Ronny Lam

about://tech

Triple Play With XS4ALL

As of today we are finally in the game of IP-Television. I have been an XS4ALL user for years, after using Demon Internet, which they acquired. Demon Internet and XS4ALL where the best providers in the Netherlands. Both were giving static ip-addresses to (dialup-)customers and both where providing UUCP. XS4ALL just shut down their UUCP service, over IPv6! And last but not least, both were run by devoted technical people.

Today I am still glad to be an XS4ALL customer. With native IPv6, still static IP, VoIP and the best helpdesk in the world. In 2011, with the introduction of IPTV within XS4ALL I joined immediately. Only to find out that I was too far away from the DSLAM with a Fritzbox, needed for IPTV, that could not handle the RF noise on the link. With 12-15 DSL resets every night and a resync of about 30 seconds watching television was no fun. I didn’t care, I don’t watch the TV a lot, but my wife almost killed me when in the heat of her films the DSL connection got a reset. So in the end I did care and send the whole package back. With pain in my heart, because it was going back to the degraded cable television, non-interactive! I reconnected the Thomson DSL modem, which had no problem and didn’t think about it for months.

Until some months ago a software update for the Fritzbox came out. Which should make the modem more resilient to RF-noise. Reconnected the Fritzbox, did the update and monitored the service. It failed, again, the first update. Because a couple of weeks later another update came out. And this one worked well. The modem had only one reset a week or so, which is still worse than the Thomson, but acceptable. The Thomson reached a DSL-uptime of two years! When the latest update came out, making IPv6 really native, including DNS and firewall options, I made the decision to try it again. Especially since the cable service was degrading even more.

The set-top-box arrived today and connecting it was a minute work. Watching television is razor sharp, especially the HD channels. Using the TV-guide and the cloud storage works great. And with about 300 TV and Radio channels there is enough choice for everyone. There is only one downside to IPTV. My wife likes to zap, to watch three channels at the time. And channel-switching takes about 1-2 seconds, but that is compensated by the overall quality.

We are now using Triple Play from one provider, so the only thing I don’t want to happen is for my DSL connection to die. That is what happened to my neighbor, who got totally disconnected during Easter for about two weeks. But then again, he wasn’t using XS4ALL!