Comcast Digital

For some reason we weren’t getting channel 53, CLTV (Chicagoland TV), about two weeks ago. Which is fine except the Cubs broadcast some of their games on CLTV. The odd thing is that we used to get CLTV and then — whoosh — the channel disappeared.

I gave good ol’ Comcast a little call to inquire about our situation. I was told that CLTV was on something they called “digital” but not on something called “analog.” (I know these are the right terms, but have no clue what they mean.)  Well, we had analog and they said they’d send someone out and the price would be the same.
A good man came to the house, installed “digital” and they set up two boxes, and while said good man Comcast was checking out the Comcast doo-hickey on the telephone pole, I thought I’d try CLTV — no CLTV. So, on his way by the house I mentioned it to him, and he said “Well, CLTV is not in your ‘box’.” I told him that was the only reason we changed, and so he gave the good folks at Comcast a call and soon entered the house.
Yes, you are right, he said, and I got the wrong order and so I need to install two different boxes. Which he did.
Then the fun began … Do you have any idea how complex this stuff is? (Kris and I both observed that plenty of folks have got to be totally bamboozled by this box and the new remote and all the stuff on it — ‘On Demand’ and ‘Exit’ and ‘Guide’ and other stuff … and then we learned that we pushed “On Demand” and nothing happened.)
So I called again, and they said I had to push “Cable” and she did her best to explain to me the difference between “cable” and “TV” but it really didn’t make sense. But, we can push “cable” and get “On Demand” and so now we’re set up.
I’m opting for a new option: Voice Activation Channel Choice (VACC!) I want to say “Cubs game” and get the Cubs game instead of pressing three or four or five buttons. And how about asking our TV a question like “What movies do you have stored in there?” and it comes up with a list of the movies?
And we still don’t have our DVD set up yet.  That will be yet another phone call. 
And this does not even tap into the HD issues … goodness, so many options.
Finally, Kris comments that even though we are no techies, we can more or less figure this stuff out after several phone calls.  But, she wonders, how in the world do our 80-something parents figure this out.  I don’t think they do. 
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  • Beckie Robinson

    Oh ! I sooo feel you!! I went through the same thing and didn’t understand a word the guy said and really I don’t think I got what I wanted when he left! I can’t understand any of this either..My husband and 9 year old son have to turn on and off the tv for me…drives me nuts!! plus, I can’t watch any of my old favorite movies, on dvd or vhs because I can’t figure out how to switch over..I gave up…so now I just switch on the light (manually!) and I am reading all those books I haven’t gotten around to reading! There really isn’t anything of value on tv anyway!

  • Matt K

    If I were you, I’d keep close watch of my bill. There’s no way that it’s going to be the same price. The price of the service MAY be the same (it’s not in my area), but at the very least, they’re going to charge extra for your boxes.

  • I am a techie. I love computers, I like to physically take them apart and do a good bit of troubleshooting for friends and some for work. While I completely support use of computers it does not always make things easier. My brother in law lives in the basement. He is a baseball fan and wanted more cable channels to watch sports on. (I have all the sports channels turned off upstairs so I don’t have to flip through them.) But we were analog and now are digital as well. The digital doesn’t work that well with our tivo, which I love and is much better than the comcast offerings.
    This week I ordered new internet service (away from comcast.) I needed two modems and a router. They sent me three modems and no router. It seems that someone physically misread the order and put a modem in the box instead of a router (they came in three separate boxes on two different days.) But there was no system to really deal with a human mistake. I was on the phone for about 90 minutes because they didn’t know how to deal with the fact that a real person put something in a box that was not what the computer said was supposed to be in the box. There was also a problem because one of the modems that was on the account has a different MAC address than what I was assigned. So again they had a hard time responding to the MAC address. The modem worked fine but they want me to send one back and they can’t give me credit unless it is the one they want me to send.

  • Matt Tebbe

    Same deal here, Scot. No CLTV, no Cubs games. At first i was pretty bummed about it, but now with the way they are playing, it may be a blessing.

  • How maddening! I went through something similar last year. It is amazing how complicated (not to mention expensive) is all gets.
    I really don’t know how 80 somethings deal with this. My parents are in their eighties and went through something similar last year as well. I think the cable people came to their house several times.
    Somehow, I just want to believe that it doesn’t have to be this complicated.

  • MatthewS

    I saw a profanity-laden speech by Ted Turner some years ago. One of his points was that you should not need a graduate degree to program your entertainment system (VCRs were the specific example at the time). He was envisioning tying your online persona (gmail, yahoo, msn, etc.) to the rest of your digital life, such as your phone, entertainment system, etc. Seems we aren’t there yet…