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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We might have all of the cat pictures here at Consumerist, but our sibling publication, Consumer Reports, gets to play with very cool toys. Right now, the folks in the TV-testing lab have some of the exciting new 3D televisions from Panasonic and Samsung, and they made a preliminary video to show them off and weigh the pros and cons of being an early 3D TV adopter. Sorry, the video is only in 2D.
New York City area cable provider and ISP Cablevision is in a contract renewal fight with yet another content provider. This time, it’s ABC’s flagship broadcast station WABC that wants more money, and Cablevision has raised the stakes in the passive-aggressive public service announcement wars. They’ve redirected customers’ cable boxes to a special channel where a looped announcement plays, and have started a YouTube channel to get the word out to any non-customers who might happen to care.
The New York Times is reporting that Viacom plans to pull its Comedy Central programming from Hulu next week because it can’t reach an agreement with the video site on compensation. In a post today on its blog, a Hulu executive notes that Hulu was “unable to secure the rights to extend these shows,” and that they’ll be gone as of 11:59 pm PST next Tuesday, March 9th. After that, you can continue watching them on TheDailyShow.com and ColbertNation.com.
As a product, NBC’s broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics seemed pretty disappointing to a lot of online users. TechCrunch points out that a recent analysis of comments on Twitter, blogs, and forums, shows a wide range of dissatisfaction with NBC’s coverage, with the biggest percentage focused on content: 19% of the complaints were about the tape delay of events (what a former NBC sports exec once called “plausibly live”), and 20% were about there not being enough actual sporting events shown.
Aziz Ansari wants everyone to know that the sheets he bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond were not of the quality he’d been promised.