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What's the cost of cable TV for you?


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36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 25 2008 - 06:31 AM

I've got the (sub) basic cable package; it's about $9 / mo for local networks (and a few extra channels that aren't filtered); when I found my then new-house had terrible reception, I got the most basic cable package for TV watching (a painful, but necessary step back from the full digital cable with DVR package I had in my apartment). Now, with my new Tivo, I was thinking about getting the standard basic (analog) cable line-up; about 100 channels with the normal Discovery, TNT, and HGTV fare. Last time I had this line-up, it was under $40 / month. I was shocked with Time Warner explained that that package is priced the same as digital cable: $62 / month! I can understand that the digital package, with 700 channels and HD, is $62. But I'm flabbergasted that there's nothing available for less than that; that the analog packaged is priced the same. So, no cable upgrade for me. This make me curious about other areas: what rates do you have, cable or dish?

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted January 25 2008 - 09:31 AM

That is so strange. I have TW analog and get 88 channels for $45/month. You must get some good ones so that they can charge you $17 more! Glenn

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   larry mac

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Posted January 25 2008 - 11:24 AM

"I got the most basic cable package for TV watching (a painful, but necessary step back from the full digital cable with DVR package I had in my apartment)." That's most unfortunate. I realize at some point in my future we'll probably be forced to cut back on living expenses and won't be able to afford multiroom, HD, DVR, etc. But, I lived without even basic cable for 15 years (we couldn't get it out in the country) only getting even basic analog cable for the first time in 1995). I'm really enjoying the good cable now for the first time. best regards, lm

#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 25 2008 - 11:32 AM

I had the analog cable feed (basic and extended) from Comcast, but decided to go for their Digital Starter (same price as the analog, basic/extended) with HDTV/DVR option, so as of February, the rates go up, and I'm paying $52.50 for the Digital Starter and $13.95 for the HDTV/PVR option. The PVR is the Motorola DCH3416, which is supposed to have a 160GB hard drive (they quoted 60 hours of regular channels, and/or 15 hours of HDTV channels recording time). So, I'm now paying over $16/month for more HD channels, and HD recording capability. I guess I'll have to cut back somewhere else. I do find myself watching a lot more basketball on ESPN and TNT in HD, and am enjoying the other HD channels in the package (I think it's about 15-17 HD channels plus the local HD channels for the Starter package).
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#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Firebee

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Posted January 25 2008 - 11:49 AM

Too much, of course. About $50 of the $120 to $130 I'm paying for Cox Communications is the high-high-speed Internet. Also am paying for adding HD channels and the DVR.
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#6 of 37 ONLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted January 25 2008 - 04:01 PM

Charter analog. About 75 channels (basic + extended satellite tier) for $55/month.
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#7 of 37 OFFLINE   John Dirk

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Posted January 25 2008 - 04:12 PM

Samsung HD Tuner. No cable bill here and, other than NFL network, I don't miss it.Posted Image

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#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted January 25 2008 - 04:40 PM

We go back and forth every few years. We currently have Direct, and pay about $50.00 per month. We've also had the Family Pack, which costs under $30.00 per month. I went to the next package upward because I missed the sports channels too much.

#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE

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Posted January 25 2008 - 05:25 PM

I pay something like $95 for all the cable channels, hd channels, 2 hd/dvr boxes. Wish i could just pick the channels I want and pay for those. I don't need a political or religious channel or any of these damn spanish channels.

#10 of 37 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 25 2008 - 10:25 PM

Part of the reason why there is such a difference in price between basic and extended basic is that franchising authorities pressure MSOs to keep the price for basic service low enough so that even the poorest folks can afford it. This month, the fee for it goes from $9.50 per month down to $8.50 per month, here. So what we end up with is a system whereby the higher tiers of service subsidize the lifeline utility, accounting for the big difference in price between the two.

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 26 2008 - 01:02 AM

What surprises me is the huge gap in offerings. You can have 10 channels for $10, or 700 channels for $70. There's nothing in the middle. It's definitely a local thing: others are describing their $40-$50 packages for "basic" packages. Here there's absolutely no way to get a $40-ish cable package. Maybe it's a result of being in a smaller city?

#12 of 37 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted January 26 2008 - 02:39 AM

I pay Charter $169 a month! It breaks down to $44 for 5Meg internet, $90 for their "best" package which includes HBO, Showtime, and literaly every popular movie channel as well as 150+ other channels, Motorola Moxi DVR and the HD tier. I got a letter from Charter informing me of the annual price increase so we'll see how much all this goes up. I have been trying to decrease the bill somewhat but customer service tells me I'm in a package deal and if I delete say, HBO, my bill would go up! I have been toying with the idea of dropping HBO and Showtime now that Dexter has ended until after the writers strike but I still believe that would only cut about $20. another option would be to get telephone service through them for a "bundle" package but good ole AT&T has been reliable and I hate to give that up. For me, its either cable or satellite, I am too far away for OTA HD.
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#13 of 37 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted January 26 2008 - 03:35 AM

Dave, they don't want to sell analog cable anymore because they MUST phase it out within the next 4 years. Having analog and digital service for the same price is a very good thing. If digital service was even $10 higher, they could force everyone to go digital by dropping analog service entirely after the cut-off date. The basic package (around $10) is required by a federal law so that everybody can get information in case of an emergency. A lot of cable companies don't mention it, but they all have to carry it. Glenn

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 26 2008 - 09:01 AM

$54.54 is pretty close to your $40-$50 range. It is a local thing, yes, and what you're seeing locally is the difference in perceived value of services between various area.

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 26 2008 - 09:11 AM

Yes quite! There's no "family tier" here! There is no cable TV package between the $9 "lifeline" and the $62 700-channel digital package (or $62 for the 77 channel analog package). My wife and I called on separate occaisions, and I specifically asked for ~$40 packages, and we both were told the only option was the $62 package. (And the $62 might normally be $72, if you don't have cable modem with it.) It seems other areas still have more sensible mid-level offerings. But where I'm at. Unless there's a secret handshake I have to know before they'll whisper the secret to a $30 package.

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted January 26 2008 - 09:53 AM

Yeesh! There's a cable company here (Wide Open West) that offers basic cable (~75 channels) and 768kbps Internet for $60. From what you've told us so far, it seems like Time Warner is the only cable company in town. Is that right? Why don't you go with satellite? DirecTV has a basic package for $30. Is your place surrounded by trees?

#17 of 37 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 26 2008 - 12:54 PM

Try to call back and ask specifically for "Family Tier". Keep in mind that it is NOT offered (where it is offered) as a mid-range offering, but rather is intentionally Standard Cable minus channels that are not necessarily family-oriented. Again, remember the point: The difference in price are so large specifically because the franchising authority wants the Basic Cable service to be affordable even by the poor -- they deliberately make the Basic Cable offering extra cheap.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 26 2008 - 02:14 PM

I'll check on that next week, though I wonder what "family friendly" means. There are some channels I want that probably aren't family friendly (e.g FX). Even so, what other company hides products from customers? Strange business, indeed.

#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 26 2008 - 03:28 PM

It's strange because local franchising agreements have allowed companies artificial monopolies on given markets. Standard cable has rapidly outpaced the rate of inflation because there is no competition for comparable services to keep prices down. I also subscribe to basic cable, which is no longer available through Comcast's website, for $8.95. That price has remained constant even as they've taken away ten or so channels. Among the channels we've lost in the last year are: MSNBC, USA Network, Spike TV, CSPAN, CSPAN-2 and Disney Channel. Currently we get the channels also available OTA via rabbit ears (3 PBS stations, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CW, Channel 38, ION and MyTV), a Comcast network, five local access channels, five non-English channels, three shopping networks, three religious channels, and TV Guide Channel — which exists to remind us of all the channels we're not getting). I also looked into the $33 Family Tier, which has an almost determinedly terrible line-up. I really can't imagine a more lackluster line-up for anyone older than ten. In addition to the basic cable channels, you get: Nickelodeon, CSPAN, The Weather Channel, CNN Headline News (Not actual CNN, mind you, just the Nancy Grace network), Food Network, HGTV, National Geographic, Science Channel (the previous four all airing basically the same content), Disney Channel, PBS Kids Sprout, Discovery Kids, Toon Disney, The N, Trinity Braodcast Network, Do It Yourself Network and CSPAN2. The only caveat is that I found while figuring this all out a double play that offers Digital Starter cable TV service couple with high speed internet for $59.99 with a 12-mo. commitment. $8.95+$45=$54; just $5 less than what we're paying now. I'm moving back to New York for good in May, or I'd probably sign up for that package because it seems like a damn good deal.

#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Brian^K

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Posted January 27 2008 - 06:41 AM

Many. Just this week on the Disney forums we were talking about how airlines hide bereavement fares.




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