We bought a new series III TiVO with our spare change, I think I blogged that somewhere … dump your spare change at Coinstar, turn it into an Amazon gift cert with no service fee …. we bought it, set it up, and today the Comcast weenies brought our two CableCards to stuff into the front. The cable box went the way of the Passenger Pigeon.

We were obviously the first people in YC to have the CableCards installed. I said, “This is easy, you just shove the cards in the front and register them, yes?” and he said, “The help desk said that, didn’t they?” And he proceeded to make me move the big console with all the fscking equipment on it so he could get to the back for some imaginary task. The cable guy was seemingly not an actual dumbshit or anything, but maybe he’d never really messed with a TiVO III. Or possibly TiVO in any form. It took awhile for him to get to the point where he figured out the cards go in the front of the TiVO. And then, it was all downhill. Or uphill? It didn’t get any better. Mainly, one of the cards wouldn’t register. “This Card Cannot Be Read.” 200 times.

As a computer geek, I’m all “Swap slots, man, see if it’s the card or the slot” and he’s all, “But the instructions say you have to set #1 up first” and finally, after another hour, he and his controller on the phone (he’s been on the phone the entire time with someone reading a manual to him) decide to swap the cards and figure out that card #2 is bad. Hey, better late than never! Gahhh. And this guy is apparently a *contractor* for Comcast.

Cable guy said he wouldn’t carry an extra – it’s too small and he’d lose it and then Comcast would make him pay for it if he lost it. I said, “You WILL be back here today with the replacement, right?” with menacing body language and an axe handle*, and we traded schedules. Yes, he’d try and make it back today.

He did make it back, not even an hour later, put the new card in, it registered just fine and he high-tailed it out of here. Nothing worked, of course. Too many cards going in and out. I recycled the power the hard way, and re-did the guided setup and VOILA we have an amazingly good picture, antenna channels if we want ’em now, and can finally watch one thing and record another.

What gets me is how much clearer the picture and sound is now for any channel, HD or not. I would have paid the $800 for the earlier series III if I would have known what a difference it would make. But, we waited for the giant price drop and are now happy as clams. $260. From loose change. Yeah, baby, it feels like we actually won one!

Dammit, now I want a better TV.


** We have a GIGANTIC change jar.  Haven’t dipped into it for four years until the TiVO thing.  Wouldn’t have done that, either, except that it was starting to warp the big dresser it was standing on ….