OT (semi!): Comcast, you suck

Submitted by johnthesavage on September 15th, 2017 at 11:42 PM

So here I am, transplanted Wolverine in silicon valley, getting ready to watch the first BTN game of the year tomorrow. Of course, out here, you don't get that for free -- it's part of the sports entertainment package, which I'm happy to pay for.

Tonight I checked it out and I am indeed getting BTN on two separate channels. One is down with the SD channels, the other up with the HD sports channels -- but neither is in HD!

I called Comcast to say, "what gives?" A helpful woman asked her engineering boss about it, and was told there just aren't enough people out here interested in this channel for them to carry it in HD. It strains their bandwidth too much, so unless it becomes more popular they will only be carrying SD. 


I helpfully pointed out they would have more bandwidth if they didn't send two identical copies of the channel in SD. But of course, they are not wanting for bandwidth. In fact even their "HD" service, for which they have the nerve in 2017 to charge an "HD technology fee" for, is usually in 720P, which is a standard more than ten years old! I guess I won't hold my breath waiting for Comcast to deliver 4K, or even a consistent 1080p!, since in 2017 they claim they don't have the bandwidth to carry HD BTN to customers paying extra for the priveledge, in CA. Must not be enough of us B1G alums to add up to anything, eh?!

Okay, rant over. Maybe I'll stream it (and yeah, that will count against my data cap!). But hey, Comcast is the f-ing worst.



September 15th, 2017 at 11:53 PM ^

are of course right, Comcast is a shit company. The problem is if you are in a Comcast area there usually no quality competitors, especially if you want the best internet speeds you can get.


September 15th, 2017 at 11:54 PM ^

Comcast's goal is always to charge the most money providing the least amount of bandwidth and the worst customer service.

Some might consider what they charge reasonable but $200/month for a decent internet connection with cable HD content is rediculous. This is precisely why you will find a mgblog topic each month about cord cutting.

Cable is the one service Americans pay for that we simply do not gain back value and if we do it means we have become more of a couch potato.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:32 AM ^

I have five people in my household.  We stream all of our TV via Vue and Netflix/Hulu/etc.  Every month, we run right up to the 1TB limit.

When you consider that any strain on the system comes from an unwillingness on Comcast's (or AT&T's part, in my case) to update their own infrastructure in spite of the fact that they're charging much more than people in most developed nations pay for internet service that is much faster/more bandwidth than what we get, we absolutely should be outraged at these data limits.  Same thing for cell phones.  

People in other places get much more than we do for a lot less money.  I knew a guy from South Korea that spent a year in the states for work recently and he used to tell us that using our internet was like taking a time machine back to the 90's.  That's how far behind we are.

We complain about prices all the time, but I don't think most of us have any idea just how badly we're getting screwed.  It's just like with health care where the average person just figures "Well it's not a perfect system, but this is America so I can safely assume this is as good as it gets."  If we all realized what it's really like in some of these other places, we'd never tolerate overpaying several times over for a vastly inferior product.


September 16th, 2017 at 9:13 AM ^

1TB isn't much. We have 2 people in our house and both work from home and use PSVue. Last month just the two of us used over 700GB.

The big problem is we can't vote with our wallets. Most of us have one choice for anything resembling broadband (25Mbps down and 4Mbps up I think the FCC defines it as). In markets with more than one choice this shit doesn't happen and prices are usually lower as well.

Comcast and others have even basically admitted that data caps have nothing to do with network management. It's simply a response to uncompetitive markets and maintaining cash flow as people continue to cut cable.


September 16th, 2017 at 1:10 PM ^

Or, maybe your job includes using wifi at home, like mine does as an English professor who grades essays through LMS. I also happen to enjoy baseball, so I stream my out of market team on the TV during the summer and fall, while doing work on my computer. Oh, and I'm in better shape than most people in their 30s, so...get off my lawn.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:01 AM ^

People still buy cable TV from Cable companies?  WTF?  I may only save about $50 per month, but at least I can give the middle finger to the cable company.  I'd pay an extra $50 for that!.  For $100 you could have this working today.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:49 AM ^

don't you still have to get internet through a cable provider? In my area, the only respectable internet service is through Spectrum so I'd have to do Spectrum internet with DIRECTV. Is this how people usually do it? Because DIRECTV's little DSL service they offer is trash


September 16th, 2017 at 9:26 AM ^

I have Dish and ATT for internet. I have a cottage up north and have it on the same Dish account so the cost is not as bad. I have had Dish for 10 plus years and have been happy with them. Customer service blows away anything I had from all my unsatisfactory years with Comcast. I hate Comcast with a passion unknown to mankind.


September 16th, 2017 at 12:08 AM ^

In live in southwest Ohio and have to deal with spectrum cable. Talk about garbage. The wifi is constantly cutting in and out. Channels like vh1, nickolodeon, and many others that are part of the basic package aren't even an option. It's pure garbage.

Blue from Ohio

September 16th, 2017 at 12:25 AM ^

Yeah I live in Midwest OH and have Directv.  We're getting flyers from Spectrum for something ridiculous like $29.99 a month for a bundle package, but I've heard absolute horror stories about their service.  I have plenty of my own horror stories dealing with Directv, but being a Chicago Bears fan in OH, I atleast get NFL ticket this way.


September 16th, 2017 at 12:14 AM ^

I tested BTN via a relative's Michigan-based Comcast account today and found it is only available via home Wi-Fi, so not an option for me here in Colorado.

I was considering adding BTN to my Colorado-based Comcast bundle for $10/month but then I found YoutubeTV and the 14 day free trial.   Can anyone comment on the quality of BTN via Youtube TV?


September 16th, 2017 at 12:17 AM ^

Yeah, I pay 200 a month for the sports packages and watch BTN in like claymation. Brightside is As/Giants/Warriors coverage. Dubs game 3 nights a week makes these harsh NorCal winters livable.


September 16th, 2017 at 12:30 AM ^

i'm on the west coast and i use my father's michigan xfinity/comcast account to stream via Roku stick BTN2Go, espn, and fox sports apps.  haven't had any issues beyond the espn app buffering and then fuzzy resolution a handful of times.


September 16th, 2017 at 12:55 AM ^

I've lived in San Carlos/Redwood City for the past 8 years and dumped Comcast, in part, for this very reason. The weather is too nice out here for the satellite signal to waiver (it's happened 2 times in 6 years to me), I'd recommmend going that route.

Welcome to the Bay Area.


September 16th, 2017 at 1:00 AM ^

It was maddening when the SEC network got its HD channel on launch and still being stuck with BTN in SD.  And it's honestly the worst SD feed I've ever seen picture quality-wise

OP, download the Xfinity Stream TV app.  It's really stable for me when watching live games on my phone or tablet.  For BTN, there is an HD feed under TV GO channels.  


September 16th, 2017 at 1:55 AM ^

Nope. Comcast is 1000x better than Charter. Service techs, customer service, TV interface, online interface. Charter doesn't suck, it blows! I'm glad to be back in Comcast territory.


September 16th, 2017 at 2:00 AM ^

Cable, banks, and airlines companies are all terrible and need to go the way of Taxi cabs. Can't wait until customer friendly alternatives come up and put all of them out of business.

Perkis-Size Me

September 16th, 2017 at 7:45 AM ^

Yep. They know they can treat their customers like shit because there is no other alternative for them to go to. It's like the DMV. Where else are you going to go to get your license? That's why I love seeing what Uber and Lyft are doing to the cab companies.

You want customers back? Stop treating them like shit.


September 16th, 2017 at 2:06 AM ^

It's the worst. I have been trying to find a way to express our demand for HD. I don't think there is a Comcast person that really even looks at this. There are tons of big ten alumni in CA. They just don't care. Maybe we can find an alumni that works at Comcast.


September 16th, 2017 at 2:40 AM ^

Why should they care? Where I sit, they have a monopoly, if I want to watch every U-M game live. If they decided they didn't have the bandwidth, they'd only have one copy of the channel. (besides, all of us with a brain and a rudimentary knowledge of the internet in 2017 know this is false) This reeks of a post-hoc justification for a mistake some engineer made they don't even care to fix. They are the worst. Maybe Equifax is the worst, but I'm don't think so, because actually Comcast is the worst.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:38 AM ^

Right.  Everyone says we can't regulate telecom because it supposedly stifles competition and innovation.  There IS no competition and innovation because the entire industry operates as a monopoly, as there is no competition in many regions, and in the few regions with multiple companies they just act as a trust and charge similarly outrageous prices for similarly shitty service.

There is no free market if we don't ensure competition and open access.  We don't, and so here we are.


September 16th, 2017 at 8:52 AM ^

Across the entire US, certainly there are no monopolies, but in most of the US there seems to be a total monopoly in cable and definitely on internet. I used to live in an area that Comcast and Verizon FIOS so there was at least some, but now I live in an area where the only internet is Spectrum


September 16th, 2017 at 3:01 AM ^

I find these types of posts to be humorous.

"Why doesn't this giant business do something to fit my individual needs?"

There are basically two reasons that businesses don't do things:

1. It's not profitable.
2. It's not practical/possible.

Since we know it's possible from a technology standpoint, that really leaves only one option, and that's that it's not profitable enough for Comcast to make BTN go HD in your area. If it would make them money, they would do it. So what you want is for Comcast to make a poor business decision so you can watch some Michigan football in HD.


September 16th, 2017 at 3:36 AM ^

Your post assumes a well run business. Another option is that they are idiots/assholes. As Comcast consistently ranks among the worst companies in customer service, I believe this speaks to the OPs point. Whenever I consider straying from the path, I just consider that hell probably involves dealing with Comcast customer support for an eternity.