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Local HDTV Info and Reception

techdood's Avatar techdood
04:13 PM Liked: 10
post #541 of 973
09-12-2008 | Posts: 98
Joined: Dec 2004
Thank you for the heads up on the actual numbers for the bit-rates for HD signals. I figured I shouldn't trust the words of a sales rep. The guy probably worked in the fact that I was taking advantage of a bundled deal and, possibly, 2 HD boxes wasn't going to be the deal for me. Nonetheless, it is really no loss to me, as long as I have 1 HD set-top box I will be pleased.
Thank you for the replies and the fact that most of you are happy with the services you are receiving. I look forward to giving Surewest a try again.

-Paul
SirDracula's Avatar SirDracula
04:27 PM Liked: 16
post #542 of 973
09-12-2008 | Posts: 621
Joined: Jul 2007
Internet is great, HD is great, but the SD channels suck and so does the Surewest DVR. If I had a choice, I'd pay just for HD and if I could, I'd use a TiVo HD instead.
cyberbeing's Avatar cyberbeing
05:03 PM Liked: 12
post #543 of 973
09-12-2008 | Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDracula View Post

Internet is great, HD is great, but the SD channels suck and so does the Surewest DVR. If I had a choice, I'd pay just for HD and if I could, I'd use a TiVo HD instead.

I agree about the SD being subpar and remember asking Surewest a few years back if I could just order HD by itself but they said they don't and will not offer it that way. I've steered clear of the DVR after hearing all the problems reported about it in this thread, but I'm still hopeful they will move on to a better DVR at some point.
Jaydd's Avatar Jaydd
02:21 AM Liked: 10
post #544 of 973
09-16-2008 | Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008
Has Surewest indicated whether they will continue analog feeds beyond February? Apparently the major cable companies must continue to carry until 2012, but there are some exceptions for smaller cable companies.

We've viewed analog and SD and HDTV on our 40" Sony and in several stores. We see little, if any, difference in image quality among these three. Apparently younger eyes can. We would like to keep using our analog Tivo until 2012.
bigRoN's Avatar bigRoN
05:42 PM Liked: 10
post #545 of 973
09-16-2008 | Posts: 312
Joined: Jul 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydd View Post

Has Surewest indicated whether they will continue analog feeds beyond February? Apparently the major cable companies must continue to carry until 2012, but there are some exceptions for smaller cable companies.

We've viewed analog and SD and HDTV on our 40" Sony and in several stores. We see little, if any, difference in image quality among these three. Apparently younger eyes can. We would like to keep using our analog Tivo until 2012.

NONE of SureWest's channels are analog as it stands, so nothing needs to change. The set-top boxes have no need to change. Unlike traditional cable systems, you can't plug a cable directly into your TV and have your TV tune the analog signal. Even though some of the newer TVs have a digital ATSC (over-the-air) and QAM (traditional digital cable) tuner, this makes no difference to SureWest... totally different type of system. It is the same with satellite... a totally different system. You can't plug a satellite dish cable directly into your TV (unless the satellite tuner is actually built-in to the TV, which is extremely rare, but I believe exists).

If one relies on their set-top-boxes provided by their video distribution provider (Comcast, Dish Network, DirecTV or SureWest), the impending digital cross-over is completely irrelevant. The idea behind the cross-over is to free up a spectrum of radio channels that can be more effectively used with newer technology, not to force people to buy new TVs. There is no need to force people to abandon their old TVs, just the inefficient use of radio frequencies. RF modulators will still be made, using low-power signal generators to put video over analog channels (i.e. tuning to channel 3 or 4 to watch). If one has a higher-quality input on their TV, they should use it, but RF modulators will continue to exist for the really old TVs. If your TV has an HDMI connector, use it to connect your set-top box, if not, use DVI and an audio cable (digital audio or red/white stereo wires)... if you don't have that, use component (YPbPr) and an audio cable... if you don't have that, use S-video and an audio cable... if you don't have that, use composite (yellow for video and red/white for audio)... if you don't have that, you will likely be forced to use the RF modulator connection using an antenna connection to the TV (this is only when nothing better exists.)
Jaydd's Avatar Jaydd
07:09 PM Liked: 10
post #546 of 973
09-16-2008 | Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008
Ron, thanks for the reply. Surewest phone sales people keep telling us we must convert to digital by February. While Surewest provides our channels, we don't have a set top box. The cable goes directly to our Tivo and TV.

If I understand you correctly, we can continue with our present configuration. I would have asked Surewest but their employees have divergent opinions about nearly aspect of their service. Frustrating.
bigRoN's Avatar bigRoN
07:02 AM Liked: 10
post #547 of 973
09-17-2008 | Posts: 312
Joined: Jul 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydd View Post

Ron, thanks for the reply. Surewest phone sales people keep telling us we must convert to digital by February. While Surewest provides our channels, we don't have a set top box. The cable goes directly to our Tivo and TV.

If I understand you correctly, we can continue with our present configuration. I would have asked Surewest but their employees have divergent opinions about nearly aspect of their service. Frustrating.

Surewest provides you TV service without a Set-top-box? I was unaware that they provided any such service, it is not available at my location... only service over fiber. When it comes to traditional cable systems, they will continue providing analog service until 2012. Analog does waste a lot of bandwidth... bandwidth that could add several channels of digital TV for every analog channel, so cable providers have a strong desire to convert everyone to digital. Once analog user levels drop to very low levels, then the switch to complete digital can take place.
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
10:44 AM Liked: 10
post #548 of 973
09-17-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

Surewest provides you TV service without a Set-top-box?

The original Surewest installation I received (back when they were Winfirst) brought both a fiber line and a coax to the home. The fiber was used for Internet and phone, while the coax was for TV. They provided both analog basic cable and digital cable over the coax. It was a couple of years before I was upgraded to the IPTV system and lost the coax.

Technologically Surewest could grandfather their analog customers since they're not transmitting the analog signals over the air but this is probably an extra cost they don't want to incur any longer so they're probably taking advantage of the OTA analog->digital switchover to switch their analog cable customers to their IPTV system.
Jaydd's Avatar Jaydd
04:09 PM Liked: 10
post #549 of 973
09-17-2008 | Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008
Thanks tww for the information about the original setup for us early subscribers. Seems like it was just yesterday when Winfirst debuted and we went to one of their sales events with door prizes and discounts for everyone and we subsequently signed up for the whole package.

It sounds like Surewest is just trying to intimidate us into converting. Guess I won't know for sure until February when I learn whether they have dropped our television service.
cklim55's Avatar cklim55
10:27 AM Liked: 10
post #550 of 973
09-26-2008 | Posts: 131
Joined: Nov 2006
Just checking to see if anyone else had picture problems last night while watching the season premier of The Office? The last 20 minutes of the show on both HD ans SD froze and then a blank screen. It happened 2-3 times and we were unable to see the last portion of the show. Needless to say we were all pissed especially my wife. I've noticed some picture and sound problems with the HD channels lately--pixelization, loss of sound, HD to SD to HD picture changes. My wife has said if it happens again--we go to Direct. I just changed from the amino 110 to 120 a week ago and these are the problems lately. Anyone else have the same problems?
gtree10's Avatar gtree10
10:48 AM Liked: 10
post #551 of 973
09-26-2008 | Posts: 503
Joined: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by cklim55 View Post

Just checking to see if anyone else had picture problems last night while watching the season premier of The Office? The last 20 minutes of the show on both HD ans SD froze and then a blank screen. It happened 2-3 times and we were unable to see the last portion of the show. Needless to say we were all pissed especially my wife. I've noticed some picture and sound problems with the HD channels lately--pixelization, loss of sound, HD to SD to HD picture changes. My wife has said if it happens again--we go to Direct. I just changed from the amino 110 to 120 a week ago and these are the problems lately. Anyone else have the same problems?

Wasn't just Surewest, happened OTA and via Comcast.
cklim55's Avatar cklim55
01:55 PM Liked: 10
post #552 of 973
09-26-2008 | Posts: 131
Joined: Nov 2006
I guess channel 3 KCRA was to blame. I wish they could get their act together and get these shows to work. They were able to broadcast My Name is Earl with no problems.
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
07:30 PM Liked: 10
post #553 of 973
10-21-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
My wife just got a visit from AT&T U-Verse. The gist of their conversation was as follows:

- Surewest doesn't own their fiber lines, they're owned by AT&T.
- Surewest is being bought by Verizon.
- Because of the Verizon purchase, AT&T is taking back the lines and will now be the sole provider of FTTH in my area (Natomas) come December.

I called Surewest to ask about this and their representative said that Surewest wasn't going anywhere, they own their own lines, and they will continue providing service throughout their service area. So it looks like AT&T is lying through their teeth.

The salespeople didn't seem sleazy - it's possible that they are being misled as well.

The only thing I can think of that might give their spiel a kernel of truth is if the PUC is forcing Surewest to share their lines with AT&T so AT&T will be able to offer U-Verse over the same lines. But that's definitely not how they spun it.
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
11:32 PM Liked: 10
post #554 of 973
10-22-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
The AT&T guys were supposed to come back tonight and were no-shows. Perhaps they got their knuckles rapped or they figured they'd made a mistake.
bigRoN's Avatar bigRoN
09:53 PM Liked: 10
post #555 of 973
10-23-2008 | Posts: 312
Joined: Jul 2002
Just out of curiosity, if you know it, did the "AT&T" representatives have ID tags on? I'm trying to think what type of ulterior motive would make someone say this. Unsubstantiative information from a representative from such a major company as AT&T could become quite costly for the company. I have doubts as to whom they are employed by. I'd almost suspect they may be casing the neighborhood for more criminal intents.
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
11:04 PM Liked: 10
post #556 of 973
10-23-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
I didn't see any tags, but they were well dressed in kakhis and white polo shirts with AT&T logos, and they gave us an AT&T U-verse brochure with one of the guy's name and phone number handwritten on the back.

They told my wife they were "AT&T non-commissioned employees."
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
09:41 PM Liked: 10
post #557 of 973
10-25-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
Well, AT&T finally came back this afternoon, with a slightly different story. They didn't say they owned the lines, but did say that Surewest is being bought by Verizon "and they expected that they would be discontinuing service in December." Also a lot of talk about "small companies don't have the longevity of large companies - do you really want to stay with a company that could be gone tomorrow?" I.e. lots of high-pressure sales tactics. Annoyed the %&@$# out of me. The guys that came today (different guys, except for one of the earlier guys that showed up later) were wearing AT&T ID tags.

They seemed unfazed when I told them that Surewest had called their story baloney.
Little Dude 1's Avatar Little Dude 1
09:56 PM Liked: 10
post #558 of 973
10-25-2008 | Posts: 70
Joined: Sep 2005
It would be kind of cool if Verizon's FIOS was offered in December. In these times I would not be surprised to see a smaller company like Surewest in financial trouble, but the whole thing seems fishy. But if AT&T really owned the lines, then that would kind of suck for us.
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
10:33 PM Liked: 10
post #559 of 973
10-25-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
In any case, I'm not going to be switching to AT&T until I have confirmation from someone else that I can't get Surewest (or FIOS.) And even then I may not switch to them - they've pissed me off with their sales tactics.
madmin's Avatar madmin
07:53 AM Liked: 10
post #560 of 973
10-27-2008 | Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2006
Anyone having HD picture and sound problems? I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that 'freeze frame' and loss of sound 'sound freeze'? is becoming more frequent. I was watching channel 603 (KCRA) this morning and it was very bad. I switched to 610 and the same thing. Went to SD channel 3 and it was ok. This is different from the normal loss of channel (screen and sound go away). Thanks

Mike

Just an update - the cable went out this morning after I left for work. Surewest must be having issues.
bigRoN's Avatar bigRoN
07:20 PM Liked: 10
post #561 of 973
10-27-2008 | Posts: 312
Joined: Jul 2002
I have not had any issues recently, but I have had similar issues from time-to-time. When I have had the problem, the problem has not been with SureWest's signal per se, but rather with the set-top-box. Unplugging the power to the box and then plugging it back in solves the problem. I've had most of my issues recently with my AmiNET130 box, but I've also had issues with the DVR box too.
madmin's Avatar madmin
09:54 AM Liked: 10
post #562 of 973
10-28-2008 | Posts: 38
Joined: Jul 2006
Well, it turns out that I lost VOIP, Internet and all TV. I had to reset the gateway on the side of the house via the APC backup power supply in my home office, which is behind a very large desk set. Anyway, seemed to to work, but this morning it was doing the same 'freeze frame' as yesterday. Bad gateway?

Update...
So I get home this afternoon - no cable/voip/internet. Call customer service on my emergency cell - whoops, gotta charge it first, I figure 30 minutes. They can't have anyone here until the 30th. I say - I've got no phone service. Sorry. Is there some sort of rule for phone providers that requires some sort of response for service outages?

Step two - involves a baseball bat. Smack the gateway box on the side of the house a couple of times. Walla - got phone/tv/internet. Gotta love the low tech.

Mike
ehubbard's Avatar ehubbard
04:39 PM Liked: 10
post #563 of 973
11-04-2008 | Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Dude 1 View Post

It would be kind of cool if Verizon's FIOS was offered in December. In these times I would not be surprised to see a smaller company like Surewest in financial trouble, but the whole thing seems fishy. But if AT&T really owned the lines, then that would kind of suck for us.

They would be in great financial shape if they didn't blow all their cash on our fancy new fiber lines that we love so much. How much revenue are they really getting out of this investment anyway?

How much did they lose from their unsuccessful jaunt into wireless? They are a company looking for growth -- however they are stuck geographically to serving our area. They have been trying to grow (and increase shareholder value) by getting into wireless and TV via fiber.... but I don't see evidence that they are getting the growth.

So given that these two attempts to grow their business have not given the ROI that shareholders demand --- wouldn't the shareholders just love it if AT&T/Verizon just bought them?

If AT&T is renting the lines from Surewest -- I'd pick AT&T to buy them over Verizon.
bigRoN's Avatar bigRoN
07:24 AM Liked: 10
post #564 of 973
11-05-2008 | Posts: 312
Joined: Jul 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post

They would be in great financial shape if they didn't blow all their cash on our fancy new fiber lines that we love so much. How much revenue are they really getting out of this investment anyway?

How much did they lose from their unsuccessful jaunt into wireless? They are a company looking for growth -- however they are stuck geographically to serving our area. They have been trying to grow (and increase shareholder value) by getting into wireless and TV via fiber.... but I don't see evidence that they are getting the growth.

So given that these two attempts to grow their business have not given the ROI that shareholders demand --- wouldn't the shareholders just love it if AT&T/Verizon just bought them?

If AT&T is renting the lines from Surewest -- I'd pick AT&T to buy them over Verizon.

Actually, SureWest has already grown out of the local area and spreading all around the Kansas City area. They acquired Everest Communications. They are deploying fiber-to-the-home all around that geographical area too, offering the same Internet options that we enjoy.

IF SureWest were using lines from AT&T, it is obviously not the "last mile" fiber that comes to our house. I've actually seen SureWest doing the work of pulling fiber into the neighborhood and connections to each of the homes. For long runs of fiber, it is very common for the company laying fiber to lay a large fiber bundle but use a very small fraction of the actual fibers. The remaining fibers are termed "dark fiber" until they are used or leased to some other source. There is probably a good chance SureWest does lease dark fiber for some things... why build your own super-super highway, when there is one already built nearby that has many lanes that are not even used?
ehubbard's Avatar ehubbard
05:31 PM Liked: 10
post #565 of 973
11-05-2008 | Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

Actually, SureWest has already grown out of the local area and spreading all around the Kansas City area. They acquired Everest Communications. They are deploying fiber-to-the-home all around that geographical area too, offering the same Internet options that we enjoy.

Was Everest a cable company? I notice they use Cable modems. So they are now spending cash on deploying fiber throughout Kansas? hmm

If I was a shareholder -- I'd really wonder how long it was going to take for all this spending to pay off... and if I'd make more money if Surewest just sold to AT&T.

Would surewest have to make their fiber lines available to AT&T? or does that law only apply to copper?
beefjello's Avatar beefjello
06:54 PM Liked: 10
post #566 of 973
11-11-2008 | Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007
Hey,

I've been scanning this forum, but haven't found anywhere where it addresses this issue. I want to have my surewest IPTV connection go thru my Linksys Router first because I have all of my computer stuff there and I need that one Surewest connection. Is this possible? If so, how?

Thanks.

J
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
07:11 PM Liked: 10
post #567 of 973
11-11-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by beefjello View Post

Hey,

I've been scanning this forum, but haven't found anywhere where it addresses this issue. I want to have my surewest IPTV connection go thru my Linksys Router first because I have all of my computer stuff there and I need that one Surewest connection. Is this possible? If so, how?

Thanks.

J

The IPTV goes over a separate ethernet cable from the fiber gateway. You can connect the internet ethernet cable to your router, but I very much doubt the TV will work if hooked up through the router.

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you want to accomplish by passing the IPTV through your router.
beefjello's Avatar beefjello
08:47 PM Liked: 10
post #568 of 973
11-11-2008 | Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by tww1fa View Post

The IPTV goes over a separate ethernet cable from the fiber gateway. You can connect the internet ethernet cable to your router, but I very much doubt the TV will work if hooked up through the router.

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you want to accomplish by passing the IPTV through your router.

I have one spot where the etheret come in. It works for both the television w/ the HDDVR plugged directly into it or with the internet with the router plugged into it. I want my computer and my tv and my xbox 360 all plugged directly into the one connection. The only way I can do this is with the router. Right now I have my router plugged in via Ethernet in the same port that I had originally had my DVR hooked to. However, so that I may use the television for something other than a glorified monitor, I tried plugging the DVR into the router which is in the same port it was originally directly plugged into. I am getting the power up screen (Minerva Networks IPTV thing), but it is stuck with an error code. For some reason the IPTV is passing thru the router, but not fully loading. I was wondering if there is something with my router settings that I can just let it flow thru without being "blocked" by the router.

Any help would be great. Thanks. J
tww1fa's Avatar tww1fa
10:44 PM Liked: 10
post #569 of 973
11-11-2008 | Posts: 30
Joined: Apr 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by beefjello View Post

I have one spot where the etheret come in. It works for both the television w/ the HDDVR plugged directly into it or with the internet with the router plugged into it.

A router is not going to work, but a switch very well might. Go to your nearest electronics store and buy the cheapest 100Mbps network switch they have. You only need three ports, so a 4 port switch is sufficient. Plug the HDDVR, the ethernet cable and the input to your router into the switch. In other words, the switch goes between the incoming ethernet cable and the HDDVR and router. If the single cable you get works for both IPTV and internet, this should allow you to use both at the same time.
beefjello's Avatar beefjello
10:46 PM Liked: 10
post #570 of 973
11-11-2008 | Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by tww1fa View Post

A router is not going to work, but a switch very well might. Go to your nearest electronics store and buy the cheapest 100Mbps network switch they have. You only need three ports, so a 4 port switch is sufficient. Plug the HDDVR, the ethernet cable and the input to your router into the switch. In other words, the switch goes between the incoming ethernet cable and the HDDVR and router. If the single cable you get works for both IPTV and internet, this should allow you to use both at the same time.

Awesome...Thanks for the information. I'll give it a shot. Much appreciated.

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