Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In which the Third Time really IS the charm...

OK, I know I haven't blogged much lately. For a change, I have a good excuse! And I'm not even talking about going on vacation and then moving to a different apartment. I'm talking about my new internet service, called Uverse.

This service is offered by AT&T and combines DSL with cable TV, pay per view, a built in DVR, and even HD, all run through traditional phone lines. I don't have an HD television (yet) but all the other features made it sound rather sweet, plus it was about $30/month less than what I was paying before I moved for digital cable plus cable hi-speed internet.

(Regarding the move, more to come later, but I really like the new apartment, even though it's slightly pricier. It's in the same complex, but bigger, and has a balcony. Unpacking is proceeding slowly, but no injuries were sustained in the move other than muscle soreness and a couple of blisters.)

Anyhow, now that Uverse is installed, I can say it definitely kicks ass. However, getting it installed was another story. I suppose it was not easy in part because the buildings here are old and the previous resident likely didn't even have a computer...none of the phone lines had really been touched in a long time.

On the date of the original installation attempt, the technician showed up about 9 AM. This first technician said he'd have to run wire all over my apartment to get my bedroom TV hooked up. I declined on running cable over my doorways, since I am not really a bedroom TV addict, so I was just going to have the main TV and my computer connected. I have to leave for work at 1:30 PM, but I figured that should be plenty of time for an apartment install, right? Wrong! The technician was working at the phone box down the street when I called and said I had to leave. He called later and thanked me for putting his tools outside and said he could have finished in another 20 minutes if he'd been able to come back in.

The second technician showed up two days later, for what I hoped would be a quick visit, based on the previous installer's remarks. She was very nice and said that she COULD get the bedroom TV working, using the existing phone jack in there, without running wire all the way from the living room. She did get the living room TV and internet working briefly. However, four hours later, and after calling out a supervisor to help her, she admitted defeat. The signal strength was not consistent, and she was never able to get the bedroom TV to work at all. She thought there might be an external phone line problem. I scheduled a third technician to come out today, on my day off, to make sure they'd have time to finish.

The technician today found a faulty filter which seemed to be what was causing the issues with varying signal strength. Since the filter is only needed if you also have a land line (which I don't) he was able to fix that problem fairly quickly by removing the filter. After only an hour or so, he was all done! The previous techs had already run the cables, so he basically just had to hook up everything.

Thus, I now have a 3 megabit DSL line on my desktop computer (upgradable to 6 should I ever so desire) and a cool cable setup with DVR, PPV, and some free premium channels (upgradable to be viewable in HD format whenever I can afford to buy an HD TV.) The good thing is that if I ever do need to upgrade either my TV service or my internet service, NO technician visit is required...I can get it all done with a phone call. Also included was a free wireless router. I have the wireless part turned off right now, since I only own a desktop, but if I ever do buy a laptop and I'm so lazy I want to browse the net in my bed instead of walking into the living room...I'll be able to. Ain't technology grand?

Now, I have to continue unpacking, even though I now have the dual distraction of cable TV and high-speed internet to slow me down. I'll keep plugging along, though. The good thing about unpacking is...none of your stuff is going anywhere.


Heather Meadows said...

Great post! You're a good storyteller :)

My husband and I have wireless internet. We don't have desktops anymore, just laptops, so we can park anywhere around the apartment that we want to. I used to sit in the office, but since Sean stays out in the living room (on our kotatsu) I've started sitting out here as well. It's convenient for when we watch TV I suppose (though we don't have cable or anything; we just watch DVDs).

Marvo said...

Dude, being able to surf the web on the toilet is awesome!!!

Anyhoo, I don't really have a use for my cable TV anymore, since i hardly watch it and buy a lot of stuff from iTunes, but my Road Runner is a necessity.

Suldog said...

Aaarrgghh! Computer talk!

(*runs out of room clutching head in hands*)

Suldog said...

"Glad to hear you like the new apartment, though", he said over his shoulder as he ran.

Chuck said...

Heather - If I ever get a laptop, I'll activate the wireless. But I'm not in any rush to get one. My TV and computer are both in the front room, so I can surf the web while I surf channels, although I have to turn around to watch the TV.

Marvo - I have to admit, surfing the net from the bathroom does sound intriguing.

Suldog - One day, you'll become one of us and join the Borg.