Comcast Rep Loses Mind When Customer Tries to Cancel Service

Categories: Television

It wasn't a cheeseburger that sent this Comcast rep over the edge.
We all know the horror stories about Comcast. Some of them involve the dreaded four-hour window. Others make reference to service outage problems. In Houston, our biggest complaints are most closely tied to the existence of Comcast Sports Net Houston and the fact that it is unavailable to the majority of the city. So, saying Comcast has a bad rep is like saying Lindsay Lohan has a drug problem, beyond obvious. Well, this latest episode isn't going to help.

Ryan Block, a developer at AOL, and his wife decided to cancel their Comcast service, something I'm sure many people fantasize about. When they did, they were sent to a customer service rep who verbally badgered them about their decision. Block, being the good nerd he is, not only recorded the conversation, but posted it to Sound Cloud. As you might imagine, the whole thing went viral.

The recording is over eight minutes long, completely insane and absolutely worth every painful second of listening.

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Houston Vet Gets to Share His PTSD Story and Musical Recovery

Categories: Television, Texas

Paul Delacerda
Paul Delacerda's seen it all. From traveling the road living the rocker life and having it all tumble down in the mid-1990s. He was homeless for six months, living under a bridge near Interstate 610, then picked himself back up and joined the Army.

He's been back in Houston since 2010, but with a brain injury suffered after his unit was rocked by a blast in Iraq. His story gets shared with America this weekend when a cable channel airs his story dealing with PTSD and his band of wounded veterans.

With his studio over on Garrow Street, just a stone's throw from his childhood home, Delacerda uses music to quiet his demons and get back the life he wants to live.

He grew up on the East Side and said he didn't have the best childhood growing up. "Lots of ups and downs," he said. That's part of what made him enlist. But music was in his soul. His father was a mariachi when he was younger. His uncle played the drums in a tejano band, and his paternal grandfather made it big on the tejano music scene.

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Netflix, Comcast End Feud: Why It Matters to You

Categories: Tech, Television

Pay to play in full force.
If you tried to watch a movie or a TV series recently on Netflix, particularly if you happen to have Comcast as your Internet provider, you might have had a few issues. Sure, they may have the entire final season of Breaking Bad, but it won't do you much good if you are constantly having to buffer. That was the case for many Comcast subscribers as the cable giant, according to Netflix, slowed streams from the service by as much as 27 percent.

Fortunately, this week the two media companies reached an agreement that will end the dispute. This comes on the heals of the massive merger between Comcast and Time Warner. But even if you don't use Comcast, this deal should be of interest to you because it has the potential to impact future deals between other streaming services. There is also word that cable companies, in an effort to protect eroding markets as people leave subscription television services for streaming, will begin increasing prices to Internet-only customers.

Here's the breakdown on how all this affects you.

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CSN Houston and Jim Crane's Long, Strange Trip to Nowhere

csn houston.jpg
The long, strange trip.
No sports fan in Houston really cares why the Rockets and Astros still aren't on TV. They don't care about the money behind the deals, the accusations of fraud, the back-room negotiations, per-subscriber rates, the posturing and the lawsuits. The only thing that they want is for their teams to be on television, and not just on a single provider. With only 40 percent of the city subscribed to Comcast, the only cable provider carrying CSN Houston fans want someone to blame.

The truth is that all the parties involved in this mess share some of the blame, but, if you want to break it into percentages, no one has had more undue influence over CSN's lack of coverage than Astros owner Jim Crane. It could be argued that he and he alone is responsible for preventing deals that would put the Rockets and Astros on the air. He believes the network should be worth more than it is based on what other cities are doing with their regional sports networks. But, fans could care less whether or not owners who are worth millions (some, billions) and their franchises are more profitable. In fact, they are less likely to support a team that they can't see. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

Nevertheless, Crane has blocked deals that would have put his team and the Rockets on providers other than Comcast. As a result, he's embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings and lawsuits, and it has all gone down in dramatic fashion.

As fans, we may be pissed, but I do think it is important to understand why things are the way they are and just exactly how we got here. A little history...

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Local Univision Channel Is the Most Watched Station in Houston

Categories: Television

Numero uno!
When you live in a city like Houston, it can be easy to forget just how diverse it actually is. Most of us have friends from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Our co-workers and even family members don't look like us and we embrace it. Houston is, after all and according to some, the most diverse city in the nation.

But, one thing we tend to forget is just how popular other cultural interests can be. We don't realize that Latin music, for example, is extremely popular in the U.S. and much of it is not made outside our own country. So, when Univision 45 announces that it is now the No. 1 station in the Houston market, part of us shrugs and thinks it's no big deal but another part says, "Seriously?"

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Star Trek Shuttle Scheduled for Display at Space Center Houston

Categories: NASA, Television

Photo courtesy of Lynne Miller and KIKO Auctions
The Star Trek shuttlecraft Galileo at auction last year.

The Star Trek shuttlecraft Galileo is making a landing in Houston, coming to rest at Space Center Houston as a permanent exhibit.

Star Trek fans may remember the ill-fated voyage of Galileo, sent out from the Enterprise to explore a star system with a small crew led by First Officer Spock. In the episode "Galileo 7" from the original 1966 series, the crew barely managed to escape with their lives, and lost the Galileo in the process.

Ironically, the shuttlecraft movie prop nearly met a similar fate.

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COPS Will Soon Be Filming Mulleted Ne'er Do Wells in Beaumont

Categories: Television, Texas

We know exactly what we gonna do, what we gonna do, when they come for us: tell 'em it ain't our crack!
If you've ever been jealous of the (alleged) perps on "COPS," resplendent in their beer-soaked wife-beaters and mullets, shouting about how that crack rock in their back pocket wasn't really theirs because those really aren't their pants, as they're forced to the ground in front of their trailer while a baby-mama and a pit bull exchange tormented yelps, and eighteen officers stand watch with Tasers, now's your chance to shine: the venerable TV show, now in its 86th season, will soon be filming in Beaumont.

Beaumont Police Chief Jim Singletary told the Police News that a "COPS" producer called him and "said he did a little research on us. He's from Texas, and he likes to do Texas police departments. And he's heard some good things about our department."

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Comcast SportsNet Gives in (a Little): Free Trial This Month -- All the Astros Action You Want!! (Maybe)

Categories: Sports, Television

A move to end the dispute, or a PR gimmick?
The endless, tedious fight between Comcast SportsNet and local cable providers has left Houston sports fans out of luck if they're trying to follow the local teams.

That may have changed, however.

Comcast SportsNet has announced they're giving a free trial to most Houston cable viewers, which will allow them to see the Rockets, Astros (if they dare) and Dynamo.

The cable providers would have to agree to carry the free trial, so nothing is set yet.

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Zapruder Analysis of A.J. Clemente's (F-Bomb-Dropping News Anchor) 15 Minutes of Fame

Categories: Television

As I wrote about yesterday, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz kind of recalibrated the acceptability scale for the F-word on Saturday when he dropped it in the middle of his brief speech welcoming Bostonians back to baseball in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Hell, even the FCC wasn't going to deny Big Papi his right to F-bomb freely out of raw emotion.

But context is everything, and just because one man says "fucking" on the air in defiance of terrorism doesn't mean that another man can say "fucking" on the air out of the frustration of mispronouncing a name.

A.J. Clemente found this out the hard way yesterday.

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Arian Foster's Television Acting Debut on Hawaii Five-O (w/ VIDEO)

Book `em, Arian. Get Danno to help you.
The annual Pro Bowl is generally viewed by NFL players as, in this order, 1) a reward for a job well done, 2) an opportunity to get some much needed rest and relaxation, and 3) a chance to play a glorified sandlot football game another football game.

Well, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster took the opportunity with this year's Pro Bowl trip to Hawaii to add a fourth characterization: the opportunity to make a cameo appearance on Hawaii Five-O.

In an episode of the program which aired on Monday night, Foster played a role he is very familiar with -- "Pro Bowl running back named Arian Foster."

If you check Foster's profile, this is the role in which he clearly excels:

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