Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

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CountryBoy
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Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

We are in the midst of trying to cut the cable cord but all they give us is another package with fewer stns and not much more than $10 off. We are trying Hulu and Amazon Prime but the wife wants the TCM old movies that are only on Optimum cable.

Any advice?

Also, on another issue we asked for and received a different cable box that we thought was more updated but wasn't and so then sought to return it. We put that same cable box back in their shipping box and affixed their Label to it and brought it to the US Post Office. We got a receipt for it. That was over 10 days ago.

The USPS says they received it but that boxes with pre-printed labels get picked up by a private shipper that they can not track. So the private shipper has the cable box and we are charged for 2 boxes. It was their shipping box with their label and now there is no record of where it is and we are getting charged. See my question? Sounds like a scam to me. Is this Stand. Op. Procs.?
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Midpack
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Midpack »

Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix aren't cable cutting alternatives, they "re-run libraries." With essentially no live TV.

The only cable cutting alternatives to cable & satellite with live TV, some with cloud DVR's, etc. are:
  • OTA (FREE local channels, highly dependent on your location)
  • Sling TV
  • DirecTV Now
  • PlayStation Vue
  • YouTube TV (in a few months)
  • Hulu Live (tbd)
I am sure you can stream TCM with some. They all have free trials, most 7 days. They all have different channel packages from 30-80 channels (some include live major locals), and range in cost from $20-70. Most also offer some premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.).

Of course you need:
  • a streaming device like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV ($30-150 one time purchase) and
  • internet access (10-25 mpbs will do for many people). If you're going to watch more than two streams at once, or lots of 4K, you'll need more bandwidth.
What works for you, in your area, is an individual thing.
Last edited by Midpack on Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:07 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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westie
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by westie »

when you contacted them to arrange for the return did you follow their return policy?
headedwest
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by headedwest »

I cut the cord a couple of years ago. My current lineup (via Roku) is Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV and a few local broadcast channels available by using a digital antenna. SlingTV has a movie package, I believe, but I don't subscribe to it. It took some getting used to, but I like the mix of streaming from Hulu and Netflix combined with live options from SlingTV and the antenna, and it's much cheaper than cable.

As to your shipping dilemma, I had an enormous amount of hassle getting my (now former) ISP to refund $170 that they had overcharged me after I switched to internet-only service. Most customer service people I spoke with claimed there was no record of previous discussions, including the one where they promised to meet the only competitor's price. My advice would be call 'em and ask for a supervisor immediately if you have to engage with them to rectify any problem. The cable/telecom industry has near-monopoly control, and I think their business model includes trying to wear down customers until they give up. When I switched to the one competitor out of frustration (AFTER finally getting a refund), the guy at the UPS Store told me he gets a lot of returns like the one I was shipping. It's a racket.
flyingbison
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by flyingbison »

Cut the cord and don't look back. We got rid of cable 6 years ago and haven't once missed having 20 channels with nothing good to watch. Our media entertainment now comes from Amazon, Netflix, broadcast TV (only for local news/weather and PBS), and the public library. Overall, I'd say that we watch way less TV/movies now.
mptfan
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by mptfan »

headedwest wrote:.. and a few local broadcast channels available by using a digital antenna.
There is no such thing as a digital antenna. Describing an antenna as "digital" is nothing but marketing hype.

"The design of a television broadcast receiving antenna is the same for the older analog transmissions and the digital television (DTV) transmissions which are replacing them. Sellers often claim to supply a special "digital" or "high-definition television" (HDTV) antenna advised as a replacement for an existing analog television antenna; at best this is misinformation to generate sales of unneeded equipment,[2][3] at worst it may leave the viewer with a UHF-only antenna in a local market (particularly in North America) where some digital stations remain on their original high VHF frequencies."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_antenna

http://wafflesatnoon.com/hdtv-antenna-myth/

http://dennysantennaservice.com/1161550.html

http://www.biroengineering.com/technica ... 10_03.html

I use the cheapest rabbit ear antenna that I could find (I think it cost around $10) and I get crystal clear digital HD TV over the air with 1080p quality video and digital audio. Anyone who tells you that you need a "digital" antenna is either trying to sell you more than you need, or is misinformed.
Last edited by mptfan on Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Da5id
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Da5id »

CountryBoy wrote:We are in the midst of trying to cut the cable cord but all they give us is another package with fewer stns and not much more than $10 off. We are trying Hulu and Amazon Prime but the wife wants the TCM old movies that are only on Optimum cable.

Any advice?
I cut cord years ago, have a TiVO, broadcast channels (lots), and Netflix. Ditched landline and replaced with Ooma. Currently paying $35 for 50 megabit provided by RCN (will go up when intro offer expires). I own my modem and router too, so no ugly rental fees for me. Works very well for my family. Only real lack is some sports, and honestly we don't want those badly enough to spend the silly amount that the cable providers want.

Our local library system lets us order DVDs from any library in the county. If your wife doesn't insist on movies as they are broadcast, perhaps your library does the same and can get the older movies she wants? Netflix movie selection is terrible, unless you get the mailed DVD version which is a pain.
jrtexas
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by jrtexas »

headedwest wrote:I cut the cord a couple of years ago. My current lineup (via Roku) is Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV and a few local broadcast channels available by using a digital antenna. SlingTV has a movie package, I believe, but I don't subscribe to it. It took some getting used to, but I like the mix of streaming from Hulu and Netflix combined with live options from SlingTV and the antenna, and it's much cheaper than cable.

As to your shipping dilemma, I had an enormous amount of hassle getting my (now former) ISP to refund $170 that they had overcharged me after I switched to internet-only service. Most customer service people I spoke with claimed there was no record of previous discussions, including the one where they promised to meet the only competitor's price. My advice would be call 'em and ask for a supervisor immediately if you have to engage with them to rectify any problem. The cable/telecom industry has near-monopoly control, and I think their business model includes trying to wear down customers until they give up. When I switched to the one competitor out of frustration (AFTER finally getting a refund), the guy at the UPS Store told me he gets a lot of returns like the one I was shipping. It's a racket.
There is a channel on Roku called Pluto,which has TCM. And many other free channels on Roku that have older movies.
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CountryBoy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

Am totally amazed at how knowledgeable you folks are on this. Thank you so much for your excellent guidance.

We won't give up.

Thanks.
headedwest
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by headedwest »

mptfan wrote:
headedwest wrote:.. and a few local broadcast channels available by using a digital antenna.
There is no such thing as a digital antenna. Describing an antenna as "digital" is nothing but marketing hype.
Agreed. My bad. It's the signal that's digital, not the antenna. Whatever it was called, it was about $30 and works great.

Another, perhaps under-appreciated, reason to the cut the cord: Getting rid of the cable box/DVR reduces electricity consumption, sometimes quite noticeably.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by jeffyscott »

CountryBoy wrote:the wife wants the TCM old movies that are only on Optimum cable.

Any advice?
I'd think there'd be a lot of ways to get old movies with commercials (and maybe even without), without paying for cable. I've not done so often, but some free sources I've used are snagfilms, internet archive, and crackle.

Here's some other suggestions, includes one of the above, as well as some paid services:
http://www.techhive.com/article/2156046 ... vices.html
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wstrdg
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by wstrdg »

flyingbison:
Our media entertainment now comes from Amazon, Netflix, broadcast TV (only for local news/weather and PBS), and the public library
+1. The Mohu Leaf antenna works well in our (very hilly) area. We attached it to a window (great asthetic, too!)

We also use Redbox, but in our experience, paying a bit more on Amazon or Google Play more than makes up for the hassle of returning movies to a physical kiosk. We've had some broken Redbox kiosks, too, and it takes time to deal with customer service to get our $1.50 back.
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Midpack
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Midpack »

Da5id wrote:I cut cord years ago, have a TiVO, broadcast channels (lots), and Netflix. Ditched landline and replaced with Ooma. Currently paying $35 for 50 megabit provided by RCN (will go up when intro offer expires). I own my modem and router too, so no ugly rental fees for me. Works very well for my family. Only real lack is some sports, and honestly we don't want those badly enough to spend the silly amount that the cable providers want.
Sounds like you have live sports from major network/broadcast channels - ABC/CBS/NBC/Fox. And I suspect you know you can get ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPN3 live for $20/mo with Sling TV. FWIW
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Midpack
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Midpack »

wstrdg wrote:+1. The Mohu Leaf antenna works well in our (very hilly) area. We attached it to a window (great asthetic, too!)
We're 38 miles from the closest broadcast tower, and we get up to 49 channels with a cheap old Terk OTA (powered) antenna. But as you know, OTA is highly location dependent - we can only get 8 channels with the same antenna on the first floor of our home (49 on the second floor).
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by smitty1515 »

Here's an article I wrote re the topic.

http://www.getinthegreen.com/blog/budge ... e-internet
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Midpack
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Midpack »

smitty1515 wrote:Here's an article I wrote re the topic.

http://www.getinthegreen.com/blog/budge ... e-internet
Good summary, lots of good info. I am curious why you don't point out the distinction between streaming services that provide live streaming and on-demand (Sling, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue) and (Netflix, Amazon & Hulu) who don't - I call the latter re-runs on demand?

It's just my opinion, but I consider the first group to be legitimate cord cutting alternatives for people willing to live with skinny channel packages (30-70 channels vs 200+ for cable/satellite), and the second group are complementary streaming services for cable & satellite customers or OTA viewers. You are giving up a lot more vs cable/satellite with the second group (admittedly much cheaper) than you are with the first.

And it appears with YouTube TV and Hulu Live, within months we'll have more choice/competition in the first group.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by beyou »

Regarding the return, Optimum has company stores. I returned mine there, in person, got receipt, and they still did not take the rental off my bill until I called to dispute.
I have heard other cable companies do the same. That box rental is important to them, and making it easy to remove the cost is not something they care about.

Optimum gave me a big decrease (about 70/mo less) by keeping just basic cable with my phone and internet service. Was already paying for Prime and Netflix before (shipping and House of Cards), so the only new cost was Hulu, which is not critical but a nice convenience. With basic cable you can get into nbc, fox apps and watch on demand like Hulu, though I paid Hulu to get these without commercials ($11/mo). Hulu has some movies too.
For CBS, or any network live tv, can watch on ipad (since I dont rent a cable box any longer), and sometimes on DTV (weather permitting).

I will probably pay for sling a few months a year when kids are home from college in summer, for the sports, turn off when they return to school. Try that with cable.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by FrugalInvestor »

In my opinion (and experience) an antenna is central to a good TV experience without cable or satellite if you watch quite a bit of TV. The antenna provides the basic networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS) and the capability to record the programming on those networks with the addition of a TiVo or other over-the-air DVR if that's important to you (it is to us). In some instances an adequate TV signal may not be available but that is relatively rare if you're within 60 (or probably even more) miles of a decent size city.

Once you have the over-the-air channels you are then free to add the streaming service(s) that meets your needs and priorities (and change that service in the future if desired). This may require the addition of a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV if your Smart TV doesn't provide the proper capabilities for the service(s) you want. With both an antenna and streaming I think that most if not all can end up with programming that they are happy with.

It all seems pretty complicated when you begin but, as with anything, becomes much clearer as you step through cable cutting the process. It does require some work, research and dedication so definitely isn't for everyone, especially those who are severely technically challenged or just not interested in making the effort (I have many friends who fall into these categories).

The big remaining question is, can the cable cutting be done at a big enough cost difference to make it worth the time and effort? As far as I can discern from my experience and conversations I've read here and elsewhere it usually, but perhaps not always, can be. The one biggest potential roadblock seems to be the cost of unbundled internet service.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by TravelGeek »

Midpack wrote:
smitty1515 wrote:Here's an article I wrote re the topic.

http://www.getinthegreen.com/blog/budge ... e-internet
Good summary, lots of good info. I am curious why you don't point out the distinction between streaming services that provide live streaming and on-demand (Sling, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue) and (Netflix, Amazon & Hulu) who don't - I call the latter re-runs on demand?

It's just my opinion, but I consider the first group to be legitimate cord cutting alternatives for people willing to live with skinny channel packages (30-70 channels vs 200+ for cable/satellite), and the second group are complementary streaming services for cable & satellite customers or OTA viewers.
I personally don't see the switch to Sling, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue as true cord cutting. You are still subscribing to live TV channels (often sold to you by the very same companies...) , they are just delivered over a different network/protocol. Do you consider switching from a premium cable package to "basic cable" with fewer channels cord-cutting?

Look at one definition of cord cutting:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord-cutting

"In broadcast television, cord-cutting refers to the pattern of viewers (referred to as cord cutters) cancelling their subscriptions to multichannel subscription television services available over cable, dropping expensive pay television channels or reducing the number of hours of subscription TV viewed in response to competition from rival media available over the Internet such as Amazon.com, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube, as well as BitTorrent."

I "cord-cutted" with a combination of OTA free Live TV and streamed content from Prime, Netflix and currently HBO (will cancel that when we are through some more shows).
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by KSOC »

I personally don't see the switch to Sling, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue as true cord cutting. You are still subscribing to live TV channels (often sold to you by the very same companies...) , they are just delivered over a different network/protocol. Do you consider switching from a premium cable package to "basic cable" with fewer channels cord-cutting?
I agree. What should it be called? I can't think of a good catch phrase.
I had Directv for $140 a month.

Now I have everything I wanted from Playstation (No you don't need a Playstation Console!) Vue for $34.99.
Saving that kind of money deserves a term.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by FrugalInvestor »

TravelGeek wrote: I personally don't see the switch to Sling, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue as true cord cutting. You are still subscribing to live TV channels (often sold to you by the very same companies...) , they are just delivered over a different network/protocol. Do you consider switching from a premium cable package to "basic cable" with fewer channels cord-cutting?
In my case "cord cutting" was getting rid of the larger and larger bills and/or negotiation games driven by traditional cable and satellite providers. I first completely cut the 'cord' by going with an OTA antenna. I then added the services I needed to get back to (as closely as possible) what I really found value in. So no, I haven't really 'cut the cord' but I sure have cut the bill - from about $150 to $85/mo. I could take that down to $0 (antenna only) but would need to make further sacrifices that I'm not willing to make at this point given offerings and prices. However, if the cost of my streaming options now begin ratcheting up like cable did I have the freedom to change streaming services or scale back to antenna only. Both are very viable options.

So as a consumer to me 'cable cutting' is really about two things - (1) cost cutting and (2) increasing choice and freedom. Both add immense value for me. I no longer feel that I am at the mercy of the cable/satellite companies.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by TravelGeek »

KSOC wrote: Now I have everything I wanted from Playstation (No you don't need a Playstation Console!) Vue for $34.99.
Saving that kind of money deserves a term.
Perhaps "Cost Cutting"?

Ultimately I think terms don't matter all that much.

What I personally was looking for was a way to not pay a ton of money for products I didn't consume (80% of the channels on my expanded basic Comcast service). Also, not renting cable boxes for every TV.

So now I just own my own fiber modem for overall internet service and my $30 antenna for digital OTA TV, and I get to pick and choose services and even individual programs. E.g., I don't get AMC but I would like to watch The Walking Dead, so I selectively subscribe to that show on Amazon Prime.

If I had shifted to one of the alternative internet-based live TV services (Sling, Vue, ...), I would still have 20+ channels when really I would only want about 5-6 of them.

A side benefit of all this is I watch less TV (read more instead), and when I do watch TV it usually is something I really want to watch.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by aj44 »

I have Playstation Vue and they have Turner Classic Movies with their Core $44.99/month package. I like them because they are a no haggle month to month service and I don't need a box owned by a provider. The Playstation Vue app comes on Sony TV's, Playstation 3/4, Apple TV's, Roku and others.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by smitty1515 »

TravelGeek wrote:
Midpack wrote: "In broadcast television, cord-cutting refers to the pattern of viewers (referred to as cord cutters) cancelling their subscriptions to multichannel subscription television services available over cable, dropping expensive pay television channels or reducing the number of hours of subscription TV viewed in response to competition from rival media available over the Internet such as Amazon.com, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube, as well as BitTorrent."
I think it's a matter of verbiage but you are right there probably should be a term for cord cutter vs streamer. I think the biggest component is the word I underlined. We were paying $75/mo when we decided to drop Charter cable and now pay $24.99 on Sling. Couple that with our internet which I've negotiated at $49.99 for 60 mbps and I'd say we are doing well for our internet/TV for $900/year. I know people spending $1800-$2400 annually. For me tapering back our selections was more about paying what the market has available for what we watch vs the status quo....

The other big component to Sling TV, PS Vue, and Direct Now is the month to month service and ability to drop when you want. If we are outside the majority of the summer and don't need pay TV then we can drop the service no questions asked.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by High Income Parent »

We cut out a cable service about 4 years ago and the only thing I can think of that I miss is sporting events on ESPN. For that reason I have bought the Playstation VUE during the months of September-December (college football). The part I love about it is that you can fund a playstation network giftcard (often at a discounted rate) and then fund your Playstation VUE account with the gift card. You can buy it month to month and if you don't have a credit card on file or enough in your account they just cancel your service, no questions asked. No returning boxes or having to call the cable company.
I bought one of those Roku sticks to use the service ($50 but you can find them cheaper) and it works great.
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Midpack
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scamme

Post by Midpack »

TravelGeek wrote:
Midpack wrote:
smitty1515 wrote:Here's an article I wrote re the topic.

http://www.getinthegreen.com/blog/budge ... e-internet
Good summary, lots of good info. I am curious why you don't point out the distinction between streaming services that provide live streaming and on-demand (Sling, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue) and (Netflix, Amazon & Hulu) who don't - I call the latter re-runs on demand?

It's just my opinion, but I consider the first group to be legitimate cord cutting alternatives for people willing to live with skinny channel packages (30-70 channels vs 200+ for cable/satellite), and the second group are complementary streaming services for cable & satellite customers or OTA viewers.
I personally don't see the switch to Sling, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue as true cord cutting. You are still subscribing to live TV channels (often sold to you by the very same companies...) , they are just delivered over a different network/protocol. Do you consider switching from a premium cable package to "basic cable" with fewer channels cord-cutting?

Look at one definition of cord cutting:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord-cutting

"In broadcast television, cord-cutting refers to the pattern of viewers (referred to as cord cutters) cancelling their subscriptions to multichannel subscription television services available over cable, dropping expensive pay television channels or reducing the number of hours of subscription TV viewed in response to competition from rival media available over the Internet such as Amazon.com, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube, as well as BitTorrent."

I "cord-cutted" with a combination of OTA free Live TV and streamed content from Prime, Netflix and currently HBO (will cancel that when we are through some more shows).
Not arguing, but the distinction is noteworthy IMHO. All they have in common is streaming, their content differs considerably.

Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue and soon YouTube TV & Hulu LIVE make true cord cutting (as you define it, and I agree) within reach for many customers without cable/satellite subscriptions in a way Netflix, Hulu & Amazon do NOT. The former services at 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of cable/satellite, and without contracts. Yes, they have fewer channels but when you weed out all the channels cable/satellite pad their channel packages with (that most people never watch), the usable channel difference isn't as significant.
  • Sling TV, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue offer live programming - Hulu, Netflix and Amazon do not. So they're not at all comparable.
  • And with OTA and Sling TV, DirecTV Now or Vue at far lower cost - you do not need a cable/satellite subscription.
  • Furthermore, DirecTV Now does include a few local major networks in some areas so you might be satisfied with no OTA and no subscription at far lower cost.
  • And in 7 large metro areas PS Vue offers 45+ channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox & Telemundo live too starting at $39.99/mo no contract. Includes cloud DVR and steaming on up to 5 devices. No OTA or cable/satellite subscription needed.
  • YouTube TV is planning to offer live local majors too. No OTA or cable subscription needed.
  • Hulu LIVE tbd.
Things have changed a lot in the past year or so, and the trend is continuing. The alternatives get better and better.
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CountryBoy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

Most grateful for your truly comprehensive summaries of the different offerings.

The fog of the media wars is truly bewildering and having someone who can truly simplify and clarify is a tremendous gift.

Followup question if I may: where does Roku fit on your listing? Just another box to add on?

Thank you so very much.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Midpack »

CountryBoy wrote:Followup question if I may: where does Roku fit on your listing? Just another box to add on?
If you're talking to me, it was in post #2 above. But in summary:

If you plan to stream to a television, you'll need:
  • An internet connection of at least 10 Mbps. More devices or more than 1080p and you'll need higher Mbps.
  • If you already have a router and WiFi, most smart TVs can connect (no streaming device required), but the apps they offer are usually second rate. You're probably better off with a streaming device like Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. They all have way more apps, dedicated remotes, and better CPU's than most smart TVs. Chromecast is a cheaper streaming device alternative, but fewer apps, and you "broadcast" from a tablet or smartphone, there's no remote.
  • If you have the right plugs in convenient locations - you can hard wire (Ethernet) your internet connection directly to some smart TV's and some streaming devices (e.g. Roku Premiere+ or Ultra) instead of WiFi. Faster and more reliable than WiFi, but not required.
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CountryBoy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

Many thanks again for your patience and comprehensive summary.
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Mudpuppy »

CountryBoy wrote:We are in the midst of trying to cut the cable cord but all they give us is another package with fewer stns and not much more than $10 off. We are trying Hulu and Amazon Prime but the wife wants the TCM old movies that are only on Optimum cable.

Any advice?
This is an issue that arises often with the attempt at cord cutting: some channel that one spouse really wants to keep. Usually this is related to sports, where there are very few online streaming options to substitute for cable (or those options are just as expensive as cable). Or there may be a streaming service, but it's tied to your cable subscription and has no option to pay for it otherwise.

In this case, there appears to be a streaming service for TCM, but it is tied to your cable subscription with no pay option: http://www.tcm.com/watchtcm/

Either your wife has to decide (on her own, pressure from you would not be advised) that she can live without this channel to save money or you keep paying for cable so she can have that channel.
CountryBoy wrote:Also, on another issue we asked for and received a different cable box that we thought was more updated but wasn't and so then sought to return it. We put that same cable box back in their shipping box and affixed their Label to it and brought it to the US Post Office. We got a receipt for it. That was over 10 days ago.

The USPS says they received it but that boxes with pre-printed labels get picked up by a private shipper that they can not track. So the private shipper has the cable box and we are charged for 2 boxes. It was their shipping box with their label and now there is no record of where it is and we are getting charged. See my question? Sounds like a scam to me. Is this Stand. Op. Procs.?
I always prefer to return items in person to avoid such issues, particularly since cable company warehouses have a severe problem with inventory tracking. So I prefer to return in person and to get a receipt that clearly indicates what was returned and its serial/identification numbers for my records.

In this case, if Optimum was too cheap to pay for regular USPS handling (which has nothing to do with the label being pre-printed and everything to do with what delivery options Optimum paid for on the pre-printed label), I doubt they paid for lost package insurance either. If USPS will tell you the name of the private shipper, you can contact them to see if they know where the package is. Just because USPS can't track it doesn't mean the private shipper has no tracking. It may not be integrated with USPS's tracking system is all.

You might be on the hook here if the package cannot be found. You can argue for a reduction of the cost if you have proof the package was dropped off, but I doubt you'll be able to get out of it entirely, even though you have no control over the carrier supply chain. Chalk it up to a life lesson to always handle such things in person when dealing with cable companies.
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CountryBoy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

Thanks for the feed back

You suggestion of
If USPS will tell you the name of the private shipper, you can contact them to see if they know where the package is.
is something I will followup on.
montanagirl
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by montanagirl »

After dropping cable years ago we recently got back on, mainly because we also missed TCM, and I really wanted the faster broadband again. DSL was just driving me nuts.

But now with the THREE remotes - Roku TV, Vizio sound board, and Spectrum cable, operation is unwieldy and half the time the program info doesn't download for half an hour or so.

So I'm wondering how much would I save to drop the TV part? I'd call and ask but keep wanting to give cable more of a chance. At least we got away from DSL! :beer
Mudpuppy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by Mudpuppy »

CountryBoy wrote:Thanks for the feed back

You suggestion of
If USPS will tell you the name of the private shipper, you can contact them to see if they know where the package is.
is something I will followup on.
I hope it's successful. And I have argued for a reduction in the past (before I started my "always in person" rule), but you'll need to be prepared and persistent.

And if it helps any, even the "always in person" rule can have its failings. I once exchanged a non-functional box at the in person customer service, got the "new" box home, and discovered it had dead roaches and spiders in it (fortunately, discovered in my driveway when I heard something rattling and investigated it, instead of discovering in my house). Either a technician had bundled up a returned box without checking it or one of the front desk folks plopped a return in the wrong bin.

I got a free month of service as compensation from the corporate office after I posted pictures of the dead roach and spider egg sac on a local social media website. I used a variation on their catch-phrase in my post, so it showed up in regular corporate sweeps of social media. That might be another option to consider to get resolution on your lost box issue: complain on social media or complain directly to the corporate office (or both).
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CountryBoy
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Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

Post by CountryBoy »

Most grateful to all for sharing all their different experiences; greatly appreciated. Learning lots.
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