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?
There is a lot of traditional inventory of set boxes under the old mdel available, and a TIVO has provided the ability to run IPTV access to Netflix and over the top systems, shared access to devices in the home, alongside over the air antenna, or traditional cable...
What I wouldn't give to have TiVo on my STB. I was a TiVo user for 10+ years and boy did I miss it when I switched to Rogers Navigatr box. It's a usability hot mess. I have no idea how Rogers employees can use it and think it's acceptable. And the remote... don't get me started on the remote!
Anyway, here's hoping the X1 IPTV software and hardware is an improvement. And that there's better usability testing along with the ability and willingness to fix problems.
@pvanbAs to your point of how can Rogers employees find the Navigatr unacceptable, that has always been my concern with internal testing and no user testing is the challenge is the tester works for the company and the goal of the company is to get the product out. There is a built in bias that the internal tester is operating from, which potentially prevents them from viewing the task as a user would. I have always said, testers are not users, but users are the final testers of what finally comes.
Minor edit - changes meaning, but think people knew what I meant.
"how can Rogers employees find the Navigatr unacceptable"
That should read acceptable. Oops, remember those disabilities around print I mentioned. I can type, but I have difficulties reading. I tend to catch my errors later on. but thought I should fix that one.
Here's to as much user input and willingness to change as Rogers is willing to allow for. It would be a real breath of fresh air. From one of the many who went through the Navigatr mess from start to now. I actually knew little about set top boxes and TV before I got involved in providing feedback and analyzing and understanding what happened that time around and from day one, I never could figure out how they ever let that one out, but I now believe it was part of a larger plan and they had deadlines to meet and suppliers changed ownership and some didn't come through as expected. That is the only thing corporately I can see could have happened - they got sold on a future with Espial and Cisco, Cisco got out of it and Espial couldn't deliver and the whole project got stalled, but unfortunately, they had no alternative to fall back on. Cisco was the original supplier of the Nextbox models and we the customers got caught in a disaster - my hope is that in future if they get caught in one of these again, they have the courage to support the customers who pay for everything and sell holding back to the shareholders. Better than spending almost 3 years to try build IPTV on a poorly supported hardware and network platform and then have it all fail.
In a lot of ways though, I suspect they are probably pretty confined to the Comcast model that ultimately comes out. Looking at all the current versions out there at Shaw and their freerange TV, download to go, freezing playback and start at same spot on another device, ultimately a manage PVR of some kind to come, stream on demand, DVR, whole home DVR, Blue Sky TV, ability to view Crave and Netflix and integrated search and voice activated remote - sound familiar - should it is Comcast, looking the same as Rogers, just different names. Don't see a cloud PVR though which Comcast can do and Bell already does as does Vmedia.
And they have a mix of hybrid cable and IPTV and Internet over the top, and even selling legacy refurbished boxes, so can expect to see them keep the older model for a while at least.
Go to Xfinity, and you will basically the same things, under different names, - but in the media you will see that a lot of things not rolled out onRogers (PVR management and others) and on Shaw are tied up with Tivo and Comcast licensing issues, which I have no doubt will get worked out at last hour of expected rollouts. Just hope they don't delay it too long as that will impact testing of those features and keeping the QAM system functioning alongside the IPTV. We have already seen how in the process of rolling out the new apps for IPTV model that glitches can happen.
The other customer is Cox Communication in the USA and again, lots of similiarities, same licensing limitations.
Shaw has taken a slow phased out proces, similiar to what has been described by Rogers, so there is hope that at the end of the day it will work well. Seems to for now keep the best of the old world and adds in features of the new world, in particular the access in the home and out of home on PC and apps, the over the top apps like Netflix and Crave, voice control for those who like that (I prefer to talk to people or myself thank you (; ), and the PVR cloud along with at home PVR for whole home.
So it all looks promising, I will be sticking with what I have, and one thing I have noticed on boards for these companies is cost for equipment, and feature sets, so at the end of the day, after getting to work, will be the competetive cost issue. For me it is kind of like the 30,000 plus cost cars with all sorts of bells and whistles. I can't afford to buy a car for over 10,000, so I buy used and live without the bells and whistles. And my experience with some of the bells and whistles, is does the software in the cars keep up with entertainment device software, and when one of those features goes, the cost can be steep to repair.
So at the end of the day for me, cost will come into a play - a Tivo PVR box over the air antenna with Internet and a few OTT networks like Netflix and Crave can give me a full set of TV entertainment.
Think I have said enough - will wait to see what comes after the soft rollout to customers, and final rollout, the pricing structure.
@BS Agree with you re testing and the hope that they're more open and responsive to feedback.
I'm not optimistic about the new system being competative with say, TiVo. I'm not familiar with Comcast's XFinity offering, but I'm pretty sure it's already starting at a disadvantage (whether due to patents or just not having years of refinement.) Add to that the inevitable restrictions imposed by Rogers technical limitations and business interests (artificial or otherwise) and it can't help but get worse. I am optimistic that it's better than what we have now though, so I'm willing to take a chance on it.
I also agree that OTA TiVo + some OTT services is the way to go. I went into my 2-year contract with a NextBox 4k expecting it to be a stop-gap before transitioning to the aforementioned combo. My NextBox experience has been much worse than I could have imagined so the upcoming X1 IPTV service is going to have to be dramatically better for me to change my mind.
I would argue that there are other options that are superior but they take more know-how. I have been using PC based DVR software for well over a decade. First I was using Windows Media Center Edition but about nine years ago I switched to SageTV. I have two Rogers boxes (SA32500HD and SA4250HD) hooked up to Hauppauge HD-PVR capture devices via component cables. This lets me capture any and all content on cable TV. I also have an OTA dual tuner - a HD HomeRun. At each of the nine TVs in my house I have SageTV HD200 or HD300 extenders. This gives me a whole home solution for playing back TV as well as ripped DVDs/BRs or any other video files. The only thing it doesn't give me is easy access to streaming content. But there is now a client for SageTV that runs on AndroidTV devices so that gives you a great solution - all of the streaming content that you want from Netflix, YouTube, etc, plus ripped video files plus RecordedTV. You need several TB of hard drive space and some IT know-how but this is the best solution out there. The only trick will be capturing 4K content but there are capture devices on the horizon to do that (search AliExpress for 4k encoders) and hopefully there will be tuners that can receive ATSC 3.0 content when that starts broadcasting in the near future.