First off, thanks for the welcome. I am a long-time ReplayTV owner (I own three), and I operate a hobby Web site (http://JimsTips.com
) where I have been providing Tips & Tricks for various hobbies that interest me (like ReplayTV, Gmail, Palm PDA's, etc.) Needless to say, my DVR perspective is very ReplayTV-centric, so comparisons are inevitable. Also, I realize that this is an HDTV forum, and I do NOT have an HDTV (yet)
so I won't be commenting on Moxi's HD aspects.
I also find it cool that there are as many Anderson/Greenville area people here. Maybe we should start a local user's group!
Anyway, the Cable installer came last night and installed a new Moxi box, and I have to say I'm quite impressed! Here are some "first impressions" of my new Moxi.
This was only the second box that the installer installed, but the install was a simple no-brainer: Connect the TV to the box, Connect the Cable to the box, Plug in box, and call Charter to provision the box. Moxi booted and we could watch Live TV almost immediatly. Unfortunatly, the Channel data wouldn't populate, and the technician on the phone told the installer that it typically takes 15 to 20 minutes, and up to an hour for everything to download. Having a similar experience when installing my Cable Mode, on faith I signed off, the installer left, and I waited. About two hours later, it was still in the same state, so I hit the Reset button (labeled "Power" on the front--go figure.) and when Moxi rebooted, all channel guide data was populated and everything ran smoothly! Wheee!
By the way, does anyone know if Charter (or Moxi/Degio) has any "Feedback" email address for "pilot" users? I have some installation and provisioning suggestions that might help in future installs...
Generally, the Moxi seems to be a very full-featured DVR. The UI is slick and reminds me a bit of a cross between TiVo and Windows Media Center. The animation is pleasing but not distracting. I do find the sound effects to be annoying, but there is a Setting to control that. Remote response seems quick and responsive. Changing channels is almost instantaneous unlike my ReplayTV box which takes 3-5 seconds to change the channel.
I also LOVE the fact that Moxi has two tuners. This alone is a huge sell for me. Being able to hit Record and then tune to another channel is very nice--something ReplayTV cannot do. And the dual tuner feature is transparant. Initially, I though that ther would be some "cue" as to what tuner I was viewing, but it turns out that it simply doesn't matter. Recording becomes a background function instead of a foreground function. No doubt, I'll be wanting a third tuner soon...
Finding shows is cool. I like the fact that the full list of shows is presented (some 14,000) and as you select the letters, the list "narrows down" displaying only those that match the letter sequence. As I understand it, this is similar to how TiVo does it. It's fast and doesn't always require typing the entire keyword. Very nice.
I have more observations, but I'll save those for later a posting.
Now for the inevitable suggestions. There are a few things that I find do annoying about the interface...
1. "Channel List" function in Settings
By default, Moxi includes ALL available channels, including those that are "unavailable" (ie: TBA) To remove these channels, it's a simple process of scrolling to the channel and pressing "OK" to "uncheck" the channel. Simple, but it takes a L-O-N-G time! Down arrow, ckick OK. Wait. Down Arrow, Click OK. Wait. etc. With literally hundreds of channels that must be unchecked, the current implementation is very tedious and time-consuming. Fortunatly, I'll only have to do it once. How about considering ReplayTV's method where you press "OK" and the channel gets "unchecked" and then it auto-scrolls to the next channel. This way, you only have to repeatedly press "OK". My experience with UI's has typically shown me that the fewer the button presses, the better.
2. Sort order in the Channel menu
In my opinion, the channels are incorrectly sorted in "reverse" order which seems very unusual to me. By this, I mean that lower numbered channels are "at the bottom" of the list and higher numbered channels are "at the top". Because of things like ReplayTV's Channel Guide, Charter's Digital Cable Guide, the paper TV Guide, and just about every other sorted list, I'm very used to the lowest-numbered channels at the top of the list. Even on computers, lists tend to be sorted in ascending order. It would be nice to either have it reversed by default or offer a Setting to let us select the sort order.
3. Channel Menu does not contain channel numbers
I found it interesting that the Channel Menu does not list channel numbers, but just the icons. Yes, the highlighted channel does display the number, but again, coming from the "grid-based" world, this seems strange that the numbers are missing from the other listed channels. Screen real estate is always at a HUGE premium, so it does make some since, and I guess I could see the logic in omiting them (for example, if there is a lineup change, you don't have to worry about new channel numbers--you just look at the icons.) But given that you can "direct-access" channels in many places by keying the numbers, the lack of visible numbers is strange.
4. What's up with the "Back" button?
I know that this may have been addressed in the latest build, but I find it annoying that the "Back" button doesn't do what I would intuitivly expect it to do: Take you back to the last performed operation. It seems that backing out of functions varies depending on the function. Sometimes I have to hit the Info button to dismiss a screen. Sometimes I have to hit the Moxi button. Sometimes, it's the Clear button. It would be nice if a button like "Back" would consistently take you back.
Note that all of my suggestions are basically "UI-related" suggestions. Overall, the UI is very functional and pleasing to use. Obviously, it's a mindset change from ReplayTV, but it's certainly something I'll get used to. It reminds me more of a hybrid of TiVo and Media Center. That said other available functionality and how that functionality works is pretty solid.
OK, I'm done for now. I'll post more "findings" later, especially after my wife takes some time with it...