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Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

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Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby Huckleby » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:12 pm

I've helped friends get setup with DVR systems from Charter, Comcast, AT&T and TIVO. The other services keep getting better, Charter is stuck in the 1990's.

Well, that is a slight exaggeration, but when it comes to DVRs, Charter does everything worse. Charter was the last to allow you to program your DVR over the internet; what they offer now is clunky, very hard to navigate TV schedules, can't fully see your DVR.

Now that many people are recording HDTV, you need a lot more disk space on the DVR. No biggy, disk space is cheap. The other services support 1 TB and larger disks, or in the case of Comcast they let you buy a $90 external disk at Best Buy and attach it. Charter - hasn't increased disk space for 4 years, no plans to allow you to expand.

Charter's software to manage the DVR from your couch is at least 5 years old, buggy and stinko. (Comcast manages to be equally bad on this count.)

I know that lousy digital tv is not the worst problem of our times. But it pisses me off that we are stuck with such crappy technology in madison. (Actually, some neighborhoods in town can get AT&T Uverse, which I consider way ahead in capability and usability.)

The other tv services have online support forums where customers can exchange notes, and techs occasionally drop-in to answer questions. Not Charter.

I hate Charter.
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:47 pm

I love my Directv.

I hate my AT&T dsl. I have their top speed (Elite?), which is a paltry 6M. Truth of the matter is it's been rock solid, never an issue with it. It's just too damn slow for what I pay. I have my stripped down home phone and internet with them. $70/mo. The only calls we seem to get on our home phone are from telemarketers now. But I have to have a landline and they jack up the rate on the internet if you boot the home phone.

So, essentially I'm paying $70/mo for slow DSL and a landline for telemarketers to reach me. Charter sneaks me all kinds of clever mailers... and some are tempting for their high speed web, but all people do is talk shit about them, so I don't switch.

Feel trapped.
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby Huckleby » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm pretty happy with Charter's internet bandwidth.

I tried AT&T DSL for a while just to save a few kopecks. They said I could try it for six months with no disconnect fees. They charged me a $100 disconnect speed anyway, which took many phone calls to get reduced.

I watch lots of online video of muscular men in sheer fabrics groping and squeezing each other, so I really need higher bandwidth than DSL. ( It's not porn, I'm a big college wrestling fan.)
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby iwiw99 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:08 pm

I had Charter and hated them too. Hated them enough to have a small tantrum in their lobby. Switched to Direct TV and AT&T for internet and land line (needed one). Well AT&T was a rip off and Direct TV after 6 months was an even bigger one. Plus it goes out in some storms which sounds petty but was REALLY irritating. Looked at the no contract bundle from Charter, called up, next day hook up, 150 a month for the works. Direct TV was that much. Much better experience this time as if all the people dropping them got their attention and they did something about it. Two caveats, I don't use their DVR service and they are on your ass in 30 days if you don't pay the bill timely.
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby Huckleby » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:26 pm

iwiw99 wrote:I had Charter and hated them too. Hated them enough to have a small tantrum in their lobby. Switched to Direct TV and AT&T for internet and land line (needed one). Well AT&T was a rip off and Direct TV after 6 months was an even bigger one.
LOL, that pretty well depicts the landscape of digital services.

I find that each company is detestable in its own special way. Overall, Charter's customer service is decent, grading on a curve. AT&T customer service may be the worst. AT&T DSL stinks. Yet the AT&T full Uverse suite is fantastic (requires fiber optics in your block.)
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby penquin » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:49 pm

I hate my AT&T dsl. I have their top speed (Elite?), which is a paltry 6M. Truth of the matter is it's been rock solid, never an issue with it. It's just too damn slow for what I pay. I have my stripped down home phone and internet with them. $70/mo. The only calls we seem to get on our home phone are from telemarketers now. But I have to have a landline and they jack up the rate on the internet if you boot the home phone


I've had DSL from AT&T, with no phone at all, for $27/month for almost two years. Started out as a 1 year special, but when it came time to renew they jacked the price up a lot. One phone call, with them checking to see if UVerse was available in my area (which it ain't), was all it took to get the special extended for another year.

That special should expire in a couple more months. It'll be interesting to see what happens then.
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Re: Charter DVR & digital TV pretty darn lousy

Postby Huckleby » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:34 pm

What some people are doing now is building a "home theater PC", a low cost computer that acts as a DVR and more. It is more economical than paying DVR fees, you get lots of inexpensive storage, and you become the master of your TV domain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_theater_PC
http://www.avsforum.com/t/903396/charter-hdtv/2520
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/

I can see the appeal, and reports are that it is easy to do. But I don't have the space for another household appliance, and it's a little too much monkey business.
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