Door number three

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Today is a sci-fi kind of day, as I place my order at Amazon for the newly-released-on-DVD, This Island Earth and Godzilla – Gojira Deluxe Collector’s Edition. Gojira is a return to the original Godzilla movie, sans Americanization, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this version.

Last week I picked up this 12 DVD set of movies packaged as “Scifi classics” consisting of public domain movies burned on to DVDs in all their scratchy, bad audio glory. The set cost a little over 12.00, which amounts to about 1.00 a DVD. As for being classics, I’ve never heard of any of the movies. They’re the worst cheese, awful, and I love every bit. I plan on trying to review at least a couple a week, and then point to where you can download the movies for free.

I just noticed that Sci-Fi’s Eureka is now an iTunes download, making it the last of the set I watch and that can now be downloaded from the Internet or bought as DVD. Once the new Fall lineup at sci-fi goes into effect, and after the premier of Battlestar Galactic, we’re disconnecting the cable and going with DVDs and internet downloads (and books and hikes and what not) for entertainment.

St. Louis Today has been running a series on the problems they’ve had getting their Charter internet connection to work. Considering this is a newspaper’s online site, having a decent internet connection is a requirement. However, they’ve gotten the run around, been given misleading information, and have had repair people not show up at scheduled times and the paper is now looking at moving it’s broadband access to another company.

This started a blitz of emails and letters from other Charter customers complaining of service. Cable and cellphone service are the number one and two complaint, respectively, at Better Business Bureau; so much so the organization has set up separate systems just for these items. (The BBB also recommends turning complaints about misrepesentation of service into the state attorney general for possible prosecution.) Charter is number one for customer dissatisfaction in our area.

It used to be you didn’t have a choice if you wanted to watch television: you subscribed to cable or you picked up whatever you could get on an antenna. Then there was the dish and satellite, which provided a second option, but one which still requires that you subscribe to a service you may end up not liking (and its usually not the best option if you live in an apartment or townhome), and which requires specialized equipment and holes drilled into your walls and floor.

Now there’s a third option, door number three: downloads and DVD. More television networks are providing their material free (with or without commercials) or via a download service such as iTunes (many downloadable the next day after original air date). Show production companies now provide boxed sets for each show’s season. Combining all of these options to get the shows a person really wants is cheaper than paying $50.00 or more dollars a month for ‘basic and expanded’–service consisting more and more of home shopping networks and channels that repeat the same movie or show again and again.

We’re picking door number three. Sayonara Charter.


The New York Times has an article on the webisodes that Sci-Fi is releasing for Battlestar Galactica. They’re previews of the upcoming episodes.

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