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It won't impact streaming video users since I'm not aware of any services that are streaming HD video. But people who want to download an HD movie over the course of a few hours and then watch it will be impacted.

That's not VOD. That's torrents, which is what I said in the first place. Why are you arguing with me?

13 GB is not 13,000,000,000 bytes. It is 13,958,643,712 bytes.

Technically, that's going to be called a "gibibyte" now. And it's bigger than the value I used, which doesn't get closer to your smaller number.

Moreover there are 8 bits in a byte, not 10 as you have shown above.

On the contrary, 10 bits is the standard used for data communications to compensate for parity bits, frame overhead, etc.

Amazon has confirmed that they will be rolling out HD content to their Unbox offerings. I suspect Netflix is right on their heels with its Watch Now service.

And all of it will be limited by the cable bandwidth, so a 250GB cap won't stop people from using those services.

Providers of high bandwidth content can't innovate if nobody can download the content because of caps.

The caps don't stop people from downloading. You'll be able to pay for more volume. And those extra charges will help pay for competing technologies, like fiber to your house.

It is evil because the service has always been sold as unlimited in order to attract more customers. Now that they're actually being taken up on their offer of unlimited they're rewriting the rules.

It wasn't always sold that way. I remember when it was sold by the hour. They are changing the terms, but I'm sure you can see why if you think about it.

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An hour of HD video is ~13 GB. 19 hours and you've blown right through your cap.

It depends on the service. Many will either use compression or the lower quality 720p standard. I've downloaded HD movies using a PS3, and an entire HD movie was about 7GB each. I don't remember if it was 720p or 1080p.

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So, we can't even get the u-verse nonsense here yet. Is that years away, only up in new MPC and burbs? I would love to switch away from Comcast, but there isn't anything better out there. They all have promotional intro rates, but after that it's all the same cost, basically.

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So, we can't even get the u-verse nonsense here yet. Is that years away, only up in new MPC and burbs? I would love to switch away from Comcast, but there isn't anything better out there. They all have promotional intro rates, but after that it's all the same cost, basically.

I'm just waiting for FiOS. Hopefully the cable & phone companies will price themselves high enough to make fiber to my house viable.

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That's not VOD. That's torrents, which is what I said in the first place.

Bittorrent is a protocol not a service. Call Amazon's Unbox, and Netflix's Watch Now service whatever you like, but they are essentially VOD services.

On the contrary, 10 bits is the standard used for data communications to compensate for parity bits, frame overhead, etc.

Now you're just making crap up. Cite a credible source for that pearl of wisdom. Of course what really matters is how many bits COMCAST thinks there is in a byte, and how they define a gigabyte.

And all of it will be limited by the cable bandwidth, so a 250GB cap won't stop people from using those services.

That's like saying $10/gallon gas won't stop people from driving. It will stop the majority of users from using high bandwidth offerings.

The caps don't stop people from downloading. You'll be able to pay for more volume. And those extra charges will help pay for competing technologies, like fiber to your house.

Everything I've read indicates that ComCrap is going to warn folks on the first overage and then ban them for a year after the second overage. Where did you get this info about paying more for extra volume? ComCrap isn't going to invest the money collected in fees in more infrastructure until they just absolutely have wrung every last drop of performance out of the current infrastructure and have NO other choice.

It wasn't always sold that way. I remember when it was sold by the hour. They are changing the terms, but I'm sure you can see why if you think about it.

When was consumer level broadband sold by the hour? I can remember dialup services such as AOL and Compuserv being sold by the hour, but never consumer level broadband.

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Bittorrent is a protocol not a service. Call Amazon's Unbox, and Netflix's Watch Now service whatever you like, but they are essentially VOD services.

Huh? Unbox and Netflix are VOD. That's what I've been calling them. They aren't HD downloads (mostly via bittorrent these days), which is what you've been describing. Remember?

Now you're just making crap up. Cite a credible source for that pearl of wisdom. Of course what really matters is how many bits COMCAST thinks there is in a byte, and how they define a gigabyte.

I am a credible source. I've been calculating bandwidth as part of my job for over 20 years.

I'll give you a 2nd credible source, but only because I'm a super nice guy. From Brian Cryer's Glossary of IT Terms:

As a rule of thumb, when estimating network/modem throughput, a figure of 1kbps=100 bytes per second is probably closer to the real throughput after other networking overheads are taken into consideration.
That's like saying $10/gallon gas won't stop people from driving. It will stop the majority of users from using high bandwidth offerings.

No, it's saying that people watching VOD 3 or 4 movies every night for a month won't hit the 250GB cap. It will stop people from downloading 20 HD movies a month, unless they pay for more volume.

Everything I've read indicates that ComCrap is going to warn folks on the first overage and then ban them for a year after the second overage. Where did you get this info about paying more for extra volume? ComCrap isn't going to invest the money collected in fees in more infrastructure until they just absolutely have wrung every last drop of performance out of the current infrastructure and have NO other choice.

From all of the news articles about the cap. Google "Comcast 25GB cap overage fee"

When was consumer level broadband sold by the hour? I can remember dialup services such as AOL and Compuserv being sold by the hour, but never consumer level broadband.

True, but you just said "the service", not "broadband". My point is that people used to pay by the hour, so paying by the gigabyte isn't some crazy new idea.

Why are you so bent out of shape about this? Are you downloading more than 250GB/month over Comcast right now?

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So, we can't even get the u-verse nonsense here yet. Is that years away, only up in new MPC and burbs? I would love to switch away from Comcast, but there isn't anything better out there. They all have promotional intro rates, but after that it's all the same cost, basically.

How long since you checked?

I had U-Verse when I lived at the apartments on Oxford and I-10 last year.....

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True, but you just said "the service", not "broadband". My point is that people used to pay by the hour, so paying by the gigabyte isn't some crazy new idea.

Why are you so bent out of shape about this? Are you downloading more than 250GB/month over Comcast right now?

Memebag, I want to be able to download as much streaming TV as I want. We have plenty of high speed ISPs.

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I entered my address on their website today, and it said not yet. Maybe the website address thing isn't up to date. I should call.

If you haven't gone here yet - check out: www.uverseusers.com

You will probably be able to find out from people on that forum if it is available in your area...

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Just got off the phone with Comcast, telling them I won't stand to see my bill go up $20 in a year when my services have stayed the same. I told them I might stick around if they can put one of their promotional rates on my account, but they wouldn't do it, even after I flat told them I was dropping them.

So...I'm dropping them. We called and they said they have u-verse here. Looking at the U200 deal, should I be worried about the quality of that compared to ComCrap digital/HD package?

On the internet, it touts down 1.5MBps and up 1MBps for "Express" (3/1 for the Pro) - what am I losing here versus comcast? I do upload/download things from time to time, but I'm not gaming online or anything.

Convince me it's the right decision! I would love to make that call to Comcrap to tell them to f off.

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Just got off the phone with Comcast, telling them I won't stand to see my bill go up $20 in a year when my services have stayed the same. I told them I might stick around if they can put one of their promotional rates on my account, but they wouldn't do it, even after I flat told them I was dropping them.

So...I'm dropping them. We called and they said they have u-verse here. Looking at the U200 deal, should I be worried about the quality of that compared to ComCrap digital/HD package?

On the internet, it touts down 1.5MBps and up 1MBps for "Express" (3/1 for the Pro) - what am I losing here versus comcast? I do upload/download things from time to time, but I'm not gaming online or anything.

Convince me it's the right decision! I would love to make that call to Comcrap to tell them to f off.

I think you will be happy. I have U-verse (I think they are now calling it Advanced TV or something) and it is great. I like the fact that you get the DVRs for free and can record several (I think 4) shows at once, you can watch and record at the same time, set up recording over your Yahoo account, etc.

I have the basic U-200 package and the speed is fine. We (two of us) are not bandwidth hogs, but do a fair bit of downloading songs, audio and video podcasts, and the occasional bittorents. While network speeds are not blistering, they are certainly adequate for a two person household with modest to moderate download requirements. As my house is fiber from the circuit in the neighborhood to my house, I get very little hiccups and such. I am not sure, but I think fiber speeds are faster than copper of the same speeds? Could be wrong on this.

I do very little uploading so cannot compare other services, but it is fine for what I use it for.

ATT always has discounts and when you sign up I am sure you will get a package and or a discount. You can also always upgrade or downgrade your service (I know because I downgraded and then upgraded again ... and even got a discount on U-verse Latino free for the first month).

All in all, you are making a good choice.

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Just got off the phone with Comcast, telling them I won't stand to see my bill go up $20 in a year when my services have stayed the same. I told them I might stick around if they can put one of their promotional rates on my account, but they wouldn't do it, even after I flat told them I was dropping them.

So...I'm dropping them. We called and they said they have u-verse here. Looking at the U200 deal, should I be worried about the quality of that compared to ComCrap digital/HD package?

On the internet, it touts down 1.5MBps and up 1MBps for "Express" (3/1 for the Pro) - what am I losing here versus comcast? I do upload/download things from time to time, but I'm not gaming online or anything.

Convince me it's the right decision! I would love to make that call to Comcrap to tell them to f off.

I can't convince myself that it's the right decision. I'm getting 5Mbps download, over 1Mbps upload with Comcast. When I checked out UVerse it could only tune in 1 HD channel at a time for the whole house. Comcast can simultaneously record 2 per DVR or watch 2 at the same time on different set top boxes. UVerse is really just DSL, and that's too small for my TV needs. I stuck with Comcast and waiting for FiOS. I may have mentioned that before.

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Just got off the phone with Comcast, telling them I won't stand to see my bill go up $20 in a year when my services have stayed the same. I told them I might stick around if they can put one of their promotional rates on my account, but they wouldn't do it, even after I flat told them I was dropping them.

So...I'm dropping them. We called and they said they have u-verse here. Looking at the U200 deal, should I be worried about the quality of that compared to ComCrap digital/HD package?

On the internet, it touts down 1.5MBps and up 1MBps for "Express" (3/1 for the Pro) - what am I losing here versus comcast? I do upload/download things from time to time, but I'm not gaming online or anything.

Convince me it's the right decision! I would love to make that call to Comcrap to tell them to f off.

gaming VS downloading/uploading are two entirely different things

gaming requires a low latency which can be compared to speed

uploading VS downloading requires volume......which in terms of internet is often wrongly described as speed

games send packets of information that need to get from place to place quickly to prevent lagging in the game and getting shot up by your opponent

uploading/downloading things like movies require that a large volume of information is sent at a time so that the picture on the screen does not pixelate or so that the upload does not take forever

different example is latency is like putting a pointed tip on a garden hose and the water rushes out of the hose fast, but in a low volume.....VS uploading downloading things like videos is more like a large pipe where the water might not flow as fast, but there is a large volume of water coming out

I would need to know what your "speeds" (poor term) were on your comcast package and how happy you were with the time to upload and download things before I could tell you how that compares to what you will get with AT&T

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Just got off the phone with Comcast, telling them I won't stand to see my bill go up $20 in a year when my services have stayed the same. I told them I might stick around if they can put one of their promotional rates on my account, but they wouldn't do it, even after I flat told them I was dropping them.

So...I'm dropping them. We called and they said they have u-verse here. Looking at the U200 deal, should I be worried about the quality of that compared to ComCrap digital/HD package?

On the internet, it touts down 1.5MBps and up 1MBps for "Express" (3/1 for the Pro) - what am I losing here versus comcast? I do upload/download things from time to time, but I'm not gaming online or anything.

Convince me it's the right decision! I would love to make that call to Comcrap to tell them to f off.

It is the right decision. I got rid of ComCrap and went with DSL and a plain 'ol antenna for HDTV. I don't regret it one bit. I'm saving $100/month, my upload speeds are faster, the download speeds are plenty fast at 3Mb/sec, and my TV needs are met with the antenna and streaming video online.

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It is the right decision. I got rid of ComCrap and went with DSL and a plain 'ol antenna for HDTV. I don't regret it one bit. I'm saving $100/month, my upload speeds are faster, the download speeds are plenty fast at 3Mb/sec, and my TV needs are met with the antenna and streaming video online.

Yeah we are probably going to do the DSL thing. Fastest speed is still $8 less per month than Comcast. But, after talking with them further today, NO, they don't have u-verse where we are. I entered 15 addresses in the damn website yesterday just trying to find a guinea pig to price out options, but none of them said it was available. They offered dish network, but nah. Unless my cable tv price goes up for dropping internet (pretty sure it doesn't, although internet would go WAY up if I dropped comcast tv), we will probably keep comcast tv and go with DSL internet...unless they try to hit us with stupid installation fees. I don't pay those.

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I think they're targeting bittorrent users. A small number of users are maxing out Comcast's capacity sharing pirated movies and games.

You are correct. The problem is that the net Comcast is casting also catches legitimate users.

There are a lot of ways to rent or buy movies over the internet now -- AppleTV, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, etc...

When I rip DVDs for my AppleTV they end up about 2 GB, and that's not HD. So I guesstimate that an HD movie rental from iTunes would be 3-4 GB. So, if I have Comcast I can only rent 60 movies a month. That's way more than a reasonable person would watch. But what if I have a few kids who watch movies or TV shows from Netflix? And what if the wife watches something different on her computer? Any parent will tell you that kids devour rented DVDs faster than candy. What if we video conference with grandma? Now, suddenly we're bumping into that Comcast limit because the cable company assumes a tech-friendly family is a family of criminals.

Moreover, it sets a bad precedent. Instead of spending money to build out capacity, Comcast is choosing to restrict its users. There are a lot of neighborhoods where Comcast internet is badly oversold. Instead of building the appropriate capacity, Comcast can just cap certain neighborhoods. Problem solved without spending any money.

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You are correct. The problem is that the net Comcast is casting also catches legitimate users.

There are a lot of ways to rent or buy movies over the internet now -- AppleTV, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, etc...

When I rip DVDs for my AppleTV they end up about 2 GB, and that's not HD. So I guesstimate that an HD movie rental from iTunes would be 3-4 GB. So, if I have Comcast I can only rent 60 movies a month. That's way more than a reasonable person would watch. But what if I have a few kids who watch movies or TV shows from Netflix? And what if the wife watches something different on her computer? Any parent will tell you that kids devour rented DVDs faster than candy. What if we video conference with grandma? Now, suddenly we're bumping into that Comcast limit because the cable company assumes a tech-friendly family is a family of criminals.

Comcast isn't implementing the cap because bittorrents are inherently illegal (they aren't), but because if an ever increasing number of their customers pay the current rates and download over 250GB per month they can't maintain their network. If you watch over 60 HD movies per month, Comcast will happily let you pay for the extra volume with no allegations of criminal activity.

Moreover, it sets a bad precedent. Instead of spending money to build out capacity, Comcast is choosing to restrict its users. There are a lot of neighborhoods where Comcast internet is badly oversold. Instead of building the appropriate capacity, Comcast can just cap certain neighborhoods. Problem solved without spending any money.

Ah, but if they did that then the profit potential for competing services (like FiOS) would be lower. If Comcast is going to charge more for higher volumes it means FiOS can undercut them on price. I'm all in favor of Comcast driving customers to newer, better delivery technologies.

Edited by memebag
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Not all bittorrents are illegal. Increasingly, there are legitimate providers who are making their content available. I use software called Miro and it has a TON of LEGAL bittorrents including podcasts and other content, but it is made available through sharing to increase the speeds it downloads.

Casting a net is going to impact illegal users as well as we legal ones.

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Not all bittorrents are illegal. Increasingly, there are legitimate providers who are making their content available. I use software called Miro and it has a TON of LEGAL bittorrents including podcasts and other content, but it is made available through sharing to increase the speeds it downloads.

Yeah, I remember when World of Warcraft came out. It includes a bittorrent client to distribute their upgrades. Instead of a host of servers that sit idle most of the time and get clogged when an upgrade comes out (like other MMORPGs had), they made all of their thousands of users into torrent nodes. Very, very smart.

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Yeah we are probably going to do the DSL thing. Fastest speed is still $8 less per month than Comcast. But, after talking with them further today, NO, they don't have u-verse where we are. I entered 15 addresses in the damn website yesterday just trying to find a guinea pig to price out options, but none of them said it was available. They offered dish network, but nah. Unless my cable tv price goes up for dropping internet (pretty sure it doesn't, although internet would go WAY up if I dropped comcast tv), we will probably keep comcast tv and go with DSL internet...unless they try to hit us with stupid installation fees. I don't pay those.

That's too bad that you can't/won't flip them the bird and cancel ALL your ComCrap services.

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That's too bad that you can't/won't flip them the bird and cancel ALL your ComCrap services.

I flipped them them bird yesterday on the phone, but they didn't care because they suck. If someone wants to convince me satellite is better (and cheaper) I might. All the flyers I get for directv are basically the same price as what I have after the promo period, with a contract, and with potential weather cutting out my signal.

EDIT: If I go AT&T DSL am I going to have to buy a modem? If so, recommendations?

Edited by 20thStDad
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I came close to switching to Comcast about a month ago. My DSL modem died and AT&T would only replace it for $60, until I tried to cancel my service. Then magically I was transferred from a call center in India to a woman in America who offered me a free modem right off the bat. But might take a few weeks to months for delivery.

So after I got off the phone with AT&T I called Comcast and ordered internet service. Comcast said it would take a little over a month to get someone out to my location for the installation, but no specific date could be scheduled at that time; I'd receive a call in about a week letting me know when a tech would be available.. I thought that was outrageous, but I decided to think of it as a race between the two evils to see which would get me internet service first.

The next day the UPS guy delivers my new AT&T modem and I'm up and running in ten minutes.

Three days later, after a huge storm, a Comcast supervisor calls to tell me that the tech can't come to my house that day because the power is out at the distribution warehouse and he can't check out any equipment. I told the lady that it's good he wasn't coming out to see me since I didn't have an appointment with Comcast; that I'm still waiting for a call from Comcast to tell me what my appointment date is; oh, and in the meantime AT&T's got me hooked up already so I don't need Comcast after all.

I remember back in the 80's you could pay extra for good service (the old AT&T "You get what you pay for" ads). These days it's not even an option.

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the reason comcast is so worried about bandwidth is because of the shared last mile dilemma that cable can't overcome without spending huge amounts of money

cable internet especially on the upstream is limited to what they can provide while twisted pairs don't share anything until they hit the co-lo and it is much easier to pull more bandwidth to the co-lo than it is to each individual user

with HD channels coming out that is even more bandwidth that cable needs to have, but doesn't with out upgrades that are costly

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I flipped them them bird yesterday on the phone, but they didn't care because they suck. If someone wants to convince me satellite is better (and cheaper) I might. All the flyers I get for directv are basically the same price as what I have after the promo period, with a contract, and with potential weather cutting out my signal.

I used to have DirecTV. I dropped them because the signals were too heavily compressed and the HD equipment was too expensive. I've read that the signals are much better now and the equipment price has come down, so it's an option. But I also got weather related drop outs with satellite, and I never get those with cable.

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So after I got off the phone with AT&T I called Comcast and ordered internet service. Comcast said it would take a little over a month to get someone out to my location for the installation, but no specific date could be scheduled at that time; I'd receive a call in about a week letting me know when a tech would be available.

They pulled something like that on me, too. They said they couldn't get a tech out until next week, but next week was in the next month and "next month's schedule hasn't been created yet." I said go ahead and create it and put me in first. They said they couldn't do that, that they have to wait for a computer some place to create the new schedule before anyone can be scheduled, so they'd have someone call me when the new schedule was created. I pointed out that if they could schedule a phone call then they should be able to schedule a technician visit, but my logic was not convincing. It turns out they couldn't really schedule a phone call either, and I had to call them back to get a technician visit scheduled.

Feh.

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the reason comcast is so worried about bandwidth is because of the shared last mile dilemma that cable can't overcome without spending huge amounts of money

cable internet especially on the upstream is limited to what they can provide while twisted pairs don't share anything until they hit the co-lo and it is much easier to pull more bandwidth to the co-lo than it is to each individual user

with HD channels coming out that is even more bandwidth that cable needs to have, but doesn't with out upgrades that are costly

DOCSIS 3.0 is supposed to help solve that... if only temporarily.

Right now most cable companies are DOCSIS 2.0, which is 42 megs downstream and 30 upstream. 3.0 is starting to be rolled out in a few cities and has 170/122 or 343/122, depending on the flavor used. I don't know if existing cable boxes and modems can be firmware upgraded from the Comcast plant or if we're all going to need new equipment to take advantage of the new speeds. Either way, it's only a temporary fix.

AT&T's model of using a virtual cable box in the central office seemed dumb when it was first being discussed five years ago. Now with the constraints that cable faces, it looks like a genius solution since you only have to upgrade the back office to expand capacity, not change all the equipment at everyone's houses.

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Goodbye, comcast...it's funny, b/c I called to gripe about my bill yesterday and was told they couldn't offer me any promos, only to get my bill today that was also $20 higher. I don't have any movie channels, just the expanded digital, a single HD DVR, and internet. A couple of years ago I called and griped and got it down substantially, but today was just told again that there was nothing they could do....so much for the promo rates

From what I can tell, it looks like a similar package from ATT (the U200) w/ internet is about $30-$40 less, even with an extra receiver. Good to hear that people have had a positive experience

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  • 2 weeks later...

i was planning to switch to uverse this week as i wanted to wait until after a week long trip. wish i had ordered before i left as i have no cable now. comcast couldn't give me an estimate on when service would be restored. i figure if my landline is working, uverse would be too.

anyone that has electricity and uverse have any issues? anyone with electricity and comcast getting service?

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i was planning to switch to uverse this week as i wanted to wait until after a week long trip. wish i had ordered before i left as i have no cable now. comcast couldn't give me an estimate on when service would be restored. i figure if my landline is working, uverse would be too.

anyone that has electricity and uverse have any issues? anyone with electricity and comcast getting service?

My comcast is up and running (TV and internet). It was up when my electricity came back on....

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I used to have DirecTV. I dropped them because the signals were too heavily compressed and the HD equipment was too expensive. I've read that the signals are much better now and the equipment price has come down, so it's an option. But I also got weather related drop outs with satellite, and I never get those with cable.

We switched over from Comcast to DirecTV last year, once we got tired of their crappy DVR. Comcast's HD picture quality was very good, but digital and analog (any channel under 100 IIRC) was lousy. I was skeptical of DirecTV's HD quality because I had read a lot of rants about the compression. However, the reality for us is that the HD quality is pretty darn good. Not amazing, but pretty much on par with Comcast and the channel selection (and DVR+) is far and away better. Oh, and we love the internet-based DVR scheduler.

During Ike, as long as we had power, we had satellite. That one really surprised me.

We can't get DSL in our area (go figure, middle of town!), so we don't have a choice but to use Comcast for internet.

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I still don't understand the random availability of u-verse.

On a positive note, internet and cable were working when the power came back on. Still planning on switching to DSL, unless they pull some extra cost BS on us. Not this week though, they are probably busy as hell.

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My comcast is up and running (TV and internet). It was up when my electricity came back on....

Here where we're staying the Comcast was on when the power came back on Monday afternoon, then it was out on Wednesday morning and just came back tonight (Thursday). WTF?

I understand a hurricane came through and all, but if it was working earlier, why did it go away for so damn long?

(and yeah, not having internet is not a huge problem compared to everything/everybody else, I get it)

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