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cable,alternatives, digital TV: tech savy people, help

Original post made by resident, Midtown, on Jan 16, 2008

I'm terribly confused about the switch to digital TV.
Comcast is too expensive even now. Those of you who have tried alternatives, such as Dish TV or Direct TV, etc., DO YOU GET THE COMMUNITY ACCESS CHANNELS SUCH AS THOSE FOR THE CITY MEETINGS AND MEDIA CENTER PROGRAMS??????????

When I switch to digital TV, will my VCR work all right or will I need to buy a digital recorder?? The digital recorder in the Comcast setup box would not have a disk I can remove and save.

Comments (5)

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Posted by JLS Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 16, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Nope, no access to the community access channels on the satellite networks.

However, I've been a pretty happy DirectTV/Tivo customer for a while now (CANNOT live without my TiVo) and I spent 2.5 hours yesterday glued to my computer watching the Media Center broadcast of the school board meeting. The Media Center now streams its broadcasts online. Just go to their website, at Web Link ( and select "watch." You'll need Quicktime installed but the technology has gotten much better in the past year or so and you can really hear the broadcasts.

So, I'm content with my DirectTV and TiVo and watching broadcasts online. I just wish I could get faster DSL--that's the only thing that might drive me to Comcast someday.

Good luck!

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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 18, 2008 at 12:33 am

I've had DirectTV and Tivo for a few years (non HD), and except for not getting to watch Comcast Sports Network, I have no current complaints. Last year when my Tivo hard drive began to fail, I called DirectTV and they were happy to send a new digital recorder (DVR) for free if I committed to two more years. However, the non-Tivo DVR was a nightmare. I'm a rather tech-savvy person, and I found it thoroughly frustrating. The interface was thoroughly non-intuitive, with some menus arranged horizontally, some vertically, misleading names for various functions and counter-intuitive or multiple functions for other buttons. It was harder to find programs, harder to set up recording, and the results were not reliable. After a week of headaches, I made DirectTV take back their p.o.s. DVR, and I replaced my Tivo DVR's hard drive myself, purchased online from an outfit called Weaknees. ( Since then, life is good. But as I said before, I haven't yet jumped to HD, so changes may be coming anyway. Non-HD signal on HD TV isn't looking great to me.

To answer a question in the original post, you might be able to record to your VCR, but soon, you won't want to. Between digital recording, on-demand video, and downloading, the ol' VCR is fading fast.

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Posted by David
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 18, 2008 at 8:17 pm


These people keep on raising the cost of cable to pay for all that Wall Street debt they are swimming in.

There is no way I will ever be a sucker to their service.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Does anyone know if a VCR will work with digital TV?

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Posted by janette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 20, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Maybe get rid of your television. Some shows are already on the web, i.e. 30 Rock, Survivor, etc.

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