glenm201
1 Nickel

BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

I'm in the process of working this through on a recent purchase of an XPS 430.

I ordered the XPS 430 with Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium w/ Digital Cable Support SP1 and a Hauppauge TV tuner so I can access my QAM channels on cable through Media Center with the newest MCE software in this version of windows. However my shiny system came without digital cable support in Windows - just plain old VHP SP1 64-bit. I spoke for over an hour with a tech engineer who messed with drivers on the Win TV before escallating the support request to a Level 3 technician, but I have not heard from a technician all day. 
 
SHOPPERS BEWARE: The Web site ordering system is definitely incorrect, and this is going to cause Dell much more customer grief: if I look at an XPS configured with just Home Premium 64-bit (without digital cable support), reviewing the build shows the same SKU 420-9132 for the operating system as my XPS 430 that is advertised WITH cable support! This will be a big problem as people unbox their systems and discover there is no digital cable support because Dell is substituting regular Vista instead!!! People who buy these systems do so because Microsoft in their infinite (lack of) wisdom decided to release digital cable support to OEMs only, so if you want to watch @ record digital TV in MCE on Vista, you MUST buy from an OEM like Dell and HP who sells these systems.
 
I looked up the version information on Microsoft's Website. Windows Vista with digital cable support was released in July and code named "Windows Fiji" and it includes the "Media Center Edition TV Pack" which makes the version of Windows 6.1 (not 6.0 as shipped with my system).
 
Can someone in Dell marketing or product management please advise, because if Dell cannot provide what I purchased, I don't want this system.  

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12 Replies
Davet50
6 Indium

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

Dell marketing or product management do not monitor or use these boards. These are user to user help forums. I would suggest if you are dissatisifed that you contact Dell and return the system. You have 21 days from the ship date to return for exchange or full refund.

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Forum member since 2003

jmsandrsn
3 Silver

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

Please look at the Vista COA label on the back of the unit.  Are there 2 sets of 25 digit product keys (5 x 5 key).  If so, the one on the right should be labeled as digital cable key or something similar.  If you do see this second key then you need to go into Windows and activate that key with your current installation (Sorry - I don't have a Vista machine handy right now so I can't give you more specific instructions right now).

glenm201
1 Nickel

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

Nope - only 1 COA label and only one product key, and it's for Windows Home Premium. Isn't that second key required in some way to activate the ATI cablecard product? I tried to follow some of the board discussions about cablecard, and it implies a second activation. Is that what the second product key is for, or is that number supposed to come from the cable company. It's not really adding up...

glenm201
1 Nickel

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

As I said: Buyer beware! I have open support case with an L3 tech, for nearly a week now, with no contact. I even had one support supervisor tell me that he knows for a fact that QAM is not supported by Media Center and tried to make it seem like I was the problem. Well, a trip to microsoft.com set him straight... still no luck finding a SKU for VHP x64 with digital cable support.

dcgtls
4 Germanium

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

I hate to tell you this but the only option you have to get this corrected is for them to send you a new system. They will NOT send you the needed code and your system board has not been setup correctly to accept it. Call them and demand that they send you a new system configured correctly or just return this one and re-order.

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glenm201
1 Nickel

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

I agree -- all roads seem to point to that (needing a special OCUR support key in the BIOS, needing a second license key for digital MCE). HOWEVER, to this point, nobody has offered to replace the system with one configured correctly. My assumption: it's simply not being built in the way we (consumers) expect it to at all at this point.

 

jmsandrsn
3 Silver

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

If anyone is interested, here is what the COA with digital cable support looks like (with the good stuff blocked out of course)

 

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/271271/VistaPremiumLabel.jpg

glenm201
1 Nickel

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

Thanks for that! Never saw one yet... although I paid for it. Smiley Sad

I'd keep my system if someone at Dell would take a moment of their time to:

1) Sent me the digital cable support COA sticker

2) Sent me the correct CD-ROM with Windows x64 with Digital Cable Support

3) Sent me the patch to add OCUR support to the XPS 430's BIOS

I've been a customer of Dell's since Pentium 90s came out (and were summarily replaced). Never have I seen Dell so broadly disorganized and customer-unfocused as I have this past week. Anyone looking to buy a high-end computer with the ability to record the modern digital cable TV system that will be in place in February of '09 should, frankly, look elsewhere - DESPITE what the Dell website says. If you see in your cart product code VHP61E or the SKU [420-9132], then run like the wind from the nonsense that I've been through in the past week or you'll live through me vicariously.

Thanks, Dell marketing.

 

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Chris_Mixon
2 Iron

Re: BUYER BEWARE: XPS 430s **DO NOT** ship with Digital Cable Support!!??

Glenm201,

Please contact me in a private conversation.  I need the following information to send it up the line -
Name:
Email Address:
Shipping address:
Phone number:
Service tag number:
Reason: XPS 430 ordered with Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium w/ Digital Cable Support SP1 but did not receive the additional 25 digit COA Digital Cable Product key nor was the bios OCUR enabled.

Note - When this occured on the XPS 420, all we could do was have Customer Care issue a system exchange.