Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Toronto - BellIPTV, MotorolaVIP1216, MotorolaVIP1200(x2), SharpLC52D85U, PS3, Wii, Sony STR-DE845
BES - Reviews
Thought I'd start a new thread specifically for reviews of the BES service from those of us who have signed up. Here's mine so far.
Install Date: Nov 18/09
Install time: ~2.5 hours
Setup: 1 PVR (VIP1216), 2 extra units (VIP1200)
Install went fairly smoothly. Two techs. Had existing coax so they didn't need to run any new lines. They put new ends on all the coax to ensure best signal. Only issue was getting the PVR to register with the home office. That took about 45 minutes of the tech being on the phone with Bell.
On picture quality front, I'd say that the HD is a bit more muted compared with my previous Rogers HD. But not so much that its annoying. Picture still sharp (especially on channels like Oasis and Rush it seems). Picture on some channels does seem a bit darker, but I can probably adjust my TV settings to compensate. Haven't noticed any pixelation issues (like I used to get with Rogers), but my wife says she has seen short stutters occasionally during a program (haven't seen them myself). Have noticed that some of the SD channels have problems in that picture can be quite choppy/stuttery sometimes - like when you watching something recorded on your computer and the processor is having trouble keeping up with the bitrate. This seems to happen on the "lesser" SD channels (eg: CMT, Slice, etc) - haven't noticed it on any of the "network" SD channels. And it doesn't seem to consistently appear.
Channel guide is waaaaaaaay better than Rogers - faster, clearer and easier to navigate.
PVR functionality is a step up on Rogers SA boxes. Aside from the whole home PVR aspect (which is great - probably the best feature of this service), the listing for recorded shows is better (grouping of different episodes of same show). Haven't had a chance to use the online recording scheduling yet.
Channel lineup is more limited than I had with Rogers (where I had VIP with movies and timeshifting). Bell has timeshifting, but the timeshift channels are not HD (which is a bit of a pain, since we used to record from the timeshift channels to "free-up" watching other shows during those times). I personally miss having the Sportsnet channels in HD, but that is about the only channel(s) I miss. (Kids don't like that we can't get Nickelodeon).
My setup allows me to watch/record two HD at a time. So far, this has been a bit limiting (see my comments on timeshift channels above) but not to the tune that it is overly annoying. (Rogers had a two HD limit also, but I could always go watch on another TV - if it had a HD box. Can't do that with this service).
Internet - getting the fast speeds (about 20MB down 11up) and even when all three TV's are on get more than 10 down consistently. Only time you really notice speeds is when downloading files. I'm not a heavy torrent user, so I can't really comment on throttling (yet). Had a bit of an issue getting my portforwarding set up, but seem to have licked that problem.
Have had to call Bell only once for a technical problem (router rebooted and lost all id/password settings - they have to reset the IPTV ones from their end). Wait for techincal assistance was not long. Can't say the same for their customer service (like others, have had long waits to get through to talk about billing/install/etc). I just hope I don't have to call them often.
Overall, I'm happy with the service so far. Would be so much better if: 1) additional HD channels (including timeshift); and 2) were able to watch/record more than 2 HD channels at at time. Then it would be a killer service. And just the fact that I'm not a Rogers customer anymore makes me happy!!
If you have experience with service, let's hear from you.