Spectrum cable customers across Bakersfield experienced a television outage in the midst of prime time viewing Tuesday night. At around 8:30 p.m., televisions went dark as cable boxes rebooted.
Unhappy television viewers took to Twitter to complain.
One user tweeted that the outage caused her to miss the end of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers game. Other users commented that once their televisions did boot back to life, all data stored on the cable devices was lost.
“Very irritating, considering how much I pay for cable,” Steve Wilkinson said on Facebook, responding to a Californian request for reactions to the outage.
Wilkinson said his cable device began an unprompted software update around 8:30 p.m., which went for about 10 minutes before failing. The process repeated itself numerous times until he gave up trying to fix the problem.
He said service had returned by Wednesday morning.
Other Facebook and Twitter users reported getting service back within 90 minutes.
Bret Picciolo, director of communications for Charter Communications, said a network equipment failure had caused the outage, in which set-top boxes rebooted without warning.
He said could not reveal the number of customers affected by the outage due to company competitive concerns.
Some idea of the scope of the outage can be gleaned from independent outage reporting website, downdetector.com. The website showed a large spike in service interruption reports between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday night in the area of Kern County.
At its peak, 647 users took to Downdetector to report problems with their service.
Although television went out during the outage, internet service was not impacted.
Spectrum customers in the Bakersfield region have been undergoing an all-digital conversion over the last several weeks. The outage was unrelated to the conversion, Picciolo said.