Thursday, January 29, 2009

Soft Launch in One...Two...Three

I have griped here about the crap Motorola cable box that we're renting from Bend Broadband (BBB). The mind-boggling crappiness of the box and its user interface isn't BBB's fault -- they are not in the hardware design and manufacturing business -- and they have to use whatever is available, and what's available in your basic HD DVR cable box options are offerings from Motorola (whose cable DVRs I have had a longstanding hatred for) and from SA -- Scientific Atlanta. Never had one of those latter pieces in the house, but I am told they are pretty crappy, too. 

I suppose that I shouldn't even blame all of the shortcomings of the box on Motorola because all they make is the box itself, while the user interface, called iGuide, is a product of TVGuide/Gemstar (though I bet that Major Issue #1 -- the inability of the box to respond to remote keypresses for sometimes up to dozens of seconds is a hardware issue -- "underpowered CPU" is what I've heard). There are other UIs running on that box around the country but iGuide is all I've ever used. 

My DISH satellite setup had a UI similar to the iGuide. 

This blog is so powerful (meaning: someone other than myself reads it) that it caught the attention of John Farwell at BBB, who heard my gnashing and woe-is-me-ing and talked me into trying the new Moxi MC3 DVR, (pictured, above) which BBB has just "soft launched" (meaning, toe in the water, not yet being advertised) in the Bend market. 

It's a buck more per month, but I saw a demo of the UI on an MC1, Moxi's earlier offering, and it looks totally cool. 

The installation guy is scheduled to be here later today. 

I'm hoping this box provides a better TV experience than the Motorola running the numbingly clunky iGuide user interface. 

It would have to work hard to be any worse. 

After we've used it for a while, I'll post my impressions. 

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