Severe Problems With Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR?
As I alluded to in the E.R. 300 Patients post, there is a SERIOUS problem with Time-Warner's new Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR.
Now, I had an HD-DVR from Time-Warner back when they first came out. Now, mind you, an HD-DVR IS a pretty complicated device. Back then they wouldn't even let you install the thing yourself - a technician had to come out, and, for starters, chastise you thoroughly about making sure that you had it set up in a place where it could get enough air.
However, the vast majority of the time, the old one WORKED. It would usually pick up MORE than you wanted - for instance on a channel like National Geographic that doesn't have a separate West Coast feed, usually, say, if there were a show on that you wanted to record at 8pm, it would also pick up the West Coast feed at 11pm, but, aside from that, it was pretty reliable.
Well, over the spring and summer, Mrs. Axinar and I weren't really here all that much, so we took the cable box back and downgraded.
Then, as autumn rolled around, our schedules reduced quite a bit and we knew we were going to be home more so I called Time Warner and asked them what kind of specials they had going on.
I knew what they offered me was probably too good to be true.
Pretty much for what we were paying for "cable ready" plus 5 Mbit/sec RoadRunner, they gave us an HD-DVR, "HD Tier", Cinemax and 8.5 Mbit/sec RoadRunner.
Of course, in life, there is no free lunch.
This box is haunted.
I knew there was trouble when it first booted up.
I saw this caption come across the front of the box that said "OCAP". I had never seen that on the old box.
Then I saw some logos including "Java" - yikes - on a computer that would be fine - on a cable box I'm thinking that might be a little dicey.
Then I see "Mystro" and this countdown from L-13 to L-1 that took a LOOOOOOOONG time.
Now, they warned me when I first got the thing that it might take a whole day for all the patches to download.
Now, this would be no different than trying to download all the Windows XP patches all that once, but I think most of us as used to a little smoother "out of box" experience with a cable tuner than with a computer.
Now, if the f*ck*ng thing had worked after a whole day worth of downloading patches I wouldn't have minded, but it didn't go that smoothly.
Usually what happens is that it starts freaking out late at night. Like Thursday night it was having some sort of brain freeze and missed recording a very pivotal episode of E.R.
It also sometimes will go completely black when you try to tune to something innocuous like CNBC and it seems like the only thing that will get it working again is to unplug it for 30 seconds, then plug it back in and let it go through its 5+ MINUTE reboot routine.
Mrs. Axinar got so sick of it she started calling customer service herself.
One of the customer service people said she had one of the newer boxes herself and has had nothing but trouble with it.
I personally watched it reboot by itself THREE TIMES late on Thursday night going into Friday when I was up with my cold from hell.
Time-Warner even had a message up on their customer service line over the weekend that said, "If you are getting a message saying that you haven't subscribed to a basic channel, please unplug your box, etc., etc. ..."
Mrs. Axinar really gave them the business this morning but they are really not offering any solutions.
I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to try as they are pretty much only charging me what they would for the "cable ready" service and slower RoadRunner, but I wish to God they would get their act together and issue a box that actually WORKS.
After all, we are talking about quite probably the LAST episodes of E.R. EVER coming up here - to say nothing of the last season of Battlestar Galactica starting up here fairly soon ...
Labels: Time-Warner Cable