comcast cable tv upgrade

So, I finally made an impulsive move and called up Comcast to get an expanded cable TV package. I got an ad in the mail yesterday (addressed specifically to me, interesting) from them offering Digital Cable with HD for only $25 for 6 months. I thought that was a pretty spanky deal (certainly less than their bundled crap), so I called em up. The only hidden fees were a $13 installation fee for the guy to come out, and the HDTV box is gonna cost me $7 a month to rent. Still, I’ve been wanting to check out their HD selection for a while now, and in fact was planning on calling them for the past month or so, but never got around to it. For HD programming, I’ve actually done my research and decided that Dish Network is the best one to go with (Comcast is too expensive, and DirecTV are crooks). I haven’t gotten around to calling them yet though … so I guess I’ll give Comcast a spin first.

I’ve been going with Digital Basic or whatever it’s called for the longest time. That in itself is an incredible deal — its only $12.95 a month, and I get all my local channels, plus 5 HD channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, KUED, FOX), plus Discovery Channel and Travel Channel, BYU TV and a few other cable channels that I’d never watch (C-SPAN, some shopping network, TV Land). I used to get Hallmark Channel as well, which I really loved because they would show stuff like Matlock and Perry Mason all the time, but one day it just disappeared. That’s probably the main reason I want cable again, I really enjoyed having that channel.

If you do want the most basic lineup though you’ll have to call them up and ask for it specifically. I don’t think it’s listed on the website anywhere, and of course when you call they’ll try to talk you out of it, but it’s worth it. Plus you still get the $10 discount a month for having cable internet with them. Not too bad.

Anyway, I haven’t had expanded cable TV for a long time. I wonder if the box is gonna come with a DVR or not. They’re coming out Friday to install it, so I guess we’ll see.


Filed under Multimedia

3 responses to “comcast cable tv upgrade

  1. Hans

    We had Dish a couple years back, and my Grandparents have it now. My parents have Bresnan cable which is apparently the comcast rebrand out in Vernal. Let me tell you, there is a DRAMATIC difference between their DVR offerings.

    In short, I love the DVR with dish. I find the Bresnan DVR to be disappointing at best. Here’s a few examples—not a full review by any means but hopefully enough to give you an idea.

    Dish’s remote is a thing of beauty. There’s a jump forward button (30 seconds I think), and a jump backward button (10 seconds I think). This asymmetric jump setup is amazing. You skip through the commercials in 6 or so presses, which usually puts you a few seconds into the show. Then you hit the jump back button once and you’re within moments of right where you want to be.

    Bresnan’s remote is a mess, and (worst of all) there’s no jump forward button. There’s a jump back button, but not a jump forward button. Do you think this is an accident? Hardly. They want you to trudge through the commercials in regular fast forward. Ironically, I think, I watched and noticed more commercials with dish than I do with cable, because with dish you are stopping and paying brief attention every 30 seconds (i.e. every commercial), but with bresnan you’re just watching a blur hoping to pick up a visual cue that your show is back on. I was happier too. So cable’s focus on the advertiser dollar and not the customer does a disservice to both.

    Dish’s guide and DVR system are, again, a thing of beauty. I liked it when I had it, but they’ve improved it greatly even so. Now, when you push record, you have the option to record just this, every instance, or (and this is the new part) every *new* episode. There’s a lot of little things—you can tell they put thought into it. Cable on the other hand, is obviously a minimal effort design. It works, barely. There’s a big ad on the bottom of the screen, that steals cursor focus whenever it can get away with it. There’s a lot of little things that make the experience disappointing. To me, the difference is night and day in favor of Dish. DIsh ain’t perfect, but in the absence of an open system it’s by far the best I’ve seen, though my experience is limited to those two. I haven’t tried myth, really, nor TiVo, so I can’t say if it’s the clear winner in DVR land, but it sure beats cable.

  2. I also have Dish DVR and it is an awesome DVR. Very easy to use, without reading documentation.

    However, I just got a new HD TV and I am wondering if I should sign-up with a different service so that I can take advantage of the introductory pricing.

    Let us know how Comcast HD goes, what the DVR is like, and the channel selection.


  3. James Folsom

    If you do a little research, you will find that you can re-program your remote (or get a a fancier programmable remote) to map a 30 second skip button. I can’t remember, where I looked because I programmed mine over a year ago, and promptly forgot how. For that matter bresnan remotes can be reprogrammed and remapped however you like.

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