time warner cable

10 Things I Want Google Fiber to Fix.

google-fiber-bunny

UPDATE:

When I wrote this post over a year ago, I was a Google Fiber user. Since then I have moved and spent the last 18 months with Consolidated Communications (Surewest). I have no idea if Google fixed or implemented any of the items listed below. I’m sure they have, Google is a smart company and listens to their customers.

I also want to say that in the last 20 plus years I have used Time Warner, and AT&T for cable and internet service. Yesterday, I signed back up for Google Fiber after it became available in my area. Yes I am going back to Google because it is simply that much better. I say this as someone that works from home, needs the speed and dependability that I had with Google Fiber before. Sorry, Time Warner, AT&T, and Surewest, your products, customer service, bandwidth, and consistent up-time fail compared to Google Fiber.  

Consolidated Communications (Surewest) is every bit as bad as Time Warner in terms of speed and service going out. I have lost my internet service a half dozen times  in the last year during work hours and have had to go to Starbucks or the Library to continue doing my job. So, when you read what is posted below, remember Google Fiber is still better than any of the alternatives out there. 

Back around the first of December I finally got my Google Fiber. Having been a solid user of both the TV and internet service for the last 90 plus days, I have to say it’s pretty damn great. I also have to say if it went away, I’d never go back to Time Warner Cable. Google Fiber isn’t perfect, but it blows TWC out of the water. All in all I like the service. There are however a few things I’d like to see Google fix, add, or improve as they continue to roll out and update the service.

Google, if you are listening, this the top ten list of what I would like.

  1. The Tablet that Google gives is called a “Super Remote” and for the most part it is. What it needs though is a volume control for the TV, and the ability to turn the TV on and off.
  2. When you fast forward or rewind, playback needs to jump a couple of seconds in either direction. You know so when you stop, it attempts to override your slow reflexes and jumps back to the point you want to stop at, not the place your slow finger led you too.
  3. While the TV browser is solid, and much better than anything TWC has, Google should take a page from the Logitech playbook and look at how the Logitech Review implemented their UI/UX for browsing and search for shows. The Review showed the promise of what “Google TV” could be.
  4. I want the ability to install apps on the set-top box. Yes I really do. I want to be able to install things like Amazon Prime and then watch the content on my TV. No I do not want to buy Chrome Cast. I want a native feature that lets me install apps. Once again, Google needs to look at the Logitech Review.
  5. If I can’t install apps, then maybe Google could add Chrome to the current app list that is on the set-top box. Things like Amazon Prime work just fine via Chrome.
  6. I want to hide all the channels I never watch. Maybe you can already do this and I simply don’t know how. If that is the case, Google needs to make that feature easier to find.
  7. Playlists. I really want the option to create playlists of my favorite channels. If this is the future of TV, then this is a must have.
  8. 802.11 AC. I have a super fast fiber connection. I’d like a WiFi connection to match. The 802.11n is great, but I want to take full advantage of AC on all my AC equipped devices.
  9. AMC. I know this is a tough one, but the premier of Mad Men is coming and I miss watching it and recording it to my DVR.
  10. Fix your DVR smart recordings. I’m not sure what is up, but there are a bunch of TV shows I have set to record only first run episodes. For some reason it records re-runs as well. I have a feeling this is because of the way the station tags the broadcast metadata but I’m not sure. Either way it would be nice if this stopped happening.

All in all I really can’t complain about the Google Fiber experience so far. Like I said before it blows away what I had with Time Warner Cable. The fiber connection is fast as hell, especially when you are hard wired to the fiber box. Apps like Netflix are instant on with no buffering, frame drops, or picture degradation due to poor bandwidth. The Google Fiber experience has so far been great, from install to billing, to customer service. They just need to improve a few things, which I’m sure they will as they move forward.

Did You Get Your Daily Fiber? I Get Mine Through Google.

20131201-162038.jpgBy this time tomorrow I’ll basking in the high speed glow of Google Fiber. My loft will be wired with the service and Time Warner Cable will be a fast fading memory. After 9 months of waiting the Fiber will be wired in and running tomorrow morning and frankly I can’t wait. If you read my blog you probably know that Time Warner has been a nightmare with horrible hardware, software, and performance issues. At times I was lucky to have an internet connection faster than dial up, especially at the house on Lloyd in KCK. So anything, and I mean anything is better than Time Warner Cable running on Scientific Atlanta hardware, featuring the worst UI and menuing system on the face of the planet.

Yesterday when I called Time Warner to cancel service, their customer service reps through everything at me to get me to stay. First it was a gift card to Best Buy. I haven’t shopped at a Best Buy in years, and based on everything I read about them these days, neither has anyone else. Next it was the free bundle upgrade for a year. I could have gotten, a Time Warner phone upgrade (people under the age of 70 still have land lines?), or I could have received the premium channel upgrade with free HBO for a year. Apparently Time Warner doesn’t realize that a large group of people watch HBO and like programming through online services, or through HBO’s dedicated apps for iOS and Android. I was on the phone with two very nice women that literally didn’t want to take no for an answer and would do anything to keep me, including dissing Google Fiber customer service, pricing structure, Internet performance, and channel line up. Is Time Warner worried about Google Fiber eating their lunch? It sure felt like it to me.

Here’s the deal, Time Warner for years has had a monopoly on the local cable service. They have also had a bit of a strangle hold on internet service. Case in point, Time Warner was my only option at my old house on Lloyd, and for the first 5 years in Union HIll. During the last 4 years, Time Warner has continued to take my money and provided a sub-standard product. The hardware feels like something from the Stone Age with a user interface and overall user experience that is absolutely abismal. Even the simplest things like searching for a program are painful, feeling like sending a text message on a cell phone a decade ago. I know I am not the only person that feels this way.

If you search online, you will find thousands of rants about Time Warner Cable. Most of the people complaining are griping about the same issues I was. Slow connection speeds during peak hours, antiquated hardware, having to schedule half a day off from work while you wait for a service tech to show up at your house, service being out on a regular basis and not being compensated for the down time, mediocre customer service reps, etc. These are the kinds of ongoing issues that have people looking for any excuse to Drop Time Warner in favor of anything else. Now I’m not saying Google Fiber is going to be perfect. No technology is, but it is going to be a million times better than what I have been dealing with for the last 4 years guaranteed.

GoogleFiber competitor: ‘Bring it on’ – Kansas City Business Journal

GoogleFiber competitor: ‘Bring it on’ – Kansas City Business Journal.
Wow, this just goes to show the arrogance of Time Warner Cable. It’s precisely this kind of arrogance, combined with what really is a bad product that will have so many jumping off the Time Warner band wagon. They really think they can compete? Anyone that reads my blog, follows me on Twitter, is in a Google+ Circle, or is my friend on Facebook, knows the kind of connectivity hell Time Warner Cable has put me through in the last year. I can’t believe I am the only one that gets just god awful service from these guys.

Telling Google to “Bring It” is pretty damn funny. Maybe they will be laughing out of the other side of their mouth come this time next year.

Google Fiber… Finally.

Anyone that is into technology, or keeping up with Google Fiber, today was the day the roll out was announced. At some point in the near future, hopefully I’ll be rocking the gigabit fiber network and can send both Time Warner Cable and Direct TV packing. What Google announced today really is a pretty stellar deal. For 120 bucks a month I get ultra high speed internet, 500 HD TV channels, a terabyte of cloud based storage, and a Nexus 7 tablet.

After 3 years of just god awful service from Time Warner, rate hikes and hollow threats from Direct TV, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Frankly I can’t wait to pull the plug on both of these services and move on to a better, brighter future. To my friends in the surrounding communities that are not part of the initial roll out, be patient it is rolling your way next. In the mean time, you can come by my house any time and share my fiber.