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pre-alert: the following is full of sarcasm and bitterness
After 2nd instance where disk that was more than 90% full died, I was convinced - in spite of reservations - to start using the "newer and better" cloud based contour.
HUGE mistake is an understatement.
Features that were not mentioned before the transition include but arent limited to:
* smooth flow of viewing is the exception rather than the rule
* a 30 minute show can take as much as 40 minutes to view -- including attempts to use fast forward. 60 minute shows are negatively affected at least as much.
** somedays are worse than others. I have stopped trying to watch live or recorded shows on saturday. But no day is ever symptom free. I'm writing this on the wednesday before thanksgiving and throughput is pathetic to the point where i have stopped trying to watch anything thru contour ... including the apps.
* any button pushed on the remote, rather than proving immediate feedback and functionality, now requires a significant delay before even acknowledging that a button has been pushed.
* more than once replay of a recorded movie froze toward the end. After a long delay, the movie restarted!
** i attempted to fast forward to get back to the end. It took 8 MINUTES before the screen even displayed the FF icon. Don't ask how long it actually took to get to faster FF speeds or when the near end spot was reached.
* frequent frozen black screen. Is that because show/recording was actually on a black frame or something more insidious? I don't know and as a consumer i don't care.
* Is the problem with delayed response to something pushed on remote an issue of direction of signal? Well one of the new & improved features is that the contour box no longer has a visible led that faces the user, so it is impossible to determine if the signal was sent/received. Too often a foolish 2nd interaction with the remote leads to eventual unwanted 2nd action.
* contour recording for only a few seconds instead of full length of schedule has higher rate with cloud version than harddrive.
* along with previous there is increased frequency of problems with accessing show/recording
* at some point i expect there will be a comment that i can revert back to using the contour hard drive. Of course that comes with a guarantee that everything saved in the cloud will be lost.
But they appreciate having me as a customer
Things that have not changed:
* cox is sorry about the difficulties and the lost recordings but continues to offer no solution
* cox appreciates my being a dedicated customer [isp for 23 years just at this address and does absolutely nothing to retain me as a customer.
** in the last round of contact with help desk i asked that the thread be forwarded to their customer retention group. I don't know if that was ever done or it was done but i was never contacted [be either group] but i'm not surprised that Cox Communication ** at communication.
* in the last round of problems there were 2 different technicians that made a house call. Each said they would send contact information and follow up to see how things were going. No surprise - neither followed thru.
** extra kudos to 1st tech who said he would schedule appointment for the 2nd guy [specialist] but never did.
* all of the unfriendly user interface issues remain, including but not limited to the most frequent activities requiring the most steps/clicks and conversely the things used only once at initial setup require the fewest clicks.
* there is still approximately zero ability for end user to manage diskspace.
and so much more
cox should not be proud of the fact that i assume they will make no effort to correct flaws in the hardware/software/helpdesk/communication
but they will be very aggressive about sending email offering more things that would require me to shell out more cash.
If you are having issues with the cloud dvr service, then I would suggest getting a tech out, because it means there is a problem with the cable levels to the cable tv box. If it's not a good set of levels, it will cause all kind of issues with playback. That said, I would certainly prefer having the DVR in my home with a hard drive.