Coditel digital television

Some remarks on the Coditel digital television system that I have been using for the last two weeks:

Way too many useless channels
Exotic channels
I could now watch channels like Nile TV, Qatar TV and Al Jazeera for Kids. But no Discovery Channel or National Geographic. On the good side: I now have Vijf TV and Vitaya, which was not the case with analog TV.

Bandwidth issues
At first you don’t really see a difference in image quality. But every now and then the channel you are watching can get really jerky. Switching to another channel and back might help, but sometimes you are forced to watch Tv like this:

No more TV capture?
Since the digital TV decoder is also the tuner (with a separate remore control), I guess it’s not possible to it hook up to a PC and TV capture card so that these can act as a digital video recorder. The set-top box itself (a Motorola DVi1000) does not have a hard disk nor can it be fitted with one: no chance of a Telenet Digicorder alternative. So recording becomes kind of hard.

All in all, not that big a step forward.

Posted in: TV

17 thoughts on “Coditel digital television”

  1. They put up Qatar TV and other arab channels because they want to win back customers that switched to satellite dishes(generally of arab origin). They tend to consider the flemish population present in Brussels as “less important”… Bad strategy ! But on the other hand, I don’t think we would win in quality with TMF or JimTV !

    I’m on UPC and we don’t have Discovery Channel nor National Geographic. I would like to have National Geographic, but I don’t want to pay any extra money for it. They have interesting documentaries.

  2. You can hook up a PC with a capture card to the SCART output of the settop box. Of course you would have to make sure that the box is set to the right channel at the right time.

    Recording this way would not be optimal, because of the digital to analog to digital conversion.

  3. I will never forgive coditel for taking away bbc2 under the pretense that they were readying for digital tv. It was just a plan to get more people upgrading especially expats 🙁

  4. Agree with Simon’s comment although now BBC2 available on standard package if you want to forgo CNN, BBC World etc. So English speaking expats are targeted again in any event, no doubt to subsidise all of the North African content.

    So for 30 Euros per month there are no decent movie channels, docuemntary channels etc – it all seems very fringe TV. In fact unless one is tempted to have CNN, BBC World and CNBC, there is very little attractiion to the Premium package. They seem to want to penalise the english speaking viewer and then in so doing, then only offer a poor selection.

    But my biggest concern with Coditel is poor service, poor telephony service (it takes forever to speak to anyone – and until abut a year ago if one wanted to discus technical or invoice issues, one had to pay a premium phone charge, for the pleasure of being put n hold, which was surely againt consumer law). Another worrying aspect is the huge costs of wishing to have more than 1 TV screen per household. Finally, I ordered three digital boxes, they only supplied 2. One box was contant problems. They blamed it on my line. I asked them to switch the boxes to prove it was a problem with the box. They refused to. Finally the bad box on the main TV packed up, so I switched it, and no problem at all. The bad box is still (after three weeks) waiting to be replaced. In the meantime I am paying for it. . .

    All in all, very very poor service, and not a brand to trust. In fact, very poor brand trust. Personally I would not use it for anything else other than TV and definately not my Telephone and god forbid internet. Brtutele is still refreshingly old fashoined and offering what they always offered but with the internet etc added in – but not of the vagaries of Coditel’s horrible digital service.

    They seem eager to charge but reluctant to help and their website is an absolute joke.

  5. You think you have it bad… there is nothing that Coditel could do badly that they haven’t done badly to one or more of their customers. For example:
    – according to test-achats, their goons at rue de deux eglises physically assaulted two people who came to comlain and now there is a police investigation
    – they kept being “unable” to take the payment for my tv/internet and charged me 5 euro a month extra because of the alleged lack of a direct debit. then, they reluctantly started taking the payment via direct debit – and helped themselves to an extra 200 Euro (for a neighbour of mine!), which they refuse go give back.
    Coditel is truly the most incompetent, arrogant, aggressive, dishonest company I have ever had the displeasure of doing business with.

  6. I bought the website as a slight bit of sarcasm and wanted to do what “Unhappy coditel client” is doing. It would be a blog but I am a little busy now.
    It would be for English language as my complaint is mirrored by a lot of expats.

    It does make me happy that I am not alone with the disatisfaction I feel. To be fair I only use them still (non-digital) because none of the other options offers BBC1 and BBC2.

    We are thinking of the Sky route, which is unfortunate because I quite like having the European channels (nostalgia, when I came here as a child I thought the 30+ channels was manna compared to 6 in Ireland)

    I don’t think they are the type of company that wants to listen to customer isses?

  7. @ Simon,

    If you wish to help out, just let me know. Like yourself, I don’t have too much time. But together I’m sure we can do something. Let me know.

    I can’t stand the fact that I get just 2 english language channels, and 12 North African. Not amused. I am not even sure what other options there are, are there any viable alternatives?

  8. Dear all,

    I landed on this post by chance. Some of the comments are surprising to me. Especially regarding the Flemish channels, I cannot see which channels are missing. They have even added recently 4 Flemish channels: LifeTV, S.Televisie, TMF and ActuaTV. Also JimTv and all others. They seem to be the only one in Brussels.

    Also regarding english speaking channels, there are quite a few in digital including BBC1, BBC2, CNN, BBC Worls, Eurosport, Euronews, CNBC, etc. True it is in the Premium which is 17€ (11£). But frankly I would hope Sky would have as many French speaking channels for that price…

    And I heard that BBC3 and BBC4 will soon be added as well.

    Regarding the arabic channels, I think it is clever as there are quite a few north africans in Brussels, not ony expats! They are clearly trying to find channels for everybody and I salute this.

    I have also read more positive articles in the papers recently.

    And I have their Internet High speed and I enjoy a comfortable 20M speed. In the surveys they score nr 1…

  9. Are you still pursuing Coditel? I would like to participate-contribute-help, if necessary. Contact with Coditel has been so fraught that I am postponing contacting them even though I suspect I am being grossly overcharged. Grateful for any support. Does anyone know an alternative system? We are having the 20 megabyte digital service for phone, internet, TV. Recently several times between minutes and several hours of black-out on all three. We need both German channels (for me) and BBC etc (for my husband and me, and I enjoy having a choice of Belgian and French channels, too. Thanks in advance for an answer. Barbara Grote

  10. I am very pleased to see that others have the same problem as I. Our digibox has now broken down twice over a weekend – thus missing To Gear on BBC2 on sunday night (you can imagine the displeasure!)

    I phone to complain on Monday morning – no explanation except – has you moved the TV? I have been put on hold and now am still waiting for the digibox to work….

    If only Coditel could:
    1. stop employing people who are only trained to answer the most obvious questions – but not ‘how can I prevent this from happening again?’
    2. you are put onhold for hours
    3. the only fall-back is to ‘visit the shop’ – Have you seen the queues!!!!!
    4. Coditel staff oblige me and type in complaints into their computer – but as one young lady from Coditel (she was obviously used to the complaints) conceded – nobody reads the complaints and they disappear into the ether…
    5. I do not understand why Coditel has the monopoly over my commune. Is the European Commission aware of this monopoloistic tendency?
    5. oh yes and the fact that you have to buy the box. A friend of mine is leaving Brussels and is willing to give me her digibox – brand new and supplied by Coditel. It is still unclear whether Coditel will install it – why? you are only allowed 2 digibox per house… I am still wating to get clarity on this question – but I assume that the answer is that you have to buy a new digibox…

    Last point – there is an election at federal level in belgium this year. Although us expats cannot vote in this election, we can vote in the local and european elections – maybe this is an issue that could be raise with the political parties?

    Many thanks for doing this!!

  11. My wife wanted quick TV, so we signed up for the Internet, phone and TV combination… what a mistake. The guy who was supposed to deliver the boxes only delivered a TV decoder, which refused to work since there was no signal. He then asked me about working in my industry and left with a promise that a technician would show up later that afternoon… none did.

    Coditel promised to deliver the Internet modem twice, but it never showed up and we never recieved any information about the phone at all. So, we cancelled the phone and Internet, while my wife was still attracted by the TV offer.

    I tried getting the box to work, and went through the process four times with the help line. Just to be sure, I did it in French, Flemish and English (2x). No dice. Even the installation instructions that came with the box were useless as they were for France (i.e. if you lived in Paris, Nice, etc.). So, a technician was supposed to show up…. hey hey, guess what? None did.

    So, now everything has been cancelled and we didn’t pay since they never delivered any services.

    And I thought that UPC in Amsterdam was incompetent.

  12. Coditel are a disgrace. After living here for 8 years I have had nothing but problems with every aspect of their billing services, cross -selling sales techniques and sub zero customer sevices. Look up Monopoly in the dictionary and you’ll see Coditels name alongside it. By 2011 they should hopefully be gone – wish it was sooner!

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