Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 973 Old 02-28-2008, 09:11 AM
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And why is it that with no shows recorded the Storage Info shows disk usage at 12% ?? It can't be that the OS requires over 18GB of space!!

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Total Disk Space: 150939MB
Disk Usage: 12%
Total Recorded Items: 0
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post #452 of 973 Old 03-01-2008, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post

I was really surprised at how limiting the 160gb felt. Record a few blue planets and you really dig into your 15 hours. Not to mention all your SD content eating away at things.

Last night I was clearing off some old programming and came to an interesting realization... I had 7 hour-long HDTV recordings (and nothing else) and it reported I was using 77% of hard drive space. I deleted 2 shows and now I had 55%. I deleted 1 more show and I was down to 44%. Apparently, each hour of HDTV programming equals 11% of hard drive capacity. Does this mean that each hour takes up roughly 17GB? This would allow only 9 hours of HDTV programming... the only kind I watch. Extrapolating this info, if we were to have a 500GB model, we would have about 20-30 hours of HDTV programming. This would about be on par with the early SD DVRs (20-30 hours of programming that is)... our first ReplayTV unit had 20 hours (20GB hard drive using ~1GB/hour). Granted, that first ReplayTV had a much more user-friendly interface.
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post #453 of 973 Old 03-01-2008, 09:23 PM
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I just started using the Surewest DVR with HD service. The picture is great for HD. However, if I record an HD channel and then play it back the picture looks jumpy. It's almost as if there is a millisecond missing here or there - enough of them for my eyes to easily notice a problem. The picture quality is amazing. However, the picture just jumps slightly. Anyone else experiencing this?
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post #454 of 973 Old 03-02-2008, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by beefjello View Post

I just started using the Surewest DVR with HD service. The picture is great for HD. However, if I record an HD channel and then play it back the picture looks jumpy. It's almost as if there is a millisecond missing here or there - enough of them for my eyes to easily notice a problem. The picture quality is amazing. However, the picture just jumps slightly. Anyone else experiencing this?

I have the regular Amino box and I saw this on FX-HD last night. Transporter 2 I think it was. The movie was jumping just like what you discribed, but all the comercial breaks looked normal. This seemed to be the only channel doing this as well.
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post #455 of 973 Old 03-02-2008, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Revolver View Post

I have the regular Amino box and I saw this on FX-HD last night. Transporter 2 I think it was. The movie was jumping just like what you discribed, but all the comercial breaks looked normal. This seemed to be the only channel doing this as well.

Hmm...I had two Amino boxes and replaced one with the hd dvr box. I personally haven't had any problem with the amino boxes with the jumping. However, I just hooked up my old school Tivo to the amino box w/ composite cables and also have HDMI hooked into it too from amino to tv (for when I want to watch HD pix). Anyway, when I watch via HD the sound is low (not volume wise, but pitch wise) Everyone's voice sounds like a slow record player. I unhooked the composite and the hdmi then rehooked up w/ just Hdmi and it is still there. Don't know what's happening there either.
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post #456 of 973 Old 03-02-2008, 10:39 AM
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When are we going to be able to stream recordings from the DVR to the Amino 130 boxes?
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post #457 of 973 Old 03-16-2008, 09:26 AM
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My FX-HD is also jumpy on both the DVR and the Amino130. The channel guide info for FX-HD is also always wrong. Anyone else has this issue as well? Every other channel is fine.
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post #458 of 973 Old 03-16-2008, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

My FX-HD is also jumpy on both the DVR and the Amino130. The channel guide info for FX-HD is also always wrong. Anyone else has this issue as well? Every other channel is fine.

Yeah, I do (130 box). I was going to call about it tomorrow.
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post #459 of 973 Old 03-16-2008, 11:43 AM
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I had the same problem while watching FX-HD on my Amino130 last week. Commercials were fine but the movie was jerky (it looked like it was dropping frames) and like some others have noted, the guide was inaccurate.
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post #460 of 973 Old 03-17-2008, 11:19 AM
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Getting fiber installed in my neighborhood this month. Has anyone actually found Comcast to have better quality or value? I'm anxious to be able to drop Comcast and pick up both TV and the 10meg internet.
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post #461 of 973 Old 03-17-2008, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tmanXX View Post

Getting fiber installed in my neighborhood this month. Has anyone actually found Comcast to have better quality or value? I'm anxious to be able to drop Comcast and pick up both TV and the 10meg internet.

If you need DVR --I'd stay away from surewest for TV. the picture quality is very nice.. but the DVR lacks a lot of features that you might want.

I'll revisit DVR from surewest in 1 year and 10 months. (or so). I really wanted their DVR to rock..

I'm in love with my DishTV and its multi-room functionality.
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post #462 of 973 Old 03-18-2008, 11:21 AM
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We are now feeding SD and HD from CBS13 and CW31 to SureWest via fiber.

Bob
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post #463 of 973 Old 03-18-2008, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess View Post

We are now feeding SD and HD from CBS13 and CW31 to SureWest via fiber.

Bob

Out of curiosity do you have any idea of what the bitrates are for your SD and HD feeds going over this new fiber line to Surewest?
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post #464 of 973 Old 03-19-2008, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hess View Post

We are now feeding SD and HD from CBS13 and CW31 to SureWest via fiber.

Bob

Thanks for the update Bob. I noticed that we finally started getting CW31 in high-definition last week.... about freakin' time! Now... we just need to get My58 in HD and we'll have all the local channels in HD. I like that My58 has the KCRA HD newscast... I just wish I could watch it. Any chance of CBS13 News going HD anytime soon or will it probably be several years before we see that?
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post #465 of 973 Old 03-20-2008, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

I've been getting CW31 in HD for a while now. At least a couple of months. I thought everybody in the greater Sacramento area was? I'm in Sacramento in the Arden area.

Brandon

You've been receiving CW31 on channel 612 from SureWest for a couple months? I only started receiving it last week. Are you receiving any other channels in HD that SureWest doesn't say they are providing?
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post #466 of 973 Old 03-20-2008, 01:38 PM
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Any chance of CBS13 News going HD anytime soon? YES!


Will it probably be several years before we see that? NO!


No other comments on this subject at this point.

- Bob
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post #467 of 973 Old 03-20-2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

You've been receiving CW31 on channel 612 from SureWest for a couple months? I only started receiving it last week. Are you receiving any other channels in HD that SureWest doesn't say they are providing?

I sincerely apologize. I thought I was reading the Sacramento, CA - Comcast thread when I posted this. I subscribe to both (because I've been considering Surewest for a while), so I read them every morning. I've deleted my post.

Brandon
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post #468 of 973 Old 03-24-2008, 06:47 AM
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What up with channel 634 - FSN-HD? There is never anything on.

Mike
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post #469 of 973 Old 03-24-2008, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by madmin View Post

What up with channel 634 - FSN-HD? There is never anything on.

Mike

I know on D* it is a game only channel. Should be the same with you. Warriors were on in the bay area against the Lakers last night, but as far as I know, it was blacked out here in Sac. It should be on when the Sharks, Giants or A's (some college games also) are on. I am not sure where you will find it after they switch it over to Comcast sports net bay area next week. Either the same channel, or the Kings Comcast Sports Net channel. Happy watching.
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post #470 of 973 Old 03-30-2008, 07:42 PM
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Does anyone know how to get closed caption (CC) via the AmiNET 130 box? Is it even possible? thanks!
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post #471 of 973 Old 03-30-2008, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post

Does anyone know how to get closed caption (CC) via the AmiNET 130 box? Is it even possible? thanks!

With the 130 box enabling and disabling CC is pretty inconvenient (I already complained about it).

Go into Menu > Settings > Hardware Settings > Closed Captions > Check the box for closed captions and Save settings > Reboot the STB. If you want to turn off closed captions then you have to go through the whole process again, uncheck the closed caption box and reboot once more. In other words they are either permanently on or off.
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post #472 of 973 Old 03-30-2008, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cyberbeing View Post

With the 130 box enabling and disabling CC is pretty inconvenient (I already complained about it).

Go into Menu > Settings > Hardware Settings > Closed Captions > Check the box for closed captions and Save settings > Reboot the STB. If you want to turn off closed captions the go through the whole process again, uncheck the closed caption box and reboot once more.

Are they kidding?? You have to reboot the box to enable/disable closed caption? Wow, Surewest, you sure never cease to amaze me!
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post #473 of 973 Old 03-30-2008, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post

Are they kidding?? You have to reboot the box to enable/disable closed caption? Wow, Surewest, you sure never cease to amaze me!

With the AmiNET110 and AmiNET120 box they had the option of using your TV to display CC as well as a "hardware cc" option. For some reason they have the AmiNET130 set up to use only "hardware cc" which requires a reboot. This is something which I would guess could be fixed in a firmware update but if you want to see it fixed sooner rather then later it might not be a bad idea for you (or anybody else with a AmiNET130) to call up and complain as well.
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post #474 of 973 Old 04-01-2008, 10:26 AM
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As I remember, when I had Comcast, it also required an inconvenient process for activating closed caption. One would have to turn the cable box off, hit the menu button and a white screen would pop up allowing you to set your video settings, such as 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i... as well as set whether closed captioning was to be used or not. You would then turn the box back on. While the process with SureWest is not as simple as hitting a closed-captioning button, it is not unlike other providers.
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post #475 of 973 Old 04-01-2008, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

As I remember, when I had Comcast, it also required an inconvenient process for activating closed caption. One would have to turn the cable box off, hit the menu button and a white screen would pop up allowing you to set your video settings, such as 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i... as well as set whether closed captioning was to be used or not. You would then turn the box back on. While the process with SureWest is not as simple as hitting a closed-captioning button, it is not unlike other providers.

What's wrong with passing the info through and letting the TV deal with it? That's how it worked with my previous cable provider. Or does that work only if the TV is the tuner?
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post #476 of 973 Old 04-02-2008, 06:08 AM
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If you do a search for "closed captioning" and HDMI, you will notice that none pass traditional closed captioning, it has to be done by the device (cable box/satellite tuner/IPTV box etc...).
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post #477 of 973 Old 04-03-2008, 08:35 PM
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For those of you who don't yet know, Comcast Sacramento added 6-9 new HD channels this week, though not all zip codes are receiving the new channels (I think we receive five of the nine in Elk Grove. When Comcast added five new channels last winter, we only received three in Elk Grove). During the past month or so, other markets around the U.S. also started receiving these new HD channels.

That's the end of the good news.

The bad news is this: Comcast (in Sacramento and around the nation) now is officially cramming three HD channels onto a single, 6MHz slice of spectrum. Previously, only two HD channels were broadcast on each 6MHz slice of bandwidth. This change is significant, and has resulted in a noticeable and dramatic drop in HD picture quality on the cable TV network once known for pristine HD picture quality. Obviously, Comcast has been forced to make compromises, and add compressed HD channels in response to all the new channels being added by DirecTV, Surewest, and soon, Dish.

Unfortunately, Comcast doesn't have the bandwidth or updated MNPEG4 hardware on their system to do this properly and maintain a high level of quality. Comcast SAcramento isn't reducing the HD quality on all HD channels, but this development does not bode well for future services.

Coincidentally, last week I also learned that Comcast (in Sacramento and around the nation) routinely crams 9-12 SD channels onto single, 6MHz slices of spectrum, whereas the industry standard to maintain high picture quality is supposed to be about six SD channels. Of course, knowledgeable customers can tell you that Comcast's SD picture quality varies wildly from hour-to-hour, day-to-day and channel-to-channel. Just last week, a field tech told me that this happens because engineers constantly reconfigure each channel's spectrum assignment as they work on the local network. If CNN looks great today, it may be on a slice of spectrum shared by just six other channels. Tune in tomorrow, and CNN may have been moved to bandwidth shared by eleven SD channels -- in which case the over-compressed picture will look terrible.

As for the latest HD resolution problems, reports indicate that Comcast is broadcasting select new HD channels by reducing the bit-rate per channel, though this is not yet being done on all HD channels. I am not sure whether Comcast is over-compressing the data or down-rezzing 1080i channels from 1920x1080i to 1440x1080i, which is what DirecTV used to do with their infamous (and fuzzy) "HD Lite" channels. Like Comcast is now doing, some of DirecTV's seven, original HD channels were down-rezzed to "HD-Lite" resolution, and then compressed using MPEG2 compression. DirecTV now uses the more modern MPEG4 compression for all their new HD channels and the picture quality is said to be very good, though I have not yet seen this for myself.

Meanwhile, angry Comcast customers are condemning this change and the degradation of service. The topic is being discussed on Broadband Reports online forums and on the AVS Comcast Sacramento forum as well. Comcast Sacramento is bandwidth-starved, and this problem is destined to dog the local franchise for the next couple of years.

For this reason, we finally are ready to dump Comcast ASAP, and we're reconsidering Surewest and DirecTV, though I'm still leaning toward DirecTV due to SureWest's lack of a polished DVR, DirecTV's lead in the number of HD channels, and the mediocre picture quality on Surewest's SD channels. We may switch to Surewest Internet though, and thus be in a position to consider adding their HDTV in the future.

Geo
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post #478 of 973 Old 04-05-2008, 02:06 PM
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I dropped by the Elk Grove Surewest office yesterday. They had a 40-inch, Maxent LCD HDTV on the wall to demo their Digital/SDTV & HDTV service. It was connected via component video, but set up to only display stretched, NTSC 480i (SD)! Of course, both the HD and the SD channels looked horrid.

Once I pointed out the poor quality, the store crew agreed that the picture wasn't very good, but assumed the problem was with the relatively inexpensive HDTV. They didn't know how to change the DVR/Fiber box setting to output 1080i or 720p. I did this for them and they were very grateful, because the 720p picture looked MUCH better when I finished.

With that done, the HDTV displayed decent picture quality and you could tell the channels weren't over-compressed (as they are on Comcast's channels). But the quality was not all it could be either -- because of the low-cost HDTV and the fact that they had set it up FACING THE STORE WINDOWS! Needless to say, the bright reflections didn't help a TV that didn't display perfect blacks or extended shadow detail to begin with...

Surewest still has a lot to learn about HDTV customer service.

Geo
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post #479 of 973 Old 04-06-2008, 06:05 PM
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There is a big disconnect with those providing front-line customer care and installers with the technology behind their product.

I have done many network installations for myself as well as family and friends, so I've invested in a few tools and meters. Whenever I terminate an Ethernet cable, I always verify it with a meter, to make sure I don't have any crossed wires and if the impedance-based measurement is approximately what the physical length of the cable should be (could be indicative of other potential problems). I had pre-wired my house for networking and video over Ethernet and had left six (excessive length) lengths of CAT6e cable in the opening where the fiber optic device would be. I didn't know how long they should be so I left them unterminated until it was known. The installer terminated the first couple cables and I asked if I could check them with my meter. He mentioned that while my meter was the same brand as the one issued him, mine was a higher quality meter (I paid just over $100 for mine off eBay.) One of the two installers was an idiot, while the other truly knew what he was doing. He said he was trying to get more training and move higher up the chain, but was being discouraged as opposed to encouraged for his efforts.

I've also found that those in the customer service centers are knowledgeable about their devices, other than what they were told in canned rhetoric.

When I call technical support, I have dealt with a wide gamut of knowledge. I seldom reach the knowledgeable ones first, but I often end with them as I ask too difficult of questions and they realize I need someone with better knowledge. It is kind of funny when I stump them. I've heard them asking people around them the same question I asked them if they don't put me on hold.

Most of my technical service questions have been coming from issues with the DVR. It is still filled with problems. I've reported many cases of unexplained strange behavior, such as doubling shows recorded (record the same show on the same channel and same time twice when only one recording was set) and when two shows are supposed to start at the same time on different channels, one of those channels often actually records for 2.5 hours before the set show is supposed to start. That often is actually kind of cool, especially now that I can fast forward at 300x, but I may have not thought to record the earlier show and I was able to watch something else in addition to the desired show. Still, this is odd behavior that I can't quite realize why it occurs. I have taken part in many beta tests over the years and most provide a mechanism for feedback, especially closed betas. I've suggested they set up a forum site to allow people to report their findings and get feedback from the designers. I call technical support to report my issues and repeatability of problems, but I often wonder if it is falling on deaf ears. This forum here on AVS appears to be the only place I can get any feedback from other users, which is not that beneficial because none of us can actually do something about it.
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post #480 of 973 Old 04-09-2008, 07:10 AM
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hows everyones dvr been acting so far?

i've had mine since it first came out and was fine, but recently its been acting up.

its been very slow to accept commands. i would hit the guide button on the remote and it would take several seconds to come up. and then scrolling through the guide would take another few seconds for each button press. i've reset it numerous times also. heck, it even reset itself last night while i was watching a show! :/

also, anyone found any resolution to the double commands sent by harmony remotes?

thanks!
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