So I've been waiting for ATT to start taking new customers forthat network they're building, and finally today I got through.I was going through the registration process, when I got to thesystem requirements. Guess what?It's Windows only.
AT&T's cable internet is Windows-only? Are you sure about that?They do have a "configurator" application that isWindows-only, but the service itself shouldn't be -- you oughtto be able to connect with a Mac. (I suppose the flavor of AT&Tcable internet available in your neck of the woods might bedifferent, but it sounds wrong to me.)
To order the service in my area you have to designate youroperating system. The choices are WinNT/2000 or Win95/98/XP. Endof story, at least for now.Maybe they'll get around to offering it for *nix and Mac. Orthen again maybe they won't. I guess I'll have to wait and see.Mark
i was on the old @home servicewith my mac and they switched me over to the new network within3 hours of @home going down.
Since I moved to Seattle (15 months ago) I've been trying to geta broadband connection. The problem is, unless you want to pay$60/month (in my book that's not a good price for consumerservice) your options are two: DSL through Qwest or a cablemodem through ATT. And that's been the logjam, Qwest has a dealwith Microsoft that makes MSN pretty much the mandatory ISP, andthat means their DSL is Windows-only. Meanwhile the @Home messkept me from signing up with ATT.So I've been waiting for ATT to start taking new customers forthat network they're building, and finally today I got through.I was going through the registration process, when I got to thesystem requirements. Guess what?It's Windows only.$%#*$*(#(*#%^#%$*)#_(&*(#%^^%@& !!!!!!What consummate bullshit. So now my choice is a crappy dialupconnection, overpriced DSL through rickety ISPs that willprobably be out of business in six months, or assimilation bythe Borg. Wheee.
I used to love AT&T. They were the best. They had the bestcustomer service, they had the clearest, most reliable,reasonably priced long distance service... now they just suckdead bunnies through a used gas filter backwards.
No, that's notmeant as an insult, and if came off as that, I apologize.
Free:Something I've learned the hard way is, if you ever findyourself prefacing a comment with the phrase, "Now, I don'tmean to give offense," you should simply not say what youwere intending. It will most certainly give offense.Of course the network is not platform-specific. Give me somecredit; @Home and others have been signing up Mac users foryears and years, and how stupid would I have to be not to knowthat? But if the company offering the service wants to putartificial barriers in place, they can do so. Can I go behindtheir back and acquire the service even so? Maybe. Do I want todo so if that means I won't receive even the most basic customersupport? I'm not so sure.I posted this to share the frustration of running into one moreexample of modern corporate stupidity. ATT is pretending that aservice that should be available for anyone with an Ethernetcard is actually restricted to one platform; I found thatludicrous and outrageous and thought it was interesting enoughto share with friends. Now I regret the whole thing. I share ananecdote and end up defending myself. What fun.Mark
Hailz!Yo! Freewill! You can give me all the free, usefull advice youwant and I promise I won't spit in your face.N8
I'm going to look into DSL, but frankly that's a losingproposition around here too, since I believe everything dependson Ameritech for the wire -- and Ameritech is worse than anyother utility company I have ever dealt with.
Keep in mind this is only one case, but I had the pleasure ofhelping my bro-in-law hook up with Ameritech back in October.They live in Wheaton. The short of it: the hardwareinstall/hookup was sweet; their web services suck.
'round here all the AT&T commercials about how AT&T is a bettervalue than satellite is a bunch of hooey. My DirecTV service(just under $37) costs LESS than the bottom-of-the-line AT&Tservice we were getting (just under $44), INCLUDING localchannels, and six months of free Showtime (and TMC and FLIX).And all the hardware & installation were free. And there isno tariff for the reciever. Part of the AT&T monthly charge isan absurd $7.95/mo for the box. AT&T's false advertising alsoclaims that you can hook up more than one TV to watch digitalprogramming without paying more. Wrong. In San Jose, you canhook up a splitter to a second TV with the wires, but you needan A/B switch to switch channels, and you don't get digitalchannels. To hook up a second TV for digital channels, or totape one show while watching another, you need to pony upanother $7.95 for a second converter.What's more, the picture is *much* cleaner on DirecTV, even onchannels that were available digitally on AT&T. They dropped outall the time on me, with gross MPEG artifacts that the AT&TMotorola reciever seemed to take forever to recover from.DirecTV has interactive features that AT&T digital doesn't have.The DirecTV interactive programming guide is much cleaner, lessobtrusive, and has more features. And did I mention the dozenextra channels I get (stuff like MuchMusic, Oxygen, Fox Movies,Noggin, Nat'l Geographic channel, Biography channel -- all thatstuff costs extra with AT&T), did I mention that? Not to mentionadult programming channels, which weren't available at all onAT&T.The only downside for me so far has been that I lost UPN and WBaccess. Well, not lost, I just didn't bother to hook up a UHFantenna just to watch Buffy, Enterprise and Special Unit 2. Oh,and all the cable programming is aired at Eastern time zonetimes. Only minor issues for me, one solvable with a piece ofwire, and one, if or when it becomes an issue, solvable with aVHS cassette._/ C
One thing to keep in mind, is that there's also MPEG compressionartifacts in the DirecTV stream, but I can live with that sincemy local Time/Warner digital cable (which I ALSO have in onlyone room, the bedroom... soon to be canceled) even though it*should* be cleaner, isn't. DirecTV, even with the slightartifacting, is still better. It's only in 'smooth' and 'dark'camera shots that the artifacting can get really annoying butthat's few and far between.
I have DirecTV as well and, like yourself, and very very pleasedwith it. The price is also about $40 for me. And I'm getting*SIX* HBO channels. I can watch HBO on both East and West coast,which means if I miss a program I have 3 hours to catch itagain. This has made my viewing habits much easier on myschedule, believe you me. If you're a fan of Sopranos, Curb YourEnthusiasm, Oz, Sex and the City, etc., it really makes iteasier to catch these shows.
Since it *is* satellite, it requires line-of-site with theequator, which was no problem from my rooftop. Rain,thunderstorms, and heavy snow can disrupt the signal, but it'sonly affected me a handful of times. Annoying, but no biggie.There are supposedly 'shields' you can buy that minimize thisaffect (some fabric that gets wrapped around the dish) but Inever tried it out.
As for the problem you have with the timezone thing Carch... areyou saying that the box's built-in show directory is listingplaytimes for movies and shows in EST? If so, I'm pretty surethat's an editable setting. Just go to your main menu and pokearound. You can set your timezone somewhere in there, I'm fairlycertain.
Also, Carch, if you lost some local channels, keep an eye onyour channel selection profile list... it took a while but Ieventually got back UPN and WB.
Big storm here tonight, and we had no problems... but then ourinstaller said we were extremely lucky ... our signal strengthon all transcievers was over 90 (the manual says 66-80 is"good".
My in-laws have DTV and I recently installed an S-video cablefor them. The picture improved by a very noticable amount. Allsnow was gone, which we really never even noticed before untillwe installed the S-vid cable. The graphics on the guide are tonssharper. I really didn't think the cable would make that big ofa difference since I thought the TV resolution was already maxedout for most things. But I guess I was wrong. Their picture iscrystal clear now. I'm not sure if it's at all related to whatyou are talking about, though. I'll have to look with a criticaleye over Christmas.
The only thing I dislike is how it goes out during big rainstorms. That's quite frustrating, especially if you are tryingto get severe weather updates! This is where you can really seethat you're getting digital video as the decompression tries towork on incomplete frames :)
The DirecTV signal I'm seeing is pure as the driven snowcompared to the crap I got with AT&T digital cable. While it isstill mpeg encoded, the DirecTV receiver treats the signaldifferently while acquiring it ... it doesn't show you apartially generated frame. That was what drove me crazy withAT&T. If there's a glitch in the signal, I can handle astop-start stutter, but with the Motorola box, it would goblack, restart, and fill in with the signature MPEG blockdecompression pattern. Yuck!
The issue for me is that with cable, cable network shows aretape delayed so they show at their advertised time. For example,The Daily Show on comedy central airs at 11 and 1 EST normally,With Cable, it shows at 11 and 1 AM here on the left coast aswell. On DirecTV it airs at 8 pm and 11 pm. Charmed shows at 8PM normally, on DirecTV it shows at 5 PM. Makes it a bit hardfor me to catch those prime-time shows (or pre-prime-time, likeBuffy on FX at 6 and 7). I'll probably end up getting a Tivo orUltimate TV before long.
Did you do anything to help make that happen? I'll definitely bewriting the local affiliates and DirecTV, but I doubt that mylittle voice will make a difference.
Course, I have a friend who has a hacked DTV system, and he getseverything. Probably even UPN & WB. Not worth it to me...plus I want to give my dollars to a company that's providingmore bang for the buck, and is nice to its customers.
Question about installation -- will they have to punch a newhole in my house? Or can they figure out a way to run the linethrough where my cable comes into the house?
Re WB and UPN -- According to the DirecTV site, the localchannels in my area include the WB affiliate, but not UPN. Idon't think I care very much, but I am curious as to how thedecision gets made. I have to think the affiliate, as well asthe network, has something to do with it.
This is interesting, because I think Carch and I areexperiencing different stuff. When I get DirecTV dropouts, thescreen just blanks and then pops back on a second or so later.Longer if it's really bad. I've never seen any incomplete frameweirdness. However, on my Digital Cable TV setup, I get that allthe time, which is what I think Carch and I are disgusted with.