Comcast, the dinosaur

Oh, goodie, goodie… Comcast now squeezes some of their HD channels so much that quality is really low. Check the screenshots.

And they still haven’t brought Sci-Fi Channel to the Bay Area. Let me get this straight. Silicon Valley is comprised mostly by geeks. Most geeks love sci-fi and they are very likely to watch “Battlestar Galactica”. “Battlestar Galactica” is on Sci-Fi Channel and its last season starts April 4th. So where’s my HD version of Sci-Fi Channel?!? I certainly want it in the Bay Area before April 4th. Not realizing the market over here, is a huge marketing weakness for Comcast in my opinion.

Elsewhere, Comcast wants to sue FCC for intervening to their P2P net neutrality mess up, while I did mention the other day that they want to spy in your own house.

While Comcast is not a monopoly yet, it surely acts like one. Microsoft was a sheep in front of them. That’s not to say that AT&T was/is better of course.


JBQ wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 5:11 PM PST:

Well, the reason why they’re compressing the streams is precisely to offer more HD channels.

I read another rant today (can’t remember where) explaining that up to 2013, satellite carriers weren’t required to offer HD channels in HD, while cable companies were subject to a shorter deadline.

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Eugenia wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 5:23 PM PST:

They should check their stats and see which 3 SD channels are rock bottom, remove them completely from the listing, and replace those with a new HD channel. I can see at least 50 SD channels that are completely worthless on their listing.

Dave Rosky wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 7:03 PM PST:

I may be wrong, but with Comcast, I think we’re just seeing the beginning of the net throttling issue. They claim they throttle traffic so that they don’t have to add costly infrastructure for a few big users, passing the cost on to everyone. Rather than throttling all P2P traffic (regardless of whether it is legal or not), they should just charge high traffic users a higher fee for the true cost of carrying their account. But for various reasons they don’t want to do that. They thought they could just throttle them and go unnoticed.

It’s going to become an even bigger issue with the growing popularity of *legal* high-traffic uses, such as paid streaming movies and legal music downloads. At some point, they won’t be able to charge everybody the same $25/month for internet access regardless of their usage patterns.

chris wrote on March 21st, 2008 at 12:20 AM PST:

I’m guessing people in your position with your awesome TV will have a huge demand for blu-ray content (real HD). Seems to me like netflix is a better option over comcast. I’m pretty certain that in the near future all the documentaries/shows/movies shown on discovery, A and E, and etc. will be available though netflix. Only downside is comcast still will have a monopoly over live broadcast, since they are more reliable than over air.

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Eugenia wrote on March 21st, 2008 at 12:29 AM PST:

We are subscribed to Netflix and we get BD movies via it, but yeah, we need TV content too, we watch lots of documentaries in our home…

Bob K wrote on March 22nd, 2008 at 8:38 AM PST:

The “Last Mile” isn’t a monopoly in the sense that the average person thinks of it. There’s cable, and they compete witht the telephone companies. That’s the current model, anyway.

The problem with this, of course, that competition is still limited. Only two companies are allowed to run wires into your home. And it’s the openness to new entrants that makes competition work. If you put two companies head-head-head, they usually conspire to strengthen their protected position, even as they compete within that limited market.

I’ll repeat my oft-asked question: How did a country with a First Amendment end up with something called the “Federal Communications Commission”?

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