Yesterday I spent over six hours "communicating" with various COX tech support staff trying to see if I (we) could troubleshoot (TS) this most recent (NO TCM ON-DEMAND Log-In) problem any further.
Amazingly the first Video Support tech was actuality located in the same state as myself, which would have been a big plus for ruling-out whether this was a regional issue or not.
Another plus, the young man was using the same OS as myself (Win 7 pro), and he was familiar with TCM ON-DEMAND. Unfortunately, the only browser's he had access to were IE and Chrome (NOT Mozilla Firefox). He was however able to access, log-in, and view the start of two different movies with both of those browsers, which meant that the problem was either not regional in my area, or only restricted to TCM and recent conflicts with Firefox. If the latter was the case it would have have been something that TCM had recently changed, because the current browser and Adobe flash have NOT recently changed on my system and were working fine with ON-DEMAND just the evening before 8/3/2017, when the problem began. I asked if he could load Firefox and we could try to troubleshoot using the same browser, and he told me that he (as a COX Video support technician) did not have the authority to install any new programs.... He agreed that it was rather nearsighted for COX not to have all of the popular browsers available for someone in his position, and said he would get his supervisor to install Firefox and then call me back in 15-20 min so we could continue the TS process. Two and 1/2 hours later, I was still waiting for a call back.
Called COX again, this time I spoke with a Video Support tech in Tucson, AZ. While in the process of explaining the problem and what the last VS Supp. Tech had already tried, the call was dropped, and I had to again call COX.
Next another support person answered, also in AZ, but he was not a Video person and was sticking to a generic routine script that I didn't want rehash, I requested that he transfer me to Video Support and next I spoke with a young lady in Virginia.
She said she was a VS support person, but was unfamiliar with TCM and only had a Win 10 system immediately available, with no Firefox installed. She checked and said there was an older PC about five feet away that had Win 7, and a version of Mozilla Firefox that was released in 2015. And after I shared with her how to check, she did confirm that the Adobe Flash on it was current (v.188.8.131.52), so we went ahead and attempted to TS using that system. But because she didn't have a wireless headset, and had to go back and forth, from one PC desk to another, I gave her simple instructions to try something, then come back and tell me what she was seeing.
She reported that with that old and very "unsecure" version of Firefox that she was able to sign-in to TCM and bring up a movie, however while I was waiting for her to get back with me to report if the movie was actually playing, our call was dropped. Even though I had given her my return number to call, in such an event, I never heard back from her.
I again called COX, and spoke with a young tech support person in Texas. He confirmed what I already knew, that he worked for a sub-contract office that had COX as a "tech support" contract, but because COX service was not available in TX, he did not have access to it, and was unable to assist me in any productive way regarding trouble shooting this issue further than what had already been accomplished. So he said he would transfer me to someone who could help me...
I was then transferred to a COX tech support person in Ontario, Canada. Another outsourced office, without access to COX, who (after a lengthy reiteration) was unable to help for lack of resources. He then transferred me back to someone in Virginia.
I reexplained everything, again, to a young "Video Support" person who understood little of what I was talking about. She said she couldn't (or wouldn't) be able to help me any further, because the ON-DEMAND service was from TCM, and not directly through COX.
I finally asked if she could just follow whatever channels were necessary to report the issue from the COX end to TCM, since none of us are able to receive any direct or indirect assistance from TCM as mere subscribers. She said she didn't know how to do that, but suggested that I speak with someone in internet support, and maybe they could help me further.
She then transferred me to another person, also in Virginia, who was a tier 2 tech internet support "specialist."
By this time it had been several hours, of repetitive explanations, and I was beginning to fatigue from the ordeal. However fortune finally smiled upon me, and this time I actually spoke with a "professional." Although this young lady was not a TCM subscriber, she had immediate access to the prerequisite arsenal of tools necessary to continue the trouble-shooting process. Win 7 pro, check!, current Adobe Flash, check!, Mozilla Firefox browser (version 26.0.0), close enough!
She accessed TCM, and reported the ON-DEMAND "Sign-In" button was present. However when she clicked on a movie it never loaded to play, even after being signed in to TCM.
She said she was able to view the trailers, clips, and intros, though. But after trying several different movies, and having none of them load to play, she concluded that there was something wrong at the TCM site.
We were unable to replicate my specific No "Sign-in" button issue, but the end result is almost the same, an inability to view TCM ON-DEMAND with Firefox browser, that apparently also exists in the Virginia region. She said that she would report the issue up her COX chain to TCM, and would even follow-up on it and send me an email letting me know the resolution status at her end.
One thing that came out of the last experience was the checking on the little "Open Lock" icon next to where the "Sign-In/Log-In" button should be.
When Right clicking on it and then Left clicking on the "Inspect Element" drop-down link, a page of Script opens up that one can examine. Clicking on a line of Script highlights the various portions of the Screen page. One line describes and highlights the little "Open-Lock" sprite, another "describes" the "Closed-Lock," and below that are lines listing the "Log-In" and "Log-Out" sprites, both of which are missing at my end, but were present and highlight-able for her.
Unfortunately, neither of us understood the TCM code, but there were several JS (Java Script) references.
Firefox stopped supporting Java in March 2017, but there have been at least two additional Firefox versions released since then, in April (ver. 53.0.0) and June (ver. 54.0.1) that I have downloaded, and both worked fine with TCM ON-DEMAND, so the unsupported Java should NOT be a factor with this present issue.
I experimented clicking a few things (i.e. debug) but nothing I tried would miraculously make the missing "Log-In" button reappear.
So what can I deduce from yesterdays efforts?
First, there are at least two somewhat different problems occurring between TCM and Firefox, with the end result being the same... Movies will no longer load and play. This problem is at least present in my area, and in Virginia (using Win 7, specifically), and based on another poster in Washington State (using a Mac). Based on reports from that poster and the COX support in my area, TCM ON-DEMAND movies can be presently accessed and played using Win 7, and Mac, with IE and Chrome browsers. But NOT using the safest and IMO the best browser currently available, from Mozilla.
This of course contradicts the outdated TCM ON-DEMAND spec requirements which specify and recommend the use of Firefox.
Today, I will update the latest version of Chrome and see it I can again view TCM ON-DEMAND movies. I don't trust Google, but if it works, I will use it exclusively for TCM ON-DEMAND only, and only until the current conflict with TCM & Firefox is resolved.
I will post back later with my results.
I have uploaded a few "screen shots" and highlighted my current ordeal.
Just to make clear, this issue affects the "Live" Streaming, as well as ALL ON-DEMAND movies, and in my case also inhibits the video portion of the intros, clips, and trailers (the audio still works for those only).
If anyone reading this post is familiar with Java Script code and would take the time to peruse those links (and lines of script), I (and perhaps some of the rest of us) would appreciate any enlightenment that could be provided.
If anyone else has the ability or any ideas or suggestions to trouble shoot this issue further than I already have, I (for one) would be extremely appreciative.
When these technical "problems" arise, it is painfully clear that we will get NO help at all from anyone at TCM, and minimal to no help from our internet providers.
If we don't help ourselves, and each other, then there will be no help at all.