Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 27 - AVS Forum
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post #781 of 973 Old 01-25-2010, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Norbert View Post

Got my new Whole Home DVR setup on Thursday. The wife did not know about the "no time shifting" on live TV on the STBs only on the DVR unit. So I had to swap the living room and master bedroom units Saturday. I wonder if you could run multiple DVR units in the house?

Sure wished that the STBs could do at least 30-60 rewind. Should be possible with and SSD installed. Oh well. The HD clarity is improved over the Minerva/Amino & ATD (ADT?) boxes.

I hope they upgrade to 2.0 for Mediaroom. I would also like to be able to access my music library. Well, flexibility wise, its like the ReplayTVs I had except that it does HD but not able to time shift at each unit. Give and take I guess.

My bill is supposed to come down with some deals and lowering my phone minutes so that should be a plus. All in all, its a nice system. A HD TiVo might come in handy at the STB units. Might have to check out Craigslist...

One trick I use for FF/RW on the standard STBs:
1. Record the program you're watching
2. View "Recorded TV".
3. Play
4. Erase when the show's over.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's nice when I want to watch a game upstairs and be able to rewind and watch a play again.
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post #782 of 973 Old 01-25-2010, 10:48 PM
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I am sheduled to get my system installed tomorrow morning, and am excited to see the new interface and DVR. A question brought up earlier was integrating it with an xbox, or accessing home MP3s...I am wondering even if they upgrade to 2.0 if we will be able to take advantage of those features given the fact that the STBs are on a different network then our home networks...wonder if they will provide us any gateway mechanism.

let you know how the install goes
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post #783 of 973 Old 01-26-2010, 11:11 AM
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I have just had the new Mediaroom system installed and I must say I'm underwhelmed. First, there is absolutely no reason what-so-ever that they couldn't have just let me do the install myself. Second, the picture quality is MUCH worse than the previous picture quality for HD. HDTV picture quality used to blow away any competition from satellite or Comcast, but this is on par with those sources. The one major advantage SureWest had on their competition is no longer there. I did notice a little degradation when they changed from MPEG2 to MPEG4, but this is an even more noticeable difference. I'm not sure if they are adding even more compression to MPEG4 or if the hardware is inferior in decoding the streams, but whatever the cause, the difference was noticeable immediately.

The user interface is improved, but not worth the degradation in quality. The difference is noted on both the DVR unit and the basic set-top box.

I first noticed that HDTV picture quality appeared to be more soft and less defined (it's supposed to be high DEFINITION). I have always found Discovery's HD Theater to be a "Gold Standard" for HDTV quality of broadcast, as the channel was essentially created to be "eye candy" of the capacity of HDTV. They often have darker images, to show off the detail in dark scenes, something never possible before on standard definition, but due to compression, the picture is just dark without details. This is clearly evident in the badge in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. The "HD" contains blue-to-black gradients, but now looks nearly entirely black, no fine gradient. The issue is even more telling when there is action on the screen with gradients, such as a fire... you can see banding of colors instead of nice transitions of yellows, reds and oranges.
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post #784 of 973 Old 01-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

I have just had the new Mediaroom system installed and I must say I'm underwhelmed. First, there is absolutely no reason what-so-ever that they couldn't have just let me do the install myself. Second, the picture quality is MUCH worse than the previous picture quality for HD. HDTV picture quality used to blow away any competition from satellite or Comcast, but this is on par with those sources. The one major advantage SureWest had on their competition is no longer there. I did notice a little degradation when they changed from MPEG2 to MPEG4, but this is an even more noticeable difference. I'm not sure if they are adding even more compression to MPEG4 or if the hardware is inferior in decoding the streams, but whatever the cause, the difference was noticeable immediately.

The user interface is improved, but not worth the degradation in quality. The difference is noted on both the DVR unit and the basic set-top box.

I first noticed that HDTV picture quality appeared to be more soft and less defined (it's supposed to be high DEFINITION). I have always found Discovery's HD Theater to be a "Gold Standard" for HDTV quality of broadcast, as the channel was essentially created to be "eye candy" of the capacity of HDTV. They often have darker images, to show off the detail in dark scenes, something never possible before on standard definition, but due to compression, the picture is just dark without details. This is clearly evident in the badge in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. The "HD" contains blue-to-black gradients, but now looks nearly entirely black, no fine gradient. The issue is even more telling when there is action on the screen with gradients, such as a fire... you can see banding of colors instead of nice transitions of yellows, reds and oranges.

That is disappointing to hear! I was gonna call soon and switch over, but if HD quality suffers, then I don't want to switch.

Can some of the others that switched comment on the comparison of the HD quality?

Thanks!
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post #785 of 973 Old 01-27-2010, 03:22 AM
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bigRoN, please keep us apprised of your impressions moving forward. I have an install date scheduled for a week from today.

I was a Surewest customer back when they first introduced the ADB-based DVR in December 2007 (I posted those screenshots back on page 13), but left them for Dish Network after spending a few weeks with that horrible unit. With the new Motorola/Mediaroom-based hardware, I was hoping things had turned around. I'm pretty sure I'll keep my install date. I have till the end of February before my Dish gets disconnected, so I can do some back-to-back comparisons in picture quality.

Curious what kind of deals you guys are getting for bundled services? I'm an existing customer for their Internet and Voice, so I'm not eligible for any new customer deals. After adding TV, they gave me the following for a promo 6-month price of about $151/month, which then increases by $30 thereafter:

- Internet: 15 Mbps
- Voice: Digital Phone 500 minutes
- TV: Digital Encore w/ HD
- Whole Home DVR + 3 STBs
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post #786 of 973 Old 01-30-2010, 04:31 PM
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questions before i jump on surewest tv. does surewest ppv offer the boxing events in hd? i'm on directv and the last three pacquiao fights have been offered in hd. i'm hesistant to join surewest w/o knowing. thanks for the help.
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post #787 of 973 Old 01-30-2010, 05:18 PM
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On Thursday, I had my old DVR and STBs(2) replaced with the Motorola Whole Home DVR (VIP1216) and 2 Motorola STBs (VIP1200). I think that Surewest should have asked if connections were all ethernet cable or coax cable involved because my install was basically swapping out the old boxes since my whole house is wired with CAT6. I could have easily figured out how to use everything myself. I think Surewest wanted to get some money out of everyone since the whole home DVR now comes with the digital package and they only charge for the STBs. I saved $7 a month with the new setup.
But is it worth it? Like bigRoN, I noticed the picture quality is not as sharp but softer. There appears to be a loss of facial feature detail and for some reason the picture is slightly darker. I am not sure but it doesn't look as true HD as I had with the old boxes. The Motorola boxes have nicer features but I didn't want to sacrifice picture quality, considering all my HD panels have been professionally calibrated.
Does this mean the Motorola boxes have less processing power? I went to the Motorola website to check out the specs. I also went to the ADB website to check out the specs of the old DVR but it did not provide any specs on processing. The old equipment was capable of whole home access if Surewest had upgraded.
Hoping to read what others think after switching then ask Surewest what is going on.
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post #788 of 973 Old 01-30-2010, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretchedsloth View Post

questions before i jump on surewest tv. does surewest ppv offer the boxing events in hd? i'm on directv and the last three pacquiao fights have been offered in hd. i'm hesistant to join surewest w/o knowing. thanks for the help.

Go to http://www.surewest.com/DigitalTV/video/index.php
then click on ppv events to see the schedule but you will have to email or call them and ask if the events are in HD
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post #789 of 973 Old 01-31-2010, 03:20 PM
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Hello everyone, first time user here at AVS forum...

I'm a new Surewest customer in the Elk Grove area. I just received my service on 1/27/10, and so far I'm very pleased with the quality of internet and tv service (including the installation). What I've seen so far with the new Microsoft Mediaroom, and HD is very impressive. I've already recorded a bunch of shows, and our entire family is enjoying our new service.

I was with Comcast for a few years but got tired of their awful customer services and outages; which is what led me to Surewest.

However, I'm very disappointed that Surewest doesn't carry three channels that are part of Univision corporation (Spanish). Being such huge soccer sports fanatic and a hispanic bilingual; I'm having such a hard time adjusting to not having these channels available; especially when 2 of these are available over the air for free:

- Univision, KUVS-DT, local channel 19 (digital 18)
- Telefutura KTFK-DT, local channel 64 (digital 26)
- Galavision (national sister affiliate)

I didn't even notice this channel line-up was missing when I signed up because these channels are so common they are available on all tv service providers in their basic programming or local programing line-up (comcast, att, directv, qwestv, and dishnetwork).

This Univision group of channels will be this years main carrier and main attraction for the 2010 South Africa World Cup along with World Cup specials, and pre-friendly games leading up to the main event. Also important is the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations (going on now), Major League Soccer and Mexican Soccer league sports programs, and various sports news and shows. This type programming is not available on other channels (such as ESPN, Comcast Sports, etc), but the Univision group does carry them. These channels also provide a wide base of Spanish entertainment not found in English programming.

I was told by one of the Surewest techs that these channels where available at some point but where dropped or discontinued, but didn't know why? Tech also told me as an alternative; buy an HDTV tuner (which my HDtv set doesn't include) to receive the digtial signal of Univision/Telefutra over the air. This is unacceptable, and very pricey solution (over $150 for an ATSC box or $300+ with dvr), and the point of obtaining a tv service provider is to avoid the headaches of rabbit ears, weather conditions, bad reception, and be able guide/record shows.

Our family television at home has always been a variety of English and Spanish programming. I have many Hispanic friends in the area of Elk Grove and Sacramento area which have very similar viewing preferences. I was going to recommend Surewest service to others here in Elk Grove area, but when I spoke to a friend about not having Univision channels he laughed and couldn't believe it.

It seems for the time being, Surewest focus is not the hispanic market, but they seem to try because they do offer spanish packages (Tu Tele package). Univision group of channels are such vital core piece to this Hispanic Market that without it would be similar to not having ABC, CBS or NBC in the English market. Other hispanic channels such as Telemundo, TvAzteca and Tuvision are a well addition to the Surewest line-up, but again Univision group is the core piece.

I've tried contacting more folks at Surewest in hope of reaching someone who cares about the hispanic market and get me answers, but I keep getting the same canned answers from customer service that they don't provide these channels. I don't see how Surewest will ever obtain any new hispanic customers or keep them. I've read on the Univsion forum in which customers have already left Surewest and moved to Comcast because there is no Univision channels available (can't post the link because I'm new). Who knows how many more have been lost or never obtained because of this.

This is a show stopper for me as well, and I'm already struggling and debating on cancelling my Surewest TV service and returning to Comcast or switching to Satellite provider - which I don't really wan't to do. Would like to know if anyone here knows how I can get a hold of Surewest's marketing department, or anyone who can give me a better understanding or answer as to why Univsion is left out. For me, Univision is the only piece Surewest is missing from an already awesome service.

Sorry for the long post, Thanks for listening.

DJC
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post #790 of 973 Old 02-01-2010, 03:32 PM
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Just a question for the ones that got the media room conversion and noticing the decreased picture quality. Did you folks go into the menu and switch it to 1080i? Looking at the manual, it says the default config is at 720p...
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post #791 of 973 Old 02-01-2010, 04:45 PM
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I had the new DVR installed on Saturday. I didn't have to pay any "installation" fee. It took longer to walk through all the features than it took to connect the box - it was that simple.

We only got our first HDTV at Christmas so we are thrilled with the resolution. We only have 720p on a 32" but we watch from only about 10 feet away.

We have had a Series 2 Single Tuner TIVO for a few years so the Microsoft Mediaroom interface is an interesting comparison. All looks good. I like the Picture In Picture feature and the lightning-fast channel changes. A 90 minute buffer is good. It would be good to have the USB ports working so I could transfer files from a computer to the DVR (I got a Asus O!Play for that - excellent!).

However, I'd like to be able to record a programme and have it replace the one before - for example, to always have the latest Daily Show or the news. I don't see how that is possible in Mediaroom.

The remote is great looking. I like the back-lit buttons. I like being able to control the TV and DVD player with the new remote. The rewind and forward is very responsive. I like the jump forward 29 seconds on a recording - and the 7 seconds jump back.

These are minor gripes when evaluating the whole package. All-in-all this is a great system and it's set for major improvements with the Microsoft Mediaroom 2.0 upgrade, whenever that will be. All this from a local company - not a national corporation.
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post #792 of 973 Old 02-01-2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djcasual View Post

Hello everyone, first time user here at AVS forum...

I'm a new Surewest customer in the Elk Grove area. I just received my service on 1/27/10, and so far I'm very pleased with the quality of internet and tv service (including the installation). What I've seen so far with the new Microsoft Mediaroom, and HD is very impressive. I've already recorded a bunch of shows, and our entire family is enjoying our new service.

I was with Comcast for a few years but got tired of their awful customer services and outages; which is what led me to Surewest.

However, I'm very disappointed that Surewest doesn't carry three channels that are part of Univision corporation (Spanish). Being such huge soccer sports fanatic and a hispanic bilingual; I'm having such a hard time adjusting to not having these channels available; especially when 2 of these are available over the air for free:

- Univision, KUVS-DT, local channel 19 (digital 18)
- Telefutura KTFK-DT, local channel 64 (digital 26)
- Galavision (national sister affiliate)

I didn't even notice this channel line-up was missing when I signed up because these channels are so common they are available on all tv service providers in their basic programming or local programing line-up (comcast, att, directv, qwestv, and dishnetwork).

This Univision group of channels will be this years main carrier and main attraction for the 2010 South Africa World Cup along with World Cup specials, and pre-friendly games leading up to the main event. Also important is the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations (going on now), Major League Soccer and Mexican Soccer league sports programs, and various sports news and shows. This type programming is not available on other channels (such as ESPN, Comcast Sports, etc), but the Univision group does carry them. These channels also provide a wide base of Spanish entertainment not found in English programming.

I was told by one of the Surewest techs that these channels where available at some point but where dropped or discontinued, but didn't know why? Tech also told me as an alternative; buy an HDTV tuner (which my HDtv set doesn't include) to receive the digtial signal of Univision/Telefutra over the air. This is unacceptable, and very pricey solution (over $150 for an ATSC box or $300+ with dvr), and the point of obtaining a tv service provider is to avoid the headaches of rabbit ears, weather conditions, bad reception, and be able guide/record shows.

Our family television at home has always been a variety of English and Spanish programming. I have many Hispanic friends in the area of Elk Grove and Sacramento area which have very similar viewing preferences. I was going to recommend Surewest service to others here in Elk Grove area, but when I spoke to a friend about not having Univision channels he laughed and couldn't believe it.

It seems for the time being, Surewest focus is not the hispanic market, but they seem to try because they do offer spanish packages (Tu Tele package). Univision group of channels are such vital core piece to this Hispanic Market that without it would be similar to not having ABC, CBS or NBC in the English market. Other hispanic channels such as Telemundo, TvAzteca and Tuvision are a well addition to the Surewest line-up, but again Univision group is the core piece.

I've tried contacting more folks at Surewest in hope of reaching someone who cares about the hispanic market and get me answers, but I keep getting the same canned answers from customer service that they don't provide these channels. I don't see how Surewest will ever obtain any new hispanic customers or keep them. I've read on the Univsion forum in which customers have already left Surewest and moved to Comcast because there is no Univision channels available (can't post the link because I'm new). Who knows how many more have been lost or never obtained because of this.

This is a show stopper for me as well, and I'm already struggling and debating on cancelling my Surewest TV service and returning to Comcast or switching to Satellite provider - which I don't really wan't to do. Would like to know if anyone here knows how I can get a hold of Surewest's marketing department, or anyone who can give me a better understanding or answer as to why Univsion is left out. For me, Univision is the only piece Surewest is missing from an already awesome service.

Sorry for the long post, Thanks for listening.

DJC

I hear you bro'! I think Surewest is not serving its customers who want to watch soccer.

I really miss Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). I discussed this with the technician at our new DVR installation and he mentioned that FSC were asking too much for broadcasting rights. Now that Surewest are getting a bigger reputation for delivering TV services maybe that could leverage FSC to reconsider it's price.

I'm OK with English Premier League once a week on ESPN2 but for all my highlight needs I go to the internet.

Surewest, bring back FSC, Univision, Telefutura and Galavision. (The guys in Roseville read this forum!)
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post #793 of 973 Old 02-01-2010, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by baggiessac View Post

I hear you bro'! I think Surewest is not serving its customers who want to watch soccer.

I really miss Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). I discussed this with the technician at our new DVR installation and he mentioned that FSC were asking too much for broadcasting rights. Now that Surewest are getting a bigger reputation for delivering TV services maybe that could leverage FSC to reconsider it's price.

I'm OK with English Premier League once a week on ESPN2 but for all my highlight needs I go to the internet.

Surewest, bring back FSC, Univision, Telefutura and Galavision. (The guys in Roseville read this forum!)

Well, I don't know how much longer I can go without my futbol. Dish offers a package that seems to fit better for my family and I. Roughly ~$60 a month. This includes Univision (east/west), Galavision, GolTV (spanish), ESPN deportes and Fox Sports en Espanol. Along with those, the 'America's Top 120 Plus' English package with ~60 HD channels.

- America's Top 120 Plus
ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING:
- Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA Local Channels
- Included HD & Platinum
- DishLATINO Bonus Pack
HARDWARE:
- HD DuoDVR Receiver
- DVR Service

Like I stated earlier; I'd hate to change and feel bad. I would rather support local companies, but I'm left with very little options here. I'm not asking for a lot, just Univision.
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post #794 of 973 Old 02-02-2010, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

Just a question for the ones that got the media room conversion and noticing the decreased picture quality. Did you folks go into the menu and switch it to 1080i? Looking at the manual, it says the default config is at 720p...

That is the first thing I did when the boxes booted up.
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post #795 of 973 Old 02-02-2010, 02:48 PM
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That is the first thing I did when the boxes booted up.

darn... was hoping it would be an easy fix

still deciding whether or not i want to switch......
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post #796 of 973 Old 02-02-2010, 04:11 PM
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Did everyone lose email service today?
I am calling in when I get home.
Their websites do not post anything about the status of their services.
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post #797 of 973 Old 02-02-2010, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

Just a question for the ones that got the media room conversion and noticing the decreased picture quality. Did you folks go into the menu and switch it to 1080i? Looking at the manual, it says the default config is at 720p...

Interesting; none of the techs that installed my mediaroom ever mentioned or changed the default setting which wasn't even 720p on mine. It was something lower like standard TV.

I noticed the bad quality also, but I figured the resolution was incorrect because it looked awful. Setting the unit to 1080i made everything look much nicer.

Thanks,

DJC
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post #798 of 973 Old 02-03-2010, 10:54 AM
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Recently switched to Surewest. Very disappointed. HD channels listed in other systems (comcast, Dish, Direct etc) not included in Surewest's HD package. HBO and other premium channels using on demand cannot be viewed in HD. Free on demand TV programs not available. Mislead by the customer service representative. Oh well.

As with the other comments the HD picture not as sharp.
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post #799 of 973 Old 02-03-2010, 11:11 AM
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Recently switched to Surewest. Very disappointed. HD channels listed in other systems (comcast, Dish, Direct etc) not included in Surewest's HD package. HBO and other premium channels using on demand cannot be viewed in HD. Free on demand TV programs not available. Mislead by the customer service representative. Oh well.

As with the other comments the HD picture not as sharp.

I know exactly how you feel. I know you can't compare for example comcast to surewest; two completely different companies by size. However, it's those little things that Surewest should look at and make difference.

So far from what I gather from neighbors and here is the following.

1. HD Quality is ~ OK, but not great or awesome but just OK.
2. Missing some important programming (Univision, FSC etc..)
3. HD Channels lack more variety compared to other HD providers.
4. Bundle offers don't compare to the competition.
5. VOD lacks free shows, free movies etc...


Hope someone from surewest is listening.
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post #800 of 973 Old 02-04-2010, 10:42 AM
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I've had Surewest for a year and got the service primarily for the excellent HD quality. Unfortunately, the new Media Room system seems to have substantially lowered the quality of the HD picture.

I got the new box last week and noticed the degraded picture immediately. It's especially noticeable in dark scenes (very murky picture) and sporting events (the picture breaks up when the camera moves). I know that all the connections and settings are correct because the Surewest Pro came to the house and tested everything.

I called Surewest technical support and asked for an explanation. They said that they had not heard of any issues. I asked if Media Room 2.0 would remedy the problems. They didn't have an answer for that.

At this point I'll be patient and wait for MR 2.0 because I'm otherwise happy with Surewest, but if the picture doesn't improve I'll consider switching to another provider.

Anyone else experiencing similar issues?
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post #801 of 973 Old 02-04-2010, 11:02 AM
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I question 2.0 having any relation to the HD quality... seems more likely they have had to throttle back video quality to maybe support MediaRoom?
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post #802 of 973 Old 02-04-2010, 02:41 PM
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Just had mine installed yesterday. Keep in mind that I am coming from Dish most recently, and was a briefly a Surewest TV subscriber back in 2008 with the Amino/ADB boxes. With that said, my comments are as follows:

- HD quality: hard for me to judge, back-to-back, but I would lean toward agreeing that some scenes do look a little soft. I'll need to spend a bit more time watching programming that was originally shot in high-def, in order to make a better assessment. Having said that, it's not a deal breaker for me. My TV is a 5-year-old 720p Samsung DLP, and the picture quality is good enough for my viewing purposes for now.

- User interface: Elegant, albeit a bit spartan; definitely more refined than the Amino/ADB setup, and even Dish. Some pretty cool onscreen "shortcuts" that have a lot of practical use (e.g. bringing up a menu of your last 5 channels -- great if you like to switch between more than just 2 channels). Love the PIP channel preview. However, Dish wins when it comes to organization/presentation of the DVR content. (Mediaroom lists all episodes/content in a flat list, even if you group by title, so that list can get pretty long; Dish treats titles as "folders" from which you can browse the underlying episodes.

- DVR Features: Different strengths/weaknesses between Mediaroom and Dish, but at the moment, Dish comes out ahead with its more granular recording options, and the ability to remotely control the DVR via web/mobile device. But hopefully Mediaroom 2.0 will introduce similar features.

- Hardware: Dish has an additional input for an OTA antenna (cleaner, unprocessed picture), and the ability to add an external USB drive. I have a 750GB drive which has been handy for archiving entire seasons of my kids' favorite shows. With a 40-hour HD capacity, the Surewest DVR is just too small for a family whose viewing habits revolve around the DVR, especially considering how cheap storage is nowadays. Againn hopefully a futre release of Mediaroom can enable external storage.

- On Demand: Pretty decent selection, and yes there is definitely free on-demand content. Sure, a lot of it is fluff, but there's a lot of movies from Encore-on-Demand that will certainly hold our interest too.

- Channel Lineup: Not as extensive as others, but for my needs, is fine. Speed HD and Versus HD were a pleasant surprise. I do wish, however, that the onscreen guide would group the standard and HD versions of the same channel together, like Dish.

- Remote: One of the best layouts I have seen outside of Logitech Harmony. In fact, I may very well end up using this instead of my Harmony 550.

Bottom line: I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping this and canceling Surewest as planned. I'm not a huge fan of anything Microsoft, but I think they're poised to evolve Mediaroom into a pretty cool service, especially with the ability to integrate MediaCenter-equipped PCs as viewing devices.
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post #803 of 973 Old 02-04-2010, 09:33 PM
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Regarding HD quality with new boxes, vtek63's suggestion about 720P seems to work for my system. Surewest installers and tech support kept pushing 1080i. But when I switched to 720P like the manual recommends, the picture quality improved so that I have no complaints.
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post #804 of 973 Old 02-05-2010, 12:12 AM
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my tech switch all of the TVs to 720p... and I am not sure which one I like better. I will say that at first I felt the picture quality was on par with the previous DVR, but now having spent time with it, I noticed that the picture is darker, and a little grainy. Now, it is possible that I can tune some of this out of the picture, but if I can't, I will be calling tech support.

On a side note, the interface and DVR is leaps and bounds better then the old interface.
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post #805 of 973 Old 02-05-2010, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstratton3277 View Post

my tech switch all of the TVs to 720p... and I am not sure which one I like better. I will say that at first I felt the picture quality was on par with the previous DVR, but now having spent time with it, I noticed that the picture is darker, and a little grainy. Now, it is possible that I can tune some of this out of the picture, but if I can't, I will be calling tech support.

On a side note, the interface and DVR is leaps and bounds better then the old interface.

please let us know what tech support has to say about it. maybe if more people call and complain about it, they might actually take a look..
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post #806 of 973 Old 02-06-2010, 08:44 PM
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Three weeks ago we cancelled Uverse because of escalating problems and re-subscribed to Surewest.

Our new Surewest 15mps seems the same as the Uverse 6mps. Speed tests indicate Surewest is faster, it's just not apparent in normal usage. The Surewest DVR appears identical to Uverse but we were informed we have a newer version of Microsoft's Media Room. The Surewest remote control is similar except for a few new buttons and lighted keys.

If there is a difference in Surewest HD and Uverse HD image quality, it is not apparent on our new 52" Sony. They were/are both acceptable.

In the last week or two, our Surewest remote controller has been acting up, i.e. {1] Hitting the INFO button turns off the sound [2] Channel changes proceed to a "Press Okay" screen, [3] Fast forward jumps immediately to end of recording, [4] Remote key presses often don't register with the DVR, etc. Hitting any remote key is like playing a slot machine.

We have changed remote control batteries several times, re-oriented the DVR, and performed cold boots on multiple occasions.

Elsewise, Encore has frequent freezes lasting up to 30 minutes or reboot. Freezes are less frequent on other channels. For the last two days we have been unable to get through to repair.
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post #807 of 973 Old 02-07-2010, 07:54 AM
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Seems like there are multiple nits with the new DVR/STb's. One particular issue I am having is that now, all of a sudden mind you, the DVR is controlling the Audio and the commercials come on and are loud as heck. I have to hit the tv button on the remote to turn the volume down, then the program comes back from commercial and the Audio is barely heard. I am going thru the settings in the DVR with no luck so far.
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post #808 of 973 Old 02-07-2010, 08:41 AM
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Since people seem to think there is a quality drop in HDTV with the new MediaRoom setup, my guess is that they must be streaming to the early adopter fiber customers, the streams compressed with the limited bandwidth of their ADSL2 network in mind. Considering the MediaRoom roll-out was initially announced for Surewest ADSL2 customers only, I wouldn't be surprised.

I haven't switched over yet, so someone who has should ask if:

A) Are fiber customers getting the same bitrate TV streams as the ADSL2 customers?

B) What is the bitrate for HDTV on the new MediaRoom setup? If there was a reduction, why?

C) Are the channels on the MediaRoom setup coming from a different source feed then the Minerva (Amino STB) setup?

D) Are they using a different H.264 encoder with their MediaRoom setup?

E) Are there new back-end limitations for Surewest being imposed by using MediaRoom?
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post #809 of 973 Old 02-10-2010, 02:06 PM
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It seems picture quality is an issue with transcoding. Surewest is taking the original source and converting it to MP4 at ~6mbps max.

This is not the fault of the Motorola box, I tested the stream through VLC (check myth tv forums for surewest to get details on IP / PORT to open, same UDP IP address scheme and port as before the mediaroom change). I was getting the exact same picture quality from a PC in 1080p over DVI->HDMI. bitrate was between 5.2 and 5.8 mpbs.

I am guessing, as it seems others have guessed, that this is to ensure ADSL2 customers can get HD channels. SD channels are around 3mbps.

As a fiber customer, I would hope that we get an option to receive the original source at the original bitrate. There will always be a quality loss during transcoding of lossy compressed data to another format of lossy compressed data (mp2->mp4 at lower bitrate).

What I havent figured out is if the data signal is different when "advanced tv" service is installed or if all customers are getting 6mpbs HD. Anyone without mediaroom willing/able to test?

############################################################ ##

- Left out information that I dont have answer for.

B) What is the bitrate for HDTV on the new MediaRoom setup? If there was a reduction, why?

- answered above 5.2-5.8 mbps, officially 6mbps max. Please run the VLC test to grab the bitrate for your HD channels to compare?

C) Are the channels on the MediaRoom setup coming from a different source feed then the Minerva (Amino STB) setup?

- same UDP IP addresses and port as before. answered above

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post #810 of 973 Old 02-11-2010, 09:32 AM
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I just had to point out a radio commercial I heard:

Surewest Advanced TV with Microsoft ..~.. crystal clear picture.

sadly, that is a blatant lie right now.

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