swap the box out for a new one.
If you are having the problems described above, hopefully this article helps a little.
Filed under: Consumers