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Shark

@tamu.edu

[DVR] Tivo in Bryan/College Station, TX

So if you've been checking suddenlinkfyi.com for the last year to see when BCS would get Tivo like I have, you would have been happy to see that it was announced to come to our area a week ago. I set up an appointment that same day and the tech was supposed to come out today to install it. Instead, unfortunately, I got a message that they are having technical difficulties with the Tivo in our area and they wouldn't be coming out. Even worse, they didn't know when the issue would be resolved.

If anyone has any more info on what is going on or when the issue is expected to be resolved it would be appreciated. I'm going to periodically check back with SL and I'll post back here if I find out anything new.


Shark

@tamu.edu
Okay so I called back again today. I explained that someone was supposed to come out earlier this week for an install but I got a call that they wouldn't be coming out because there were technical issues in my area. The technician asked if I wanted to have someone come out and install it next week, and I said I did but I didn't know if the technical issues were resolved. She said she believed they were. I'm very skeptical because I'm pretty sure she wasn't even aware of the technical issues I was referring to, but we'll see what happens next week.

Also, something to note, the first time I talked to them they said the install was going to be $70 and the Tivo was going to be $17/mo so my next bill would be $87 higher than usual. This time they said the install was going to be $30 so my bill would be $47 higher than usual. I asked if I was still going to be charged the full $15 for my DVR and they said yes. Seems like since I'm only going to be using it for 6 days of the month it should be prorated. But whatever I guess, $47 is still better than $87.

Until next week...

rwhite77802

join:2011-09-05
reply to Shark
Just had my TiVo system installed Friday. The technician had done one previously with a group of other Suddenlink techs and all of the contractors and then he came and installed mine. The CableCARD was already installed and ready to go and it was mostly a power on, setup WiFi affair.

The technician was perfectly on time, incredibly professional and a VERY good representative. As was the gentleman I just spoke with on the phone about my channel lineup.

I'm quite happy with the TiVo itself and the channel lineup and such. However, I do have some problems with the sales person at the counter in the Bryan office. I upgraded from an Internet/basic cable setup to the new TiVo DVR system, and supposedly all of the channels from expanded, digital, and three of the four movie channel packages. When I talked with the counter person, I asked her on their channel lineup to cross off which channels I wouldn't have, and the only ones crossed off were the one movie package and the HDNet package (had it before; very nice looking but not worth the extra $/month). I confirmed the price I'm paying was for all of the non-crossed-off channels. She reaffirmed this

Well, turns out a significant portion of the digital channels were part of a package that wasn't crossed off, wasn't setup on my account, and only after calling support tonight did I confirm that I shouldn't have those channels, but the price I'm paying (not cheap let me say) doesn't cover those.

So, I'll be heading up there Tuesday to talk with them. Not happy at all with that portion. Evidently, this isn't the first or even anywhere close to the first call related to this from that office. To be perfectly honest, these type of things were what led me to being a cable modem only subscriber for a long time.

The service people, the cable modem service I've had (50mbit) and the installation contractors have all been top notch and the TiVo setup it self is incredible.

Too bad it's marred by the local sales group.


Shark

@tamu.edu
Well apparently the technical issues were resolved because SL came out yesterday and set up my Tivo. The techs were very friendly and on time. One of the techs said it was only his 3rd Tivo he had installed, and the first one he had installed wirelessly, but he got everything setup and working just fine. At this point I'll just have to keep an eye on my bill and make sure I wasn't charged $70 instead of $30.

So it looks like the BCS area is good to go for Tivo.

I do have a question for rwhite though. Did you have to activate your Tivo? I have a message that I haven't deleted yet that tells me to activate it, but I don't have a service number and everything is working just fine so I don't know if it's really necessary.

rwhite77802

join:2011-09-05
Shark,

I didn't have to activate anything with TiVo or anything like that. The box came preconfigured and with the CableCARD already installed, so that was that.

All we had to do was to hook it up to the TV (it's not going through my GoogleTV; the main reason I got it was to work on a GTV app for it) and setup the Internet connection. It came with the 802.11G adapter and it aligned to my AP fairly easily. My cable modem and AP required a good restart to maintain reliable link; the first time it's really ever needed that since I got the 50M link. But since then, it's been nice and reliable.

The TiVo itself has been great; still fuming a bit about the local office people on the channels and my bill, but I'll end up heading in soon on it.

I did find out that you can't use the TiVo service number to activate an account on TiVo.com to allow for the remote management/SeasonPass etc that you can with an off-the-shelf TiVo, or at least if you can, I haven't found a way to do it.


mistereyet
Premium
join:2005-08-09
Greenville, NC
Suddenlink has to register it for you, and send you a password. Just give tech support a call, and pray they know what to do with the Tivo.


Shark

@tamu.edu
reply to rwhite77802
Yeah, the technician gave me a pamphlet that talked about remote management and scheduling things to record through a cell phone. It also talked about using Tivos in multiple rooms and picking up a program where you left off in another room. He said both of these features aren't currently available but they're working on it and they will be available "soon."

I guess I won't worry about activating it. I looked at the site you go to to activate it (tivo.com/activate) and it requires a service number, which I don't have. Everything is working though so until that changes I won't worry about it.

I haven't tried season pass, it's going to be a little upsetting if I can't set up series recordings. Maybe that's the advantage to activating?


metey

@suddenlink.net
The service number is easy to find. Hit the Tivo Button, Settings, Account and system Information, system information. TSN number....


Shark

@tamu.edu
reply to Shark
Thanks for the info on how to find the service number. I tried activating it online but it wouldn't let me and said I needed to contact my cable provider. So since everything was working I figured I wouldn't worry about it.

Then a couple days ago (and I don't know if this is related or not) I lost access to most of the HD channels. I can access the first 5 or 6 and one or two of the rest but 95% of them say I don't have permission. I tried a few things myself and then called tech support and we still weren't able to get things back so I have a tech coming out again.

kilroy0097

join:2011-09-18
College Station, TX
reply to rwhite77802
Any updates on how TIVO is coming along with you? Has it been worth the switch even without the multiple room support yet?

rwhite77802

join:2011-09-05
Hello; Well, I've been having quirky issues with regards to what channels I have and which ones I don't. Sometimes I'll have a channel, sometimes I won't.

But, to be perfectly honest, given that Suddenlink hasn't solved the problem of letting us have the other neat features of TiVo besides recording, it's almost not worth it. The YouTube function really isn't that useful, as I have a computer and a Revue hooked up. The VOD is alright; but the content really isn't that great (at least the free content).

The interface is clunky though. There isn't a way (that I've found yet) to exit the TiVo menu besides hitting Guide to bring it up and then Guide again to hide it. There isn't a normal "Live" button to take you to live TV; just a quick 30ish sec Rewind and 30ish sec Forward. The "Live TV" button switches the tuner and then you can hit it again to switch back to Live TV on the first channel. Or a good way to stop and delete and recording in the middle of the show.

To be perfectly honest, given the lack of being able to set the recordings from the road/mobile, it's not really worth it to me. I'm almost to the point of taking it back and seeing of one of the good (at least last time I had one, they still were) Motorola tuners with Firewire are still available.

I'm trying to give it some time and warm up to it, but nothing yet. Nothing that I didn't have with my old DVR box when I last had DVR service from SL, about a year and a half, two years ago.


Shark

@tamu.edu
Well the tech came out last week and the solution was to exchange the tivo for a new one. I now have all the channels I'm supposed to. The tech referenced technical issues they were having when first deploying so those issues ended up coming into play after all.

And now my internet cuts out for a couple hours a day. I called tech support and they said my signal is weak and has been since the 6th of this month (the first day techs came out). So I have more techs coming out to look at my weak signal issue.

And I'm going to be honest, this is starting to piss me off. Having to schedule 3 separate appointments just to get a tivo is ridiculous. Especially considering I could have done the setup myself. Oh well at least they're doing better than the last time I had issues and had to schedule 5 appointments before they showed up. I got a free on demand movie for that one, big deal...

Swiftks

join:2010-06-06
College Station, TX
Holly $hit... my internet has been dropping and getting random spouts of drag a$$ every since I got my Tivo a couple of weeks ago... have a tech coming out tomorrow.... gonna get to the bottom of this. Has to be the Tivo cutting into my band width when it downloads the guide info. or something along those lines.


Shark

@tamu.edu
So the tech came out today. He was very friendly, just as the others that came out were. He checked the equipment up on the telephone pole to make sure nothing had been chewed up. He said there weren't any problems there. Up in the attic he swapped out a small extension device, it just had two female coax connections on either side to hook two coax cables together. Also he rearranged the splitters up in the attic some to try and increase the signal to my modem. That got the signal high enough for it to work. He said it was still on the low end but it was within tolerances.

This problem started out with just random outages for a couple hours here and there. It got progressively worse. The last few days I couldn't get my modem online at all. It's up now and speed tests were good. Hopefully it stays up, I'm going to keep an eye on it.

Also rwhite, you should try hitting the Live TV button to get out of the Tivo menu. That works for me. And I agree that the youtube functionality is worthless. The search function doesn't search all of youtube. I was searching for music videos and almost none came up because nothing on Vuze is included in the search.

And I just got my bill for October and it's higher than I expected. Before I made the decision to swap to Tivo I asked how much more a month it would be and they said it was going to be $17/mo as opposed to the ~$15/mo I was currently paying for my DVR. Well they neglected to mention that there's also a $5/mo digital gateway fee. That would have been nice to know, $60/year isn't negligible. There was a $30 Tivo installation fee, which I was expecting. But there was also a $13 change of service fee, which was also never mentioned. Also they're still charging me $15 for my DVR which I gave back to them 20 days ago. I'm going to call them and at the very least get the $15 taken off, but that digital gateway fee irks me and I doubt there's anything to be done about it. I've been happy with the techs, they have been very nice and helpful, but the people behind the scenes have been atrocious.


Shark

@tamu.edu
So that ~$13 change of service fee is part one of three. I'll be paying the same fee for the next two months to add up to $40. Combined with the $30 Tivo installation fee that totals up to $70. So if they tell you it will be $30 to get Tivo, don't listen to them it's $70.

I asked about the $5 digital gateway fee and they said I should have been paying this all along, even when I just had the regular DVR. Anybody have this fee that just has the DVR?

Also I was paying $6 each for the sports & info tier, variety tier, and movie tier. I decided to drop the movie tier and save $6 since it was only 2 HD channels. But apparently paying for just the other two costs $15, for a savings of $3.

And finally, they're going to check their inventory for my DVR so they can work on getting it off my bill. If I wasn't paying attention they probably would have just charged me for something I don't have for as long as they could. If you get a Tivo be sure to check your bill and make sure they remove the DVR fee.

svjks
Premium
join:2009-01-11
Lincoln, NE
reply to Shark
I have been paying the digital gateway fee on my Tivo for the last 4 years. They need that in the system for digital subscription to work.


Shark

@suddenlink.net
reply to Shark
I got the DVR removed off my account today then when I got home from work I had lost all my HD channels again. I asked if it was related to the changes I made to my account earlier today and the rep said it was. I believe the last time I lost the HD channels I had called in earlier that day too. It couldn't be fixed remotely again so I have another tech coming tomorrow, the 4th tech out in 4 weeks. If I have to get a 3rd TiVo and lose all my recordings and scheduled recording settings for a 3rd time I'm going to be (more) pissed.

Does anyone from SL read these forums and see this ridiculousness?


Shark

@suddenlink.net
Tech came out today. He said that when the phone tech made changes to my account they didn't know what they were doing and it unpaired my TiVo with the account. The only solution is to replace the TiVo... again. His instructions for the job today were actually to replace the TiVo, but today is Sunday, they aren't allowed to carry TiVos on their trucks and the warehouse is closed, so he didn't have one. So because they scheduled an appointment to replace my TiVo on a day they can't replace my TiVo, I have a 5th appointment for this in a couple days. And this will be my 3rd TiVo so far in a little over 4 weeks.


Shark

@suddenlink.net
I know I'm probably mostly talking to myself at this point but I'm going to continue to post updates just so I can have a record of all this for myself and so I can publicly show what kind of company SL is.

The tech was supposed to come out today between 10am and noon. He didn't call or show up. I called about 15 minutes ago (around 12:30) to see what was going on. Supposedly the tech's last job ran late but the rep on the phone said he'd call again and head my way. I corrected him and told him it wouldn't be again but would be the first call. So he decided to confirm my phone number, and oh look one of the digits was one number off. Except that I verified my phone number at the beginning of the conversation, and also 1 minute prior with the first phone rep that transferred me to technical support. Not to mention they had the right number when they called me two days ago. So thanks for the blatant lie suddenlink. I'm still waiting for the tech, we'll see if he shows.


JR545

@suddenlink.net
Thanks for the updates Shark. I live in Huntsville and I have an appointment for Tivo to be installed next week. I will let you know how it goes.


Shark

@tamu.edu
So the tech showed up eventually. He was very friendly, just a couple hours late. I got my 3rd TiVo and right now I have all the channels I'm supposed to. Hopefully it lasts. I called and got about $30 worth of credits due to the time my internet and HD channels were out. I was expecting something more like a free month since it took 6 appointments (I forgot to count the first one where they didn't show up) and they remotely screwed up my first two TiVos. But I guess it's better than nothing...

Some useful information for anyone getting the TiVo: If you're calling in for tech support or to just change something on your account, the last tech that came out told me to tell the phone tech "don't hit the TiVo." Essentially don't refresh it/access it. Because if they do this it will unpair your TiVo with your account and the only solution is to get a new one. When I called in to try and get the credits I made sure to say this but the tech didn't really know what I meant so I'm not sure it was much use. At the very least it couldn't hurt.

Hopefully this last appointment will be the last one I need for a while and I hope anyone who decides to swap to TiVo doesn't have half the issues I did. But that may be asking too much from SL.


BryanInPHX
Premium
join:2001-03-06
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:2
reply to Shark
Anyone willing to post a few pics of the VOD OnDemand menus on the TiVo. Curious to see how they look. Hopefully they will be coming to Cox soon.

Swiftks

join:2010-06-06
College Station, TX
reply to Shark
Screw This!!! I've had the TIVO Premier from Suddenlink in College Station for 2 -3 months now.... and it sucks... hard. The internet connectivity is crappy at best (no, not wifi, I have it hard wired w/ Cat6). Sometimes my recorded shows wont play for whatever reason, and I have to do a power cycle on the TIVO (which means pulling the plug, since you can't actually turn the thing off, and then waiting for 5 + mins while it boots back up). Every since getting the TIVO "installed" (which was a joke in and of its self) I can tell that when it loads and refreshes the menus, it's seriously cutting into my 20mb+ bandwidth to the point where my interest usage becomes unusable.

Truthfully the only benefit I can think of that I would even consider an upgrade over the Motorola DCX3400, is the HD Guide Menus. Other than that, there is no benefit. Since it's suddenlink TIVO, you don't get Amazon on Demand; I can't switch my audio to uncompressed (like I could with the DCX Box); The lag most of the time with the menues and/or loading my programs is horrendous; and there's no clock on the front of the box (like the DCX).

Screw you TVIO, I'm going back to my Motorola HD DVR Box ASAP!!!

*Not to mention I'll save myself the $4+/month extra charge for.... wait what was that extra charge for again... TIVO's extra features... WHAT EXTRA FEATURES???? YouTube??? That'a bout it... all the OnDemmands are the same... Advertisements on my Guide menu??? What a crock of $hit.... what a POS...

TkyoJedi

join:2011-12-04
Pflugerville, TX
That sucks to hear... I've been excited about getting the Tivo but the $70 install fee has kept me from getting it, can't see myself paying that. That and I still have a dvr 80% full that I need to get through.

A lot of the points you make are also turning me away from the Tivo, but ugh, I've been really wanting to get away from this DCX3400m since its DVI bug (HDMI handshake) blacks out my TV screen way too frequently.

Swiftks

join:2010-06-06
College Station, TX
I agree, the handshake problem annoyed me too... couldn't run native resolution with pass through ON on my amp, and turn the box off without the resolution setting changing, if I remember right. But I think I just set my resolutions to 720p +, and all was well then.

But the TiVo, just plain sucks. you have to be connected to the internet or the ondemand won't work and you can't view your recored shows... well that would be great and all except the TiVo is causing internet issues and once it looses connection, you'll have problems until you power cycle it.

Then there's the installation you were talking about... what a joke. I asked why I couldn't do it myself, as they have no problems letting you take home a normal HD dvr box. but oh no... this requires "professional installation"... you know what that amount to??? a cable guy comes in, plugging it in, connecting to wifi or hardwire, and going through the setting menu to make sure the connection status is correct.... what a scam!!! the guy who installed mine even said that it was the first time he had done it, and that any idiot with half a brain could do it. just another way for them to rack up more $$$$.

SDLashley1

join:2011-07-19
Hi Swiftks, I'd be happy to work with mgmt. in your area to resolve the issues you're experiencing. Please feel free to contact me directly with your account address: ashley@suddenlink.com. Thanks!

Swiftks

join:2010-06-06
College Station, TX
thank you, but no thanks... All of these problems are already well documented on the TiVo Premier forums. Besides I'm not some typical dumb ass consumer who doesn't know what their doing... I know what can be fixed and what can't, and I don't need a tech to come out and "test" my line, when I am more than capable.

actually you can help me with one thing now that I think of it... can you tell me if suddenlink has received Motorola's newest DCX series cable boxes yet... the DCX 3501 M, released this past summer. Or am I still gonna get the DCX 3400?

Texas16309

join:2005-04-18
Round Rock, TX
reply to Swiftks
I agree. I don't like the Tivo either. The lag is frustrating but for me it's the mix matched HD/SD GUI. The Tivo guide (from what I can tell) doesn't show what is going to record. The To Do list is not in HD so it switches. Here are some other things I don't like: scrolling in the recorded list is S L O W. Transferring a show between DVRs takes all night. Sometimes a channel starts off in a black screen. VOD freezes the unit up. All these are well known bugs discussed on Tivocommunity forums.

I tell you, if ATT Uverse were in my area I'd switch. While the picture quality isn't great at least I'd more HD, whole home service, four tuners on the DVR, HBO on Demand IN HD, iPad steaming, gosh I should just reactive DirecTV. They have all that.

Swiftks

join:2010-06-06
College Station, TX
Ahh... sweet relief. The Direct TV installer is on his way with the newest DVR box that can record 5 shows at once. Premier package (+ HD Extra Pacakge) for $80 less than what I'm paying now with suddddenlink (for 3 months), $40 less (for 9 months) and $10 less (for the remaining 12 months). Plus, now I can watch all my local Houston channels, and not have to watch the Tyler or Waco News.

Texas16309

join:2005-04-18
Round Rock, TX
How did your install go? I'm going to reactivate my DirecTV service. I found a surprise price increase in my Suddenlink bill.