Thirty years ago, in 1996, you actually used your TV to watch broadcast or cable signals — live, as things aired. Twenty years ago, in 2006, you probably still had cable, but you probably also had a DVR, freeing you to watch programming at your leisure (much to the chagrin of advertisers). Ten years ago, in 2016, you may or may not have decided to cut the coaxial cord — but even if you had cable, odds were high you complemented it with some kind of streaming service. But by today, Jan. 4, 2026, if you even remember what “cable” was, that’s probably because you only see it at your grandparents’ house. [More]
This morning’s news about Time Warner briefly blacking out CBS networks made clear that there are a lot of reasons why you might consider ditching your cable subscription. Newer televisions receive digital signals, but what about antennas? Are we still stuck with huge, hideous rabbit ears or metal rods on our roofs and balconies? Nope. [More]
When subscribing to cable TV or making changes to your plan, get a list of what your package includes in writing. Otherwise, you risk what happened to Alyssa’s household. Alyssa writes that she called up Comcast to downgrade her plan, paying extra to receive some channels in high definition. The problem was that she didn’t get all the basic cables in HD…which included the channels she actually wanted. [More]
Here’s what Tim wants: to turn on his TV and watch football games in high definition. That’s pretty simple, and seems like a reasonable enough request. At least he thought so. His cable company, Bright House, advertises that they offer HD for free to their subscribers. Wow, that’s great! They quoted Tim a $29.99 rate, but failed to mention that he wouldn’t be able to receive HD without renting a cable box. You know, the HD channels that were the entire reason why he got cable in the first place.
Even if your older HDTV has an HDMI port, you may not be able to connect your DirecTV receiver to your TV — at least not if you want to watch HBO.
If your HDTV set is malfunctioning you follow the advice most HDTV manufacturers put on their website, you can actually end up screwing yourself. Surprise, surprise. Here’s what you should do instead.
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.
Once you become addicted to watching football in HD, it’s tough to go back to standard definition. And when you realize that people in other parts of the country are getting to watch the game in dazzling HD while you suffer through your grainy, small-screen 1985 version thanks to a nonsensical decision by ESPN, it’s darn near maddening.
In the rush to drop HD fees to attract new customers, DirecTV pulled a boner and forgot to remove the charges for at least one customer. Andrew says he called the company, reminded it of the oversight and got it to take HD charges off his account.
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.
Netflix customers using computers can now get something that Xbox 360 and TiVo users have taken for granted: HD streaming. However, the fact that Netflix is now apparently making most of its HD titles available for high-def computer streaming doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually get the highest resolution on your rig. And, no matter how sharp the picture is, some films will still be just as bad.
If you’re ready to shell out $3,000 for a new 3D-capable TV (plus as much as $150 for each additional set of goofy goggles), you can still save a few bucks in one place: cables. Despite what the aggressive electronics dealer might say, any high-speed HDMI cable will work just fine with today’s 3DTVs and Blu-ray disc players. And those so-called HDMI 1.4 cables? They’re not even allowed to mention them.
Marine biologists studying octopi have begun using HDTV to simulate prey and predators, relying on the sharp onscreen images to trick the animals into responding as if they’re actually under attack or on the hunt (when basketball is on, they reach for breaded shrimp and Hebrew National franks).
Remember the Florida family whose sad story of a smashed TV we shared on Super Bowl Sunday? When they unboxed their 50-inch plasma screen HDTV, they found a cracked screen and a world of sadness. They took a page from the Consumerist playbook and sued Best Buy in small claims court. When the mega-retailer failed to send a representative, they won a default judgment.
Colin Boyd of Get the Big Picture put together a roundup on the upcoming home entertainment craze of 2010, 3DTV. The verdict: New bigscreen, 3D-capable TVs in the 46 to 50-inch range from Panasonic and Samsung will cost about $3,000. And the early industry standard seems to be that the sets will come with two pairs of glasses. Additional glasses, required for watching in non-blurry vision, will cost an extra $150.
Customers of Time Warner Cable may consider themselves the victors in the battle between their cable operator and the Fox network. After all, the two sides came to a last-minute agreement on New Year’s Day guaranteeing that TWC customers will still be able to catch up with Homer Simpson, Walter Bishop and Jack Bauer. But guess who’s gonna pay for that? Here’s a hint: It’s not Rupert.