Q. I just lost several channels on my Charter/Spectrum cable TV service. Most are still there, but channels like HBO and Showtime aren’t showing up in my guide or on the screen. When I try to tune to it, it just skips to the next channel. Any ideas on how to fix this? — Edie, New York. 

Edie, this can happen from time to time. I suspect I know the reason why it’s happening, but before we get to it, I would suggest doing the following.

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1. Make sure the connections from your cable box to your TV are secure. Sometimes, cables can become loose, causing disruptions in the picture. Also, make sure you are using the right cable for your particular set-top. I recommend using an HDMI cable from your set-top to the set.

2. Make sure the TV is on the correct Input setting, which is where the cable is connected. For example, if the cable from your set-top is going into your TV’s HDMI 1 port, make sure the TV is set on HDMI 1.

3. Check your local TV channel lineup to make sure the missing channels are still available on your system. Sometimes, Charter, and other TV providers, have fee disputes with channels, which leads to the channels being taken off the air.

4. Lastly, reboot the set-top box and TV by unplugging both for about 20-30 seconds. Also, disconnect the cables. Then, reconnect the cable and plug both devices back in.

If none of the four actions above fix the problem, here’s what it could be.

The TV’s Auto-Program feature.

Some sets come with an ‘auto-program’ feature, also called ‘auto-tune,’ which will automatically skip over certain channels if programmed to do so. This can be helpful if you don’t want your children watching channels with questionable content. However, it’s possible that you accidentally set the TV to skip over channels you do not want blocked.

Go back into the Auto-Program setting of your TV and re-scan all available channels in your Charter lineup. After the new scan is complete, check to see if the missing channels are back.

If they are not, chances are the problem is with Charter and you should call them for advice and/or a home visit.

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