Mike from Bonita asks: "When will Comcast here start providing caller ID on TV screens for their customers who pay for a cable box and Comcast phone service like in other parts of the country?"
Great news, Mike, the answer is right now. I recently spoke with Barb Hagen, area vice president for Comcast in Southwest Florida, and the company is rolling their new 'AnyRoom' DVR, which offers many exciting new features, including universal caller ID on not just on your phone, but TVs and laptops, too.
"We remain committed to providing our customers with the ultimate TV viewing experience," said Hagen. "Xfinity's AnyRoom DVR service represents a long list of value-added features that make watching your favorite programming easier and more enjoyable than ever."
As you may have guessed by the name, this new service will allow you to watch a recorded program in any room of the house. You can pause a recording in one room, then pick it up again in another.
Hagen says Comcast customers who currently have more than one HD DVR will save money with AnyRoom. However, if you only have one HD DVR, expanding to the new service will cost a few dollars more.
My favorite feature? The new DVR provides customers with a 500 GB hard drive, or about 300 hours of standard programming or 60 hours of high def programs.
Back to calling features. This also might interest you: "We recently announced the launch of Skype on Xfinity, a new widescreen HD video calling experience," said Hagen. "Skype on Xfinity is the latest innovation through which Comcast is bringing personalized services to its customers."
With Skype on Xfinity, customers are able to make and receive video calls from their TV in HD picture quality, as well as send and receive instant messages via Skype while simultaneously watching TV.
That's just the beginning. There's a bevy of new features coming down the pike — like readable voicemail. I have a date with Hagen to see some of this new equipment in action, so stay tuned.
By the way, Mike, I realize you have another (really good) question. I'm tracking the answer down and will address it in a later column.
Nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced early Thursday morning. FX's "American Horror Story" and AMC's "Mad Men" led the pack with 17 total nods each.
PBS' "Downton Abbey" and History's "Hatfields & McCoys" followed with 16 apiece, while "Modern Family" was the most-recognized scripted comedy series, with 14.
I'll have my predictions a little closer to the Emmy broadcast, but here's some observations. I wish "Fringe" had been recognized for outstanding drama. Yep, it's sci-fi. But it's good sci-fi. John Noble and Anna Torv gave some of the best performances on television and should have been nominated as well.
None of the big four's programs made the outstanding drama list. No surprise there.
Thrilled that Michael C. Hall was nominated for "Dexter"; Zoey Deschanel for "New Girl"; Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik for "Big Bang Theory."
A few weeks back we told you that Fox 4 morning anchor Lisa Spooner was leaving the area, but we didn't tell you where she was going. Well, now we know.
Spooner will be one of the new co-hosts of the nationally syndicated morning show "The Daily Buzz." Her start date is Aug. 6.
The show, which originates out of Orlando, has been around since 2002. The first hour of the three-hour program aired for a time in this market on TV 6.
Spooner is one of four new co-hosts coming on board for the revamped show. Other additions include Charles Divins, an actor best known for his role on "Passions," Jessica Reyes, a Tampa radio personality, and Lance Smith, former host of CMT's "Top 20 Countdown."
In 2005 the show aired in approximately 36 percent of the country. Troy McGuire, vice president of the "Buzz" told the Orlando Sentinel that the show will reach 72 percent of the country by this fall.
Congrats to Spooner. Check out photos and a video at the show's revamped website, dailybuzznation.net.
More news than ever before
For the fourth year in a row, the latest study from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Hofstra University found that the average television station set a new record for the amount of local news it airs.
Over those last four years, the average amount of weekday news has gone from 4:36 to 5 to 5:18 last year. This year, it's up another 12 minutes to five and a half hours per weekday. The average network affiliate is even higher at 5:48.
The weekend went up as well. Saturday and Sunday news time rose an average six minutes each. Almost half of all TV stations say they increased the amount of news that they run, and few stations cut back.
In this market, each weekday NBC 2 airs more than 7 1/2 hours of news; followed by WINK at just over 7 hours; ABC 7, just over 5 1/2; Fox 4, 5 1/2; TV 6, 3. All NBC 2 and ABC 7 newscasts are produced by Waterman broadcasting, giving them a total of 13 weekday hours. WINK and TV 6 programs come from WINK, giving them 10 total weekday hours.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at email@example.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.