Mark Frauenfelder, founder and contributor to the weblog BoingBoing.net does not like the Scientific-Atlanta 8000.
So many other things suck about the user interface that I can't list them all. But the main UI problems include lack of keyword scheduling, way-too-slow fast-forwarding, no alpha character entry, and the inability to see how many hours of programming are available on the hard drive.Anyone else have any stories, good or bad, about their S-A 8000?
This last flaw hit home when the machine suddenly stopped recording shows. I tried everything I could to get it to work, including rebooting the system and calling Time Warner Cable customer service. They told me that they'd have to replace the unit, which would take five days.
Five days later a service technician came with a new box. I asked him if this problem was common, because Google returns a lot of pages from people who think the Explorer 8000 is a piece of junk. He said the system is fine as long as you didn't store too many shows on it. If you fill up the hard drive, the system freezes up, and there's no way a user can undo it. But how do you know when the disk is close to being full if there's no gage to tell you? The service tech's answer: "don't keep very many shows on the hard drive." That pretty much defeats the purpose of a DVR, doesn't it?
He also warned me not to put anything on top of it, as it was notorious for overheating and seizing up. I told him I was considering TiVo, but he insisted the Explorer 8000 was better than TiVo. How so, I asked? "We will give you a new one if it breaks," he said.