What Does It Mean When the Time Warner Cable Box Says "No String" on the TV?


If you're receiving a "No String" error on your TV, it means your digital cable box isn't communicating with the Time Warner Cable network. This error has multiple causes, but most often indicates that the box hasn't finished updating its software. If troubleshooting efforts fail, you may need to call customer support for help.


  • A "No String" message often indicates that your digital cable box isn't initialized, which means that Time Warner's network hasn't given it permission to receive and display channels. This isn't typically a problem for long, as the technician who installs it will make sure it's working properly before leaving. However, if you just received a replacement box or see the message long after cable was installed, the company may need to reauthorize the box.


  • The error message could indicate a connection problem. All cables and plugs must be connected tightly in the back of your digital cable box and to the wall. By following each wire's path, you can check for any damage to the cable and crimping that may be interrupting your service.

"No String"?

  • In computer programming, a "string" is a variable that holds a line of text. Whenever you see an error message or text output to your screen, you're seeing a "string." In the context of the digital cable box, there is no text to show you, and no error message to display, so it simply says, "No string." Once the box has been initialized and the software updated, the system will provide more useful error messages as needed.


  • Digital cable boxes need rebooting occasionally, just like any computer. To reboot your digital cable box, you must unplug it from its electrical outlet for 10 full seconds before plugging it back in, and then wait for it to completely reboot before turning on your TV. When you see the time appear on the box, it has successfully rebooted. Rebooting your digital cable box may cause the interactive channel guide to be unavailable for up to an hour, however.

Power Outage

  • If there is a power outage in your area, you won't receive any TV programming, even if your home has a backup power generator. Cable lines run alongside power lines; if something has happened to the electricity, no cable programming will make it through.

Cable Outage

  • Sometimes, only the cable company can fix the problem. For example, if you see white static on your TV, it means no cable signal is coming into your home. If Time Warner Cable is also your Internet service provider, you can further confirm a cable outage by trying to get online -- if you're unsuccessful, a cable outage is to blame.

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