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Alternatives to cable


Kid Dabb

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I now refer to it as CONcast, emphasis on the CON.

 

My sister in law(one of them) has Comcast as it's the only cable service available in Detroit.

 

She's not interested in DISH or DIRECT, but what's recently happened....

 

A few years ago, she and my brother in law signed up for a "bundle".  Cable/phone /internet.  Well, their computer's motherboard fried, and they as of now have no computer, and really didn't use the iNet much if at all when the PC was working.  So she called Comcast to have the iNet removed and asked how much less her bill was going to be as a result(was at the time paying $225+) and was told by the girl at the other end that her bill would increase!  Didn't make sense to her, and doesn't to me as well.

 

They used an excuse that she had a bundle deal to begin with at a "special rate" and just getting the cable and phone alone would negate the bundle and wind up costing more.

 

I feel it's hogwash.  Concast could at least have offered them a smaller "bundle" of just TV and phone at a special rate for a certain length of time, and dropped the ball.

 

She's now considering ordering one of those ANTENNAS they advertise on METV, and those channels in that section which claim you can get "clear HDTV by just hooking it up in back of your TV or monitor and fastening the other end on a wall, window or ANYwhere for clear HD quality TV!"

 

Don't know if those work, or how well if they do, but it HAS to beat paying $200+!

 

Sepiatone

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Looking further into cutting the cord, since my ISP is also my cable provider, I need to maintain an internet connection to my desktop PC. As much as I dislike wireless, I'm afraid this may be my best alternative - provided my 'hotspot' device gets good reception. 

 

So far, I've done a little research on the T-Mobile 4G Hotspot which will allow me to set up my own private network for up to 5 devices, which I will not utilize - I'd use this for my single PC only.

 

I'm still researching this one, but if you're interested, you can VIEW a PDF of the user's manual HERE

 

The manual appears to be almost completely dedicated to setting up the device for first time usage, and is most daunting. Lots of directions with little in the way of clear explanation of what or why things need to be done.. or not! No definite Do this.. then Do that. 

 

I just want to set one up to allow access to my single PC only.

 

It's probably much easier than it appears.

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I now refer to it as CONcast, emphasis on the CON.

 

My sister in law(one of them) has Comcast as it's the only cable service available in Detroit.

 

She's not interested in DISH or DIRECT, but what's recently happened....

 

A few years ago, she and my brother in law signed up for a "bundle".  Cable/phone /internet.  Well, their computer's motherboard fried, and they as of now have no computer, and really didn't use the iNet much if at all when the PC was working.  So she called Comcast to have the iNet removed and asked how much less her bill was going to be as a result(was at the time paying $225+) and was told by the girl at the other end that her bill would increase!  Didn't make sense to her, and doesn't to me as well.

 

They used an excuse that she had a bundle deal to begin with at a "special rate" and just getting the cable and phone alone would negate the bundle and wind up costing more.

 

I feel it's hogwash.  Concast could at least have offered them a smaller "bundle" of just TV and phone at a special rate for a certain length of time, and dropped the ball.

 

She's now considering ordering one of those ANTENNAS they advertise on METV, and those channels in that section which claim you can get "clear HDTV by just hooking it up in back of your TV or monitor and fastening the other end on a wall, window or ANYwhere for clear HD quality TV!"

 

Don't know if those work, or how well if they do, but it HAS to beat paying $200+!

 

Sepiatone

 

I believe those advertised antennas do work, but are limited to those channels which are currently broadcast as analog over-the-air - still free TV, so to speak.

 

Problem now is content providers are changing these free analog channels to digital, which will require one of their 'boxes'. I've still got enough free analog channels to keep me happy for now, but nearly every day, it seems, my provider snags one more away from us.

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The more I look into a 'hotspot' wi-fi internet connection as part of my cable-cutting, the more I see the same old problems with the wi-fi : still very slow and still poor connectivity. That's why I switched to cable in the first place, for the fast, excellent, stable internet connection <sigh>

 

I need an very stable and fast internet connection, so I reckon I'm stuck with my basic free cable for a good while and will have to, eventually, pay some extra bucks for streaming services in lieu of moving up a tier on my current package.

 

The (eventually perfected) Apple TV system would probably address all of these issues, but would also (probably) cost as much as a 15 year old used car <sigh x  2>.

                   _____________________________

 

From wiki: Internet access

 

Wireless ISP
 
Wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) operate independently of mobile phone operators. WISPs typically employ low-cost IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi radio systems to link up remote locations over great distances (Long-range Wi-Fi), but may use other higher-power radio communications systems as well.
 
Traditional 802.11b is an unlicensed omnidirectional service designed to span between 100 and 150 m (300 to 500 ft). By focusing the radio signal using a directional antenna 802.11b can operate reliably over a distance of many km(miles), although the technology's line-of-sight requirements hamper connectivity in areas with hilly or heavily foliated terrain. In addition, compared to hard-wired connectivity, there are security risks (unless robust security protocols are enabled); data rates are significantly slower (2 to 50 times slower); and the network can be less stable, due to interference from other wireless devices and networks, weather and line-of-sight problems.
 
Deploying multiple adjacent Wi-Fi access points is sometimes used to create city-wide wireless networks. Some are by commercial WISPs but grassroots efforts have also led to wireless community networks. Rural wireless-ISP installations are typically not commercial in nature and are instead a patchwork of systems built up by hobbyists mounting antennas on radio masts and towers, agricultural storage silos, very tall trees, or whatever other tall objects are available. There are a number of companies that provide this service.
 
Proprietary technologies like Motorola Canopy & Expedience can be used by a WISP to offer wireless access to rural and other markets that are hard to reach using Wi-Fi or WiMAX.
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She's now considering ordering one of those ANTENNAS they advertise on METV, and those channels in that section which claim you can get "clear HDTV by just hooking it up in back of your TV or monitor and fastening the other end on a wall, window or ANYwhere for clear HD quality TV!"

 

Don't know if those work, or how well if they do, but it HAS to beat paying $200+!

 

Sepiatone

It is a newer version of the same old rabbit ears.  You can find similar at CVS, Fred's, Target, and all electronics stores.  Don't know if the ones advertised on TV are any better, but I doubt it.  The small print on the packge will say Range of 25 miles or maybe a little more.

For reference, I use the FM antenna that came with a receiver I purchased 20 years ago on a set.  I can pick up 80% of the over the air stations.  About 25 or so available.  Can't get CBS and its three other stations (MeTV, Grit).

She will only be able to pick up her local stations that broadcast from a big antenna very close to where she lives.  

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LOL!  I got a kick in the teeth from my Cable/ISP today. 

 

After they have taken away several channels (moved them up to digital - requiring a "box") - without reducing my payments, I get a letter from Bright House Networks telling me beginning with next month's statement, I will be charged an additional RSN (Regional Sports Network) fee of $2.50/mo  AND  an additional Broadcast TV fee of $4.00/mo.

 

"Uh, excuse me, Dear Valued Customer - we've taken away 3 more of your channels and, BTW, we're raising your rates 15% +."

 

They're making it easy for me..

<_<

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LOL!  I got a kick in the teeth from my Cable/ISP today. 
 
After they have taken away several channels (moved them up to digital - requiring a "box") - without reducing my payments, I get a letter from Bright House Networks telling me beginning with next month's statement, I will be charged an additional RSN (Regional Sports Network) fee of $2.50/mo  AND  an additional Broadcast TV fee of $4.00/mo.
 
"Uh, excuse me, Dear Valued Customer - we've taken away 3 more of your channels and, BTW, we're raising your rates 15% +."
 
They're making it easy for me..
<_<

 

 

Hi Kid Dabb.  First things first.  Act like you are going to cancel and they will most likely transfer you to their retention department, where they will probably try to cut you a deal.

 

As you probably know, I have Directv, so I had to chime in.  The package I have is one of the cheapest ones.  Back when we subscribed about a couple years ago, we got "Choice", the medium-cost package.  That included TCM.  Then the promos ran out so we "downgraded" to their "Select" package to keep the cost about the same.  It appears to be the cheapest package, and also has TCM.

 

https://support.directv.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/360/~/how-do-i-find-out-what-channels-come-in-each-tv-package%3F

 

Also we kept the Time Warner Cable Internet after we canceled the cable TV service.  I returned all their equipment and I bought my own DOCSIS cable Internet modem from a local computer store (we had been renting a cable co modem all along).  You would need to find the list of approved modems for your cable company if you wanted to go this route.  There is really nothing else that performs like cable internet. 

 

Directv offered a package deal that included DSL, but cost aside it wouldn't be the same.  Cost considered, the cable internet is actually a bit cheaper.  So in my opinion this is the best of both worlds, and costs are reasonable too.

 

I don't know if you are into the sports packages or not, but Directv connected us to "NFL Season Pass" for the first year, I think.

 

The only issues you might run into would be line-of-sight, which the Directv installers could survey free of charge.  We had to get two different installers to come on two different occasions in order to find a good line-of-sight for the dish, but it all worked out in the end.  The second guy came out with a small handheld signal finder/scope, walked around our house, and found a nice spot on our roof that the first guy missed.

 

Also there is "rain fade".  Since you are in FL, you probably have short but hellish rain storms.  So Directv probably wouldn't work during those - but who knows.  Cable TV was much worse in my area.  As always your mileage may vary.

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Thank you, MC.

 

I'm a similar position with my cable/internet provider - having the lowest pricing locked in about two years ago. Even when they increase my rate it will still be much lower than anything I can obtain from a competitor. If I were a new customer, I would have to pay yet another $20.00 above my newly increased monthly cost. I shouldn't be complaining. I'm just trying to plan ahead for when TCM gets bumped to digital, requiring the additional cost of "the box". 

 

The way my provider has their plans structured, if I were to cancel my cable tv and go internet only, I would have to pay nearly $20.00 more than my current cable/internet bundle. I'd be moving backwards. Ack! I have to wait for them to make a drastic change to my pricing or programming to justify me bailing out for a more expensive plan - either with them or a competitor.

 

Either way, I'm fairly resolved to stick with cable internet as I see wireless has not improved much over the years.

 

I'm going to mull this situation over for awhile so I can approach it with a more rational thought process.

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Many DVRs have digital tuners. Even our old Magnavox units receive the digital channels which are in a tier to which we do not subscribe. We are hoping that the cable company will soon carry digital BBCAmerica because that would mean we would not need the cable box. We must have the cable box because BBCAmerica is now analog channel of a number higher than our units can handle.

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What I'm still waiting for is "Alternatives to Cable" for TCM -- although, at the moment, I have a decent deal from Comcast called "Internet Plus," which adds a motley collection of TV channels, somehow including TCM (they must have slipped up).  It's in SD, but I don't need to see Robert Osborne's pores.  Since Internet Plus was a decent offering, I think they discontinued it as soon as they realized their mistake, but I'm still grandmothered in.

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In my early morning's 'see if I can find a non-cable / non-DVD player movie source substitute' exercise, I tripped across this blog.

 

I swapped my TV for Netflix, and here's what it taught me
 
 
Erica Buist
Wednesday 29 January 2014 11.56 EST Last modified on Tuesday 29 December 2015 12.00 EST
 
When I moved, I gave up my television – and while I might not be able to discuss the latest reality shows, I have better things to watch and I can see them when I want.
 
I used to work with a guy who didn't have a TV. He announced it proudly at any given opportunity. Someone would make a cultural reference and he would say – as drily as his secret glee would allow – "The Bill? What bill? I don't know what you're talking about, because I don't have a TV."
 
I hated that guy.
 
Now, I have become him. I don't have a TV. I only have Netflix. I am a Netflixer – and I have my reasons. I moved house last year and, when I went to plug in the TV, I found the cable had been severed. The next day, a TV licence demand came, asking money for television we couldn't watch.
 
Now we have nothing but Netflix, which makes you choose a programme you want to watch, and makes you decisively click on it. It also means if the internet breaks down you have find other means of entertainment, such as reading or talking to a fellow human. But that level of control was delicious after years of having a TV, when I would just pick a channel and allow it to pipe out its contents at me like a hose. I know you all have the power to switch off the TV and use your day to save the dolphins, learn to play the clarinet and write a novel, and I commend you. But some of us are, regrettably, rubbish.
 
There are cultural ramifications. Have you ever tried to explain a new TV show to a clueless Netflixer? It all sounds ludicrous. What am I supposed to do with my face when someone says, "It's celebrities skiing off a slope, for an hour", or "It's people having sex in a box then chatting about it"? I feel like I'm in a Little Britain sketch. (See how out of date my TV references are?)
 
In trying to avoid being perceived as a cultural numbskull, us Netflixers have to read TV reviews and Twitter to discover what people are squawking about. This means that everything comes tinted with the colouring of someone else's opinion – an op-ed, a nasty tweet, a BuzzFeed summing-up. When I read articles claiming that Celebrity Big Brother is actually good this time, eventually I have to take them at their word.
 
Not having a TV saves a lot of time. And not because I spend my newly free hours reading Dickens – I just get the edited highlights of rubbish telly on YouTube, so I can join in the discussion on who Alan Sugar fired last night. I have to do my homework just to avoid becoming the "Don't know what you're saying, I don't have a TV" person in the office.
 
Every now and again, a phenomenon such as Sherlock comes along, and Netflixers have to wriggle in on the action. BBC iPlayer saves the day – but without a TV licence, you can't live-stream. You have to wait, like some sort of Victorian. (I'm sure they'd never find out, but I can't shake the image of a face flashing up on screen à la Moriarty, saying: "Hello. You're attempting to watch BBC live without a TV licence. This laptop will self-destruct in five … four … three …")
 
This is a Netflixer's low point. Twitter and Facebook become minefields of spoilers and amateur reviews. Even the most innocuous statuses reveal all and temporarily ruin your life. An update that says "OMG – MARY!!!!" is a spoiler. I don't need verbs to work out that something shocking happens involving Mary, which means every single moment of Mary's screen time comes with anticipation and guessing.
 
Only when shows are finally on Netflix do we click our heels and enter the TV conversation. We get a taste of what it's like to be one of the cool kids in the know when shows are made exclusively for us. That's why House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have a special place in our hearts: they're the only shows I can watch and know the TV owners didn't see them first, years ago. The new seasons are on their way, TV-ers. Our time is coming.
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I believe those advertised antennas do work, but are limited to those channels which are currently broadcast as analog over-the-air - still free TV, so to speak.

 

Problem now is content providers are changing these free analog channels to digital, which will require one of their 'boxes'. I've still got enough free analog channels to keep me happy for now, but nearly every day, it seems, my provider snags one more away from us.

I still don't know how or if she's resolved her situation.  The one thing holding her back from getting one of those antennas is her reluctance to go back to AT&T for her phone.  Like me, she also likes the idea of having a landline(as too many we know who tried the "cell phone only" life wound up getting too inconvienienced from dying batteries on their phones)

 

The advertised antennas to which I refer supposedly DO pick up "digitally" broacast television stations, as some law states they HAVE to broadcast digital signals.  Analog is gone!  When it all first started, some kind of "converter" box was required at a cost of $40 a throw!  I'm guessing on newer TVs( they DO have a year-old VISIO flat panel 1080 HDTV) don't need a converter box.  I'm not sure how it all works.

 

All I know is...

 

If Direct TV insists on insulting my intelligence with their "Take it staight from my horse's mouth" and "The Settlers" TV ads, they'll NEVER get my business.

 

By the way...My cable provider no longer has COZI.  It's been replaced by something alled "Antenna TV".  Too bad.  I liked a lot of COZI's line-up.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I still don't know how or if she's resolved her situation.  The one thing holding her back from getting one of those antennas is her reluctance to go back to AT&T for her phone.  Like me, she also likes the idea of having a landline(as too many we know who tried the "cell phone only" life wound up getting too inconvienienced from dying batteries on their phones)

 

The advertised antennas to which I refer supposedly DO pick up "digitally" broacast television stations, as some law states they HAVE to broadcast digital signals.  Analog is gone!  When it all first started, some kind of "converter" box was required at a cost of $40 a throw!  I'm guessing on newer TVs( they DO have a year-old VISIO flat panel 1080 HDTV) don't need a converter box.  I'm not sure how it all works.

 

All I know is...

 

If Direct TV insists on insulting my intelligence with their "Take it staight from my horse's mouth" and "The Settlers" TV ads, they'll NEVER get my business.

 

By the way...My cable provider no longer has COZI.  It's been replaced by something alled "Antenna TV".  Too bad.  I liked a lot of COZI's line-up.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Here Sepia.  Just for you.  My favorite ad of all from last year.  (oddly enough I didn't like the other ones) 

There is just something about the pan from Hannah to a goat licking its chops that gets me every single time.

 

 

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I still don't know how or if she's resolved her situation.  The one thing holding her back from getting one of those antennas is her reluctance to go back to AT&T for her phone.  Like me, she also likes the idea of having a landline(as too many we know who tried the "cell phone only" life wound up getting too inconvienienced from dying batteries on their phones)

 

The advertised antennas to which I refer supposedly DO pick up "digitally" broacast television stations, as some law states they HAVE to broadcast digital signals.  Analog is gone!  When it all first started, some kind of "converter" box was required at a cost of $40 a throw!  I'm guessing on newer TVs( they DO have a year-old VISIO flat panel 1080 HDTV) don't need a converter box.  I'm not sure how it all works.

 

All I know is...

 

If Direct TV insists on insulting my intelligence with their "Take it staight from my horse's mouth" and "The Settlers" TV ads, they'll NEVER get my business.

 

By the way...My cable provider no longer has COZI.  It's been replaced by something alled "Antenna TV".  Too bad.  I liked a lot of COZI's line-up.

 

 

Sepiatone

Converters are needed for the old CRT type TV's.  Initially you could purchase two for $40 each and then send in a coupon to FCC and get reimbursed.  I have one on an old TV.  New TV's do not need a converter.  Just plug 'n play.  I have a TV that just uses the antenna.

A one year old Vizio HD TV would work fine with just an antenna.  I had one that was five years old that just used an antenna.

Works the way it did in the good old days.  You take the cord coming from the antennat and screw it to the back of the TV where it says ANT.  Then you use the menu on TV to select cable on antenna.  There are also selections for other inputs, such as DVD players.

Your cable provider did not drop COZI; your local TV station did.  Your local stations are broadcasting over the air signals for up to 5 channels.  They keep changing them around.  Also, the cable provider may not carry all five.  Not sure how they come up with the number to carry. The big four in my area, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox each have three channels on Charter, but are actually broadcasting four or five.  One of them moved Grit to a new channel and replaced the cable one with Antenna.

On my HD TV with only an antenna, one local independent station has 16-1, 16-2, 16-3, 16-4 and 16-5 as of last week.  Only one is on cable though.  ETV has three on cable and four on antenna.  The big four have three cable channels, though most are in the high 100's.

If you really like one of the new networks, such as Cozi, MeTV, Grit, Antenna, etc., let your local station know as they are the actual providers.

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By the way...My cable provider no longer has COZI.  It's been replaced by something alled "Antenna TV".  Too bad.  I liked a lot of COZI's line-up.

 

You'll like ANTENNA.....they show 3 Stooges Sunday mornings!

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Just read an article that shows that cable is increasing number of subscribers after years of decline.  Apparently getting them from satellite and phone companies.

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  • 2 months later...
A message from Charter Spectrum

 

Charter Communications has completed the transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and soon you'll get to know us by the name, Spectrum. We are proud to be the fastest growing TV, Internet, and Voice provider in the United States and are committed to bringing you the most advanced products and services for your home and business.

 

Exciting changes are in the works, but for now, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Spectrum will continue offering their current suite of services to customers in their markets. In the coming months you'll hear more from us as it relates to network, product and service improvements. Whether it is new ways to enjoy more shows with unrivaled picture quality, better service, or faster internet speeds, we cannot wait to show you what's next.

 

________________________________

 

I got a bad feelin' 'bout this..

 

When they get around to raising rates, I'm bailing out of cable TV and going internet-only. I can only hope this new company will offer Watch TCM.

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A message from Charter Spectrum
 
Charter Communications has completed the transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and soon you'll get to know us by the name, Spectrum. We are proud to be the fastest growing TV, Internet, and Voice provider in the United States and are committed to bringing you the most advanced products and services for your home and business.
 
Exciting changes are in the works, but for now, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Spectrum will continue offering their current suite of services to customers in their markets. In the coming months you'll hear more from us as it relates to network, product and service improvements. Whether it is new ways to enjoy more shows with unrivaled picture quality, better service, or faster internet speeds, we cannot wait to show you what's next.
 
________________________________
 
I got a bad feelin' 'bout this..
 
When they get around to raising rates, I'm bailing out of cable TV and going internet-only. I can only hope this new company will offer Watch TCM.

 

 

If you can figure out a way to get Watch TCM without a cable connection and only internet, please tell me how.  My Comcast internet isn't enough qualifier to Watch TCM.

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A message from Charter Spectrum
 
Charter Communications has completed the transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and soon you'll get to know us by the name, Spectrum. We are proud to be the fastest growing TV, Internet, and Voice provider in the United States and are committed to bringing you the most advanced products and services for your home and business.
 
Exciting changes are in the works, but for now, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Spectrum will continue offering their current suite of services to customers in their markets. In the coming months you'll hear more from us as it relates to network, product and service improvements. Whether it is new ways to enjoy more shows with unrivaled picture quality, better service, or faster internet speeds, we cannot wait to show you what's next.
 
________________________________
 
I got a bad feelin' 'bout this..
 
When they get around to raising rates, I'm bailing out of cable TV and going internet-only. I can only hope this new company will offer Watch TCM.

 

 

If you can figure out a way to get Watch TCM without a cable connection and only internet, please tell me how.  My Comcast internet isn't enough qualifier to Watch TCM.

 

My cable TV and internet are the same account, and my internet is delivered via cable connection whether I have cable TV service or not. I don't know if an actual cable TV service will be required or, perhaps, just an active account with an ISP. I'll keep you posted.

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A message from Charter Spectrum
 
Charter Communications has completed the transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and soon you'll get to know us by the name, Spectrum. We are proud to be the fastest growing TV, Internet, and Voice provider in the United States and are committed to bringing you the most advanced products and services for your home and business.
 
Exciting changes are in the works, but for now, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Spectrum will continue offering their current suite of services to customers in their markets. In the coming months you'll hear more from us as it relates to network, product and service improvements. Whether it is new ways to enjoy more shows with unrivaled picture quality, better service, or faster internet speeds, we cannot wait to show you what's next.
 
________________________________
 
I got a bad feelin' 'bout this..
 
When they get around to raising rates, I'm bailing out of cable TV and going internet-only. I can only hope this new company will offer Watch TCM.

 

 

 

The Cable TV/Satellite packaging charges help cover TCM's overhead.   If there is ever such a thing as Internet-only TCM, I would expect it to have a surcharge.  I have been wrong before though.

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