elite + tw: frustration deja-vu: user experience 0.0

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by gteague, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. gteague

    gteague golftango

    528
    0
    Apr 1, 2007
    dfw (euless)
    i bought my first tivo, the s3, about 5 years ago. it was $1000 and i spent at least $300 on lifetime service for it as well. but i was sufficiently disgusted with the box from time-warner and the demise of my replay-tv boxes that i had nursed for years past their natural lifespan that i bit my tongue and forked over the money.

    then ensued a 3 week nightmare right out of one of dante's circles of hell--perhaps the one reserved for clueless bureaucrats. no one at time-warner knew anything about cable cards and tivo support flat-out refused to be placed on the same call as their technicians, sowing distrust of tivo that has lingered for years. [note: evidently they have changed this policy, even offering to call tw for me at one point]

    essentially i had to educate myself enough in the arcana of cable cards to train time-warner to finally get them working. but even as i breathed a (in hindsight premature) sigh of relief, i discovered that even though the cable cards had captured the signal at one moment in time didn't mean that they would hold onto that signal.

    so 3 more weeks of tw techs with their meters and calls to tivo where i learned that their standards for signal levels and snr and other parameters were not the cable company standards and could not be reconciled finally resulted in the cable cards 'settling in', but without a clear root cause of the problem, tivo said the signal level was 'too hot', but of course time-warner disputed this.

    so fast-forward 2-3 years and the s3 which had more-or-less been reliable except for when tw introduced another moving part they knew nothing about--the sdv tuning adaptor. worse, tw sent out a letter prematurely to customers to come pick up boxes and when we got them home we learned there was no signal to drive them. and worse yet, the tw techs blamed my cable cards it had taken such a struggle to get working and inserted more cards which they could not get to work and they would not come back and fix until i, driven by another 3 weeks of frustration, emailed the ceo of time-warner whereupon the next day my small apartment was flooded with tw techs and tech supervisors and tech managers and tech groupies for all i know, but my new cable cards and tuning adaptor were working within two hours.

    fast-forward another 2 years when the funeral for my s3 was held. i am technical and most likely could have resurrected it as all signs pointed to a simple hd failure, but i went looking for a replacement. evidently the cable company dvrs hadn't made many advancements and i was unable to get fios and i didn't like the idea of u-verse--which wouldn't support tivo. so i made the decision that since i had worked so hard to get two working cable cards, that at least one of them should work in a brand new elite. spoiler: wrong!

    now, i knew better than to think that i could pull one of the working cable cards out of my dead s3 and insert it in the premier and have it work. but i did believe that tw had had 5 years to learn how to install cable cards and that since mine were previously working they would only need an account change to reflect the new hardware. and that last was the case, except it took 3 days and 12 hours of phone calls to find the (seemingly) one person at time warner that was capable of replacing one string of text in a data field with another string, but at least i finally found that one person and at least one of my cards came to life inside the elite.

    home free, thinks i. alas, it was not to be. trapped on the cable karma wheel, like a helpless rat i writhe and burn. this new elite is no better at holding onto cable card signals than my old s3 was. but now tivo has a new twist--they say that my signal is too low. so techs from time warner come back out and argue with me about tivo's specs being wrong and check everything from stem to stern. a 4 hour call to tivo and they say that 'it might be' my tuning adaptor, so i get a new one of those which is, of course, no help.

    so again, i have another small fortune invested in tivo equipment which is completely unreliable when combined with time-warner ignorance. of course the question is why i flagellate myself trying to get this crap to work and how tivo can stay in business. i can see why they need a vp to manage user experience, except that's pie-in-the-sky, how are they going to manage my experience with the cable company? tivo has been compared with apple many times (although i never saw it--those comparison i think were based on the assumption that apple made dumbed-down software), but steve jobs wouldn't have put up with this cable company crap for 2 seconds--look how he ran roughshod over at&t when they wanted his iphone so badly.

    anyway, i just wanted to vent my frustration with all things tw and tivo and my damm expensive box is still not working and i'm rapidly running out of moving parts to replace. maybe i need to see about getting the email address for tivo's ceo this time and give him or her a turn at getting this marriage-made-in-hell-devil's-bargain out of divorce court. if tivo's business model depends on cable cards and tuning adaptors and the knowledge and experience of the cable company, then they were doomed before they started.

    and for all you rabbits in my same situation, a dying s3 about 5 years old, wondering whether to hop to the new elite, i recommend you read this saga and ask yourselves: how good is my cable company support?

    /guy
     
  2. flashesbuck

    flashesbuck New Member

    29
    1
    Nov 28, 2010
    I have had the same experiance with tw... walking in your same foot steps. This is what drove me to drove the tivo service and get tw dvr, but it only took a month for me to want to replace the tw dvr and tivo looks like its the only other choose right now.
    I truely believe tivo is doing all they can, it tw not playing nice.
     
  3. gteague

    gteague golftango

    528
    0
    Apr 1, 2007
    dfw (euless)
    yeah, but i'm currently asking myself why i'm putting in 4-8 hour phone calls, doing most of the analysis and troubleshooting and on top of that paying tw $140/mo, paying tivo $400 for service, paying tivo for premium hardware, and having to put in weeks of labor just to get their crap to work. on that score, why should i have to involve the ceo of tw to get things to work? the only conclusion i can draw is that i'm a stone fricking idiot. i seriously need to ask myself if i need tv this badly.

    /guy
     
  4. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,632
    6
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I feel your pain. But you do understand it's mostly Time Warner's fault, right? Are you going to let them torpedo your TiVo experience and then blame TiVo? I highly recommend over-the-air unless you're addicted to many cable shows. If more people would just say no, the cable companies might become less arrogant and obstructionist. They would rather pay legislators and regulators to kill OTA, but if that fails they might be forced to act responsibly.
     
  5. gteague

    gteague golftango

    528
    0
    Apr 1, 2007
    dfw (euless)
    not so fast, my friend. i had 2 working cable cards and a tuning adaptor and the only change i made was to replace the s3 with the elite. of course tivo is trying to blame tw for all of this, but what else are you to conclude when the tw setup was working in one tivo box and stops working with a new tivo box?

    /guy
     
  6. Philmatic

    Philmatic Member

    526
    2
    Sep 17, 2003
    Time Warner = Tuning Adapter and Tuning Adapter = PITA Experience

    I went from a TiVo Premier, using a TW Cable Card and Tuning Adapter to Comcast with just a Cable Card (That I can pick up and install myself, no less!), and the difference in experience was staggering! I'm talking from 5 separate truck rolls and about 15 hours of troubleshooting (Not exaggerating) with Time Warner to literally a 10 minute phone call to Comcast and picking up the Cable Card on the way home from work.

    Time Warner should have went the Comcast route and got rid of analog versus implementing SDV.
     

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