Monday, August 07, 2006

Comcast OnDemand Sucks Balls

I've had Comcast cable for a few years now, and haven't really had any problems with it. The DVRis about the best thing that has ever happened to TV. So, when they added OnDemand a couple of years ago, it seemed like a pretty good thing. They didn't change our rates at the time, so everything OnDemand was extra, and it seemed great. As I (tried) to use it more and more, though, I discovered it was a big pain in the ass. Shows would stop in the middle, or wouldn't play at all, or the menus would take more than a minute or so between selections, or you'd fast forward and wouldn't be able to get it to play again. Anyway, shortly after, I got the DVR, and therefore didn't have a lot of use for the OnDemand anymore, since I just recorded everything I ever wanted to see anyway.

So, with all the advertising of OnDemand I see on TV, I would assume they had all the problems worked out by now. But then my parents got the latest Comcast cable box when they got their new HDTV, and they got HBO and tried to use it to catch up on all the HBO series' they had missed. They had all the same problems I had, only worse. And since they had bought the service with OnDemand as part of what they were buying, and didn't have a DVR, and actually called Comcast to try and figure out the problem, it was much worse for them than for me. All this is enough to piss you off already. But then today, I noticed something else which to me was much worse.

It's bad that they obviously don't have the equipment to handle the demand for OnDemand. So, anyway, like I said I just record everything and watch it on the DVR. But, I've noticed lately that they always have the message up that "The program you've just seen will be available tomorrow on HBO OnDemand," at the end of shows, which is another reason I thought they had things worked out, since when I (tried to) use it, you'd be lucky if the episode was on 2 weeks later. So today, I was watching last night's episode of Lucky Louie with my stepson. After that was over, he wanted to watch Entourage, which I had already watched and deleted. So, we go to OnDemand, and look for it, and it's not there. So, I figure it's just a mistake or whatever, then he decides to watch Deadwood, which again, I had watched and deleted. OnDemand didn't have that either. So, they go to the trouble of putting this message at the end of all their shows, but it's a big fucking lie. I can kind of understand the service problems, since it's probably hard to guage that demand, but if you can't do that, don't advertise it like it's the greatest thing in history (particularly when I rarely see ads for the DVR which is pretty fucking awesome), when it doesn't really work. Also, stop adding all this new content that must greatly increase the demand for the service, until you can handle the demand. But then to tell people something will be available, and then just not have it available is inexcusable. How hard is it for someone to put those episodes up there?

This would be a great service if they can make it work, but apparently they can't (at least yet), so they need to stop advertising it so heavily until they can, since it's just going to piss people off. Advertise the DVR instead, since it's awesome.

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55 comments:

Westley (random internet loser) said...

I love OnDemand TV! I watched seasons 2-5 of the Sopranos before season 6 debuted and now am watching Oz. I rarely have problems with it, and when I do, I just reboot the system and everything is fine.

Of course, I don't live in crappy Northern Florida -- they're bound to have better service where I live. Also, you're so inept with any electronic equipment (witness your difficulty with the spacebar on your computer) that I doubt that you're using your cable box correctly anyway.

Maybe you could pay the cable company to give you a tutorial on how to properly use OnDemand. Or you could ask Chris for help; he's much smater than you.

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Westley (random internet loser) said...

anonymous -- that makes much more sense than anything john gibbers.

Mike Meitín said...

I've also never encountered any problem with my Comcast OnDemand. Last night I actually watched both the Lucky Louie show and the Entourage show in question on OnDemand, so at least here in Colorado the Episodes were available. It is so effective and usefull that I no longer DVR any HBO shows which saves storage space (since I record everything in HD it takes up a lot of space). There is also a lot of widescreen movie content on several of the premium channel's menus that are almost DVD quality.

John Howard said...

Maybe it's just a local thing. But either way it sucks. I would use it a lot more if it worked reliably.

Anonymous said...

It's hit or miss wherever you're at, I had the occaional services outages in my former area, but I'm sorry if your movie just stops running and then loses it's placement it take forvere to fast forward back to where you are; if it's a 3 hour movie like the one I've been (trying) to watch for the past 4 hours, you might as well forget it (8 crashes later)... At least they should be able to figure out the idea of chapters, you know like every damn DVD has so if this happen you can skip to about where you were... OMG what a freak'n concept!

...and no idiot, I'm sure the guy know how to use on demand... Demand quality and you might get it one day, don't excuse crap like this... Me personally I've decided no more cable period, it's too expensive for what I don't get out of it... I'd rather buy everything I want to watch - it will be cheaper and with NO commercials...

I'm wrte'n this while it's still fast forwarding. The last time I bothered to write to comcast with oh 10 minutes to spare afterwards... Even now I'll still have plenty of time to catch other blogs about how comcast on-demand suck... Have fun like I am!

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed in OnDemand. I watch on demand to simply get away from being hit by commercials. if I wanted to watch commercials I would watch regular television.
To have to purchase ANOTHER piece of equipment, like a TiVo just to get away from it, is just criminal.
I spend more time forwarding through commercials than sitting back and watching a show.
Don't they make ENOUGH money off us already?

Anonymous said...

COMCAST ON DEMAND SUCKS!!! They use to get a lot of new releases for $4.99 and now there's hardly nothing. Their showing lots of $6.99 Independent Films, but that's about it. COMCAST IS A LOSER!!!

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Anonymous said...

This service is horrible. What a waste. They do nothing but lie to their customers. I have had it. Time to go AT&T/DTV.

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Anonymous said...

On Demand is reliable here (Chester County Pennsylvania). The problem is not much went into its design, and it seems Comcast never fixes it because of their freaking monopoly (abuse of capitalism).

The 24-hour limit on saved recordings is what gets me. I can see how it maybe makes sense for pay-per-view movies. Why let someone watch the same movie over and over for only $4.99? Okay, I'm being sarcastic.

Where it's really annoying is with the premium services, like HBO. I already have unlimited access to the channel, so I can watch the movie over and over again as often as I like. There's reason reason to force me to watch it within 24 hours and then have to fast forward if I don't finish it and the frigging box deletes it.

Seek. The need a frigging seek feature, so you can seek to a particular time without fast forwarding.

Geez, but Comcast tech support sucks. They dismiss you with form letters and ignore you.

To hell with Comcast. To hell with capitalism.

Anonymous said...

On Demand had CBS.....why don't they show The Amazing Race....If they are going to keep showing those "has beens" on 60 Mins. after basketball has run over....THEN show something that ppl younger than 90 years old want to watch!!!

Anonymous said...

I HATE!!!! Comcast for all their services, it all sucks. It is slow, it skips, freezes, and otherwise messes up. I hate their newest and "best" triple play package, and none of it is worth the presents I leave in the toilet. Before this I had ATT Uverse service, and it was awesome. I moved and couldn't keep it, so I switched. ATT was fast, it never failed, and I didn't pay near as much for the better service as I do for Comcast. I keep my fingers crossed that ATT will expand to where I live.

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