As seen on TV

Will somebody please clock my brother upside the head? A few months ago, he FINALLY got an HDTV, and a pretty freaking huge one. Awesome! Except… well, he’s still got a SD receiver and is being a total pighead about trading it in. I don’t even think Time Warner officially supports SD cable boxes anymore. Even after pointing out the items on the bill (which is STILL in father’s name, WTF?!), my boneheaded brother thinks he’ll get charged more if he trades in his gear. WTF?!

Having done the switchup myself within the past year, I’ll once again tell how it went. I had an SD box for quite awhile and ended up having to trade in for an HD DVR (which, having looked over the pricing details, is pretty much the baseline regardless of whether or not you’re packing an HDTV, because Time Warner is awesome and gives you the HD channels for free) a few weeks before upgrading my actual TV and when we did the equipment switch, the clerk found out that mother was overpaying because we were still being charged under the old system instead of the newer package definitions. It also turns out that if you don’t trade in your SD cable box, you’re pretty much getting ripped off because you’re being charged for things you’re not getting, like the DVR service.

And it’s not like Robert even has to call in a tech to do the switch… hell, I recall the only time someone’s had to come over for stuff relating to my TV was when we first moved in here, and that was just to enable cable service for the entire house (drilling outlet holes and putting in the coax cables). All he’d have to do is exchange the box, do coax in and component out to the TV, then call that service number and press the option to reauthorize all the boxes.

But, alas… Robert is aggravatingly stubborn when it comes to simple things like this, and were it not for the fact that he’s also either too lazy or refuses to switch the cable service over to his name (and he really should, because in the long run if something happens he could get in a lot of trouble, there’s ID fraud risk associated with leaving it in father’s name) mother and I would have just done the switch for him while he was at work. Really, SD cable on a HDTV is, um… well, let’s just put it in WoW terms: It’s like a plate armor class wearing cloth armor. WHY would you go through all the trouble and expense to get an HDTV and, um, NOT use the HD part of it? WTF.

I’ll have to keep bopping him on the nose in WoW until he finally sees the light. :P

Speaking of Time Warner…

As awesome as they are right now, they could be even moreso, and could potentially get a lot more monies out of me if they could do two little things: sharing between DVRs and further expansion of their On Demand service :P

First off, we need to be able to share recorded stuff between DVRs. Parameters: I am not a cable tech, and my knowledge of networking is pretty basic, but I am pretty sure that these DVRs are capable of sensing others on the same line, and failing that, the current models DO have ethernet ports! While my taste in TV is, um… wildly divergent from the stuff mother and Evil Stepfather watch (for instance, I wouldn’t be caught dead watching any of those reality shows or American Idol. Gimme Simpsons, Law and Order and Countdown!), on the freak occasion they nab something that I may actually be interested in (and, of course, it just happens to be one of those things that’s only aired once), or I mention something I’ve seen and mother decides she wants to see it too. Back in the day, it used to be that you’d record stuff on VHS and pass those around… but as of, I think 2006 or so, we no longer have any working VCRs, so that’s out. The current workaround we have right now is the Slingboxes and Slingcatcher to log into a specific DVR to pull what we want off there, but because Evil Stepfather almost ALWAYS occupies mother’s DVR (lol sports), this is somewhat of an imperfect temp fix.

Verizon does the DVR sharing thing (can share between up to 3). Time Warner needs to make with some grand theft here. If they did this and offered it as an extra service, I would totally pay the difference. >_>;

It is also time for Time Warner to pull some Grand Theft Playstation Network/Xbox Live as far as its On Demand service goes. Currently, you can rent stuff for a 24 hour block. That’s nice… How about an option to BUY? I mean, we have DVRs, so it makes sense, yes? I can do this on my PS3 and Robert can do it on his Xbox… but this isn’t available on Time Warner’s own cable service? WTF?

I could easily boot up my PS3 and go buy up most, if not ALL my disaster flicks… but I would much rather have them on my DVR since that’s connected to my Slingbox. So, pretty please, Time Warner, let me buy movies on demand to store on my DVR and I will give you lots of money.

This would apply to both the regular On Demand and the Premium channel library access that you get with the movie channels (because the latter rotates out their selection roughly every 6 weeks). Yes, with the latter you can of course get around it by doing a cold recording… but it’s nice to have the option, especially since if you cold record movies off the movie channel you sometimes miss a minute or two or perhaps you just want a “clean” archive without the ads or mid-movie ad “bugs” and such that pop-up. I’d go for that!

And with that, time to tap Blastoise for some sweet Countdown loving. Yum~

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