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X1 IPTV service

536
I Plan to Stick Around

Last year Rogers announced that it will be using the American IPTV platform X1.  Does this affect any of the current cable television customers?  Will current customers automatically be updated to this new platform or will this be in addition to the current cable service?

 

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292 REPLIES 292

Re: X1 IPTV service

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

Pauly wrote:They do testing with employees.


 My response - not that I have anything wrong with internal testers, but it is a very limited set of users when you have millions of customers on the product - often an internal tester has a bit of a conflict in front of them along with the testing team - corporate level has deadlines and objectives (they have already done a lot of advertising of their hoped for time lines and feature sets in their financial statements and industry reports), and if the results of the internal testers provide hurdles, it is not uncommon for companies to disregard and take the risk of going forward.

We something similiar to this where we hear that lots of testing was done on Navigatr, but obviously no user had ever seen the product (I was on the forum in 5 minutes with a concern about font size and visual acuity for my own vision issues, and a wife who was furious at the changes and the absence of any communication that happened - then quickly the issues of performance, featuers failure and loss of recordings and product issues on the older boxes arose, and it was 2 years almost before everything got cleaned up.  A run by a small set of users would have highlighted all of these - we often wondered if the product had ever been tested on a PVR, or on the older NextBox 2's with PVR.  So history shows what happens when you don't ask for beta testing - it is a disaster.


They have different levels of testing,

My response - there is Alpha testing of modules and complete sets and this is standard in the engineering and programming phases, but does not reflect a user point of view, merely does a feature set work.  Beta testing can be skipped at the risk of the product deployment -  Beta testing also provides the opportunity to understand the changes that users will have to learn and allow for well develop support documents for front line support staff tutorials and FAQ's,  If you just drop it in their laps, you have a huge number of annoyed customers - think of Windows Vista, and Windows 8 before 8.1 and finally the change to 10.0 and beyond - Windows beta tests predevelopment improvements, and user feature set testing and wants feedback on show stoppers, and communication on how they can be tweaked for ease, as well as testing across a broad range of configuarations and products, and then beta testing to finalize before production rollout, then there remains beta testing on that rollout, and begins the next cycle.

One of the most popular is Operation Readiness Test (ORT) where select employees will get to test products that are consumer ready however they do not have pricing finalized so the employees will test these products at possibly no cost to them. - I ask, how can any product be consumer ready, if they have not been tested by a consumer in a beta testing process - the Soft launch described provides for that feedback, but not beta testing - they are two different processes, but bugs can be passed on so there is a bit of an informatl beta test.
Trust me, I have been in different phases of testing with many companies, you do NOT want to be a beta tester, there will be pleanty of bugs which may render your device unwatchable at times, and its also your job to track them and report them and a lot of people don't want to be bothered by that.  Beta Testing is a full time job, its not something you should do after a long day at work and come home and turn on the tv hoping to watch your favourite show and lounging on the couch, its not meant for that.

 

Bruce's response: Trust me, I have been through many beta testing - I am in three right now - the key is I have a live system so that I can keep using my product, alongside a duplicate beta system for testing.  One product, I have been through preproduction testing, delay in production as a result, assisting with knowledge and feature testing and instructional material to confirm we understand it and can use the material, we change beta's once per week based upon electronic feedback to them and modifications, alongside a production version that I use for my live work.  6 months later, we will see a major update with all the improvements from the current beta testing.

 

It is not a full time job, we each take a feature set and test and provide feedback, some more some less depending upon time.  If we don't have time, we pass over a test.  There are many on this board who have offered to be beta testers, I would also argue testers of instructional documentation and feedback on understandability of material, so I don't doubt your experience, but beta testing has never been a full time job from my experience of both running them and doing them - people do as much as they want, with deadlines, and if they can't meet them, they drop out over time. 

I too have seen the results of lack of beta testing - navigatr - MyRogers website, early modems with Hitron - now fortunately, there is an active testing done (with mixed purposes - bad Intel chip, what feature sets will they run - implementation of Docsis 3.1 and full upgrade of system, and how it interfaces with IPTV wiht comcast and this has included volunteer beta testers in great numbers it looks like.

 

Customers who feel involved, understand how they had input are happy customers, and understand why somethings they want don't come.  Rogers lack of beta testing is flawed - even Comcast has beta versions running in their implementation in the US. 

 

I will continue to say that they put their business at risk the more they keep doing this.  Hopefully, this will roll out well, but keep in mind a soft rollout is a consumer ready product with no consumer input, and a hard rollout is what navigatr was and nothing needs to be said on that one.

 

So I remain unconvinced by your experience of testing - people do want to be Beta testers, and you haven't convinced me otherwise and I honestly believe Rogers approach of testing and rollout is seriously flawed and we have and is in serious contrast to the principle of end to end customer experience that CEO talks about.

 

I hope it comes out without too many issues, and continued improvement and that Comcast works through the licensing issues soon and allow both the IPTV and the legacy product to get back to what it used to be.

Bruce

Re: X1 IPTV service

Pauly
Resident Expert

Hi BS,

 

My response may not be the answer your looking for, but I am not here to contest or dispute or argue with what others have said or believe.  I actually was selected to do ORT testing from an unnamed company, for multiple products ranging from Broadband Internet, Cellular Wireless, and Television related.  I know for sure that The products were close to Launch Ready, and had a small amount of bugs to iron out and our job was indeed to test it during Work AND outside of work hours.  Obviously if we encountered a problem while using the products  outside of work hours, we were required to send the error report during work hours, they did not expect us to send reports after hours when no body was checking the mailbox.

 

I must say, putting in the bug reports during the ORT phase of the trial, I did indeed see a FAST response to getting the errors fixed.  Much faster than if I were to put a report in after a product launch has gone live. There could be many reasons for this, maybe they had a dedicated team handling only these specific reports and maybe they had a specific budget to fix them within a specific time, that I do not know, I was only on the end-user side of the ORT. 

 

I also agree fully with you about the Navigator fail. I do not own a Navigator, never have, never will, however many family and friends of mine used navigator, some are no longer customers of Rogers Cable because of this and boy o boy did I ever get an ear full from them about the problem day after day of how bad it was.  I also read these and other forums very frequently and I was quite shocked as to how a project could go to launch with all these bugs and glitches.

 

After working with project managers and even doing an acting project manager role in my past, this failure would be totally unacceptable and I would not expect key people who worked on this project to be employed by the company any longer.

 

With that said, I do wish there was some pre-prouction testing of the iptv cable to select customers, though its not my call and knowing the company, it probably will not happen based on what I've seen in the past from working with an unnamed company in the Telecom indusry.



Re: X1 IPTV service

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

@Pauly wrote:

I also agree fully with you about the Navigator fail. I do not own a Navigator, never have, never will, however many family and friends of mine used navigator, some are no longer customers of Rogers Cable because of this and boy o boy did I ever get an ear full from them about the problem day after day of how bad it was.  I also read these and other forums very frequently and I was quite shocked as to how a project could go to launch with all these bugs and glitches.


@Pauly Just curious what cable access  or STBs you currently use.  I have a couple of 8300 PVRs and DTAs and have been apalled at all the Navigatr interface problems reported over the years with newer boxes, some of which probably will never get rectified before the Nextboxes are obsolete.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: X1 IPTV service

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

@Pauly wrote:

 

With that said, I do wish there was some pre-prouction testing of the iptv cable to select customers, though its not my call and knowing the company, it probably will not happen based on what I've seen in the past from working with an unnamed company in the Telecom indusry.


I have learned a lot more about how Rogers tests and rollouts their products - I actually like what I just heard from you.

 

The new announced Soft Launch method is coming from a CEO who was with Telus before and I have a daughter who works for them in their IPG metadata quality management and has told me about some of their testing and quality expectations.

 

The soft roll out with engineers and staff provides them the framework for skilled people to work hands on in the "wild" not the internal lab, then bringing in customers on the next pass will give them the chance to give their feedback on bugs, and hard to learn features that need well designed FAQ's and feature descriptions, so it is a chance to make it all user friendly.

 

Each company decides on their testing and implementation model, I have been somewhat soured by some of the glaring failures from what I perceive as clear examples of not involving the customers in the development and final implementation and documentation phases.

 

I actually feel a bit more comfortable with the current process, as well as the beta process on the Hitron modems and maybe Rogers is deciding that they can't risk the failures of the past.

 

As a final point, thinking over this whole thing the last while, we are in the middle of massive change in technology and customer expectations, which when a company moves these too fast, is ripe for significant failures.  And we also are beginning to become much more aware of just how much copyright, distribution rights, patents, licensing is coming into play and creates a very confusing scenario for customers as to why I can watch a channel on one device and not another, in my home, but not outside my home, why a feature like manage my PVR suddenly disappears and coming soon is much more a hope than reality - it is not a technical issue to do this, it is a patent issues that lies with the supplier Comcast and Tivo patents, and many of the failures of the Navigatr lay with a grand vision that Espial would be able to put their RDK (middleware) on existing Cisco Nextbox 3, not so much the 2's, then Cisco pulled out and gave it to Technicolour, Espial proved unable to deliver and were pulled out of the IPTV, Rogers tried to take inside and do it them selves as did Shaw, and it failed, so aside from customer input, changing technology and ownership of the hardware, software, and licensing is all being rebuilt at the same time.

 

So, my hope is that they will get it right when it starts rolling out on their projected time of this fall and that I can keep my old Nextbox 3 PVR and nextbox 2 (not by choice, just no 3's were available in inventory and I didn't want to pay to go up to the 4K).  I hope to keep it running as long as I can, and the bottom line is I can't afford all this new technology and new pricing structures anyway, so the final decision for me when changes come is what I can afford, and how well it works.

 

Bruce

Re: X1 IPTV service

Pauly
Resident Expert

@OLDYELLR wrote:
@Pauly curious what cable access  or STBs you currently use.  I have a couple of 8300 PVRs and DTAs and have been apalled at all the Navigatr interface problems reported over the years with newer boxes, some of which probably will never get rectified before the Nextboxes are obsolete.curious what cable access  or STBs you currently use.  I have a couple of 8300 PVRs and DTAs and have been apalled at all the Navigatr interface problems reported over the years with newer boxes, some of which probably will never get rectified before the Nextboxes are obsolete. 

@hi  OLDYELLER,

To Answer your question, in the most simple terms, I am NOT a Rogers Cable Subscriber, I am with a different  legitimate provider for my Television Services.  The only time I have used Rogers Cable was when I was living with my parents before I got married. My parents never owned any netboxes the only thing they owned was the Scientific Atlantic Set Top box that runs on Sara, which does NOT run navigator, phew, what a releif