Items tagged with cable

We learned last week that Verizon would be updating its FiOS TV service to give customers a lot more freedom with regards to their channel selection, and we followed-up over the weekend about ESPN's immediate objection to the move. Despite ESPN's objections, FiOS Custom TV is now open to Verizon customers. Isn't business fun? To be fair to ESPN, a contract is a contract, and as outsiders, it's hard or impossible to tell if Verizon is in fact breaking an agreement. Nonetheless, the move Verizon has made is a good one. I wouldn't go to the extent of calling it "great" quite yet, as there are quite... Read more...
If you have an opinion that many would deem illogical, what do you do? You go find other people who think just as illogically, of course. Power in numbers, as they say. That can go for a sibling battling with another sibling over who took the last of the cupcakes just as well as it can for mega corporations like Comcast which argue that a monopoly is a good thing. Comcast's desire to absorb Time Warner Cable has been a hugely debated topic, with many believing it'd harm innovation and work against consumers, while others -- those on Comcast's side -- state the exact opposite. I say if you have... Read more...
Charter Communications this week said it's planning to acquire Bright House Networks, the sixth largest cable company in the U.S., for $10.4 billion. However, there are several contingencies, one of the biggest of which is government approval for rival Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable, as Charter has a vested interest in the side deal. If Comcast is able to buy TWC, it has agreed to shed 1.4 million subscribers to Charter in exchange for $7.3 billion to help nudge regulators to approve the deal. Comcast said it would also divest 2.5 million subscribers as part of a spinoff into a... Read more...
In a perfect world, none of us would have to call customer service, but alas, the world is far from perfect. And so too is the customer service we're talking about. No one likes having to deal with the hassle of ringing up customer service for help or a request, but that dislike gets amplified when the company behind this customer service is a cable or Internet provider. Unless you've somehow managed to avoid the Internet these past few years, you're probably well aware of the enormous number of horror stories that have stemmed from the customer service departments of companies like Comcast and... Read more...
Comcast is not exactly a well-liked company in the United States, and that’s putting it nicely. In fact, Consumerist readers ranked Comcast as the Worst Company In America for 2014 (making it two-time winner… err loser). As Comcast ratchets up its lobbying efforts to win approval for its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the unnerving shadiness of the company continues to emanate from its pores.The latest chapter in the Comcast saga comes to us courtesy of consumer advocate Christopher Elliot. He details the story of Lisa Brown, who had a nasty run in with the company. After her family was experiencing... Read more...
President Barack Obama's first order of business this week was to post an open letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify Internet service as a utility and implement strong rules in favor of net neutrality, such as disallowing the rental of premium fast lanes and banning the practice of throttling. But while it's nice to have the President in your corner on important issues like net neutrality, it's come to light that politicians on both sides of the aisle received a combined sum of more than $8 million in campaign contributions from big cable companies in the 2014... Read more...
Samsung just came up with a solution for those times when you need a quick charge but there's no power outlet in sight. Using the company's new Power Sharing cable, you can transfer power directly from your Galaxy device to any micro USB-compatible gadget, like a smartwatch or a tablet, to name just two examples. "The new Power Sharing cable gives multi-device users a versatile way to charge their devices -- it lets users share the power of their Galaxy battery with either their own devices or a friend's no matter where they are," Samsung says. Samsung's cable is able to suck the battery life from... Read more...
For the first time in the history of everything, cable TV providers now have more high speed Internet subscribers than pay TV customers, according to data gathered by Leichtman Research Group. The gap is narrow -- there were 49,915,000 broadband subscribers at the end of the second quarter in 2014 versus around 49,910,000 cable TV customers -- but it's important to note nonetheless. Hollywood studios and premium television networks have been fighting the push to streaming delivery by insisting on antiquated business models and fees that made sense before companies like Netflix and Hulu existed.... Read more...
Try to imagine the amount of power four giant-sized nuclear reactors would put out if running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Quite a bit, right? Well, it just so happens that set-top boxes for cable and satellite TV put out the same amount. Not yours alone, mind you -- but collectively, the 224 million cable and satellite set-top boxes around the world consume the same amount of electricity. So says a report in the Los Angeles Times that calls attention to these unassuming power hogs. Outside of air conditioning, they're now the single biggest energy hog in many homes. Part of the reason is because... Read more...
As Computex marches on over in Taiwan, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced the proper release of the DockPort standard. VESA, as you're likely aware, is the team behind those mounting plates that enable you to hoist monitors and HDTVs up on your wall using uniform standards, but it's also responsible for certain interconnect standards. DockPort is an optional extension of the DisplayPort standard that will allow USB 3.1 data and DC power for battery charging to be carried over a single DisplayPort connector and cable that also carries high-resolution audio/video (A/V)... Read more...
No need to brace yourself for this one, but in case you were wondering, Americans are typically dissatisfied with their cable and Internet service providers (ISPs). That won't be shocking to most, but lest there was any doubt, numbers from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index show that cable companies and ISPs are doing a poor job keeping their customers happy. The survey pings users for their experience regarding picture quality; high definition picture quality; ease of use of remote controls, cable boxes, and onscreen menus; interactions with the call center; and other topics that can make... Read more...
Who would have thought that a cable box might provide the biggest competition yet to dedicated consoles like Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation 4, and Nintendo's Wii U systems? As unlikely as that might sound, Comcast is reportedly close to striking a deal with Electronic Arts that would allow customers to purchase and play games through its cloud-based X1 cable box. News of the impending deal comes from Reuters and its "five sources briefed on the plans." The sources say Comcast and EA have been testing the service for the past two years and are now close to inking a deal to stream games... Read more...
The future of television is upon us. With pay-TV transforming, slowly but surely, service providers have little choice but to come to grips with the realities surrounding their business. More and more individuals are growing up on a steady entertainment diet of Netflix and YouTube, and once they grab jobs and own homes, they aren't as likely to pull the trigger on cable as their parents were. Now, a handful of smaller pay-TV companies are planning to bake Netflix into their offerings, and it could trigger a domino effect that'll sweep across the industry. Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications... Read more...
If you think most Americans are too uneducated about technology to know a scam when they see it, think again. As the world of data caps have crushed the spirits of many home Internet users, Time Warner Cable had been experimenting with a pricing scheme that would lower bills of its broadband customers in exchange for even lower data caps. The deal was as such: those who would agree to a 30GB monthly data cap (as opposed to well over 200GB in a usual plan) would receive a $5 discount per month. All told, that's a $60 savings per year, but even those offered weren't enticed. At the Deutsche Bank... Read more...
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