DISH TV and Sling TV Beats Cable TV ?

I think I probably speak for most cable subscribers. There is nothing more aggravating than being bullied by Comcast or others about what channels I want. Most viewers really never ever watch more than perhaps 10 core channels on a regular basis out of the 100+ that comes in their package. Who needs them? Packaging so many useless channels is the cable company method of justifying their high prices and monopoly over geographic areas. The minimum rate for most cable companies is around $80 a month for a "starter" package and lots of trash channels (some in Spanish, Thai, Chinese), local channels that are useless and others. The core channels most watched are included for this price.

DISH and Sling TV now offer the same core channels for only $20 a month to appeal to those customers fed up with cable fees and want to cut the cord. In my case, I subscribe to Netflix and get current content on TV from the free Popcorn Time P2P application that allows for streaming of current movies and TV shows without downloading to your computer. I also have Roku so that I can watch streaming on the big screen LCD, versus the computer screen. Roku does offer some decent channels like Netlfix, Hulu, and live news TV, CNN International (which is not the same as CNN you see through cable TV, but it is fine), FOX etc. We also subscribe to Comcast for $80 a month. Why? I am no longer sure.

The only downfall for streaming is that if you want live TV (mostly sports and news) you can only get it via cable. If you want the ABC, NBC, CBS, you have to subscribe. Just why cannot cable offer TV channels that you want? Charge per channel. Well, DISH has heard the customer complaints and offers a core package of the most watched channels: ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network plus others totaling 30 channels. All these channels would be streamed to your Smart TV (a TV with a built in modem to get the signal).

At my house, these are the most watched channels, if not, all the time. This is all you need really if you already Netfllix, Hulu Plus, Roku and Popcorn. The void is filled because of the sports, live news, and ABC family. Why spend $80 for it and others you never will watch? Of course cable does have Xfinity TV so you can watch on your mobile phone and now Comcast offers Internet service and the Digital Starter package for $80 a month for the first year. The package includes HBO.

The kicker is you must also have Internet service to stream the channels. If you want HBO or other specials, you can buy those separately from their sites. So, you pay $20 for DISH, then maybe $40-50 for Internet. Suddenly, the Comcast offer is appealing being only $10-20 difference.

There seems to be a media war going on. So, before you cut the cable cord, add up your costs.

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Swisstoons profile image

Swisstoons 20 months ago from Michigan

I was very happy with DirecTV from 1998 to 2009 when I moved to an apartment complex which had signed a contract with Comcast; no dishes allowed. I've never been happy with Comcast for a variety of reasons. But when I learned that DISH had cancelled Fox News Channel, I decided that even if DISH suddenly became available as an alternative, I would have no choice but to stick with Comcast.

DISH discontinued FNC in mid-December, ostensibly due to a contract dispute. During this time, it was learned that there might've been more than financial considerations at play, here. The owner of DISH and his wife are major donors to the Democrat Party, and liberal causes, and it was suggested that he "had a history" of "encouraging" underlings to likewise contribute. During the monthlong dispute, DISH lost over 90,000 customers. They have now capitulated and signed a longterm contract with Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel. Still, the idea that a communications company might withhold services to serve a political agenda rubs me the wrong way...even if their prices were enticing.


perrya profile image

perrya 20 months ago Author

The savings in the article are negligible. Basic Internet service is $40-50 a month. Using Netflix or Hulu Plus to stream shows is $8 or so. Comcast does have a package less than $80. Using Roku does not offer enough for most people. Using P2P to stream content with Popcorn time is free and offer current and past shows plus current movies but live news is not offered. At best, a person might save $30 a month if Comcast is turned off but you lose live news like CNN and Fox. In most other cases, the bill per month is close to $70.


Swisstoons profile image

Swisstoons 20 months ago from Michigan

Comcast and I got off on the wrong foot when the first person I spoke to lied to me. I asked for the "lowest-priced" plan that included Fox News. He told me repeatedly that the cheapest such plan available was $70+ (can't remember the exact amount). When I found out a few months later that the lowest-priced plan was actually much closer to $40, I blew up. I filed a complain with the Michigan Attorney General. Subsequently, the company lowered my rate and showered me with gifts (like free HBO for a year). Since then, I have always paid the lowest price (which has recently risen to $51--including "broadcast TV Fee" which I've got to check into, and taxes), but have been able to get freebies through negotiation. I'm just completing a year of "Digital Preferred" for which I've been charged the "Basic" fee. It pays to negotiate.


perrya profile image

perrya 20 months ago Author

Yes, I have heard this.

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