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Old 01-04-2017, 09:44 AM   #21
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Right now I'm thinking of moving to a cheaper cell phone and cell phone service than my present iPhone on Verizon. All this is not so much for me to save money, as to get the most value for my money. YMMV
Look into PagePlus. They use Verizon's network which is the best imo. If you don't use your cell much, you can just buy blocks of minutes or you can buy a monthly amount. I buy month to month right now. You can set it up where it is automatically done on a month to month basis if you don't want to fool with it yourself. You can also buy Papeplus minutes through Callingmart which is a little cheaper than directly with Pageplus.

https://www.pagepluscellular.com/
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:06 AM   #22
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We're not ready to cut the cord on the TV yet, and if I'm going to do TV and internet, the incremental cost for the phone is small.

We're not really cell phone lovers, either. We both have smart phones that we connect using Ting. I guess our usual bill for two phones is about $40-$45, which isn't too bad. We're not heavy users, and with Ting, you pay for what you use.

By the way, I think you can connect your Verizon iPhone through Ting, if you want.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:17 AM   #23
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Comcast service reliablity: excellant.
Customer Service - not the best.
Stability of rates charged: among the worst. That $100/month after the introductory period won't stay at $100 for very long. Rates that tend to remain stable: basic cable.

So you may want to consider: basic cable (especially if you cannot use an antenna to get your local channels - big problem in hilly Seattle). Get your internet somewhere else, same for your phone service. Use higher speed internet and a Roko, or Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Stick, etc. to stream the programs you want to watch.

You'll soon discover that you don't really need to see some favorite program on the same night it is broadcast. But if you have to watch sports: game over.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:23 AM   #24
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Comcast service reliablity: excellant.
Customer Service - not the best.
Stability of rates charged: among the worst. That $100/month after the introductory period won't stay at $100 for very long. Rates that tend to remain stable: basic cable.

So you may want to consider: basic cable (especially if you cannot use an antenna to get your local channels - big problem in hilly Seattle). Get your internet somewhere else, same for your phone service. Use higher speed internet and a Roko, or Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Stick, etc. to stream the programs you want to watch.

You'll soon discover that you don't really need to see some favorite program on the same night it is broadcast. But if you have to watch sports: game over.
There is no other good internet option where I live.

We don't care about watching the shows on the nights they're broadcast, we always watch on DVR, and skip the commercials. We hate watching commercials.

I have the impression that most of the streaming programming still has commercials. Is that correct?
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:34 AM   #25
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Our Comcast service has been very reliable. High internet speeds. The X1 box has a good user interface and the audio search works pretty good.

Like others, I have to call Comcast every so often to revert back to the best cost package when the deductions they give fade away.

We don't have phone service with them. The cable modem with the phone service is a different one and perhaps that could be a source of some people's issues. I bought my own cable modem but after 10 months started having internet issues. So I use theirs now. If one has a problem with the web, perhaps just swapping out the modem on your own is a good tactic.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:35 AM   #26
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There is no other good internet option where I live.

We don't care about watching the shows on the nights they're broadcast, we always watch on DVR, and skip the commercials. We hate watching commercials.

I have the impression that most of the streaming programming still has commercials. Is that correct?
Hulu has commercials up front and during the shows, but instead of 8 or so, the count is 2. You can pay them a little more for no commercials. Netflix doesn't have commercials. Both services are around $9 per month. If you have Amazon prime, they also provide streaming included with the cost of Prime (so at $99 about $11/month) - but you get other advantages with Amazon prime.

Some of the best TV programming IMO now comes from Netflix and Amazon - equivalent in standards to PBS.

Search for cutting the cable here on Early Retirement, there were a few threads about this. Also take a look at Cord Cutters News - All the news cord cutters need about cord cutting! Covering, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Netflix, Hulu, & More!

- Rita
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:42 AM   #27
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We have Comcast and consider it very capable and reliable. Two years ago we had some issues. After 2-3 customer service visits without success the sent out an engineer who was actually a Comcast employee. He told us to call him direct on his cell if we had any issues. They ended up laying new cable along the street. Been rock solid ever since. Also, we really like the x1 system.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:09 AM   #28
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I have lived in the Houston area for 25 years now and have Comcast. No other reliable options where I currently live (yes, I have tried).

You can bet that the mid level channel line up (Preferred package), fast internet (25+ MB/sec), and the Voip phone will come in at ~$125 - $150 per month (introductory rate). Then in two years (or less) you will be at $230/month.

Comcast raises their rates every 6 months.

If you want to do the "self install" of the equipment, they will charge you $30 for the kit and $30 to mail it to you. How nice of them!!

They will nickel and dime you to death.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:18 AM   #29
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Do you just plug in phones all over the house like I do now?
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Yes.
Careful there!

If you want to plug your phones into the house wiring by plugging the new phone adapter into a wall jack, you need to make sure the phone company is disconnected from the line. This can usually be done by finding the box where the phone wires enter your house, unplugging that (or disconnecting the wires), and labeling it so nobody plugs it in by accident.

If the phone company still has their tip/ring -48 V on it, it will fry your telephone adapter. Also be aware, their first step in troubleshooting any problem is to have you disconnect from any house wiring. I finally added a second wireless base near our TA, so I only have short wire runes to each, w/o all the house wiring loading the circuit.

-ERD50
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:30 AM   #30
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Just have them for internet, but haven't had any issues with it for the years they've been providing internet to the house.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:45 AM   #31
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I use to have AT&T DSL and phone.... since they did not have a fast speed for me I went with Dish.... to be fair, I had Dish at my last house and liked it...


But, too many times service dropped or was just real crappy... so finally went to Comcast for phone and internet.... I am into my second year and am paying a bit more than AT&T (well, more than I was paying.... I think they would still be higher looking at my mom's bill).... I kept Dish since the plan I have was cheap enough that it would have cost me more to go with Comcast to get the same....


Now, some reasons for Comcast... (I think Dish will allow this if you get their best DVR).... you can go back and watch a show you missed or did not record... I think their schedule has more days than Dish.... I can only look 8 or 9 days out to record... if a new program is coming on and you are going to be gone 2 or 3 weeks... sorry, you do not get to record it... (this has happened to me)....


Oh, a downside to Comcast... and I do not know why it does this or if it can be fixed... at times when someone calls and I pick up and say "Hello"... they do not answer... I say it again and they do... I have asked and they say they never heard me the first time... so it seems there is some connection issue...
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:47 AM   #32
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I have the impression that most of the streaming programming still has commercials. Is that correct?
Playstation Vue has DVR built in the software(cloud) and keeps whatever you record for 28 days. I also watch movies through Amazon Prime and you get a quick ad about other programming at the beginning, but no commercials during the show. There are plenty of free movie channels out there but you do have commercials to deal with.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:57 AM   #33
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There is no other good internet option where I live.

We don't care about watching the shows on the nights they're broadcast, we always watch on DVR, and skip the commercials. We hate watching commercials.

I have the impression that most of the streaming programming still has commercials. Is that correct?
No commercials on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu (for Hulu you have to pay to avoid them, and a few programs still have them) with subscriptions to those services.

Amazon Prime pays for itself in shipping savings from stuff I order, so I don't count that cost towards my entertainment budget, and Netflix and Hulu get me almost everything else I want to watch for ~$20/month.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:40 PM   #34
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... Right now I'm thinking of moving to a cheaper cell phone and cell phone service than my present iPhone on Verizon. All this is not so much for me to save money, as to get the most value for my money. YMMV
DS uses PagePlus (Verizon) and likes it. We use Airvoice Wireless (AT&T) unlimited voice and text and 1GB of data for $30/month... $20/month if you only need 100mb of data or pay-as-you-go for as little as $10/90 days/100 minutes if you don't use your cell for much.

I looked into Ting a while ago and liked their approach. $6/month for 1 phone plus "blocks" of voice, texts and data... a phone with 100 minutes of voice + 100 texts + 100 mb of data would be $15/month.. if you use more they bill you more... if you use less then they bill you less. See https://ting.com/rates But alas, it uses the Sprint network which does not have coverage at our main home so it was a no-go for us.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:50 PM   #35
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I agree that this sounds like a really good time for the OP to consider dropping TV and landline phone service.

I dropped both 2-3 years ago, saving about $150/month, and honestly I don't miss either. Right now I'm thinking of moving to a cheaper cell phone and cell phone service than my present iPhone on Verizon. All this is not so much for me to save money, as to get the most value for my money. YMMV
I am currently with T-Mobile. Have been for about 12 years. You can get unlimited voice/text and data for $45 per month.

Reception is very good everywhere we go in the US and we have been across the country in our rv twice in the last year.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:06 PM   #36
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Careful there!

If you want to plug your phones into the house wiring by plugging the new phone adapter into a wall jack, you need to make sure the phone company is disconnected from the line. This can usually be done by finding the box where the phone wires enter your house, unplugging that (or disconnecting the wires), and labeling it so nobody plugs it in by accident.

If the phone company still has their tip/ring -48 V on it, it will fry your telephone adapter. Also be aware, their first step in troubleshooting any problem is to have you disconnect from any house wiring. I finally added a second wireless base near our TA, so I only have short wire runes to each, w/o all the house wiring loading the circuit.

-ERD50
Thanks for the heads-up on this one.

We have one wireless base upstairs and one down. Other than disconnecting the phone company, is this practical?
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:13 PM   #37
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Are you happy with the product? With the customer service?
I'm happy with the product now. I had modem issues (their modem) for the first month with Comcast. Customer Service is not so good, but it's been a few years since I needed customer service.

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We would be getting a DVR. Does yours work well?
Yes, but I believe DW has an issue with limited ability to record multiple shows simultaneously, etc.

Quote:
When you get their phone service, does the phone signal somehow find its way into all your house wiring so you can use the same phones?
Yes we use the same phones.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:35 PM   #38
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My Comcast account creeped up in price constantly. Every 6 months, I'd have to go down to the office to see what special deal they were authorized to offer me. After 6 months, the program would expire and I'd have to go back in and beg for a lower cost--and I'd get another.

I just get tired of begging to save $20 a month.

My Dish tv program is better and much cheaper--guaranteed 2 years.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:44 PM   #39
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same problems as others. Introductory rate, or preferred customer rate increase after a year and begging to decrease is quite the hassle. But I'm willing to fight for every dime.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:03 PM   #40
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We would be getting a DVR. Does yours work well?
We like the X1 DVR capability. They supply one DVR but it works as a system with any other attached TVs. We have two locations (kitchen and rec room) in addition to the living room where the DVR is located. You can record or play back from any location simultaneously. The old system did have some limitation on record but I don't recall what they were. The X1 system may have some limitation but, if it does, we've never run into them.

Also, we use the voice recognition system often rather than to scroll through the channel guide.

As another poster mentioned, most shows are available for a time on demand, so that if you don't have the show recorded you can still watch it.

Recently, Comcast has integrated Netflix into it's system but I haven't used this enough to know if this is much of an advantage.
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