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Time Warner Cable Upgrading Navigator Program Guide in Northeast

Phillip Dampier April 6, 2010 Audio, Consumer News, Time Warner Cable, Video 31 Comments

Time Warner Cable may be robocalling you any day now with news that your set top box is getting what the cable company is calling an upgrade.

Time Warner Cable is making this robocall to customers with set top boxes announcing an upcoming upgrade. (1 minute)
You must remain on this page to hear the clip, or you can download the clip and listen later.

Calls are being made to customers with set top boxes in Buffalo and Rochester notifying them an upgrade to the new Mystro platform begins as early as April 13th, depending on the box being used.  Syracuse and southern tier residents can expect their upgrade to commence in May.  The company maintains a website that will let you find the exact schedule for the Mystro upgrade in your area.

Time Warner Cable’s Navigator software displays the electronic program guide, helps you program and control your DVR, and also includes the setup menu for the box.

The upgrade will result in a dramatic change in the look and feel of the box’s on-screen graphics, change how you navigate through the program guide, and provide more options for hooking up today’s HDTV sets. If you have a DVR box from Time Warner Cable, the upgrade sets the stage for an upcoming feature that will let you remotely program your DVR while away from home.

Not everyone is thrilled with the upgrade, however.  In fact, a Google search for “Time Warner Navigator upgrade” reveals a large selection of websites and forums filled with complaints.  Regularly reported problems include:

  • Sluggish performance, especially on older set top boxes;
  • Poor responsiveness on fast forward/rewind functions for DVRs, making it difficult to land precisely where you want to be;
  • The loss of “virtual HD” channels which some boxes passed through to even standard analog-only TV’s (albeit not in HD of course);
  • DVR bugs that made recording reliability inconsistent;
  • A DVR menu that makes it difficult to record only new episodes of series that repeat regularly on the channel lineup;
  • Box crashes, lost program guide data, and issues with the box retaining settings, especially for more complex HDTV setups;

Time Warner Cable began testing Mystro at least two years ago in selected markets, and the company believes it has worked out a number of the bugs noted above along the way. Time Warner plans to systematically upgrade their customers to the new platform nationwide now that testing has been completed.


This customer was so bemused with the Time Warner Navigator upgrade, he made a video illustrating the absurd journey he took to find a science-fiction movie to watch.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Navigator Demo.flv

Time Warner Cable’s own promotional videos show off the new Time Warner Cable Navigator system in a better light. (5 minutes)

Currently there are 31 comments on this Article:

  1. KC says:

    Every time I see a story title beginning with Time Warner Cable I brace myself for bad news. I wonder if I will ever get over this new psychological issue. Maybe I could sue for psychological damage caused by their mistreatment of me as a customer.

  2. CPU says:

    Once again, another high-up corporation that doesn’t have the options for captions on its videos. What a shame.

  3. siouxmoux says:

    Yet another reason Why I am glad I switch from evil Cable Company Comcast to the less evil ATT U-Verse. At least ATT EPG is HD base on Microsoft Mediaroom, 10 faster than Time Warner Cable new EPG

  4. Loons In June! says:

    Of course your Utube find was posted over 2 years ago Phil, things have moved on a lot since then.

  5. GilliganLQ says:

    Does anyone know if DVR content will remain after the ‘upgrade’? I’ve got a ton of stuff on my DVR without an easy way to archive it all. I asked Time Warner’s live chat support, but their response was about as cryptic as you can get. Maybe it’s just me, but half of what the chat rep said sounds like gibberish, the other half sounds like typical canned response.

    ME> I recently found out the digital box software is being changed to the Mystro/Navigator software. I have a DVR and would like to know if my recorded shows that I have saved will be deleted when the change happens or if they will remain.

    REP> Yes, the saved shows might get deleted as the upgrade will increase the clarity and features, old format might not be viewable/.

    ME> Is there anything I can do to prevent the software change? I’ve got a lot of programs recorded from the past several months that I haven’t had a chance to catch up on yet.

    REP> We have received concerns from many customers who have been affected in areas like Portland and Albany after loosing shows after upgrade.

    REP> So, we are considering to manage upgrade avoiding the deletion of saved shows.

    REP> I will forward your feedback, you will provided with an update of the status before the upgrade, is that fine?

    ME> sure

  6. Loons In June! says:

    Gilligan, In my experience with the transition all recordings remained. It is worth however checking that your scheduled recordings are accurate,
    There is nothing that you can do to stop the update, it will happen automatically.

    Hope this helps.

  7. GilliganLQ says:

    @Loons In June!

    Yeah, I was pretty sure there wasn’t a way to prevent the ‘upgrade’ short of disconnecting the coax, but wanted to see what they would say. Thanks for the info on the recordings staying.

  8. rv65 says:

    That guy in the first video was using an old Pioneer box. It’s better on a newer HD box which has more CPU and RAM than that old Pioneer box. Also Navigator looks a lot different now than what the first video shows.

  9. rv65 says:

    Rochester and Buffalo is getting Navigator tomorrow, starting with the 4240HDC and 4250HDC boxes.

  10. Tina Taylor says:

    We’ve had Navigator in New York City since last summer. It is absolutely horrible! Slower. Undependable. Much less functionality. Worst of all, they took away manual recording capability. It seems the reason for the downgrade was, of course, money. Navigator is their in-house system so they don’t have to pay someone else.

  11. Rick says:

    This will cost us another rate increase for sure

  12. Chris says:

    How do we block or delete all the crap channels?

    • rv65 says:

      Guide filtering is coming out later this year or another option is to use the sort by favorites feature and filter the guide by favorites. However, some newer versions of Navigator had that feature removed to make way for guide filtering.

  13. Uncle Ken says:

    Chris there is always the child lock out feature

  14. Jason H says:

    We received the upgrade over the last week in Waco, TX. My big complaint is the color. The dark blue background with white lettering is really hard to read from a distance. I miss the black and yellow. Would have been nice to build in a “classic view”.

  15. David F says:

    We in Austin got the new navigator a couple of days ago. Since i hadn’t been around to see the change as it happened it was a friendly surprise to see the nice high res graphics and seemingly dish network style of guide.

    BUT NOW I am fed up trying to familiarize myself with it. This isn;t just getting used to the new UI. It is a just plain unfriendly UI. I can;t get it to stop recording shows I didn’t program to record. which is a real pain because it chose to record CSI. Which isn’t a bad show but it is set itself to “series” and recorded every show on every channel it plays on. So I had dozens of episodes of CSI recorded hogging up disk space.

    Program first run on this channel in that time slot like you were able to before, FUHGEDABOUDIT!!!!. Have to involve way to many steps just to do that now. As before you actually had an option that said “this channel in this time slot” with the next option being “new shows only”. Otherwise you’ll record the whole series by default which in the case of someone who just wants to watch the NEW CSI:Anytown, USA…you’ll watch them all from every channel.

    Find your shows to set up the recording? You can;t choose guide by date anymore. you have to keep scrolling right until you reach the day your new show airs on. “why don;t you search by show” you ask? Well, it is even more annoying to do that because some shows air on other channels,or it sends right to the HD channel (which i don;t have an HDTV yet so no HD channels) and i have to flip thru until i find the right channel with the right time slot. So instead of starting on the lowest channel number and listing it in ascending order. It starts on the highest and muddles it up with everything else if it shows in syndication on other channels. Where as before you just had to hit the “b” button, scroll down to the date, scroll over to the time slot, hit record, choose the options for the show you are about to record and done in less than 10 seconds.

    And FFS why can;t they give a complete show description? Are they for some reason limited to only 40 characters in their descriptions by FCC rule or something? They can give complete descriptions on the PPV movies if you choose it! But not a show on the other channels????

    I haven;t run across the problem of too many programs slated to record at he same time. Some times it doesn;t even respond to my recording inputs anyways. I guess i’ll just be surprised by the outcome when it and if it happens or doesn;t.

    Parental controls i haven;t messed with yet either. Something tells me that will be a a$$ whipping there too.

    THE PLUS SIDE! The new feature where it keeps the show recorded from last channel is way cool though. I don;t know how many times i have accidentally changed the channel and lost the rewind/ fast forward for the show i was watching. So now not only can I blast thru commercials on one show, I can blast thru them on two shows without having to record one show while flipping to another. Which sometimes meant i had to delete a program to record. That is way cool if you are watching two shows live at once. And the high res graphics are much better than the commodore 64 style graphics and colors it used to have on the old navigator.

    I’m not going to sweat it to much. Eventually AT&T U-VERSE will come to South Austin areas and Grande is getting geared for some infrastructure expansion from what I understand. So hopefully TWC’s monopoly in my municipality will be broken someday.

  16. Anne says:

    The new program guide is awful. We’ve lost useful features (like skip to end of programs on dvr, changing day on program guide — now you have to click through show by show by show rather than picking out a day 5 days from now and then clicking through the schedule to desired time slot). I’m getting fewer options. I want to pay less!

    “Unresponsiveness” of remote forwarding and rewinding is another way of saying we get to see commercials rather than skip them. Again, I want to pay less because I’m getting less.

    • WRCFanatic says:

      Those who have difficulties in the day feature, are probably using an old remote optmized for SARA and not Navigator. If your remote has day buttons on it, then it’s quite simple to change the date in the guide. It’s actually more intuitive than SARA. If you still have the old remote, then swap it for a newer one with the day buttons. Hope this helps.

  17. Alex says:

    It’s a prime example of how you DON’T roll out new software. Take note Enterprise – don’t do it this way !

  18. Ruby says:

    I thought I was going to get the new Navigator, when to my surprise, I tuned in to watch a recorded program and I have all this junk on my screen. The remote I have has worked to watch it, but I accidently deleted American Idol because I could not tell iif it recording or not. Give me the old format!!!!

  19. Conan says:

    After pressing play when fast forwarding a DVR’d program, the software now seems to automatically rewind to the nearest fade-to-black. Has anyone found a way to to defeat this functionality?

  20. Paul says:

    This web site was really funny. The first video was awful. The guy sounded boring. Then the second video was better to look at. It was more energetic.

  21. David says:

    I received the update early this morning. No problems here. Love the new design and features.

  22. WRCFanatic says:

    Navigator is getting some updates in some divisions later this year. TWC is rolling out MR-DVR in Charlotte with Cisco 8642HDC and 4642HDC boxes. There is also remoteDVR which is only Charlotte has, but other divisions will be getting it sometime in the near future.

  23. Mike says:

    I was surprised not to see anyone pointing out the ratio issue. Perhaps it is just on my system.

    Since the “Update” our box does not maintain the preference for the zoom level (necessary to make the ratio correct for a 4×3 program playing on a 16×9 widescreen TV.)

    So after using the viewing guide we just hit the # key to zoom.

    This is not a big deal, but clearly a programming error by the boys and girls at TWC who write the code.

    I suspect they test their code at home in their parent’s basement using their old Magnivox 19 inch console TV circa 1980 to “debug.” Hell the aspect ratio is perfect on that TV. And no pesky HDMI wires to mess with! Joking? No…

    Perhaps it is just our cable box in the family room, the second one is connected to an older Sony 4×3 ratio TV so there is no issue there.

    Venting complete…

  24. James R Curry says:

    Wow, yeah – the new software is annoying and a perfect example of cost-saving and corporate branding getting in the way of providing the sort of utility that people actually want.

    Of course, for me, this is all secondary to the fact that after many, MANY service calls, my Time Warner television service still failed to work reliably.

    When I called to cancel, the customer retention expert had the audacity to ask me “It’s still not working? Then why have you not requested another service call for this issue?”.

    Time Warner are one of the worst companies that it has ever been my misfortune to deal with. It pains me a little that I still carry Internet service with them. No worries, should another ridiculous capping “experiment” rear its ugly head then I shall jump ship the very day it’s announced.

  25. David Fatta says:

    Since Navigator was downloaded to my cable box, my HDTV settings have become unstable. Every time I turn off my TV, when I turn it on again my audio device settings get switched from Digital Dolby to HDMI. This results in my formerly premium audio being muffled and distorted, because the audio signal is split between my home theater amplifier and my TV’s built-in speakers. It works OK if I go into the Settings menu and re-set the audio every time. All is well until I turn the TV off again.

    This is a basic HDTV setup: a flat panel HDTV and a home theater audio system. It is probably the most commonly installed setup, but it looks like Time-Warner never tested it.

    My frequent calls to Time-Warner support result either in a denial of the problem (That’s the way HDMI connections always work.) to a statement that this is a known issue that will and will be corrected in a future software fix. Time-Warner technicians have come to my house to confirm that I have things hooked up correctly, and there is nothing they can do. Meanwhile, the months roll by, and nothing changes.

    This software wasn’t released…it escaped!

  26. Ali F. says:

    I could not be more annoyed with the answers i got for the reason they took out Sort by Favorites feature. After talking to several supervisors and technical people the best answer i got was it was a Corporate decision and they don’t know why.

    I’m so mad I’m in the process of going canceling my service pending cancellation fees. Taking out this feature to “save memory for future upgrade” is total crap. This feature alone does not take up any more memory then a simple 0/1 logic since the favorites are stored anyway in this upgrade they did. In a good business model you don’t take something out in anticipation of future updates when those updates could be as long as a year away.

    No way to get it back unless enough people complain in my opinion to get that simple feature back. I suggest you call 800-TWCABLE and express your concern like i did.

  27. Uncle Ken says:

    Get it through you fat heads you soon are not going to get streaming
    anything
    for less then $200 to $300 a month and im going to get real mad
    if your lack of ability to use a regular tv or radio
    messes with my simple web browsing makes my
    bill bigger because of it..

  28. Uncle Ken says:

    Maybe at some point I can work for TW and put all you streamers
    through hell.

  29. TWC Sucks says:

    The self proclaimed ‘upgrade’ is aweful. It’s a slow, buggy, constantly locking up POS that doesn’t function as a tv tuner. It tricks you into browsing through PPV guides by placing them all over the place in the lineup. Deceitful and immoral.

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