Craptastic

I dislike comcast, quite a bit. I was their customers years and years ago, well about 6 years ago. They had horrible customer service and never lived up to their speeds when I was with them when it came to internet. It was a no brainer to pick ATT for our internet service… that is until we realized that they deliver the service via DSL and not cable. I will not bore you with the details of the technologies, but DSL depending on your location can suck. We decided to deal with the DSL and so far it has performed well enough and the speeds are not all that bad. The bad part is that we do not have the capability of getting their Uverse service which lets you pretty much set up a little home network and share a DVR between all of your TVs.

With reservation we decided to give Comcast a call to see what they offered and when it was all said and done our first bill for just two TVs was going to be over 150 bucks. That was not their bundle with everything, that was just for plain old cable service with an HD DVR for one TV and a regular set top box for the second TV. Even if I dial it down to just getting one TV with digital signal for HD and a DVR they still want way too much money every month since everything is “rented.”

So I have been looking at alternative and TiVo now is its own company not associated with DirectTV any longer, but for their HD offering they want $300 bucks plus a $15 dollar monthly fee. Other non subscription alternatives are still $300 bucks.

Direct TV is not an option, nor are other providers (there is one I know of) because the condo association only allows comcast since the lines are already in.

We got the little converter box and a good antenna and started getting HD reception like a champ, until we realized that CBS does not have a strong signal. This is frustrating because I actually don’t watch much TV anymore, but Heroes and The Big Bang Theory which are the shows that I do like to watch are both in that channel.

I thought technology was supposed to move forward, why am I still dealing with bunny ear antennas and transmitter positioning?

Looking at my stacks of blank DVDs I figured, well the technology is there for DVDs to be used like VHS (set the time) type of recorders right. Sure they are, but a good unit is still over $200 bucks if you want it to have a tuner.

I could build a PC to take care of everything, there is even a Linux distro that is not all that bad to set up, but I would still be spending about 200 bucks for really good hardware with a sizeable hard drive and good TV tuner card.

I am almost ready to break down and get comcast, but they are a horrible company. We signed up our new number for the Do Not Contact list, but we are still getting telemarketers. Out of 10 calls in the caller ID, 5 are from comcast. If you have any ideas, I all ears.

6 Responses to Craptastic

  1. Heroes is on NBC.

    Federal Law prohibits owners from banning you from putting up satellite dishes. It’s 100% legal for you to put up a satellite dish, as long as you are NOT damaging the property. They can’t tell you not too. You can find a copy of the law at Directv.com or I’ll get you a copy tonight.

    I’ll tell you how I did it when I lived in St. Louis.

    This kind of stuff is a huge pet peeve of mine. I check this kind of stuff out before I ask how the price.

  2. Is The Big Bang Theory on Hulu? I would rather go to bars or watch on my computer than get Comcast.

  3. *sigh* Yeah, we’re stuck with Craptastic ourselves. Fortunately, our Internet is really fast and we have WiFi. We got the DVR and only have 1 TV.

    However, pretty much all the Blockbusters around us have closed and On Demand sucks as far as selections go. We had trouble with CBS ’til we finally got cable, but from time to time it’s wonky but doesn’t freeze like before. The one good thing on On Demand is that most of our shows are on CBS and they offer them for free with just a few commercials for other CBS shows.

    We live in an apartment building and although some of our neighbors have put up dishes for Direct TV or Dish Network or whatever, we have no plans to stay here long enough to be worth it.

  4. I know D, if I really want to set up a dish I would. But where the condo is positioned there is really no good place to place the dish. I had a dish in an apartment complex before and put it on a cement filled bucket of my own construction. Besides it being a pain in the winter if it moved it worked fairly well. I guess I am just spoiled from having choices and now having to be tied up to either getting comcast or not being able to watch shows live.

  5. We have been held hostage by Time Warner for a while. Queentuffy would like to switch to AT&T Uverse. I’m hesitant as usual. I miss SureWest.

  6. Yeah it’s tough when it comes to this kinda stuff. I got rid of Satellite a year ago and have managed to be satisfied without the 60+ bill. I hit Hulu for most my stuff. I know Netflix has a few series that they have kept up on for streaming. CBS, however, is one that is really not embracing it like they should. One episode up at a time? Give me a break. I did resort to torrents on a few shows, and guess what network they are from? CBS, How I met Your Mother.
    I would say fill your geek needs with a PC PVR but if you aren’t getting good signal then that doesn’t help all that much. Comcast, eh, I wouldn’t.
    You should try seeing what you can get from streaming and then see if you can’t torrent the rest, if you are comfortable with that. Then buy a small box to play them to the tv.
    Maybe try the Roku XR box and do Amazon VOD. May get a little pricey if you can’t get other streaming sources. The XR has a mysterious USB on it that may allow a usb drive with videos to be played with it :)
    Now I am getting depressed thinking of all this. You’re right, we are almost in 2010 and the technology is there, give it to us simply!

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