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Alternative to Comcast
I've had it with Comcast and am looking into alternatives.
I've done a little research and thinking about getting an
antenna to receive HD and then a device of some sort to
stream Netflix. I think we will have to increase our
internet speed too. I would love to hear from anyone who
has tinkered with this-good or bad. I did not see any
postings for tv/cable before 2002! so I hope someone else
out there is knowledgable. Tired of paying for cable
We have a TV antenna (we have ours in our attic) for a good
array of local broadcast stations, a ROKU box, Netflix, and
Sonic.net internet and phone. See--
It costs us about $50/mo before taxes for the entire
package. (The ROKU box was ~$80.) We are in love with our
ROKU box and Netflix streaming and don't watch broadcast TV
as much as we used to.
The phone that you get with Sonic is a land line and comes
with all the bells and whistles---caller ID, voice mail,
unlimited domestic long distance---and wonderful customer
service. It was a definite upgrade from our AT&T service
where I had long ago refused to pay separately for each of
Good luck. (I'm always shocked to hear how much folks pay
I recently purchased an HDTV and a Wi-Fi Blue-Ray Disc
player. I never bought into cable. I don't think it's
worth it unless you like to watch sports. Whenever I've
watched cable TV there seems to be more commercials than the
actual program, so why should I pay for that? Instead, I
just stick with broadcast tv and already had a subscription
to Netflix. So with my new BD player I can stream
movies,etc that Netflix carries. My particular BD player has
the capability to stream UTube, MLB.com, Pandora, Internet
TV, Picasa, and a couple of other movie/TV carriers. Of
course, some of these require subscriptions, but I stick
I love the set-up! I barely watch broadcast TV anymore. I
don't have to sit in front of a computer screen to watch
movies streaming on Netflix. I can sit on my comfy sofa and
watch on a 50' screen. I love old movies and documentaries
and Netflix has plenty of those. If you are like me and
don't need to see programs/movies immediately, most shows
eventually are carried by Netflix. Or you can tune into
HULU.com. Another nice thing about streaming on Netflix is
that you get to choose what to watch every night! (No...I
don't have any connection with Netflix.) If you decide to
stream only, I think it's $7.99/month. I have the
subscription which includes streaming and 3 DVDs at home for
about $20/month. (Isn't that cheaper than cable?) Also, the
entire set-up is not that complicated. I live in the El
Cerrito Hills and get fine broadcast digital TV reception
with just a rabbit ear antenna. This is the best thing I
ever did! Love my BD Player
Cable tv or ????
We watch very little tv, but love our On Demand esp for
HBO movies/series, but our Comcast bill keeps going up and
up. Do you have a tv service you love? Is there anything
like On Demand except on Comcast? What about the services
that package telephone, internet too? Thanks for sharing
your good find!
picky about our tv
We have Comcast strictly for internet. For TV, we installed
an antenna in the attic and bought a digital tuner--so we
get digital broadcast. How well that would work for you
depends on your location, of course.
For on-demand, I use Netflix's Roku box. I had Netflix
already (the price varies depending on the package, but I'm
paying about $15/mo), and my husband bought the Roku box.
Sorry, I don't recall what he paid, but after the first
cost of the box, you can access a lot of material at no
additional cost. They do offer some additional on-demand
items on a pay-for-access basis.
So we have several hundred dollars invested in antenna,
tuner, and Roku box, but our ongoing expenditure is only
Netflix has a watch instantly feature that allows you to
watch many tv shows and movies whenever you want. I watch
from my computer, but I've seen that it can also be watched
''from Xbox 360, TiVo, select Blu-ray players, and more''
according to the website. I get the 3 DVD plan for just
under $20 each month and it includes unlimited instant
watching. There are other plans too, but some plans include
limited instant watch time. I like that I can watch movies
anywhere my laptop goes. I'm guessing that means you could
also watch streaming movies on a friend's TV too as long as
you remember your account password, though I haven't tried
cable-free but entertained
Dish Network or Direct TV
Does anyone have Direct TV or Dish Network and could recommend
or site some pros or cons to either? We currently have AT & T
digital cable and we have problems with the picture all the time
which they can't seem to resolve. Any input on alternatives
would be great. thanks!
We've had DirecTV for a year and think it's a good system. We
pay $40/month for all of the non-premium channels plus all of
the local channels (which used to be the downfall for satellite
providers). We've never had cable--we went straight from
broadcast to DirecTV. You can also usually find a good deal on
the initial receiver/dish combo by shopping around. I think
that satellite does get more expensive if you're connecting to
more than one TV. We only have one, so it's not an issue for us.
We put in DISH networks a little over a year ago, mostly
because I was sick of dealing with the folks at AT&T and the
lousy picture quality. I chose DISH because it was the one offering
the free installation and equipment at the time, and we've
actually liked it quite a bit. You can watch Law & Order pretty
much continously, if you like, the picture quality is excellent,
and the customer service has been quite surprisingly good.
I like the PPV that you can order on demand, though I don't
use it very frequently.
We were dissatisfied AT&T customers for a long time too. We have
had Dish Network for almost a year and LOVE it! The picture
quality is so amazing that it made it seem as if we had a new
improved tv set. We chose Dish over Direct based on the
progamming offered (we wanted 2 specific stations that Direct
didn't offer) and Dish had a great promo at the time. We have
had two issues while having the system but got through to a real
live person immediately when calling and they were resolved
easily and immediately. We don't watch much tv but still feel
it is worth the $ since we have clear reception (vs. an antenna
& no cable) and pay slightly less than we did for far less
programming and poor service with AT&T. I highly recommend the
I've had DirecTV for about three years now and have been quite
pleased with it. No problems to speak of, great picture quality.
And since all the local channels became available in December,
you won't be missing anything, and it probably will be cheaper
than digital cable too. Get one of the deals with free
professional installation and it will all get set up for you too.
Just be sure you have a place on your house where the dish can
point to the south-east (the satellites are over Texas).
As an extra plug, I can't imagine having all those channels and
kids without TiVo! TiVo finds all kinds of shows I want to see,
even from obscure channels. And with having to get kids in bed,
I can just wait until it's convenient for me to watch my favorite
shows, instead of trying to make it when they're on. There is a
nice TiVo/DirecTV combination box that you can get for pretty
cheap as a new subscriber if you can find it. They're fairly
rare, but try:
When we moved into our house, a Dish Network antenna was already
in place so we initially subscribed to their service. After
about a year, we switched to AT&T digital cable. The main
reason for our switch was that they had been unable to resolve
their dispute with KRON 4, who at the time was the local NBC
affiliate (and even though we had 50 channels, NBC was one of
the few I actually watched), so they were not providing NBC.
But I also found their menus difficult to use. I find the
picture quality to be about the same for satellite and digital
cable (both are better than non-digital cable). Also, it was a
little easier to hook up more than one set with digital cable (I
don't know if this is an issue for you).
We recently switched from AT&T Digital to Direct TV and we are
thrilled with Direct TV. With AT&T we always had reception
problems, customer service was a nightmare and it was expensive.
With Direct TV the picture is significantly better, they are very
nice and helpful, we get more channels (especially kids programs)
and it's actually a few dollars cheaper. You will need to buy
the receivers and Satellite Dish, but we got a special with Best
Buy for two receivers and a Dish and by the time we got all of
our rebates, gift cards etc it only cost us about $49 and
installation was free.
When we moved in to our last house, there was no cable option.
So we signed up with direct tv. We loved the guide, (my
husband's favorite channel), we got great reception, though
once or twice in severe storms we lost picture, and we were
generally happy. However, we found the customer service to
spotty, so in a fit of defiance we switched to DISH Network,
which we love even more. We pay $50/month for all the locals,
100 channels, and the ''store brand'' TIVO on 2 receivers (so we
can watch different channels on different tv's). The customer
service is fabulous, We just moved, and I called them days
before we moved into the new house and they were there by the
time I moved in. Also, apparently there is a new law which
says that if they offer any local channels, they must offer
them all, so they came and installed a second dish last week
and now we get 20 extra locals (including KRON, KSTS,
KTSF????). The TIVO (PVR) is amazing with a child and we can't
imagine life without it with a 9 month old. However it is not
smart like TIVO so we have to choose what to record. The
picture is clear, we find the menus easy to use. ALl that
being said, I believe the two (DIsh and DirectTV) are planning
a merger -- assuming the SEC deems them not-a-monopoly, and
that may affect lots of things. As others have said, do it when
you get the best deal -- I think if a current dish customer
refers you, you can get up to 4 receivers, free installation
etc for free...If you have more questions, I would be happy to
natter on some more. Good Luck!
Just to add that I too was completely dissatisfied with AT&T &
switched to DirectTV and love it. We have the $39.99/mo which
includes local channels, and we also opted to pay for HBO for
$12/mo. And I also subscribe to the monthly magazine $39.99/mo
which lists all the shows/times. I highly recommend DirectTV,
and you can generally find great prices on the dish itself. We
went to www.expertsatellite.com -- and only paid $19.95 s&h.
I would like to get recommendations about which cable company people
use. We have been to Bay Area for over four years and hadn't had a
TV until recently. So we would like to get some idea as what kind
of deals existing out there, price and service-wise, and also if
possible, which is better, cable vs satellite? I didn't find
anything on this topic on the parentsnet web site. Thank you.
I have AT&T. The previous ones I had merged into AT&T. I am paying about the same amount of money as before, but I have access to many more channels plus the DMX music channels which are really nice as they have no commercials.
I know other people get the dish or other satellite-oriented services, but
the cable has been the easiest since we stitched to the digital service. You need to first find out what is available in your area.
In terms of cable you are pretty much stuck with what is offered in your
area. There are two providers of satellite, DirecTV and DISH Networks. In
terms of programming they offer about the same thing, and one or the other
of them is usually offering free installation and equipment. DISH was at the time we were so irritated at the poor quality of AT&T in Oakland that
that is what we bought. You need to be able to see the Southern Sky from
your house to have it work, which wasn't a problem. They came at the time
they said they would, and we've been quite happy with it. The only catch is
that they did not negotiate a contract with KRON Channel 4 (NBC) so we don't get it via satellite, but via antenna. Fortunately it comes in well enough via antenna. Pricewise it's about the same as cable, amazingly enough, but you get about 150 channels.
this page was last updated: Jan 15, 2013
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