First off, which TV box do you have? Is it a TiVo or a V6? If you're not sure - check here - it won't make a material difference to a pixellation fault but could be useful.
Is your picture breakup affecting every channel or only specific ones? I only ask because an error message implying your box isn't connected would suggest to me that the box is effectively offline.
I would recommend you call VM Faults - 150 from your landline, or 0345 4541111, and they can run a few checks whilst you're on the line. They should be able to identify whether there's a problem with your box, or there's an issue in your area that needs an engineer to resolve.
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Thanks for the advice, yeah its a tivo and it affects only some channels. I put the post here rather than phoning as that is what I was advised to do after the online check as the phone lines were struggling apparently. I'll just try phoning then, thank you.