Man I've HAD IT!! Can't do this Comcast anymore. What are my options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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It comes down to this fellas. I want to get rid of Comcast altogether. Right now I have the "top package" and it's just about 200 bucks a month. Yet when I check these forums I see how much I'm missing out with these guys compared to other customers I get furious. I feel as if I'm getting played out. My HD line up is pathetic next to other markets and it's time to make a change.

Right now I have 3 DVR boxes with them and the full package. Is there a way to have a seamless television viewing experience without having to have cable anymore? I need something where the wife doesn't have to press a thousand buttons to watch TV and then switch over to see a movie and then watch internet television (if possible).

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post #2 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 02:41 PM
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I feel your pain brother. Not to be an arse, but have you tried the harmony remotes?? As for seamless television viewing.... good luck with that. But if you have the $$$, anything is possible.

I have just the basic Comcast package, that along with an HDHomerun I'm very happy. Well that and my 300+ backed up movie collection.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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So you think my best bet is to keep the devil (Comcast) but severely cut the services and use HDHomerun for other services?

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post #4 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 03:00 PM
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Is that $200 for cable TV only? If so, then call Comcast first and try to negotiate a better deal. Also, do you absolutely watch all those channels? Get rid of the ones you don't. Occasionally, we'll get free previews of Showtime, HBO and Cinemax and when I tune in they're just showing the same movies over and over again. You're better off just buying the DVDs or renting them.

If you want to watch online streaming TV, then you'd likely need a keyboard and mouse for navigation. There are attempts for a remote-driven interface (e.g. boxee) but those are still in their infancy.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 03:03 PM
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I have 5 Dish Network Receivers, 2 of which are DVR, with America's Everything package plus all the HD stuff. I also have 2 Vista Media Center computers. I use one to mess with stuff and the other is for the family. I rarely view TV from the computer anymore since most of what I watch is in HD and the best connection I can currently get from a receiver into my computer is SVideo. Basically, I use the Media Centers for music and ripped DVDs. I suppose I could do what I'm doing without computers, but I write software for a living and I have access to a lot of computer equipment. I've been with Dish Network for probably the last 8+ years and have no desire to go back to cable. $140 per month.

That said, I wish Dish would come out with a HD card I could use in my computer already. They've been talking about it for years and still nothing. Oh well...
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Is that $200 for cable TV only?

Nothing but TV. I have internet with Acecape and telephone with vonage. My wife's company pays for that. We may watch one movie a month from each of the premium channels to be honest. She's absolute pissed at the selection. I think the only channel she'll miss is , we all know what that channel is. lol

I'll miss sportscenter, msg, yes and boxing but thats about it really, also I'll miss foodtv.

Being that I live in an apartment I can't do the dish.

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post #7 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 05:09 PM
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In central IL we pay Comcast about $115 a month for 10Mb/s broadband and digital cable service with a single DVR. With that comes about 30 or more HD channels and we also pay for Shotime and HBO (included in the $115) which have their own HD channels. Also, On Demand now has HD movies that look great!

We have the old school Motorolla box but it has an HDMI output that also correctly passes DD5.1

I couldn't be happier, I'll never use my computer to watch cable TV (Until internet TV is the way to go)

Now, as for the broadband service, what a bunch of sh!t.
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I get 27 HD channels and that includes all the premium channels.

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post #9 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobisita View Post

I rarely view TV from the computer anymore since most of what I watch is in HD and the best connection I can currently get from a receiver into my computer is SVideo.

If your dish receiver has composite HD, you can use the Hauppauge HD PVR to record HD on your PC.
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-12-2009, 05:57 PM
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Well, if you want to get rid of comcast and don't want another provider then your only choice is OTA. If you can live with just your local channels (they should be broadcasting HD by now) and are within range of their antennae then something like the HDHomerun and vista media center will give you a dual tuner DVR that works with ease and has better features then just about any DVR out there. In addition you will be able to seamlessly have all your other media (movies, music, pictures and downloaded shows) at your finger tip. It really has all to do with what channels are you willing to live with.
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 05:12 AM
 
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You will lose all the pay channels, and most of the digital channels as well, if you get rid of Comcast.

If you are happy with the local lineup, then I would recommend the HDHomeRun with an antenna.
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 05:19 AM
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kill the service gat an antenna and sign up for netflix for movies. its way cheaper. there are tons of posts lately on this topic, search around.

you could build a htpc load it up with tuner cards and get some extenders.

it would save you a fortune.

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post #13 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 06:02 AM
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Althought Comcast offers some irreplaceable services such as integrated On Demand, very high speed internet (over 2.5 times faster than DSL), and VOIP phone, they still manage to be one of the most hated companies online according to the below website. I'm not exactly sure how they mange to get so many of their customers to hate them so much, but from personal experience its their lack of decent customer/technical support (long wait times, too many disonnected calls without anyone calling you back, untrained staff members), not enough HD channels, overcompressed HD channels, and last but definitately not least, overpriced. I'm not sure how accurate the below website is, but I honestly thought it would be #1 on that list.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 Most HATED Companies Online

Google Search: “Comcast Sucks” = 26,900 results
Google Search: “I Hate Comcast” = 10,900 results
TOTAL COMCAST SUCKS POINTS = 37,800
Best of the Worst:

* Comcast Sucks
* Comcast Watch
* ComCraptic
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Also, from our very own AVS Forum:
Comcast HD Quality Reduction: Details, Screenshots
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Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

SageTV: Unrestricted full-quality 12 tuner HD Premium Cable recording, including "On Demand" in HD + OTA ATSC + DVB-S2 + Blu-ray/HD-DVD serving 5 clients.
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 06:37 AM
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I pay $65 a month and only $100 upfront for two HD DVRs and all of the HD I can watch with DirecTV. I used to pay $130 for the same thing with Time Warner until I realized how stupid that was.

I kept TWC for internet because they are pretty good for that. My internet bill went up $10 a month and my TV bill went down $70 a month. I think that was a pretty wise decision. I just wish I had made it sooner.
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totalownership View Post

It comes down to this fellas. I want to get rid of Comcast altogether. Right now I have the "top package" and it's just about 200 bucks a month. Yet when I check these forums I see how much I'm missing out with these guys compared to other customers I get furious. I feel as if I'm getting played out. My HD line up is pathetic next to other markets and it's time to make a change.

The first thing I'd do is reduce your services. Do you really need all those movie and sports channels? I have the most basic package that gives me the high def channels. It's a lot less than what you're paying.

Second, don't cut the comcast cord until you have a good working setup unless your wife is very forgiving There are certainly alternatives, however, if you and your wife watch a lot of those high def cable channels (not ABC, NBC, etc), you might not be happy going the non-cable route.

The non-cable route works great if you watch a lot of stuff on the local channels and don't mind using a web browser to watch the other stuff. It can be an adjustment for your wife. For me, the best thing was to just keep the devil around.
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-13-2009, 07:08 AM
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if you really want to keep cable, call them up, follow the prompts to cancel your service. you'll get a customer retention specialist, give them a sob story how you can't afford it any more, they WILL do what they can to keep you, it may be just giving you the current promotion. i had promotion of HD digital cable with HBO showtime and stars for $69.99 i had that for a whole year, i added dvr service to it, plus they also gave me internet for $24.99 a month. after that i went to a different promotion they had.

my bill was about $100 a month

you can keep calling up and getting promotions, most people don't know it. at worst they will make you wait 3 months between.

also when i say i had the service for a year, originally it was 6 months, then they called ME up and offered me the same deal for an additional 6 months.

my promotions ran out and i realized that for the amount that I watched it wasn't worth it to me, even the promotional rates, that why i dropped it.

remember two things, it is cheaper for them to keep existing customers than to have to replace them. and second alternatives are really eating into their market share so they have to be aggressive with pricing, and you usually have to call to get them.

in fact i dropped comcast cable altogether and they still offered me a lower internet service only price just to keep me. I pay $30 a month for 16mps internet only service.

personally im happier with my antenna and HTPC but if you have to have the cable service there is no reason you have to pay that much.

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post #17 of 20 Old 03-15-2009, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I'm going to remove some services from my account. Just too much money going out to keep all this. Right now I got the wife in another room watching a movie streaming from this computer. Trying to see if I can slowly get her onto the whole HTPC. Right now I'm just using a 360 as a head end but it's working. It's clear though that the PS3 and 360 aren't really ready for primetime in terms of being a media center so I'll definitely be making some magic boxes in the future.

Now do I want to go peer to peer with this or server based?

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post #18 of 20 Old 03-15-2009, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totalownership View Post


Now do I want to go peer to peer with this or server based?


Peer to Peer. You don't want to waste money in a Server OS for simple file sharing. As your storage demands increase beyond what your HTPC can fit, you can look into a stand-alone redundant file server such as unRaid.
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-15-2009, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool, one thing I meant to ask you guys, I have access to a few Sun servers. Some oldies but goodies and I might be able to get my hands on a few newer (not NEW new but newer, lol) systems. Wondering if those would help. I would assume I'd have to load linux instead of the native solaris.

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post #20 of 20 Old 03-15-2009, 01:30 PM
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as long as it supports anonymous (peer to peer) TCP/IP network file sharing it doesn't matter what OS you use.
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