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An alternative to Navigatr?

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

I just came across this interesting news item.

 

http://nerdist.com/fcc-ruling-cable-apple-tv-android-tv-google-amazon/

 

Granted, it's FCC in the States, but maybe it will happen in Canada too. If you had a Smart TV or an Android box, ore a number of other devices, imagine watching all your cable channels without having to deal with Navigatr!


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
15 REPLIES 15

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

All the cable companies would have to support IPTV then.. or some form of streaming app for all live... but then quite doable.

Likely would mostly only then work for LIVE tv though.. maybe not PVR functions.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

There are various plugins that will give you hundreds of channels via Kodi - this is "doable", but not legal yet. I hope Rogers goes full-IPTV soon and gives us some options! I have a feeling some of us forum members could design and implement a kick butt interface. 

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

This could be an option in Canada, but at the moment, most people don't even know what a cable card, or cable channel access over individual boxes are - we have never had it, except back in the early days of Cable when tuners could be bought, channel switching boxes, and eventually the tuners were on our TV's, and scrambled speciality channels required the rental or purchase of descrambler box.

 

I remember we did a deal with Rogers one year where they gave us the box for free for one year, plus fee for speciality channels - dropped it at the end - back in the day when they were forced to remove the negative billing option.

 

To get it in Canada, will require a discussion to begin, at the governement and CRTC level to show that there is a demand to go in this way.  Cable companies have already stated before they have no interest in it (why would they, they make a lot by controlling the box content, now with all digital, we now have to have a box for each tv, so it is a big money maker, I am sure.

 

Further, they are right when they say that there has been little demonstrated issue, and it is unfortunate that it didn't seem to come up in the Ask Canadians discussions on Cable options.  But if people become vocal and start the discussion, it may become and option.  Plus, if smaller companies coming into the market were to decide to provide the alternative options of boxes, then it would bring more options - but at the moment, they are following the same model as Bell with IPTV which is to tie their internet to their tv box.

 

But if we begin seeing it showing up in the states, maybe we will start asking for it here.

 

Thanks for highlighting, yet another change that technology is bringing to the market.

Bruce

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

robindp
I'm an Advisor

I agree with all points, but still hope to see change. The current set of issues (Navigatr, VOD/OnDemand, Internet gaming issues, etc) are driving consumers to the "other guys" -- I have received two calls in the last two days (at two numbers!) from them trying to get my business. 

 

Would also say that consumers can learn - we did it with channel changers, analog descramblers, Wonderbox, and now with digital cable. Any option (ex: Cable Card) that allows for hardware competition and more choice can only be good for the consumer - and in the long run - Rogers. The alternative is to have unhappy customers who continually complain and push for discounts...or run to the competition (legal or otherwise). 

 

Agreed - customers need to be vocal and demand better hardware, software and service delivery options. Open source software (in set top boxes or computers), more hardware options, MPEG-4, h.265 and/or IPTV may help - but people need to be educated and see what options exist.

 

Not sure how to do that...

 

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

Maybe a contact to Market place to start the discussion of the American model and how it opens up new options, and more competition, on the services and box choices - that is what the whole Ask Canadians discussion was all about - finding ways to give consumers more choice within companies, and between companies.

 

The other issue to be brought up is that companies are demanding that you have their Internet tied to their TV options. Technologically, there is no reason why you could not connect an IPTV cable box to any internet - that is what you are doing with Netflix on gaming machines, various other new devices, smart tv's, blue ray smart and IP applications, Roku, Apple Tv, Chrome TV, etc. It is all IP protocols pointing to a specific media server company, which requires authentication, and copyright protection where needed.

 

But at the moment, the companies are free to do this if they so choose, same as Cable companies could use Cable cards right now.  All the boxes have an onboard cable card in place, and as we see, various companies have various products that run on their networks - SARA and Nextbox on Rogers, as well as Motorola out east, Shaw uses another version of Nextbox, and an add on gateway for whole home TV, so we know that various devices can be setup to run on any cable network.

 

Also, provide it as a discussion for Ellen Roseman.

 

If it can go more highly public, it will come.

 

Bruce

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Ellenbarb
I'm a Frequent Visitor
Happy to get your feedback, Bruce.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Ellenbarb
I'm a Frequent Visitor
Jst realized I should introduce myself. I'm Ellen Roseman and I write a consumer column at the Toronto Star. I've covered the Navigatr problems twice and I get emails from people who want me to do more. I joined the forums today for the first time and I like the discussion about giving clients the freedom to use their own cable boxes on Rogers' network. Please keep making points I can use in a future article.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Well, at this time at least.. there is SOME reasoning behind why the few that do IPTV, do require their own specific boxes (and their internet)

 

On Bell or whoever your doing the IPTV with.. you dont get CHARGED for usage for the IPTV streams.  

Vs regular any form of other streaming.
So while I understant

While i am sure there are other ways of still possibly doing this, say with apps on other hardware?? Doesnt help where its on another providers internet.. they are not going to give you FREE usage for the TV usage.

I think the major KEY thing that needs to change BEFORE any of these things can change, it adjustments to the INTERNET packages. 
Sure, offer 5 different speed levels... but there needs to be more UNLIMITED option.. then the amount of usage for an IPTV based TV stream becomes MOOT.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

@Gdkitty  Good points, but let's consider that this is the very early stages of the development of a new model for TV and Internet, and one that the CRTC decided in terms of Netflix to leave alone for now and let the industry work through it.

 

But it is also important for consumers to have input on this topic.

 

For me, this issue of where is the industry going lies in the reality that for 7 months plus, as consumers, we have had our hands tied.  For myself, as I have said before I am waiting out for now, one due to a contract and I don't like paying any company any more than I have too, plus, I haven't figured out where to go if I do change - I am an optimist, I think that Rogers will get their act together, but I would love to see a broader conversation on opening up the market fully in terms of unbundling Internet, although there may be benefits to keeping it as TV bundled with Internet - I  throw it out as a converatioon, as @OLDYELLR raised the American model that is going on.  For example, we currently see amost every network bringing their networks online, but linking to connections to services purchased through a cable/tv subscription.

 

This model entwines the media and the cable/tv providers even more than they already are, although some networks like Bravo provide it free to us over the Internet and require us to watch advertising, so there are all sorts of models out there that can be developed.

 

After the experience with being tied to a providers idea of what is going to be our viewing experience, and having no accountability to the customer in letting us know what is going on (but given the transition that is going on as we speak, they may not fully know where they are going either.)

 

So for now, I am glad that oldyeller brought this link into the discussion - it certainly reflects a big change in the US model, which we do piggy back on where for the first time ever, HBO is going to bundle with Internet companies, not just Cable companies, and there are companies in Canada that are well along the way to having solid IPTV and Internet options in place, but are just waiting for the full access to the high speed networks - Bell has appealed the decision, but hopefully, in this appeal process, there will be a high level of involvement from the customer base, the smaller companies.

 

The playing field is opening up and changing rapidly, the rules and field is changing, as are the teams to use a sports analogy.

 

There is a risk to customers that we may get caught like the implementation of 2 year phone contracts, which led to a massive change up in the marketing models in many different ways, but it did open the opportunity for companies to compete on what types of services, packages, and customer bases they wish to grab a hold onto.

 

I hope that whatever the changes are, that I and other consumers have more choice in terms of dealing with decisions that are made by providers that sometimes go real wrong - like Navigtr.

 

Welcome @Ellenbarb to the discussion.

 

I feel that this is a more important discussion than just what is happening with Navigtr.  I think we know almost everything we are going to know, with the summaries by @Gdkitty and @57 and others, the CRTC is aware of the CC issues and have asked for answers, so I am at the point that I have little to say about it anymore. I think we can give people some suggestions of the answers to why it happened, and how to work around the issues, and support them in at least knowing what they can and can't do.  People remain free to continue to ask for answers and changes, but for me, other than occassionally directing people to the how to's, the issue lists and advising ways to escalate and validating their concerns, I will be trying to use my services as best, researching alternatives, and helping others where I can.

 

May the discussion begin!

 

Bruce

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Ellenbarb wrote:
...I'm Ellen Roseman...

Hello Ellen and welcome.   Be aware that the link in post 1 is regarding the FCC, which is in the US and has no immediate bearing on what happens in Canada.   There are several such previous "mandates" that applied to the US, but did not apply in Canada.  Examples include CableCARD, its newer version Tru2Way, and unencrypted local channels on Cable systems.

 

Just as an FYI, there's a good summary of the issues still plaguing Navigatr in the following thread.

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/PVR_settop_boxes_remotes/thread-...

 

And there's a "How To" guide, showing how unintuitive Navigatr is in the following "How To" thread:

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/PVR_settop_boxes_remotes/thread-...



Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

@57  Thanks for clarifying that those initiatives are US.  My only point is that technology wise, these options are doable, and I am sure that many customers are completely unaware of these options.  I think an open discussion may lead to variations of these models in Canada.

 

Imagine how many of us would have gone out and bought a different box during the time that Navigtr has been in place since July, if we could use alternative boxes, authorized to the Rogers network.

 

My review of the past documents on these topics is that firstly the providers said there was no interest in going this model, there was no requests for it, and the CRTC was not seeing a large interest in it either.  But if people knew, they would take it to hearings and start asking about it, and the CRTC could directly ask the question too.

 

I can see that no company wants to go down this model - it would directly impact their control over revenue streams, and even in the states, the companies fought it, but the FCC said too bad.

 

But thanks for clarifying that none of these options are currently available in Canada and for the reference to the current issue lists.

 

Bruce

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor

Also consider the following summary of the company response to the original issues put together by @roxandtreez, and this is not even a complete list, as it was done in early August back when we thought maybe summarizing and providing solutions may speed the process up.

 

I will acknowledge though that research on the suppliers, Cisco, Videoscape, Technicolor, ANT, and Espial has suggested that Rogers has been dealing with a rapidly changing supplier and technical market.  Possibly if Canadian regulators and companies had considered a model where we could choose alternative devices, they could have had some leverage to deal with delivery of poorly implemented products, although there would probably be contractual considerations that also drove what happened.  But Rogers has never acknowledged this, while indirectly, Espial has commented on it to their shareholders.

 

Link to the summary list

 

http://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/forums/forumtopicpage/board-id/PVR_settop_boxes_remotes/page/11...

 

 

Summary:  38 items - 8 fixed as suggested - most of these were bugs - 4 fixed somewhat, but with some remaining or new issues, 2 I didn't test, leaving 24 not dealt with.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Ellenbarb
I'm a Frequent Visitor
Thanks for all the explanation and links, everyone.

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

Just had an overall thought on this as well..

While this may open/remove the rogers boxes from the equasion.. i would ASSUME that that it would still require every carrier to create their FRONT END apps for all the other platforms... that it needs to be able to connect to their back end, etc..

So you could just end up with Navigatr on another interface potentially... 😞

Re: An alternative to Navigatr?

BS
I'm a Senior Advisor
An update to the combined Internet TV issue - Bell is dropping that requirement in 2017, don't know whether they will play games with pricing, like is being done by all with channel packages and pick and pay, like raise the price for both services and make it a better deal to purchase both. Whatever happens, we can expect all the companies will not be far behind, but Bell has an up at the moment, they have the technology in place in most places in major centres anyway, and are pushing to increase their users from 2 million to 3 million in one year, so expect some really good deals coming down the tubes as full FTTH and full Gb becomes available to all customers where the backbones are already in place.
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