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Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 24

post #691 of 963
I find it interesting that they are listing "This TV Network" in HD... looking it up in Wikipedia, it states that it is in 480i. I know it is currently on KQCA 58.2 and I believe it typically is a sub-channel of other stations. The network's own website gives essentially no information other than shows with their East Coast time slots... think "AMC" meets "TVLand".
post #692 of 963
The Lifetime HD channel being added. Just in time for the debut of "Project Runway"! All in glorious HD. I can't wait.
post #693 of 963
It appears that my speed increase happened last night sometime. I saw the Surewest guys around the neighborhood yesterday.

Average speed:
2592.93 KB/sec
post #694 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by spewak View Post

It appears that my speed increase happened last night sometime. I saw the Surewest guys around the neighborhood yesterday.

Average speed:
2592.93 KB/sec

That is a bit slow.
2560KBps = 20Mbps
2593KBps = 20.26Mbps
3200KBps = 25Mbps

If your connection is tweaked and you are not using a router, you should contact Surewest and have them fix it since you are only getting ~80% of 25Mbps.

BTW, has anybody tried out that new caller id on your TV feature?
post #695 of 963
It is funny you mention that cyber.
I called this morning only to be told by a misinformed CS rep. that I had to pay. I emailed Customer service and was told that it is a new product and that I did indeed qualify for the service. He apologized for the CS rep who erred. It was turned on today but is not functioning or should I say provisioned fully yet.
Thanks by the by for that info as to my download speeds. I will be calling in a bit.
post #696 of 963
It seems my Caller ID on TV got activated sometime today (after I called it in yesterday, since from what I've been told, you need to request it be activated) and after sitting down and watching some TV tonight, it seems to work as directed. (Phone solicitation gave it a nice test...)

Channel 701 acts as the configuration page. You can control the pop-up duration, enable/disable the pop-up, select the phone line you want Caller ID displayed for (if you have more than one line), and view/delete your call log.

When you get a call, a cute little pop-up appears in the lower left corner of the channel you are watching, like seen in the image here. By hitting the Enter button on your remote, you can close the pop-up early. For reference I have the Amino STB.

So far it seems like a handy feature, especially since I don't keep a phone right beside my TV. Would I pay $9.99 extra for it, probably not, but since I still have all three services with Surewest, it's worth keeping for free.
post #697 of 963
I Just had SureWest installed at my house and it sounds like the TV infrastructure is changing to Microsoft/Motorola before the end of the year. This is good news because it features a whole house DVR and other improved features.
This is the same setup that UVerse uses.

Checked the microsoft.com Mediaroom GetMM.aspx page seems to confirm this switch.
post #698 of 963
I was wondering how and when they were going to pull that off. Their current DVR is pretty weak, software wise. I went to the link you gave, and sure enough, under the partners, there is Surewest. You don't think that is for the Kansas operation do you?
post #699 of 963
Per Sacramento Business Journal today...

Quote:



SureWest Communications will reach 25,000 additional Sacramento-area homes with video service by second-quarter 2010 with a software platform that delivers television service over its existing networks.

Known as Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV, the service is expected to be available to new customers by the end of the year. Combined with other recent advances in technologies, SureWest will be able to offer enhanced video services to 15,000 additional homes with video services by December, and another 10,000 by second-quarter 2010.

Mediaroom has advanced features such as:

Whole Home Digital Video Recorder for watching recorded shows on any TV in the house.

The ability to watch and record up to four channels at one time.

We are pleased that SureWest has selected Microsoft Mediaroom as the software platform to enable its advanced TV service for customers in the Sacramento market, said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager for the TV, video and music platforms business at Microsoft.

Interesting...
post #700 of 963
Will it be only on copper or fiber too? Here is what Telephony Online has to say.

Quote:


SureWest Communications (NASDAQ: SURW) is preparing to deliver IPTV over bonded ADSL2+ lines to some 25,000 homes in its Sacramento, Calif., market.

SureWest had said it was contemplating such services when the company began offering broadband via bonded ADSL2+ in its incumbent territory last fall, including 10-megabit-per-second services. The company already offers IPTV through its fiber-to-the-premises network, but its bonded ADSL2+ customers have so far only had access to SureWest's voice and data services. (The company has offered IPTV over copper on a very limited basis even before it began line bonding. It offers IPTV over copper to about 2500 customers today, mostly to those with short loops and modest standard-definition video needs.)

The new copper-based IPTV services, which will be available to 15,000 homes in December and another 10,000 by next June, are enabled in part by the company's recent switch from Minerva middleware to Microsoft's Mediaroom and by its use of MPEG-4 encoding for video compression.

The initial deployment of bonded ADSL2+ last year was really focused on increasing data speeds, Bill DeMuth, SureWest's chief technology officer, said in an email. Since that time, we have also launched MPEG-4-based video, which helps with bandwidth utilization of our video delivery. We have also deployed error-correction technologies that help with network performance. We feel that, along with these improvements, Mediaroom will allow us to provide a better experience over the copper network because it handles bandwidth resource and conflict management very well while providing a very intuitive and expected customer viewing experience.

SureWest is evaluating the prospect of applying Mediaroom to its other market, the Kansas City area, which it obtained through its acquisition of Everest Broadband more than a year ago.
post #701 of 963
So bigron,
It appears Mediaroom is only going to go to the Copper fed subs, and not the Fiber fed ones, of which I am one.

The Minerva middleware is stuck in the middle of nowheresville man!
From Telphony Online:
ROSEVILLE, CA – July 28, 2009 – Leading independent communications holding company SureWest Communications (NASDAQ: SURW) today announced it will deploy the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform to deliver an advanced TV service over its existing IP-based fiber-to-the-home and copper networks in the greater Sacramento, CA region.
So maybe they are finally going to dump Minerva for Microsoft. It seems that all of the subs. will get the new platform.
post #702 of 963
According to several people at Surewest and several articles I have read (XChange Magazine and IPTV News both seem to indicate Mediaroom will be available over both networks) it seems that Mediaroom will be available on both fiber and copper. From what I have been told, Alpha testing is already underway on both networks.

Don't quote me, but this information is coming from reliable sources.

All I can say is thank god. I've been holding off on getting the TV service because I wasn't impressed by their DVR. However, having seen Mediaroom in action at a local ATT Showroom, I think I will make the plung and dump DirecTV in Demember. I'll be paying an ETF, but Surewest currently has a contract buyout program that I think will make it worth my while. I've been tempted in the past because their HD looks better than Comcast or satelite, but this new DVR is the tie breaker.
post #703 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeichiHirano View Post

According to several people at Surewest and several articles I have read (XChange Magazine and IPTV News both seem to indicate Mediaroom will be available over both networks) it seems that Mediaroom will be available on both fiber and copper. From what I have been told, Alpha testing is already underway on both networks.

Don't quote me, but this information is coming from reliable sources.

All I can say is thank god. I've been holding off on getting the TV service because I wasn't impressed by their DVR. However, having seen Mediaroom in action at a local ATT Showroom, I think I will make the plung and dump DirecTV in Demember. I'll be paying an ETF, but Surewest currently has a contract buyout program that I think will make it worth my while. I've been tempted in the past because their HD looks better than Comcast or satelite, but this new DVR is the tie breaker.

It appears that rollout to current fiber customers will be delayed... check out this new story. I'm still hoping to give it a try as soon as possible.
post #704 of 963
No, more like not deployed for the next three years. That is kicking existing customers in the teeth. I will, this time I swear, move to Dtv once my contract is up. Minerva sucks my left nut!
Good find though BigRon!
post #705 of 963
Had a technician out to replace a faulty power supply this week. He indicated the new whole-house DVR will be out in December. Existing customers will have to make a request to switch to the new unit as they will not actively replace all existing units. He did not know if the hard drive would be bigger but could only assume so. Hopefully there are no delays and this comes to fruition.

On another note, since my cable was out over the weekend, I watched the Niner game at a neighbor's house. They recently switched to U-verse. I must say Surewest HD quality is like night and day compared to U-verse. Static pictures looked fine in HD, but any fast moving action (i.e. plays), I could detect noise throughout the picture. Also, there were several picture/audio freezes throughout the game (a known problem with U-verse from what I've read).

With an updated and hopefully better quality DVR on the horizon, my last request/want/need from Surewest is to add the NFL Network to the current channel line-up.
post #706 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubaruba View Post

Had a technician out to replace a faulty power supply this week. He indicated the new whole-house DVR will be out in December. Existing customers will have to make a request to switch to the new unit as they will not actively replace all existing units. He did not know if the hard drive would be bigger but could only assume so. Hopefully there are no delays and this comes to fruition.

With an updated and hopefully better quality DVR on the horizon, my last request/want/need from Surewest is to add the NFL Network to the current channel line-up.

I called in today because ESPN2 had no signal. It came back after my call.
I also asked about the whole home DVR and was told around November and it was for everyone. I also wanted the USB port enabled and she agreed she wished it was available too. She said it was a copyright issue. More updates and changes coming but would not tell me what they were.
I also asked if any discounts were available for existing customers and got $10 off the internet and $10 off for the iptv service for 6 months. I could ask for discounts again after 10 months. I know a lot of people in my neighborhood are switching to satellite service, mainly the Dish network.
post #707 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubaruba View Post

Had a technician out to replace a faulty power supply this week. He indicated the new whole-house DVR will be out in December. Existing customers will have to make a request to switch to the new unit as they will not actively replace all existing units. He did not know if the hard drive would be bigger but could only assume so. Hopefully there are no delays and this comes to fruition.

On another note, since my cable was out over the weekend, I watched the Niner game at a neighbor's house. They recently switched to U-verse. I must say Surewest HD quality is like night and day compared to U-verse. Static pictures looked fine in HD, but any fast moving action (i.e. plays), I could detect noise throughout the picture. Also, there were several picture/audio freezes throughout the game (a known problem with U-verse from what I've read).

With an updated and hopefully better quality DVR on the horizon, my last request/want/need from Surewest is to add the NFL Network to the current channel line-up.

Part of the issue with U-Verse and its quality is due to less bandwidth and higher compression ratios. Most of the U-verse customers receive their signal via a DSL connection... much as the new television customers Surewest is expecting to receive. The problem is the overall bandwidth is barely adequate for even a highly compressed signal. This creates a two-headed monster of a problem. Less overall bandwidth reduces compensation for bandwidth fluctuations. Due to other devices on the network, the flow of data is not a constant... there are ripples. I have no idea what the size of the ripples are, but lets say it could be 5 Mbps. I've heard AT&T has been able to boost DSL speeds up to 25 Mbps theoretically... a 5 Mbps ripple on 25 Mbps would be 20% less bandwidth. On our fiber, we have 100 Mbps, so a 5 Mbps ripple would only be 5% less... no big deal. Keep in mind, these numbers are entirely fictional, but used to make a point. The other head of the monster is compression. Compression reduces quality. It is no secret that it reduces quality, but the art of compression is to find the "sweet spot" of how much loss in quality will not be noticed. I recall a press release a while ago where SureWest was purchasing new equipment to qualify their compression. This may work well in-house, where there is very little interference and congestion, but if you have dropped packets, you start to lose more quality. Especially when you are dealing with fluctuations in bandwidth, it is possible to drop packets, further reducing the quality of the picture. Under slow moving video, you may not see huge differences in picture quality, but when you have fast action, such as a live sporting event, you notice a lot of compression artifact. When I switched from Comcast to SureWest, compression artifact disappeared, because SureWest uses much less compression.

I'm afraid that SureWest's copper customers will receive a very similar experience as AT&T's U-verse customers when it comes to quality issues. I'm hoping, due to a much wider bandwidth, fiber customers will receive the same quality we currently have with this change in middleware/hardware.
post #708 of 963
If like the previous poster said, we request the new DVR it will be done, than that is a good thing. I emailed Marketing and was told that the new channels bound for HD were postponed due to contract problems. Dang. I did go into the showroom here in EG for my new DVR remote. Backlit, controls DVR, DVD player and TV. Nice.
By the by, I will see your posts in another month. Reason being is that when I post I kill the interactivity of this forum for about a month.
Ciao!
post #709 of 963
Three more to go.
post #710 of 963
I've seen a couple of posts on surewest lacking the 30 second skip on their DVR, and thought it wasn't a feature on their system for a long time. However, it does it exist. It's called the "advance" button and is on the bottom right of the remote, just above the closed captioning button.
post #711 of 963
Is that on the new Universal remotes also?
post #712 of 963
The newest remote for the DVR, with the "2056-ISX" on the back, can do 30-second skip both forward and back using the the "Day +" and "Day -" buttons.
post #713 of 963
Anyone else having an increased amount of 1-2 second screen/audio freezes on both live and recorded material?
post #714 of 963
Tubaruba - I hooked up a new A/V receiver Tuesday and channel 643 (HGTV) seems to have had momentary freezes/pixelation in the early evening. It stopped later on and did not occur yesterday.

Mike
post #715 of 963
Well Tub, thanks for the info. You too big!
As for the skips, I have been having freezes when turning on the DVR. Momentary though they are, it is annoying.
post #716 of 963
Hey folks,

Has anybody here had success in getting SureWest to service your address, even though it is not listed in their database?

I am interested in getting SureWest fiber optic service, but when I called SureWest today (Sunday, haven't yet talked to their head business people/construction department), their CSR said that my apartment complex in East Sacramento was not servicable by SureWest. I spoke with SureWest sometime about this last year, and the eventual response was that they could do this apartment provided that there were appropriate authorizations from the landlord and so forth. Eventually I decided against going with SureWest due to the costs last year, but the new promotions (15/15 and 25/25) seem worth it now. Residental plots just next door and down the street (both single-family detached lots and multiple-dwelling units or MDUs) show up as supporting SureWest's fiber optic service, including some fictitious addresses "off-by-one number" from my actual address.

I just wanted to know if anyone else here has experienced the same problem with SureWest, and if they got it resolved with fiber-optic Internet service or gave up. Thanks!
post #717 of 963
ST,
Is your Apartment complex down near F st. between Elvas and 42nd st.? That general East Sac. area?
post #718 of 963
spewak,
Close. 39th and J St., near Mercy Hospital. One block from the "Fabulous Forties."
post #719 of 963
Adinn - Thanks for your post on the discounts. I called today to inquire and they gave me the same - $10 off iptv and $10 off internet for 6 months, such a deal! I also signed up for digital phone - I thought I had it but I don't use the phone much.

Mike
post #720 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanTek View Post

spewak,
Close. 39th and J St., near Mercy Hospital. One block from the "Fabulous Forties."

The reason I was asking is a few weeks back I noticed what looks like typical Surewest activity: Marking underground services, cutting up the streets and repaving galore. Mostly my line of travel (Postal service, not letter carrier) takes me down F st. on Saturdays and that is where I noticed all the activity. If I was you, I would contact a salesperson on a weekday as to when and if your current location would be serviced. Be persistent. It might pay off.
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