Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Comcast launches WiMAX service- Starting in PDX

The second of three planned WiMAX offerings launches today in Portland.

Riding the coattails of Clearwire's existing offering, Comcast Corp. will begin selling customers their own WiMAX service dubbed "High-Speed 2go" according to the company's press release. Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, "and more" to launch by year end.

Sprint Nextel Corp. spokespeople tell me their own (or for those keeping track, the 3rd way customers can buy essentially the same service running on the same network) offering will launch "soon".

I'm testing the Sprint 3G/4G dual-mode device now and will keep you posted.

From Comcast:
Comcast is selling two different data cards and service plans:

* Comcast High-Speed 2go Metro service uses a 4G-only data card giving customers the fastest wireless service within the 4G metro coverage area. The Metro device operates only in a 4G service footprint.
* Comcast High-Speed 2go Nationwide service delivers the fastest metro 4G service plus coast-to-coast access on Sprint’s national 3G network. The Nationwide device automatically switches between available 4G and 3G networks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

DTV Switch times for Portland, OR & Seattle, WA

After years of planning and months of procrastinating, DTV "switch day" has arrived.

Starting today, you will no longer be able to watch your local broadcast station programming over-the-air using analog signals. Those without a newer television will need a converter box and compatible antenna, or a subscription to a paid-service such as cable or satellite.

Each station has slightly different plans for today's transition. Here's a list of compiled transition times for Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Remember, after the transition you'll want to "rescan" your converter box to pick up any station frequency changes or moves.

Portland, Oregon:
KATU (ABC / ch. 2): 11:35pm
KOIN (CBS / ch. 6): 7:25am
KGW (NBC / ch. 8): 3:05am
KOPB (PBS / ch. 10): 1:05am
KPTV (FOX / ch. 12): 9:30am
KRCW 9:00
KPDX 9:30:00
KPXG Transitioned already
KNMT Transitioned already
(some info from KGW.com)

Seattle, Washington:
KOMO (ABC / ch. 4): 9:00am
KING (NBC / ch. 5): 9:00am
KIRO (CBS / ch. 7): 9:00am
KCPQ (FOX / ch. 13): 9:00am
KONG (Ind / ch. 16): 9:00am

If you have questions (or know of a station I missed above), hit me up in the comments on by email and I'll do my best to answer!

Welcome to the world, DTV!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update: Fisher Stations Return to DISH Networks

Sometime in the veil of darkness, the months-long dispute between broadcaster Fisher Communications (owners of Portland-based KATU-TV and Seattle's KOMO-TV & KOMO Radio) and satellite provider DISH Network appears to worked itself out.

brianwestbrook.com graphicFlipping to the appropriate channel on your DISH Networks receiver, you'll find a return of ABC programming in respective markets. (I can't personally verify, but I'd guess Fisher smaller-market stations have also rejoined the satellite lineup.)

Is it a coincidence this move comes mere hours before the analog television signal shut-off that could leave Fisher customers with the clumsy step of needing a converter box for that one lone network not broadcast on DISH? The timing is quite suspicious. (Tonight is also the continuation of the NBA finals on ABC.)

If I had to guess, for what it's worth, Fisher couldn't risk losing more viewers.

Welcome back Fisher stations to DISH Networks! We missed you.

Disclosure: I have previously provided technology content for KATU's "AM Northwest" and KOMO's now-defunct "Northwest Afternoon" and KOMO 4 News as well as Fisher Interactive websites. I have no relationship with Fisher Communications at this time.