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  • Patch Lady – did Xfinity go too far?

    Posted on Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patch Lady – did Xfinity go too far?

    This topic contains 60 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  rc primak 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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    • #1981271 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      So this weekend I was channel surfing and an old movie I remember watching was on Turner Classic Movies…. and those of you that are Xfinity customer
      [See the full post at: Patch Lady – did Xfinity go too far?]

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981284 Reply

      anonymous

      I have Xfinity and ditched the TV part awhile back. We have internet only for $80/month but have Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Live. Hulu Live has TCM. Ironically, I’m not really saving any money BUT I like the streaming services better than cable because there is little to no ads and they’re easier to navigate than cable. I HATE cable! LOL

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981292 Reply

      F A Kramer
      AskWoody Plus

      I do not have a TV (seriously) and do not find a need for one. Nor do I see any need for 261 channels to surf. I have a modest collection of favorite movies on DVDs and Blu-rays that I can watch on my desktop computer; or for the family, using a player, sound bar, and projector. But my major sources of entertainment are going for a three-mile walk, machining parts for a 1.5 inch scale live steam locomotive model, and reading BOOKS! Of the three, for most of you the first and last are my best recommendations. Again, I am serious… don’t spend hours sitting passively watching TV. (This is not taken as a rant, I hope.)

      = Ax Kramer

    • #1981289 Reply

      anonymous

      I’d rather have Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu on a TCL Roku TV than paying. And when that fails me for something specific, Plex comes to save the day.

      Edit for content. Please follow the –Lounge Rules

      • #1994448 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        If you have all those streaming services, you are paying. And you pay more than double the bundle rate for the Internet access.

        -- rc primak

    • #1981303 Reply

      anonymous

      I use Kodi for LIVE TV on the occasion I want to watch something, mostly I watch YouTube, (free stuff) and I have about 8000 titles on DVD/BluRay I have been accumulating over the past 15 years or so. My son added me to his Netflix as a user, and my Amazon Prime membership comes with streaming as well.

      I don’t need or want cable.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981305 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      I haven’t cut the cord yet (no cable service available where I live, but I have Dish), but it’s hanging by a thread.  I have not watched TV in months.  My only TV is a cathode ray tube 20 inch, 4:3, standard definition, with a bunch of white lines on the top 10% of the screen, and I don’t see any reason to get a new one, unless perhaps as a secondary display for my PC when I am streaming something.  Thing is, I am sitting at my computer desk when I watch a video, and from here, my PC monitor has a larger apparent size than even a giant TV would if I mounted it to the wall.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981307 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      There’s still a lot of free-to-view on the air, over here. DVB-T or -T2 over VHF or UHF isn’t all that difficult.

      My “entertainment subscription” with the ISP is mostly just those same channels over IP, including any number of PCs and mobile devices used by people resident at my household even while they’re traveling, and delayed viewing.

      It’s not like I’m the one who wants it anyway. I greatly prefer text type media over TV/video type – yes, even when I read it on a screen.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1982063 Reply

        Mark
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m assuming by your broadcast designations that you are in the UK (or Europe somewhere).  It’s a little more complicated here in the States.  As long as you are in a metropolitan area (or close to one) you are generally good to go.  Unfortunately if I go to the middle of our State (Colorado), I lose any hope of broadcast TV.  With the advent of Digital Broadcast, all the frequencies require line-of-sight to receive any sort of broadcast.  Once in the middle of the State, there might as well be a Dante-esque sign that says “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”.  There is no chance of line-of-sight broadcast.  The only thing available is satellite (Dish, Excede, Hughes, etc.) or if you’re lucky enough broadband via microwave.  If you have the broadband, then you still have the possibility of a modem reboot that Susan mentioned.  With the addition of all the new streaming services, the price just keeps going up.  We’re looking at paring down ours, but once you drop two levels from the current service, you generally lose channels that you want and adding them back via streaming brings the cost right back up.  There’s just no winning this game, because they’ve rigged the game.

        Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows Vista Home Premium x64
        • #1994450 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Mark, if 5G services ever get distributed in the USA, there’s more of a chance that someone will get a wireless signal out to even the most remote areas. Except maybe extremely mountainous places. For a price, everything we who live near major cities get could be available anywhere. The new ATSC-3 broadcast standards allow for the same content to be “broadcast” using 5G Internet services, like streaming channels. Stay tuned — much is about to change, as soon as we get a change to a more modern Administration in the USA.  (I’m talking about the FCC as much as our Politics.)

          -- rc primak

    • #1981346 Reply

      Sproots
      AskWoody Plus

      I keep saying I’m going to cut the cord, but still haven’t.

      One TV and Phone and Internet bundle.

      I pay more in cable than I do in electricity most months.

      Most of my TV is time-shifted TiVo.  But heavy internet gaming and surfing.

      Every time my ISP (sole source in town) reaches a certain bill level I call and threaten to leave and they knock off ~$50 a month, then they start jacking it back up.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1994453 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Similar to my experience, but with more streaming and less gaming.

        -- rc primak

    • #1981349 Reply

      anonymous

      I am an Xfinity cable customer and have a preferred package that provides expanded channel options. One of the recent things that I’ve noticed is that for channels I already have in my viewing package, they have put paywalls around the channel’s programs if I try to view them using on demand viewing. So now I have to pay to time shift my viewing habits for programming I am paying to see already in my package. This was implemented without notice or explanation to the best of my knowledge. Not a very happy camper!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1994454 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        This is the sort of thing Susan is complaining about.

        -- rc primak

    • #1981353 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I am not sure what is the problem Susan has got herself into, but I do quite a bit of streaming from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, have those in the “favorites” toolbars of my three browsers and never have found it confusing or inconvenient to use this toolbar to get to those streaming services. (But I watch them in a large monitor attached to my laptop, not on a TV set screen.)

      I have Verizon FiOS and a bundle comprising TV, Internet and my landline phone that I much prefer to use for calls of any real importance to me. My problem is with the ISP: ditching the TV (which I would much rather do) to keep just the Internet and landline is going to cost me more than keeping the TV I no longer use. Not an ideal situation, but Telecoms can do pretty much whatever they like around here and then get away with it. One could try fighting back, but life its too short to waste it on something not very important in the larger scheme of things. I can afford to pay for something useless, the TV in this case, and find it better to do that than waste my time in a mostly pointless quarrel with well-paid corporate lawyers. Also given that the alternative to keeping the TV is paying even more for a smaller bundle. But am I happy about it? Not really.

       

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1981356 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        My sister wants a tv screen not a laptop.  🙂

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1981515 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Susan, it should be possible, with the right TV set, to connect a laptop to it via HDMI cable, for example, to watch programs as streaming video, using the TV screen as a large external monitor. The laptop, I suppose, does not have to be a high-end pricey one, if it will be used mostly to watch TV by streaming programs with it. No need for it to have a lot of HD capacity or RAM, although I would imagine a reasonably speedy CPU and GPU and a decent display resolution would be good things to have in it. The real catch would be if your sister wants to watch mostly commercial TV programs and does not want to wait for them to become available for streaming, let’s say, from Amazon, Netflix, etc. commercial-free, or to buy them one episode at the time, the day after the episode is broadcast. Or wait for the set of DVDs to be released with all the season’s episodes after the season is over.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1986518 Reply

          genej101
          AskWoody Plus

          I do use my MacBookPro with an HDMI cable to stream to my 75 inch Sony. It’s a 13 inch screen which is too tiny for my eyes at this point, so I even use it, occasionally to browse from downstairs, any issues Apple Support, an app on my iPhone clears right up, they really do support their products beautifully. Use a Windows Desktop as my main machine with a 32 inch HP monitor. I have a couple streaming sports subscriptions that I like to watch on the Sony – women’s volleyball (though I’m a season ticket holder, I get away games on the Mac), softball (also a season ticket but the Gophers play only one month at home, everything from Feb through March is streamed), I’ve also got access to Netflix, Prime and Hulu on the Sony natively. I keep the Xfinity package but really don’t need much of it, the few network shows I follow are on Hulu the next day without ads – I DVR them, Xfinity has a command “smart resume” that skips past ads, but it’s still easier on Hulu. Xfinity prices are just out of control, but there’s no competitor but Dish and I’d never do that.

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  genej101.
        • #1994457 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          My PC screen is my TV screen! 😉

          -- rc primak

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981354 Reply

      anonymous

      Xfinity is the one that you noticed, but it is not the only service playing shenanigans and hoping to redefine customer expectations. Dish satellite is known to be ‘cheaper’, but they stay that way by arguing every contract increase from content providers.

      Dish recently learned how important NCAA football is to their bottom line and ended the suspension of Fox Sports. While it was gone from listings, they blamed the issue on Fox. (Sports, News, Basic Cable entertainment, and Broadcast Network are all treated as separate units of the Fox empire.) So this example was short lived.

      Dish also pursues action against local affiliates of broadcast networks using the rationale that free TV should be gratis for them to carry, advertise, and profit by carrying. This has had my local ABC affiliate unavailable through that service for many months now. I have been surprised to find that commercial breaks are still reasonably spaced opportunities to deal with real life items, like refreshments, conversation, and just relaxing for a moment before the next intense scene is presented. Kind of a retro, throwback feel to how we used to live in the auld days.

      I do not believe these tactics will end with us spending less. It may slow the growth of the bill, but market inflation is what it is. And the inconvenience fee is not reflected in dollars. (or the currency in your realm)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981366 Reply

      willygirl
      AskWoody Plus

      Have DVD movies and  player, will travel …. as far back in time or nearest to the present as possible. Best thing is we pay a one time price for the movies and have them forever, and, commercials don’t exist. Take a break for popcorn and hit the pause button. Done, have it your way or no way. Xfinity? What’s that?

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981367 Reply

      Tem
      AskWoody Lounger

      In our neighborhood we have three choices:  Cox, AT&T Uverse, and Dish/DirecTV.

      We left Cox for one year (switched to Uverse) because of cable cost inflation and their unwillingness to negotiate.

      AT&T has a better channel line-up than Cox, but Cox has better user interfaces and faster Internet than AT&T ADSL over copper.

      We’re now back with Cox, and at a price I would have gladly accepted 18 months ago.

      GRRRR…

      • #1994465 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        I used to have UVerse. They were poor quality, frequent outages, and severe bandwidth limitations. The channel lineup kept shrinking and shrinking. Even if I hadn’t moved to a city where they don’t have services, I would have thrown them under the bus and moved on to Comcast in a heartbeat. And don’t even get me started about DirectTV!

        -- rc primak

    • #1981368 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      I live in a small town of 3000 and Xfinity is about the only option besides DSL or expensive fiber which isn’t even available in my area. Xfinity service isn’t cheap in my town and our system is somewhat outdated and in need of upgrades. There are weekly outages and Xfinity techs say they can only keep fixing things as they break. I have not subscribed to a TV service for a long time. I use an antenna for local stations, and the rest we stream. Both cable and to some extent satellite hurt themselves pushing customers into higher tiers just to get popular channels.

      • #1982294 Reply

        anonymous

        Anywhere where Comcast/Xfinity has no competition from another equally large competitor it’s mostly Comcast/Xfinity’s way or the highway. Where there is at least one other competitor that’s just as big, Comcast/Xfinity will negotiate a matching rate. I do this every year and I’ll shave a good $30+ off of my monthly bill for Internet Only service. But if that Internet Cable Modem rental fee keeps getting any larger then I’m going to take some time off from having broadband internet speeds. That Monthly rental started at around $5 per month and has risen to around $13 and really I have had that one device paid for about 5 times over during the 6+ odd years I have had a contract with Comcast/Xfinity.

        It’s just too bad that a few months after I negotiated another 1 year deal with Comcast/Xfinity for a lower rate my building began offering access to its wireless internet service free of charge, but the data speeds(Up and Down) are not that great.

    • #1981369 Reply

      As to the fragmented, twisted, deformed Hydra The Cable had become, I, in 2017, cut it’s TV section out, dropped the landline, and went for 2 cellphones, backup batteries for them, and cable internet. Period. I could no longer afford all of it.

      If I watch TV at all, it’s through the web, 95% of the time that’s “Broken News” about some situation that’s just too important. (Like a wildfire bearing down on me!)

      I thought at first I was going to miss cable, but after a month or so I found I didn’t! Got a stack of DVD’s (Classic Movies) and a standalone 24″ Dell monitor, and I’m fine.

      IMHO, commercial cable/internet companies are the 5th horseman. You start with the basic reasoning that none of them are any  darn good, and go from there. I don’t know of anyone who likes their cable ISP…unless it’s a municipal one, and they’re hard to find. We need more municipal ISP’s….they usually give lower rates, better service, and more accountability.

      (I should also mention I’m an Amateur Radio Operator, and should the cell towers go out, we have propane generator/battery/solar/backed-up UHF/VHF/SHF repeaters on all high peaks nearby, and a lot of charged batteries at home. It was a factor in telling AT&T’s landline service* to…well, “put it in a cool, dry place,” as the song goes.)  :/

      200+ channels and 95% of it’s sludge. In any case, I’m usually too busy trying to keep a roof over my head to watch TV.

      But God Save TCM!! 🙂

      *Noticed that they’ve offshored their Residential Landline Services Support…I couldn’t understand them, and they couldn’t hear me, and the connection kept breaking. That did it.

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode."
      --
      "...All the people, all the time..." (Peter Ustinov ad-lib from "Logan's Run")

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1981386 Reply

      anonymous

      Here’s the Comcast rationale. https://www.foxbusiness.com/media/turner-classic-movies-gets-pinched-by-comcast-as-streaming-battle-looms

      Living in a rural area, I’m “lucky” to have Comcast although I detest everything about the conglomerate and being stuck with giving them a dime. Had to have Sports Entertainment anyway as the military channels are in there for some equally odd reason; happened 5+ years ago. Do watch golf and F1 and Tour de France, etc which might be in there. Never watch TCM.

      Have kept Verizon 15 mbps DSL because it’s cheap with my landline.

      Still have a Motorola DVR and a Cisco box as I can’t stand Xfinity or that guide and my audio comes off the box to an ancient B&O system which can decode 5.1 from stereo and no Xfinity box has variable L/R ports! Ergo, can manage with one remote unless I use the browser on my OLED TV for something like streaming the Gooding & Co. auctions.

      Techie son ditched Comcast recently as the bill was out of hand. He’s in a small southern city and now lives off cheap, local gigabit and is using antennae in the attic for OTA. Can’t give you the details but apparently most cable I watch is available YouTube TV. Might be using a firestick for one TV and internal apps in the other big screen. He claims it’s a snap to use. He can convince me on my next visit. 🙂 Must have FBN in the AM to manage my portfolio! Son says it’s there!

       

       

    • #1981415 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      We have an antenna – soon we will have an external antenna – and a computer which is permanently connected to our main TV – we stream videos via Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. We pay around $8.95 per month for Netflix; we already have Amazon Prime, so the videos are a freebee; and we pay around $60 per month for 5MB DSL with no throttling and no limits. We do not have cable or satellite TV.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981475 Reply

      Geo
      AskWoody Plus

      IMDB has free movies.

    • #1981479 Reply

      techweenie
      AskWoody Lounger

      I haven’t paid for TV in years.  If it’s not on Netflix or YouTube, it isn’t worth watching.  Life without commercials every 5 minutes is what cable used to be all about, but it has long since lost it’s way and going back to that is not an option for anyone in my family.  There are a couple shows I like that aren’t available on streaming services, but those can be downloaded without commercials if you know where to look.

      • #1981514 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Commercials are what is keeping me away from my TV, even while I am still paying for “cable” (fiber optic connection provided by Verizon), and paying for it as the lesser of two evils, as I have explained already here, further up.

        I no longer can stand commercial pauses (not that I was ever a fan of them) cutting the story into pieces, interrupting arbitrarily its flow with totally unrelated content and making it harder to follow. But good shows broadcast by commercial TV sometimes are later sold in DVD format, so one can see the show commercial-free by buying the disks. Or later still, they might become available, commercial-free, to Netflix, Hulu+ or Amazon Prime (*) subscribers for streaming, or borrowing in DVD format. Shows I have been interested in watching have usually had their DVD version of the whole season released, in boxes with several disks, a few months after the end of that season. Also they can be bought, one episode at the time, from Amazon Prime video, the day after they are shown.

        (*) Some of the shows available through Amazon Prime are not from Amazon itself but from some of the “channels” that can be accessed through Amazon, and those may have commercials.

         

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1994472 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          I can’t remember the last time I watched a prime-time network show when it aired. I time-shift everything using a TiVo Bolt OTA. It skips through the commercials easily, at least for now and on most channels. Bolt can also use a Cable Card, but I like having the Comcast DVR for backup (wind and lightning storms can wreck havoc on OTA DTV reception!) and for Cable-only channels.

          -- rc primak

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  rc primak.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  rc primak.
    • #1981530 Reply

      Mele20
      AskWoody Lounger

      My sister wants a tv screen not a laptop.  🙂

      TV has been such an interesting thing here in Hawaii and especially in the town I live in on the Big Island. When I moved here in the early 70’s, there was one broadcast channel available…with lots of snow. No cable…dish unheard off. Second largest city in Hawaii yet almost no TV service. Then cable came to the condo building I lived in and cable is STILL required for broadcast TV, at least in this area. We finally have OTA but not strong signals where I am so that is not a solution. At least, we no longer have to wait one week to get broadcast TV shows current episodes…that situation continued until the mid 90’s I think it was.

      I care ONLY about certain TV Dramas on broadcast TV so when my tube tv died at 10 years of age (long lived as it was subjected to salt air all year round as we have no air conditioning or heating here), I didn’t replace it for ten years. My town had finally gotten broadband a few months before the TV died and I had joined dslreports.com and spent most of my time posting in the security forum there and had little time for a tv. But with the advent of these fabulous gigantic flat screens I wanted one! I’m three years into my second Samsung 55″ and want a bigger one! I have a 24″ widescreen Dell Ultrasharp monitor and was forced to watch TV on it when my first Samsung flat screen (42 inch) was having problems at only 3 years of age. I gave up as it was torture to watch on the smaller monitor for many reasons.

      The Fall Season has finally begun and I am happy because summer was a long dry spell with no tv. I watch 12 hours a week total all during Prime Time on CBS, NBC and ABC. I watch CNN as the sole cable channel whenever there is some big news. I don’t sit and pig out during the dramas rather I get up and move during every commercial and I do my floor calisthenics and my free weights lifting while watching. I don’t have a DVR and I don’t want one. I didn’t even have an HD box for the tv until recently when clear QAM was finally phased out by the cable company. I don’t want to have to hassle around with streaming. I don’t even like On Demand with cable as half the time the episode I missed is not there, or plays part of it and then stops and never gets fixed, etc. I want to watch during prime time and I don’t want hassles. I want to turn on the TV at 8PM tonight for All Rise, a new courtroom drama on CBS, and then Bull at 9PM.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981649 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      it should be possible, with the right TV set, to connect a laptop to it

      It is also possible, with the right TV set, to stream from a laptop via wi-fi or local network to one of those smart Android TVs.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  Alex5723.
      • #1989640 Reply

        anonymous

        Or a Chromecast dongle to a not-so-smart TV

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981653 Reply

      doriel
      AskWoody Lounger

      In Europe (Czech Republic), basically every internet provider runs its own IPTV. I mean – you can watch TV 30 days into past when you have their internet connection. It costs like 10EUR per month for TV and 15-20EUR for internet connection.

      Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, WX 1809 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

    • #1981712 Reply

      anonymous

      I have xfinity and found I dont have TCM anymore. This upset me because I liked watching TCM.  I am waiting for the agreement that I have with Xfinity to end that gives me a better price then I will cancel and go with a different provider.

      I guess Xfinity wants to buy another company all the ones they have are not enough.

      You should send these complaints that you are getting to Xfinity so that they can see that their customers are not happy with their latest greed tactic.  I dont think it will help but it cant hurt.

    • #1981759 Reply

      agoldhammer
      AskWoody Plus

      A lot of years ago we ditched Comcast once Verizon wired the neighborhood for FIOS.  Comcast service would go down about once a month but FIOS has been reliable except during total power outages.  We have had to retain our land phone line because cell phone service until just recently was spotty in our house so we have a bundle that includes phone, Internet, and cable TV.  I’ve kept the cost for TV down by building my own PC that uses a cable card tuner and has a 1TB hard drive for recording programs.  I use MSFT Windows Media Center with Win 7.  My system is stable so I should be OK even when support is discontinued next year.

      Verizon still carries TCM as part of the regular cable package.  I don’t mind streaming services and use Netflix, Amazon Prime and ESPN+ (for sports) via my Win 7 PC.  There are alternatives to cable television that are pretty easy to install and maintain (Roku and Amazon Fire) if one wants to go that route.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981836 Reply

      anonymous

      I got rid of cable back in the 90’s. Too expensive, too much nonsense with bundles, channels you don’t want, etc. Have been watching broadcast TV ever since, which is much better now with HD TV. More channels with HD, and you simply unselect the ones you don’t want to watch and then you never see them when you’re channel surfing. I have about 35 channels selected, which is fine. Sure, there are times when there is absolutely nothing worth watching, but you just find something else to do. Have also found the various places on the Internet to watch movies and TV shows. I might consider paid TV from one of these companies, but only if they offered a service where you could choose the channels you want à la carte at a reasonable price each. Am not aware of any such service where I am at.

    • #1981863 Reply

      SwooshyCueb
      AskWoody Plus

      I haven’t had a cable subscription since I moved out (unless you count the free cable (which I never used) that was included with my first apartment).

      Here’s a list of the video streaming services I’m subscribed to:

      • Amazon Prime
      • Netflix
      • VRV
      • Hulu
      • YouTube Premium
      • Showtime (via Amazon)
      • CBS All Access (via Amazon)
      • Floatplane
      • Mixer Premium

      I have noticed that, as more and more streaming services pop up, the quality diminishes. VRV does not have subtitles for a lot of dubbed anime. The subtitles on CBS All Access proper are god awful. (They’re fine on Amazon, but they’re usually not available for the first week or so that a video is available.) Netflix doesn’t support 4k on most of my devices. I can’t watch Floatplane on my TV without jumping through a ton of hoops. YouTube Premium refuses to use hardware decoding on my desktop. Hulu arbitrarily decides that I don’t deserve HD video. Hulu also tends to forget where I am in a series. I cannot use my Mixer account on most devices because it is not linked to a Microsoft account. None of these services support surround sound on my computer, the only device I have that actually has a surround sound system.

      I use Wide Open West for my ISP. They were fine until recently, when I started getting a pretty consistent 16% packet loss. They’ve sent technicians out but have been unable to solve the problem. Previously, I’ve had MetroCast/MaxxSouth, and they were alright except for the fact that they gave my phone number to telemarketers. At one point, I tried to sign up for C-Spire fiber-to-the-home, and was told that everything would be ready by the time I moved in. When time came to move in, turns out that the service actually wasn’t available in that part of town, and I had been lied to.

    • #1981943 Reply

      plodr
      AskWoody Plus

      Did Xfinity go too far? YES! But this isn’t something new. They keep pulling stunts to raise prices and no one seems to look into their questionable business practices.

      We’ve been customers for 30 years but have gotten increasingly angry ever since they went digital. First the DTA that we have to attach to the tvs were free. Then the price went to 99¢ a month. Currently the price is $6.99 a month before taxes! The boxes are the original ssince we first self-installed them so in effect, we’ve paid for the hardware thousands of times more than the unit is worth. We have three of those (we have 4 tvs) so this month our bill was over $23 just for the DTA units.

      Then they decided to remove the 24 hour local weather channel we watched.

      Next came the regional sports fee, currently at $8/month.

      Streaming is not an option. We are senior citizens and prefer watching tv on a tv not a computer or a laptop attached to a computer. We watch our local news at 5:30 every evening. We can see some of the stories on the internet but not the entire news cast which we prefer to watch.

      Satellite is not an option because of our hilly location, 1/2 block from the woods and lots of trees on our property. Plus, we would not get our local news channel.

      An antenna is not an option. We live too far from a major market to get more than 3 channels: ABC, CBS and NBC.

      Got coffee?

      • #1982217 Reply

        anonymous

        If you haven’t yet, check out Internet-Based TV.  There’s probably a service like CipherTV that you can use for your area.  It does use bandwidth, and quality might be a bit worse.  I don’t know if worth it, I’ve considered setting it up for my parents as it would save them $100/mo.

    • #1981964 Reply

      Marty
      AskWoody Plus

      Comcast/Xfinity has monopoly powers, and as a customer I have no leverage against them.  18 months ago, they provided me with an X1 system to address a complaint I had filed with the FCC (the older Comcast system did not display subtitles correctly).  At that time, their Accessibility Services group made a price guarantee that my bill would not go up as long as I kept the same package and equipment.  For 18 months, they honored that commitment, although I had to remind them on some occasions.   Now, however, they suddenly claim that the commitment was made in violation of a newly-discovered policy, and it has no force.  Consequently, my monthly bill has just gone up by 25%.  They won’t respond to my arguments, and they won’t budge on the price; instead, they just invoke “policy”.  I don’t see any way of winning this battle, and there is no viable alternative TV/ISP where I live.

      It’s no surprise that complaints about Comcast are piling up quickly in this thread.  Nice to be able to vent, but don’t expect any changes.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1982072 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Have you tried Verizon Wireless? If you are in a 4G area, you could probably get TV and internet:

        https://www.verizonwireless.com/home-services/home-services/#lpTabsWrapper

        As I understand, they will put an antenna on your house to get the best internet service. You can connect wired or wireless devices to their router.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #1994482 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          4G services don’t cut it for full-sized HDTV displays. We will have to wait for 5G services to have a truly practical wireless solution for everything. And you can bet it will be very costly.

          -- rc primak

    • #1982139 Reply

      Norio
      AskWoody Plus

      I do not have a TV (seriously) and do not find a need for one.

      Bravo @F A Kramer! I haven’t had a TV/cable/satellite/streaming service for over 10 years. I am not a Luddite by any means, since I am the IT help desk at my place of work. I just got tired of the hours I would spend every day (more on weekends!) watching the boobus toobus. Instead, I read books, play with my pets, walk in the mountains, etc. It was akin to an addiction, and in 2009 it seemed to be the last one I had or would have. Now, if I could just get rid of my smartphone…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1982150 Reply

      Kranium
      AskWoody Lounger

      I go the pirate route. Since they’ve made everything way too expensive and convoluted,  not a single penny of mine goes their way. Their fault, not mine.

      Edit for content. Please follow the –Lounge Rules– no personal attacks, no swearing

      Group B for WIN7 w/ ESU, plus trying out Linux builds in dual boot.

    • #1982152 Reply

      Elrod
      AskWoody Plus

      We haven’t had cable television in years.  Between broadcast TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, plus a collection of DVD/Blu-Ray disks, we’re good.

      Cable in its current form needs to die.  I remember when cable TV came into the area where I lived when I was younger.  It was fine, at first.  But over the years, most of the stations eventually acquired so much advertising that it made little sense to keep paying to watch advertising.  The content/ad ratio became ridiculous.

      I am intensely suspicious that the same thing will happen with satellite radio – I had it for a year or two when I bought my current car, but my concern is that eventually the same thing will happen there as happened on cable, there will be huge amounts of ads, and it will become indistinguishable from broadcast radio.

      Group "L": Linux Mint

    • #1982214 Reply

      anonymous

      Thankfully entertainment has been getting worse over the last 5-10 years so I have less desire to sign up now.  I cut cable last year, and Netflix earlier this year.

      I’ll probably re-enable Amazon Prime or Netflix for a couple months next year to catch up on some shows, but otherwise I don’t see myself becoming a long-term subscriber again.  They pushed themselves out of being a necessity by both quality and price.

    • #1982247 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      I cut the cord a couple of years ago (Dish Network) and installed an HD OTA antenna on the edge of the roof.  I get 80+ channels, trimmed to ~30 with content I might watch, but I rarely watch TV.  On the other hand, during hurricane season local weather is a favorite.

      I have an Amazon Prime membership and Fire TV Stick, so there is much more available than I care to watch.  The Fire TV Stick was on sale at $19.95.  I buy enough through Amazon that I think I probably make up for the membership price in saved shipping costs most every year.

      As for Xfinity, this thread is a pretty good history for me.  Certainly mine is not an average case, but the level of service I received far exceeded my expectations.  The speed bumps have been unexpected, and I’m still only paying the cost of the service for which I initially signed up, 75 Mbps.  The most recent bump was advertised as 200 Mbps, but I’m averaging ~230 Mbps download and 11 Mbps upload.  I bought my own router, I don’t rent theirs.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  bbearren.
    • #1982377 Reply

      anonymous

      Had an argument with Verizon after they jacked up the monthly rate for basic cable/landline/fiber internet.  They refused to even match the previous price, although that was still $20 above what they were offering new customers, never mind the $35 they wanted existing customers  to pay above new customers for the same package.  After pointing out that this account had been active for over 50 years, and that it would be closed if they refused to match the price they charged somebody who just stumbled in off the street, AND that they wouldn’t have to eat the cost of the “free” service and installation call required for that new customer, their response was “The computer won’t let us do that.”

      No problem.  Canceled the account, yanked out the lead battery they had installed to keep my phone “working” if there was a power outage – although with a dead base station, the handsets wouldn’t be able to pick up the phone signal until power was returned – brought it back to them to recycle rather than have to shlep it to the dump on a special once-a-year day myself, and dropped their internet router off.

      Three days later, I went in, signed up for nothing but internet, and I’m paying less than 20% of what they wanted to charge for cable that I never watched, a landline that just duplicated my cell service, and a slower internet package.  I guess they’re happy they didn’t get a fast one pulled on them by a long-term customer.

      I had dumped the cable box about a year before when I realized the only shows I watched were on the local broadcast affiliate anyway.  So a $30 antenna, and I’m good to go.  But I turned my TV on for the first time in 3 months this last weekend because a guest wanted to watch a show.  Which was available over the air.

    • #1982642 Reply

      anonymous

      Remember when the idea of Cable TV was not to have commercials at all?

      I suddenly realized that I was paying over $100/month to watch shows with commercials, and that at 18-20 minutes total out of an hour show!

      Snip! This sheep just got tired of being sheared.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1982666 Reply

      Purg2
      AskWoody Lounger

      Nothing would please me more than to see comcast lose a chunk of their profit.

      In my town of 150,000 in northern Illinois they are a regional monopoly.  If a person wants cable broadband, they get comcast because no other provider offers it.

      They scam the c*** out of us with their bundles & fees that vary like the weather.  After the promotional offer expires, the bill goes up.

      They finally got mine up to 96 dollars a month & I had enough.  I only have basic TV & internet.  I complained that this is no way to retain a customer in good standing of over 15 years.  My payments were always on time.  Maybe it’s time I switched to dish network.  When they lowered it to 68 I was gratefully surprised until the following year when the price went up 8 or 12 bucks.  They informed me that they don’t have a flat rate while reminding me that the cost of doing business will increase occasionally.  Don’t I like the speed increase?  Holds tongue, tells them professionally that comcast lost a significant case with the state of Washington & that this is only the tip of the iceberg because there are soooo many other examples of unhappy customers.

      Every year when my rate goes up, I have to negotiate to get it lowered.  They always manage to scare up a promotion that will make up some of the difference, but not all.  Exhausting doesn’t describe it enough.

      Cutting the cord is probably in my future.  If only I could do it sooner rather than later.

      Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

    • #1986040 Reply

      ibe98765
      AskWoody Plus

      Comcast is a sleaze business.  As is AT&T and I’d wager every other major telcom company.

      When they know they have you over a barrel and that you don’t have any other choice but them, they will rake you over the coals without a second thought.

      My big issue with Comcast is their two charges (Broadcast TV Fee & Regional Sports Fee) that add about $17 monthly to mine and everyone’s bill.  These charges look ‘official’ but  are created by Comcast and are not FCC required charges. Every Comcast customer should file an FCC complaint about these charges.  Make Comcast include these charges in their advertised prices at least, if not end them entirely.

      Now, if you have problems that you can’t get satisfaction through the normal organization, you can contact Tom Karinshak, who is the ‘Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Care Operations’.

      Go to this URL:
      https://www.xfinity.com/corporate/customers/tomkcustcare.html

      Click on “Read a letter from Tom”.

      In the letter, near the bottom, buried in the text is a hot link labeled “contact me”. Click that and you will be taken to a contact form to reach his office staff, who have a lot more power than any other customer facing group in Comcast.  Hopefully, they can help solve your problem.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1986041 Reply

      ibe98765
      AskWoody Plus

      A lot of people in this thread seem to be recommending streaming.  While that used to be a cheaper alternative to cable, it is becoming more expensive lately.  For instance AT&T is raising streaming prices again.  They get you coming or going.

      ===========

      AT&T Hikes Online-TV Prices Up to 30% in Second Boost This Year

      October 18, 2019, 4:02 PM EDT

      – TV Now service will rise to $80 a month for 65 channels

      – Phone giant is under pressure from activist to boost returns

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-18/at-t-hikes-online-tv-prices-up-to-30-in-second-boost-this-year

    • #1986443 Reply

      aaron451
      AskWoody Plus

      The question I don’t see answered with cord-cutters is how do you replace your DVR? I’ve had DirecTV for years mainly because of the DVR service. I’ve tried the streaming services but they all fall WAY short of my current DVR. Even tried the HULU full package. Some programs you can record/watch without commercials, but most NOT.

      • #1986503 Reply

        anonymous

        I have seen a device from a company named ematic that is a digital video recorder for over the air broadcasts.

        Search for something like that in your area.

      • #1988132 Reply

        MikeS_inFL
        AskWoody Plus

        aaron451 – We did the original cord cutting thing back in ’97 when we let go of cable TV.  Since then we’ve bounced back & forth between satellite, OTA, cable TV off and on.

        Now, we have a mini-PC behind the large screen LCD that runs Win97 and Windows Media Center for our OTA content.  It’s still working fine and I’ve read that it uses the same program guide as that on X-Box, so it should be available for a long time.  Fingers crossed!  There are also Tivo boxes and others that still have DVRs.  We don’t worry about the commercials because our remote has commercial skip over – 30 seconds at a push, 6 or 8 taps and – whoosh, past commercials most of the time.

        There is also a service called Plex that has loads of options including a local DVR for OTA channels.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1988251 Reply

        anonymous

        @aaron451:

        Tivo OTA ($300 + $15/mo) (www.tivo.com) is a hopped up DVR if you are in an area where you get the broadcast channels you want.   You need an internet connection with sufficient speed to stream your choices.  6mb handles most stuff.  NO COMMERCIALS!

        • #1994494 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          That’s 6TB, not 6MB. Standard on a TiVo Bolt is 1TB or 2TB. That’s a lot of hours of even 4K HDTV shows.

          TiVo records all commercials, but at this time can skip nearly all commercials on most programs.

          I got my 1TB TiVo Bolt OTA last year with lifetime (device lifetime, non-transferable) guide services for less than the price you list. That’s not counting the trade-in for my TiVo Roamio OTA.

          Weaknees has even better deals. They are the major secondary market website for TiVo products, past and present. Lots of good, well-functioning refurbs and upgrades. Lots of discounts. Also, repair service at prices which can’t be beat, and do it yourself kits and videos.

          -- rc primak

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  rc primak.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  rc primak.
      • #1994493 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        TiVo, HD Home Run plus Plex Media Server, Kodi boxes, Tablo, Sling TV (various boxes, streamers, recorders and programming packages), to name a few. OTA and streaming DVRs are plentiful, but good program guides and recording interfaces are much more of an issue.

        -- rc primak

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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