Monday, November 12, 2007

Cable Fable

I was a happy DirecTV customer for about 6 years. I had a dual-tuner DirecTV Tivo and it was the shizzle. Unfotunately, DirecTV no longer supports Tivo; they force you to use their custom DVR. I have a Tivo blanket at home. I have a stuffed Tivo toy. I wear a Tivo lanyard all day at work. I want Tivo, not some generic knock-off. So I switched to cable TV.

For the past 3 months, I had a problem where one of the new tuners would drop a few channels from time to time. It was rare, maybe once every 2-3 weeks. But I finally called the cable company to fix it. A guy came out with a new tuner card but couldn't tell which one was bad so he said he'd have to come back with 2 tuner cards and replace them both.

A few days later, a different guy came and replaced both cards. But there was a problem with the authorization and I couldn't get any HD channels on that tuner.

A few days after that, another cable guy came out. This time he had someone else with him. About 10 minutes after they arrived, TWO MORE cable guys appeared. So now I had four people from the cable company in my living room for 45 minutes and they couldn't get it to work.

Yesterday, yet another 2 people showed up, swapped out a card, and now I get all of the channels I'm supposed to. However, even though my "signal strength" reads a very healthy 95, about once every 2 minutes the picture breaks up with a small digital hit. (I used to get some noise only once every couple of hours, if not less.) It drives me crazy, because it happens so regularly that I actually find myself anticipating the next hit. It's very distracting.

I don't want to go back to DirecTV. My Tivo is a GREAT DVR (300 hours of storage built in) and I don't want to leave it. But that locks me into cable. Do I dare call up the cable company yet again and risk them screwing it up more?

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