Well I made the leap about two weeks ago and decided to move our home phone service to COMCAST Digital Voice.  They had a great intro rate for 6 months and then since I am already a cable TV subscriber I get a very decent regular monthly price once that period is over.  Compared to BellSouth and the $70 or so they get from me each month it is a $30 savings off the top.

The biggest thing that was holding us up was our home alarm and that hurdle has been breached so all it took was a phone call to COMCAST to set up the appointment for the installer to come over.

The day started out with inklings that it was going to go well – the installer called 45 minutes ahead of time and asked to come and start early – of course I said yes.

Once he arrived we discussed the install procedures and how to hook up the digital voice to the house phone lines to feedback the dial tone throughout the house and to the alarm system.

Turns out no holes were necessary as the alarm central box is in a closet less than three feet from the computer and where the cable modem plugs in.  So a little phone cable routed under the carpet would do the trick.

First thing to be done now that we had the plan in place was to swap out the cable modem.  I was expecting to see one of these huge things like this fella did, but it turns out that all of those were out and in use (???) so we got a new modem that not everyone was getting.  Now how cool is that – well he could have also just been blowing smoke too – anyway – what we got was another RCA EMTA (Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter).  The model was RCA THOMSON DHG535.

This unit is twice as high as the previous modem I had (also a RCA Thomson – do not recall the model number though).  The top half is all the electronics and the lower portion is for two backup batteries that allow your phone to continue to function if the power goes out.  They only provided one backup battery.

After this was installed and while he ran the phone line I worked on getting an address and connected to the net again.  When it would not work going through my router I went ahead and plugged directly into my NIC to the modem via cable.  After a power off of the modem things started working and I went through the online process of registering the modem on my account.

It wanted to install the Toolbar at one point which I had the ability to opt out on.  What I did not get to opt out on was the installation of COMCASTS’ Desktop Doctor (checks status of connection) and a shortcut to the online COMCAST Webmail.  I was able to stop running the Desktop Doctor without any ill effect on the connection once the tech was gone.

So – after getting everything working and registered we tested the alarm system and the tech was on his way.

I was able to very quickly plug the cable modem into my router and get everything in the house re-connected to the Internet and back to normal.

All in all a very easy and quick installation.  The quality of the COMCAST Digital Voice is amazingly clear and we will have to adapt to a new voice mail system but the flexibility that we will get with this new service will go well beyond anything we were paying more for from BellSouth.

So do you have VOIP?  Any comments or lessons learned to share?