Voom installed today. My experiences...

Mystikal

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 6, 2004
23
0
Several weeks ago, I ordered a Voom package. My experiences (mostly negative) with the order process can be viewed at this thread.

***Note***
If you just wanna see my performance and not my install experience, skip to the last two paragraphs.


I had previously been notified by Don Lor's that the installing tech would give me a call early today, and this did occur. Right after 8AM he calls and states he'd like to move my install to the morning and suggested 11AM. I agreed with the time and was home at 10:55AM waiting for his arrive. Waited for a good while 'til right around 11:25AM, I was curious as to whether he would still come so I called their main offices for a status. I waited for about 8 minutes through numerous repeats of their holding menus only to finally give up. I called again 5 mins later and got thru. She put me on hold and paged the installer to my number then returned to the phone and said he'd call me immediately. Well, I saw him drive by immediately then call me back 5 minutes later saying "What's your house number?". I'm not sure why it took 5 minutes to call me after he passed my house as I live on a dead end street with only about 18 houses, but anyway, he finally got there and the process began.

I won't bore anyone with too many details, but I requested no diplexer and was denied, I requested a ground mounting (like my immediate neighbor has) and was asked to reschedule. I allowed him to mount it on the roof and I liked the obscurety of the placement. On the back end of the roof and not visible from the street. He installed a powered system because I was pretty far from the tower I suppose. Overall, he was a pretty good guy so I'll cut him some slack on the little things I didn't like.

The overall organization of this process was pretty bad. Almost no documentation, contradictory statements in the install acknowledgement paperwork, relative inflexibility from the installer, and a somewhat dissapointing experience.

We installed onto my Sony 42" plasma TV using the DVI interface (I kept all other cables and such for future testing). Turned the receiver on and a few moments later, I was pretty much in awe of the quality of the HDNews picture. I have not yet connected the STB to my audio receiver so I won't yet comment on the digital audio. It worked enough to where I was comfortable that I could at least play with it when I had time, but I was about 2 hours behind schedule by this point and I didn't want to test it too thoroughly at that time. I did notice that my Off-Air Signal Quality mostly stayed in the low teens and my Off-Air Signal Power stayed consistently at 62. Some channels, especially local, have real difficulty being recognized. I asked about this, and the installer insisted that it was ok and just fluctuates often. I just accepted it as it was, because I didn't have time to explore it further.

I came back later in the day and had the local Fox2 station on while I was stripping some carpet up in the next room. Display was clear as I walked back and fourth and the sound was consistent. I stopped and checked the OASQ and noticed it was constant at 60. Great improvement to me so I felt as though maybe things would go smoothly from there. Not exactly. I dragged some carpet out to the garage and as I entered the house and walked through the living room, I hit my remote garage door button to close the garage door, immediately the channel went dead. I'm like "WTH?" and I hit the garage button again and sure enough, back comes Fox2. So I go in the menu and monitor the status. After about 5 minutes of tested it's become obvious to me that I pretty much need to leave my garage door open if I want to watch Fox2 or NBC anytime soon. ABC seems to do a little better (great since I got this darn thing to watch the Pistons in HD on ABC). Now I'm not quite sure how I wish to approach this. This is pretty strange, anyone have a comment or suggestion? Anyway, that's about all for now. I'll comment more later as I play with this thing.
 

bbtkd

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 11, 2004
309
1
If you leave the receiver turned off overnight, it should get the latest firmware. Then the time will be correct and a number of problems fixed. The problems with your locals may well be fixed by insisting that they come back, run another line, and remove the diplexor. The grounding issue concerns me - were you insisting that he follow code, but he didn't? I'd report that also. They should always allow time for proper grounding. Seems to me that the lowball price Voom pays installers does not include a site survey ahead of the install. If they did site surveys, they should be better prepared.
 

The Stone Man

Centennial, Colorado
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2004
872
0
Centennial, Colorado
Mystikal said:
I dragged some carpet out to the garage and as I entered the house and walked through the living room, I hit my remote garage door button to close the garage door, immediately the channel went dead. I'm like "WTH?" and I hit the garage button again and sure enough, back comes Fox2. So I go in the menu and monitor the status. After about 5 minutes of tested it's become obvious to me that I pretty much need to leave my garage door open if I want to watch Fox2 or NBC anytime soon.

This calls for a change to the code on your garage door receiver. Most garage door systems can change the numerical code that works with the remote transmitter. What a strange problem! Watch out when you turn on the blender, coffee maker, and the toaster--and whatever you do, don't use the garbage disposal.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
0
The Stone Man said:
What a strange problem! Watch out when you turn on the blender, coffee maker, and the toaster--and whatever you do, don't use the garbage disposal.

:D

Actually, I'm thinking your OTA antenna is picking up a reflected signal when the garage door is open vs closed.

I would say some re-pointing is in order and if you can do it yourself...do it.
 

Mystikal

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 6, 2004
23
0
I'm in agreement with Bill in that I think it's a reflective issue more than anything else. If by re-pointing you mean relocating the dish, then that's not gonna work. There's no way I'm turning my beautiful roof into swiss cheese or letting an installer do it. I could just turn the dish try turning the dish a little, if that's what you mean. The channels are coming in really poorly today, btw and I'm even more dissapointed. I'll wait for the firmware update before I call back though.
 

andrzej

Board Certified User
Supporting Founder
Feb 18, 2004
690
0
Boston subs
Mystikal said:
..There's no way I'm turning my beautiful roof into swiss cheese or letting an installer do it. I could just turn the dish try turning the dish a little, if that's what you mean. ..

Yes, that's what re-pointing means, no need for swiss-ing your roof. Anyhow, wait patiently for the update first.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
0
Mystikal said:
If by re-pointing you mean relocating the dish, then that's not gonna work. .

Actually I meant the OTA antenna. Not relocate...just some fine tuning of the direction it's pointed.
 

Mystikal

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 6, 2004
23
0
One week later, my current situation:

I received the firmware update on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and of course noticed some differences. One being the annoying warning/pause that occurs when entering the system menu. Another being an obvious change in the Sat Signal Quality. Pretty consistent in the low 90s on a clear day and the low 80s in mild rain. However, the OTA Sig Quality is still pretty terrible. Although it's listed in the low 50s most of the time, it fluctuates between 3 and 53. There's almost no chance of my watching any OTA channel except for ABC (Thankfully that's what I really wanted). As is, this will have to get resolved or I simply can't use it. I've gotta be able to watch Sandra Ali on Fox2 News. ;)

In saying that, how should I handle this? Contact Voom or the local installer (Don Lor's)?
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Mr. Biggles said:
:D

Actually, I'm thinking your OTA antenna is picking up a reflected signal when the garage door is open vs closed.

I would say some re-pointing is in order and if you can do it yourself...do it.
me too, but more than repointing. relocating the antenna and repointing?
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
Supporting Founder
Apr 1, 2004
23,813
104
Newport News, VA
Mystikal said:
One week later, my current situation:

I received the firmware update on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and of course noticed some differences. One being the annoying warning/pause that occurs when entering the system menu. Another being an obvious change in the Sat Signal Quality. Pretty consistent in the low 90s on a clear day and the low 80s in mild rain. However, the OTA Sig Quality is still pretty terrible. Although it's listed in the low 50s most of the time, it fluctuates between 3 and 53. There's almost no chance of my watching any OTA channel except for ABC (Thankfully that's what I really wanted). As is, this will have to get resolved or I simply can't use it. I've gotta be able to watch Sandra Ali on Fox2 News. ;)

In saying that, how should I handle this? Contact Voom or the local installer (Don Lor's)?
that fluctuation is multipathing. what kind of antenna is it? if its omni directional do you need a directional one? voom will change it if it needs to be changed.
 

Mystikal

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 6, 2004
23
0
vurbano said:
that fluctuation is multipathing. what kind of antenna is it? if its omni directional do you need a directional one? voom will change it if it needs to be changed.


Don't know what type it is. I'm not even sure of the size as when picking it up I though it was pretty big, but the installer insisted that it was only 18'.
 

Conjuror

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 4, 2004
250
8
Here's my story:
First an installer came one day with a "stealth" antenna. I told him immediately that my house is outside of the antenna’s range and that he should install the largest available antenna. He told me I would have to pay for it but I rejected the installation completely and he called his boss and Voom and was told to reschedule the installation until he gets the larger antenna (for free).
Next week he came again with a laaaarge directional antenna. Then I insisted that he calls Voom and asks about running two cables instead using diplexers since he initially rejected it. He didn't like it but both Voom and his supervisor told him that it's okay to run two cables. He even tried to convince me earlier that I won't be able to receive any signal without diplexers. Duh!
When he finished the installation I could get just one OTA channel and the guy told me that's all I can get. He left, and after few days I called Voom and complained about not having more then one OTA channel and not getting a DVI cable. They called Installs Inc and few days later the same guy called me back to schedule the OTA problem and to install DVI. He came few days later and told me again that the antenna is pointed in the best direction and that I cannot get more OTA channels. I insisted that he goes back on the roof and rotates the antenna left or right to see what happens. He really didn’t like it but went back on the roof. Well, he just slightly moved it left and guess what? I got all available digital channels from Atlanta area (9-10 channels).
And I didn't have to pay a dime for all that. I guess a little bit bitching works? Maybe you should call them back too.
 

FunkyBoss

Pub Member / Supporter
Mar 23, 2004
753
1
Chicagoland, IL
Mystikal said:
I'm in agreement with Bill in that I think it's a reflective issue more than anything else. If by re-pointing you mean relocating the dish, then that's not gonna work. There's no way I'm turning my beautiful roof into swiss cheese or letting an installer do it. I could just turn the dish try turning the dish a little, if that's what you mean. The channels are coming in really poorly today, btw and I'm even more dissapointed. I'll wait for the firmware update before I call back though.

Have you checked out www.antennaweb.org to see how far away from the broadcast towers you are, and what direction they are in? Which direction is your OTA antenna pointed? What does the antenna look like? Like Biggles stated, I think your best bet is to try re-aiming or possibly re-locating your OTA antenna based on where the broadcast towers are.
 
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