The New HDTV Makes Work

Meanwhile, what about all the saved stuff? You know the shows you just want to keep over time.

Imagine a home with just Stef and me–no Helaine. That’s what the family room looks like now! It’s is ripped apart and randomly strewn. Welcome to HDTV.

It started innocently enough with the old TV going kerflooey. Finding and buying a new set was its own adventure (does anyone really know?). We’ve now got a 47″ Vizio which seems very nice.

Today I built the TV stand, a low, black two shelved table chosen to fit in our old school 4:3 ratio space. My electric screwdriver wasn’t charged so I brought it down and plugged it in, but never needed it. Actually, the TV table is very nice and went together easily. The instructions seemed to be in the original English. All the parts were neatly sealed in plastic–present and accounted for, sir.

We have a Comcast issue SD DVR. That’s gotta go. I stopped in at the New Haven Comcast office yesterday and was told “no extra charge” to go from SD DVR to HD DVR. We’ll see.&#185

Meanwhile, what about all the saved stuff? You know the shows you just want to keep over time. That sent me upstairs to a combo VCR/DVD-R in the bedroom. It’s now inserted in the chain between the DVR and HDTV. Sheesh!

Unfortunately, you dub in realtime. A 60 minute show takes 60 minutes.

By tonight the copying will be done. The VCR/DVD-R will go back upstairs. The DVR will head back to Comcast for a swap. The HDTV will go on its new table. The wires will be tucked away. We’ll be back to normal.

In the meantime it looks like a bomb went off.

&#185 – Over the weekend I mentioned that at&t’s u-verse looked like a good alternative to Comcast. One of my blog readers who works for at&t in Connecticut was nice enough to check out its potential availability for me. Not a good result.

“I hate to tell you, or any any potential customer, that according to the schedule she has, it will be a while before it is deployed at your location. Basically, Stef may be in graduate school…or worse…married by the time it is deployed there.”

11 thoughts on “The New HDTV Makes Work”

  1. The DVR’s biggest downfall is the inability to easily backup what you’ve recorded.

    Sure you can record to DVD-R or VCR in realtime but who has that kind of time? Plus you lose some quality when you transfer.

    You can have a DVR for 2 years, have all sorts of pay per view movies and a season’s worth of shows recorded and then, poof, its gone.

    I understand why we can’t do it; the networks and studios don’t want their content shared without them making any money on it.

    Its just another example of customer satisfaction taking a backseat to digital rights management.

  2. My Comcast DVR has a Firewire port–not enabled!

    Helaine and Stef made some choices today, otherwise it would have taken forever. I appreciate their indulgence.

  3. As I have learned from DirecTV the content on the drive is encrypted using a hash derived from the access card and information on the motherboard. You can’t take the drive out and put it into another DVR nor can you take the drive out and externally connect it to a computer.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Comcast DVR is the same way.

  4. Alas, there’s lots my MythTV box can’t record–all the digital channels to begin with.

    Usually, Helaine and Stef use the Comcast DVR and my stuff’s on MythTV.

  5. Jeff, I live in WTBY CT and I have had u-verse for about 6 months but the funny thing is my neighbor about two doors down from me cannot receive it. Go figure…

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