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Sacramento, CA - SureWest - Page 32

post #931 of 963
I am happy to see there are some changes coming to SureWest's video services, some of which have already been implemented. I have verified that I have the new Mediaroom 2.0. I haven't learned about how all the new things work, but one aspect I have found to work is pausing of live TV on the non-DVR units. This has been a great frustration of mine... I get used to how one box behaves, but it only works on that one box in the house. Now, I can hit pause and on any TV and won't get the "feature not available" message but it will actually pause. The Sacramento Bee also reports that a new DVR with twice the storage will be available this summer... I have not heard this directly from SureWest, but I plan on finding out when I can get a larger DVR.

The other news is new channels coming. There are several new SD channels coming... all to which I couldn't care less about. There are also 10 new HD channels, of which, only one perks my interest. I never watch anything BUT HD channels.
  • E! HD.... Don't care
  • Style HD.... Don't care
  • G4 HD.... I'm still pissed that G4 took over TechTV many years ago and destroyed that channel
  • Nickelodeon HD.... Maybe
  • Palladia.... Don't care
  • CMT HD.... Don't care
  • VH1 HD.... Don't care
  • Spike HD.... Some of programming is OK, much is lame
  • Comedy Central HD.... FINALLY!!!! I've been waiting on this for a long time. I'll finally be able to watch South Park, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report in HD.
  • Mav TV.... Never heard of it, looked it up and it looks very lame
  • PPV Events in HD.... I never do PPV, but if I did, I'd insist on it being HD
post #932 of 963
Now to get the XBOX 360 to see the DVR... THAT would be valuable.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/09/m...-the-xbox-360/
post #933 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post
That is because SureWest is not a CABLE company. SureWest is a telephone/network access company that provides video services over it's network, while companies like Comcast are a cable company that provides telephone/network access over it's cable system. Initially SureWest was just a telephone company. To the consumer, they tend to blend together, but technologically speaking, they are like comparing apples to oranges.
Sorry for the late reply but that's stupid. They both offer Cable to their customers why is one given carte blanche and the other has to adhere to strick rules? I understand how they differ but the endproduct they offer is still the same. It's just really frustrating.
post #934 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post
That is because SureWest is not a CABLE company. SureWest is a telephone/network access company that provides video services over it's network, while companies like Comcast are a cable company that provides telephone/network access over it's cable system. Initially SureWest was just a telephone company. To the consumer, they tend to blend together, but technologically speaking, they are like comparing apples to oranges.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomheadshot45 View Post
Sorry for the late reply but that's stupid. They both offer Cable to their customers why is one given carte blanche and the other has to adhere to strick rules? I understand how they differ but the endproduct they offer is still the same. It's just really frustrating.
"Cable TV" is a content delivery system that uses radio frequencies. In "Cable TV", nearly all the channels delivered are all being broadcasted over the cable at the same time. Are you currently watching all 200+ channels at the same time? Of course not, so bandwidth (carrying capacity of the delivery system) is wasted.

A long time ago, cable TV was essentially like an antenna cable that carried all the channels you could have gotten had you lived at the top of a mountain and picked up all the broadcasters signals; essentially an antenna replacement for people that lived in areas where antennas couldn't pick up much due to buildings or topography (hills and valleys). This progressed into adding a few channels that WEREN'T broadcasted via TV station transmitters. These channels that weren't broadcasted over TV station transmitters grew exponentially with use of satellites providing channels to cable companies. Cable companies have tried to make money by charging you money for each additional TV in the house through telling you that you had to have a cable box provided by them; especially after the amount of channels got up to about 50-60 channels. To combat the bandwidth assigned to televisions, cable companies started to alter how much bandwidth each channel used from the "over-the-air" standard. Laws governing this industry mandated that consumers shouldn't have to pay to watch "free" channels (after their monthly fee that is), so television manufacturers started making cable-ready televisions, that by-passed the need to rent a cable box... at least for "free" channels. They used some rudimentary encryption techniques to block the paid channels, unless you paid for them and had a cable box. As these "free" and paid channels grew, they were running out of bandwidth, so they went to digitizing and compressing the channels. If they ONLY digitized and compressed premium channels, there wouldn't be any mandation to provide CableCARDs, but due to digitizing and compressing "free" channels and allowing people to not be forced to rent a cable box, CableCARDs came out to convert these channels on some newer televisions. Due to the CableCARDs identifying who they were, you could actually watch all you subscribed channels, not JUST the "free" channels.

NOW, lets look at how SureWest operates. Sure, SureWest provides most of the same channels as cable television companies, but their delivery system is totally different. SureWest uses data packet switching to provide everything they offer, very different to radio frequency. Internally, cable companies use similar technology to shift content around, but the connection to the house for cable remains on radio frequencies, while SureWest delivers fiber... carrying IP data packets. Instead of sending everything to everyone all the time, these packets are routed only to where they are needed, a much more efficient method. While cable may have up to 1,000 Mbps of data streaming, the same information goes to everyone. SureWest delivers a dedicated 100 Mbps to each subscriber, going in both ways. They divide that 100 Mbps into different "zones". You have one zone for your broadband Internet connection... I currently pay for 15 Mbps. 100-15=85 Mbps remaining. While I don't use SureWest's phone service, a small sliver is designated for Voice-over-IP; I doubt it is even 1 Mbps. The remainder is used for video streaming. With SureWest, they only send you the channel your tuner is set to. As an analogy, think of YouTube. There are thousands, if not millions of videos on YouTube. You go and select one to watch, then that video streams to your computer. This is a very similar concept to how video is delivered by SureWest, only it uses a piece of hardware similar to a cable box that does the work instead of your computer. If you are watching a high definition channel on SureWest on one channel, it will use up about 8 Mbps (I don't know the actual bandwidth of the MPEG4 streams, but when they used MPEG2, HD channels took up to 18-20 Mbps. This technology of providing video content over IP switching is IPTV.

Just like the rules to shipping stuff by air, water, train or truck vary, so do content delivery. Policing agencies vary by each of these.... Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, railroad police and highway patrol. All of these delivery methods are ways to get stuff to you, but they abide by different rules. Cable television, satellite television and IPTV are all different delivery systems, so they each have their own rules. CableCARDs only apply to cable television... they don't apply to either satellite or IPTV.
post #935 of 963
Ron, thanks for a clearer description of the differences.

Q. Why can't we record more than 2HD simultaneously? Sounds like there is still plenty of unused capability. Is it limited by the DVR recording speed?

Q. We try to record CBS News Sunday Morning but it only records about half the time. Sometimes it records only small segments. We have set it to record in both HD and SD. In one instance, these shows didn't appear in our recorded list until several weeks later. Have you ever experienced anything similar?
post #936 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natomus View Post

Ron, thanks for a clearer description of the differences.

Q. Why can't we record more than 2HD simultaneously? Sounds like there is still plenty of unused capability. Is it limited by the DVR recording speed?

Q. We try to record CBS News Sunday Morning but it only records about half the time. Sometimes it records only small segments. We have set it to record in both HD and SD. In one instance, these shows didn't appear in our recorded list until several weeks later. Have you ever experienced anything similar?

The first question is a very excellent question (meaning I asked it too)... I was told it was a limitation either of the Motorola hardware (set-top box) or the Microsoft Mediaroom software.... I don't exactly remember which of the two was the culprit... I'm hoping it is with the Motorola hardware, as they could eventually change to more capable hardware. If it is a limitation of Microsoft's Mediaroom... my response would be to say "Typical Microsoft."

About the second issue, I have no clue... I have not had any similar events in quite some time... When they first came out with the platform, this happened several times, but I haven't had any issues in quite some time.
post #937 of 963
Does anyone know if there is something different about the new channels added by Surewest in the last month? Old channels I could access via udp url, but that doesn't seem to work for the new channels.
*edit*
What I mean is that all previous channels can be viewed by viewing a url, with the IP address determined by the channel you are trying to watch. The new channels - no such luck. I'm wondering what IP/ports to go for the new 679-68x channels so that I can watch from my media center box.
post #938 of 963
Just bought a house in Elk Grove, moving in soon. I have Dish now, which I pretty much need to stick with for TV, because of their Hindi Megapack. (Nobody else offers as many South Asian channels.) However, I would consider Surewest for my HD and premium channels if you all have good things to say about the PQ and the HD DVR? How do they compare with Dish?

I've had Comcast for internet and phone in Davis and Elk Grove for a few years. I'm seriously thinking about switching to Surewest for their improved speed. If my new address is accepted by the SW website, can I assume I have a fiberoptic connection at the new house? Or is it available throughout Elk Grove? The location is near Franklin and Laguna.

I haven't seen any recent references in this thread to bandwidth caps or throttling by Surewest internet. What's the current situation on that? I run a couple of websites and sometimes have to upload a bunch of stuff.
post #939 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pagali View Post
Just bought a house in Elk Grove, moving in soon. I have Dish now, which I pretty much need to stick with for TV, because of their Hindi Megapack. (Nobody else offers as many South Asian channels.) However, I would consider Surewest for my HD and premium channels if you all have good things to say about the PQ and the HD DVR? How do they compare with Dish?

I've had Comcast for internet and phone in Davis and Elk Grove for a few years. I'm seriously thinking about switching to Surewest for their improved speed. If my new address is accepted by the SW website, can I assume I have a fiberoptic connection at the new house? Or is it available throughout Elk Grove? The location is near Franklin and Laguna.

I haven't seen any recent references in this thread to bandwidth caps or throttling by Surewest internet. What's the current situation on that? I run a couple of websites and sometimes have to upload a bunch of stuff.
If you enter your address on the SureWest website, it will tell you whether you have fiber.

As you can see, I have fiber. I have no throttling. I have no caps. I've used more than a Terabyte in usage during a month... I currently have 25 Mbps service, and just as a reminder, this is synchronous 25 Mbps, not just a fast download and slow upload, but 25 Mbps in BOTH directions. With fiber, 15 Mbps is the standard, 25 Mbps is typically a little more money and 50 Mbps is a bit ridiculous in cost if you ask me. People have said they want the 50 Mbps for game playing... that would be silly in my opinion. What makes game play fast or slow is actually latency, not bandwidth. Latency with SureWest is not an issue and is essentially the same for 15 and 25 Mbps service; depending on the server I'm testing, I typically get anywhere from 5-30 milliseconds. Where bandwidth really helps is when you are downloading or uploading HUGE content, such as a new Linux distribution DVD. I currently have a torrent server sharing several Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Debian, and Knoppix in every flavor... CD, DVD, NetInstall and for x386 and AMD64, as well as desktop or server of each variety).
post #940 of 963
Thank you bigRoN! Very helpful information. I either missed, or mistrusted, that little Fibre-Optics YES indicator. I tend to mistrust most websites these days.

You've answered all my questions very well. I think the 15 up /15 down, plus the lowest phone package, will do just fine for me.

Anybody else have comments about Surewest's HD offerings and HD-DVR?
post #941 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pagali View Post

Thank you bigRoN! Very helpful information. I either missed, or mistrusted, that little Fibre-Optics YES indicator. I tend to mistrust most websites these days.

You've answered all my questions very well. I think the 15 up /15 down, plus the lowest phone package, will do just fine for me.

Anybody else have comments about Surewest's HD offerings and HD-DVR?

I have the synchronous 15/15 internet access - love it. No DSL or Cable modem dropouts. Fast. Works right.

I also have Surewest HD tv, and I love it too. I don't use their DVR system regularly though - I prefer to record on my media center computer. But the quality of the HD shows is great. i have no complaints (except, as noted a few posts above, I can't figure out how to access the new channels surewest has added).
post #942 of 963
Anyone know if Surewest is still expanding their coverage in Sacramento / Elk Grove. I just purchased a new house and there is service one street over (> 100 yards away) or about 300 yards down from my place on the same street, but I haven't been able to get any information about if I will end up with service any time soon, or at all.

I've been waiting for 3 years where I currently am and it's the same thing. Surewest is available 300 yards away, taunting me. I've called probably 20 times and have never been given a real answer as to when or if I would get service.
post #943 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post

I am happy to see there are some changes coming to SureWest's video services, some of which have already been implemented. I have verified that I have the new Mediaroom 2.0. I haven't learned about how all the new things work, but one aspect I have found to work is pausing of live TV on the non-DVR units. This has been a great frustration of mine... I get used to how one box behaves, but it only works on that one box in the house. Now, I can hit pause and on any TV and won't get the "feature not available" message but it will actually pause. The Sacramento Bee also reports that a new DVR with twice the storage will be available this summer... I have not heard this directly from SureWest, but I plan on finding out when I can get a larger DVR.

The other news is new channels coming. There are several new SD channels coming... all to which I couldn't care less about. There are also 10 new HD channels, of which, only one perks my interest. I never watch anything BUT HD channels.
  • E! HD.... Don't care
  • Style HD.... Don't care
  • G4 HD.... I'm still pissed that G4 took over TechTV many years ago and destroyed that channel
  • Nickelodeon HD.... Maybe
  • Palladia.... Don't care
  • CMT HD.... Don't care
  • VH1 HD.... Don't care
  • Spike HD.... Some of programming is OK, much is lame
  • Comedy Central HD.... FINALLY!!!! I've been waiting on this for a long time. I'll finally be able to watch South Park, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report in HD.
  • Mav TV.... Never heard of it, looked it up and it looks very lame
  • PPV Events in HD.... I never do PPV, but if I did, I'd insist on it being HD

Just so you know, you can now get the new DVR with 320GB of storage, instead of the 160GB that you currently have.

It will cost you an additional $5/month.
post #944 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by An|mos|ty View Post

Anyone know if Surewest is still expanding their coverage in Sacramento / Elk Grove. I just purchased a new house and there is service one street over (> 100 yards away) or about 300 yards down from my place on the same street, but I haven't been able to get any information about if I will end up with service any time soon, or at all.

I've been waiting for 3 years where I currently am and it's the same thing. Surewest is available 300 yards away, taunting me. I've called probably 20 times and have never been given a real answer as to when or if I would get service.

SureWest is expanding their Kansas City market right now.

I haven't heard any plans on expanding our Sacramento FTTH network.
post #945 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by An|mos|ty View Post

Anyone know if Surewest is still expanding their coverage in Sacramento / Elk Grove. I just purchased a new house and there is service one street over (> 100 yards away) or about 300 yards down from my place on the same street, but I haven't been able to get any information about if I will end up with service any time soon, or at all.

I've been waiting for 3 years where I currently am and it's the same thing. Surewest is available 300 yards away, taunting me. I've called probably 20 times and have never been given a real answer as to when or if I would get service.

Sounds like your in a similar boat as us. Surewest fiber is avail on the other streets in our neighborhood except for ours here in Roseville. We live in a gated circle with other houses that is closed off from the rest of the neighborhood. Supposedly they were going to install fiber on our street before the end of the year but here it is January now and it has yet to happen. So I'm thinking there probably wasn't enough interest from other homes on our street and they now only upgrade areas that have a high sign up rate before moving forward. It realy sucks because Comcast now has a monopoly on us while Surewest is available throughout most of Roseville as an alternative.
post #946 of 963
looks like Surewest was just sold to Consolidated Communications of Illinois for $340.9M

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-...06-706410.html

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/06/424...purchases.html

*edit will be interesting to see what impact this has on customers in our area.
post #947 of 963
Just got a letter from Surewest saying I have to upgrade to the DVR box by Feb 22. They are phasing out the Amino box apparently.

OK - just got the upgrade yesterday, I noticed last night the blue HD indicator light on the STB in the bedroom stays on even when the box is powered off. The DVR HD light goes off when the box is powered off. On both boxes the HD light stays on even when watching an SD channel. Anyone had this issue?

Mike
post #948 of 963
Price increases (up to $8.88) and automatic speed upgrades incoming on May 1st.


Digital Choice TV will have its price increased by $4.

Digital Basic & Digital Encore TV will have its price increased by $3.50.

Local Channels Broadcast Fee will have price increased by $0.88

3/3 Mbit Internet will be automatically upgraded to 5/5 Mbit with a $2 price increase.

15/15 Mbit Internet will be automatically upgraded to 18/18 Mbit with a $2 price increase.

25/25 Mbit Internet will be automatically upgraded to 30/30 Mbit with a $2 price increase.

Bundle discount is being decreased by $2.
post #949 of 963
Also the 50Mbps is dropping down in significant price.

You can get it for 112 bundled or 150 standalone. It use to be 191 for bundle pricing and 261 for standalone.

If you never tried 50mbps before, I suggest you try it for a month. It's fantastic for streaming, downloading movies and anything that's data intensive.

Also, there's no "bandwidth cap."

I do an average of 4-6TB of data a month on my connection.
post #950 of 963
There's also a new referral program in place, even if the person you're referring is a current customer that doesn't have ADTV (has internet and/or phone, but not TV).

For every person you refer, you get a 100 bucks in bill credits and they get 50 bucks.
post #951 of 963
I recently got the bump from 25mbps to 30mbps, very cool Not sure when I got it though, I just recently noticed it while downloading some Linux torrents.
post #952 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmin View Post

OK - just got the upgrade yesterday, I noticed last night the blue HD indicator light on the STB in the bedroom stays on even when the box is powered off. The DVR HD light goes off when the box is powered off. On both boxes the HD light stays on even when watching an SD channel. Anyone had this issue?

This light is on whenever the resolution on the STB is set to 720 or 1080 aspect ratio
post #953 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUERiLLAPUNK^MOB View Post

Also, there's no "bandwidth cap

There actually is a cap, however one would almost never realistically reach it
post #954 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philmatic View Post

I recently got the bump from 25mbps to 30mbps, very cool Not sure when I got it though, I just recently noticed it while downloading some Linux torrents.

This got done to all fiber customers. In terms of MB:

3 - > 5
15 -> 18
25 -> 30
post #955 of 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigRoN View Post


The first question is a very excellent question (meaning I asked it too)... I was told it was a limitation either of the Motorola hardware (set-top box) or the Microsoft Mediaroom software.... I don't exactly remember which of the two was the culprit... I'm hoping it is with the Motorola hardware, as they could eventually change to more capable hardware. If it is a limitation of Microsoft's Mediaroom... my response would be to say "Typical Microsoft."


About the second issue, I have no clue... I have not had any similar events in quite some time... When they first came out with the platform, this happened several times, but I haven't had any issues in quite some time.

1) 4 stream limitation. Can be a combination of 2 HD & 2 SD, 1 HD & 3 SD, or 4 SD. Their HD streams take up about 4.5MB or so, and the SD are about less than half that. The DVR can only handle a max of about 12MB.

2) Most likely a caching issue between the DVR and the broadcaster. You will see it record properly, but the next day it will be missing from the DVR.
post #956 of 963
OK - Called in today to see if I could renew my discounts, talked to CSR, not much just a couple of bucks for autopay etc.... Asked for the customer retention rep. After a short conversation all is well. Fast forward a couple of hours. TV/Phone/Internet/Email/MySurewest - all out/gone. Apparently the Discount button is just a little too close to the Disconnect button. Couple of hours later and one pissed off wife(Tennis anyone?), everything is back, I think. Need to check if I actually get the discount!
post #957 of 963
Thanks for your post! I just moved back to Cali after 6 years and had surewest install their system. I didn't even THINK to question whether or not they had the most important channel of all (for me atleast). My husband was trying to find it for me to set recordings and nothing! How is that even possible?! From what I've seen there are a lot of Latinos in this area, and it's just crazy to me that this is even an issue. Luckily there is that 30 day grace period to return everything without penalties... we will be canceling. I need my spanish channels!!
post #958 of 963
I took a quick look at SureWest.com and found they have at least 2 spanish language packages.
post #959 of 963
All must be well with Surewest, no recent posts. The wife noticed issues with KCRA 3/603 yesterday when watching football and figure skating, namely a jerking/skipping effect. Anyone else seeing this? She watched the game live as she recorded skating, and while watching the recorded skating today we see the jerky/skipping thing going on. No other channels seem to do this.
post #960 of 963

Hello I am switching from Uverse to Surewest soon. I can currently watch 3 HD/1 SD streams at the same time. Will Surewest be able to do the same?

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