Tuesday, August 4, 2009


So, when I heard Being Human was going to be on BBC America, I considered getting cable or satellite service. I finally decided to, since I'd surely find something interesting to watch. (Seriously, after the season finales of Family Guy and The Simpsons, I didn't turn on my digital converter box.) I contacted my phone and Internet provider, AT&T. They work with DirectTV for their TV service, so I applied there.

It turns out DirectTV will check your credit history. I've posted before that either my credit was marred by an evil company that no longer exists, or I have unestablished credit. So, after applying, I was contacted, saying that more information was needed, and I would need to call them to provide it. The next morning, I was on hold for 49 minutes before I decided that I needed to call back later, as I had to go to work. When I got home from work, I was on hold for another 20 minutes before my call was answered, and they confirmed my suspicion: they had an issue with my credit history. Never mind me paying AT&T's phone and internet bills on time consistently for over 2 years, they wanted me to pay an additional $200 up front. That's over half of my monthly apartment rent. I told them to cancel the order, if I decided I wanted to pursue service with them, I'd apply again.

I looked into DishNetwork, but their first package with BBC America included was $70 a month at the introductory price.

I tried Mediacom, but the only website I could find for them on Google said my address was ineligible for Mediacom service. For some reason, I called Shaun, who was, at the time, Audrey's fiancee, and he suggested I call them, since they knew some of my neighbors had Mediacom service.

I didn't get a chance to call Mediacom until the next day. Instead of asking me for my credit history or making me hold for over a half hour (with hold music that was actually listenable), they answered my call in a reasonable time and we selected a package and they arranged a time for them to come over. The up front cost would be $85. (An additional $10 bill came later.)

The day we set, they didn't make me wait hours and hours, but came about 10:30 AM, and got my set up quickly. Due to a short cord and only one cable outlet, I had to move my TV to my living room again. (Recently, I got a 100-foot coaxial cable that restored the location to my office.)

After having cable for over 3 weeks, there are some shows that I enjoy seeing. The only ones I watch regularly are Being Human and The Smoking Gun Presents World's Dumbest. (Get a lot of B-list celebrities to comment on video footage. It's hilarious!) I'll tune into re-runs of The Cosby Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and other shows I have fond memories of. Sometimes I'll find something I'd be interested in, but not enough for me to keep the TV on all the time.

I did find a few other shows on BBC America that sparked some interest. The UK version (which is actually the original version) of Antiques Roadshow was a lot more enjoyable than the US version, given it had an outdoor environment and the appraisers have some attitude. A show that airs right before seemed a little similar: Cash in the Attic. Appraisers visit someone's home to look for valuable old items to sell at auction to help the homeowner raise funds for a project they're attempting. And I also decided to see what was in this Doctor Who thing that I'd heard of so much by watching the US premiere of Planet of the Dead. I enjoyed it. I've read a lot of comments that it wasn't the best episode and was rather weak, but as I'd had no previous experience with the Doctor Who franchise (that I'd read up on a little bit on Wikipedia first), it was an okay "Doctor Who 101."

All I can say is that, I'm satisfied with the service, and am considering switching my internet over to Mediacom, too.


alancook said...

Some British TV to track down:

Peep Show,
Bottom (With Rik Mayall. DVD is titled 'Full Bottom'),
Gavin & Stacey,
The Office,
Red Dwarf,
The Inbetweeners.

These are all comedy series right enough.

But, 'Being Human' is comedy sometimes ain't it?

alancook said...

I almost forgot to mention 'Qi' which stands for 'Qite Interesting' and is a British panel show hosted by Stephen Fry.

That's a favourite show of mine.

Jared said...

Nice suggestions, Al, I'm sure... But none of those get carried, so far as I've seen. (It wouldn't kill BBC America to expand their lineup.) If only there was some place where I could find these... Hmmm... :)

Jared said...

And I guess "Being Human" has it's comedic moments: one more reason to love it.

alancook said...

Comedic Moments?
Being Human?

Oh yeah!
I think of Being Human as a comedy drama.

A lot of the patter in it is hilarious.