I've recently been lamenting how expensive cable prices are. Tara got Lorna and I hooked on LOST via some insidious DVDs for Christmas. Unfortunately, our local cable company is Adelphia, which offers you a trial contract for $29, but the price goes up to some undisclosed amount after a mysterious trial period.
A few weeks ago I called Adelphia, and asked how much their service was *after the trial period*. They told me, "Well, that's subject to negotiation at that time, with the sales agent at that time." "So what's the normal rate for your service?" "Well, that's subject to negotiation with the sales agent at that time." They didn't sell me on it.
If you read the fine print (which is really more hidden than fine print), the answer seems to be, if you want basic cable, and you pay all the taxes and stuff, it's more than $50 a month. Satellites are somewhat less, about $30 a month, or about $35 with taxes. Everyone knows this, in fact knows that the cable companies really want to upgrade you to HD/DVR/premium channels for $100/month.
But our trip to Circuit City yesterday taught us -- even at $100/month, digital satellite and cable are using over-compressed MPEG-2, and if you care about image quality, you see so many blocking artifacts, it looks about as bad as NTSC.
But, we have solved the price problem for cable, using a novel approach. LOST is broadcast on ABC, and we have a local affiliate that broadcasts TV *through the air*! Wireless cable, even HDTV if you want it!
We bought a $15 set of rabbit ears at OSH (HD-ready!), and we suddenly have a wonderfully clear view into local channels.
This technology is awfully cool, and it's free. You should try it out.