Asli HD to the rescue !!!

Buying a new TV is actually a simple task. You look around the biggest stores, search for the bargain and pick up what fits your room and mostly your budget. Of course every person in the decision making is to be consulted and most times everyone has different views about it. The biggest of brands or the most cost-effective ones. Good looking flat panels or standard looking TVs with perhaps better feature at lower price.

Of course the flat panels win and LED TV and 3d are the latest rage. One of the most important feature of the TV is HD or ability to display High Definition images. Of course to display HD images the television channels should provide the content in High Definition and then of course your cable guy or the DTH which you own needs to carry those as well. With recent launch of Tata Sky HD that part was taken care of but still most channels beamed their programs in regular format and having HD on your TV hardly meant anything. In foreign countries there are many HD channels and most big networks have an HD feed. Here in India there were few channels which indeed beamed HD signals including Star Cricket beaming the Cricket World cup which had an HD feed with no ad breaks and that itself was a true ‘paisa vasool’ for the owners of HD TV and HD set-top box. But the cricket world cup is over and so what now !!

Last week I heard of Star TV launching some of its key channels in HD format. Not only they would be beaming the HD signals but also shooting the content for them in HD format and hence making is the real HD format or what call it Asli HD™ . With Star Movies, Star World and National Geographic 3 of the 5 channels being beamed in HD, I am excited about viewing them in HD quality, especially movies and television shows. It sure would be revolutionary. Star Plus the general entertainment channel and Star Gold showing old Hindi movies being in HD is an additional bonus and perhaps my Mom can enjoy that too. If only they worked on some better content on Star Plus !! But thats a separate topic in itself.

Hopefully there would be many more channels coming up with HD quality feed and my investment in HD TV and HD set top box would be justified. Now that Star has taken the initiative soon all the other networks and channels would be compelled to think in this direction. So people buying a new TV, remember Asli HD is here finally in India.

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Why Oscars were big fail ?

Oscars are an annual party to reward the best of the Hollywood cinema. It is a glitzy affair featuring biggest of stars and Hollywood big shots walking down the red carpet. The nominations itself are much hyped about a month back and then the actual award ceremony is one of the biggest event ever and highly covered by television networks.

This year the Academy decided to take a chance by giving the prestigious job of hosting to two young stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Both big stars in their own way as Oscars wanted to attract the ‘younger demographic’ as they say. But the efforts of James Franco and Anne Hathaway fell largely flat, their jokes were simply amateurish, the drama was like a school play and they were generally off-key. They were so unbearable at times that moment Billy Crystal or Oprah Winfrey came on stage people were hoping that they would take over the hosting. The line ‘Sajid Khan would have done a better job’ says it all.

The ceremony itself felt long and boring with nothing exciting happening for long period of time. Most of the awards were a no-contest and were almost decided long back. There were hardly any surprises there too and whatever surprises were there, they were more like a shock. The Box office successes are very rarely rewarded by the Oscars and mostly the drams and tragedies win the bigger prizes and this year the case remained the same. ‘Inception’ , people’s favorite and box office conquerer was largely ignored in bigger categories and it was awarded the technical awards mostly to compensate for that. Most people expected ‘The Social Network’ to win one of the bigger award that of best film or best actor or best director but it didn’t win any of those. Toy story 3 was suppose to win the best animated film award even before the nominations were announced.

Thus there were hardly anything worth looking forward to. There were no controversies either, with the trouble brewing in the Arab world we expected lot more Political statements as well from the nominated big-wigs and winners but there were hardly any interesting speeches. There was no wardrobe-malfunction either  🙂

All in all it was a dull and boring award ceremony. Hopefully next year we’ll have better hosts and more deserving films would win.

My Experience with Tata IndiCom

Here’s sharing my experience with Tata Indicom, one of the leading private telecom operator who provides services ranging from Mobile Phone service, broadband connection, wireless broadband card etc.

Recently, tired of my frequently disconnection MTNL Triband connection, I decided to take advantage of an offer Tata Indicom was offering. I was getting free installation, wi-fi router and much better promised Internet speed with a lot bigger download limit. I contacted the local agent and pronto within 2 days my home was installed with the necessary wiring and the router was configured and I was surfing the net at twice the speed of my MTNL connection. What more could I want ??

Next of course comes the bill, which was well within the normal range I thought of. I being totally impressed by Tata Indicom decided to be their best customer and pay the bill right on time, well before the due date that is. No problem with that too except the twist in the tale. Next day my connection is disconnected !!!

After endless calling the agent who had installed the whole thing and their customer service agents, who every time verified my birth date and demanded all sorts of explanations,  finally I was told that I have a pending bill amount 5 times the bill amount I paid. This was for the bills which I did not pay in 2005 ( 5 years ago…)

Flashback: 2005

Shifting office from one end of mumbai to another is a nightmare in itself. After moving all the computers and the furniture and the files and other mundane stuff I realised that I needed telephone lines for the office if not for communication than at least for the dial-up Internet connection ( those were the days).

Any government of India service is rules out when you need something fast and I needed the phone lines urgently. Thats when I stumbled upon an agent who promised Tata Indicom telephone lines within 2 days flat !! I was of course impressed and happy to do away with rigidness of MTNL telelphone lines, I paid the advance for the same.

After a period of 3-4 days , after repeated calling the agent I was made to understood that I had applied for a WIRED line which wasnt possible to install so i had to go for WIRELESS phones, WALKY as they were called, they still are. I had no choice but to pay additional money and obtain those WALKY phones within a promised turnaround time of 48 hours !!  It was well past 7 days when I heard from them. Someone informed me that the engineers were on their way to install WALKY phones in my premises. That was the last communication from Tata Indicom to me. No engineers came, no phones were installed and I was still  without telephone lines. Repeated complaints and trying to connect the agent, customer service etc. yielded no result. I was told lines WILL be installed or my money would be refunded. Neither happened.

I still needed the telephone lines and the only choice I was left with was good old MTNL and I went through the procedure and obtained the required telephone lines within a then record period of 5 days flat.

Thus Tata Indicom had not installed any telephone lines and infact never returned my advance money. I like a typical lazy overworked Indian businessman with 100 other important things on mind forgot about the whole issue and even the money.

Now Tata Indicom had suddenly woke up from their long induced coma and discovered that I had not paid bills on the telephone lines that were in effect never actually delivered to me.

This time I decided not take it lying down, not that I had choice, I took my fight to them. I sat in their customer services cell ,explained my case to their representative, her immediate boss, the area head and so on. No one quite understood what was going on. They just had in their records that the bills of certain amount were pending from me. They did not have copy of the bills, copy of the work order, installation documents, delivery confirmation of Walky phones.  I had the right documents, the copies of payments I had made etc. Yet they knew one thing, I was suppose to pay, because their system said it or else they would not restart my broadband connection !!!

It took me better part of 3 days and some  ‘aggressive’ talking to some really senior people in the company. I refused to bow down and pay the ‘pending’ amount according to their records. Perhaps somehow someone sensible at the top realized what was going on. They agreed to restart my broadband account !! voila !!

Everything was fine and smooth till I completed the next billing cycle and …as history repeats itself , I started getting reminder calls for paying the long-standing bill. Only positive part was that this time they did not disconnect my broadband connection.

Tata Indicom not only didnt provide me service but didnt even refund my advance amount and on top of it are asking for the ‘unpaid’ bills for the same service which they did not even install !!!

Now, as I write it has been 3 months and I keep getting a reminder call /email every other day for the pending payment. But my internet connection is on – atleast yet and I have been paying all my current bills well within the stipulated time interval. I do not know what more to do and explain. I would continue to use this service as long as the ‘system’ does not disconnect me again and ask for pending payment. Next time it happens,  I am going back to MTNL.

Welcome to Blogworld

I have finally started formally blogging. I have been blogging on my other blog ( not currently linked from here) and various other sites however never had a blog about ..well ..about things I like some of which are Films, Music, Politics, Television, Cricket, Internet, Business, Books, Sports and not necessarily in that order.

I have been quite late to join the Blog bandwagon but better late than never. Hopefully, I would be able to write as much as I want to.