How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

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How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

First of all, I'm not an Ignite customer.  In fact, I cancelled Rogers digital cable when I went to an IPTV package from my ISP using fibre that was installed in my area last summer.

 

My transition was more of a surprise than for most of you moving from Rogers Digital Cable to Ignite TV because I had a SA8300HD PVR on the SARA system, with none of the fancy shmancy graphics of the NAVIGATR interface, but it was simple, user friendly and had several features the later interfaces had dropped.  My legacy VIP also had way more channels, although, unfortunately, not the ones I really wanted.

 

Here are a couple of annoyances I found switching from Digital Cable to IPTV.

1. When playing cloud recordings I find the FF button skips in bigger steps than it did  with digital recordings on my hard drive.  Do you also see that on Ignite?

2. With my new IPTV service, I find that some SD channels do not display or record with the correct aspect ratio.  TV Ontario is weird because it displays correctly live, but record in SD, horizontally compressed. How is it on Ignite TV?

 

I ask these questions not only for my own edification, but so Rogers customers switching from Digital Cable to Ignite TV know what they'll be getting, because you can't switch back.

 

 

***Added Labels*** 

 


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?


@OLDYELLR wrote:

How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?


My experience with Ignite TV, so far, has been positive.  I used to be a Digital TV subscriber, and I have also been a Bell Fibe TV customer, and I have experienced issues with both of those services that drove be crazy.  Ignite TV has been working very well for me.

 

My transition was more of a surprise than for most of you moving from Rogers Digital Cable to Ignite TV because I had a SA8300HD PVR on the SARA system, with none of the fancy shmancy graphics of the NAVIGATR interface, but it was simple, user friendly and had several features the later interfaces had dropped.  My legacy VIP also had way more channels, although, unfortunately, not the ones I really wanted.

I can relate.  I used to have the same hardware.  Unfortunately, I started running into serious picture quality issues on switched digital video channels, that Rogers could not resolve, and switched to Fibe TV when it became available in my area.

 

A few years later, I switched back to Rogers.  Unfortunately, I still had the same picture quality issues as before and now had a whole new set of problems with Navigatr to go along with it.

 

Suffice it to say, my experience with Digital TV had not been positive.

 

My parents still have Digital TV and have multiple SA8300HD PVRs.  Their service does work well.  My Ignite TV service works also well.  I see both at their best on a regular basis.  I can't say that either service is clearly better.  Both have their pluses and minuses, both from a picture quality perspective and from a features/functions/usability perspective.

 

Here are a couple of annoyances I found switching from Digital Cable to IPTV.

1. When playing cloud recordings I find the FF button skips in bigger steps than it did  with digital recordings on my hard drive.  Do you also see that on Ignite?

2. With my new IPTV service, I find that some SD channels do not display or record with the correct aspect ratio.  TV Ontario is weird because it displays correctly live, but record in SD, horizontally compressed. How is it on Ignite TV?


Re: #1, FF on Ignite has a different feel compared to the 8300HD.  That said, FF with cloud PVR playback and on-demand content on Ignite is actually pretty good.  The one nice thing about the 8300HD is that it is much easier to find/navigate to a very specific frame.  On Ignite, it is hard to rewind a small amount; you have to go back a few seconds.  Different IPTV platforms behave differently.  The 8300HD also has the advantage of slow-mo playback and frame advance.

 

The IPTV clients on Minerva, Mediaroom, MediaFirst, etc.  all have a different feel, and they are different from Comcast X1/Ignite TV.  FF on the 8300HD is also smoother than that of IPTV platforms that support local PVRs.

 

Re: #2, Ignite TV has very few SD channels.  Almost all mainstream channels are in HD.  (Most SD channels are foreign language channels.)  4:3 content on SD channels is usually presented with the correct aspect ratio, and the Ignite STB has the ability to stretch 4:3 content to fill a 16:9 screen.  Sometimes, IPTV encoders get misconfigured and the source content is not encoded and streamed in the correct format (a user just reported a problem with the Fairchild TV SD channel) but those sorts of problems can occur on any platform/provider.

 

I ask these questions not only for my own edification, but so Rogers customers switching from Digital Cable to Ignite TV know what they'll be getting, because you can't switch back.


The differences between Digital TV and Ignite TV have been discussed, at length, in threads such as these:

- Should I Make the Switch to Ignite TV?

- IGNITE TV vs CABLE/DIGITAL - IGNITE LOSES

 

Many of the early problems can be attributed to bad installations.  However, if your in-home network/Wi-Fi works well and your Internet service works well, then Ignite TV will also generally work well.

 

I first started working with Video over IP more than 25 years ago and IPTV technologies more that 17 years ago.  I have seen IPTV at its best and at its worst.  Rogers' Ignite TV is actually pretty good as far as IPTV implementations go.  Could it be better?  Yes, absolutely.

 

The average user will say that picture quality on Ignite TV is comparable to that of Digital TV.  However, if you get nit-picky, you will see that Rogers' IPTV encoders don't handle de-interlacing all that well; when the scene pans, you will see judder... and that drives me crazy.  I think that there is still a problem where you lose surround sound when playing cloud PVR recordings.  These issues are all fixable.

 

I like the way that Ignite TV works but it is different from Digital TV.  Some users, who have made the switch to Ignite, got upset when their favourite feature on the old platform works differently (e.g. scheduling PVR recordings) or is missing altogether (e.g. PiP, on-screen call display) or when they run into new incompatibilities with the set-top box and their TV.  I took a leap of faith when I switched to Ignite but did not get any surprises.  It actually worked better than expected, my experience at home was better than what I saw in Rogers stores, and I found that the major functional differences between Ignite TV and Digital TV were actually well documented.

 

 

At some point, Rogers Digital TV will go away and users will have to make a choice as to what path they take when they move on.  I presume that most will switch to Ignite TV.  Some will cut the cord altogether.  Some will switch to satellite.  Some will make a switch to other IPTV service providers... and will find that some IPTV implementations are not nearly as good as others:

 

  • As I mentioned earlier, a TV service provider will have to pick an IPTV middleware platform, and that usually comes down to a handful of vendors.  Each IPTV platform behaves differently and offers users a different TV viewing experience.  (These platforms can also collect a lot of data (for analytics and to gather behavioural data) so it is important to read and understand the privacy policy when signing up for any service, including Digital TV.)
  • Bell and Rogers offer their own set-top boxes.  Others provide an IPTV client that runs on an Android TV set-top box.  Some allow their users to install a client on an Apple TV box or an Amazon Fire TV stick.  Each offers a very different experience.
  • Picture quality can vary greatly from one provider to another.  Some use better IPTV encoders than others.  Some encode content at higher bitrates, or encode with multiple bitrates at the source and stream with adaptive bitrates.  Some only offer SD channels and/or stream at very low bitrates.
  • The overall experience also depends on the content rights that get negotiated with the channel owners, and the capabilities that you have when watching program content live, streamed, recorded, on-demand, via lookback, via restart, on mobile apps, downloaded, etc.
  • The amount of PVR storage can vary considerably from one provider to another.
  • Another major differentiator is how channels are packaged and priced.  I would encourage everybody to take note of which channels they watch all the time, sometimes, or never watch at all, and work out the price for a TV service that best meets their needs.  It is refreshing to see some new up-and-comers striving to provide an exceptional service AND innovate when it comes to how they structure their packages and optional theme packs.  Rogers could do better... but I also give them kudos for offering Flex Channels... and hope that we will see more Flex Channel choices offered in Popular, and better value in the lower tier packages.
  • The overall support experience also varies.  Rogers owns the solution end-to-end.  Rogers also stands out in that they provide us with a forum where we can raise issues and openly discuss problems.

 

Some may ask why Rogers chose to adopt Comcast's X1 platform.  Rogers didn't have a lot of choices.  They needed a mature platform that performs well over Cable Internet, that can scale to a HUGE number of users, that is easy for them to support, that is backed by a company that is financially stable and that will continue to exist for the foreseeable future, and that will also enable Rogers to expand the scope of services that they can offer to their customers.  I may like some IPTV middleware vendors better but I also can't fault Rogers for the choice that they made.

 

The bottom line is that Ignite TV works well and generally stands out in a good way when compared to Digital Cable and to its competitors.  Ignite TV may have some shortcomings but they are all fixable, and it has the potential to be better than Digital Cable in every way.  Ignite TV will also enable Rogers to finally get rid of legacy technologies that stifle their ability to innovate.  By moving to an all-IP-based service delivery model, Rogers will be able to continue to provide those services over both existing infrastructure and next-generation infrastructure.



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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

Although I don't have IgniteTV, I have been following the developments and differences between Ignite and Digital Cable closely, because I would like to have IgniteTV, but at this point in time, there are still several issues which would bother me too much to switch:

 

Significant IgniteTV Shortcomings.

 

- No DD5.1 on recordings - this one is major for audiophiles and is over one year old.

- Latency/ping issues which affect performance.

- Emergency Alert doesn’t cancel - unforgivable.

- No Guest Mode on modem/router - unforgivable.

- No "on-channel" selection.  Box starts up on the last channel instead.  I prefer a start-up channel option.

 

Items that are available on Digital Cable that are not available on IgniteTV but that I don't consider major shortcomings, but may bother some people:

Lack of TV Call Display.

Recordings get deleted after one year on Ignite.

 

The fact that Ignite offers the option to programme the PVR functionality remotely bothers me, since I lost that functionality on Digital Cable several years ago.  I have usually been able to find workarounds and with COVID-19, I'm not travelling so it doesn't matter.  Once I start travelling again, this may become more of an issue for me (say 2021)

 

 

 



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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

@57

1. What is the Latency/Ping issue? I have not experienced it.

2. Emergency Alert cancellation? Same comment as #1.

3. No Guest Mode. I tend to agree, but not an issue for me,especially during COVID times. The Comcast strategy was control via the WiFi access via the app, and for WiFi everywhere for all customers (similar to roaming), but the market is too fragmented in Canada for that to be realistic.

4. I think you meant to say that Ignite does not offer the option of remote management of recording functions.

5. Although out of country access to the PVR is supposed to be available, I found that I could not do so on a trip last year.

 

I would also add that the Ignite TV playback on a web browser requires Flash, and Flash is going away at the end of this year. There has been no statement from Comcast or Rogers on how they are going to address the.

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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?


@Bplayer wrote:

1. What is the Latency/Ping issue? I have not experienced it.

2. Emergency Alert cancellation? Same comment as #1.

3. No Guest Mode. I tend to agree, but not an issue for me,especially during COVID times. The Comcast strategy was control via the WiFi access via the app, and for WiFi everywhere for all customers (similar to roaming), but the market is too fragmented in Canada for that to be realistic.

4. I think you meant to say that Ignite does not offer the option of remote management of recording functions.

5. Although out of country access to the PVR is supposed to be available, I found that I could not do so on a trip last year.


1. Here's the link:  https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Internet/Brutal-latency-ping-Recently/m-p/454780#M58647

 

2. When an emergency alert (like an Amber Alert) comes up on most digital cable boxes, you can hit the exit key to get rid of the annoying klaxon, audio and message. My understanding is that you cannot exit with Ignite.

 

4. Yes, I should have said - you can set the PVR to record your programmes remotely, or even in another part of the home from another device/computer, etc.

 

5. Correct.



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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

I think the posts on this topic cover the subject pretty well.  Over all I like Ignite and feel it is a better product.   I especially like being able to use voice control for many things..my biggest grip is the call display not appearing on the TV.

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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?


@57 wrote:

1. Here's the link:  https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Internet/Brutal-latency-ping-Recently/m-p/454780#M58647


Latency would have to be extremely severe to affect Ignite TV but it is possible.  Normally, Ignite TV is able to ride out minor network blips.  However, severe packet loss can also cause audio/video drop-outs.

 

The biggest impact, in my experience, comes from slow/bad WiFi.  If the amount of available bandwidth over WiFi drops below the bandwidth that is required for streaming, or if you have lots of packet loss due to interference, you will obviously have problems streaming Ignite TV.

 

As I said before if your in-home network/WiFi is working well and your Internet is working well then Ignite TV should work well.

 

This is one area where Ignite TV and other streaming services are better than Digital TV.  With Digital TV, if you get errors/corruption in the datastream that is beyond the ability of forward error correction to fix, you will get pixellation.  With Ignite TV, the stream is buffered enough that any lost packets should get retransmitted before the decoder requires that data, so you should not even notice the glitch.

 

2. When an emergency alert (like an Amber Alert) comes up on most digital cable boxes, you can hit the exit key to get rid of the annoying klaxon, audio and message. My understanding is that you cannot exit with Ignite.


Yes, that is correct:  https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Ignite-TV/Emergency-Alerts-on-Ignite-TV/m-p/459157

 

I'm wondering if they could be re-using "Presidential Alert" code (that cannot be interrupted) to display Alert Ready messages.  Waiting for the next Alert to see whether this has been fixed.

 

 

My frustration with Comcast's X1 platform is that they designed all the hardware and software for their own purposes, and its development is driven by their Xfinity product roadmap, their development cycles, their schedules, and their priorities, not anybody else's.  Other cable companies can license it (along with their reference architectures) and customize it to the extent that is possible, but good luck if you require any changes in functionality or need any specific bugs fixed immediately.  I am not saying that the product or the platform is horrible; it just is what it is.

 

If Comcast does not see any need to address any of the issues that you deem "unforgivable" or does not see any need to implement any of the features that we tell Rogers that we would like to see, it most likely will not happen.



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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

Hello there : We came from Bell XpressVu. Satellite. And DSL internet. Ignite was like magic.

Quality wise, not a lot to choose. Satellite actually become very good to very, very, good over the years.

Internet now there was no comparison < 6 mbs at best to WELL the sky ! >

 

However, in joining Ignite, I feel as though I've sold my soul to the devil.

Thus, to quote  Mordo from Dr Strange ' the bill comes due, it always comes due '

 

BTW : we have more frequent problems w/ Ignite than Bell Xpress Vu.

The kicker was that we needed to get cable to the house somehow in order to have any options down the line

So going forward, I will monitor posts such as this one

 

Thnx for the info

 

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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

Thanks for the feedback everybody.  When I switched from Rogers Digital Cable to Execulink Link TV I was a little disappointed and wondered if Ignite TV had similar flaws. It seems it does. For me the biggest plus was choice of channels that can be changed on line day-to-day and the ability to cloud record any number of channels at once (my SA8300HD PVR only had 2 tuners).


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario
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Re: How do you like Ignite TV compared to Digital Cable?

@OLDYELLR  Using the word "flaws" and painting IPTV with that word using a broad brush is a bit unfair.

 

Also, comparing an SA8300HD with Ignite TV is a bit like comparing a Windows 3.1 PC to a modern Mac... and saying that the Mac is awful because it doesn't ship with Solitaire.  Ignite TV is different and it takes some getting used to.  And yeah, the older platform certainly does do some things better.

 

To implement IPTV well requires a HUGE capital investment, and the smaller providers inevitably need to cut corners.  I don't believe that Rogers cut corners.  With Rogers, rolling out something like Ignite TV would also have involved a huge learning curve internally.  They also deployed the X1 platform as an "all-IP" implementation, which is different from Comcast's hybrid implementation.  Ignite TV has become more polished since it first rolled out and I still firmly believe that it will continue to improve over time.

 

I haven't seen or used Execulink Link TV so I can't confirm whether it suffers from the same "flaws" as Ignite TV.  I can point to things that I don't like about Ignite TV, and things that I would have done differently had I designed it or had the opportunity to improve it.  However, overall, I still like it and it works well for me.

 

Which TV provider you go with is a bit like choosing between a PC, a Mac and a Chromebook.  Each platform is different; each has attributes that you will like and/or dislike.  In the end, you pretty much have to pick the one that you like the best and that fits your budget.  You can also choose not to buy any of them.