While many of us immediately hit the FF button on the remote control at the first indication of an ad, some folks aren’t as vigilant. But there are always those few ads that you just want to bypass when they come up (Geico camel, I’m looking at you), and your remote probably has the ability to skip that commercial with a single button push. The folks at Lifehacker have created this handy guide on setting this up for a variety of DVRs… or you could just fast-forward through the entire ad break like a sensible person. [Lifehacker]
Keeping your work and your media in the cloud is totally awesome, right up until the moment when you’re kicked off the cloud. That’s the tragic lesson of the Boxee Cloud DVR (digital video recorder), the set-top box of many couch potatoes’ dreams. The key feature of the product–free cloud storage for your programs–will end tomorrow now that Samsung owns Boxee. [More]
It’s a beautiful thing when two people decide to move in together and combine their lives into a single household. This also means consolidating accounts, which is why Rob and his girlfriend wanted to add her DVR to his DirecTV account, discontinuing her account and forging ahead into the future as one TV-watching entity. Rob tells us that DirecTV informed him that this wasn’t possible, but would be if they were getting married instead of moving in together. [More]
Cable Industry Claims Next Generation Of Set-Top Boxes Won’t Use More Electricity Than Refrigerators
Billions of dollars are spent every year providing power to the nation’s cable boxes, much of it consumed when the boxes aren’t being actively used. A group of 15 cable companies and box manufacturers have agreed to changes that will — eventually — save around $1.5 billion each year in electric bills, but some say it’s all just a lot of hot air. [More]
Donald found himself in a strange dilemma with his cable company, Charter. He got a deal that included a free DVR when he signed up with them through his apartment complex. When the owner’s bulk deal ended, he had to contract directly with Charter for his cable. No big deal. Except the company told him that he had to start paying for his DVR. Well, paying to have a TV signal fed into it: he could just keep it on his shelf if he really wanted to. He just couldn’t have a TV signal running to it. That’s nice if he has a cat that likes to sleep on electronics, but otherwise makes him kind of sad. [More]
Times have changed, and cable no longer plays automatic second trombone to network TV. ESPN hosts Monday Night Football and the BCS championship game, the NBA playoffs are on TNT and the new king of late night is on TBS. [More]
Victor wants to warn Consumerist readers: no matter how much you love your TiVo, do not jump in and let yourself be an early adopter of the company’s new product, the Premiere (or series 4) box. He and other Premiere users have shared their tales of heartbreak and bugs with the Internet. [More]
Aware that service calls from Comcast often don’t work out so well, John thought he’d save himself some hassle by driving 45 minutes to the nearest service center to pick up a cable card he needed for his TiVo. He discovered that Comcast is equally capable of being inept when you visit it than when it visits you. [More]
If you bought a TiVo with an extended warranty at Circuit City before the chain died and came back as a retail zombie, TiVo forum poster Mark has good news and bad news for you: It is still technically possible to use your warranty, but doing so requires superhuman levels of persistence. [More]
This past summer, Time Warner Cable introduced a new DVR service to subscribers. The New York Observer noted at the time that some of the changes–namely the “Start Over” feature that lets you watch something from the beginning even if you just switched to it–were nice. At least one customer, however, doesn’t agree. In fact, now that he’s given the revamped service a 4-month trial run, he’s ready to list the problems with it, some of which sound suspiciously anti-consumer. [More]
Lee’s TiVo saga is enough to scare you off from gift cards and lifetime service subscriptions from the company. It’s a long, not easily summarized tale, but as things stand now, Lee is without service, stuck with an unwarranted $97.64 charge and has a gift card that won’t work. [More]
Reader Tim is canceling TiVO and going with the Comcast DVR and was presented with a retention deal that he was able to resist. Why? Because $299.99 – $100 doesn’t equal $249.99.
TiVo customers have a few different choices when paying for their service plans. The one that’s gamble of sorts is the “lifetime” plan, which includes service for the entire life of your device and currently costs $399. Lifetime service is technically transferable when a TiVo is replaced under warranty, but Nate discovered a new feature: a new $150 fee to transfer service from the original DVR to the replacement.
Perhaps you’ll recall reader Dave, who was told by Time Warner Cable that the reason he wasn’t getting Fox in HD was that they had stopped broadcasting it in the New York City area. We had hoped that publishing his letter would help resolve some of his issues, but sadly, that is not the case. Dave is back and this time his DVR is possessed by someone who likes “Tom & Jerry” cartoons.
Sam emailed us with a complaint about TiVo: he says the customer service rep wants to charge him $50 to repair a defective HDMI port on his 5-month-old TiVo HD DVR. Sam can’t understand why he’d have to pay an additional, uncategorized fee when his box is still under warranty. We checked out the warranty details and called TiVo, and it looks like it’s a flat fee (the TiVo rep we spoke with said it was $49) that covers the cost of replacing the unit entirely—in other words, TiVo isn’t going to repair just the port and send it back to you. Note that this only covers boxes outside the first 90 days. If you’re still in the first 90 day window, replacement is free.
Now you don’t need to get special tender loving escalation to enjoy the same solution as Charlie of Charter Decides To Care That Reader Can’t Watch Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares fame. Reader Mangopants had the same problem where he couldn’t watch a specific channel. He writes, “After 5 months, 60+ calls to Charter (not exaggerating) and 3 visits from technicians I finally got a supervisor visit this site and read this article and the related problem article – she sent a “CCV Hit” to my box – fixed the problem right up!” A little Googling shows it’s the reset code for premium channels and it’s not just for Charter, “CCV Hit” works for other with other cable companies and on other DVRs.