Xfinity X1 upgrade at home

My community recently upgraded to Xfinity X1 and man is it sweet.  I was pretty much stuck in the analog age up until this past December.  Even though my TV’s used digital cable from Comcast, I didn’t actually have any HD channels so my shows weren’t as sharp or things on the screen were cut off.  I guess they recently negotiated a better package for us so that meant HD awesomeness for me!

Another benefit that was realized was 25mbps internet was now free too!  I was being killed by Comcast to the tune of $56 a month for the same service and now it was included with my association fees, talk about cost savings goodness.  Another new benefit is that I now have HBO!  I was able to binge watch all of Westworld off the Xfinity TV app and set up some shows for recording.  Oh that’s right, I have a DVR again!  It’s so awesome since I can record and watch shows while on the road.  This has allowed me to keep up with my TV shows that I would have normally missed during the week.

At the same time I went ahead and signed up for VoIP through Comcast.  I was able to save another $14 a month by doing that while getting the ability to see who’s calling on my TV and my cell phone.  Xfinity Connect isn’t working on my phone where I can listen to voicemail or make calls from my iPhone with it looking like I’m calling or answering from home.  That solves a problem I had in that the gate guard couldn’t reach me half the time since we get so much trash through the land line.  Now I have caller ID so we can easily make the decision to answer or not.

This upgrade has been pretty awesome, I like being able to do a lot more when away from home for work and I can give out my home phone number instead of my cell or my Google Voice number.  Now if only that damn Xfinity Connect app would work correctly, then everything would be perfect!

Netflix Original Content is Quite Good

This weekend I started watching House of Cards which is a Netflix exclusive show, much like Lilyhammer which I just finished a few months ago. I have to admit that the show is very good and in only 2 days I’ve already gone through 6 episodes which is a lot for me in only one weekend. I won’t delve into a review of the plot or acting since I’m not good at deciphering that sort of thing. There are tons of shows and movies that I consider awesome but that the general public probably thinks is trash.

Anyway, I think Netflix is on to a good model for the future. They remind me of when I started watching HBO for The Soprano’s. I was glad at the time that the community where I lived provided HBO but it would have been very compelling to pay for HBO to continue to watch The Soprano’s. I like the Netflix model a little better than HBO. They release entire seasons for their original content so I don’t have to wait to see the next episode like regular TV. I was able to get through Lilyhammer in a couple of weeks and I’m almost half way through House of Cards.

I hope that Netflix continues to generate great content like the first two shows they produced. That will definitely get more people on board with the service and they might even forget the silly notion they had a year ago of splitting the DVD and Streaming services and increasing the prices at the same time.

World Cup Coverage is Excellent!

I have to say that the coverage offered for the 2010 World Cup is outstanding.  I have never seen so many ways to get World Cup coverage ever.  I used to only catch games on TV when I could and a lot of the time the World Cup was playing at a time when I wasn’t even awake.  Seeing re-runs of games just isn’t the same as seeing it live since most news outlets already have the results and highlights of games.  I give big kudos to ESPN and ABC for providing coverage on TV and the internet.  The internet part is definitely awesome since its all live streaming on ESPN3.  The video quality is really good too since I tested it on my computer here at home.  There is even an iPhone app from ESPN to track the World Cup games for stories, scores, and my favorite teams.  The fans are the true winners in this scenario since there should be little excuse not to get updates on World Cup unless you’re living in a hole somewhere.

I’m sure Disney is making a killing on commercial fees while this event is going on (ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney and that was probably a smart move too considering how much us in America love our sports coverage).  The preliminaries are almost done with Team USA on top of Group C.  I can’t wait for the finals to start!  It’ll be exciting this year.  Too bad this event only takes place every four years.

You Suck Comcast!

I am really starting to dislike Comcast lately because they keep on deleting channels from analog cable.  I don’t think I agree with the whole switch to digital deal.  I’ll admit that HD TV is pretty cool looking but its not a necessity for me.  The latest change from the people at Comcast was to move Cartoon Network to their digital only offering and remove it from their analog line up.  Thats a bunch of bull crap right there.  I like watching Adult Swim in the late evening for Family Guy and some other programs that aren’t offered during the day.  By removing it, Comcast has removed a whole chunk of my late night programming while I’m at home on the weekends.

I don’t get why they are making this sort of change, but I do know that it totally sucks!  If I had a choice I would use a different service but there is no way I’m paying for 4 cable boxes for my home.  It’s just one more thing to add to my stack of bills.  BOO to you Comcast!

Skipping the VMA’s again…. For the US Open

This year I decided once again to skip watching the MTV VMA’s. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and losing interest or if the show is getting worse year after year….. I will go with option 2 for this post.

Even before the VMA’s started I already lost interest due to the host that they chose. He hosted the VMA’s last year and man did he suck, why they brought him back is beyond me. I did Tivo the awards but it’s more to see the musical acts than to see who won what award. I’m sure the show will be rerun again and again like they always do but I don’t know if my hotel this week even has MTV.

There was an excellent alternative o the VMA’s last night, the US Open Womena Final on ESPN 2. I thought that was an interesting channel choice to show the final. Most of the time this type of event would take center stage on one of the major networks but due to all the rain delays the womens final was played on Sunday and the mens final bumped to Monday. I ended up staying up to watch the match instead of going to sleep like I should have. The mens match is today but i’m going to be at work so I’m going to miss it on tv. I will probably catch news snippets and live scores on espn on my phone but there’s nothing like watching it live on tv. If I had tickets I would have tried to find a way to excuse myself from work :). Maybe if I get the chance next year I’ll be able to go and see the Open live which is always an excellent experience.