Category: Television


I recently switched my home phone service to Ooma, which has been running amazingly well, and the big kicker is no monthly bill.

So naturally, I expected the cancellation of my Verizon phone service to be a huge hassle. After 30 minutes on hold, I was shocked to learn that my land line was on 2 year contract like a cell phone. Verizon wanted $199 to cancel my home phone.

After the initial, WTF, the customer service rep was able to get my plan setup so I got upgraded (20 mpbs down/5mpbs up) Internet and more TV channels with no phone, for $30 less per month than my existing bill. With this setup, the Ooma will have paid for itself in 7 months.

In case you needed another reason to run away from Comcast, they are now reducing the quality of their HDTV feeds in order to increase capacity.

From a corporate perspective, Verizon is just as evil and inept as Comcast, but their technology and infrastructure is far superior. I’ve enjoyed having FIOS Internet for over a year. 15mbps downsteam and 2mbps upstream with 99% uptime. We switched our TV and phone service as soon as it was available. 100% uptime, with a noticeable increase in picture quality.

Dealing with Verizon is no picnic. The install process is complex, and the quality level of their techs varies highly. Once your setup is complete, its painless. The quality level and reliability is unbeatable.

There is no way Comcast can even compete, without making major infrastructure investments. Right now, Comast just seems to be in the denial phase.

A picture of McCains conflicting media statements concerning the iraq war.

Saddam Hussein did not have WMD’s, but lets assume for a minute he did, the war would still be completely unnecessary. Even if the war turned out to be a complete cakewalk (which it was not), it would still be unnecessary. Iraq was never a grave security threat to the United States.

Even with his reckless judgment concerning the Iraq war, I think John McCain is still the best Republican candidate. Bottom line, I will never trust the judgment of any politician who supported the Iraq war. As a former McCain supporter/donor, I will never vote for him.

Barack Obama was against the war from the beginning(like me); its one of the many reasons why I’m supporting Obama in 2008.

I’m not a Michael Moore fan, but I went and saw Sicko over the weekend, and I was pretty impressed. I’ve held the opinion for a long time that our health care system is completely broken, and we need to look across the pond to Europe for ways to fix it.

In the video below, Michael Moore does a great job sticking it to Wolf Blitzer. I haven’t watched cable news regularly for about five years, but its amazing how bad TV news has become. Its hard to believe, but a decade ago CNN had a lot of credibility. Today, CNN is no better than Fox News.

Its looks like Tivo is now going to institute one year service contacts. This news comes just a few days after the integration of DRM with the latest software update.

According to the new service agreement, any TiVo activated after September 6 will require a 12-month commitment. Those who cancel before the end of their contract, will be forced to pay a $150 early termination fee.

So you can now buy a box for $50 with a $150 dollar mail-in rebate and you will be locked in to a one year agreement for $13/month. First off, I simply refuse to buy anything with mail-in rebates. If you want to discount a product, do it directly! I don’t have the time or motivation to fill out a bunch of forms and wait 6 months to receive a check. The concept of “jump threw a few hoops and we will eventually send you a check” makes my stomach turn.

Secondly, how the hell are these recent moves helping Tivo? Instead of focusing on their customers, they’ve decided to spend more time courting content providers and coming up with pricing schemes and shady contracts that reak of the type of trickery cell phone companies use. To the folks at Tivo I ask, do you like your cell phone company? Most people I know absolutely hate their cell phone company.

Whats really surprising is that they are pushing all of these anti-consumer moves in an industry that has become ultra-competitive with service providers sporting their own PVR offerings.

What should TIVO be doing at this time? How about trying to innovate? They are selling a piece of hardware that was developed 4 years ago. I’ve refused to get a motorola HD PVR from Comcast in the hope that Tivo will introduce an HDTV standalone model. Tivo’s recent moves are really trying my patience, I might be better off calling Comcast, selling my Tivo on ebay (lifetime subscription), and hoping that the Comcast/Tivo partnership leads to a device offering relatively soon.