This letter is in response to Audrey up in Camino who feels trapped by persistently go-nowhere service from Comcast. Well Audrey, there are options to cable. Maybe not 10 or 20 great simple options today, certainly a handful and the good news is the list will be growing. Over the air high definition (HD) signal exists all across our region. Lots of engineers at my company use it and love the picture. It is supreme as long as the HD signal reaches your house. And guess what? No contract, no monthly subscription for channels — that option is 100 percent free once you install the HD antennae in your home. That’s your cheapest option for the good old ABC Nightly News.
Also, there are a few other things you may not be aware of that are emerging and will be maturing fast over the coming years. The Internet can easily send video when the download speed is 1-3 Mbps and high definition is also possible when the 5+ Mbps is reached, so you can easily watch television in fantastic high definition as I do in my home today with just the Internet connection (read about Roku boxes on the Internet or at Amazon; they work great). Wireless internet technologies are also improving. We have a service that is local with local ownership that supports wireless Internet into your home, since cable and phone lines don’t stretch well into the far reaches of our county.
Finally, both of the satellite companies DirecTV and Dish probably give better service from the sky. Personally my DirecTV service has been near flawless for years. Sure 10,000 feet of cloud depth can interrupt satellite service, but that is like a few hours per year. Unlike water and power, cable, phone and entertainment in general is fast becoming a competitive field. In fact, the future is very bright for America’s favorite choice in sofa-based entertainment (video streaming). My children couldn’t care less about any of the old school cable-type delivery; they do wireless Netflix, YouTube, Internet set-top and so on. Their entertainment box is already “The Internet,” but you wait, it is just getting going. I keep the $30 DirecTV around for us old folks that might want to glimpse Headline News or the Weather Channel from time to time.
The first step, a true conviction to switch and try new things, is the hardest part of all this.