ExpressVu for Condos - Page 4 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #46 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-14, 05:29 AM
 
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No HD: time to quit BEV?

I have been a VDSL subscriber for seven months, when I moved into my condo unit, a brand-new highrise ion downtoiwn Toronto. I am only now learning about the service's severe deficiencies (thanks to forums like these, certainly NOT from the BEV website). Nowhere in the BEV For Condos (aka VDSL) webpages do you learn that this service will not provide a high definition signal and that you only get mono sound through coaxial connections (i.e., the two secondary TV locations). While the UHF remotes generally work OK, they do not transmit well through cement walls, which are common in most condo buildings and thus this almost certainly presents a problem for many secondary TV locations.

In my case my "set-top box" (the BEV/Sympatico combo unit) is installed in my front-hall closet, on the top shelf next to my condo unit's telecom entrance (i.e., Bell telephone lines and cable TV entrance if I was using Rogers). I researched my TV options before I moved in, decided on BEV because I liked my BEV satellite servuice at the cottage. I even had an electrical outlet installed next to the telecom entrance, in anticipation of needing to plug in the BEV set-top box/internet modem. I had ethernet cable pre-installed through conduits throught the unit, all of which originate at the telecom entrance. (The BEV/Sympatico box connects to a router and thence to the ethernet.)

It all works fine EXCEPT for the crappy TV signal.

If the signal was HD, I suppose I could live with it by relocating my set-top box next to my main TV and use direct (triple wire) connections rather than coax cable. I could then route the TV signal to the other TVs via the existing coax network. But what about the internet connection? I suppose I could reconfigure my ethernet cables to originate at my main TV location, but this is much more easier said than done.

But since VDSL and HD seem to be incomatible concepts and there appears to be no hope whatsoeer that they will solve this huge problem, I am now looking at switching my TV service to Rogers. I can live with non-digital signal for my second TV, so I onlky need one set-top box from Rogers. Unless I want an additional box to provide digital music to my stereo system, which is located nowhere near my main TV (for good reason!) At present I enjoy BEV's Galaxie music channels, which are received via a TV tuner (actually an old VCR). Rogers "apparently" has a lineup of 40 music channels as well, but good luck finding useful information about these on their website. Yes, their "Channel Listing" page has a Music section, but this listing appears to include video music channels like Much Music and I have no idea what is pure audio channel and what is actually a music video channel! I'll have to find out more by braving Rogers' telephone help line.

I'll stick with Bell Sympatico for my internet service, only because I can't stand the thought of changing email addresses and all that -- in any event, I am satisfied with Sympatico and have been for many years. The only difference is I'll then have a dedicated Sympatico modem hooked up to my router.

Any thoughts out there on all this, and does anyone have any new information as to Bell getting their act together anytime soon about VDSL's HD and stereo sound problems?
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post #47 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-14, 07:42 AM
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VDSL has been shelved...i wouldn't bother "waiting" for anything new on that front...iPTV was supposed to be the "next big thing", but that has been dumped too...if you move multiple services you Rogers, you can bundle them together and save money...changing your email address is no big deal...you send out one email to all of your contacts informing them of your new email address and they save it.

Panasonic TP42PX60, Yamaha DTS receiver, Mission 73 series speakers, 100% sweetness!
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post #48 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-15, 06:55 PM
 
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Tivo and Bell ExpressVU for Condos

Hey guys.

It's Christmas 2007, and Tivo series 2 is now officially available in Canada (albeit 3 years too late). I went to the Tivo Launch at the Best But in Toronto (Yonge and Dundas). There were 4 Tivo "Experts" there from California, yet none had heard of Bell ExpressVU, nor ExpressVU for condos, and could not tell me if/how it would work. Tivo really doesn't know what they're doing, fly up 4 people from California to tell us Tivo was available, yet no one even heard of Bell ExpressVU, and could not tell me if it worked at all. They didn't even know what Rogers was either. Absolutely laughable.

Question:
Will the series 2 Tivo work with Bell ExpressVU for condos? Is there anyone out there running this configuration ? and could you let me know how you have physically connected it ? Does it record on 2 tuners at the same time ? Can it control the RF controlled channels ?

Problem:
It seems to me the problem is/would be that Tivo uses IR to run the digital cable box, which means it could only control one of the ExpressVU channels at best, and it would have to be the 1 IR controlled channel. This means the Dual-Tuner Functionality would not work at all.


Bell ExpressVU primer.
The Bell ExpressVU for condos is for MDU (Multi Dwelling Units) High-rise Condos of which there are many in the Downtown core. Fiber goes into the bottom of the building, gets mutliplexed, and then enters each unit through a twisted wire pair. The wiring goes in to a Motorola Digital Cable box Model RG2400V and uses Motorola remotes Model SRC-300. The Digital cable box then distributes the signal to other rooms by feeding it's output back into the coax cable in the walls, to get signal to the different rooms. The secondary and tertiary rooms have no cable box, but use a small dongle on the coax cable itself, and use RF remotes instead of IR remotes. The digital cable box is capable of feeding 3 different channels to 3 different rooms at the same time. All 3 TVs are set to different channels for reception, TV1 - Channel 3, TV2 - Channel 8, and TV3 - Channel 13. Bell ExpressVU channel band is from 100 to 900 and thus requires changing channels using the Bell Remote.
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post #49 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 11:26 AM
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Yes, The TiVo Sereis 2 DVR will work for that service, with a couple caveats;

1. The TiVo needs located at the gateway box, for access to A/V and IR control of the Gateway.

2. You will not get dual tuners, since the VDSL servce does not provide the analog cable required for Dual Tuners to work.
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post #50 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 12:13 PM
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Thanks, BellExpressVu, for the VDSL primer. Very concise and accurate.

TV for Condos has been promising HD, PVR and On Demand since, um, 2005? and the initial roll-out, as I recall, was 2004 with some earlier "beta condos". I used to see ads for it in bus shelters -- they put a lot of money behind it. But then it seemed to go very quiet.

Classicsat's answer is also bang on, from my understanding. Yes, the dual tuner TiVo for Canada will work with VDSL as a single tuner only.

If the TiVo experts here to launch in Toronto hadn't heard of TV for Condos, it doesn't sound like they've had much dialog with Bell. That might suggest some challenges in getting accurate TV listings. Bell is, afterall, a major TV provider in Canada.

The Canadian TiVo launch seems to me a tad late, or under-nourished -- one of those. They expect us to spend about $400 up front ($199 box + $60 wireless adapter + $129 subscription fees + 1 year contract) and a 90 day parts and labour warranty ... with no "30 day money back guarantee" or something like that.

If you really want PVR, your local cable company has a decent alternative.
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post #51 of 83 (permalink) Old 2007-12-19, 02:02 PM
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Hi BellExpressVU,

I had MTSTV for a couple of years so I'm familiar with the RG2200/RG2400 technology. Qwest Choice TV in the U.S. also uses the same hardware (Motorola Next Level Communications). Here's a link for Qwest on how to set up Tivo. http://www.qwestchoice.com/tivo

Basically Tivo will work in single tuner mode by controlling the RG2400 via IR on your main TV (channel 3 in your case). You can watch live TV on channel 8 or 13 while Tivo is recording on channel 3. You will also need a connection to the internet for automatically downloading the TV listings. If you have a wired or wireless router located at your RG2400 it's just a matter of plugging another cable from the Ethernet port on the Tivo to the router.

Tivo buys its raw data from Tribune Media Services and then applies its own technology to produce Wishlists, SeasonPass, On-line Scheduling, etc. Tribune and Gemstar-TV Guide are the 2 major TV listing services and cover all the major providers in Canada and the U.S. I find that Tribune is usually more accurate than Gemstar. If you want to confirm that Tribune has your channel line-up, go to ZAP2it.com which they operate.

With all the time shifting channels for network TV and all the repeats on the other channels you should be able to record most of your shows, especially with the way the Tivo software works.

Although I haven't tried it, it should be possible to connect your coax cable to the 2nd Tivo tuner and use it in "manual mode". In other words you would tune the Tivo to channel 8 and use your channel 8 RF remote to select the channel you want to watch. You can then use the Tivo features for pausing live TV for sports, etc. It may even be possible to record in manual mode on the second tuner if you really need that feature.

I agree with you that the Tivo reps should have been briefed on the local BDUs. Since the hardware is the same as the hardware in the U.S. and the Canadian channel maps have been available on Tivo for years, it would have been easy to do. The Tivo reps may have been "experts" in Tivo functionality but they weren't experts in good PR.
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post #52 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-09-26, 01:16 PM
 
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post #53 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-18, 06:28 PM
 
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Thumbs down Bell Condo TV

Hi,

In August, I asked to see if Bell has service, and they said, it's not the regular Bell service, but this service is called "Bell Condo TV" or "Bell TV for Condos". (I'm in a downtown condo).

They finally installed it. I come from Rogers VIP TV service that has channels 100-200 unique ones, and a little bit of everything. Me and my wife would sit down and channel surf, and almost always we'd have something to watch, be it comedy, girly or educative. Even the box was good looking, with the GUI and everything was nice.

Now, we have this Bell TV Motorola box, looks 5 years behind it's time, and this bricky remote with channels that I have to choose.
I don't like any of this. The box from the 80s, the remote from the 80s, the GUI is the most confusing, uninformative, ****tiest GUI I've ever seen and the channels are not even as "fluidy" as with Rogers.

I can't go to Rogers because it's not available in our condo. So, I'm kinda stuck with the only one option called Bell Condo TV. What can I do?
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post #54 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-18, 07:42 PM
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Sounds like you have VDSL, a horrible Blue receiver......lol

It sounds like you are in a "Bulk" building where every suite gets VDSL. You will just have to hope they install a couple of Dish's on the Roof and give you access to the real Bell Tv.
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post #55 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-18, 09:57 PM
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FYI, Earlier discussion thread on Condo version of Expressvu HD . Search on Condo or VDSL for other discussions.



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post #56 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-19, 04:46 PM
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I am being told that approx 10 buildings per week are being outfitted with a pair of Dish's in and around the GTA. Just watch for the trucks outside. Bell TV normally have a 40" TV and HD PVR set-up in a lobby type area after installation.
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post #57 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-19, 11:13 PM
 
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That's good news with the trucks and all, lol. I'm right in downtown, and I hope they moved in soon.

Is there any way I can call in and find out as well?
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post #58 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-19, 11:33 PM
 
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call their toll free number and ask them - whats the harm? or write a letter / email. I also prefer the 2nd option as you get HD...!
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post #59 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-22, 02:59 PM
 
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Thanks guys
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post #60 of 83 (permalink) Old 2008-11-22, 03:10 PM
 
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tell them more about the channels, the technical part of it, but the way the receiver looks like, i dont think they will do anything... it is not the agents that decide if they will be installing some dishes on your roof or not... you can ask your condo if they allow you to have a dish on your balcony, if yes, you can become a private mdu account. you will have your dish on your balcony and the receiver you want.
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