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cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3

[TWC] Time Warner Navigator

I just thought I'd share this article I found online regarding Time Warner's new Navigator (Mystro) software. Perhaps this can spark some discussion on what you think for the few that have been 'navigated'. Passport appears to be the BEST, and many people are angered of how buggy and slow Navigator runs in comparison. Here's the article:

December 07, 2007

Navigator

It's been a rough year for customers of Time Warner Cable, Kansas City's leading cable provider and possibly the leader in TV-related headaches. Time Warner would like to apologize for that, and we would like to accept its apology -- mostly, though, we hope it's learned its lesson.

The trouble started in January, when Time Warner started “upgrading” people's set-top boxes with new software to control the on-screen guide, DVR recording and other features. And then there was the ongoing soap opera with the NFL Network, which wasn't Time Warner's fault (in my opinion) but still resulted in a lot of angry customers wondering why they couldn't get the Packers-Cowboys game Nov. 29. In between, a channel-changing snafu irked some fans of A&E (the channel, not the newspaper section).

Above all, though, there was the Navigator debacle. In January I wrote that Time Warner was rolling out a new menuing system for its cable boxes. I quoted a local spokesperson who said Navigator had been developed “so we can be more responsive to our customers.” Famous last words. Since then, customers have flooded Time Warner's help lines, and my mailbox, with horror stories of sitting down to watch a recorded show, only to discover their DVRs had been wiped clean by the new software. Others were put off by the new menuing system, or driven mad by the three-second response times each time they pressed a button on their remotes, or felt like they were in a car with bad brakes each time they tried to fast-forward through a show ... the list went on.

“I have never seen my wife so frustrated with anything, (and) that is an area where she usually counsels me in patience,” wrote Chad Colgan of Lenexa. On Aug. 28, Time Warner switched his HD-DVR to Navigator, erasing the entire fourth season of “Battlestar Galactica,” which they were saving up for one of those viewing marathons that DVR users look forward to.

Two months later, when I checked in again with the Colgans, they were still having trouble. “When the DVR works we don't have many complaints,” said Colgan, “but the 50% of the time it hangs or freezes, like a slow computer, you want to yank it out of the wall.” Not only is he considering a switch to Everest, so is his brother-in-law. His cable hasn't been upgraded yet but is spooked by Colgan's tales of woe.

That's the kind of word-of-mouth damage Navigator can do to Time Warner's business, and not just in Kansas City. Its customers in Lincoln, Neb., also got “upgraded” this year, and the ensuing debacle led the city council there to pass a resolution calling for an investigation. The city's cable advisory board concluded that Time Warner had “beta-tested” Navigator on the unsuspecting people of Lincoln. (The AVS Forum's Navigator complaint thread scores high in Google search.)

I could go on: Jim Savage, HD-DVR customer, reports that “Navigator still gives me headaches as it is still incredibly slow, poor resolution, among other issues,” months after it was installed. Rebecca Tasler: “We had been so dissatisfied with the new Navigator software that my husband talked a tech into reinstalling the old Passport software system.” After that, recorded shows looked “horrible,” were heavily pixellated — what a surprise, my Passport-enabled box is suddenly doing the same thing. So now it’s not just Navigator.

Scott Simerly, who called my attention to the troubles in Nebraska, called Navigator’s interface “downright prehistoric. I fail to see any improvements in the functionality and the keyword search is horrible in comparison to the old system (Passport).”

And yet, the vast majority of people reading this are, according to Time Warner, having no problems at all. That's because they are using set-top boxes that have been tested with Navigator and work fine. The problem, says Damon Shelby Porter of Time Warner Cable Kansas City, is that there are some four dozen different cable box models in use around the area. And while Porter said Navigator has behaved well with “97 percent” of them, getting the software to behave with them all has been a bear.

“It was tested by our lab, it was tested by our employees in their homes but -- mea culpa -- it's really taken much longer for us to iron out the problems than we had hoped,” Porter said. “We're very frustrated.”

Not as frustrated as I was when I had to return my Navigatored HD-DVR to Time Warner for a replacement. To my relief, the new DVR hasn't been upgraded, because it's a different model and Time Warner has slowed the rollout of Navigator.

There was also that matter of Time Warner moving A&E to Channel 35 without telling anyone (although technically it did warn those of you who read the legal notices in the business section). Porter said a new process was put in place so future channel changes get better publicity.

And another thing — at some point, TWCKC pulled the plug on Turner Classic Movies' secondary audio (or SAP) channel. Time Warner hadn't gotten back to me by the time I filed this report, but a reader and I each independently confirmed you can't get the audio description of many TCM films offered on the SAP channel for viewers with visual disabilities. That feature should be available to everyone with cable, set-top box or not, and needs to be restored pronto.

Channels changing: On Jan. 1 Court TV, best known for launching Nancy Grace's career and for its gavel-to-gavel coverage of headline-grabbing trials, will become truTV (small “t”). Trials will still air during the day, but the channel's new owners -- what do you know, Time Warner again! -- will expand the evening lineup to include other types of mayhem besides criminal. Among its new series are “Sky Racers,” which will follow TV news choppers; and “One False Move,” focusing on people whose jobs or adventures take them to the edge of death.

Discovery is also rebooting two of its digital-tier channels in January. Discovery Times, which was launched in 2003 as a joint venture with the New York Times, petered out after three years. It's been quietly rebuilt around in-depth documentaries, and now the channel will be known as Investigation Discovery.

Planet Green is the new name of Discovery Home & Leisure, focusing on eco-friendly programming. You may have already heard of one program it's launching in 2008, “Greensburg Eco-Town,” which will document efforts in tornado-devastated Greensburg, Kan., to rebuild using environmentally friendly materials.

Meanwhile, another year has passed without a single international news channel being added to Time Warner's -- or Comcast's, or Everest's -- digital tiers. Al Jazeera, BBC World and France 24 are all there for the taking. This lack of public responsibility in a post-9/11 era is disheartening.

Posted by Aaron Barnhart on December 07, 2007 at 07:12 AM in TV Barn
»blogs.kansascity.com/tvbarn/2007···pgr.html



swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
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·RapidVPS

I can't say much for Navigator as I have not used it, however as far as losing all the DVR recordings, I don't think this is navigators fault. When any cable company does a software update/upgrade, don't you lose all recordings in the process?
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sansri88
digital is here
Premium
join:2005-12-17
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to cypherstream

said by cypherstream:

Meanwhile, another year has passed without a single international news channel being added to Time Warner's -- or Comcast's, or Everest's -- digital tiers. Al Jazeera, BBC World and France 24 are all there for the taking. This lack of public responsibility in a post-9/11 era is disheartening.
This really pisses me off. 3 perfectly good news channels that almost no one carries. To me, they are better than what is offered at the moment. No reason why at least BBC World should be on our lineups (Cablevision carries it).
--
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ankanoju

join:2004-06-16
Delmar, NY
reply to cypherstream

Is there not a single TWC executive that uses their DVR and realizes what a piece of junk it is and says we can do better?

The fact that you cannot save the location of partially watched programs is just embarrassing.



Rombus
Premium
join:2007-04-11
Goodwater, AL

said by ankanoju:

Is there not a single TWC executive that uses their DVR and realizes what a piece of junk it is and says we can do better?

The fact that you cannot save the location of partially watched programs is just embarrassing.
Unfortunately this whole Navigator idea got started by some executive going "Damn, we can do better! We will even do it in house to save money and roll out features quicker!"

Cogdis

join:2007-03-26
Floral Park, NY
reply to cypherstream

Mystro is horrible. The thing randomly stops recording live tv-- It just stops being a DVR when you least expect it!

I bought two tivos and I'm very happy. I still have one passport DVR that I hope they don't think of messing with on me or I'll dump that one too...



NY11102

@rr.com
reply to Rombus

said by Rombus:

said by ankanoju:

Is there not a single TWC executive that uses their DVR and realizes what a piece of junk it is and says we can do better?

The fact that you cannot save the location of partially watched programs is just embarrassing.
Unfortunately this whole Navigator idea got started by some executive going "Damn, we can do better! We will even do it in house to save money and roll out features quicker!"
Quicker?? TWC started rolling out Mystro like a year ago and Mystro still sucks really bad! Quicker ha ha!

TWC should have copied all the features that Passport Echo has and add new ones. Having Mystro as the NEWEST software is really frustrating!


Rombus
Premium
join:2007-04-11
Goodwater, AL

Let me clarify here:
Currently, Aptiv digital makes Passport. When ever TWC wanted to launch a new feature, such as caller ID on tv, Start over, etc., We had to go to Aptiv and have them develop it for us. That takes time and money.

TWC decided some time ago to develop there own guide software, called Mystro. Its developed in house, meaning we don't have to pay Aptiv for development and licensing. TWC couldn't just use Passport as a code base since thats copyright infringement. Mystro is a ground up rebuild of the guide, hence there is the tweaking and bug issues they are running into now.

Trust me, its come FAR since it went into employee testing in our division. Was it ready to be launched to the general public? IMHO No, but i don't get to voice an opinion on those kind of decisions


ankanoju

join:2004-06-16
Delmar, NY

said by Rombus:

Let me clarify here:
Currently, Aptiv digital makes Passport. When ever TWC wanted to launch a new feature, such as caller ID on tv, Start over, etc., We had to go to Aptiv and have them develop it for us. That takes time and money.
There is NO EXCUSE for any DVR today not to remember the location of a partially watched program. The reason is simple, Time Warner does not want to pay to have this "feature" added. Everything TWC does is to maximize their profits.


Rombus
Premium
join:2007-04-11
Goodwater, AL

That feature is already there, At least it is on the passport echo software. Ill check a mystro box later today and let you know.


ankanoju

join:2004-06-16
Delmar, NY

said by Rombus:

That feature is already there, At least it is on the passport echo software. Ill check a mystro box later today and let you know.
Thanks for checking, but it doesn't really matter to me. MY DVR does not have this basic capability.

spensarah

join:2008-01-29
Powell, OH
reply to cypherstream

I just went through the Mystro experience. My HDDRV failed so I was given a replacement unit with the Mystro software. I immediately noticed delayed channel changing and a definite degradation in image quality on both the HD and non HD channels. A tech came on-site and tested the signal levels and informed me there is nothing wrong (other than the new software). He instructed me to call for another service call and specifically request a replacement with the older Passport software. Luckily, they are still available in my area. I don't look forward to the day when I'm forced to use the Mystro software Maybe by then they'll have their act together??? (I'm not holding my breath).


robotron2084

join:2008-01-10
Chapel Hill, NC

So I'm curious, why/how would the software (Navigator/Mystro vs. Passport/Echo) affect the picture quality?



cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3

Exactly,

Are you sure you just didn't have to change the STB's output resolution in some kind of configuration menu?

Perhaps your HD-DVR is only set to output 480i or 480p.



NY11102

@rr.com
reply to cypherstream

any news about Caller ID on screen?
I know some markets have the feature available but not here in NY.



Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

We have the CallerID onscreen and there's lots of bugs with it still. It started out as a nice, readable, piece of information... I really liked it. Then the system spontaneously "reinitialized" itself and the display went to an unreadable postage stamp size. We called to report it... they said it was a "software problem" and that it should be corrected soon. Okay, I'm a pretty patient guy so I waited, and waited, and waited... finally, after several weeks the display returned to a nice readable piece of data. Yesterday, I turned the TV on and received a phone call... no display at all, and the call history had vanished. Admittedly a minor annoyance, but the display was back to its "postage stamp" format. I called and reported it today and was told that they are aware of the problem, and that it should be ironed out by the end of the month.

I really like the feature... no need to try to get up and check the callerID on the phone! It does have a a choice for display duration... up to 30 seconds, I think... in increments of 5 seconds. But I sure wish they'd get it straightened out. I was told that by the time it all shakes out in the wash, the size and postion of the display will be "user selectable". That's what I was told, anyway. So don't be in too much of a hurry to get it. Wait 'til they get it right first.


drussel2

join:2002-11-05
Hayward, CA
reply to cypherstream

Apart from "me too" synndrome, a friend of mine told me they had their TV hooked up by a "home theatre guy", and they (somehow) installed a different on screen guide/navigator rather than the one TWC offers.

Is that possible? With Navigator/Mystro now, everytime I press "guide" on the remote, I get an annoying "Please wait... data loading..." message. With the old system, that only happened if I scrolled forward to see what was on TV two weeks from now.

The Caller Id on TV is cute... does it work for Call Waiting Caller ID too? (I haven't had an opportunity to try that).

But, I'd rather have, or in addition to, a TCP/IP message sent to my computer... then I could screen calls by my own software. (I do that now with an old analog modem that would otherwise serve as a door-stop, or paper-weight.

The FSK signal sent for "Voice Message waiting" would also be nice to get via TCP/IP to my computer...

My computer would see the message as originating from 192.168.100.1 (which I would know is my cable modem)
--
There are 10 types of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


bubbanc

join:2007-05-05
Garner, NC

1 edit
reply to cypherstream

Ugh.. this new Mystro software is driving me crazy. We have 2 DVRs but only one has been upgraded to Mystro. I find it hard to believe that TW "upgrades" us to something with less features than what we had before. Is there a way we can voice our frustration so that they will fix these issues?

Here are some of the things that we're missing:

1) When fast forwarding and rewinding, it no longer displays the time (yes I know there is a time on the left hand side, but not being over the fast forward bar, it makes it difficult to know the time).

2) When fast forwarding and rewinding, you can no longer use the left and right arrow to move to the next 15 minute interval marker. We used this all the time to really get through shows, now we have to wait for fast forward to work. (this appears to be solved by holding down FF or RW for a few seconds... it will jump ahead or back in 15 min increments).

3) When in Guide mode and clicking favorites, the channel actually changes and the guide goes away instead of the guide jumping to the next favorite channel and staying in guide mode.

4) Day +/- buttons do not seem to work; only get the "loading data" message.

5) Menus are very slow.

The only good thing thus far is that the side bars on non-HD channels are now black instead of gray.

Are these problems driving anyone else crazy?


bubbanc

join:2007-05-05
Garner, NC

So I called to complain about my issues and she said that I could get a new DVR with Passport on it and that it wouldn't be upgraded to Mystro/Navigator (our other DVR wasn't upgraded).

Is this true? She said that they had had so many complaints that they weren't upgrading any more. I'm not sure if I believe her; I think she just wanted me off the phone.


Monolith

join:2007-07-25
united state
reply to cypherstream

I am in Clayton, nC and I just got a notice in today mail from TWC, saying we would be upgraded to Navigator it would start in about 4 weeks, and take about 2 months.


reply to bubbanc

My SA 8000 box with Mystro just rebooted. I came home from errands at 12:30pm 4/23 and turned on the TV and the cable box. After accesing the guide for 20 secs. the guide locked up. then i got the dread b-o-o-t message on the front display.



I want my Passport Echo back.


Infoman1

join:2001-03-21
Hubbard, OH
reply to cypherstream

All in all, the upgrade went smoothly. There are a "few" feature improvements with Mystro, however there are some losses also. There really isn't anything significant that improves usage, and the increase complexity isn't worth it. Namely, the recording conflict. Unless you constantly observe, you'll miss shows that otherwise would have been recorded. The other pain, is the "A" guide. The sub- banners have nothing other than marketable "pay events", News/Weather, Sports, and Kids. A real waste.



charpman

@rr.com
reply to cypherstream

Im in Columbus Ohio and have had Mystro for a few weeks now. It's been nothing but trouble.

I have 7 cable boxes, 1 HD DVR and 6 Standard Def (Old Pionneer and SA boxes). They reboot constantly. They are so slow I avoid the guide like crazy. Using the cable box remote I have a 50% chance to change channels correctly.

My TiVo's (I have 3) cannot change channels reliably at all. I've re-wired to bypass the cable boxes but of course can now only record the analog stations.

I've called customer service and requested newer boxes that hopefully have more memory and faster CPU's and can handle Mystro, but was told NO. I was told many people are having this problem and "engineers are looking into it".

I've been reading posts in forums all over the net that go back over a year about how Mystro had nothing but problems and still they are rolling it out to people.

I've taken to sending my tale to anyone at Time Warner I can find. I can't switch to Direct TV or Dish because of the trees around my house. Time Warner is the ONLY game in town for me. WOW doesn't do my street and AT&T u-verse isn't here yet.

It's very frustrating to pay $130+/month for horrible service, to basically be yet another test subject for something they know is awful.

Until this I was a happy Time Warner customer...now...not so much.


Monolith

join:2007-07-25
united state

hmmm well that just great. I just got my notice via email this morning, that I would be upgraded within the next week.


Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX
reply to cypherstream

Does anyone know if the Dallas area has the navigator software at all? And is it just the scientific atlantic boxes that get it or the motorola's too?


nitecourt

join:2004-10-19
Erie, PA
reply to charpman

said by charpman :

My TiVo's (I have 3) cannot change channels reliably at all. I've re-wired to bypass the cable boxes but of course can now only record the analog stations.
I've had the exact same problems as you with the Tivo and TWC boxes since the upgrade. A co-worker of mine just got the upgrade to his TWC DVR and it wiped out all his recordings. He got so annoyed he took the DVR back to the local office and canceled his cable service. I got so annoyed with TWC I went out and bought a Tivo HD and got cable cards installed and loving it ever since.


Rojo_P

join:2001-10-03
Lancaster, OH
reply to cypherstream

They pushed through the Mystro software on my 8300HD box yesterday. I had no notification of this change.

When I got home late last night I noticed that one of the programs I record each day at a specific time (which is rebroadcast several times during the day) had not only recorded several instances of the program but kicked off a couple of shows I recorded since there was so little space left. (Passport was set to record just one instance of the show, at a specific time, so that it would not interfere with two other shows recorded during prime time).
Worse is the fact that the software will only allow a record time at the shows first showing, not at the time the user desires.

I am finding the negative ads by Direct TV about cable to be more true with each passing day.



cypherstream
Premium,MVM
join:2004-12-02
Reading, PA
kudos:3
reply to cypherstream

Is it possible to combine the HD and SD channel numbers in the guide to simplify tuning HD material? This is a setting in DirecTV HD and Dish Network HD set top software. I have yet to find a Cable provider that makes finding HD channels easy...


K Patterson
Premium,MVM
join:2006-03-12
Columbus, OH
kudos:1
reply to Rojo_P

Count me as one more dissatisfied customer. Mystro is a disaster. Why they continue to roll it out knowing it has problems when ATT is filling every mailbox in the county once a week with offers for their service is beyond me.



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to cypherstream

said by cypherstream:

I have yet to find a Cable provider that makes finding HD channels easy...
The Moxi rolled out in Charter and ex-Adelphia areas has a HD menu, which pulls up a list of all HD channels and saved HD programs on the DVR.

The Moxi also has the ability to hide unwanted channels on the channel lists, so if you didn't want to see the SD versions of the channels you could hide them.