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  #41  
Old 07.05.2013, 10:04
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Then you had a fault situation which should have been rectified, instead of leaving it as is and then complaining to the world about service problems.

The facts are:
Swisscom shares bandwidth between TV and Internet, severly limiting the quantity and quality of simultaeneous services that can be delivered

upc cablecom does not share the bandwidth between TV and Internet
In fact, upc cablecom includes 55 unencrypted digital TV channels, and around 25 analog TV channels, and another 30 odd analog radio channels and 70 digital radio channels (receieve on TV) with their cable connection, so you can connect a TV to every socket in the house and watch as many channels as you have TVs simultaeneously, without need for any further box or any further remote control.

Tose are hard cold facts.
The fault was reported to Cablecom and they told me that my region was overloaded and there was no upgrade plan in the immediate future, so they offered me a choice of immediate contract termination or 6-months half price. Also, I just used that as an example to compare drop-off that you mention with Swisscom compared to my Cablecom experience.

I agree with you that there are many advantages with Cablecom. All I was saying is that it's not fair to say that Swisscom can only record one HD channel and then your speed drops, because this really depends on the speed of your VDSL connection.
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  #42  
Old 07.05.2013, 11:14
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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When you have a upc cablecom cable TV connection, you get all of the following WITHOUT ANY BOX:
55 unencrypted digital TV channels and 70 radio channels
19 unencrypted HD channels
At least 36 analogue TV channels, including regional stations
More than 35 (analogue) radio stations
All of the above is available on EVERY cable TV socket in your apartment, and can be viewed / listened to by as many TV and radio sets as you have in your posession
The missing bit of information is that you need a TV set with integrated DVB-C receiver to receive the free digital cable channels... otherwise you'll only get the crappy analogue offering (which in my town consists of the sole English channel, BBC Entertainment)
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  #43  
Old 07.05.2013, 11:29
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Many of the digital TV channels are multi-lingual, so set your TV to prefer the language of your choice (in my case my TV is set for primary language English, secondary language German), and the TV will automatically select the preferred soundtrack for each channel (if available).
Unless they transmit "English Dolby Digital" and "NAR" in which case you get NAR (BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD) or they transmit "German" and "German Dolby Digital" and "English Dolby Digital" in which case you usually get "German".

Do you work for Cablecom? Can you please amend the software used in the non-recording HD boxes so that it goes something like "if language contains preferred_language" rather than "if language = preferred_language"? Thanks Or even better, have a separate selection for "Dolby Digital if available Y/N?".
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  #44  
Old 07.05.2013, 20:23
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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The missing bit of information is that you need a TV set with integrated DVB-C receiver to receive the free digital cable channels... otherwise you'll only get the crappy analogue offering (which in my town consists of the sole English channel, BBC Entertainment)
Correct. Sorry I missed saying that

So lets ,make it clear:
For each broadcast technology mentioned, it can only be received on a receiver capable of receiving the signal.

eg:
You can receive analog FM on an analog FM radio receiver, but not on a DVB-C receiver
You can receive DVB-C on a DVB-C receiver, but not on an analog TV PAL-B receiver
etc etc etc etc

Analog PAL-B on a DVB-T receiver won't work
DVB-C on a DVB-T receiver also won't work
Analog PAL-B TV on an FM receiver won't work
etc etc etc


You need the right equipment - not every receiver can receive every signal
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  #45  
Old 07.05.2013, 20:27
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Unless they transmit "English Dolby Digital" and "NAR" in which case you get NAR (BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD) or they transmit "German" and "German Dolby Digital" and "English Dolby Digital" in which case you usually get "German".

Do you work for Cablecom? Can you please amend the software used in the non-recording HD boxes so that it goes something like "if language contains preferred_language" rather than "if language = preferred_language"? Thanks Or even better, have a separate selection for "Dolby Digital if available Y/N?".
I work in the broadcast field, and I understand the technologies in use.
I also see many misconceptions and lack of understanding of what are (to me) simple and clear concepts. Which is why I try and put them right.

I know that a lot of the audio signalling comes direct from the TV station and they (eg: BBC) controls what audio is on what channel. The broadcaster (eg: Cablecom, Swisscom etc) most always simply transfer the signal from A to B without any change. So any signalling errors often stem from the broadcaster. I can quote a classic example with ORF2.... if you want the details....

But I am as far away from Settop box software coding as you probably are....
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  #46  
Old 07.05.2013, 22:36
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

Not sure why you say it's a broadcast error.

If BBC transmit two sound tracks, named "NAR" and "English Dolby Digital" I don't see what they're doing wrong. If the software in the cablecom box selects "NAR" when I have told it that my preferred audio selection is "English" then it's a software "feature" within the box.

Isn't it?
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  #47  
Old 07.05.2013, 22:48
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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You forget one key thing:

If you have multiple TVs, want to watch more than 1 HD channel at the same time, and use the Internet, then use upc cablecom. In my house with 3 x teenage children, this often happens.

The cable network delivers all 400 odd channels at the same time, and you can have hundreds of channels running simultaneously, and have no impact on Internet speed. And the cable network delivers analog radio for your stereo system, which is really handy if you are in a bad radio coverage area.
And the cable network can be connected to many TVs at the same time, each TV gets something like 30 abalog and 50 digital channels with no box or card required.

The Swisscom TV can only deliver 1 x HD or 2 x SD channels simultaneously. And then Internet bandwidth is throttled back hugely. And it delivers no analog radio. And only one TV can be connected to the Swisscom box

So if you want to pay much more and get much less, get Swisscom.
Good point. That's the first I've heard of issues like that.

Dan
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  #48  
Old 08.05.2013, 00:17
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Not sure why you say it's a broadcast error.

If BBC transmit two sound tracks, named "NAR" and "English Dolby Digital" I don't see what they're doing wrong. If the software in the cablecom box selects "NAR" when I have told it that my preferred audio selection is "English" then it's a software "feature" within the box.

Isn't it?
The names are irrelevant. What is relevant is the language code - in this case always EN - and the Service ID (SID)

Almost every device displays available soundtracks in ascending order based on the SID. And the SID is set by the TV station, eg: BBC

If they set "NAR" to SID 7001 and "English Dolby Digital" to SID 7002, then NAR will be the first available EN soundtrack, and many devices will select it.

Of course, it will be up to the receiver to determine which SID has priority when multiple SIDs in the same language exist.

But if BBC set the SID for "English Dolby Digital" to have a lower ID than "NAR" then everyone would be happy.
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  #49  
Old 08.05.2013, 01:39
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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But if BBC set the SID for "English Dolby Digital" to have a lower ID than "NAR" then everyone would be happy.
Got it. Finally :-) Thanks for the clear explanation.

So there's the name and the language code. I'm seeing the descriptive name (obviously) and the cablecom box is selecting on language code (which makes sense). This would imply every freesat, Sky, cable company box etc will have the same issue. They don't, so they must code around it. Seems the Horizon box doesn't have this issue so maybe that's smarter than my box too.
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Old 08.05.2013, 01:46
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Got it. Finally :-) Thanks for the clear explanation.

So there's the name and the language code. I'm seeing the descriptive name (obviously) and the cablecom box is selecting on language code (which makes sense). This would imply every freesat, Sky, cable company box etc will have the same issue. They don't, so they must code around it. Seems the Horizon box doesn't have this issue so maybe that's smarter than my box too.
I'm glad to hear that the Horizon box fixes this issue. It is a nice feature of Cablecom (even with this issue on the old box). I wonder if Swisscom is as good at providing and handling multiple language options? I also have a problem with Cablecom where it will say another language track is available (example: English) but when selecting it, it's still German. I wonder if that too is a broadcaster related problem?

Dan
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  #51  
Old 08.05.2013, 09:18
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Seems the Horizon box doesn't have this issue so maybe that's smarter than my box too.
Yep, they code around it.
Yep, Horizon is smarter.
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  #52  
Old 08.05.2013, 09:23
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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I also have a problem with Cablecom where it will say another language track is available (example: English) but when selecting it, it's still German. I wonder if that too is a broadcaster related problem?
Classic broadcaster issue

Take ORF2: they signal that EN and DE is available 100% of the time on all programs. But it is not.
Switch your TV to the EN soundtrack, and you'll find ORF2 is often silent.

So the broadcaster signals the EN track is present even when it is not.

I actually complained about this issue regarding ORF2 and was told: "The Austrians setup their broadcast chain that way, the problem lies in Austria"

And some broadcasters signal that EN is present, and then feed a German audio track down that channel

And once I experienced that an Italian broadcaster signalled EN was present, but he fed a "This is a test signal of station XXX" continuously down that channel. In Italian of course.

The cable companies simply faithfully carry all those soundtracks and channel signalling from the signal entry point to every subscriber..... don't beat them up, they're just the messenger.
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  #53  
Old 08.05.2013, 16:34
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

Thanks. So that means the Swisscom TV would have the same issues.

Dan
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  #54  
Old 08.05.2013, 16:50
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

Just did a scan for digital cable channels using the inbuilt DVB-C on the telly. The only English channel found was CNN which is worse than analogue, where I at least get BBC entertainment.
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Old 08.05.2013, 18:45
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Just did a scan for digital cable channels using the inbuilt DVB-C on the telly. The only English channel found was CNN which is worse than analogue, where I at least get BBC entertainment.
Cablecom does lists CNN as the only English speaking channel without a subscription, so that sounds about right.
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  #56  
Old 09.05.2013, 18:33
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Impressions and suggestions of UPC Horizon out of Box

After getting the new Horizon box I've got some blah blah. Some may have been covered and/or addressed in other threads. My wife talked with the Cablecom guy (our old box crapped out) when I brought up some potential functionality issues mentioned here on EF when she was on the phone with him. He said some functionality updates are on the way but he didn't go into details.

Standard disclaimer: I haven't tested every single function and detail. Just what I would think I would use being it's a new system and trying to get set up plus learning curve. I might have blinked and missed a menu selection here and there, or thought something that should be where I think it should be is actually somewhere else. This is just my out of box experience.

I'm an average TV viewer who wants to watch TV easily. I don't want not fuddle with too many menus and have to search long to find programming.

It's kind of a long read but bear with me please. =)

First the few Pro's...

Horizon Box is way quicker.
More recording tuners.
Horizon Box works 100% with my United States NTSC LG 60" plasma in HD via HDMI cable. No converter box necessary! YAY. Hopefully the aforementioned update doesn't change this.
Setting up English as the primary language will set TV shows with an English language option to that language automatically. MOST OF THE TIME. Nice.
Nicer GUI interface.

Now some Con's...

Search function:

The search is difficult to use. Having to scroll left and right for the individual letters is painful. Layout should be different, like a grid at least. That way you can scroll up and down to bypass lots of characters making it quicker (see alphabet below). We want to watch TV, not push buttons.

ABCDEFGHIJ
KLMNOPQRST
UVWXYZ[SP]
1234567890

Note: The above function should be implemented for any time you need to input characters. Like for wireless passwords etc.

Lack of the SPACE character: Searching for a show is useless unless it is just one word. Try searching for Top Gear. Can't. No SPACE to select. Try searching just for Top and allow it to offer suggestions, no Top Gear. In fact, no titles with a space after the first word show up!

WHY EXTENDED CHARACTERS FOR TITLE SEARCH!? Don't need them for a TV show title nor passwords. If I want to search for Zoolander, it starts at A. It takes a ton of button presses either way just to get to Z.

I hear a new controller will be available soon with a keypad? This would be helpful. Hopefully it has a space-bar.

Recording TV shows:


I want to record a show. OK, found a show.... Took too long on the TV to find so went to the internet instead. I can either add extra time to the recording OR record a series. Yes "OR", not "AND".

How about if you want to change the start and end time, display the start/end time and just use up and down to adjust. Get rid of the number selecting where you have to enter the FULL time as the respective field is BLANK.

That and if you have a series scheduled recording, be able to select the series and adjust the start/end times for the ENTIRE SERIES.

Finally, GROUP recorded series together in the Library.

Display when changing channels:

Ok, I'm watching something and I change channels. Don't dim the top and bottom so much. Just give me a small tab that shows the channel and the program.

Wireless:

Ok, setting up the wireless was a bit of a pain. We have a wireless router from UPC in another room where we have our computers. It was necessary to connect the box to THAT router for it to connect to the net. Again, to enter the password of the Internet router, that damn letter selecting left/right thing.

So, we tried in vain to use the Horizon TV box as a bridge, forget it. Tried to turn off the TV box from the wireless router. NO OFF OPTION? Hmmm.

Other options:
Easily turn off the swooshing sounds with selecting stuff. Give me the option somewhere?

If I push the buttons on the remote a bunch of times because response lag, don't remember how many times I pushed the button. It'll keep going, then go past the letter I'm trying to get to.

An Horizon TV Remote app for the MS Surface?

Ipad says it's connected via wireless to the Horizon box, but the box doesn't see it at all. wierd. Might be something to do with it using a US Apple ID? Can't download Horizon TV Remote because of this too because it's in the CH app store. :P

Conclusion...

So I hope any upcoming updates address some of these issues. Overall I like the box, and it does have potential. To be competitive it needs to be cutting edge. And in today's world, cutting edge means a lot more than pretty to look at. It needs to be easy to use, user friendly and intuitive. The software is so close but needs more polish.

Thanks.

-Dk

A foible my wife came across...

If you are watching a recording of say, a rerun series (or whatever) and it's one you've seen already it's kind of weird to delete. Hit OK and it brings up a menu to Lock, Pause, etc. BUT no DELETE to select. You need to hit back, which brings you back to the Library, select the recording again THEN you can select delete. Seems like extra steps. It should be that you can have the option to delete the recording you are watching then it should return you automatically to the Library.

She works for a major software company and regularly does software Usability Studies. Stuff like what she pointed out and the other mannerisms she would have written them up as bugs or needing attention. Someone had to sign off on this stuff but how much testing has these gone through? Don't know.
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Last edited by Diego Knyte; 09.05.2013 at 20:52. Reason: added another foible
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  #57  
Old 09.05.2013, 20:58
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Just did a scan for digital cable channels using the inbuilt DVB-C on the telly. The only English channel found was CNN which is worse than analogue, where I at least get BBC entertainment.
There are many channels broadcasting multi-lingual programs including SRF1 & SRF2.

Many series and films include English soundtracks

So CNN is the only 100% English channel, but it is not the only channel to broadcast in English
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Old 09.05.2013, 21:48
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

So my wife came across something else that's weird.

She wanted to delete just 1 complete series of recordings of the same program. She Highlighted one of the episodes and selected Delete All. There being no selection for Delete Series available she reasonably deducted that Delete All would suffice.

OOPS, that Deleted the entire library of recordings. Learning experience there.

Ok, I'm not placing blame. She's blaming herself. But what I will say is Series Recordings sub folders would be REALLY helpful with management. And a selection for Delete Series if said folder is or isn't implemented.
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Old 10.05.2013, 10:03
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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So my wife came across something else that's weird.

She wanted to delete just 1 complete series of recordings of the same program. She Highlighted one of the episodes and selected Delete All. There being no selection for Delete Series available she reasonably deducted that Delete All would suffice.

OOPS, that Deleted the entire library of recordings. Learning experience there.

Ok, I'm not placing blame. She's blaming herself. But what I will say is Series Recordings sub folders would be REALLY helpful with management. And a selection for Delete Series if said folder is or isn't implemented.
The stupid thing is that the old box has this capability... Cablecom really are a lazy bunch of ****s when it comes to software development and testing.
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Old 10.05.2013, 14:07
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Ok, I'm not placing blame. She's blaming herself.
Blame is easily placed. It's called a crappy and poorly tested user interface.

Dan
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