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What kind of cable do you have now (and are cable companies getting desperate?)

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What kind of cable do you have now (and are cable companies getting desperate?)

Old 05-21-03, 01:58 PM
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What kind of cable do you have now (and are cable companies getting desperate?)

There's a similar thread in the archive, but it's from October 2001, so I figure I'd start a new one.

I wasn't really a big TV watcher in my post-college days, so I was always surprised at how much people were willing to pay for cable television. However, I then got a wife who loves TV and a TIVO.

We recently "upgraded" to Adelphia digital cable basic for the "deal" of 39.99 a month, rates good for a year. This is pretty good, considering the lowest tier service in my area is almost 30 bucks, and "normal" non-digital cable service (the package that has TNT and stuff) goes for 47.

I hate digital cable. I hate the box, I hate the delay changing channels, and I hate the stupid guide. Plus, the added digital channels are pretty worthless, to us, at least. But it's cheaper, and I can still run my analog line through my TIVO.

I'd go for DirecTV, but my apartment manager told me that they won't allow anyone to mount anything on the roof (despite the fact that I can count at least 5 other people with DirecTV dishes). ah well.

Anyway, this month they're offering digital cable for new subscribers for 17.95 a month. Now, I'm not sure if you have to buy that on top of 27 a month for basic cable, but the ad makes no mention of that. Are they that desperate? Don't these new subscriber deals tick off the loyal customers who are paying a premium? Plus, they air ads 24/7 about how much better cable is than satellite. A quick look around my neighborhood shows a ton of satellite dishes. This is in an area where the nearby hills destroys any antenna reception.

So how's your cable? Or when and why did you move to satellite?
Old 05-21-03, 02:02 PM
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I have Comcast Digital Cable. It's okay. However, if I faced the correct direction, I would go with Direct-TV in a heartbeat mainly because of NFL Sunday Ticket and the ability to get Playboy as a monthly channel.

Personally, I don't know why anyone would get digital cable unless they ordered some premium channels or use PPV a lot.
Old 05-21-03, 02:03 PM
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Well at least comcast regular cable over here has tcm as a regular channel, not as a digital channel like some companies do. I have digital btw.
Old 05-21-03, 05:29 PM
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If you are going to talk cable, you might as well talk about DBS.

After AT&T took over from Comcast in July, 2001, there was a massive billing snafu. Because of the bad customer service, I dumped cable and got a Dish Network with AT-150 package, Sacramento locals, and superstations. One of the receivers is a 501 PVR.

Since then, almost two years has elapsed. Even through it's not as full-featured as a DirecTivo, it does the job a lot better than my VCR+cable box. The biggest problem with Dish's 501 PVR is also a common complaint of many people who own PVRs-not enough disk space. (On the other hand, show me a VCR that can hold 50 events).

The only other problem is with the programming. With both Dish and DirecTV, most of the program feeds are for the East Coast. This has caused a problem with Adult Swim airing at 9 PM PT... at the same time as CSI: Miami (weekday prime time schedule is 7-10 during the week instead of 8-11 for the CBS affiliate) and 24. I have caught 24 on F/X.

The equipment and program offerrings have changed for the DBS providers. DirecTV's Tivo service was $9.95 per month. It is now $4.95 unless you take the premiere package. Also, with SHIVA, I get all of the local stations instead of just ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox.

However, the only viable high-speed access seems to be cable, and unless you are a cable subscriber, you get hit with an extra fee. In addition, the cable company has clamped down on the speeds. While DSL is available from my house, by FCC regulation, only my local phone company can provide it.
Old 05-21-03, 05:33 PM
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i have directv for the express purpose of getting nfl sunday ticket. otherwise i would probably go with dish. when i had digital cable before i moved, i was very disappointed with the quality. right now, with just an antennae, my networks come in clearer than they ever did with digital cable.
Old 05-21-03, 08:09 PM
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My local phone company just started offering true Digital Cable over the phone lines a few months ago and it's been fantastic. I switched over to their cable and DSL and never regreted it for a minute; I save about $15 a month to boot.

With Cox Digital cable only the channels above the extended basic package were digital with the same lousy picture for channels 2-70. The new phone system has all channels digital and only one gateway box feeding all TV's in the house instead of one box per TV with Cox. DSL is basically as good as cable modem, a little slower at times but more reliable so it's a wash.

Oh yeah, it's a rural phone co-op so I get a capital credit check every December too!
Old 05-22-03, 10:49 AM
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I've got digital cable with HDTV service. In my area, cable offers 9 HD channels while DirecTV offers 3.
Old 05-22-03, 10:56 AM
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I have the Directivo, when I moved to the apt I bought in SF at the same time Fox Sports World lost the contract for F1 racing to SpeedVision, So it was not available on AT&T in the city, even though it had been coming soon for 2 years. So I upped and when for directv, adding in the tivo was just a bonus as the thing is a gift from the gods.

The east coast feeds are great for some shows like HBO etc, as I can watch 6FU and Sopranos at the same time as everyone else.

I can record 2 shows at once, which means I am set with no overlap of 3 shows I want to see.

I pay right now 65 dollars I think
I have the total Choice Plus and HBO and The Sports Package for Fox Sports World.

I think it's 41.99 for the TC Plus
12 for 1st HBO
11 for Sports
and 5 for Tivo.

This also allowed me this year to order the Premier League Season Pass, which was great, expensive but great.
Old 05-22-03, 11:10 AM
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I have Cox Cable, just the basic package for my locals for $9.95 a month and hate it. The PQ is awful, and most of the channels fade in and out, are snowy or the audio is so bad you can't understand anything. I use Dish Network for everything else, and Dish is supposed to carry my locals in the fall so when they do...bye bye Cox Cable.
Old 05-22-03, 11:22 AM
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I wouldn't say cable companies are getting desperate -- just the opposite: I think they're fairly cocky and consumer unfriendly. In nearly all places they operate, they have a monopoly.

Satellite and cable have such different strengths and weaknesses that it's impossible to say one is better than the other -- it mostly depends on where you live, and what type of shows you most enjoy.

Anyway, I'd be willing to bet that the $17 a month for digital cable "deal" is either a short-term introductory offer, or the price for the digital tier only (not including the analog tier.)
Old 05-22-03, 11:28 AM
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crappy comcast. pretty basic but with some premium channels. if something else was offered i'd jump at the chance to change (unless it was cox cable)!
Old 05-22-03, 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by razorbackfan
I have Cox Cable, just the basic package for my locals for $9.95 a month and hate it. The PQ is awful, and most of the channels fade in and out, are snowy or the audio is so bad you can't understand anything. I use Dish Network for everything else, and Dish is supposed to carry my locals in the fall so when they do...bye bye Cox Cable.
I'm roughtly in the same situation. I pay $15/month for poor picture quality analog cable that doesn't have very many channels. Comcast Digital is too expensive and the picture quality is also quite grainy. I'd avoid cable altogather and get a dish or just use an antenna (I will do this when I move).
Old 05-22-03, 11:35 AM
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I have DirecTV and pay around an average of $100 a month for the service (varies between sports packages). That may seem expensive, but I get my money's worth. I don't have a problem paying for a service if it's quality, and I have no complaints about DirecTV.

I left cable because they were horribly inflexible when it came to programming options, and they strutted around with a monopoly mentality treating their customers like crap. I paid less a month than I do now, and I never felt like I was getting what I paid for.

Old 05-22-03, 11:50 AM
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We signed up with Dish Network in January, and love it. We have one regular receiver and one PVR; we're 'leasing' the hardware [because I didn't know that much about the hardware at the time, and didn't want to get stuck owning an outdated machine, plus the lease includes all service on it.]
The DishPVR doesn't have a specific monthly charge like TiVo, and so far, I love it. Agreed, I wouldn't mind it being bigger [it holds about 35 hours], but that's the case with all hard drives.
We're paying 50.58/month for it, including taxes and fees, which is about 6 dollars more than our analog cable was, and includes the PVR and a lot more channels. We're also on RoadRunner, for 44.95/month [TimeWarner used to charge extra for not being a cable subscriber, but they don't anymore--you may want to call and check your broadband provider, TW changed the policy and didn't really inform current customers, so you had to ask for the new rate.]
I wish we had left cable long ago, the PVR in and of itself is worth the upgrade, and the interactive guide/browse feature is also really cool.
Old 05-22-03, 01:12 PM
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I have Dishnetwork and Directv set up currently. Dishnetwork gives me discovery HD, HBOHD, SHOHD, NBATV-HD, and whatever other HD channels I can get (also get OTA locals in HD). I just get those channels on dish, nothing else. With directv I get everything else (no premiums tho), and get to have a directivo as well.

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