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Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to mfish

Re: North State Plex IPTV

The installer also told me they are running fiber for TV customers rather than DSL. Hopefully they'll get to you soon.
--
trafficcloak.com - pptp/sstp vpn services


speedlever

join:2003-11-30
High Point, NC

I saved a Plex ad NS sent me in the mail.. and called them today to check on service in my neighborhood. TWC Roadrunner is jacking up the rate and I'm shopping internet service.

However, my TWC 7 Mpbs service is really good. A quick check of the visualware site has me at 15.8 Mbps down and 365k up.
The NS CS agent said that 10 Mbps service was available to me, but not the TV (I have Dish anyway). She also said 20 Mbps service was unavailable (to me? or at all? I'm not clear about this).

My neighborhood has all underground cabling for power, phone, etc.. I have no idea if we have FTTC or not.

How can I know?
--
-speedy



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

said by speedlever:

I saved a Plex ad NS sent me in the mail.. and called them today to check on service in my neighborhood. TWC Roadrunner is jacking up the rate and I'm shopping internet service.

However, my TWC 7 Mpbs service is really good. A quick check of the visualware site has me at 15.8 Mbps down and 365k up.
The NS CS agent said that 10 Mbps service was available to me, but not the TV (I have Dish anyway). She also said 20 Mbps service was unavailable (to me? or at all? I'm not clear about this).

My neighborhood has all underground cabling for power, phone, etc.. I have no idea if we have FTTC or not.

How can I know?
It's doubtful that you have FTTC if 20Mbps is unavailable to you. It is available to me, but I am on fiber, so I can't say for certain if they are rolling it out over copper (ADSL2+) yet. The thing to keep in mind about Plex, is tat you get that 10Mbps/768Kbps all the time. Your 15Mbps with Road Runner is because of Powerboost, you only see that speed for the first few second of a download. The Plex upload is also over twice as fast, it makes uploading things much easier and faster.

Download this file and watch your speed start fast, then drop dramatically: »ftp://ftp1.optonline.net/test1024

With Plex 10Mbps, you'd see 10Mbps (1.25MegaBytes) per second consistently.
--
trafficcloak.com - pptp/sstp vpn services

speedlever

join:2003-11-30
High Point, NC

Thanks Matt. So is Plex unlike the old DSL adage that you had to be close to a CO in order to get the advertised speeds?

It might be worth changing ISPs and changing over all our email addresses. OTOH, I sorta hate to consider that task of letting everyone know of an email change. It never gets around to everyone and all those websites you register with (and forgot about) will no longer know who you are.

Still, it may be a viable alternative. I would likely opt for the 6 Mbps service. With the cheapest phone service and Plex 6, it would run me $65-70/month. About $5 to $10 more than I currently pay. But less than the jacked up TWC price.

Also, I checked NS CS and this time they told me 20 Mbps service is available to me. But they haven't run fiber in my neighborhood yet. Hard to know what to believe.

Let me see what the retention dept at TWC is willing to do for me first.
--
-speedy



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

If they are running copper and serving you over ADSL2+, you are still distance limited. However, North State has fiber pretty deep in their network, so I don't think 6Mbps or even 10Mbps would be hard for them to deliver. 20Mbps requires pair-bonding I believe.

When I had Plex IPTV installed, the engineer said that TV over ADSL2+ wasn't reliable enough, so they are running fiber directly to all new IPTV customers. I'm not sure what other limits are placed on who or where they are rolling this out.

A few other things to consider about Plex IPTV:

1) The HD picture quality destroys Time Warner. It's H.264 MPEG-4 vs MPEG-2. There is a noticeable difference.

2) The HD DVR they gave me has the slowest menuing system I have ever seen in my life. Ever. It's terribly slow. Annoyingly slow. Make you want to throw it out the window slow.

3) Dolby Digital over HDMI doesn't work. At all. I worked with them several months ago and they said they had to go back to Cisco, because several other customers also reported the same problem. I've heard nothing since.

4) Plex IPTV offers more (and better) HD channels for a cheaper price. I have the $50 Plex 100 Tier and the same tier with Time Warner, for less HD channels, was $89 month. Once you include the HD DVR and such, the Plex price rises to the $60 range, but it's still closer to $20 cheaper than Time Warner.

Overall, I think North State's internet access is higher quality than Road Runner, as they have better peering. You either go out Level 3 or Verizon. In other words, North State is directly peered with two Tier-1 providers right in High Point.
--
trafficcloak.com - pptp/sstp vpn services


speedlever

join:2003-11-30
High Point, NC

Thanks for that info Matt.

NS says that Plex IPTV is not available for me yet, but that 20 Mbps is available.

Now, TWC has decided to extend my promo of $35/month for 7 Mpbs for another year.

Guess I can wait a while before I need to revisit this. Maybe by then, FIOS (hah!) will be reality or maybe NS will have fiber run into my neighborhood.

Although I have HD capability with my Dish DVR setup, I don't have any true HD sets in the house. So I probably wouldn't benefit from the IPTV option right now anyway.
--
-speedy



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

FiOS will never be a reality, as we are served by AT&T and Time Warner, or Northstate and Time Warner. FiOS is Verizon and they don't have lines here.

I think when AT&T finally rolls out U-Verse, Time Warner will up speeds. Right now, we have the slowest speeds in the country. We may see a DOCSIS 3.0 rollout too, which would be abso-freaking-lutely awesome, as then they will have serious upstream offerings.

I think you ultimately made the right decision, I would have done the same. Keep checking back, it's nice chatting with folks from the area on here.
--
trafficcloak.com - pptp/sstp vpn services



fiber

@northstate.net
reply to Matt3

Video via Fiber to the home is now available in the Cedarwood Subdivision off Guilford College Rd in Jamestown.

The quality of picture and stability is very good. Check it out.



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to Matt3

I apparently received a software update on my box last night (it reset my theme) that has improved box speed drastically. It's night and day.
--
trafficcloak.com - pptp/sstp vpn services



mfish

@poloralphlauren.com
reply to Matt3

Matt,

As to #3 on your list above, the reason this is happening is because Northstate is using the same setups that AT&T use for U-Verse (same exact technology) and that issue has plagued U-verse customers for quite a while with no fix in sight. 5.1 surround over HDMI doesn't work, and if you try to use an optical cable, you could have sound cutting in and out. I sorta had a feeling that Northstate was piggybacking off of AT&T's tech as a whole and that's why even though i'd love to have IPTV through them whenever they can finally run fiber through the neighborhood, I don't know if I could do it and give up my surround.

I honestly don't know how widespread this is on northstate, but I figure it's an issue not many would really notice unless they were looking for it.


speedlever

join:2003-11-30
High Point, NC
reply to Matt3

Seems like TWC is waffling on that issue of extending my promo rate for internet service. They now have to research the call to verify what the retention dept told me.

Plex may be sooner in my future than I thought.

I'll stick with TWC if they actually agree to extend.. but I'm outta there if they don't.
--
-speedy



Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to mfish

mfish,

The update they pushed enabled Dolby Digital for most channels over optical but in fact, hasn't fixed the glacial menu system. I haven't tried HDMI again. I don't notice the sound cutting in and out, but when my receiver loses the signal and re-acquires it, it will flash what encoding is being used and what channels, like Dolby Digital 3/2.1 ... and it does that, a LOT.

Northstate is actually using the Tandberg IPTV system, is that the system that U-Verse uses?

»www.tandbergtv.com/newsview.ink?newsid=3108

said by Press Resleas :
TANDBERG Television, part of the Ericsson group (NASDAQ:ERIC), today announced its award-winning iPlex™ IPTV video processing platform has been selected by North State Communications for its new IPTV headend. In order to maintain full control of its content North State Communications elected to build a full headend and receive television programming directly from broadcasters for MPEG-4 AVC encoding or transcoding. At launch, the TANDBERG headend will deliver over 250 channels of standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) programs to North State subscribers. The complete MPEG-4 AVC IPTV solution yields significant bandwidth savings by delivering content at the highest image quality and the lowest possible bit rates.

wgc749

join:2009-08-22
Thomasville, NC

1 edit
reply to Matt3

A tip: Clear your cookies and visit the Uverse website to learn all you want. Uverse is now available in Charlotte. I usually enter a New York or Charlotte zip code when I visit the Uverse website. Uverse does use the Cisco set-top boxes.

As far as I have been able to determine, there are only 3 manufacturers of IPTV set-top boxes, but we must assume there may be some small independent companies that have a box or are working on one. Scientific Atlanta/Cisco and Motorola are the two major manufacturers and I cannot remember, or maybe the article I read did not mention, the name of the other company. Sorry, it's been a lot of reading and a lot of articles and that's one I did not copy or retain the source for.

Some things to keep in mind: IPTV is a relatively new product. FIOS is not all it's cracked up to be, so don't get too excited about that. Go to their support pages and there are hundreds of pages there. I even found one thread where users were hoping to switch to the Cisco boxes. By the way, FIOS USES THE MOTOROLA BOXES. Please don't attack me, I am merely pointing things out.

In fairness: The TelusTV system in Canada has been using these Cisco boxes since at least 2007 and was having the sound issue then. TelusTV started in 2005 and may have been using these boxes then. Even with the problems they have now grown to over 115,000 subscribers. Both TelusTV and FIOS with large subscriber base are going to have a lot of FAQs, support, etc. as compared to Northstate with no discernable FAQ, discussion board other than this, or forum, and maybe a customer base of a few hundred or at best a few thousand at this point in time. Of course, FIOS's guarantee of 30 Mbps is more favorable to families/power users/HDers/gamers than Northstate's 20 Mbps offering. A little note here: Tandberg's published bit rates are; SD-2 Mbps, HD-6 Mbps (per stream, per TV); you do the math for your own home.

The audio problem is evident on SD TVs also. The bad news is that one week after the download, 16 of my channels began converting the audio to Spanish, while a few had no sound at all. Of course, the box was replaced. I had clear audio for 24 hours, then the problem resurfaced. In conversations with the TV manufacturer about compatibility, they suggested two things. Check to make sure that the manufacturers specialized audio circuitry is not bypassed by the method used in your connections and in the case of an SD TV, the free trial feeds of the HD channels you get may be causing the audio problems.

On the TelusTV forum users have tried a method where they use the pause and play buttons on the DVR to I guess use the buffering to solve the audio difficulties with the HD sets. There was one or two mentions of trying to use CAT 5 or 5e cable instead of cable TV cable to the box, but to me it would depend on the cables involved. The stats I have, the cable TV cable and connectors should carry more bandwith with less loss. I think there were more suggestions, but I can't remember.

Cisco is apparently aware of the problem and is supposedly working on a solution. By the way, the FAQ and support for these Cisco boxes can only occasionally be found and you have to sign up at Cisco once you do find it.

Tandberg, as of 2008 provided 80 percent of the VOD for the North American market. In a conversation with tech support at Northstate, another company provides VOD content for Northstate. Whether or not there is an affiliation, I do not know. Tandberg has redone their website and renamed themselves to reflect their owners name as EricssonTV. They do not state how many subscribers they serve, but, as of September 2008 Tandberg/Ericsson now has 230 contracts worldwide. This number may, however include satellite contracts. It is not clear.

For broadcast details on local broadcast stations go to rabbitears.com; some national staions are listed, but if not details might be found in Wikipedia or elsewhere on this site, but never on the channel's website. It was noted on the TelusTV forum that Telus does change the broadcast characteristics and/or has the capabilities to do so. Also of note, when troubleshooting my own TV setup Northstate asks me to restart and change channels. They only do this as a courtesy. I have, on occasion, sat on the couch, while observing them restarting my system from the central office and changing channels. The software installed on the system enables them to monitor and control, if they want to or need to, but they leave it alone unless and until you have a problem. There is no reason for me not to believe that Tandberg and maybe even Northstate can also change the broadcast characteristics, if necessary.

Link to TelusTV forum audio problem:
»www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthr···t=100159

TelusTV forum home page:
»www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdi···der=desc

Telus.com; then select any province, go to TV help, then select the center column; This will only be a guide, as they do not have the same system as we do, and it doesn't get very technical here.

A little bit of encouraging news: Two days ago, my trial period for the HD and movie channels apparently ran out. As I think I made clear previously, I am using an SD TV, and now I am left with two HD feeds. They're still doing some kind of promotion with Starz Kids and Family and for some reason I get the FOX8 HD feed still. The audio issue has settled down, being only evident on the commercials right now, but it's still early yet. we'll see what things are like in a month or two to see if my TV manufacturer was correct. I do not know what HD users can do, except maybe think about adjusting the provisioning to their home. My reasoning would be that, if it is the problem of putting an HD signal into an SD TV, then it would follow that in the quest for the greatest picture quality and audio quality, we and our providers are putting too much signal into the system. Sound too far-fetched, I don't know. Just another idea.

Oh, I just noticed that Telus has a forum on this site, along with the others mentioned.

And now for the bonus, most obvious url of the year award goes to (in case you don't already know): speedtest.northstate.net


wgc749

join:2009-08-22
Thomasville, NC

Instead of rabbitears.com; the url should read rabbitears.info.