The TV, Internet and Phone Blog

Information on Cable, Digital Television, and Internet Providers

Monthly Archives: May 2012

DIRECTV Everywhere Platform Allows Subscribers to Watch Programs Anywhere

Satellite TV provider DIRECTV has added the new DIRECTV Everywhere platform, which allows DIRECTV customers to watch TV shows, sporting events and movies anywhere, on home televisions, laptops, tablets and smart phones. This service is available to DIRECTV subscribers at no extra charge. It is available for both PC and Mac computers, and iPhone functionality will be added soon. DIRECTV Everywhere works over any wireless broadband connection.

Free software to watch instantly is available from the DIRECTV.com website, as well as the app stores for various platforms, including the Android store and the Apple App Store for iPad.

By adding this functionality, DIRECTV now offers subscribers the same capabilities they would get from being able to watch TV shows and movies online using Hulu or streaming from Netflix. Now DIRECTV subscribers can eliminate those extra expenses and still watch programs while they’re on the go; whether out of town or just away from the house, DIRECTV subscribers now have the capability to watch their favorite shows, sporting events, and more on portable platforms, making DIRECTV not just a satellite TV solution, but a complete entertainment solution.

DIRECTV Cinema is available with DIRECTV Everywhere, allowing DIRECTV customers to check out the latest Hollywood releases before they hit other cable packages free of charge. Premium cable favorites are also available; some of the most often streamed programs on DIRECTV right now are premium cable hits like Starz’s Magic City, HBO’s Girls, Veep, and Game of Thrones and classics like The Sopranos and Entourage.

Pay Per View events are also available with DIRECTV Everywhere. Upcoming events include UFC 146, airing May 26 at 8pm Central Time, featuring heavyweight fights between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva.

Midwest customers should check out the DIRECTV packages from Mid America Satellite to get access to DIRECTV Everywhere now, with great deals available.

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Additional High-Definition Channels Available from Charter Communications

Over the past month, Charter Communications serving the St. Louis, MO metro area and surrounding areas has altered its channel lineup, adding 28 new HD channels. The new complete channel lineup for Charter in St. Louis is available here.

Some of the newly available HD channels from Charter TV include Fox Business, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the Tennis Channel, and the ID Channel. The addition of these channels further increases the wide array of high-definition programming available from Charter TV. In addition to the new channels, Charter Communications has restructured the current channel lineup to group channels together more intuitively for a smoother, more pleasant television watching experience.

The new HD choices further fill out the HD channel lineup available from Charter. Here is some information on the new HD favorites:

  • Fox Business – This additional Fox News channel rivals CNBC for business coverage, but in the style of presentation that the Fox News empire is known for. Fans of Fox News will find this new business channel indispensible when keeping up with financial news and economic opinion.
  • Turner Classic Movies – This channel has access to all the movies in the Turner Archive, bringing classics from the silent era up to the second Golden Age of film in the seventies. Programming focuses on classic movies related to what’s going on in the world, broadcasting WWII movies around the anniversary of D-Day, and star tributes around the birthdays of iconic film stars. Any film fan will be glad to have this channel.
  • The Tennis Channel – The Tennis Channel brings tennis action from across the world. For tennis fans who want to watch tournaments other than the four Grand Slam tournaments, this channel is essential for keeping up with the men’s and women’s tennis rankings.
  • ID Channel – ID stands for Investigation Discovery. This Discovery Channel offshoot focuses on true crime shows like Hollywood Crimes, Deadly Women and 48 Hours.

Customers interested in the new Charter lineup can obtain Charter cable service.

DIRECTV is Growing: Satellite TV Company Reaches 20 Million Subscribers

Earnings reports for cable and satellite TV companies are now available for the first quarter of 2012, and while some cable television companies like Comcast are losing subscribers, satellite TV providers in the United States are growing, with DIRECTV adding around 81,000 subscribers to reach a total of 20 million in the United States, according to the Associated Press. DIRECTV has also added more than 500,000 subscribers in Latin America, where 8.5 million subscribers are now using DIRECTV for satellite television.

There are a number of reasons for the growth of satellite TV in the US. For one, equipment has gotten better and more advanced, so that bad weather no longer causes television outages (at least not as often as it once did). With DIRECTV satellite TV, and some other services, subscribers now get local channels and regional sports networks along with the cable channel package; this was not often available in the past.

The major reason for the increase in subscribers to DIRECTV, though, is the exclusive contract DIRECTV has for NFL Sunday Ticket. NFL Sunday Ticket is the satellite TV package that brings every NFL game every Sunday to the homes and businesses with the package, and it’s the only way to have every NFL game available for viewing each week, and DIRECTV is the only satellite TV provider that can get its customers access to NFL Sunday Ticket. Additional features of NFL Sunday Ticket include the RedZone channel and the ability for home viewers to plug in their fantasy team info to get updates and watch the players from their fantasy teams live.

DISH Network satellite TV and AT&T U-Verse cable TV are also growing, with Comcast Cable losing 37,000 cable subscribers. Cablevision Systems made minimal gains. Check back often for industry news about cable television and satellite TV.

The Cable Show 2012 Hits Boston This Month

Each year, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association puts on a conference called the Cable Show, a convention and international exposition for the cable television industry. Representatives from leading cable providers like Time Warner, Charter Communications, Comcast and others will be present May 21-23, 2012 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, participating in panels and hearing symposia with cable news personalities, television stars, filmmakers, and industry leaders.

Guests for the cable television convention include:

  • Conan O’Brien, late night talk show host on TBS, who will be speaking one on one with interviewer Piers Morgan of CNN on Wednesday, May 23 at 9:30AM Eastern Time
  • Edward Burns, film director, writer and actor, who will be talking Tuesday, May 22 at 9:30AM as part of a panel on digital distribution and how it can have an effect upon the cable industry and other entertainment venues
  • Darren Rovell, CNBC’s sports business reporter, who will be moderating a panel about the economics of sports and how it all relates to social media and developing technologies, also on May 23. The sports panel will feature:
    • David Hill, Chairman & CEO of the Fox Sports Media Group
    • David Levy, who handles sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
    • ESPN President John Skipper (one of the most powerful men in sports and media)
    • David Stern, NBA Commissioner

Other informative panels include one on cable news and campaign coverage featuring Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball, and more. Those interested in the cable television industry who cannot attend will be able to watch the panels at live.thecableshow.com.

This conference will not only be of interest to cable industry professionals, but cable customers as well, as many discussions impact how cable television providers will continue to deliver content to viewers around the United States and the world.

DIRECTV Essential for Fantasy Football Players

NFL Sunday Ticket

Game Mix, available with NFL Sunday Ticket.

The NFL has become by far the most popular professional sports league in America. While a lot of this has to do with fan loyalty and the excitement of the games themselves, fantasy football has increased the interest in the League far beyond its past highs. Now, many football viewers don’t just want to watch their home teams play, they want to be able to watch every televised game every Sunday, and the only way to do that in your home in America is with NFL Sunday Ticket.

Currently, NFL Sunday Ticket is only available with DIRECTV satellite television. If you want to watch NFL Sunday Ticket in your home, you’ll need to sign up for DIRECTV; even sports bars with satellite packages must use DIRECTV to get NFL Sunday Ticket.

For some fantasy football players, going to the sports bar to see all the games at once is enough, but for those who want to take it a little bit further, getting DIRECTV with NFL Sunday Ticket for the home adds even more functionality with the NFL.com Fantasy Football TV App.

This app allows DIRECTV subscribers to track fantasy teams through NFL.com on their TV screens. Fantasy football players can:

  • Choose to display league’s weekly matchups, in-game stats on players, or detailed head-to-head stats with a weekly matchup
  • Watch the game featuring one of the fantasy teams’ players in real time
  • Minimize the main menu to see only the weekly matchup score in the right hand corner of the TV screen

Those fantasy football players who want to be able to track their players, weekly matchups, and league standings while watching all the games on Sunday should take advantage of NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV for home.

Internet Service Providers for Online Gaming: Cable vs. DSL Providers

Whether you are gaming on your PC, Xbox Live, or PS3, one of the most important aspects of gaming today is being able to play games online. Video games are no longer a solitary pursuit, with PC MMORPGs and collaborative play on console systems taking over. From fantasy games to competing with others playing sports games online, online competitive and collaborative play is taking over.

Because of this, it’s important to choose the right internet service provider for gaming. The most popular options for internet service providers in many areas are cable internet service providers (which provide service through the same cables used to deliver digital television and phone services) and DSL internet service providers (Digital Subscriber Line).

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a generic name for digital lines provided by telephone companies to local subscribers for internet access. DSL internet access across the country is generally provided by the telephone company in that particular area (AT&T, etc.). Phone companies generally provide a number of options for DSL internet access, but what is available to the public is often slower ADSL and SDSL services, rather than the faster VDSL technology.

Cable internet providers such as Charter Communications provide a faster raw speed than DSL, but those speeds can also be limited with speed caps placed upon the lines used for internet service. This means that cable companies offer different levels of service for different price points, with each price point increasing the amount of bandwidth available for clients.

Though cable internet service providers cap speeds, the higher raw speeds allow for higher download and upload speeds, up to 100 Mbps for downloads, which are ideal for gamers, especially those gamers who wish to be able to surf the web or enable multiple users in the home while gaming. Charter Communications, serving a large part of the country, has a residential internet service designed for online gamers, called Charter Internet Ultra.

While DSL and Cable internet service providers both provide great options for online gamers, those serious gamers should look into ultra-high-speed connections from Charter Communications and other cable providers in their areas.

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Welcome to The TV, Internet and Phone Blog, where we’ll be discussing the ways to best take advantage of all the services out there to get cable or satellite television, high speed internet, and phone services in your home or business.

At The TV, Internet and Phone Blog you’ll get honest industry opinions from people who watch a lot of television, surf the web, and try out different phone services. Check back often for updates pointing you to services to take advantage of and services to avoid.