Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:33 am

I've been wanting to drop Time Warner Cable (TWC) for quite some time now due to increasing fees. Hate having to negotiate at every price hike; and the price is still too high. Wife will not let me cut the cord, e.g. switch to Netflix streaming + a good HD broadcast TV receiver.

I'd like to switch to DirecTV and get their promotional rates. But here's the problem--I need service in three rooms. And unless I'm reading things incorrectly, the cost of having DirecTV service in three rooms means purchasing or renting additional receivers at a cost that may exceed my monthly TWC expense. We absolutely need a DVR in the Living Room. But not in the other two rooms. With TWC, although the channels only go up so high, we can still watch a lot of channels on TVs in the other two rooms without any TWC-supplied receiver at all. Just each TV's inherent "tuning" capabilities.

Here are some questions:

1) What would the minimal costs be to get DirecTV service to three rooms, with one DVR in the living room, and whatever minimal receiver would be required for the other two rooms? For some history, I've looked into CenturyLink at different times over the past few years. Each time, somehow forgetting that the additional receiver costs would wipe out any savings over TWC. But anyway, I'm confused about what DirecTV receivers I'd need for the other two bedrooms (there's a "mini" one vs. non-mini?!?). The "mini" may be affordable and serve the purpose. Can anyone explain my options here?

2) What to do about Internet access if I get DirecTV? In my current TWC package, I have Internet access and some form of Basic Cable--no movie or other paid premium channels--but has several hundred "Basic Cable" channels; many of which my wife enjoys. I'm not a TV guy and would rather stream YouTube documentaries to "my" TV. The monthly cost is around $110/month and doesn't include phone service (don't want or need it; and hate bundles that include this). I'm in a semi-rural area near Raleigh, NC. And a lot of cable and Internet providers don't seem to offer service in my zip code. My Internet service through TWC is somewhat slow--had to dial down to their lowest bandwidth offering to keep the total monthly cost from exceeding $110/month. Fortunately, that bandwidth has been sufficient to my needs since I don't do much streaming. I find it hilarious, and a bit sad, that people who may not even stream video get pitched High Bandwidth plans by default. I'm still happy with 3 megabits/sec.

My retired in-laws will be in town in a few weeks. So this would be a perfect time to ditch TWC in favor of DirecTV--so they can take care of things when the installer shows up. I'd consider Dish Network but prefer DirecTV. Sorry, can't take anyone up on referral codes for DirecTV as I'm hoping to get a fat United or American Airlines sign-up bonus. Southwest partners with Dish, but their sign-up bonus isn't nearly as lucrative.

3) One final constraint, I suppose, is that, hey, it's March Madness soon--the other State Religion around these parts (central NC). I'm unaffiliated, but my father-in-law must watch his beloved UConn Huskies--both Men's and Women's teams. He seems to be able to do with with the TWC basic cable package we already have. What about with DirecTV? Not sure if UConn games get streamed over the Internet. If they did, considering he'll be staying with us for only a few weeks (and I don't watch or follow any team Sport at all, ever), I'd rather invest in a device that would stream video from a PC to a TV.

tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:56 am

Anyone here made the switch from Time Warner Cable to DirecTV? If so, how did the costs compare? Presuming, like me, you require one DVR (living room) and whatever the cheapest receiver required is for a few other rooms. To reiterate, with TWC, we have only one receiver / DVR in our living room. On the TVs in the other two rooms, we just live with / watch whatever channels those TVs can receive with their in-built receivers. We do not have TWC receivers attached to these other two TVs.

pshonore
Posts: 6420
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by pshonore » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:41 am

I think the non-DVR receiver is quite cheap. Direct TV has a referral feature. My DTV # is xxxxxxxx ; if you use it when you sign up, both you and I will get $10 off each month for the next 10 months.
Last edited by pshonore on Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:54 am

pshonore wrote:I think the non-DVR receiver is quite cheap. Direct TV has a referral feature. My DTV # is 824027790 ; if you use it when you sign up, both you and I will get $10 off each month for the next 10 months.
Thanks PS. Anyone know how cheap the additional non-DVR DirecTV receivers are?

No can do on the referral code as I mentioned. Firstly, I'll be signing-up via United or American Airlines. They may not allow a referral code. Second, already promised a colleague that, if I'm allowed to get the United or American Airlines bonus *and* use a personal referral code, that I'll use his referral code. Having the choice of only one option, I'd like my 25,000 frequent flyer miles (minimum redemption value, as I'd use them, of approximately $250).

pshonore
Posts: 6420
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by pshonore » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:17 pm

You also might want to check going thru AAA as they have a pretty good deal as well. (might be better than miles) Direct TV also has internet access available in some areas. My guess is its usually DSL from the phone company although that may vary widely by geographic area. As far as UCONN: men won't be in tournament for very long, women will most likely win. I'm sure all games will be available on Cable etiher CBS or something else for early rounds.

placeholder
Posts: 3957
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by placeholder » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:50 pm

Wouldn't it make more sense to ask DTV by describing your needs and asking for the all in package price?

NOLA
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by NOLA » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:49 pm

I just switched to Direct TV from Dish Network and so far we are happy. We have 3 receivers and DVR service on all 3, even though we really only need it for 2. We signed up through Costco and we pay around $52 for the first year and then i think its about $82. We have the package above basic and get enough channels.I think the price was about the same as Dish, probably a little cheaper but that might be because we have fewer channels now. It seems like everyone gets different prices quoted so who knows. We don't bundle with Internet so couldn't really tell you, but don't think Direct TV is more or less expensive with Dish, but we got brand new equipment now and that's always a plus when you switch.

pshonore
Posts: 6420
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by pshonore » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:26 pm

I've had Direct TV for a couple of years and have been reasonably satisfied. One thing did turn me off a few weeks back. Bought an additional TV and called DTV about getting another box (not a DVR). They wanted to bring one right out and although I don't remember the exact charge, it did not add much to the monthly bill. However it would add 2 years to my existing contract with a substantial cancellation fee during that period. I said thanks, but no thanks.

Calm Man
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by Calm Man » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:45 pm

I have gone all the routes over the years. I ultimately decided that the absolute most extensive coverage (unless one couldn't live without the NFL package and I am not one of them) is simply to use the local cable provider. In my case it is Comcast. It is one of those monthly costs that I simply suck up and view as a cost of living. OP, if you pay the extra 30 or 30 or 40 a month, will you die broke? That's how I view it. Life is short.

tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:35 am

Calm Man wrote:I have gone all the routes over the years. I ultimately decided that the absolute most extensive coverage (unless one couldn't live without the NFL package and I am not one of them) is simply to use the local cable provider. In my case it is Comcast. It is one of those monthly costs that I simply suck up and view as a cost of living. OP, if you pay the extra 30 or 30 or 40 a month, will you die broke? That's how I view it. Life is short.
Thanks again to all.

To answer your question, no.

The longer answer:

I believe in paying for "expensive" items or services when I'm getting significant use and value from those items or services. My wife's ~$600 iPad, I once believed, was an unnecessary extravagance. But she uses it so much that I'm now very glad I bought her one. It's not something I calculate in my head--but I just know it was worth the money. She's getting huge value out if it and it makes her happy. Me? I bought a $99 NextBook 8" Android tablet from Walmart. It serves all my tablet needs. And if it does not, I hop on my wife's iPad. If I thought I would get $600+ worth of value out of the iPad--in either enjoyment, productivity, etc, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

One thing I strive for is to pay no more than I have to for the same item or service--or its equivalent. My wife wanted an iPhone. I thought it was an extravagance. We made a deal--wait until there are no contract, inexpensive monthly plans. Then get the iPhone. She did, buying the iPhone outright and avoiding an expensive $100+/month 2 year contract. She now pays $50/month for Unlimited Everything with no contract. Me? I've got an el cheapo pay per use TracFone, flip model--$15 from Staples. Great coverage and meets all my needs. To me, it's sufficient for one spouse to have a smart phone--particularly nice when traveling. But again, if I thought a smart phone would give me great enjoyment or boost my productivity beyond the price paid, I'd get one in a heartbeat. To me, a smart phone is an annoyance. I don't want to be hyper-available. Nor would I want to tether myself to a device that might tempt me to waste lots of time on. Sometimes constraints in life are a good thing--especially when self-imposed. :-)

Andy Tobias says a luxury once tasted becomes a necessity--so pace yourself. I believe it! :-) Smart man, wise words.

Anyway, if someone can give me a ballpark price on additional non-DVR DirecTV receivers--without me having to call them and be Pitched to (hate that)--that would be great.

User avatar
JonnyDVM
Posts: 1595
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by JonnyDVM » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:03 am

I think extra boxes are maybe $6.95/ month if I'm remembering correctly. You can usually call and negotiate a better price once your promotional period ends. I switched to direct TV a decade ago and never looked back.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

User avatar
plannerman
Posts: 673
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: NC Mountains

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by plannerman » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:25 am

We switched from mediacom cable to Direct TV a few years ago, not because of cost, but because of frequent, extended outages and a very limited number of HD channels (6, I think).

For broadband internet, we switched to 3 mb DSL from AT&T. This has been much more reliable than our previous cable provider and until just recently, sufficient for our Internet needs. Just within the last few weeks, however, there have been periods during the day when it has been painfully slow--not sure what's going on.

One word of caution, the only place on our lot where they could get line of sight for the satellite dish was on the roof of the house. Here, the Direct TV installers will not go on roofs, so I had to pay an independent contractor to install the dish and the additional wiring. I think the "free installation" ended up costing about $700. At the time, I was so fed up with our cable provider I though it was a bargain.

We are paying about $180/month for TV and Internet access, which is outrageous, so I would be surprised if you end up saving money switching. But in our case, the cable service was so terrible, I was willing to pay more for something that worked. We have been pleased with Direct TV service.

AT&T is installing fiber in our neighborhood for their U Verse service. And they have very attractive teaser rates to get you to sign up. I'm hoping to either switch to that, when available, or at least negotiate a lower rate with Direct TV. One problem is AT&T won't tell you when they expect the service to be up and running.

plannerman

pshonore
Posts: 6420
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by pshonore » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:58 am

Looking at my DTV bill, I see two receivers, one HD and one DVR, each at $10/month. There is also a $6 fee for the Primary TV and another $6 for an Additional TV. There are two credits - one for free Primary TV @ $6 and one for the HD receiver (w/Auto Bill Pay) @ $10. These charges are in addition to the regular monthly fee ($71.95). We also pay a regional sports fee ($2), Whole house DVR service fee ($3) and in CT, a gross earnings tax reimbursement ($7.53) And of course, all these fees (except gross earnings reimbmt) are subject to state sales tax as well
Last edited by pshonore on Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cathyr
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:49 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by cathyr » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:52 am

Regarding the women's NCAA tournament games (UConn as well as others). The entire women's tournament is broadcast on the ESPN networks. I've been grappling with that, since I'm thinking of reducing my current cable plan to just basic. I figure I'll wait until this year's tournament is over to make the change. Then I'll worry about next year :)

Cathy

tj
Posts: 2112
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tj » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:21 pm

DirecTV is generally the most expensive option after the teaser period, but it all depends on what pacakge and how many receivers you need.

The cheapest way to get DirecTV is through AAA or Costco.

sdrone
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by sdrone » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:01 pm

I dropped comcast TV a few years ago. I had negotiated a big discount after the financial crisis. That lasted several years, though I never signed the contract that sent me. Once that stopped and the prices I had went back up, I was not able to negotiate lower prices, and I noticed that their deals often had small text that you could not have been a Comcast customer in the last 30 days or something to that effect. I dropped cable TV and went to DirecTV. I kept comcast internet. Once you drop TV, they will not negotiate internet prices with you. I dropped Comcast internet for a while, but the "last mile" copper issues in my neighorhood that I tracked down 10 years ago for the telco had not been fixed. DSL blew chunks, so I'm back to paying Comcast for internet.

Here are the notes I took for my initial DirecTV deal in January 2012:
email address wil get $5 off for 12 months
Choice package, 3 TVs, HD access, DVR, whole home DVR. regular cost is $92.99. $31 rebate for 1st year. $61.99
HD DVR is $7, whole home HD is $3. Qualify for all promos. Up front cost additional $298.
Choice extra, HD access is free with automatic billpay. monthly is $56.99, 2nd year is $87.99. Cheaper because HD fee $10 is free
24 month agreement, after that is month by month at same prices. Upfront cost of $99. Plus $5 off for 1st year.
Install is free, HD receiver is free, 1st HD DVR for free. Free Cinema Connection on demand free with either package. Sales tax is $9.16 on extra DVR. no order number.

Several notes:
1. Get everything you want, then drop what you don't want after the first year. I dropped the 3rd (regular receiver, no DVR) TV after the first year
2. There are often small price increases - say $3 - after your first year. They will tell you that you can't avoid that, but I got it voided for 6 months after a 15m phone call.
3. Installation is free. Quality varies but my installer was smart and knowledgeable (I'm an IT network guy that used to work at a company that was the biggest manufacturer of cablemodems so I appreciate a lack of B.S.)
4. DirecTV signal quality has improved significantly over the last decade. Depends on your TV processor quality, but there is no longer a big difference between HD quality on cable and satellite. The only issue I see is the local Comcast sportsnet channel seems somewhat degraded on satellite.
5. The new elongated dish seems to handle adverse weather a LOT better. I've only had a couple of weather issues, both during heavy rain.

In general terms, DirecTV/Dish were, say, $10 cheaper than cable a decade or 2 ago. they're not now - at best they are say $3 to $5 cheaper. The signup deals are better. The signal quality has improved. The customer service is bett.., well, talking to a dead cat is better than talking to Comcast or TW, so that's not a comparison.

The thing is this: Comcast was charging me $15/month for each of 2 DVRs, and it was going up. I paid, I dunno, $100 upfront and just bought the DirecTV DVR. If you have multiple DVRs, you'll usually save money over Comcast. Dunno about TW. DirecTV's DVR software is SIGNIFICANTLY better.

tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:52 pm

Thanks again to all. Do you think I can renegotiate with Time Warner to retain Internet-only at some promotional rate? In other words, pull the trigger on DirectTV now and figure out Internet access later? Just don't want an Internet gap... would be like going without Electricity these days.

Also, can anyone confirm if I can get the United Airlines and/or American Airlines 25K frequent flyer miles while also using a friend / relative's account # for a referral? Thia referral has already been spoken for, sorry folks. Suppose I can ask when I call.

tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by tidalwave10 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:32 pm

tidalwave10 wrote:Thanks again to all. Do you think I can renegotiate with Time Warner to retain Internet-only at some promotional rate? In other words, pull the trigger on DirectTV now and figure out Internet access later? Just don't want an Internet gap... would be like going without Electricity these days.

Also, can anyone confirm if I can get the United Airlines and/or American Airlines 25K frequent flyer miles while also using a friend / relative's account # for a referral? Thia referral has already been spoken for, sorry folks. Suppose I can ask when I call.
Never mind... there's Price Escalation when it comes to the DVR. First to required me have a min of the Entertainment Package to get the United miles. $35/mo for first 12 months. Not terrible. But then to avoid paying $500 up front for Genie plus two mini Genies, it forced me to go up to the Choice Package--a lot more $$$. So around $66 + $25 + ($6 x 2) + tax for the first monthly fees. Then something weird happened at around month 8 or so, base price went up over $100 no including receivers fees. Putting things way over the ~$115 we now pay TWC for cable + their lowest tier of Internet bandwidth (sufficient for us).

Not playing this game and will stick with TWC. :-(

User avatar
ElJay
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:08 pm

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Post by ElJay » Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:19 pm

Has anybody signed up to DirecTV without a credit check? I recently bought a house that has a dish on it already, and I'm considering going with them instead of Time Warner. As part of the home buying process, I got a mortgage (credit score 810). I find it rather hilarious that DirecTV doesn't trust me to lease a $300 MSRP "made in China" DVR from them and pay them $70/mo. They want my social security number, otherwise they're going to charge me $300 (paid back to me $5/mo over 5 years) and offer no incentives. The hard inquiry on my report doesn't really matter at this point, but the principle of it really bugs me. They are not extending me a line of credit.

Post Reply