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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having problems wtih my SA 3250HD box for a while now, where the box will periodically reset itself overnight and forget it's 1080i passthru settings. When I wake up in the morning, it sets to channel 01 and resets to 480i standard. Anyway I called a couple rogers outlets to get an exhange and nobody has any 3250's in stock. But one location said they have a new box called the Pace 551. I called Rogers about it and at first they had never heard of it but after a couple minutes on hold they said they've just released it but that it hasn't been officially launched yet. Odd that the one location I tried said I can pick one up today! (It's a Radio Shack outlet)

Anyway I'm going to give it a try and see how good it is... but I'm surprised to see no threads discussing this matter. Has anyone else heard of this unit? I believe they've used it for Videotron in Quebec.
 

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I too have been having long outstanding issues with my 3250HD, and just found out that Rogers is making the Pace available in my area. The service rep I was speaking to recommended I switch to it.

Alas I have no information on it yet -- so I'm looking forward to your report!! Please let us know what you think of it, and in particular how it compares to the 3250HD.

Thanks!
 

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The Pace boxes have been used for quite a while in the US and recently in Videotron. From what I've read, most people have been happy, but remember that right now the SA STBs have a lot of people using them so there's a vast knowledgebase if you need assistance.

That will not be there for the Pace STBs.

I've made this thread a Sticky.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay I picked up the box earlier today with MUCH difficulty... They wouldn't let me pick it up because the account is under my mother's name, even though I had her photo ID and a letter signed by her allowing me to pick it up. The stupid Rogers sales rep wouldn't budge because the account holder MUST be present to pick up units. Bah. In the end I got my mom to call Rogers and add me on as a secondary account holder. Then I go home, plug up the unit, but of course none of the channels are working (all say Not Authorized except the 800 series analog stations). Apparently the person at the Rogers Video outlet forgot to scan this unit into my account, so when I called Rogers to get the box authorized they only had information for the old 3250HD box in my account. But when they tried to add the new box's serial number in the system they couldn't! WHY you may ask? Because nobody at Rogers billing has heard of the Pace 551 box! Their system requires a serial # starting with SAB, but the new Pace boxes have no such numbers. The unit itself has 3 barcodes with serial numbers, and another on the box the unit came in, but none of them start with SAB. I must've been on hold for hours between technical support and billing, and I just have to say the people at Rogers are absolute idiots. I spoke to technical support before going to pick up the box because I couldn't find any info on the Pace 551 on the Rogers site, but they assured me they just got these units in and they even have an internal email about the release. But then to get the box authorized you have to speak to billing, but nobody there has heard of it!

I'm literally pulling my hair out. I'm going to have to go into a Rogers video outlet tomorrow to try and get this matter resolved, but there's no way I'm going back to the one where I got the unit from. The person there was SO rude and unhelpful. Right now I'm cursing rogers right left and centre...
 

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I know it shouldn't be so, but it is typical of any brand new product. You should have expected these problems since no-one had heard of the box and it wasn't officially launced. No official launch and they don't have the codes in the computer to activate the STB. Whoever gave it to you, shouldn't have.

Same thing happened when the SA3250HD was first released.
 

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Sorry if I somehow missed it, but is this an Ontario box? Do you think it signals a shift away from SA on any level? Or is it just a temporary 'fix' for SA's lack of availability?

Google returns mostly european information, including the launch of europes first HD PVR. :)

Neat.
 

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nathan, if you use a different model number, like the Pace 550, you should find lots of US hits. The cable service providers have been using SA and Pace a lot down there. It's not a "shift away" it's just another supplier.

I believe the 550 is DVI and the 551 is HDMI.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
57 said:
No official launch and they don't have the codes in the computer to activate the STB. Whoever gave it to you, shouldn't have.

Same thing happened when the SA3250HD was first released.
Yup, after more time on the phone and at a local Rogers video store, they came to the same conclusion. However I was given the phone number for Rogers retail business office, which actually gets you in touch with people that can actually get the ball rolling as opposed to the CSRs at 1888-ROGERS1. They told me they are going to get the Pace units added into the system for me and will get back to me within 72 hours. So right now I only get the analog stations in the 800s... I'm hoping I can get some sort of credit on my bill to compensate me for all my troubles.
 

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I like the loop-through features (component and SP-DIF). No need to lose a component connection on your TV/reciever with this box. (which is a problem in the bedroom since I have an HD box hooked up, DVD hooked up, and no more component inputs for the 2nd MythTV box)

Wonder if they'll sell these boxes, and if they'll be cheaper than a 3250HD?

Even moreso, I wonder if the loop-through is enabled...and if...(drool)... firewire is enabled. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not even sure MythTV supports the Pace boxes yet...only SA and Motorola...hmmm...
 

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Pace is huge in the UK and Europe. Pioneer also makes SA compatible receivers. Anybody know if the Firewire is present/active on the Pace boxes that Rogers has? I'd say the chances are pretty good.
 

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For anyone who cares, here are some pictures of the box (not too shabby with the connections!):
Front:

Back:

Detailed Back:
 

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Looks like it has component video "passthrough" to allow you to connect say a DVD player and "save" a connection on the TV?
 

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57 said:
Looks like it has component video "passthrough" to allow you to connect say a DVD player and "save" a connection on the TV?
You mean like I said up in post 10? Let me direct you to nathan's FAQ on gloating about something I already posted.

(just being sarcastic, not mean :)

Looks like it might be a nice box to have.
 

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:)

One thing I don't like about the box though is that I think it's fairly ugly. I may rant and rave about SA's PVR problems (or problems in general) but I like the look of their (newer) boxes. This thing looks like a remnant from the mid-90's. Blocky and boring.

But I guess I'm just being nitpicky.
 

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Pace 551, IR Transmit not supported?

The Pace 551 has a IR Transmit to communicate with VCR, I have a VCR commander for Explorers DHCTs except 2000 DHCT so I gave it a tried to see it would communicate. Didn't work period, called Rogers tech support in reguards the Pace 511 is not available. I assume they don't have part? Stalling time before someone realize part is needed?
 

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It would be nice if these boxes had a serial input so that if you had a HTPC, TiVo or some external device that needed to change changes that you could use that to change channels rather than using an IR blaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm happy to report that I finally have the Pace 551 box up and running. I got a PM from Mole letting me know that the box product number for the Pace unit was 021, which allowed the CSR to enter in the proper serial number to get my box authorized. The problem is the billing department doesn't have their software updated yet, so the Pace units don't appear anywhere in their system. The old SA boxes had ser #'s starting with SAB, and that's what they were looking for, but the Pace boxes start with TD and 7 numbers. Moral of the story is, if you need something done by Rogers, call their Retail Business Number! The people there actually DO things while they put you on hold, like find the answer and the solution. The people at 1888-ROGERS1 only know how to answer with statements like "Unfortunately, we can't do this" or "we can't do that..."

Anyway enough ranting! Here is my first imrpession of the box:

- PQ is much better, especially at 480p. I always had my 3250HD box on 1080i for all channels, even SD, because the 480p quality was so crappy. Also on those SA boxes, when you flipped from an SD channel to an HD channel the screen would turn black for quite a few seconds. It made it very annoying to flip back and forth... But I am told that the Pace boxes are known for their good progressive output, so enabling 480p and 1080i looks great on this unit.

- unit has an Auto Pillarbox function so that when you are on an SD channel and in Normal stretch mode, the image will actually be in Stretched mode, thus avoiding the black bars on the sides of the image when viewed on an HDTV. Also when flipping through HD channels, the unit always defaults back to Normal view as if it expects the signal to be true HD. I believe the 3250HD would simply stay in whatever zoom/stretch mode the last channel was in. So say I'm watching a SD movie on ch 301, and then flip to an HD show on ch 527 like Desperate Housewives. I'll never have to enter stretch for the SD signal or go back to Normal for the HD one. (not too sure if this is really a new feature or not, but it seems so to me!)

- DVD passthrough is a great feature, which as explained earlier allows you to have a component video input and either a coaxial digital audio or optical digital audio signal input into the Pace 551 unit. This works by simply turning the cable box off, which then switches the signal to the DVD component video. Only problem I had was coaxial audio input did not work on my box, so I had to switch to an optical cable. I know my coax cable works fine because that's the input I used directly to my receiver in my old setup.

- You can change Display functions such as 16:9 or 4:3 mode, and which video signal you want enabled (480p, 720p, 1080i etc) while the unit is on by simply pressing the Display button on the front of the unit. This lets you see changes immediately on the channel you are currently watching. I know on the 3250HD you had to do this with the unit off, and press two buttons the unit to enter the display setup wizard.

- No idea whether firewire is enabled or not, as I have no idea how to use this. I just got a DV Camcorder tho, does that have anything to do with it? :confused:

- The unit is made to work with teh Scientific Atlanta network, or so a sticker on the bottom of the unit states. Might also explain why it uses the same old remote I got with my first rogers SD box...

Hope this helps, ask me any questions you like! I may just be the first member of the public to have one of these units up and running.
 
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