Time Warner Raising Rates…Fight Back!
Many of you have probably heard by now, TWC is raising rates, as much as 12% depending on what you have. You can point straight at crap like the recent Fox nearly being pulled due to pricing negotiations running right up to the deadline, and (locally) the Channel 4 craziness.
So what can men do against such reckless hate? Negotiate for a better deal, or cut the cord altogether and consume your media online. Here are some articles to get you started:
The first thing you need to do is take a good long look at what you really watch. I bet many of you only regularly watch a few stations. You may think ‘But I like (xyz channel)!’ but if you haven’t tuned it in a few months, it’s safe to say you can do without. Check these against the dish or cable company’s offerings, and you may find you can downgrade or remove a few tiers right off the top. Goes double for the premium movie channels, as Redbox or Netflix usually work out to be a better deal. (Use the Redbox website to ensure your favorite machine has the movie you want before you go).
That right there can save you a few bucks, with minimal disruption to how you operate already. The next step is to call your provider (or as mentioned, try the online chat support) and ask for a better deal. It helps to have a competing offer to hold over them, check a deal site like FatWallet or Techbargains if you haven’t gotten a mailing recently.
So, still not much of a change in viewing habits for you there, just a bit more work. If you are willing to go in deeper, with even bigger changes, read on.Over the air TV still exists, and a lot of the time, you are getting HD. AntennaWebcan tell you what antenna may give you the best results. Once you have that up and running, you can supplement your broadcast channels with movies from Netflix or Redbox as mentioned above. One other tidbit – if you pay for Xbox Live on your Xbox360, you can use that to watch the Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ content. Many better Blu-Ray players (and even some TVs themselves) have this ability also now.
If you have a decent computer, especially one with some kind of TV connection (HDMI is common on modern video cards), you can expand your options further. Huluis a site most of you are aware of, and still free (for now at least). They keep threatening, though. It’s insane what you can find on there, from classic Battlestar Galactica, Voltron, MST3k, Speed Racer, to more modern shows. You can hit this link to find a pretty exhaustive list of where to find what shows for free online, also. One note – for new shows, you may be limited as to how many episodes are available online, sometimes only the latest is up for the week after it’s initial run.
The one big, huge, major problem still is sports, especially hockey. The NFL is easy enough to live with, as most of their games are still on broadcast TV (and Sunday Night Football is better than Monday Night Football). The NHL, on the other hand, is tough to come by this way. Sure, there’s GameCenter Live, but they black out local market games – so it’s really only an option if you are a fan of an out of market team. There are streams online and other questionable means of watching, but this is the biggest reason why I haven’t dropped TWC yet.
If you’ve got any other suggestions, comment away! I know I did not mention torrents (Lifehacker has some details about that for TV shows), but I was trying to keep things as simple as possible.