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The half-cut cord: What's bugging me about cable

I cut the cord years ago. My wife sat across from me on the sofa and finally convinced me that paying well over $100 a month for the privilege of a bunch of random cable channels wasn't worth it. We could save money, learn to live lower to the ground, read more, and watch TV shows and movies on demand. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. I agreed. With apprehension.

It worked. We relaxed, we used an over-the-air antenna, we caught our TV shows on broadcast networks and just sat through commercials. I even borrowed an old DTV Pal DVRRead more

Netflix reveals the speeds of top ISPs around the world

Is your Internet provider as fast as its rivals? A new Netflix page could provide the answer.

Launched today, the site's ISP Speed Index page displays the performance of certain ISPs in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. As such, it doesn't cover the entire world but simply those countries where Netflix is available.

In the U.S., Google Fiber took the top spot with an average speed of 3.35 megabits per second. Cablevision's Optimum service was No. 2 with a speed of 2.35Mbps, followed by Suddenlink, Cox, … Read more

Verizon ponies up $250M to settle with TiVo

Verizon has agreed to pay DVR specialist TiVo at least $250.4 million to settle all litigation between the companies.

Separately, Verizon also reached an agreement with privately held ActiveVideo for at least $260 million, resolving its suit related to on-demand video

"We are pleased to have reached settlements with both TiVo and ActiveVideo in these two matters," a Verizon spokesman said today. He declined to comment further.

According to a regulatory filing, Verizon will give TiVo an upfront cash payment of $100 million by September 28, followed by 25 recurring quarterly payments totaling $150.4 million. The … Read more

Comcast reportedly prepping a 305Mbps Internet service

Watch out, Verizon. Comcast may be making a play for Fios customers with the lure of faster download speeds.

The cable carrier is reportedly prepping a 305Mbps downstream service slated to reach markets currently covered by Verizon's Fios high-speed service by year's end.

Citing a "reliable source," Web site Broadband Reports said that Comcast streamed a live event to employees this week detailing future plans for its Xfinity service. Besides discussing the Olympics and more Spanish language programs, the carrier's president and CEO Neil Smit dropped hints about a faster service "soon" to … Read more

Verizon's 300 Mbps Fios plan to cost $205

Verizon piqued our interest last week when it announced that it would double the speed of its top-tier Fios plan but didn't reveal how much it would cost.

The new service, which will boost speeds to 300 Mbps for downloads and 65 Mbps for uploads, will cost customers $204.99 a month, according to purported training material (see below) sent to The Verge by an anonymous Verizon employee. While that may sound like a lot to spend on Internet service, that price is only $5 more than Verizon customers pay for the current top-tier, 150 Mbps plan.

Price and … Read more

Verizon plans price hikes for Fios, wireless users

The cost of Verizon's Fios and wireless service are expected to go up during the next several months, as the company hikes prices and introduce new plans that demand customers pay more for the data they consume.

Speaking at the JP Morgan investor conference Tuesday, Fran Shammo, Verizon Communications' CFO, said the company is planning to increase fees and prices for its Fios Internet and TV services. He also promised investors that wireless customers would soon be spending more on its service after the company implements a new "data share" plan for its 4G LTE network.

Shammo'… Read more

My DIY Cable Card install was simple--how was yours? (poll)

Remember Cable Card? It's still around, quietly allowing owners of TiVos and Home Theater PCs, via devices like the HDHomeRun Prime, to get the full complement of cable TV programming without having to use the company-issued DVR or cable box.

At CNET we've tested a few Cable Card products, including TiVos and the now-defunct Moxi DVR. The latter product was still hanging around the CNET offices so I decided to test it out for myself at home.

I called up Verizon (I'm a Fios TV subscriber) last week, told the rep I had a third-party DVR and … Read more

Verizon Fios, LG team up to bring live TV, VOD to smart TVs

If there's any trend developing at CES, it's cable and satellite providers trying to capitalize on the growth of smart TVs.

Earlier this week, Verizon Fios announced that it will be offering 26 live HD channels and over 10,000 video-on-demand titles to customers who own an LG smart TV or Blu-ray player. In order to access the channels, LG TV owners must also be Verizon Fios customers and access the content through the service provider's Flex View offering.

Dish earlier this week at CES announced something similar for its customers. After acquiring one of the company'… Read more

Cablevision to Verizon: Get your false ads off the air

The pay-TV war between Cablevision and Verizon Communications just got a little uglier.

Cablevision came out swinging, filing a lawsuit yesterday in a New York court, alleging that Verizon was using old Federal Communications Commission data to bash its Internet service in its Fios commercials. The two have been tussling fiercely ever since Verizon introduced Fios to the New York area, in a direct assault on Cablevision's market. Despite the newer service, Cablevision has been able to hold its own against the new entrant.

The competition has been brutal. In television, radio, mail, and online spots, Verizon claims that … Read more

The 404 959: Where we lower our carrier IQ (podcast)

Today's 404 podcast topics include who to blame for the Carrier IQ bug, a digital rape whistle for shaming street harassers, a preview of tomorrow's Xbox Live update, and a quick game of "guess-the-Apple-iOS-dev-code-names!"

We're also running a contest all week, so send in your creative 404-related video voice mails to the404(at)cnet(dot)com for a chance to win an 16GB Apple iPad 2 or an 4GB Xbox 360/Kinect bundle! Thanks to Target.com for the prizes.

Video submissions should be thirty seconds or less, with you declaring lifelong loyalty to The 404. Or whatever.

Leaked from 404 Podcast 959:

Facebook increases status update character limit to 63,206. iHollaback is the new rape whistle: Shaming street harassers with cellphone pics. Here are a few funny code names Apple used for iOS version updates. Xbox Live update comes with 40 entertainment services and Live TV.… Read more