Monday, September 12, 2016

Cablevision (Optimum) is not good with cable cards.

Message sent:

to:James Dolan
date:Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 6:24 AM
subject:Cable card status.

There is no bind between your cable card and my TiVo Bolt despite conversations with Optimum support on three consecutive days last week, which followed two visits by Optimum techs to fix a cable card problem in my Panasonic TV; they spent almost all of the time talking on the phone to Optimum support, like I did for the TiVo.

The TV cable card failed again last night for the third time since the second visit by an Optimum tech. Conclusion: Cablevision (Optimum) is not good with cable cards.

Status: Not Ready

I've been dealing with the TV cable card failing for months and I know exactly how to restore service by myself: pop the card, wait for channels to load, then hit return on my TV menu. Annoying, but at least it works. But the TiVo Bolt has never been operational since I tried to activate it five days ago.

After the first two days of talking to Cablevision (Optimum) support people, who merely go through what pops up on their cumputer screens, TiVo support had me go through some TiVo Bolt screens to confirm that the bind had not been done. The screen shot above was sent to Cablevision (Optimum). No doubt Cablevision (Optimum) will want to have me reserve half of yet another day to have a Cablevision (Optimum) tech person visit and talk to Cablevision (Optimum) support people on the phone as they stumble through various stuff. No thanks.

Obviously, cable cards are not well understood by people who work for Cablevision (Optimum). It's old flakey technology that was forced on the "cable" industry by the FCC to give consumers the option of not having to pay exorbitant monthly fees to rent set top boxes from the service providers. But if you're going to pretend that you are actually supporting something, at least have the professional pride to put a little effort into it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Cablevision (Optimum) struck out! Verizon FIOS is coming back!

Cablevision (Optimum) "tier two" support for CableCards called back. Steve was a bit ornery and could not bind the Cablevision (Optimum) CableCard to my TiVo Bolt. See two previous posts. OK, thanks, Steve, you continued the Cablevision (Optimum) tradition and made my decision easy.

Verizon will take a crack at the Bolt when it returns its service next week. Can't wait. Goodbye Cablevision (Optimum)!

Cablevision (Optimum) trying to wrestle CableCard to the ground in TiVo Bolt.

I decided to try the TiVo Bolt because:

Cablevision (Optimum) DVR fast forward is crude, lacking what Verizon provides: skip forward 30 seconds. THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 2016

Cablevision (Optimum) CableCard support has been consistently lame.

I've had a Cablevision (Optimum) CableCard in my ten year old Panasonic TV for the four months I've been back with Cablevision (Optimum), partly to try its many WiFi hotspots available to subscribers, about the only attribute that distinguishes it from its local rival, Verizon FIOS. I hardly use those hotspots but today I was able to connect my Chromebook; Cablevision (Optimum) has no instructions for the ChromeOS, nor for Windows10, which probably also works. That makes dumping Cablevision (Optimum) and returning to Verizon FIOS a bit difficult.

But, since the Cablevision (Optimum) fast forward (FF) functions are so horrendous, that's what will happen if Cablevision (Optimum) strikes out. The CableCard in my TV has given me a lot of trouble and in the last few days I've had two Cablevision (Optimum) techs here to fix that. After spending half the day waiting for them and more hours watching them talk on the phone to Cablevision (Optimum) people who may or may not know more about CableCards, I have refused to have more Cablevision (Optimum) people come here to fix the Cablevision (Optimum) CableCard in my new TiVo Bolt DVR, which supposedly has lots of cool FF functions. Unfortunately, TiVo relies entirely on a CableCard supplied by my service provider, Cablevision (Optimum).

There needs to be a "bind" established between the CableCard and the device, in this case the TiVo Bolt. I got a new multi-stream Cablevision (Optimum) CableCard two days ago and have spent three days now trying to get Cablevision (Optimum) to properly bind those two. I'm supposed to get a call within 24 hours from what is probably the Cablevision (Optimum) version of tier support for its CableCards.

If that fails, Cablevision (Optimum) will have struck out and my next call will be to Verizon to have FIOS re-established. Then I'll give Verizon a crack at getting the TiVo Bolt to work. If not, return the Bolt and use the acceptable but less cool Verizon FF functions.