Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage Alaska
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That is interesting news. I have the box and have not been contacted by GCI about the recall? Is it truly a recall, or are they just halting new subscribers I wonder.
I have some recorded content that I will leave on the drive and see what happens. I am out of town all next week and will chime in on this thread with what happens - it will be well over 8 days on the drive by then.
If you're interested in my impression so far here it is:
No DVI of Firewire enabled (at least on my box). That is disappointing for several reasons, one of which was I was hoping to record HD to my JVC D-VHS via Firewire. A rumor I heard was that GCI was afraid of copyright issues, but I think that is kind of iffy as an excuse. Yes I have read about firmware this and firmware that to turn the stuff on in the future, but if you look hard enough out there, these features are turned on with other cable companies now.
The HD material so far is limited. Bravo has more than Showtime, but tends to be boring material. At least half of what Showtime is showing is upconverted and looks bad.
I swear there is a sound sync issue with dialog mainly on the HD material. I've tried tweaking my receiver every which way, but either it gets worse or I bring it back to a point where it is hard to tell, but my brain is definitely telling me something is wrong.
The TV guide is better than the regular digital box IMHO.
The PVR works as advertised including the "pausing" of live TV, I guess it remains to be seen if my stuff gets deleted. I did have one issue though where I was recording a show and the TV guide times were out of sync with real time and the recording stopped prematurely.
The SD material looks pretty good especially in the digital domain, the analog stuff (below the upper 50's) is as good as the old analog box which isn't saying much. GCI tends to blame that on the broadcasters.
The box is actually quite noisy. Although no fan is visible, part of the noise has to be from one. This noise is constant, could be the rotation of the hard drive I suppose, but there are so many quiet drives out there it seems silly to have one you can hear so well in this type of unit. The hard drive also makes quite a lot of head noise when it is in use such as recording or playback. Again there are quiet drives out there?
The supplied remote is the same generic piece of crap they give you with the basic digital box. It is pre-programmed to handle all the PVR stuff though, so no hassle there. No backlight is a problem. This remote will be morphed into my Pronto, so not a biggie for me.
The unit has inputs on the front for, video, audio, usb and a smart card reader, but no explanation on how to use them. In fact the user manual has notes on all these options with the disclaimer that they might not be supported (including the Firewire, USB, DVI, and Ethernet on the back of the unit).
Which leads me to the user manual. Two words: fire starter.
Whew, that was a mouthful!