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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your Digital Set Top Box is Acting Funny

Many of you noticed some strange behavior by your digital set top box this week. Monday night, in preparation for our upcoming roll-out of Video-On-Demand (VOD), there was a universal software upgrade to all 3,000 of the boxes in Glasgow. Some of the boxes did not respond well. By that I mean that some refused to display the guide, some refused to respond to the remote control, some refused to carry out the trash and say "please" and "thank you."

We have found that most of the boxes can be whipped back into shape by simply unplugging the power cord for a few seconds and then plugging it back in (don't you wish this was effective on errant children?). After the power down, they usually are back in service with the new software within an hour or so. However, I have noticed a couple of changes that are simply Motorola's idea of improvements. Those changes will not go away, even after unplugging the box and rebooting it.

The change I noticed last night was with my "guide" button. In the past I could push it once to get the guide and then I could press it again to summon the little menu at the bottom of the screen. I liked that feature because it meant no matter which button I pushed, I could get the screen I wanted just by pushing it some more (this is akin to the male theory that everything can be fixed by pushing harder or getting a bigger hammer). Alas, now when one pushes the "guide" button a second time you just get a listing of the upcoming programs on the channel you happen to be tuned to at the time. We have tried, but so far found no way to get the old "push guide twice if you really want the menu" feature to return. So, it looks like something we need to get used to.

We will keep you posted as we find other changes. You can keep us all posted as well by commenting on this post by clicking the "comments" link below and posting what you have discovered. I'm sure we all would like to hear what changes you might find. Oh, and I have now seen VOD demonstrated and it is waaaay cool. You are going to love it and it should arrive on your set well before Christmas!

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