I just recently exchanged a Rogers Nextbox 2.0 for a new Cisco 9865 (Nextbox 3.0) HDPVR. I was willing to give Rogers one last chance before abandoning them altogether and signing up with Bell Fibe TV. It’s not that the Rogers television service is bad or the monthly fees are out of line with its competitors, it was just the PVR’s that are supplied by them are atrocious. Based on my return record, I would say more than 80% of them had problems, since I rented the equipment it did not cost me anything to exchange them but after the 4th or 5th time it was getting frustrating. The reasons for the returns included: non responsiveness, endless rebooting, incorrect scheduled recordings, the list goes on. I sometimes think that this bad record is due to the fact that I was likely getting refurbished PVR’s every time I exchanged them but similar problems are described by people purchasing new units from third party suppliers such as Future Shop or Best Buy. I can’t imagine that it makes good business sense from Rogers’ point of view, having so many dissatisfied customers that can’t view their services because the hardware they get from Cisco/Scientific Atlanta is of such low quality. They should just stick to the business of providing good television services and leave the hardware supplying to company’s that have proven track records, a company such as TiVO. With this as a background, I decided to give them one last chance. Click here for my Real Life Review of Rogers Nextbox 3.0.
The Nextbox 3.0 is now available from Rogers. The new offering is the only PVR hardware advertised on their website, so Rogers seems to be ready to roll this out in a big way. New features include: records up to 240 hours of HD programming plus an extra 150 hours with PVR extender (Nextbox 2.0 had a maximum of 225 hours with the extender); records up to 8 HD shows at the same time (Nextbox 2.0 and most of it competitors can only record 2); three minute fast forward skip tool; increased speed of channel changes with no lag time; and caller ID on your TV. You can purchase the Nextbox 3.0 outright for $507.49 (or rent to own for $17.76 per month); if you prefer to rent it the cost is $25.32 per month. For those of you interested, the Nextbox 3.0 is a Cisco 9865 Digital Video Recorder.
Publicity starting popping all over on the first week of August and now the first reviews are in from Rogers customers. Most of the initial comments at Digital Home appear positive. There does not appear to be many changes made to the Programming Guide but people seem pleased with improvements in the reaction time of the guide and channel surfing in general. The ability to record 8 shows at the same time is also a hit with everyone. There is some disagreement with Rogers claims that it is capable of recording 240 of HD programming, most people are reporting about 100-120 hours. You would expect an improvement from the Nextbox 2.0 since this new model has a 1 TB hard drive, double that of the previous box. Improvements to the recording time may be expected if Rogers upgrades recording formats.
Most agree that it is a significant improvement on the Nextbox 2.0 so do you plan on making the switch?