(design boner)

Time Warner Cable Glitch During “The Walking Dead” Finale Infuriates Upstate NY Customers

Last night, the season finale of “The Walking Dead” aired on AMC. Viewers were glued to their televisions as they always are during a major television event, but something terrible happened last night. In the Syracuse, NY area, the AMC signal cut out about 38 minutes into the broadcast. [More]

Stephen Colbert Is Ready For Viacom To Insert Ads Anywhere

Stephen Colbert Is Ready For Viacom To Insert Ads Anywhere

Mirriad bills itself as a company that does “advertising for the skip generation.” What the heck does that mean? They’re the people who insert new ads into reruns of your favorite programs, adding not-yet-released DVDs to nonexistent bookshelves and even adding televisions that show ads to walls in a scene. You can advertise any product in a program, no matter how old it might be. [More]

(matneym)

Intel Wants To Disrupt Cable TV Market, Content Providers Not Playing Along

Over the New Year’s holiday, a tantalizing rumor spread across the interwebs. Intel is preparing a new set-top box to compete with the relatively unsuccessful Google TV and the relatively successful Apple TV. Yawn: what’s so interesting about that? Word was that their ultimate goal was to make à la carte cable a reality. That’s a utopian concept of sorts where consumers choose and pay for only the channels they’re interested in. Could Intel make it a reality? No, probably not, because the content providers stand in their way. You know, the companies that make big bucks selling their channels to cable providers, who in turn charge to beam them into the homes of people who didn’t want them in the first place. [More]

(The Joy Of The Mundane)

Charter Spreads Misinformation, Hopes You Forgot How 2009 DTV Transition Worked

When a company or an individual spreads misinformation, we like to think that it’s out of ignorance instead of greed or malice. Such as the Charter Cable customer service representative who told reader Paul that he shouldn’t cancel his cable because later this year, over-the-air broadcasts will end and he will need cable or satellite service to keep watching TV.

This might be a great argument for convincing people not to cancel their cable. The problem is that it is not, strictly speaking, true. [More]

Woman's Social Security Number Displayed To Millions During Democratic National Convention

Woman's Social Security Number Displayed To Millions During Democratic National Convention

How do you know you’re watching television with a Consumerist editor? Our commenters will probably formulate all kinds of punchlines for that setup, but last night, I was half paying attention to former President Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention on CNN when I happened to see an elderly supporter waving her Medicare card at the camera. Her name and Social Security number were completely legible. “We can read her card! Stop showing that!” I shouted at the TV. The people on the television never listen to personal finance bloggers who are shouting at them. [More]

All I Want To Know Is Where HBO Is On My Stupid TV, Cox

All I Want To Know Is Where HBO Is On My Stupid TV, Cox

Andy is a Cox Cable customer, and an HBO subscriber. When the channel lineup shifted recently, he couldn’t find HBO in high definition. The information wasn’t online, and the channel wasn’t in a logical place. Figuring that someone at Cox must know the answer, he hopped on customer service chat to ask a helpful customer service representative. The rep had him check to see whether the standard definition HBO channels had magically switched to high definition in the five minutes since he had last checked, then demanded Andy’s account number, name, address, account PIN, and the last four digits of his Social Security number. To obtain information that used to be on the company’s public website. [More]

Study: After 25, After Every Hour Of TV Watched, Lifespan
Drops By 22 Minutes

Study: After 25, After Every Hour Of TV Watched, Lifespan Drops By 22 Minutes

Your mom was right. Watching TV is killing you, albeit indirectly. A new study found an association between people watching loads of TV and living shorter lives. So, it’s one of those correlation/causation dealios. Even still, the results were disturbing. By tracking death rates and lifestyle survey responses, the study found that for people over 25, for every hour of TV watched, their lifespan shortened by 22 minutes. [More]

Make Your Own Indoor HDTV Antenna From Cardboard And Aluminum Foil

Make Your Own Indoor HDTV Antenna From Cardboard And Aluminum Foil

You could drop $40-$70 on an indoor HDTV antennae, or you could make your own for a few bucks out of cardboard and aluminum foil. Since most TVs have built-in HD tuners, you can get local TV without paying for cable just by applying your DIY know-how. Reader Dave shares his instructions. [More]

This Is How TV Ads Are So Loud

This Is How TV Ads Are So Loud

Here’s something that might be hard to believe at first. There is no difference in volume between the loudest part of a TV show and a loud commercial. [More]

'Extreme Couponing' Is Back On TLC, And We Can't Look Away

'Extreme Couponing' Is Back On TLC, And We Can't Look Away

Consumerist readers are divided on the subject of hardcore couponing: some are dedicated practitioners, and everyone else seems to think that couponers disrupt commerce and are poisoning their families with transfats, high fructose corn syrup, and greed. Last year, TLC made a one-off documentary, Extreme Couponing, that was such a hit that it is now becoming a reality series in its own right. Should you watch? [More]

Strings Attached: Charities Comcast Donated To Send FCC Pro-Merger Letters

Strings Attached: Charities Comcast Donated To Send FCC Pro-Merger Letters

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Comcast has donated over $1.8 billion to local charities and now that its merger with NBC is on the table, it’s time to call in the chits. Charities that received contributions from Comcast are pouring out their epistolary support for the merger, and they appear to be less than spontaneous. [More]

I Can't Afford Cable Anymore. How Can I Revive My Analog TV?

I Can't Afford Cable Anymore. How Can I Revive My Analog TV?

We hear the same exhortation everywhere: cut the cable! Save money! Ditch your cable company and live free! But if you had cable TV during the great DTV switch back in 2009, you probably didn’t think to send away for any government-subsidized converter boxes. If you’ve recently dropped your cable subscription out of rage or frugality, what are your options? Karen wants to know, and hopes that Consumerist readers have some ideas. [More]

Hulu Plus Reviewed: Is It Worth Your Money?

Hulu Plus Reviewed: Is It Worth Your Money?

Staci D. Kramer at mocoNews tested Hulu Plus, the forthcoming “pay us $10 a month to watch commercials” subscription offering from Hulu, and reports that it’s okay-to-disappointing depending on your needs: “Given that I’m a subscription addict, I was fairly sure I’d wind up keeping it after my free review month. One week in, not so much.” [More]

"This Is Why I Canceled Cable," As Told In Collage Form

"This Is Why I Canceled Cable," As Told In Collage Form

Redditor Lambboy got an email from his cable company asking him why, oh god why, had he canceled cable? Doesn’t he know that without it life is but a cheap oat paste? Lambboy struggled with the best way to communicate his innermost thoughts. The radio buttons on the survey, and, yes, even the optional comment boxes, were insufficient tools with which to express himself. So, he sent them this collage. [More]

ABC Doubling The Commercials On iPad App, Online Streams

ABC Doubling The Commercials On iPad App, Online Streams

If you watch ABC’s shows online or with an iPad, your limited commercial interruptions are about to get a little less limited. So far, most of ABC’s streaming shows contain 5 to 6 ads of 30 seconds each, but mocoNews says one of ABC’s executives just confirmed that the network is going to double that ad load, perhaps leading the way for other networks to do the same. [More]

Should I Assume All HDTVs Self-Destruct And Just Buy Something Crappy?

Should I Assume All HDTVs Self-Destruct And Just Buy Something Crappy?

Brendan has a question for the Consumerist hive mind. He wants to buy a large-ish HDTV, but isn’t sure that his usual method of buying technology–buy the cheapest thing he can get his hands on, and count on it not to break for a year or two–will work at these price points. [More]

HBO To Start Gouging PS3 Owners As Well As Pay TV Customers

HBO To Start Gouging PS3 Owners As Well As Pay TV Customers

HBO is putting its shows up for download on the PlayStation 3, NASDAQ reports, but its $3-per-hourlong episode pricing is even nastier than its monthly charge for cable and satellite subscribers — about $20 on Comcast in my neck of the woods. [More]

FCC To Control What You Can/Can't Record From TV

FCC To Control What You Can/Can't Record From TV

At the MPAA’s behest, the FCC granted Selectable Output Control, which means you won’t be able to record certain “high value” stuff off your TV, ZeroPaid reports: [More]