(posted to alt.cable-tv, alt.home.repair)
I've been getting cable TV service in eastern Missouri for about 25 years.
Back in the 90's, working full time and earning honest money, I got
expanded basic and SHO and TMC, and just paid whatever they charged me
(on time, every time).
Without any income now, just subsisting on Soc. Security, I've been getting
the same service from Charter on verious promo discounts for years. Most recently
it was expanded basic and SHO, TMC for $37.xx, Jan. - May of '09.
Now they've evidently banished the promo discounts and want lots more $.
Used to be, I could call and call and finally get a non-Phillipino CSR
to find acceptable promo discounts. I've called many, many times in the
last week: nothing shakin'. They simply want too much money.
Has anybody got a good feel for getting affordable discounts from tv service
vendors? Charter monopolizes cable in my part of MO. Are the dish vendors
really any better? Installation costs, etc?
I've got a pretty decent non-directional TV antenna (from Radio Shack)
installed in the attic (from the Over-The-Air days). If I decide to
chuck the lot of 'em and go OTA with a cheese-box (DTV converter or
whatever they call them), is it likely the old antenna will be sufficient?
I've got a $40 gov't coupon for the cheese-box.
Any/all info/suggestions are most welcome.
On Wed, 17 Jun 2009 20:07:39 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles
I got rid of DirecTV last June for multiple reasons, but mostly the
poor customer service. For example, I emailed them once about a
problem with the online guide. It took 4 emails before the problem was
fixed (and they didn't seem to have actually read any of them). I sent
one more email to tell them it was fixed. They replied by messing
something else up.
In most cases you will NOT need a new antenna. There is no such thing
as a "digital antenna", just sellers than want more money.
Note that most (but not all) DTV stations are on UHF (ch 14-51).
BTW, I can see some converters for sale at Wal-Mart for $50 (I guess
that'd be $10 with coupon) right next to $30 DVD players. That doesn't
They're just called multi-directional.
http://antennaweb.org has info.
Pics of some of them:
I mighta messed up the terminology. By "non-directional" I
just meant non-motorized, so ya can't fine-tune direction
while sitting in front of the tube.
It's just a standard RS Archer uhf/vhf/fm antenna.
I had cable a few times and didn't like it much. Then I got DirecTV and it
was not real bad. Then I got Dish Network and liked that a lot better than
anything else. For $5.95/mo I get "Access" and from there I can subscribe
to whatever movie packages I want. I was getting 5 Cinemax and 6 or 7
Encore channels and paying about $23/mo. Of course you also get the weather
and a bunch of shopping channels along with the $5.95 and you also have
access to Pay Per View if you are into that. The customer service was
always excellent. They did not force me to pay for a bunch of channels that
I will never watch. I can't even believe they get people to PAY to watch
the payment is for clean,strong signals.
Congress at one time was considering requiring cable/satellite suppliers
to provide "ala-carte" service where you selected what channels you wanted
in your package,but it didn't get passed.
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