Text Size

No Holds Barred

Cable TV Alternatives

Need to get something off your chest? Have a topic that doesn't fit one of the other forums? Rant away in here. Mature audiences only, not for the easily offended.

Moderators: peeker643, swerb, Ziner

Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby diminishingskills » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:07 pm

Over the weekend, I opened the Time Warner bill and found that they jacked my cable rate by $35/month (apparently some promotional rate expired). Five minutes and one phone call later, I had canceled my cable TV (kept the Internet service). I'd been thinking about canceling the service anyway; jumping the price that much made the decision easy.

I'm now looking into alternatives. No other cable providers currently service my area, so that's out (which is too bad; I've had very good luck in the past with both AT&T and Wide Open West). Of course there's DirecTV and Dish Network. However, years ago I had a terrible experience with Dish Network and would never go back to them, and that experience has colored my views on all dish-based providers (maybe unfairly so). Frequent service outages (every time there was rain, the signal would be lost), climbing on the roof in the middle of winter to knock snow off the dish, the ugly dish itself, terrible customer service ... I'd rather not travel that road if I can help it.

I haven't looked much into online providers of content (e.g. Hulu); don't know if that is a gold mine or not worth the time.

My viewing habits: I rarely watch TV other than sports and the occasional dose of Discovery/Bravo/Travel Channel/local news. (i.e., if you watch one episode of American Idol, Lost, 24, The Office, any of the CSI's, etc., you have watched one more episode than I ever have) Would like to have it as the occasional baby sitter for the little ones as well, although DVDs serve that purpose just as well. Part of me is thinking that I just won't replace it at all, and live without any TV. The more reasonable part of me knows that I could probably make that stick until the NFL/NBA seasons start back up, and then I'll be feeling some serious withdrawal.

Anyway, I'm interested in what y'all do for your TV providers (not counting cable) -- be it dish, online, or whatever. Although it's not why I called, feel free to vent on Time Warner as well. TIA
If it flies, floats, or fornicates, always rent it -- it's cheaper in the long run.
User avatar
diminishingskills
TCF Alumni President
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Brunswick, OH
Favorite Player: Those who try
Least Favorite Player: Those who don't

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby mattvan1 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:15 pm

I have been a DirecTV subscriber from '99. Outages are now very rare, maybe once a month during a really bad storm/heavy rain. Picture quality is excellent, as is customer service, at least from my local DTV provider. Don't cancel TW just yet - call DTV, tell them that you want to switch, and you can probably cop free install and free boxes, as well as 90 day promotion packages.
I don't need to be patient, they're going to be shit forever.
- CDT, discussing my favorite NFL team
User avatar
mattvan1
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby diminishingskills » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:25 pm

mattvan1 wrote:I have been a DirecTV subscriber from '99. Outages are now very rare, maybe once a month during a really bad storm/heavy rain. Picture quality is excellent, as is customer service, at least from my local DTV provider. Don't cancel TW just yet - call DTV, tell them that you want to switch, and you can probably cop free install and free boxes, as well as 90 day promotion packages.


Thanks for the advice, Matt. DTV is offering all those items you mentioned to new subscribers -- discounted rate for first 12 months, free install, free boxes, 90 days of movie channels. Looks like the monthly bill will be ~$75 after the promotional rate expires. That's less than the $90 that TWC was charging (for a comparable channel package), but not by much. Considering it.
If it flies, floats, or fornicates, always rent it -- it's cheaper in the long run.
User avatar
diminishingskills
TCF Alumni President
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Brunswick, OH
Favorite Player: Those who try
Least Favorite Player: Those who don't

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Larvell Blanks » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:40 pm

[quote="DiminishingSkills"

Thanks for the advice, Matt. DTV is offering all those items you mentioned to new subscribers -- discounted rate for first 12 months, free install, free boxes, 90 days of movie channels. Looks like the monthly bill will be ~$75 after the promotional rate expires. That's less than the $90 that TWC was charging (for a comparable channel package), but not by much. Considering it.[/quote]

I'm a new subscriber to DTV (about 2 months) and I've had nothing but good things to say. Customer service was very accomidating, set up was scheduled within days. Lots of different packages for your choice of viewing. They also have a promotion where you can get $10 off your bill for 10 months if you get someone else to subscribe and they reference your account # plus that person gets the same deal. We've had 2 people do this for us plus we used someone else's reference when we signed on. It's nice to open up the bill and only have to pay $35, even if it's only for the next few months. It beats the deal we had w/ Armstrong
Galley Boys are slop on top of a so-so burger and a bun you coulde get from a Covneninet food mart generic pack. They the Antoine Joubert of burgers; soft, sloppy, oozing grease and cheap sauce and extremely overrated by a biased fan base. Proof that if you throw enough cheap sauce shit on a burger you still can't overcome the lame burger. -JB
User avatar
Larvell Blanks
 
Posts: 2574
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Medina, Ohio
Favorite Player: Foots Walker
Least Favorite Player: un named sources

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:43 pm

mattvan1 wrote:I have been a DirecTV subscriber from '99. Outages are now very rare, maybe once a month during a really bad storm/heavy rain. Picture quality is excellent, as is customer service, at least from my local DTV provider. Don't cancel TW just yet - call DTV, tell them that you want to switch, and you can probably cop free install and free boxes, as well as 90 day promotion packages.


You can pretty much play that game into the scenario Matt painted. The issue I had with DirecTV was they didn't bundle (at least not in the ballpark of affordability) and they hammer you per dvr or HD box. I've been with TWC for a year now so maybe the satellite companies have lightened up on the per box charge for service.

I had zero issues with outages or distortion with DirecTV, their CSRs were heads and sholders above TWC (who is simply, utterly and disgracefull awful when it comes to that) and that'd be the provider I preferred over any other offering programming if I was just looking at progamming, customer service and quality.

And John, believe me, you can work a deal.
"Great minds think alike. The opposite is also true."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."


I'm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/peeker643
User avatar
peeker643
Duly Noted
 
Posts: 22708
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:33 pm
Favorite Player: Smokey Rowe
Least Favorite Player: Dingle Stetson

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Ziner » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:44 pm

I like DTV, i just cant get it because my balcony does not face the right direction so I would encourage you to go with them. However since I am stuck with Comcast i threaten to cancel every 6 months and they continue to my introductory rate. Might want to give that a try in the future, sounds like it is too late to do that with TW.

If I were you I would hold off on DTV for about 2 months. If you wait you will get Sunday Ticket for free, they offer that promo every year. I think now it comes with a 2 year commitment, however when I first did it I only had a one year contract so I actually got free Sunday ticket for 2 years. Might want to give it a try and insist on a 1 year contract.
In the end, we're all "only for a limited time," you guys.
User avatar
Ziner
Tot-Lovin' Hippy
 
Posts: 7063
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:04 pm
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Favorite Player: Tater Tots
Least Favorite Player: Yam Fries

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby diminishingskills » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:16 pm

Ziner wrote:I like DTV, i just cant get it because my balcony does not face the right direction so I would encourage you to go with them. However since I am stuck with Comcast i threaten to cancel every 6 months and they continue to my introductory rate. Might want to give that a try in the future, sounds like it is too late to do that with TW.


Ziner, that was the most surprising part. In my experience, when you threaten to cancel a subscription service like cable, the company will do everything short of blowing you to try to get you to change your mind. I gave the TWC rep ample opportunity to "save the day" with some offer to keep me as a valued and loyal customer ... not happening. Chick's tone of voice as much as said "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out".

Thanks all for the feedback so far. Encouraged to hear the good experiences with DirecTV.
If it flies, floats, or fornicates, always rent it -- it's cheaper in the long run.
User avatar
diminishingskills
TCF Alumni President
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Brunswick, OH
Favorite Player: Those who try
Least Favorite Player: Those who don't

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby waborat » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:29 pm

Just like Matt said, I've had DTV since '99 and love it...

Anytime I've had a problem (most of it was when HD first came out) they've bent over backwards with freebies to keep us happy...

Absolutely nothing like Sunday Ticket
User avatar
waborat
 
Posts: 4096
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:04 pm
Location: Concord
Favorite Player: Megyn Kelly
Least Favorite Player: Single digit temps

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby municipalmutt » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:58 pm

I had DTV from the beginning and cancelled them last year. I took the dish down, put an outdoor antenna up in its place, and get about 35 channels over the air for free.
35 channels for free with nothing to watch = 235 channels for 90 bucks per month with nothing to watch.
User avatar
municipalmutt
 
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:42 am

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Orenthal » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:45 pm

I long for the days of analog cable and "black boxes."

I hear there is some whay to pull off something similar on Dish. Although I would never support anything like stealing, and always notified my cable company that I had my own equipment.
"When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience."
User avatar
Orenthal
 
Posts: 4182
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: The Midd Heights
Favorite Player: Dan Gilbert
Least Favorite Player: Blacks, Gays, Poor

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby mattvan1 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Try here http://www.dbstalk.com/index.php

More DirecTV info than you will ever want to know. Many of the people posting are serious techno geeks and/or actual installers. Many tricks on how to get the best deals, what to watch for during installs, etc.
I don't need to be patient, they're going to be shit forever.
- CDT, discussing my favorite NFL team
User avatar
mattvan1
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:41 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:43 pm

I've been looking at DTV for a while now. I just can't justify keeping RoadRunner and paying for DTV when it's cheaper to keep it bundled with TW cable. AT&T's internet sucks from what i've heard.

Orenthal wrote: Although I would never support anything like stealing


Apparently you've never used torrents. Best. Free. Stuff. Ever.
"Our name is Legion, for we are many."
User avatar
Cerebral_DownTime
Go f#%k yourself
 
Posts: 14422
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:31 am
Location: Galloway Ohio
Favorite Player: Fenrir
Least Favorite Player: Walt Flannigan's dog

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:57 pm

A few years back I had TWC and was reasonably happy. I was moving. It was a Wednesday and I was moving on Friday (I know I should have given them more notice). I called up TWC to ask them what I needed to do or if I could just hook up my current box in the new house as it was only 10 minutes away. The guy tells me they have to send somebody out to do something or other and they can't get anyone out for 2 weeks.

I say "2 weeks? Can't anyone get out here sooner. I don't want to go 2 weeks without TV. This is America goddamit!" He says sorry. 2 weeks.

I hung up and called DirecTV. They got someone out the next day. No problems.

I used to get service interrupted...not often, but enough to be annoying. Now, though, I can't remember the last time my picture was bad. I don't think it happened at all this past winter.

I'll never go back.
According to my sources CDT farts in the tub and bites the bubbles.
User avatar
motherscratcher
Little Larry Sellers
 
Posts: 7748
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:14 pm
Location: La La Land
Favorite Player: Ernie Camacho
Least Favorite Player: Jose Mesa

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby aoxo1 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:08 pm

Get DirecTV, but don't do any of the promotional stuff and try to get it without a contract. Then you can turn it on during NBA season and turn it off after. Catch the Browns games over the air or at a bar. Or have it on for NFL season and get Sunday Ticket.

I don't know if you can actually get it without a contract, or how much it would cost, but I do know my dad has had it for years and just turns it on and off depending on the time of year. He basically is the same as you, never watches anything except the Cavs and Browns.
I know more about pizza than you. Much more in fact. - Cerebral_DownTime
User avatar
aoxo1
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 12:23 pm
Favorite Player: Hover Jetski
Least Favorite Player: Eric Wright

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby FUDU » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:38 pm

DS if you're looking for somebody to rant with about TWC, or somebody to drive a Ryder truck through their front window, I'm you're guy.

I've always got a kick out of the fact that it is a federal crime to steal $60/month cable TV service but not that big a deal to steal a $75,000 car out of somebody's driveway.
Criminals in this town used to believe in things...honor, respect.
"I heard your dog is sick, so bought you this shovel"

2011 TCF Stratomatic Champ
User avatar
FUDU
 
Posts: 13356
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:02 am
Favorite Player: Me
Least Favorite Player: You

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Fire Marshall Bill » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:29 am

TWC sucks donkey dick

I broomed those theives 3 yrs ago and went to Dish vs Direct because of cost. I liked the packaging better and word of mouth they had a better rep

Have one here at the office also with fewer programs mostly for old movies on lazy days

...and the Coyote could beat Road Runner in a timed race
Hope is a moment now long past
The Shadow of Death is the one I cast
Koo koo ka joob....I am the Walrus
User avatar
Fire Marshall Bill
 
Posts: 2691
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:00 pm
Favorite Player: Killer Bean
Least Favorite Player: Charcoal&Piss

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Fire Marshall Bill » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:39 am

Motherscratcher wrote:A few years back I had TWC and was reasonably happy. I was moving. It was a Wednesday and I was moving on Friday (I know I should have given them more notice). I called up TWC to ask them what I needed to do or if I could just hook up my current box in the new house as it was only 10 minutes away. The guy tells me they have to send somebody out to do something or other and they can't get anyone out for 2 weeks.

I say "2 weeks? Can't anyone get out here sooner. I don't want to go 2 weeks without TV. This is America goddamit!" He says sorry. 2 weeks.

I hung up and called DirecTV. They got someone out the next day. No problems.

I used to get service interrupted...not often, but enough to be annoying. Now, though, I can't remember the last time my picture was bad. I don't think it happened at all this past winter.

I'll never go back.


You'll love this one...

I had my house sided and planned on installing Dish during the job.

Meantime, a municipal truck with a backhoe on it went past the house and clipped the cable and phone line. I bitched like a MF'r to everyone. To the township for hiring dunces and the cable company for their usual piss poor imnstallations.

I had them come out and repair it.

The next week I canceled the cable

The guy came back out with a WTF look on his face and disconnected the cable

I had so much fun fucking with them I gave thought to signing up again just to cancel

The Dish installer couldn't have been more accomodating and I'll tell you that as a contractor who knows all the tricks and mind games one can play to make their job easier rather than give you what you wanted
Hope is a moment now long past
The Shadow of Death is the one I cast
Koo koo ka joob....I am the Walrus
User avatar
Fire Marshall Bill
 
Posts: 2691
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:00 pm
Favorite Player: Killer Bean
Least Favorite Player: Charcoal&Piss

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Orenthal » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:34 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:Apparently you've never used torrents. Best. Free. Stuff. Ever.


Or emule, or puzo.org, or xsharex.info. No idea about any of those things...
"When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience."
User avatar
Orenthal
 
Posts: 4182
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: The Midd Heights
Favorite Player: Dan Gilbert
Least Favorite Player: Blacks, Gays, Poor

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby swerb » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:15 pm

I've been TWC from day one. I've looked into switching a # of times, the prohibiting factor has always been how bad Direct TV zocks you for the HD DVR boxes. Sadly, I got 4 of those things in my house that I use, and a 5th box in my office.

What's Direct TV's current policy/cost on boxes?

TWC ... I paid nothing up front to get em, and rent em for like $7-$8 a month apiece.

Like Hnat though, my cable bill just keeps going up. Get HBO and Showtime for my boxing addiction. Paying an average of like $180-$200 a month when you factor in boxing PPV's. It's insane.
"It's like dating a woman who hates you so much she will never break up with you, even if you burn down the house every single autumn." ~ Chuck Klosterman on Browns fans relationship with the Browns

http://www.twitter.com/theclevelandfan
User avatar
swerb
JoBu's bee-yotch
 
Posts: 17918
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: Twinsburg, OH
Favorite Player: Mango Hab
Least Favorite Player: Bob LaMonte

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:38 pm

That's TW's best upside the HD is seemless and pretty cheap. Plus the On Demand channels are great, especially the free ones. Roadrunner is still the best ISP IMO.

Orenthal wrote:
Or emule, or puzo.org, or xsharex.info. No idea about any of those things...


I've never heard of those either.
"Our name is Legion, for we are many."
User avatar
Cerebral_DownTime
Go f#%k yourself
 
Posts: 14422
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:31 am
Location: Galloway Ohio
Favorite Player: Fenrir
Least Favorite Player: Walt Flannigan's dog

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby waborat » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:31 am

swerb wrote:I've been TWC from day one. I've looked into switching a # of times, the prohibiting factor has always been how bad Direct TV zocks you for the HD DVR boxes. Sadly, I got 4 of those things in my house that I use, and a 5th box in my office.

What's Direct TV's current policy/cost on boxes?

TWC ... I paid nothing up front to get em, and rent em for like $7-$8 a month apiece.

Like Hnat though, my cable bill just keeps going up. Get HBO and Showtime for my boxing addiction. Paying an average of like $180-$200 a month when you factor in boxing PPV's. It's insane.


Paid $90 on Ebay for my last HD box (I think DTV is $200 for HD box?)...

They get you for $5 for each TV/box in your house, but you only pay for the HD/DVR service once...

We pay $95/month for Basic/HD/DVR/HBO/SHOW/3 TVs/Insurance...Goes up to $145 during football season for Sunday Ticket...Have RoadRunner for internet thru TW for another $45/month
User avatar
waborat
 
Posts: 4096
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:04 pm
Location: Concord
Favorite Player: Megyn Kelly
Least Favorite Player: Single digit temps

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby diminishingskills » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:11 am

Here's what DTV is currently quoting on their web site, at least for my neck of the woods (all prices are monthly prices):

- Choice Extra channel package (210 channels, including anything I'd ever watch): $63.99
- HD Access: Free for life
- DVR service: $7 (for $3 more, can have the ability to record in one room and watch in another)
- Receiver lease fee: $5 (it's $5 per receiver, with the first one free; I would need two)

So I'd be looking at a long-term price of $75.99/month, plus whatever taxes and "franchise fees" and other crap that they tack onto the bill.

For the first 12 months, they are offering a $29/month credit, so for the next year my price would be $46.99. And for the next three months, they are offering free Showtime and Starz movie channels.

The dish, receivers (including one HD receiver), and installation are free.

So add that $76 DTV bill to my $46 TWC bill for internet, and I'd be looking at $122/month. It's a little more than the $105/month I was paying TWC previously, and a little less than the $138 they started charging me last month. But they are all quite a bit more than the $46/month I'm currently paying for internet alone ... and I haven't even thought about TV once the past three days. As I said before, I know that I'd hit serious TV withdrawal once we hit fall sports season, so I know my TV boycott probably won't extend past Labor Day. Till then though, I may just keep the TV dark.
If it flies, floats, or fornicates, always rent it -- it's cheaper in the long run.
User avatar
diminishingskills
TCF Alumni President
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Brunswick, OH
Favorite Player: Those who try
Least Favorite Player: Those who don't

Re: Cable TV Alternatives

Unread postby Orenthal » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:54 pm

Cerebral_DownTime wrote:That's TW's best upside the HD is seemless and pretty cheap. Plus the On Demand channels are great, especially the free ones. Roadrunner is still the best ISP IMO.

Orenthal wrote:
Or emule, or puzo.org, or xsharex.info. No idea about any of those things...


I've never heard of those either.


CDT, they are good, allegedly.

I want Verizon FiOS...
"When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with experience leaves with money and the man with money leaves with experience."
User avatar
Orenthal
 
Posts: 4182
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: The Midd Heights
Favorite Player: Dan Gilbert
Least Favorite Player: Blacks, Gays, Poor


Return to No Holds Barred

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 181 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:50 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest