Bright House essentially removed features—not added

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Bright House Networks has been performing firmware updates on all digital navigator cable boxes. The update happened to my box last Thursday.

The only bits of good news I’ve discovered are: 1) settings that we were informed might be lost weren’t, and 2) there’s now a percentage indicator of how full the hard drive is.

Let me reiterate. These two items are the only bits of good news, and only the second can be considered a feature improvement. All other “improvements” listed by Bright House I knew were of no consequence to me even before the update occurred.

So far, I’ve come up with a list of a dozen features I enjoyed from the old firmware that are missing in the update. I am sure there’s more than this list, I just haven’t noticed them yet. One is a feature I never realized I had on the old firmware, and now wish I had realized it.

  1. I can no longer skip through favorite channels in the guide. Pressing the FAV button exits the guide and changes to the next favorite channel.
  2. Keyword search is gone. I can only search by first characters of program title.
  3. Guide no longer shows programs that were scheduled to record but won’t because of a conflict with a higher-priority recording.
  4. Manual frame-by-frame advance is gone. (The 15 minute (second?) quick advance apparently is gone too, but I never knew this existed.)
  5. Only a single Picture-In-Picture size is available. Prior firmware had small and large sizes.
  6. I can no longer reorder the list of recorded shows in order to let desired shows be the lowest priority and, consequently, deleted in favor of a new recording. Yes, you can set a show to not be deleted, but sometimes I’ll record something that I may or may not watch. I used to move it to the bottom in order to let it be the one deleted if I need room for something else.
  7. Pause mode screen saver I think is gone—not 100% positive. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt that maybe it just takes longer to appear—but my bet is it’s gone. It apparently comes on after a longer period of time, but the screen saver is still there, except now it just floats a message saying to press a button on the remote control to continue instead of the still frame of where you paused.
  8. Scanning forward and backward doesn’t move as rapidly as before (in other words, takes longer to fast scan through an entire show).
  9. Not technically a feature loss, but a problem with the old firmware still exists…if a TV show produces a still image for more than a second or two, the audio will intermittently cut out until the show returns to a moving picture.
  10. The position I last highlighted in menus and guides is not remembered. For example, every time I want to turn on captioning, I now have to hit Settings, arrow up twice, press select, arrow to “On,” and select again. Before the update, since I always left the settings position at the captioning menu item, I could just hit Settings, Select (to toggle ON/OFF), and Exit. Three steps. Done.
  11. The position at which playback continues after fast scanning is far more unpredictable than before. I can reverse scan just for a second or two, then it play, and playback continues further forward than the point at which I started scanning backward.
  12. In old firmware, I could highlight a particular show in the Guide, perform a title search, and that show would be “searched” by initial default, letting me quickly see future airings of that show. Now, searches always begin at the top of the alphanumeric list and I have to key in the letters of a show’s title, even if it’s the currently highlighted show in the Guide.

(The above 12 are the original dozen. All new issues I find are below.)

It might be understandable if there was only one or two odd things that I found over a long period of time, but the very fact that I came up with a dozen feature problems in only two days of typical use is completely inexcusable.

Mr. Craig Saari, Bright House senior director of engineering, you would please essentially every one of your customers by reverting all boxes back to the old firmware, provided it doesn’t zap out recordings like the upgrade stated it might (even though mine remained). Since I’m sure that’s out of the question, I feel a petition should be submitted demanding steep discounts on our bills until the features we previously enjoyed have returned.

I’ll be updating this entry with more feature issues I discover as time goes on. Book mark this page if you’d like to keep track, and add a comment if you’ve found something that I haven’t found yet.

Additional issues I discover will be continually added here:

  1. Since the A, B, and C buttons were reallocated for other functions, I have found no other way to skip the Guide listing to the next 100 block of channels.
  2. Can no longer specify in a series recording that a show should be recorded regardless what channel it comes on. (My recollection may be off on this one, but I seem to recall being able to specify “any channel” in a series recording prior to the firmware update.)
  3. The show description in the Info window truncates longer descriptions with no apparent means to read the rest. Old firmware allowed me to page up/down through the description.
  4. In the old firmware, if there was a recording conflict, when the first recording causing the conflict ended, the show that was not being initially recorded would start at the point where the conflicting show was no longer overlapping. In the new firmware, the entire conflicted show is not recorded, even if the priority recordings end.

4 Responses

  1. Sacha says:

    Not sure if it is lost in yours or not, as I lost ALL of these settings when I went to the HD DVR. One additional thing I lost was

    The ability to define a specific time or single chanel to always record a show. For example, some shows don’t easily identify new versus repeats, but the new shows always come on at X time, so those were the ones I recorded. Now, I’m forced to schedule all.

    I think there are more, but I can’t think of any right now.

  2. Lee Bennett says:

    You may be right on that…but I never used that feature. I just record the name of a show as a series and tell it to get all episodes, new and old. Then every couple of days, I looked through the upcoming schedule and turned off the recording for any that I recognized that I had already seen.

    I guess I’m lucky. It was said that customers would lose which channels they had set as favorites and that series recording settings would be lost, and that didn’t happen to me…

    At least, mostly not. I’m almost positive I had Time Warp (and other shows) saved in my series list, and they were gone.

  3. Linda Hall says:

    I just started with BH a month ago, and have many problems. One is I can’t program my favorite channels into the remote, my ABC do nothing at all. The only thing I can do with this remote is turn my TV, and cable box off and on. I can use the last channel button, but with my old generic remote I could go to 4 channels, not two. I hate this remote controller, it is big, and clumbsy, and almost totally useless.

  4. Lee Bennett says:

    Sounds like BH either gave you the wrong remote for your particular cable box, or the one you have was incorrectly programmed. The remote really doesn’t even factor on my list of gripes.

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