• Patch Lady – did Xfinity go too far?

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    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/Prudent patcher

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    • #1981284

      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

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    • #1981292

      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

      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

        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

      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.

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    • #1981305

      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.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
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      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11 for maintenance)

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    • #1981307

      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.

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      • #1982063

        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 v1909, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows Vista Home Premium x64
        • #1994450

          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

      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.

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    • #1981349

      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!

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    • #1981353

      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.


      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

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      • #1981356

        My sister wants a tv screen not a laptop.  🙂

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1981515

          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.

          Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

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        • #1986518

          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 3 years, 11 months ago by genej101.
        • #1994457

          My PC screen is my TV screen! 😉

          -- rc primak

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    • #1981354

      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)

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    • #1981366

      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?

      MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and SOS at times.

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    • #1981367

      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.


      • #1994465

        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

      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

        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

      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", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
      "Windows Update? Bah! I could carve a better ecosystem out of a banana!" -Jamrach Holobom

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    • #1981386

      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

      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
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    • #1981475

      IMDB has free movies.

    • #1981479

      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

        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.


        Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

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        • #1994472

          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 3 years, 11 months ago by rc primak.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by rc primak.
    • #1981530

      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.

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    • #1981649

      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 3 years, 11 months ago by Alex5723.
    • #1981653

      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 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

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

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

    • #1981712

      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

      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.

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    • #1981836

      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

      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 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

      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

        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

      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.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1982139

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by bbearren.
    • #1982377

      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

      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

      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 (home & pro) Group B, Linux Dabbler

    • #1986040

      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:

      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.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1986041

      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


    • #1986443

      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

        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

        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


        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

          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 3 years, 11 months ago by rc primak.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by rc primak.
      • #1994493

        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

    • #2039808

      I left cable TV about 13 years ago. I am a streamer. I’m 64 and built PC’s from scratch. Until the Hurricane here (a 5.2 after all the air force says) I was with a smaller company for years called WOW. I loved them. My house was eaten by Micheal so I live with my son who has everything the big companies sells. Its okay. This new “a la carte” in reverse is funny. For years we all wanted it and were told it was impossible to only buy the channels you wanted and buying a single channel would never come. That’s funny. People like the lady who started this conversation or my son are paying huge cable TV bills, but finally we have a la carte cable. Sounds like if the channel has good entertainment, you count it out of the package and pay for it separately without a deduction in monthly rate if I understand it?

      Same people spent a lot of money convincing people that net neutrality or regulation of something the people paid taxes to have was a bad idea.

      According to Scientific American “Yes, Government Researchers Really Did Invent the Internet” You can read more about that here https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/yes-government-researchers-really-did-invent-the-internet/
      Since that being the case, it was our tax dollars at work. Funny how things we pay for are then sold back to us

      • #2039821

        I pay a service provider to connect me to that taxpayer funded, scientist designed, government built, interconnected network that allows me access to the world wide web. It is that connection service that I pay a monthly subscription to maintain, whenever I need it.

        I am willing to learn and enjoy ‘do it yourself’ projects. Is there a way for an individual to become their own internet service provider and cut out the middle-man? Is it down-scalable in an economic way? I fear it may be too costly for an individual connection. But a cooperative of many subscribers could work. Then there is the hardware cost, and materials for connections. No, I think I’ll stick with my ISP, they have already made these investments before I purchased a subscription. And they will troubleshoot and maintain the integrity of their connections. Allowing me to spend my time in other ways.

        Crippling their attempt to maintain a profit margin that allows them to stay in business would be working against my interest to keep my monthly payments low.

    • #2039864

      Comcast/Xfinity collects huge amounts of our personal information including: voice commands from our televisions remote control; equipment utilization including the number and types of devices connected to their network and how we use them; “network traffic data” (possibly the content of our e-mails); information about our video activity; online information including web addresses visited and “other activity”; and “additional information” about the “service options” we have chosen. In addition, they obtain information about us from third parties including: demographic data including gender, age, etc.; location data including designated market area, zip code, etc.; interest data such as sports, travel, and other recreational interests; shopping preferences, etc.; and they purchase data from public records, loyalty programs, etc. (Think about the loyalty programs part next time you purchase a prescription at your local pharmacy. I asked for and read the agreement that I agreed to by electronically sign the CVS pharmacy’s machine at checkout. It included provisions that allowed the pharmacy to share our prescription information with others!) Then, armed with this massive amount of our personal data, Xfinity profiled us and sent targeted advertising to our television, web browsers, and web pages.

      We discovered the magnitude of Xfinity’s intrusion into our lives when we purchased a new car that is equipped with a SiriusXM Satellite Radio. We frequently listen to television news channels such as Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. What we noticed was that the advertising was different depending on whether we are listening to a station in the car or television. The Xfinity television streams were full of advertisements targeting people with cancer related risks while the radio stream is devoid of cancer related advertising. As a cancer survivor, the Xfinity cancer advertisements drive me crazy. As a two-time cancer survivor, I do not need or want constant reminders of what I have gone through over the last fifteen years and may be exposed to in the future.

      In order to reduce our exposure to Comcast/Xfinity’s flood of targeted advertising we have purchased a Roku device that allows us to bypass the cable providers television advertising. The combination of Roku and a smart television we can now stream Netflix, BritBox, the BBC and other channels directly to the television free of Comcast’s targeted advertising.

      In addition, we have set up a virtual private network for our computers using NordVPN. The VPN provides a secure, encrypted tunnel for our online traffic. As a result, Xfinity can not get their hands on our internet data stream until after it leaves one of NordVPN’s thousands of servers that are scattered around the world. As a result, we have gained some peace of mind knowing that each time we use the internet from home or on a public Wi-Fi network we are protected from unwanted snooping.

      A side benefit of NordVPN is that we can select a server in any one of 58 countries. In the past, content that was restricted to local distribution, say within Australia, is now available for viewing or listening to at the house by using a NordVPN Australian-based server.

      • #2039894

        You raise many good points, though for myself I doubt the collection of information is quite that detailed. It is certainly possible to gather all those pieces of information, I’m not quite convinced all of it is useful. Marketers collecting information is not new, just more voluminous and faster than snail mail from the 1970’s. And I wouldn’t interpret volume the same as accuracy. In fact, I fear fast and inaccurate data in my name more than an accurate profile.

        Congratulations on your victory over Cancer. It is a great achievement, you have every right to feel pride in yourself and harbor suspicion of others motives. I hope to ease your mind slightly on the advertising you mentioned from your news sources. The same concentration of cancer related advertising is seen in my home. It is currently a lucrative trend. However, my provider is one of the satellite services and it is separate from my ISP. So it does not share information from searches. And we choose not to use any of the voice modes, they are not activated on the installation page. In fact, if you fumble the remote and press the assistant button the display complains we Must Connect to use the service. Finally, we have been fortunate to not endure the burden of cancer in our home or our close circle, so there would be less reason to target that advertising here.

        The lack of that same advertising in your audio stream is explained by the difference in media. Television advertising is produced for the visual element to seize you attention. Yet also allows legally required information in small print, to be easily ignored. The audio only form is not served well by this format. So advertisers will pay to substitute spots designed for the media used. You are interpreting a personalized targeting that is better explained by media awareness by spot purchasers.

        Web page advertising, however, is eminently more focused by the data you allow to be collected. I’m glad you find VPNs satisfactory for your needs.

        You have kept the Comcast data service, but broken the package for television. Then add cost for streaming services through your Comcast connection. Are you satisfied that the additional cost is adequately offset by the increase in privacy?

        For your last item, I agree there is very good programming available from around the world. Often I enjoy what I see as a higher quality production value, both in writing and photography. But I’ve been a little skeptical about the talent involved getting their proper residuals from these relocated streaming severs. This is why I am more comfortable with large corporations working out the licensing details for me.

      • #2040030

        Comcast/Xfinity collects huge amounts of our personal information including:
        … “network traffic data” (possibly the content of our e-mails);
        … ; online information including web addresses visited

        We do not read your outgoing or incoming email, file attachments, video mail, private chat, or instant messages. However, we (along with our service providers) use software and hardware tools to help prevent and block “spam” emails, viruses, spyware, and other harmful or unwanted communications and programs from being sent and received over Comcast.net email and the Comcast Services. To help protect you and the Services against these harmful or unwanted communications and programs, these tools may automatically scan your emails, video mails, instant messages, file attachments, and other files and communications. We do not use these tools for marketing or advertising.

        1. Where you go on the Internet is your business, not ours
        As your Internet Service Provider, we do not track the websites you visit or apps you use through your broadband connection. Because we don’t track that information, we don’t use it to build a profile about you, and we have never sold that information to anyone.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2039935

      Yes, Comcast/Xfinity does collect huge amounts of our personal information. In fact, the description of what Comcast collects from individual users comes from their privacy disclosure.

      And yes, Comcast does offer the its business clients the ability to do targeted advertising. See the REUTERS November 4, 2019 article Comcast launches tools to improve ad targeting on TV ( https://www.reuters.com/article/us-comcast-advertising-idUSKBN1XE27J ).

      The content and timing of the Fox, CNN, and MSNBC television and radio streams is identical except for the advertising is different. If you watch Xfinity TV closely you can frequently see that Comcast targeted advertising overlays the network adds. Watch the end of advertisements and you will frequently see the tail end of the network advertisement after the Comcast targeted ad ends.

    • #2040059

      It appears that I stepped on a raw nerve at Comcast.

      At https://www.xfinity.com/privacy/policy Comcast clearly states,

      “We use the information we collect to provide our Services and communicate with you. We also use it to improve our Services, develop new products and services, give recommendations, deliver personalized marketing and advertising for our own and others’ products and services, investigate theft and other illegal activities, and to ensure a secure online environment.

      We may combine information across our systems, platforms, and databases. This includes combining information we receive from third parties and information about your use of our Services. We may also combine information about your use of one Service with information we get from your use of another Service.”

      A very broad statement.

      And they do not deny that they stream targeted advertising to our TV based upon the data they collect about us.


      • #2040087

        Yes, like most other companies.

        But they clearly deny reading our emails or tracking our web browsing, contrary to your assertions.

        (I’m also a Comcast/Xfinity customer.)

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2040086

      Then there is Comcast’s interest in Blockchain Tech for targeted advertising.  Clearly the company is being extremely aggressive in the use of and profit from consumer specific data.

      Some additional reading on, How Comcast Will Use Blockchain Tech for Targeted Ads. Follow the link https://www.lightreading.com/blockchain/how-comcast-will-use-blockchain-tech-for-targeted-ads-/d/d-id/749034

      • #2040094

        I prefer to view ads which may interest me.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2040096

      I do not know who b is or if he/she is a Comcast employee.

      However, I do know that the text I included in my earlier post was a paraphrase of Comcast/Xfinity’s disclosure materials including the language, … voice commands from our televisions remote control; equipment utilization including the number and types of devices connected to their network and how we use them; network traffic data, ….

      Comcast does not define what network traffic data is in their privacy statement!  It can mean anything!

      • #2040101

        I told you 20 minutes earlier, I’m just a customer.

        You did say Comcast possibly collects the content of our e-mails, although they say otherwise.

        But if you were paraphrasing their language, where do they say they collect “web addresses visited”?

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2040102


      I am inundated with Cancer Treatment Centers of America and cancer related drug advertisements four or more times an hour. I am a cancer survivor, for now, and do not need constant reminders about my future.

      It is as if a Wounded Warrior Project advertisement included the explosion of an improvised explosive device under and armored vehicle.

      • #2040104

        I didn’t realize cancer treatment ads would be that graphic.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2040103


      They clearly state that they collect web addresses visited in their disclosure statement.

      • #2040107

        I provided you with a link to where they say they don’t.

        Can you provide me with a link to where they say they do?

        Which particular part of which document did you “paraphrase”?

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

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