Foxtel iQ3 – The worst piece of technology this year?
On IT News (http://www.itnews.com.au/CXOChallenge/404155,innovating-for-your-life.aspx#ixzz3aeJON2n7) an article which seemingly Ms Nell Payne (Group Director Technology and Operations at Foxtel) had input into states the following:
“The company faced a bit of a hiccup when the iQ3 first launched over performance issues, though the cacophony of complaints has now hushed.”
To IT News (which was likely paraphrasing discussions with Ms Payne) and to Ms Payne herself, I provide the following response… I have an “iQ3 Saga File” My summary file on the saga currently sits at the following (time to grab some popcorn):
The first block is things that I have personally raised or have encountered myself. Wherever possible I have provided a link to at least one relevant forum post for the major items. I also highly recommend the “Overall less than spectacular operations during release” section.
At the very bottom (“Posts that say it all”) I have gone through the last two pages only of one of the forums (user feedback only, I figured this was more than enough to illustrate my point).
Throughout the process I have been very active on the forums (some of the post linked below are my own or posts I have been involved in), I like to think I am an extremely level-headed individual and I work in I.T. and know what system design, development, and testing is like… I do it day-to-day. This is one such post that I believe is quite level headed http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/class-action-regarding-IQ3/m-p/56879# (first reply).
The only way I have succeeded in using my box is to use it primarily for watching TV live or download SD catchup (recordings have been too flaky). I have been lucky enough that after much complaining and a formal complaints process, Foxtel agreed to re-activate my old IQ-HD box for 6 months at no cost until the issues were ironed out (I feel it is only fair to now let the community know) they also agreed to refund the full cost of install and the IQ3 (not all has been applied to my account yet).
The questions I ask of Foxtel are:
- Why have we gone just shy of 60 days since release with no update? Bundling everything into one will only likely cause new bugs rather than logical, incremental fixes with time to test in between.
- Why has senior management not addressed the Foxtel community yet?
- What will be done to compensate those that have suffered had crippled iQ3 boxes for two months (and counting)?
- What is being done to review your user acceptance testing plans and procedures? As has become apparent, the testing that the iQ3 was put through has failed to reveal an embarrassing number of issues.
- What plans are being put in place (if any) to put in place a sufficient beta testing program including real life users to test real world scenarios of future updates (to better put them through their paces)?
So feel free to vent and/or add your comments below is there anything I have currently missed from the below?
My current outstanding list of bugs include:
- When playing a show, if you stop half way through and wish to return to it later, the playback starts from the beginning.
- raised in http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/Recording-Playback-problem-not-resolved/td-p/55340 as one example
- After playback finishes on a show, when you press back, rather than returning to the last menu, it goes back to Live TV, therefore you have to go all the way through the menu structure again (not sure if this has been raised on the forums, I have it in my backlog but due to things not getting fixed I have stopped posting all my issues)
- Many recordings can’t be deleted, I have had limited success using suggested work arounds (so at the moment things just fill up).
- On regular occasion I have to restart the box, since I first installed it I have had to restart it 42 times (I assume that number doesn’t reset when a factory reset is performed) and factory reset twice. Restarts have been required due to the interface locking up… most commonly on the TV guide where I can scroll through the guide but unable to exit the guide at all.
- IQ3 Remote lag – I have found that sometimes I have to press buttons twice… it almost seems the remote sometimes goes into a power saving mode.
- Other times you press a button the blue button on the remote flashes and the box doesn’t process the signal for 2-3 seconds like it queues the bluetooth packets up then suddenly does them all in a quick burst. I have noted this happens when the interface is lagging in other areas. Hinted to in http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/COMPLAINTS-FOR-TODAY/m-p/58271?q.id=sxue180nxgmzocgj&q.sl=17
- Inconsistencies with fast-forwarding http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/IQ3-Fast-Forward-and-Rewind/m-p/55516
- Some people (myself included) required a manual re-syncing of our accounts to get HD channels working
- When I did a self install, the system failed to activate the box… Foxtel staff had to do manual tweaking and approvals just to get it working (they formally fixed it several days later)
- A subset of boxes shipped with superseded code which was buggier than the current release
- (detailed by Jenny (Foxtel Staff) in the post at the bottom of http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/iQ3-Problems/m-p/56272)
- IQ3 loses sound first raised in http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/Iq3-lost-sound-AGAIN/m-p/58171, I subsequently found a work around that at least works for me detailed directly below the top post
- When the unit goes into standby it says press any key to stop going into standby, only the home button seemed to work
- Recordings regularly failing and/or disappearing
- and https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Recording-a-Hit-and-Miss-with-this-thing/m-p/70149#U70149
- Some due unexplained power loss (I have had this too https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Yet-another-happy-day-Yippie-Picture-for-all-to-enjoy/m-p/68284#U68284)
- Issues getting recordings to start on occasion
- These are just what I have personally experienced there are a significantly larger amount detailed in https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/The-problem-that-must-be-fixed-on-the-next-iQ3-release-is/m-p/65513#U65513 including:
- HDMI sound loss requiring reboot
- Can’t press play to start recently stopped recording or show
- Front panel lights come on for no apparent reason
- Can’t access recorded shows in single list instead of thumbnails
- Some people who do not have a HD package, shows are recording in HD then they can’t watch them and are asked to upgrade
- Volume issues on some recordings
- Channel skips between current and last watched randomly
- Can’t activate ‘Keep’ for some recordings
- Library doesn’t repopulate after random reboots
- Missed episodes in series linked recording
- When searching for a program to record it will often (always?) select the SD or +2 version of a channel, even for subscribers that pay for HD
User Interface Issues:
- When going backwards through the EPG things get cut off on the right hand of the screen
- Navigating through menus is slow, clunky and requires an extensive number of clicks to move around
- View of disk usage is a very small thin grey bar which is not at all apparent
- Needs a usability design review, many forum posts such as this requesting improvements
- many people have said the old interface is far easier to move around (and faster) even when referring to the old MyStar boxes
In some ways it has been a step backwards as well:
- HD Catchup is now missing, when you used to go backwards to the last 24 hours… HD channels would download in HD… this is no longer the case
Overall less than spectacular operations during release:
- It appears some customers were sent “staff trial” boxes (see second post on https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/IQ3-Creators-Edition-The-Next-Chapter/td-p/69597 and I just found a pic of them at https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/iQ3-quot-creator-s-edition-quot-Boxes-For-All/m-p/69556#U69556)
- I personally had to research, work out, document and share the proper “self-install” install steps for some customers
- (a customer that subsequently solved this thanks to my post https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/My-story-Foxtel-please-read-it/m-p/70274#U70274)
Posts that say it all:
- IQ3 is total crap — https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/IQ3-is-total-crap/m-p/70771#U70771
- Looking forward to this year’s Shonky Awards – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Looking-forward-to-this-year-s-Shonky-Awards/m-p/69846#U69846
- How is this not all over talk radio – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/How-is-this-not-all-over-talk-radio/m-p/69951#U69951
- IQ3 has ruined our lives – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/IQ3-has-ruined-our-lives/m-p/70442#U70442
- A really good in depth thorough overview of one person’s story “My Story – Foxtel Please Read It” – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/My-story-Foxtel-please-read-it/m-p/70274#U70274
- Is your IQ3 the worst product you have ever purchased? – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Is-your-IQ3-the-worst-product-you-have-ever-purchased/m-p/68086#U68086
- When are we going to see updates? – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Foxtel-Updates-IQ3/td-p/68893
- 2015 CHOICE Shonky Awards – https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/2015-CHOICE-Shonky-Awards/m-p/69791#U69791
- Analysis of forum stats —> https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/More-on-Forum-Stats/m-p/69883#U69883 (only just found this)
- IQ3 Software Update?? https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/iQ3-Software-Update/m-p/69646#U69646
- Has anyone seen improvements? (no) https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/iQ3-is-it-improving-at-all-for-any-subscribers/m-p/68335#U68335
- Time for us to speak out —> https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/Time-for-us-to-speak-out/m-p/68983
- Foxtel tech on SITE couldn’t get box to do simple things —> https://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3-User-Feedback/IQ3-Could-not-be-fixed-back-to-IQ-HD/m-p/67018#U67018