Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is TV worth the price you pay?

Ok is it just me or does TV seem a tad expensive? Ok let's look at the facts here. 3 years ago you could get basic cable for $20.00 per month. Now they start you at $45.00. I know that now it's Digital or (High Def) TV and that's the old analogue system you were paying for, which is a good way to defend the increase in price. Let's also talk about the programming then. In my opinion TV programming has gone way down on the quality scale. The air ways mostly consist of reality shows; long gone are the days of Sci-Fi, Drama and Comedies that use to dominate. As you know we have a 1080P TV and now we have a BluRay Disk Player, and I am very happy with the BluRay quality. So now we are looking at cable or satellite. I am very disappointed with the options and the prices. Let's start with my least favorite company to deal with...

1) Shaw Cable.

So for basic HD they start you at 60.95/month, HD Plus is 69.95/month. Seems expensive considering I still need a HD receiver from Shaw or an HD PVR that is just for programming. Why would I pay $60.95/month to watch CSI and House? Those are the only two shows on TV that even remotely have my interest. My wife wants to watch a few shows but nothing where I can justify spending that much for lack luster, programming.

2) Shaw Direct (formerly know as Star Choice)

This came highly recommended by some of my wife's co-workers. Now I have to say it is much more reasonably priced then Cable is. Now it is much more reasonable, depending on the hardware we buy installation for Shaw direct ranges from 0 to $200.00. The programming on the other hand is much more reasonable. With programming starting at 23.00 all the way to 86.00 it seems like a deal compared to cable. My issue with Shaw Direct is the HD receiver can't work as a PVR.

3) Bell

Now Bell is much like Shaw direct with programming starting as low as $23.00 (for HD) ranging all the way to $99.00. Again fairly reasonable programming prices.

4) Telus TV

New to the TV market (relatively) is Telus. They provide 2 types ip and satellite tv. I will not slow my DSL speed so I am not going to be reviewing the IP TV, since it requires slower internet. Telus will not setup TV on their 15MB Internet; so forget that it's useless.

Telus Satellite again is fairly reasonable with HD programming starting at $35.00 going to $99.00.


With all the prices being around the same and all the promotions are almost identical, you would think we have a great competition going on between the companies. At least that's what they want you to think. Unless you get a customer retention specialist your out of luck on scoring any deals at all. At this point unless we get a great deal we are likely going with either Shaw Direct or Bell. (Probably Bell since we have the hardware). Not only that for the amount of time we are home, and the time we will watch tv we will be going with just a basic package and I can build a DVR using Elisa (Susie Linux Media Centre) to record the stuff instead of buying one. Or I can build the Media Centre and Stream the content off YouTube, Hulu, or right of the websites of the content providers. Is it just me or are we all being ripped off?

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