Musings from Home

First off, let me assure you this is not a political post, so you don’t have to get your guard up about what I’m going to say. 🙂

At the beginning of the year, Jim and I began to receive mail, phone calls, you name it from our cable company warning us that changes were coming by a certain date (I believe it was sometime in March). We were told we had to either have HD TVs or rent cable boxes from the cable company to upgrade them for this new-and-improved service.

We largely ignored the notifications, partly because we believed that all but one of our TVs would meet the standard without a box (the TV in our living room is a total dinosaur, but we weren’t too worried about it), and partly because time just got away from us and it wasn’t our biggest priority.

The change over date arrived and suddenly we, and apparently many others if the line at the cable company the next day was any indication, found ourselves with TV reception on only a handful of stations on all of our TVs. Grrrr. So much for most of our TVs being modern.

Well, we couldn’t grumble too much. We were warned; we just didn’t listen. So Jim went down to the cable company, waited in a very long line, and then came home with cable boxes for every single one of our TVs. Cable boxes, really, in 2012? I couldn’t help but flash back to my very first apartment in college in 1986. And let me tell you cable boxes haven’t changed that much in 25+ years. But, OK, if we’ll get better service and more stations (although honestly we only watch a few stations, and not too regularly either).

Here’s the kicker: The service isn’t better. In fact, it’s much slower than it was before. Each channel change takes a few seconds to register (UGH!) AND we now have many fewer stations that actually work. For many of them (our fave HGTV included), we get a “We’ve detected an interruption in your service. This station should be available shortly” message. “Shortly” hasn’t come yet and we’re several weeks into the new service.

We’re tempted to take the boxes off and go back to the “primitive” service, which would take out some of the stations we now get, but may restore some that we don’t. We haven’t decided yet. As I said, we don’t watch a whole lot of TV (although I do miss my House Hunters and the like on HGTV) and we won’t be here much longer. So once again, we’ve let it slip to the bottom of our priority list. But it’s still annoying. Cable progress, no thanks. I’d rather stay in 2012, with the service the way it was before they “improved” it.

Have any of you had this experience? Do you have “improved” cable service from your same old provider and does it indeed work better or is it much worse (even archaic) like ours?

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Comments on: "Backstepping in the Name of Progress" (1)

  1. I got them to mail us a box, which meant going without tv for a few days. Not a big deal, as we have the basic, basic package, which gets us just the networks, for $10/month. When it arrived and we set it up, there were issues. My husband ran over to their office, the gal working there said the wrong code had been entered into the box, gave him a new one and sent him off. (She also said the wrong code was a standard problem. She saw that several times a day.). He brought it home and had a hard time getting to it to work. We were told we’d have to pay for a service call. After threatening to cancel cable, they said they’d send someone out to check the line. Turns out it was the line that was messed up.

    I’d call them, threaten to cancel and have them send someone out. The delay in channels is standard with the digital service. Our upstairs TV doesn’t have cable, but does have the digital box and that does the same thing. Welcome to the future.

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