Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 973 Old 12-28-2007, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post

The Comcast (Motorola) DVR has YPbPr and HDMI outputs, not inputs. He's talking about inputs into the TiVo so it can record HD from another source, like the VCR. The HD TiVo just needs a cable card and it decodes and records the signal it gets via the coax cable, it doesn't need another external source to do the decoding, such as a cable box.

Of course, outputs. I went brain dead for a moment.

So, why wouldn't Surewest (which is so far behind in DVR technology) offer TiVO HD compatibility? This would seem to be a good way for them to hit the ground running, until they get their own DVR perfected.

Also, do you think Surewest understands that with Apple entering the game, their software interface has to be that much better? They can't just compare their product to Comcast's iGuide (which is truely awful); they have to compare their product to Apple iTunes and Front Row, which are not perfect, but (arguably) set the interface standard, are very good and show greater promise...

Geo
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post #362 of 973 Old 12-28-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

So, why wouldn't Surewest (which is so far behind in DVR technology) offer TiVO HD compatibility? This would seem to be a good way for them to hit the ground running, until they get their own DVR perfected.

Because the technologies are not compatible. The TiVo HD has a built-in tuner, it takes a cable card. Surewest is IPTV, you need an IPTV box, which TiVo is not. Maybe TiVo will consider having an IPTV version, but not until IPTV becomes a lot more popular (which will happen with Verizon FIOS and AT&T U-Verse gaining popularity).

In the end I don't think Surewest really cares about the usability of the DVR. I think it's just a check box for them to claim they have a DVR, it's not like you have other choices with Surewest service.

As much as I like the Surewest internet service, I dislike the TV service (poor SD quality, poor boxes and DVR). If it weren't for a good price on the bundle I would have gone with DirecTV for the TV part. We'll see what happens to the price once my 1 yr contract is up. If they try to jack up the price and I can't negotiate a good deal I won't think twice before canceling my TV service with them.
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post #363 of 973 Old 12-30-2007, 07:02 AM
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If you watch the Fox Business News channel 652 (HD) do you have lip-sync issues (the video and voice are a little off, you can see it on lip movement)?
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post #364 of 973 Old 12-31-2007, 08:20 AM
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How are the Harmonys working out for you guys now that you've had a chance to get them configured? I was thinking of buying one -- but would like to leverage your experience before I snag one.

Specifically I was worried about the interaction with the beta dvr units..

thx!
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post #365 of 973 Old 12-31-2007, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post

How are the Harmonys working out for you guys now that you've had a chance to get them configured? I was thinking of buying one -- but would like to leverage your experience before I snag one.

Specifically I was worried about the interaction with the beta dvr units..

thx!

I have a Harmony 880 and I have not been very pleased with its control of the ADB box, although I have been pretty frustrated with the ADB box in general. I have used the Harmony in the past when I had the regular Surewest HD box as well as when I had Dish Network. In both prior cases, it has been an awesome remote.

With the ADB box, almost every button press on the Harmony has a noticeable delay before it registers on the ADB box. The resulting annoyance really negates the other benefits of using the remote.

I have decided that I am going to be switching from Surewest since I am really disappointed in the dvr product. I feel like I am using an old vcr again. Its too bad because Surewest has been so great with their internet service.
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post #366 of 973 Old 01-01-2008, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I have a Harmony 880 and I have not been very pleased with its control of the ADB box, although I have been pretty frustrated with the ADB box in general. I have used the Harmony in the past when I had the regular Surewest HD box as well as when I had Dish Network. In both prior cases, it has been an awesome remote.

With the ADB box, almost every button press on the Harmony has a noticeable delay before it registers on the ADB box. The resulting annoyance really negates the other benefits of using the remote.

I have decided that I am going to be switching from Surewest since I am really disappointed in the dvr product. I feel like I am using an old vcr again. Its too bad because Surewest has been so great with their internet service.

If you haven.t been to the Harmony site recently, you might want to check and see if the latest update to the database for the ADB box will improve your 880 interface. Still not perfect but much better than what you describe.

mik1mik
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post #367 of 973 Old 01-01-2008, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mik1mik View Post

If you haven.t been to the Harmony site recently, you might want to check and see if the latest update to the database for the ADB box will improve your 880 interface. Still not perfect but much better than what you describe.

mik1mik

Thanks...I haven't checked the Harmony site for about 2 weeks now, so it may have more updates. However, I have decided to switch providers. I held out a lot of hope for Surewest's dvr solution, but after waiting so long it is far less than what I had expected. I've already placed my order with Directv.
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post #368 of 973 Old 01-02-2008, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

1. No, there will not be a way to get the TiVO HD DVR to record HD with SureWest. The TiVO unit does not have an input to accept a YPbPr, DVI or HDMI input, nor would I expect any DVR to have those type of connections due to copyright laws. Surewest's signal does not broadcast all of its channels on radio frequencies to be tuned, rather STBs request a certain stream and is directed to that particular stream via IP. Cable's technology allows for someone to tune a particular frequency and all channels are broadcasted at once. This is also it's major hobble, as it has to add more and more compression which deteriorates the picture quality. It also does not have the bandwidth to add more HD channels without downgrading service elsewhere. IPTV allows for essentially an infinite amount of channels.

2. I too have been wondering what has happened to adding more channels. At this point, we were supposed to have had 38 HDTV channels with up to 50 by the end of 2007, when in fact we only have 34 channels. Seeing as though we have less than one week until 2008, if we were told the truth, we should see a huge influx of HD channels this week. I'm guessing that we won't see that many (if any).

I am also wondering what happened to the supposed increase in HD channels (ie. ESPN2 HD, SciFi HD etc). This combo of limited HD channels and poor DVR equipment will lead me to Direct TV after my contract is up. I do like the package deal especially the internet but I won't tolerate a bad TV deal. When you have an HD tv you want to use it and I'm not a Fox business HD channel fan. Hopefully there will be an increase in the number of HD channels soon.
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post #369 of 973 Old 01-03-2008, 08:42 AM
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When did the beta DVRs hit? the 29th of November? so its been over 4 weeks now -- and have we seen a single update to the "beta" DVR yet? we are almost done with our free period...

I also really want the new HD channels (scifi in particular)..

I *just* signed up with Surewest tripple play here in November. So to get out of my contract I'll have to pay extra. What does it say about their TV if a customer is willing to *pay extra* to get *away* from their service?

I'll be sticking it out for a bit. Mostly because there isn't anything good on TV right now anyway.. However I'll have to jump over to dishtv (since I came from directTV) if it doesn't show signs of improvement.

Since surewest can't seem to set and stick to deadlines, maybe I should set one for my canceling of their TV service.
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post #370 of 973 Old 01-03-2008, 08:41 PM
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I see we have some new HDTV channels. This brings us up to 40 (albeit that I don't subscribe to any of the premium channels like HBO or Showtime.) At the moment, it still doesn't mean much to me as there is nothing on the new channels that interest me. USA, Bravo, CNBC, Big Ten Network etc...
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post #371 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

I see we have some new HDTV channels. This brings us up to 40 (albeit that I don't subscribe to any of the premium channels like HBO or Showtime.) At the moment, it still doesn't mean much to me as there is nothing on the new channels that interest me. USA, Bravo, CNBC, Big Ten Network etc...

I saw SciFi in there.. which made me happy.. now I can watch the last part of battle star galactica in HD...

On the down side -- my DVR isn't even recording anymore. It *STARTs*.. but there are no *finishes* in the record log. There is about 5 hours of recordings on it.. so I know its not full.
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post #372 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cklim55 View Post

I am also wondering what happened to the supposed increase in HD channels (ie. ESPN2 HD, SciFi HD etc). This combo of limited HD channels and poor DVR equipment will lead me to Direct TV after my contract is up. I do like the package deal especially the internet but I won't tolerate a bad TV deal. When you have an HD tv you want to use it and I'm not a Fox business HD channel fan. Hopefully there will be an increase in the number of HD channels soon.

I had Directv installed yesterday...what a difference on the dvr. It only further reinforces my astonishment that Surewest would introduce the ADB box as their solution to offering HD dvr service. The functionality of the Surewest dvr leaves so much to be desired. I'm bummed to have left Surewest because I really like their other products and had held out a lot of hope for their dvr.

When I called to cancel my tv service, the CS rep reminded me that it was still in beta this month (and that I was receiving it for free) and that it is going to greatly improve very soon. When I said that it lacked almost all of the features and functions that I wanted in a dvr, the CS rep said that it will have 2 tuner recording capabilities very soon. Unfortunately, the CS rep didn't seem to comprehend just how outdated the functionality of their dvr is and that the coming "updates" will not change that problem.
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post #373 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

have 2 tuner recording capabilities very soon. Unfortunately, the CS rep didn't seem to comprehend just how outdated the functionality of their dvr is and that the coming "updates" will not change that problem.

They do seem hooked on the whole 2 tuner thing. There are just so many other things it is lacking though..
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post #374 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I had Directv installed yesterday...what a difference on the dvr. It only further reinforces my astonishment that Surewest would introduce the ADB box as their solution to offering HD dvr service. The functionality of the Surewest dvr leaves so much to be desired. I'm bummed to have left Surewest because I really like their other products and had held out a lot of hope for their dvr.

When I called to cancel my tv service, the CS rep reminded me that it was still in beta this month (and that I was receiving it for free) and that it is going to greatly improve very soon. When I said that it lacked almost all of the features and functions that I wanted in a dvr, the CS rep said that it will have 2 tuner recording capabilities very soon. Unfortunately, the CS rep didn't seem to comprehend just how outdated the functionality of their dvr is and that the coming "updates" will not change that problem.

Daddyad

How is the HD and SD quality compared to Surewest?

Thanks
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post #375 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 01:05 PM
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As big a fan I am of Surewest and its foray into IPTV, I have to agree that the DVR is just not cutting it for me right now. My aging Series1 Tivo (connected to an Amino 120 box) is still the daily workhorse for my video recording needs in terms of its flexibility. I am just not confident in Surewest's ability to turn things around and roll out even half of the features we enthusiasts want in the near future.

Ironically, I just read an interview where a Surewest manager claimed they had learned a lesson from their early TV-over-DSL efforts not to roll something out before it was ready. But they've done exactly that with this DVR.

Satellite is starting to look more and more tempting. Dish has a HD DVR (with expandable storage) that CNET has rated even higher than Tivo.
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post #376 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubaruba View Post

Daddyad

How is the HD and SD quality compared to Surewest?

Thanks

I did not have enough time to really compare the picture quality last night with Surewest's picture quality...I only had enough time time to set up the receivers and then set my DVR recordings. My initial impressions of the picture quality are pretty good. I did not notice any artifacts, etc. The quality on an HD Showtime movie (I got 3 free months of every movie package) that was playing was exceptional. I flipped to the Foxsports channel in SD and it was a little rough on the eyes, although I found it hard to watch sports in SD on Surewest also. The SD programming on ABC, NBC and CBS looked pretty good...I will try to do some further comparisons with Surewest this weekend and post my impressions.

I don't expect to regret my decision to switch. The Surewest DVR was just plain unacceptable. On Wednesday night, I tried watching part of the college football game in HD on Fox. The game was nearly unwatchable because for some reason the Surewest DVR cannot produce good picture quality on 720p sports. The image is very choppy.
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post #377 of 973 Old 01-04-2008, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I will try to do some further comparisons with Surewest this weekend and post my impressions.

.

Thanks Daddyad - look forward to hearing from you. If there is not much off a drop off in picture quality, I will consider switching for the DVR.
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post #378 of 973 Old 01-05-2008, 08:24 AM
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On the down side -- my DVR isn't even recording anymore. It *STARTs*.. but there are no *finishes* in the record log. There is about 5 hours of recordings on it.. so I know its not full.

Pulling the power and restarting the unit appears to have at least temporarily fixed the problem with my unit not recording anything. I wish surewest had a good way for us to give feedback on the beta program.

Has anyone noticed any updates to the ADB *at all( yet?
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post #379 of 973 Old 01-06-2008, 04:12 AM
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Out of curiosity, for anybody who has an AmiNET130 STB and is using component video and connecting the s/pdif out to a receiver, are you getting a slight audio delay on the s/pdif out? When I have both my TV audio and my receiver turned on I'm getting an echo. The TV audio (from the component cable) is perfectly in sync with the video while the s/pdif being sent to my receiver is slightly out of sync. I wasn't having this problem with the AmiNET110 or AmiNET120 when using the s/pdif out so I don't think it would be my setup's fault. Anyways, I am wondering if anybody else is experiencing the same issue with the AmiNET130 or if I was just unlucky and happened to get one with a borked s/pdif out.
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post #380 of 973 Old 01-06-2008, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tubaruba View Post

Thanks Daddyad - look forward to hearing from you. If there is not much off a drop off in picture quality, I will consider switching for the DVR.


I have compared my Surewest and Directv signals today and I am very happy with Directv's HD quality. The SD quality appeared to be a little bit better on Surewest. I did not find the difference to be significant enough to regret my decision to change...I am still very happy with my change. The only downside I have faced is trying to memorize all of the new channel numbers.
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post #381 of 973 Old 01-06-2008, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I have compared my Surewest and Directv signals today and I am very happy with Directv's HD quality. The SD quality appeared to be a little bit better on Surewest. I did not find the difference to be significant enough to regret my decision to change...I am still very happy with my change. The only downside I have faced is trying to memorize all of the new channel numbers.

Tons of digital artifacts today during the football games. A good full second of screwy screen every minute.
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post #382 of 973 Old 01-07-2008, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I have compared my Surewest and Directv signals today and I am very happy with Directv's HD quality. The SD quality appeared to be a little bit better on Surewest. I did not find the difference to be significant enough to regret my decision to change...I am still very happy with my change. The only downside I have faced is trying to memorize all of the new channel numbers.


Thanks Daddyad!

Yeah, I saw the artifacts also.

Funny, I had a tech out on Friday and we got to talking about the DVR. He indicated that it is "pretty solid" and that he has yet to replace one. I let him know about the functionality gripes and that it has been described as basically a glorified VCR that can record HD. This seemed to surprise him.

I guess its time to seriously take a look at Directv.
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post #383 of 973 Old 01-07-2008, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tubaruba View Post

Thanks Daddyad!

Yeah, I saw the artifacts also.

Funny, I had a tech out on Friday and we got to talking about the DVR. He indicated that it is "pretty solid" and that he has yet to replace one. I let him know about the functionality gripes and that it has been described as basically a glorified VCR that can record HD. This seemed to surprise him.

I guess its time to seriously take a look at Directv.

I didn't have an opportunity to watch any football yesterday...got stuck cleaning up after the storm and finally getting our electricity back on yesterday.

Just an update to my viewing experience with Directv - the HD quality is very good. The SD quality is not great, although it wasn't great on Surewest either. However, I do believe the SD quality was a bit better on Surewest...this is not of great concern to me since most of my viewing is HD. The DVR is good and works well.
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post #384 of 973 Old 01-07-2008, 02:45 PM
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Just fired this email off to Surewest...will be interesting to see what kind of response I get...if any.

Quote:


>>> PLEASE FORWARD TO MARKETING AND ENGINEERING DEPARTMENTS <<<<br />
Hello,

I am a fairly new customer of Surewest, and am anxious to know what new features will be rolled out for the ADB-based DVR in the very near future. While I understand that the DVR was released as a "beta" trial, there are a growing number of enthusiasts who are dissatisfied with a unit whose current feature set is well behind the curve, and basically amounts to a glorified VCR.

Please refer to these react ions to the DVR, on this online forum, beginning here on page 10:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...595552&page=10

Specifically, some of the highly desired features are:

- Scheduled recording based on downloaded programming data, NOT simple date/time

- Ability to record two (or more) programs simultaneously (not the same as recording one while watching another)

- Enabling the USB port to allow addition of an external hard drive, to augment the unit's woefully inadequate internal storage space

- Ability for other set-top boxes in the household (i.e. other ADB DVRs as well as non-DVR Amino STBs) to access and control the DVR's recordings and features

I support Surewest's pioneering foray into this uncharted territory of IPTV, but feel that perhaps software development for the DVR should have begun far earlier in the lifecycle. As such, you stand to risk me (as well as many others) as a customer for your DTV services. While you may get "marketing credit" for offering an HD DVR iin your product/service lineup, the reality is that its current feature set falls well short of current consumer expectations of a DVR.

I currently have a service appointment set for a couple weeks from now, to install TV service in another room of my house. At this point, however, I have a strong urge to cancel DTV service entirely, even if it means breaking my contract.

I honestly hope your response will give me the confidence to remain a Surewest DTV customer.

Respectfully,

XXXXXXXXXXX

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post #385 of 973 Old 01-07-2008, 05:34 PM
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He indicated that it is "pretty solid" and that he has yet to replace one.

That scares me. I'm glad you talked to him. I see someone else dropped an email -- I think I will drop one as well.
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post #386 of 973 Old 01-08-2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyad View Post

I have compared my Surewest and Directv signals today and I am very happy with Directv's HD quality. The SD quality appeared to be a little bit better on Surewest. I did not find the difference to be significant enough to regret my decision to change...I am still very happy with my change. The only downside I have faced is trying to memorize all of the new channel numbers.

I must say that I am impressed with the engineering at SureWest as far as the local channels are concerned. They do serious quality monitoring. Also, they are moving quickly to install direct fibers to the local TV stations rather than relying on the off-air feeds. I just do not see the fiber thing happening for Dish and probably not DirecTV.

- Bob
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post #387 of 973 Old 01-08-2008, 11:07 PM
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Nice to see you here Bob. Do you know when SureWest will be going live with you guys via fiber? Will the connection be for KOVR AND KMAX or just KOVR? Will it include KMAX's HDTV signal? Will the signal be better or just no worse than the current state. As I believe you'd said in the OTA thread, they can still maintain the current method of receiving your signal as a backup... correct? Also, with the recent failure of the encoder for KOVR, would that have effected the fiber link? (As I'm not in the business... I'm not exactly sure at which point the encoder is used.) Would we have maintained the signal through this past storm? I think I read somewhere that the transmitter for the digital signal was not on backup. Would the fiber have still remained active? Thanks again Bob.
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post #388 of 973 Old 01-09-2008, 12:12 PM
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BigRon - Your answers are below. - Bob

Do you know when SureWest will be going live with you guys via fiber?
The contract is currently being drawn up. I believe SureWest wants to begin construction as soon as possible.

Will the connection be for KOVR AND KMAX or just KOVR?

Both stations.

Will it include KMAX's HDTV signal?
Yes.

Will the signal be better or just no worse than the current state.
Should be better. This eliminates their OTA equipment and our microwave and transmitter equipment. It also eliminates outages due to no AC power in Walnut Grove. I would think quality would also improve.

As I believe you'd said in the OTA thread, they can still maintain the current method of receiving your signal as a backup... correct?
Correct.

Also, with the recent failure of the encoder for KOVR, would that have effected the fiber link?
Yes, loss of the encoder affected all services. We soon hope to have a backup encoder in service.

Would we have maintained the signal through this past storm? I think I read somewhere that the transmitter for the digital signal was not on backup. Would the fiber have still remained active?
CBS13 does not have backup power for the HD transmitter in Walnut Grove. CW31 does have a reduced power backup transmitter that does have generator power.
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post #389 of 973 Old 01-09-2008, 06:20 PM
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If you haven.t been to the Harmony site recently, you might want to check and see if the latest update to the database for the ADB box will improve your 880 interface. Still not perfect but much better than what you describe.

mik1mik

I just got the 880... I don't see the ADB listed anywhere....
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post #390 of 973 Old 01-09-2008, 06:21 PM
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I just got the 880... I don't see the ADB listed anywhere....

n/m brain fart..
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