Author Topic: recommended Comcast plan?  (Read 11681 times)

mindaugas

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recommended Comcast plan?
« on: August 09, 2012, 01:11:51 PM »
I have Comcast Blast Extra right now which has limited cable and internet bundled. I don't need the converter, I have a media card reader and a HTPC. Are there any recommended plans that I can switch to that have basic high speed internet and basic cable (just local stations).

kisserofsinners

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 02:11:03 PM »
Depending on your area (this works best in NYC and SF as they are the #1 and #2 markets respectively) you can still use an antenna. they've changed them to be digital, so your old rabbit ears won't work. They are as little as $20 for digital TV antennas and go has high as several hundred. Don't get jacked! The $20 unit works well enough.

This will give you your local channels.

mindaugas

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 02:25:14 PM »
thanks, I'm in the Denver area. I just had a couple conversations with sales reps and they claim I have to get limited basic cable for local stations. I seem to remember that local stations come over the wire if you have internet for free. Something about not being able to block those. I'm going to look into an antenna, don't they also bring in HD as well over the air now?

Here is the skinny for anyone else looking around Denver.
$49 a month for "performance internet" which is 12Mbs for internet only. They have a 3Mbs plan for $30.
$22 a month for limited basic cable. You can get channel line ups here. https://www.comcast.com/Clu/ChannelLineUp.
the big ones you get with limited basic that I believe are not over the air are:
Discovery Channel
ION
TBS
hallmark
WGN

Windows media center will still put an antenna into a guide, so DVR is still possible. Like for the Olympics :)

Another Reader

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 03:27:51 PM »
I got rid of cable, but a $20.00 digital antenna to watch the local stations would be a reasonable investment.  Do you have a brand and model to recommend?  Are we talking scaling the rooftop, or is this a replacement for the old fashioned rabbit ears?

kisserofsinners

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 03:36:51 PM »
I got rid of cable, but a $20.00 digital antenna to watch the local stations would be a reasonable investment.  Do you have a brand and model to recommend?  Are we talking scaling the rooftop, or is this a replacement for the old fashioned rabbit ears?

I had a friend over last night who recommended it. It's a rabbit ear replacement. He does have to move it around to get a signal sometimes (near a window etc). The more expensive units have the materials and brackets to attach to the roof.

I'll get in touch with him about model and such...

kisserofsinners

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 03:44:07 PM »
thanks, I'm in the Denver area. I just had a couple conversations with sales reps and they claim I have to get limited basic cable for local stations. I seem to remember that local stations come over the wire if you have internet for free. Something about not being able to block those. I'm going to look into an antenna, don't they also bring in HD as well over the air now?

That rep is a liar and a fat mouth. The big debates about the digital change revolve around emergency warnings. There are old people everywhere who need to know when shit is happening. Theya re old and frail and they also vote often so they totally got their way. :)

Your local channels are still getting pumped out into the air. You are correct that this doesn't give you Discovery, TBS, etc. You will get PBS, ABC, NBC (olympics!) etc.

It's reported that the HD is actually better quality over the air VS over cable. Again, I'll look into brand and model of the unit my friends is using. However, y umight be able to return it if it doesn't end up helping you specifically.

mindaugas

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 04:07:43 PM »
Sorry, I meant getting the free local stations over the cable wire with internet. Meaning I wouldn't need an antenna, it would just come with internet. the rep told me they don't allow that, I'll ONLY get internet, no TV at all. I'm having issues with cable reception anyway, so an antenna probably is the best way to go. We are communicating with Mars over radio, so it makes sense we can get HD :)

Daley

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 08:06:22 PM »
With Comcast, you'll have to be sneaky. They offer internet packages they won't advertise and are reluctant to mention. They're also going to want to charge you for television, no matter what.

Start here in the guide to better arm yourself going in so you know what you do and you don't need. You might also be able to get a better deal through Earthlink (details in the guide and further into the thread). Nice thing with Earthlink is you can basically tell Comcast and their mandatory television service fees to get stuffed despite using their very own cable, and you might even get the exact same speed package for less.

Finally, if you have a QAM tuner, you should be able to tune in the local stations off your cable connection for free as the FCC mandates that they broadcast the locals in Clear QAM instead of encrypting and forcing CableCard usage. You won't get the full spectrum of what you might as far as digital sub-stations with the rabbit ear method, or in high a resolution or quality as you'd get OTA, but you should at least get most of the major market networks (ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, ion, NBC, MyNetwork, PBS, etc.). lol nevermind, it's illegal.

I go OTA anyway as it's a larger selection of stations for less hassle. A $10 set of rabbit ears with a decent UHF loop should be plenty unless you're in the concrete jungle or more than 15 miles from the broadcast towers.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:07:53 AM by I.P. Daley »

Another Reader

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 09:43:06 PM »
OK, for the technologically simple minded of us that want to watch the local news occasionally, what do we need to do?  The antenna website says I am about 50 miles from the San Francisco transmitters.  I have internet and a landline through the Evil Empire (Comcast).  I have an inexpensive Panasonic flat screen from Costco that is less than a year old.   I am NOT climbing on the roof.  What's the solution?

Daley

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 12:06:03 AM »
OK, for the technologically simple minded of us that want to watch the local news occasionally, what do we need to do?  The antenna website says I am about 50 miles from the San Francisco transmitters.  I have internet and a landline through the Evil Empire (Comcast).  I have an inexpensive Panasonic flat screen from Costco that is less than a year old.   I am NOT climbing on the roof.  What's the solution?

Some stations will actually live stream their newscasts on their websites these days, start there.

Beyond that, you could try a couple bigger, beefier directional indoor VHF/UHF antennas in the DB4 style (we had an interesting thread on that back in March). You can also mount directionals in the attic crawlspace. At your distance if you want to do an OTA antenna, it's just going to be a little technologically messy.

All other things aside, there's always buying your own barebones Dish equipment and signing up for the locals only pack ($10+tax) or the Welcome Pack with locals ($15+tax), but I don't know how competitive or not it is to Comcast's minimal TV service anymore. Also (unrelated), I can pretty much guarantee the price you're paying for your home phone service through Comcast is more expensive than VOIPo or Future Nine per month.

Finally, I stand corrected about the FCC mandate regarding locals being left unencrypted and QAM service through cable providers (I brushed up and refreshed my knowledge). So you are aware, most DTV sets made after 2006 can tune both ATSC and Clear QAM by just hooking the cable up to the television, but that's beside the point. Even though cable companies are (typically) only relaying free local OTA stations in Clear QAM on their wires, most cable companies will argue the "piracy" angle if you're not paying for service as per their lobbied 47 U.S.C. 553. Stupid but true, so full disclaimer: don't do what I had suggested in my last post, it's apparently illegal. Sorry about that. Despite the fact that you wouldn't be watching or likely even able to receive anything that isn't already being given away for free all around you with an antenna, it's against the law. Yay lawyerball. Even without the knowledge of that specific law, it still was a tertiary reason why I just went OTA rabbit ears myself beyond the broader selection and higher quality. I just didn't want to deal with "j'accuse pirate!" saber rattling if caught watching free local broadcast stations through their wire. I refuse to piss in my cable provider's muesli no matter how irrational the logic because I've noone but Ma Vader and her Death Star to run to as an alternative. I'm sure your mileage and jurisdictional laws may vary.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 12:15:06 AM by I.P. Daley »

MrSaturday

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 07:27:16 AM »
I use an antenna similar to this mounted in my attic and it works great.

I don't know if it'll do the job in your case, but it will work much better than an antenna intended for indoor use.

mindaugas

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 10:38:04 AM »
Awesome, thanks for the info! Earthlink is only giving me dial up and satellite for my location. I did read through your guide which is what lead me to contact comcast and post this topic. I was hoping to find someone that got a specific package for a good price.

Daley

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 11:39:40 AM »
Awesome, thanks for the info! Earthlink is only giving me dial up and satellite for my location. I did read through your guide which is what lead me to contact comcast and post this topic. I was hoping to find someone that got a specific package for a good price.

The package you'll want to ask about with Comcast will be their "Economy Plus" package. If it's simply unavailable due to region (which is possible if Earthlink is coming up empty for cable services), you may either have to go down to the 1.5Mbps Economy or up to the 6Mbps Performance Starter. Ask for the package specifically by name. As for price, that unfortunately varies from region to region with Comcast. Those packages won't entirely be what I'd call a "deal" so much as simply being the cheapest service tiers for internet that you'll be able to squeeze out of them long term.

mindaugas

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 11:56:49 AM »
they have a promo for their 12Mbs plan for $30 a month and then it goes up after that. I'm fine with that for now and I'll remember in 5 months to switch it to something less or maybe they'll give me another promo.

Daley

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 12:33:15 PM »
they have a promo for their 12Mbs plan for $30 a month and then it goes up after that. I'm fine with that for now and I'll remember in 5 months to switch it to something less or maybe they'll give me another promo.

Just be careful, that tends to lead to them trying to trap you in. You'll usually have to fight for a half hour justifying your decision to decrease your service speed. I recommend ignoring promo pricing and finagling and cut to the meat of what you actually want. If you can still get promo pricing on that, and it's worth the time to argue for it, do that.

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Re: recommended Comcast plan?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 10:56:14 PM »
they have a promo for their 12Mbs plan for $30 a month and then it goes up after that. I'm fine with that for now and I'll remember in 5 months to switch it to something less or maybe they'll give me another promo.

Just be careful, that tends to lead to them trying to trap you in. You'll usually have to fight for a half hour justifying your decision to decrease your service speed. I recommend ignoring promo pricing and finagling and cut to the meat of what you actually want. If you can still get promo pricing on that, and it's worth the time to argue for it, do that.

My best and quickest tactic is to call to cancel. Be very friendly and tell them that you simply cannot afford the price increase. They'll typically put you on another promo.