Sunday, December 9, 2007

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:

24 Comments:

At January 7, 2008 at 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive been a "cable guy for years"

Sounds like the box has no 2 way...

which will make it slow....It will reboot often and no on demand will work....

you probably need a service call...you like many others need a rewire...whereas we will repair it....but its really up to you to replace it....

people are really cheap.....if you like digital devices...road runner and digital cable.....you will need new wiring...at least 5 years young....

 
At February 25, 2008 at 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not true...I just moved into a brand new house (built in 2007) and have had so many problems with my box! Ive went throuh 2 or 3 of them, and my signal is fine, and the box is "breathing" just fine. The wiring is nto the issue, obviously since the house is brand new. My mom has the same problem...It tells me the channel is not available, or it says there is an unresolved conflict...when in fact there is nothing wrong. No conflicts (only one thing recording) and how could the channel not be available (by the way it is not just one channel this happens on)

Time Warner needs to do something fast it is ridiculous, there is no explanation. I have tried calling several times. Dont bother.

 
At February 25, 2008 at 6:58 PM, Blogger Axinar said...

Yeah ... I didn't think it could be the wiring either.

Mine has been a LITTLE better behaved the last couple of weeks, but the thing still worries me ...

 
At March 16, 2008 at 11:52 PM, Blogger oped said...

I have a time Warner Scientific Atlanta 8300 DVR and I have already returned 2. They just take them back and give me another. At first I thought it was a defective box but now I since I am on my 3rd, it must be all of them.
Mine will have a picture that flashes on and off every few seconds on all HD channels, sometimes if I go to the guide then return to full screen, the video stays small in the corner and the only way out of that loop is to reboot.
Also many other problems.
Not only that but the software is terrible. many shows that I want to record are also on multiple times. The software either records every show at every time over and over or it does not record. There is no option to just record a show at a given time. Horrible. I have a non HD box on another tv and never have to reboot it.

 
At April 30, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old DVR worked fine until it died. The new one ("mystro") has been a complete nightmare. I've a tech here 3 times in a month. They all tell me the new software is junk.

 
At April 30, 2008 at 10:14 PM, Blogger Axinar said...

Ours has been a LITTLE more well behaved lately.

I wonder how the cable system spin-off from the main part of Time Warner will effect these issues ...

 
At May 2, 2008 at 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the picture sticks in the upper right corner try turning swap on then off. I was told they switched from purchased to there own software (Mystro). It seems to be full of bugs that come and go except for the lack of sound on channel 275 (Reelz). This is one of my wife's favorite channels and boy do I hear the complaints.
We had an older and newer Scientific Atlanta box. The new one came with Mystro and the problems. The old one has had the problems since they updated the software.

 
At June 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem I'm having is that if I want to record a show, say a 2 hour movie, I only get the first 21minutes or so if I'm watching another channel. The strange thing is the box show that is recording for the full 2 hours. God forbig I try and switch between the two shows (as the old HDVR box allowed), I then get picture freezes, audio loss. This is the second 8300 box that I got from Tme Warner. They need to go back to the old HDDVR's.

 
At July 22, 2008 at 12:30 AM, Blogger Bethany said...

I hate this box and have had nothing but problems with it and I've only had it a couple of days. It won't record right. My husband missed the first hour of "Smackdown" on Friday. I thought it was supposed to record "Burn Notice" tonight but it hasn't. The picture keeps going small and stays up in the right corner. It won't keep the 16:9 aspect ratio and keeps going back to the other one.

I buy an 1800 dollar HDTV Samsung 1081P and my fricking cable company makes it impossible to enjoy it.

I thought at first it was the HDMI cable causing problems, but after some research it's the stupid box.

Oh..what instruction manual? My husband brought just the box home when he got it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

 
At September 24, 2008 at 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 days ago I install my Time Warner Scientific Amerika Explorer 8300hd dvr box; and sit on my coach: I can watch regular channels + only 13 HD channels from time warners basic hd channels ((701-702-etc ))- but I cannot watch other basic hd channels(like historyhd,A&EHD, food hd,disney hd, foxnewshd,dicovery hd,planet hd,etc..) it shows"to receive this channel,call customer care..".. after calling 4-5 times technical support;they sent signal;I reboot everytime they called like I didn't do it before,..at the end I decided to change the box..Yesterday I changed the box;but the new box-which is again same 8300HD ) is showing exactly the same channels;same hd channel and exactly not showing other basic hd channels & saying on a blue screen "to receive this channel,call customer care.."!!!
It cannot be TV, it cannot be box as I changed the box; so could it be my signal,my cable ?? Is someone have an idea???
Sincerely
Astoria -NY

 
At March 5, 2009 at 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the scientific altanta 8300hd for a while now. It works 'reasonably' well 90% of the time, but every now and then a scheduled recording is simply not recorded, and for no reason. The DVR recording log states "The set top box was unable to record this show." Thats it! Not that its a conflict, or that the channel is unavailable, like other errors received that were valid. Anyone seen this? There is no rhyme or reason to it. Its completely random. Different channels and at different times. Only happens a couple times a month.

 
At April 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 10:07:

This happens to me frequently (at least once a week). We have to check the list whenever something is supposed to record just to make sure it is. Maybe it is just murphy's law, but it seems to always pick shows that we cannot easily fine at the network websites or hulu. We had a tech come out and he said our hard drive is failing. I am waiting for the tv season to be over and I am going to replace with a new box, if I can get one. Reading the other comments here makes me worry that any box will fail because the software seems to be the problem.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 4:48 AM, Blogger Avcap DVR said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At October 25, 2010 at 4:20 AM, Blogger Adam Scott said...

We have to check the list whenever something is supposed to record just to make sure it is. Maybe it is just murphy's law, but it seems to always pick shows that we cannot easily fine at the network websites or hulu.for our Security System.

 
At January 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By comparison when the telephone company provided the equipment, it worked, period. This type of issue would not have been allowed with the phone company. It should not be allowed now either. They need to allow competition so people can purchase their own equipment and they provide the service. It must be costing cable companies a fortune sending technicians out on service calls for cable boxes.

 
At June 16, 2011 at 4:44 AM, Blogger Russell Reed said...

My best suggestion is for security system 4 channel dvr will be the best. What you say guys? Am i right? Because of i am using that since from 2 years. It did'nt shown any problem upto now.

Russell Reed

 
At August 2, 2011 at 12:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im not trying to be negative towards time warner but i was with them for Years i cant even explain the issues they can bring. first its the box then its the wiring when will they just admit its there cheap boxes. It got so bad i had to switch to Dish Network no that there great either but when i turn my TV on i dont have a error message saying the tv channel is not available. On time warner cable the 8300 hd dvr box i called it the Silver devil because i never knew if my shows would actually record or not. Im almost 100 % sure they reset there boxes every week purposely at 2 to around 5 AM like no one knows. Half of there channels that you pay for never come in HD. The retail store had to turn of there phones due to problems and leave a recording saying for you to do stuff because they know its garbage. Or the people that work there completely lie on the phone saying they have never heard any of the problems you tell them. If any of you want advice switch services plain and simple

 
At February 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot get this piece of crap 8300 to reboot and work anymore. That's pretty much the last straw. This thing has not worked as intended since day one. It records shows I hate and would never schedule and cuts off the ones I did schedule ten minutes early. If Time Warner tries to blow me off or send me another useless malfunctioning DVR, I'll be forced to cancel my service. Mine as well, because I'm definitely not getting what I paid for.

 
At April 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had this box for 2 years now and no problems whatsoever. About 2 weeks ago it arbitrarily started to record channel 18. It actually doesn't record anything but because of this I can only set 1 other channel to record and I can't figure out how to get it to stop the phantom recording of channel 18. Can anyone help?

 
At April 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had mine for three and a half years and now it has died. Videotron, my cable provider, says this is normal but this is a pretty expensive bit of equipment and replacing it every three and one half years seems pretty pricy. What do you think?

 
At July 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nightmare...Time Warner is horrible, all the Dish companies suck...nowhere to go...for months, we've had real bad pixellation, but our whole neighborhood too. The box keeps resetting, and shows we record are unwatchable. They have not been able to resolve the issue, but even worse, do not seem to care. Smh...

 
At July 24, 2012 at 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have had this hd drv box for almost a year now and have had nothing but problems. It records random shows that neither my husband nor I watch, not to mention the shows it has been recording are not child appropriate, thank god my toddler doesn't know how to use the remote to watch a recorded show. This phantom recording is constantly creating conflicts and records the phantom shows instead of what we had scheduled. Also if we record a series and tell it to only record the new ones it records new and old. We are going to have to down grade to a regular dvr box instead of the hd even though we have a hd tv. We never had any problems with the regular dvr box and our apt complex will not allow us to get satellite. GRRRR to think we wasted all that money on a hd tv that we can't use because the cable company can't provide us with acceptable service.

 
At July 2, 2013 at 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

 
At July 2, 2013 at 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys suck!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


eXTReMe Tracker