Just got back from Sears, he is what I found:
First, All I can say is what a joke! Whoever installed the receiver and set it up knew absolutely nothing! The receiver had composite video feeding the TV (The salesperson got a component cable for me and I hooked it up-HOW SAD IS THAT?).
When I walked up to the demo I could not get any channels working. All the channels had the standard no signal is available. Sometimes the error message would say something like "an error has occurred on this channel"
After messing for a while I found my way into the setup. Not much there to speak of, there is no way to see what transponder you are checking the signal on. I got a signal of about 60. I don't know this system well enough to say whether or not 60 is good enough, in many cases it could have to do with the power they are transmitting on the bird.
Finally a salesperson walked up to see what I was doing. Luckily he at least was interested to figure out how to get it working. We ended up calling the installer tech line (888-443-2306 for those of you who want to pester them :)) They were absolutely worthless. The tech person kept putting the salesperson on hold while she talked to a real tech person. Eventually, nothing worked and the salesperson got cut off.
After talking with the salesperson for a while about the service I decided to unplug the receiver. NEVER FAILS. Booted back up, turned it back on and it worked-- well all 2 channels :( The first channel (100) was a weather channel that was totally computer automated. The second channel (101) is the demo channel. When I went on the rest of the channels, all I got was the same demo channel.
Disappointing to say the least. I'm not sure what the problem is, if I had to guess I would say they are having some issues at the uplink. I suppose there could have been a problem with the installation since I am reading that other people say other channels are working, but maybe not, I thought I was seeing other channels also but it was actually just the demo channel that showed clips from other channels and the logo was on the screen so it looked like the actual channel.
Looks like they have a lot more to do before they are ready for prime time. Here are some other notes I made:
-On the guide there were 18 HD channels listed
-The off air receiver is ATSC only
-There is a strange card slot on the right side, looks kind of like a PCMCIA slot but I donâ€™t think it is.
-Basic cost is 39.90 for their exclusive HD channels, the SD basic cable channels, 18 Music choice channels, and choice of one of the following add on packs:
-HD Marquee (Starz and HD Starz I think, iNDemand 1&2 and Discovery HD Theater
-HBO and the E&W HD feeds)
Showtime and the HD feed
-Cinemax and the HD feed
You get one of these packs and each additional is 14.90
-The promo is you get EVERYTHING free until Jan 31 2004
-I asked the salesperson what happens if I cancel, he did not know
-I looked at the Conditional Access Card. All I could do is laugh! CableVision (VOOM) is using NDS -- those of you who keep up with DirecTV, know that NDS is the same company that does DirecTV's pathetic security, so that will be interesting to see what the hackers do!
Basically, I think maybe, if VOOM is lucky, this will take off. After they get over the technical problems the main issue I see is SEARS!! Why they chose Sears to launch the service I have no clue, someone does not know the HD market. Sears does not have the sales support to explain and sell the service nor does it have the clientele that are going to be the early adopters of the service. I hope they quickly get their act together, independent custom installers such as myself would love to sell VOOM.
Thatâ€™s it from here, let me know what you find out.