My name is Ben from Rome, NY and if any of you are active on AVS Forums, you probably know me. I have been tracking (and anticipating) Navigators release for sometime now. I've watched it since initial deployment in Lincoln, NE 4 years ago! It's good that we are finally getting an updated GUI and Albany is the first SARA division in the state to get it, followed by Rochester and most likely us in Syracuse/Utica. At least, that's how it's been historically speaking with the rollout of any product by TWC.
So, seeing reports of people who are actually using it has brought me here to get as much info as I can about what your division is doing with it.
1st) I see mention of new hardware. Namely the Cisco 8640 Series Set Top.
Is this the current model you have? If so, can anyone elaborate or give an initial review of it? Also, what size drive are they issuing with it? The 160GB or 320GB. Does it support a 16:9 On Screen Guide?
2nd) What version of Navigator are you getting? It should be noted that there are two different versions depending on what box you have or get. ODN Navigator is the version for HDC boxes with CableCards and MDN Navigator is deployed to all legacy boxes. That said, what is the firmware number or version revision?
To find your version number - you need to enter the diagnostic menu: Hold the SELECT button (VOL + on some boxes) until the Mail light flashes and then press INFO (or on some boxes DOWN) then use the arrow buttons Left & Right to scroll through. You should see numerous pages of information including Hard Drive data, Tuning Data, Software Data, etc. This is pertinant info and can be used to see what features your Navigator version contains as well as what updates it gets. HINT: Check around page 16 and see if RemoteDVR Management is there.
3rd) Many people are inquiring as to if eSATA is supported because with over 100 HD channels, the 160GB 20 hour built in drive seems pretty useless. If anyone, is using an eSATA device with Navigator - please post your results.
4th) Please report any and all bugs not only here, but to TWC. This software has been in development for over 5 years and deployed for the last 4 with disastrous results. It is just now being widely deployed and said to have the initial issues worked out. SARA divisions are the last ones getting this software which should open up many options such as Remote DVR Management/Remote Scheduling and possibly MRV down the road.
Thank you all for your time and any information you can share. If you have any questions about the goings on in our division, please ask away. I'm hopeful that with enough feedback and information that the Navigator transition will be smooth for everyone.
If I had to describe this new interface in one word I'd say HORRIBLE. I can luckily use more than one word though. The only real positive is that it's fairly easy on the eyes. The new interface is painfully slow and clunky. The older one was much more user friendly. This one actually makes me want to avoid watching television. It's that bad. The two things that really bother me are the reminder timers for this one and when you change channels. The picture is often a second or two behind the channel you're tuning to. It's too slow. The timer reminder for the previous interface was. If you wanted to see something all you had to do was find it in the guide and press select if you wanted to see it later. Finding stuff to watch at a later date now is more of a hassle than anything else. To say I'm disappointed would be a severe understatement.
The new Navigator interface is better looking, but it's painfully slow on my 4250HDC. My 8300HD and 8300HDC haven't received the updates yet, but if it's as slow as my non-DVR in my bedroom, I'm not going to be happy.
One small positive w/ the new interface seems to be the ability to stretch 4:3 programming on the HD channels, too. I don't recall being able to do this previously. Kids were watching something on 1834 Disney HD and it wasn't 16:9, but I was able to stretch it. Didn't think to try it during the Siena-Fairfield game last night, but that had the "ESPN" sidebars.
I'm kind of surprised at the lack of participation on this topic. This is a pretty big change for cable subs. Could it be that the transition is going smoothly? I figured if it was extremely problematic that the forum would be flooded with complaints.
Thanks for the info - that's the box most people are concerned with as it's TW's standard DVR. Can you tell me what version of the 8300 you have? Is it an 8300HD or 8300HDC? Thanks and I look forward to hearing your opinion once you give it a whirl.