Comcast: The Empire Strikes Back

I got my new Comcast HD receiver yesterday and got it set up this afternoon. It was actually the correct equipment and I was able to connect it easily. Unfortunately all was not well.

While basic cable comes in fine without the box, I am unable to activate the new box. Comcast has what should be an easy self activation tool, and while it is reasonably easy to use, my box will not activate. My “On Demand” channel tells me that something is wrong and I need to call Comcast to get help. All the other channels assure me that their content should be available shortly, but alas they remain blank.

Still, I consider myself a step forward from where I was. I have an HD receiver, and it does actually output a picture. I was super bummed that I was going to miss college football again today, but even though my cable TV still doesn’t work, my service shows as active.

As such, I am able to access ESPN content via the Watch ESPN apps on my iOS devices and on my XBox 360. Comcast has always provided me with excellent and very fast Internet service, so my experience with their TV service has been a disappointment. It makes me wish to IPTV all the more. I can only hope that someone at a company like Apple is willing to fill the void left by Steve Jobs and drag the Cable/Sat companies, kicking and screaming, into the present.

My other hope is that as wireless networks increase dramatically in speed, like the current 4G (LTE) networks and the future 5G networks, new distribution channels will be opened up and the entrenched players will be forced to change.

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