Tag Archives: comcast

NFL Network, Big Ten Network and Comcast

I’m a little irritated with the nonsense that’s going on between Comcast Cable and the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network. And so are a lot of people. All three need to sit down and talk this out instead of sending e-mails pointing the finger at each other as to who is to blame…all three of you and your greed are to blame.

Continue reading

Thank God for Entertainment Related Strikes

If you haven’t heard by now, there is a Writers Guild of America strike going on that is shutting down production of numerous television shows and probably cutting the television season short AND eventually resulting in cancellation of many shows. (Not to be mean, but to save you some time (which is what this post is about), if you didn’t know about the strike already, you should stop reading now. Seriously, go check out one of my other posts or see what Christmas gifts you can my that aren’t from China.)

Now for those of you who at least somewhat care about what’s on television, let me offer a few quick thoughts before I get to my real point.

  • I did think that it was a bit odd that Jericho got renewed but a nut campaign. While it is indeed a neat story, and I do like the show, I’m starting to wonder if they agreed to order the seven new “mid-season” episodes so they’d have some new content in the can. That’s not really that far of a stretch is it? And who wouldn’t do that if you can see where things were headed in advance? Smart move in my opinion. And I will be watching.
  • I also found it odd that only one show has been officially canceled so far and even shows like Cavemen are still seeing the light of day (I’ve not watched a full episode, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem to get much love from the media and the bloggers). But when there’s really no mid-season, you might as well go with what is already available, right?
  • It does sound like the writers have a valid argument (getting paid a small fee once with no royalties), and note that I have no love for the TV execs, but please guys, come to a fair resolution fast before:
    1. you’re not going to have a job to come back to and
    2. our televisions are subjected to even more “reality” garbage

Now with that said, here’s my point. Sports and entertainment strikes are a good thing.  Why?  Because they give me extra time.

From my postings, you can deduct that I do like television (especially Sci-Fi) and sports. But during the hockey strike a few years ago it became apparent just how much time I waste watching sports and other television and I have seriously cut back my “consumption”.

Hockey is no longer on television or cable on a regular basis, so I don’t watch that very often. Plus Comcast seems to have killed their “Hockey Live” streaming service this year, so it’s not usually an option anyway. (There’s no Comcast love from me.)  However, if you were to follow one team through a complete 82 game regular season, you spend 8 and a half, 24 hour days watching.

Baseball is good in September and October. Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball, especially attending games, but the time investment of 162 regular season games is way too much. If you only follow one team and watch every game and they only average two hours per game (which is a little low), that comes out to 13 and a half, 24 hour days over the course of a season. That makes the twelve hours of a sitcom (with commercials) sound like nothing.

Basketball. I don’t need to touch this much. And I’m probably one of the few Hoosiers in the state who doesn’t care much for basketball, college or pro, unless it is NCAA tournament time. (I love the brackets and those three weeks of college hoops.) At an 82 game season (for the pros), like hockey, it is still time consuming, coming in at around 7, 24 hour days a season, per team. Luckily on the college level I am no longer tempted to watch since the Big Ten Network took over and Comcast is trying to play the victim. (Sorry guys, I’m not buying it on either side.)

Football. OK, this one hurts to even mention and maybe it would be good if the NFL went on a strike (in addition to having the NFL Network, which Comcast has put on a “sports tier”) and every NCAA conference started their own channel (which Comcast refuses to air if I don’t shell out some extra dough). Because this one does suck up my time and I’m glad that it only lasts four months for the regular season (three months for college). Just on the pro level, we’re talking about 2 full days a season if I only watch the Colts games and don’t watch the pre and post game programming. But of course, on a typical weekend (Thursday-Monday) I semi-watch at least two college games and semi-watch three pro games (I do actually watch the entire Colts game when I’m not busy doing something else). While I’m not always glued to the tube (it’s often just on in the background), that still adds up to a lot of time. And please don’t ask about Bowl Week.

To put it into perspective, if over the course of a year I watched the regular season of one NHL team, one MLB team, one NBA team and one NFL team, that would equal an entire month of watching sports on TV, which doesn’t include any college games, nor time to sleep or do anything else.  And that also doesn’t include any television programs that I might want to watch.

So as you can see, it’s not such a big loss if sports and television programs that I actually want to watch just go away. It’s actually probably better that way as I have a whole lot more time on my hands to do things that need to be done.  So go on with your strike as long as you want.  I will find other, more productive, things to do with my time.

Comcast Digital Cable and the Black Rectangle

Has anyone ever experienced this before…

Through my Comcast Digital Cable receiver I am now seeing a large black rectangle from the middle to the bottom of the screen on what would be considered your analog channels (2-99 and some low 100′s). The “Music Choice” channels as well as the “On Demand” programming do not have this issue. Also, on my TV which is hooked up to the analog cable jack I do not have this issue. So my guess is that it has to be something to do with the digital receiver. I have a request into Comcast to see what they say, but any pointers would be greatly appreciated in the meantime, as we kind of have a big football game here in town tonight (complete with the Indianapolis Police Department picketing).

UPDATE [1:41pm]

I sort of figured it out…I turned closed captioning completely off on my television and the black rectangle went away. Though that doesn’t really pinpoint the behavior that I was seeing. Oh, well, it’s back to normal now and I can watch the fool’s ball this evening.