Originally Posted by Satch Man
This is a beautifully well worded letter describing all of the bugs that we have talked about. I hope that the division heads are aware of these bugs and annoyances because this REALLY hurts TWC's PR image if they were not informed about these things. Update for me, is that it appears that Navigator has been delayed in my area. (Plans were for deployment by the first of the year.) It has shown up on some non-OCAP boxes, but not on non-OCAP DVR's yet. Here in Wisconsin, we were very fortunate to have the Navigator test roll out last January and at that time, as you might have guessed it was beyond awful. (Although, I have been told not as bad as what happened when the rollout was deployed regardless of box type or model in Lincoln Nebraska.) So far, from what little information I have the recent roll-out to non-DVR's has been OK. (The non-OCAP boxes) The rollout began around the second week of December, and supposedly they are doing each roll out individually by box type to avoid conflicts and problems.
What is still unknown or at least needs further study is. Are the problems:
1.) Exclusive to OCAP (C-Boxes)? Sara uses have reported problems with OCAP. Haven't heard about Passport and OCAP
2.) Related to head ends and state network cable structures that can not handle OCAP technology?
3.) The lack of communication between the functionality of the OS (regardless of Passport, Navigator, or Sara) the OCAP boxes (predominately Scientific Atlanta (SA) ) and the cable companies?
4.) How often the head-ends of a cable system are updated, how the OS and the boxes respond to updates?
5.) The experience and competency of the engineers, programmers, and field techs, which may vary considerably from state to state and even from division to division within a state?
IF Navigator starts getting rolled out on non OCAP boxes with little or no problems than we know that it is most likely the cable cards/design of the OCAP boxes more than Navigator stability. If Navigator is problematic on the non-OCAP boxes, than Navigator is most likely the problem and should be shelved with TWC paying Passport for the updates to support SDV technology.
But having said all of this, people should not be having to go through the problems that they are having trying to be rocket scientists to get a functionally stable new box and IPG. Either TWC, the FCC, SA, or a combination of all three created a foundation and system that clearly was not tested before the deadline of July 1, 2007. This was when the FCC mandated that the cable operators must rent out Integrated Cable Card boxes. Despite what TWC says, nowhere did they say that they HAD to develop Navigator. TWC choose not to pay Passport the licensing fees to support SDV updates, which would have meant later versions of the Passport IPG. To save money, they insisted on developing their own in-house version IPG called Navigator in two versions:
1.) The first version was/is OCAP Digital Navigator, which was developed for TWC OCAP boxes and DVR's. (This is the version that you have with any C-box or DVR unit that has a C in the model number.) It's also the version causing all of the problems in divisions that have reported problems.
2.) The second version is called Mystro Digital Navigator for NON-OCAP (non-C boxes.) This is what is soon to be rolled out to my area on all non-C cable boxes and DVR's. A Milwaukee forum reported that the low memory HD Pioneer boxes get Navigator a few weeks ago downloaded to those boxes. Haven't heard of any problems so far. The early test rollouts last year were for older model Pace, and SA boxes. The download was stopped when my local office heard of the problems with Navigator in other areas. It is unknown whether these test downloads were originally designed for OCAP boxes. The test downloads were aborted in Milwaukee about March of last year due to problems.
2b.) We expect the download of Navigator to non-OCAP DVR's sometime between now and January 31st. Answers on Demand has Passport information and is leaving the line up at the end of January.
3.) A third version of Navigator is RUMORED to be in development for Sara systems sometime later next year. Others have said that TWC may release a Sara update in the interim. Sara supports SDV video now, so a move to Navigator may not be necessary. But TWC really wants one guide that they can control and regulate across state lines. They say it makes updates and consolidation of information easier, but at what expense?
The DVR downloads of Navigator as well as the remaining non-OCAP boxes will tell so much. I will never forget this quote: If technology doesn't work for people, it doesn't work at all. (This was an old advertising TV quote, and I can't remember where it was from, but it is so true!)