Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 28 - AVS Forum
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:18 PM
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I received my first bill after my mediasure install/upgrade and they automatically charged me an early termination fee ($240 plus tax) because I had asked for discounts last summer. Tried calling but on hold too long so I went back to the service center today and they removed it. What a hassle. I saw Comcast was doing stb upgrades and only charge ~$16 and free if you pick up and install yourself.
I have one whole home dvr and two stbs. One of the stbs does not respond to the remote control very well. Thought it was the remote but it controls my other stb fine. I took the box in and they don't even have them in the service center (Elk Grove) yet and I was told to call 611 for tech help.
I also asked why the HD picture quality was not as good and I was told that it should be better with the mediasure. I told him to check out this forum. I told him that right after the install I could see the quality was worse. I asked if when they provisioned my boxes they changed my bitrate to my boxes and he didn't and to call in. Very disappointing.
I know they had switched to mpeg4 last year and I don't think I saw a difference.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:35 PM
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I got a call this morning from SureWest. They warned me that the next bill included an early termination fee. They assured me this was a mistake and to reduce the payment by the $240 or have the next bill adjusted.

The guy said this only applied "to only a few of you guys" who had previous contracts.

Kudos to SureWest but maybe they could have seen this coming?
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggiessac View Post

I got a call this morning from SureWest. They warned me that the next bill included an early termination fee. They assured me this was a mistake and to reduce the payment by the $240 or have the next bill adjusted.

The guy said this only applied "to only a few of you guys" who had previous contracts.

Kudos to SureWest but maybe they could have seen this coming?

Remember they taxed you on the ETF. My credit was ETF: $240.00 Taxes:$21.03, Total credits: $261.03
I had them take care of this at the Elk Grove Service Center.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djBEER View Post

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


mine avgs about 5.8 to 6 mbps WITHOUT mediaroom. h.264 with framerate of 60
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:33 PM
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Hi. I'm new here, currently have Comcast and looking to switch to Surewest. I am deaf in one ear and use closed captioning almost all the time except for sports. One thing Comcast has that I like is configurable closed captioning. I sue yellow letters without the black boxes which is much less intrusive and easy to read. Can anyone provide with some specific information as to the closed captioning on Surewest's new MS Mediaroom System? Thanks.

-Ron
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:17 PM
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Hey,
Does any one here have a problem with their remote? I am using a Logitech Harmony ONE in my living room, and it works fine, but I have a real issue with the supplied remote in the bedroom. I am about 11 feet away, and I have to press the buttons on the remote 2 or 3 times before the register (makes entering in digits for channels a bit tough)

Also, has anyone figured out a way to sort by HD channels like you could with the Amino boxes (just by pressing guide a couple of times)?

Thanks
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:09 AM
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Yes - I'm having issues with my remote too. Have to hit buttons 2 and 3 times to work. Nice remote, but definitely frustrating...
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:55 PM
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http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r237...ms-with-remote

above is a link from uverse users about remote problems with the VIP1200. see if it helps...
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:20 PM
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Hey,
I followed the link above regarding the remote issue, and sure enough, I turned off the autosaving light senser as mentioned, and it fixed my remote issues...Man do I love forums!
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:26 AM
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I've now had my MediaRoom set-up for a couple weeks now and have started to notice a few strange issues. I only have 2 televisions currently, so I have one DVR and one non-DVR. I've had a few annoyances with the non-DVR unit losing connection with the DVR unit during playback of recorded content. It will not resume, but I can go back to look for recorded shows, select the show again. I then have to fast-forward to the point it lost connection. This has happened about 5 times during playback of shows on the non-DVR unit.

SureWest tells me they didn't decrease the quality of the picture, but it sure appears to me that since moving to the new system, the picture quality is worse. I believe I was the first to post my observation and upon checking the forum tonight, I see I'm not the only one to observe the degradation.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:46 AM
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Another annoyance I've had with SureWest and their roll-out of the Mediaroom setup was over at my in-laws; they too just received the Mediaroom installation. They have 3 TVs, none of which are HDTV, but one is connected to a home theater system. Instead of using the same connections used with the previous setup, they by-passed the home theater system and directly wired the new set-top box to the TV. The TV has one AV input which includes the red/white stereo audio connection and both a composite and a S-video input, where you use one OR the other, not both. (IMHO, the TV sucks, but they don't want to replace their 32" CRT until it stops working.)

The previous setup included optical audio and S-video connected to the set-top box going to the home theater system. The DVD player was also connected this way, as was the Nintendo Wii system. The home theater system then sent an S-video output to the television.

I was unaware of what the installer had done until my in-laws called me saying they couldn't get either the Wii or the DVD player to work. I went to their house this evening and wired it back the way it is supposed to be set. I also programmed their remote to always control the volume through the home theater system and to turn the home theater system on and off with the power button. I'm not sure if non-HDTV channels use Dolby Digital, but I also set the set-top box's digital audio output to output DD; at worst, it is just stereo I believe. If we are FORCED to pay $50 for installation, we should at least get quality work out of the installers, this is ridiculous.

Up until now, I've been a SureWest "fan boy", but I'm starting to question their quality and value more and more.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:07 PM
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GOOD: The Amino STB is able to auto-switch from 480i (native resolution, no scaling) when watching SD channels to a user specified 1080i or 720p when watching HD channels.

BAD: The ADB STB outputs the same user specified resolution and scales everything.

Is the MediaRoom STB able to auto-switch from 1080i/720p when watching a HDTV channel and then to 480i/480p when you switch to a SDTV channel without any user interaction when using component cables? Or does it always output both HDTV and SDTV at a shared fixed resolution and scale?

Today I swapped out my Animo 130 STB for a ADB STB per request of Surewest Tech Support to troubleshoot an issue. As stated above, the ADB STB when set to 1080i outputs 1080i for both HDTV and SDTV which is bad because I have a 4:3 CRT HDTV. I am returning it tomorrow.

If the Mediaroom STB is able to auto-switch output resolutions when changing channels between SD and HD, I might just go ahead and switch over. If not, It looks like I'm going to be stuck with the Animo STB for a long time.

Since this will likely be hard to judge in their showroom, if anybody could answer the bold questions above by around Noon tomorrow, I would be grateful.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:32 AM
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Since our install last month, we resolved all service problems with multiple calls to Surewest...except for the remote issue. We were told remote problems can be caused by interference from a variety of sources.

We unplugged other room appliances without success. Then we began moving the DVR to different locations and angles. Finally we put it atop one of the twin tower shelving units adjacent to our TV. The problems disappeared immediately and the remote became a joy to use. We have several leftover Uverse remotes and they also work, tho the Surewest remotes have more buttons and features.

We now believe some TV components can cause interference and can be avoided by placing the DVR away from the same horizontal or vertical plane of the TV.

As for the continuing reports of Surewest's decreased picture quality, we still rate it on a par with Uverse. Acceptable but disappointing. My spouse, who is not a Microsoft fan, holds the fervent opinion that Media Room is the culprit.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:30 AM
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Thanks vtek63 for the link! Here is some info from the link:

This is a very common problem.

First, check that your TV doesn't have any auto-brightness or power save features enabled.

Second, if that doesn't work put a piece of masking tape over the IR sensor on the box (just right of the LEDs on the front).


I have a Panasonic 50 plasma and could not find an auto-brightness or power save feature. I did try placing a piece of blue painters tape over the IR sensor and this seemed to help quite a bit. Will continue to monitor over the weekend.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:23 PM
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has anyone gotten any answer from surewest yet about the decrease in HD picture quality after switching to mediaroom?
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
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!)

The loss of FSC is really pushing me to switch to carriers. I always TiVo'd FSR and having to go to 101greatgoals for every match is a pain in the ass. And I have to watch go to the internet to watch games. I really miss FSC
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

has anyone gotten any answer from surewest yet about the decrease in HD picture quality after switching to mediaroom?

There answer to me was there was no decrease, when it is quite evident to me that there is.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:33 PM
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oh, btw, i heard that they are no longer charging the $50 installation fee for mediaroom.

but there is still no self install option....
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

oh, btw, i heard that they are no longer charging the $50 installation fee for mediaroom.

but there is still no self install option....

Good... will they refund or stop the charge for those of us that had ours installed earlier? I was very dissatisfied with the work they did... I had to go through and redo most of their work for both myself and my in-laws. They probably removed the fee because people either were not going for the idea of Mediaroom if they had to pay the installation or they actually listened to our complaining of their half-assed job the installers were doing.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtek63 View Post

mine avgs about 5.8 to 6 mbps WITHOUT mediaroom. h.264 with framerate of 60

As mentioned in this post, non-mediaroom signal is <= 6mbps, same as mediaroom signal. Also as mentioned before, the image quality is exactly the same through PC and Mac using VLC, DVI->HDMI at 1080p so not a stb or mediaroom related issue. Technically it would be true that they did not change the image quality between the 2, but there is nothing saying they didnt lower the image quality in general.

BEER™
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adinn View Post

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. ...

Adinn, I am interested to know how 1200/1216 is installed. My house is ethernet pre-wired too. Sounds like you just connect them to ethernet network and obtain IP addresses so they communicate with each other? Can they be behind NAT router?

Thanks
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcarman View Post

Adinn, I am interested to know how 1200/1216 is installed. My house is ethernet pre-wired too. Sounds like you just connect them to ethernet network and obtain IP addresses so they communicate with each other? Can they be behind NAT router?

Thanks

Did you have the Amino STBs and a ADB DVR before the Mediasure Motorola boxes?
From the outside box I sent 3 Cat6 cables to a closet. All the house CAT6 lines are connected to a patch panel. One line from the outside box goes to a 8 port gigabit switch. Patch cables from this switch connect to the patch panel ports for IPTV. A second line goes to a gigabit router for internet service. A patch cable from the router is connected to a 24 port gigabit switch. Patch cables from the switch connect to the patch panel ports I designated for internet service. All my ports are numbered and color coded. The third CAT6 line is my spare.
IPTV lines must be separate from your internet lines. The DVR and STBs are hooked up and must be provisioned (activated) by Surewest for the boxes to work.
Did you wire the house yourself?
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:29 PM
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I don't have Amino nor ADB. I'm on satellite now and interested about Surewest TV.

I wired the house myself but been a while I have to check how many cables I have from service box to my closet.

I understood now that IPTV has to be on separate line from broadband Internet. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcarman View Post

Adinn, I am interested to know how 1200/1216 is installed. My house is ethernet pre-wired too. Sounds like you just connect them to ethernet network and obtain IP addresses so they communicate with each other? Can they be behind NAT router?

Thanks

The set-top boxes cannot be behind the router, they all need to go directly to the residential gateway (where the fiber or now bonded DSL for those where fiber still is not an option, comes to the house.)
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:25 PM
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Hi there, sorry to get off topic, but after having endured trying to watch HD coverage of the Olympics through Surewest, I was wondering if people are still having issues with stuttering video coverage (occasional pauses) with HD. Is it just happening on specific channels or all HD coverage for you guys? Have you found any definitive solutions yet? Thanks very much. At this point, I am considering whether it's worth keeping HD service here.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melancholy77 View Post

Hi there, sorry to get off topic, but after having endured trying to watch HD coverage of the Olympics through Surewest, I was wondering if people are still having issues with stuttering video coverage (occasional pauses) with HD. Is it just happening on specific channels or all HD coverage for you guys? Have you found any definitive solutions yet? Thanks very much. At this point, I am considering whether it's worth keeping HD service here.

Did not have any problems with the HD coverage of the Olympics.
Have lost the 2 HD Comcast Sportsnet channels since last Friday when I tried to watch the Kings game Friday and tonight (Sunday). Called in and said they are working on it. I also complained about the decreased HD quality since I switched to the Motorola/Microsoft boxes. They had no answer.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:50 PM
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I have been having problems on 603 quite a bit over the past few days, both on recorded content and live events on both the DVR box and the "slave" box. I haven't watched much else over the past couple weeks. It was quite frustrating during the hockey game today.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:25 AM
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Anyone else do the software update on all their MediaRoom boxes yet? I had to hard boot all of them and was prompted to update now or hold off. I haven't a clue what was in the update.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spewak View Post

Anyone else do the software update on all their MediaRoom boxes yet? I had to hard boot all of them and was prompted to update now or hold off. I haven't a clue what was in the update.

What update? I unplugged 2 of my boxes and plugged them back to boot. No messages regarding updates.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

I have been having problems on 603 quite a bit over the past few days, both on recorded content and live events on both the DVR box and the "slave" box. I haven't watched much else over the past couple weeks. It was quite frustrating during the hockey game today.

Yep, 603 (KCRA-HD which had the NBC HD broadcast) was the problematic one. In paying more attention to other HD channels, I do notice that some channels are more problematic than others. Overall, I just find it embarassing and frustrating to deal with.. esp when I have guests over and have to switch to SD in order to watch something without much interruption.
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