Fibe IPTV television service from Bell – How it works

by Ben Lucier on October 12, 2009

BESBell Canada has finally launched their super cool IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service. As a technology guy, when a new product or service arrives, I feel it is my duty to sign up for it. This way, when friends, family members and colleagues ask me about it, I can continue to provide a valuable service. Plus… it helps to justify my obsession for  cool things.

I wasted a lot of time searching the Internet (and Bell Canada’s website) for more technical information related to the service and I found a significant amount of outdated information and technical inaccuracies. Specifically, a number of people online are telling others that Bell’s IPTV service is television over the Internet. This is highly inaccurate since Bell has gone to great lengths to design the network in such a way that video and Internet do not interfere with each other.

The “last mile”, that is, the connection between Bell Canada and your house is not fibre-optic cable. Rather, it is a very fast version of DSL called VDSL2. Since television signals, especially high definition signals require lots of bandwidth, VDSL2 is key here. It’s also one of the reasons the Bell Entertainment Service is only available in selected serving areas. In many areas, the network does not yet exist, or the would be subscriber homes are too far away from the facilities.

Bell Entertainment Service high level network diagram

Bell Entertainment Service Network Diagram

The red lines indicate the path of the television signal, while those in blue indicate regular Internet browsing. The grey cable from the Alcatel-Lucent Cellpipe modem/router is a regular POTS line (plain old telephone service) that connects to one of Bell’s many DSLAMs. From the remote networks, Bell has fibre-optic cable connecting them to their main facilities.

At the main facilities, Bell “splits” the VLANs (virtual lans) out depending whether it’s a television service or Internet service. These connections have a dedicated amount of bandwidth to ensure your television service is not impacted by downloads over the Internet.

Each television is connected to a Motorola VIP console. The main console is called a VIP1216 and it houses the hard drive used to pause, record, rewind and schedule recordings. If you have multiple television sets in your home, they will connect to VIP1200 consoles. Although the VIP1200s do not have a hard drive, they can still connect to the main console’s hard drive to watch recorded shows and schedule future television recordings.

My service hasn’t been installed yet, but I’ll be sure to provide a more thorough update once I’m up and running.

More Information:

Updates

BES-Guide-Front-Cover

JUN. 6 UPDATE: A year in review of the Bell Entertainment Service follow-up post. What I like, what I don’t like.

OCT. 19 UPDATE: My service is up and running and the service has impressed me so far. 22Meg Internet, plus HD TV and whole home PVR is pretty sweet. I’ll write a follow-up review soon. In the meantime, I wanted to provide a link to Bell’s IPTV user guide since a lot of people have been asking me for more detailed information, but Bell’s website seems to fall short.

OCT. 20 UPDATE: I wrote a follow-up post that describes the results of my Internet bandwidth tests while watching TV.

Jan. 18 UPDATE: Jon Simon, Management Support (IPTV) at Bell Canada has informed me that Bell will be (finally) adding CNN to its channel lineup next month.

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  • http://youtube.com/markmckay Mark McKay

    Does the cost of the IPTV include your monthly internet service or are you paying for internet on top of the IPTV? Is there a built in web browser and can watch flash based video on sites like CTV?

  • Ben Lucier

    Hi Mark. Yes, the monthly Internet service is included. You can schedule shows to record via the web, but I do not think you can watch them (that would be COOL).

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  • http://youtube.com/markmckay Mark McKay

    I tried to order it in Burlington but it isn’t there yet. They said mid 2010. Send me an email or DM when you post your experience with it, I am interested to hear how it works out. Try and add some video to your post if you can, I would like to see it in action.

  • http://www.toogoodva.ca Laura Toogood

    Hey Ben… I too would be interested to know your findings; would you be kind enough to let me know as well? That would be fabulous!
    Thanks!… Laura

  • Ben Lucier

    @Mark, once it’s all setup, why don’t you stop by for a coffee and bring your video camera with you? We can review the individual hardware components that are part of the solution, along with the actual video quality, on screen guide, fast channel switching, etc?

    @Laura, lots more info to come… stay tuned to this post for future updates!

  • http://youtube.com/markmckay Mark McKay

    Sounds like a plan. I’ll be there!

  • Laura

    Roger that Ben… and I’m obviously getting those updates from here anyway (duh!)

  • Ben Lucier

    Hey all… just updated the post with the Bell IPTV user guide and will have more feedback soon. So far though, the service seems to be pretty sweet and the special pricing I got was extended for a full year (a promotion that Bell is offering during the early adopter/introductory phase).

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  • http://yousayyeah.com Lee Dale

    We just switched our household from Rogers last month, primarily to get away from the Cisco owned PVR with the interface that’s so offensive it makes me angry. (Not only does it look like a turd, but it doesn’t work intuitively and is slow as molasses responding to your interactions, particularly the On Demand service.) A friend on Queen’s Quay has been on the Bell IPTV service for about a year now as an early beta tester and, not only had it been rock solid, but generally a great experience. I’d seen it and loved the generally pleasant interface.

    So, a month in, the interface is still great, with the one exception of the inconsistent navigation between the Guide and channel browsing using the up and down keys. (Using the Guide, up goes to a lower numbered station (correct action); if you just use the navigator up goes to a higher numbered station (incorrect action; both methods should browse to a lower numbered station)).

    In addition to that relatively minor interface issue, there are several serious issues I’ve found during this month of service that need to be fixed:

    1. The service has not been reliable. We were down three Monday’s in a row, a Tuesday and a Friday for very extended outages that affected both TV and Internet. Connecting with my Queen’s Quay friend I found at that they too had been suffering some otherwise unfamiliar outages. It seems they have had some upstream issues. The service has since been solid since last Friday (9 days).

    2. There are numerous HD TV stations (Newsworld, Sportsnet, etc) that are not yet available due to licensing issues (they’re working on it).

    3. Due to the insane licensing restrictions Bell’s agreed to, if your service goes down (ie, you’re not connected) you cannot watch any of your recorded shows because they OS is pinging the network to grab an authorization key. Everyone on the service should be calling to complain about this.

    4. The USB port on the rear does not yet support an external HD for extending the recorded storage capacity. As a result, you can only record about 20 HD programs. If they don’t resolve this soon, they’re going to get an earful. I believe they’re working on it.

    5. There are no On Demand channels for shows that you’ve missed. On Rogers, you can watch HBO and TMN programming about 24 hours after it airs, for free. No such thing on the Bell service. When your PVR fails you, it’s nice to be able to catch up with the On Demand. Bell’s On Demand is pay to play movies. This would of course be mitigated if the service were reliable or you could connect a large HD so your storage didn’t run out in a matter of days.

    The balance to all of this is, if you sign up before the end of the year it’s 50% off for your first year of service. Which would be more than a fair compromise if the service was generally reliable.

    If you’re looking for more info, here’s the Bell IPTV website: http://entertainment.bell.ca

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  • Ben Lucier

    @Lee, when you said incredibly insightful on Twitter, you weren’t lying. :) Thanks for taking the time to chime in and let people know your experience with Bell’s service.

    • #1. Although the service has been rock solid for me, being a network guy, I fully expect Bell will have some reliability issues as they sort out all the kinks.
    • #2. I noticed also that some of the HD stations were missing. CNN is a big one for me.
    • #3. I think it’s dumb you can’t watch recorded shows if the network is down. In fact, that would be a great idea! This also probably explains why when I’m sleeping, I hear the damn hard drive initiate a whiny spin-up while the PVR is ‘off’ at 3am. I wonder if solving #3 also means that my hard drive will stay quiet.
    • #4. I’ve already complained about #4 and understand that Bell does have plans to enable the USB port.
    • #5. would be great!

    Thanks again Lee, really appreciate it!

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  • http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/ Chris

    Small correction. All references of “Alcatel” should read “Alcatel-Lucent”. “Alcatel” no longer exists.

  • http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/ Chris
    • Ben Lucier

      Chris, thanks for the corrections. I’ll update the Alcatel-Lucent references in the post and the VDSL2 link as well. Will update the diagram when I have more time. Cheers, -B

  • Jerry

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve recently purchased a Bell Aliant Fibre Op package (NB Canada). Have you had any problems with the VIP\1216 PVR? I have learned it’s a known issue that when it is hooked to the TV via HDMI, the TV picture can go black, (channel surfing can cause it). Then the PVR has to be rebooted. I understand that it does not do this with all TVs but with some. Mine is a Samsung 52″ and it does happen with it. Would you know if there are other STB/Receivers that are available for IP HDTV?

    • Ben Lucier

      HI Jerry, thanks for stopping by.

      I don’t think Bell gives you different options besides the VIP1216. I have my VIP1216 connected to a 32″ Samsung and it’s been working great over HDMI at 1080i with no video problems at all. I have had a few instances where audio has cut out for several seconds before returning, but I’ve heard that’s a problem with HDMI in general. I also have another console (VIP1200) connected to a 37″ LG using HDMI without problems either.

      I know… I’m due for a bigger TV… I have my eyes on a new super thin Samsung LEDs 46″, but it’s not in the budget at the moment. :)

  • http://twitter.com/3rdparty Josh

    Ben – thanks for all the info & detail you’ve put into this post. I’ve been recommending this service left right and centre, mainly due to the super fast internet. I’m considering it for myself (if its available in my building), however I may want to ride out the 2 free HD PVRs I’m getting from Rogers a bit longer.

    I’m really feeling the pinch of my ‘regular’ Bell (via Teksavvy) DSL service, and would love a bit more headroom. Although I understand there’s a 60gb/month cap on transfers, with a maximum overage charge of $30

    @Lee – great, insightful comment. I’ve sent it to a few friends who I’ve told about the service – all good things to know. Hopefully Bell works out those kinks soon. Not sure that 20 HD shows max on the PVR would be enough, although I’m in the process of setting up a mac miniHTPC to automatically grab new shows via USENET.

  • http://www.drtransfer.com John WIlson

    Whoa. This site is full of great surprises. I was googling Bell Entertainment and redirected here, read through the Network Diagram (above) then linked to Mark McKay’s youtube video, saw some really old photos from Toronto and painfully read through laurie jonkmans reply about the CIRA. Eughhh (too much coffee).

    My question is simple though. I’m wondering how long it will take for Bell’s fibre network to become saturated, over subscribed and subsequently throttled as Bell’s current DSL service operates? I can guess the VLANs and QoS will prioritize the television content over general internet use? (which I think makes sense.. until there are so many subscribers that all users internet speeds start suffering). I don’t know the bandwidth on fibre to the BSLAM but it has to be very robust. Optimistically, one may hope that Bell is rolling out this service slowly and carefully as to avoid this from happening!

    Anyways, my brother (401 / yonge) just had it installed and loves it. Without watching TV, he gets solid 30megabit down 7megabit up. Closest I had to that was living in UK with a company called Be Broadband adsl2+ 24megabit living 100m from the exchange.

    Once again great site, lots of info here. Kudos Ben for a fun place to enjoy my Sunday Morning Coffee :)

  • Jerry

    Thanks for the reply Ben,

    I am running my VIP1216 at 720p. Maybe that’s where the HDMI problem occurs. I had done some googling before and found that people who subscribed to fiber optic from AT&T (Uverse) as far back as 2007 also experieced the HDMI problem.

    On another note; if 1080i is the highest setting for the VIP1216, which it seems to be, it will be difficult to get the full benefit of 1080p (True High def), don’t you think.

  • http://yousayyeah.com Lee Dale

    “On another note; if 1080i is the highest setting for the VIP1216, which it seems to be, it will be difficult to get the full benefit of 1080p (True High def), don’t you think.”

    There is no cable/fibre provider on the planet pushing anything near 1080i right now. The implication that their HD content is anywhere near this resolution is deceptive. You get a far superior HD signal in Toronto using an antenna because the Bells and Rogers of the world are dramatically compressing their signals.

  • Jerry

    Hi Lee,
    You may be right. The picture quality of a blue ray, seems to be much higher than anthing you can get from a broadcast.

  • Ben Lucier

    @Jerry: Lee is right… although the tuner might be connected to the TV at 1080i, the signal itself is highly compressed to save bandwidth.

    Hi-def broadcasts on BES use approx 7-9Mbps. In contrast, a Blu-ray movie can be as high as 48Mbps. You can see that Blu-ray has higher capacity and as a result, requires less compression and produces a higher quality picture.

  • Ben Lucier

    Hi John, thanks for the kind words, they’re much appreciated. :) For more fun you can also check out my personal blog at http://www.benlucier.ca

    Your ‘simple’ question actually isn’t that simple and is at the heart of the net neutrality debate. To answer the question, you’d have to have in depth knowledge regarding the engineering of Bell’s network. In theory, it’s completely possible to design a network to ensure it never becomes saturated. Unfortunately, this comes at great cost. Ultimately, it ends up being a combination of price/performance. On the plus side, with network convergence, Bell only needs to manage one network (voice/data) AND communications providers like Juniper, Cisco and others are constantly building faster and more efficient network switches and routers.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Ben Lucier

    Thanks for the feedback Josh!

  • Cliff

    Ben;

    Thanks for letting me know about Bell’s new Entertainment Service. I had to get it in oder to “keep up with the Joneses” and I have to say there is absolutely no disapointment yet.

    The guys who showed up for the install were friendly and despite having a problems getting my port to “light up” they resolved it by moving me to a different Stinger. (Lucent…you have some explainin’ to doooooo”

    I am achieving sustained download speeds of 21Mbps and upload speeds of 11 Mbps, even with a TV on and watching a High Def channel.

    I am happy with the channel lineup thus far and have to say that altough I have not had any previous “PVR” experience their interface was a breeze to pickup and use. Like you were saying Ben, it would be nice if there was a way to “save the searches” it would go a long way in making things a bit quicker to navigate.

    In order to maintain my frivolous entertainment costs, i have opted to cancell one of my DSL providers and cancel my Rogers cable…for less money I get over four times the bandwidth and 5 times more “watchable” TV channels….it was a no brainer.

    That’s my 2 cents…

  • http://yousayyeah.com Lee Dale

    “I am happy with the channel lineup thus far and have to say that altough I have not had any previous “PVR” experience their interface was a breeze to pickup and use.”

    I can assure you, the Rogers PVR is the equivalent of wading through quicksand compared to the Entertainment service’s walk on the beach. This is the primary reason that we switched. Dealing with the Rogers PVR interface on a daily basis was making that vein on my temple that no one is supposed to see permanently throb.

  • Cliff

    Lee;

    I have heard that about the Rogers PVR. I tried quickly to have a go at setting up a recording at a buddies house and thought…”who designed this….chimps on crack?”

    Seriously though…this service is the bomb! Hope it keeps getting better.

  • YDS

    Wonder if you have experience running a webserver while using this service? Do you know if Bell allows that? Do you get a static IP with this service? I run a small webserver at home and I’d like to be able to continue to do so if I subscribe to this new service. I’d be soooo happy to dump my Rogers cable.

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  • Jesse David Hollingtonj

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the great post Ben, and the other insightful comments from Lee et al.

    I’m also in the Yonge/401 area and I’ve now been up on Bell Entertainment Service for almost a month now as well, having switched over from years of Rogers, and am definitely enjoying the experience thus far. The installation went very smoothly, and the only problems I had in that regard was a week later when Bell seemed to have some difficulty figuring out how to properly convert my dry loop back to a wet loop so I could switch back to a normal Bell phone line as well.

    The speeds and video performance have been solid, and I’ve been lucky enough to have had no service outages. I’ve experienced some of the HDMI audio issues that are mentioned here with my equipment, however, suggesting that the HDMI performance of these Motorola boxes still isn’t up to spec. Even the techs said they recommend a component+optical connection.

    My living room TV (Toshiba 62″ DLP) is connected via an H+K AVR-354, and I find that if I use the digital audio mode over HDMI, I get audio drop-outs that are frequent enough to be annoying, so I’ve just left it in normal “Stereo” mode for now. I’ve had the same problem in the past with my Apple TV over HDMI through that receiver, although oddly the Rogers 8300HD box never had any issues at all with it. Either way, the easy solution is just to run a toslink cable for the audio and be done with it. It’s an extra cable, but it’s not like the basic stuff coming out of the VIP1216 or the Apple TV needs the full bandwidth of a lossless HDMI audio stream. :) I’ve also had some issues with audio not coming up at all on the bedroom TV over HDMI, even in normal stereo mode. Again, the Apple TV has had the same problem with this TV in the past, so again an extra cable from the VIP1216 to the TV (simply RCA analog audio) is the easy solution here.

    The HD picture quality on Bell seems to be slightly better than on Rogers, particularly on those channels like Discovery HD that push mostly 1080i programming. Admittedly, there might be placebo effect at work here, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Bell compresses the signal less than Rogers does, which would make sense considering that they have less to shove through the pipe.

    Other than that, the PVR interface is great, especially when compared to those Scientific Atlanta boxes that Rogers gives out, which make huge sucking noises. The fact that I gave up a lifetime free rental promotion for an 8300HD from Rogers in order to switch over says volumes about what I think of that technology.

    About the only disappointment I found was that the secondary PVRs don’t allow you to pause or rewind live TV. You can initiate recordings from the secondary units, and the entire recorded library from the primary hard drive is available and works just as well in both places (although skipping and ff/rew it lags a bit on the secondaries), it was a bit disappointing that live TV PVR functions aren’t available. Not a deal breaker by any means, since the rest of the PVR capabilities are so great, and I’ve heard that it’s coming in a firmware update in the spring anyway.

    On the VDSL side, the Alcatel Cellpipe 7130 router does the job, but I’ve been disappointed with its poor uPNP support and as a result just bypassed it by establishing my own PPPoE connection directly from my Apple Time Capsule. I’m a bit concerned about QoS issues, since I’m not sure what layer the QoS for IPTV separation occurs at, but my Internet speeds have been consistently higher since taking that approach, and thus far I haven’t seen any noticeable problems on the IPTV side so far.

    Ultimately, though, this is an amazing solution, and there is no doubt in my mind that the bar for entertainment has been raised. Rogers of course tried to talk me into staying with them, and I just told them flat out that they couldn’t compete with this if they tried. Even if Rogers could match the prices (which they couldn’t), they absolutely can’t match the technology, and there’s nothing that the folks in “retentions” at Rogers can do about that right now.

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  • Jerry

    I’ve gotten somewhat used to the VIP1216. Overall I am fairly pleased with the fiberOP TV and Internet package. However I really must say that the VIP1216 is definitely inferior to the Bell Satelite PVR which I had for over two years. I have never once had a problem with it; HDMI worked perfectly. The interface is more moder/sophisticated in look and feel than the outdated microsoft interface of the VIP1216 and the whole sysem is much more user friendly allowing you to easily skip through commercials without the anoying (fast forward sound affects of the VIP). If Bell Aliant had a PVR that was comparable to the Bell satelite PVR, I would then say that the package is the best you can currently get.

  • Ben Lucier

    @YDS: My websites are hosted at a proper data centre. I don’t think I’d want to use my service for webserving, but I don’t see any reason why a casual user couldn’t use the service for webserving.

    • Rob V

      Bell does not currently offer static IP addresses with any of their residential plans as far as I know. You can run a website with dynamic DNS, but if you host your own mail server you are completely out of luck. They block the SMTP port to all their clients to block spambots (I suppose).

      This service looks GREAT and I would absolutely LOVE to get it, *if* you don’t have to use Bell Internet with it. It is technically simple to do – they already split the TV and Internet streams. They can just connect the VPI/VCI from their DSLAM to a reseller router the exact same way they do now with 3rd party DSL providers, but I don’t know if they will offer that option despite the fact that they can, and if they do not, I will very sadly not be getting this service.

  • Michael

    Ben: Thanks for the posts. They were very helpful to me. Based on this and other info, I had the service installed last week. I am very pleased with the results. I am getting similar internet speeds download, but you may wish to try some other servers. I suspect the speedtest.net toronto server may have an incoming bottleneck of about 7-8 Mbps, which we max out. If you try the chicago or montreal servers, you may find, like me, that you are capable of upload speeds closer to 11.5 Mbps. I am also very pleased with the HD and SD quality. The system is using H.264 compression which can achieve in 7-8 Mbps the same quality as MPEG2 in 15-20 Mbps, so like others I am seeing a lot fewer compression artifacts compared to Rogers or Expresview. We have 3 extra boxes installed, and the family loves the whole home PVR ease of use. It can record 2 HD and 2 SD shows simultaneously, so the 160Gbyte drive is a tad small for all this capability (hopefully addressed in a future update).

  • http://[email protected] Sanman

    Does this service work with VOIP services like voip.ms. I have a Linksys PAP2T + WRT54GL with Tomato providing the QoS. I am presently on Rogers Extreme. I’m wondering if this Bell Entertainment Service will prevent the use of VOIP.

    Thanks for the info!

  • Jesse David Hollingtonj

    There’s no reason I can see that it would prevent the use of VoIP, as you’d have bandwidth to spare (so QoS is not critical) and Bell is not doing anything to specifically block VoIP. I’ve got a Vonage line running on a Linksys RTP300 behind the Bell Entertainment Service and it works fine.

    Generally, the modem/router supplied by Bell will need to be the front-end device as it establishes the virtual WAN connection over VDSL to support the IPTV network and likely performs some of its own QoS in the process for the IPTV streams (which are much more data-intensive than a VOIP stream). The Bell router can establish the VDSL/PPPoE connection for your Internet access as well and just hand out IP addresses via DHCP to your wired and wireless devices, or you can establish your own direct PPPoE connection through the Bell modem/router from another PPPoE-capable device, such as the WRT54GL or even your computer.

    In my configuration, my Linksys RTP300 is behind an Apple Time Capsule which is handling the PPPoE connection through the Bell modem/router as it provides better NAT traversal support for things like Back-to-my-Mac than the Cellpipe 7130 that Bell gave me. Basically, the Bell Cellpipe 7130 is what’s connected to the DSL line (phone jack), and then from there I have a standard TV coax cable running to my two Bell Entertainment set-top boxes and an RJ-45 (Ethernet) cable running to the WAN port on my Time Capsule. I simply configured the Time Capsule for PPPoE with my Bell login credentials rather than setting it to acquire an IP address from the Cellpipe, and it essentially establishes its own connection and gets its own public IP address.

  • http://[email protected] Sanman

    Thanks Ben. Ordered :)

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  • Tony

    HI I was told that Bell is coming out in mid 2010 in province of quebec with satelitte tv without the use or need of a dish all built in receiver, somewhat like videotron offers usung their illico terminals however the programing would be the same as the present which is now requiring a dish,can you give me any info,
    thanks

  • http://www.newpathconsulting.com Alex Sirota

    Ben,

    Nice to see you have BES as well. I just had it installed yesterday afternoon, it’s truly incredible. A few notes.

    1. Our install time was 4 hours or so due to an issue with my component input on my 46″ Samsung DLP from 2001. I don’t have HDMI ports on the TV and for some reason none of the component inputs would display the picture properly or in high enough quality. There was lots horizontal and vertical interference lines. My Rogers HD box ran over component video just fine but the output on the VIP is definitely different than the Rogers component output. Another TV has HDMI and it seems to work fine here. Considering an HDMI->DVI cable as my DLP Samsung does have DVI input.
    2. If the boxes are on and the TV is off remember it is still streaming TV so your bandwidth will be affected. Without TVs attached at all the core speed was roughly 27Mb down and 11 Mb up. We’re at Yonge and North York City Centre.
    3. Supposedly this service is not available north of Steeles. A wider roll out will happen in 2010 according to my tech. This is clearly a beta service he said and functionality will be coming added including CNN support once the licensing deals are arranged.
    4. The boxes are running a custom version of Windows CE – no joke. Finally a use for WinCE. It’s version 5 and it’s running something called Microsoft Mediaroom — which is the next gen personal home media centre. Lots of excitement around this. BUT DRM’d up the yin yang.
    5. The specs for the VIP1216 box are here. Plenty of modding potential too

      http://www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Business/Products/TV%20Video%20Distribution/Set-tops/IP%20Set-tops/VIP1216/_Documents/Static%20Files/VIP1216specsheet_021508_e.pdf

      Looks like it can run Linux if you want with something called KreaTV. All this technology came out in early 2007 so we’re almost 3 years behind the curve, but it’s good to know Bell is innovating. Rogers will definitely have something out in 2010 if I had to bet on it. They almost have to with this type of performance even when Bull ups the price to 100%.

    6. And one more thing — this box has hardware support to code/decode

      Video: MPEG2, MPEG4 (H.264), VC-1 (Microsofts implentation to compete with H.264 I think)
      Audio: MPEG1, MPEG3, AAC LC, HE-AAC

    Remember you are all beta testing BES whether you know it or not so expect problems. You’re at the forefront of the TV of the future.

  • Ben Lucier

    Alex, thanks for the additional information. Regarding #2, have you seen my follow-up post with my speedtest results? I figured the consoles were running Windows CE, that explains the occasional requirement to power them off and on to reset them (Motorola should consider putting a CTRL-ALT-DELETE key on the remotes). ;)

    Seriously though, it’s been a fantastic service and I’ve had very little to complain about. We were prepared for a beta product to begin with anyway, but with no contract, zero setup, we prepared ourselves. I’ve been turning my whole neighbourhood onto the service!

  • http://www.newpathconsulting.com Alex Sirota

    Ben,

    You should get a commission from Bell, for goodness sakes. Why didn’t they do that for this roll out? Would you pay 2x the price if the service continues to improve and is more stable? That’s the real question, isn’t it? If so, they’ve effectively upsold you from Rogers crappy service and successfully as well. Since Rogers Internet+CableTV can be had for less than $100.

  • Jesse David Hollington

    In my case, the answer is “in a heartbeat.” As far as I’m concerned, the Bell service is a bargain even at the normal price, and I have no intention of getting rid of it after the promotional term is over, although admittedly I might scale back down from my current “Super” package as I don’t really need all of those extra channels.

    Consider that with Bell even at the $99/month normal price you’re getting Internet service with speeds of 20-25mbps down and 8mbps up, which is $70/month by itself on Rogers (with only 1mbps up) without even including cable channels. The most basic digital cable package is $30/month, which means that the closest equivalent service from Rogers would run you $100/month. On the high-end of the scale, the $165/month “Super” package has a closest equivalent of $70/month for Internet + $96.47/month for the cable services, or $166.47/month for all of it together. Obviously the channel lineups and features aren’t *exactly* the same (Rogers includes timeshifting on all of their packages, while it’s $2/month extra on Bell), but you get the general idea.

    (Interestingly, Rogers has *just* lowered their Internet prices in the past couple of weeks — the 25mbps service used to be $95/month, and their 50mbps service was $149/month).

    While the basic prices seem close, it’s important to keep in mind this doesn’t include the “hidden” cost of the actual set-top boxes. On Rogers, you either need to purchase the HD boxes separately or rent them. Purchase is $250 for a non-PVR or $500 for a PVR, although they can sometimes be found on sale. Rental is $13/month for a non-PVR or $25/month for a PVR. Rogers includes no boxes for free, while Bell includes the core PVR receiver for free and charges $5/month for additional secondary boxes, which provide you with shared PVR capabilities on all terminals — something Rogers has no equivalent to. A second HD box on Rogers would cost you an additional $13/month for no PVR capabilities or an additional $25/month for a separate PVR.

    Paying less than $100 for Rogers Internet+CableTV will not get you anything even close to the Bell Entertainment Service. For around $100/month you could either get: basic digital cable, an HD PVR rental and 10mbps Internet service; or standard digital cable (no HD or PVR capabilities) with 25mbps/1mbps Internet service. This is basically the full price of the most basic Bell Entertainment Service package which provides HD PVR capabilities and 25mbps/8mbps Internet service.

    So even on a price-based comparison alone, without getting into the additional features and capabilities, the Rogers service is *still* more expensive. About the only place where Rogers could even be considered equal in cost is for those users who don’t really need ultra-high-speed Internet, and even then you’re only talking about roughly equivalent pricing between the two services.

  • Alex Sirota

    Anyone else having trouble with their iPod Touch and connecting to the Alcatel Lucent Bell Entertainment wifi gateway? I get really errant behaviour. Somtimes the connection seems to just connect and then disconnect in the Settings control panel in the iPod, never actually connecting. Sometimes it connects but then is assigned a weird 169.x.x.x IP address that does not work. I am using WPA-TKIP security, so am wondering if that’s what it is…

    Alex

    • Rob V

      169.x.x.x is IPv4 link-local. It generally means the device is configured for DHCP and tried to get an address from a DHCP server but didn’t hear from any so it gave up. If you are sure there is a working DHCP server on the network then it probably means you have a ‘physical’ connectivity issue – wireless security settings that don’t match on the router and client for example.

    • Olenco

       I have only had the service for about one and a half months, but I have been arguing with Bell all along about iPhone and iPod Touch connectivity. I teach networking technology and have over 40 years in the industry. This makes very little sensem but one Bell technician even admitted to me a couple of days ago that he can’t get his iPhone to work over WiFi either.

      My Blackberry has no problem connecting and accessing everything over WiFi but iPhone and iPod Touch will not work through the Alcatel-Lucent router/modem. I am surprised to see that your post is one year old. This is not good news. I had Bell technicians arguing with me on the phone that they do not support these devices. My Samsung printer does not work either.

      I am not using the Bell router/modem for wireless connectivity because of the way my house is wired. Instead I use a DLink DIR-825 for simultaneous 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi, but it does not matter. The printer and the iPpod or iPhone will not work even when connected directly to the Bell router’s own WiFi. If you power-cycle the Bell router, your iPod/iPhone will work for about 30 seconds and then it stops.

      My TV service has improved a lot. I am getting far less interruptions in the video and audio streams, but these iPod and printer issues are unacceptable from a company that sell iPhones.

      • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

        I’ve also turned off wireless on the Bell router. Instead, I’m using an Apple Airport Extreme, with a couple of Airport Expresses. Sorry I don’t have more to share on the wireless side of things.

  • Alex Sirota

    I’ve switch to WPA2PSK as a security scheme with AES as the security mechanism rather than TKIP. So far so good — will report back if the problem is still recurring.
    WPA-TKIP seems to work funny on this router with iPod touch 2nd gen 32GB — that’s for sure.

  • http://bellent.currentinternet.com Alex Sirota

    Folks,

    I’ve started a specific Bell Entertainment bulletin board at

    http://bellent.currentinternet.com

    Share your reviews, ideas, requests there — let’s grab the attention of Bell and help them shape the service in the years to come.

  • Ben Lucier

    CNN coming to the Bell Entertainment Service next month. :)

  • http://bellent.currentinternet.com Alex Sirota

    For folks having stability and reliability issues with their BES set top boxes, there is a potential fix for the problem here… Short story: the alcatel lucent VDSL modem is only good at serving HD and SD streams, but it sucks as a wifi/ethernet home network router…

    Possible solution: http://bellent.currentinternet.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=21#p73

    • Ben Lucier

      Thanks Alex, that’s good to know. One of the first things I did when the Bell guys left my house was turn off wireless since I have 4 other APs in my house (3 Apple Airport Expresses and a D-LINK N Router)

      • Jesse David Hollington

        Yes, I did much the same as well. My primary router is a Time Capsule, and I’m basically just using the Bell-supplied equipment as a DSL modem rather than a router — my Time Capsule establishes its own PPPOE connection.

        Initially I was routing my Internet connection through the Bell VDSL router and simply using the Time Capsule as a wireless access point, but in the end I found the UPNP implementation on the Bell router to be rather shoddy, particularly when it came to Apple-related services such as iChat and Back to my Mac. At that point, I decided to just switch back to using the Time Capsule as the primary router, and everything has been working just great since. On the rare occasion that i need to configure or check something on the Bell router I simply plug an Ethernet cable into it directly, but the rest of the time everything else runs through my Time Capsule.

        • http://www.freedomtarget.com Kevin McKillop

          I’m having similar issues with the UPNP and Back to my Mac. I’ve got both my old Rogers connection and the Fibe 25 here (just switching over) and my Back to my Mac works flawlessly on the Wiress through Rogers, but I switch to the Bell Network and I can’t make any connections at all. I’ve gone in to the Alcatel setup, UPNP is enabled too. The wireless is disabled in the Alcatel device, and I’m using the provided Cisco AP but it’s not a router, the routing is happening at the moment through the Alcatel box with no success of Back to My Mac.

          How do you disable the routing aspect of the Alcatel box (7130) and use it purely as a DSL modem?

          • Jesse David Hollington

            The simplest way to do this is just to configure your Bell Internet account as a PPPoE account directly on your other router or on your Mac itself. As with most DSL routers, the Alcatel device should simply pass the PPPoE connection directly through as if it were just a “dumb” PPPoE modem.

            At that point, you can actually go into the Alcatel box’s configuration and disable its Internet VLAN PPPoE connection entirely if you like (being sure to leave the Bell IPTV one enabled), although there doesn’t seem to be any harm in leaving it enabled also, as Bell/Sympatico doesn’t seem to care if you have more than one active PPPoE connection.

          • http://www.freedomtarget.com Kevin McKillop

            I’ve tried, no luck, the airport simply says there is no PPPoE server found.

          • Jesse David Hollington

            That’s interesting as it’s working fine in my case. My router is the Cellpipe 7130 in the out-of-the-box configuration and the PPPoE connection from my Time Capsule works through it without any problems and in the past I’ve had it connected directly from my iMac as well.

            In case it’s not obvious the WAN port on the Airport needs to be connected via Ethernet to one of the LAN ports on the router, but otherwise it should pretty much just work once you’ve entered your PPPoE credentials into the Airport.

            If you’re using a router other than the 7130 then that might be another issue.

          • http://www.freedomtarget.com Kevin McKillop

            That’s what I’ve done. Cable from the Airport WAN port to one of the ports on the back of the 7130. I then setup PPPoE in the Airport, and it always complains about not being able to find a PPPoE server. I’ve factory reset the 7130, read that somewhere trying some other things, that didn’t change anything. So I’m back to my airport acting as a bridge, but I still have the uPNP issues of the 7130 which is a deal breaker for me, I need that.

            Which port on the 7130 are you plugging the Airport into? Is your 7130 still making a PPPoE connection?

          • Jesse David Hollington

            Sounds basically like what I’ve done, and as I said it “just worked” in my case. I’m connected to port 1 on the 7130, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t matter, as I’ve been plugged into other ports, and in fact even had two separate PPPoE connections going at the same time — one from my iMac and one from my Time Capsule.

            At first I just left the 7130 with a normal PPPoE connection established as I couldn’t be bothered disabling it. I later set it to “manual” and disconnected it and it didn’t really make a difference either way. A couple of weeks ago some Bell techs came by and swapped out my 7130 due to problems getting the latest firmware to download onto it. The new one passed through the PPPoE connection in the same manner with the “stock” out-of-the-box configuration.

            What model of Airport base station are you using? Does it have the latest firmware? What’s the firmware version on your 7130?

          • http://www.freedomtarget.com Kevin McKillop

            Just got it installed yesterday, the firmware is “1.0.3.6-STINGER”. What’s interesting is at the moment I have the Airport in bridge mode, and I can make a PPPoE connection from my MacBook no problem. So it would appear it’s not the 7130, it does pass the PPPoE connection through.

  • minn carl

    Is it possible for customers to use VOIP and connect it to the IRD? What is the difference / similarity of VOIP and the standard telephone connection?

  • C

    Just checked with BELL IPTV and it is not available in downtown TO (proper). Got an answer that they are upgrading constantly! Gee I heard that when I was looking for BESS VDSL those many years ago too. Wonder if it’s a pipe dream!

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  • Crystal

    I found this forum because I’m trying to see if everyone is happy with the service or if it’s just me. I’ve had Bell IPTV installed back in October 2009. I’m located in Scarborough. As far as the internet component is concerned, it’s been pretty good. We have two computers and usually speedtest.net says 8-9 Mbps as Ben and Michael both mentioned. I think I had to reset it a couple of times for no apparent reason but other than that I’m satisfied with it. We only have one TV, and it’s pretty much never on. I love the PVR. A week ago though, for no apparent reason, it stopped working. When I called tech support, I was told to reset it. After that it worked again, except that all the shows that were set to record the series were gone. Very, very annoying. However, I have to say that my chief complaint is that they were falsely advertising the capabilities when I first signed up. Back in October, they boasted that you can remotely control your PVR through a website and view photos on your computer on the TV. Well, that website has NEVER worked. At that time, I called customer service and all they could say was, in a more polite way than I’m putting it, “what do you expect for getting a discount for 50% off. It’s purely experimental”. I was also assured that it will be working soon. Well, now 4 months later, they have removed that feature from their main sales website altogether. So I guess their “experiment” never worked. I’m tempted to switch back to Bell satillite (or even Rogers), but since I’ll be moving to a new town soon (and I’m sure they don’t have Bell IPTV there) I figure I’ll just put up with it. For sure if I didn’t have the 50% discount I would switch. I was getting more (and better) channels and better reliability for about $20/month. Just my thoughts.

    • Jesse David Hollington

      I’ve never had the web recording working either, and when a tech visited a couple of weeks ago to swap out my modem (for an unrelated reason), they told me that the service wasn’t available yet as the Bell Entertainment Service is still technically “in beta.” I hadn’t noticed that it’s actually disappeared from their web site — that strikes me as a bad sign.

      However, it’s interesting that Bell appears to have launched this capability for their normal “Bell TV” satellite service, even including an iPhone application designed for managing recordings (see http://www.bell.ca/rpvr). It looks to be a completely different system from what IPTV was advertising, and not surprisingly it doesn’t seem to work with the IPTV service — it just prompts for a “Bell TV” account number when you log into your profile and my IPTV account number doesn’t work. I’m hoping that maybe the reason they’ve gotten rid of the old entertainment portal that IPTV was using is so they can integrate it into this new Remote PVR service instead.

      • Jesse David Hollington

        So it seems that Bell’s new “Remote PVR” service is actually a licensed version of Sling Media’s Sling Guide service ()http://www.slingmedia.com/go/slingguide). All the better if this truly is what they’re planning to move IPTV over to.

  • Hani H Louis

    Hi,

    We have Bell ExpressVu with a VIP1216 Motorola on which we have recorded a television interview with my daughter.
    How can I copy it to my computer or a CD? I notice that there is a USB port in the front of the VIP1216 and one at the back. If I were to connect to the computer with a USB cable will it work?
    Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • Ben Lucier

      Hani,

      Without ‘modding’ your PVR, there’s no way to get the content off the VIP1216. Even if you could, the video content is encrypted as well.

      Motorola/Microsoft have gone to great lengths to make sure us consumers can’t take video content away from the devices.

      As for the USB ports, I don’t believe they’re active, although I understand they’ll be used for storage expansion at a later date.

      -Ben

      • John

        Hey,

        I just had the VIP1216 installed with Bell Aliant. I’m finding it impossible to control the aspect ratio of SD widescreen broadcasts on my 16:9 HDTV.

        1)When the TV Type (on the STB) is set to 16:9 and SD Channel Display is set to 480i/p it outputs the 4:3 image anamorphically, so Zoom functions on the TV aren’t useful (they result in a distorted image)
        2)The Zoom button on the remote doesn’t work. It does nothing!

        Am I doing something wrong? Any help appreciated :)

        • http://bellent.currentinternet.com Alex Sirota

          John,

          There is a way to do this, but only a channel at a time and it doesn’t appear to stick so you have to toggle each time.

          Check this website for Canadian IPTV users who are using this platform that Bell Entertainment also uses.

          http://bellent.currentinternet.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=106&p=330&hilit=zoom&sid=d586a3b0a77d45cc020295c55d7cf5e2#p330

          • John

            hey, thanks for that. Yep, I’ve seen that button, but it does nothing on my remote. The button’s not physically broken, as a light on the STB flashes when I push it (so it’s being detected), but nothing at all happens. Time to contact tech support me-thinks :)

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  • DjLevel9

    http://enterprise.alcatel-lucent.com/private/active_docs/Datasheet_OA5305_EN_Feb10_EPG3310091014.pdf
    this firm whare up date oh is there yea have to have the cell pipe 7130 I updated mine lol

    I was reading something on your page yes they hid it I unlocked mine:)
    but I’m useing my Own Router / Modem as well TP-Link TD-W8960N Mine works perfectly fine but all your gonna get is a 6 megFibe Internet down load for the fibe TV it’s not worth I restore My Fibe 25.7 back to where it was had went back to the bell satilite it kept crapping out the fibe tv its not worth it sorrt tested it and retested once you enter your phone number wit fibe tv thats it all your phone calls to 310-bell go automaticly to fibeTV billing Department I put a stop to yesturday fibe tv cannot touch our regular phone service with Robo messages bell this important and should be addressed,

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  • Brandy

    I am not very technical savy so I was hoping someone could answer this question for me. When I had bell expressvu all of my hd channels came in as a full picture and they were not distorted. Now with Bell Fibre Optics, all of my HD channels are very small. We have the same settings set so that it defaults to the best picture, but the small picture with fibre ops is starting to burn into my tv. When we set the settings to stretch, everything is too large. Any suggestions?

  • http://bellent.currentinternet.com Alex Sirota

    We now have a wiki map of use submitted FibeTV locations. If you subscribe please map them on the site

    http://bellent.currentinternet.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=158

    No need to register at all! Please don’t spam though.

  • Justin

    I am in the area that Bell Fibe TV is offered but I’m wondering do you have to get the Bell Fibe TV HD PVR for this to work or can you simply get the Bell Fibe TV HD Receiver?

    • Alex S

      I believe one stb has to be the pvr. It’s the master device in the system.

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  • andy

    I just had Fibe TV installed over the weekend (used to be ExpressVu) and I have to say I’m pretty disappointed. The signal isn’t as crisp as the stellite was, and the limitation of 2 HD signals and 2 SD signals at once is very limiting especially if you have more than one flat screen tv in the house….and no my satellite rarely ever cut out, maybe 5 times in five years.
    They sell it as being better than satellite, but with my satellite I was able to have two dual-tuner HD PVR’s in the house capable of recording 4 HD signals at once, broadcasting to four tv’s. Now if I’m watching an HD signal on one tv and the PVR happens to be recording a scheduled program, all other tv’s are locked out of HD signals. I’ve already had three situations in two days where I was locked out of the HD channels, and I only have two tv’s in my house.
    Definitely not the wave of the future they sell it as, not yet anyway. There’s no reason why either. There’s more than enough bandwidth available to provide at least 4 HD signals, they just have to take the minimum cap of the internet connection. Even with all four feeds at HD you’d still have a faster internet than any other service currently available at this price.
    If you have one TV in your house, maybe give it a try, otherwise, stick with satellite.
    Definitely don’t bother setting up the 6 connections they tell you it can handle, total waste of time.
    …and what’s the deal with only being able to pause live tv from the main console. Even my oldest sat pvr could do better than that!

    • http://bit.ly/dtN2JO Daniel .. Toronto – @dandmb50

      I’m in complete agreement although we never had satellite to compare it to, we did notice some, many discrepancies in what the sales people indicated we would receive. There was a lot of deception and out and out “lies” about what we would receive.
      “you can record four channels at once” which is true but they fail to mention that only two of those channels can be HD. And it goes on and on. Many problems in the launch. You can view my review on my BLOG and let me know if you were told the same lies.
      The picture quality was/is superior to Rogers and a better price but a lot is not disclosed.

      Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
      http://bit.ly/dtN2JO

    • Asdf

      hey body! why did you not ask how many box you could put before buying the service? and if you did and was not happy, well why did you switch.. looks like you are the stupid one here not bell!

  • Hotdog77

    Another major advantage of IPTV instead of Satellite is if you rent. Some landlords really frown upon the idea of installing a satellite dish on their property. Now you have a serious choice over Rogers for the non satellite solution.

  • leslie cross

    I would like to connect

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  • http://bit.ly/96xRVa Daniel .. Toronto – @dandmb50

    @dandmb50 – Pour nos amis français est ici la traduction, il suffit de cliquer ICI —>> http://bit.ly/96xRVa

    Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
    http://bit.ly/96xRVa

  • http://dandmb50.wordpress.com/ Daniel .. Toronto – @dandmb50

    @dandmb50
    UPDATE – November 29/2010

    It’s almost a month since I had Bell Fibe TV/internet installed and I must say I am very impressed by Bell Canada, and especially Ryan the techie who dropped by on Sunday and did a thorough and excellent job fixing my TV signal.

    I have had some complaints and they have finally addressed them, however I am still annoyed with the sales practices of the in-lobby sales people. But with that put aside, after talking with the Bell Executive Team in Montreal (they called me) my pixillating and sound problems have been resolved. The picture quality is absolutely excellent, no pixallating (where the picture takes a burp,) or sound outs.

    My next question is, will this corrective measure be addressed to “everyone” that has problems? I hope so, and suspect it is in Bell’s best interest to do so, and will people just give up and switch back after the first few weeks of pixillating picture.

    On another happy note another service techie called and was able to fix the Bell anti-virus software that I was told was a “known issue and would not be resolved for a few months.” The internet side was not a problem other that the anti-virus situation since it was excellent speed since the beginning.

    Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
    http://bit.ly/bKGa13

  • http://bit.ly/dtN2JO Daniel .. Toronto – @dandmb50

    @dandmb50 – Sadly I must say it is well over a month since we got the Bell Fibe TV and although it has improved we are still experiencing pixillating and sound outs. It’s not as bad as in the beginning but after almost 4-5 visits their techies are unable to resolve the problem.
    One techie said “you may be too far from the central office” meaning that we should be closer to the main hub of the fibre network, I am assuming.
    We shall keep our fingers crossed, but I’m getting sick of calling and scheduling service calls.

    Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
    http://bit.ly/dtN2JO

    • Asdf

      if you really are on fibre op, distance does not matter. only if you are on copper tv maybe. pixcelisation is most likely caused by inside wiring problem like bad coax ends or things like that.

      • Shaun_donaldson

        @Asdf: last-mile, as pointed-out several times in the article, is copper. 

  • pete

    I’ve had IPTV for about 6 months now and find that it’s great although there are some issues that I’m facing that can be very annoying. Periodically the sound will cut of for about 30-60 seconds. Also my services seem to change constantly, one day I will have time shifting the next day I won’t, some days I get HBO 1/2 in both HD and standard other days I won’t get HBO HD at all. I see these being pretty minor issues compared to my old Rogers service. Bell is fast, cost effective, amazing HD and unique. Rogers is slow, expensive, poor quality (for most “HD” and standard) and is over all a pain to deal with. I recommend IPTV from Bell but be cautious of the glitching.

    • Trudy

      I would be glad to get IPTV (telling me 2012 for my area). I can’t put a satellite on a house I own because of the condo board rules and I am sick and tired of Rogers especially the increases in their prices and crappy service.

  • http://twitter.com/alexsirota Alex Sirota

    The folks over at iptvforum.ca have noticed an interesting pattern from people who have FibeTV installed. It appears that the installs are happening in a nice circle — the Toronto area appears as a circle where the upper right quarter of the circle is still empty. The same goes for Montreal. It looks like FibeTV is being deployed in a large “loop”. Fibe Internet is definitely available in places where FibeTV is not yet available as well, such as Thornhill.

    http://iptvforum.ca/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=158&sid=0069c0248213b57ae1145fed91426a19#p579

  • Guest

    Bell FibeTV sounds like something I’d like to try, but only if I can install it myself. I have no intention to let Bell technicians mess with wiring in my house.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000956684625 Scott Matt

      bell is required to set it up. the modem setup is totally annoying as it requires a non dsl modem (yeah i know you need the bell modem) and the bell modem does not support the 25 mbps without a secondary yes secondary router.. bell overcomplicated it! their router only supports 150 MBPS Wireless N and that does not give enough throughput to get the 25 to work via wifi.. so yea a bell tech is needed and expect the house to be rewired for the HD receiver as coax is usually too slow for them.. they require cat5 cable..

      • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

        Scott, I can’t confirm or deny what you’ve said since the first thing I did was disable the wireless on the Bell router/modem. I also don’t use it for Internet.

        Instead, I have an Apple Airport Extreme logging in to Bell via PPPoE. I also use 3 airport expresses to extended the network through the house. Not sure what my throughput is, but I’ve never had a problem. Might test it out.

        As for Bell techs doing the wiring:
        I wired my house up myself (I have a wiring background), so Bell didn’t need to do much. But I’ve seen some of the Bell tech’s wiring work and it’s fantastic. It would put a lot of wiring tech’s work I know to shame.

        • http://twitter.com/scottyontario Scott

          well I am getting rid of the service now.. its horrible frequent disconnects modem resetting audio issues.. switching back to rogers. hell at least rogers as CP24 in toronto FREE in basic cable! 

        • http://twitter.com/scottyontario Scott

          well I am getting rid of the service now.. its horrible frequent disconnects modem resetting audio issues.. switching back to rogers. hell at least rogers as CP24 in toronto FREE in basic cable! 

  • Mickey

    My Condo is getting Fibe TV. Wondering if you can take the TV option and not the internet. I am with another Internet provider (not Rogers) and would like to maintain them as i am very happy with them.

    • Nadim Akber

      No ..apparently not….you and I are in the same boat…I just hung up with BELL FIBE TV and she tried to sell me Bells HIGH speed internet along-with BELL FIBE…. What the F****… I don’t want  them to expand there monopoly that way and rejected to get on there boards…

  • Fraserj44

    I’ve had the service for three months. (One PVR/Receiver + two Receivers)
    Had a few audio crap-outs for a few seconds. The PVR would sometimes ‘Hang’ and eventually refused to reboot reliably. Bell quickly replaced it without argument, I suspect it was a hard drive issue.
    Having said all that, overall, I am delighted with the performance and the service in general.
    Customer support is fast, friendly and qualified. Being a telecommunications tech myself, I feel comfortable drawing these conclusions.

  • Olenco

    My iPod Touch was working but suddenly stopped. It can no longer get and maintain a DHCP address from the Alcatel-Lucent router that Bell Fibe TV porovides. My touch can communicate with every other device on the network if I use a static IP address, but will still not communicate on the Internet. If I power-cycle the router, I can get an IP address on the iPod and can communicate on the Internet for about one minute. After that it stops talking, gets an APIPA address (169.254.x.x) if I try to renew the lease, and can no longer communicate. on the Internet. I will test with an iPhone next week.

    This thing started with my wireless Samsung SCX-3200 printer which would connect to the Alcatel-Lucent, but none of my other PCs or the Mac could see the printer. The workaround was to connect it to my DLink DRI-825 instead of the Bell router. However the iPod Touch not being able to get an address from the Alcatel Lucent router is just not acceptable. I have 4 other devices, including a Blackberry and they all communicate without any problems. All of them can talk to the iPod with a static IP, except the Bell router.

    The FibeTV signal has been spotty at best. Both of my TVs experience audio and image breaks, as well as pixelation. I love the service but these “small” problems are rendering practically unusable.

  • the guy

    hey you dumb igniorent wanabe geek! I got some news for you! Bell does have real fibre optic going to your home. I guess you are just too cheap to pay the extra 15$ a month to get the real thing. they do offer iptv trough oth dsl and fibre. and dsl does not have to be vdsl… you can have dsl tv on adsl2+ as well. it all depends on the BW you need for the stuff you have. whatever internet speed you want plus here how they do their math. sd stb 3M hd stb 8M sd pvr 6M hd pvr 11M. adsl limit is 14M vdsl have 2 profile the 22 and 30M. they also have fibre op with capabilities of going up to total of 128M. so… if you want only 1 tv and the cheap internet and you do not want the fibre op service, they will give you dsl tv to sitisfy your cheap ass. so get an education and stop bitching about good people!

    • Madrigal_666

      Maybe he’s dumb and ignorant, but at least he can spell and talk English.

      I’m interested in what you have to say, so it would have helped if you could have said it in a language other than hierogliphics. 

      • http://profiles.google.com/kiss.olie Oliver Kiss

        He can spell and “talk” English? Nice. And I’m not too sure how coherent this line is: “sd stb 3M hd stb 8M sd pvr 6M hd pvr 11M”…

    • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

      I thought about deleting your abusive comment, and not dignify it with a response, but decided to leave it up for now. 

      For those curious about my background: I’m the co-founder of a successful IP PBX (VoIP) company and I’ve been building competitive ISPs since the early days of dial-up, on through to the launch of DSL. At Axxent/Optel, a local CLEC, I was in charge of the group that project managed the installation of xDSL for local businesses in Toronto.I have a relationship with the Bell PR people and they haven’t shared anything with me to indicate they’re running fibre into subscriber homes. In fact, the only way this could happen is if Bell dug up the street and laid fibre, or ran it overhead via telephone poles. Perhaps there’s a trial neighbourhood or two where Bell is piloting fibre direct into homes, but that would be about it.

      • Darkclow

        sorry ben but there is two phase’s coming from bell fibre to the node and fibre to the home obviously one it not true fibre since its at the node not the home and other will run to the house. i have asked four different tech’s and managers at bell.

        • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

          Not sure what you mean. Are you talking about the fibre redundancy at the node level?

          • Darkclow

            i am talking about node as in dsl from home to fibre to bell or bell fibre to dsl home. once the other phase kicks in they will be running lines to people who want fibre to the home witch then will be 100% fibre optics.

          • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

            I hope so. I’ve been waiting for FTTH for a while now. :)

          • Cruz

            I’m in NB not TO and when they installed Fiber here and a new line was run into the home and the Phone/TV/Internet all have their own separate lines and bandwidth from a box in the house. The new lines here are on the poles and I watched them installing it in different towns all over the province. I think it is awesome and I love it. I have had it for a year now using only the 30 mg up and 30 meg down service for the internet. Never a problem with the TV service yet. (lol). My only gripe is that in the few places in Europe that have it get 100mb up/down @ a 1/3 of the price we are gouged for it. Canada gets the short end of the stick way too often when it comes to the prices and the CTRC rulings for unneeded extra taxes on the TV services just to please the CBC.

    • Peter Vaughan

      To bad you don’t use terminology we can all understand.

  • http://twitter.com/scottyontario Scott

    This service SUCKS. modem constantly resets. shows not getting recorded because modem died. heavy internet use freezes the modem.. I hate this service and am glad I am getting rid of it! HORRIBLE SERVICE!

  • http://twitter.com/scottyontario Scott

    This service SUCKS. modem constantly resets. shows not getting recorded because modem died. heavy internet use freezes the modem.. I hate this service and am glad I am getting rid of it! HORRIBLE SERVICE!

  • Pingback: Bell Fibe Packages

  • silvie

    I love Five Tv  …..  i enjoy watching my  new Tv   crystal   clear  Thanks Bell great job …pvr  is amazing love love love it 

  • Freeweezy

    This is the worst service, would rather go back to rogers better yet cancel my tv service.

    • Pet

      I’m sure you work for Rogers

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Isakilla/100001377758177 Ian Isakilla

    its gay belllllll

  • Gurtel

    It is amazing. The HD quality is realy awesome.

  • Krishmonth

    My friend switched to IPTV last week. It is great. I want to switch it. But it is not available in Bolton. 

  • Ciaravince

    Do we need new wiring inside the home?

    • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

      Most of the time, no. The Bell equipment can use MoCA (which utilizes your existing cable tv co-ax cabling), or if you have Ethernet (like I did), you can use that.

  • Sandychase2008

    Thank you for your info, you really simplify the IP TV technology and make it understandable for non tech folk like me.

    Sandy

    • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

      Hey Sandy.. you’re welcome! Sorry for the late reply, I only just noticed it today. Have a great weekend!

  • Pingback: Programs In Internet Tv Phone Providers Revealed « My Internet TV Blog

  • Mr_canadian

    Bell  Fibe  Tv is garbage. False  advertised. There is no difference benifits  to switch  to Fibe.The distribution in your home is Coax. Not Fiber and chances of you replacing your in house  wiring is slim to none.
    I will stick with my dish so i can continue to move  my receivers  to my cottage  when needed.I dont plan to pay more for less any time soon.
    BTS is garbage. If you want to have a 4 hour installation and get two truckrolls done a day per  tech keep  it up.
    Recently sold all my share holdings in Bell I smell a crash and burn  comming very soon

    • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

      My diagram does show that fibre doesn’t go all the way to the house. It’s fibre to the pedestal (out in your street). The advantages of this approach is the final 100-200 metres your connection travels over copper is well within the limits to provide a really fast connection. I do agree that Bell is a bit oversimplifying the whole fibre messaging for consumers… a confusion that works to their benefit.

      You’re right about the benefits of having a dish… they’re the best solution for cottage-goers. 
      A lot of people have made the argument about “it’s just co-ax (or ethernet) inside your house”… but that’s kind of beside the point. It doesn’t matter what the technology is, the important thing for me was that I’m getting 26Mbit/s Internet. If they figured out a way to do that on a 100 year old telephone wire, I wouldn’t really care.

      Thanks for sharing your comments. :)

    • Darkclow

       I do not know what you are going on about, the fibre optics bell uses is iptv  the first phase use’s your dsl/fibe modem and then final phase is pure fibre optics wiring to the  modem has nothing to do with cable coax. better check ands learn your facts before making comments you would regret.

      • http://www.communityguy.ca Ben Lucier

        Hey Darkclow,

        Things may have changed, but the flavour of Fibe that I’m familiar with is delivered via twisted pair phone cabling, to a VDSL modem (mine is Alcatel/Lucent), and from there, the individual consoles and the main PVR is connected via CAT5/6, or co-ax (MoCA).

        Cheers,
        -Ben

      • Metazip

        I think Mr_canadian hit the nail squarely on the head.  The non-service sucks.  Sounds like you’re a Bell rep or exec who is out pedaling some more crap to the public…

  • WW

    wish FibeTV would hurry up and get offered in Hamilton Ontario… having Sat service is great, but wanna try the new and improved service… anyone know when it will be offered outside the GTA?

    • Anon

      I wondering the same for my part of Ottawa. It became obvious lately as over the last month or so there has been a swarm of Bell vans in the area. We asked one of the techs, and sure enough, they are upgrading this area. I do know that it is not a city-wide upgrade; it’s typically a couple of smaller areas at once. 

  • Tony

    The Bell folks keep telling me that I will be amazed (Blue Ray equivalent) at the picture quality using Bell Fibe TV. However I understand that their signal is 1080i which is the same as I get from my cable company.

  • Zippy_21

    Lost everything the other day, phone internet and TV, switching back to Expressvu  so I don’t have to listen to crickets all night, next time I have trouble on Bell line. 

  • Mackinnonjean

    We had fiber op hooked up about a year and a half ago. A few months ago bell changed the layout of there guide to a brighter version and then a little bit later they changed it again the image of the first guide change was burnt into our LCD t.v we never had the T.V that long and called Future shop and they sent a person out to look and the TV was covered under our warranty, screen burn is not covered but because it was the guide bell broadcast it was no fault of our own. Our warranty company replaced the TV but now we are worried it will happen again we have been trying to talk to people with bell but they say it is not possible we just want them to insure us this will not happen again and they refuse, and it usually ends up with my husband being hung up on. My husband by mistake told the lady from bell it was best buy that came to look at the TV when it was Best Way when he called to tell her it was the wrong name she said it did not matter don’t bother calling anymore and nothing would be done.

  • Metazip

    Got the service and then the laptop computer (wireless) and tv (wireless internet ready) stopped receiving the signal.  Called for help and they refused to send anyone out to get it working, basically telling me too bad and that it was our problem.  Last time I spoke with someone from their customer non-service they said they would get back to me on a Monday when their boss returned.  That was about 9 months ago and still haven’t heard from Bell other than numerous survey calls on how do you like the non-fibre-op service?  Never saw my survey answers in any of their advertisement spots…

    First their customer non-service is a joke, their technical expertise and help sucks, they don’t stand by the product they sell.  Worst experience of non-digital service ever.  Want really fiber service?  Get cable tv and enjoy what speed really is.  They may not be the greatest game in town, but sure beats Bell by miles…

  • Simplysatellite

    Fibe is the best tv that Canada could ever think or imagine of… Thanks to Bell now we get to enjoy our expensive High Definition Tv.. Enough with the rest that claim to be digital… I wasnt a T.V person until I got Fibe.. Its just amazing.. My suggestion if you dont have it yet you missing on it… The cost is the same or even less than Rogers for my comparison but way way better in all aspects..
    Try it yourself wont regret it.

  • Earl

    Bell store in Guelph told me I could do the same with Fibe system as my Satellite PVR.
    Watch 2 shows at once, eg pause 1 and watch another then go back to 1st one and watch it skipping the commercials. They lied. yes I can record shows etc, but not watch 2 live shows at once on the Fibe tv. So much for new and better.. I can’t even get the tv programming to fill the tv with zoom like the sattelite Pvr would, so frustrating watching shows that only are 2/3 the screen height. I will be finding myself going back to the 4 head sattelite.

  • Gallman

    Apologies if this has been covered in previous comments but I did not notice the subject in the first few pages…
    Does anyone know how to ‘tune-in’ to specific channels using IP Addresses on the internet side of the signal? The tech who installed my Fibe seemed to hint at the fact that this scenario should be possible. It would be nice to be able to pull up channels in a browser on my comp rather than installing a separate receiver and TV in my office.

  • Peter Vaughan

    Hi, as one thinking of going to fibe there are a couple of things I need to clear up. Originally Bell told me they would have to completely rewire my house with fibreoptic cable but from what I have been reading here the coax cable I have now is fine. I had the house prewired for my cable outlets for the TV’s. And my internet is connected via ethernet through a wireless router. I presently have all my services with Rogers including telephone. Would the connections be similair. It looks like I have my incoming cable hooked to a modem at the entry point and distributed from there. Bell advertises that you can install your TV in any location wireless. Is this a fact.
    Thanks for your help

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