Empowering change empowering Tech

We have had Comcast for Digital Cable with HDTV, Digital Video Recorder, Internet and Voice for about 6 months and have been able to review all the services in quite some detail. I have tried to summarize some of the key findings in a few paragraphs and I hope they help you make your own decision.

The best thing about this service is that it does not require a contract. You can cancel your subscription at any time if you don’t like the service.

Digital cable, HDTV and DVR

In general, the channel selection is very good. HD channel selection continues to improve. Comcast used to have relatively few HDTV options; the main networks, HD Theater, PBS, ESPN and INHD and some more. However, recently (I would say November 2007 or around that time) they have added a ton more. They include high definition versions of HGTV, A&E and TNT, just to name a few. The image quality of the HD channels is excellent (resolution up to 1080i), and I must say that the overall quality is very good. This is probably even less than Direct TV, which advertises that it currently has 85 HD channels.

The cable box is good, except for a few annoying problems. The most important is that sometimes it gets slow: the channels don’t change, the box doesn’t respond, until all of a sudden it “catches up” and executes all its commands at once. It’s definitely a hassle, but it’s something we’ve gotten used to.

Another problem is that the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) does not always have the correct information. For example, it will not always indicate that an episode of a show is not new, and this can cause problems with your DVR, especially if you have set it to record “new episodes only”. However, the DVR in general is great. You can record both standard definition and HD programs. HD shows take up more space, around 4-5 times more than regular shows, so actually an 80 hour DVR is more like a 15-20 hour DVR for HD shows.

The DVR has the ability to change your TV viewing habits. The ability to skip ads is fantastic. Here’s a tip; set the program you want to watch to record. Then while you’re still recording, start watching it about 10-15 minutes later. Yes, you can watch the show while it is recording! This way you can skip the ads … a 1 hour show actually only lasts about 40 minutes! You are actually saving time by using the DVR, a great selling point for spouse approval;)! One more thing: the DVR box has 2 tuners; You can record 1 channel while watching another.

By the way, some users have experienced cable box setup problems, particularly for high definition. Here is a good description of what to look for.

Bandwidth Internet

Internet service is generally very good and reliable. DSLReports shows that we have a download speed of 4925 Kbps and an upload speed of 2156 Kbps, with a latency of 36 ms. (This is while accessing the Internet wirelessly.) This is fast, especially compared to DSL that I had for 5 years before switching to Comcast. We regularly download movies, music, software, watch online trailers and so on without a hitch. In terms of reliability, we never experienced an outage in the last 6 months since we had service.

Digital voice (VOIP)

I was very surprised by Digital Voice. The quality of the voice is truly amazing; I’d say it’s a lot better than our regular phone service here in the Bay Area. Long distance calls, caller ID, voicemail, and other services are included free of charge. (We’ve never had a caller ID before, and I have to say it’s really useful, you can tell when telemarketers are calling!) I was worried about “what happens when the power goes out?”, And “does 911 work? ? ” “The answer to the first question is that the box that Comcast installs has a battery backup, so it is protected against power outages. The second is that yes, 911 service works, so it is protected there, too.


So what is my conclusion? I’d say Comcast Triple Play is good value for money. More. There is no contract, so you can try it and then cancel it if you don’t like it. I also found this ordering link that gives you up to $ 200 cash back if you order Triple Play (tried it and got the money back!), So you can try it risk-free!

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