A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Bumpy Journey Into High Definition

We got a new HD TV for Christmas! I'm so happy. Well, I was happy until I realized that I had to replace my new Tivo dual tuner with a $500 HD-friendly Tivo device to handle the signal. And now that pricy new Tivo HDXL has an issue. I'm curious if anyone else has had this experience as well. When I pause a show, click the Tivo button, then return to Live TV, I hear a rapid machine gun rat-a-tat-a-tat sound from the tv speakers until I hit Play on the Tivo remote. Tivo technical support told me they'd never seen/heard this problem before and suggested I exchange it. After all, this little glitch might only be the beginning of woes. So I gave up all of the channel set up and wireless networking and Season Passing I'd done for the past two days and returned the box to Best Buy. After it is all said and done, though, the new one does the very same thing. So, is this a glitch in the programming of all these devices and there will be a general recall? Or am I just unlucky in my choice of boxes off the shelf? Maybe my two Tivos were made by Oscar the Grouch's angry uncle? I'm ever so confident that Cablevision and Tivo will take care of my issue, no matter how long it takes. After all, this has been the only drawback (so far) to my move into high definition television. I'm excited to be joining my neighbors who have those bigscreen tv glows radiating through their living room curtains in the evening.

Let me talk a bit about my Cablevision experience. I have to say that Cablevision's customer support and installers have been polite and efficient and I've only had to wait a day or two for appointments.  We'll be having our third visit from a technician, though, so it might be turning into too much of a good thing. The second visit was the installers fault -- he didn't give us a tuner adapter that Tivo required as part of the set up, so he had to come back. Now he has to come back to validate that tuner adapter because we got a new Tivo. I'm sure he'll be as excited to return as I will be to see him again.

Cablevision's phone system took me on a merry chase the other day, putting me into an insidious loop of entering my phone number and choosing whether or not to listen once again to the HGTV/Food Network explanation, only to be asked again to enter my phone number.

I'm not quite sure why the Cablevision phone system can recognize my phone number and still not know that I have an account with them. In another city, Time Warner recognized its callers and directed them accordingly.

It would be helpful if the phone system offered the address and phone of our nearby Optimum store. We needed the address for our GPS to locate the store, so we had to go home and use our PC because 411 Information had no record of the address of the store and Cablevision's phone system provides no choice to get the store's address.

The current battle between Cablevision and HGTV/Food Network is wearing on my nerves. I can't decide whom I hate more when I hear their partisan public notices. They remind me of last fall's electioneering. I hope they don't expect to visit or kiss my baby. I guess I'll support Cablevision in this struggle for now, as they say they want to keep my rates from going up. (It's never phased them in the past, so I'm not sure that is a campaign promise or just an outright lie.) They are claiming that a $20 million bounce in the annual contract for these two networks is in the offing.

Hopefully we'll be speeding down the HD highway by Sunday afternoon.


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