Thursday, February 3, 2011
Goodbye Time Warner Cable
The family nightmare is over.
We are no longer customers of the loathsome Time Warner Cable.
But Julianna, how do you go from being a TV news producer to not even having cable in your home?
Let me tell you!
Like many customers we signed up with one of their "bundles." We had internet and cable for a decent price. Then, like all bundles do, our "decent price period" ended and our monthly payment ballooned. We didn't do anything for a while. Our internet was fast enough and we figured we watched enough cable tv to make it worthwhile.
Time passes and we add other services like DVR (which is the single greatest invention in the last 10 years) and HD channels when we got a TV that called for HD.
Then we got a great deal on internet through our phone company. We seriously pay about $10 and we're locked in for life. Bye Bye TWC internet.
And then our cable just stopped working consistently. Channels would playback just black, or we'd get a blue screen telling us that such-and-such a channel wasn't available check back later.
Call after call to TWC netted no results. They'd reset our boxes to no-avail. We had day after day of our service comped. Our last and final call to TWC about this had them telling us they had to come service the box at the end of our driveway but that I needed to be home while they were in our driveway... just in case. Um, no, sorry. You take care of your equipment on your time and do not waste my time.
My husband and I started having the conversations: Do we need cable? Is this the best way for us to spend $120 every month?
The big question is: What shows do we watch?
I watch Top Chef absolutely religiously.
My husband enjoys the military channel on occasion.
We sometimes watch House and Lie to Me.
I like The Office, Parks and Rec and Community when I remember they're on.
I do like Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" but I don't tune in... and it's available on NetFlix and online.
The boys like Avatar, Little Bill and Blues Clues but they are also on NetFlix or very cheap on DVD. And their very favorite cartoons are Curious George and The Cat in the Hat... broadcast in HD for FREE.
And that's exactly what it came down to. The shows we like are available elsewhere... even Top Chef... for free online.
So we were paying $120 per month so I can watch Top Chef 12 hours earlier than when it's available online.
That just doesn't make any sense.
So my husband, the tech guru, got to work. He set us up with MythTV - which acts as a DVR. Each TV has a computer attached and now we can enjoy whatever we want to watch for the $10 per month that we pay for internet and our $11 per month Net Flix subscription.
We've been working with this MythTV setup for the past month and now, cable is finally canceled.
Our over-the-air signals for broadcast channels are great. Crystal-clear HDTV. Free.
And so now, we're free.
There will certainly be unexpected kinks that we'll need to work out but, in general, we're free and it feels so good.