AT&T Uverse Internet is Just Too Slow – I need my Xfinity

ATT_Uverse_MAX_speed
In 2016 these speeds are a joke. Especially for the price!

The single biggest frustration in my recent move is that my only available internet provider at the moment is AT&T Uverse. It was either go with AT&T or no internet (satellite internet is even worse) or have no home internet at all. Having had cable internet since 1999 I was spoiled by the relatively fast speeds I was getting. My last place had Comcast Xfinity internet and I was getting 120 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up. Since I work from home, having faster internet is a must. While I did move to a more rural area, Comcast IS in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact if I look out my back window I can literally see a house that has Xfinity:

ModelHome_with_Xfinity

The joys of new construction – AT&T Uverse was smart enough run their lines early

new_house_foundation

My new house was built on a new street. Since the street is new, it doesn’t yet show up in many business service databases. In order to get service to a new address, Comcast sends out a person to do a survey. If this person feels that you can get service without a lot of effort, they add your new address to their system and then you can place an order and get services installed. However, if the person doing the survey feels that there would need to be “construction” done to run the lines to your street, then it has to be financially approved and scheduled before you can get service.

How slow is slow?

Continue reading “AT&T Uverse Internet is Just Too Slow – I need my Xfinity”

Comcast It’s Time To Rethink Your 300GB Data Cap

bandwidth_money

Hey Comcast, it’s almost 2015! We’re deep into the Netflix and online gaming age. While I appreciate my high speed Xfinity service and the relatively low down time, the 300GB per month data cap seems to be a bit archaic. I moved at the beginning of September and when I did I signed up for your fastest (and most expensive) consumer internet plan. I get a nice 105Mbps download speed and a good 20Mbps upload speed. Once it was finally installed properly (that’s another post), the service has been very speedy and stable. No complaints there. However, in about 2 weeks after I got connected I started getting the emails and automated phone calls alerting me that I was nearing my 300GB data cap and then eventually that I had passed it. Many of my readers here probably don’t realize that most internet providers have a data cap. Whether it’s enforced or not is another story. In the case of Comcast Xfinity it’s 300GB per month for years, but not really enforced until 2012. That sounds like a lot! However, in today’s world of streaming media, cloud storage, online gaming and cloud backups it’s really not a lot at all. I would imagine that there is a need for data caps. If they let everyone do anything they wanted there would likely be some abuse that would slow down other customers. The fact that there’s a data cap is not my issue. My issue is that Comcast has one data cap for ALL customers (except Comcast Business customers). So if you’re on their cheapest plan or their most expensive plan the data cap is the same. That’s the part that I have an issue with. It’s like punishing your best customers who chose your fastest speed because they’ll be more than likely to hit the cap sooner!

comcast-data-meter

What happens when you go over?

A few years ago I hit the cap and I got a very threatening call from Comcast. They actually gave me a warning that If I went over 2 more times they would actually cancel my service. Back then I thought “how stupid is that?” You have a customer that’s using a lot of your service. Find a way to give them what they need and charge them for it. Well it seems that Comcast realized they were missing out and now they give you 3 overage grace months before they start charging you $10 for 50GB units. As you near your 300GB limit you get the warning emails/phone calls. Once you use 300GBs of bandwidth they add on another 50GB of data for $10. Go over 350GB and they add on another $10/50GB unit (this time without warning).

Actually the extra $10 charges (while annoying) aren’t the real issue. It gives us the ability to either stick to the 300GB limit or a way to pay extra for the extra bandwidth that we need. There is one problem though. Let’s say it’s the last day of the month and you hit the 300GB limit. No problem Comcast doesn’t interrupt your service, they just tack on another $10/50GB unit. However, chances are you won’t use that 50GB in one day. Let’s say you only use 5GB of the 50GB unit and you technically have 45GB left. On the first of the month the meter starts over again and you lose that extra bandwidth that you paid extra for. At a minimum you should at least get to carry any extra bandwidth that you paid for over to the next month.

Let’s get back to the main issue though. Not only is 300GB really too small in today’s high speed world, it’s also just not reasonable to have one limit for ALL consumer customers. Comcast I ask that you either raise the cap for all or offer higher caps for those of us on your higher plans. My average appears to be under 500GB so let’s start there!

A little Q&A

Q. Terry can’t you just go with Comcast Business since you use more data than the average person?

A. Sure and as a matter of fact I had it in my studio. However, there are some other limits like NO premium channels and you have to sign a contract with steep penalties for early termination (which is why I’m still on the hook for paying for it until March 2015).

Q. Terry can’t you just pay for the overages? That way you only pay for the amount you use over the cap?

A. Yes and I do. However, since I’m already paying for their most expensive/fastest plan it would seem that their should be a larger cap. Also the unused portion of the overage units is lost at the end of the month.

Q. Why not go with a different provider?

A. When it comes to high speed internet I need the fast available and in my area it’s Comcast. If there was a competitor that offered comparable speeds I’d consider a switch.

 

I went with the Verizon iPad WiFi+4G LTE

On Friday I posed the question: “Which iPad WiFi+4G LTE is Better: Verizon or AT&T?” and overwhelmingly people responded with “go with Verizon.” When I woke up that morning and looked at the comments on the blog and social media, I decided to head out to the Verizon store on my way to my studio. I figured that although I absolutely hate standing in lines for this stuff, it would be worth a shot. Keeping in mind that I was meeting someone at my studio at 9AM and that left me very little time from doors open at 8:00 AM to get in and out. I got to the Verizon store at 7:37 and I was stunned to see absolutely no line whatsoever!

I thought to myself “something must be wrong! I’m never 1st in line, let alone “only one” in line.” A sales rep opened the door and asked if I was here for the new iPad and I said “yes” and he told me that they would open at 8. I asked if they had the 64GB model in and he said that he would check. A few minutes later I looked back in the window and he gave me the thumbs up. By the time the doors opened at 7:56 AM (for the mad rush), there were only 4 of us there.

I was in and back out with a Black 64GB Verizon WiFi+4G LTE iPad in hand by 8:01 AM.

Why did I go with Verizon one this one?

My 1st two iPad WiFi+3G models were on AT&T and since I got in on the ground floor of an “unlimited data plan” with no contract, when the New iPad was announced I just automatically ordered the AT&T version. Then I started reading some other posts online asking “why go with the AT&T one?” and it got me thinking and doing a little research. This really cast a doubt in my mind as to why I should stick with the AT&T version? Here’s what I found out:

Verizon’s 4G LTE coverage in over 200 cities above.
AT&T’s 4G LTE Coverage above and with Michigan not even in the Coming Soon area.
  • I live in Michigan and Verizon has LTE service here and AT&T doesn’t. Not only don’t they have it, but it’s not even on the publicized roadmap for this year!
  • I travel abroad quite a bit and this was a big concern until I found out that the Verizon version also supports GSM and has a standard Micro SIM slot too. Yes Verizon does international too, but GSM is EVERYWHERE!
  • Lastly Verizon supports wireless tethering (sharing your fast LTE connection with your laptop or other WiFi devices) at no additional cost while AT&T is still scratching their heads on how or when they will make it available. <-this was kinda the last straw!

How well does it work?

I got back to my desk and began the setup and restore process on the New iPad. Once it was done, I saw the Verizon status bar, but before I setup an account I popped my AT&T SIM with unlimited data from my iPad 2 and put it in the New Verizon iPad and my jaw dropped when it just worked. I turned off WiFi and was surfing on AT&T’s faux 4G  (non LTE)  HSPA+ network from my Verizon iPad.

I put the Verizon SIM back in (yes it comes with one) and setup a 2GB/month plan for $30/month. Next I had to test the LTE speed

Whoa!

Yes the speeds live up to the hype. Very close to if not exceeding many broadband connections in people’s homes today and certainly faster than anything I’ve seen on AT&T to date.

Finally I have tethering

One of my other frustrations is that while I enjoy an unlimited data plan on my corporate iPhone 4s, I can’t do a Personal Hotspot (without jailbreaking) because in order to add that feature I’d have to give up the grandfathered unlimited data plan that I have. I have an AT&T MiFi (yes another monthly cost). So perhaps one of the tipping points was that Verizon freely allows tethering with no additional charges or contracts. You buy your data plan and use it the way you want. What a concept!

It’s also FAST! Here’s a speed test from my MacBook Pro while using the Personal Hotspot over the iPad’s 4G LTE connection.

Speedtest from my MacBook Pro tethered to the New iPad’s 4G LTE connection

 

Going Abroad

While Verizon claims that their iPad will work in other countries I see no provision for adding any international roaming data the way AT&T does directly on the iPad. Granted AT&T’s international roaming rates aren’t cheap and you can probably do better picking up a local SIM in the country you’re visiting, but at least they are convenient to do right there on the device and you buy as much or as little as you need for a trip. When that data runs out or the month (30 days) expires you can buy more when you need it. This is definitely one of those times where I could see the need to pop back in the AT&T SIM or a local SIM that you get in the country you’re visiting. Verizon wants you to call them and enable International Roaming and they aren’t really advertising the rates from what I can see.

 

The Bottom Line – The Best of Both Worlds

While I have no real love or hate for AT&T, I haven’t had any problems to date with my last two iPads. However, from a competitive feature advantage and 4G LTE coverage advantage I have to give the nod to Verizon! I returned my unopened AT&T iPad to the Apple Store over the weekend with no regrets. I have the option of keeping the unlimited AT&T data account by simply hanging on to the SIM (and continuing to pay for it) for a bit and see if I ever need it. Lastly because of the Tethering feature I could potentially kill my MiFi account and even save money while still hanging on to the AT&T plan as the MiFi plan costs more. Not to mention the iPad gets about 4x the amount of battery life of my MiFi.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what about the Retina Display, speed, etc.

I thought I was done here, but you probably want to hear my impressions about the New iPad in general. So here are a few first impressions:

  • Although the New iPad is technically heavier I don’t notice the weight much. I did notice it going from the iPad to iPad 2 and figured that this one would feel heavy again. It doesn’t.
  • Yes the retina display is nice, but honestly with MY EYES, I can’t see that big of a difference YET. I have an eye doctor appt this afternoon as I’m overdue for new glasses 🙂
  • Photos still look great (ones at 1024×768 or higher), but I can’t DEFINITELY see the difference in LOW RES photos now. They look jaggy! If you are using your iPad as a portfolio device you’re definitely going to want to replace your photos on it with high res versions. While most of my photos look fine, some were apparently a lower resolution than others and I can see the difference immediately.
Low res photo above looks really bad zoomed in on the iPad Retina Display
My existing photos at larger resolutions of 1024×768 (and higher) look fine zoomed in.
  • YES, the camera is much better. That’s not hard to do since I viewed the camera on the iPad 2 as “unusable” for photos. I still wont’ be doing much shooting with it, but it’s nice to know that at least now I could.
  • Larger screen captures. Since you now have 2048×1536 resolution this means that your screen captures are going to be at the higher res too. This is a good thing for authors and bloggers.
  • Is it worth upgrading from an iPad 2? Probably not unless you want the faster speed of the 4G networks. Otherwise, you might want to skip this one and wait for next year’s model. If you don’t have an iPad or you have a 1st generation iPad, it’s time to upgrade. I’m already starting to see new Apps come out that don’t work on the original iPad. That trend will likely continue.

Get the SpeedTest App I used above here on the iTunes

Triple Your MiFi Battery Life

I love my MiFi 3G hotspot! I use it all the time. The only thing that can be a bit of a drag is when it runs out of battery power. If I’m near an outlet I can just plug in the supplied USB adapter and run it all day. However, if I’m in a seminar or other setting where I don’t have immediate access to an outlet the battery can only last about 4 hours tops. That all changed when I “super sized” my MiFi Battery.

A 3300 mAh Extended Battery Lasts me all Day!

As long as I have a good 3G signal, my MiFi will now last me all day with this battery. It’s designed to replace the stock battery and battery cover. This way it charges internally and as far as your MiFi is concerned it doesn’t see any difference. The good folks over at The 3G Store sell both Verizon MiFi 2200 and Novatel GSM MiFi 2352/2372 Extended Batteries for $90.

Yes it makes the MiFi about twice as thick, but it’s worth it if you need to be mobile and connected for several hours throughout the day.

By the way, you can get an unlocked MiFi GSM 2372 Mobile Hotspot here On Sale for $226.

Eye-Fi to Send Photos Direct to iOS and Android Devices without a WiFi Hotspot

In case you haven't been following me on this story you can start with my "Shoot Tethered (wirelessly) to an iPad" from a couple of weeks ago here. Back then I decided to try out the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card in my D7000 shooting wirelessly to an iPad 2 via my MiFi mobile hotspot and I was pleased with the overall workflow. Today Eye-Fi just announced a new card (yeah that happens in technology, deal with it!), the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 which is a cheaper card that offers Direct to iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android mobile device shooting WITHOUT the need for a WiFi hotspot. Removing the WiFi hotspot requirement and going direct in an AdHoc fashion makes this solution even better. However, don't fret if you bought the Pro X2 card like I did. They are going to release a firmware update to the existing cards next week. Keep in mind that the Pro X2 card does handle RAW and Geotagging. The new card does not.

This should open up a whole new world for people that want to shoot with a decent camera and share those images even with some minor retouching/adjustments, from a tablet device directly. I'll be shooting RAW to my regular SD card in slot 1 and BASIC JPG to my Eye-Fi card in Slot 2 on my D7000. Life just got a little more fun.

If you don't have an Eye-Fi card yet, you can get the NEW Mobile X2 8GB card with the Direct Mode love built-in here.

Sorry, still not Compact Flash joy.

As soon as I have the yet to be released iOS App and an updated card you expect a review here.

Promo Video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN8ZRzXLG_I

5 Ways To Take Advantage of Dropbox

I started out using Dropbox.com because someone shared a file with me using that service. I really didn't think much about it at the time and treated it like all the rest of the File Sharing over the Internet services out ther. However, the more I used it the more I got hooked on it. I'll also state for the record that I have no affiliation with Dropbox.com, don't know them, never have met them and get nothing from them other than great service. Now that I have that out of the way let me explain briefly what sets Dropbox.com apart from the rest of the services I've tried.

 

How does Dropbox.com work?

First off you head over to Dropbox.com and setup your FREE account. You get 2GBs for free and while that doesn't sound like a lot (it's really not, but…), it's free and will cover most people's needs for sharing documents. You can also earn an additional 250MB's of space (up to 10GB total), per each friend you refer that signs up for a free account.

At this point you haven't done anything special that you couldn't have done on a dozen file sharing sites out there. However, what you also get is the ability to download the Dropbox.com application for your Mac or PC (as well as mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.). With the Dropbox App installed it sets up a "Dropbox" folder wherever you want it be on your drive. You can treat this folder like any other folder. You can create subfolders in it as well. The difference is that anything you put in this folder will AUTOMATICALLY and securely sync up to the "Dropbox" cloud. The files will still be on your local drive, but they will also be available online via the Dropbox website as well as accessible from any of your mobile devices and sync'd to any other computers you have Dropbox installed on. This is what really sets it appart from most similar services out there. The latest version even offers the ability to keep this folder sync'd with your other computers on your LAN, which is a lot faster. Now that we know how it works (if not, watch the video at the end of this post), here are 5 ways to take advantage of it:

 

Have the same files on your Laptop and Desktop computer

Because Dropbox will sync the contents of your Dropbox folder across ALL of your computers (Mac, Windows, Linux), it makes it really easy to have the same files on a work/office/studio computer and a home computer or a Desktop Computer and a Laptop. Every operating system out there gives each user account a "Documents" folder. Instead of putting your documents in the default "Documents" folder, put them in a Documents folder located inside your Dropbox folder. Now you can work as you always do and when you get home those same documents will be there waiting for you on your home computer or on your laptop. This same concept would work for photos, music and movies as well.  Syncing happens in the background once the document is saved and closed. 

 

Share a folder with your colleagues

The shared folder concept is how I got started with Dropbox in the first place. Someone shared a folder with me and the other people working on the project. When any of us would add things or make changes to the stuff in that folder, it would automatically sync those things to each of our computers. No more emailing files back and forth or using thumb drives. This is also useful for sharing photos with a group of if multiple people take photos at an event, they can all copy them to a shared Dropbox folder for everyone to have a set.

 

Create instant online, sharable photo galleries

I hadn't really discovered this feature until recently. If you stick a folder of JPGs in the default "Photos" folder, Drobbox will automatically turn it into a gallery and let you share a link to that specific folder for anyone to see even if they don't have a Dropbox account. Here's an example gallery that I created.

Continue reading “5 Ways To Take Advantage of Dropbox”

Ask Google

As you might imagine I get lots of questions every day. I get them via the comments section of my blogs, I get them via email, I get them on Twitter, I get them on Facebook and I get them on YouTube. As you might also imagine, while I don't mind answering people's questions, I simply don't have the bandwidth to get to them all. 

 

How do I decide which questions to answer and which ones not to?

It's not really a conscious decision. Like anything in life the easier something is to do the more often we'll do it. To that point if I see a question that I can answer off the top of my head and it's a short answer, chances are I'll answer it right there on the spot. If I know the answer, but the answer is long and drawn out (more than 3 steps), chances are I won't have time to answer it (even though I may want to). Also I tend to answer questions based on how they are asked. If a person is asking a question of clarification on something I wrote or said, then I'm more apt to want to respond immediately. If the person is asking for a 1:1 class via email (show me how to do ______), then chances are I'm not going to respond. It's nothing personal, I just don't have the time. My job here is not tech support or to train you via Q&A. If the question is Adobe related I'm also more likely to respond since I do work for Adobe. However, if I feel that you're just being lazy (see Can you do it for me? below), then I'll probably be less inclined to respond. 

 

What if I don't know the answer?

If I don't know the answer I'll probably just say "I don't know." However, if I don't know the answer and I want to know the answer then chances are I'll look it up because the question you've asked has me curious too. This is what brings me to today's topic! How do I find the answer?

 

I ask Google

Sometimes I feel like I'm on an episode of Star Trek. However, instead of saying "Computer" and asking my question verbally (wouldn't that be coo?), I pop up a browser window and key in my exact question. Long gone are the days of having to use specific keywords and operators between them to get the information you want from a search engine. Sure it still helps to do so today, but more often than not you can just pose your question in simple English. Just the other night I wanted to know if there was a way to convert the OLD Facebook Groups to the NEW Facebook Group format. While I could have searched through the Facebook Help Section, I always think Google first. I do this because 99.9% of the time someone else has already posed the same question online and someone has already answered it OR the very help system that I would have had to search has been indexed by Google and those tech documents show up in the Google results too. I fired up a browser window and keyed in "Can I convert an existing Facebook Group to the New Facebook Group format?" The answer was in the top 10 results that came back and sadly the answer was NO. However, that's just how easy it was to get the answer to my question. I do this multiple times a day and very rarely am I ever disappointed. Not only do I usually get the answer I was looking for IMMEDIATELY, but a lot of times even if the answer is NO, someone has developed some cool work around, setting, workflow or App to solve the issue.

 

Did you try it?

The other thing that kinda bugs me is when someone asks a simple question about something that would be easy enough for them to just try for themselves. This is what I meant above about being lazy. We're so used to relying on people to spoon feed us the answers that we would rather post a question, wait for a response (sometimes days) than just trying it ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to software. Much of the good software out there today is available in fully functional trial form. This means that you can download it, install it and bang on it all you want. Instead of asking is ________ feature better in the new version, why not see for yourself? That's what trials are for. For example, you can download a fully functional trial of Adobe Creative Suite 5. You can test each Application to see if it does what you need it to do and if it does it the way you want it done. If not, then you haven't lost anything other than the time to download and try it. However, at least you know with your own eyes whether or not it works. I love it when someone asks "how will that perform on my computer?" I have no idea. It depends on so many factors not to mention all the other stuff you're running on "your computer." The best way to be sure is to install it on YOUR computer and see for yourself.

 

Can you do it for me?

My favorite (the ones that make me laugh) questions come from YouTube and I swear sometimes that YouTube needs to implement an IQ test before allowing people to post comments or send questions. Granted I know that YouTube is full of kids and you have no way of really knowing if you're dealing with an adult or an 8 year old. However, on more than one occasion I've had someone ask me "I'm having a problem doing ___________ to this photo. Can I send it to you and have you do it?" I literally laugh out loud when I get one of those. I guess it would be pretty sweet if we could all just send our work to someone else and have them do it for us 🙂 I would have had slightly more respect if the person would have said "Hey, I'm having a problem with this photo can I send it to you and perhaps you could use it as an example in one of your upcoming tutorials?" At least then the person would be showing that they want help and to LEARN how to do it themselves and with such a file It could be used to help others. There's no guarantee that I would take anyone up on that kind of offer, but at least I would respect it more. Another favorite is "How much does _____ cost?" In the same amount of energy that it took you to type that in an email you could have typed it in Google and gotten your answer!

 

Someone has probably recorded a video

In this day and age if there is something that you want to learn how to do, chances are there is a YouTube video on the subject. For example, one of the most common questions that I get from new Photoshop users is "how do I remove a background in Photoshop?" When I searched YouTube for this topic 922 videos showed up. I could be wrong, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you'll probably find some good techniques in at least one or two of those videos and if nothing else you'll see lots of different ways to do it. Also you'll notice the titles of the videos are in plain English ie: "How to remove a background in Photoshop".

Speaking of YouTube, check out my YouTube Channel Here. With close to 3 Million Views I'm blown away with the response!

Oh yeah and YouTubers please stop sending me this one: "Where can I get a free download of CS5?" Really? 

 

The Bottom Line

Google is AMAZING and a resource that I would not want to be without. I get so much more done each day because I can easily look stuff up without having to rely on my friends and wait for responses. Give it a shot the next time you're thinking about posting a question somewhere else. You may be surprised at just how much easier it is.

My New Google TV: A Work In Progress

A little bit about my habit

I admit it. I'm a TV junkie. Yes, I'm one of those guys that actually enjoys TV. Now while you may be picturing this guy laying on a couch with empty potato chip bags all around, I'm not quite that bad. I use TV as a form of turning my brain off. I work long hours every day. I travel for a living and that in and of itself adds layers of stress on my life. I'm constantly on my computer working or reading up on the latest things in tech. When I've had enough! It's time to veg in front of the TV. This means that I'm not looking for inspiration. I'm not looking for a message on life. I'm not looking for controversial issues. I'm looking for simple entertainment. That's it. 

With that said, I've got all the latest TV gear in my home. HDTVs, a theater room, TiVo HD, Apple TV, Comcast HD Cable Service, Slingbox, Playstation 3, Nintindo Wii, Xbox 360 and a Netflix account. At one point I even had both DirecTV AND Comcast until DirecTV all but accused me of lying about a pay per view that I didn't order (as a result I'm no longer a DirecTV customer, their loss!). There is no shortage in ways to watch TV in my life. 

 

When do I find the time to watch?

I almost NEVER watch a live broadcast. I just don't have the time to sit in front of a TV on someone else's schedule. That's why TiVo HD is my favorite piece of gear out of all of the above boxes. I set up the Season Passes and one time recordings for the shows I want to watch and when I'm home and done with work for the day, I can usually get 3-4 shows in (fast forwarding through commercials) in one sitting. My second favorite box is my Slingbox. This allows me to stream my own TiVo recordings anywhere I happen to be traveling on my computer or my iOS devices. Lastly I also like to watch on those long flights. Therefore I either bring Netflix DVDs or rip the TiVo'd shows to my laptop or my iPad. That pretty much covers that ways that I watch content. I'm not a regular Hulu user and I rarely if ever watch shows on the network websites. The biggest reason for this is that I'm either watching at home and using TiVo or I'm in the air and don't have an internet connection to stream content. So streaming shows to my computer is the least interesting option for me.

 

The road to Google TV

I was intrigued by Google's initial teaser video on the upcoming Google TV and put it on my list of gadgets to check out. At the same time I was looking to replace the HDTV in my bedroom. The one I had was a Sony 32" 720p lower end Bravia. While this TV worked fine, I wanted a few more HDMI ports, Full 1080p resolution and the power saving aspects and clarity of the new LED sets. I was in no hurry and was just waiting for the right deal to come along. Also I had no particular brand in mind. I have no love or hate for Sony. I have several Sony products, but if a better set came along by another manufacturer I'd consider it.

Then I got an email from Sony announcing "the world's first HDTV powered by Google TV". I thought "perfect timing"! I was in the market for a TV and I wanted to tryout Google TV and this would kill two birds with one stone. 

Continue reading “My New Google TV: A Work In Progress”

Do you use in flight WiFi?

Back in April I finally made it on to a plane that had Gogo In-flight WiFi internet (reviewed it here). I loved it! It was fast and convenient. Although I certainly wouldn't call it cheap, I wouldn't say that it was way over priced either. However, the other day I saw this article on how people weren't using it (less than 10%) and more importantly the reasons why. From the comments I saw, the main 3 reasons were cost, "coach seats are just too small to work" and lastly "flight time is my time and I want to be disconnected." Some are even predicting that if the price doesn't go down or become FREE that in-flight WiFi will go the way of in-flight telephones (most have been removed due to lack of use). While I can see the point, I don't think that it's as bad as the in-flight phones were. They were outrageously expensive and really the only reason you would use one would be in an emergency. However, for me inflight WiFi is one of the few perks left of flying. I don't look at it as I want to be disconnected as much as I see it as the internet IS MY IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT. My price test is, would I pay for this out of my own pocket? While I do get reimbursed for my internet expenses, I would probably still pay for this out of my own pocket if the flight were long enough. So I guess I feel the price isn't as much of an issue as some do. So what your take on it? Do you use it? If so why or if not why not?

 

What Do We Want From TV?

Google made a lot of noise recently with their announcement about Google TV. See their short concept video here:

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diTpeYoqAhc

 

This got me thinking about how I watch TV now and how much of it is on the computer vs. on my HDTVs. I probably have more vested in TV than the average person. I have multiple HDTVs, multiple TiVo HDs, multiple Apple TVs and a couple of Slingboxes. Yep, I like to get my TV on! The conclusion that I came to after watching Google's video is that while I definitely watch my share of "internet" videos, I don't think that my viewing habits will change all that much with Google TV. Here's my reasoning: when I watch a clip on YouTube, it's primarily because I'm already on my computer and it's an in the moment kind of thing. Someone sent me a link or it was embedded in a website that I was already headed towards. It's also like to be a SHORT clip (YouTube limits the clips to 10 minutes max). Each of my TVs already has either an Apple TV or TiVo HD connected to them (if not both) and both of those devices can view YouTube clips. However, I almost NEVER watch YouTube via those devices. I don't sit down to look for stuff to watch on YouTube or the internet. This might also be due to the fact that unless I specifically hook up a keyboard or run some type of App on my iPhone/iPad that searching with these devices via the onscreen keyboard is a royal pain. So If I sit in front of a HDTV it's usually to watch a longer show and probably one that I've already TiVo'd ahead of time. 

Continue reading “What Do We Want From TV?”