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post #91 of 9947 Old 07-28-2004, 03:39 PM
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c1courtney,
See my post 7/19 it will be SARA and SA8000HD.

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post #92 of 9947 Old 07-29-2004, 09:45 AM
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TerryB,

Thanks for the info. Hopefully TWC Houston will be using first run flag info so that the box will erase the stuff we've viewed first.

CCourtney
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post #93 of 9947 Old 07-31-2004, 09:25 AM
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Previous posts indicated a waiting list for the DVR. Anyone know how to get on the list?

TWC indicated to me that it would be Fall before it would be available, but I've only asked once. I live in the West U area and we were the first to have RR, so I'm hoping we would have DVR first too.

I'm surprised that the box is going to be an SA. I'd read in several places that they were testing Motorola DVR boxes (including the Motorola Moxi box) here in Houston, so I assumed that's what we would get. Maybe the tests didn't go so well.
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post #94 of 9947 Old 08-02-2004, 11:04 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by twentw
Previous posts indicated a waiting list for the DVR. Anyone know how to get on the list?

TWC indicated to me that it would be Fall before it would be available, but I've only asked once. I live in the West U area and we were the first to have RR, so I'm hoping we would have DVR first too.

I've requested to be placed on a list at least a dozen times since November. They have always told me there wasn't a list but that there is a note in my file that I'm interested in the unit.

As far as area availablity is concerned there's no reason for them not to roll it out to all of the Houston area at the same time.

With a cable modem (CM) you need a CMTS (Cable Modem Termination System - In other words a head end) in place for the cable modem to work. In particular TWC uses DOCSIS cable modems (It's pretty much become the US standard of choice.) These headends are very expensive and you also have to have it hooked up the backbone of the internet (i.e. T1, T3 ... connection) So the infrastructure had to be built up, the main issue with TWHouston was getting the fiber optics to all the neighborhoods and installing new headends.

The DVR actually has a DOCSIS cable modem built into it to get the programming information. Everything else is independent of what's located at the headend. So the infrastructure is in place.

-CCourtney
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post #95 of 9947 Old 08-02-2004, 12:56 PM
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Hopefully someone here will post when they actually have a unit in hand. I'll start bugging TWC at that point.

Looking at the SA8000HD specs, I'm somewhat disappointed. I was hoping to have some of the nice extras found on the Motorola boxes, like the ability to store music and photos, and inexpensive satellite units. I assume I'm correct that I'll have to rent (i.e. pay full price for) another unit in order to get DVR on more than one TV?
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post #96 of 9947 Old 08-02-2004, 01:18 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by twentw
Looking at the SA8000HD specs, I'm somewhat disappointed. I was hoping to have some of the nice extras found on the Motorola boxes, like the ability to store music and photos, and inexpensive satellite units. I assume I'm correct that I'll have to rent (i.e. pay full price for) another unit in order to get DVR on more than one TV?

Yes, TWC will definetely charge a rental fee for a second box just as they do with the regular cable boxes.

One good thing is that these units are dual tuners.

If you read back through this thread you'll see that TWHouston did try for the Mot boxes but they apparently had issues (one of the major reasons for such a delay on rolling the things out.)

-CCourtney
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post #97 of 9947 Old 08-02-2004, 03:10 PM
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I just spoke with TWC Houston. I was told basically the same thing as reported in earlier posts, i.e. Beta testing is going on right now with TWC management as the testers. The one thing different that I was told was that they would not be released until the last quarter of this year. She did say I was on the Priority List for what thats worth.
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post #98 of 9947 Old 08-02-2004, 05:28 PM
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I was in my local(pearland) TWC office today exchanging my modem, so I asked about the DVR. I was told I could trade in my old cable box for a DVR cable box on August 16th. We'll see what happens.
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post #99 of 9947 Old 08-03-2004, 01:26 PM
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I just got off the phone with a TWC representative who's also a beta tester.

He said the rollout date is currently slated for end of September.

He did say there was a contact list and that they would contact those people on the list by phone to let use know they units are available, but that it is not a priority list.

He said the pricing isn't official but the current plan is $5 more per month for the program charge, but the cable box rental price remains the same.

This guy sounded to be the most knowledgeable person I've talked to from TWC about DVR rollout. But I still wouldn't classify him as knowledgeable, he couldn't even tell me if the SW was SARA or Passport (the general consensus being SARA) or whether the 1394 ports were active (claims the documentation says know but that the could be when I pointed out that FCC regulations require them to be active upon request.)

CCourtney
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post #100 of 9947 Old 08-03-2004, 02:23 PM
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I also talked to TWC rep today about this. Nothing much new to add.

Same info Courtney heard--1-2 months away on DVR rollout--as has been said for a year (although she wouldn't give specific timimg like Courtney got). All indications are it IS the SA8000HD unit with SARA, which has had mixed reviews all over the web in other TWC areas (search for TWC DVR or PVR). Of course, those with problems tend to gripe the loudest, while the ones without remain silent, so the wealth of problems could simply be a vocal minority.

Someone way back in the thread asked about ESPN HD. I wouldn't hold my breath. This is a big issue for many folks and the sales reps continue to say "in negotiations" which is what they've been for the past year! I don't expect to see ESPN HD for a while, just a gut feeling. Hope I'm wrong. . .
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post #101 of 9947 Old 08-03-2004, 03:04 PM
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Anyone in the Friendswood/Pearland area having problems with the HD channels? I have had the techs out and they keep saying it is head-end problem. It will work for a while and the go out again, requiring another call and wait for days since it has to be after 6pm for them to tell me it is a head end problem. About to drop it and get an HD Tivo. The only reason I have been this patient is I am only paying half price on digital and that and HBO send my RR account down $10/mnth.

Problems I have. 312 and 313 get blocking. Diags on the unit show uncorrectable errors on all 561Mhz channels. SD seem to be fine visually but are getting correctable errors. It will get good visually after a tech call on the HD channels but still getting correctable errors and SNR fluctuates till about a week where it will start blocking again. Also HDNet has started acting up but diags are fine so must be on head-end.

Also the dang SciFi audio problem that keeps happening where sound only comes out the right channel(speaker). You know how big of pain it is to tell the L1 techs what a stereo channel is. This always fixed at the head-end also.
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post #102 of 9947 Old 08-04-2004, 07:08 AM
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So a TWC Houston contractor was dispatched to my home for the third time yesterday, and for the third time they didn't have the IEEE 1394 (Firewire) converter box, and for the third time they told me that the Firewire box was not available at the neighborhood centers, that it had to come from the warehouse and be installed by a TWC technician.

Apparently these folks just don't read their work orders.

They always want to install the box and then schedule someone to come back and fix it, but I always refuse because I know that money is a better motivator than their desire for good customer service, or lack thereof.

-Grant
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post #103 of 9947 Old 08-04-2004, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kabuto
Anyone in the Friendswood/Pearland area having problems with the HD channels?

Are you in Friendswood or Pearland? We're looking at houses in Pearland.

-Grant
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post #104 of 9947 Old 08-04-2004, 10:24 AM
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In Pearland by Friendswood. Dixie Farm Rd. to be exact. My phone is actually Friendswood.

Had a good picture yesterday but diagnostics showed about 6K correctable errors every 5 secs.
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post #105 of 9947 Old 08-04-2004, 05:01 PM
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I live in Pearland and I'm not having any problems with HD on my Moto 6200. I am having a heck of time trying to get my CableCARD initialized, though. After three days and over four hours on the phone with four different CSRs, they claim it is finally done. I'll let you know when I get home.

FYI, I just asked about getting a STB with 1394 enabled. The CSR did not know what I was talking about, but after she checked with her supervisor, I was told they could not provide that connectivity to me. I then told her all I needed was a firmware upgrade. She said, "Customers can't request firmware upgrades, they are only done as needed." When I finally got upset enough to point out they were required by law to provide such access if I request it, she put me on hold for the longest time, and then came back and scheduled the appointment. This makes me so mad. Why do they do this?!?! Why not just be honest with your customers up front?!

This kind of thing is exactly why the cable company will never be able to compete with a company like TiVo (for PVR) or Vonage (for SIP phone services). These so-called "niche players" are infinitely better at what they do than the cable companies.

(Sorry for the rant there at the end, but TWC really ticks me off sometimes.)
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post #106 of 9947 Old 08-04-2004, 06:08 PM
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Can someone fill me in on the purpose of the 1394 port in connection with a STB? I'm familiar with the recent law that mandates that HD boxes must have active 1394 ports, but what are they for? Do you hook it up to a computer to download content? If so, why would the FCC pass such a thing (and why would the industry let them)?
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post #107 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by twentw
Can someone fill me in on the purpose of the 1394 port in connection with a STB? I'm familiar with the recent law that mandates that HD boxes must have active 1394 ports, but what are they for? Do you hook it up to a computer to download content? If so, why would the FCC pass such a thing (and why would the industry let them)?

twentw,

The 1394 port is a way to share the HD data with other devices instead of it just being restricted to the STB and the TV.

In other words this data can go over a 1394 network to other TVs, PVRs, DVD Recorders, PCs, etc.

However, there's some "5C" copy protection that applies now if a "Background Flag" is set thanks to Hollywood. This is why the FCC would pass such a thing and the industry would let them do it.

CCourtney
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post #108 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 08:02 AM
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Since getting 1394 enabled is required by law if you request it is the same true if I request a firmware upgrade to get DVI activated? My GWIII only has 2 component inputs and it's getting annoying having to switch one of them out all the time since I have 3 component sources (Cable box, DVD, and XBOX). It would be nice if I could get the cable box hooked up via DVI so I wouldn't have to switch them all the time.
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post #109 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 08:26 AM
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They are not require to provide DVI even when requested. The reason 1394 was required is because it's really the raw HD data (i.e. the MPEG-2 decoding was already done in the cable box) DVI while it's digital data is not the decoded HD signal (i.e. the end equipment would have to decode the MPEG-2 data.)

Not to meantion DVI is meant to transment digital video signal one way, while 1394 is a two way networking standard.

You may have already tried to go up the food chain to get somebody who can really address your problem. I would try this if you haven't though, and try it again and again until somebody gives in.

CCourtney
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post #110 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 08:30 AM
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Hmm, how about this then. Since requesting 1394 requires a firmware upgrade does it stand to reason that what ever firmware they would be required to upgrade to would also enable the DVI port? I've read somewhere that firmware version 7. something enables DVI and my guess is that is what they would load for 1394. Has anyone tried going about this route to get DVI enabled?
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post #111 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 08:44 AM
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VoR,

I did a little more research and I see that July 1, 2005 DVI and HDMI are both going to be required to be functional.

As far as upgrading you box. If the upgrade it to the 7.10 firmware you'll have functional DVI. However, first time you come to an HD channel you'll get a blue screen indicating it's not active, just go to a regular channel and then go back and it'll be working.

CCourtney
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post #112 of 9947 Old 08-05-2004, 08:18 PM
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Finaly, my I got an 8000HD in Houston. They are to be generally available by the middle of next week. I put the output on my A/V receivers switch so I could see the 5100 and 8000HD alternatly and I couldn't see a difference between the two in any signal, HD, DSD or ASD. The rewind and instant replay are so neat after years without any HD storage at all.Seabiscuit is in the cue for Saturday night.

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post #113 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 05:48 AM
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Congrats Terry,

I'm glad that at least one person in Houston got a box. I'm even willing to drive to the pearland office to pick one up if I have to.

Do you know if the 1394 and DVI are active on your unit?

CCourtney
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post #114 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 07:41 AM
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I just got off the phone this morning with TWC. They still won't
give me a date. She was very nice and told me all about
how she liked her beta test unit. I expressed my frustration
and desire to have one before the olympics start.

She did tell me that it will most probably be a box swap when
they are available. Doesn't TWC have somebody there who's job is
promotions or public relations or somebody who could at least coordinate
the answers the sales people give.

Glad to see somebody got a box in houston. Any hints on how the rest of us can get one?
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post #115 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 08:20 AM
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HouTexGuy,
The word I've got is that the customer rollout will begin next week.
I know that it will certainly be a swapout as available. I suppose that there will be some areas ahead of others. Be patient, be persistant, be nice.

TerryB
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post #116 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 01:56 PM
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Just an update on my cable problems so ya'll can laugh with me. Hadn't heard anything since the last visit by the tech on 8/1(no surprise), so I called. Apparently my ticket was closed because I canceled the visit (news to me since the tech arrived and looked at it with me). Had to yell nicely because they wanted to schedule another visit by a tech (would be the 4th one to tell me it's not a problem at my house). Now being pushed to a supervisor. Sigh, to mad to ask about the DVR.
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post #117 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 03:09 PM
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C1Courtney,
I haven't got anything to tell me about the digital interfaces. I've got a componant only rig. I looked at the primer on the SARA software but haven't found my software revision listed.

Recording two movies at the moment looking for glitches.


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post #118 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 03:17 PM
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One of the TWC Managers called me about 30 mins ago. He said that yes a few people outside of their internal beta testers have been given units, but they are not doing a full rollout until the end of the month or early next month.

It looks like you're one of the lucky ones. I'm looking forward to your impressions.

-CCourtney
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post #119 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 04:41 PM
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c1courtney,
Sorry about that. I can verify one bug so far. When watching a movie behind realtime while it is being recorded, you are kicked out of playback when the recording operation ends. I had to fast forward through 1hr 35min to see the last 10 minutes.

I recorded two SD movies simultaneously and used 2% of the drive.

TerryB
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post #120 of 9947 Old 08-06-2004, 05:42 PM
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Here's an interesting thread with people venting about the SA8000: GearBits

Many of these posts are fairly old (last year), so I'm, hoping that SA and TWC have worked out most of the bugs by now.
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