This blog entry is a continuing story from my first timeline about the Xbox One. Click here to read it.
In late January, I was feeling good and decided to reconnect my Xbox One in the living room. So what if it can’t play a DVD in sync. I have a DVD player right? Besides, I really wanted to play a game designed from the ground up for the next generation. Did I really buy an Xbox One so I could play Assassin’s Creed 4 and Peggle 2?
Throughout February, I decided that we were not watching cable TV downstairs often enough to justify the expense. We watched the Olympics on NBC and NCIS on CBS – both nationally broadcasted channels. Plus, my wife noticed that the voices were not syncing to the pictures. It worked correctly when directly connected to the TV, so I knew the problem was the HDMI input on the Xbox One. We decided to return downstairs cable box to Time Warner.
Feb. 22 – I received the HomeWorx HW150-PVR from Amazon. It is a digital converter box that is compatible with the Xbox One. After installing it and connecting it to the Xbox One, I was able to watch over-the-air (OTA) television that would respond to channel changes by voice. Again, this feature is really great – when it works properly. If there is a room full of people or activity in the kitchen (cabinets closing or pots clanging), it does not respond well to voice commands. Regarding the HW150-PVR, it has been an interesting device. It calls itself a PVR instead of a DVR which means that I can connect an external storage device (in the photo below I have inserted a 16 Gig memory stick) and record over the air television. I can also pause live television. This feature works well but it is not user friendly and doesn’t compare at all to the DVR experience. You have to specifically program the time and channel that you want to record, and even though I set it up for recurring once a week it did not record again after the first time. I’m sure there is something I did wrong but it is not clear. Even the remote is confusing.
Mar. 1 – Feeling crazy on a Friday night, I go to a local game store and purchase a used copy of Ryse: Son of Rome, a true next generation game. The game is pretty fun and does look fantastic. However, in the week following, I find the screen freezing up and the Xbox One is extremely hot. This starts to happen even when watching tv as well. Then I notice AGAIN, that the TV sound and video are not synchronized.
Mar. 2 – I contact Microsoft support through their website chat. Since I am clearly under warranty, they send me another system through a program called Advance Exchange. When it comes in, I just swap machines and ship the defective one back at no charge. If I do not return the defective system, I may be charged for it. That is reasonable to me.
Mar. 7 – The replacement arrives and the next morning I install it.
Mar. 8 – During the install, I discover that the replacement Xbox One is endlessly looped in an update. After completing the update, it tells me that it may restart – then it turns off and never comes back on again. When I manually turn it on again, it acts like I’m turning it on for the first time. It updates and shuts off. Rinse and repeat. I chat again with the Xbox One technical support. They send me instructions for an offline update. It involves putting the update on a USB memory stick and holding certain buttons down while turning it on. The instructions say the Xbox One will make 2 “turn on” sounds but mine makes 1 “turn on” sound and then 1 “turn off” sound. After that, the system bricks. I can’t even get the green Xbox power one screen when I turn it on. I chat back with Microsoft. I am told my case is going to be turned over to the Advocacy Team, who will contact me. I am assured that the end result will be my complete satisfaction.
Mar. 10 – After no contact, I chat again with Microsoft and am told the I would be contacted by the end of the day.
Mar. 12 – Still no contact. I connect again through chat and I am told that the issue has been escalated and that I would hear something soon.
Mar. 13 – Still nothing. I contact them again and inform them that I am shipping back the replacement unit since it is bricked. I don’t want to keep it any longer than necessary. I am once again assured that I will be taken care of and there will be no charges. When I mention that it is taking a long time, I am told that is a normal timeline for Microsoft. I am told to be sure to check my Junk Mail folder, just in case I have been contacted. I check it. There is nothing from Microsoft there.
Mar. 15 – I still have not heard anything, and now sadistically am committed to wait it out just to see HOW LONG it will take for Microsoft to take care of a good customer. It will give me something to write about right? In the meantime, I have my super hot original game system that still freezes up and plays television out of sync. But at least I can create art on my laptop using Microsoft Paint!
I think we can all see where my son gets his artistic talent. Let me compare something he posted on Facebook. Compare the talent. You be the judge.
I look forward to writing a blog post with good news from Microsoft. I still believe in them and I like this product. I can’t wait to get the same experience that my friends are having with it. For now, I am just in limbo.