Over the summer, we got lulled into paying the new, higher rate for cable television (after our promotion expired). I’d meant to do something about it, but never seemed to have the time. Reading Kacie’s post about the digital converter box was a real wake-up call.
Right now, we have cable internet with the smallest cable package available. We got it because it was cheaper to have both than to have just the internet (and I don’t mean we spent to save, we just saved). Of course, promotions like that are meant to do exactly what this one did, get the consumer to subscribe to more services than they’d planned after the promotional period runs out.
While Comcast did profit from our inaction, they’re not actually doing a good job of keeping our business. When I saw Kacie’s article, I thought, “Wait, we can get the exact same channels without cable!”
There may be one or two we’ll lose, but we only ever watch the big 4 (CBS, FX, NBC, ABC in that order….we don’t really watch ABC). Our package is so small that they weren’t able to hook us into any other channels because we only have about a dozen others—including shopping channels, telenovelas, and PBS. I’ve never tried watching any of them with the cable unplugged, but I bet most would work. CBS actually has better resolution when we unplug the cable feed.
To give them credit, Comcast used to include G4, or tv for geeks (well, during the day the shows kinda sucked). I really enjoyed their “Attack of the Show.” But they cut that out of the package last spring—it just disappeared.
What kept us subscribed? Apathy. Fear of change. Not thinking about it.
Hearing about the need for a converter box if you’re not using cable suddenly woke me up. Wait, why am I using cable? Why don’t we just buy a simple box and get it over with? Why not get a $40 converter box coupon here?
Apparently Rite-Aid has converter boxes on sale for…$40. But even if that sale isn’t around when I get the coupon, it’s still worthwhile in the long run to pay the extra $20 or so. That’s a month of cable.
We’ve already applied for the coupon. The plan is to buy a box once it arrives, set it up, and set about canceling our cable tv. We could cancel cable first, but I admit fearing change. I want to be sure the new system works before I get rid of the old one.
- There are 160 days left (it’ll be February 17, 2009) until the converter box will be necessary to watch tv without a cable connection.
- You can probably start using it right away.
- You can get a coupon and a list of local retailers here.
- It’s entirely possible you can get the latest episodes of your favorite shows on hulu.com anyway, so you only need to pay for the internet connection.
- Commenters on Sense to Save report good experiences with their converters so far.