Rogers Called – Digital Cable

June 28th, 2008 by Potato

First off, I haven’t updated WordPress…. ever, but my search isn’t working as well as I would like: it returns 10 hits on the first page, and then “previous entries” actually goes to the same place the “previous entries” link does on the main page, which is my previous 10 posts, rather than the next 10 search results. A few choice pages are indexed in Google, but not enough for me to be able to use Google to search my site. I was looking for my really old post on Rogers’ digital cable, and did find it with my 2nd try at search terms, but I still wonder if I should upgrade to WP2. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the escaping it did on apostrophes over at Netbug’s blog so I haven’t tried it yet, but his search string seems to work better. Oh, wait, I see now: I think something’s malformed in my search results stylesheet, because if I enter into the URL /?s=searchterm&paged=2 then it works beautifully, including the links to follow on to paged=1 and paged=2. Why that’s not there on the first results page is beyond me.

Anyhow, the reason I wanted to link to that post is that I got a call from Rogers today. They were telling me that 2009* is right around the corner, and luddites like me with basic analog cable were going to be forced to upgrade to digital cable then. Would I like to upgrade to basic digital for “only” $8 more per month? I pointed out that that was the regular price of digital cable. He said yes, but I would get all the benefits of digital including more channels and “digital clarity”, plus I could lock that price in and avoid any potential price increases in 2009. I pointed out that it was a pretty raw deal: I saw digital as a gain for Rogers and an annoyance for me, since I hate the extra boxes, so I wasn’t going to pay any extra for digital. Plus the price difference would have to double to make locking in for 1 year over 6 months in advance of the change make sense for me.

This got me thinking: I haven’t turned my TV on in over 2 months (ok, I’ve turned the tube on to play the PS2 or Wii, but I haven’t actually watched something on TV in that time). This is partly because I’ve been gone for almost a month of that time on conferences, and partly because it’s the summer so all the shows I watch are into reruns or on hiatus until the fall. However, I probably could go without TV entirely through the year… though that’s because I can download my few “must see” shows, and can pull Global, CTV, and CBC from the air for those rare times when I just want some noise, e.g.: when working out. Wayfare, however, doesn’t seem to like the ergonomics of watching shows on the computer, and it is a little tiresome to burn stuff to DVD on a weekly basis, and trying to stream video to the TV via the Wii’s wireless ethernet sounds like the devil’s work to me. But for $360/year, I wonder if her mind can be changed on that score…

I am really keen to try a digital antenna/converter (ATSC) and see what’s over the air in that format. London’s a bit far from the US broadcasters to pick much up on analog, but I might have some luck with digital. I heard that in Toronto, there’s better digital-over-the-air service than Rogers’ basic cable.

* – Note: Feb 2009 is the digital switch-over for over the air stations in the States, and I believe Rogers is going to attempt to change their cable network to digital only at the same time. Canadian over-the-air switchover isn’t until 2011. However, Rogers will only be allowed to force the switch if 85% of their customer base voluntarily goes for digital. The CBC reported in 2007 that, at their rate of growth at the time, yhey were about 4 years from reaching that figure. That tells me that the Rogers caller was full of shit.

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