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peter

by peter

What would it take to build an online TV service that regular people would use instead of cable or satellite?
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A few weeks ago I wrote that one of the things Apple might do if it wanted to sell an HDTV would be to offer some sort of online television service that could lure regular people away from cable and satellite. I didn't get too specific at the time, but I have some ideas about what a competitive online TV service might look like and figured I'd ask the gdgt community to share its thoughts as well.
Microsoft's new Xbox Live IPTV services are about as close as anyone seems to have gotten so far, but... Read more →
dave

by dave

Why are cable set top boxes so bad?
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This morning, I just took our Motorola DCT6412 (http://gdgt.com/motorola/dct6412/) into a local Comcast center to get it exchanged. It's been nothing but trouble since we received it a few months ago. Audio drop outs, pixelated video, frozen frames, and all sorts of other things that make playing back recorded shows nearly impossible to enjoy.
This brings up a question though -- why are set top boxes so universally horrible? Have you found a set top box from our cable provider that you actually...
dave

by dave

Why does our Comcast Motorola box often have pixelated video and audio drop outs?
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Every single time we play back a show we've recorded on our Comcast box, there are always a number of places where the audio drops out for a few seconds or that the video freezes and becomes pixelated. I have to look up what the model number is, but it's basically your standard grey Motorola box that Comcast has piles of. It's really annoying! Any ideas what could be going on? Potentially a bad hard drive? Should I just take this into a Comcast service center and ask for a new box?
dave

by dave

Who plays Comcast Roulette? (Or why does my Comcast bill fluctuate each month?)
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It's about that time of the month -- our Comcast bill should be arriving any day now. Sadly, I can never count on exactly what amount it seems to be. Our bill fluctuates each month by a few dollars. Does anyone know why this happens? How come it isn't consistant? I know exactly what my cell phone bill is each month. I know exactly what car insurance is. Even my public transit pass each month is the same. My cable bill? It looks like it rises and sinks with the stock market. So, what's going on?
dave

by dave

Comcast gave me an HD DVR box without HDMI. Should I be worried?
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We just had cable television through Comcast setup in our apartment this weekend. When signing up for the service, we requested an HD DVR box (psssh, obviously!). When they installed our service on Saturday afternoon, they brought a Motorola box that lacked an HDMI output. It was via component cables only. Is this sufficient for pushing 1080p content? Or are they ripping me off (they're charging me $8 / month to "rent" the box from them)?
dave

by dave

Why is Comcast cable internet so damn expensive?
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Awhile ago, we were getting both internet and cable television through Comcast for something like $120 / month. We decided to move to DISH Network for a number of reasons (one of which was a ridiculously great deal) but keep Comcast for internet since it was fast and worked mostly well. Anyway, the cost of our internet service through Comcast is now about $75 / month. We had a brief 6 month deal where it went down to $40 / month. Now it's back to $75. Why the heck is it so flipping... Read more →