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post #1 of (permalink) Old 2010-04-18, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
wstock
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36
Thumbs up MTS Ultimate TV is...well...pretty ultimate

So, I've just had MTS Ultimate TV installed this past week, and I must say, I am very impressed. I had MTS Classic TV a few years back and it wasn't a very long lived relationship. The guide was very unresponsive, navigating through VOD and the interactive features was agonizingly slow, and once I got a HD TV, I realized how much the picture quality sucked. I've been a BELL HD customer ever since, and as much as I wanted to go back to MTS TV for the bundle discounts, I couldn't justify giving up the great PVR and Picture quality that I got from BELL. That is until MTS got me back with a win-back deal that was pretty hard to say no to. I planned on running bell in parallel with the MTS Ultimate TV, (what can I say, I had some doubts about MTS TV), but after 2 days with the MTS Ultimate TV, I happily canceled my BELL TV.


INTALLATION:

Granted I only have one TV in my house, but the install went very smoothly. The tech ran a new line from the DEMARC point on the outside of the house into my basement to replace the existing rats nest and cleaned up some of the phone wiring that the SHAW guy butchered. He then installed the DSL filter and added a line for the 2-Wire gateway. I have the beginnings of a structured wiring panel in my basement with my existing Shaw Internet and Digital phone, as well as my router. It was a snap to replace all 3 boxes with the 2-Wire gateway (which was alot bigger than i had imagined) and plug in all the Ethernet cables. A few days before the install I ran a brand new CAT5e line from this location to my TV location, so once the tech started to install, he only needed to plug stuff in. The 2-wire gateway only has a 4 port switch in it for Ethernet, so after the tech left, I switched my old linksys from Gateway mode to Router, set the new router IP and disabled the DHCP server and it's wireless to add the rest of the capacity back to my network. I have ethernet running to every room in the house, so I suspect it will be a snap to add additional STB's (VIP 1200's) in the future. (As a plug to the Tech, he was very good and very neat. Usually I spend an hour or 2 cleaning up the wiring mess the bell/shaw guys leave behind. Not so with this guy. He took his time and made sure everything was right. Kudos to MTS for employing quality Techs.)

INTERNET:

I know this is a forum for TV, but I just wanted to mention that with the addition of Ultimate TV, my MTS internet is much better than it was before I switched to Shaw Internet (and dropped MTS Classic TV). However, I've noticed that I get a wierd result from Speedtest.net sometimes:



Unfortunately, i've never seen speeds like this in real world usage, but this is around the speed that the 2-wire gateway is reporting that it is working at. I suspect that MTS is throttling my Internet connection, and most of the time, speed tests come back at a more reasonable level:



Line quality is very good too:




TV Experience:

I find picture quality on the SD channels to be just as good as Bell, and lightyears ahead of MTS Classic TV. The HD picture quality is just outstanding. The PVR is really simple to use, and the guide has 12!! days of information (Bell only had about a week.) This is soooo useful for setting up all your PVR timers and not missing anything. The STB (VIP1216) is nice and small (I was used to the rather large Express VU 9200 PVR from Bell.) so it easily fits in with the rest of my equipment. It is also very easy to use. The guide and menus are very responsive and it is quite easy to click around quickly. Channels change very fast too, much faster than satellite. I can almost channel surf again like i did with old-school basic cable. I can't really comment on the remote, except to say that I used it for about 30 seconds. I set up my Harmony 880 to work with the VIP1216 in about 5 minutes.

There have been some comments posted here about problems with HD quality, drop-outs, black screens etc. but everything for me has been 100% as far as I have seen. Granted, I've only been running for about a week. My call display isn't working yet, but I understand that it is being rolled out across the city right now, so I don't expect it will take too long for it to be up and running too.


Impressions:

I have been lured back to MTS by cheap promo pricing and bundle discounts, but the quality of the STB, the responsive-ness of the menus/guide, the great picture quality and improved DSL speeds, I am not regretting it one bit. MTS Ultimate TV is 1000% better IMHO than the MTS Classic TV service that I used to have. For those of you sitting on the fence, I strongly urge you to give it a try. I know you won't be disappointed.

Some others have posted concerns about the limited TV streams that are available, but i haven't found it to be a problem yet. Granted I only have one TV, but the PVR is running almost constantly. That, combined with a Timeshift West theme group, there is nothing I can't record, and watch commercial free later. Now that I have all my PVR timers set up, I can honestly say that 90% of what I watch is pre-recorded.

I will try to update this as I use the service more. I haven't tried out the VOD or PPV functions yet. I suspect that the VOD offerings are all in SD though...at least that is what it appears like browsing through the selections. Also, not sure if this is implemented yet or not, but the "Interactive TV" button doesn't seem to do anything.

-B
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