Thursday, July 28, 2011

LUS Fiber Offers Web-Based DVR App

LUS Fiber has announced web-based access to its Digital Video Recorders. You can locate it in the "extras" section of the MediaRoom DVR interface. You'll have to give yourself a name and password the first time you visit the app on the DVR. Thereafter you'll be using a computer or your smartphone to view channel info and access your DVR's records and recording capability. (This sort of nifty melding of the internet and your set top box is relatively easy to set up on LUS's all IP network; the use of industry standards makes innovation on our small system a lot more practical.)

Once you get set up you can access you DVR over the internet, review your saved show list and create new recordings. There are at least two advantages: 1) You can do this from anywhere and 2) you can use a real keyboard. I'm finding I love having access to that keyboard—while it's neat to be able to be able setup a new series recording when your lunchmate makes a great recommendation it is really nice to be able to use a real keyboard to do searches.

A page on its website offers basic instructions and a downloadable PDF user guide. Pretty neat stuff. There are two versions of the browser-based apps: a standard computer-oriented one with keyboard support and one optimized for the small touchscreen of smart phones.

Caveats: Don't be discouraged by some confusions thrown in the way of first time users. You have to go from an LUS web page to the TV's DVR interface and then back to the Web. Trouble is the LUS web page doesn't have complete instructions. It doesn't tell you where the link to the remote DVR can be found after you've created your new user on the DVR. (Look in the upper left hand corner of the page banner...its an orange on orange button (?) that blends into the banner all too well. That info should be both on that page and on the DVR's interface when you complete registration as well. Persist, you will be rewarded.

Another glitch: on my DVR the first app to come up under "extras" is a "Caller ID." I was happy to see it and immediately clicked on it. Sadly, it just throws up an error screen. (Caller ID was the other app that was discussed way back when we were talking about all the things that an integrated network could do. This one was supposed to put up the ID of phone callers on the TV screen if you were using LUS' IP-based phone system. Hopefully the icon's presence is a sign that it is coming soon.)

Lagniappe: LUS recently announced on its Facebook account an upcoming promotion that gives every internet subscriber a big speed bump for August and September. Each tier gets a bump to the next level up. So a 10 meg user gets 3o megs, a 30 meg user, 50 and a 50 meg user 100. So if you wanna see what it'd be like to have a 100 meg symmetrical connection now's the time to get on board. Refs: On Facebook, On the LUS Fiber website

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Community Vs Corporate Broadband

Muninetworks has a great new video up...and Lafayette gets a cameo role.

What's great about this video is that it manages to distill almost all the relevant factors into a single visual. (Designers take note.) Cost, upload speeds, download speeds, and makes clear that community broadband's superiority is literally on a different scale.

Hats off to the folks at muninetworks!

Here's a similar graphic that I worked up for Lafayette a few months compares the everyday price, upload, and download parameters to give an at-a-glance comparison of the value of LUS fiber and its competitors. (Click for a larger, clearer image)
AT&T (green), Cox (red) and LUS Fiber (blue)

As is easy to see, LUS beats the competition hands down.