Well, I must say, it was very hard to actually get to speak with someone at Comcast that has any technical knowledge. Calling the CSR's over and over got me nowhere. Sending an email got me nowhere. The email from Comcast, can you believe, told me to call Comcast. Hunh??? I decided to go in person to my Comcast HQ in Union, NJ. I walked in the front door, not the CSR door. Once I explained I had technical questions, they sent someone down. Although this person couldn't answer my question without getting the answers from someone else, she was helpful.
My questions were all DVR based. I wanted to know a few things and I figured that they should know, right?
1. The time that Comcast sends to the DVR/Digital STB was off by a minute and a half. That isn't too good if your product is a time based DVR. I asked could it be corrected. Doesn't seem too hard, right?
2. When, if at anytime will we see a new Guide (Pioneer, iGuide, MS Guide 1.7) on the 6208?
3. When will we see the 6412?
4. What Guide will be on the 6412?
Well, I must say, it must have seemed I was speaking a different language. None of my questions could be answered. I wasn't going to leave until I got some sort of answer. But, since I wasn't going to get one, I asked is there was someone "technical" I could speak with. She said you can call the HQ in Philadelphia. So she gave me the number and I left.
I called HQ. I got someone in Engineering. She listened to my questions and sent an email to an Executive. Within two hours I was called, yes Comcast called me. On the phone was the local Director of Technology. I think I'm getting someplace!
I asked my questions (stated above) and he had answers. Here they are:
1. The time displayed is the time received from an atomic clock. The reason the STB isn't correct is that the new Digital STB's don't "automatically" update the time from the atomic clock. It is a manual operation. He was surprised that GI, now Motorola, didn't use the same technology that was in the Analog STB (that was fully automatic). As our discussion went on he agreed with me that the time checking/correction needs to happen more frequently. He also said that if I look at my STB now, the time would be dead on to my XP PC. XP also gets its time from an atomic clock. He was right, dead on exact. He personally fixed the time error once he received an email from my phone call. Although that may seem impressive, why did I have to call them to inform them their time is off on their STBÂ¡Â¦s. Going forward he said they would check/correct the time more frequently. Only time Æ’Âº will tell.
2. This answer is multifaceted. First off he pointed out that the 6208 is not what Comcast wanted to deploy. Frankly, Comcast is not happy with the 6208 and they would not have deployed it. ButÂ¡K since there are people like me that want it and there are people that will leave Comcast to go to satellite, they had to offer something. And now, the something is the 6208. The guide question. Well, there are no plans to do anything with the guide on the 6208. Ugh! Comcast has a relationship with Gemstar/TV Guide that seems, more to do with settling a lawsuit then Comcast really wanting to use their Guide product. He hinted that it wasn't the best guide out there. I agreed, that compared to Tivo, it is lousy. He agreed too. Now, going forward with the 6412, we may see a different guide, but that was too far off to know for sure. So, it seems we are stuck with this lousy guide for now.
3. 6412. Well, the original plan was to be deployment in August. Now the plan is to deploy very late 4th quarter. Why? Well, the TV Guide software will not work on a dual tuner STB. So, we are stuck with TV Guide. Maybe, maybe not. He wanted to make it clear that between now and the actual deployment of the 6412, many things can happen pertaining to the guide. So, again, we have to just wait and see.
4. Too early to tell. He seemed to think that the relationship Comcast and TV Guide have may lead it to be the new iGuide. But he couldn't say this with any factual certainty. So that does leave the door open for maybe the Microsoft software solution. But I think the door is only open a crack.
What he told me for the most part isn't what I wanted to hear, but at least I know have a contact within Comcast that will listen to me and is knowledgeable. He did say that he has to reply back to the Executive the topics covered in our conversation. Hopefully they will listen to, and address my concerns.
I encourage anyone concerned to call their MSO. Don't give up. The only way they will change for the better is if we can persevere to get the decision makers ear.
PM me if you want more detailsÂ¡K contacts... phone numbers.