Another Year Of Cable Television

Discussion in Phone, Internet & TV started by Diane Lane • Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I spent about an hour and a half on the phone with my cable provider again yesterday. This happens at least once a year, and sometimes more often. The bill seems to creep up and up, until I realize, and call them about it. It used to be that promotions would last a year, but then the company started giving 3 month promotional offers, after which the bill would go back up. Those short term offers were for things such as 'free receiver', or 'higher internet speed', and I guess the company figured people would simply pay the higher fees once the deals expired.

    I'm tired of having to deal with the company at least every year, haggling, and spending my valuable time, just to have them decrease the bill a few dollars. It took speaking to 2 different people just to get my bill down $30 to what I still feel is expensive. I'm keeping it for now because I want to watch certain Christmas movies on a few particular channels, but my goal is to ultimately either cut the service back significantly and supplement with Hulu and Netflix via Roku, or cut the television service entirely, and make do with Hulu and Netflix, assuming I can find antennas that will work here in the Backwoods.
     
  2. shoptodrop

    shoptodropActive Member

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    I dropped cable a couple of years ago and have been very happy that I did. I just use Netflix and YouTube. You can find just about anything you want to watch for free on YouTube or Sidereel.com. I hate when they have promotional deals and then hike the price up. It's not even worth it in this age of technology. Especially if you're having to spend hours over the phone to get it sorted out. I would cut it off if I were you. You can get everything for free, and keep up with world news online.
     
  3. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    If I was to move out and live by myself, I would not have Cable TV, or any other satellite TV service in my home. To my television is a complete and utter waste of money when you have access to the internet. You can just download the shows that you would like to watch instead of paying for TV monthly.
     
  4. SLTE

    SLTEActive Member

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    Go for the cut. I swear, you can watch just about everything of value online these days. If there's a channel you particularly like it's a good bet you can get all of their shows through their own streaming service, which cuts out sooooo many chaff channels that you don't even need.

    If you go the Netflix route, look into a VPN that will allow you to switch regions. Then you can access much more content. Technically they go against Netflix's terms of service, but I don't think they've ever cancelled someone's subscription for using VPNs.
     
  5. DreekLass

    DreekLassWell-Known Member

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    Exactly lol. I cannot stress this enough to people. I mean, even if your internet connection goes out for a while, if you have downloaded shows and things off of Youtube prior to that, then you are good to watch those things whilst you have no internet connection. You are paying one bill for the broadband,. and getting many services out of the one medium. I just don't see the use in paying for the cable and the broadband, when one of them can do the job of both, and more.
     
  6. gata montes

    gata montesActive Member

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    Yes I too am thinking along the same lines - better to ditch cable altogether - especially as I feel absolutely sure that you wouldn't regret it Diane Lane - particularly considering the savings made of being able to view everything you are currently watching on cable and more - at the touch of a button via the internet without incurring any expense at all.

    In fact as we don't have a TV signal where I live and the only other alternative of getting to watch TV was to install a highly expensive and not very reliable satellite system - I had no hesitation in going down this route and have not looked back since - particularly as the savings made over the past 12 years of being able to watch all my favorite TV programs from all corners of the globe - along with many movies too - totally for free - are really quite substantial.
     
  7. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm sure I would enjoy it. As I've stated, there are reasons I keep my service for now. The end goal is definitely to disconnect it. I got an email from the after spending about an hour and a half on the phone with them and getting the bill down around $30/month with NO contract, stating that since I'm getting a discount on one receiver, there's a one year contract on that discount, and that if I cancel within a year, I'll be on the hook for I can't remember if it was $120 or $160. Either way, I will most likely be calling them back. Meanwhile, my bill about to come due is huge. Apparently they didn't see fit to adjust that based on our agreement. If I lived in the city, or out of a hurricane evacuation zone, I would be more apt to simply say cut it off, but since I don't, I'm keeping it until I'm set up with good antennas and other equipment to take the place of the cable.
     
  8. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    Yes, Direct TV is famous for doing that, and right now, I am having issues with dish. i hate where I am living now, because I feel like a prisoner of the satellite and internet companies, as I can not get any other services. That is a big part of me wanting to move actually. I would love to have Roku or some other service that didn't cost an arm and a leg.
     
  9. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Ugh seriously, I was back on the phone with them yesterday. I started this thread November 24, 2015, and again the bill has crept up. This time I chatted online with the representative, because I thought it might prevent me from getting as aggravated as I usually do on the phone. It worked somewhat. Basically they said it is what it is, and that they can't do anything for me, other than increasing my internet speed (because somehow even though I was complaining about the television portion of the bill, that was supposed to appease me), and in order to do that, they had to send someone out to replace my modem/router, because my old one couldn't handle the new speed. I said whatever, o.k., come do it, as long as there are no extra charges, because I refuse to pay more. My bill is supposed to be around $3/month less, even with the higher internet speed. I figure now that I have the upgraded modem/router, I'm in a better position to cut the cord whenever I can get new antennas and a roku or two.
     
  10. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    I am going through the exact same issues, and we will probably actually cut our cable this time. Since we live inside the city limits, we should not have any trouble receiving stations around us using an antenna.
    When I looked on Amazon, they have a whole lot of different antennas, some are only good for a few miles (about 25 miles); but some of them go quite a bit further. The one that we are looking at is $29 and reaches for 80 miles; so that one might work for you , @Diane Lane@Diane Lane , even though you live out of town.
    There is a website that you can check and put in your zip code, and they will tell you how many nearby channels the antenna can pick up, so you will know that before you purchase one. Go to

    Please Log In to view this link!

    and put in either your address or zip code, and it will let you know what is available.
    The antenna we are thinking of can either go outside or in the attic; but they also have ones. That just stick up in your window . They do not have as long of a reception distance; so that kind of an antenna would probably one work for one one who was closer to the local TV stations.
     
  11. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Thanks @Happyflowerlady@Happyflowerlady I'll check that website. On top of trying to figure out how I will be receiving my programming, I also am trying to determine what to do with my home phone, whether it would be better to switch it back to the provider, so I can avoid the unbundling fee (because if I cut off the television services, I'll only be receiving one service), or if I should keep it as is, and cut way back to the local channels only. The problem is, they tie other things in that are hidden fees, such as receiver discounts based on level of programming. If I cut back 1 tier, I save $3/month, but lose some of my favorite channels, so that isn't worth it to me. If I'm going to cut way back, I have to decide if it's worth keeping at all.

    The company could make things much easier, but they're short term profit based, rather than long term profit based. Long term profit involves customer service and customer retention, so they don't actually care about keeping customers happy, just about the (immediate) bottom line. They know how to go about keeping many of us happy, but don't care about doing so. If 'we' were happy, we wouldn't need offers of large gift cards, free tablets, and other such incentives to switch companies, because we wouldn't be interested in switching or in cutting the cord.
     
  12. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    I thought you were pretty close to the city Diane Lane. I sympathsize with your plight because i have the same thing out here in the boondocks. My ex has been nice enough to pay my dish bill so I am even sure what it is right now...I would probably freak if I saw it. I don't want to change providers right now...because I am hoping to move and I don't want dish or direct tv providing service to me and following me around if I am lucky enough to get out of here.
     
  13. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    We have come up with an antenna that reaches up to 150 miles away, @Diane Lane@Diane Lane , and this might be what you would want to do as well. The one that I was looking at before went 80 miles and was $29 , and this one is $37 and gone about twice as far. Plus, it receives UHF, VHF, and FM stations , and has a rotor motor that makes tuning it much easier. I should not be any harder to mount this antenna than the other one that I was looking at, and it will reach a whole lot further, so we should have much better reception.
    We have ordered it from Amazon, and it will be here next week, so we can get it hooked up and working before my next Comcast bill is due at the end of this month.
    Have you considered getting one of the Magic Jacks for phone service ?
    We had one for several years, and even back then, it worked really well. It connected into the phone jack on our modem, and worked fine as long as we had internet.
    The only drawback was that if there had been an emergency with power lost, then we would not have been able to call for help if needed. However, most of the modern phones have to plug in to an electrical outlet to work anyway, so none of them will operate if the lights are out.
     
  14. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    We have 2 tv that are both connected to the cable that we pay for each connection to Sky Cable. My husband is planning to get a Cignal cable that uses a satellite dish. We will drop the extension connection so in effect we will have one tv on Sky Cable and the other in Cignal. Quite good. However, Sky Cable is trying to hold on to our subscription saying that there is a "lock period" of 1 year for our conneciton. That means we can drop on connection only in May 2016.
     
  15. rz3300

    rz3300Active Member

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    I cut the cord on my cable servicea bout three years a go and I have not looked back since. It was one of the better decision that I have ever made, and with the money that I am saving it is well worth it. It is also nice to avoid the hassles like the hour long phone calls and all of that. When it comes down to it I can get all I need from over the air and the internet.
     
  16. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    It really is terrible how these cable companies treat their customers because they know the people don't have any other choice, but at this point I think it is just plain ignorance and arrogance. I've read somewhere that the executives don't foresee cable becoming outdated which may be true but obviously they are in denial that some people are cutting the cord, but maybe they just also think that even when you switch to watching online you'll still be paying them for the internet. I'm beginning to think a united protest is necessary.
     
  17. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyWell-Known Member

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    Our new antenna has arrived from Amazon, and my husband will be installing it tomorrow. We have several large cities, Nashville, Atlanta, and Birmingham, that should be within the 150 mile range, and possibly Memphis might be close enough , too. So, at least we should have awesome reception for everything that is close to us, and anything that we pick up from any of the other cities will just be extra stations.
    We are still deciding what we want to do about the Internet. Obviously, we still need that, and if I switch to another provider, then I have to change all of the places where I now use my Comcast email. That will take some time; but if we find a better deal, then it would be worth doing that.
    Once we get the new antenna up, I can let everyone know what we think about it and how well it works !
     
  18. Parker

    ParkerWell-Known Member

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    We gave up cable a few years ago. We have Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go through Roku. We tried Amazon Prime, but you still have to pay for certain shows so we gave them up. I have to admit that I sometimes miss having cable and regular TV. I can watch just about anything I want online. I don't like to torrent so I look for legal avenues to watch my favorite TV shows.
     
  19. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    Yep, the price creep will do it every time. I got so tired of fighting that battle. That, and the fact that there is hardly ever anything new and interesting to watch.

    I mean, if you get networks via cable or satellite then maybe you can find some new shows. If not then you're stuck with a whole lot of reruns and hour long infomercials. I don't pay for a TV service to watch commercials, which is what those amount to (and that's not even touching on the dozen or so commercials that come with every "half hour" show).

    I'm thinking of putting up a big antenna and seeing which networks I can get from here with that. It would have an initial cost, but would save me a lot in the long run. Other people near here say that it works for them.

    Otherwise, I guess I'll stick with my Netflix (which you can watch on your TV screen instead of computer monitor on some game consoles, like Play Station, if you have one). It's far less expensive for me to watch that, and while there are a lot of reruns or older stuff, at least I get to skip the infomercials and commercials.
     
  20. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    @Ke Gordon@Ke Gordon I'm around 35 miles from the center of the city, which is where the stations are. The tendrils of Houston reach about a 15 minute drive from here, but those are considered suburbs, and I consider where I live to be the boonies ;). The weakest signal is from NBC, which I rarely watch, but using the antennas I currently have and the digital tuner in the televisions, CBS stalls badly, so it's not worth watching that way.

    @Happyflowerlady@Happyflowerlady Can you give me a link to your antenna again? I most likely will stick with an indoor one, since I don't have the tools/ability to put one outside, but I'd like to have the information just in case the opportunity arises.

    I was finally able to collect my pennies and nickels and order a roku. It hasn't arrived yet, but the plan is once I get it, to sign up with hulu and Netflix. I need to reacquaint myself with Netflix, and learn about hulu, before I actually cut the cord. I have an old blu-ray player downstairs I can stream those 2 on, as well as Amazon (for the odd rental, because I don't have Prime) and Crackle, but YouTube won't work on there (or on my old Google TV), due to the age/version of the device. I think the roku and hulu will make it a smoother experience than the last time I unplugged. The plan is to eventually get a roku 2 or 3, and use the stick for the 3rd television. I might go for one antenna, but for now, I might do without that. I tend to watch off the DVR, and hulu/Netflix would probably serve those needs. I find that I rarely watch live television these days, unless there's a disaster happening.
     
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