Dealing with the Cable and Internet Providers When They Raise Prices on You behind Your Back


Posted on : 30-Jul-2010 | By : kliu888 | In : Cable

Ever since Fox came out demanding that Time Warner pay it subscriber fees for distributing its channels, we’ve known that Time Warner’s services were going to begin to cost more. This is about the time that any negotiating skills you may have would really work to your advantage. The more you’re able to negotiate with your cable Internet providers, the more reasonable your bill is going to look at the end of the month.

When I moved to a new apartment in the suburbs three months ago, just about the first thing I ever did, was to look up the cable and Internet providers in the area to decide on which one to get. I quickly decided on Comcast, and signed up. I didn’t want to miss any American Idol episodes. I asked around a little, and found out that Comcast’s best offer at the time was a $126 package with taxes; I got two set-top boxes with all the premium channels, and I got my high-speed Internet. Things seems to be affordable, and they seemed to cost exactly what I wanted; I congratulated myself on a job well done.

The bills came each month, I paid, and things went smoothly for about six months. That’s when the bill arrived one day, and I saw that I was in for a rude shock. My package didn’t cost $126 a month anymore – it cost about $210. It was the same cable, it was the same Internet, but it cost about $84 more. Needless to say, I was on the phone to Comcast in about 3 seconds, nervously tapping my foot to get past the infernal Muzak to speak to a real live human. The real live human told me that I hadn’t paid attention to a little detail when I had signed my deal. I had an introductory offer which was only good for six months. He had me take out my contract, and had me notice the little x6 written next to where the price was mentioned.

There are lots of consumer websites out there that are crying murder over this kind of unfair trade practice. Check out Complaints Board, or Ripoff Report, and you will understand. So how do you get the upper hand on these cable and Internet providers when they switch and bait like professional con artists? A good way to begin negotiating would be to call your provider and say you have a better deal with a rival company – and you will switch, unless. Alternatively, you can just go right ahead and downgrade your service, and sign up for Netflix. When I did this, I got my price whittled down to $150 a month, but with fewer channels.

Most people have had similar experiences; calling the downgrade and disconnect department at the cable and Internet provider’s toll-free number is that the best place to start. The economy is kind of low now, and the people manning the phone at these departments have instructions to do everything possible to keep a customer. Apparently, promotional offers that end a couple of months after you sign up are completely common. It is our responsibility to keep track of when they expire. If you call in time, you can save yourself an expensive price increase.

The author has been writing articles online for 4 years now. Come visit his latest site Auto Traffic Avalanche that discusses Auto Traffic Avalanche by Kieran Gill & Imran S.

Glowing Review LCD TV Magazines Print


Posted on : 28-Jul-2010 | By : kliu888 | In : Televisions

Plasmas always find themselves in the unenviable position of having to hang behind in the shadow of the popularity of the LCD in flatscreen sales. But there is nothing here that wouldn’t appeal to the intuition. LCDs are the popular format for the smaller sizes, and they are sometimes cheaper. The consumer public isn’t known to be dependable when it comes to picking quality over other considerations. Look at any review LCD TV testers come up with in any consumer electronics magazine, and you’ll see how they sound a little doubtful about the actual quality of the visual experience. The basic LCD experience has seen every kind of improvement over the last five years – poor viewing angles? They have a fix for that; poor response times? 5 ms of peers to completely remove the problem; a wide palette of colors? New processing engines go quite away there. The fixes are there – even if they aren’t perfect. But given the choice, people will always choose convenience over hard-core base quality.

Displaymate technologies, the company that’s made a reputation for itself devising innovative tests to gauge the quality of computer screens, says in a company report that as far as the Bravia 3 Engine or anything else made go towards taming the disobedient LCD technology we have, it still routinely falls behind plasmas in basic quality tests. The test that they used to come to these conclusions was pretty thorough if you ask me. They lined up the best LCD TVs from the houses of Sony, Sharp and Samsung, and pitted them against the best that the largest manufacturer of plasmas in the world, Panasonic, could come up with. This wasn’t a battle of the brands though; it was a battle of technologies. And they were trying to find out how reliable any review LCD magazine shootouts come out with can be.

So when an advertisement for a top-of-the-line LCD TV boasts of dynamic backlight, dynamic color, and essentially dynamic everything, are they really doing a good job improving the picture the LCD screen puts out? Or are they just trying to hide the flaws from us with meaningless marketing hype? The report is unequivocal – none of these LCD technologies actually does anything but the best of a bad job; and they produce image artifacts that anyone can easily notice in the process. The worst thing about LCDs, even if they do boast of 170° viewing angles, and even if every review LCD TV reports put out claim as much, picture colors and brightness can lose their integrity that moment you set even a foot off-center. The technologies they’ve used simply have improved viewing angle, but only so far as to make them at least picture watchable.

A plasma on the other hand has always been, and still is a technology that is directly perfectly viewable from a wide 45° angle. There’s just no comparing them; even if LCDs have the best picture quality when viewed dead-center, what use is that in a home situation? As for the kind of brightness and contrast levels that any review, LCD buying guides put out, those are simply unusable figures. Either the manufacturers put out untruths, or the magazines do. Any marketingspeak you hear, extended color technology or anything, is just unusable gimmickry.

Quality purists are really disappointed that plasmas appear to have lost the battle of the flat screens. The only place that an LCD would make sense would be where you’d have to do your viewing in very brightly lit situations. For everything else, a plasma wins hands down unless you want to speak of an LED-backlit TV.

The author has been writing articles online for 4 years now. Come visit his latest site Mobile Monopoly that reviews Mobile Monopoly review by Adam Horwitz.

BillShrink – A New Service that Promises to Hunt Down the Cheapest Cable and Internet Plan You Can Get


Posted on : 26-Jul-2010 | By : kliu888 | In : Cable

If you always resented the kind of cash you have to pay for cable and Internet service, and if you’ve always wondered if you’re getting the best deal for your needs, there is help at hand. Help, comes in the form of the bill comparison site, BillShrink. What it does is, it helps you compare what each cable and Internet service in your area costs, and arrives at the best choice for your needs.

Here’s what you do. You go to BillShrink’s website, and key in your home address. The page asks you for the name of your current cable and Internet provider, and it asks you how much you pay. It also needs you to provide information about the kind of channels you’re most interested in subscribing to – movies, game shows, music or anything else. You prioritize your picks to show BillShrink what is negotiable, and what isn’t. It asks you about what kind of TVs you have around your home, HDTV or anything else, it asks you about your credit rating, and requests information about how long you’d be willing to sign the contract, for a discounted rate.

BillShrink isn’t new to this whole deal; it already runs a pretty popular service for cell phone contracts and credit cards. With all the information you give it, it’ll find out which among all the providers in your area will give you all the channels you want, at the price you want them. It automatically calculates the price of the best package for you with each provider, it works in any special promotional schemes there may exist at the moment, and then you have your list of cable and Internet package choices ranked by how much they’ll cost you.

BillShrink has all nine provider companies on its database; you will usually see prices for Time Warner, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T. Their cable and Internet bill service hasn’t been around long, but it’s already their top-billed service. People love the feeling that here’s someone who stands up for them against the cable and Internet providers.

BillShrink gets a commission from the cable TV service, if you sign up to switch services based on what it recommends. The company uses only publicly available information on the web to bring you its service though, and it can sometimes be wrong. The reason it can be wrong is that it can only gather publicly available information; it can’t get the kind of deal you would if you personally called up your cable Internet provider, and threatened to switch to another provider.

The service is still under development though, and there are constant improvements being made. Installation costs for instance are currently not included in their calculations. But they promise to work on this.

The author has been writing articles online for 4 years now. Come visit his latest site Slide In Code bonus that discusses Slide In Code by Sean Clark.

Alternative Radio in California


Posted on : 24-Jul-2010 | By : kliu888 | In : Radio

Alternative Rock is leading the way among major genres of music, especially in the U.S., and more specifically on the West Coast and California. With bands pumping out the hits and fans lining up to buy their new releases, one can only anticipate future growth and strength from this truly innovative form of music. Alternative radio stations like KITS in San Francisco (105.3) and KROQ in Los Angeles (106.7) have long been the best choices for alternative music fans and anyone looking to hear great, cutting edge music.

Alternative Rock really took off as a style with bands like Simple Minds, R.E.M., Tears for Fears, the Psychedelic Furs, Midnight Oil, and other 80s and early 90s groups. Back then it was called “Modern Rock” and although the label has changed it is still basically the same type of music. Modern Rock was the musical answer to the long hair, stadium rock glam bands of the 80s. Fans of Modern Rock did not really know this, they just hated that whole pretentious scene and wanted something different, an “alternative” if you will. A whole new generation was ready for rock that made you think a little and was different than the same old, same old that had run into a rut and never got out.

Alternative radio is very big now and could have been even more popular had Satellite Radio proven successful. When Sat Radio began several years ago, hopes were high that it would eventually replace public, or Free Radio, but in the end that never happened. Though Satellite Radio still survives, it does not have the number of subscribers that they expected to pick up when Sirius signed up shock-jock talk radio star Howard Stern around five years ago. People just were not ready to fork out money to hear Stern scream obscenities that would have been bleeped on regular Free Radio. Sirius and rival XM merged last year but sales are still stagnant and it does not look like they will improve any time soon.

Satellite Radio promised tons of stations dedicated exclusively to different genres, including Alternative Rock. This form of Alternative Radio, had it been a hit, would have increased the exposure for Alternative Rock music and all the different kinds of sub-genres like Adult Alternative, Folk Alternative, etc. Unfortunately, Satellite Radio has yet to catch on and most experts think that at this point, after all of the marketing and millions of dollars spent, there is no real chance that the medium will grow very much. Still, proponents and subscribers swear by it and continue to buy stock. Perhaps the pundits will be proven wrong and we will see the advent of a new wave of Satellite Radio subscribers but the best bet is that some other form of alternative radio or medium will come along and re-invent the way that people listen to music. It has happened several times already when CDs replaced records and more recently when ipods replaced CD players. Who knows what the future will bring?

The author has been writing articles online for 4 years now. Come visit his latest site Online Income Flood review that reviews Online Income Flood by Steven Johnson & Steven James.

Television Advertising


Posted on : 23-Jul-2010 | By : kliu888 | In : Commercials

Any small business can benefit from television advertising, but only if it is done right. The price is going to be an issue, of course, but the quality of your ad will make a huge difference too. A smart business owner knows to put some money into advertising, but they are not always sure what type. Local ads can really pay off, as you really gain nothing from national ads, and they cost way too much for the average new business owner. Use good talent, find the right stations, pick good target times for airing, and run your ad more than a few times.

Almost all stations in your area run national commercials. These are expense. However, you may have noticed that there are local ads on right after them. These are usually near the end of the commercial run right before the show in question comes back on, but not always. These are the spots for television advertising that you want. If you call your local stations, they can all quote you on price based on how many ads you want to run and how long you want them to be. They can also quote you a price to produce your advertisement if you want to have them help you with that as well.

Before you write your ad, think about what type of television advertising you want to do. Many local commercials in my area have a hint of humor, and they go over really well. It depends on your business though, as some things are just not humorous. If you have a funeral home, for example, you may not want to go with a television advertisement that is funny. Instead, you want serene, peaceful, and comforting. If you go with fun, don’t make it too corny though, as that is a turn off as well.

Make sure the talent used in your television advertisements is attractive. This does not mean you want to models in your ads. This means the people that you choose should look sincere, have a good aura about them, and should look natural in front of a camera. Looks are irrelevant as long as someone is pleasant to look at. Many people respond better to people that look like their neighbors, not fashion models. Local commercials work best with ‘real’ people. You can also decide you want to be in your ad, but make sure you feel at ease with it, or you will come across as stiff and unfriendly in your television advertising.

Run your ads on the right stations at the right times. Anyone producing or placing ads for you can tell you when these times may be. If you are selling something towards children, you want to get moms attention. She may be home during the day, so place your television advertising where she may see it midday. If you have a business that rents out construction materials, evening or weekend is best, as that is when those in construction may be more likely to be home watching television. Most stations that produce ads can guide you in the right direction when it comes to ad placement.

The author has been writing articles online for 4 years now. Come visit his latest site Subscribers Magnet review that discusses Subscribers Magnet by Pawan Agrawal.

Cool gadgets of the Loaded and Popular


Posted on : 06-Jul-2010 | By : Blognerd | In : Televisions

Being successful and popular comes with its advantages. No matter what the wealthy and renowned do, they can do it 10 times more extravagantly than the normal person. Cool gizmos are no different. Devices aren’t always the coolest items, but they help make our world less complicated. The prosperous and famed are focused on by makers by applying polish, or “bling” to normal products. Listed below are cool gadgets only fit for the extremely prosperous and famous bunch.

James Bond Bed. This media bed comprises of nearly every thing a prosperous and popular guy or woman might wish to possess. This advanced high-class bed is available outfitted with a TV that comes forth from the foot of the bed. A luminotherapic light is enclosed in the head board to provide light therapy and a soothing awakening. This remarkable design by Nicolas Melan also includes a 5.1 THX surround sound, DVD player, and a silent alarm clock with a sound canon system to rise the specified man or women and not the sleeping companion.

Keymat YALOS Diamond LCD. No easy 3D TV here.This 40-inch LCD Television includes white gold trim set with 160 diamonds. With this gadget, even television viewing will be a magnificent experience. For this current work of art, shoppers can expect to pay 130 grand. A modest expense for such a lavish viewing experience.

Hydro Physio Lifestyle. Water based exercising is growing in appeal because it is much easier on the joints than some other methods of cardiovascular exercise. Hydro Physio is for the invested individual that is trying to find a kind of physical exercise that provides reduced tension on the joints. This original piece of gear can be custom developed to match the design of any modern residence. The glass pocket is filled up with water and combined with a treadmill. The glass enables the workouts to be witnessed by a trainer standing outside. The coach can provide guidelines on form and method. Dependent upon the water height, a different muscle group will be developed. The device is also adjustable to the height and weight of the person.

Custom Sony Vaio P Series by Crystal Roc. Yearn for a microscopic netbook that will cost you £1500? Fantastic. Step right up for this subdued little number; the lightweight Vaio P series, covered in jet hematite crystals, it’s a ‘stylish’ little computer that only the wealthiest could afford.

Movies Made From Our 80’s TV Shows


Posted on : 01-Jul-2010 | By : Jim | In : TV Shows

Out of nowhere, some of our beloved 80s TV shows are being made into movies. The cartoon, Transformers, which had been incredibly loved back in my childhood, has been made into a huge box office hit in recent years. Miami Vice was made into a movie. Two of the most popular and widely admired characters from 80s TV Shows were the famous Crockett and Tubbs. Everyone knew who they were and adored them. The cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was made into several different movies.