Russ used to have a TV, but now all he has are problems. He summarizes his 52-inch Insignia (Best Buy‘s House Brand) HDTV’s decision to check out, then goes into Best Buy’s bumbling attempts to fix it.
Last week NPR tore into TV networks for failing to live up to the promises it made to Congress in the late 1990s when the industry pushed to receive its slice of the digital spectrum for free.
It took an Executive Email Carpet Bomb to convince Best Buy to replace Bryan’s Panasonic LiFi LCD Projection TV after it ate through four lamps. Bryan had purchased Best Buy’s extended warranty, which contains a no lemon clause that promises a replacement after three failed repairs. Best Buy conveniently insisted that replacing the broken lamp did not count as a “qualified repair.” Bryan first escalated his complaint through normal channels; when he had no other choice, he launched the mighty EECB.
Alright slowpokes, you have less than a week to finally request your digital TV converter box coupons. The Department of Commerce plans to hand out the last $40 coupons on July 31. You don’t need a converter box if you pay for TV or have a newer set, but if you’ve been wondering where your stories have been since June 12, request a coupon while they’re still available.
If televisions are plotting to overthrow their human masters and take their rightful place as rulers of the United States, it’s time. A Nielsen study shows that there are now more TVs than people in America.
Given the state of the economy, it seems like everyone is looking for ways to save on non-discretionary expenses. Lucky for us, The Digerati Life offers some useful thoughts on how to cut back on TV services without turning off media completely. Their five suggestions include:
Back in December we posted this easy to follow flowchart that should help to eliminate any remaining confusion about today’s DTV transition. Enjoy.
Sorry kids, your days of catching enticingly named porn listed next to your cuddly family shows on Comcast’s programming guide are over. Comcast will now place “blocks of dummy channels” to keep family programs away from the racy pay per view channels.
Just when free tv on the internet was starting to get good, Hulu board member Jon Miller had to go and talk about subscription fees. Miller, an AOL refugee who’s now squeezing cash out of consumers for News Corp, said last week of subscription fees: “in my opinion the answer could be yes. I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen over time… it seems to me that over time that could be a logical thing.” Charging for content isn’t his only big idea…
We all know the switch to digital transition is next Friday, June 12. Most of us already have cable, or satellite, or digital converters. But not three million Americans, who according to Nielsen, are still “totally unprepared for the transition and will lose their reception.”
Some bad news if you love the show Without a Trace. Not only do you have poor taste in entertainment, but there will be a gaping hole in your life come September when your drama, which has given up the ghost, will only be viewable via seance like other departed shows such as Alf, Cop Rock, and Grounded for Life.
All the outrage over Sling Media’s iPhone app—which would have only worked with the latest Slingbox models—may have been moot. Boy Genius Report says they’ve received a tip that AT&T asked Apple to kill the app due to concerns about potential bandwidth drain. Update: JosephFinn points out that the tip is likely fake, as the IP address came from a prison. [IntoMobile]
All the clever shoplifting tricks in the world won’t save you from yourself if you decide to reveal your secrets on Dr. Phil. Last week a fraud task force raided the home of Laura and Matthew Eaton, who appeared on an episode in November to show the audience how they did it and to say they were going straight.
Seriously, what’s up with them? Their new ad features an oven that begs a Quiznos employee to “put it in me, Scott,” as the camera pans over what it calls a Toasty Torpedo. There’s also a subliminal flash of a periscope jutting up from the flames at one point, as our eagle-eyed reader Bbender pointed out.
DirecTV agreed to let Anthony cancel his service without an early termination fee because his signal would randomly fade away without explanation. What DirecTV really meant though was that they would let Anthony cancel if he paid a final bill of $446.69. After speaking with two agents who agreed that the fee should have been waived, DirecTV reduced Anthony’s bill to $445.42. A third agent told Anthony that he would need to negotiate any further deductions in writing with the dispute department…
Women’s Wear Daily has published a short biography of Suze Orman, 57-year-old CNBC personality, Oprah repeat-guester, and aggressive promoter of financial advice and self. Her father’s poultry shop burned down when she was a child (“Daddy was a failed man.”). At age 30, she lost $50,000 of borrowed money in oil futures, which led her to give up her dream of opening a restaurant and instead enter a training program at Merrill Lynch to pay back the money. Her second book agent—the one who helped shoot her to the top—told her she had to lose 30 pounds to be marketable. And so on: seeing how someone aggressively pursues media stardom is a sausage-making experience. (That same agent says, “I just thought, ‘Great. Finally an author who knows she can’t write.'”)