Monday, September 17, 2007

Mr. Hollywood's Cable Box

Sorry I haven't updated this weekend, I was pretty much glued to my chair watching television.

Last Thursday, I got the SaskTel Max DTVR and a new box, a $10.00/month rental, and I must say it is paying for itself so far. The recording functionality is working great, I already have my favourite shows queued up on it, but I still have to get used to the fact I can pause and rewind actual television.

One of my favourite features so far is the replay button, where you can skip back 10 seconds on a live or recorded program. I was watching the Sunday Night Football game (Patriots and Chargers), and early in the fourth quarter, the Chargers made a touchdown pass, even though the receiver (Antonio Gates) went out of bounds before the line. I hit replay, and found that the ball crossed the line when Gates reached forward with his hand just as he was going down. The Chargers still lost 38-14.

Another good feature is the picture-in-guide. Before, when I hit the guide button, the sound and picture shut off as the guide took up the full screen. Now, when I call up the guide, the current channel shows in a window on the top right corner of the screen, thus ensuring you don't miss anything, and you can still rewind the show when you go back, as long as you don't change the channel.

But, it has it's bad spots too. Not too often, the recordings start a few minutes late, or not at all. You have a choice of giving extra time to the recording, but it's in 15-minute intervals, and I would prefer it to be one minute at a time, and if I had HD (the box takes HD as long as you have it, by the way), I can't tune to another channel if I am recording something in High Definition, as there is only room for one HD stream into the home.

Sure, I've been talking about SaskTel a lot lately. I am not being paid by them, nor am I an employee of them. I am just a common customer in good standing, but I seriously recommend this to anyone who is able to get it.

Now another topic. I think in football, the ball and the man must cross the line together to count a touchdown. Discuss.


Big Money said...

good to know about the pvr thing. how was the installation of this service? does it work well with HD as well?

Colin said...

Installation of it was quick and painless. The SaskTel guy was in to switch the boxes, give a quick demo of the recording function, and left about 30 minutes later (it could vary, he had two gals from the local TelMart with him to watch the install in my case). As for HD, since I don't have it, I can't tell you much other than what SaskTel has said before. Recording time is only about 25 hours, and you must watch the show while recording in HD because of bandwidth limitations, but I don't know if you can watch another HD channel while recording a standard def. program. I'm sure another upgrade down the road will fix the HD issue.