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($)#@&*^$$ Cable TV!!

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:55 PM   #1
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Angry ($)#@&*^$$ Cable TV!!

So we just got our cable bill this month and guess what? Surprise, surprise Comcast is once again raising cables rates by $3.30. They raised them in Feb. by $2.30. Almost $6/month - - - FOR WHAT??

I am fed up with them and their monopoly. We've looked into satellite tv and it costs the same per month as cable so I don't see the point of switching.

And to boot, Comcast is moving AMC (hellooo? Mad Men!) to a different channel and they are requiring us to get a box of some kind in order to see this and a few other channels.

I listed the shows we (ok, I ) regularly watch. They total 8 'must see' shows and all but ONE is on basic cable. Mad Men is the odd one out. We have debated numerous times about dropping cable but don't because: a) I like Nick and Disney for my two youngest. They will grow out of these channels in a few years (middle son is special needs and youngest is almost 12) and these channels will be easier to drop then and b) we watch Foxnews, CNN regularly.

Has anyone else dropped cable? How was the withdrawl? Does anyone have any other alternatives to cable (other than satellite?) the only alternative I can think of is dropping to basic cable for $18.10/month, catching the news stuff on the PC, and giving up channels like AMC, DSC and Bravo.

Why does Comcast have a monopoly on cable anyway? Why isn't there more competition in the market? Also, I've asked Comcast several times to set up channels as ala carte but they just tell me that would end up costing me more. If I paid the $18.10/month for basic cable and $1.00 per channel for the channels I watch my monthly bill would only run around $35.00/month. Multiply this out by . . . how many households?? . . Comcast would still be rolling in it. Why do I have to pay double the money for 100+ channels that I don't want and don't watch? Why can't I just pay for what I watch??

Sorry to grumble but this is just more money going out and it's one of the very few things we enjoy. Just chilling at night . . . um, I'm basically too tired to do anything else . . . and watching some tube.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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Well I go back and forth between having cable or not. When I don't have cable, I do netflix. I have a pretty big DVD collection for my son and I tend to like those more than the stuff on TV so I have no problems with that. Plus, I get 3 movies each month on Netflix and one is for him. Nowadays with so many TV shows going to DVD you just end up being behind but not completely missing a show. So I would say take a break - see if you like it. If not, go back or switch to Satellite.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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I dropped cable a few years ago and I've been extremely happy. I don't have to see any commercials anymore. You can get an antennae to get local channels and netflix (or blockbuster) is so much better.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
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It's a problem everywhere. Our choices here are Comcast or have a satellite dish installed. Except our HOA doesn't allow satellite dishes, so our choice is Comcast or nothing.

When we lived 1/2 mile down the street, our choice was Charter or nothing.

When we moved, we had to switch companies - which meant new deposits, new installation fees, new everything.

And with the new requirements now that by 2009, everything will be digitally broadcast, there's no "choice" any more anywhere.

If you want to watch TV, you have to pay the company that has the monopoly in your geographical area.

*grumble*

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Old 10-16-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
You can get an antennae to get local channels
Not next year. The FCC has mandated that all TV broadcasts must be digital in order to free up the open airwaves for other uses. Like cell and emergency systems.

Feb 17, 2009 is the deadline and after that, there will be no more analog broadcast of TV.

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Old 10-16-2008, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Not next year. The FCC has mandated that all TV broadcasts must be digital in order to free up the open airwaves for other uses. Like cell and emergency systems.

Feb 17, 2009 is the deadline and after that, there will be no more analog broadcast of TV.

.
Well I don't know too much about the regulations, we don't even use our antennae. There are HDTV antennaes and channels are broadcasting in HDTV which you can catch over the airways. I believe that as long as you have an HDTV antennae, you should be fine.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:11 PM   #7
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You know, I have had this fight with myself a few times. In our household this is how it usually works. Bills get tight, Comcast Cable is the first to go. And this is why, Most of the shows you watch you can find on the net, via You Tube or others, just google it. News too! Watch Tv sitcoms dot com is another good one for various movies and shows.
The kids "withdrawls" are bad for awile and all you hear is whinning about being board or nothing to do. But be ashured all that will subdue when they discover there toys and books that have been in there room all along.
Your withdrawls will come too, maybe not as fast but they will..lol
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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With the switch over to DTV in February I'd drop my cable in a HEARTBEAT. All the shows I watch are on NBC, CBS, and ABC. BUT during hockey season, DH HAS to watch the games. I like to watch them too, but I could do without to save the $50/month. Oh well!
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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Here is information on how to get over the air tv if you don't have cable/satellite.
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html

How Do I Receive Digital Broadcasts If I Don’t Subscribe To Cable Or Satellite?

If you receive only free over-the-air television programming, the type of TV you own, either a digital TV or an analog TV, is very important. Consumers who receive only free over-the-air television may view digital programming through a TV set with a built-in digital tuner (integrated DTV) or a digital-ready monitor with a separate digital tuner set-top box. (Both of these digital television types are referred to as a DTV). The only additional equipment required to view over-the-air digital programming with a DTV is a regular antenna, either on your roof or a smaller version on your TV such as “rabbit ears.”

If you have an analog television, you will have to purchase a digital-to-analog set-top converter box to attach to your TV set to be able to view over-the-air digital programming (see “What About My Analog TV?” below).

-----

Oh also, a lot of stuff you can find online. I've watched tv episodes on the website of the channel. I watched portions of the olympics on NBCOlympics.com. You can watch TLC and HGTV tv show episodes on their website. etc etc.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:17 PM   #10
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Photo - antennas will still work. Most antennas on TVs today will pick up digital signals as well as they'll pick up analog signals. The problem is that you need a converter box to output the digital signal to your TV that you didn't need to output the analog signal to your TV. If your TV is digital, this isn't an issue. If you have an analog TV, though, you'll need the converter.

If you have an antenna and an analog TV, you won't have to switch to another provider...you just have to get the converter box. If you have a digital TV, you should be OK when the switch occurs.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
Not next year. The FCC has mandated that all TV broadcasts must be digital in order to free up the open airwaves for other uses. Like cell and emergency systems.

Feb 17, 2009 is the deadline and after that, there will be no more analog broadcast of TV.
Yes, but most TVs sold within the past few years can accept digital signals. And if yours can't, you can get a box (free or close to free with a rebate) that will convert that over-the-air digital signal into analog so that your TV can display it.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:19 PM   #12
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I love how all three of us posted on that at once!
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:24 PM   #13
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In terms of paying for cable...we pay a lot. But I'm pretty much OK with that. My entertainment budget outside of it is almost non-existent. We don't go out to eat often. We check out our books and often rent movies at the local library. We see maybe 3-4 movies in a theater per year. Comcast provides us with OnDemand, which includes not only movies to watch instead of renting, but also exercise videos that save money (new strength training and yoga routines!).

To me, the benefits I get are worth the costs. But every family has to make that decision for themselves...if it isn't worth it to you, there are a ton of other things you can do for entertainment.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:28 PM   #14
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We don't have cable, and we're happy. I get a lot of stuff from the library to watch...all for free. I watch tons of TV shows all from the library, with no commercials!
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:32 PM   #15
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True, true. There are alternatives as long as you're prepared. The problem that I see comign down the road (keeping in mind that my family's business deals with the FCC on a daily basis, so I know how screwed up they are!), is that 1 - there's no provision being made by a lot of companies for the last minute changeover folks so I know it's going to be worse chaos than waiting in line for the new iPhone and 2 - the people who aren't tech-savvy enough to know about the changeover are going to be the ones who are stuck in the middle when the middle of Feb hits next year. I'm surprised at the people who DON'T know about the analog to digital switch coming.

Then again, I agree with Mandalinn - we budget for cable and all the extra channels because it's our entertainment. We go out to movies once in a while, but we're not big into going out on the town otherwise. So for us, cable and netflix comprise probably 90% of our entertainment budget. Oh, and Tivo, so make sure we don't miss any of the cable stuff we love.

Cable and books. That's the majority of my entertainment budget.

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