Why is cable so darn expensive? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Why is cable so expensive? This is how my Time Warner Cable bill looks every month:

Basic Service- $13.90
Digital Service- $63.50
Cable Box-
($7.10 each, 2 cables boxes) $14.20
Remotes-
($.25 each, 2 remotes) $.50
Earthlink Standard Internet- $44.95

TOTAL= $137.05

Over $135 a month. Isn't that dandy. And the rates keep going up too. One day, I may get real fed up and just decide to use dial-up internet again and go back to OTA broadcast. This is ridiculous. Why on earth is cable such a rip-off?
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post #2 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:08 AM
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TW fees are pretty much in line with other cable providers.

You can go satellite and add in DSL or cable internet and still not too much difference.

Internet and expanded basic (no digital, no STB) for Comcast in my area is ~$105.

Dial-up internet should not even be a consideration IMO. Just drop digital. You won't need the STB's/remotes and your monthly fees will drop.
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post #3 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:14 AM
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Yeah, those rates are similar to mine.

Cable rates will only drop if something came along to compete with it and steal customers. So you can thank all your fellow customers who pay their bills and stick with the status quo for your rates. Cable has no obligation to lower their rates on a whim. They'll price it right where people pay it, which in your case is $137 a month.

Obviously with the presence of satellite and maybe FiOS, you have alternatives, but if they're undesirable, then there's not much you can do.

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post #4 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:25 AM
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Why do they charge so much?
Because they can.
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post #5 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:35 AM
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Greed! And the ability to load you up with dozens of channels you don't watch. Give me ESPN, TNT, TBS, and the networks and I am good.

I have many times added up DISH and Direct and they are not really any cheaper given cable internet price goes up if your not a TV subscriber.

I find $130-$150/month for a wire with internet and commercial TV to be obscene. I am anxiously waiting for the competition to get fiber in my neck of the woods.

And I am curious how much longer the sat/cable providers will continue to charge a premium for HD.
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post #6 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

Greed!

How is that different from ANY other industry?

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post #7 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 11:53 AM
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Here's Verizon FiOS bill:



I now use TivoHDs (1TB for 160+ HD hours) exclusively with Verizon, having given up my Verizon DVRs.

I've got the FiOS "Double Flex" bundle with 20/5 Internet and HD Extreme for $79.99/mo. FiOS' HD Extreme includes 220+ digital channels and 60-65 HD channels.

With two CableCards (for the TivoHDs), I pay a total of $89.82/mo after tax.
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post #8 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

How is that different from ANY other industry?

I find many industries that seem to have fair and competitive pricing. The main Cable/Sat. dinosaurs simply are not a member of that club.
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post #9 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

And I am curious how much longer the sat/cable providers will continue to charge a premium for HD.

Comcast cable doesn't charge extra for HD channels.
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post #10 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:03 PM
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They charge that much because consumers are willing to pay it. Don't like it, get mad at your neighbors
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post #11 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:07 PM
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The "double flex" bundle...
Is that the "extreme HD discount" and "flex bundle" items?

Is one, other or both part of an introductory offer that is a limited "discount"?

Nice price... but the price of an STB/DVR added (whether TiVO or rental) still can offset that quickly and align with competitors.
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post #12 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

I find many industries that seem to have fair and competitive pricing. The main Cable/Sat. dinosaurs simply are not a member of that club.

But the cable and sat companies are competitive with each other. So they charge up to the limits, just like any other industry. They're not going to lower the price just because you don't like the price. If you don't like it, cancel. If enough people do it, the price will drop right down.

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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Nice price... but the price of an STB/DVR added (whether TiVO or rental) still can offset that quickly and align with competitors.

That's what I was thinking. I was going to ask what his TiVo subscription was, or whether he went for the lifetime fee. With the DVR, I imagine FiOS would be back up to cable's costs, maybe give or take a few bucks. Still within the price structure of most television content delivery.

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Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Comcast cable doesn't charge extra for HD channels.

Neither does TimeWarnerCable. At least not for the locals.

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post #13 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Comcast cable doesn't charge extra for HD channels.

Well... in a sense they do. You still have to subscribe to a digital tier and rent an STB if you want the HD channels that you already subscribe to with expanded basic and receive via analog. (excepting "locals"/clear QAM)
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post #14 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 02:55 PM
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IF you can get AT&T and satellite:

TURBO ALL-HD Silver Package from Dish w/locals (with one, free dual-tunered 222): $37.99 (or Top 100 SD's w/locals and one, free 322 dual-tuner: same price - or, $32.99 using free OTA for HD and SD locals)

AT&T High Speed Basic Internet (to customers who haven't subscribed in at least 12 months): $10.00

AT&T Consumer's Choice Plus (phone): $19.85

Monthly cost: $68.84 + applicable taxes (without Dish locals, using free OTA: $63.84/month + applicable taxes)
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post #15 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Comcast cable doesn't charge extra for HD channels.

If you want HD from Comcast the min. is 54.20 standard cable and 14.95 for digital box etc.

If you want low def you can have basic cable for $9.00. Now I don't actually know if you get free clear QAM HD locals with basic... but it is clearly not marketed that way; the HD locals are NOT listed in the basic cable channel listing.

Sounds like they're charging xtra to me. While they no longer come out and say it like the sat companies do (they used to), you still pay a significant premium for HD, even if it is just the locals. Forcing you to take 100 channels of crap just to get locals and ESPN in HD should be illegal.
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post #16 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Well... in a sense they do. You still have to subscribe to a digital tier and rent an STB if you want the HD channels that you already subscribe to with expanded basic and receive via analog. (excepting "locals"/clear QAM)

Digital Starter = Standard service w/ an SD box for the same price. If one wants, a CableCard can be substituted for the SD Box for no extra fee. Without a CC, an HD box fee is indeed needed. My point really was there is/are no HD service(s) per se. I thought it would go w/o saying that the upgraded HD box rental fee would still apply, if no CC.
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post #17 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

If you want HD from Comcast the min. is 54.20 standard cable and 14.95 for digital box etc.

Not true.

Quote:


If you want low def you can have basic cable for $9.00. Now I don't actually know if you get free clear QAM HD locals with basic... but it is clearly not marketed that way; the HD locals are NOT listed in the basic cable channel listing.

Sounds like they're charging xtra to me. While they no longer come out and say it like the sat companies do (they used to), you still pay a significant premium for HD, even if it is just the locals. Forcing you to take 100 channels of crap just to get locals and ESPN in HD should be illegal.

It is well-documented on AVS, that with Comcast, one can get HD Locals with Ltd. Basic, either via clear-QAM or an HD Box rental. Here the channels/services card indeed shows HD Locals as part of Ltd. Basic.

They don't force one to take Expd Basic (resulting in Digital Starter), nor Digital Classic, although they will try very much to sell them, or not make one aware of all of the choices. That is why people need to look at what is in writing on their prices/services card and channels/services card.

ESPN-HD is part of Expd. Basic, so they do make you take many channels, more like 70, though.

Comcast has standardized it's HD channel tiering in many systems.

Ltd. Basic = HD Locals
Digital Starter (Standard in Digital) = HD Standards and HD exclusives
Digital Classic (can be purchased a la carte) = HD Digital Classics
Premiums = HD Premiums.

Sure looks like no extra to me. They even throw in HD exclusives in Digital Starter, which many people have already.

Some areas may still vary, though.
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post #18 of 87 Old 01-02-2009, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Not true.

Here the channels/services card indeed shows HD Locals as part of Ltd. Basic.

Not here.

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post #19 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

My point really was there is/are no HD service(s) per se.

The Comcast website indicates that:
1) sub to digital starter (HD free for 6 months) and introductory promotional price $39.99. After 6 months, Price goes up to $57.20 and no HD (except locals)
2) HD package with digital starter is $9.95 (+ HD receiver rental)

So there is a " service fee" for HD.

Quote:


HDTV for customers with Basic, Standard or Digital Starter

There was a time when you thought your old TV looked just fine. Then you saw HDTV. The clarity. The vivid color. The wide-screen format. And your only question was, how do I get it? If you have an "HD-capable" or an "HD-ready" TV set, a Comcast HD box is the only additional equipment you need (available for a small monthly fee). So there's no need to buy a separate HD receiver, decoder or antenna.

http://www.comcast.com/Shop/Buyflow/...-HPROMOCABLETV
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post #20 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 05:37 AM
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Because people still want their MTV. If TWC hadn't caved in to Viacom I believe TWC said they were going to lower prices. Now your going to get another price increase instead.
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post #21 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 07:42 AM
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Like I said, thank everyone who is willing to pay such a high bill.

If enough of the customer base went to OTA for a few months, those bills would come right back down. But no one is willing to do so. They'd rather bitch and moan and then send off a check.

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post #22 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

If you want HD from Comcast the min. is 54.20 standard cable and 14.95 for digital box etc.

If you want low def you can have basic cable for $9.00. Now I don't actually know if you get free clear QAM HD locals with basic... but it is clearly not marketed that way; the HD locals are NOT listed in the basic cable channel listing.

We get basic cable from Comcast. It's actually $13/month with the taxes/fees. We get 8 HD channels with no box and for now we are happy with that. I pay Netflix $18.50/month for DVD movie rental and I pay my local phone company $32/month for broadband internet.

So for $63.50/month for cable, movies, and internet, we are quite satisfied.
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post #23 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CRT Dude View Post

Because people still want their MTV. If TWC hadn't caved in to Viacom I believe TWC said they were going to lower prices. Now your going to get another price increase instead.

Then, why did they cave in then? I sure as hell never called and complain. If they wanted to cancel the channels to prevent a bill increase, then they should've let it happen.

BTW- MTV is trash.
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post #24 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Like I said, thank everyone who is willing to pay such a high bill.

If enough of the customer base went to OTA for a few months, those bills would come right back down. But no one is willing to do so. They'd rather bitch and moan and then send off a check.

Actually, if it were totally up to me, I would cancel it completely. But I'm not the only one living at my apartment. Other people watch the cable too. If I were living alone, then I would cancel my cable in a heartbeat.
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post #25 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraffle View Post

Then, why did they cave in then? I sure as hell never called and complain. If they wanted to cancel the channels to prevent a bill increase, then they should've let it happen.

BTW- MTV is trash.

MTV may be trash, but plenty of people still watch it.

Comedy Central was also on the chopping block, and that probably had an even bigger outcry. People "need" their Colbert Report. And Nickelodeon. Probably plenty of kids whined to their parents that SpongeBob was going away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xraffle View Post

Actually, if it were totally up to me, I would cancel it completely. But I'm not the only one living at my apartment. Other people watch the cable too. If I were living alone, then I would cancel my cable in a heartbeat.

And there you go. You can't get rid of cable because other people are willing to pay for it. (Or maybe they're making you pay for it, but the point still stands.) Look at those other people in your apartment. They're the reason why your cable bill is high. Think of your apartment as being a microcosm of the entire cable customer base.

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post #26 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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It was a BIG mistake for TWC to cave in. Now Viacom will think that they can demand more money whenever they want. Just watch, when it's time to renew their contract again, they're going to demand another fee increase.
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post #27 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 01:10 PM
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Oh, probably true.

But then the customers don't care. They just want their shows.

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post #28 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xraffle View Post

If I were living alone, then I would cancel my cable in a heartbeat.

Well... move, get your own apartment.
Based on your opening post, you make it sound like you "foot the bill". If you're splitting the bill two or three ways, it shouldn't be too financially difficult IMO.
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post #29 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Well... move, get your own apartment.
Based on your opening post, you make it sound like you "foot the bill". If you're splitting the bill two or three ways, it shouldn't be too financially difficult IMO.

Nope, I pay the whole thing. No splitting.

As for moving, I can't afford it because I spend all my money paying for cable.
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post #30 of 87 Old 01-03-2009, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.bradford View Post

Not here.

Comcast's website is a sales tool; they don't have to offer all of their services configurations (or even all services) there, and they don't. Also, they don't have to present an up-to-date or accurate list of channels, and they usually don't.

The only documents guranteed to be accurate by the FCC are what is in writing, distributed annually by the MSO, and available by request, as well. There should be two Comcast cards, prices/services and channels/services. I would suggest looking at those cards, and tell us if your info. is true, as this would go against many reports over the years of HD Locals being part of Comcast Ltd. Basic everywhere. Another possibly is your system was recently acquired by Comcast?
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