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Bell Fibe Broke My Netflix! or Was It My Fault?

 

Bell Fibe Broke My Netflix!

I upgraded to Bell Fibe on a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago. I didn’t noticed until Saturday night that it broke my Netflix!

[Update November 13, 2013: Or Was It My Fault??? – see updated information below].

It was my original intent to write my next blog about how to purchase the best internet service, but I can’t believe that Bell Fibe broke my Netflix. So, this post is about what happened to me, and how you can avoid the same hassels from Bell Fibe, possibly by avoiding Bell Fibe in the first place.

The truth is upgrading to Bell Fibe broke all apps on my Sony TV not just Netflix. If you “upgrade” to Bell Fibe, be prepared to spend extra hours talking to Bell support to get them to do the right thing and not block internet service to your TV.

The background for this story was my Bell non-Fibe internet service monthly bill went from $57 after tax to $64 after tax over the summer. I used this as an opportunity to explore how Tek Savvy Internet serivce compares with Bell. I’ll write a blog on that topic in the future. After dealing with poor service from the Bell Loyalty department, I finally decided upgrade my existing Internet service with Bell to Bell Fibe as an temporary solution to lower my monthly bill to $41 per month before tax. Was that one of my mistakes? Maybe, but let’s continue with the Netflix story for now. Again , it looks like I’ll have to write another post to share my customer experience with Bell Sympatico later.

Here is the basic story.

Thursday: Old Bell Sympatico Internet Service: Netflix Working on my Sony TV
Friday: “Upgraded” to Bell Fibe 15/10
Saturday: Netflix not working on my Sony TV
Saturday: Bell Chat Support won’t help and hangs up on me.
Next step: Call 310-SURF and mention CRTC

Today’s blog is to tell you Bell’s reaction to my problem report. [Please look for the chat exchange I had with Bell support below]

Here’s a screenshot of the Bell Fibe router admin panel. Notice that the “TV Status” is disabled. Clearly Bell Fibe does not provide true Internet service, because the Internet does not discriminate by what types of devices are connected to it. Bell, I think we have a problem.

Bell Fibe Modem blocking Netflix and other Sony TV internet services.

It looks like I’m not alone. I did a quick google search for “Bell Fibe Broke Netflix”, and I found this video of someone with a slightly different problem. I know blogging about Bell Fibe problems might not be the most captivating of topics, but I really wish Bell tested out the Netflix problems before rolling out their new Fibe product, grrrrrrrr.

I’m pretty certain there’s a configuration setting somewhere that will fix this problem, because it was working perfectly before upgrading to Bell Fibe. My fear is that Bell has protected this configuration setting on their side of the network. Oh well, wish me luck, and don’t worry I’m sure Bell customer service will give me more to write about in the future.

 

Bell Live Chat from Sept 28, 2013

chat representative will be with you in about 0 minute(s). Thank you for waiting.

Chat representative Dietrich has joined the session and is ready to help. To start, please provide your name and home phone number.

Dietrich: Hello! Welcome to Bell Internet Services. How may I help you today?

you: hi, I just had a new modem installed by bell on Friday afternoon

Dietrich: Hi. Good evening!

you: the tech person made sure the internet would work with my pc – good

you: but I’m now having trouble connecting to the internet with my sony tv – not good

you: it worked with the previous modem

you: I tried switching ethernet ports on the modem, but no go

Dietrich: I understand that you are unable to connect to your Bell modem with the Tv. Am I right?

you: yes

Dietrich: To validate your account,may I have your B1 number and the complete billing address in this format street number, street name,city, province & postal code?

you: sure

you: b1******

you: ****************************************

Dietrich: Thank you for the information.

Dietrich: Are you trying to connect wirelessly or wired with the TV?

you: wired

Dietrich: Okay! I am sorry that we do not support configuration in TV as we do support only Internet configuration in computers.

Dietrich: For this, you will have to contact your Tv support.

you: are you serious? 😮

you: it was working fine until Friday afternoon.

Dietrich: Yes. I am sorry for that.

you: the new modem broke my existing service

you: one second, I’ll be right back

Dietrich: Okay! Are you been prompted for any information for connecting your modem?

you: back

you: prompted on my TV?

you: no, I have a valid MAC Address and IP address assigned to the TV when I check the modem admin UI

Dietrich: Okay! Yes. On your TV.

you: the modem understands the TV exists on the ethernet/IP network

you: I’ve never ever been prompted on my TV

you: with the new modem or the old one.

you: just plugged in the ethernet and go

you: the previous modem worked fine

Dietrich: Okay! If you are in need of any username or password, I can certainly help you in that and if not, I am sorry that you will have to contact the TV support as the modem works fine with the computers.

you: No problem, I’m calling Tek Savvy on Monday morning to switch from Bell. Your service is very very poor. 🙁

Dietrich: I am really sorry to hear like this from a valuable customer like you.

Dietrich: I apologize for the inconvenience.

you: no cut and pasting your text please

you: I’d prefer to talk to a real person

Dietrich: I am sorry for that.

you: me too

Dietrich: To speak with us over the phone , Kindly contact Bell us at: 310-SURF (7873) from Bell phone line or  Non-Bell phone line: 1-800-773-2121

you: do you understand that my internet service was working fine until the modem was changed?

Dietrich: Yes. I do certainly understand that.

Dietrich: Also your Internet works fine with computers now.

you: you are an internet service provider, not a device provider

you: so why do you care what device I’m using on the internet?

Dietrich: If your TV prompts for any username or network name, I will be able to help you in regards with that and in connecting any modem configuration.

you: I guess Tek Savvy will be more helpful than you.

Dietrich: But since that does not asks for any information from the modem or Internet connection, I will not be able to assist you in this regard.

Dietrich: I’m sorry to hear that.

you: Can you please confirm that you will not support my Sony TV on the new modem that Bell installed on Friday?

you: That’s the key question I’m asking.

Dietrich: It is not just Sony TV, We do not support configuration in TV. For this you should be subscribed to Fibe TV services and could you confirm the light status corresponding to TV in your modem?

you: Please confirm … your internet service does not support TV devices unless I want to subscribe to the Fibe TV?

Dietrich: If that is just a plug and play, our Internet service would support, but we at support level does not support the configuration of Bell Internet in TV.

you: ah, thank you.

Dietrich: Welcome.

Dietrich: Do you have any other questions or concerns that I can assist you with?

you: My device worked plug and play until you changed the modem.

you: the new modem does not allow plug and play

Dietrich: Okay! It seems that you have upgraded the plan to Ontario DSL Fibe 15/10 and the new modem is only suitable for the  new plan that you are subscribed to

you: can you please confirm that the Ontario DSL Fibe 15/10 plan will not support unrestricted internet access to a Sony TV?

Dietrich: It is not the plan that restricts the access, but the modem that you are using now. However for the specifications of plug and play regarding the modem, please check the manufacturer web page of the modem.

you: are you serious?

Dietrich: Yes, It is not the plan that you are subscribed to. It is the modem configuration that we do not support.

you: and you understand that Bell installed this modem yesterday afternoon. I did not choose this modem.

Dietrich: So, for further information key in for the Sagecom F@st 2864

you: Does Bell accept any responsibility for downgrading my service when I switched to the new Fibe plan?

Dietrich: Yes, This is the modem that Bell provides for residential Internet connection.

Dietrich: Could you please explain more specifically?

you: Okay, let’s try this 🙂

you: 1) My internet service was working fine for all my device yesterday morning

you: 2) Bell installed a new modem in my house yesterday afternoon

you: 3) Today you tell me that the modem that Bell installed broke the internet service that was working fine yesterday morning

you: 4) and then you say it’s not the Bell Fibe plan, but the modem Bell installed that broke the service

The chat session should begin shortly, thank you for your patience.

The chat session should begin shortly, thank you for your patience.

Could not send

It seems to me you’re not accepting responsibility for breaking a service that was working fine yesterday morning

 

November 13, 2013 UPDATE:

This is one of those embarassing times in my debugging career when it turns out that the first idea I had about the source of a problem turns out be wrong.

So, here’s what happened today. I finally got around to looking at the Internet TV problem that began a few weeks ago. I started debugging by going back to basics -> checking out the cabling. To my surprise I noticed a problem with the ethernet connection from my DSL modem to my TV. Whoa!

It’s been awhile since Bell Fibe was first installed, so I wasn’t sure if the connection problem existed at the time of my orginal complaint. I know I definitely moved the cables around after the Bell Fibe upgrade, so it’s possible the connection problem was introduced after upgrading to Bell Fibe. However, if the connection issue was there from the start then I might have been blowing a lot of hot air. Shoot! I hate when that happens.

So, I fixed the ethernet connection issue and retried Netflix on my Sony Internet TV. Guess what? It worked! Woo Hoo!

Lesson to be learned from my embarassment? Check the cabling before asking for help. If a friend or family member is also available, it would not hurt to ask them to independently check the basic cabling connections too.

By the way, I’m still not happy with the way Bell managed my pre-Fibe Internet service (see previous posts). At least now it looks like all my devices are working at the same service level as before upgrading to Fibe. Whew!

I think I’ll go forget about the public embarassment of my debugging skills by watching a little Netflix on my Internet TV using the Bell Fibe Internet service. 🙂

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Bell Fibe Broke My Netflix! or Was It My Fault?

  1. This is an old post. But I can assure you and any readers you are incorrect. The TV setting in the admin panel was only for future release of Bell Fibe TV. This is not indicating that your service will not support TV streaming.

    Smart tvs require network connections. Chances are either a) you did not update the network connection to your new Bell WiFi or b) you were using some setting in your previous modem or router to circumvent regional settings for the service.

  2. Based on what I read above, I may be out of luck with this request.

    I have Bell Fibe as my provider
    I have a Panasonic Viera
    I have been “gifted” two months of Netflix.

    How do I coordinate these three so that I can get some movies to watch?

    Being “not so technical” I would need a step by step procedure (or guided to a site where this information is located).

    Thanks
    Keith

    1. Hi Keith,

      So, you want to get Netflix working on your Panasonic Viera Internet TV with Bell Fibe? You’d hope that there was a simple way to answer your request. Unfortunately, when I searched the Internet I couldn’t find one that was fit for the “not so technical” person. However, let me break your task into two high level steps that might help.

      First: Confirm the Internet works on your Panasonic Viera Internet TV. Hopefully the manual you received with your TV will explain this procedure. You may need to purchase a wireless adapter for your TV if you don’t already have one.

      This first step is where I’m having problems with Bell right now. Not because of the Sony TV, but because Bell Fibe is blocking all Internet service to my TV device (see Bell Fibe Modem screen capture). If you cannot get any Internet service to work on your TV, then call Bell. It may take time to find the right support person, but there’s no excuse for Bell to block Internet service to your TV.

      Second: Confirm Netflix works on your Panasonic Viera TV. A quick Google search indicated that the Panasonic Viera Internet TV did not support Netflix at some point in the past. This may have changed recently, but since I don’t have a Panasonic Viera TV I can’t give you up-to-date advice or the procedures to start Netflix on your TV. Sorry.

      Most technical people I know use Google to help them find successful setup/debugging procedures. However, sometimes this path requires technical knowledge to bridge the gaps between certain steps. Geeks think of this problem as a fun puzzle. The rest of the world calls it work.

      If you feel like you want to solve a technical puzzle try a Google search with these keywords “panasonic viera netflix setup canada”. You can also try calling the Panasonic support number.

      A fallback plan would be to get Netflix working on a Laptop which has and an HDMI interface. You can then start Netflix on the Laptop and connect the Laptop to your TV via HDMI. I have a friend who successfully uses this configuration.

      We can only hope that the TV manufactures, the Internet Service Providers and the Cloud Service Providers (like Netflix) will give us consumers an easier way in the future to get the services we want on our TVs. Sigh.

      Good Luck!
      David

      1. Thanks David for the information and the time you spent on trying to resolve my problem. I will follow up on your suggestions and other comments. One thing I failed to mention was that my PVR allows for my TV to be viewed anywhere in the house without connection to the PVR. In my way of thinking the signal is coming through the internet (modem) to the PVR. I may be confused, but does the Bell TV signal come through the internet or just the cables and by pass’ the internet? I hope I don’t confuse you with these comments.

        I haven’t signed up with Netflix because I want to make sure I have all my “ducks” in order before I set up an account with them.

        Again, Thanks
        Keith

        1. Hi Keith,

          I think you’re taking the right approach to get your “ducks” in order before getting your Netflix account. Unfortunately, there are lots of ducks!

          Oh, and don’t worry about confusing me with your comments. New technology is inherently confusing. Poor documentation and support make things worse. Of course when you throw in marketing promises from different companies which hide important integration limiting details, I’m surprised that anything works! Oops, sorry for the short rant. lol.

          Thanks for the added info about the wireless PVR. You’re starting to hit on an important difference between a TV signal and Internet Service. I think it would be a good idea for you to you to become familiar with how to switch between TV input and Internet input on your Viera TV. Netflix will be viewable using the Internet input, not the TV input. This assumes, of course, that Panasonic allows the Netflix application on their Viera TVs. It would be a bad product decision on their part if they don’t.

          I recommend you do a Google search for “panasonic viera internet setup” to help with this. I didn’t review all the results of the search, but this video shows how to setup a wireless usb connection to a Viera TV … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lY92VtnB0I
          You may also have other Panasonic Viera documentation that can help.

          First confirm you are successfully getting Internet service on your TV. The next step will be to determine if your Panasonic TV supports the Netflix application.

          The fall back option to all this is to watch Netflix on a PC. I’m sure if you’re like me, you’d rather see it on a large screen while sitting on the couch!

          Good Luck!
          David

  3. I’m having this issue too but on ALL devices (iPhone, iPad, DS, TV, Wii)! The person on the Bell support line couldn’t help. I thought it was a WAP vs WEP encryption issue. Switching to WEP worked for a day but next day connection was broken again.

    1. Hi Charity,

      I think your problem is different from mine. My Internet works when I use my PC with a direct connection to the Bell Fibe modem. It also works with my tablet and iPhone through WiFi.

      However, it appears Bell is blocking my Internet service when I plug my TV directly directly to the DSL Bell Fibe modem. If you take a look at the screen capture in my post, you’ll see that the “TV Status” feature is “Disabled”. If you log into your Bell Fibe Modem you can check to see if you have the same problem.

      I think the advice from Bell support sounds reasonable for your situation. I assume all your devices (iPhone, iPad, DS, TV & Wii) are connected to Bell Fibe’s Internet service via WiFi. If yes, I recommend you focus on getting one WiFi device working first. Proving wireless service works for any wireless device is a different debugging step than fixing the wireless configuration for each device.

      Thanks for the comment, by the way. Please feel free to ask me another question about your situation if you think I can help!

      Good Luck!

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