If you’re a Rogers customer up here in Canada, then you may be familiar with Rogers Remote TV Manager service. Basically, the service allows you to control your Rogers PVR remotely. They have a web application to do this via your internet browser, but Rogers has also built smartphone applications for iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS to allow you to utilize the service through your smartphone.
If you’re an avid BlackBerry user however, then you have likely run across the “Service Not Available” issue that seems to plague many BlackBerry devices. If you’re not familiar with the issue, or not sure if it applies to you, the issue arises when you attempt to login to your My Rogers account using the Remote TV Manager application and you receive a “Service Not Available” error message.
How I figured it out
After some trial and error on my part, it seems to me that the root cause of this issue is related to Transport Layer Security (TLS). First, let me say that I have not verified this information with Rogers so my basic assumption may be wrong, but my solution does seem to work for the few users I’ve tested it with. It seems that Rogers utilizes TLS to verify and communicate with the TV Remote Manager application on your smartphone. If the TLS is intercepted or re-routed for any reason, this can cause the security to fail resulting in unexpected behaviour. I’ve been on the phone with BlackBerry and Rogers Cable support related to this matter – and trust me, they have no idea why it’s happening.
In my investigation, I noticed that most of the people complaining were using BlackBerry devices that were attached to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). I also noticed that many of the BES configurations result in a setting that would proxy the TLS traffic associated with the BlackBerry devices through the BES. So I tried a very simple solution – disabling TLS proxy! Guess what, it worked.
Disabling TLS Proxy
So how do you disable TLS proxy? That depends on which version of the BlackBerry OS you’re running. I can’t with absolute confidence tell you where the TLS settings are in your specific version, but typically it’s under Options somewhere. I’m sure you can dig it up or read your owner’s manual (you know, that thing you dumped in the garbage the day you bought your device). Here are the instructions as they have worked for me:
For BlackBerry OS5 (and presumably earlier):
- Go to Options > Security Options > Advance Security Options> TLS
- Change TLS default from “Proxy” to “Handheld”
- Save changes
For Blackberry OS6 & OS7
- Go to Options> Security > Advanced Security Settings > TLS
- Under Proxy TLS uncheck “Enabled”
- Save changes
And Voila! Go back into your Rogers Remote TV Manager application and try it again. Odds are it will work. If for some reason it doesn’t, then hard reset (battery pull) your BlackBerry and try one more time. If it still doesn’t work, write me and we’ll try to fix it together.
Disclaimer: I’m not sure what effect disabling the TLS proxy will have on your corporate applications or intranet network access. My tests showed no negative impact but just in case, if things stop working for you, then re-enable this setting and let me know.