Friday, January 07, 2005

Covert Comcast

Well, two interesting things have happened regarding our cable. First, the bill went up about $4-$5 per month. This wasn't unexpected as it was announced a few weeks back. I just didn't know if our area was included. The second (and most interesting) thing that happened was the quiet appearance of Video On Demand. That's right...Video On Demand is now available in our area. I was very surprised that we had it, especially since there's nothing about it on our last bill, no messages on the digital cable, and no fanfare at all. However, there is a catch at the's only available in my sister's bedroom.

My sister's room was the last place to get digital cable. It was first in the living room and downstairs in the basement. Then, we got a digital box for my parents' bedroom. Eventually, we moved the digital box from downstairs into my bedroom, since our basement is currently too junky for anyone to enjoy watching TV down there. Not too long after Thanksgiving, we had Comcast come out and install a digital box in my sister's room. Her box is the newest one in the house. It has a different remote with it than the other boxes, which we've had for years.

My sister found out she had Video On Demand when she noticed a new menu option on the digital. The option said "On Demand" and she clicked it to reveal a new screen with a ton of options and a small video window with content from E! talking about movies. She found out while watching her favorite soap opera, so we decided to wait until after the soap was over to try it out fully. When we tried it out, we decided to try a trailer, something short (since we weren't going to watch a full program). We watched the trailer for the upcoming movie version of Bewitched. The video came in just as clear as the regular cable. Very cool indeed.

Now, I think that the feature is gradually being implemented. I remember pressing the "On Demand" button on my sister's remote and it going to channel 1. Also, the day before she noticed the change, her box was acting up for a long time. I think that was Comcast updating the box's firmware to be able to handle VOD. Not too long after we watched that trailer, I looked at the menus on the other TVs and found that they didn't have an "On Demand" option. However, channel 1 has been added to our guide. Nothing comes up on any of the other TVs except one of those "One Moment Please" screens.

I don't know if our older boxes will be able to have Video On Demand. If they don't support it, we plan to gradually upgrade our boxes beginning with the one in the living room. Usually, our area gets the short end of the stick. Now, we have a brand-new feature that I'm not sure is available in Chicago itself yet. I can't wait to have fun with Video On Demand.

1 comment:

  1. this post made me miss comcast - oi -
    intersting blog, i will be back!