Tag Archives: HD

Good News For BUSY Rugby Fans, 17-Minute Highlights Of 2019 World Cup Matches, In HD, Available On YouTube (FREE).

by Anura Guruge


Just a very partial listing from YouTube.com.



Given that NBC holds the U.S. broadcast right for the 2019 World Cup I did not expect to see much on YouTube.

I was pleasantly surprised. NBC, for a change, is being NICE. Yes, they are but 17-minute HIGHLIGHTs but it is in HD and appears to capture what is needed. Yes, it does leave you feeling a bit lost and empty at times, but it is better than nothing.

To be honest, I am quite cool with this. I do NOT have time to watch a full 90-100 minute game — not with my writing and also watching cricket! So, this suits I.

Yesterday, I watched two matches, back-to-back: New Zealand v South Africa & Fiji v Australia. They were both beyond excellent. Must watch. Honest. Some of the running. Will leave you breathless.


Related Posts:
Search ‘rugby‘.


by Anura Guruge

MetroCast Down In Alton (NH) For 56-Hours Following Blizzard Of 2017.

by Anura Guruge


I write this as one:

  1. Who regularly SINGS the praises of the MetroCast high speed Internet service; viz., Example 1Example 2 & Example 3.

  2. Who has been a MetroCast customer for 20 years.

  3.  Who was the ‘Customer Support Manager’ for ITT Business Systems (UK) & Northern Telecom Business Systems (UK).

  4.  One who in February 2015 filed a BBB Complaint against MetroCast — and prevailed.


Yes, we understand that the storm was disruptive and wreaked havoc.

My gripe is the LACK of communications and the sheer disregard for customer relations & the POOR lack of redundancy in network design.




That the Call Center was down for that long is not acceptable.

That it took SO LONG before they started posting updates on Facebook was not acceptable.

That the Facebook updates, to begin with, were so sporadic was unacceptable.

That the Facebook updates did NOT reflect reality and was indeed FAKE NEWS was unacceptable. I had firsthand experience of this. I finally managed to speak to a MetroCast rep. at 11:57pm on Thursday night; March 16, 2017. As usual he was VERY NICE. I told him that the latest Facebook update was saying that the Alton node had been activated. He told me, point blank, that that was NOT THE CASE! And the Facebook update had been made at least 30 minutes earlier.

Yes, I had my service back, at full bore (i.e., 150/160Mbps), 14 minutes later! Coincidence.

Not sure how many of YOU remember. BUT we had a similar MetroCast flap in February 2015.

MetroCast was NOT UPFRONT with us on that.

I ranted and railed … and filed a BBB complaint.

I know that heads rolled!

Not sure whether a VP should be held responsible for this. But, IF I was MetroCast NH’s Customer Support Manager I would have handed in my resignation this morning.

I am glad that I have my 150Mbps back.

I was NEVER without Internet — thanks to TDS.

I have BETTER REDUNDANCY at my house than MetroCast has in their network.

I have a separate 15Mbps TDS Internet connection just in case!

I am, as of right now, going ahead and getting a load-balancing router and UPGRADING TDS … {SMILE}



Related posts:
>> Search on ‘TDS’ & ‘MetroCast’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge


On This Stormy, Nor’easter Day, MetroCast & TDS Compete To See Whose Internet Service Is Less Reliable.

by Anura Guruge


mctds


Yes, we did have a storm, a Nor’easter no less, BUT by our Central New Hampshire standards it wasn’t that a bigger of a deal. Yes, there was some ice, but it was minimal. We did NOT lose power and that alone tells its own story. The lights didn’t even flicker — once.

BUT, both MetroCast and TDS somehow managed to lose their Internet services, on and off, all day! Not funny.

Woke up this morning, at 8:40am (which is par for the course), to be informed that BOTH our Internet feeds were down. That irks me. I pay for BOTH MetroCast and TDS Internet services for redundancy — to have one up if the other is down. Well, they were both down.

I called up MetroCast and as ever they were very courteous and told me at once that it was a known problem and that they had crews working on it. MetroCast was back up around 9:30am. Was I glad.

TDS was still down. Around 10am I called them. What a DIFFERENCE. They had NO CLUE. I was on the line with them for over 20 minutes and they claimed that they were NOT aware of any problems in my area. They then scheduled for SERVICE CALL to happen between 2pm to 5pm — today! What a joke.

The TDS service came up around 1:30pm. Suffice to say no Technician showed up. The Service Call was another TDS lie. They like to do that.

MetroCast Internet, offering 150/160Mbps, did fine all day. Then it went down AGAIN around 5:30pm! YIKES.

TDS was up so we were not dead in the water.

Called up MetroCast again. Again very polite, very apologetic. Told me, quite quickly, that yet again it was a known problem. A fibre cable had been cut! I would NOT put that past TDS. Again I was assured that a crew had already been dispatched to splice the cable.

MetroCast was up in about 30 minutes. So that was good.

But, all in all, TDS was down for longer and I, as is now the new norm, got dreadful service from TDS!

Kind of ironic. Given that I have had TDS/Union Tel. Internet service at this house for 10 years, TDS is rather anxious for me to get TDS TV. Yes, of course, I would love to have 1 Gigabit Internet. I can afford it. The cost, at $225/month, is not an issue. It is TDS’ damn reliability or lack thereof. Plus their appalling service.

No point having 1 Gigabit if it is down to 0 Mbps more often than not. Plus, with TDS TV, if I lose Internet, like today, there is a 95% that I will lose all TV too! Not good. I actually had a call from a TDS salesman just yesterday! I told him, without having any idea as to what today would hold, that I worry that TDS would not be reliable. BINGO.


Related posts:
>> Search on ‘TDS’ & ‘MetroCast’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge


TDS TV 1Gig Fiber Service In Alton (N.H.) Comes To Over $225/month For My Needs!

by Anura Guruge


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I currently have TWO Internet services: 150/160Mbps from MetroCast and 15Mbps from TDS. Yes, I have two services to get more bandwidth and redundancy (when one goes down). I also have DISH TV (via TDS) and a TDS landline.

I had always said I would get 1Gig when it was available. But, I have now gone 2 months without doing so.

Yes, my current bills for TDS/DISH & MetroCast comes to around $235. So in theory I can get much more for less with TDS.

Aaahh! But the devil is in the details. I get HBO with DISH. It will cost me ANOTHER $20 to get it with the TDS bundle. Plus now I have redundancy and that is always nice when either MetroCast (very rarely) or TDS (more often) is down. IF I want redundancy it will cost me more. Without HBO I would probably be in the $260 region. But, in theory I will be getting a LOT of bandwidth though none of the speeds are guaranteed.

Some of you may have seen TDS’ $101.94/month price.

That is for 100Mbps, NO HD, 1 TV and Internet phone.

TDS charges $10/month for HD and $8/month for additional TVs. So I am immediately $18 up on that.

So, just a heads up. HD is $10/month, additional TVs are $8/month and you will only get a landline IF you already have one — like we do.

 Click to ENLARGE and admire.

 

fast160


Related posts:
>> Search on ‘TDS’ & ‘MetroCast’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge


Lenovo Tab 2 10″ 16GB Android Tablet — Pretty Darn Impressive For $171.

by Anura Guruge



I ordered the Lenovo 10″ Tab 2 last Thursday when the 10.6″ 8-Core Dragon Touch X10 Android Tablet which I had got from Amazon the day before proved to be a major disappointment in terms of screen resolution and USB-based battery charging.

The 1920 x 1200 screen on the Lenovo, as is mentioned in all the product reviews and many of the Amazon ‘feedback’, is pretty spiffy. Vastly superior to the Dragon X10. Crisp and vivid (and I do have it set to ‘vivid’). It is also surprisingly and pleasantly fast. That was a bonus. As I have stated before 96% of what is do on a pad is Web browsing — using Chrome. And it seems to be very adept at doing that. I am pleased.

Slightly more ‘bloatware’ than was in the Dragon. Most of it was easy enough to remove though I am still stuck with a few, such as ‘FM Radio’, which I will never use because it needs an earphone cord to act as an antenna and I don’t use (or like) earphones.

It upgraded, as part of a mandatory System Update, to Android 5.0.1. So I have only used it with Android 5. Works fine (so far). Haven’t found an APP that has not been compatible,

The only problem I have is I can’t get a magnetic compass APP to work. Yes, I know I about calibration but I still haven’t managed to crack that. GPS works. So not the end of the world.

Only has USB-charging (as opposed to also have a separate charger as was the case with the Dragon) and charging, so far, seems par for the course.

So bottom line, after (say) 28 hours and maybe 90 minutes of use is that ‘So Far So Good’, screen is impressive and performance, including Wi-Fi, more than acceptable. I am happy.

Hope this helps.

 

lenovotablet1

Click to access Amazon listing. Smaller and a (slower) Quad-Core as opposed to the 8 in the Dragon.


Related posts:
**** Search ‘Androidfor other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Dragon Touch X10 Android Tablet — Screen Resolution & Battery Life Not Up To My Criteria.

by Anura Guruge



The 10.6″ 8-Core Dragon Touch X10 Android Tablet which I ordered from Amazon over the weekend arrived yesterday. Definitely a nice, responsive unit with NO BLOATWARE — and it was fully charged when it arrived. It even came with fairly comprehensive instructions and a very cute, ‘clingy’ screen protector with additional guidance. I was able to get it up and running with my core set of APPs — Chrome, Bank of America, Fidelity, ‘GPS’, ‘Home Security’ etc. — very quickly and with NO issues. I was impressed.

But, I have already printed the paperwork from Amazon to return it! I used it for less than 2 hours!

There were two things that were not up to my requirements and those were such that I would never be happy with this tablet. These being: screen resolution not good enough when using Chrome and battery charging/battery life.

The screen resolution is 1366×768. In theory that should be good enough. It is OK when you are using APPs so to speak, but not when trying to read Webpages on Chrome — in particular ‘marketwatch.com‘ (in desktop mode). Deanna had a look and agreed. Resolution way below par. Also the case when watching video. Given that I HAVE to read at least 30 – 40 minutes of ‘marketwatch.com’ a day, in order to be I, this was NOT going to fly. I need a tablet where I can read Webpages without the screen resolution getting in the way.

The second issue proved to be worse that I had hoped, given that I had already read, on the Amazon reviews that this could be a stumbling block. Though it can be charged via USB it is NOT ‘happy’ being charged as such. It, appears, though I did not bother to try, that it prefers to be charged using its dedicated charger. I had hoped that this would not be as bigger an issue as it proved to be. It was NOT fully charged after 7.5 hours plugged into my standard USB charger! That is not acceptable. Every room in this house is set up, one way or another, for USB charging. Plus when we travel I carry a pouch of USB chargers. I am not going to take another dedicated charger. IF it is not going to charge, fast and adequately, via USB, it is NOT for I. Alos noticed that battery capacity was going down in front of my eyes. Wow.

It also appears that I can’t get the magnetic sensor, used by non-GPS compass APPs to work. Not a showstopper BUT annoying. I like an ‘analog’ non-GPS compass on my tablet. Also not convinced that it had the latest and greatest Wi-Fi chips.

So the Dragon, alas, is going back. Shame. 

I have already ordered a 10″ Lenovo tablet:

lenovotablet1

Click to access Amazon listing. It has a higher resolution HD screen. Smaller and a (slower) Quad-Core as opposed to the 8 in the Dragon.


Related posts:
**** Search ‘Amazonfor other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Picture Quality Of CNBC On Dish Is Beyond Atrocious — Worse Than SD.

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by Anura Guruge


A Few Related posts:
>> Dish picture quality inferior to DirecTV.
>> Cancelled DirecTV.
>> DirectTV: 1st TEN reasons to HATE them.
>> DirectTV: More reasons to HATE them.
>> DirectTV: No sound.

++++ Search ‘DirecTV’ or ‘DISH’ for the many, many other posts  >>>>


cnbcdish12121As I posted here, 3 weeks ago, I noticed that the Dish HD picture quality, on our two HD TVs, was far, far, far inferior to that of DirecTV.

Kind of came as a shock since we had switched from DirecTV to Dish — and the two TVs were the same.

I remember, from 2 years ago, that we all noticed that the DirecTV picture quality was ‘infinitely’ better than that of Dish, when we switched from Dish to DirecTV. [Yes, the 2 year contract game.]

I also know that this inferior picture quality has to do with Dish transmitting LESS bandwidth (and as such ‘lines’) for certain channels OUTSIDE of Prime Time. Yes, CNN on Dish at 10pm can look dazzling. The difference is that CNN and all other channels with DirecTV looked that good ALL of the time.

Though I turn on CNBC on TV, as soon as I wake up (around 8:20 am), I don’t really watch it. I listen to it while I read the news on the U.K. “Daily Mail” on my Pad.

This morning I had a real close look at CNBC per Dish.

OMG. OMG.

Its was dreadful. Grainy, out of focus and at a resolution far below SD — never mind HD. Now if I was getting this on an Internet connection you could blame connection speed. But I am getting this BROADCAST down from a satellite. So I can’t control the bandwidth.

This is bad. Very bad. Dish should be ashamed.


Dish HD Picture Quality Inferior To That Of DirecTV (or Roku 3/Amazon Prime) — June 2015.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


A Few Related posts:
>> Cancelled DirecTV.
>> DirecTV installation.
>> DirectTV: 1st TEN reasons to HATE them.
>> DirectTV: More reasons to HATE them.
>> DirectTV: No sound.

++++ Search ‘DirecTV’ or ‘DISH’ for the many, many other posts  >>>>


directvdish1212We have had Dish HD TV (again) since last Thursday, June 4, 2015. I had finally managed to cancel my accursed and detested DirecTV account on May 31 — 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Just a few minutes ago Deanna took the pre-paid box with the two Genie receivers to the Post Office. No doubt DirecTV will find something wrong with them and charge me for it. What is new. That is all that DirecTV did for 2 years — lied and cheated at each and every turn.

Well, I am back with Dish. Yes, they are no angels either, BUT I don’t think they are as bad as DirecTV. Maybe I will learn.

But we noticed something right away.

Dish Network picture quality is POOR — one could even say downright bad!

Compared to DirecTV HD it is about 50% as good. I guess they just don’t transmit as much bandwidth.

This may come as a surprise but quality of a HD picture is DEPENDENT on how much resolution is transmitted!

Yes, every once in a while I have seen Dish do decent HD — typically at night during prime time. During the day their HD really sucks.

I remember this NOW from when we switched to DirecTV two years ago. Despite all the other problems with DirecTV we all could BUT not notice that the picture quality was stunningly vivid.

Well we are back to ‘so so’ HD with Dish.

No it is NOT our TVs. We still get BRILLIANT HD with the Roku 3 when watching Amazon Prime. Teischan right now is watching “Mansfield Park” on Amazon and the picture quality is worth writing home about. [Plus we now have DEDICATED 15Mbps, wired, TDS Internet to the Roku! More on that later.]

But ONE good thing on the Dish Hopper. So far I have NOT encountered ANY sound loss. That is good.

But I have to say. WOW. Picture quality of Dish is atrocious. Good job we don’t watch much Dish. 85% of our TV viewing is now on the Roku. I got Dish primarily so that I can have 24×7 CNN and CNBC. 


I Watched ‘TEN Cricket’ In The U.S., On My TV, Last Night Using Skybox TV. It Was GREAT!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.tenlogo

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Anura Guruge


zeetvbannerRelated Posts:
>> Update ‘Ten Cricket ‘ …
July 30, 2013.

++++
Search ‘cricket‘ or check CATEGORY ‘cricket’
for other posts using the sidebar options >>>>>>


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The Skybox TV next to the DirecTV Genie. It is pretty small. The tall box directly below that is the DirecTV Wi-Fi ‘modem’ and next to that is my 2nd DVD/VCR player. On the shelf above is a Philips DVD player/Sound Bar. The 47″ Philips TV is above all of this.


It was GREAT! It made my day.

To be able to see all my West Indian and Indian ‘buddies’ in action again, FULL-SCREEN on my 47″ TV, in near HD quality, with none of the jerkiness associated with streaming video.

This was a delight. I was so happy.

The picture quality is sure better than what I was getting with DISH.

So it is indeed possible to get ‘TEN Cricket‘ on your TV independent of ESPN 3. That is real good news for us in the U.S.

I was using the Skybox TV device kindly provided to me by ZEE TV USA.

It is a little box that connects to your TV using HDMI and gets its content over the Internet using Wi-Fi. It is extremely easy to setup. Just two cables: power and HDMI. Then just type in your Wi-Fi network password. Bingo. Bob is your uncle. I am currently getting about 25 International channels — one of them TEN Cricket.

I can’t rhapsodize enough about the quality. I am always skeptical about video quality with streaming. The quality with SkyBox TV is beyond acceptable. As good, if not better, that what I got with DISH. No ghosting. No delay. No jitter. Just like broadcast TV.

I got to watch the 60 minute highlight package of the 2nd West Indies Tri-Nation Series played on June 30, 2013 between the West Indies and India. It was a good, tense match with some great hitting and some good wickets.

Johnson Charles played an innings of a lifetime. At the start he made Chris Gayle look pedestrian. His first 20 runs were all in boundaries. In the end he hit four sixes and eight fours. Though he perished, unnecessarily at 97, it was an innings of a lifetime. Reminded me of Collis Kings, unforgettable 86 (off 149) at the 1979 World Cup Final with Viv. I was THERE. I still remember the electricity of that innings and most of all Viv applauding Collis when he was finally out. Viv made a century but it was Collis’ that won the match. Johnson Charles’ innings was as worthy as that — and yes the West Indies won by 1 wicket with 2.2 overs to spare. Chris Gayle disappointed again. Of course I love Chris when he is firing on all cylinders, but as I have said before I have major doubts about his technique. And yet again in this match it was his technical ineptitude that let him down. That is why Dhoni has an average over 50 and Gayle has an average below 40. Ditto for Pollard and Samuels and possibly even Sammy. But it was a real fun match. So glad I got to watch it. 

I will write more about this Skybox TV as I spend more time with it.

Right now, I am so happy to be able to watch TEN Cricket on my TV in the U.S.

Thank YOU ZEE TV USA.

‘North America’ Series On The Discovery Channel. Not As Scintillating As ‘Africa’ But Still A Very Compelling HD Tour de Force.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> ‘Africa’ series on Discovery Channel … — Jan. 17, 2013.


Click to access home page on the 'Discovery Channel' Website.

Click to access home page on the ‘Discovery Channel’ Website.


We have watched two episodes of Discovery Channel’s ‘North America’ so far. They were, indubitably, good. Definitely 4th generation of nature programs, 2nd gen. in terms of HD exploitation — if you start with David Attenborough incomparable and seminal Life On Earthon BBC in the 1970s as the first generation of this genre. See my ‘Africa’ post for more on ‘Life On Earth‘ if you are not familiar with this groundbreaking series.

I could be mistaken, but I do not think that this series, especially when it comes to storylines, narration, close-ups and ingenuity, is as good as ‘Africa’ which really was breathtakingly amazing. Maybe I got slightly spoilt by having watched all the episodes of ‘Africa’. We are still going to watch all of this series, it is too good to pass by.

Still a definite two-thumbs up. Kids should love it. Enjoy. I have already set the DVR to record this week’s episode (tonight, I think).


Click to access video online.

Click to access video online.