The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Opus Instigates a Change…..

Posted by thedarwinexception on February 20, 2007

So, after a post in AFCA by Opus asking about the advantages of Satellite TV, I did a little investigating. Only because there’s nothing I would like better than to shed the last vestiges of Time Warner cable. Get them completely out of my life. I don’t like Time Warner cable. They blackmailed me into getting their phone service and switching from Vonage by “throttling” my phone line. Then, when I *did* switch, the damned thing never worked anyway. I would love to switch providers and get Direct TV or Dish Network. That would show them!

I had one or the other of the providers in Florida, only because when we lived there, we didn’t have access to cable TV – wasn’t in our area yet (in case you thought there were no places where cable TV isn’t available). So we had to have satellite – or nothing at all. But the dish would go out a lot when it rained – and it rains every day in the summer in Florida. And then I heard on TV that Direct TV (or Dish Network – I forget which one) didn’t have access to Court TV – and well, you know, that just wouldn’t work for me.

So when Opus asked the question, I started digging around and found that *supposedly* the dish technology has gotten a lot better and you no longer have problems with rain fade – and that Dish TV (or Direct TV) now has Court TV available again. Hmm….maybe Time Warner’s days are numbered around here!

So, I did one of those online “build your system” things – just to see what the cost would be, what I could get, and how the pricing compared to Time Warner. We have digital cable now, which consists of a DVR box with “extended” channels and programming. The box costs us $5.99 a month -and  the programming package, which doesn’t include any “premium channels” is right around $76 a month, once you add in all the taxes and the “surcharges”, and subtract all the “bonus bucks” I was getting for having the phone/internet and cable in one big package.

With “Direct TV” I can get a DVR box for free – which is a dual tuner thing, so I can have 2 televisions run to it and watch different stations on both TV’s, and record from either TV. I can’t do that now – only the TV in the TV room can record. I can also get “America’s Top 200” for $34.99. The “top 200” of course, includes like 50 music stations, so don’t count those, but that’s still about the same as I get now. Also, the company I called had a “Bonus” of a $49 installation one time charge, which is then credited to my first bill. (I think they did that only to make sure the person applying had a credit card.) So, actually, when I get my first bill, I’ll have a credit balance. Oh – the other bonus was the choice of a free DVD player with a “home theater system” (which is really a subwoofer and two little speakers), or an IPod Shuffle, or a portable DVD player. I still haven’t decided which one I want for my “bonus gift”. The real bonus gift, for me, is that Time Warner won’t be getting my money anymore.

So, I called them. They said they would be here tomorrow morning between 8 and 12 to install it. I laughed. I don’t think they know this is *Malone* – I still haven’t figured out who they are going to get to install it. But, they said they would be here. We’ll see. If it’s anything like getting the phone installed, I’ll have the satellite in about a week. But, to give them credit, they did call tonight to “confirm my appointment”, so, maybe they really will be here tomorrow.

I’ll let you know.

And if you have any recent experience with satellite TV – let me know how you like it (or hate it.)

3 Responses to “Opus Instigates a Change…..”

  1. Debi said

    We have Comcast for cable around here, and I can’t stand them – so I got Dish Network about 4 years ago, and love it. If it rains REALLY hard, then I usually lose the signal for a few minutes – but that only happens a couple of times a year. I live in Michigan, so we get our fair share of rain and snow.

  2. groo said

    I have DirectTV and I love it, but I also live in a place where it rarely rains and never snows. I’ll be interested to see what your DVR is like…mine is a DirectTV Tivo, and it is great. I’ve never read much good about other DVRs, but I can’t believe that they all suck.

  3. Marie Martinek said

    One thing I never thought about before getting DirecTV is that the “local weather” on Weather Channel is inserted by your cable company, because they know where “local” is. If you get only the satellite feed, it has no idea where you are, so instead of the local maps and predictions, you get some generic satellite photos.

    Of course, Weather Channel has less of an idea of what’s going to happen than the overtrained people at NOAA, who have spent so much time learning how to set up and interpret “the computer models” they don’t know how to read a current-weather map — or look out the window.

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