10 March 2013

cable is cancelled! aaand i still get TV through comcast.

i finally told Comcast to cancel the cable TV last week. this ended a series of frustrating phonecalls with them trying to gather enough information to decide if i wanted to. e.g. such hard hitters as "how much will my internet cost if i cancel the cable portion of my service?"

(after being passed around to several departments, i ended up speaking with a woman in California who had no access to my account and was demanding to know why i wanted to speak with her).

my other question was about how the TV portion worked. i'd read that, when getting internet, the cable providers still push some basic cable. seems it used to be required, now they're allowed to encrypt it. trying to get an answer from comcast on if/how that worked was more than useless.

instead, i waited for it to be cancelled and then plugged the 75-ohm cable into the TV and told it to scan for channels. half an hour later, it had found 98! Looks to be the same channels offered over the air digitally, and comcast had not encrypted it (it's called QAM).

lovely! except i'll confess i miss the DVR conveniences of pausing live video and scheduling recordings. for the moment, we'll see how we like the combination of QAM, Hulu, Roku, Amazon Prime and Plex. we'll probably add Netflix before too long.

should we miss DVR too much, i may invest in the combo of the HDHomeRun tuner and eyeTV osx software. in addition to DVR, it would have the added benefit of bringing the QAM signal through the receiver and the better speakers, instead of relying on the tuner built into the TV.

all of this is much more complicated than having cable, but good god is it cheaper. even when factoring in the cost of the mac mini to run plex and the monthly fees on the content, it won't take long to break even.

and the answer to my original question is $15/mo. internet bundled price was $50, unbundled is $65 for 25 Mbps down. after bitching about the price, was given $5/mo off for the next 6 mo. So the answer is actually $10/mo, for now. Let us note that RCN is offering DSL (over fiber, it seems) for $50/mo for 30 Mbps. might have to check into that, though i'm wary of DSL, and i did buy that cable modem. hate to have to retire it so soon.

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