Good evening chaps. Well, my wife and I finally pulled the plug on DishNetwork this week. We were paid up through Monday and I called them and canceled service. What a relief to NOT have to pay $73.70 per month anymore. Now I will give Dish credit for a number of things. When we first signed up they were the most reasonably priced solution around. We started with the Top 200 which has morphed in the the Top 250 package. In that time (about ten years) our service charges have risen from the level listed, about $53 per month, to over $73. Ouch. They did give me my DishDVR service for nothing. I was one of the early adopter of a PVR508 receiver that is about to finally give up the ghost. And a second receiver in my daughter's bedroom. Still, a nearly 50% jump in price in ten years was getting to be too much. Our local cable scammers err...I mean company were much worse. The closest package they had WITHOUT the dvr option and WITH a second converter box was over $80 per month. No way. The gist of it is we were tired of paying for this nonsense. We really watch only about 25 channels. A&E/TLC/History/Science/Biography which I think are all owned by the same group. Cartoon/Boomerang/Disney/Nickelodeon for the kids. That and a few things on the Encore channels which Dish included and the cable company did not. Needless to say, we were at a point where we were saying to our selves; Why are we doing this? So I uninstalled the dish, ran a coax to my old aerial, and promptly found about 25 digital broadcast channels in the local Kansas City area. Many of our stations have a sub channel that delivers weather all the time. Nice. We are close enough to get a grand picture. Having metadata for channel and programming information is a real boon to the experience. Why did the FCC let these guys put this off so long? Now to Netflix.
This was my first experience dealing with this company. They made it very easy to sign up. I made sure to check reviews online. Here at B&B there was a good thread about it. I also talked at length with the parent of a child my youngest daughter attends school with. They are long time customers and love the service. I did not like using one of my credit cards for payment but you have no choice. I understand their position as well. They need collateral so to speak if you don't return the discs. We signed up for the $13.99 a month plan that allows two discs out at a time and UNLIMITED streaming from their watch now service. Frankly I was quite surprised to see new releases like Julie and Julia there. I had sort of gotten the idea newer movies just weren't in the mix. A nice surprise. Just for giggles I searched for "The General". A 1994 Irish movie starring Brendan Gleeson as Martin Cahill, a famous Irish mobster. Danged if they don't have it in queue. This movie is not regularly available at rental stores and there are at least a couple of version floating around. One has a nearly monochromatic look to it that really works well with the story. I don't which version they stream. I also like it that they state up front you can quit when YOU want, not them. No contracts so to speak. You also get the Starz viewer deal too. What a way to catch up on original series from that network. Wish me luck lads.
With our outlay for broadband + Netflix, we are out about $65 per month. That is ten dollars less than our satellite bill but doesn't tell the whole story. We have to have the broadband. My wife is enrolled in college online so end of story. However, we recently moved over to AT&T uVerse at a smoking 12Mbs download speed. I have tested this at several online speed testers and it always goes 11.6 to 11.7 download and 1.6 upload. More than fast enough to stream Netfilx. The local cable broadband we had was going to cost me ten dollars per month more than this service because I wouldn't keep our local phone service through them. We ported it over to a Tmoblie prepaid account. 100 dollars gets you 1000 minutes which are good for one year. We rarely use the home phone but I needed a contact for work and we didn't have to change our contact information for credit cards, doctors, etc. So we saved approximately $32 per month there as well. Even if you amortise the $100 over twelve months, it is about $8.50 per month. I can live with a net $24 savings per month on the phone alone. So between phone and satellite, we are saving $100 per month! A not insignificant amount. We are going to add a network capable Samsung BluRay player so we can watch Netflix in the living room. I will let you know how all this works out. Oh yeah, what about all those "learning channels"? If you go to their websites, you can stream almost any show they have recently broadcast. Score. This will make it much nicer when Warehouse 13 comes back on this summer. The only drawback I have with the antenna is no pausing of live tv. That feature will spoil you rotten. Miss a scene? Back it up and play it again. Can't quite tell what "X" is in the background? Back it up and pause it. I do love that feature and will miss it. Other than that, we are off to the races.