February 1st, 2009


Qwest/DirecTV update

So... for the next three months, we'll have TV and Internet for about $50/month less than we're paying now via the cable company. After that, for nine months about $23/month less, and after that about the same.

OK, same unless you consider that we'll get 20 Mb/s download rather than 8, vastly more TV channels than before, and vastly more HD channels than Mediacom offers now, and an HD DVR.

If Mediacom had service like my sister down in Oklahoma gets from Cox Cable, this wouldn't have happened. (The guy in the Qwest kiosk at Valley West Mall assured me that they are very grateful that Mediacom has the cable franchise here.)

The only thing is that we'd better get an ATSC TV by the date of the DirecTV install. See, I've been working in the field of digital TV for, um, a bit over three years. Guess what I don't have in my abode? Shoemaker's children and all that. And while there are low-end ATSC TVs that use CRTs and have the 4:3 aspect ratio, I don't want one of them--I don't want letterboxing or parts of the image chopped off. But that, in turn, means that the clunky "entertainment center" that I've had lo, these many years won't cut it for a 16:9 TV of a reasonable size for the room, so out it gets to go and in its place comes one of those short devices that TVs sit atop rather than being fit into a space and surrounded by cubbyholes for tapes, vinyl, and so forth. Sigh...lots of schleppage to do. I'm hoping that whoever we get the TV from will deliver it and haul off the old TV for recycling. It's not like millions of people won't be trying to get rid of their NTSC TVs too, so I doubt I can even give it away.

UPDATE: it looks like the displays are tolerant of being viewed from somewhat below as well as from somewhat to the side, so we won't replace the "entertainment center", at least not at first. If we wind up getting neck strain from looking up, that may change.
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