Don't pay full price for cable TV

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catdude
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Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by catdude » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:29 am

OK, I know this isn't a great insight on my part, and I know it's been said before on this forum, but it pays to call the cable company and tell them you want to cancel service. I called the local cable company this morning and told them I'd identified a lower-cost alternative (which I had: an OTA antenna for broadcast stations, and Sling TV for sports). They made me an offer, which I accepted; it cuts my internet + cable bill from $160 a month to about $100. This new rate is good for a year, after which I expect to call them again and hopefully get another good deal.

I post this in hopes of inspiring y'all, especially newbies, to call your local cable company and get a better deal...
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just frank
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by just frank » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:08 am

Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. When I called my company and wanted to reduce my service, they put me on hold for 2 hours and then said my monthly charge would double. When I said I would cancel my service, they said: 'Go ahead!'.

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StevieG72
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:18 am

That reminds me of a funny story.

My friend called to cancel in hopes of getting a lower rate. The cable company simply agreed to cancel his service with no retention offer. He then had to back pedal snce he really didn't want to cancel.

Of course YMMV....
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by climber2020 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:18 am

I opted to pay slightly more for our local fiber optic tv/internet service. Their customer service is outstanding, there's no contract, no equipment rental scams, and when you call with a problem, someone picks up the phone who actually lives in the country and speaks English. There's also no negotiating and no discounts; everyone pays exactly the same price.

The other options in the area are AT&T and Comcast. After dealing with both of these companies and their respective incompetences for the majority of my adult life, I decided it was worth a little bit of extra money to both support the local business and not have to deal with these other clowns hopefully ever again.

pileitup
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pileitup » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:35 am

Over a couple years, I cut back to basic cable, went back to more channels, and then recently cut back to no cable service. (We do still pay for Internet service.. to comcast, our only option.)

Just got an HD antenna, which I am very happy with, so my wife could watch the Oscar's. Had been wanting to try for a few years, but was afraid our hilly location would mean bad reception.

Go ahead and try similar moves. There are plenty of options for your time and attention.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by bluebolt » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:46 am

I had an offer in hand to switch TV providers, so I called Comcast to cancel. I told them that I would prefer to stay with them - they didn't even have to match my other offer, just come close. They said no and I scheduled the Comcast cancelation for the install date of the new provider.

On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by climber2020 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:23 am

bluebolt wrote:On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?


If you've cancelled with Comcast, make sure you get a paper receipt when you return your equipment and save it for several years. It's a common occurrence for them to try to scam people by saying the equipment was never returned and then subsequently add several charges to your account.

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HueyLD
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by HueyLD » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:40 am

bluebolt wrote:I had an offer in hand to switch TV providers, so I called Comcast to cancel. I told them that I would prefer to stay with them - they didn't even have to match my other offer, just come close. They said no and I scheduled the Comcast cancelation for the install date of the new provider.

On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?

I had a very different experience.

I called Comcast before the contract was up and asked to speak to a customer retention specialist. I was able to have a very pleasant conversation with the rep and he was more than willing to work with me. We came up with a compromise that was acceptable to both. I never had to mention a word about leaving.

I guess it depends on whom you talk to. It also helps to communicate exactly what you want in a clear and courteous manner.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by onourway » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:40 am

I have had a calendar reminder for years with Time Warner to do this because the only thing they offer are 12 month 'special rates' that jump up significantly after they expire. There is always another special rate available when you call, but you have to call. I have never found threatening to leave to have any significant leverage. They really don't care.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:57 am

Better yet, Ditch cable and starve their antiquated business model.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by alfaspider » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:07 am

I got tired of playing the "call and cancel" game with the cable companies. Every year, you have to play the game all over again. It's internet only services for me.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by alfaspider » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:10 am

climber2020 wrote:
bluebolt wrote:On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?


If you've cancelled with Comcast, make sure you get a paper receipt when you return your equipment and save it for several years. It's a common occurrence for them to try to scam people by saying the equipment was never returned and then subsequently add several charges to your account.


I had that experience. Many years ago, I moved and returned the comcast equipment. Never got a bill or a late notice. When, I moved into my current residence, they said there was a $200 charge on my account for a late equipment and they would not hook up cable unless I paid. So my wife just put it in her name and they hooked it right up.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pqwerty » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:39 am

My wife and I did this recently. It worked but I feel it is a little dishonest. The bill was in her name and we were at the end of our $19.99/month special so she called and cancelled. The cable company had the same deal going on so right after she cancelled I signed up, had to pay $40 for a self-installation kit but other than that no crazy installation fees (internet only and we have our own equipment).

What I have read is that every 3 months you are considered a new customer, so when my deal comes to an end the plan is to cancel it and then she will sign up for whatever special they have going on as a new customer... and the cycle continues. This is the first time we have done this so I guess we will see how it goes when we try and switch back, but the first switch worked without any issues so I am hopeful.

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lthenderson
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by lthenderson » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:53 am

I make the call every two years. If they don't comply, I simply switch service between local company to either of the two satellite companies. I probably come back full circle once every decade.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Goal33 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:05 am

OTA Antenna here (only get NBC), and neighbors open wifi network... it's been a great savings since I moved here a few months ago :greedy
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by bluebolt » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:10 am

HueyLD wrote:
bluebolt wrote:I had an offer in hand to switch TV providers, so I called Comcast to cancel. I told them that I would prefer to stay with them - they didn't even have to match my other offer, just come close. They said no and I scheduled the Comcast cancelation for the install date of the new provider.

On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?

I had a very different experience.

I called Comcast before the contract was up and asked to speak to a customer retention specialist. I was able to have a very pleasant conversation with the rep and he was more than willing to work with me. We came up with a compromise that was acceptable to both. I never had to mention a word about leaving.

I guess it depends on whom you talk to. It also helps to communicate exactly what you want in a clear and courteous manner.

Comcast has different markets and their response to queries like this are market-specific. While it is possible that a specific rep might make a small difference, the overall policy & pricing is set at the market (and sometimes sub-market) level.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by bluebolt » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:12 am

climber2020 wrote:
bluebolt wrote:On the install date, the new provider finished their work and later that afternoon, I get a call from Comcast offering to match their rate. Seriously, you couldn't have done that when I called to cancel?


If you've cancelled with Comcast, make sure you get a paper receipt when you return your equipment and save it for several years. It's a common occurrence for them to try to scam people by saying the equipment was never returned and then subsequently add several charges to your account.

Tell me about it. When I canceled with Comcast once, I went to return my equipment at the local office. There was a long line so they told me to "just leave it." I didn't trust them so waited in line and got a receipt. Not only did I get billed for one of the set-top boxes, they also billed me for a modem even though I owned my own equipment and never leased a modem from them.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by keystone » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:20 am

This tactic no longer worked for me when I called Verizon about my expired tv & internet deal a few months ago. I was indifferent about staying with Verizon but would have probably stayed with them if they could renew my deal for another year at the same price. After several rounds back and forth, the best they could offer me was a deal that was $20 per month more than my previous deal. I asked the customer service rep why I would accept that deal when I have better options elsewhere. His response was that they don't price match. So it was a pretty easy decision for me to proceed with the cancellation.

I switched to Verizon internet only and stream tv through Playstation Vue. I'm saving about $20 per month but the best part is that I don't have to worry about my tv bill doubling in a year and having to play this game again.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Dendritic Tree » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:28 am

Goal33 wrote:OTA Antenna here (only get NBC), and neighbors open wifi network... it's been a great savings since I moved here a few months ago :greedy


Be careful with the neighbors open wifi network. That means that anyone can see your internet traffic (not just the neighbors, but more importantly other people who do this for a living). So much personal information is obtained this way and it's really easy to do - credit card info, bank login, etc. I always treat an open wifi connection like anyone can see it, and never let any financial transactions happen over an open wifi network.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:35 am

StevieG72 wrote:That reminds me of a funny story.

My friend called to cancel in hopes of getting a lower rate. The cable company simply agreed to cancel his service with no retention offer. He then had to back pedal snce he really didn't want to cancel.

Of course YMMV....


I've had this happen. Actually, they offered a lower rate but I wanted even lower. What I do is say it is the 6th of the month. I tell them to cancel it as of the end of the month (add a few weeks to current date). That gives me 3 weeks to find another provider or call them back and tell them to cancel the cancellation.

It always worked for Directv. It worked for Comcast also but with a smaller savings.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by knpstr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:47 am

Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by tdhg566 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:48 am

Recently ATT has been so eager to get people off UVerse and onto DirecTV that they match or beat Comcast new subscriber prices. I have both Comcast coax and ATT fiber to the house, and now a DIRECTV dish in the ground nearby, so I just connect whichever provider offers the best deal each contract renewal.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:56 am

IME bluffing won't work, we tried several times. It might get you a small discount. Dish Network just cut our monthly bill from $82/mo to $43/mo for 120+ channels (legacy pkg), HD/DVR & 3 TV's. It was only when I called to actually cancel, and were actually prepared to do so, that they quickly gave us a $38/mo discount for 6 months.

We'll probably cut the cord in 6 months or less regardless of what Dish Network does, we happen to be in one of the few and only large metro areas where PlayStation Vue includes all the major networks LIVE along with popular cable channels for $39.99/mo. Includes a cloud DVR and streaming on up to 5 devices. Unless you're a viewer who wants all the channels on lots of TV's - PlayStation Vue is a no brainer in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami. In the other 203 major metro areas, you will have to use OTA for some if not all the majors - ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox & Telemundo.

Sling TV is a better deal at $20/mo, if you're willing to forego a DVR, stream on only one device at a time, and futz with OTA.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:06 am

It pays to have a credible option that can be exercised should the cable company call your bluff. I was determined to do that after playing the cancel game for years (actually my wonderful wife did most of that work). Now that I've implemented my credible option (antenna, OTA TiVo, fiber optic internet, streaming) I have no desire to go back to cable. None. I'm elated that the cable company drove me away.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:09 am

Midpack wrote:IME bluffing won't work, we tried several times. It might get you a small discount. Dish Network just cut our monthly bill from $82/mo to $43/mo for 120+ channels (legacy pkg), HD/DVR & 3 TV's. It was only when I called to actually cancel, and were actually prepared to do so, that they quickly gave us a $38/mo discount for 6 months.

We'll probably cut the cord in 6 months or less regardless of what Dish Network does, we happen to be in one of the few and only large metro areas where PlayStation Vue includes all the major networks LIVE along with popular cable channels for $39.99/mo. Includes a cloud DVR and streaming on up to 5 devices. Unless you're a viewer who wants all the channels on lots of TV's - PlayStation Vue is a no brainer in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami. In the other 203 major metro areas, you will have to use OTA for some if not all the majors - ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox & Telemundo.

Sling TV is a better deal at $20/mo, if you're willing to forego a DVR, stream on only one device at a time, and futz with OTA.


The problem I've found with splitting your service (tv vs. internet) is that they all want you to bundle and offer the biggest discounts on bundles. They purposefully jack up the internet rate on its own so you get a package.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:16 am

michaeljc70 wrote:The problem I've found with splitting your service (tv vs. internet) is that they all want you to bundle and offer the biggest discounts on bundles. They purposefully jack up the internet rate on its own so you get a package.
I know that's true for some, and should be for all. But for 6 years or more we've used Comcast internet ($50/mo), Dish TV w/120+ channels (was $82 now $43/mo), and no landline (with Verizon cell phones). At least once a year we've looked into double plays with various providers, and they've never been able to match what we've negotiated separately from the above.

They all have deals and packages that are difficult if not impossible to find surfing their websites IME.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:16 am

knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by lthenderson » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:16 am

bluebolt wrote:Tell me about it. When I canceled with Comcast once, I went to return my equipment at the local office. There was a long line so they told me to "just leave it." I didn't trust them so waited in line and got a receipt. Not only did I get billed for one of the set-top boxes, they also billed me for a modem even though I owned my own equipment and never leased a modem from them.


This is one advantage to going with one of the satellite companies. They don't have brick and mortar offices so they send you a box and you just put your gear in there and let the UPS guy pick it up the specified day. They even had a checklist of every item to be returned so you knew what to put in the box.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:26 am

Midpack wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:The problem I've found with splitting your service (tv vs. internet) is that they all want you to bundle and offer the biggest discounts on bundles. They purposefully jack up the internet rate on its own so you get a package.
I know that's true for some, and should be for all. But for 6 years or more we've used Comcast internet ($50/mo), Dish TV w/120+ channels (was $82 now $43/mo), and no landline (with Verizon cell phones). At least once a year we've looked into double plays with various providers, and they've never been able to match what we've negotiated separately from the above.

They all have deals and packages that are difficult if not impossible to find surfing their websites IME.


I paid around $90 for internet and cable with a 200+ channel package. After that expired (it was for the first 2 years), it went up to around $105. The internet is 75 Mbps and I have HBO on the cable (they throw that in for free). I have all my own equipment though and that helps cut down on the costs.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:29 am

Midpack wrote:IME bluffing won't work, we tried several times. It might get you a small discount. Dish Network just cut our monthly bill from $82/mo to $43/mo for 120+ channels (legacy pkg), HD/DVR & 3 TV's. It was only when I called to actually cancel, and were actually prepared to do so, that they quickly gave us a $38/mo discount for 6 months.

We'll probably cut the cord in 6 months or less regardless of what Dish Network does, we happen to be in one of the few and only large metro areas where PlayStation Vue includes all the major networks LIVE along with popular cable channels for $39.99/mo. Includes a cloud DVR and streaming on up to 5 devices. Unless you're a viewer who wants all the channels on lots of TV's - PlayStation Vue is a no brainer in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami. In the other 203 major metro areas, you will have to use OTA for some if not all the majors - ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox & Telemundo.

Sling TV is a better deal at $20/mo, if you're willing to forego a DVR, stream on only one device at a time, and futz with OTA.


Regarding Vue, I am wondering how much bandwidth that uses. Comcast typically give 1TB a month and then starts charging overages (after a couple of warnings). HD content uses a lot of data.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by SleepKing » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:36 am

Our experience with TWC/Spectrum has been similar. The end game is when the initial deal ends and your price jumps up, they put you in a similar priced package for a year with the selling point of 'extra services for the same price'... but at the end of the year THAT will jump to a higher price than you would have been at if you just accepted the initial price jump. For example:

Year 1: $110 promo package 1 with cable, internet, phone
Year 2: You can 1) Pay $120 to keep package 1 -or- 2) Pay $120 for promo package 2 cable, internet, phone (some marginal upgrade in service will be used to sell you on this)
Year 3: You can 1) Pay $130 to keep package 2 -or- 3) Pay $130 for promo package 3 cable, internet, phone (again, some marginal upgrade in service will be used to sell you)

This will go on and on until you are maxed out on their services, or you cancel. I have found it is very difficult (impossible in my case) to downgrade services at a significant cost savings. If i'm at the $130 level and want to dial back to the $110 level, they'll give some line of BS and practically have me on dial up internet and analog cable! The services offered for the price will NOT be the same that I had before!

Frustrating. Only reason we keep cable is for Live local sports broadcasts.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by knpstr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:43 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:48 am

knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer

But the Sling $20/mo package has no DVR, and restricted to one device/stream at a time IIRC? Best deal there is for users if those caveats are OK.

The Sling $25/mo package allows more device/streams, but you lose ESPN. The Sling $40/mo package gives you more streams and ESPN, but you still need OTA for majors. At $40/mo IMO PS Vue including cloud DVR and up to 5 devices is a better deal for those lucky enough to be in one of the 7 major metro areas?
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:53 am

knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer


Thanks! My only concern is some reviews noting poor stream quality but I imagine that has more to do with internet speeds.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:53 am

michaeljc70 wrote:Regarding Vue, I am wondering how much bandwidth that uses. Comcast typically give 1TB a month and then starts charging overages (after a couple of warnings). HD content uses a lot of data.
That is a great point, and I monitored data usage during our 7-day trial. We're not heavy TV watchers (another reason a lower cost skinny package appeals to us), we watch 2-3 hrs/day. It did not appear it would become an issue for us, but it wasn't long enough to know if the cap would become an issue. For very heavy TV watchers, I suspect the cap would indeed present problems. Those folks might be better off with cable/satellite.

Thanks for adding that to the discussion.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:56 am

Midpack wrote:
knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer

But the Sling $20/mo package has no DVR, and restricted to one device/stream at a time IIRC? Best deal there is for users if those caveats are OK.

The Sling $25/mo package allows more device/streams, but you lose ESPN. The Sling $40/mo package gives you more streams and ESPN, but you still need OTA for majors. At $40/mo IMO PS Vue is a better deal for those lucky enough to be in one of the 7 major metro areas?


No DVR? What is this, 1982? That is a non-starter for me. I don't watch any TV live.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:58 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer


Thanks! My only concern is some reviews noting poor stream quality but I imagine that has more to do with internet speeds.
It does. PS Vue recommends 10 mbps minimum for one HD device, and another 5 mbps for each additional device. We only have 10 mbps and had almost zero loading/buffering issues. Now, if you want to watch UHD/4K, you'd have to have more bandwidth.
Last edited by Midpack on Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:59 am

No DVR and a data cap from my Internet provider of 200GB is definitely something that makes me think.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:02 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:No DVR and a data cap from my Internet provider of 200GB is definitely something that makes me think.
PS Vue includes the cloud DVR at no added charge, but I'd be worried with a 200GB data cap too. Our data cap is 1TB.

If you already have a streaming device (we had a cheap Chromecast), Sling, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now all offer free 7-day trials. You just have to be sure to cancel by the 7th day or you may be billed. That's the only way to know for sure, we sure learned a ton with free trials re: stream quality and buffering and I monitored our data cap during the trial.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:03 pm

It looks like people are mixing up things. VUE has a DVR, Sling does not. VUE has a cloud DVR, meaning they just play the show when you want from their copy. You don't have a physical machine with a hard drive in it with a copy like if you use an Xfinity DVR.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pshonore » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:04 pm

knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
knpstr wrote:Using an OTA antenna (in the attic) and Sling, our "TV bill" is $19.99/mo
:beer


Is that total including any fees? If not, what are the additional fees?


There are no fees. That is it in totality.

Among channels: 3 ESPN channels, A&E, BBC, History, HGTV, AMC, TNT, TBS, Freeform, Food network, Travel channel, Comedy Central, Disney, CNN, Lifetime, Bloomberg... then all locals through the antenna. Also, sling is always giving " free previews" of HBO, or Starz, or Epix movie channels.

Oh, and it is all in HD. :beer
No State sales tax? I just noticed Netflix charges tax on "streaming" portion of bill but not on DVDs. Direct TV charges it on everything and also charges a "gross earnings tax" (which is probably unique to CT) for a total of almost $15/month

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:07 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:It looks like people are mixing up things. VUE has a DVR, Sling does not. VUE has a cloud DVR, meaning they just play the show when you want from their copy. You don't have a physical machine with a hard drive in it with a copy like if you use an Xfinity DVR.
Correct! This may confuse the issue further, but with Vue there are up to 4 ways to view a program:
  • LIVE,
  • CATCHUP (some channels, not all - resets at midnight daily),
  • ON DEMAND (complete for some series, but not others) and
  • DVR (ALL shows/channels you designate as "My Shows" for 28 days).
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:12 pm

SleepKing wrote:Frustrating. Only reason we keep cable is for Live local sports broadcasts.


Depending on location there are now options for many local sports through streaming services. I used Sling last summer for in-market MLB games which are carried by our regional Fox Sports network. I'm currently using Directv NOW which also carries the local Fox Sports network. Sling and Directv NOW offer various packages some of which include a wide variety of college and professional sports. With the prospect of additional streaming competitors on the horizon I'm guessing that choices will continue to increase.

One current downside to streaming is that recording is often not available.
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by knpstr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:14 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:Thanks! My only concern is some reviews noting poor stream quality but I imagine that has more to do with internet speeds.


Sling didn't work well with Chromecast, is fine on PC or through Roku.
Sling is developing a DVR system at the moment, that utilizes "cloud storage"- it is in it's beta phase.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by knpstr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:16 pm

pshonore wrote:No State sales tax? I just noticed Netflix charges tax on "streaming" portion of bill but not on DVDs. Direct TV charges it on everything and also charges a "gross earnings tax" (which is probably unique to CT) for a total of almost $15/month


No sales tax on Sling or Netflix for me. Unless sales tax is built in the prices already?
$19.99 and $9.99 respectively for me... all in prices
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:24 pm

knpstr wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:Thanks! My only concern is some reviews noting poor stream quality but I imagine that has more to do with internet speeds.


Sling didn't work well with Chromecast, is fine on PC or through Roku.
Sling is developing a DVR system at the moment, that utilizes "cloud storage"- it is in it's beta phase.


Thanks for this. I'll probably wait until DVD is available. Netflix has spoiled me. My kids cry when a commercial comes on now, "daddy, what is this"!
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by Midpack » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:25 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
SleepKing wrote:Frustrating. Only reason we keep cable is for Live local sports broadcasts.


Depending on location there are now options for many local sports through streaming services. I used Sling last summer for in-market MLB games which are carried by our regional Fox Sports network. I'm currently using Directv NOW which also carries the local Fox Sports network. Sling and Directv NOW offer various packages some of which include a wide variety of college and professional sports. With the prospect of additional streaming competitors on the horizon I'm guessing that choices will continue to increase.

One current downside to streaming is that recording is often not available.

The base $40/mo PlayStation Vue package includes ESPN, ESPN2, NBCSN, FS1 and FS2, and I believe you can cloud DVR any programming at no extra charge. While I did DVR several shows/channels, I didn't think to try recording a sporting event during our trial. PS Vue has others sports networks available at a premium as well.

What was your experience with DirecTV Now like? The early reviews after the Nov 30 rollout were really awful, lots of freezing/buffering issues even for users with very fast ISP services. Has it improved?
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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by 691175002 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:30 pm

The retention department knows how to call a bluff. You need to bring up a competitor who offers a lower price for similar service and ask them to match it. There are almost always local ISPs or resellers who have service/reliability problems but offer very low prices you can use to bargain with.

Sometimes they will try to keep your bill the same but offer faster speed or more channels, at which point you say "At this point cost is really important to me, could you try to match $xx even if its a lower tier plan?"

I've managed to maintain 50% off most of the time, but there are a lot of competitors in my area so they might be more flexible.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:41 pm

691175002 wrote:The retention department knows how to call a bluff. You need to bring up a competitor who offers a lower price for similar service and ask them to match it. There are almost always local ISPs or resellers who have service/reliability problems but offer very low prices you can use to bargain with.

Sometimes they will try to keep your bill the same but offer faster speed or more channels, at which point you say "At this point cost is really important to me, could you try to match $xx even if its a lower tier plan?"

I've managed to maintain 50% off most of the time, but there are a lot of competitors in my area so they might be more flexible.


Yes. At Comcast they have all their competitors offers in their database. When I said I saw a better deal, they asked the specifics to match it to what was in their database and make sure I wasn't making something up. They don't necessarily match exactly though as they all claim their service is somehow better than the competitors.

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Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

Post by knpstr » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:46 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:Thanks for this. I'll probably wait until DVD is available. Netflix has spoiled me. My kids cry when a commercial comes on now, "daddy, what is this"!


you're welcome. Their DVR program only works through Roku (at the moment), but they are offering 100 hours of cloud storage at no additional fee, unfortunately I did not get into the beta testing :(

I've signed up to be e-mailed whenever it will be first available again. Overall, we are very happy with Sling and we use it much more than Netflix. I'd say we use Sling 2:1 over Netflix now.

Also, Comcast gives us 1TB of data per month... and looking back the past 7 months we use anywhere from 110GB to 377GB a month of data (2 person household). Just to give you an idea about potential data caps.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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