Hotwire Communications Problems in Boca Falls

Update 7: All has been relatively quiet now into mid-September. We just got notice that Hotwire representatives will be at our clubhouse “to assist with any chronic technical issues.” That’s heartwarming. And we’ve had our own problem with the Hotwire Insura Security system. The adventure continues.

Update 6: As of May 7th Hotwire continues to fail and we are giving up. Read more at: Hotwire Fails. Also, we’ve been advised that people are having difficulty using their TIVO devices with Hotwire.
Update 5: Hotwire claims to have fixed the problem. Read more at Hotwire Update.
Update 4: The Hotwire problem now appears to be fixed. See More Hotwire Problems in Boca Falls for more details.

Update 3: It’s now 4/28. Despite lengthy efforts to get the problem fixed, we continue to have problems. Hotwire sent contrators here a couple of days ago and they rewired our house. Instead of the digital signal running through coaxial cable in our house, they ran Category 5 Ethernet cable to each TV. It continued to show glitches. I rebooted the box on our main TV and the problems continue. Below is a 30 second video showing how it looks:

–Update 2: It’s now 4/18, and we are having another problem. The video below shows how we have no picture or sound on any channel, even though the box is apparently reporting the channel to our TV:

–Update: As of 4/17, our own problems with Hotwire appear to be resolved. They sent over a couple of higher level people who figured out that the fiber connection to the house was “dirty” and replaced one of the boxes. For now it appears to be better. It is our impression that they are making progress and some of these problems may be inevitable in such a large project.–

Boca Falls is undergoing  a transformation. The Homeowners Association made a deal with Hotwire Communications. Hotwire is installing fiber optic cable throughout the community (roughly 720 homes), and homeowners will now get cable television, internet and telephone service through Hotwire.

The installation is not as smooth as some might hope. We have heard that other families have complained. In our own case, we have experienced significant problems with the television service.

For our main television, the picture is occasionally jerky or shows other flaws. Shortly after the initial installation the set top box stopped working with the TV.

In the master bedroom, we have had frequent problems where the TV doesn’t work. We might get video with no audio, or audio with no video, or we can get some channels but not others. A few times the TV simply stopped working completely, giving us a message on the TV that might say “Unsupported Signal”.

On the bright side, the telephone service works fine and the internet service is actually faster than expected:

And to be fair, we heard many complaints about Comcast and had bad experiences ourselves. Comcast was so bad we switched to DirecTV after only one month. But DirecTV was significantly better than what we’re getting from Hotwire.

We are hopeful that the TV service will improve, but so far customer service has been disappointing. While technicians come to the home and fix the problem, the fixes are temporary and the problems come back. Our requests to have the quality of the line signal tested are met with blank stares or vague excuses.


  1. Angry Boca Falls Resident

    We have been on hotwire for about a month and we are on our third DVR. It continues to lock up and reboot. Anything being recorded is lost. Last night the service was out most of the night. The picture is pixelated on a regular basis. When you call the support number the reps are clearly frustrated. Last night they told me that they understood that the service is horrible but there was nothing they could do. They said their phones have been ringing ever since the community started to switch over. This is a horrible decision by the board. Also, if you own a TIVO it will be a paperweight after switching to hotwire. We have a TIVO HD DVR and it does not work with this service. After several days of questioning hotwire and tivo it was discovered that the hotwire technology is not true TV or cable, like comcast, its IP TV. So we have a $400 Tivo that could record two shows while we watched a third, and worked perfect with the comcast cable card connected. We also had the life-time subscription to the Tivo service. Hotwire’s policy is to tell Tivo owners that they will waive the monthly fee for their DVR if you ship them your Tivo. Unbelievable. Boca Falls board should be ashamed, and should switch back to Comcast.

  2. Thanks for your comment. While I agree with ditching Hotwire, we had problems with Comcast when we first moved here. We switched to DirecTV and I’d like the HOA to investigate that option.

    But really, the HOA should have just let the deal with Comcast lapse and let homeowners fend for themselves. There are many choices for homeowners and it does not make sense to lock us in to one provider. And I did show up to the HOA meeting and voice my opinion. There were hardly any others in attendance.

    • Angry Boca Falls Resident

      If the board removes the Hotwire assesment from the HOA fees I’d switch back to Comcast immediately. I did not experience any issues with comcast. And when it was down (rare) I’d call the 800 # and sure enough they’d have a recording saying they were aware of it and already had a crew working on it.

      Frankly, I trusted the board to do their homework. My mistake. They obviously did nothing to determine the impact of this choice. Hotwire is a joke. Their technology does not work, they are constantly fixing “bugs” with their software patches, and the DVR has a horrible user interface and is full of bugs in its firmware. And of course, the board rendered all the Tivo’s in the community worthless. Our Tivo never recorded the wrong programs, was easy to use, and allowed us to watch one channel and record two others. We’ve lost this reliability, and functionality. NONE of these features exist with the Hotwire-compatible DVR and they’ve replaced it three times.

      The board should be ashamed.

  3. REB

    Hotwire is a lousy cable satellite company. I have not had a steady signal in the Pines West community in Oakland Park for 3 straight nights. Can’t get through to customer service. No one calls back. You are not alone in your Hotwire troubles.

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