It is something that we have all experienced in the middle of the night: maybe you are trying to fall asleep after binge-watching your favorite Netflix show or maybe you are staying awake reading Tweets late into the night – and you see the flashing. It might surprise you the first time. The green or blue light that is always on your television’s cable box flashes a few times and then it stills. You look around the room, trying to figure out if your electricity went out. Over time, you know that this is something that happens almost every night and you can even tell time using it. But why is your cable box blinking?
The blinking is actually a sign that your cable or internet provider is communicating with your box. This is called device monitoring and it helps companies keep your service going. Companies choose to do this in the middle of the night because they want to cause as few problems as possible for their customers.
It Could Mean You Are Getting Updates
As technology changes and develops, your cable box slowly becomes obsolete. Instead of sending out updates to cable boxes that you will have trouble setting up, or sending out technicians to every single customer, companies sometimes use updates to improve your service and technology. They can do this on their own devices (for the most part) through the wires connected to your devices and through the internet connection.
If you see your cable box blinking, it could be that you will wake up tomorrow with new features, additional apps, or something else new and exciting.
Your Cable Company May Have Noticed A Problem You Haven’t
Another technological advancement that you benefit from when it comes to your cable is that cable companies can now anticipate and spot problems that haven’t impacted you just yet. Often, when you see those lights blink in the middle of the night, it is because they are trying to fix the problem before it impacts you. They may be deploying a bandage until they can come up with a full fix or they may be able to fix the problem altogether.
This could be a problem that just impacts your home, impacts your neighborhood, or impacts all of their customers. They have the ability to look at the data provided from your usage using special tools (like those from ETI Software Solutions) to spot problems before they even happen.
You Just Need A Refresh
Sometimes, nothing is wrong at all, your system just needs a refresh. Think of your cable box like you do your phone or your computer: sometimes things need to naturally update and restart for everything to work smoothly. Just restarting your cable box can eliminate problems with overall lag, updated content, and more. Most people don’t think to unplug and give their cable boxes a break, so your cable companies do it for you.
While having your cable box go off in the middle of the night can be really annoying, especially if you are watching something, you need to know that it is for the best. You will get new content, have a better experience, and you will probably avoid having to make any calls to customer service representatives. It could also just be a great reminder that it is time for you to go to bed. If it bothers you that much, to the point that it wakes you up in the middle of the night, you can use electrical tape to cover the light on some models. If not, you may just have to adjust it.