Ok, so cable companies are normally the type of companies people love to hate, and normally with good reason. But yesterday Cox Cable did a lot of things right for me so I thought I'd share.

First, I found out they increased the speed of their network. You had to ask them for it, but it was a free upgrade with four times the download speed.

Secondly, I just picked up the Digital Cable DVR box from Cox, and boy is it a sweet piece of hardware. I can finally tape on another channel while watching something else. And yes, I know it was possible before w/ switches, etc, but I'm a big fan of simplicity. I've got a good 60 hours of storage on board, and the UI is very nice. It does miss a feature that I had when I lived in Virginia. On their digital cable system you could hide channels. This means when I used the guide I wouldn't see all the stupid channels I never plan on watching. Sure you can "Parent Lock" channels, but what I really want is to take them off the grid.

Even more interesting is all the hardware options on the box. It has 3 USB ports, a Smart Card reader, and an Ethernet port. Unfortunately, the documentation they gave me was pretty minimal. I'm most interested in how the Ethernet port works. Maybe I'll just hook it up to my LAN and see if I can find anything. I'd be surprised if the movies from the hard drive were actually unencrypted files. I'm guessing I'll have to Google and find a real documentation manua for the box.