I’m Done Feeding the Cable Pig!

This afternoon I made a call that I have been waiting a long time to make. I called the Mediacom 800 number and said, “cancel all my services!” It felt so good! Then after work today I stopped by the Mediacom offices and returned my cable modem. I did a little dance as I walked out… finally rid of Mediacom! No more poor service. No more constantly increasing rates (Funny thing is, I just got a letter today saying they’re raising rates again!). You’re probably now thinking to yourself, “Scott, you’re crazy… what are you going to do for TV and high speed internet?!?” Well, I’ll tell you. I just got South Slope IPTV.

My phone company in North Liberty is South Slope Communication Coop., which is part of Iowa Network Services, a coalition of rural phone companies in Iowa amino frontthat have combined their powers to do things that some of the larger phone companies aren’t able to do (or at least aren’t able to do quickly). Right around the first of the year, South Slope started offering television services in addition to their phone service (which I already had) and DSL internet services. I played with the numbers and for about $12 more per month I could get more than seven times the number of channels I currently have (not to mention superior service). I jumped at the chance and signed right up to switch my internet over from Mediacom cable to their DSL and my TV to the their new IPTV system. Last night the the tech guys from South Slope came and got me hooked up.

The new TV services isn’t really cable or digital cable since it doesn’t come into my residence via coax. It’s probably closer to digital cable than it is to anything. The new videoamino back service is IPTV (no, not the place I used to work) Internet Protocol Television. It’s a new way to deliver video services that is slowly catching on as more phone companies are getting faster lines and jumping into video delivery. The video is delivered via the phone line instead of coax cable. The phone line connects to a box (with little blinky lights on it) similar to a DSL modem, and from there it sends the signal via an ethernet cable to the cable box which is hooked to the TV. The cable boxes (I should probably say IPTV boxes) are made by a company called Amino. I got the AmiNET 110 which is just a simple cable (IPTV) box. This company also offers a pretty sleep DVR system as well, the AmiNET500. Unfortunately South Slope doesn’t support this yet. They told me they’re looking into it. So now I have somewhere near 155 channels plus music channels and video on demand movies. So many channels I don’t know what to watch… not that I really watch that much TV anyway. It just overwhelming compared to the approximately 21 channels I had with Mediacom basic service before (that includes 3 shopping channels and 2 CSpan channels – so it’s more like 15 channels total!). I had a few issues getting my ReplayTV working, but eventually got it configured. So far the TV has been working well, and the internet has been flying… and best of all, it’s not Mediacom!!!

9 Comments

gravatar Jon

You’ll have to let me know how your new TV works out for you. Qwest does the same thing in select parts of Denver. I’ve got a friend that gets his phone/internet/TV from them. I’d be tempted if it were offerend in our area, but currently we can’t get it. I can’t stand flippin At&t.

gravatar Tony

Wow! That’s really cool!

You will have to post a follow-up, letting us know what you think of the service after some time goes by.

gravatar jess

I hope your blood pressure goes down now that you’ve gotten rid of Mediacom. I know how you hate Mediacom.

gravatar Steven

I am very interested in trying to get the Aminet 110. Would you mind telling me if the Aminet 110 will accept RF input and still provide RCA output for it or is it only ethernet input as it is for IPTV?

The details to this story is that I am trying to find a small STB that can convert RF to RCA output (stupid x10 software will only utilize their usb capture hardware to accept wireless camera signals). As a result my coaxial line that was feeding my wireless input is currently going through my vcr to my rca output. I am hoping to find a smaller demodulator that can sit on my desk or near my computer without taking a huge amount of space. Just wondering if the Aminet 110 might be such a solution!

Also – do you know how much the Aminet 110 costs or if it is even available to buy?

gravatar Scott

Steven:
I’m not sure if the Aminet 110 will take and RF input or not. There are two RF ports on the back… I don’t know if one is an “in” and one is an “out”. That would be my guess. I’ve never tried hooking anything up to the second “in” port. I don’t really have anything to test this. Even if it was an “in” I’m not sure how it’s routing through the unit and if it would give you something to the RCA ports. I know that these STB’s are very customizable, but since the one I have is already programmed for my particular cable co, I don’t know what options are available.

Also, I’m not sure if you can even buy them. My guess is that Amino only sells in bulk to cable co’s. I can’t find anywhere on their website that lists prices or buying info.

Sorry… not sure if this is much help. If you could get a hold of one of these, it might be worth a try, but one of them might be hard (or really expensive) to get a hold of.

gravatar John

The Aminet 110 and its baby sister the 103 are about $200 and $170 respectively, even in small quantities, but not generally available to one-off residential enquiries. I’ve got a few to play with, they don’t take any analogue video input, they purely do MPEG decode+play and web browsing. The Aminet 500 due out realsoonnow has full PVR functions inc. analogue input. http://www.aminocom.com

gravatar Alex

I know it’s a little late, but, I’ll be moving to North Liberty shortly, and I was wondering how you feel the picture quality of the IPTV compares to Mediacom, as well the South Slope DSL speeds compared to Mediacom.

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