My broadband internet provider, Patrio Media, provides an excellent service. The connection always appears responsive and never fails. Patriot Media claims 10Mbs download speeds but I have found that on average I obtain about 7-8Mb/s during heavy use times. On occasion the service is even faster than what is listed. Currently they provide two tiers of service: 10 Mb/s for $29.95 and 20Mb/s for $69.95 for customers who also use their cable service. Their is no contract lock in as their is with Verizon DSL, the only other choice in my area. Patriot Media also offers a bundled package called Triple Play that includes broadband, digital cable service, and internet telephone services starting at about $150 monthly. Similar services from Verizon would have cost me more and I would be locked into a 1 year contract.
I recently swathed from Verizon DSL to my Patriot Media's broadband. I was sick and tired of Verizon slow service and terrible customer service. I also dropped Verizon local and long distance and now use Patriot's VOIP phone service. The cable broadband speed is excellent (7 MB/s) at the same price as Verizon DSL and the phone service is cheaper as well.
DSL Reports is running a news story about a report that suggests that cable may be winning the broadband battle with the telcos. The report suggests that the cable companies may start reclaiming bandwidth from the unused spectrum freed up by the move from standard (SDTV) to high definition (HDTV) television. I have been recently impressed by how fast and inexpensive my cable connection is compared to my previous DSL connection. The report also suggest that the cable companies will have enough capacity and bandwidth to compete directly with the telcos fibre. So maybe I'll never have a need for Verizon FIOS.
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I got buzzed with the announcements from Apple today. A new iTunes and new iPods and something for the future called iTV. Along with the new iTunes and iPods was Apple announcement of the iTunes Movie store. With current broadband speeds (cable not DSL) one will be able to download a movie in about 30 minutes. We are currently limited to about 75 movies from Disney but I am sure more will follow.
The new iPod shuffle is smaller than before and has all the charm of the original. A 1GB shuffle will sell for about $79. We also get new color metal finish iPod nanos ( reminds me of the iPod mini ) and a capacity boost to 8GB. I guess enough people complained about the scratching on the original nano and Apple listened.
The new video iPods sport a higher resolution screen and more capacity with the debut of the 80GB iPod. The screen resolution (640 x 480) is double the screen resolution of the previous iPod (320x240) and has a longer battery life (3.5 hours).
These announcements would have been enough to leave me excited but Steve had just "one more thing"; iTV. What is it? My understanding is that device will provide a mac mni type machine with Front Row or some other software and the iTunes allowing the user to purchase/download movies for playback with output to a HDMI enabled HD TV and perhaps wireless streaming that content to another mac. Wow!!! I totally see that Netflix and perhaps TiVo might be threatened by this.
With iPods nearly ubiquitious and the popularity of iTunes Apple is poised to do what Microsoft and others have striven to do for a long time.