PhilPaper Feed

18 December, 2008

Uverse, Tivo and Cirrhus9

Happy New Year all!. Hope your holidays were excellent. Ours were busy, fun and tasty. It was great to see friends and family. Do major feasting, singing and sharing the roads with millions of others doing the same. O.K., enough of the social niceties. Let's get down to what is new around here -

New Around Here
Nothing much except for Werner Vogels will speaking next week at a Cloud Computing round table we and some ole friends will be hosting. Check out for more info.

O.K., how about what is old around here

Old around here besides me
-- TiVo and Uverse.
We still have Uverse. Sound and picture quality are still marginal. User interface is still below par but we have learned to live with it. TiVo is still working with Uverse though whenever AT&T pushes an upgrade it does tend to mess up the picture settings (16:9 width setting) on the receiver that the TiVo records from.

We just got 2 notices in the mail from AT&T. Both said they are increasing our prices. The monthly rental on the "included" Uverse boxes are going up in price by about 40%. If the price increase was matched with a 10% improvement in service, I'd be happy. But alas, if anything picture quality is steadily decreasing with more and more drop outs while watching both recorded and streaming video. In terms of real money, this means for the two non-DVR receivers, we will be paying $14 / month instead of the $10 we paid in 2008. Looks like I'll have to cancel Orkin to pay for AT&T's greed.

On the plus side, AT&T has announced we can bump our internet speed from 6 to 18 Mbps. AT&T must have the largest number of internet plans I've ever seen offered by any internet provider. The price feels steep to me though, at least at the top end. However, I have not looked at comparable plans and perhaps the pricing isn't too bad. Finding AT&T's pricing isn't easy but here is the low down. All speeds are listed as "Up to" which simply means you can't complain if you don't quite get the max speed.

TiVo Update -- We still have an old Series 2 TiVo connected to one of the Uverse receivers. Of course, the TiVo only records in standard definition but that unit has been working great since we got it just over 5 years ago. I have a hard time believing the Windows box that Uverse uses as a DVR will last anywhere near 5 years. But that is just me being a Linux / Mac zealot.

I'm finally lusting after a Series 3 TiVo. Primarily because TiVo and Netflix have joined forces and are offering Netflix subscribers the ability to download movies-on-demand. Now before anyone says that Uverse offers movies on demand (they do and we do use that service) let me explain why I think linking TiVo and Netflix is in some ways more powerful then the Uverse service.

We have had Netflix for about as long as we have had TiVo. Mary is actively involved in rating movies and maintaining our Netflix wish and favorites list. She shares that list with friends and family and Netflix rewards us with some pretty good recommendations. For example, we never would have found Jeckyl if it wasn't for Netflix. A drama with such amazing acting by James Nesbitt that I can guarantee you will be addicted to this series after watching just one episode. ... where was I... Oh, anyway having video on demand that links to our favorites and recommendations and friends wish lists just seems like a very good idea. There is one catch and that brings us back to why I am lusting after a Series 3 TiVo. The Netflix service will only work with TiVo®HD, TiVo®HD XL or TiVo® Series3™ DVR. Notice the complete absence of my old TiVo Series 2.

Finally, before I go and do something completely different - I just wanted to tell you about an event my company Cirrhus9 is hosting in January. January 14th to be exact. We are having a round table discussion on Cloud Computing and Life Sciences. Seating is limited, but if you are in San Diego on the 14th and are interested in Cloud Computing, pharmaceutical / life sciences then check out our web site and sign up for the talk. Our guest speaker is Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, so this talk is bound to be interesting.. even if I don't mention TiVo, Uverse or Jeckyl.

"Ciao, e tutto per oggi!"™

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