Venting... I seriously hate SiliconDust's Premium TV service


#1

For those of you who use SiliconDust's Premium TV service, I'm sure you feel my pain. I was already incredibly annoyed with missing channels, all of the bugs, and other assorted issues SD has had over the last several months. In general, it seems to be getting worse, not better. My Channels DVR records The Walking Dead on AMC. I am 3 episodes behind, and sat down tonight to watch an episode. In addition to the jumps, skips, and hops that AMC has been doing lately, THE WRONG SHOW was recorded three weeks in a row! Did SD swap time zones without bothering to notify their partners so they can update their channel guides? SO annoyed with this service!!! I totally do NOT blame Channels for this. I am just annoyed and venting. And also cancelling my Premium TV service. If you are thinking about signing up, don't waste your money. It is terrible!


#2

Yes there were several timezone changes and AMC is one of the channels still having quality issues. The latest DVR release from this week fixed the timezone issues atleast.


#3

Thanks for the information. As always, you guys are very helpful!


#4

From reading posts here and [mostly] on the silicondust forum, it is remarkable just how bad this service is. If one dreamed up how bad a service could be, he would fall short of the reality.

  • poor video including low frame rate
  • missing AC-3 sound
  • channels hopping from east coast to west coast causing missed recording
  • channels disappearing with no idea when/if they will return
  • a lawsuit threatening the long term viability of the product
  • poor communication from silicon dust

It’s a shame. If a miracle occurs and they end up with a quality, reliable product; I’d like to dump DirecTV. With what the premium channels “offer”, combined with what I could buy (HBO Now, NBA League Pass), I would have everything I need (other than NFL Sunday Ticket).

I’m not holding my breath.


#5

You also forgot to mention video encoding errors and artifacts (leading to streams jumping and skipping, including scenes repeating), as well as channels mysteriously being replaced (The Weather Channel randomly becoming Accuweather).

This is all on top of channels randomly going offline for hours at a time, in spite of supposedly double-redundant dual data center served feeds which SiliconDust has revealed was not the case even though their contract with their upstream provider states differently.

I am really hoping these are all merely growing pains that inital services run into, but the longer these problems persist, the less likely it seems that this will be a quality and successful product. I really hope to be proven wrong, but it doesn't seem likely.


#6

Yeah that sucks.

Across the cable TV Channels (not including HBO and such), I only watch 5 shows at best.

This is why I just buy season passes on iTunes or Amazon Prime Video. You pay ~ $40/season and get the episodes within 24 hours after they air, commercial-free.

When compared to paying $35/month for the SD Premium TV service, this is significantly cheaper (unless you watch more than 12 cable shows).


#7

It really is a shame. I REALLY wanted this to work. The idea of seamlessly integrating local OTA channels with streaming channels into one interface and DVR app is such a great idea. And as much as I complain about SD, I am still in their corner and I hope they can make this work. But as it stands right now, this service is one disappointment after another.

I get that some of the issues are outside of their control. And I have seen several threads in the SD forums defending them. But at the end of the day EVERY problem that occurs in the Premium service is a reflection of SD. Regardless of the reason or who is at fault, the Premium service is just not good. Period.


#8

For the last 6 months there has never been a time when there wasn't a lot of 'Drama' associated with PTV.

Now the 'Drama' is so strong, it's turned into 'Comedy'.

PTV has evolved from something nearly useless, into something completely useless. Is this 'Stage 2'? I expected something else I guess...


#9

@ACraigo It is not Stage 2. It is "Number 2"


#10

Is there any service with hbo or other cable channels that integrates with Channels? Suppose my wife wants Hallmark - what would I need to do in order to get it to show up on channels?


#11

Subscribe to a cable plan that includes Hallmark through your local cable company.


#12

The lack of communication and transparency from SD is inexcusable. They've lost my sympathy due to this and I'm no longer rooting for them.


#13

I'm with you on this one. Possibly the most frustrating is SD's lack of formal communication on the matter. I gave them longer of a chance that I should of, but in the end the service was unstable and undependable. The bandwidth issues made the service largely unwatchable and recordings constantly failed due to bandwidth dropouts. It would be fine for 20 mins or so, then tank and stutter for another 20 mins. I had high hopes for the service and I was rooting for them, but their handling of the outage and it's aftermath is wanting and I'll take my money elsewhere. Customers will stick with you through thick and thin if you talk to them, be honest and keep them informed. Keep them in the dark and they will disappear.

Chief


#14

IF SD had any credibility, the last 6 months of suffering through PTV has seen it evaporate into a heavy, gooey mist that clings to your skin like deep fryer grease.


#15

Just received an email from SiliconDust announcing the end of premium TV.


#16

Just got the same email as @jcgorla. Text below:

We are writing to inform you that we will be ending the HDHomerun Premium TV service over the course of the next 30 days. All individuals currently subscribed to Premium TV will be able to continue their service until their current month of service has concluded, at which time service will not be renewed.

We want to thank you for your business, and we want to assure you that we are not done innovating. We are excited about upcoming plans for improving the cord cutting and cord shaving experiences.

To keep up with the latest innovations and product announcements, don't hesitate to visit and subscribe to blog and email announcements. And keep an eye on our forum for the latest chatter!


#17

#18

Maybe now they’ll go back to focusing on what they’re good at... Hardware. Where is the Prime 6??


#19

And sorry, just had to say it. And don't become a Plex where we offer everything to attract new subscribers but can't deliver on our promises. But our newest version WILL wash your dog! We Luvs dogs!

Prime 6 coming in 2019, meaning?


#20

If you see a Prime 6 for sale - it's ready to go.
If you see SD promising a Prime 6 - it's not ready to go.

I have a question not allowed on SD forums:

Is there any 'decent' service like PTV (not like my cable provider that would happily take money I can't afford to provide channels I can't record through Cable Cards they don't support and SD can only promise)? No, I can't watch Live Advertising. No, I'm not interested in 'hosted DVR Services' ('their content' I'm not allowed to do anything with - except watch it).

I can't seem to wash the stink of PTV off, but is there anything like PTV - that actually works?

From the Channels 'Announcement':
" Moving forward, we still want Channels to be the go to app for watching TV and movies for your whole family. We'll be spending a lot of the year investigating new and fresh ways of getting content inside Channels."

Now would be a great time to secure some 'content' (that works and can be delivered to an HDHR Tuner controlled by Channels).

I now have what's left of PTV (for a limited time) and one brave PBS transmitter atop Hog Nut Mountain that used to deliver a bit of light down into these valleys around here... until it was hit by lightning 4 years ago. Now it's only a reminder of what it once was as it runs for 5 minutes then is down for a week until they go over to reboot it.

Until 'something else' happens I don't really need Channels or an HDHR tuner to pick up a PBS transmission from a transmitter that's off the air 95% of the time - do I?