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Posts Tagged ‘Cable’

Of Bluebirds, Tivo, & John Barrowman

Noticed that I wasn’t getting a whole lot of hits on the blog recently, and it occurred to me that maybe it was because I hadn’t posted anything new since April 28th or so. 😀 So a few updates to some prior posts to remedy that. You can do a search on some of the main terms to see the original posts on each one.

THE BLUEBIRD EGGS:

Bluebird Eggs And then there WEREN’T five. Apparently those five bluebird eggs were defective. Last weekend we checked the nest, which was supposed to have hatched by then, and there were only four eggs left in the nest, and none had hatched yet. We were told to wait another week or so, and then if they hadn’t hatched by then, to get rid of them and the nest, clean out the box, and let the bluebirds start over. Took a peek today. ALL the eggs were gone, and Ma and Pa bluebird had already started building a NEW nest over the top of the old one. So apparently they figured out that the eggs weren’t going to hatch, cleaned house all by themselves, and are starting over again. So we may still have baby birdies to watch yet. Yay.

THE WHOLE TIVO SITUATION:

Aaaaand, it’s OUT OF HERE! The wireless N adapter that I bought at Amazon arrived Friday afternoon, so I figured I’d take a couple of hours on Sunday to get the Tivo up and running. HAH! After banging my head against a wall with the thing for FIVE hours on Sunday, 3 of which involved another online chat on the laptop with their tech support folks (you know you’re in a bad spot when even the guy at Tivo technical support is at a loss as to why the adapter – which connected to the network just fine, but refused to connect to the Tivo box – refused to connect), I said enough of this crappydoodle stuff, and we decided to ditch the Tivo and just call Time Warner to have them set us up with digital cable and one of their cable box/DVR combos.

As much as I hate getting beaten by anything electronic, which almost never happens, I’m not all that heartbroken about getting beaten by a dinky little Tivo adapter. Didn’t want Tivo in the first place, and between coughing up $300 for the box, another $100 for the adapter, and $100+ for a years worth of service, I’m more than happy to send everything back, get my $500 back, and let Time Warner, who we’ve been happy with 99% of the time handle our DVR needs for a while.

So packaged up the wireless adapter and printed out the postage paid return label from Amazon, that will go back out in the mail tomorrow. Boxed up all the Tivo cables and connectors and will be bringing THAT back to Best Buy tomorrow. And called Tivo proper last night, and got the $120+ credited back and the account canceled (Had to laugh, when he pulled up my account to see my tech support info, he’s all “You’ve got 12 PAGES of chat here from yesterday!” And I’m all “Tell me about it!”). DID find out something of interest though, assuming the customer support guy wasn’t just feeding me a line. Apparently Best Buy was selling first generation Tivo boxes, and with most first generation things, there are bugs. And the wireless N adapters are pretty new (the only two local sellers selling Tivo wireless adapters were Best Buy and CompUSA, and both were still only selling G, not N). And apparently, one of the bugs in the first gen boxes is that they don’t tend to like those newfangled wireless N adapters. So had I bought a Tivo box from someone else, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem. And for my trouble, since I was taking the Tivo box back to Best Buy anyway, Tivo would sell me a box direct, for $100 off the price. I told them thank you but no thanks, I already had the appointment for Tuesday with the cable company.

Which I did. When I called THEM Monday at lunch, they were actually able to schedule an installation for between 5-7pm tonight. The guy came before 5:30, and was done in less than an hour. And now we’ve got a DVR that will record two different channels at once, and more channels than we know what to do with (I’ve FINALLY got BBC America! Yay! And while I’m not ready to jump into watching the new Doctor Who quite yet – never seen a Dr. Who ep in my LIFE – they actually had a Doctor Who Primer episode on at 10am tonight, which will hopefully give me an idea of whether I want to waste time trying to get up to speed on the show or not.) Alas, we’ve already had a scheduling conflict with having the new channels now. Already had both DVR tuners and my RAM disc recorder programmed for the main three networks tonight at 10pm, what’s a girl to DO? Why, pull up Doctor Who in the onscreen programming guide and see if the episode is going to be airing again at a later time. Why yes, yes it is! 1am tonight. Selected it from the list, hit record, and whambam, it’s programmed. Just that easy. Tivo WHO? 😀

I will say though, in comparison to the customer “support” that I received from Philips when I contacted THEM for help, despite the fact that the whole Tivo thing didn’t work out, the Tivo customer support was actually pretty impressive, IMHO. So they get some points for that.

JOHN BARROWMAN:

Just a webpage update, if you Barrowfans haven’t found it yet without a blogpost to point the way. 😉 After not being included in the Desperate Housewives episode LAST week (which was a good thing, since locally, the whole first half of the show was pre-empted due to tornado activity in our viewing area), JB’s 3rd episode aired Sunday night, so I finally added his 2nd and 3rd DH episode clips to the site.

The clips can be found here, as usual. Enjoy, all you Johnettes and Barrowboys! 😉

Danny: “Heeey, double cappuccino, extra hot. Need anything else?”
Patrick: “Inspiration.”
Danny: “Sorry, we just have muffins…” 😀

Patrick: “…I’ve had an exhausting couple of days, what with searching your house looking for firearms, and running over Dudley Douche-bag…”

Philips Electronics Customer Support STINKETHS!

Now I think I know why Philips doesn’t bother to include any sort of remote adjustment so that people who own multiple Philips units won’t have problems with one remote trying to control the wrong unit… I’m guessing that people who buy one Philips unit never actually BUY a second one. Grrr. The Philips DVDR that I have was my first ever Philips purchase, and you guessed it, it WILL be my last.

Ask them for technical assistance due to the DVR picking up stray remote control signals from another house in the neighborhood, and first they send me to the PDF owner’s guide on their website (the one that I told them in my first email that I’d already READ before I emailed them), and then since the unit was out of warranty, to look in the Yellow Pages for a service center. For a unit that isn’t actually BROKEN, just needs to be set to some sort of other IR frequency. (Something that Panasonic units have done for years; fixed it when we had two Panasonic units at home, and we have three Panasonic DVD burners at the office, all sitting on the same shelf, all with their own remotes, and given that they’re programmed with three different remote control numbers, NEVER have a problem with any cross-remote control issues. Cannot believe that a company like Philips couldn’t pull off a simple fix like that. Doh!)

But I’d have been less irked at them had they first NOT just passed the buck when it came to support. If they know their units cannot have the remotes tweaked like that, they should have just said so. And then when I emailed them back to get at least a simple yes or no answer, my 2 follow up emails were completely ignored.

Then when I tried to send a fresh email to them last night, their entire email support area was broken. >:(

Yep, that’s some SWELL customer “support” they’ve got going there. *pththththt*

I DID manage to find a website, AllExperts.com, who have knowledgeable volunteers answering questions on every imaginable subject, and I found someone to ask in their Audio/Video/Stereo section. Gave him all the info, and within two days they got back to me. Wasn’t all that happy with the answer, they didn’t know of any way to tweak the remote settings like I was able to do with the Panasonics. But they DID suggest once we had something programmed that we didn’t want to lose due to the stray IR signals coming in, to slap on some thick black tape over the IR port on the front of unit and see if that didn’t block the unwanted IR changes from coming in and screwing up the recording.

So giving that a go this weekend. One advantage of working for a video company, there are always multiple roles of thick black gaffer tape lying around so I borrowed one from the office today. And tonight, reset the clock on the unit again (I’d reset it again last night, but during the day the interlopers from outside changed it again), then after we got done watching one of the shows on the HDD, used the gaffer tape to tape a square of cardboard over the IR port. Figured that rather than putting the tape right on the unit, this way if we need to move it, all we have to do is loosen the bottom tape, and flip the whole thing up and out of the way like a door, then tape it back down when we’re done.

At last check the time was still correct. Will see what channel it’s on when we get up in the morning. If it’s Disney or Golf or MTV we’ll know that gaffer tape and cardboard combination didn’t work.

What a pain. We may end up switching to digital cable sooner than we planned (if we were going to switch, it would have been in September, when our two year price lock deal expired), if for no other reason than to get one of Time Warner’s DVRs and then we can get rid of our now completely unreliable, completely unsupported Philips DVR.

EDIT – the next day – Found the DVR with the wrong time and sitting on the golf channel again. :( Before I give up and admit that the unit might actually be broken, I slapped another few layers of gaffer tape on it, and ran it across the whole display area instead of just in front of the IR port, in case stray signals are sneaking in from the side. We’ll see if THAT works. Think we may be in the market for a new DVR though.