Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Get a Blu Ray with WiFi (what a mistake)

Getting the Blu Ray was not a mistake. It is the WiFi part that has become a huge pain in the ass. By the way this is a Samsung product.

As to the actual Blu Ray it is incredible. I got Star Trek from last year. From the opening frame when the Paramount logo comes on the screen the picture is amazing. The detail is out of this world. And a special effects movie really brings out how amazing the picture really is. It is like you’re at the movies actually it’s better.

Now connecting to the internet has been well it hasn’t been anything. It has yet to happen.

Here’s my tale.

The first problem was setting up the wireless network. This was mostly my fault. I set up the Blu Ray when I got it home so I could watch the movie. I set the wireless network up the next day. I tried my best to get it to work correctly but just couldn’t do it. I called up Samsung’s tech support and the fun started. We tried one thing after another. Resetting the unit. I had to manually enter the ip and other addresses. Finally the woman said we’re going to shut everything down and then turn everything back on. That worked like a charm. I thanked her and got off the phone.

I figured setting up the Inernet@TV option would be easy. This option allows you to watch movies from Netflix through your computer on to your TV. Cool right. Cool that is if you can get the damn thing to work.

I selected connect to internet@TV. When I did that I got the message you need to connect you TV to the internet. My response was that’s what the Blu Ray player is supposed to do.

I called customer service. I got well the server may be down or busy. I said well it can be both so which is it. It’s probably down. I should keep trying. I kept trying it always got the same message. Tried on and off on Sunday and Monday. I also tried to upgrade the firm ware of the player. I got this message when I tried that.

On Monday I was able to get the Internet@TV sort of working. At least I no longer got the message that I needed to connect my TV. I tried to download the Samsung applications that would allow me to connect to Netflix. I got a message saying the network was interrupted to try again later. Which I did again and again and again. No luck.

I waited until Tuesday to call technical support again. I ended up calling four times. One of the times I was hung up on. Here are some of the gory details. I was told to reset the unit. This resulted in me getting the same old error message when I tried to connect at Internet@TV. So this was a step backwards.

I was passed on to a higher level of technical support. I was told I had to remove my firewall and everything would be fine. I removed security on the router. I thought a little more and figure out where to find the firewall setting on my iMac. There was no firewall. I tried again to gain access to Internet@TV and to upgrade the firmware. No such luck.

I call back again. I get someone who says well you need to upgrade the firmware and that will solve the problem. All I need to do is take my flash drive and download the upgrade. I said I don’t have a flash drive. Well then we can send you a CD with the upgrade that will take 7 to 14 business days to reach you. I said no this problem needs to be solved by Saturday or the unit is going back. Well then what I could do is go to Samsung support on the web and download the CD upgrade from there. If you have any problems call us back.

Well I had to call them back because the only file to download was for a flash drive not a CD. A long back and forth with the final tech person for the night. He assured me that if I had a flash drive and I downloaded the upgrade everything would work fine. I was not happy. The tech guy sort of implied that I really wasn’t interested in solving this problem because I didn’t have the flash drive. He said can you borrow one from someone. My response was yes I’ll go around the neighborhood knocking on people’s doors to see if I can borrow a flash drive. Over and over again I was told the answer to the problem was upgrading the firm ware.

I went down to the Radio Shack near my house. It was 8:15. They of course closed at 8. I decided to go to Best Buy. Went there got he flash drive. An 8 GIG drive for about 21 bucks. I come home download the upgrade to the firm ware. I upload it to the machine. And what happens. I still get the same error messages.

I was furious. This essentially took up my entire evening. I looked at some reviews on this thing on Amazon. There was another Mac user that had the exact same problems that I had. And he’d gotten about the exact same advice in just about the exact same order I did. He finally returned the player and got one by LG. He said he was up and running in something like 20 minutes

I will be calling “technical” support tonight for one last time. I’m going to give them about 30 minutes to see for one last time if they can get me connected. If not I will be returning the unit to Best Buy and getting the LG.

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