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Old 08.03.2013, 14:04
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Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

I have been a cablecom (UPC) user for some time and recently upgraded to Horizon.

The thing I like about horizon is that it has six tuners so you can record multiple programmes and channel surf faster than with the previous boxes, i.e. less input lag. I also like that the modem and telephone are included in the box, so thats less clutter.

What I dont like is that several buttons from the previous remote are missing... like "Guide" and "DVD"... you always have to go through the main menu. Cablecom made a big song and dance about the 3d style menus whooshing around on the horizon box. To be honest, this doesnt work very well, its all quite impractical. I would rather have a bit more tradition style menu, but just in crisp HD.

Also, when I finally get to the programmes i've recorded, they are presented as annoying icons rather than a list, which you have to drill down into. And if you recorded say, several episodes of a programme, you cannot delete the whole series at once as far as i can tell, you have to delete them individually. This can be a real pain if you recorded a lot of episodes of something.

Also, the guide does not show as much info as I hoped, and its actually fairly clunkly to use, and to get info you always have to highlight it.

Finally, whenever you press a button on the remote, the whole bottom third of the screen is taken up with a darkened menu and the whole screen seems darker.

Basically, I think the GUI (menu system) on the horizon box is crap.

The other night I was at a friends house and he has Swisscom HD (non recordable version). I played around with the menu system there I was really impressed with it. Its sharp, its clean, no whooshing rubbish. The guide is streets ahead. It seems to show a lot more info, and whenever a programme is highlighted on the guide you get info about the show at the bottom of the screen... much better. You can then select the programme and it shows who is acting in it. Select an actor and it shows what other films he or she is in, so that you could for example download films on demand.

Top marks for my initial viewing of Swisscom TV.

How did Cablecom get such a powerful box and get it all so wrong?
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Old 08.03.2013, 14:23
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It is amazing that it can be so bad, when all they had to do is look at several examples of good dvr boxes, which have been around for years (including Swisscom's) and basically just do something similar. No instead, let's take a Ferrari but then make the thing so annoying to drive (even though it goes fast) that no one wants it.

GUI design is also not a rocket science but there are people who are good at it. Apparently they didn't use those people. Anyone spending 5 minutes with the box could probably make a list of things they should change.

Dan
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Old 08.03.2013, 14:48
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Anyone spending 5 minutes with the box could probably make a list of things they should change.
Exactly!
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Old 08.03.2013, 14:57
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

I read somewhere else on here (which pointed to a thread on cablecom's forum) that they're planning on fixing some of those issues and even bringing out a new remote.

I think Cablecom are beginning to realise they've been a bit stupid.

As it's so much cheaper than Swisscom (I assume) if I were in your position I'd wait a few weeks to see what gets announced.
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Old 08.03.2013, 15:55
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

I've heard some of that two, about the remote and all.

But given cablecoms sluggish pace (which I have experienced before), I fear it will be a year or two before some meaningful update.

The box was released in the Netherlands last year, so clearly they aren't in a hurry.

EDIT: just checked the other thread where I had not seen the latest, and the link to Cablecoms community forum... Thanks Adrian.

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Old 08.03.2013, 17:50
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But I would assume that in the Netherlands the box has the same crappy GUI and people there have the same complaints. So they've already had a year, plus the time they spent beta testing and having people give feedback....oh wait...scratch that 2nd part, since it obviously never happened.

Dan
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Old 15.03.2013, 07:06
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Here's what happening in some strange land that seems to be in some era 20-30 years in the future:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/te...view.html?_r=0

"TiVo made me a cultist. “I don’t know or care when a TV show will be broadcast or on what channel,” I’d explain to anyone who would listen. “I just tell the TiVo what show or actor or director I like, and it records shows automatically. I bypass ads with the 30-second skip button. I can watch an hourlong show in 40 minutes!”

Wow, how times have changed. Cable companies can now rent you less polished but far less expensive DVRs. The monthly fee is usually about the same as the TiVo, $15. (You can also pay TiVo a one-time $500."

Note he's talking about the PAST. Wow how times here haven't even come close to that here yet. Well, maybe Swisscom will get there.

Dan
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:41
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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How did Cablecom get such a powerful box and get it all so wrong?
Because they are unable to learn from the experiences made they made with the product in the Netherlands? (It's been out there for a while.)

Perhaps because Cablecom would like to, but their supplier is unable to? Or asks for too much money to improve the product?

The Swisscom box is driven by Microsoft Mediaroom, has excellent channel switching times, the quality of the HD channels seems to be better than on Cablecom, very nice program guide, "Replay" (delayed viewing) is now part of even the most basic of all packages. Swisscom actually deliver original language audio for some movies, where Cablecom does not seem to do so.
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Old 15.03.2013, 09:45
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Well, maybe Swisscom will get there.
Swisscom seem to be on a good way with their "Replay" offering - you can backtrack on a 30 hour timeline.

Apart from that, I believe, the trend will be to deliver more and more content over IP, with much more pay-as-you-go than the current "pay once, get a sundry of programmes).
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Old 15.03.2013, 14:48
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That sounds like a good start but with a good dvr you don't have to care about the time at all. 30 hours means if a show is broadcast at 9am while I'm at work, I have to find out about it and watch it that evening, correct? With a good dvr you have a permanent backtrack. It can even record something you didn't even know was on (but matched your search parameters) while you're on holidays for 3 weeks. Features like that are already 10 or more years old.

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Old 15.03.2013, 15:41
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

Hi

I have cablecom combined package (middle one) for 80chf (old price) which is being upgraded automatically in April to 75,000kBits and gratis telephony (all fixed nets) and Cablecom TV (with 25 HD channels).
This will cost about 82chf (based on my last contract for last 6 years).

The horizon middle package costs 89chf. (4 recording channels in parallel).
I am tempted to change up to this one.

Now comparing Swisscom, they are significantly more expensive at 129chf (middle package) and only 20,000kbits. The top package is 149chf (only 50,000kbits).

Am I reading the internet speeds correctly? Cablecom is much faster?

So why should cablecom users change? Just for the GUI?
A genuine question and not a sarcastic one.
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Old 15.03.2013, 18:37
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Generally it's more difficult to get higher speeds out of DSL (phone lines) than cable. DSL speed also depends on your distant from the central office. Cable is faster but can also suffering from "sharing" from multiple users around you. All of these factors have probably been improved over the years.

Sometimes the phone companies quote a lower speed than you'll actually see. You might ask others who use Swisscom what their actual speeds are (also cable users).

Dan
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Old 15.03.2013, 18:53
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

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Here's what happening in some strange land that seems to be in some era 20-30 years in the future:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/te...view.html?_r=0

"TiVo made me a cultist. “I don’t know or care when a TV show will be broadcast or on what channel,” I’d explain to anyone who would listen. “I just tell the TiVo what show or actor or director I like, and it records shows automatically. I bypass ads with the 30-second skip button. I can watch an hourlong show in 40 minutes!”

Wow, how times have changed. Cable companies can now rent you less polished but far less expensive DVRs. The monthly fee is usually about the same as the TiVo, $15. (You can also pay TiVo a one-time $500."

Note he's talking about the PAST. Wow how times here haven't even come close to that here yet. Well, maybe Swisscom will get there.

Dan
I loved my TiVo. I could even burn shows/movies to dvds - was great for kids stuff to take along on trips. It was smart, it would suggest other shows for me to watch. The rest I have blocked from memory so I don't realize how bad I have it now...*sigh* it now has a new home in my sister's house.
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Old 15.03.2013, 19:00
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Yes I had ReplayTV which was a precursor to TiVo. My sister still has hers and refuses to give it up, even though it can't do HD recording.

Yes, ignorance can be bliss. You don't know what you're missing if you've never had it good. It's also difficult to explain to others who've never experienced it.

Dan
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Old 15.03.2013, 19:10
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That reminds me...if you ever watched "King of Queens" there was a very funny episode where Spence gets TiVo. But he's quite upset because his TiVo keeps recording gay-themed shows so he was complaining that "my TiVo thinks I'm gay". That episode was from 2002, which was _eleven_ years ago!

Dan
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Old 15.03.2013, 19:27
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

UPC doesn't learn and just wants to push out their boxes. It was and still is like that in Holland, and so it is like that over here. A few years ago their marketing department thought it was nice to sent their previous media box to hundreds of thousands of people that never asked for it (with the message that they could try it for free or send it back otherwise).

The Dutch customer organisation is on UPC's backs for months now to have them solve the issues with the slow / crap GUI, HDMI problems when connecting the box to certain TV's (which forced users to hook it up using good ol' SCART), and the lack of overall stability.
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Old 19.03.2013, 10:14
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

Cablecom has a habit of making empty promises. Its simply Swisscom for TV and cablecom for internet.
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I read somewhere else on here (which pointed to a thread on cablecom's forum) that they're planning on fixing some of those issues and even bringing out a new remote.

I think Cablecom are beginning to realise they've been a bit stupid.

As it's so much cheaper than Swisscom (I assume) if I were in your position I'd wait a few weeks to see what gets announced.
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Old 19.03.2013, 10:16
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

shit with the pay as go
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Swisscom seem to be on a good way with their "Replay" offering - you can backtrack on a 30 hour timeline.

Apart from that, I believe, the trend will be to deliver more and more content over IP, with much more pay-as-you-go than the current "pay once, get a sundry of programmes).
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Old 19.03.2013, 17:12
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

BTW, why watch TV, there is so much more action here on EF.
I usually find myself turning off the TV after some minutes here.
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Old 30.03.2013, 00:08
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Re: Swisscom TV vs UPC Horizon

I just got my Horizon box under 20hours after ordering by telephone. I did not really want to order it, but due to a technical call, the hotline guy offered me this for "free activation fee". Delta from my current monthly is +10chf.

Then this happened.
1. I was due for an automatic upgrade from 50k kbits to 75k kbits without any Horizon deal. The call center guy told me to wait until the upgrade happens (1 April) and then install my new Horizon box. I said yes and I knew it is bad if I install over Easter weekend. No support.

2. The horizon box came with postman under 20 hours (yesterday morning). I left it in the box.

3. My cablecom TV Mediabox froze up tonight at 21:00. It said "installation will be complete in 30 mins" and remained blue screen for long time. Letter in new Horizon box warned that current TV box connection will be disabled "soon".

4. I have no choice but to install new Horizon box because Cablecom hotline at 21:00 on a Good Friday is dead. Just music.

5. I installed the Horizon box, smooth installation. HD TV all works etc.

Now comes the surprise. Internet and telephone on the Horizon box does not connect.

I have to replug in my current cable modem (with internet and telephone) back into another socket in the wall.

I guess I have to wait til the cablecom company activates my internet and telephone on my new Horizon box. When?
Seeing it is Easter weekend, I am expecting more cock-ups.



PS: GUI sucks. Missing many direct buttons on controller and navigating thru the Menu is painful, almost like the old Handphone internet version 1.0. (I cannot even remember the name of this service).

However, the box is surely faster and more responsive. New Hardware. By Samsung.

PPS: I am not complaining because I know such things can cock up. Just wanted to share the experience.
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Last edited by HAT; 30.03.2013 at 00:22.
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