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post #481 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 11:02 AM
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I stoppdby the Nimbus Cust Service center today to iquire about the new HD DVRs. They have seen the units and have had some training. Cost will be 9.95 a month and they should be available in limited quantity the 1st week of December. You will have to schedule a service tech to come out nd install it, I don't think you will be able to just swap your current STB out at a service center.

Can't wait!
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post #482 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 11:08 AM
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Did they give you any idea about which boxes they would be using?
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post #483 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 11:27 AM
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I just called the 800 number to ask about the rollout. The phone tech I spoke to said she had just had the training. She claimed we could pick up the units without having a service tech come out. Let's hope so. She also said that they would be rolling out with the 6412, not the Diego Moxi. But she said they were working with the Moxi and would be upgrading to that, probably some time in January. I asked whether we could exchange the 6412 for the Moxi and she said that we could, given that there were enough units available (which I assume there would be at some point in time).

She said they hadn't been given an actual time for initial rollout, but she took my number and promised to call me. I wouldn't bet on that call back, but around Dec. 1 looks promising.

Since this tech's story differs slightly from the Nimbus center, I'd be interested in knowing what others hear.
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post #484 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 05:20 PM
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Well, I sure do like the new menu, much improved! But I had lots of signal problems on the HD channels last night. Dropouts on ESPNHD and HBOHD, plus Lost was shown entirely in SD. The CSR I talked to at Nimbus today had not heard of any problems but I saw lots. Lost was also in SD on the OTA signal so it may have been a national feed issue. Just wondering if anyone else saw this?
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post #485 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 06:47 PM
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I called Comcast today just to see whether there was any new info. The customer service person I talked to said they would be ready to roll out DVRs "any day now", took my name and number and said someone should be getting back to me in the next few days.
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post #486 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 09:32 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Jams
I had lots of signal problems on the HD channels last night. Lost was shown entirely in SD. The CSR I talked to at Nimbus today had not heard of any problems but I saw lots. Lost was also in SD on the OTA signal so it may have been a national feed issue.

More specifically, problems with KATU's equipment that receives the national HD feed, and it's been going on all week. Saving Private Ryan is in SD tonight for the same reason.
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post #487 of 4869 Old 11-11-2004, 10:58 PM
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Got my Motorola 6412 installed today from Comcast and played with it this evening. Works great. They should be rolling them out to the public in the next few weeks. I've also been told that Moxi and Digeo are coming - not sure when. They are working out some OnDemand software issues.

Here are my thoughts:

When scrolling through the on-screen menus, every now and then the menu will freeze. In other words you press a button, nothing happens, you keep pressing buttons, nothing happens, then all of a sudden, all of your previous keystrokes happen real fast, one after the other. (Hopefully that made sense).

I recorded Survivor (1 hour) on ch. 6 (SD) and it took up 6% of my capacity. I also recorded 15 minutes of ch. 789 (HD) earlier and it took up 5% of my capacity. (Minimum recording time seems to be 15 minutes) Based on these numbers, overall capacity is not as great as I thought it would be.

Other than those two items, it seemed to work perfectly. While you can record on a recurring schedule, it would be nice if you could record by program. In other words, if I wanted to record every episode of Amazing Race, then I wouldn't have to manually reconfigure for the 2-hr season premiere, since the regular shows are only an hour.

Guess that's about it. I'm glad it's finally here. Let me know if there's anything you want me to try out on this thing.
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post #488 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 03:44 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by markemery
Got my Motorola 6412 installed today from Comcast and played with it this evening. Works great. They should be rolling them out to the public in the next few weeks.

First question, where are you located? (Are you even in the Portland metro area? And if so, which municipality?) Second, if they're "rolling them out to the public in the next few weeks," what does that make you, and how can I become one of you? Seriously, I want the job

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I've also been told that Moxi and Digeo are coming - not sure when. They are working out some OnDemand software issues.

How 'bout rolling it out for those of us who don't care about PPV? Seriously, OnDemand is of absolutely no use to me, but everything else about the Moxi is.

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Here are my thoughts:

When scrolling through the on-screen menus, every now and then the menu will freeze. In other words you press a button, nothing happens, you keep pressing buttons, nothing happens, then all of a sudden, all of your previous keystrokes happen real fast, one after the other. (Hopefully that made sense).

This should be familiar to anyone who's spent any quality time with a TiVo.

Quote:


I recorded Survivor (1 hour) on ch. 6 (SD) and it took up 6% of my capacity. I also recorded 15 minutes of ch. 789 (HD) earlier and it took up 5% of my capacity. (Minimum recording time seems to be 15 minutes) Based on these numbers, overall capacity is not as great as I thought it would be.

"Not as great?!" How about not even according to spec! If 15 minutes of HD is 5%, that means it'll only hold 5 HOURS?! What is that, a 40gig hard drive? They're supposed to have at least 120 gigs. Those things better be upgradable.

Quote:


Other than those two items, it seemed to work perfectly. While you can record on a recurring schedule, it would be nice if you could record by program. In other words, if I wanted to record every episode of Amazing Race, then I wouldn't have to manually reconfigure for the 2-hr season premiere, since the regular shows are only an hour.

That would be where the Moxi comes in, for those TiVo-like features we all know and love. But to those of us familiar with Dish's gimped "PVR's," this isn't such a foreign concept. Unfortunately, one must choose better interface, or firewire? Hopefully I'll get both.

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Guess that's about it. I'm glad it's finally here. Let me know if there's anything you want me to try out on this thing.

Yeah, try plugging in a couple large[r] hard drives and see how things go
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post #489 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 07:35 AM
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Boy, and I was thinking that 5 hours of HD recording was great. I thought HD was about 10 megs/second, that adds up to 180 gigs in 5 hours. I would have thought if it could do 5 hours of HD it could do 50 hours of SD. Of course we don't know how accurate the % of capacity is. One last thing, what you record could make a big difference. One hour for Nascar with all the movement and colors would take up alot more space that one hour of 'Sunrise Earth' where the camera holds one frame of the sun coming up for about 10 minutes at a time(it's pretty but to slow for me that early in the morning :-) )
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post #490 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 08:20 AM
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I am in SW Portland, near the crossroads of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard.
I'm going to look into the capacity issue today and I'll let you know what I come up with.
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post #491 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NikeMan
Boy, and I was thinking that 5 hours of HD recording was great. I thought HD was about 10 megs/second, that adds up to 180 gigs in 5 hours.

Not quite HD bitrates peak at 19.363 megabits per second (within ATSC spec), which is a little less than 2½ megabytes per second, but averages are usually lower than that. Assuming that what Mark recorded ran pretty close to that bitrate, that would be approximately 8 gigs per hour (perhaps a bit more), or 5 hours on a 40 gig hard drive (or less, since 40 billion bytes, formatted, would be closer to 37.2 real gigs). Considering that hard drives get a lot bigger, for relatively little additional money, this would be an unacceptable compromise.

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I would have thought if it could do 5 hours of HD it could do 50 hours of SD.

That depends upon the bitrate of the SD material being recorded. It also depends upon whether this material was pre-compressed (recorded from a digital cable channel) or encoded by the box (from an analog channel). Whereas a digital cable channel has a fixed (well, variable, but always within the confines of whatever the cable company and/or content provider has set) bitrate, an analog channel's compression can be set within the box to varying levels, depending upon the user's quality and space preferences. At its highest quality setting, the bitrate is likely higher than any digital cable channel at it's lowest, it's probably less. If one hour of analog-encoded SD was 6% of capacity, that would mean it could hold 16½ hours comfortably at that bitrate (which, assuming it's a 37.2 gig drive, would be approximately 5.2 megabits per second, considerably higher than most pre-compressed content). That's still an obscenely low figure these days.

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Of course we don't know how accurate the % of capacity is.

It should be a helluva lot more accurate that "# of hours remaining" figures, seeing as how the box can't be sure of the bitrate that the user will record, but it knows exactly how much space is taken and how much is available. Unless there's a significant flaw in the software, I'm going to take this figure as the Word of God.

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One last thing, what you record could make a big difference. One hour for Nascar with all the movement and colors would take up alot more space that one hour of 'Sunrise Earth' where the camera holds one frame of the sun coming up for about 10 minutes at a time(it's pretty but to slow for me that early in the morning :-) )

It's not as big a difference as you'd think. Talking specifically HD here, both Discovery HD Theater and TNT-HD broadcast at a fixed bitrate (or so I've read, maybe average), both ~19mbps (maybe a little less). Regardless of what content they're broadcasting, it'll always be approximately the same size, just looking better or worse depending upon the material. Even HBO and Showtime broadcast at 14.2mbps, and while I'm not certain if that's fixed or variable, it's still the "average" bitrate, so should always measure up to that in the end.

One other thing we've not mentioned yet is how much of the hard drive may be reserved for push content (which would seem unnecessary with VOD, but still). We've known they were going to do it, this may be a sign that they have (it would also explain why 5 hours of near-full-bitrate HD adds up to almost exactly 40 gigs, instead of 37.2). If these do have larger than 40-gig hard drives, it would likely be an 80-gigger (one of the original specs). If they're cutting off half the hard drive for their own purposes, they're severely overstepping their boundaries. I want to record what I want to watch, not what you want me to watch.

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Originally posted by markemery
I am in SW Portland, near the crossroads of Portland, Beaverton, Tigard.

Great, now I know where I need to move.

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I'm going to look into the capacity issue today and I'll let you know what I come up with.

Thanks, Mark. That still doesn't answer the question, though what's your role in this, and how might I getno no noearn that role?
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post #492 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by Moorebid

That would be where the Moxi comes in, for those TiVo-like features we all know and love. But to those of us familiar with Dish's gimped "PVR's," this isn't such a foreign concept. Unfortunately, one must choose better interface, or firewire? Hopefully I'll get both.

So do you have a list of those Tivo-like features that Moxi will provide that the generic 6412 won't?

Looks like those of us who get the 6412 will be deciding later whether or not to go for the Moxi.
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post #493 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 05:50 PM
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Spoke to a CSR today who indicated the new boxes would be available "before 12/31". Indicated the initial allotment was 6000, so if that is true, call and get on the list.
He was fully aware of the plan to upgrade to the Moxi down the road, and the apparent current problem with the Moxi Vod interface.
He indicated that in their last inservice on the Moxi, they were told it will have a DVDSE burner built in. Also his "cheat sheet" said 15 hrs or Hd recording capability for the new DVR, not sure about the Moxi
All this is said with the caveat of a simple discussion with a nice, and seemingly knowledgeable CSR
By the way he was blown away by the fact I knew about the Moxi/VOD problems et al. Appropriate credit was given on my end to the AVSForum

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post #494 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by doretta
So do you have a list of those Tivo-like features that Moxi will provide that the generic 6412 won't?

- Granted, it's their own website, which is by and large a marketing tool, but the discussion which I've read in this thread and other forums seems to be generally positive, coming close to the TiVo in working functionality (but not without flaws), with even more promise thanks to its more advanced hardware. Also, Digeo maintains an active presence on these forums (under the name MoxiGuy).

Quote:
Originally posted by michael goldman
Spoke to a CSR today who indicated the new boxes would be available "before 12/31". Indicated the initial allotment was 6000, so if that is true, call and get on the list. He was fully aware of the plan to upgrade to the Moxi down the road, and the apparent current problem with the Moxi Vod interface.

I walked in to their Oak Grove office this afternoon and spoke with Cindy (with whom I've spoken several times in the past on the subject), she had finally received word that they expected to start rolling them out, and here's the kicker the date she received was specifically December 1st, but initial allotment was only supposed to be 3000, and would most likely be restricted to 1 per household (I need at least 2). *shrug* Same word on the reason for Moxi's delay, but she said it had been pushed back to March. *double shrug* I'm on the list for both.

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He indicated that in their last inservice on the Moxi, they were told it will have a DVDSE burner built in.

There are two different models of Motorola-built Moxi's, the BMC9012 which serves one TV and has no DVD, and the BMC9022D, which can serve two TV's (with the addition of a Moxi Mate) and has a DVD player, not a burner. Thus far (I believe according to MoxiGuy), Comcast has only ordered BMC9012's, but if it does get delayed to March, they may just decide to go with BMC9022D's from the get-go.

Quote:
Also his "cheat sheet" said 15 hrs or Hd recording capability for the new DVR, not sure about the Moxi

Which would coincide with the listed spec for the 6412 having a 120 gig hard drive. The Moxi should have at least an 80 gig hard drive, hopefully they decide to go bigger.

Quote:
All this is said with the caveat of a simple discussion with a nice, and seemingly knowledgeable CSR

Indeed, take this all with two grains of salt, though growing so close to launch, information should become more reliable.
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post #495 of 4869 Old 11-12-2004, 09:40 PM
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Moorebid, my role is simply having a very friendly inside connection. Just got lucky on this one, I think.

So, I've now got Survivor recorded (61 minutes SD) and Beavers recorded (45 minutes HD). The on screen display says I've used 10% of capacity.

The other caveat is that my Survivor was a manual recording (I set the day/time/channel) and it worked perfectly. The Beavers recording was set up by clicking the "record" button on the TV guide menu (an automatic recording) and the recording was not scheduled correctly. 45 minutes of programming was recorded, however the Beavers show began somewhere in the middle of the show. At about the 24 minute mark, the show was over and the remaining 21 minutes was InHD shorts/commercials. So, I can't trust the automatic recordings - bummer. Perhaps it's an OSU thing!

GO DUCKS!

--Mark
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post #496 of 4869 Old 11-13-2004, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markemery
Moorebid, my role is simply having a very friendly inside connection. Just got lucky on this one, I think.

Blast! If only I could be that inside connection!

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The other caveat is that my Survivor was a manual recording (I set the day/time/channel) and it worked perfectly

That sounds pretty automatic to me. Manual would be watching something and deciding to record it while it's on.

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The Beavers recording was set up by clicking the "record" button on the TV guide menu (an automatic recording) and the recording was not scheduled correctly. 45 minutes of programming was recorded, however the Beavers show began somewhere in the middle of the show. At about the 24 minute mark, the show was over and the remaining 21 minutes was InHD shorts/commercials. So, I can't trust the automatic recordings - bummer. Perhaps it's an OSU thing!

Are you certain the program started on time? Did it perchance follow a sporting event? Such programs are notorious for running long and/or short, causing whatever follows them to air off-schedule, which is completely unavoidable, and unfortunately, completely out of the realm of knowledge of the DVR. It just records what its guide data tells it, to what its timer is set. If it was scheduled to record from 8:00-8:45, then it did precisely what it was supposed to do. However, if it was scheduled to record 7:30-8:30 and it didn't, then something is wrong with the DVR
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post #497 of 4869 Old 11-13-2004, 07:44 AM
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What I mean by automatic is, I scrolled through the on screen menu, found the show I wanted to record, clicked on the red circle (record) icon and confirmed. I didn't have to set the date, start time, and end time. The show was Beavers (IMAX movie) on InHD Friday morning (I think). I am positive it was not following a live event that ran over. Regardless, the system didn't work. Not sure who's to blame...InHD or Comcast's TV programming guide. I do know that it recorded 45 minutes, it just didn't start at the right time.
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post #498 of 4869 Old 11-13-2004, 08:08 AM
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Another recording has just completed and I am now using 18% of capacity with the following saved recordings:

Survivor, CBS, 60 min. SD
Beavers, InHD, 45 min. HD
Graffiti Bridge, InHD 105 min. HD

Graffiti Bridge was a scheduled "1-click" automatic recording (like I did with Beavers), however it worked pefectly.

For what it's worth, I'm using a DVI connection.
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post #499 of 4869 Old 11-13-2004, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by markemery
What I mean by automatic is, I scrolled through the on screen menu, found the show I wanted to record, clicked on the red circle (record) icon and confirmed. I didn't have to set the date, start time, and end time.

Ah, I see you manually set the timer for Survivor. That makes more sense.

Quote:
The show was Beavers (IMAX movie) on InHD Friday morning (I think). I am positive it was not following a live event that ran over.

Ah-haha, based upon your "OSU thing" and "GO DUCKS" comments, I assumed it was a football show.

Quote:
Regardless, the system didn't work. Not sure who's to blame...InHD or Comcast's TV programming guide. I do know that it recorded 45 minutes, it just didn't start at the right time.

Is there any way you can confirm that the box actually started and ended recording at the scheduled time? Does it list the actual start and end time of the recording?
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post #500 of 4869 Old 11-13-2004, 09:34 PM
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As for the Beavers IMAX HD show, in the list of recordings, it shows the date and time of the recording: Fri. 11/12 at 9:45a 45 min. Perhaps it started recording at 9:45am with the actual show starting at 9:30am. Just a guess.

Here's the latest:

68% FULL

Survivor, CBS, 60 min. SD
Beavers, InHD, 45 min. HD
Graffiti Bridge, InHD 105 min. HD
Laura McKenzie's Traveler, InHD 30 min. HD
Traveler (London), Discovery Channel 707, 120 min. HD
*Oregon/UCLA game, recorded on Ch. 704, 240 min. SD

*The game was not broadcast in HD, although I decided to record the game from Ch. 704 rather than Ch. 4. Does a SD recording on 704 take up more space than a SD recording on 4?
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post #501 of 4869 Old 11-14-2004, 01:23 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by markemery
As for the Beavers IMAX HD show, in the list of recordings, it shows the date and time of the recording: Fri. 11/12 at 9:45a 45 min. Perhaps it started recording at 9:45am with the actual show starting at 9:30am. Just a guess.

Don't suppose you can go back in time on the guide to check? Yeah, that'd probably be a TiVo-only feature

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*The game was not broadcast in HD, although I decided to record the game from Ch. 704 rather than Ch. 4. Does a SD recording on 704 take up more space than a SD recording on 4?

Yes, because even SD source material is upconverted to 720p (in this case, as well as ESPN and FOX, 1080i on other channels) for broadcast on their HD channel. Now they may be using a constant bitrate, which means it's always going to be 15+mbps (whatever they use, haven't seen it reported since they stopped multicasting), but even if they're using variable bit rate, even with 320*720 pixels of inactive area in the frame, there's still 960*720 that is active, and will use considerly more bandwidth than something encoded to 480*480 (or 704*480, even).
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post #502 of 4869 Old 11-15-2004, 07:15 AM
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markemery-

Which guide system is deployed with your 6412? iGuide or MSFT or other?

Which remote came with your box? Silver or Brown or other?
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post #503 of 4869 Old 11-15-2004, 07:58 PM
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The guide is the same one I had on Nov. 10th. I think it is TV Guide.

The remote is black ICX Global Enterprise 6412 4-in-1 remote, icxglobal.com
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post #504 of 4869 Old 11-15-2004, 10:30 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by markemery
The guide is the same one I had on Nov. 10th. I think it is TV Guide.

Let's be clear on this it's not the tan or original blue guide, but the new iGuide which was deployed to every other digital receiver on November 10th, correct? *shudder if not* I doubt the older guides would even work with this box, but you never know

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The remote is black ICX Global Enterprise 6412 4-in-1 remote, icxglobal.com

Hmm, I can't seem to find that specifically to which you're referring. There's the ENT-6412, but that's 6-device and silver. There's also the ENT-MOTO, which is quite similar - but missing PIP fuctions (which matters little for the 6412 since it doesn't support them) as well as skip forward/back buttons - and is black. Either way, that is a MUCH better remote than has been distributed everywhere else in the country. I hope it's not just a test model.

EDIT: I just noticed on the ENT-6412 page, "also available as a 4-in-1." Maybe that's the black model.
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post #505 of 4869 Old 11-15-2004, 10:40 PM
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Yes, the new guide which launched Nov. 10th.

The remote is black. The sticker on the back says ICX Global, ENT-6412-3005 AB
I clicked on your link to the 6412 remote and it is identical, except that mine is black and mine does NOT have the buttons on either side of the red power button. I believe the buttons I am missing are the AUDIO and DVD buttons. Sure would be nice to have those buttons. Everything else is identical.

I use a Sony RM-AV3000 and I did not have to reprogram it when I switched from the old Motorola HD box.

Here's the latest:

77% FULL

Survivor, CBS, 60 min. SD
Beavers, InHD, 45 min. HD
Graffiti Bridge, InHD 105 min. HD
Laura McKenzie's Traveler, InHD 30 min. HD
Traveler (London), Discovery Channel 707, 120 min. HD
Oregon/UCLA game, recorded on Ch. 704, 240 min. SD
American Chopper, recorded on Ch. 707, 60 min. HD
MTV, recorded on Ch. 63, 30 min. SD
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post #506 of 4869 Old 11-16-2004, 06:50 AM
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markemery-

Thanks for the info.

I have a couple more questions.

Does your remote have functioning "skip" and "swap" buttons?

If not, have you been able to program the "30 sec skip" and "tuner swap" as elsewhere on the forum?
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post #507 of 4869 Old 11-16-2004, 11:59 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by crossbeaux
She claimed we could pick up the units without having a service tech come out. Let's hope so.

Since this tech's story differs slightly from the Nimbus center, I'd be interested in knowing what others hear.

I went to the Nimbus center yesterday and signed up for the DVR. She said they'd give me a call around Dec 1st to set up an appointment. When I asked her about just picking up the box myself, she was quite emphatic that they wouldn't even be stocking them at that center, so a service call was required.

Oh well - I needed a new splitter to add cable to another room anyway. My advice is to use the service call to get any other things done that Comcast insists on being present for.
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post #508 of 4869 Old 11-16-2004, 12:19 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DevlinNulland
I went to the Nimbus center yesterday and signed up for the DVR.

When you say "sign up," do you mean that you actually filled out paperwork? Or did they just put your name on a list? I'm wondering if my call served the same purpose (they said they'd call me back) or whether I need to go the service center (in my case NE Portland).
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post #509 of 4869 Old 11-16-2004, 01:10 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by markemery
Yes, the new guide which launched Nov. 10th.

Sweeet

Quote:


The remote is black. The sticker on the back says ICX Global, ENT-6412-3005 AB
I clicked on your link to the 6412 remote and it is identical, except that mine is black and mine does NOT have the buttons on either side of the red power button. I believe the buttons I am missing are the AUDIO and DVD buttons. Sure would be nice to have those buttons. Everything else is identical.

Double-sweet! Yes, I wouldn't mind having the extra two devices, but one should be able to configure "VCR" to control a DVD player, or "PVR" to control an audio device since "Cable" should take care of those functions (who's going to use a standalone PVR with this box?! Let alone a VCR!)

Quote:


Here's the latest:
*snip*
Oregon/UCLA game, recorded on Ch. 704, 240 min. SD

Unless you're truly dedicated to the quality of your SD material, you'd get much better use of space recording material such as this from the analog channel now that it's been confirmed that KATU's sending 18.7mbps, about 3-4 times better.

Quote:


Originally posted by crossbeaux
When you say "sign up," do you mean that you actually filled out paperwork? Or did they just put your name on a list? I'm wondering if my call served the same purpose (they said they'd call me back) or whether I need to go the service center (in my case NE Portland).

When I "signed up" at the Oak Grove location, they just put my name into the computer and gave me the same spiel as Devlin, although I didn't ask if I could pick it up (they're going to have to come out to remove the trap from my line anyway, and I'll be needing a splitter, possibly an amp). I'd wager your call accomplished the same thing, but if you want to be certain, it wouldn't hurt to place a warm body on it.
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post #510 of 4869 Old 11-16-2004, 08:23 PM
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You guys should like this. Just ran across the following page on Comcast's investor relations page that says DVR is now available in Portland and Eugene. And I betcha it's been up there for a month or more.

http://www.cmcsa.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=147565&p=irol-dvr

You would think the investor relations unit could get their facts straight about key market features like this. Just more fuel for the stockholder attorneys.
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