Rated 3 out of 5?by 1
Rated 3 out of 5?by Nikonulous TV & Internet Run Like A Hotel
If you are a gamer, an IT professional or telecom employee, if you like to watch TV, or if you want to use your internet connection for anything besides getting email and paying your rent on Van Metre?s website, DO NOT RENT FROM VAN METRE WOODLAND PARK!!!
This community?s property management has a monopolistic agreement with Hotwire Communications to provide digital TV and Internet service, and there are NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVES. Here are a few reasons why you should consider this a dealbreaker:
1. All residents pay a flat ?Telecom Fee? which covers broadband internet and basic Satellite TV (DirecTV), whether they use it or not. A number of channel packages are offered, and DVR set-top-boxes and HD/Premium programming are available at an additional charge.
2. This broadband service is terminated at each apartment unit with a Tilgin Home Gateway router in a locked telco closet. Each Home gateway router runs a firewall that residents do not control, and a wireless AP broadcasting its SSID. Since no one can connect to these wireless APs (and who would want to?) they are encouraged to set up their own; consequently, there are an average of 40 APs per building in close proximity, all blaring away and interfering with each other. If you have a 5GHz router, you should be okay to get above the noise, but you will never get a public IP on the WAN side, because of the aforementioned firewall configuration. At best, you will have to set your wireless router up as a bridge.
3. Since residents have no say in the firewall configuration on their Tilgin Home Gateway, and cannot get a public IP address, they cannot perform even basic NAT/UPnP functions, like accessing their home computers from the office with remote desktop or VPN connections, or installing baby monitors/IP surveillance cameras in their unit that can be accessed securely over the Internet.
4. While the Satellite TV service is DirecTV branded, it is provided in bulk from Van Metre's contractor, Hotwire, over IP (ethernet). Because of this affiliate relationship and the firewalled IP delivery scheme, residents do not enjoy any of the features available to DirecTV subscribers who have their own dish and set-top-box, such as the ability to connect to and program their DVR from mobile devices. These are features that are included in your DirecTV pricing -you pay for them, but you cannot use them here.
5. The customer service from Hotwire is the worst I have ever experienced from a utility provider. They have a perpetual two-week backlog for premise visits (four-fifths of which they don?t even bother to show up for), and a chronic shortage of whatever refurbished, end-of-life DVR or set-top-box they happen to be deploying that month. I went through three HD DVR set top boxes in two years living here, because when one breaks, all they do is swap out the hard drive and give it to some other unsuspecting sucker.
6. Because of the TV-over-IP delivery scheme, the on screen guides are slower than molasses, and it takes no less than 20 minutes to boot up the set-top-box and ?download? the program guide, every time you have to reset it (which happens very frequently here).
7. Because it?s satellite, you can forget about watching television when it?s raining, or snowing, or Thursday. DirecTV does an excellent job of downplaying the frequency of ?rain fade? in their marketing -don?t buy it. It happens more often than you think, and it is extremely annoying.
I would say that all of this could be easily avoided by simply eating Van Metre's basic ?Telecom Fee? and contracting with your own TV/Broadband provider, but this is not an option, as Van Metre/Hotwire severed the coaxial infrastructure leading into their buildings, effectively blocking COX, Comcast, and Verizon from competing here. Furthermore, the leasing consultant I dealt with prior to signing LIED OUTRIGHT by telling me I could ?shop around? for another provider if I was dissatisfied with Hotwire.
Finally, on a completely unrelated note, parking here is in VERY SHORT SUPPLY. If you?re not home by 8PM, you WILL have to park three or four buildings away from your unit.
April 20, 2014