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Downloading at high speed causes digital TV artifacts and audio cut out

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I wanted to share this in case it can help someone in the future.

 

For the past few weeks we've noticed a lot of digital artifacts and audio cutting out on some channels.  I was thinking that it may be an issue with Comcast, they just fixed a major issue in my area so I hadn't made a big deal about it yet.  I was about to call about it and today I noticed something that I'd never seen before.  Downloading something... affecting the picture on the TV.  Over and over I slowed down and sped up the transfer speed on an intensive usenet download.  When I'd ramp it up to full speed the picture started to block out heavily, I'd then slow the speed way down and immediately the picture returned to normal.  When it was pixelated it was so bad that the show became completely unwatchable.  My actions on the Internet were 100% without a doubt affecting the TV picture.

 

After witnessing this I grabbed a fresh 2 way splitter out of my tool bag, ran down to the basement and swapped out the splitter.  Ever since... perfect picture.  Not even a single instance where before you couldn't make it 60 seconds without something.

 

By the way, there was no issue with the Internet speed in this case.  Just looking at the Internet performance I would have thought everything was fine. 

 

Cracked open the splitter and there's definite signs of degradation.  Hot spot on a solder point leading to that wrapped coil shows signs of internal resistance.

IMG_3536.thumb.JPG.f7ded9cdd269ca5c752ef

 

This was a brand new splitter used in untouched conditions indoors for only 1.5 years before it failed this way.

 

A wide array of symptoms can be caused by the same thing.  Remember, any points where two or more cables meet are always weak points.  When you're having issues, always look in these areas first.  The fix may be easier than you can imagine.

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