|Here is a photo I took of my television|
Looks like Comcast Houston cable TV service is back up. I started getting reports of problems right before noon. Got home and I was affected too. In the middle of blogging about it, I received reports of the cable outage in Houston, Pearland, Katy, The Woodlands and Sugar Land.
The original onscreen display showed the "EAS DETAILS CHANNEL" message. It later switched to a technical problem message. I had already restored service with a cable box reboot, but by 2pm some customers were getting onscreen messages to reboot the box. Others, including me, later had automatic reboots.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
A PR rep for Comcast Houston sent me the official word on what happened today:
“The EAS (Emergency Alert System) System is used by State and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as weather information and AMBER alerts to a specific area. The EAS system, is triggered by state and local authorities. Comcast is also required by federal law to test the system to ensure that our EAS equipment is working properly.
During such a test this morning we experienced a malfunction with our Cable System’s EAS equipment.
We have corrected this and are taking precautions to ensure this does not happen again in the future, and we apologize for any problems this may have caused our customers.
If a customer is still experiencing an issue with their box, a simple re-boot should restore services.”
My phone started ringing this morning about an Comcast Houston cable TV outage. The Internet still works or I'd have a tougher time writing this post.
Comcast's Will Osborne (@ComcastWill) tweeted mikemcguff.com, "We are aware of and currently working to resolve the EAS / spanish language channel trouble some users are experiencing."
One Twitter report says to reboot your box. Another said that is not working for them.
"A reboot will not resolve [the issue]," Osborne tweeted me. "We are working on fix on our end for this."
David Barron tweeted me that the outage only seems to affect Scientific Atlanta boxes but not Cisco ones. I have Scientific Atlanta. I rebooted the box (on box press both volume up and down buttons plus "Info" at the same time or unplug/re-plug the box from the outlet) and when it finished loading, all seems to be fine as of now. Also, got a report that a message showed up on another customer's screen that said to reboot.
When I turn on the TV the first time I got the above photo which says "EAS DETAILS CHANNEL." Some people have told me there is a Spanish-language station that also will come in and out, I have not seen that (although I see a small line next to the words that appears to have video in it). The message eventually changed to a technical problem screen later on.
So far I've received reports of this Comcast outage in Houston, Pearland, Katy, The Woodlands and Sugar Land.
* Post updated