Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

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toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Posts: 512

Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

Hi everyone.  I finally migrated to an Ignite TV + Internet + Home phone bundle on Saturday morning.  While I had already seen Ignite TV in action at friends’ and family members’ homes, it was a limited experience and I haven’t had a chance to really use it in depth until now.

 

Overall, I love it!  Great interface, cool features, and excellent picture quality.  I loved the picture quality of my old NB3 PVR but I can honestly say that Ignite TV pic quality is noticeably better.  In fact, when we were watching TV last night, my wife even said "wow, the picture is so clear!" and she NEVER notices stuff like that...so the fact that she noticed it says a lot.

 

I have the Technicolor XB6 running in bridge mode with my own Asus RT-AC68U router and everything (well almost everything) works great.  My internet plan is 150/15.

 

A few observations:

 

1. Pings and jitter are ever so slightly higher than they were with my CODA-4582 modem.  We’re talking 2-3ms higher so nothing significant.

 

2. When running speed tests on Ookla, download speeds are fine but the upload speed tests are interesting.  They always start at 16Mbps right away but then quickly drop to 3 or 4 Mbps, and then very slowly climb back up to the max for my plan.  They eventually reach 15 or 16 Mbps by the end of the speed test.  I tested this with the XB6 in gateway mode as well and it’s exactly the same result.  And it’s the same result regardless of being connected directly via Ethernet or over WiFi.  It’s also the same result when testing on fast.com.  With the CODA modem, it was a solid 16Mbps from the beginning and throughout each and every test…there were never any dips.

 

3. Regardless if I’m in bridge mode or gateway mode, the Ping Plotter app refuses to work 50% of the time.  Sometimes traces via the Ping Plotter app will start and run perfectly fine but sometimes they won’t run at all and will show a solid red bar across the board with no IPs listed, as if I have 100% packet loss, which is obviously not the case.  With the CODA modem, Ping Plotter traces worked every time.

 

4. Rewinding and fast forwarding anything (live tv, on demand, etc) is very frustrating.  I already knew about this after hearing of the experience from other Ignite TV users but I didn’t know how annoying it was until I started using it myself.  The timing is very off (more than just a few seconds).  It’s probably the one thing I miss most about the NB3 box and having a local PVR where rewinding was 100% accurate.  I hope Rogers (errrrr Comcast 🙂) fixes this soon.

 

5. If I connect my Xi6 TV box to my network using an ethernet cable, channel changing is surprisingly slow.  If I disconnect ethernet and use WiFi alone, channel changing is fast (around 1 second or less).  Strange that being directly connected with ethernet would be slower.

 

6. The XB6 is capable of a backup battery for home phone but there isn’t one installed by default.  In the US, Comcast offers free batteries to any of their Xfinity customers that request one.  Does anyone know if Rogers will do the same?

 

That’s it for now!  Overall, as I said, the experience has been mostly positive but it’s only been two days 🙂

 

*** Edited Labels *** 

-G-
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Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations


@toolcubed wrote:

4. Rewinding and fast forwarding anything (live tv, on demand, etc) is very frustrating.  I already knew about this after hearing of the experience from other Ignite TV users but I didn’t know how annoying it was until I started using it myself.  The timing is very off (more than just a few seconds).  It’s probably the one thing I miss most about the NB3 box and having a local PVR where rewinding was 100% accurate.  I hope Rogers (errrrr Comcast) fixes this soon.

Welcome to the Ignite TV club!

 

Here is what I think is going on: https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Ignite-TV/IGNITE-TV-REMOTE-NOT-WORKING/m-p/479992/highlight/tr...

 

5. If I connect my Xi6 TV box to my network using an ethernet cable, channel changing is surprisingly slow.  If I disconnect ethernet and use WiFi alone, channel changing is fast (around 1 second or less).  Strange that being directly connected with ethernet would be slower.

I have only seen this when a set-top box thinks that it has IPv6 connectivity but that connectivity is broken.  It tries to establish a stream over IPv6 but cannot.  After a few seconds, it times out and falls back to IPv4, hence the delay.



Gdkitty
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Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

The view on the picture quality is interesting.
I would generally agree, that the picture quality is the same if not better than on digital cable.

BUT, there are people on here, who come in saying its worse.

Obviously that some people it works fine.. the tech is capable of it.
Thats the hard part with technology sometimes, I think that things dont always play nice with each other.

 

I wonder with some that have issues with quality.  That if they are having internet issues (signal, etc) that it could be just a poor stream, so its dropping the bit rate.
Or even just some TV incompatibilities.  By default the boxes are set to AUTO for quality, but I wonder if there are TVs which dont play nice with it and not syncing to the best quality.



toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Posts: 512

Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

@-G-  thanks!  That's a good explanation of the RW/FF issue.  Hopefully it's fixed soon but I'm not holding my breath.

 

Regarding the channel changing speed, I do remember you had mentioned your observation around it being tied to IPv6 in another thread.  By the way, I haven't enabled IPv6 on my router.  I'm still running in IPv4 only mode.  Channel changing for me has been very quick as long as I'm on WiFi only.  I don't mind though...I have no problem running my tv boxes over WiFi.  My WiFi coverage and performance is (and has always been) rock solid.

 

A few more observations:

 

1. I lost a ton of volume with the switch.  With digital tv, anything above volume "10" on my tv (100 being the max) was considered too loud.  With Ignite tv, we have to crank the volume up to almost 20 to achieve the same level of volume we had before.  Not a big deal.  Just another observation.

 

2. Sometimes, certain channels take another second or two to really kick-in fully.  The picture and sound come up right away (i.e. in one second or less after changing channels) but then I find that it sometimes takes another second or two for the stream to get up to full quality.  This is mostly noticeable with content recorded at 60fps like sports or news channels with scrolling text at the bottom of the screen.  For example, let's say I change to CP24 or CNN that has the scrolling text, when the channel first comes up, the text appears to be scrolling at 30FPS (i.e. it's not silky smooth right away).  But then after a second or two, it smooths out.  There doesn't appear to be any degradation in picture quality though...it's still super sharp and vibrant...it's just the second or two at the lower framerate.  Again, not a big deal.  Just another observation.

 

Lastly, the only hiccup with the migration process itself was that Rogers forgot to migrate my two @rogers.com email addresses.  So yesterday my wife and I had problems with our email accounts.  Luckily, the tech support agent I spoke with was able to migrate the accounts and get this resolved for us in about 20 minutes.

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Posts: 512

Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

@Gdkitty I agree.  The individuals complaining about poor picture quality with Ignite tv probably have issues with their internet too.  Ignite tv uses adaptive bitrate so it likely IS a case of their tv service dropping bitrate to compensate for their bandwidth/internet/WiFi issues.

 

But for me, it's definitely a noticeable difference as I mentioned before.  Ignite tv looks outstanding on both of my TVs.  The sharpness and colour accuracy are top notch.

reed935
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Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

I have had Ignite for about a year now, and have  been generally pretty happy with it.  I am having similar issues with the channel changes.  Originally had the box hard-wired and would often have to wait 10-15 secs for some channels to change.  Recently went through a bunch of renovations and disconnected the ethernet cable.  As things were finishing I just left it on wifi, but I still find it can take a while before some of the channels change.  How do I find out whether the box is actually using ipv6 properly or is falling back to ipv4 ??

reed935
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Posts: 12

Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

This delay is certainly more noticeable when going to or from a 4k channel.
-G-
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Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations


@toolcubed wrote:

Regarding the channel changing speed, I do remember you had mentioned your observation around it being tied to IPv6 in another thread.  By the way, I haven't enabled IPv6 on my router.  I'm still running in IPv4 only mode.  Channel changing for me has been very quick as long as I'm on WiFi only.  I don't mind though...I have no problem running my tv boxes over WiFi.  My WiFi coverage and performance is (and has always been) rock solid.


I tried to be careful with my wording when I said under what circumstances ** I ** saw the slow channel change behaviour.  In my case, wired or wireless, channel changes take the same amount of time; not instantaneous but less than 2 seconds.

 

If it is is taking several seconds for you to change channels when wired, in a supposedly IPv4-only network, it could be due to a set-top box bug or it could be due to IPv6 not being entirely disabled in your network.

 

You can check to see whether the STB has an IPv6 address by going into the diagnostic screens:

Press and hold the "Exit" button for three seconds, then key in "Down Down 2"

Scroll through the various screens to see whether the STB lists an IPv4 or an IPv6 IP address.

 

Another screen can be accessed by pressing and holding the "Exit" button for three seconds, then keying in "Down Down 4"

 

Press Exit to exit these info screens.

 

2. Sometimes, certain channels take another second or two to really kick-in fully.  The picture and sound come up right away (i.e. in one second or less after changing channels) but then I find that it sometimes takes another second or two for the stream to get up to full quality.  This is mostly noticeable with content recorded at 60fps like sports or news channels with scrolling text at the bottom of the screen.  For example, let's say I change to CP24 or CNN that has the scrolling text, when the channel first comes up, the text appears to be scrolling at 30FPS (i.e. it's not silky smooth right away).  But then after a second or two, it smooths out.  There doesn't appear to be any degradation in picture quality though...it's still super sharp and vibrant...it's just the second or two at the lower framerate.  Again, not a big deal.  Just another observation.

Yeah, I've pointed that out before when people asked how long channel changes take.

 

I hope that you can look back at some of the answers that I provided re: picture quality and appreciate how difficult it was to provide a helpful response.  It's really hard to compare Ignite TV to Digital TV, especially when perceptions vary from person to person.  Ignite TV is better in some ways, and your own initial reactions confirm that.  Over time, as you watch Ignite TV more and more, you will see other little issues that you did not remember seeing on Digital TV.  (e.g. Judder (sometimes severe) when the scene pans.  You may also see frame rates that are sub-par on some channels or with certain content.)  In most cases, you will have to look with a very critical eye to pick out problems and encoding issues.

 

No TV service is perfect.... but the Ignite TV implementation is very good... and as technologies improve, hopefully we will see even more improvements in picture quality.  Still, today, most people will watch Ignite TV and just see a good picture, and not notice any issues whatsoever.



toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Posts: 512

Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations

Thanks again @-G- 

 

I went into the diagnostic screen of the Xi6 box and confirmed that there is no IPv6 address.  It just has an IPv4 address.  I also confirmed that IPv6 is fully disabled on my Asus router.

 

Regarding the judder, yes, I do notice it on certain channels/certain content, and yes, it's worse than it was on digital.  But to be honest, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, and so far it appears to be limited to a small amount of content.  And the other improvements with Ignite over digital outweigh the negative things I've observed so far...well except for the RW/FF issue 🙂

 

Do you have the same experience with your upload speed tests as I mentioned in my first/original post above?  Where upload speeds start at full speed of the plan (in my case, 15/16 Mbps) right away, then quickly drop below 10 Mbps, and then slowly climb back up to full speed.  I'm wondering if this is an XB6 firmware issue because upload speeds didn't behave this way on my old CODA modem ever since that modem was upgraded to the 36Tx firmware.  I do remember the CODA behaved similarly prior to the 36Tx update.

-G-
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Posts: 2,324

Re: Ignite TV - first impressions and a few observations


@toolcubed wrote:

I went into the diagnostic screen of the Xi6 box and confirmed that there is no IPv6 address.  It just has an IPv4 address.  I also confirmed that IPv6 is fully disabled on my Asus router.


Okay, but is this also what you are seeing when your Xi6 is connected by Ethernet and when it takes several seconds to start the stream after changing channels?

 

Regarding the judder, yes, I do notice it on certain channels/certain content, and yes, it's worse than it was on digital.  But to be honest, it's not as bad as I thought it would be, and so far it appears to be limited to a small amount of content.  And the other improvements with Ignite over digital outweigh the negative things I've observed so far...well except for the RW/FF issue 🙂


I think that's a fair assessment.  I totally agree.

 

Do you have the same experience with your upload speed tests as I mentioned in my first/original post above?  Where upload speeds start at full speed of the plan (in my case, 15/16 Mbps) right away, then quickly drop below 10 Mbps, and then slowly climb back up to full speed.  I'm wondering if this is an XB6 firmware issue because upload speeds didn't behave this way on my old CODA modem ever since that modem was upgraded to the 36Tx firmware.  I do remember the CODA behaved similarly prior to the 36Tx update.


To be honest, I never really paid all that much attention.  As far as I know, Ookla (and similar tests) both interpolate and validate the download/upload speeds, latency and jitter, which is why you see the drop-off / ramp-ups as the tests progress.  In the end, all that really matters are the final results and whether their measurements are accurate.

 

Here's what I see with the Rogers (powered by Ookla) speed test.  I don't ever recall seeing a steady, flat line.

 

Rogers-Upload.jpg