Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I've Got a Crush on You, DVR . . .

So yeah, we finally broke down and got a new service for our Internet and TV, and got a DVR, and I'm in luuurrrrrvve. Wanna record your favorite show? Why certainly ma'am, just push this little button here, find your show, push this other little button here, then push it again and you're all set! No more putting in the start and finish time, making sure it's on the right channel, making sure it's on SLP so you don't run out of tape, wondering after you are gone from home if you put in the right times, trying to figure out what show is on which tape and making sure you don't tape over something you haven't watched . . . WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY, BABY GIRL!

We have been faithful cable TV customers for many years, and have always been happy enough with that, though over the years as the company changed hands and they jacked with my available channels, I have had Bravo taken away and given back, same with TCM, and had AMC taken away, just about the time it started actually have great TV series on (well, maybe that was the reason it became a premium channel, but you get my drift). We looked into digital cable, but just never made the switch. Our cable provider charges a monthly fee for DVR usage, and that just sorta sat wrong with me.

So a couple of weeks ago, I called AT&T to inquire about an error on my bill, and a very professional and polite young man helped me and then asked if he could tell me about their new service, U-Verse. I said sure, what the heck, and of course it was very appealing to me and the price was right, especially with all of the rebates and free stuff they are offering right now, including a DVR with no fee. Also, no contract, meaning if we don't like it, we can just switch back to cable or whatever. No fuss, no muss. Tryyyyy it, you'll LIIIKE it! I must say this guy's professional and helpful demeanor played a BIG part in my deciding to try out this service.

During the two weeks that passed between that conversation and my installation appointment, I waffled a bit, worrying about whether everything would work the same (I am really a creature of habit), and whether I could learn to work the DVR so I can record my shows (if you know me, you know I am a TVholic and so I JUST MUST see my shows). And right now, I'm trying not to watch online in support of the WGA strike, since they don't get any residuals from programs watched online, which is just plain WRONG! And cross your crossables (thanks, Joss Jackson) that the strike is about to be over, according to the scuttlebut. But I digress . . .

Monday, a very nice installation guy showed up at my house. They had told me between 5 and 8 hours for installation, which seemed really long to me, but when I saw all he had to do, I could see why. Won't go into all that here except to say that we have five TVs, and three of them are on a splitter since our house didn't have enough cable outlets, and so this big (well over 6 feet) man had to crawl around on the floor and in my attic getting this stuff all hooked up correctly, as well as do a bunch of stuff outside. He asked me several questions I could not answer, and had to call Hubby to find out, and he was consistently polite and patient and, again, very professional. Even wore SHOE COVERS on his shoes! Wow. I told him he didn't have to, as we have DOGS, and our floor is NEVER clean, but he said they are required to as some customers are picky about that stuff.

This poor man was trying so hard to complete my installation, which was complicated somewhat beyond the usual, to say the least, and his supervisors kept CALLING him, I mean like at least 10 times during the 7 hours he was here, wanting to know how far along he was. I wanted to grab the phone and tell them he would be done sooner if they'd JUST STOP CALLING. I guess I can see why they want to have fast installation times, but he was more interested in installing it CORRECTLY, so our service would be good, and I for one really appreciated that. I'm thinking of calling their customer service line just to praise his good work and great attitude.

So, he showed me the features on the TV service and DVR, and I just kept saying "Cool!" to everything he showed me. Just so simple. AND, BONUSSSSSSSSS! I can program the DVR to record something FROM MY COMPUTER! WHEN I'M NOT THERE! And Jay can do it from his FREAKING PHONE (which gets Internet). That's just so COOOOOOLLL! "Oh honey, could you set the DVR to record Lost?" says me while we are at the mall . . . Oh yeah, I'm in love.

I can record up to four shows at once. And, if I need to record more than that - well, it COULD happen - once the writer's strike is settled, I can always watch some of my shows online (they are not all available). The only small catch is that we have to program our other devices (VCRS, DVD players) ourselves, but I think we'll be able to do that - it looks pretty simple. Ooh, ooh, AND, we can create a FAVORITES list of channels so we don't have to scroll through channels we don't have or don't ever watch. AND, I have the Independent Film Channel, which just rocks the house. Whooo, take a breath Gail. It's only TV. We also have new and faster Internet service. All for a little less than what we've been paying for cable and Internet that often gives me slow or nonexistent service just when I need it most.

Don't think I'm clueless that I may be the last, or nearly last, of my friends to GET a DVR, and maybe the only person I know still taping stuff on a VCR (except for my BFF Julie), so this is new to me and old hat to most of you, but anyways I'm excited. So don't rain on my parade!

So, me and my DVR are in love. I'm thinking of giving it a name . . . Any suggestions?

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