About a year or so ago, Comcast made the fatal mistake of raising my cable bill enough in one month to make me take a long, hard look at it.
Usually, it went up a dollar here and there, which is under most people’s radar. I know it was under mine.
Then, one month, it went up somewhere around five-eight dollars. WTF? That’s when I took a good, long long look at my bill and discovered I was paying EIGHY-ONE dollars a month for cable.
WHAT??? I didn’t even have any premium channels! Oh yeah, I had the “silver” plan that had things like History Channel and HGTV on it, but COME ON! EIGHTY-ONE bucks a month?
No. Freaking. Way.
That’s when I really started looking at options. Over the air HDTV was here and, although I only had an analog TV, I had a pretty good idea I could make some changes and save myself some money.
After hours of research, I came up with a plan.
I bought a TiVo HD (anticipating that somewhere down the road I would get an HDTV, and it WILL work with an analog television, so all is well), signed up for the $8.99/month Netflix, one-disc-at-a-time service with unlimited streaming, and cut my cable to basic service only, which was sixteen bucks a month. The TiVo was around three hundred, so it paid for itself with my savings in six months.
This worked out pretty well, as it turned out – I had more TV than I could watch and was getting the basic local channels from cable. The only problem I encountered was a known issue with TiVo HD and analog cable – there were random audio drop-outs. Annoying but not fatal. I had planned to get an HDTV and then go over the air only, but the audio drop-outs started to annoy me enough that I went and picked up an indoor antenna to see what I could get.
It’s not bad! I can’t seem to get ABC, but I get all the other local channels just fine. If the weather is exceptionally bad I may get some pixellation, but overall it’s pretty damn good for free TV. I canceled my basic cable and I’m now considering trying an outdoor antenna (which, since I live in a condo, will have to be mounted on the deck, so I’m still working out the logistics of that one) and see if my reception isn’t any better. Right now I only watch one show on ABC and I get that online, so I’m not missing a damn thing.
The cable companies better watch out. Between over the air HDTV and the Internet, they just might want to rethink trying to nickel and dime the American public to death.