Comcast Episode Two: Attack of the Fuzz

There I was, minding my own business. It had been a long day at work but the week was now over. I had made it to Friday night. Supper was eaten and the dishes put away. All I had to do was relax on the couch with Doctor Who. The episode teaser was intriguing. The Doctor has a daughter?

The show started and I was instantly mesmerized by the images on the 50″ plasma. Say what you will, but I like the way Doctor Who stories are presented. I like the writing. I like the acting. It’s probably my favorite show next to Good Eats (and nobody can top that one). But there was a problem. Max Headroom syndrome was starting again. It was a little spastic, but it was there…probably nothing to worry about.

Then it grew more pronounced. By ten minutes into the show I was having full blown half-second scene repeats. But it’s fine, I just want to see the show so I switch to the SD channel since HD was obviously on the fritz. The signal is so bad it’s like watching TV on rabbit ears attached to a 10″ tube set made in the 50’s. It’s during a commercial so I switch to another station to make sure it isn’t just a SciFi problem. Nope. Every channel is covered in more fuzz than a lint catcher.

But it’s fine. I just want to see Doctor Who. I can make out the picture and I can hear the voices. It’s good enough. So I switch back to SciFi. Instead of the show I get a box that declares I must subscribe to SciFi if I want to watch it. Now I know my bill is paid and everything is in good standing. So I switch to a local station…same message. Something is horribly wrong. I reboot the box.

Joy! The signal is still bad but I can watch SciFi again. I’ve missed about 6 minutes of the show, but that’s alright. I just want to watch the rest of it. Unfortunately it blinks a minute or two in and brings me back to the subscribe message. By this time I’m on the phone with Comcast. The first call was pointless. I described the problem and the lady put me on hold. After waiting on hold for over 10 minutes I hang up and call back. Imagine that, I get someone on the phone right away. She isn’t overly helpful. She said there’s no problems in my area and I should just wait it out and see if it clears up. During all this I get it semi-working again and agree while trying to figure out what’s going on in Doctor Who.

But like a bad poker hand that you just keep getting dealt, it went right back to the subscribe screen. Now if you’ve been following my Comcast posts, you know this is a new DVR. You know that I’ve had new cabling run all over the place during the last year. And you know that Comcast techs should just about rent a house across the street because they are out here that much. So now I’ve missed almost all of Doctor Who. I make a third call. I get a guy this time on the phone. I actually feel sorry for him because I begin venting.

Now I’m not the kind of guy to just completely…ok…yes I am, but I am not so mad that I just burn his ears off. He does understand exactly how irritated I am, though. I get an appointment for Saturday so I won’t have to take a day off work. This guy is being very patient and offering some real help. It’s the first I’ve gotten tonight. So I thank him and hang up. Why? Because I’m busy buffering the episode I just missed on SurfTheChannel. Yep, I’ve found yet another site to replace the questionable service of Comcast Cable.

The tech that came out on Saturday has been to my house before. He remembers the work he’s done in the past and can’t believe they still don’t have it fixed. He tested far more stuff than any other tech and said he’d pass it on to thier senior guy who has been doing this for over 20 years. Actually, today is now Tuesday and I should have an answer as to what the problem is. (There’s a small chance it’s the cable in the walls.) And would you believe the guy told me that part of my problem the previous night was because of an outage? He laughed and shook his head when I told him the lady on the phone put me on hold to check with her supervisor to see if there was an outage and she assured me there was not one. Get it together Comcast.

Oh, after all this complaining, why am I still using their service? My daughter. She’s 11 and is thoroughly attached to Nick and Cartoon Network. While I can shift my viewing habits, I can’t yet bring myself to render her TV into a DVD player attachment just yet. It’s getting there really fast, though.