1. Are the HDPVRs component only, no HDMI out ?
2. Are external drives supported ?
3. Have you found it more expensive to match features you already have on Bell satellite to the packages on Bell Fibre Optical TV ?
1. All the STBs have HDMI. There may be compatibility issues with certain TVs or AVRs, but it should work with most equipment in the upcoming Mediaroom. I'm not sure if it works with the current software.
2. No external drive support.
1. The HDPVRs have HDMI out as well. Some people have reported issues with using HDMI out on the Motorola VIP12xx series. I'm using HDMI out on my VIP1216 (PVR in living room) with no issues. However, I'm using the component out with my VIP1200 (Non-PVR in bedroom) because I get bad audio breakup with HDMI on this particular receiver. It's not really an issue using component as the component cables are perfectly capable of delivering up to a 1080i signal and the receiver doesn't put out a 1080p signal anyway. I'm only using HDMI with the PVR because I wanted to cut down on the amount of cables behind my console. I have a lot of stuff plugged into my AV receiver.
2. External hard drives are not supported right now, to the best of my knowledge. I believe the receivers currently run Windows CE, but BellAliant is talking about an upgrade to the Microsoft MediaRoom software early this year. I'm hoping that will mean support for external HDD, among other things.
3. I moved from BellTV (formerly ExpressVu) and couldn't be happier. To be honest, I can't really compare prices because I didn't have HD service with ExpressVu but I can tell you that the main reason I switched to BellAliant FibreOp instead of just upgrading my satellite service to HD was that I was getting more and more frustrated with rain fade and all the other issues associated with satellite TV. I would imagine the prices are close for each service, unless you get one of the current HDTV/Internet/Phone bundles from BellAliant. Then you're looking at fairly significant savings.
We are presently with Rogers for internet and phone and Bell Satellite for TV. The Bell Sat is about $120 plus tax. I think the slight increase in cost would be in the internet service but I'm sick of the 60gb cap with Rogers.
I have no complaints re Bell Sat and it has served me well. One issue is losing the external drive support as I do archive off with the 9242 Bell HDPVR and it is quite handy.
If that's the case, maybe you should hold off switching until MediaRoom has been rolled out and see if it adds external HDD support. The rollout is supposed to begin in the first half of this year.
I'm much happier with FibreOp TV than I was with my satellite. I got satellite years ago because the house I bought never had cable and Rogers wanted almost $200 to hook me up! Pretty bad considering hooking me up would lead to monthly revenue for them. Anyway, I stuck with satellite until November 2010 when FibreOp became available in my area. I just got tired of realigning the dish every few months and losing the signal during bad weather.
I'm very pleased with my Internet service. Consistent 25/5 speeds and I've never had a problem *knocks on wood* and no bandwidth cap... yet.
Mediaroom 2.0 is supposed to add support for Windows Media Centre 7 to allow recording directly to the PC which should alleviate the drive space issue. No one is running WMC7/Mediaroom2 integration in production yet.
Since others have already answered regarding your HDMI and external drive question I shall not respond on that.
Personally I actually started FibreOP with just internet access because I was waiting for TLC in high definition but after crunching the numbers the savings over Bell TV satellite was just enormous so I made the switch. I have to say I have no regrets. The quality of the channels is great, billing has been fine, and with Mediaroom on the horizon I know it will just get better.
I'm at about the same range savings wise...50-60 a month. And to the question about HDMI, I was nervous too especially when Aliant tells you HDMI is enabled but not supported. Thankfully it's been running just fine on HDMI and 5.1 surround sound.
In relation to the comment on the ability to offer on-demand....I've been advised that along with the current internal mediaroom testing occuring right now, Bell Aliant is also beta testing an on demand service.....I'm guessing it will probably go live once media room does.
We moved from the full SD offering from Bell (incl) movie channels to FibreOp and we got our first bill after the 3 month promo pricing was over and we're saving right around $50 per month, with better quality and customer service than either Bell or Rogers it's an easy sell. If the much hyped and promised media room and OnDemand are indeed on the way then it makes the deal even sweeter.
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